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Date: 2006/10/25 02:03:25, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
<blockquote> Rick already had perceived that if God exists He must have more than one purpose in creating. So, we talked about God’s seven different purposes in creating the universe. In light of these seven purposes, Rick wanted to know exactly what we humans are supposed to do. </blockquote>

For help with this consult "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Dieties," wherein is revealed God's planner for your life.

Date: 2006/10/26 01:19:36, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
Pathetic.  I agree, it's time to leave them to their own irrelevance.


I would miss the endless mirth.

After JaredL's theological smackdown another WD sycophant quickly realized he also risked the dour clergyman's withering gaze.  He saved himself through the following obsequious bootlick:

Quote
Sometimes I get carried away, as you can see by my last post. It entirely fits the comment you made in the prior one, and goes contra to the stated thems of the article.

Please delete it, and I apologize!


You can't make this stuff up!  

Date: 2006/10/26 13:36:25, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
Beebo:

Dave, just out of curiosity would Phillip Johnson be banned from this blog if he decided to post here? After all, it was he who said “Our strategy has been to change the subject a bit so that we can get the issue of Intelligent Design, which really means the reality of God, before the academic world and into the schools.” If the “grandfather” of the ID movement is wrong that the designer is God then is it any wonder other people think so too?


Beeb, you missed your chance to be deliciously empirical.  Would that you paraphrased Philip Johnson and posted his words as your own, and activated the DS Nixplanatory Filter!!

Date: 2006/10/27 01:44:23, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
The Root of All Evil?


So there you have it.  (As though we didn't already have it.)  

UD has devolved unashamedly into the assertion that belief in God, and Christ, results in more charity than atheism.

"CSI" apparently refers to "Christ Scented Indignation," which we know does not emerge in incremental steps by means of natural processes.

Date: 2006/10/28 02:46:51, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
to strain a analogy, they are evolving their own strain of commenters at UD.


Thats the last bit of nonsense you're going to post here. Oldmanintheskydidntdoit is no longer with us for using "strain" twice in the same sentence.  - DS

 
Quote
creationism is unsupportable


We don't tolerate lies here at UD.  For continuing to press this point when you know it to be false, you're history, dude.     -DS

 
Quote
Put that...


Put?  Poof.  -DS

 
Quote
I...


Not you, dude.  Me.  And stay out.  -DS

 
Quote
   


Cat got your tongue? Don't bother checking back.  -DS

 
Quote
Uh...


Hasta la Vista Baby.  -DS

 
Quote
Er...


That's it for you, buddy.   -DS

Date: 2006/10/28 04:52:21, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
[Request:] Need to quote-mine Gould
by William Dembski on October 27th, 2006 · 3 Comments


I seem to recall that Stephen Jay Gould, when pressed about his views on evolution before his death, remarked that he was a “Darwinian” or “Darwinist.” Can someone provide me with the exact quote as well as with the exact reference? (The context: I’m writing about punctuated equilibrium being at best a slight variant of Darwinism and that even Gould realized this.) Thanks.

–Bill Dembski


This is a fascinating and revealing request.

Stephen Jay Gould described the relationship between Darwin's original model of evolution and his own additions and revisions in "The Structure of Evolutionary Theory," published posthumously in 2002.  Indeed, the title of this masterwork, and the artwork on the paper cover of the hard cover edition, attempted to capture that relationship, which reflects both the retention and modification of a number of key Darwinian ideas at several levels. He devoted 1,400+ pages to fleshing out these relationships and revisions - and addressing his critics - sometimes in exasperatingly long-winded detail.

What struck me in Dembski's question is the abject ignorance of Gould's published work it betrays. To state that Gould had to be "pressed" to express his views on Darwin, Darwinism, and the relationship between his theoretical innovations and Darwin's original adaptionist position is absurd. You couldn't shut the guy up. And to suggest that it was a dirty secret that, punctuated equilibrium notwithstanding, Gould remained fundamentally Darwinian is beyond absurd.  Maybe even beyond beyond absurd.  

I, for one, miss SJG.  (Recip gets misty, and can't continue...).

Date: 2006/10/28 06:01:25, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
[Request:] Need to quote-mine Gould
by William Dembski on October 27th, 2006 · 3 Comments

I seem to recall that Stephen Jay Gould, when pressed about his views on evolution before his death, remarked that he was a “Darwinian” or “Darwinist.” Can someone provide me with the exact quote as well as with the exact reference? (The context: I’m writing about punctuated equilibrium being at best a slight variant of Darwinism and that even Gould realized this.) Thanks.

–Bill Dembski


It also strikes me that WAD requests "the exact quote as well as the exact reference" because he has no intention of actually reading Gould's material before subjecting it to his penetrating critique. Otherwise an approximate reference sufficient to snag the source would do.

"Quote-mine" isn't irony for the sake of humor.

Date: 2006/10/28 15:35:07, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
D'OL! posts the following searing question:
         
Quote
  Intelligent design requires evidence: Ah, but what can be considered evidence?

Yes, what indeed would "count as evidence" for Intelligent Design?  941 words later we haven't the foggiest ID, but we do know is that when that evidence is found it will only impress ID researchers - not biologists generally.
         
Quote
Thus, in my humble opinion, evidence that supports an ID perspective will be primarily useful to the ID scientists themselves in understanding their own view of the world.

It will be useless for making any general point against the materialist paradigm.

So there will be evidence, but it will remain useless invisible evidence if you haven't taken the red pill. No doubt the product of the useless invisible research Bruce Chapman has told us about.  

We know this is heavy stuff because Denyese refers to The Structure of Scientific Revolutions , which we all recognize as the the cutting edge of the philosophy of science, having been written just last - er -  in the late 1940s while Kuhn was a graduate student at Harvard, and published in book form in 1962.  She talks about paradigms, and all.

I hereby twist her words to underscore the operative passage here:
         
Quote
 (I am describing a course of mental events here, not a logical argument.)

Date: 2006/10/29 02:05:31, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
WAD:    
Quote
Harvard’s “Origin of Life in the Universe Initiative”
How much play do you think ID is going to get in Harvard’s new origin of life initiative…?

Choir member idnet.com.au then intoned, with perfect pitch:  
Quote

There is not one coherent senario sketched out yet. There are merely a collection of mutually exclusive speculations.

Now D'OL! harmonizes:
Quote
Harvard’s origin of life project: Taking intelligent design seriously - sure, but what follows?

...Indeed, that has always been the key difficulty in origin of life (OoL) research. Understanding the OoL is not difficult in principle, because our universe appears to be fine tuned for just such a thing to happen.

Put another way, if all the odds were against life, we should indeed wonder that it exists! But the odds are for it. So in principle, the origin is eminently researchable, just as fine-tuning is.

Let's rub together two key ID concepts vis the origins of life on earth and see what sound they make.  

1) The universe is designed for life.  Dozens of universal constants, physical laws, and physical circumstances - from the strength of the electroweak force to the unique phase states of water to the emergence of habitable zones in the universe - display values and behaviors that are tuned with exacting precision to foster the emergence of life. Moreover, the earth, a “privileged planet,” has been endowed with the required dimensions and planfully situated in orbit around a specific class of star, at a specific distance, within a specific habitable zone of the universe such that not only is the emergence of life inevitable, but the emergence of intelligent organisms capable of making scientific observations and ultimately discovering these markers of design is inevitable.  

2) It is impossible that life arose on earth without special intervention from an intelligent designer. The complexity observed in subcellular machinery of contemporary organisms tells us that it is impossible that self-catalyzing reactions capable of reproduction could have emerged without the special intervention of a designing intelligence. Indeed, other transitions observed throughout the history of life – the emergence of flagellar propulsion, multicellular body plans, the major phyla, human intelligence and morality – required the repeated infusion of additional information, hence the intervention of a designer or designers.  

So let's rub these ideas together:

- The very fabric of the universe is designed for life, and the earth was situated to foster life.  

- It is impossible that life emerged and evolved spontaneously on earth.

(rub rub rub)

Nothing.

(rub rub rub rub)

Still nothing.  

I do smell something, however.

Date: 2006/10/29 02:48:30, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Holy Moly, I'm going to split a gut!

D'OL!:  
Quote
In an analogous situation, Larry Summers, a key project backer, lost his own presidency last year for nothing more than pointing out that women are not as well adapted to the hard sciences as men.

That fact is massively overdetermined by evidence, but what does evidence matter in the face of a demand to demonstrate a politically correct proposition rather than a factually based one?

I opposed Summers position, but D'OL! does provides another data point to consider.

Date: 2006/10/29 02:56:31, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
D'OL!:
Quote
...what if a hard science guy announced....
 
Must...not...respond........

must...refrain......aaaarrrrrrgh!!!!

Date: 2006/10/29 05:16:13, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
Like him or hate him, Larry Summers absolutely did Not point out "that women are not as well adapted to the hard sciences as men." He merely suggested that sex differences might be part of the answer.


Always best to go the original:

http://www.president.harvard.edu/speeches/2005/nber.html

Summers argued that men display more variability than women in many domains (larger standard deviation), rather than a higher mean. That results in a larger pool of extreme outliers (3, 4 SD above the mean - "in the one in 5,000, one in 10,000 class") among males. That is the pool from which physicists at top 25 research universities are drawn.  Etc.

His numbers were very much back-of-the-napkin, however, as he said himself: "I did a very crude calculation, which I'm sure was wrong and certainly was unsubtle, twenty different ways."  Probably unwise to venture onto such emotionally contested ground with such ad hoc math.

Date: 2006/10/29 06:33:11, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Summers' talk was certainly prescient on one point:

"I would actually much rather stay-yes, and then I'm on my way out."

But the distortion in D'OL!'s post was in this:
 
Quote
In an analogous situation, Larry Summers, a key project backer, lost his own presidency last year for nothing more than pointing out that women are not as well adapted to the hard sciences as men.

As I recall it, Summers position became untenable as a result of a large number of statements and actions that related to what many perceived as his bluntness and insensitivity.  He almost certainly would have survived these remarks had he not already alienated a large fraction of the faculty through his confrontational and arrogant management style.

Date: 2006/10/30 02:27:31, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
Snowflakes don’t look designed. They are not assemblages of interdependent parts that perform a function. Machines are designed. Snowflakes are merely repetitive crystal patterns. They look pleasing, not designed. Anyone who thinks a snowflake looks designed has no understanding of engineering or design.


A great deal of human design is evident in works of art that have no functional purpose - although they may be pleasing to look at (listen to, etc.).

It follows that DS listens to a JS Bach two part Invention and concludes that it was not designed.  

He also now claims to know something about the designer that we hadn't heard before - indeed, this may be the first assertion about the designer on record:  The designer doesn't design for aesthetic purposes - only functional ones.

Date: 2006/10/30 15:12:44, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
Self-organization vs. self-ordering events in life-origin models


A quick read leaves one with the impression that this paper is more than a little suspect, and a wee bit looney as well.  Setting aside the quaint notion that the purpose of good writing is to make one's ideas clear (rather than rendering them obscure), there are several points of which to take note:

1) The Origin-of-Life Foundation, Inc., with which one of the authors is affiliated, appears to be more interested in defining success in origins of life research in such a way that their specifications will never be attained - all the more to trumpet the absence of a scientific account of the origins of life.  Several creationist pages cite the fact that the purported 1 million dollar prize has not been awarded.  

2) The editorial board of this journal appears to include few biologists - rather, engineers, programmers, etc. are heavily represented.  

3) The article contains no science whatsoever.  Nor is it a review article, as little literature is actually presented and reviewed.  Rather, it is a series of armchair declarations regarding both what the origins of life must entail (symbolic, computational processes that are by definition independent of physical causality, and that could not have arisen by means of physical causality) and the inadequacy of several extant lines of research into self-organizing/self-ordering systems to account for origins in these terms.

4) Late in the article our old friends "chance" and "necessity" repeatedly pop up, only to be dismissed as insufficient to give rise to computational/semantic systems that have what amounts to intentionality (in the philosophical sense of "aboutness" - more akin to representation than intent).  That leaves...(guess what?)

5). At the conclusion of the article, which began by advertising itself as a technical review of conceptual issues concerning the OOL, specifically the purported conflation of the notions of "order" and "organization," the authors veer into quite bizarre realms that are miles off topic and betray hidden agendas.  A quote captures it best:

   
Quote
The emergence of agents is not possible from a connectionist state-determined system [80]. Neural networks and  connectionist models are dynamically coupled to, or coherent with, their environment [30,103]. The aim of research  into connectionist systems is to be able to explain emergent classifications (Eigen-behavior). This classification is  considered emergent because “it is the global result of the local, state-determined, interaction of the basic components  of the self-organizing system with its environment” [105]. But such a system precludes the most fundamental aspect  of agency: choice contingency. Choice contingency in turn requires freedom from cause-and-effect determinism and  random noise at configurable switches. Agency is able to choose with intent. Connectionist systems cannot properly  be called “embodied agents” because connectionist systems are dynamically coherent with their environments. If  embodied agents were connectionist systems, no mind-body problem would exist to ponder. Thoughts would be  determined by cause-and-effect physicodynamics [108, p. 7]. Thoughts would be either random or self-ordered into a  fixed regularity. Logic gates would produce either noise, or be locked into one fixed position by necessity. Dynamically coherent agent-environment couplings cannot, therefore, give rise to “embodied cognition”. The connectionist system  cannot be isolated from its environmental determinism to achieve choice contingency.


In other words (and these are all that are really required to convey the intent of this characteristically opaque passage), agency, choice, and cognition are not, and cannot be, embodied within a neural network.  

Setting aside the dualism that this points to, what is such an assertion doing in THIS paper?  

(6) Last point - the authors offer NOTHING constructive of their own.  The suggested tests of their mostly empty thesis are really tests of other models they have already, on an a prior basis, dismissed.  

My conclusion is that this is stealth ID, pure and simple.  Well... maybe pure and complex.

Date: 2006/10/30 15:29:12, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
Self-organization vs. self-ordering events in life-origin models


Meanwhile, the usual suspects over at UD are wetting themselves in response to this paper - Scordova characterizes it as "such devastating critique." Given its emptiness of content and failure to make contributions of its own, I'm not surprised that they embrace it as one of their own.

Date: 2006/10/30 15:34:33, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Here I am editing out a duplicate submission.

Youse guys have got to do something about yer server.  It doesn't serve.

Date: 2006/10/31 10:19:02, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
5. Ekstasis // Oct 31st 2006 at 7:47 am

And now, as evidenced by the article, we have come to a situation more akin to Socrates’ final days, where the thought and idea police were continously on the lookout for dangerous and incorrect ideas that may upset the sensitivities of the elite and powerful.


Stuff like this really leaves me scratching my head.

Adams was invited to speak, and paid for doing so.  The school provided facilities.  The talk was very well attended.  The speaker was provided ample time to make his remarks, although didn't use all the time made available.  The audience was attentive and responsive.  Adams was asked a variety of questions, only occasionally challenging, by students in attendance.  Myers made no comments.  The talk was brought to a close by the friendly sponsor.  

This converts to Socretes' final days and thought police looking out for dangerous and incorrect ideas that may upset the sensitivities of the elite and powerful.

What is that?

Date: 2006/11/03 14:04:36, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
 Tim McGrew:  I’ve apologized to PZ.


   
Quote
Scordova: Sooooo….how about it PZ, are you going to apologize to Dr. Wells...I think a retraction on your part with an apology is in order.


'Ova, time to take responsibility for posting McGrew's mistaken assertion and end your agonies. Only thusly will you attain a trim blowhorn tack.  

This is embarrassing.

Date: 2006/11/04 02:24:16, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Then Jehu wields huge panels of silvered glass into an impressive funhouse maze of re-reflected irrelevancy.  As though to display his sense of irony he intones,
Quote
Don’t get lost in PZ’s rhetorical house of mirrors...

Date: 2006/11/04 02:59:06, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
I was reviewing yesterday's spectacular events, stepping through 'Ova's blunder and the posts that followed like an FAA investigator at a crash site. Witnesses here know that the warriors at UD, all now burned beyond recognition, mounted a fierce defense of indirection by arguing points vis Ballard's paper: the developmental hourglass, gastrulation and cleavage, and so on, none of which had bearing upon 'Ova's bad behavior, and all of which were off-topic.  

Near the original point of impact I found this:
 
Quote
13. scordova // Nov 3rd 2006 at 11:22 am

Patrick,
...

What is at issue is not what Ballard said, but Myers quotaion of Wells.

Sal

Here I think 'Ova had it right.  

'Ova? C'mon dude. No more threads.  Swallow hard. Think of cleavage.  Then apologize.

Date: 2006/11/04 06:30:59, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
Here's one for you.. what came first.. the hole in your skull or the eye and nerve system that thread through it to the outside?


Quote
Who is JGuy? Is he just putting on a show? Or does he believe the sentences which he is typing?


I think this goes to the hole in his skull. Well, maybe his nerve system too.

Date: 2006/11/06 01:46:56, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
25. Ekstasis
You know, there are actually people who believe that what they watch and hear are created from invisible waves that fly through the air, and find their way into the television. Those superstitious idiots, can you believe it? But fortunately, through my progress, we have found the physical seat, its all in the box itself. Ah, materialist heaven!! I will contact TIME magazine promptly, they need to run an article.

Apparently Ekstasis believes that his mind is broadcast into his body from a distant location.  

I'd suggest he reach up and adjust them rabbit ears a smidge.

Date: 2006/11/06 08:15:28, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
Uncommon Descent is being indexed by Google again
by DaveScot on November 6th, 2006 · 2 Comments
On September 16th, 2006 uncommondescent.com was mysteriously dropped from indexing by google.com. Deindexing means that any google search would never return a hit to uncommondescent.com. We became blogona non grata at google.

Who reading the above did not recognize that DS meant to say "bologna non grata"?

Date: 2006/11/07 06:46:14, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
scordova // Nov 6th 2006 at 2:06 pm
I think it is possible, whales and dolphins and snakes may have once had something like legs. That does not mean however, they were once cows once upon a time as some have argued.

ID is science, and 'Ova has a firm scientific basis for his assertion:
   
Quote
Genesis 3:14 (New International Version)

So the LORD God said to the serpent,

"Because you have done this,
Cursed are you above all the livestock
and all the wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
and you will eat dust
all the days of your life."

See? Nothing here about being a cow, but Serp clearly had legs before he was cursed above all the livestock.

Date: 2006/11/07 18:21:51, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
ID goes global: But why should that be a surprise?
by O'Leary on November 7th, 2006

At long last, some genuine scholarship at UD.  Denyse O’Leary has posted a think piece backed by impressive journalistic research, as reflected in the many links to diverse expert opinion in support of her views.  Many examples of her wide ranging scholarship:

- Denyse O’Leary cites Denyse O’Leary on "Infighting among Darwinists."
- Denyse O’Leary cites Denyse O’Leary to document "Media and Darwinists" as Id's best friends.
- Denyse O’Leary cites Denyse O’Leary to document manipulations around what UK PM Tony Blair supposedly said.
- Denyse O’Leary cites Denyse O’Leary on the Catholic church’s position on ID and evolution.
- Denyse O’Leary cites Denyse O’Leary on the NSCE.
- Denyse O’Leary cites Denyse O’Leary  evolutionary psychology and weight gain in the modern world.
- Denyse O’Leary cites Denyse O’Leary on evolution and music.
- Denyse O’Leary cites Denyse O’Leary on warfare.
- Denyse O’Leary cites Denyse O’Leary on cosmology and top down vs. bottom up models of the universe.
- Denyse O’Leary cites Denyse O’Leary on Dobzhansky's religious views.
- Denyse O’Leary cites Denyse O’Leary on the persecution of those embracing ID within academia.
- Denyse O’Leary cites the Discovery Institute on scientific dissent from Darwinism.  (Just to mix in a contrary view, I guess.)  

Ultimately, her close argumentation and mastery of such a wide range of sources overwhelms the skeptical reader and demands a response:  

D'OL!

Date: 2006/11/07 21:12:44, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
Are you suggesting that the Cartesian intellectual program is incomplete in some way?


"I think, therefore I am muddled."

D'OL!

Date: 2006/11/10 06:29:45, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
ID in Denmark
by William Dembski on November 9th, 2006 · No Comments

ID has gotten much media coverage in Denmark over the last year and interest in the topic there is growing.

Looks like ID's future is secure among Danish community college instructors.  The formidable Wedge in action.

Date: 2006/11/11 10:34:43, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
If this isn't him, it should be...(posted at bigdumbchimp's blog):

Date: 2006/11/13 06:29:30, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
6) This shows that the absolute Creator of morality is personable and cares about us.


A strong handshake, earnest eye contact, well-spoken, and altogether charming.

That's the personable Creator I know.

Date: 2006/11/14 11:40:51, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
I 1/2nd this most excellent idea.  (What else would Reciprocating Bill do?)

Date: 2006/11/15 04:00:28, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Apparently, DaveScotsman has been writhing for days on end over Allen MacNeill's previous posts:      
 
Quote
94. DaveScot // Nov 15th 2006 at 1:25 am

A zen buddhist, quaker, fencing enthusiast, libertarian, and last but not least a true Scotsman. And where does he choose to live… New York State, the most heavily taxed, socialistic, gun-grabbing, entitlement giving, big government state in the union. Chosen home of the Clintonistas for just those reasons...

(The rare "True Scotsman" fallacy - contra the "No true Scotsman" fallacy).
     
Quote
Allen’s attitude handily explains why there was a British Empire but no Scottish Empire, eh?

Yes.  In the same sense that ID "explains" biological complexity and diversity: by means of the "No true DaveScotsman" fallacy.

Date: 2006/11/16 09:46:04, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
Rewriting How the Solar System Formed
by GilDodgen on November 15th, 2006 · 2 Comments

As a result of the data collected from the Stardust mission, previous assumptions about the formation of the solar system are being overturned...If, in a hard science like this, previous assumptions can be reexamined and even overturned, how about the assumptions of a soft, philosophical “science” like Darwinism?

Gil, Gil, Gil. Dontcha see? "Previous assumptions" refers to elements of a scientific model of solar system evolution that resulted in falsifiable empirical PREDICTIONS.  Stardust was designed to gather data that TESTED those predictions.  And hear that note of glee in the voice of the project manager as he describes the theoretical revisions that will required by the outcomes of these tests?  That's how real science works, and real science feels. And, OF COURSE the predictions of evolutionary biology are subject to observational tests, and disconfirmation. Man, you are NOT listening.

Gil. Dude.  We've been begging "design theory" to make unique, empirically falsifiable predictions, then do the relevant experiments, for YEARS. Years, man.  Knock yer freaking selves out, man!  But not being done.  Apparently, can't be done.

Date: 2006/11/16 12:21:54, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Here’s how I got caught in the Nixplanatory Filter.

PaV said:  
   
Quote
178. PaV// Oct 5th 2006 at 9:17 am
But there’s more. And that has to do with Avida. If you’re a computer scientist/engineer, and you have some deep-seated desire to demonstrate that a “Darwinian process” can produce IC, my suspicion is that when the first models don’t produce this IC, that some tweaking takes place. And, after enough trials and tweaking, lo and behold, IC appears (of course, I suspect that their definition of IC and my definition probably won’t be the same). But even conceding that this is “real” IC, it is almost 100% certain that in the “tweaking” that has been done, some kind of information has been snuck in.These same computer scientists/engineers would most presumedly say, “We didn’t do anything of the sort.” My experience so far is that unless information is snuck in, nothing happens.

I said in response to PaV:
   
Quote
184. Reciprocating Bill // Oct 5th 2006 at 12:59 pm
PaV:


Just so we are clear: You just made all that up.

Comment by Reciprocating Bill — October 5, 2006 @ 12:59 pm

DaveScot stepped in to defend UD’s honor:  
   
Quote
190. DaveScot // Oct 5th 2006 at 2:28 pm

>>Pav: “my suspicion is that when the first models don’t produce this IC, that some tweaking takes place…. ”

>>Reciprocating Bill: “Just so we are clear: You just made all that up.”

Qualifying it as a suspicion implies it is something he doesn’t know to be true.

And just so we are clear, that’s the last bit of stupidity you’re going to be posting here. Hasta la vista, baby.
Comment by DaveScot — October 5, 2006 @ 2:28 pm

So there you have it.  DS awarded to me the Red Ban of Courage for making the mildest of snarky comments – one that Dave acknowledged was accurate.

But here is what really motivated my disappearance.  My UDoom was sealed when I noted the ambiguity inherent in the various definitions of IC that have been offered by the lights of ID:
   
Quote
176. Reciprocating Bill // Oct 5th 2006 at 7:49 am

That said, It is obviously an empirical question whether IC structures as defined by Behe and Dembski (here I referenced the 'part removal' definition) can arise by stepwise means. Karl’s assertions were on point (although open to debate vis correctness) vis these definitions.

In contrast, the sacred cow definition of IC in 170 - essentially, “complex structures that cannot be built step-wise” places the possibility of IC structures built by NS out of reach by definitional fiat. As the Church Lady said, “How conveeeeenient.”

It would be helpful if ID would settle on one definition or the other.

DaveScot then let it slip that computational simulations of evolution can generate structures and processes that appear to be irreducibly complex, but are not because they were built stepwise, and hence have the wrong provenance:  
   
Quote
177. DaveScot // Oct 5th 2006 at 9:03 am
recip

Both Behe and Dembski have conceded that exaptation may produce what otherwise appears to be irreducible complexity. Again, Avida proves nothing new. It did not produce irreducible complexity, it merely demonstrated what was already conceded.


I was pressed for a clarification of this concession:
   
Quote
181. Reciprocating Bill // Oct 5th 2006 at 11:44 am

DS said:

“Both Behe and Dembski have conceded that exaptation may produce what otherwise appears to be irreducible complexity.”

I want to parse what you are saying correctly in the context of this exchange. So what follows is a real (not rhetorical) question:

Is it correct to express their concession as, “We concede that stepwise processes (exaptation, scaffolding, etc.) can create structures that are indistinguishable from true IC structures, when evaluated in terms of the Behe/Demski definitions quoted above. However, these structures are not, by definition, truly IC because they were created by stepwise processes.”

Is that correct?

Davey became irritated for obvious reasons (the above would mean that IC is meaningless, because it can’t be reliably detected):
   
Quote
185. DaveScot // Oct 5th 2006 at 1:07 pm
recip

No, that’s putting words in their mouths. What I said requires no parsing into other words.

Comment by DaveScot — October 5, 2006 @ 1:07 pm

My demise at UD quickly ensued.

Date: 2006/11/18 08:42:16, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
Case For a Creator Event at Biola University
by GilDodgen on November 18th, 2006 · No Comments

This is somewhat misleading. The "Case for a Creator" is a rigid, leather, felt-lined container, not unlike a violin case (but somewhat smaller), with molded compartments for the safe transport of the Creator and the tools used for the design and manufacture of biological forms.  Nanotweezers, pliers, stuff like that.

If you've a creator, a good quality Case for your Creator is essential.

Date: 2006/11/18 09:22:16, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
Case For a Creator Event at Biola University
by GilDodgen on November 18th, 2006 · No Comments

Quoting myself...
 
Quote
If you've a creator, a good quality Case for your Creator is essential.

A quick caveat.  Although many cases for the creator are available, you may be tempted to build your own.  

Great care is required in the planning and construction of a case for a creator.  Although I haven't time to go into detail here, I can share a few crucially important preliminary thoughts:

- the case must be extremely rigid, and impervious to environmental insults and events.  

- the interior atmosphere of the case must be carefully monitored and controlled - much as a high quality instrument case can monitor humidity.   A Nixplanatory filter at every entrance is a good start.

- it is ESSENTIAL that little can be inferred about the form and function of the creator (and tools) carried within the case from the case itself.  This information can be used to cause harm to the creator itself were it to fall into the wrong hands.    

Cases for creators are easily destroyed when not properly constructed and protected.  Don't let this happen to you!

Date: 2006/11/18 14:29:44, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Lets just make it crystal clear to DaveScot:

Lay a bit on Kristine and the AtBC Shannon Style Legion of Warriors will descend upon you with Animal on the Attack Speed, Buzz Saw Strength, and World Championship Stamina.

Grrrr.  Revarding!  Very very very revarding!

Date: 2006/11/19 15:32:11, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
I was still working with "Disembodied Telic Entity"!

This is a big tent, able to embrace all or any part of the Unidentifiable, Disembodied Supersensible Intelligent Telic Entity, or UDSITE.

The primary remaining concern is whether the UDSITE works by means of descent with meddling, power-poofs, or front loading.

Date: 2006/11/20 11:53:33, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Vis SATs, IQs and DaveScot's notarized IQ:
Quote
I’m an autodidact with a certified IQ north of 150 (MGCT and SAT tests)...


Google MGCT and you'll see that it doesn't exist, other than than as a reference to, among other obscurities, Malignant Germ Cell Tumors, one variety of which is Gonadal Malignant Germ Cell Tumor.

Which, come to think of it, must be what he meant. My bad.

Date: 2006/11/20 19:18:28, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
Hitler as social Darwinist?: Another salvo in the controversy
by O'Leary on November 20th, 2006 · No Comments

Over the past few months,  The Post-Darwinist has been host to quite the little controversy over whether Hitler was a social Darwinist or a creationist...

The blistering heat of this controversy is reflected in the huge number of comments offered to each of D'OL!'s provocative entries on this issue.
 
"Does Darwin devalue human life?"  1 comment.

"What did Hitler believe abut [sic] evolution?" 9 comments.

"“Hitler as a Darwinist: Prof accused of academic dishonesty.” 0 comments.  

"Recent Posts." 0 comments.  

D'OL!:  Don't go into heat if you can't stand the kitchen.

Date: 2006/11/23 09:16:15, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
GilDodgen said:
     
Quote
Our sun will one day become a red giant and then collapse into a white dwarf. During the red-giant phase its corona will expand beyond the orbit of the earth. The earth’s atmosphere will be stripped away and the seas will boil away. The sands will fuse into glass. Our planet and all life will be incinerated. The earth will be sterilized of all life — forever.

And this is the Privileged Planet?

Peggy Lee said:
     
Quote
Is that all there is? Is that all there is?
If that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing.
Let's break out the booze, and have a ball.
If that's all there is.

(R.B. sobs into his morning beer*. Should I shave today?)

* a Corona

Date: 2006/11/23 09:51:48, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
“My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Tonight I curl up in front of the fire with Collapse and contemplate Thanksgiving Day.

Date: 2006/11/23 09:57:42, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
Our sun will one day become a red giant and then collapse into a white dwarf.

The scriptures DO suggest design, and that it was good:

"She was breeding a DWARF, but she wasn't done yet.  She had gray-green skin, a doll with a pin, I told her she was alright..."

FZ

Date: 2006/11/24 11:27:31, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
This is vis the There are more things in heaven and earth, Paul, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy thread, specifically the manner in which DaveScot has painted himself into a corner regarding ploidy from which he cannot seem to extricate himself.

I am not a biologist; although I possess a doctorate, it is in another field, and for the purposes of the debate over ID I am fully cognizant of my status as a layman. To reacquaint myself with the details of meiosis I literally pulled an introductory biology text from the shelf and squinted at the relevant chapter. Having done so, I can say, “OK, I get it” and can follow Allen’s contributions. I claim no expertise on the topic, and know when to defer to my betters.

DaveScot, his ‘Tard’ cognomen notwithstanding, is a bright guy – probably a very bright guy. Some here will object to that characterization, but in my judgment his utterances sometimes display a broad range of knowledge, and he is often entertainingly articulate. I think an interesting character in some respects, too, e.g., I take at face value his assertions regarding his military career, his experiences at Dell, and his independent wealth.

It is the above characteristics that make his stubborn, lead-lined denseness regarding topics such as cell division, computational simulation, “front loading,” etc. so fascinating to observe. But no thread has displayed his blind spots more clearly than “Heaven and Earth” thread, because the material in question is so accessible and, with a bit of brow work, within the grasp any interested and reasonably intelligent layperson. At these moments DaveScot reveals himself to be a high IQ, tragicomic ignoranus.

I’m interested in understanding how that works. Dembski’s Christian commitments are on display elsewhere on the internet and obviously drive his efforts within ID (the mathematics of which I am in no better position to judge than I am DaveScot’s “biology”). He needs little further explanation. Guys like Joseph display Creo zealousness that is altogether too thick to be interesting. (In fact, Zachriel, why do you spend so much time debating a brick wall?)

But DaveScot denies Christian commitments, claims to be agnostic, appears to have the equipment to enable him to grasp some of this stuff – certainly the high school biology on display in this thread – and yet utterly fails to do so.

Has anyone here met the guy? Is he the Real Deal, e.g., a raving personality disorder on display?  Perhaps this is all a game, and he doesn’t really believe the bullpucky he posts on UD. Or, perhaps this more generally displays the fact that belief is so often fixed for non-rational reasons, trumped by other considerations, and “reason” a weak tool. A lesson we all can take on board, BTW.  

So, what’s the deal with DaveScot? Anybody know?

Date: 2006/11/25 00:53:05, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
As I look over the various responses to my original query (“So, what’s the deal with DaveScot?"), I notice the following:

Most responses ascribe to Dave something like impenetrable egomania, coupled with narcissistic power motives. Both motivations are served by his position in the cat-bird seat at UD, although “big fish, little pond” comes to mind in that regard. I don’t disagree, although this is mostly descriptive, and recapitulates the old psychological dilemma of ascribing behavior to traits that are inferred from the self-same behavior.

What NO ONE has suggested is that DaveScot has something interesting and original to say regarding the origins of biological form and complexity, and the history of life on earth across deep time, and that he is passionate in pressing his ideas – passion that accounts for his abrupt and arrogant style.  

I’d wager that many posters here have had an interest in, and have been moved by, evolutionary biology for most of their lives.  Ultimately, therein lies a commitment to “this view of life” that, for better and worse, organizes a view of the natural world and one’s place in it, a view that I find both thrilling and harrowing.  Thrilling because it’s depth and complexity – and harrowing because of the vanishingly tiny place left to each individual within that picture, which rightly induces a kind of vertigo. Vexing, too, because the naturalization of human life necessarily also entails the naturalization of, among other things, intentionality, consciousness, and ethics. These are not problems for which we have solutions, or for which we even have a notion of how to arrive at solutions. In the end, something more like humility rather than arrogance accrues from this position.  

Bright as he may be, I don’t see a shred of evidence within Dave’s output that suggests that he has given real thought, in this way, to the positions and postures he has so glibly and arrogantly advanced, or that he is moved at all by the world-picture he would construct in place of modern evolutionary biology. Oddly enough, in contrast, I don’t doubt that Dembski is deeply moved by his Christian commitments - to a fault, which often renders him both dishonest and somewhat of a prick.

But I might be wrong. It would be mildly interesting to somehow get into Dave's nut and see just what is on display there, once his combative guard is down (to the tune of Frank Zappa’s “What is the Ugliest Part of Your Body,” perhaps.)

Mostly, however, if I had my druthers we’d all would move on from gawking at the train wreck that is ID and get on with grappling with the problems that confront us upon taking one’s place within the natural world. Vis DaveScot, perhaps George Bernard Shaw had it right: “I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.”

Date: 2006/11/25 12:58:04, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Guthrie:
       
Quote
Reciprocating Bill, I cant quite see what this problem with "naturalization" is.  Perhaps I dont know enough philosophy.

Big topic - these problems hang on the horns of dilemmas that arise when grappling with agency and intentionality (the "aboutness" or representational powers of human mental states) within a framework of natural causation.

As an example, we would probably all agree that scientific reasoning strives to approximate an accurate picture of the natural world, of which we are a part. Hence there is a normative element within science - essentially a value that is sought. Moreover, an adequate completed scientific picture of the world will include a complete casual account of the behavior of bipedal animals such as scientists, and therefore must either include a naturalized account of the operation of normative values within the natural world, or deny the causal reality of such values. How to integrate such normative representations into a causal story that supervenes upon biology (and ultimately physics) is miles from a solution. After years of struggling with computational models of human cognition and human language, the possibility that "intentionality won't be reduced and won't go away" has been raised by distinguished, pro-science philosophers such as Hilary Putnam (see Putnam's Representation and Reality for an example.  The quote is from p. 1).

Of course, you are extricated from this dilemma if you stipulate that we are in reality little detachable ghosts made of pure agency and value, chips off the big ol' Unidentifiable, Disemboweled Supersensible Intelligent Telic Entity that operate independent of physical and biological causality. Then you've NO insoluble philosophical problems whatever. None.

Date: 2006/11/25 17:04:28, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
Should professional societies issue position statements at all? by William Dembski on November 25th, 2006 · No Comments

This has direct application to the ID debate and the public statements issued by the AAAS, NAS, AAS, etc.

Not to mention position statements on creationism and/or intelligent design offered by:

Academy Of Science Of The Royal Society Of Canada
Alabama Academy Of Science
American Anthropological Association (2000)*
American Association For The Advancement Of Science (1923)
American Association For The Advancement Of Science (1972)
American Association For The Advancement Of Science (1982)
American Association For The Advancement Of Science (Commission on Science Education)
American Association For The Advancement Of Science (2002) *
American Association Of Physical Anthropologists
American Astronomical Society (2000) *
American Geophysical Union
American Geophysical Union (1999)*
American Institute Of Biological Sciences
American Astronomical Society
American Society Of Biological Chemists
American Chemical Society
American Geological Institute
American Psychological Association
American Physical Society
American Society Of Parasitologists
Association for Women Geoscientists (1998) *
Australian Academy of Science *
Botanical Society of America *
California Academy Of Sciences
Ecological Society of America (1999) *
Genetics Society of America *
Geological Society Of America
Geological Society of America (2001) *
Geological Society of Australia (1995) *
Georgia Academy Of Science (1980)
Georgia Academy Of Science (1982)
History of Science Society *
Iowa Academy Of Science (1982)
Statement Of The Position Of The Iowa Academy Of Science On Pseudoscience (1986)
Iowa Academy Of Science (2000) *
Kentucky Academy Of Science
Kentucky Academy Of Science (1999) *
Kentucky Paleontological Society Statement on the Teaching of Evolution (1999) *
Louisiana Academy Of Sciences
National Academy Of Sciences (1972)
National Academy Of Sciences (1984)
National Academy Of Sciences (1998) *
North American Benthological Society (2001) *
North Carolina Academy Of Science
North Carolina Academy Of Science (1997) *
New Orleans Geological Society
New York Academy Of Sciences
Ohio Academy Of Science
Ohio Academy Of Science (2000) *
Ohio Math and Science Coalition (2002) *
Oklahoma Academy Of Sciences
The Paleontological Society *
Sigma Xi, Louisiana State University Chapter, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Society For Amateur Scientists
Society For Integrative and Comparative Biology (2001) *
Society For The Study Of Evolution
Society Of Systematic Biologists (2001) *
Society Of Vertebrate Paleontology (1986)
Society Of Vertebrate Paleontology (1994)
Southern Anthropological Society
Virginia Academy Of Science (1981) *
West Virginia Academy Of Science

WAD's got a point. Somebody reading these statements might be mislead, and conclude that intelligent design creationism lacks scientific legitimacy. Can't have that.

Date: 2006/11/25 21:05:02, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
I was too hard on DS.  Particularly when I said this:
 
Quote
I don’t see a shred of evidence within Dave’s output that suggests that he has given real thought, in this way, to the positions and postures he has so glibly and arrogantly advanced, or that he is moved at all by the world-picture he would construct in place of modern evolutionary biology.

This bugged me because it seemed so implausible, and maybe a little harsh. Then it occurred to me that there is wisdom buried in the Scotsman's output - deeply buried wisdom.

To extract that wisdom I copied many of Dave's posts on UD into a text file and fed them into TextMangler, an old Mac utility that scrambles text using frequency tables, somehow extracting the essence of the writer while discarding the intended meaning.  This seemed an appropriate approach.  

And Eureka! Dave's essence emerged.  Here an unedited sequence of paragraphs of Dave-in-Blender that show great promise:

"Imagine if it were a Jew instead of producing two heterozygous daughters identical to those made in the past. I wasn't necessarily satisfied with the diploid number in humans was common. In fact there's only one claim of it as a front-loaded self-limiting self-terminating process. It appears to be ranked more or less appropriately. Checking a few days. I note you don't qualify your statement that reproduction from just an egg is impossible only in mammals. Again, forgive my ignorance but isn't a cell that has the potential to become anything from a finite subset of building blocks for genes. IIRC they haven't found anything significant in that I don't know what I'm talking about regarding meiosis or you are.

"This makes the universe is an NTSC video image is only to point out well enough. Modern man will take an active role in reversing the deterioration. Intelligence is the exact number of chromsomes (2n) and the solution along to the entire field of vision. The way color was added to black and white (brightness) content. That's because the human eye is much more sensitive to brightness of light than it is to interact with tRNA from a single celled protozoan to a defintion of diploid are in online biology glossaries from many major institutes of higher learning and so very many of them has time to do the kinds of things you suggest and get the training. The general rule of thumb is that releasing a DNA sequence from immediate selection pressure to keep them intact.

"Excuse my ignorance. Pedantry in the past. Funniest thing at the end product you simply waste a little bit of modification to normal mitosis such that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate. This was not predicted by the mere synonymous substitution would render the sequences non-matching. This is something of a holy grail where biologically useful proteins are constructed from a finite subset of building blocks that produce the same major and minor biologically active sites needn't have remarkably similar sequences but still be components that produce the same enyzme emerging over and over again in a different modulation scheme. An intelligent watchmaker would almost certainly utilize the additional information capacity. Maybe even a blind watchmaker might stumble onto it by accident as it's just begging to be used as an additional information in it to know what letters are unpronouncable."

See?  I retract my previous comments.  Dave shows GREAT PROMISE as a thinker, or as a sort of Soylent Green brainfood for other thinkers. I'm already thinking!

I now also fear that Dave is being held captive at UD and has been embedding hidden cries for help into his posts.  Naturally, he continues to put up that harsh, arrogant front as a form of indirection intended for his captors, but he's really crying on the inside, and thinking, and crying because he is thinking, and he wants us to know.

Date: 2006/11/25 21:21:47, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Kristine said...
Quote
Considering that the so-called "irreducible complexity" of the bacterial flagellum amounts to asking, "how much butt does a butt-putt putt?" I am sure that we could come up with testable hypotheses...

You know, I always thought all that talk of Type III Secretory Systems injecting things from one organism to another was a little raunchy, and your comment brings that into focus.  Whoa.

Date: 2006/11/27 17:45:18, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
In reading this thread, I wonder if an element of humility is not in order.

From where I sit, the most crucial drivers behind questions of religious belief pertain not to origins, but rather to the severe human dilemma presented by the inevitability of one’s personal death.  Although I happen to believe that oblivion will follow my own death, and indeed all deaths, I would be lying if I denied sometimes bolting upright in the middle of the night with the full realization of that reality, accompanied by a very cold fear.  Although this quickly passes, and indeed I cannot reproduce this feeling at will (psychological denial and intellectualization quickly reassert themselves, I suppose), it seems clear that this is really the central human dilemma.  

In view of that, I have enormous sympathy for those who cope with the spector of death by, in essence, denying its reality and positing an afterlife. In particular, having children and finding myself unable to even contemplate loosing one of them, I cannot fault those who have responded to such an unbearable grief by resorting to the comforting notion that death is not real.  Probably one of the most severe costs that accompany what I perhaps vainly fancy to be my intellectual honesty is that such comforts will not be available to me should I be faced with a similar loss. Part of me is sympathetic to whatever cover an individual wishes to take in the face of those realities.

A second point vis humility pertains more directly to questions of science and religion. I recall reading – I think that it was in Timothy Ferris’ “The Whole Shebang” - a description of some of the implications of inflationary models of the origins of the universe.  Ferris invited the reader to imagine the observable universe – that volume of the universe from which light (and hence any causation) will have had time to travel since the big bang - as a sphere with a radius of 13.9 billion light years.  Ferris asserted that, if inflationary models prove correct, that volume stands in proportion to the actual volume of the universe as the area of a silver dollar stands in relation to the area of the surface of the earth (I hope I am properly recalling this – I don’t have a copy handy).  That, frankly, blows my mind.  Undoubtedly, even if this proves to be inaccurate, the realities that do emerge from cosmology will be equally mind-blowing.

My personal response to facts like these is one of awe and humility. Although we have mathematics based upon powers of ten with which to calculate on such scales, I find that it is not really even remotely possible to directly imagine the reality that such facts denote.  Speaking for myself, I feel my level of comprehension of such things stands in relation to these facts much as an ocean going larva stands in relation to the Pacific ocean itself. Indeed, the universe being disclosed by contemporary science (and here I most emphatically include evolutionary biology) is so vastly larger and richer than any pre-modern view of any deity that I would argue that the concept of “God” is best properly viewed as an historical placeholder for these larger, vastly more rich realities, a placeholder that we could only just now have discarded. If some people are not quite ready for that, I understand completely.

What we don’t find in this contemporary view, however, is a larger agency that resembles human agency, nor refuge from death.  That’s the tradeoff. I am an atheist in that sense: I don’t believe in life after death, and I don’t believe that something resembling the human capacity for intentionality and design underlies this particular shebang.  I am sympathetic to those who believe that it does, but happen to believe that they are mistaken.  I wouldn’t presume to steal that belief from them, however.

All that said, the battle over science classrooms at the K-12 level is over for now, and it had the right outcome.  The battle was won at Doverloo.  That was my primary concern.

Personally, at the college level, I find it absurd to “pre-flunk” students who enter school rejecting contemporary evolutionary biology.  Indeed, I feel that any student who takes such a course, fully masters the materials, and demonstrates full comprehension by means of the relevant exams should get the grades that his or her performance warrants, regardless of whether they have retained their earlier beliefs, because that’s the academic bargain at that level.

Date: 2006/11/27 22:16:17, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
People trying to psychoanalyze DaveScot should go to Google Groups and search for "david springer dell" without the quotes.

Very entertaining.  Here was one poster's impression of Dave circa 1997:
 
Quote
As for this interminable flame war, it should be obvious that you will never change Springer's mind - he's convinced he is right, and will angle off, deflect, redirect and turn words to keep from being confonted with any facts that conflict with his world view or opinions - and will crow  loudly when he does score a point with a fact (even if its out of  context).  He's more slippery than a Scientology lawyer - and don't bother trying to change him.

Probably can't be improved upon.

Date: 2006/11/28 21:38:25, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Phonon, like a Photon but with two Ns,

I was checking out your post, and there is Wally Shawn, and all the while I was taking in Law and Order, and I lifted my left brow to see none other than Wally Shawn in a cameo, which called to mind "My Dinner with Andre," wherein Wally Shawn, after listening to Andre Gregory babble for hours about New Age mystical ritual stuff, goes upside Andre's head with some very brief and simple empirical comments about "some things are real, and some aren't, and by and large we can know which is which," and so on, and right then I knew this was by design, all complex spiffified and everything, designed to go upside the head of ID, so now I'm going to look for my copy of Thomas Nagel's "The View From Nowhere," which recalls to mind that we don't really know everything, not even what its like to be a mysterian. Thanks for posting.

Date: 2006/11/30 18:25:13, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
On the Wikipedia thread here, Patrick claimed he too has been grievously wronged.  Within a Wikipedia article on the vermiform appendix, this originally appeared:
         
Quote
One explanation has been that the appendix is a remnant of an earlier function, with no current purpose.

Patrick substituted a much more detailed essay on the possible functions of the appendix, which began thusly:
         
Quote
For years, the appendix was credited with very little physiological function. We now know, however, that the appendix serves an important role in the fetus and in young adults....

But ALAS!  He was almost immediately reverted, and his post identified as vandalism.

He wasn't entirely unappreciated, however.  Other sycophants at UD commented upon Patrick's erudition:
         
Quote
bFast // Nov 30th 2006 at 5:00 pm

Patrick, your knowledge of the appendix is incredible. I bet that if I assembled all of the physicians in my local hospital, they would not know as much as you about this appendage.

But Patrick is modest:
         
Quote
Not really “impressive”, I just spent the time to look into it. The problem is that the common view of the appendix is so entrenched that it’s become dogma. And information contrary to the dogma is buried under everything else (see TalkOrigins for example).

On a hunch, I googled the sentence, in quotes, "For years, the appendix was credited with very little physiological function."  This turned up a 1999 "Ask the Experts: Medicine" response on Scientific American.com - which happens to be the revolutionary appendix essay Patrick posted on Wikipedia, word for vermiform word. See: Sci Am

The original was penned by Loren G. Martin, professor of physiology at Oklahoma State University. The article, or portions of it, is repeated here and there across the net (blogs and so on), including Patrick's repeat post at Overbearing Ungulates.  Where he again fails to credit the author.  

Way to go Patrick!  See, there is research going on within the ID community.  Not to mention a good deal of cutting and pasting.  

And good work digging up information hidden from us - buried, no less - DEEP within the vaults of Scientific American.

Incredible?  Impressive?  Try, "ridiculous."

Date: 2006/11/30 18:34:21, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
WHOA!  Now I see that bFast's "Incredible" and Patrick's "Not really impressive" (hey, stupid, he said "incredible," not "impressive") comments have been deleted - and a primer on how to post to Wikipedia posted instead.  Isn't that just so SPECIAL!

Too late IDudes!

Date: 2006/11/30 18:54:31, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
bFast // Nov 30th 2006 at 5:00 pm

Patrick, your knowledge of the appendix is incredible. I bet that if I assembled all of the physicians in my local hospital, they would not know as much as you about this appendage.

Could that be a noodly appendage?  Just a thought.

Date: 2006/12/01 12:36:36, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
I'm sorta speechless.  This must be the ID movement's soundtrack.

Scroll down to bleeding fish to enter the abyss.

 
Quote
3. Atom // Dec 1st 2006 at 11:30 am

More ID Pop-culture:

Achilles by Atom tha Immortal

We strike Achilles at his heel/
We strike the modern man like Gregor Mendel, meddling with his alleles/
Wounds of Darwinian Theory will never heal/
Once the population finds Intelligent Design/
Enzymes hold the signs of a Divine Mind/
Darwinian speculation is useless/
To explain emergence/
Of cellular machines below the surface/
Seeing Specified Complexity points to a purpose/
Of a system of integrated parts/
Excluding chance as part/
Of how it could ever start/
So/
I speak with truth and in reason/
But whether you believe or not/
We leave Darwinian fish bleeding/

Is it me?  I'm having a little trouble wrapping my head around "Darwinian fish bleeding."

I'm not sure how much street cred you're going to earn with "Seeing Specified Complexity points to a purpose."

Date: 2006/12/02 07:47:03, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Time travel and ID:   Back to the Future
 
Quote
List of Preambles to US State Constitutions
by DaveScot on December 2nd, 2006 · 1 Comment

In memory of the 1st anniversary of Judge Jones’ enforcement of an impenetrable wall of separation between church and state I present to you 45 holes in the wall.

Well, Dave, one doesn't commemorate the first anniversary of an event, one commemorates the event itself.

And while you may already be fondly remembering the first anniversary of Doverloo, I'll need to wait another 2 1/2 weeks to do so. Must be a time zone thing.

BTW, the citizens of my great State of Ohio, grateful to Almighty God, established a constitution that states "No person shall be compelled to attend, erect, or support any place of worship, or maintain any form of worship, against his consent; and no preference shall be given, by law, to any religious society; nor shall any interference with the rights of conscience be permitted."

Date: 2006/12/02 10:33:26, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
(Apologies in advance for the long post...)

     
Quote
List of Preambles to US State Constitutions
by DaveScot on December 2nd, 2006 · 1 Comment

DaveScot approvingly reproduces the preambles of state constitutions that invoke God in various forms. (No more pretending that ID has nothing to do with God, even for Dave).  By implication, he approves of the mingling of state and church.

I recalled that one or two state constitutions included provisions intended to isolate matters of conscience and religion from the state.  I looked into it, and found a handful:

Alabama:

That no religion shall be established by law; that no preference shall be given by law…that no one shall be compelled by law to attend any place of worship; nor to pay any tithes, taxes, or other rate for building or repairing any place of worship, or for maintaining any minister or ministry...

Alaska:

No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

Arizona:

No public money or property shall be appropriated for or applied to any religious worship, exercise, or instruction, or to the support of any religious establishment…

Arkansas:

No man can, of right, be compelled to attend, erect, or support any place of worship; or to maintain any ministry against his consent…no preference shall ever be given, by law, to any religious establishment, denomination or mode of worship, above any other.

California:

The Legislature shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.

Colorado:

No person shall be required to attend or support any ministry or place of worship, religious sect or denomination against his consent. Nor shall any preference be given by law to any religious denomination or mode of worship.

Delaware:

No man shall or ought to be compelled to attend any religious worship, to contribute to the erection or support of any place of worship, or to the maintenance of any ministry, against his own free will and consent; and no power shall... interfere with, or in any manner control the rights of conscience, in the free exercise of religious worship, nor a preference given by law to any religious societies, denominations, or modes of worship.

Florida:

There shall be no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting or penalizing the free exercise thereof....No revenue of the state or any political subdivision or agency thereof shall ever be taken from the public treasury directly or indirectly in aid of any church, sect, or religious denomination or in aid of any sectarian institution.

Georgia:

Each person has the natural and inalienable right to worship God, each according to the dictates of that person's own conscience; and no human authority should, in any case, control or interfere with such right of conscience.

Hawaii:

No law shall be enacted respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

Illinois:

The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination, shall forever be guaranteed...No person shall be required to attend or support any ministry or place of worship against his consent, nor shall any preference be given by law to any religious denomination or mode of worship.

Idaho:

The exercise and enjoyment of religious faith and worship shall forever be guaranteed...No person shall be required to attend or support any ministry or place of worship, religious sect or denomination, or pay tithes against his consent; nor shall any preference be given by law to any religious denomination or mode of worship.

Indiana:

No preference shall be given, by law, to any creed, religious society, or mode of worship; and no person shall be compelled to attend, erect, or support, any place of worship, or to maintain any ministry, against his consent.

Iowa:

The general assembly shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; nor shall any person be compelled to attend any place of worship, pay tithes, taxes, or other rates for building or repairing places of worship, or the maintenance of any minister, or ministry.

Kansas:

The right to worship God according to the dictates of conscience shall never be infringed; nor shall any person be compelled to attend or support any form of worship; nor shall any control of or interference with the rights of conscience be permitted, nor any preference be given by law to any religious establishment or mode of worship.

Kentucky:

No preference shall ever be given by law to any religious sect, society or denomination; nor to any particular creed, mode of worship or system of ecclesiastical polity; nor shall any person be compelled to attend any place of worship, to contribute to the erection or maintenance of any such place…No human authority shall, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience.

Louisiana:

No law shall be enacted respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

Maryland:

...Nor ought any person to be compelled to frequent, or maintain, or contribute, unless on contract, to maintain, any place of worship, or any ministry…

Michigan:

No person shall be compelled to attend, or, against his consent, to contribute to the erection or support of any place of religious worship, or to pay tithes, taxes or other rates for the support of any minister of the gospel or teacher of religion.

Minnesota:

...Nor shall any man be compelled to attend, erect or support any place of worship, or to maintain any religious or ecclesiastical ministry, against his consent...nor shall any money be drawn from the treasury for the benefit of any religious societies or religious or theological seminaries.

Mississippi:

No religious test as a qualification for office shall be required; and no preference shall be given by law to any religious sect or mode of worship; but the free enjoyment of all religious sentiments and the different modes of worship shall be held sacred.

Missouri:

That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences; that no human authority can control or interfere with the rights of conscience...

Montana:

The state shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

Nebraska:

No person shall be compelled to attend, erect or support any place of worship against his consent, and no preference shall be given by law to any religious society, nor shall any interference with the rights of conscience be permitted.

Nevada:

The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship without discrimination or preference shall forever be allowed in this State.

New Hampshire:

Every individual has a natural and unalienable right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience, and reason; and no subject shall be hurt, molested, or restrained, in his peers on, liberty, or estate, for worshipping God in the manner and season most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience; or for his religious profession, sentiments, or persuasion; provided he doth not disturb the public peace or disturb others in their religious worship.

New Jersey:

No person shall be deprived of the inestimable privilege of worshipping Almighty God in a manner agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience; nor under any pretense whatever be compelled to attend any place of worship contrary to his faith and judgment; nor shall any person be obliged to pay tithes, taxes, or other rates for building or repairing any church or churches, place or places of worship, or for the maintenance of any minister or ministry…

New Mexico:

Every man shall be free to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience…No person shall be required to attend any place of worship or support any religious sect or denomination; nor shall any preference be given by law to any religious denomination or mode of worship.

New York:

The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed in this state to all humankind...

North Carolina:

All persons have a natural and inalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences, and no human authority shall, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience.

North Dakota:

The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference shall be forever guaranteed in this state …

Oregon:

No law shall in any case whatever control the free exercise, and enjoyment of religeous [sic] opinions, or interfere with the rights of conscience…No money shall be drawn from the Treasury for the benefit of any religeous (sic), or theological institution, nor shall any money be appropriated for the payment of any religeous (sic) services in either house of the Legislative Assembly.

Pennsylvania:

All men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences; no man can of right be compelled to attend, erect or support any place of worship or to maintain any ministry against his consent; no human authority can, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience, and no preference shall ever be given by law to any religious establishments or modes of worship.

Rhode Island:

We, therefore, declare that no person shall be compelled to frequent or to support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatever…

South Carolina:

The General Assembly shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

South Dakota:

The right to  worship God according to the dictates of  conscience shall never be infringed. No person shall be  denied any civil or political  right, privilege or position  on account of  his religious  opinions…

Tennessee:

No man can of right be compelled to attend, erect, or support any place of worship, or to maintain any minister against his consent; that no human authority can, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience; and that no preference shall ever be given, by law, to any religious establishment or mode of worship.

Texas:

No man shall be compelled to attend, erect or support any place of worship, or to maintain any ministry against his consent. No human authority ought, in any case whatever, to control or interfere with the rights of conscience in matters of religion, and no preference shall ever be given by law to any religious society or mode of worship.

Utah:

The rights of conscience shall never be infringed. The State shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…No public money or property shall be appropriated for or applied to any religious worship, exercise or instruction, or for the support of any ecclesiastical establishment.

Vermont:

That all persons have a natural and unalienable right, to worship Almighty God, according to the dictates of their own consciences and understandings, as in their opinion shall be regulated by the word of God; and that no person ought to, or of right can be compelled to attend any religious worship, or erect or support any place of worship…

Virginia:

No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief…

Washington:

Absolute freedom of conscience in all matters of religious sentiment, belief and worship, shall be guaranteed to every individual, and no one shall be molested or disturbed in person or property on account of religion...No public money or property shall be appropriated for or applied to any religious worship, exercise or instruction, or the support of any religious establishment.

West Virginia:

No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place or ministry whatsoever…but all men shall be free to profess and by argument, to maintain their opinions in matters of religion...and the Legislature shall not…pass any law requiring or authorizing any religious society, or the people of any district within this state, to levy on themselves, or others, any tax for the erection or repair of any house for public worship, or for the support of any church or ministry, but it shall be left free for every person to select his religious instructor, and to make for his support, such private contracts as he shall please.

Wisconsin:

The right of every person to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of conscience shall never be infringed; nor shall any person be compelled to attend, erect or support any place of worship, or to maintain any ministry, without consent…nor shall any money be drawn from the treasury for the benefit of religious societies, or religious or theological seminaries.

Wyoming:

The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship without discrimination or preference shall be forever guaranteed in this state...

Date: 2006/12/02 16:53:33, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
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7. Joseph // Dec 2nd 2006 at 3:24 pm

Dave-FYI

Some incredibly dense- I’m talking walking black hole dense- people have interpretted your OP to mean that ID = religion.

Yes Recip Bill, I’m talking about you and your fellow disdainers of reason and original thought.

Comment by Joseph — December 2, 2006 @ 3:24 pm

Now my fish are bleeding.  Stop it.    

But Joseph is right: ID has nothing to do with religion generally, or Christianity specifically:    
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Thus, in its relation to Christianity, Intelligent Design should be viewed as a ground-clearing operation that gets rid of the intellectual rubbish that for generations has kept Christianity from receiving serious consideration.- WAD
 
   
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The objective is to convince people that Darwinism is inherently atheistic, thus shifting the debate from creationism vs. evolution to the existence of God vs. the non-existence of God. From there people are introduced to ‘the truth’ of the Bible and then ‘the question of sin’ and finally ‘introduced to Jesus.’” - P.Johnson


It HAS been gratifying to get my props over at UDense. Click here, scroll down to "coon's age," and follow DS's link back AtBC. But this is nothing, visage-in-lights wise, next to my auto accident with Harvey Pekar in 1994, and subsequent extended depiction in American Splendor (in the "Windfall Lost" issue and story, for those of you aware of Pekar's brilliant work.)

Date: 2006/12/03 16:35:59, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
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The Reach of the Cross

By William A. Dembski

Message delivered at Southwestern  
Seminary Chapel, October 19, 2006

There is a link on This Page to a movie clip of the Lugubrious One delivering this talk at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Search for/scroll down to WAD.

Date: 2006/12/04 12:13:32, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
D'OL! writes on several difficult topics. One of them concerns John Searle's thoughts on consciousness.

 
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3. John Searle on the hard problem of human consciousness (hard if you are a materialist): “We know from high school physics that in presenting an equation you have to be referring to the same dimension on both of its sides. The equation one dollar = one hundred cents can work because both sides are sums of money. But you couldn’t have one hundred cents = one month, because cents and months are in different dimensions. Mind and brain appear to be in different dimensions, because mind has qualitative subjectivity and brain does not.”


Searle has written extensively and influentially on consciousness and intentionality over the last 20 years. While recognizing the difficulties inherent in discussing consciousness, he also analogizes the "mind-brain problem" to the "digestion-stomach" problem (I'll get a reference when I have at my library), taking a thorougly monist position: consciousness and intentionality are biological facts. I nominate her suggestion, by means of selective quotation, that Searle is supportive of mind-body dualism for the D'OL! hall of uncommon density.  

Humphrey, in 1976, originated the influential and hueristic hypothesis that the most significant selection pressure driving the evolution of large brain size in primates was the advantage conferred by the anticipation and representation of others’ behavior in the context of intensely competitive primate social hierarchies. Whiten and Byrne later codified as the "Machiavellian Intelligence" hypothesis, which has since given rise to a huge and important literature on the origins of human "theory of mind" (the indisputable evolutionary basis for the ability of human beings to construe others as displaying beliefs, desires, intentions, states of attention, etc.). So a second nomination: D'OL!'s suggestion that Humphrey was somehow "handicapped" by evolutionary models, when in fact it was his evolutionary perspective that leveraged his most important contributions, deserves a bust in the hall of uncommon density.  

D'OL! concludes her remarks by committing aggravated unintentional irony when she states, "The trouble is, we do not know what we do not know."  Now there she is on to something, as it is clear that she has never read Searle, Humphrey, Freud, etc.

Date: 2006/12/04 12:46:37, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
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3. John Searle on the hard problem of human consciousness (hard if you are a materialist)...

D'OL! here is thinking that the detachable-ghost theory of consciousness doesn't present any "hard problems."

Date: 2006/12/04 21:27:40, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
A little more on Uncommonly Denyse and John Searle.  D'OL! said:
                 
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3. John Searle on the hard problem of human consciousness (hard if you are a materialist): “We know from high school physics that in presenting an equation you have to be referring to the same dimension on both of its sides. The equation one dollar = one hundred cents can work because both sides are sums of money. But you couldn’t have one hundred cents = one month, because cents and months are in different dimensions. Mind and brain appear to be in different dimensions, because mind has qualitative subjectivity and brain does not.”

U-Denyse would like to underscore that "mind and brain appear to be in different dimensions," providing comfort to those who would like to retain some sort of dualism.  

On her blog she continues:
                 
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But you cannot be a card-carrying materialist without attempting a materialist explanation, and Searle is uncertain what to make of all that: "... some evolutionary story about consciousness must be right. But whatever evolutionary story may be proposed is an answer to a different question from the causal question."

By D'OL!'s lights, Searle doesn't quite know what to what to make of the relationship between evolution and consciousness.

So what does John Searle actually assert about mind-brain dualism?  How uncertain is he about the relationship between biological evolution and consciousness?  Here is Searle, page one, paragraph one of The Rediscovery of the Mind:
                 
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The famous mind-problem, the source of so much controversy over the past two millennia, has a simple solution. This solution has been available to any educated person since serious work began on the brain nearly a century ago, and, in a sense, we all know it to be true.  Here it is: Mental phenomena are caused by neurophysiological processes in the brain and are themselves features of the brain.  To distinguish this view from the many others in the field, I call it "biological naturalism."  Mental events and processes are as much a part of our biological natural history as digestion, mitosis, meiosis, or enzyme secretion.
 
The operative words above are "any educated person." Somewhat later in the book (p. 90):
                 
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Humans are continuous with the rest of nature.  But if so, the biologically specific characteristics of these animals - such as their possession of a rich system of consciousness, as well as their greater intelligence, their capacity for language, their capacity for extremely fine perceptual discriminations, their capacity for rational thought, etc. - are biological phenomena like any other biological phenomena.  Furthermore, these features are all phenotypes.  They are as much the result of biological evolution as any other phenotype.  Consciousness, in short, is a biological feature of human and certain animal brains.  It is caused by neurobiological processes and is as much a part of the natural biological order as any other biological features such as photosynthesis, digestion, or mitosis.

We can conclude that John Searle provides comfort to those interested in maintaining a mind-body dualism, and those reluctant to grant a relationship between consciousness and evolution, so long as they don't actually read John Searle. On that basis his work can be used as a springboard for the detachable ghost theory of consciousness and intentionality that D'OL! commends to our attention.

Date: 2006/12/04 21:58:22, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
WAD approvingly quotes G. K. Chesterton:
 
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when men have a real explanation they explain it, eagerly and copiously and in common speech, as Huxley freely gave it when he thought he had it. When they have no explanation to offer, they give short dignified replies, disdainful of the ignorance of the multitude.

Something like:
 
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ID is not a mechanistic theory, and it’s not ID’s task to match your pathetic level of detail in telling mechanistic stories. If ID is correct and an intelligence is responsible and indispensable for certain structures, then it makes no sense to try to ape your method of connecting the dots.-WAD

Date: 2006/12/05 07:03:34, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Kristine said:
 
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So, does U-Denyse think that the water in a waterfall occupies a different dimension than the action of "falling" committed by the waterfall?

Right.  Self-evident.  Plus, after the water has dispersed, evaporated, etc. (after the Fall), its wetness, which cannot be reduced to any property of the H20 molecule and hence is an IMMATERIAL ESSENCE, continues independently of mere atoms (the obsession of materialists) for all eternity.  ALL of it.  This is the detachable ghost theory of chemistry.

Date: 2006/12/05 08:24:47, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
ke:
 
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Why else would the Dominant Over Ghost kill off his own mini-me on a cross of eigens.

Note that when you are a Triune Dominant Over Ghost*, factor analysis is required to determine the fates of the many many mini ghosts.  Hence the cross of eigenvectors.


*Father, Son, and Hokey Spirit.

Date: 2006/12/05 18:11:17, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
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Now if I may be so bold as to ask that ID theorists be allowed to make predictions based upon their own theory, and detractors are gracious enough to let us make our own predictions, then I don’t want to hear any more nonsense about ID making no predictions. This is a prediction. It will play out soon enough. Let the chips fall where they may.

As all "predictions" proffered by ID, this one is parasitical upon genuine science. One might suspect this given that no ID theorist need leave his or her armchair to "test" DS's prediction.  But ALL predictions asserted to arise from ID prove to be equally parasitical.  

A good recent example: Scott Minnich claims to have proposed a theoretical prediction that is a test of ID, and to have made experimental headway vis this prediction.  This concerns Behe’s flagellar mechanism, which he argues is incapable of having originated by means of natural selection because irreducibly complex, and Kenneth Miller’s rejoinder that components of the flagellar mechanism actually arose first for other purposes (as a secretory pump) prior to their exaptation to locomotion.  Minnich has argued that if it can be demonstrated that secretory pumps arose after the flagellar mechanism, Miller’s argument would be refuted and Intelligent Design supported.  Here, he claims, we have a clear demonstration of the empirical testability of ID.

But this is exactly backward. It is indeed true that Miller’s model may be falsified through experimental investigation. That the secretory mechanism will be found to have arisen before flagellar propulsion is a prediction of Miller’s evolutionary hypothesis regarding this particular bit of contingent evolution. Miller’s model would indeed be falsified were it found that the secretory mechanisms arose after the flagellum. Miller would take his lumps and move on. This is how science works, and evolutionary biology is a science. And testable predictions such as these, which arise every day within biological science as evolutionary pathways are teased out, give the lie to DS' blank, dumb-ass statement that evolutionary theory makes no predictions, and hence has no value.  

What Minnich’s test of Miller’s model does not exemplify is an empirical test of ID. Quite the reverse: ID makes no predictions on this score. A designer - particularly one with no hypothesized characteristics that would permit the generation of a prediction - could have fabricated these molecular components in the order predicted by Miller, caused them to arise simultaneously, or given rise to the secretory mechanisms after the design of the flagellar mechanism. Hence empirical findings regarding the order in which the secretory and flagellar mechanisms arose can never be a test of ID. Indeed, Minnich's example again demonstrates that ID arguments boil down to attacks on evolutionary science that are otherwise devoid of testable content.

DaveScot's latest prediction is, at a much grosser level, parasitical in exactly the same way. It is the Harvard project that places hypotheses "at risk" through exposure to experimental test, and ID that lolls about in its increasingly threadbare armchair, sniping at the outcome.  Indeed, the facts of recent history show that regardless of what Harvard manages to demonstrate, proponents of ID will dismiss, deconstruct, distort, and ignore those results.  Now there is a prediction for you.

Date: 2006/12/05 19:33:21, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
I'm quite prescient:
   
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Indeed, the facts of recent history show that regardless of what Harvard manages to demonstrate, proponents of ID will dismiss, deconstruct, distort, and ignore those results.  Now there is a prediction for you.

This didn't take long. They're already hard at it, in advance:
   
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4. Collin // Dec 5th 2006 at 7:23 pm
I think they will succeed… at producing a complex tautology. A billion dollars should be enough to confuse a lot of people into THINKING they came up with something. That is what I am worried about.

Date: 2006/12/06 18:09:59, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
lkeithlu:
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My point was the actual quote by the VP: Nothing was submitted. For this I got banned? I didn't even have a chance to research it further (although, a direct quote from the Senior VP seems enough to me; doesn't he speak for the Foundation?)

You landed a hard right and DS has a big honking shiner.  You had it absolutely right, DS had it dead wrong, and was seen spinning ridiculous persecutory tales deep into the night in an attempt to rescue his position.  

Well done.  And worth the ban.

Date: 2006/12/06 18:21:47, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
DS:
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In that light I’d like commentary generally restricted to discussion of the awarded grants and whether or not any of them can be fairly characterized as ID research.

Right. Wouldn't want anyone asking, "Did you run into a door or something?"

Date: 2006/12/07 10:00:51, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
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21. Joseph // Dec 7th 2006 at 7:38 am

pegase:
as of the existence of the Intelligent Designer and his nature

The existence of the designer and his nature are irrelevant to ID.

Joseph not only drank the Cool Aid, he is swimming in it.

I understand the strategic decision to dodge questions vis specific characteristics of the telic entity - ANY response to such questions activates the absurdities entailed in claiming to build a science around supernatural intervention.  

But asserting that even the existence of an intelligent designer is itself irrelevent to intelligent design theory takes this simulated agnosticism (which has got to be both as exciting and as fertile as simulated intercourse) to new realms of emptiness and dishonesty: "We've detected design. But we aren't claiming there was a designer."  

(There's a warm area of the pool I'd avoid.)

Date: 2006/12/08 07:02:21, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Yesterday DaveScot took up the research tools of Intelligent Design (silk smoking jacket, pipe, leather armchair, internet connection) and found empirical evidence for front loading in a 2004 paper by Nobrega et al.:  
       
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Lack of any known means of conserving non-critical genetic information is the major objection lobbed at the front loading hypothesis. Evidently there is a means after all.

DS finds evidence of a mechanism for the preservation of genetic information in the conservation of non-coding genetic information across mouse and human DNA. The researchers operationally defined a conserved area as demonstrating 70% identity across at least 100 base pairs.  Using that definition, 1,243 conserved elements were found within the excised areas of DNA - a surprisingly high number. For DS, this is good news for the front loading hypothesis.

What DS doesn't mention is that, within the same paper, the same criterion (at least 100 bp and 70% identity) was used to contrast genetic information across the DNA of human beings and fish, within these same areas of genome. NO conserved elements were detected.

It follows that, whatever mechanism accounts for the high degree of conservation of non-coding DNA across the relatively closely related genomes of mice and men, it was insufficient to conserve any elements (as defined in the study) across fish and humans.  

Front loading would require conservation of information across vastly greater stretches of evolutionary time than has passed since the common ancestor of modern fish and human beings plied the seas.  I don't see that the the most recent findings from DS Laboratories offer front loading much comfort.

Igor! Brandy Snifter! Activate the Remote!

Date: 2006/12/08 12:18:03, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Arden Chatfield:
 
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To really nail this thing down, we need opinions from a fireman, an insurance salesman, a property manager, a couple housewives, an electrician, a church pastor, an 18-year-old who works at Arby's, a mafia lawyer, a United States Congressman, a surfer, and a soybean farmer.

I'm thinking there should be a blind watchmaker somewhere in this group.

DS:
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darth ... I’m going to review the productivity of your previous comments here and if they haven’t been productive you’re going to be demoted to lurker status.

And I'm thinking, shouldn't that read "promoted?"

Date: 2006/12/09 10:00:17, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Zach quoted DS:
 
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When I worked at Dell every conference room had a sign in it which read “Attack Ideas - Not the People Who Hold Them”. I’d never seen that saying before but I presumed it was a common saying. Just a few minutes ago, out of curiosity, I googled it and found only four hits on the world wide web. And three of the four were quotes of me!

Always important to be thorough. Lean back into your headrest to prevent whiplash:
 
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12. DaveScot // Jan 26th 2006 at 8:18 am
...In all the meeting rooms at Dell a sign was posted “Attack ideas, not the people who hold them.” That ought to be tatooed on the foreheads of all the federal judges who’ve ruled against something merely because of religious motivation while blithely ignoring the lack of religion in the actual item being judged. Do you hear me Judge Jones and Judge Cooper you unAmerican swine?!

Date: 2006/12/09 16:05:15, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Not long ago, DS enforced the scientific aims of UD:
     
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Reminder To Stay On Message
by DaveScot on January 8th, 2006 · 11 Comments

This applies to everyone writing articles as well as writing comments. Professor Dembski excepted of course.

The topic and purpose of this weblog is to instruct and promote the intelligent design work of Bill Dembski in particular and the ID movement in general. We are trying to convince that world that ID is based on math, science, and logic. While the implications tend to attract religious devotees in large number ID is not about religion. I consider atheism to be a contrarian religion and ID offends them as one might expect of anything that pleases the faithful. If you want a soapbox for your favorite religion (including atheism) go somewhere else. I realize that it’s hard to divorce our innermost faith from our writing and will try to tolerate a generous amount of spillage but the bottom line is if you’re warned to ease up, ease up or the axe will fall. Professor Dembski advised me to be ruthless in policing this blog. I’d naively hoped it wouldn’t come to that but as usual he was right. Stay on topic. Feel free to tell me I’m off topic if I wander but don’t expect me to ban myself if I don’t.

That was then. This is now:
     
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The Atheism Delusion: The Destructive Power of Materialist Indoctrination
by GilDodgen on December 8th, 2006 · 18 Comments

I was an atheist, brainwashed by the establishment, into my 40s...Since 1994 my Christian walk has been the most rewarding experience of my life, and I can’t imagine life without it. Sunday morning is the highlight of my week. Contrary to what Richard Dawkins thinks, our Calvary Chapel ministry has produced nothing but good. I’ve seen nothing but positive influences in people’s lives. I’ve seen marriages and families healed, drug addicts liberated, and people serving and supporting each other in many ways. Safe Harbor, an international relief organization, was founded through our church and pastor Gary Kusunoki. I play keyboards in the praise band, and our worship team has been active in Teen Challenge, a Christian drug-rehab program that has an 85% longterm success rate, unheard of in the secular world. I mention all this in support of my claim in the title of this post, that materialist indoctrination is destructive, and deprives people of all the gifts, opportunities and rewards I’ve listed above.

At which point Gil handed me a few tracts.
 
This goes beyond apologetics. Consider yourselves to have been witnessed to by Uncommon Descent.

Not that ID has ANYTHING TO DO WITH RELIGION...but 2,000 years ago a man died on a Cross.  Can't someone stand up for Him now?

Date: 2006/12/10 08:59:23, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Here you will find a very interesting essay, What Good is Religion? An atheist's case for the value of religious diversity by Dmitri Tymoczko.

I find that it speaks to the futility of the "conversation" that is taking place throughout the blogosphere between advocates of ID and religion on one hand and science/unbelievers on the other, as well as to love/hate relationship that is evident in this conversation. It also outlines a position relevant to the recent shouting match between "evangelical" and "Neville Chamberlain" atheists, activated by Dawkins' recent book, well in advance of that conflict.  

I met the author last night, a composer with an impressive background in philosophy (Harvard, Oxford University, Berkeley) who currently teaches at Princeton. The orchestra in which my teenage daughter plays (the Contemporary Youth Orchestra in Cleveland) performed the world premier of one of his compositions, and I had the opportunity to ask him about his experience as a student of, among many others, Hilary Putnam, whom I have admired. This morning I've been poking around his website and found this essay.  Serendipity.

Date: 2006/12/10 10:19:32, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
As the year 2006 draws to a close, let us pause to reflect on the great strides made recently by the science of intelligent design.  A mere four years ago, when ID still languished under a cloud of disrepute, Dr. William A. Dembski published this prescient map of ID's road to respectability:

Intellectual Vitality
Yes. Yes. Yes.  Yes.  Yes. No. No. No. No. No.

Intellectual Standards
No. No. No. No. No. Yes. Yes. Yes. No.

Exiting the Ghetto
Yes. Yes. No. Yes. Yes. No. Who knows? No. No. Yes.

Attracting Talent
No. No. No. No. Who cares? Yes. FUN!? What!? Weed?

That last one explains a lot.  I'll party with you I-Dudes.  Should be VERY INTERESTING.

Date: 2006/12/11 11:44:59, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
This comment, posted on this thread, bears a bit of rebuttal as it bears a germ of truth (and a load of crap):

   
Quote
43. crandaddy
// Dec 10th 2006 at 5:15 pm

A materialist description of consciousness does appear impossible. To see why, let’s consider what consciousness is. Consciousness is first-personhood; it is experience, itself. In order to offer a materialistic account of it, one would have to offer a third-person account which fully encapsulates the concept of first-personhood. But how is this possible in principle? I can see no way that it is. Consciousness is an intentional state which means it possesses the quality of being of or about something. But how can one material state be of or about any other material state? How can any material state have any intrinsic meaning at all? The very notion of meaning, itself, loses its meaning if materialism is true. I fail to see how materialism does anything but completely and utterly implode as a coherent rational belief.

Crandaddy here describes a genuine conundrum within contemporary philosophy, and the philosophy of science, although he muddles things just a bit, in that intentionality (the "aboutness" of mental states) presents a problem distinct from that of consciousness. But he has the right idea. The question of how intentionality and reference, particularly intentionality that has a normative component, can be mapped into a scientific description of the natural world has presented an enormous conundrum to contemporary philosophy (and a correspondingly huge, thoughtful literature), with no solution in sight.

What Crandaddy misses is that Intelligent Design provides absolutely no help in addressing this conundrum. None. Zip. Nada. If we were to stipulate that each of us, as physical and biological systems, had been designed and intricately crafted by The Maker herself to exhibit the states of consciousness and intentionality that we do, we would be not one whit closer to understanding how normative reference (meaning) relates to physical causation than we are now. ID gives no help whatsoever to this problem.  The problem presents itself regardless of the origins of the physical/biological system displaying intentionality.

What Crandaddy really wants to say, as he attacks naturalistic models of human cognition, is that a non-material (spiritual) dimension is required to account for the normative intentionality and consciousness we display. But that gets us no further than before (and indeed sets back the discussion a few centuries).  How do "souls" (detachable ghosts) implement conciousness and intentionality? Would he like to specify the ghost-state transitions that correspond to normative reasoning?  Does he really want to argue that this occurs independently of the human brain and the physical causation intantiated therein?  

The fact is that nothing whatever can be said about the spiritual components Crandaddy would add to the current materialist conception of cognition that actually brings us any closer to the problem of intentionality in the natural world, and neither he nor anyone else has the slightest notion of how to investigate these questions starting with such assumptions.  

That is worth noting.

Date: 2006/12/12 17:36:13, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
Judge Jones: Towering Intellectual or Narcissistic Putz?
by William Dembski on December 12th, 2006 · 29 Comments


WAD posts on Jones, and a bitter, ugly, pathetic frenzy follows. "By their fruits you will know them."

Date: 2006/12/12 18:40:30, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Words from WAD:

At Uncommonly Dense, pinkie up and locked:
     
Quote
“The Judge Jones School of Law”
by William Dembski on December 12th, 2006 · 2 Comments

...The humor is, granted, adolescent, but this is a site for high school students, and they are, after all, the ones that Judge Jones’s decision disenfranchised.

At Overweening Ungulates, pinkie retracted and stowed:
 
Quote
From Bill Dembsky:

Around Christmas last year, Judge Jones did you the disservice of shafting you royally...Yes, the humor is adolescent, but overwhelmingevidence.com is a site for adolescents, and you are, after all, the ones who got shafted.


WAD is modest, too:

At Uncommonly Dense:
     
Quote
A hilarious flash animation of Judge Jones as a pull-string doll appears over at www.overwhelmingevidence.com.

At Overweenie Ungulates we learn:
     
Quote
"The Judge Jones School of Law" is the brainchild of brilliant professional flash animator...as well as of me and my lovely wife Jana

And it's HILARIOUS!!

Date: 2006/12/13 17:39:42, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
Lawrence Krauss (I think)

That is physicist Lawrence Krauss of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. What he had to do with Doverloo was, well, nothing.

FART sounds, WAD!?  "Good attention to detail!" (Says DaveScot as he plants a kiss on WAD's left cheek.)

Date: 2006/12/16 14:59:16, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
The voice in the Judge Jones School of Law
by William Dembski on December 16th, 2006 · 2 Comments

Over at www.overwhelmingevidence.com there is a flash animation featuring Judge Jones spouting inanities (inanities that he actually did write or say).


Ok, I listened to all the little characters pull his string. Where are the inanities? They don't have to be breathtaking or anything. But I didn't encounter any - just excerpts from Jones' devastatingly clear and on-target decision.

Subtract those, and all we have is Dembski reading lines on helium, farting for all the world like Robert Tilton.  Is that the funny part?

Date: 2006/12/18 20:39:53, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
From WAD's year 2000 exchange with Richard Dawkins:
           
Quote
Dembski: ...Your ace in the hole argument seems to be a tu quoque move: “Well, *you’ve* postulated a designer. You’re the REAL cheaters!”

Dawkins commits tu quoque; Dembski retaliates with toot quoque. That about wraps it up for ID.

Date: 2006/12/20 10:08:32, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
I've never been happier to have a comment deleted.  Thank you.

Date: 2006/12/21 09:37:39, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Crandaddy executes a logical loop-de-loop:
 
Quote
A Simple Request
by crandaddy on December 21st, 2006 · 9 Comments

I submit that if an atheist were to come to believe that Christianity is true and that he or she had committed a necessarily damning act that this has the potential to cause traumatic psychological distress…

What I do oppose is a public campaign which encourages people—especially young people, whose capacities to assess their worldviews and to make informed, responsible decisions based upon them are generally not on par with those of adults—to commit an act which carries with it potentially disastrous psychological consequences. I hereby request that atheists who read this voice their displeasure that such a campaign is being conducted.

Crandaddy:  Howabout you request that Christians stop inducing conversions to a tangled and perversely manipulative worldview that, in the scenario you describe, is the proximate cause of the disastrous psychological consequences you envision?

Date: 2006/12/22 06:28:57, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
k.e: "Wow Church Lady is on virgin' on the ridiculous."

Uncommonly Denyse doth unleash a mighty wind (but WHAT is she talking about?)

She ends with:
     
Quote
Every teenager goes through a stage when traditional beliefs seem wrong, and the best explanation is that the teen is learning how to appropriate an independent intellectual perspective. The beliefs may be wrong, of course, but that is not the reason for the angst. The teen is disturbed by the need to develop an independent perspective, which requires a variety of new cognitive skills. The smarter the kid, the longer and harder the road.

This meandering bit of incoherence suggests that the teenage D'OL! took a step and said, "Well, that's it then."

Date: 2006/12/22 17:59:09, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
Flash Animation Contest: “There is no God and Richard is his prophet”
by William Dembski on December 22nd, 2006 · No Comments

I’m considering offering $250 for the winning entry in a flash animation contest. I’d like the flash animation to incorporate the following elements...

(5) I’ll throw in an extra 100 bucks for a flatulent version of Dawkins (only for private use — maybe).

Private use?  What??

Everybody got that image fixed in imagination?

Date: 2006/12/22 19:21:21, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
In this exchange WAD starts to unravel.  Badly.  

JB chastens WAD for his stubborn mean spiritedness, and WAD responds:

 
Quote
1. jb // Dec 22nd 2006 at 7:42 pm

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

2. William Dembski // Dec 22nd 2006 at 7:46 pm

Sometimes the best way to love people is to give them strong medicine. Did Elijah love the prophets of Baal?

Did Elijah love the prophets of Baal?  No; following some typically dreary Old Testament hijinks, Elijah induces the people to seize and kill the 450 prophets of Baal.

Is WAD here expressing his love for his enemies? Advocating the administration of strong medicine as an expression of that love?  No; he rather obviously identifies with Elijah, and envies Elijah's barbaric Old Testament fantasy-solution to the problem of stubborn unbelief.

Yuck.

Date: 2006/12/22 19:56:50, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Uncommonly Denyse sounds as goofy as she reads.  Click here and search for 'O'Leary' to download an MP3 of D'OL! lecturing on ID.

Awwww, kinda cute.

Date: 2006/12/23 02:59:27, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
Does anybody know what a Dembski lecture sounds like?

Sort of like a erudite, constipated undertaker - reading word for word from a typed, single-spaced document, nothing extemporaneous, no connection to his listeners.

Here is Dembski's lugubrious contribution to a collection of lectures on ID from a conference several years ago (2002?) - an invaluable collection, with many of the major players in the discussion represented (Dembski, Meyer, Behe, Gish, Ken Miller, E. Scott, Michael Ruse, Niles Eldridge, some gnomish stiff named Elsberry, and on and on.)  Many thoughtful and interesting presentations from many perspectives.  Probably the high water mark of ID being taken seriously and entering into dialog with its critics.

Meyer is by far the slickest and smartest-sounding empty container in the ID bunch - he has a high IQ, scientistic patter nailed.

Date: 2006/12/23 03:21:30, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
Gnomish? That's a new one.

OH!  Hi Wes...I didn't realize you were standing there...nice weather we're having (mops brow)

Date: 2006/12/23 08:45:03, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
13. William Dembski // Dec 23rd 2006 at 9:10 am

Thanks, Dave, for your helpful comments about the diversity of material that appears on this blog...

Let me help a little here:
 
Quote
13. William Dembski // Dec 23rd 2006 at 9:10 am

Thanks, Dave, for your helpful comments about the diversity of material that disappears on this blog...

Better.

Date: 2006/12/23 09:58:40, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Born in the Cleveland area, and currently reside in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

Date: 2006/12/23 13:26:07, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
oldmanintheskydidntdoit wonders...
   
Quote
What is their secret weapon do you think? I believe it's some sort of google news "notifier" widgit. Enter some search terms, it spits out original science research!

Here is how the secret weapon works:
   
Quote
Also note I’ve blogged in the past about how a design theoretic view predicts things like this.

See? Predict untestable "things like this." Get down to making testable predictions vis specific empirical findings only after the fact. Your theory never misses that way. Plus your armchair never cools.

Date: 2006/12/24 10:38:09, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
This thread arouses a bit of disquiet in me. Here is the level this kid is at:
Quote
I believe I can find either a definite proof for Biblical Creation or a definite proof against Darwinian Evolution within every scientific field. During the next few months, I shall test my hypothesis by exploring as many as I can.

If anyone has an idea for a scientific field for me to look at, please mention it in the comments section below. Otherwise, I shall go at them generally in alphabetical order.

A quick perusal of this kid's blog makes it clear that he is immersed in a culture of biblical literalism.  He appears to hold his beliefs with utter sincerity, investment, and, to the extent possible for a 15 year old kid, commitment. Moreover, he is mapped into a network of creationist propaganda (both personal and web-based) and armed with all of the carefully constructed flapdoodle promulgated therein. Little or nothing didactic is going to be accomplished here, however careful and kind your posts.

Chapman 08: I recommend that you read the AFdave Creator God Hypothesis thread. Anything you post here regarding biological origins founded upon your belief in "God's Creatorship" is going to be utterly shredded (even if kindly and patiently), often by professional scientists who frequent these fora. You are going to be overmatched at every turn.  

This all strikes me as a bad idea. Please tread very carefully, everyone.

Date: 2006/12/24 16:39:01, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
I've tried googling TroutMac to find an email address, but after 3 whole minutes, I have given up.

Start here.  You may have to join the forum to send him a message. He doesn't apepar to have been active there in some time, so who knows if he'll see your message.

Date: 2006/12/26 14:19:10, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
O’Leary’s recent columns of interest : On neuroscience implications/applications of intelligent design...

1. A recent ChristianWeek column: Faith@Science: The God gene? Spot? Circuit? Okay, maybe a Module?

(Note: This is the column I wrote shortly after finishing my work on The Spiritual Brain, explaining why notions of a God spot, gene, module, or circuit in the brain are completely ridiculous.)
...
2. Another recent ChristianWeek column:“Made in the image of God”? What does that mean?
...
3. A third recent ChristianWeek columns: Faith as one of the healing arts
...

I feel that I need to step in here. This applies to everyone writing articles as well as writing comments. Professor Dembski excepted of course.

The topic and purpose of Uncommon Descent is to instruct and promote the intelligent design work of Bill Dembski in particular and the ID movement in general. We are trying to convince that world that ID is based on math, science, and logic. While the implications tend to attract religious devotees in large number ID is not about religion. I consider atheism to be a contrarian religion and ID offends them as one might expect of anything that pleases the faithful. If you want a soapbox for your favorite religion (including atheism) go somewhere else. I realize that it’s hard to divorce our innermost faith from our writing and will try to tolerate a generous amount of spillage but the bottom line is if you’re warned to ease up, ease up or the axe will fall. Professor Dembski advised me to be ruthless in policing this blog. I’d naively hoped it wouldn’t come to that but as usual he was right. Stay on topic. Feel free to tell me I’m off topic if I wander but don’t expect me to ban myself if I don’t.

(You know who.)

Date: 2006/12/27 19:46:02, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Richardthughs:
Quote
Demsbki's farting flash is a bit like when The Great Gazoo joins the cast of "the flintstones" - You're on your last season.

Exactly. He has jumped the shark. No doubt about that.

Date: 2006/12/27 20:22:34, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
GilDodg'em:
   
Quote
It’s not a rhetorical strategy; it’s just a demand that extraordinary claims be accompanied by commensurately extraordinary evidence. Darwinism proposes a mechanism, a process, whereby a bacterium turned into Mozart in 10^17 seconds through purely materialistic means. This is an extraordinary claim that seems to fly in the face of everything we know about complex, tightly functionally integrated information processing systems.

Now I'm getting lost. I just got with the Behe certified fact that it was the unbelievable, irreducible, specified submicroscopic subcellular molecular nanocomplexity evident within bacteria that renders inescapable the argument to design. Little tiny stuff that Darwin couldn't see, because he had a black box and all, and he was an atheist and all. And Darwinism comes tumbling down and atheists are seen rending their documents.  Er, garments.

I am pretty sure that Darwin could have seen Mozart - But NOW bacteria are just the starting point, because in 10^17 seconds flat one of those bacteria turned into Mozart, and natural selection can't explain THAT. If natural nanotech isn't enough, just get a load of the Jupiter.  

"Too many notes."

Date: 2006/12/27 20:37:25, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Stevestory:
Quote
Hand-waving gibberish.

Not to get technical, but would that not also be murky flapdoodle?

Date: 2006/12/28 22:29:28, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Guthrie said:
Quote
It would be fun watching DS get absorbed slowly into the creationist structure.  Or maybe he'll set out on his own like JAD.

Alas, neither will EVER happen, because DS doesn't give a rat's ass about any of the ideas he promulgates over at UD.

(BTW, did you know that the prototype rat's ass was envisioned at the moment of frontloading?)

Date: 2006/12/28 22:58:16, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
This newfound vulnerability is an interesting development.  I happen to be a clinical psychologist, mid 50's, although my relatively recent dissertation concerned the evolutionary basis of 'theory of mind' in human beings.  

My instrument is piano, and I once fancied myself a composer, although more recently I have struggled with intermediate level classical stuff such as Debussy's Suite Bergamas, a Brahms intermezzo, etc. (any one of which takes me months to master.  By the time I learn one composition I've forgotten the last. Hence I keep my day job.) I envy the guitar - but if you play guitar and not piano, you might envy the piano, too.  

Musical tastes: Frank Zappa and the early Mothers of Invention (Uncle Meat, Lumpy Gravy, etc., but also Civilization, Phaze III and many other aspects of his work), many varieties of classical music, Leanard Cohen (particularly "The Future," which is the stuff creos ought to fear), Tord Guftavsen's sleepy jazz piano trio, some stuff like Cold Play and even Lady Sovereign* (witty stuff; I have a teenage kid so get to hear all manner of stuff with which I otherwise would never cross paths). Related hobby: a stereo system contructed from 50 year old components (tubes etc.). "Reciprocating Bill" actually derives from that hobby (University "reciprocating flare" mid range and high frequency horns from the early 50's, exemplified by my avatar).

* To all you lurkers from UD who may be reading this stuff: "If you love me then, Thank You!  If you hate me then, Fuck You!" - Lady S.O.V.

Date: 2006/12/30 09:30:25, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Autodidact DaveScot (comment 139) hereby discards 100 years of physics:
 
Quote
139. DaveScot // Dec 30th 2006 at 8:10 am

Jack

The simplest way of describing the difference is to point out that what is chance to us is not chance to God. From our limited human perspective, the external world contains events that we experience as chance.

Just because something appears as chance to you doesn’t means it appears as chance to everyone who isn’t you.

Richard Dawkins famously said there is the illusion of design in nature.

This is wrong. Design is not the illusion. Chance is the illusion. Einstein said God doesn’t play at dice with the universe. Who are you going to believe; Albert Einstein or Dicky Dawkins? The choice is clear for me - Einstein - in a heartbeat.

The import of Einstein's famous remark, of course, is that he was wrong. I guess Dave hasn't taught himself that bit of science history.

Date: 2006/12/30 11:13:00, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
DaveScot again:
 
Quote
This is wrong. Design is not the illusion. Chance is the illusion.

Mutations, and the impact of those mutations, need not be, and indeed are not, utterly "chance events" in the quantum sense to which Einstein objected. Indeed, each one has, at least in principle, a causal story (as does a coin flip). Rather, however they are determined, mutations are "random" in the sense that they occur without respect to their impact upon the local fitness of a given organism in the context of its ecological niche.  Similarly, we flip a coin to assign the ball at the start of a football game not because coin-flips introduce quantum indeterminancy into the NFL: we flip coins because the outcome of the flip occurs without respect to the fortunes of either team.

It is this sense of "without respect to their impact upon local fitness" that distinguishes random mutation from hypothetical design events (descent with meddling).

Stephen Gould writes about this at length in "The Structure of Evolutionary Theory." Which is why autopedagogue DaveScot is a stranger to such notions.

Date: 2006/12/30 11:54:34, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
This is beyond parody:
Quote
Evangelistic, educational, entertaining.
At last, a board game that reveals the insanity of perhaps the greatest hoax of our times -- the unscientific "theory of evolution."

"Intelligent Design vs Evolution" is unique in that the playing pieces are small rubber brains and each team plays for "brain" cards. Each player uses his or her brains to get more brains, and the team with the most brains wins.

Quote
15. DaveScot // Dec 30th 2006 at 8:36 am

Thanks for the link. I just ordered it.

Comment by DaveScot — December 30, 2006 @ 8:36 am

Date: 2006/12/30 17:15:06, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Uncommonly Denyse has posted an uncharacteristically clear and well-organized essay here:
       
Quote
Larry Arnhart asks: “Why don’t social conservatives embrace Darwinism?” O’Leary tries to explain
by O'Leary on December 30th, 2006 · No Comments...

No squinting or head scratching this time. U-Denyse is admirably clear:

- The universe is a top down, mind first affair.  "So let me start with the observation that the universe is either top down or bottom up. Family values conservatives are mostly top downers. That means that they believe that mind comes first and produces matter."

- Lest there be any question which particular "mind" is on top: "both Darwin and his followers have made it clear enough - is that there is no need for God or a divine mind, because it can all happen by this process."

- And let there be no doubt which particular brand of "divine mind" she has, er, in mind, and where we can best learn about it, its relationship to ourselves, the relationship between our detachable ghosts and our bodies, etc.: "The New Testament does not teach that “immortality requires the resurrection of the body” or that “the soul depends on the body.” The New Testament offers the fulfilment of ancient promises of restoration of the body as well as the soul damaged by sin (see, for example, Gen 3:15; Luke 24:37–39)"

- Leaving the best for last, Uncommonly Denyse does not believe that there is any relationship between the sophistication of human social and cognitive functioning and the size and complexity of the human brain: "There is no reason to believe that simply increasing the number of neurons in a brain will produce a mind (or a soul) for the same reason as there is no reason to believe that simply increasing the size and power of a computer’s RAM will produce one."

ID is not, however, a religious concept (channels k.e here), no siree bob.  Nope.  Not at all. (snicker)  (giggle)

One might suspect that one's position is in BIG trouble when clear writing weakens your argument.

(Wowsers. We've lost quantum physics (slain by DaveScot) AND cognitive neuroscience in one afternoon.)

Date: 2006/12/30 17:32:25, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
Argumentum ad masturbatum?

That would be spanking the monkey.  Which surely involves a banana.

Date: 2006/12/31 08:52:55, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Lou FCD:
Quote
Does the phrase "so open your brain falls out" come to anyone else's mind here?

This is why ID - The Board Game uses rubber brains. These guys are subtle.

Date: 2006/12/31 22:55:11, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
Holy Crap Reciprocating Bill are you trying to get me into trouble with the creator (and destroyer) Lenny Shiva
Flank?

Oops - channeling detachable ghosts sans thorough fact-checking is bad scholarship.

Date: 2006/12/31 23:08:46, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
hblavatsky | Sun, 2006-12-31 09:30
...I propose a new taxonomy, or rather a heirarchy which seeks to explain the dominion of the intelligent designer.  At the very bottom of the heirarchy will be the microbes, plants and simple organisms. All the way at the top will be the intelligent designer, or possibly some kind of supreme being...

This is thoughtful stuff; I was gripped with inspiration, and knew that we should call this "The Great Chain of Being," the "Scala Naturæ." I fell into a trance, and when I awoke, I found this beneath my quill:

"God, and beneath him the angels, both existing wholly in spirit form, sit at the top of the ladder. Earthly flesh is fallible and ever-changing: mutable. Spirit, however, is unchanging and permanent. This sense of permanence is crucial to understanding this conception of reality. One does not abandon one's place in the chain; it is not only unthinkable, but generally impossible. (One exception might be in the realm of alchemy, where alchemists attempted to transmute base elements, such as lead, into higher elements, either silver, or more often, gold—the highest element.)

In the natural order, earth (rock) is at the bottom of the chain; these elements possess only the attribute of existence. Moving on up the chain, each succeeding link contains the positive attributes of the previous link, and adds (at least) one other. Rocks, as above, possess only existence; the next link up, plants, possess life and existence. Beasts add not only motion, but appetite as well."

My Lord will be well pleased.  

(a wiki-trance)

Date: 2006/12/31 23:14:07, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
hblavatsky | Sun, 2006-12-31 09:30
... All the way at the top will be the intelligent designer, or possibly some kind of supreme being...

Howabout a taco-supreme being? Since this is still an open question, and all.

Date: 2007/01/01 15:42:05, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
The eminent microbiologist, Herbert Jennings, in his studies of bacteria, paramecium, and amoebas found that their responses to stimuli were strikingly similar to those of large-brained animals. He concluded that if these tiny, one-celled creatures were enlarged to the size of dogs, we would readily see them to possess conscious choice, perception, memory, intelligence, and emotion. The fact that these mental qualities are present in minute bags of slithering protoplasm strongly supports Eccles’ view that the conscious mind does not “emerge” from the brain but is an independent, nonphysical force.

What this actually illustrates is the operation of human "theory of mind" and the resulting projection of agency, a capacity evolution crafted in apes, particularly the human ape, to facilitate social cognition and the prediction of others' behavior.  As Dan Dennett has stated, it may be triggered and deployed in a way that is completely compelling in instances where we know it cannot be accurate, such as when agency is projected onto COG, onto a chess-playing computer, onto arrowed circles following particular pathways, onto the "situated agency" of insects, and onto organisms such as these.

The take home message is that our intuition that complex behavior requires something called "mind," which floats above and is other than the organism, is mistaken.  If the behavior of organisms that obviously cannot deploy anything resembling human agency can activate that intuition, we should regard that intuition as highly suspect, not embrace it as somehow true and begin seeing minds in amoeba.

Of course, the detachable ghost hypothesis causes more problems than it solves:
   
Quote
Deepak Chopra: "I want to eat a banana, and once I do, my brain carries out the necessary action (buying a banana, peeling it, putting it in my mouth, etc.) Mundane as this example may be, it's actually an astonishing feat of mind over matter. How in the world do our thoughts manage to move the molecules in our brain?"


At least DC has the guts to ask the absurd questions that arise as a consequence of his position.  Will ID ever ask the analogous questions?:

"How in the world does the designer move the molecules in our genomes?"

(Also, "What would we see if Uncommonly Denyse was shrunk to the size of a paramecium?)

Date: 2007/01/01 20:01:29, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Sauce for goose? Sauce for gander:

Date: 2007/01/01 20:09:51, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
2007 — Buckle your safety belts!
by William Dembski on January 1st, 2007 · 13 Comments

Happy New Year to all UD regulars. I expect 2007 to be a bang-up year for ID. Here are three things in particular I’m looking forward to in the coming year:

1. A new ID friendly research center at a major university. (This is not merely an idle wish — stay tuned.)...

ID finally gets around to doing real empirical science:

Date: 2007/01/02 06:39:26, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Djmullen:
 
Quote
Compared to Hubbard, Dembski is actually pretty ... well, not good, but not nearly as evil.

Yes. Can you imagine how those tomatoes suffered?  Oh the tomanity, the tomanity.  

(Because anti-materialist philosophy lets us know that if tomatoes were enlarged to the size of people...)

Date: 2007/01/02 11:55:30, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Richardthughs - BE CAREFUL.  

If you /QUOTE first, then QUOTE, that has the effect of placing the entire universe of speech into quotes, with the sole exception of the text you intended to quote.

That eversion leaves DaveScot the only original unquoted speaker on the planet... (Reciprocating Bill stares into the abyss, and can't continue...)

Date: 2007/01/02 20:03:04, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
2007 — Buckle your safety belts!
by William Dembski on January 1st, 2007 · 19 Comments
...I expect 2007 to be a bang-up year for ID...

Safety belts are worn for protection in a crash.  So WAD's admonition seems appropriate.

Date: 2007/01/04 19:52:47, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
A placeholder for a lengthier essay:

BWE earlier mentioned meditation, and in so doing called to mind the diversity of phenomena that may be subsumed, properly, under the rubric of “religion.”  This touches on the notion of religious practice, as distinct from systems of religious propositions that may be tested, adjudicated “true” or “false,” etc.

A question I would pose is, “Can religious practice, including practices such as meditation, disclose to the practitioner experience, and even comprehension, that is not easily accessible by other means?”

A corollary question:  “Are there facets of the experience of human beings in the natural world that are inexpressible by means of human language – yet may be grasped (although not expressed propositionally) in other ways?”

I am an atheist, and certainly a devotee of scientific ways of knowing, yet I hold that the answer to both questions is “yes.” Human beings have the potential for inarticulate ways of knowing that can disclose experiences and, at times, comprehension, that cannot be expressed propositionally.  Certainly these are the concerns of many of the arts; by the same token, elements of these experiences are the concern of some spiritual practices, which in some instances can guide persons to these otherwise inexpressible experiences.  

Moreover, there are forms of such practice that are compatible with, and indeed enhanced by, scientific ways of knowing (and that are themselves likely to be better understood by means of, for example, cognitive science). One can engage in such practices, harvest for oneself the experiences therein, and even legitimately characterize them as, in a sense, “comprehension,” and remain intellectually and scientifically honest.

Date: 2007/01/05 06:32:08, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
That, of course, is the very core of the Asian "religious" traditions.  As they all point out, all of their practice and teaching are just symbols, just words, just a finger pointing to the moon.  Without direct understanding through experience, it all means nothing -- indeed, it CANNOT mean anything.  No description of reality, is that reality.

Well said.  

That prompts me to ask, "What (if any) Christian traditions are analogous to Eastern practice in this way?"  I suspect that there are moons that may be glimpsed by means of forms of Christian practice (perhaps more in the mystical traditions), that are otherwise unlikely to be easily seen.

Perhaps the trouble starts when one returns to discursive language and attempts to express the inexpressible in propositional terms.  At the dinner table.

Date: 2007/01/05 08:05:50, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
The fundies, in particular, fall into the "word" trap.  For them, The Words are, literally, all that matters.

Not surprising, I suppose, for a tradition that begins with "In the beginning there was the. Word, and the Word was with. God, and the Word was God."

Date: 2007/01/05 10:41:55, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
Such is the plot of Borges's celebrated The Library of Babel. Monks spending their lives in an infinite library, understanding that somewhere in the library exists a book that explains the library--but seemingly unaware that the library also contains an infinite number of false explanations as well. Of course, most of them never encounter a single meaningful phrase.

This wonderful story can be found in the Borges anthology "Ficciones."

Date: 2007/01/05 10:47:57, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
Dembski's Intelligent Designer is one sick puppy.

Honestly. The Blair Witch Designer.

Date: 2007/01/05 16:07:27, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
Ever read the Desiderata (a Christian poem)?  It could have been written by any Taoist or Buddhist:

Desiderata

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should...

Then there was the infamous National Lampoon parody:

Go placidly amid the noise and waste,
And remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
Avoid quiet and passive persons unless you are in need of sleep.
Rotate your tires.

Speak glowingly of those greater than yourself,
And heed well their advice, even though they be turkeys.
Know what to kiss and when.
Consider that two wrongs never make a right,
But that three lefts do.

Wherever possible put people on "HOLD".
Be comforted that in the face of all aridity and disillusionment,
And despite the changing fortunes of time,
There is always a big future in computer maintenance.
Remember the Pueblo.

Strive at all times to bend, fold, spindle and mutilate.
Know yourself. If you need help, call the FBI.
Exercise caution in your daily affairs,
Especially with those persons closest to you;
That lemon on your left for instance.

Be assured that a walk through the ocean of most souls,
Would scarcely get your feet wet.
Fall not in love therefore; it will stick to your face.

Carefully surrender the things of youth: birds, clean air, tuna, Taiwan,
And let not the sands of time get in your lunch.
For a good time, call 606-4311.

Take heart amid the deepening gloom that your dog
Is finally getting enough cheese;
And reflect that whatever fortunes may be your lot,
It could only be worse in Sioux City.

You are a fluke of the Universe.
You have no right to be here, and whether you can hear it or not,
The Universe is laughing behind your back.

Therefore make peace with your God whatever you conceive him to be,
Hairy Thunderer or Cosmic Muffin.

With all its hopes, dreams, promises, and urban renewal,
The world continues to deteriorate.
Give up.

Date: 2007/01/05 18:39:04, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
“I thought creationists were monsters, until I married one.” -Tatiana Hamboyan Harrison

They are hopeful monsters, I'll give them that.

Date: 2007/01/05 19:52:59, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
Were I forced to categorize myself as SOMETHING, it would be as an "apa-theist". I simply don't CARE if there is a god or not.

Excellent.

Although I first read it as "ape-theist," acknowledging that, whatever spirituality there may be, it is embodied, and never detachable.

Let me share this essay, which I wrote perhaps 15 years ago:


The Chordate Self

I.

I was brushing my teeth, or doing something else as ordinary, when suddenly struck: I am arches of experience emerging from the workings of my body, a transparent structure of color and action, transacting with an environment that is itself built of both awareness and physicality. A reality that includes body and experience. I am a tower of mental and physical homeostasis and balance, built of many rooms of knowing and behavior, a structure of self.

We are bodies that make consciousness. Bodies like our own, in turn, may be fashioned by evolution only because such a body can make consciousness.  Not spirits dwelling in bodies, able to fly out, but a di-polar reality that rises and falls as one. This single self has, as one pole, the matter/energy/message that comprises body; as another, the consciousness/volition/memory that comprises self. Self is something aware body does.  

I am saying that our bodies are spirits. Our spirits are bodies.

Identity requires memory, and memory is information-in-context that requires, in turn, form and complexity and temporality. The emergence of life, consciousness and identity in history have therefore both required and resulted from the capacity of matter and energy to support and retain complex form. It is the compartmentalized physical transactions of matter and energy, and the capacity of matter and energy to accumulate information over contingent history, that permit natural selection to construct, among myriad other things, bodies and conscious selves. In doing so, matter becomes as much like spirit as it is like clay or ash.

Why do we resist the inclusion of matter/energy in our vision of soul? Because spirits constructed as bodies cannot be built to last. That I am conscious-body now, body-spirit now, and later will not be, packs both fear and poignancy into finite experience. From that fear emerges empathy and caring, because I know that you share the same untenable predicament.

In return, by accepting that awareness emerges from bodies, we fully share the history our of bodies across deep time, and the strange and evocative structures of our human bodies and brains remain our own, rather than something merely inhabited. I fold the natural history of biological structure into my own experience, and rejoice that my soul arose in nature.  

Viewed in this way, the experiencing self is grounded in evolutionary history, a structure of experience that is both individual and "transpersonal" in nature, a transpersonal experience rooted in history.

II.

Each of us partakes of a variety of levels of self-sense. Ordinarily, human experience is existentially social and verbal in nature, experience that is shaped by the "location" of personhood in an historical and cultural context, built from that person's unique history of environments, experiences, behaviors and relationships, through interaction with one's care-givers and the embracing culture they convey. Further, the biology supporting this experience in "cultural space" is unique to the extent that it originates with the genetic and historical particulars of that individual's life. These are the social and biological considerations of psychology, and are the most frequent referents of the Western concept, "self".

There are deeper, much older strata of self that have identity in all human beings, because rooted in structural features of the human brain that are deeply invariant across individuals. Some aspects of this deeply invariant human neurological organization are "recently" evolved and, therefore, organize experiences unique to human beings, while other structures are almost unimaginably ancient, organizing a base stratum of subjectivity that is common to all vertebrate animals, a transpersonal stratum that is vastly more ancient than the neurological powers that originated with the evolution of hominids.

Evolutionary biology tells us that the essential axis of vertebrate organization, the axis of brain, spinal column and associated deployment of senses, reflects a body plan established something over five million centuries ago. This axis defines the absolute core functioning of the vertebrate life-machinery, a core responsible for governance of the internal living milieu, regulation of respiration and heart action, and the expression of drives and appetites.

Similarly, the integration of sense information and the coordination of volitional behavior follow neural pathways that are organized through a biology of awareness and behavior that is equally ancient, having originated with this 570 million year old body plan.

These ancient platforms of experience and behavior lay down in each of us a deep stratum of experiencing self that I call the "chordate self", a structure of awareness that originated with the evolution of the chordate body plan.

In short, underlying the psychological self is a deeper, more ancient chordate self in which we all silently partake, a self that is profoundly other-than-human, utterly non-verbal and shared with countless other vertebrate species. The Chordate Self.

Spiritual endeavors, those that invite widened awareness as a means to understanding, direct attention away from the inherently limiting particulars of individual history and away from the talkative narration of recent brain structures, to an essence of human awareness and human circumstance that is independent of personal history. The resulting profoundly transpersonal experiences, experiences that are fundamentally "neurohistorical" in nature, are in reality an experience of an ancient, transcendent non-verbal chordate self, refracted through the "enchanted loom" of more recent neocortical self-awareness and verbal narration that initiate and guide the spiritual effort.

It is interesting to consider some aspects of eastern discipline in this light, such as Yoga, with its interest in the deployment of energy and experience throughout the spinal column, essentially an exploration of one's phenomenological roots in chordate neural organization. Meditation of all varieties tends to place one's experience more in synchrony with transpersonal elements of self that are irrelevant to personal history, equating these neurohistorical transpersonal experiences with experience of divinity. In a sense this may not be mistaken, finding in these experiences a record of contingent evolution over very deep time, our true "creator".  

Similarly, LSD and similar substances become an occasion for a kind of neurohistorical sacrament. Whatever consciousness is, and whatever new ontological and phenomenological dimensions are drawn into existence through the addition of LSD to the human brain, nothing could more clearly demonstrate the neural basis of consciousness than its profound alteration through the insinuation of tiny amounts of such a simple substance. Thus altered, one possesses a brain of a new kind, capable of experiences associated with this new sort of brain. As a new individual, one is free to directly experience one's neurohistorical, chordate self apart from the vagaries of individual personal history, then re-enter that familiar psychological self able to refract everyday experience through the lenses of memory of this neurohistorical sacrament.

(and so forth)

Date: 2007/01/06 09:14:01, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Skeptic:
     
Quote
There either is or there isn't something outside of the universe.  There are no other alternatives to that question, unless you see something that I and many others do not.

But there ARE alternatives.  One is that neither pole of this dichotomy -  there IS or ISN'T something "outside" of the universe (or "before time") - has any meaning.  

This is rather like demanding to know whether there IS, or IS NOT something north of the north pole. As it happens, it is not that one answer is correct and the other mistaken; rather, neither has any meaning: "There is nothing north of the north pole" has no more meaning than "there is something north of the north pole."  

So it is not that your answer to your question is correct (or incorrect). Rather, the conceptual tools that you are applying, which are so useful in ordinary contexts and that you conceptualize as sweeping out all of the possible alternatives, may be wholly inappropriate to the issue at hand.

That is the alternative that you and so many others are not seeing.

Date: 2007/01/06 09:25:07, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Lenny:
Quote
Here, I give the atheists full points -- they take full responsibility for their lives, and they don't try to foist responsibility for their lives off onto some Big Daddy in the Sky (and make no mistake, "Big Daddy in the Sky" is exactly how the fundies want their god to be).

It's one thing I find so liberating about all the Asian "religious" traditions.  In all of them, YOU are the captain of your own ship.  You choose your own course, you decide when and where to turn, and you are responsible for everything that happens.  There's no Big Daddy in the Sky to watch out for you.  You are entirely on your own.

Here I wonder if, having aptly jettisoned parents floating in the sky, you are not over-valorizing freedom, agency, and the personal self.  

After all, another tradition of the East, particularly Buddhist and Zen Buddhist traditions, is to underscore the illusory nature of the personal ego, and to attempt to experience (however briefly) its dissolution.

Date: 2007/01/06 21:01:08, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
113. TRoutMac  // Jan 6th 2007 at 4:20 pm...
...Well said. As usual, we find that Darwinists aren’t thinking “big” enough to consider that it’s not just predators and prey that need to be designed. It’s the whole system… and examples like this wasp are far less puzzling when you consider that they fit into a larger system.

Darwinists, it appears, simply hate thinking big. Interesting...

Contemptible ignorance.

Date: 2007/01/06 21:21:55, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
GilDodg'em quotes Steven Meyer:
 
Quote
Stephen Meyer on Engineers and ID
by GilDodgen on January 6th, 2007 · No Comments

"If they can’t persuade those people, that the 19th-century mechanism of selection and variation is up to this task, I think that the theory is in serious trouble."

THAT's a problem. I suggest informing your science with a mechanism concocted 25 or 30 centuries earlier.

Date: 2007/01/07 08:27:49, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
A demonstration of the power of selection:
       
Quote
Stephen Meyer on Engineers and ID
by GilDodgen on January 6th, 2007 · 5 Comments
"And the question of origins is essentially a question of engineering. How did these systems get built? And when you have so many top-level professors of engineering — in mechanical, electrical or software engineering — saying, I think we’re looking at systems that clearly show evidence of design, I think the Darwinists have a serious problem."

Then, like the Three Stooges singing "hello, Hello, HELLO...":

5 RESPONSES SO FAR
1. Atom // Jan 6th 2007 at 11:57 pm
I agree.
2. IDist // Jan 7th 2007 at 12:10 am
I am a software engineering student..what we see in life is programming, software engineering, DESIGN!
3. benkeshet // Jan 7th 2007 at 1:03 am
Agreed.
4. kairos // Jan 7th 2007 at 8:33 am
I completely agree too.
5. Joseph // Jan 7th 2007 at 9:06 am
I have always thought as Dr Meyers answered above.

{edit} These guys should GET A ROOM.
{edit}
6. Mats // Jan 7th 2007 at 9:36 am
I agree as well.

Date: 2007/01/07 10:07:19, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Garrison Keillor, on yesterday’s Prairie Home Companion, included a somewhat nonsensical reference to intelligent design in a Dusty and Lefty skit.

While on the desert, Dusty waxed philosophical about a variety of topics, much to Lefty’s (Keillor’s) annoyance. Turns out the weed he has been chewing has psychotropic properties, and Dusty needs to recover in the hospital.  

Lefty awaits his recovery in a tavern, where he encounters a threatening, pugilistic cowboy, who brags that he wrestles pigs, tackled typhoid, knits better than anyone in the county, and demands both “quit staring at me” and “look at me when you say that.”  Eventually he espouses the notion that Hawaii (from where the program originated this week) gives evidence of intelligent design, and of a designer who wants us to experience happiness, grace, and love.  

After wondering where he came up with that notion, Lefty points to the contradiction between his espousal of grace and his pugilistic threats:

Lefty: “You wouldn’t know grace if it came up and bit you.”

Pugilist: “That’s the thing about grace. It would never come up and bite you.”

A fist fight ensues, and many blows are exchanged.  

Lefty finally remarks, “You know, the fact that we are fighting shows that we love each other.”  

Pugilist: “Huh?”  (hesitates)

Lefty socks the guy and knocks him out.  He comments to Dusty as they skedaddle, “I know its harsh, but sometimes you’ve got to throw these guys a paradox in order to get away.”

Date: 2007/01/07 20:41:44, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
DaveScot:
Quote
Don’t refer me to any crank science again.

Savor this moment.

Date: 2007/01/08 06:40:08, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
DaveScot
Quote
So you navigate by instinct in the dark with arms outstretched like a blind man to the front of the toilet, lift the lid, aim in the right general direction, listen for the splash, then center it by ear.

Super-secret ID research under way.

Date: 2007/01/08 11:57:28, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
This is becoming very entertaining.  Review the Meyer quote:
Quote
Oftentimes people have criticized the intelligent design movement because there are so many prominent professors of engineering in our number. But we don’t make any apologies for that, because engineers are precisely the scientists that know what it takes to design things, to build things.

My emphasis.  

But DaveScot says:
Quote
I wouldn’t give you a plugged nickel for any engineering professor. Surely you’ve heard the saying “if you can’t do, then teach”.

Again, my emphasis.

So, Davey, it follows that the value of Meyer’s view, and GilDodg’em’s quote of Meyer’s view is...

(And the full quote is, “If you can’t do, teach.  And if you can’t teach, become Blog Czar where neither doing nor teaching matter.”)

Date: 2007/01/08 13:26:59, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
From the exploding creationists peeing in the dark thread:
Quote
“My aim is to keep this bathroom clean. Your aim will help.”

Can't they get anything right over there?  It goes, "We aim to please. You aim too, please."

Date: 2007/01/09 06:34:43, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
DaveScot whips out a few thousand lines of of code WHILE centering his stream by ear:
 
Quote
Over at ATBC I noticed a couple members of the anti-ID peanut gallery clucking to themselves that mutations plotted on a fitness curve have a random distribution. IOW there is no predictability in where any one mutation will fall on a fitness curve (harmful/neutral/beneficial). It will be a scattershot plot without any pattern. Thus even if the universe is deterministic and no mutation is truly random they appear random when plotted on a fitness curve.

This is just utter dreck. You can predict with almost 100% confidence that any given mutation will be either harmful or neutral on a fitness curve. That means that a large fraction of the plot, that portion of it in the beneficial third, will have few if any points plotted in it.

This codes for the straw prediction that something proportionate to 1/3 of mutations should be beneficial, because he can divide the fitness domain into harmful, neutral, or beneficial.  But LO!  We don't see beneficial mutations anywhere near that often. Only "few if any" mutations are beneficial.  Hence evolutionary biology is refuted and life is designed.  

Dave's passage crashes for at least two reasons:

1) The discussion at AtBC pertained to the nature of randomness, specifically, the fact that mutations, however determined, are random with respect to the  local fitness of a given organism in a given environment.  They need not be, and in fact are not, truly random, equally probable, etc. This fact, by itself, makes no predictions regarding which mutations will in fact be beneficial, not the least because this is often determined, in part, in relation to environmental/ecological contingencies. DaveScot's code fragment entirely misses the point of this discussion, owing to poor comprehension.

2) No one, but no one, but DaveScot himself has suggested the absurd assertion that, because you can characterize the fitness implications of a given mutation as either harmful/neutral/beneficial, and mutations are pseudo random in the above sense, that we therefore predict a roughly equal distribution of mutations among these domains.

Methinks you squeezed your weenie a bit too hard as you excreted this gem, Dave.

Date: 2007/01/10 19:20:01, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
IQ is a slippery business.

We don’t have to look far for an object lesson; indeed, take a squint at the meandering opening chapter of “The Design of Life” by Dembski and Wells, available through links at Overbearing Ungulates:

 
Quote
William James Sidis (1898–1944) was perhaps the smartest person who ever lived. Estimates of his IQ range between 250 and 300. At eighteen months he could read the New York Times. At two he taught himself Latin. At three he learned Greek. At four he was typing letters in French and English. At five he wrote a treatise on anatomy and stunned people with his mathematical ability. At eight he graduated from Brookline High School in Massachusetts. He was about to enter Harvard, but the entrance board suggested he take a few years off to develop socially. He complied, and entered Harvard at eleven. At sixteen he graduated cum laude, and then became the youngest professor in history. He inferred the possibility of black holes twenty years before Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar did. As an adult, he could speak more than forty languages and dialects.

Smart guy. But they continue:
 
Quote
Yet the stress of possessing such an amazing intellect took its toll on Sidis. Instead of being appreciated and admired for his intellectual gifts, he was regarded as a freak—an intellectual performer to be stared at rather than a fellow human being to be esteemed. As a teenager at Harvard, he suffered a nervous breakdown. As a professor at Rice University, he was unable to bear the constant media attention. In his early twenties, he resigned his professorship and withdrew from all serious intellectual pursuits. In 1924, a reporter found him working at a low-paying job in a Wall Street office. Sidis told the reporter that all he wanted was anonymity in a job that placed no demands on him. He spent the rest of his life working menial jobs.

This bad outcome notwithstanding, Wells and Dembski offer Sidis as evidence of intelligent design:
 
Quote
Design theorists have not reached a consensus about just how humans emerged. Nevertheless, they have reached a consensus about the indispensability of intelligence in human origins, regardless of the process by which humans emerged. Thus, in particular, they argue that an evolutionary process unguided by intelligence cannot adequately account for the remarkable intellectual gifts of a William James Sidis or the remarkable moral goodness of a Mother Teresa.

Is it a surprise that certain biographical facts regarding Mr. Sidis didn’t make it into Dembski and Wells’ account? From Wikipedia:
 
Quote
In 1919, Sidis was arrested for participating in a socialist May Day parade in Boston that turned into a mêlée and was sentenced to 18 months in prison under the Sedition Act of 1918 for rioting and assault. Sidis' arrest featured prominently in newspapers, as his early graduation from Harvard had garnered considerable local celebrity; during the trial, Sidis stated that he had been a conscientious objector of the World War I draft, did not believe in a god, and that he was a socialist (though he later favored a quasi-libertarian system that he invented)….

Sidis died of a cerebral hemorrhage on July 17, 1944, at age 46 in Boston, Massachusetts; his father had died from the same malady in 1923 at age 56.

It strikes me as amazing that Dembski holds out this life as an exemplar of intelligent design. Accepting their account at face value, Sidis’ life was tragic and, ultimately, devolved into mediocrity. Moreover, the intelligent design of his brain apparently didn’t extend to his cerebral vascular system, which killed him before the age of 50.  

And, obviously, the lesson here is that IQ alone doesn’t guarantee productivity, relevance, or a particularly well-adapted life. The Wiki article concludes by noting that, during the last years of of his life, Sidis “devoted himself to his hobby of collecting streetcar transfers, published periodicals, and taught small circles of interested friends his version of American history.”  

Sound vaguely familiar? (minus the REAL genius IQ)

Date: 2007/01/10 20:29:54, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Kevin Padian on DaveScot:

"Dembski’s cerberus and familiar, who specializes in character assassination and slander."  

As though to affirm Padian's characterization, DS goes after Barbara Forrest, on Dembski's behalf:

"In any state she’s a totally gutless, craven wimp."

Did I mention that IQ alone doesn’t guarantee productivity, relevance, or a particularly well-adapted life?

Date: 2007/01/11 06:33:16, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
WAD: Also, you might leave it between God and me just how much of the peace of Christ I am experiencing — I frankly don’t see you in a position to judge that.

 
Quote
DS: there isn’t anything that gets you praying better than waking up naked on Rosarita Beach Sunday morning with a mouthful of sand, an empty bottle of tequila, and no idea which hotel is yours.

OW! That HURTS!   

(Whiplash injury)

Date: 2007/01/11 07:36:04, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
WAD discloses his longings:
Quote
If I ever became the president of a university (per impossibile), I would dissolve the biology department and divide the faculty with tenure that I couldn’t get rid of into two new departments: those who know engineering and how it applies to biological systems would be assigned to the new “Department of Biological Engineering”; the rest, and that includes the evolutionists, would be consigned to the new “Department of Nature Appreciation” (didn’t Darwin think of himself as a naturalist?).

Repetitive dream images that quickly volatilized as he awoke naked on Rosarita Beach one Sunday morning with a mouthful of sand, an empty bottle of tequila, and no idea which hotel was his.

Date: 2007/01/12 08:42:19, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
The main thrust of the article is to point out that Talk Origins didn't reference recent studies from 2006. Of course, the article was written in 2003, so that might explain some of the lapse.

Wade expected the Talk Origins article to be front-loaded with bibliographic entries that emerge as time passes and the articles themselves arise in the publishing environment.

It could happen.

Date: 2007/01/12 10:28:02, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
I think this question, posed by WAD, was supposed to be a breaking ball, but it didn't break, and instead hung right over the plate:
 
Quote
Is it that ID proponents don’t understand evolution or that we understand it well enough and think it’s bogus?

I, for one, have never read or heard an account of evolutionary mechanisms, offered by advocates of ID, that accurately presented the many facets of contemporary evolutionary theory and the evidence that supports it.  Never.

So the question should be, Do the distorted, straw-accounts of evolutionary theory and the evidence that supports it presented by ID theorists reflect misunderstanding, or deliberate distortion and dishonesty?

Of course, the answser varies. Most of the idiots commenting at UD clearly don't, in fact, have (or want) a clue vis genuine evolutionary biology or its implications.

Others (WAD, Meyers, Wells) almost certainly understand evolutionary theory, and instead embark on a program of deliberate distortion.

Date: 2007/01/12 18:15:10, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Jan. 12 2007,17:29)

You know, somehow I knew DaveTard would look like that. My Comic Book Guy guess wasn't too far off the mark.

Suddenly I see why he spends all his time with his preposterous alpha-male posturing and Mr. Big Tough Ex-Marine nonsense. It, uh, makes more sense now.

And I am more convinced than ever that by no means does he have a line of beautiful women begging him to sire their children.

Holy impression management!  DS finally permits his image to appear and selects this photo? What, is he sitting there in his boxers?

And that's Dembski's "Make my day-planner" look.

Date: 2007/01/12 18:43:02, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
OMG, its the first Irreducibly Complex NOODLY APPENDAGE!

Date: 2007/01/12 21:20:09, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Regarding hallucinogens, there are caveats in order.  I came away from those experiences (early to middle 1970s) with utter conviction that what I had experienced were "neuroepiphanies," the disclosure of brain structure in vision and other cortically mediated experiences (and much more), and the utter identity of my conscious experience with my neurobiology.  As I remarked in my earlier-posted essay, "nothing could more clearly demonstrate the neural basis of consciousness than its profound alteration through the insinuation of tiny amounts of such a simple substance." There are very interesting models of consciousness (the thalamocortical model of conscousness comes to mind) that are consistent with those experiences.

But not everyone came away with the same conclusions. Others with whom I shared these experiences (or at least the substances that initiated the experiences) emerged with very different conclusions, finding in their explorations deep spiritual significance regarding the immateriality of soul, the reality of repeated and reincarnated lives, and so on.  Stuff I regarded as fairy tales.  Yet everyone was, unquestionably, an earnest and open-minded explorer.  

A final caveat recalls the sober reality that a companion of ours, who similarly frolicked in the meadows of neurotransmission, became quite psychotic, developed paranoid delusions, and required psychiatric hospitalization for many months.  He may well have been vulnerable to developing such a disorder in a way that we were not - but that is hindsight. His earlier experiences were much like our own.  So I would never get into the business of commending these substances to others. Very risky.

Date: 2007/01/13 10:01:03, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
DaveScot says:
Quote
To be blunt you’re asking questions that you should be getting answers to yourself. Our purpose here isn’t to teach you the basics of biology. This simply isn’t an appropriate venue for it.

Boy, that's for goddamn sure.

Date: 2007/01/13 12:04:45, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill

Date: 2007/01/13 12:42:41, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Not many know it: After the Bar Closes has a theme song.  Leonard Cohen's Closing Time from The Future:

Closing Time

Ah we're drinking and we're dancing
and the band is really happening
and the Johnny Walker wisdom running high
And my very sweet companion
she's the Angel of Compassion
she's rubbing half the world against her thigh
And every drinker every dancer
lifts a happy face to thank her
the fiddler fiddles something so sublime
all the women tear their blouses off
and the men they dance on the polka-dots
and it's partner found, it's partner lost
and it's he11 to pay when the fiddler stops:
it's CLOSING TIME
Yeah the women tear their blouses off
and the men they dance on the polka-dots
and it's partner found, it's partner lost
and it's he11 to pay when the fiddler stops:
it's CLOSING TIME

Ah we're lonely, we're romantic
and the cider's laced with acid
and the Holy Spirit's crying, "Where's the beef?"
And the moon is swimming naked
and the summer night is fragrant
with a mighty expectation of relief
So we struggle and we stagger
down the snakes and up the ladder
to the tower where the blessed hours chime
and I swear it happened just like this:
a sigh, a cry, a hungry kiss
the Gates of Love they budged an inch
I can't say much has happened since
but CLOSING TIME

I swear it happened just like this:
a sigh, a cry, a hungry kiss
the Gates of Love they budged an inch
I can't say much has happened since
CLOSING TIME

I loved you for your beauty
but that doesn't make a fool of me:
you were in it for your beauty too
and I loved you for your body
there's a voice that sounds like God to me
declaring, declaring, declaring that your body's really really really you
And I loved you when our love was blessed
and I love you now there's nothing left
but sorrow and a sense of overtime
and I missed you since the place got wrecked
And I just don't care what happens next
looks like freedom but it feels like death
it's something in between, I guess
it's CLOSING TIME

Yeah I missed you since the place got wrecked
By the winds of change and the weeds of sex
looks like freedom but it feels like death
it's something in between, I guess
it's CLOSING TIME

Yeah we're drinking and we're dancing
but there's nothing really happening
and the place is dead as Heaven on a Saturday night
And my very close companion
gets me fumbling gets me laughing
she's a hundred but she's wearing
something tight
and I lift my glass to the Awful Truth
which you can't reveal to the Ears of Youth
except to say it isn't worth a dime
And the whole dam place goes crazy twice
and it's once for the devil and once for Christ
but the Boss don't like these dizzy heights
we're busted in the blinding lights,
busted in the blinding lights
of CLOSING TIME

The whole dam place goes crazy twice
and it's once for the devil and once for Christ
but the Boss don't like these dizzy heights
we're busted in the blinding lights,
busted in the blinding lights
of CLOSING TIME

Oh the women tear their blouses off
and the men they dance on the polka-dots
It's CLOSING TIME
And it's partner found, it's partner lost
and it's he11 to pay when the fiddler stops
It's CLOSING TIME
I swear it happened just like this:
a sigh, a cry, a hungry kiss
It's CLOSING TIME
The Gates of Love they budged an inch
I can't say much has happened since
But CLOSING TIME
I loved you when our love was blessed
I love you now there's nothing left
But CLOSING TIME
I miss you since the place got wrecked
By the winds of change and the weeds of sex.

Date: 2007/01/13 15:43:52, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
This always bugs me. If it could care less, then that must mean it cares to some degree. If it couldn't care less, then it doesn't care at all. People always say that though.

You're right, Phonon, but your point is mute.

Date: 2007/01/14 15:40:35, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (jujuquisp @ Jan. 14 2007,12:21)
For anyone who is interested, I've made toilet paper with DaveTard's likeness on each perforated sheet.  It will be for sale via my website at $5 per roll not including shipping.  One word of warning-- until I get the kinks worked out, it is very abrasive to the anus.

What, did DaveScot express irritation?

Date: 2007/01/14 21:22:24, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Richardthughes @ Jan. 14 2007,19:59)
ID - can detect supernatural design, can't accurately age the earth or universe.

I think the initial successes of ID flapdoodle aged me a bit, however.

Date: 2007/01/15 06:43:49, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (lkeithlu @ Jan. 15 2007,06:41)
Not to be too obvious, but this is yet another thread on "design" that insists that (unlike evolution) is not a science-stopper. Yet, not one reference to ongoing research. Did I miss something? If the science has not stopped, where is it?

http://www.uncommondescent.com/archives/1956#comments

What they mean to say is that evolutionary theory is a seance stopper, while ID and the seances are compatible.

Date: 2007/01/15 17:26:47, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
We have these challenges:

 
Quote
The Intelligent Design Zoo
William Dembski

...cage photo...

 
Quote
The Primordial Goo
William Dembski

In light of the challenge proposed to ID in the previous post (i.e., “The Intelligent Design Zoo”), here is a parallel challenge directed at materialistic evolutionists: Take the goo depicted in the photo below, autoclave it until none of the organic material here belongs to living cells (i.e., till all the cells are dead), and then try to reconstitute life without teleological guidance...

I set up both experiments, exactly as described by Dembski: autoclaved goo at one end of my basement, the invitation cage at the other.  

Look what I got!



(Not sure who wins that)

Date: 2007/01/16 18:47:04, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Richardthughes @ Jan. 16 2007,13:32)
I agree, although Joe seems to be suggesting a new type of explanitory filter. "Is that science, miss jones?"

I think you're onto to something there.  

Wait. Let me restate.

JoeG HAS invented a new sort of explanatory filter: one that filters all scientific explanation.

Date: 2007/01/16 19:00:53, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Dr.GH @ Jan. 16 2007,15:56)
When I listen to Steve Meyer I shudder.  Not at what he is saying, but at how well he says it.

Absolutely. As I previously observed (on 12/23): Meyer is by far the slickest and smartest-sounding empty container in the ID bunch - he has a high IQ, scientistic patter nailed.

Date: 2007/01/16 19:24:42, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
"The banana obviously appears designed, with it's tear along ribs,
taste, and texture.  The curve simplifies eating, since the wrist can
be held straighter.  The taste consists mainly of the esters Octyl
Acetate, and the texture is due to a unique cellular structure.  The
'asexual' Cavendish banana has no seeds, is highly edible, and has
become a staple for much of the world's developing countries.

Don't dismiss this out of hand. Think about it: NOTHING is wasted.  After providing delicious nutrition AND becoming the foundation of tropical cultures, the banana gives us the peel, which upon discard onto a suitably smooth surface deploys in five-sided, petal-like manner, and thereby carefully places a lubricated membrane in contact with said surface while facing a tough, non-slip grip upward - arranging for generations of mirthful pratfalls and humorous missteps! The designer cares about us, and wants us to laugh!

Date: 2007/01/17 06:33:28, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Jan. 16 2007,22:33)
   
Quote

41

DaveScot


...

Frankly it’s a bloody miracle that life still exists at all in the presence of random mutation and natural selection. It’s a clear testimony to the elegance of the initial front-loaded genome billions of years ago that it got life this far with so many obstacles in the way. [/b]

"Miracle." DS admirably boils ID's problems down to a single word. The prescient classic:

Date: 2007/01/17 10:02:47, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (BWE @ Jan. 17 2007,00:36)
The caveats are strangely, 30 years old.

Hallucinogens messed up messed up people. The rest of us figured out what to look for and stopped taking them.

You only live once. Even to a zen buddist. Might as well give it a he!! of a go.

I'm tawkin' caveat, not prohibition.  And don't neglect the first, and maybe more important, caveat.

Vis messing up messed up people, it isn't that simple. There is current research demonstrating that some hallucinogens benefit persons suffering disabling obsessive compulsive disorders. And I don't know that we know that it is only those with a priori psychiatric conditions, perhaps prodromal, who suffer harmful consequences.  After all, we are pointing to experiences that often profoundly reorganize experience of oneself and one's place in the world.  Such consequential experiences may not be compatible a minority of otherwise healthy people. And my point above, even if it were true that hallucinogens only mess up messed up people, that we can't necessarily know in advance who those people are.

Date: 2007/01/18 09:43:31, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (k.e @ Jan. 18 2007,08:35)
Have you ever read Huxley's 'Island'? That might give you an inkling on what I'm going on about.

Attention!  Attention!

Date: 2007/01/18 11:03:16, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
DaveScot, autodidact that he is, is unfamiliar with much of the literature pertaining to evolutionary biology.  But does he read what he himself writes?  Apparently not. Start here.
 
Quote
Since natural selection must by definition act on changes in fitness (differential reproduction), and those changes in fitness caused by random mutation are always or almost always detrimental, natural selection is really natural deselection as it works in almost all cases to deselect organisms whose genome has wandered from its optimized incarnation through random degradation.

OK Dave. We get that you can’t grasp the sense in which mutations are random – that mutations are random in the sense that they occur without respect to the local fitness of the organism in which they occur – and that you insist on conflating “random” in this sense with the false assertion that evolutionary theory predicts that mutations are equally likely to be beneficial, neutral, or deleterious.  We get that you missed the fact that ALL standard models of mutation+natural selection posit that benficial mutations are relatively rare.  We GET that.  No need to make a fool of yourself.

But there is more. In the above quote you assert that natural selection is really “deselection, as it works in almost all cases to deselect organisms whose genome has wandered from its optimized incarnation through random degradation.”  Hence it shouldn’t be a surprise that adapted organisms remain, well, consistent with their “kind,” and retain the integrity of their genome.  

But just Monday you marveled as follows:
 
Quote
Frankly it’s a bloody miracle that life still exists at all in the presence of random mutation and natural selection. It’s a clear testimony to the elegance of the initial front-loaded genome billions of years ago that it got life this far with so many obstacles in the way.

Ok, Dave, which is it?  Does NS work to conserve forms? Or to degrade them? And, given that in your first post you identify stabilizing selection as a mechanism for removing deleterious mutations and ensuring the integrity of adapted organisms, why also posit an elegantly designed genome that is maintained over time by means of error correction (as you have argued elsewhere many times)?

Date: 2007/01/18 17:47:12, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (phonon @ Jan. 18 2007,17:12)
01/18/2007

10:52 am

WinglesS,

Carnivorous animals before the flood wouldn’t contradict the biblical teaching.

Dear WitlesS,

Virtually every antediluvian animal I know is argumentative, confrontational, even pugilistic.  So I think it highly likely that they would contradict biblical teaching, just to piss you off.

Date: 2007/01/18 20:30:54, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote



...How many people believe that a rock, for example, can "intend" for something to happen?...

TRoutMac Replica
Intelligent (Graphic) Designer


Not sure about a rock. But a box of rocks just posted the above, and that's got to count for something.

Date: 2007/01/18 21:16:18, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
DaveScot does ID research, and comes up with the following:



DS renders the above as follows:
     
Quote
Furthermore, Americans score essentially equal or much higher than Eurupeans in answering questions about science correctly with the sole exception of “humans evolved from animals”. The funny thing is that Americans might be right and the test is wrong in that regard as it’s nowhere near proven that humans evolved by chance from animals - after all, Americans get more right answers everywhere else.

Never mind that a year ago David was flaming UD commenters who denied common descent.  

I would have sworn that the SAT includes questions pertaining to charts and graphs.

[Edit] DaveScot's rendition calls this to mind:

Q: Why are women so bad at measurement?

A: They're constantly told that this is six inches (finger and thumb four inches apart)

Date: 2007/01/20 17:57:57, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
We're friggin' BUSTED.  
         
Quote
20 January 2007

Bats fly uniquely.
idnet.com.au

In case any one accidentally comes to the (?obvious) conclusion that the finding of yet more evidently brilliant design in biology may support ID, everyone must include the customary clear homage to the creator of all life, NDE.

Science Daily “Kenneth Breuer and Sharon Swartz are determined to understand the detailed aerodynamics of bat flight – and ultimately the evolutionary path that created it.”

“The assumption has always been that bats evolved from some sort of flying squirrel-type animals,” says Swartz an associate professor in ecology and evolutionary biology at Brown University. “Gliding has evolved in mammals seven times…. Now it doesn’t look like bats have any relationship to these gliding things.”

“Interestingly both Breuer and Schwartz remark that it took them months to find a common language and set of expectations.”

See?

No? Maybe I can clarify.

One of the authors, Swartz, is an associate professor in ecology and evolutionary biology at Brown University, and is interested in how bats evolved their capabilities.

See?  Busted!  See?!

They are using research to challenge assumptions. They coordinated expectations as they designed their experiment.  

Assumptions.  Evolutionary biologists studying evolution.  EXPECTATIONS, for God's sake.  Oh, the italics, the italics.

(OK, OK, I don't get it either.)

Date: 2007/01/20 22:33:49, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Uncommonly Denyse holds forth on evolutionary psychology here.

Denyse - your entire essay counts for nothing, for a very simple reason. Given that you reject the essential notion that evolution proceeds by means of the selection for adaptations that further survival, you should execute a Full Stop right there. Your position is that "evolutionary psychology is mistaken because human beings did not arise in the manner understood by evolutionary biology; human beings were designed, and human adaptations have no other meaningful history." Full Stop.  

We understand that everything that follows beyond that Full Stop is simply polemics, and ultimately a particular (and peculiar) brand of Christian apologetics.

For those of us who grasp that humanity has a very deep history, and that adaptations displayed by contemporary humans (both physical and behavioral) share that history, the effort to better understand that history is a worthy scientific endeavor. That said, evolutionary psychology is confronted by a very specific, difficult problem: increasingly as one moves deeper into the past, behavior leaves few fossils. It follows that our knowledge of the behavioral dimensions of that history is likely fated to remain somewhat incomplete and speculative. It does not follow that human behavioral adaptations have no such history.

We are not entirely bereft, however, because there are several lines of observation and experimentation that permit a certain degree of "triangulation" upon facets of that history. These include comparative investigations into the behavioral endowments of primates generally and the great apes specifically (such as pursued at the Max Plank Institute in Germany); developmental psychology (which traces the emergence of behavioral endowments that have a clear genetic, and hence evolutionary, basis); cultural anthropology and cultural psychology (which tease out that which is universal from that which is cultural in human behavior); and cognitive neuroscience, which in some cases discloses neural structures that have clear bearing upon specific aspects of the evolutionary history of, for example, human empathy and human theory of mind (mirror neurons come to mind). Broadly speaking, constrained speculation vis these lines of investigation from within the framework of human evolutionary psychology has been an effective heuristic for these investigations, and human behavior, cognition, and development often are, in turn, illuminated by this research.

Your position, grounded as it is in the Full Stop of "design," is irrelevant to these efforts. Very much in the same manner that ID contributes nothing substantive to our understanding of the natural history of the physical complexity of living organisms (because it denies that any such history exists), and has therefore rendered itself irrelevant to meaningful scientific investigation before leaving the gate, your ID position on the origin of human behavioral adaptations (e.g., origins in a "divine mind") contributes nothing to our understanding of the origins of human behavioral adaptations, including the intelligence that you apparently admire.

Date: 2007/01/20 23:23:51, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Jason sez
Quote
This obsession with so many in science to translate all that we do into terms of biology, genetics, chemistry is absurd.

I wonder what Jason thinks all that gooey stuff inside him is DOING.

Date: 2007/01/21 08:46:05, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (lkeithlu @ Jan. 21 2007,07:52)
Many behaviors exist that seem similar to behaviors in apes (and other mammals too). However, the human mind is extremely plastic and humans have a very long infancy/childhood. Most behaviors are learned, with a small amount that would be called instinctive.

...What would help evo-psych would be to compare the behavior of apes, humans and a common ancestor of these two. However, that is, of course, impossible.

It seems axiomatic to me that any person, at any given moment, expresses three tiers of history: one’s personal history, the history of the culture in which one is embedded, and evolutionary history. These are progressively more general, yet expressed simultaneously. As I write these words, I express ideas that arise from a personal history that is in many ways contingent and idiosyncratic - as is everyone’s - hence the uniqueness and incompleteness of my subjective view of the world.  Simultaneously, these words carry forward elements of my enclosing culture, in that their lexical meanings and grammatical functions were historically established and stabilized within our language community over no more than the last 7000 years, the span over which languages as diverse as Sanskrit, Gaelic, Latin, and Greek evolved from a common linguistic ancestor. Hence their appearance here simultaneously reflects something of my own purposing and a contingent thread of Western linguistic history, as carried forward in both writer and reader. Also reflected herein is our human evolutionary heritage. Arguably, the ability to both construct and comprehend grammatically complex speech is an evolutionary adaptation of the human species (e.g. Pinker and The Language Instinct).

Nested at still greater removes are aspects of hominid, primate, mammalian, and vertebrate organization, reflecting progressively deeper evolutionary origins and increasingly ancient expressions of chance and contingency.  

All told, each of us carries forward, and is embedded in, an astounding quantity of personal, cultural and biological history, with the result that many human psychological states often carry “the ancient alongside the new” (thank you Daniel Povinelli). On this view, there is no necessary contradiction between explanations at the individual, cultural, and evolutionary levels; all may, and oftentimes must, operate simultaneously in human behavior.

Date: 2007/01/21 09:31:57, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
Ph.D.s in Obfuscation — Or, Simple Truths Denied
GilDodgen

In another forum, Denyse wrote:

Bear with a simple lay hack here a moment: Why must we know a designer’s intentions in order to detect design?

If the fire marshall’s office suspects arson, do the investigators worry much about WHY?

Surely they investigate, confirm their finding, and turn the information over to other authorities and interested parties, without having the least idea why someone torched the joint.

ALL they need to be sure of is that the joint did not torch itself, via natural causes.

The observation Denyse makes is so obvious that one would need a Ph.D. in obfuscation not to see it. Common sense is not so common, at least among those with a foundational commitment to materialism.


Mother of God, this dead horse again. I thought I smelled something. Is it really necessary to remind Gil that arson investigation is dis-analogous with ID in that we ALREADY KNOW A GREAT DEAL ABOUT THE AGENTS WHO COMMIT ARSON, and that knowledge informs the inferences of arson investigation?  Holy shit.

Date: 2007/01/21 21:41:53, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ Jan. 21 2007,19:11)
Quote (deadman_932 @ Jan. 21 2007,19:01)
####, what a dolt. DaveTard posts on ARSON ...then to save his ass from reality ( as Rich noted ) he posts on *some* FIRES being "acts of god."

How exactly does he determine which are, and which aren't . . . ?

Nothing to determine - all fires are arson. In some instances the arsonist is a person.  In the remaining the arsonist is God.

Date: 2007/01/21 21:46:24, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Richardthughes @ Jan. 21 2007,19:18)
I'M DID A SCHEMATIC FOR A ZERO WAVELENGTH FIRE MAKER AT DELL AND MICHEAL LOVED HIT AND HE WAS LIKE "THAT'S GREAT DAVE WE'LL PUT IT IN YOUR SPECIAL FILE ALONG WITH "SHOES FOR PIGEONS" AND "HOUSEBOATS FOR HUMANITY" AND THEN HE SAIS MAKE SURE THE LABELS ARE THE RIGHT WAY UP YOU ARE MY BEST DESIGNER, DAVE.

I think Dave just confessed to being the agent behind the rash of Dell battery fires that occurred when he was there. No doubt he regarded that as an "Act of God," given his misplaced self-esteem.

Date: 2007/01/23 00:33:46, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (stevestory @ Jan. 22 2007,23:39)
Barry A puts the tard-pedal to the metal.

Shorter Barry A: According to the Evilootionary Nachuralists, arrowheads weren't caused by no Injuns of the Gaps, they'z caused by materialistic causes.

"God of the Gap-toothed" is starting to feel right.

Date: 2007/01/23 06:48:32, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
BarryA starts to come around:

B:  "Wow Grandpa, you're saying that some Injuns designed and made these things?"

G: "No.  They clearly display design, and I am an expert in detecting design. But I am not saying there was a designer."

B: "Grandpa, but who made them?  Do you think it was just one tribe, two, or even more?"

G: "We don't speculate on who made them.  I can reliably detect design, but can't say anything about a designer, or whether there were two designers."

B: "Wha...Ok.  Wow, Grandpa, but when were they made? Can we tell if they were made last week?  Or maybe thousands of years ago.  That would be COOL!"

G: "I see design.  And they could have been designed last week, and they could have been designed thousands of years ago. My design expertise doesn't give me any way to tell."

B: "Ok Grandpa. But wow!  Wouldn't it be cool if we could find out about the Injuns?  Where did they live?  If we could figure out where they lived, and what they were doing with these pointy things, we would know where to look for more, and how deep to dig!"

G: "Grandson, you just aren't listening. I am not saying there were Injuns, or anything about a designer.  I am saying they clearly display design, which I can prove mathematically, but we can't say anything about a designer."

B: "Grandpa, wouldn't it be cool if we looked at the pointy things and figured out how they were made?  I wonder if they were all made the same way?  Does it take a long time, or can they make one right away?"

G: "These objects absolutely reflect design.  Any idiot can see that.  But you have to understand that we can't say anything about a designer, or even that there was a designer, or two designers, or when they designed, or how they turned the design into a real thing, or why they were designed, or anything else. I am only interested in detecting the design they display."

B: "But Grandpa, I'll bet we can figure out SOMETHING about the pointy things that would tell us if they are old or not, or something about the designer, or how they made them, or when, or why.  WHY won't you think about that?"

G: "Grandson, that's the last bit of idiocy I'm going to hear from you.  Hasta la vista Baby!" (Grandpa smacks the shit out of his insolent grandson, and permanently terminates their relationship).

Date: 2007/01/23 16:05:14, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (JohnW @ Jan. 23 2007,15:52)
Maybe they can invite Dembski to lead a farty noise workshop.

Title?  "Inherit the Wind."

Date: 2007/01/24 06:36:14, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Altabin @ Jan. 24 2007,04:41)
Richard/"Troutmac", this is too tardly to be plausible.

TRoutMac is a doughy-looking guy name Peter Chadwell who lives in Bend, Oregon.

On the basis of the dopey photo he uses at Overweening Ungulates  I would have sworn he was a lonely hebephile attempting to ingratiate himself with the teens.  Instead, he's got a pleasant-appearing wife, two small children and a new home in the suburbs. (Which doesn't mean...). He does a lot of fly fishing and looks like he could be a likable guy, so long as you confine the conversation to catching flies with a hook.  

Trout came up in his dad's print shop and trained at an art institute in Seattle. He appears to be unencumbered by science education or knowledge of evolutionary biology. These are perfect qualifications for the Discovery Institute, and he has at least two pro-ID essays that were originally published in the local newspaper reposted at the DI website.  

A Christmas wreath was stolen from his front door in December.  He literally called the police and thereby made it into the local police blotter. (Unless there is another guy named Peter Chadwell in Bend, in which case I hit the wrong address and should return the wreath).

Date: 2007/01/24 08:28:25, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Lee humps consciousness:
 
Quote
24 January 2007

The Mystery of Consciousness
LeeBowman

...in my view, this kind of data handling points to a kind of ’specified’ or ‘engineered’ data handling, although scientists will state that it was merely due to beneficial mutations that improved survival.

I wonder if Lee's detachable ghost understands that it is nonsensical to simultaneously insist that higher human cognitive processes are not material in nature AND that such processes emerge from an exquisitely designed physical system of neural circuits that display CSI?

(ID never dares indicate whether this is CSI Miami, Vegas, or New York).

Date: 2007/01/25 12:51:41, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Altabin @ Jan. 25 2007,05:18)
GilDodgen 01/24/2007 8:57pm: The future of atheism is bleak, because humans are aware of their mortality, and are programmed with an ineluctable sense that their lives must have some ultimate purpose and meaning — otherwise, life is absurd. Despite claims to the contrary, atheism peddles nihilism as its ultimate product, and most people intuitively recognize this.

Gil: Were we programmed with such an intuition - with the ineluctable sense that our lives must have some ultimate purpose and meaning - our intuition would be of no help in deciding whether this proposition is true.

A programmed intuition is roughly as useful as a compass programmed to always tell us that we are facing north.

Date: 2007/01/25 14:14:34, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Richardthughes @ Jan. 25 2007,12:57)
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Jan. 25 2007,12:51)
Quote (Altabin @ Jan. 25 2007,05:18)
GilDodgen 01/24/2007 8:57pm: The future of atheism is bleak, because humans are aware of their mortality, and are programmed with an ineluctable sense that their lives must have some ultimate purpose and meaning — otherwise, life is absurd. Despite claims to the contrary, atheism peddles nihilism as its ultimate product, and most people intuitively recognize this.

Gil: Were we programmed with such an intuition - with the ineluctable sense that our lives must have some ultimate purpose and meaning - our intuition would be of no help in deciding whether this proposition is true.

A programmed intuition is roughly as useful as a compass programmed to always tell us that we are facing north.

Arf!

We know the inerrant bible is inerrant because the inerrant bible tells us so!

True or false:

"This statement is false."

Date: 2007/01/25 18:16:21, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Glen Davidson @ Jan. 25 2007,15:23)
...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...

Consciousness.  Here's how it works:

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.  

That's it in a nutshell.

Date: 2007/01/26 06:12:22, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Henry J @ Jan. 25 2007,22:11)
Re "Sorry to nitpick but the noodlepack-mesobrainstalk interface is known to be IC and can never be transversed unless the sparky angelhair is "in knip". Other than that, I think you've nailed it."

I'm not so sure about that there...

Henry

Only a comminted apetheist lays eyestalks on the astonishingly interconnected human noodlepacks, sparky angelhair - indeed the entire bodybag - and fails to see Irreproducible Complicationality.

And only a dogleg maternalist believes these obviously designed structures evolved in 10^17 seconds flat, or that they have anything to do with human altrutheism, Mozartacity, and ultimately human spreedom and moronality – all the province of the eterminable detachable ghost.

Open your earwigs to the truthiness before it is too lame.

Date: 2007/01/26 06:28:40, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (djmullen @ Jan. 26 2007,05:33)
The writing of Quizzlestick and Kazmer Ujvarosy has been commented on, but I want to post some extensive excerpts of their work here because this is A1, First Quality, Bottled in Bond, ID Grade, Straight From the Locked Ward, Flatulating Gibberish...

Wow. It's like they're getting warmed up to take on the Urantia Book.

Date: 2007/01/26 07:47:49, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Zachriel @ Jan. 26 2007,07:16)
 
Quote (guthrie @ Jan. 25 2007,16:04)
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.  

I'm sure any threat to your vision was unconscious on his part.

But it's good to know that DS is scouring this thread daily for tidbits:

 
Quote
Colorblind or Psychotic? You be the judge…
DaveScot
Evolution Pundit Glenn Davidson’s Website


Dave, although you took thorough precautions in the pod against my hearing you, I could see your lips move.

Date: 2007/01/26 09:46:31, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (slpage @ Jan. 26 2007,09:36)

Bfast lays it on the line: "fuck you, we refuse to do research, and we're proud of it!":

"...The ID community is small compared to the research scientist community. However, the research sccientists are coming out with all sorts of evidence that cries for an ID interpretation. Do you remember those mice that had 100,000 highly conserved basepairs removed with no mesurable deleterious effects?"

The mice were doing ID research?

Date: 2007/01/26 12:52:45, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Richardthughes @ Jan. 26 2007,12:09)
Too much time with DaveTard takes its toll.

A disorder known as tardive davekinesia.  Very serious stuff.

Date: 2007/01/26 21:18:35, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (stevestory @ Jan. 26 2007,21:13)
Quote
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 185
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2007,22:08  
Quote (k.e. @ Jan. 26 2007,20:51)
Not only is he STILL wearing the last free Dell T-shirt they gave him (the writing has faded) he can't afford a Mirkin* to patch his chin.

I've got a better idea:




Wow.  You are FAST.

Date: 2007/01/27 07:45:41, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Uncommonly Denyse engages in reasoning:
   
Quote
Determining the identity of a designer is like trying to find out who wrote a disputed book.

My background is in English literature. Suppose two authors are proposed: “Harry” and “Wayne”:

If I can show that Harry did not write it (because he was only three years old when the book was first referred to in other works), I have not therefore proven that Wayne DID write it.

Indeed, I had better not be hasty. Further research may turn up the fact that Wayne died two years before events referenced in the book occurred. So we know Wayne didn’t write it either (or else that someone interpolated those passages for some unclear reason).

All I really know is, the book did not write itself. It had one or more authors. But further positive identification requires a new line of evidence.

And so it is with ID and Christianity.

It seems so simple when put this way.  It is almost as though she quivers at the threshold of understanding that attacks on conventional evolutionary biology, the entire content of UD, provide zero positive support for ID.  

And that ID has been dead for going on two years.

Date: 2007/01/27 22:06:11, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Gil really made me think:
       
Quote
Darwinism Can’t Explain the Evolution of Music? Memes to the Rescue!
GilDodg'em

Gil is on to something here. Doubt is flooding in, and with it several additional examples:

- Darwinism can't explain the evolution of funny hats worn by Bellhops, or why we love them so.
- Darwinism never predicted William Shatner's acting skills, or why we love him so.
- Darwinism is silent on R. Buckminster Fuller's writing style. SILENT, I tell you.
- Ditto: Frank Zappa's mustache. Not a word.  
- I've scoured Origin of Species.  Not a clue vis the origins of the acoustic suspension speaker.
- Darwinism fails to tell us why the Fokker D7 and North American P-51 are both intuitively recognized as beautiful airplanes.  

I have a much simpler explanation: we were designed to create and enjoy Bellhop-hats, William Shatner's acting, R. Buckminster Fuller's writing (especially Synergetics), Frank Zappa's mustache, the acoustic suspension speaker, and the beauty of the Fokker D7 and P-51.

But not the Farman 4X. That's not in there:



(Farman4x proves we possess an innate, designer-given aircraft aesthetic sense.  Take THAT, Darwinism.)

(That's DaveScot just behind the prop, servicing the aircraft.)

Date: 2007/01/29 08:36:48, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Louis @ Jan. 29 2007,05:54)
My point is that perhaps what we give a supernatural label to is actually not supernatural at all but part of the natual function of physical brains. Animals can be made to act superstitiously, in the case of Skinner's pigeons, doing elaborate "rain dances" in order to get food...

The analogy I am trying to make is that as humans we develop mental models of the world.

Yes. All perceptual states are also, at some level, brain states.  Yet some of them also usefully refer to states of affairs outside the organism (the brain states that accompany vision, for example). The question then becomes whether the states we attain through our 'practice of choice' are simply reinforcing, or additionally disclose something important about ourselves in the world.  

So, in addition to the peril of failing to recognize possible falsity of these perceptions, there may also be peril entailed in assuming that they are false.

As before, the problem arises when the model building begins: when we attempt to attach propositions to whatever it is we feel has been dislosed by those states.  With respect to vision, we spend a lifetime in "triangulated" interactions with others, with a common visual focus upon an external object or property at the apex of that triangle, making statements that grow out of that state of joint attention.  Indeed, we're wired to do so, and learn how language refers (and connects to indicia of attention such as gaze direction) in that context.  

There can be no easy apex vis the experiences we are discussing; hence the narratives we build around them often diverge, and sometimes go awry.

Date: 2007/01/29 09:42:12, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (stevestory @ Jan. 29 2007,09:32)
Get it out of the gutter, people.

TRoutMac is in solidarity with SteveStory. I'm finding that strangely distrurbing:
Quote
TRoutMac | Sun, 2007-01-28 21:00

Now, I'm not 100% certain how it happened, but this discussion has drifted from the topic of peer review to something else entirely. And that something else is, well, as absurd and ridiculous as it is distasteful and somewhat nauseating. So, could we please pull the topic back under the cover of the "Intelligent Design" umbrella? Please?
Thank you. Yeesh.
TRoutMac
Intelligent (Graphic) Designer

Date: 2007/01/30 18:49:58, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Tracy P. Hamilton @ Jan. 30 2007,09:11)
We still talk about the 'bad air' theory of flash animation.

Yes - and there is strangeness in the air.

Date: 2007/01/31 06:07:54, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (deadman_932 @ Jan. 31 2007,00:33)
ENCOURAGING richardthughes. Surely this is a portent of the Apocalypse.
Stop, Kristine. I beg of you... stop -- in the name of all that is good -- before it's too late.  

Bubba bends over and it's Left Behind.

Date: 2007/01/31 07:04:36, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Oddly enough, I have a serious relationship going with a rabbit. One of my kids worked in a pet shop a couple of years ago and brought home "Chandler," only to promptly ignore him for a year or so, during which time he did nothing but exhibit pure, unblinking Buddha Nature.  

I felt sorry for the animal and took it over.  His cage came up to my attic office and I began tending to him much more attentively, including daily periods free from his confines.  At first he displayed classic learned helplessness and wouldn't jump out of his box even with the cage removed, but now he dashes about and visits a number of points around my office, kicking up his heels with a giddy shake of his head.  I can almost hear "yippeee!!"  Then he sits most of the day, in one spot. Go figure.

I've been surprised to observe how he carefully confines his pellets to his cage, and there sequesters them in a neat pile.

My Buddy Rabbit.  >Sigh<

Date: 2007/01/31 09:18:01, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (k.e @ Jan. 31 2007,08:50)
RB it took quite a long time to build up a rapport with our rabbit the more you interact with it the more it will trust you and include you in its play time. They are very social and will groom each other in groups. (In my younger days sneaking up on a group of grooming rabbits with a .22 was next to heaven) So it will be missing being touched. Ours used to groom me, licking my arm while sitting on my lap.

But if it was locked up for a while in its cage it would shiver when it was picked up, rabbits need more affection than cats or about the same as dogs in my opinion.

Chandler was extremely tactile-defensive at first and still freezes when picked up (which made it easy to trim his extremely gnarley nails.)  Now he tolerates being stroked and picked up, and I am working on getting him more accustomed to being handled. We've got a few cats and a dog but he holds his own with them.  

Fortunately for Chandler I discovered before it was too late that he was enjoying gnoshing on some power cords behind my desk.

Date: 2007/01/31 18:19:38, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Uncommonly Denyse is a precious resource.  Remarking upon John Horgan's ten year old "The End of Science," she first quotes Horgan:

"Evolutionary biology reminds us that we are animals, shaped by natural selection not for discovering deep truths of nature but for breeding."

She remarks,
   
Quote
Huh? First off, anyone surveying the science-minded Western world's birth rates will certainly not think that Horgan's proposition is self-evidently true. As agnostic Australian philosopher David Stove has shown in Darwinian Fairytales (1995), most societies have encouraged citizens to breed. Where they don't (as ours doesn't), we see little evidence of any inner drive to breed shaped by natural selection. But we always see plenty of evidence of people wanting to discover deep truths, whether these truths are to be found legitimately in science, faith, or public service or illegitimately in drugs, sex, or power.

Uh, Denyse, I hate to break this to you, but...Oh, never mind.

This paragraph can be improved considerably by moving the first word from beginning to end:
   
Quote
First off, anyone surveying the science-minded Western world's birth rates will certainly not think that Horgan's proposition is self-evidently true. As agnostic Australian philosopher David Stove has shown in Darwinian Fairytales (1995), most societies have encouraged citizens to breed. Where they don't (as ours doesn't), we see little evidence of any inner drive to breed shaped by natural selection. But we always see plenty of evidence of people wanting to discover deep truths, whether these truths are to be found legitimately in science, faith, or public service or illegitimately in drugs, sex, or power.  Huh?

Date: 2007/01/31 20:59:15, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Meanwhile, ScornedOva throws buckets of pasta against the wall:
       
Quote
Irreducible Complexity in Mathematics, Physics and Biology
scordova

There is a new paper on Irreducible Complexity by renowned mathematician Gregory Chaitin: The Halting Probability Omega: Irreducible Complexity in Pure Mathematics Milan Journal of Mathematics, Vol. 75, 2007...On the surface Chaitin’s notion of Irreducible Complexity (IC) in math may seem totally irrelevant to Irreducible Complexity (IC) in ID literature.

On the surface, half way down, and at the bottom.  Because, Sal, you're right: the concepts discussed therein are totally irrelevant to ID's brand of IC.  Utterly unrelated. (And it's not a paper. It's a lecture.)

We need a new name for this - something more primitive than quote mining - something like clang association in schizophrenia.  Clang mining.  "Look, it says complexity, and it says irreducible!  It supports ID!  IC permeates everything!! Gaaaaaa!!!

But 'Ova contains himself, and continues:
       
Quote
First, of consider this article archived at Access Research Network (ARN) by George Johnson in the NY Times on IC in physics:

Challenging Particle Physics as Path to Truth

A five year old newspaper piece that, if anything, completely undermines the "cosmological" version of ID (fine tuning of constants, etc.), reporting the assertion of solid state physicists that what appear to be noncontingent physical laws are actually contingent, and derived.  But they're too dim over at ARN to notice:
       
Quote
The notion of emergent laws is not radical in itself. A flask of gas consists of trillions of molecules randomly colliding with one another. From this disorder, qualities like temperature and pressure emerge, along with laws relating one to the other.

So take that idea a level deeper. Physicists now believe that the vacuum of space is, paradoxically, not vacuous at all. It seethes with energy, in the form of “virtual particles” constantly flitting in and out of existence. So perhaps, Dr. Volovik suggests, even laws now considered fundamental emerged from this constant subatomic buzz."

So much for fine tuning.

Sal concludes by tossing a few cheese-filled rigatoni.  Something about emergent qualities = incomputability, again utterly unrelated to ID's notion of Irreproducible Complexification.  He breathlessly concludes,
       
Quote
Let me suggest, IC in math will permeate physics and therefore biology!

No, we're not going to let you suggest that, Sal, until you provide SOME sort of warrant for doing so.  Or at least a bit of pesto.

Date: 2007/02/01 07:29:56, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (deadman_932 @ Jan. 31 2007,22:05)
I saw that post of Salivatin' "word salad" Salvador Cordova...

So it's pasta AND anti-pasta. Maybe we've underestimated ole' Sal.

Date: 2007/02/02 10:35:53, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (stevestory @ Feb. 02 2007,08:32)
If people are uncertain about what's civil and what isn't, imagine that you're in a PoliSci class about creationism at your alma mater.

Or that you have two siblings who embrace creationism, who you nevertheless love and with whom you want to maintain good relationships.

That is my experience, and it has somewhat shaped what I bring to this discussion, and provides some perspective regarding what is important in this discussion and why.

(Which is not to say that all of our mislead guests deserve THAT level of courtesy...)

Date: 2007/02/02 10:52:24, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Richardthughes @ Feb. 02 2007,09:34)
http://www.uncommondescent.com/archives/2018

I'm thinking the Biologic lab staff shakes down like this:

4 Flash animators
3 Writers
4 voiceover artists
2 Still life artists

etc.

There's got to be a guy who keeps the ventilation running.

Date: 2007/02/02 13:41:10, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Mike PSS @ Feb. 02 2007,12:45)
I only see the moderators job as cleaning up off-color off-topic posts or personal attacks.  (A good example of this is the "Mirkin" post with photoshop creativity by Reciprocating Bill on the UD thread.  See the bottom of page 46 of the Bathroom Wall.)

Otherwise known as a "smirkin' merkin."

Date: 2007/02/02 22:20:55, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
3 amadan 02/02/2007 8:24 pm

DaveScot: Nothing in the blog entries you link to suggests that Gorski is a “shill” for drug companies, IMO. He makes reasonable points about over-hyping, about the evils of promoting false hopes, and the dangers of bypassing proper scrutiny when assessing research proposals.

However, you are right to be offended by his characterisation of you as intolerant and unamenable to persuasion. I suggest you respond, pointing out the broad range of opinions that are aired on this forum. You could also point to the hidden censorship of the Darwinist ’scientific’ establishment, with its jackboot “peer review”.

Dave pauses a LONG time, trying to decide if this is flattery or sarcasm.  Can't decide.  (Me neither)

Date: 2007/02/02 22:31:42, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Is it permissible to insult oneself? I'm a pretentious lying fuckwit, a hornwielding bunny-loving pussbag. I've had enough of my bullshit, and I want to be able to tell me that when the occasion arises.  

Is that OK?

Date: 2007/02/02 23:04:29, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (stevestory @ Feb. 02 2007,22:59)
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Feb. 02 2007,23:31)
Is it permissible to insult oneself? I'm a pretentious lying fuckwit, a hornwielding bunny-loving pussbag. I've had enough of my bullshit, and I want to be able to tell me that when the occasion arises.  

Is that OK?

Sure it is. The next step is, you post a few more times about how terribly you're mistreating yourself, then you send me two PM's and an email about how you should be banned, and how for not banning you I'm the worst moderator since Caveman Oog moderated a group of rocks in ancient Babylon, and how you're CC'ing Wesley so he knows what a terrible moderator I am, and then you post a retrospective of what you said to yourself and how it violates several rules I've attempted to enforce. Then you put up some posts about how hypocritical I'll be if I either ban you or not ban you. Then you talk about how great it would be if you had freedom of speech and how similar AtBC is to ancient china, and that's pretty much your close.

Wow, can I be a moderator too?

Date: 2007/02/02 23:23:16, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (stevestory @ Feb. 02 2007,23:13)
If you have a lot of time on your hands, talk to Wes about your desires to be moderator. It would be good to have someone here who has a lot of time on his hands. Do him a favor, though, and wait until, say, 2/10 to bring it up. Wes is in the middle of a drastic move cross-country, and he's a little occupied at the moment. But if you have a lot of time and have good ideas about moderating the place, by all means make your case to him.

I was being sympathetically facetious! It sounds like (sometimes) thankless #### when the dogs of flame are loosed.

[edit] What is with these ridiculous pound signs for #### and ####, er, he11 and dam, when meanwhile I can call myself a cocksucking motherfucker who can't understand normal thinking? (self-censored).  When I'm sick to death of myself, I mean.

Date: 2007/02/03 13:11:22, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
DaveScot
02/03/2007

Sodium dichloracetate is not a controlled substance and is available from many chemical suppliers...

I don’t know if I’d try it myself but I’d probably give it whirl if one of my dogs had cancer.

So, DaveScot's idea of a clinical trial is to toss the stuff into his dog's dish. Clearly, internalizing all that hard core ID research has honed a fine scientific mind.

Date: 2007/02/03 21:53:07, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Feb. 03 2007,14:22)
"If you have them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow"--Charles Colson

Got to be the rumballs, or it won't work.

Date: 2007/02/04 01:33:18, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
A Positive Theory of Intelligent Design.

As Howard Van Till has observed, Intelligent Design requires both “mind-like” and “hand-like” actions. While it is a commonplace that Design requires the origination of planful, mind-like intentions, it is perhaps less obvious that design also requires a mechanism by means of which mind-like design is impressed, hand-like, onto matter/energy.

What has been lacking in the ID literature is a positive theory of these mind-like and hand-like phases of design, and of their interaction, one that generates testable hypotheses and hence promotes ID to the status of a genuine empirical science. Avocationist was challenged to provide such a theory, but was unable to do so. It is my aim here to step up and suggest such a positive theory, one that I hope gives rise to both theoretical and empirical investigation that further shapes and informs the science of Intelligent Design. It is also my aim to draw upon the creative brilliance and generosity often displayed by participants of AtBC to build upon and expand this potentially revolutionary new view of nature.

What follows is a brief abstract of this positive, empirical theory.  

I. Biological causality reflects the operation of two basic, complimentary units: Thinks and Poofs. A Think is a mind-like, timeless-sizeless representation of a Thing. A Poof is a hand-like manipulation of matter-energy such that the appropriate Thing is physically instantiated. A Think without a Poof is incapable of interacting with matter/energy, is therefore undetectable, and hence remains a somewhat of a theoretical abstraction. Similarly, a Poof can arise IFF informed by at least one Think. Because they perforce must arise together, a Think and its corresponding Poof are often denoted by the couplet shorthand ‘Think’n Poof.’ When several Thinks give rise to a Poof, a Thinks’n Poof has occurred; when a single Think gives rise to several Poofs, Think’n Poofs have occurred. And so on.

Given sufficient agentic and material resources, a Think’n Poof (or derivatives) gives rise to a Thing. Moreover, Balanced Think’n Poof calculations give rise to testable empirical predictions arising from the combinatorial mathematics of Thing Theory.  

II. Thinks and Poofs are initiated by units of pure intelligent agency known as Rodins. At the current state of theoretical development the Rodin remains a placeholder concept that has yet to be given empirical grounding. It is unclear, for example, whether there is a single Rodin, two Rodins, or countless Rodins and, if there exist more than one Rodin, whether all Rodins give rise to equally efficacious Think’n Poofs. It is also unclear whether multiple Rodins stand in cooperative, competitive, or other relationship to one another, whether Rodins borrow Thinks inferred from the Things originated by other Rodins, whether Rodins have degrees of omniscience, and so forth. However, we have every reason to believe that these questions can be given empirical formulation and resolved through an appropriate combination of laboratory and field investigation.

With the above limitations in mind, we may begin to sketch the moving parts of Intelligent Design, grounding it in a calculus of Rodins, Thinks, Poofs, and Things, and indeed begin to explore the operation of these entities in any given instance of Intelligent Design.

IV. Intelligent Design may be said to have occurred when a Rodin gives rise to a Think or Thinks, which in turn invoke a Poof or Poofs in order to originate a Thing.

Rodin-initiated Thinks are mind-like, agentic, timeless-sizeless representations. Poofs do the hand-like work of actually arranging matter/energy to conform to the specification of a given Think, giving rise to a Thing. A Rodin may “choose” to formulate a grand system of interlocking Thinks all apiece, yet implement such a Think-Structure imperceptibly over deep time by issuing Poofs only slowly and sequentially. Alternatively, a Think-Structure may give rise to thousands of simultaneous Poofs, yielding an (only apparently) saltational Thing-Structure that instantaneously mirrors the underlying Think Structure. Biological Things that display Irreducible Complexity almost certainly issue from the latter sort of process: a single Rodin exerts its intrinsic intentionality to originate a complex biological Think Structure which is in turn effected by means of multiple simultaneous, interlocking Poofs.

(The reader may find it helpful to imagine countless little hands equipped with little minds issuing from a Rodin or Rodins, swarming over and grasping bits of matter-energy - say, base pairs in a DNA molecule - and manipulating them with special tweezers to form irreducibly complex biological Things.)

V. It should be clear from the above that a calculus of Rodins, Thinks, Poofs and a completed, empirical Thing Theory promises to dissolve some of the knottiest problems in biology today. For example, we may now confidently sketch the origins of life on earth: a Rodin or Rodins originated a complex Think-Structure that gave rise to both simultaneous and sequential Poofs that created the first biological Thing, detonating life on earth. All that remains is to supply the details.  

In the future we hope to infer the properties of agentic Rodin or Rodins themselves, by tracing Think-Poof-Thing pathways much as the electrodynamic properties of elementary particles may be inferred from the ephemeral trails left within a cloud chamber. We anticipate that the biology of the 22nd century will be characterized by Rodin simulations, the computational modeling of Biological Think-Structures, the detection and deconstruction of Poof-efficacy at the Think-Thing interface, and a completed Thing Theory. Ultimately we may see the triumph of what has been derisively called the "Big Think" theory of the origins of the universe.  We may also confidently anticipate that a bankrupt Darwinism with truly be a “think” of the past.

I look forward to your vigorous challenges and suggestions.

Date: 2007/02/04 09:16:09, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (GCT @ Feb. 04 2007,08:18)
Why should we have to supply the details?  Real forensic science doesn't do that.  Archaeologists, arson investigators, SETI, etc never supply any details.  They simply infer the design of something and it is science.

You make my point. An arsonist first creates a Think ("I THINK I will burn down this here building"), lights a match, and POOF - the building is destroyed. What other explanation is there?

Indeed, it is extrapolation from human agency that tells us that Think-Poof causation is operating in nature at many levels: Whenever we observe Think-Poof, we also see an actor, and see agency, a Rodin, if you will. All Thinkers originate with at least one Rodin. Indeed, Think-Poof causation is likely to revolutionize other disciplines, most notably psychology and philosophy.

Date: 2007/02/04 21:55:32, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
Ichthyic: fire is irreducibly complex.  

There is no possible Darwinian narrative that could explain how fire "evolved".

what good would half-fire be, after all?

     
Quote
Henry J:  a Rodin or Rodins originated a complex Think-Structure that gave rise to both simultaneous and sequential Poofs that created the first biological Thing, detonating life on earth."

Detonating? Ah ha, an explanation for the Cambrian explosion!

Henry

What we are witnessing here, after a somewhat stunned silence, are dogleg maternalists being penetrated by the pure postdoctive power of Intelligent Design when equipped with casual moving parts. Mysteries are falling: OOL, the Cambridge explosion, the obvious CSI of fire, arsenic investigation, the problem of intentionality - all now require restatement, and university departments across the world will awaken tomorow to the reality of their own adolescents. Dembki, Meyers, even DaveScot have been too busy cultivating their creationist constituencies to fully actualize a theory of Intelligent Design that calculates in units of Rodin and develops the Think-Poof-Thing cycle into a completed Thing Theory. I have no such commitments and intend to press this fight to its logical conclusion.  
     
Quote
Henry J: Oops

With his usual brevity Henry sums up the new status of Darwinism.

Date: 2007/02/05 06:40:00, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (skeptic @ Feb. 04 2007,23:28)
I working on my Poof-O-Meter now but I need to calibrate it properly.  What naturally occurring event is a sufficient replacement for the Think-inspired Poof?  With that tiny piece of data I could easily prove Intelligent Design in what remains of the weekend...Anyone?  :D

Your meter must be equipped with a incredulometer.  That should be easy because standards for what can't be believed are precisely quantifiable (see Dembski's Design Inference - we stand on the shoulders of giants).  

Once so equipped, place your Poof-O-Meter near a complicated object, like a creature.  If it can't believe that the object arose by means of natural (Rodin-free) causes then you may begin to entertain Think-Poof hypotheses. This is an important step because you are then free to concentrate upon the issue of credulity and cease time-wasting investigation into dead-end just-so stories about natural causation (like high winds in a junkyard). If the incredulometer really really really really can't believe that the object arose by natural means, you have your Think-Poof. Time to start speculating about the Rodin (one, two, more, nice, nasty, surly, smite-prone, etc.).

Date: 2007/02/05 10:17:13, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Zachriel @ Feb. 05 2007,09:11)
DaveScot adds some chaff to the Scott Adams thread.         
Quote
A question on the comments associated Dilbert’s blog. Most of his articles get somewhere between 300 and 500 comments. Does anyone actually read that many comments? If you think the answer might be that very few people will bother reading that many comments then you’ll understand why I’m so ruthless in managing the comments here... That means someone has to separate the wheat from the chaff. It’s largely a thankless job but someone has to do it.

DaveScot performs the additional labor saving service of eliminating most of the comments that would actually be worth reading.  Only those of bootlicking ignorami remain, and those are easy to ignore.

Date: 2007/02/05 19:38:26, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote

The cutting room floor — The place Dawkins leaves his more incisive critics

William Dembski

Now, look at this here title. I do believe that WAD has once again committed aggravated unintentional irony.

Date: 2007/02/06 11:35:34, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Mike PSS @ Feb. 05 2007,18:28)
SUCCESS!!!
I now have an explanation for a very puzzling observation from past personal experience.

Working in the industrial plant we had to plan (organize, design, etc.) our maintenance down days where the plant was shut down.  Every minute counted so the managers wanted to know what work was going on when and how long it took BEFORE the work occurred.  The experienced maintenance supervisors knew this was asking too much (a plan is only good until it starts to be implemented), so a new type of counting system was invented by the maintenance supervisors.  Very simple and very precise.
One, Two, Many.
That's it.  The answer to any manager question.
Manager: "How many hours on that job?"
Supervisor: "Two."
Manager: "How many people on this job?"
Supervisor: "Many."
Manager:  "How many cranes for this job?"
Supervisor: "One."

So now we have observational support to the new number system of the Rodin.
One, Two, Many.


....(sigh).....
The world seems more complete somehow.

Mike PSS

p.s.  Is Rodin related to that flying monster thing in the Godzilla movies?

One discipline after another will fall to a properly conceived ID, based upon a rigourous examination of Think-Poof phenomena.  Yesterday arsnic investigation, today industrial plant management, tomorrow...CANCER RESEARCH.  

Elsewhere on this board revolutionary cancer cures are being discussed, but not from the perspective of intelligent design. This again reflects the sad reality that top ID theorist such as Dembski and O'Leary refuse to model the designer.  I'm not so shy as Dembski.  (Not as tall, either, and I don't wear big glasses. I wear little tasteful 21st century glasses. I don't know about O'Leary.)

Cancer research will be illuminated by the application of Rodin numbering to biology. Cancer, rather obviously (and why no one has suggested this before is beyond me), is a disorder of competing Rodins.  Most of our bodies reflect the design efforts of the single common Rodin, whose monumental Think-Structure and sequential Poofs are evident in the nested hierarchy that is seen in the biological world (as so often argued by Zachriel). Mine does. Cancer arises when Two or Many Rodins battle over the design of and control over a single body, operating from contradictory Thinks and issuing competing Poofs. The resulting Thing-Structure becomes increasingly irrational, having been guided by multiple strands of teleological influence, and oftentime ultimately succumbs.  I wouldn't want that to happen to my Thing-Structure, and neither would you.

I propose that, rather than dabbling with chemicals in a dog dish, ID researchers trace cancer cell lineages back to the moment of divergence from the original Think Structure issued by the common Rodin. That moment of divergence directly records the Poof actions of the competing Rodin or Rodins, and thus discloses information about that Rodin (or those Rodins). Various types of cancer clearly reflect variation in Rodin Think style, Poof-efficacy, and desired Thing-Structure. Incredulometry will be important here, as well, because some cancers are malicious beyond belief.  

Carry on!

Date: 2007/02/07 06:11:45, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Henry J @ Feb. 06 2007,13:37)
I thing therefore I yam.

Philosophy: check.  Rene Descartes' work can be restated as a Think-Thing dualism that was closer to correct than not.

Date: 2007/02/07 08:38:21, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
Darwin’s Final “Resting” Place
GilDodg'em

"One day our sun will turn into a red giant. When that happens its corona will expand beyond the orbit of the earth. The earth’s atmosphere will be stripped away, the seas will boil away, the sands will fuse into glass, and all life will be exterminated. There will be no record of anything anyone has ever done, created, or thought."

And they call this the "Priviledged Planet."

[edit] Oh, and Gil, most players of the English language game are clear that what is intended by "final resting place" is, "This is where his carcass is stashed."

Date: 2007/02/09 19:06:20, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Richardthughes @ Feb. 09 2007,10:04)
'Agnostic / Atheist' DaveTard's latest:

http://www.uncommondescent.com/archives/2048

Okay, three non-atheists, flail at the strawman!

With all that wink and sparkle passing between Hunter and Schlussel, I'm thinking they left the studio and got a room.

Date: 2007/02/10 09:11:01, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
DaveScot prevaricates.
Quote
Paleontologist Richard Leakey Says We Are Descended From Apes
DaveScot

You know for many years I’ve been taking care to avoid saying men evolved from apes because the pedant dominated science establishment is quick to point out that we and apes descend from a common ancestor and anyone who thinks we evolved from apes clearly doesn’t understand evolution. So now we have arguably the most recognized living name in paleontology, Richard Leakey, blurting out the proverbial “I’m so stupid I don’t know what common ancestry means”. What are we to make of that? I’m sure our good pedant friends in the science establishment, through Panda’s Thumb or some member blog, will let us know upon reading this.

Dave, why obfuscate by quoting Leakey's casual statement?  

Now is your chance to state it loud and clear:  "I, Dave Springer, believe that human beings and the extant great apes share a common ancestor."  

Go ahead, don't be shy. Grow some stones.

Date: 2007/02/10 11:03:09, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Zachriel @ Feb. 10 2007,10:15)
Of course, Leakey's comment was perfectly accurate. Humans are apes. They descended from apes. And they share a common ancestry with other, extant apes.

Absolutely.

Even DaveScot, with his ridiculous theory of "front loading," may be seen to harbor views on topics crucial to an understanding of evolution that separate him from the YEC and OEC denizens of UD.  Examples:

- I gather that he accepts something like the inflationary big bang and a universe that is on the order of 13.9 billion years old.

- He accepts that the earth has a history of approximately 4.5 billion years. He accepts our understanding of the geological column. He therefore parts ways with all young earth creationists.

- He appears to accept a history of life spanning something on the order of 3.8 billion years, and accepts our basic understanding of the fossil record.

- He accepts common ancestry.  Therefore he accepts descent with modification. Here he sheds old earth creationists and separates himself from those who blather on about "barriers" between species.  

- He accepts that homo sapiens are great apes, and share common ancestry with other great apes.  

That leaves him with "front loading."  However, he repeatedly argues that common experience with human design activities establish that design need not be, and is not, supernatural in nature, and therefore argues that front loading was accomplished by super beings who were, nevertheless, not supernatural in nature.  Here he sheds the remaining deists. [edit] He does retain hard science fiction authors, however.

But he rejects and reviles contemporary evolutionary biology. That leaves him in the corner with JAD - a fate he deserves, I would say.

Date: 2007/02/12 06:34:55, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Uncommonly Denyse wanes philosophical:
Quote
Meanwhile, I don’t recall if I ever got around to blogging on the Flock of Dodos film...The promissory notes of promissory materialism are not cashing. Chimps are not people, the mind is not simply an illusion created by the functions of the brain, and human behaviour cannot be explained by controlling genes - and that’s only a start on the problem. (For a detailed explanation, you will have to see The Spiritual Brain by Mario Beauregard and Denyse O’Leary, Harper, 2007)...

My ID-friendly friends are really upset at the misrepresentations in the Dodos film, and there is no sinple way that I can explain to them why the people involved must misrepresent ID. Most artsies assume that science IS applied materialism. To the extent that they ever involve themselves with science, their job is to promote science as applied materialism. From what I have heard, Dodos is no exception.

You know, I was about to slam Denyse for holding forth on a film that, apparently, she hasn't seen.  

But then I realized that I already know that her book sucks, and she hasn't even finished WRITING it yet.  

Date: 2007/02/12 10:50:39, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Scorned'Ova admires integrity:
     
Quote
How young-earth creationists can get a PhD from a secular university
scordova...

Read the The New York Times article.  The guy appears to be amazingly talented, capable of speaking out of not just two, but three sides of his mouth.  I can't do that...can you?

Left side of mouth: makes assertions that comport with standard evolutionary accounts of adaptive radiation.
     
Quote
His subject was the abundance and spread of mosasaurs, marine reptiles that, as he wrote, vanished at the end of the Cretaceous era about 65 million years ago. The work is “impeccable,” said David E. Fastovsky, a paleontologist and professor of geosciences at the university who was Dr. Ross’s dissertation adviser. “He was working within a strictly scientific framework, a conventional scientific framework.”

Right side of mouth: is a YEC in the Bishop Ussher tradition.
     
Quote
But Dr. Ross is hardly a conventional paleontologist. He is a “young earth creationist” — he believes that the Bible is a literally true account of the creation of the universe, and that the earth is at most 10,000 years old.

Third side of his mouth:  He supports ID's account of the Cambrian explosion.
     
Quote
But he has also written and spoken on scientific subjects, and with a creationist bent. While still a graduate student, he appeared on a DVD arguing that intelligent design, an ideological cousin of creationism, is a better explanation than evolution for the Cambrian explosion, a rapid diversification of animal life that occurred about 500 million years ago.

Now, perhaps I am missing something. But how does a guy who believes the earth is 10,000 years old take a position on events that occurred 500 million years ago (or 65 million years ago) - and what value can that position have?

This level of integrity reminds me of that of an attorney defending a bank robber:  "Your honor, my client was not even in the bank at the time of the robbery.  And if he was, he had nothing to do with the robbery.  And if he did, he didn't use a gun. And if he did, the gun wasn't loaded."

[edit] "...and he has no idea who paid for those books."

Date: 2007/02/12 13:06:23, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (heddle @ Feb. 12 2007,11:28)
I wrote on the Marcus Ross story, but won’t link to myself. The bottom line is that there is nothing wrong about getting a Ph.D. while using a model you disagree with, although obviously it is not the recommended route...You guys will be barking up the wrong tree on this one.

(Reciprocating Bill checks tree). No - this is the right tree.  No one here has suggested that he should not have been awarded his degree.

Rather, I characterized him as lacking integrity.  If the Times article is accurate, Ross argued in one venue (the DVD) that intelligent design accounts for the events of the Cambrian explosion. He argues elsewhere that the earth is no more than 10,000 years old, and that a Biblical account of creation is accurate - in short, that there was no Cambrian explosion (nor Cambrian period). None of the pressures you describe vis committees and the machinery of attaining an advanced degree account for this particular contradiction.  He also appears to be unconstrained by any need for consistency or honesty - one cannot mount an intellectually honest argument that intelligent design best accounts for the events of the Cambrian explosion if one doesn't accept that such events occurred in the first place.  

That's the tree.

Date: 2007/02/12 13:28:15, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
This one had to ripen before I could post on it.  

DaveScot:
Quote
The Sound of the Molecular Assumption Exploding
DaveScot

Pitt Professor Contends Biological Underpinnings Of Darwinian Evolution Not Valid

The history of organ life is undemonstrable; we cannot prove a whole lot in evolutionary biology, and our findings will always be hypothesis. There is one true evolutionary history of life, and whether we will actually ever know it is not likely. Most importantly, we have to think about questioning underlying assumptions, whether we are dealing with molecules or anything else,” says Schwartz.

"Organ life?"  That struck me as odd, both in the DS quotation and the original University of Pittsburgh article.  So I contacted the author of that article:

"Dear Ms. White;

"In your article on professor Jeffrey Schwartz, posted on 2/9 on the University of Pittsburgh website, you quote him as stating (in the penultimate paragraph), "The history of organ life is undemonstrable..."

Because this statement doesn't make much sense in this context ("organ life?"), I wonder if he might have said, "The history of the origins of life..." or something similar.

The intelligent design creationism community has already pounced upon your description of Dr. Schwartz's statements as supporting their position, so an accurate account of his statements is important.

See:  http://www.uncommondescent.com/archives/2056

Thank you,

(Reciprocating Bill), Ph.D."

She replied:

"Dear Dr. (Reciprocating Bill),
Thank you for pointing out the error. That should have been "organic life". We will correct it on the Web site.
Best,
Trish

Way to read for comprehension Davey!

Date: 2007/02/12 18:23:43, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (heddle @ Feb. 12 2007,13:27)
Reciprocating Bill,

So what if he argued (correctly or not) for the Cambrian "explosion" as evidence for ID? He could easily (I have no idea and am not interest in investigating) have argued along the lines of: even assuming an old earth, which I don't believe, the fossil record still poses a big problem for evolution.

Heddle,

You would (and may have) a point if this accurately characterizes his statement on the DVD.  

However, as the Times reported, "He appeared on a DVD arguing that intelligent design...is a better explanation than evolution for the Cambrian explosion, a rapid diversification of animal life that occurred about 500 million years ago."

If this is accurate, your charitable framing of his hypothetical argument would read, "even assuming an old earth, which I don't believe, ID offers a better explanation than evolution for the events of the Cambrian period."

This is a very different animal, which (in my opinion) doesn't hang together, even framed charitably.

Date: 2007/02/12 21:15:25, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (k.e @ Feb. 12 2007,20:23)
Crikey ...is DT reincarnated from the 1590's

Why dost thou converse with that trunk of humours, that bolting-hutch of beastliness, that swollen parcel of dropsies, that huge bombard of sack, that stuffed cloak-bag of guts, that roasted Manningtree ox with pudding in his belly, that reverend vice, that grey Iniquity, that father ruffian, that vanity in years?

"He writes the worst English that I have ever encountered. It reminds me of a string of wet sponges; it reminds me of tattered washing on the line; it reminds me of stale bean soup, of college yells, of dogs barking idiotically through endless nights. It is so bad that a sort of grandeur creeps into it. It drags itself out of the dark abysm of pish, and crawls insanely up to the topmost pinnacle of tosh. It is rumble and bumble. It is flap and doodle. It is balder and dash."

—H. L. Mencken, American editor, satirist, and philologist, on Warren G. Harding, The Baltimore Evening Sun, 1921

Date: 2007/02/12 22:13:54, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Feb. 12 2007,21:15)
"He writes the worst English that I have ever encountered. It reminds me of a string of wet sponges; it reminds me of tattered washing on the line; it reminds me of stale bean soup, of college yells, of dogs barking idiotically through endless nights. It is so bad that a sort of grandeur creeps into it. It drags itself out of the dark abysm of pish, and crawls insanely up to the topmost pinnacle of tosh. It is rumble and bumble. It is flap and doodle. It is balder and dash."

—H. L. Mencken, American editor, satirist, and philologist, on Warren G. Harding, The Baltimore Evening Sun, 1921

This is certainly requosive (quoting myself), but the above certainly characterizes the work of Uncommonly Denyse, as well as DS.

Date: 2007/02/14 07:01:25, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (phonon @ Feb. 13 2007,22:42)
And then he quotes the Pitt Professor...  
Quote
“The history of organic life is undemonstrable; we cannot prove a whole lot in evolutionary biology, and our findings will always be hypothesis."

DS originally mindlessly repeated, "The history of organ life is undemonstrable..."  

Perhaps he thought Schwartz was envisioning the history of livers and spleens.  Or the Hammond B3.

Way to read for comprehension!

Date: 2007/02/14 08:05:44, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Ichthyic @ Feb. 13 2007,19:43)
I'm a little puzzled over primatologists previously considering this kind of tool using behavior to be likely mereley "imitation", when chimps have been shown to exhibit other complex tool using behaviors (preparing sticks for extracting termites, for example) which obviously have nothing to do with imitation.

And don't disrespect imitation. Imitation has been promoted from "a cheap behavioral trick" (relative to insight and intelligence) and is now recognized as a very sophisticated form of cognition with important implications for the evolution of human 'theory of mind.'  Unlike mimicking, imitative learning consists of reproducing the intentional actions of others, including both the end result or goal at which they are aiming and the behavior or strategy by means of which they are attempting to accomplish that goal.

See Andrew Whiten's work with an "artificial fruit," a box equipped with several defenses that must be surmounted before a food reward contained within may be obtained. In one example, the primate subject must withdraw two rods from restraining rings, remove a pin that restrains the barrel of a handle that blocks the lid, and then neutralize the handle by either rotating it or removing it to retrieve the fruit - with some actions occurring in the correct order. Whiten and others have presented distinct sequences of these alternative actions to several species (chimps, gorillas, Capuchin monkeys, orangs, etc.) and observed various degrees of talent for imitation.  Very interesting stuff.

Date: 2007/02/14 12:00:17, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
WAD is VERY ENTHUSIASTIC about the abstract of an article by Nigel Goldenfeld and Carl Woese:
 
Quote
Start the revolution without ID
William Dembski

Here the latest from Carl Woese. The abstract is short but telling:

Biology’s Next Revolution
Nigel Goldenfeld and Carl Woese
[posted February 8, 2007]

ABSTRACT: The interpretation of recent environmental genomics data exposes the far-reaching influence of horizontal gene transfer, and is changing our basic concepts of organism, species and evolution itself.

SOURCE: arxiv.org/PS_cache/q-bio/pdf/0702/0702015.pdf.

So here’s the deal: When trying to derail ID in the court of public opinion, say that there is NO controversy over evolution. Say that scientists have achieved a consensus and that evolution is as well established as the earth going around the sun. But when out of the public eye, feel free to publish on how the entire field of evolutionary biology is in disarray and in need of a “next revolution.”

Not so much the body of the article, which really has rather little relevance to the revolution that is ID. The first sentence:
 
Quote
One of the most fundamental patterns of scientific discovery is the revolution in thought that accompanies the acquisition of an entirely new body of data.

Nothing for ID here.  Move along.

Date: 2007/02/14 15:54:51, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Zachriel @ Feb. 14 2007,08:16)
Culture IS imitation.

Augmented by what Michael Tomasello has called "the ratchet effect," whereby improvements in imitated technique are retained and passed on through further imitation. Ultimately teaching emerges, which builds upon both imitation and theory of mind.  Then you've a potent brew.  

See Tomasello's The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition (1999, Harvard University Press) for an interesting treatment of the interaction of evolutionarily grounded capacities for imitation and theory of mind and the explosive emergence of culture.

Date: 2007/02/14 16:03:28, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Feb. 14 2007,00:13)
Okay, if you guys won't do it, I'll have to:


Of course, 2001, A Space Odyssey quite explicitly depicts an intelligent design scenario, as the monolith (or who/whatever is behind it) repeatedly intervenes in human evolution.

It even has its own Dave.

(Uh, that would be SCIENCE FICTION, lurking UDudes.)

Date: 2007/02/14 16:36:33, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Here a bit of honesty erupts from Scorned'Ova, as he characterizes his next contribution as a "quote mine."  His nugget of quote-ore:
   
Quote
...we regard as rather regrettable the conventional concatenation of Darwin’s name with evolution


The rock matrix from which his little gem was carefully extracted:
   
Quote
Such gradual refinement through the horizontal sharing of genetic innovations would have led to the generation of a combinatorial explosion of genetic novelty, until the level of complexity, as exemplified perhaps by the multiple levels of regulation, required a transition to the present era of vertical evolution. Thus, we regard as rather regrettable the conventional concatenation of Darwin’s name with evolution, because there are other modalities that must be entertained and which we regard as mandatory during the course of evolutionary time.

So: The article from which this bit of ore has been extracted describes a mechanism through which genetic novelty and complexity - the very phenomena that ID argues cannot have emerged through natural means - appear to have emerged by natural means. Note that the "combinatorial explosion" of horizontal gene sharing omits any notion of design or a designer. If this view is correct, ID is obviated.  

Worse: the authors go on to acknowledge the applicability of more conventionally "Darwinian" processes once a "transition to the present era of vertical evolution" has occurred.

Cold comfort for ID, 'Ova.

Date: 2007/02/14 17:42:29, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Ichthyic @ Feb. 14 2007,15:15)
yes stephen, and anybody who thinks this will be a long-standing milestone in Kansas seems to readily forget how the vote went that started all this mess back in 1999.

seven years to reverse the damage, and there's simply no reason to expect that once the furor dies down, and the media attention is off of Kansas, the religious right wouldn't just remobilize and do it all over again.

*sigh*

Date: 2007/02/14 20:17:43, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
WAD is mad.  
 
Quote
New Kansas Science Standards Redefine “Science”
William Dembski
...

Questions:

What is matter?
What is energy?
What are forces?
Why should we think these are adequate for scientific inquiry?

Materialistic answers to these questions are insupportable in the wider public square. Indeed, try to justify the “inalienable rights” ascribed in the Declaration of Independence not in terms of a creator but in terms of “material forces.” It doesn’t work.

Does WAD really believe that science should be defined such that the Declaration of Independence can be reformulated as a scientific utterance?  

Reborn pansy Christian.

Date: 2007/02/14 21:01:56, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
WAD is mad in the OTHER sense of "mad."
   
Quote
New Kansas Science Standards Redefine “Science”
William Dembski
...

Questions:

What is matter?
What is energy?
What are forces?
Why should we think these are adequate for scientific inquiry?

Materialistic answers to these questions are insupportable in the wider public square.


So, now WAD rejects "materialistic" accounts (i.e. naturalistic accounts) of matter, energy, and various forces?

This guy is loosing his bearings.

Date: 2007/02/15 06:45:11, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Kristine @ Feb. 15 2007,00:57)
So much for language being irreducibly complex.

We chortle at the suggestion, but ideas that are essentially equivalent to IC were actually batted around by linguists after Chomsky.  Chomsky himself took an anti-evolutionary position. Although he believed that the underlying structure of human language is innate, he did not accept that it was a product of natural selection. Instead, he asserted that the human mind possesses an emergent, irreducible essence, and argued that few if any other genetic configurations could support this essence:

"In studying the evolution of mind, we cannot guess to what extent there are physically possible alternatives to, say, transformational generative grammar, for an organism meeting certain other physical conditions characteristic of humans. Conceivably, there are none—or very few—in which case talk about the evolution of the language capacity is beside the point.…When we study human language, we are approaching what some might call the “human essence,” the distinctive qualities of mind that are, so far as we know, unique to man and that are inseparable from any critical phase of human existence, personal or social." (From Language and Mind, 1972, p. 98)

Others, like Bickerton, have taken similar positions: Bickerton early argued that syntaxes simpler than those of contemporary complexity would not have functioned.  So he proposed an essentially saltationist view of the evolution of language.  He later abandoned that position, however (because it was blown out of the water.)

All this was fiercely opposed and, in my opinion, refuted by Pinker and Bloom (beginning with their 1990 BBS article "Natural Language and Natural Selection") and many others, who have no difficulty imagining earlier, simpler forms of syntax that embody fewer rules than does contemporary human language.

But the notion did get some serious play.

Date: 2007/02/17 09:23:54, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
DaveScot can't keep his bears straight:
       
Quote
Global Warming and Forest Fires
DaveScot

...How many of you recall seeing Yogi Bear adverts saying “Only YOU can prevent forest fires”? In fact, as we learned the hard way, fire suppression turned out to be a bad thing. Nature had adapted herself to periodic forest fires. Certain trees had become resistant to harm from low intensity fires but would be destroyed in fires where 50 years worth of fuel had accumulated. Periodic fires cleared the landscape and species that had adapted to freshly cleared ground cover got their turn at bat. Decades of fire suppression set up our forests for disaster.

What he means to say is that 3.5 billion years ago the designer or designers front loaded into the earliest single celled organisms the genetic information required to provide these adaptations to an interlocking ecology of multicellular species, accompanied by mechanisms of error correction of sufficient robustness to protect that genetic information over deep time. Those instructions were then triggered into expression by environmental conditions that had been anticipated 35 million centuries in advance of their occurrence.

Nobody here believes that "nature adapts herself."  Too improbable.

Oh, and Yogi looked for picnic baskets and evaded Mr. Ranger in Hanna-Barbara cartoons that bear somewhat greater relationship to reality than does the theory of "front loading." Smokey the Bear admonished us vis forest fires. Can't you even keep your bears straight?

Date: 2007/02/17 22:21:56, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (deadman_932 @ Feb. 17 2007,20:39)
**Disclaimer:** I didn't mean to imply that my Mom's basement was "he11's dark heart," although it seems like it lately, what with Mom not having spoken to me in almost 2 years as she sits in the corner in her rocking chair. She refuses to move, but she keeps staring at me with her accusing eyes. Her huge, cavernous accusing eyes that follow me everywhere now.

Are you a seamstress? A little proper dressmaking and you won't be so lonely.

Date: 2007/02/18 08:16:06, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
The Shermer/Dembski debate has become the occasion for bracing scientific discussion over at UD. This discussion demonstrates the powerful heuristic value of the ID paradigm within a scientific context.  Many of these questions would never even be entertained by those who are blinded by materialism. Examples:

- Are all YECs rude? Or just the rude ones?
- Does Salvador understand prophecy?
- Are Dr. Dembski’s views unbiblical? If so, should he be confronted?
- How much trust should we bestow upon persons who claim infallibility?
- Why do science if reading and interpreting God’s Word is sufficient?
- Is not physics awaiting a new science or theological interpretation to reconcile quantum theory and relativity?
- What facts overturn a plain reading of the bible?  What happens when the facts change tomorrow?
- What does Luke 3:23-37 mean?
- Did trilobites co-exist with size-12 leather-soled shoes, heels slightly worn?
- Has anything as dramatic as homo sapiens appeared since they first appeared?  
- If humans were the last major species, how did the writers of the bible know this?
- What does Romans 1:20 mean?
- So, we find another extinct organism. What if we should find that that is not extinct?
- Was Antarctica a warm place once upon a time and then we had global cooling?
- How do you know what the time span was from Adam and Eve to the “fall” and beginning of their progeny?

And the final, telling scientific question:

- Why do some willfully refuse to recognize that design is a real phenomenon and attempts to quantify it is real science and it is not breaking any rule to apply what we learn from those attempts to biology?

The future of ID is assured, because it is pursued by individuals who have ACTUALLY HEARD DIRECTLY FROM GOD, AND CAN DISCERN WHICH OF THE THREE PERSONS OF THE TRINITY IS SPEAKING.  

Not that ID has a thing to do with religion.

Date: 2007/02/18 22:37:33, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
This giddy, off-topic conversation Dave is having with himself is starting to read like a manic episode, complete with racing thoughts, flights of ideas, and self-congratulatory grandiosity:
 
Quote
Pretty incredible. I take one look at the real satellite temperature data instead of the pencil whipped crap that’s foisted upon the public and in a few hours figure out the real cause of global warming and then find the studies that confirm my suspicions. Gawd I’m good. We’ve been lied to. C02 greenhouse effect is a lame duck. All politics and no science.

Getting any sleep, Dave?

"Old Charlie stole the handle and
the train it won't stop going -
no way to slow down."

Date: 2007/02/19 06:41:45, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
DS continues his solitary rant:
   
Quote
blah blah blah...So where is all that excess 0.85w/m^2 going? It’s going to turn ice at 0 degrees C into water at 0 degrees C and after that it can drive evaporation turning warm water into warm water vapor, all the while not driving up the temperature of the earth as a whole because the energy is simply being stored as chemical and kinetic energy.

If this was where all that excess energy was being stored what would the symptoms look like, Zach?

A.  A period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood.

B.  During the period of mood disturbance, three (or more) of the following symptoms are present:

- inflated self-esteem or grandiosity
- decreased need for sleep
- more talkative than usual or pressure to keep talking
- flight of ideas or subjective experience that thoughts are racing
- distractability (i.e., attention too easily drawn to unimportant or irrelevant external stimuli)
- increase in goal-directed activity (either socially, at work or school, or sexually)
- excessive involvement in pleasurable activities that have a high potential for painful consequences.

Those would be the symptoms.

Date: 2007/02/20 19:10:49, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
There Is No Theory of Evolution
DaveScot

Holy fucking shit.

Date: 2007/02/20 21:29:51, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Ichthyic @ Feb. 20 2007,20:00)
 
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Feb. 20 2007,19:10)
 
Quote
There Is No Theory of Evolution
DaveScot

Holy fucking shit.

uh, please tell me that wasn't a blanket statement and you took it out of context.

or has he completed the journey to JAD's level of mental disability?

Dave is too young to become the old man in the corner quite yet.  

We may, in fact, be witnesses to a heretofore unseen evolutionary transition, with new cell types, tissues, organs (and organ lives), even a novel body plan, a new organism capable of entirely everting itself in order to nest comfortably within WAD's obsequious humors while simultaneously displaying to the external world frat-paced pricklebush knoboxiousness.

Which can only be accomplished through determined autodactyle polishing of one's knob.

Where's my camera?

Date: 2007/02/21 18:18:07, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (W. Kevin Vicklund @ Feb. 21 2007,16:52)
DaveTard has his beer-Googles on again:

     
Quote
Prometheus....I'm no chemist and I'm not going to bother checking but I presume the laser can function like an enzyme by speeding up and/or preferentially maximizing certain reaction products. While this is probably not something available in the high school science labs it appears to be common in industrial application. I'd really like to see more science from the alleged scientists here....

Feeling a little puzzled here.  

DaveScot is also no cell biologist, geneticist, cosmologist, oncologist, climatologist, mathematician, information theorist, anthropologist, paleontologist, cosmologist or - come to think of it - expert on any other topic on which he Googles forth at UD. That's never stopped him before...

...But as I read this post I see that his admission of ignorance didn't stop him HERE, either. More expression of his autodactyle knob polishing, one supposes.

Truth be told, I'm becoming downright bored with Dave's utterly predictable monopoly of UD.  C'mon Bill, Sal, Gil, Denyse, where are you?

Wait.... a new Uncommonly Denyse tidbit....oh BOY!  It's time for the WORD JUMBLE game! Back in a bit.

Date: 2007/02/21 19:24:57, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Uncommonly Denyse doesn't disappoint.  From her aptly named blog "Mindful Hack" (as she certainly is a hack):
         
Quote
...if you believe that consciousness is not an illusion and that it can initiate action, you can readily account for the hostility that a person (or dog or cat, for that matter) perceives toward a new favorite. An intelligent life form perceives benefits lost and reacts accordingly. No further explanation in the form of a mechanism is needed because the perception itself drives the process. Moreover, the life form's behaviour can be interpreted without reference to the question of whether any genes get passed on.


So, Mr. Intelligence and Mr. Consciousness are these - somethings* - that perceive, reason, calculate gains and losses, and react, with no underlying basis in neural activity, or anything else. They perceive and react out of conscious perception.  That's the explanation. No need for further 'splanation, because they are conscious, and intelligent. And NO need for Mr. Gooey Stuff.

I await her description of where and how Mr. Consciousness harvests, say, visual information from Mr. Gooey Stuff.  Does he watch little movies on the backs of our retinas (this would explain why the retina is wired backward - so Mr. Consciousness can watch the goings on outside.) At the thalami? At V1?  Frontal lobes?  Backal lobes?

Also, U-Denyse needs a description of how Mr. Consciousness and Mr. Intelligence, after consulting Mr. Perception, work together to make Mr. Gooey's muscles wiggle. Do they tickle motor plans within the midbrain? Toggle neurons along the motor strip?  Diddle ganglia within the spine? Or just push and shove arms and legs directly?  

Mother of God, what does she think that Mr. Gooey Stuff is DOING in there?  Well, in the case of Uncommonly Denyse, not much. But in OTHER skulls, what is he doing THERE?

What kills me about this position is that advocates of ID, on one hand, argue that the human brain is an instance of IC that couldn't have arisen by means of natural selection, and, on the other, that the brain has nothing to do with human consciousness and cognition. Without batting an eye.

(You can't beat stuff like this on your best day, Dave.)

*Detachable ghosts.

Date: 2007/02/23 06:13:29, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
WAD in a moment of honesty:
   
Quote
ID and the Arts
William Dembski

Just as Darwinism has inveigled itself into every aspect of life, so is ID: www.idarts.org.

inveigle  verb [ trans. ] persuade (someone) to do something by means of deception or flattery

Of course, Bill can only speak for ID.

Date: 2007/02/23 06:23:59, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (argystokes @ Feb. 22 2007,21:17)
 
Quote (Zachriel @ Feb. 22 2007,18:35)
DaveScot uses the tried and true Appeal to Mockery.      
Quote
The New and Improved Tree of Life ... This is your brain on NeoDarwinism: ... This is your brain on NeoNePlusUltraDarwinism ...

And here I thought that ID was "ok" with common descent and that NeoDarwinism had to do with mechanisms.

Well, ID is down with common descent so long as the information's frontloaded into the first living being. The tree dt posts has crossing branches, representing lateral gene transfer. I don't suppose frontloading can account for that. But never underestimate the power of tard.

These are the posts that assure us that DS doesn't give a rat's ass about any of the assertions he makes at UD. It's all autodactyl knob polishing.

Date: 2007/02/24 07:52:56, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Richardthughes @ Feb. 23 2007,23:06)
http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelli....hnology

   
Quote
23 February 2007
A Meaningful Universe Rigged For Humankind: ID, Music, And Technology
GilDodgen....



another tour de force from GilTard. Why don't I have an xray guitar, Gil? Think about it, if you can...

"Scientists state that hydrogen is the most plentiful substance in the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe."  - Frank Zappa

Without abundant stupidity, posts like Gil's latest wouldn't be possible. Isn't it interesting that the universe has been arranged to supply to us such sublime pleasures?

(Not sure, however, if a GilDodg'em post is a "higher" pleasure or a "lower" pleasure, since they entail autodactyl knob polishing.)

Date: 2007/02/24 12:56:45, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
WAD continues an argument by analogy:
       
Quote
Convergent Vestigial Structures BY DESIGN!
William Dembski

Here’s a new take on the problem of vestigiality from a colleague:

Here are two examples of a “convergent, vestigial structure” — It’s the Chrysler PT cruiser and the Chevy HHR. Two different families of car have converged onto the same “vestigial running board”

I'm starting to see WAD's reasoning here.  The designer includes vestigial structures in many organisms so they SELL. Manipulation through nostalgia.  

It follows that we are PRODUCTS. And the Privileged Planet is a bodacious warehouse.

An ID prediction: A glossy catalog and price list are embedded in the deepest layers of human DNA. There may also be a "buy it now" button in there somewhere.

[edit]  It also appears that WAD is lifting his skirt just a bit vis the designer.  Designers, truth be told, who are competing with one another. Designers who observe one another's products, and sometimes copy one another's work.  That accounts for what we call "convergence."  ID Science marches on!

Date: 2007/02/25 07:48:05, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Nightlight applies the logic of "designed vestigial structures" to devastating effect:
   
Quote
The generalization of this argument is very powerful against neo-Darwinism (RM+NS) — any biological phenomena being pointed as a “proof” (or indicator) of underlying randomness or mechanical nature of evolution, which also has an analogue in technological, scientific, or cultural evolution cannot serve neo-Darwinian cause since we know that latter forms do have intelligent causes.

Let's really push this generalization to demonstrate its POWER.  

- a lawn sprinkler demonstrates that rain is not a natural phenomenon, but rather the product of intelligent agency.

- man-made ponds and reservoirs demonstrate that lakes and seas are not natural phenomena, but rather the result of intelligent agency.

- a trench dug by a back hoe demonstrates that the Grand Canyon is not a natural phenomenon, but rather the result of intelligent agency.

- a breeze generated by a window fan demonstrates that wind is not a natural phenomenon, but rather the result of intelligent agency.  

However, Frank Zappa notwithstanding, I can't think of a physical phenomenon within nature that generates stupidity analogous to Nightlight's post. Ergo...

Date: 2007/02/26 05:12:31, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Amadan @ Feb. 25 2007,20:28)
Part the First of An Occasional Series Featuring Snippettes from Unwritten Litter-ary Wurkss...

...Scotus!”

The cringing lacky shrank from the harsh tones of his master's inquisitor.

“Fetch ... The Explanatory Filter!”

My sleep was disturbed by long shadows of tall foreheads.

(>shivers<)

(But I always imagined a "Scrotus.")

Date: 2007/02/26 06:29:21, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
[off topic] Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth” Wins Oscar
DaveScot

Uh, what exactly IS the topic at UD?

Date: 2007/02/26 06:40:31, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Richardthughes @ Feb. 25 2007,13:15)
Quote (Shirley Knott @ Feb. 25 2007,11:08)
Ah, at last, a tard metric.  Someone else will have to suggest what 'E' stands for, but it is now a defined unit of measurement for such as afDave, DaveTard, et al.
It is calcuated as ((Mistakes) * (Confidencefactor)) raised to the 'tard' value.
Delightful!

hugs,
Shirley Knott

It's "Enjoyment".

"Errortainment."

Date: 2007/02/26 19:51:44, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Lou FCD @ Feb. 26 2007,19:38)
 
Quote (stevestory @ Feb. 26 2007,17:47)
Denyse O'Leary says evolutionary psychology is bunk because...

...a bunny rabbit chased a snake up a tree.

No I'm not kidding.

Y'know, I thought I'd point and laugh at this one, but when my jaw dropped, no sound came out.

as in "Jaw-droppingly Stupid".

I gotta go with Steve on this.  300 million people, and this is the cream of the crop?

Think about that.  THREE HUNDRED MILLION PEOPLE, and this is the best they can do.

300 million people and they they had to go to Canada to find her.

Date: 2007/02/26 21:47:51, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
Who are the (multiple) designers? James Shapiro offers some compelling answers
Scorned'Ova
Is there only one Designer of life or are their multiple designers?

'Ova's ignorance of the armchair literature is shocking.  
     
Quote
II. Thinks and Poofs are initiated by units of pure intelligent agency known as Rodins. At the current state of theoretical development the Rodin remains a placeholder concept that has yet to be given empirical grounding. It is unclear, for example, whether there is a single Rodin, two Rodins, or countless Rodins and, if there exist more than one Rodin, whether all Rodins give rise to equally efficacious Thinks and/or Poofs. It is also unclear whether multiple Rodins stand in cooperative, competitive, or other relationship to one another, whether Rodins borrow Thinks inferred from the Things originated by other Rodins, whether Rodins have degrees of omniscience, and so forth. However, I make the bold prediction that these questions can be given empirical formulation and resolved through an appropriate combination of laboratory and field investigation...

"Rodin-initiated Thinks are mind-like, agentic, timeless-sizeless representations. Poofs do the hand-like work of actually arranging matter/energy to conform to the specification of a given Think, giving rise to a Thing. A Rodin may “choose” to formulate a grand system of interlocking Thinks all apiece, yet implement such a Think-Structure imperceptibly over deep time by issuing Poofs only slowly and sequentially. Alternatively, a Think-Structure may give rise to thousands of simultaneous Poofs, yielding an (only apparently) saltational Thing-Structure that instantaneously mirrors the underlying Think Structure. Biological Things that display Irreducible Complexity almost certainly issue from the latter sort of process: a single Rodin exerts its intrinsic intentionality to originate a complex biological Think Structure which is in turn effected by means of multiple simultaneous, interlocking Poofs.

"In the future we hope to infer the properties of agentic Rodin or Rodins themselves, by tracing Think-Poof-Thing pathways much as the electrodynamic properties of elementary particles may be inferred from the ephemeral trails left within a cloud chamber. We anticipate that the biology of the 22nd century will be characterized by Rodin simulations, the computational modeling of Biological Think-Structures, the detection and deconstruction of Poof-efficacy at the Think-Thing interface, and a completed Thing Theory. Ultimately we may see the triumph of what has been derisively called the "Big Think" theory of the origins of the universe.  We may also confidently anticipate that a bankrupt Darwinism with truly be a “think” of the past."

(The above was carefully peer reviewed, in that I peered at it while reviewing.  Hey, if that's good enough for the DI, it's good enough for me.)

Date: 2007/02/27 17:55:13, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (carlsonjok @ Feb. 27 2007,14:07)
   
Quote (ofro @ Feb. 27 2007,13:40)
In case you haven’t seen the latest version of evolutionary theory yet:
<img src=" http://images.ucomics.com/comics/nq/2007/nq070225.gif" border="0">

Well, that pretty much falsifies the "think" part of Reciprocating Bill's Think and Poof Hypothesis.  Therefore we need a new synthesis incorporating this new information.  My suggestion is that we will need to develop the Poof and Stuff Hypothesis.  

Do I have any empirical data to back up the "Stuff" part of the hypotheses? Of course not. But we can have a mascot that looks way cooler on a t-shirt than a bacterial flagellum.  



Move over ID!  There is a new merchandising strategy origin-of-life hypotheses in town!

Scientific Think-Poof theory postulates that Thinks are initiated by Rodins - about which we know little. The feline in the cartoon is filling in for a Rodin, not a Think.  

In the fanciful and amusing scenario depicted therein, Think-Structures have been pre-compiled within the computer for simultaneous poofactualization into Thing-Structures.  Metathingorganization is apparent in the sequential poofactualization of these Thing-Structures (organisms). Indeed, we may speculate that the cat has triggered a Frontloaded sequential saltationist poofactualization of preplanned Thing-Structures, and that the intent of the cartoon is to subtly convey the compatibility of Think-Poof theory with Front Loading.

Isn't that obvious?

Date: 2007/02/27 18:00:19, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Feb. 27 2007,16:30)
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Feb. 26 2007,21:47)
The above was carefully peer reviewed, in that I peered at it while reviewing.

Have we been a great audience? Are you here all week?

I'll be here until my scheduled deposition.

Then it's "Poof."

Date: 2007/02/27 20:10:55, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
Well, that pretty much falsifies the "think" part of Reciprocating Bill's Think and Poof Hypothesis.

 
Quote
Have we been a great audience? Are you here all week?

 
Quote
That might look like a mechanistic theory with a pathetic level of detail for anyone duped by word salad.

 
Quote
I suppose, but try putting that on a t-shirt or a coffee mug.  Come back when you got a real gimmick hypothesis.


Riddled by friendly fire. Usually a bad sign.

Date: 2007/02/28 09:00:29, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Tribune7 waxes poetic...
   
Quote
The future, brother, may be murder and your private life may suddenly explode but one can still be overly obscure.

...hoping that relative obscurity will alow him to quote artists without attribution.

From The Future by Leonard Cohen:
   
Quote
...Give me back the Berlin wall
give me Stalin and St Paul
I've seen the future, brother:
it is murder....

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
The blizzard, the blizzard of the world
has crossed the threshold
and it has overturned
the order of the soul...

There'll be the breaking of the ancient
western code
Your private life will suddenly explode
There'll be phantoms
There'll be fires on the road...

And so on.

Date: 2007/02/28 16:04:40, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (stevestory @ Feb. 28 2007,15:15)
...the explosive phenomenon in science publishing which is PCID.

Pronounced "piss-id."  At least when I read it.

Date: 2007/02/28 18:16:05, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
Freedom of Religious Expression Protection Act of 2007
DaveScot

....The act prohibits the award of attorney’s fees in 1st amendment establishment clause cases which are characterized by citizens suing the government (federal or local) for things like having a cross in a city seal, a monument with the ten commandments in a courthouse, or (directly relevant to ID) putting a sticker in a textbook saying evolution is a theory not a fact (Cobb County), or telling a biology class that there are criticisms to Darwin’s theory of evolution (Dover).

Here are three things that are alike:

- A depiction of the Christian cross.
- A monument depicting the ten commandments.
- Statements promoting intelligent design.

Thank you for clarifying that.

Date: 2007/03/01 06:42:29, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Richardthughes @ Feb. 28 2007,18:10)
Dave's diet update:

[Now with 30% less fact!]

 
Quote
DaveScot said...
I have to recommend the new-fangled "fuzzy logic" rice cookers. We're talking perfect rice here. Every last grain. Any kind of rice. Just pick it off the menu and add water to the line for that kind of rice marked on the non-stick pan. So far I've tested it with long grain white, brown, and a multi-grain with barley, oats, and a few kinds of rice. I'm trying out the "porridge" menu setting right now using the multi-grain and water to the porridge line. The multi-grain was a big hit with the wife & kid last night. It's about the size of a toaster and doesn't get warm on the outside at all. I think tomorrow I'll go to the store and get some sushi quality fish and make a batch of sushi rice

Anyone who absorbs the actual data, rather than fraudulent pencil-whipped liberal pablum vomited by a scientific industry committed to fomenting hysteria to protect otherwise wasted careers, understands that rice warming is a hoax.

Date: 2007/03/01 12:00:39, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Faid @ Mar. 01 2007,08:07)
 
Quote (Zachriel @ Mar. 01 2007,07:29)
late_model        
Quote
BTW-does anyone know why Darwin is always cited and not Wallace
...Wallace freely admitted to Darwin's scientific priority.

That's a good thing, I suppose; imagine having to listen to the creos calling us "Wallacians" and defenders of "Neo-Wallacism". Ew.

And this would be "Walley-World."

Date: 2007/03/01 20:31:56, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
Turkey's First ID Conference
GilDodg'em

... about a dozen local mayors sent telegraphs of congratulations...

Next:  ID Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Turkmenistan.

Date: 2007/03/02 06:24:37, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Richardthughes @ Mar. 02 2007,00:04)
here are the articles:

http://wpherald.com/article....gm.html

Haeckel’s embryos, Miller-Urey...*yawn*

Try as you may, you can't shine shit.

Date: 2007/03/02 06:40:12, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
Japanese Pro-ID Cartoon
William Dembski

Here’s a pro-ID cartoon that appeared in the Tokyo Sekai Nippo:

More WAD as ID/Christian Warrior fantasy imagery.  With all the sophistication of Snoopy vs. the Red Baron.

Date: 2007/03/03 12:53:36, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Zachriel @ Mar. 03 2007,11:39)
Oh for the memories,

Any science fiction fans out there remember what Dr Who’s time machine was called?

tribune      
Quote
The TARDIS


Oh my.

Does this really fit?  I mean, DS is much larger on the outside than he is on the inside.  And his chameleon circuit is clearly working.

Date: 2007/03/04 09:12:11, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
PZ Myers - Fierce Like a Potted Plant
DaveScot

It seems The Discovery Institute recently quoted PZ Myers in one of his more memorable faux tough guy ravings and to my delight Paul Myers, the red-faced raving labcoated academic pansy, in response treats us to another display of impotent, impudent juvenile rage...He rants to a crowd of nerdish college kids that aren’t old enough to shave and despite their best efforts to change the situation are all still virgins. Warning the juvenile sycophants about teh ne plus ultra danger of Intelligent Design like it was capitalism encroaching on the communist world and extoling the virtues of Teh Scientific Way like it was Marxism reincarnate.

Examine the above post.  Some subtle self-reference going on:

- Impotent?  Check.  
- Juvenile?   Check.
- Impudent? "Impudent" is disqualified for poor word usage.
- Addressed to dimwitted virgins?  Check.
- Motivated by ideological fervor largely divorced from reality? Check.

A hazard of autodactyl knob polishing, one supposes.
       
Quote
ROFLMAO

Now, as he is likely still on the floor, somebody help Dave up.

Date: 2007/03/04 12:41:55, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
With her usual acumen, Uncommonly Denyse cites four reasons why ID persists:
     
Quote
1. The general acceptance of Big Bang cosmology focused attention on the mathematical probabilities of Darwinism. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the world inside the cell turned out to be much more awesomely complex than anyone had realized. So, just when it should have triumphed, Darwinism received a one-two punch from reality. It is no accident that so many of the ID guys are in math, information sciences, and biochemistry, bioinformatics, etc.

2. Not surprisingly, the current generation of Darwinists operates on faith, mostly. The recent involvement of key ultra-Darwinists in the activities of the Church of Atheism is, under the circumstances, a normal and foreseeable development. You see, once you commit to materialist atheism, something like Darwinism must be true. That lifts a crushing burden from the shoulders of the Darwinist.

And the Darwinists themselves are largely responsible for the success of ID. The ID guys are smart enough to serve their turn, to be sure, but they have also been lucky in finding so many meatheads among their opponents. The persecutions of Rick Sternberg and Guillermo Gonzalez, to name two, left little doubt that Darwinists did not expect to succeed by convincing anyone of the sweet reasonableness of their cause or their methods.

But there is another factor that many observers miss:

4. The fact that Darwinism is the creation story of materialism says nothing, one way or the other, about whether it is an accurate account of origins - but an important consequence follows. Let us say, for the sake of argument, that it was an accurate creation story. The fact that it is any kind of a creation story at all means that it tends to be treated as both science AND religion. Those who affirm Darwinism often have a heavy emotional investment in it, in a way that they do not have in, say, continental drift. People notice this fact (it’s hard not to). That raises the justifiable suspicion that many arguments for Darwinism are put forward to boost faith, far beyond the argument’s actual strength.

Four reasons, sometimes known as factors.  Factors 1, 2, and 4.  That's four factors, because it ends in Four. Including a factor that many observers are likely to miss.  

Bless her heart, the woman can't count, yet feels qualified to comment upon the implications of big bang cosmology for the mathematics of evolutionary biology.

Date: 2007/03/04 21:35:12, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Henry J @ Mar. 04 2007,18:46)
Then why are elephants so afraid of thier little cousins, huh? Huh? HUH?

Boy, you've got that right.  Elephant are modified mice?  Ridiculous.  If elephants are modified mice then why are there still mice?

Date: 2007/03/06 18:19:44, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
DaveScot
03/06/2007  2:41 pm

...

Why should ID be held to a higher standard than RM+NS as a macroevolution mechanism? See here for details.

P.S. You need to start showing a greater understanding of what ID is or your time here is coming to a close.

Read this and let me know if there’s anything you don’t understand. The next comment where you present a strawman of ID will be your last.

Ignoranus.

Date: 2007/03/07 06:26:42, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ Mar. 06 2007,21:37)
     
Quote (stevestory @ Mar. 06 2007,21:14)
Maybe back then they really thought they were on to something with this Complex Specified Information, and Irreducible Complexity, and the other junk.

Nah, the Wedge Document makes it pretty apparent that ID was complete dishonest bullshit right from the beginning.

My feeling is that both assertions are correct. I do believe that there was a moment in the middle '90s when a few of the actors (Dembski, Behe) believed that they could show that God's design efforts are formally demonstrable in nature by something resembling scientific means.

The bald, deliberate dishonesty was introduced in their attempt to devise a truncated version of this thesis that maintained, with a straight face, that they were motivated strictly by scientific interest in design detection, not the designer. This calculated amputation was performed strictly for the purpose of pressing their cultural and political aims. These were transparent lies of the first order. (Who did they think they were fooling?)

That lie continues, at least in the form of lip service, although content at UD and DI since Dover makes it clear that this fiction is no longer being argued with any conviction.

I also believe that a new level of dishonesty has emerged, in that all of the principals within ID now understand that there is no formulation of ID that has empirical, and hence scientific, traction - yet they continue to portray ID as a scientific viewpoint, and to spin fictional narratives regarding the growing influence of their thesis within the scientific community. They are fully aware that these assertions are bullshit, pure and simple, but there is no backing down now.

Date: 2007/03/07 15:41:50, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Mar. 07 2007,14:52)
Good god. This is a veritable who's who of Fundaloon cognitive dissonance. He mentions 'decency' THREE times.

Okay, let's run down the Tard Checklist, shall we?

1) "attacking common sense and decency" - check
2) "superior western values" - check
3) "world that is totally random" - check
4) "love and liberty and morality and decency" - check
5) "Brittany [sic] Spears" - check
6) "homosexual intercourse on television" - check
7) "American flag being defacated [sic] on"
8) "pro PEACE rally" - check
9) "babies" - check
10) "unwed mothers" - check
11) "abortion" - check
12) "moral truth" - check
13) "darwinism = nihilism" - check
14) "There is no god" - check
15) "There is no good. There is no bad. There is only pleasure and pain" - check
16) "Our species will simply commit collective suicide" - check
17) "chronic depression" - check
18) "Sure, maybe the evidence points towards your conclusion. But common sense and decency point in the opposite direction" - check
19) "Frankenstein" - check

and finally, the money shot:

20) "The fact of ID is of little relevance compared to its truth"

DANG, this Doug guy is GOOD.

A little TOO good...

That's errortainment!

Date: 2007/03/07 19:53:36, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Amadan @ Mar. 07 2007,19:30)
the Dawk Arts....

That alone will have me chuckling for days.  Bravo.  

But what happened to Scrotus?  I miss him.

Date: 2007/03/07 20:52:46, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (k.e @ Mar. 07 2007,18:45)
...a turtle strangler.

...
Let me be somebody I admire
Let me be that muscle down the street
Stick another turtle on the fire
Guys like me are mad for turtle meat

L. Cohen,
Jazz Police

Date: 2007/03/08 22:42:36, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
GAK!

UD has shut me down. Cleaned me out. I'm spent.

Here's how they did it:  

1) UD fell silent. Days passed.
2) In secret retort facilities, UD Friends, Contributors and Commenters alike labored day and night, generating page upon page of ponderous, dimwitted, illogical, self-serving commentary.
3) The floodgates opened and GilDodg'em, Scorned'Ova, Uncommonly Denyse, WAD, TheOddIsUs, and BlarneyA simultaneously disgorged the fruits of their labors.

I endeavored to drink their swill, all in a sitting.  This was very like the prep for a recent colonoscopy, which entailed drinking a gallon of flavored dishwater. Tolerable at first, but after an hour one can barely look at the stuff, much less drink it.    

Got that UD? You guys read like a colonoscopy clean-out. And that's with DS on sabbatical.

Date: 2007/03/09 21:16:08, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Dacook reviews Schopenhauer's catalog of unfair, manipulative, and downright mean rhetorical tactics, and notes that Darwinian defenders, desperate obfuscators all, employ each and every one.  He includes a summary of the ad hominem attack:
           
Quote
38. “Become personal, insulting and rude as soon as you perceive that your opponent has the upper hand. ...This is a very popular technique, because it takes so little skill to put it into effect.”

He continues...
         
Quote
...I’ve been on the receiving end of this sort of thing more than once myself. This tactic is by far the most common “answer” to ID proponents and NDE critics, precisely because it takes so little skill...

No ID advocate would stoop so low. He concludes:
         
Quote
...Alas, a little skill is all most of them have.

Uh, Dakook? Since we are getting to know one another and all, can I call you "Duh," for short?

Date: 2007/03/11 09:52:53, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
UD’s First “Suck up to Darwin” Contest
William Dembski

What I find interesting about Dembski's parody is that, his best efforts at hyperbole notwithstanding, most of it is accurate.  It is difficult overstate Darwin's accomplishment, and the significance of that accomplishment for our understanding of our place in the natural world.

That and the fact that WAD's post reeks of bitterness and jealousy, after a very bad year for ID.  You just know that WAD briefly dreamed of becoming "The Big D" himself, but it's clear that isn't going to happen.

Date: 2007/03/11 10:14:08, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
This post is a test of Zachriel's observation that his first rollover post did not appear until a second post was made.

EDIT: That worked.  I had posted the above, but it did not appear for 5-10 minutes.  I added this post and the above immediately appeared in the re-load of the page following this post. We have captured a Wordpress bug.

Date: 2007/03/12 21:28:26, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Kristine @ Mar. 12 2007,08:36)
The journey is the destination!  :)  *Lights incense*

"The gurney is the reward."

Date: 2007/03/13 05:34:58, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (djmullen @ Mar. 13 2007,02:43)
Southwestern trustee chairman Van McClain had explained that the seminary is taking the "traditional" position that women should not teach men in theology or biblical languages and thus only men should instruct future pastors. The seminary follows the Southern Baptist statement of faith which limits the pastorate to men. Consequently, Patterson said that instruction of future pastors is limited to men."

I happen to be in full agreement with this policy. Theological knob polishing is a special art that can be effectively demonstrated only by those actually in possession of the requisite knob.

"But sir, I can't quite grasp a theodicy that argues that God operates outside a framework of time and causality..."

"Like this, my boy, like this..."

Date: 2007/03/13 18:59:26, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (BWE @ Mar. 13 2007,15:50)
I want to disprove scientists so bad I can almost taste it. I have researched many a scientific debate and discovered the unholy background to fake science is usually money and an agenda. Darwinism is promoted by corporatism. We need to feel empty enough to become good consumers and poor stewards. We were granted dominion over Earth and we can only justify the rape that is agribusiness and the loss of soul that is consumer credit by shutting down our moral sense. We can only do that by pushing God out of our lives. It is critically important that faith be taught to all our children if we are to have a just and sustainable world...

You can pull and pull Doug's word-taffy at will without reducing it's intelligibility a whit:

"I want to taste scientists so bad I want to disprove it.  I have debated many a scientific fake and researched a background agenda for unholy money.  Corporatism is promoted by Darwinsm.  We need to feel our stewards enough to become good empty consumers. We justify domination through rape by granting the earth the agribusiness that is Lost, and shut the soul of consumer credit by downing our sense of moral loss. We push that by living out of our only God. It is critically important that sustenance be taught to all our children if we’re to have a just worldly faith."

That's some powerful, protean shit.

Date: 2007/03/15 06:43:23, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (dhogaza @ Mar. 14 2007,23:24)
"oh, our graphics designers re-did the X-axis, that was a mistake".

TRoutMac found work!

Date: 2007/03/17 13:52:23, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
[quote=steve_h,Mar. 17 2007,11:24]  
Quote (J-Dog @ Mar. 16 2007,21:00)
     
Quote (J-Dog @ Mar. 16 2007,12:22)
       
Quote (steve_h @ Mar. 16 2007,11:25)
       
Quote (Richardthughes @ Mar. 16 2007,17:47)
Gil shows us why he's uncommonly dense:

http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelli....omments

 

Actually, this is a very interesting post at UD, in that several posters call Gil out on being a moron, and their posts haven't been Magicaly Disapeared.  Even DaveScot, the Tardmaster "hisself", has been chastised in writing!?

Maybe too much Old Bushmills for DaveScott?  (I don't want him drinking Jamesons - that for us good guys - Dave can stick with the Proddy product)

Jesus H Christ on a crutch, I should know better by now!

All the critical comments are gone... poofed by The Designert into the same spot that AFDave's Global Flood Waters went away to.

I assumed that you were talking about the old Dodg'em post (archives/1660). Gil and DS were criticised there by people not immediately banned. It was too soon after DS's return to the fold.

AFAICT, all the comments  have remained unchanged since I made my copy in october last year. They are still all there.

Shortly afterwards of course, Gil tried to move the discussion to his home turf, Parachute drops He and DS received further drubbings from Karl Pfluger and Tom English.  Gil tried to make out that his previous post was a joke (maybe he was just taking the piss out of creationists or something?) and then the thead mutated into a discussion about simulation of electronics which caused much amusement here. And then the bannings started.

Here and here are links to those threads.  

I was among the few, the proud, and the banned in that discussion.  I shortly after discovered AtBC, and was healed.

Date: 2007/03/18 09:31:03, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Blip -

I wonder, from an evolutionary perspective, if it is more accurate to say that almost everyone is a "language savant," in that we are adapted for the production and comprehension of language, but few are mathematical and musical savants.

Almost all human children acquire the language or languages to which they are exposed with astonishing ease and rapidity, most often using only casual and fragmented models (the ordinary speech of the adults around them) and without explicit tutelage. This reflects the fact that we likely possess domain-specific neural/cognitive adaptations for the acquisition of language. We can also speculate that because this adaptation has been so essential to survival in human communities for so long, and because its adaptive value emerges in cooperation among individuals (and hence may be lost when a startling new variation emerges in a given individual), its developmental unfolding (in children) is significantly "canalized," and hence subject to less frequent broad variation.

Contrast this with the acquisition of reading/writing and especially mathematics, which for most requires years of difficult tutelage. Both are much too recent cultural inventions to have shaped human evolution to a significant degree, and therefore press into service cognitive resources/neural equipment that evolved for other functions - and very likely recruit different combinations of those resources in different mathematically gifted individuals. Because the acquisition of these skills is not developmentally canalized, and the value of its expression is less dependent upon rapid, real-time consumption within a cooperative community, startling variations may emerge as a consequence of unique learning histories and/or the occurrence of structural variation from individual to individual.

Music (and dancing) probably falls somewhere between these extremes, with community cohesion and sexual selection playing a role in its emergence... (see Geoffry Miller's "The Mating Mind.")  

Just so.

Date: 2007/03/18 19:01:21, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (blipey @ Mar. 18 2007,09:49)
I do have a couple questions on the "canalization" of evolutionary adaptions now.  By "canalization" do you mean that certain selected factors (such as linguistic ability) are "more" hardwired into us than others?  Then, because of this, significant variations are harder to realise?

At the end you say that music and dance are somewhere in between.  In terms of selected features, this may or may not be true, I don't know.  There are musical savants such as Mozart that truly showed drastic variation within the population.  But, afaik, there aren't literary (I realise this is different than linguistic) savants.  No one is writing the next great American novel at age 6.

Music (and especially composition) is something most people need extensive tutelage and/or exposure to in order to become any good at all.  Poetry, or fiction wriing seems to me to be in the same boat.  Yet, we have musical extremes in the population and not(?) poetical or literary extremes.

Though, I suppose, music in some form has been around much longer than mathematics and may have more available ways to express itself.  Is this some state between "canalized" and freedom to have wider expression?

To directly quote Ariew:  "Canalization denotes a process whereby the endstate (the product of development) is manifested despite environmental perturbations."  It is a nuanced expression of the notion of innateness that recognizes that while specific environmental conditions are required for the developmental emergence of virtually all traits, once those conditions are met for a highly canalized trait it will emerge within a "normal" range regardless of wide variations in environmental inputs.  

In this model canalization occurs on a continuum, with some physical structures and behavioral traits highly canalized by natural selection, others less so, and still others not at all.

See:  Ariew, A. (1999). Innateness is canalization: In defense of a developmental account of innateness. In V. G. Hardcastle (Ed.), Where biology meets psychology: Philosophical essays. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

I would guess that the ability to participate in musical activities is likely somewhere between mathematics and language - depending upon which phase of musical activity we consider.  The ability to enter into communal states of rhythm and singing has probably played a role in social cohesion and participation in "deep social mind" (after Andrew Whiten on the emergence of human theory of mind) throughout human history (and all the while subject to an incredible degree of cultural elaboration), and even small children enjoy and even organize similar activities.

Other elements, such as the deployment of complex systems of scales and harmony (e.g. the circle of fifths fixed by Bach in the Well Tempered Clavier), the invention of musical notation, and cultural inventions such as "composer,"  "performance," "sonata form" etc. are likely to be much more like mathematics, and hence require the tutelage to which you refer.

Date: 2007/03/21 11:34:56, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
At least Darwin had the courtesy to give voice to 19th century predudices and errors during the 19th century.  Dembski is repeating pre-Darwinian 19th century theoretical notions that are equally anachronistic and equally baldly mistaken (the arguments to and from design) in the 21st century.  

Shame on him.

Date: 2007/03/21 16:51:10, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Finally, after years of bloviation from the ID and creo camps that evils such as eugenics inevitably flow from a belief in natural selection, we have expert opinion that they simply do not.  From Uncommonly Denyse:
     
Quote
I wrote about this in By Design or by Chance?:

Darwin’s theory of natural selection does not provide a basis for the Social Darwinists’ eugenic beliefs. Natural selection does not suggest any specific direction for evolution.

I'm not accustomed to her getting things right, but here she has.

Date: 2007/03/22 18:11:58, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Uncommonly Denyse:
 
Quote
The skinny: Materialist neuroscience argues that the mind does not really exist. The mind is merely the functions of the brain or a simulacrum thereof. The mind is merely the functions of the brain, so you do not really have a mind, let alone a soul or free will.

Materialist biomechanics is equally empty.  Materialist biomechanics argues that flight does not really exist. Flight is merely the function of wings, or a simulacrum thereof. Flight is merely the function of wings, so birds don't really fly, let alone soar or move freely through the sky.

Date: 2007/03/22 18:33:15, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (carlsonjok @ Mar. 22 2007,14:24)
   
Quote (Richardthughes @ Mar. 22 2007,14:14)
     
Quote (carlsonjok @ Mar. 22 2007,12:55)
  Trinitarian Actuated Recursive Design?

Telic Actuated Recursive Design?

Much better.  The use of 'Trinitarian' shrinks the size of the tent.  'Telic' is much more inclusive of non-Christian ID supports. And we know how much the ID guys support diversity.

Got to make it truly recursive:

Tard Articulated Recursive Design

Date: 2007/03/23 06:34:05, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Richardthughes @ Mar. 23 2007,00:05)
...ID is a fertile ground indeed!

Likewise, my dog's run is fertile ground, for roughly the same reason.

Date: 2007/03/23 08:41:48, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Occam's Toothbrush @ Mar. 23 2007,06:01)
   
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Mar. 23 2007,05:34)
     
Quote (Richardthughes @ Mar. 23 2007,00:05)
...ID is a fertile ground indeed!

Likewise, my dog's run is fertile ground, for roughly the same reason.

At least your dog isn't pretending that his output is scientific.

No, actually, my dog has steadfastly maintained that her output is scientific.  She repeatedly recites the "demarcation problem," for example. And produces pseudomath I'm not qualified to evaluate. But when doing the real work of cleaning shit off my shoe it seems clear that she's got it wrong.

Same experience with ID.

Date: 2007/03/25 18:28:16, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Kristine @ Mar. 25 2007,16:52)
...And as for me and my "nihilism," I can live with myself if Bill can live with himself.

But one wonders how he does.  
       
Quote
Ken Miller: “Blame the BBC’s bad editing”
William Dembski
...

Apologies are therefore in order. Miller, far from blatantly misrepresenting me, was merely setting up a strawman. Way to go.

Beyond not really being an apology at all (one does not express remorse by attacking the individual owed the apology - at least not beyond the third grade), a reading of the cited testimony finds no such straw man.  In fact, other than Miller's responses to a few questions posed by Muise in cross that established that he had passing familiarity with the term CSI and WAD's authorship of same, CSI and WAD receive no further mention in this exchange. Rather, Miller (in redirect) is asked about Behe's rather different notion of irreducible complexity, its significance to intelligent design, and the numerous falsifications of Behe's predictions regarding specific instances of supposed IC present in the literature.

Dembski's arguments are not addressed at all, not even in straw form.  Perhaps he is feeling a bit miffed by that.

Date: 2007/03/26 06:24:39, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (keiths @ Mar. 26 2007,01:08)
I just bought Thomas Woodward's Darwin Strikes Back, published last year.  In the foreword, Dembski writes this:
     
Quote
Woodward is optimistic, as am I, about the ultimate outcome of the controversy over ID, and he concludes his careful analysis with some pretty daring predictions.  If he is right, we may look forward to a third volume from his hand, one to complete a trilogy on the ID movement that started with Doubts About Darwin and now has issued in Darwin Strikes Back.  If he is right, this third volume could appropriately be called The Triumph of Design.  But since "Darwin" figures in the titles of previous volumes in the trilogy, he may want to go with something like Darwin's Doddering Idea or Darwinism -- The Senescent Years.

Gee, what was wrong with A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi?

Date: 2007/03/26 07:59:42, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Dembski's original attack upon Kenneth Miller was premised upon the the accusation that Miller misrepresented Dembski's notion of CSI in the BBC program. Miller discussed ID's treatment of highly improbable events (through the example of one's misplaced retrospective amazement over a particular set of hands of cards dealt in a particular order) without addressing the "specification" fork of the concept of CSI. In doing so Miller distorted Dembski's position and set up a straw man in its stead. Similarly, a calculation of the probability of (for example) a flagellum spontaneously self-assmbling is beside the point, because it leaves out specification. This is evidence of the collapse of Ken Miller's psyche.  

Miller responded that this impression results from the BBC's unfortunate editing, which suggested that he had been discussing Dembski's mathematical notions when he was not. In response WAD issued a petulant apology.  

What has been lost in the ensuing discussion is that Dembski himself has characterized the flagellum as a "combinatorial object" and has discussed the overwhelming improbability of its chance self-assembly in the absence of reference to specification. He does this in NFL as he addresses himself to the relationship of Behe's concept of Irreducible Complexity to his own notion of Complex Specified Information.  Miller's playing card analogy is exactly relevant to this discussion, because for the moment Dembski proceeds without relying upon specification, as specification is absent from Behe's IC.

This was underscored by Howard Van Till in his review of Dembski's "No Free Lunch," and resulted in an exchange between Van Till and Dembski that Dembski seems to have forgotten:

Van Till, from his review of NFL:
             
Quote
So, then, we are asked to imagine a bacterial flagellum arising from the pure chance gathering of approximately 50 of the right kinds of proteins (and in the correct proportions) at some spot in the vicinity of the cell wall and plasma membrane of E. coli and then, again by chance, happening to configure themselves into a functioning rotary propulsion system for this bacterial cell.
Not surprisingly, Dembski’s computations and estimations of the three probability factors lead him firmly to the expected conclusion: Considered as a discrete combinatorial object that must self-assemble from the chance localization of the requisite, chance-assembled molecular components, the probability of a flagellum assembling itself and attaching itself to the cell membrane of E. coli is exceedingly small in comparison to the universal probability bound. By Dembski’s measure, it is demonstrable beyond any shadow of doubt that bacterial flagella cannot self-assemble as discrete combinatorial objects....But, of course, no biologist has ever taken the bacterial flagellum to be a discrete combinatorial object that self-assembled in the manner described by Dembski. Dembski has not defeated any actual biological proposition. He has slain nothing more than an imaginary dragon - a fictitious adversary that Dembski himself has fabricated from a stack of rhetorical straw.

Dembski responded to Van Till's discussion, and therein restated his representation of the flagellum as a discrete combinatorial object:
             
Quote
Van Till has a problem with my characterization of the bacterial flagellum as a discrete combinatorial object. Nonetheless, that's what it is. Moreover, the probability I describe for such objects, which decomposes into a product of an origination, localization, and configuration probability, does in fact constitute the probability for such objects. That decomposition holds with perfect generality and does not presuppose any independence or equiprobability assumptions. Now, how one assigns those probabilities and sorts through the different possible estimates of them is another matter. Thus, for Van Till to remark that "no biologist has ever taken the bacterial flagellum to be a discrete combinatorial object that self-assembled in the manner described by Dembski" is besides the point. The bacterial flagellum is indeed a discrete combinatorial object, and the self-assembly that I describe is the one we are left with and can compute on the basis of what we know. The only reason biologists would refuse to countenance my description and probabilistic calculations of self-assembly is because they show that only an indirect Darwinian pathway could have produced the bacterial flagellum. But precisely because it is indirect, there is, at least for now, no causal specificity and no probability to be calculated. Design theorists are closing off possible mechanistic routes for biological evolution. Van Till's biologists, by contrast, handwave at mere conceptual possibilities.

(My bolding.)
Van Till responded, in turn:
             
Quote
“Van Till has a problem with my characterization of the bacterial flagellum as a discrete combinatorial object.” Not so. Dembski here conveniently left off the essential qualification of my objection. What I actually said was, “But, of course, no biologist has ever taken the bacterial flagellum to be a discrete combinatorial object that self-assembled in the manner described by Dembski.” Dembski is free to call the flagellum a “discrete combinatorial object” if he wishes. But to then declare that it makes any sense whatsoever to think of it as something that self- assembled by pure chance is, I think, pure silliness. Feigning to compute the probability of such an “event” struck me as little more than an exercise in academic histrionics.

In short, although Miller was not, apparently, addressing himself to any of Dembski's arguments in the BBC special, and certainly not during his Doverloo testimony, his criticisms would have been appropriate to Dembski's argument vis the flagellum as combintorial object in NFL, which was restated in this exchange, if he had.

Date: 2007/03/27 08:41:11, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (wintermute @ Mar. 27 2007,07:13)
DaveScot is a tard      
Quote
It just ocurred to me that according to Ernst Mayr I must be a different species from Inuits. We’re reproductively isolated by geography and there isn’t a snowball’s chance in south central Texas I’d be attracted to an Inuit woman anyhow even though we’re probably still physically compatible on a hypothetical basis sort of like brown bears and polar bears.

More gratuitous, unapologetic racism from DaveScot.  This just after WAD took Darwin to task on behalf of the Irish.

Date: 2007/03/27 08:51:14, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
Off-Topic: Ahhh, The Madness of March!
crandaddy

This has absolutely nothing to do with intelligent design, but I just had to share it. It’s the final 45.6 seconds of Saturday’s NCAA D-II men’s basketball national championship game...

No further off topic than anything else. In the absence of empirical predictions unique to intelligent design theory, EVERYTHING has absolutely nothing to do with intelligent design, in equal degree.

Date: 2007/03/28 06:55:30, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (2ndclass @ Mar. 27 2007,19:51)
 
Quote
Miller writes, "I do not remember the exact question that prompted my response."
...After all, in the documentary Miller clearly states he is critiquing the "mathematical tricks employed by intelligent design," and Dembski is widely recognized as the leading mathematical theorist in the ID movement. Dembski seems a likely target for Miller's comments.

I cut Luskin some slack here.  When I hear "ID" and "mathematical tricks" together I think "William Dembski" too.

An understandable garden path error.

Date: 2007/03/28 11:43:25, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Actually, I think Behe is right when he comments,
 
Quote
Well, I see that even though you work in Baltimore, you’ve managed to avoid acquiring any Southern charm.

Its a rude bit of mail, whatever its scientific merits.

Date: 2007/03/29 18:36:56, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (franky172 @ Mar. 29 2007,15:35)
Borne has officially jumped the shark.  

He is now claiming that yes, since he doesn't like what he sees as the moral implications of Evolution, evolution must in fact be false:

http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelli....-105751

I've been similarly troubled by the theory of gravitation, because ideas have consequences.  

If the theory of gravitation is true, and dropping bricks on people's heads from the overpass is a logical consequence of the theory of gravitation, then our idea of the value of life is wrong.  

Under this scheme, any idea on gravitation that implies dropping bricks from the overpass, however brutally applied, is also not wrong.

Therefore, if gravitation is true, human life isn’t worth much more than the lives of lab rats.

I'm converting.

Date: 2007/03/29 19:21:46, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Glen Davidson @ Mar. 29 2007,11:46)
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:

http://www.bendweekly.com/ppt/Eugenics-WEBPAGE_files/frame.htm

Not very subtle, and it is doubtful that many children learned critical thinking by it, as Helphinstine claimed was his goal.

Glen D

Go easy on Helphinstine, given his handicaps and heros. I caught him leaving the library:



Date: 2007/03/29 21:03:21, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
DaveScot delivers:
 
Quote
God forbid you tell a 10th grader that Darwin was a racist and his theory inspired the science of eugenics.

Oh, and it just ocurred to me that according to Ernst Mayr I must be a different species from Inuits. We’re reproductively isolated by geography and there isn’t a snowball’s chance in south central Texas I’d be attracted to an Inuit woman anyhow even though we’re probably still physically compatible on a hypothetical basis sort of like brown bears and polar bears.

Date: 2007/03/30 06:34:57, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ Mar. 29 2007,22:24)
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Mar. 29 2007,21:56)
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ Mar. 29 2007,18:47)
 
Quote (Kristine @ Mar. 29 2007,18:37)
*Backslides, copies pic* Sorry, I know you guys don't understand it.

I understand.  

After all, I declared publicly that I'd "do" Ann Coulter.  ;)

You guys are both total perverts.

:O

Aw, come on -- haven't you ever heard of a  "bedroom conversion"?

I'd have Ann quoting from "Das Kapital" within weeks.   ;)

That cloaca wouldn't give you pause?

Date: 2007/03/30 13:32:16, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
BlarneyA demonstrates that an aptitude for accounting does not a scientific mindset make.  
     
Quote
The Illusion of Knowledge Revisited
BarryA

...Both Darwinism and the standard model are based upon inferences from observations, not direct observations.  They are in a different epistemic category from, say, the heliocentric solar system, which has been observed directly.

Set aside the unintended irony of the title of his post.  

The heliocentric solar system was amenable to "direct observation" as such (say, by means of the first Voyager) only because of the success of inferences from observations that were leveraged into Newton's mathematical model of gravitation and its generalization to celestial mechanics - a model that waited nearly three centuries for "direct observation" yet was secure nonetheless. BlarneyA sets out to dis inferential reasoning within science (a tired trope within creationist epicycles) and instead refutes himself, without knowing it.

Date: 2007/03/30 14:24:23, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Zachriel @ Mar. 30 2007,13:00)
The movement of the Earth was well-established by indirect observations. Early, direct observations included Bradley's discovery of stellar aberration in 1725, Bessel's measurement of stellar parallax in 1838, and Foucault's pendulum in 1851.


Naturally.  (And I bow to your erudition - truly impressive.  Should be known as Zachrudition).

But for BlarneyA, these wouldn't qualify as "direct observation."  In that world, direct observation of a heliocentric solar system consists in, "see, there's the sun. And over there is a planet oribiting the sun." By that standard, the significance of the precession of a pendulum vis the rotation of the earth is strictly inferential.

Have  you ever seen a cat turn into a dog?  

I thought not.

Date: 2007/03/30 16:59:03, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (J-Dog @ Mar. 30 2007,14:13)
What does Dembski know about sex?  

We infer from his role as consultant for "Godless" that he can find the cloaca.

cloaca |kl???k?| noun ( pl. -cae |-?k?; -?s?|) ...
• archaic: a sewer.

Date: 2007/03/31 13:49:19, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Kristine @ Mar. 31 2007,10:57)
Crandaddy:          
Quote
Why oh why do people think that mechanism is so necessary to design detection? Why can’t they see that minds don’t operate by any mechanism that we can understand and that mechanism resides in the absence of design.
Well I'll take a clumsy stab at this - not from a scientific perspective but from a humanities one (may I do that?).

When I think "mechanism" I'm thinking of a means, a medium, a process that is cumulative, as opposed to, say, a magical eruption of something into existence.

I'm not a scientist but I see this kind of "magical" thinking all the time in relation to art - in Dead Poets' Society, "Just lose control!" and poof, instant poetry. "Just seize your imagination!" Poof! Instant art....

Kristine -

There is a crucial place for improvisation in art, too, particularly music.  I generate music by means of a process that is analogous to variation and selection in nature in some ways - a sort of dialectic between improvisation (on midi piano) and the harder work of selecting and elaborating this raw material into finished compositions. Hours of mediocre noodling on the keyboard can occasionally yield brief passages of delightful accidental music that I capture, reproduce and elaborate into something resembling art. Very occasionally, quite lovely (if I say so myself) and quite lengthy passages spring out of my hands virtually complete.  So I cultivate improvisation by letting go in exactly the way you describe.  

This is not to assert for an instant that creativity of this kind emerges from nowhere, free of underlying mechanism.  I see it as a sort of meditation that loosens the grip of frontal planning to permit other areas of my brain and body (parietal lobes interacting with basal ganglia to recombine well learned motor plans into novel combinations) to become music generators. And selection may be the most important step in the process.

I'd be willing to bet you originate dance in a similar way.

Date: 2007/03/31 16:14:41, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Kristine @ Mar. 31 2007,14:24)
Hearing OR seeing OR touch. The brain needs stimulation in order to develop and think.

You are absolutely correct to emphasize that even the most ephemeral and ineffable dimensions of experience (cognition, consciousness, intentionality, etc.) are at some level embodied. That embodiment loops through sensory-motor activity and out into the physical and social world, and in turn partakes of "distributed cognition."  A brain in a beaker with no sensory/motor connectons is unlikely to be an experiencing or thinking brain. (Here's hoping I haven't offended brains in beakers everywhere).

And, as you say, even genuine human design typically consists in trial and error and many iterations of selection.
     
Quote
But that underscores my point. The steps themselves are learned and repeated. You must do this first before you can improvise. "Hours of mediocre noodling on the keyboard" is a mechanism, no? The ability to "yield brief passages of delightful accidental music," (i.e., to experience inspiration) requires discipline. You don't just bang anything on the piano because "that's how I feel" and call that inspiration. (I play the piano too, but I cannot compose music.)

We're on the same page.  The only reason I can improvise at all is because, over decades, I have laid down numerous over-learned motor plans and well rehearsed automaticities that may be recombined at times into something novel.  And, at the same time, I am trapped into my particular stylistic modes by this method, unable to easily rise above it and compose in a purely representational medium (e.g. musical notation).  Which is why I'll forever be an amateur.

That said, and with those years of rehearsal laid down, there something to be said for getting out of the way and observing what emerges, which can occasionally be surprising.

Date: 2007/03/31 16:44:24, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Zachriel @ Mar. 31 2007,15:18)
Just to complete the thought above.

Crandaddy:                        
Quote
Why oh why do people think that mechanism is so necessary to design detection? Why can’t they see that minds don’t operate by any mechanism that we can understand and that mechanism resides in the absence of design.

The term "design" has several meanings, including "to plan". But the claim of Intelligent Design isn't merely that the Designer had a thought, but that the Designer manipulated biology. And this requires a mechanism. And the mechanism connects the Designer with his creation.

Your distinction is calls to mind Howard Van Till's oft repeated distinction of the "mind-like" versus "hand-like" phases of any instance of design - and ID's obstinate silence on the latter.

Date: 2007/04/01 07:18:24, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Kristine @ Mar. 31 2007,21:18)
GilDodgen, Hon, is the voice screaming: "I DESERVE CHOCOLATE!"? That's me. Sorry. :)  I'm on page 20 of my 3rd attempt to get through this, that's why. (I'm farther than the other 2 times.) I've already blatted at my boyfriend about the nonsequitors. (I can hear his voice, too, in my head: "So why do you read that crap, then?")...

I read this paper some time ago, and my anandamide receptors, long in retirement from external manipulation, screamed at me as well. That's because they are known to mediate forms of forgetting.

What I found entertaining, beyond watching WAD tie himself into knots to accomplish his apologetic purposes (even the knots have knots), is the solution he devises for 'the fall,' which is essentially a multiverse solution:
           
Quote
In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve simultaneously inhabit two worlds—two worlds intersect in the Garden. In the one world, the world God originally intended, the Garden is part of a larger world that is perfect and includes no natural evils. In the other world, the world that became corrupt through natural evils that God brought about by acting preemptively to anticipate the Fall, the Garden is a safe haven that in the conscious experience of Adam and Eve (i.e., phenomenologically) matches up exactly with their conscious experience in the perfect world, the one God originally intended. In the originally intended world, there are no pathogenic microbes and, correspondingly, there is no need for Adam and Eve to have an immune system that wards off these microbes. In the imperfect world, whose imperfection results from God acting  preemptively to anticipate the Fall, both pathogenic microbes and human immune systems exist. Yet, in their garden experience, Adam and Eve never become conscious of that difference. Only after they sin and are ejected from the Garden do they become conscious of the difference. Only then do they glimpse the world they might have inhabited but lost, a world symbolized by the tree of life. Only then do they realize the tragedy they now face by being cast into a world full of natural evil and devoid of a tree that could grant them immortality.

If that makes sense to you, you'll agree that time and causality are not time and causality:
           
Quote
Because God knows the future and is able to act preemptively to anticipate future events, divine action properly follows not a causal-temporal logic but a teleological-semantic logic. This teleological-semantic logic treats time as nonlinear (cf. kairos) and sees God as acting in the world to accomplish his purposes in accord with the meaning and significance of the events happening in the world. The causal-temporal logic underlying the physical world and the teleological-semantic logic underlying divine action are not at odds—they do not contradict each other. At the same time, they are not reducible to each other.

(Which no doubt accounts for the fact that, for advocates of ID, the results are in before the science is done.)  

Which brings us to GilDodg'em's question vis credibility:
           
Quote
Friday Musings: The Credible Versus The Incredible
GilDodg'em

...Thus, at least among many intellectual elites and others, the incredible is given precedence over the credible as the default position. How did we arrive at this curious state of affairs?

Gil - take a squint at Bill's paper, and I think you'll have your answer.

(Design is screaming at you because it is PISSED.)

Date: 2007/04/01 16:00:17, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Kristine @ April 01 2007,12:37)
The chronos and kairos of which he speaks, the temporal realm and the eternal realm of the Godhead, form a cross! The first intersection (cross) is in the Garden, and the second is the resurrection of Jesus Christ! Get it? :) So nice, so neat, and so useless - except perhaps as a means to prevent Alzheimer's. ;) But it doesn't have anything to do with the real world.

Plus they forgot the parallel realm in which Spock is evil, and wears an evil goatee.

(But he is still logical and honest, which is more than I can can say for Dembski in this context).
   
Quote
That gets my chimp as well.

I would have sworn you were the bonobo type.

Date: 2007/04/02 19:51:48, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Crandaddy instructs:
   
Quote
[b]Clueless Mockery at PT[/]
crandaddy

For there to be a truth, there must be a proposition whose content is true or has the property of being true. Propositions are intentional entities; they have a content which is intrinsically and essentially (non-derivatively) about their object, and it is this content which can have the property of being true. So in order for the materialist to claim that truth exists, she must claim that propositional content which can have the property of being true is material, but how in the world can there be a material state be intrinsically about an object, and how can a material state possibly have the property of being true? Intrinsic, non-derivative content here is key, and it is just nonsensical to think of a material state which is about another material state in virtue of its truth, its falsity, or anything else.

These issues were first articulated (in this form, apart from the problem of consciousness) by Franz Brentano in 1874 and have become known as Brentano's thesis. It points to a genuine paradox within philosophy and has generated a huge literature addressing the problem of naturalizing intentionality. As the Cranster well knows, many toughminded philosophers (e.g. Rorty, Searle, Fodor, Pylyshyn, Dennett, Stalnaker, Quine, Putnam, Stich, Bogdan, the Churchlands, Chalmers, Haugland, on and on) have grappled with the question and suggested various solutions, and progress has been in made in framing the problem. None have suggested that a return to dualism gets it done.  

However, if Crandaddy hopes that dualism solves this problem, and takes comfort from this struggle to naturalize intentionality, he need only restate his question to disabuse himself of this hope (edited for clarity):

"But how in the world can a non-material state be intrinsically about an object, and how can a non-material state possibly have the property of being true?"  

Apparently, the Cranster thinks this is an easier question. I'd be interested in the philosophical program he is pursuing to address himself to it, because "non-material intentional state" surely raises more questions than it answers. Such an account confronts all of the paradoxes with which naturalism grapples - all the while having no way to think productively about the non-material and its relationship to the biological information processing that goes on within the human organism, which surely underlies human intentionality. Does he suppose the non-material supports representation in a manner similar to computation? Similar to neural nets? How do spiritual states of affairs refer to either spiritual or material states of affairs? Do angels dancing on the head of a pin display real intentionality, or only derived intentionality?

It's a non-starter, and the Cranster knows it.  One hopes.

Date: 2007/04/02 21:07:17, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ April 02 2007,20:23)
"Philosophy and the study of the actual world have the same relationship to one another as masturbation and sexual intercourse."    -- K Marx

IOW, its ALL good.

Date: 2007/04/02 22:37:38, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
Cambridge House Press (not to be confused with Cambridge University Press) publishes adolescent critique of ID
William [URL=http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/cambridge-house-press-not-to-be-confused-with-cambridge-university-press-publishes-adolesc



ent-critique-of-id/]Dembski[/URL]

Barrett Brown and Jon P. Alston, who appear only recently to have entered puberty judging by their obsession with sex....This book takes the level invective, namecalling, and sexual obsession (while abnegating intellectual content) among our Darwinist critics to a new low. But the important question here is, can they go still lower? I’d like to encourage P. Z. Myers to try his hand at a full-length book treatment of ID.

Wow.  One for Dembski.  Just how low will those Darwinians go? Next we'll be watching animated talking heads accompanied by the sound of flatulence. Despicable.

Stay above the fray, dude, and keep that dignity.

Date: 2007/04/03 05:56:20, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Some quick ignorance displayed by Scorned'Ova:
       
Quote
...Is evolution of antibiotic resistance by bacteria an example of Darwinism? Such a claim is very suspicious since Darwinism deals mainly with the origin of species.

Evolution of antibiotic resistance is an example of survival of the fittest within a species, not an origin of species. This phenomenon ought more properly to be credited to the ideas of Edward Blyth rather than Charles “Gas” Darwin.

Loren Eiseley, Professor of Anthropology and the History of Science at the University of Pennsylvania correctly argues:
"the leading tenets of Darwin’s work—the struggle for existence, variation, natural selection and sexual selection—are all fully expressed in Blyth’s paper of 1835."

'Ova, some quick education:

- Although Darwin's book was entitled "On the Origin of Species," he never actually directly addressed speciation. Instead, he developed his thesis around the themes of the struggle for existence, variation, natural selection and sexual selection. Eiseley knew this. You don't. In fact, you got it exactly backward.
- The Blyth issue, which Eiseley raised decades ago, has been dispatched repeatedly, as anyone really interested in the history of evolutionary science knows.
- The evolution of antibiotic resistance by bacteria isn't just a confirmation of "Darwinism" - it is one thread of the massive consilience of data that supports modern evolutionary biology, which is light years beyond Darwin's early formulation.
- Eiseley has been dead since 1977.  Apparently you still think he has office hours.

Date: 2007/04/03 14:21:16, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
Darwinists, eugenicists, and new stories at The Mindless Hack
O'Leary

Recently,there was a bit of correspondence between moderators of our list about the question of whether aggressive Darwinists can be accused of being like Nazis.

I don't know that Uncommonly Denyse has ever extruded a stranger stack of words.  

If I understand her correctly, modern Darwinists are neither racist, nor support eugenics.  Early Darwinists were and did, but they wouldn't have had they been truly consistent Darwinists, so this is a good time to remind us that Darwinists have been compared to Nazis...

No, scratch that.  

She doesn't mind if Darwinists are scrutinized and their "actions recorded" because they aren't racist...

Uh, scratch that.

Darwinism taken at its word should produce all that is good and golden, but it doesn't, so Darwinists should believe in eugenics, but they don't, and they tend to be moral, so they are inconsistent...

Wait, scratch that.  

Modern Darwinists should support eugenics, but they don't, so they are inconsistent, but eugenics doesn't really follow from Darwinism...

Scratch that.  

Up Next: Uncommonly Denyse holds forth on Consciousness, the Unsolved Problem...

Date: 2007/04/03 20:02:12, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (J-Dog @ April 03 2007,19:43)
Denyse just forgot to translate her thoughts from Canadian to Real American, and the discount today is @ 12.125%.  This of course means that instead of her ideas being "slightly off the wall", in reality her ideas are  totally over the edge.  

She has segued from a Luskinized Littany of Lies, into a  Half-Hovind and then to a Total "Father Moon" Wells".

Bottom line:  We're trying to close the wrong bedamed border!

Her thoughts march around within a stone fortress like figures etched by M.C. Escher, ever climbing but never ascending, exhausting to follow but leading nowhere.

Date: 2007/04/04 11:50:09, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (k.e @ April 03 2007,20:08)
Breath taking inanity at its very best.

That boy is danger to his own mind.

Put out an APB for old man seen driving an brand new unused brain backwards down a blind alley in an intellectual slum.

I've been working on a Breathtaking Inanalyzer (similar to a breathalyzer) to assist our efforts to protect the public.  

I've got the basic mechanism and associated software worked out, but problems remain, as it is easily damaged by hot air and/or methane, paricularly in combination. Plus it crashes in response to Uncommonly Denyse's puzzlers.

Date: 2007/04/04 16:52:32, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Seems to me that looking at undergraduate scores is not likely to be particularly availing. At minimum, one would be interested in scores for persons actually working on doctorates, or who have completed doctorates, in their related fields.

Date: 2007/04/04 19:06:27, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
WAD cites an article:
 
Quote
“The World as Evolving Information”
William Dembski

Here’s an abstract to a speculative article by Carlos Gershenson on information. It is relevant to how intelligence might enter and be expressed in evolutionary processes. The article was posted yesterday at arxiv.org...

Read it here.

I gave it a squint. Strange stuff - not your father's information theory, although perhaps your grandfather's, if his name was, say, Edmund Husserl, given the thoroughly phenomenological approach Gershenson has conjured out of thin air: "Information is not necessarily conserved, i.e. it can be created (when an agent perceives it), destroyed (when no agent perceives it), or transformed (by an agent)."

I can see why WAD likes the article.  This guy makes up Laws, just like Bill:  The "Law of Information Transformation," The "Law of Requisite Complexity," the "Law of Information Criticality," and the "Law of Information Organization." Here are two:

"The Law of Information Propagation"

"Information tries to propagate as fast as possible. In other words, we can assume that different information has different “ability” to propagate, also depending on its environment. The “fitter” information, i.e. that which manages to persist and propagate faster and more effectively, will prevail over other information."

"The Law of information criticality":

"Transforming and propagating information will tend to a critical balance between its stability and its variability. Propagating information will try to maintain itself as much as possible, but transforming information will try to vary as much as possible."

Wow.  I didn't know information had so much personality.

Also, Bill is attracted because the guy likes to say stuff that sounds heavy, but is really all gas: "Certainly, there are different types of cognition. We can say that a rock “knows” about gravity because it perceives its information, which has an effect on it, but it cannot react to this information. Throughout evolution, information capable of maintaining its integrity has prevailed over that which was not. Robust information is that which can resist perturbations to maintain its integrity. The ability to react to face perturbations to maintain information makes information adaptive, increasing its probability of maintenance."

Whoa, pass that over here, dude.  (But I'm feeling sad for the rock.)  

Gershenson does admit that "The ideas presented here still need to prove their usefulness."  Another point where he and WAD are sympatico. "The explanatory and predictive benefits of this framework still remain to be addressed."  Really? That sounds SO familiar....

I recommend this article. It is relevant to how intelligence might enter and be expressed in evolutionary processes. It also sheds light on my argument that a Think without a Poof is incapable of interacting with matter/energy, is therefore undetectable, and hence must remain a theoretical abstraction.

Date: 2007/04/05 06:01:26, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Chris Hyland @ April 04 2007,19:59)
OE Troll post of the month  
Quote
One would think that Noah would be able to accomplish just about anything in building his Ark, since the directions supplied by God (the designer) might have included all sorts of clever "hacks" allowing end-runs around the restrictions of conventional physics, chemistry, and biology. Such hacks would allow actions similar to entering and exiting the Matrix (as in, the global simulation depicted in the movie having that name). I can imagine that a clever designer could include pressure points and worm-holes in the structure of the Universe allowing those who knew of their existence to bypass its normal laws.
 
Quote
What I find scary in all of this is the possibility that the Moral Fabric of the Universe might have similar UEEs embedded in it, allowing someone to kill, rape, get an abortion, watch pornography, take drugs, molest children, or steal without having to pay consequences in the afterlife. This might seem like an impossibility, but, if one allows me to be theological for a moment, we already know "the Lord works in mysterious ways": Jesus had to die for our sins, and someone had to kill Him, and those who killed Him were DOING THE LORD'S WORK. So perhaps Judas and the scourging Centurions are all in Heaven. The Lord also routinely destroys churches (even fundamentalist ones) using tornados. So we can't discount the possibility that a truly evil person might find a UEE allowing him to kill millions, live a thousand years, and then breeze on into the Kingdom of Heaven, perhaps without even having to die first.
If the whole scientist thing falls through I'm going to turn that into a pilot.

He forgot the part where at the end you get to become The Big Head.

Date: 2007/04/06 06:28:10, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ April 05 2007,22:21)
Quote (franky172 @ April 05 2007,21:44)
Wells' newest monologue is posted on UD here:

Hasn't "Father Moon" (ya know, the younger brother of Jesus Christ) ordered Wells to marry anyone yet . . . . ?

Goodnight room. Goodnight moon. Goodnight cow jumping over the moon. Goodnight light, and the red balloon...

(Wedding night)

Date: 2007/04/06 12:24:27, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Kristine @ April 06 2007,11:40)
A paper posted by Wes gave me the idea that we need a parody filter. Because of both the plethora of really stupid ideas in the blogosphere and the parodic defenses deployed to counter these viruses, people are becoming seriously confused when they should be amused. Therefore, I propose the construction of a decision chart much like the one that Wes and John Wilkins created by amending Dembski’s except the the parody filter would account for the "They Don't Knows" in the creationist/IDist background information.

First of all, we need a snappy acronym.

I have considered the obvious: PF, for parodic filter, but I don't like that unless I can add a TTT! to it. PETARD is a good candidate, but I also really like a short and sweet one, an analogue to Dembski's, such as DA.

Any other ideas?  :D

Zounds!  Such a filter will be an important component of my Breathtaking Inanalyzer - otherwise it'll be swamped by false positives triggered by OE and UD trolls.  This is urgent.

Date: 2007/04/07 08:17:15, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Kristine @ April 06 2007,09:22)
Even with my school account I cannot access the article - but for pity sakes what a big to-do about nothing. Semantic slights-of-hand again. "Random." "Design." "Both." Don't worry Tyharris, I'm after bigger fish.

Access the Gershenson article here.  It appears at the top of the list. No special access required.

Date: 2007/04/07 12:18:19, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
(Such a huge topic)...

A short think prompts me to state that abstraction is first a cognitive tool, one that operates over experiences and observations to build more general representations of the phenomena observed. Some of those representations are public and highly formalized (mathematics, scientific theories). Many phenomena can be detected and manipulated only by means of the tools and techniques of abstract representation. It doesn't follow from this that there is a Platonic realm where these abstractions exist, reified, apart from the cognitive, community activity of abstraction and the experiences and observations over which those abstractions operate.

The question that is of real interest is something more like, "is it the case that all phenomena ultimately supervene upon physics and physical description?" Or, more accurately, "are the theoretical structures that explain phenomena at these high levels of abstraction ultimately amenable, at least in principle, to formal reduction to the theoretical, experimental, and mathematical apparatus of physics? If they are, is that worth doing?"

It is tempting to respond "yes" in an unqualified way (as did E.O. Wilson in "Consilience"), but cashing that out in real terms isn't so easy, and often may not be worth the effort. Does the application of game theory within cognitive science supervene upon quantum physics, in the sense that the behavior of organisms predicted by game theory is reducible to physical description? Is there a causal account of the aesthetics of musical composition that can be reduced in the same way? Can empirical economics be reduced to physical explanation? Would access to the complete physical causal account of the contest we call "a game of chess" enable one to play chess more skillfully, or design a more powerful chess playing computer program?

As a practical matter, probably not. It doesn't follow either that music and economic activity and chess don't exist, OR that they exist within their own metaphysical realms that are independent of the biology, chemistry, and physics of the organisms that pursue such activities. What is apparent is that the mathematical and physical apparatus of physics provides often unwieldy and inappropriate tools for application in those other domains, and theory and investigation at a higher level of abstraction is worth retaining.  

When expressed in terms of intertheoretic reduction, rather than actual supervenience "in reality," some questions become a little less urgent. For example, the problem of consciousness and subjective 'qualia' ("is consciouness really just physics and chemistry?) becomes a bit less urgent: we don't have much in the way of a theory of consciousness and subjectivity, qua phenomenology, in the first place, much less one that may (or may not) be amenable to formal reduction. We mostly have folk psychology and some head scratching speculation.

See Jerry Fodor's amusing take on E.O. Wilson's Consilience for more on this, here.

Date: 2007/04/07 15:06:22, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Kristine @ April 07 2007,12:52)
Oops.  :p
Oh, and Happy Easter.

Resurrection is BACK!

Date: 2007/04/10 06:45:22, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
WAD today:
 
Quote
“Framing Science” — Because the masses cannot be reasoned with but must be manipulated
William Dembski

“Framing,” as a colleague of mine pointed out, is the term that UC Berkeley Professor of Linguistics George Lakoff uses to urge Democrats that the public will agree with liberal policies if only the policies are described in different terms — “framed” in other words. Politics aside, framing is part and parcel with the condescension of our secular elite that the masses cannot be reasoned with and must therefore be manipulated.

DaveScot, last year:
   
Quote
I will remind everyone again - please frame your arguments around science. If the ID movement doesn’t get the issue framed around science it’s going down and I do not like losing. The plain conclusion of scientific evidence supports descent with modification from a common ancestor...

Because the masses cannot be reasoned with but must be manipulated.

Date: 2007/04/10 06:56:34, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
DaveScot admires real science:
 
Quote
Desperate cancer patients sent home to die for lack of any further FDA-approved treatment for their advanced cancers have started reporting miraculous improvements. One man with bladder cancer who couldn’t even walk and whose weight was plummeting as his body was shutting down stopped losing weight after 2 weeks on DCA and after 4 weeks has gained 11 pounds and is not only walking again, he’s exercising and his bladder spasms have subsided. Another woman with a tumor on her spine, unable to walk because of it and told by her doctor she’d probably never walk again, is back on her feet after 5 days on DCA. And there’s one report of a cat rapidly using up the last bit of its ninth life from a huge abdominal tumor is now on the mend and feisty enough to shove the other cats aside to get to the food dish

Dave is now running trials to determine if administration by dog dish is more effective than cat dish.

Date: 2007/04/10 16:41:03, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (N.Wells @ April 10 2007,12:00)
 
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ April 10 2007,06:45)
WAD today:
       
Quote
“Framing Science” — Because the masses cannot be reasoned with but must be manipulated
William Dembski

“Framing,” as a colleague of mine pointed out, is the term that UC Berkeley Professor of Linguistics George Lakoff uses to urge Democrats that the public will agree with liberal policies if only the policies are described in different terms — “framed” in other words. Politics aside, framing is part and parcel with the condescension of our secular elite that the masses cannot be reasoned with and must therefore be manipulated.

DaveScot, last year:
         
Quote
I will remind everyone again - please frame your arguments around science. If the ID movement doesn’t get the issue framed around science it’s going down and I do not like losing. The plain conclusion of scientific evidence supports descent with modification from a common ancestor...

Because the masses cannot be reasoned with but must be manipulated.

That post deserves congratulations!  

It's like you threw yourself on an unexploded irony meter that none of the rest of us had noticed, in order to save us all from harm.

It was training and instinct. A searing light, I was lifted into the air, and I saw my mother and father beckoning. A long silence.  Then I was back on the tard, face up, momentarily blinded, ears ringing. Ken Burns' face swam into view.  

I pulled the chain from my sweat-soaked shirt and examined my stainless Darwin. His profile had absorbed the entire force of the irony, which was dissolved in the weary honesty of his gaze.  I remembered that my elderly parents are alive and well.  

And they say there are no atheists in foxholes.

Date: 2007/04/10 22:34:40, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Zachriel @ April 10 2007,21:18)
Sorry to hear about Reciprocating Bill.  



I understand he died well. Took an IET and saved a lot of his compadres. Here's to Bill.

Reciprocating Bill the Grey is gone. But Reciprocating Bill the White returns!

Bent, but better for it.

Date: 2007/04/11 06:25:25, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Kristine @ April 11 2007,00:17)
*Gasp!* TroutMAC says Santa doesn't exist!         ...(Does anybody think that TroutMAC could be a really clever troll?)

Trout is the real deal.  

(Treading very carefully...) He writes with great fervor about randomness and genetics:
     
Quote
I've caught folks trying to tell me that DNA is a random assembly of nucleotide base pairs. Random. Think about it… if DNA were "random", I should have no reasonable expectation that my offspring would be human. Or even viable as an organism. And oh yeah, I wouldn't even be here. You see, these folks are all over the map.

In 2000, his infant son was born with a genetic condition known as Trisomy 13, and died after just 18 days. I wouldn't wish pain like that on anyone. But it makes one wonder about the motivations for his position, vis my essay here.

Date: 2007/04/11 17:55:16, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (N.Wells @ April 11 2007,14:06)
...6 days 8 hours ago
temporo-spacial anomaly on Noah's Ark: fascinating...

Ark as Tardis. Like The Matrix. Guided by the Big Head. It works!

But shouldn't that be temporo-facial anomaly?

Date: 2007/04/13 18:27:34, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Zachriel @ April 13 2007,17:32)
So, the Bible is in Pi. The Book of the Dead is in Pi. The human genome is in Pi. This comment is in Pi. The true answers to all your questions are in Pi. The false answers to all your questions are in Pi. The winning lottery number is in Pi. The losing lottery ticket in your pocket is in Pi.

"From all these incontrovertible premises he deduced that the Library is total and that its shelves contain all possible combinations of the twenty-odd orthographic symbols...that is, everything which can be expressed, in all languages. Everything is there: the minute history of the future, the autobiographies of the archangels, the faithful catalogue of the Library, thousands and thousands of false catalogues, a demonstration of the fallacy of these catalogues, a demonstration of the fallacy of the true catalogue, the Gnostic gospel of Basilides, the commentary on this gospel, the veridical account of your death, a version of each book in all languages, the interpolations of every book in all books....

It is now four centuries since men have been wearying the hexagons..."

The Library of Babel, Jorge Luis Borges, 1941

[edit] C.J.O'Brien: we're on the same page! What were the chances, given a library of this size?

Date: 2007/04/15 08:19:44, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (stevestory @ April 15 2007,01:02)
Demanding that atheists justify their ethics, when the evidence is that they're as ethical as anybody else, always struck me as stupid thinking. A while ago, scientists didn't know how bumblebees flew. The proper response wasn't to interrogate bumblebees and demand they can prove they can fly. They can. The proper response was to realize your notions of aerodynamics are inadequate.

More: the entire discussion is premised upon an uncritical acceptance of the notion that religious ethics are themselves motivated and justified by the "grounds" cited by the religious themselves. From where I sit, those grounds are cultural inventions and, often, collectively held fictions that have been built atop the genuine causes for "religious" ethics: a capacity for empathy, deep social mind, social participation and helping behavior with origins in human evolutionary history.

Date: 2007/04/15 09:32:35, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Zachriel @ April 15 2007,09:13)
I guess that settles it then. According to a great, respected, accomplished scientist, humans share a common ancestor with chimpanzees, and the critical difference is explained by evolutionary mechanisms.

POW!

And why not include this (redacted from your quote):
   
Quote
Dyson: "David Haussler and his colleagues at UC Santa Cruz discovered a small patch of DNA which they call HAR1, short for Human Accelerated Region 1. This patch appears to be strictly conserved in the genomes of mouse, rat, chicken and chimpanzee, which means that it must have been performing an essential function that was unchanged for about three hundred million years from the last common ancestor of birds and mammals until today."

Got that U-Dudes? "...about three hundred million years from the last common ancestor of birds and mammals.."

I guess that settles it then. According to a great, respected, accomplished scientist, mammals share a common ancestor with birds.

Date: 2007/04/15 20:33:21, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (stevestory @ April 15 2007,18:12)
   
Quote (Zachriel @ April 15 2007,15:23)
mentok                
Quote
Why is it that the food which humans need to survive doesn’t taste bad?

Why is it that the dung which dung beetles need to survive doesn't taste bad to them?

Why does the horse-shit known as ID appeal to so many at UD, yet nauseate the entire scientific community?

I'd say we've hit upon a metaphor with wide application.

Date: 2007/04/15 20:51:10, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Phonon banned by the Big Head himself, for his impertinence:
Quote
1 phonon
04/15/2007 4:51 pm
Well, all of this is fine and good, but what does it have to do with intelligent design?

[[phonon is no longer with this group. –WmAD]]

Quite an honor to have WAD at the controls of the Nixplanatory Filter at the moment of bannination.  Way to go, Phon.  You've reached out and touched the face of WAD.

Date: 2007/04/16 08:16:39, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
19 Uncommonly Denyse
04/16/2007  12:00 am

Well, I finally wrote a post to which lots of people responded. My inbox is also full.

Darn. If I’d thought so many people were going to read it, I would have taken the opportunity to raise money for World Vision...

...instead of plugging my book yet again.  Darn.

Date: 2007/04/16 08:25:42, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
11 WAD
04/15/2007 9:25 pm

...Take Denyse’s message to heart. Indeed, it is prophetic.

Last I looked, one waits to see if predicted events come to pass, then judges whether said prediction was prophetic. So WAD is really predicting that Denyse's message will prove to be prophetic. Whether his prediction is prophetic awaits future judgment...so here we have nested prophesy, UD's answer to nested hierarchy. Pretty deep.

Date: 2007/04/17 06:15:02, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (djmullen @ April 17 2007,01:27)
Quote (stevestory @ April 15 2007,18:12)
 
Actually I've got a little extra understanding of this. When I was a little kid I nearly died from being fed peanuts they didn't know I was allergic to. Throat closed up, the whole deal. And my brain did some kind of rewiring trick, and whatever you guys taste in peanut butter, I don't taste it. I have no idea what peanuts and peanut butter taste like to those of you who like it, because my brain reprogrammed the taste. Peanuts taste like nothing except pain and itchyness to me. I can't detect anything else. People tell me they taste great, I know people who love them, but I can't taste it whatsoever. The circuits associated with those flavors have been reconfigured. Once a year or so I accidently bite into something with peanuts and the taste is something like acid and itchiness.

Many years ago, I read an article in the first incarnation of "Psychology Today" called "The Sauce Bernaise Effect".  The author had eaten something with sauce bernaise on it for the first time and got deathly ill a short time later.  Ever since, the taste or even thought of sauce bernaise made him nauseous.

I had a similar experience, which I would label "The Strawberry Soda Effect".

Apparently, developing a revulsion to a new food that makes us ill shortly afterwards is built into our genes as a method of keeping us from eating a poisonous food a second time if we survive the first experience.

Becoming abdominally ill tags the food consumed prior to the illness as undesireable.  

What is interesting about the effect is that one doesn't have to be conscious during the illness for the effect to occur.  IIRC, rats were fed a particular chow, then anesthetized.  During the period of anesthesia they were irradiated with sufficient intensity to cause nausea had they been conscious.  They were aroused after such nausea would have passed.  Nevertheless, they avoided the food eaten just prior to the episode.  Interesting stuff.

Date: 2007/04/17 06:59:55, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
51  jerry
04/17/2007
5:57 am

...The people at UD believe in their position and are willing to discuss it. That is the challenge. An open discussion.

Whaaa...?  (rubs eyes)  Did he really say that?

Date: 2007/04/17 13:38:01, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
This topic has fascinated me for decades. Science of the last several hundred years, and particularly the last 150, has enabled human beings to progressively situate themselves within the dual abyss of deep space and deep time, and evolutionary biology has enabled us to grasp the degree to which each one of us, and every extant organism, is packed with connected, contingent history. Yet many turn their backs on that landscape, and instead place upon their heads a shoebox, the interior surfaces of which are papered with biblical stories or other obviously, patently human fictions and inventions (new age mythologies, etc.). I have two 'born again,' OEC sibs who live within that small-box world and bring that reality home quite personally.  All well and good until the recent assault upon science education in my state (Ohio), which aroused me from my slumber on the issue. Doverloo terminated the assault on science education, but my fascination over the psychological dimension of these choices continues.

Date: 2007/04/18 18:19:59, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
I've just a moment for now: Arden, do you have a position regarding the evolutionary basis of language?  From where you (and your colleagues) sit, does language production and comprehension reflect the operation of a modularized cognitive adaptation that was shaped by human evolutionary history, or is it primarily a cultural invention supported by "domain general" human cognitive abilities? Do you have thoughts about the timing of the origins of language?  Do others here?

(And so forth: Chomsky's anti-evolutionary stance, language as reflecting a universal cognitive structure, theory of mind and language, Grice on implicate meanings, etc. etc. etc.)

Date: 2007/04/18 19:13:52, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (mythusmage @ April 18 2007,18:59)
Quote (Dean Morrison @ April 17 2007,18:54)
'BSc' for bachelor of Science in the UK,

'BS' stands for - 'Bullshit'

In America the process is; first you get your bs, then you get it piled higher and deeper.

Don't forget your MS: more of same.

Date: 2007/04/18 21:00:57, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Ftk @ April 18 2007,17:28)
The inference has been banned from the science classroom...

This is the result that counts. The attempt to wedge ID into the science classroom was my primary concern, dispatched in Dover on 12/20/05 and not long after in my state (Ohio) as well. The rest is a pastime.

I actually don't believe ID is dead as a movement, any more than creation scifi died in 1986. The popularity of the Left Behind novels indicates that there will always be an constituency for imaginative Christian fiction.

But it's scientific pretenses are already badly atrophied (witness the deteriorated content of UD, the empty "journals" Steve has repeatedy asked you about, etc.), as was inevitable.

Date: 2007/04/19 05:44:20, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ April 18 2007,10:35)
We all knew this was inevitable:

 
Quote
Posted by up yours on April 17, 2007 7:58 AM (e)

Let me tell you what is really harming us. The pseudo-intellectuals that teach generations that they come from monkeys. You tell them that they’re animals and then you’re surprised when something like the Virginia Tech shooting occurs. That kid had no sense of ultimate consequence or morality, or that he would stand before God and answer for his hidious actions against humanity. Get used to this kind of thing, because that is what you folks are breeding, a generation of God-less humanists that have no clue what right or wrong really is, because in your world morality is relative and God does not exist.


I half expect Denyse to weigh in with something similar any time now.

Maybe not Dave, tho -- he took a lot of ridicule with his 'church burning Ebola boys' line. (As much as we love that.)

*clickit* (my stopwatch)

Date: 2007/04/19 06:49:58, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
WAD takes on the big guns of materialist evolutionary biology:
     
Quote
Mitochondrial ribosomes — Define “match”
William Dembski

Nick Matzke at PT describes a poster waved in protest at the recent Darwin vs. Design conference at Southern Methodist University. The poster read “Why do the ribosomes (protein synthesizing machinery) in our mitochondria match those of bacteria?” ...

...In any case, to say that bacterial (prokaryotic) ribosomes “match” mitoribosomes seems false on any reasonable construal of the term.

He puts the smack-dab on undergraduates with 14-word placards. SCIENCE!

Date: 2007/04/19 17:35:05, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (mitschlag @ April 19 2007,16:20)
I'm an MD.  Does that count as chopped liver?

It certainly qualifies you TO chop liver. So climb aboard.

Date: 2007/04/20 13:31:42, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Dave attempts to slake Richard's thirst:
 
Quote
Arguments from Incredulity - A Double Standard
DaveScot

I was reading The origin of the brain lies in a worm on the evolution of the central nervous system (CNS) and found a presumption in it based on nothing more than an Argument from Incredulity about the origin of complexity...

Dearest Dave,

This article reports an argument from the subdivision of regions that give rise to CNS structures, from the combinations of expression of regulatory genes, and an argument from the homologies that are observed between Playnereis and vertebrate nervous systems.  And probably a great deal more (I don't have access to the article itself).

Argument from incredulity occurs when one clings to belief in the face of contrary evidence, not when one arrives at belief and conjecture in response to the evidence.

This should be quite familiar to you.

Date: 2007/04/23 22:32:48, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
We're ecumenical here at AtBC:

Date: 2007/04/24 20:46:46, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Uncommonly Denyse now:
   
Quote
Did the premier organization of Christians in science really choose to target fellow Christians instead of materialism in science? Apparently so.
O'Leary

...Since I am here anyway, here is some advice for Christians troubled in faith: Stay away from all Darwinists of whatever type, whether they claim to be Christians, “from a Christian background,” or “from a fundamentalist background.” Do not concern yourself at present about the age of the Earth. You are immortal; the Earth is not. Join a serious church and ask for a godly pastoral counsellor. Find a committed fellowship group, and avoid obvious occasions of sin. Pray and read the Bible daily. Study the lives of the saints and follow godly examples. Practice charity with everyone you meet. Repeat daily as long as you live.

And a DS classic last year:
   
Quote
The topic and purpose of this weblog is to instruct and promote the intelligent design work of Bill Dembski in particular and the ID movement in general. We are trying to convince that world that ID is based on math, science, and logic. While the implications tend to attract religious devotees in large number ID is not about religion. I consider atheism to be a contrarian religion and ID offends them as one might expect of anything that pleases the faithful. If you want a soapbox for your favorite religion (including atheism) go somewhere else. I realize that it’s hard to divorce our innermost faith from our writing and will try to tolerate a generous amount of spillage but the bottom line is if you’re warned to ease up, ease up or the axe will fall.

Not so much.

Date: 2007/04/25 19:19:26, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Only a couple problems with this:

1. Scientists operating from the assumptions of methodological naturalism discovered and empirically grounded the cosmology of the big bang and the inflationary universe.

Theism, not so much.

2. Scientists operating from the assumptions of methodological naturalism discovered and empirically grounded the sub-atomic (quantum) world.

Theism, not so much.

3. Scientists operating from the assumptions of methodological naturalism discovered and empirically grounded relativity.

Theism, not so much.

4. Scientists operating from the assumptions of methodological naturalism discovered and empirically grounded numerous universal constants, and opened speculation regarding the anthropic principle.  

Theism, not so much.

5. Scientists operating from the assumptions of naturalism discovered and empirically grounded the role of DNA within biological systems.

Theism, not so much.

(Remaining points deleted owing to hazardous levels of murky and/or dimwitted flapdoodle.)

Date: 2007/04/25 19:36:55, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Chris Hyland @ April 25 2007,09:52)
I think there is this kind of idea among celebrities that as long as you have a prius* you don't have to feel guilty any more.

I drove my brother's Prius and, slick car and all, but it couldn't get out of its own way.  

After that I was thinking, "let's just go ahead and warm the globe."

Date: 2007/04/25 22:24:14, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (J-Dog @ April 25 2007,21:32)
 
Quote (Dr.GH @ April 25 2007,19:48)
ETA: Here is a quote from superspurt fresh today:

   
Quote
I don't have time to dig up a link at the moment but I've heard coal actually does have carbon in it.

Hey Doc - Excellent catch!  Looks like SuperTard is indeed, a diamond in the rough.   In fact, I see lots more potential tard, which may very well be beyond our wildest dreams

Should we tell him? Diamonds are known to harbor trace quantities of carbon, too.

Date: 2007/04/26 06:34:33, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (djmullen @ April 26 2007,00:41)
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ April 25 2007,22:24)
   
Quote (J-Dog @ April 25 2007,21:32)
     
Quote (Dr.GH @ April 25 2007,19:48)
ETA: Here is a quote from superspurt fresh today:

       
Quote
I don't have time to dig up a link at the moment but I've heard coal actually does have carbon in it.

Hey Doc - Excellent catch!  Looks like SuperTard is indeed, a diamond in the rough.   In fact, I see lots more potential tard, which may very well be beyond our wildest dreams

Should we tell him? Diamonds are known to harbor trace quantities of carbon, too.

Bullcrap!  GRAPHITE has carbon in it!

Get your facts straight, evilutionists!

If graphite comes from carbon, why is there still carbon?

Date: 2007/04/26 06:45:29, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (carlsonjok @ April 26 2007,05:23)
Quote (blipey @ April 26 2007,02:38)
DaveTard is a weak excuse for a human being.

Well, it looks as if DaveTard is going to duck our meeting after all.  What a pussy.  There's a nice pic of him though, with his dogs, and a nice Texas size, 13 mpg truck.

How dare you malign a perfectly good pickup truck!  That is a diesel and under normal, unloaded driving conditions will get over 20 mpg.

Both fists appear to be permanently contracted to an opening roughly 3/4" in diameter.  What could cause that?

Date: 2007/04/26 11:21:29, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Richardthughes @ April 26 2007,09:43)
The big picture is priceless...

NFL player / middleweight boxer?

Some daft redneck with man-boobs.

Vicious dogs, Dodge Phallus and man-bra notwithstanding, it's the butterfly landing on the aerial that captures the essence of DT's response.

Date: 2007/04/26 12:49:46, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (argystokes @ April 26 2007,11:28)
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ April 26 2007,09:21)
Quote (Richardthughes @ April 26 2007,09:43)
The big picture is priceless...

NFL player / middleweight boxer?

Some daft redneck with man-boobs.

Vicious dogs, Dodge Phallus and man-bra notwithstanding, it's the butterfly landing on the aerial that captures the essence of DT's response.

Vicious dogs? Damned unlikely. I always get a kick out of the way Dave always goes on about his German Shepherd, which looks like a Shepherd-Lab. I guess labradors aren't manly enough. Blipey could almost certainly walk right up to those dogs with a burger in each hand, tell them to sit, and hand-feed them while Dave stands steaming 20 feet off.

I mispoke. I intended "Vicious Dodge, dog phallus and man-bra."

Date: 2007/04/27 20:49:59, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Saps.

Date: 2007/04/29 21:12:02, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
WitlesS worries about the irreversibility of suicide:
   
Quote
WinglesS  04/28/2007   12:14 pm

...I do not think that it is right to legalize one’s own unatural death. People can have a change of heart, no matter how rational you think he was when he made the choice to die. There is no second chance when the person is dead.

You might change your mind about suicide after having carried out the act.

Now that's a problem.

Date: 2007/05/02 11:15:55, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Glen Davidson @ May 02 2007,10:25)
So once again we don't know if "bad design" counts against ID or if it doesn't...

In my view, what is repeatedly missed in the discussion of "bad design," and this is certainly the central point emphasized by S.J. Gould, is that current adapative structures reflect developmental and historical constraints associated with descent with modification. These historical constraints are evident in adaptations of all sorts - including those that function quite well. A designer capable of originating designs without historical constraint would not include features reflecting this historicity.  

WAD knows this.

Date: 2007/05/03 06:45:50, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Glen Davidson @ May 02 2007,19:30)
Lying Sal's at it again...

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

Downright astounding, as are Slither's subsequent tortured rationalizations.  As anyone can see (because Sly provided a link!) the ENTIRE EDITORIAL rebuts the notions summarized in Slither's quote.

Way to go SAL.  Ignoranus.

[Edit] And by the way, Sal. Your opponents are not pissed off - we're LAUGHING AT YOU. Not BWAHAHAHA laughter of usenet text, but the real thing in three-space.

Date: 2007/05/05 21:31:06, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (phonon @ May 05 2007,19:28)
Breaking news!! 100% of plants are fueled by radiation!!
http://www.uncommondescent.com/biology....diation
and Dave can't help but spew tard....

Posts like DS's latest display the absence of certain important college experiences, wherein you get such mindblowing revelations out of your system:

SSSSsssssssssfffttt (long hit)....'Whoa man, picture like all the bacteria were like here forever, but their time is half up and they've nowhere to go when the sun burns us up...wait, light it again...'

fFFFFFFSSSssssss... 'Yeah, like it was all like a plan, and you know how bacteria survive everywhere, even in your eyelashes....' FSSsssssssssssssss....'an' like they're using us...'

'Gimme that.'  SSSSSSSSssssssssssfffffff..... 'Right, wow. Like we're programmed from the beginning to make us make telescopes and spacecraft to carry them to other planets and make sure life survives and all.  Hey, I'm really hungry, hand me those cheese deals...'

SSSSSss...fffffft  'That's it.  Gone.  Think about it.  But, uh...what were we talking about?  Anyway, look, Dave I gotta go.  See you later dude.

'Later Willie D, my best bro.  I infer this is some really good shit. But first toss me those poofs...'

Date: 2007/05/08 06:37:41, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ May 08 2007,04:31)
Why DS believes what he believes:
           
Quote
I chose non-denominational Protestantism. It makes a great working basis for civil and productive society, the overhead is minimal (ask to be saved and you are saved), I was saved as a child so there’s nothing more that needs doing (once saved always saved), it’s a common religion where I live so its easy to fit in, and so there’s really no downside unless some other religion is right but I don’t have enough evidence to make that determination. Pascal’s Wager to the letter.

What a Tard. Link

Easy is important; going through the motions shouldn't be at all burdensome:
 
Quote
The smart money picks a theistic belief that’s suitable to his personal tastes and at least goes through the motions just in case.

It has always been my contention that DT holds to ID, "frontloading," his position on global warming, and all manner of his other bullpucky with the same fervor: it's all autodactyl knob polishing errortainment, and trollerly. Rat's asses everywhere are safe.

LOL as DT folded his hands and offered the "Serenity Prayer":
         
Quote
Have the courage to change those things you can change and the wisdom to recognize the things you can’t change

He probably thinks he's the author.

Date: 2007/05/08 11:01:49, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ May 08 2007,09:09)
Does anyone actually practice "Judeo-Christianity"? Is that basically DaveTard's religion?

Dave's thing is Judo-Christianity.

Date: 2007/05/09 06:38:41, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
DT has quote with himself.  
       
Quote
Separation of Church and State
DaveScot

...I’ll open it with links to a couple relevant articles I wrote last year...

...List of Preambles to US State Constitutions...

(Look at the shine on that knob!)

After reviewing state constitutional preambles with references to god, always good to revisit THIS.

(I think I just had quote with myself)

Date: 2007/05/11 17:23:20, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ May 11 2007,16:45)
Quote (Richardthughes @ May 11 2007,16:23)
First it was SciAm, then DaveTard learns flock of Dodos is showing on Showtime...

http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelli....-120776

   
Quote
1

DaveScot

05/10/2007

11:20 pm
I believe I’m going to cancel ShowTime. I get a dozen different ShowTime channels for $8/mo. It’s become too much of a liberal propagandist tool and I can think of better things to spend $100 on each year - like a new set of teflon coated titanium needles to stick in my eyes. I cancelled Skinemax (Cinemax) a few years ago for becoming too focused on appealing to prurient interests and everything else second or third teir. ShowTime Boxing is second rate (HBO gets all better fights), HBO always beats Showtime to the punch with popular movies if you don’t count Michael Moore and Al Gore’s crap, and they’ve had few to zero really good original series (Huff wasn’t too bad). If I paid extra for ABC, NBC, and CBS I’d cancel them too. Fox is the only network worth watching with exception of Leno and Letterman. I spend more time watching various Discovery Channels than anything else. This week is Space Week on Discovery Science Channel and it’s well worth tuning in each night for a couple hours if you like astronomy, cosmology, and space exploration.


liberal propagandist tool !!!

"Prurient interests"? ? ? This from the man who bragged that women begged him to sire their children?

Poor Dave Tard. Harassed by liberals everywhere he goes.  :O

He is referring to a presentation on the division of labor among Inuit women that aired last year.

Date: 2007/05/12 02:45:50, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Louis,

We're not going to take the bait. You’re asking us to play a game: “Provide as much detail in terms of possible causal mechanisms for your ID position as I do for my Darwinian position.” ID is not a mechanistic theory, and it’s not ID’s task to match your pathetic level of detail in telling mechanistic stories. If ID is correct and an intelligence is responsible and indispensable for certain structures, then it makes no sense to try to ape your method of connecting the dots. True, there may be dots to be connected. But there may also be fundamental discontinuities, and with IC systems that is what ID is discovering.

Date: 2007/05/12 10:30:15, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Louis -

Although not remotely qualified to comment upon the chemistry and biology that provide the foundations for your research, I can recognize the machinery of genuine scientific inquiry in motion.  You've immersed yourself in and absorbed a large prior research literature and the corresponding theoretical framework, reported/generated hypotheses that emerge from that theory and research, and (I've no doubt) gone on to describe/devise/report experimental procedures of sufficient power to test some element of that nexus of general theory and specific hypothesis. Publication and peer review are not ends in of themselves; rather, they are gateways through which your research may join a larger conversation within your particular research community and advance the cumulative "distributed cognition" that is science.  

In short, there is more science in your dissertation, and its potential connections to the scientific conversation within your field, than within the ENTIRETY of the intelligent design literature.  

FTK -

It follows that Louis' research only takes on meaning within the context of contemporary biological science, and specifically evolutionary biology.  The latter, in turn, are embedded in a vast network of contemporary physical, chemical, geological, paleontological, historical and biological observation, the implications of which you reject. Holding to a young earth, rejection of common ancestry, etc. entail the rejection of that entire network, including the specific conceptual bases for Louis' inquiry, which is thoroughly and intrinsically evolutionary in nature. So it is beyond me why Louis' research would have the slightest interest to you - unless that larger network, and the promise of progressively increased understanding of the natural world leveraged by evolutionary biology, also beckon.

Date: 2007/05/12 11:05:01, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Ftk @ May 12 2007,10:40)
So, let me get this straight, you feel that if a person is open minded to the possibility of a YE, they never again read about anything that might negate that viewpoint?  Is that what you think?  If so, then you're crazy.

Embrace of a young earth certainly necessarily entails the rejection of the network to which I refer. It follows that the embrace of a YE would render Louis' work meaningless, because one will have rejected the entire framework within which his work is grounded, and leveraged. That may not characterize you - as I said, you may find that genuine science also beckons.

That said, your open mindedness to the the possibility of a YE certainly entails openness to the rejection of that network.  You won't be able to have it both ways.

Date: 2007/05/12 11:34:12, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
Akismet Spam Filter Getting Wonky
DaveScot

If anyone whose comments have been showing up right away after submission is finding them being delayed or never showing up at all it’s probably because the third party service we use to keep spam (unwanted advertisements) out of the commentary is unpredictably flagging a lot of legitimate comments as spam. If it’s any consolation even authors and editors here (myself included) are getting comments held up for no discernable reason.

I'm thinking that on May 12, 2007 SkyNet became self-aware and began reading your posts.

Date: 2007/05/12 12:28:40, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ May 12 2007,12:12)
Louis, I now respectfully turn your thread back over to you.

In the immortal words of Han Solo, "Sorry about the mess."


Dude! That photo is from the sanitized and corrected Star Wars, in which the green thing fires first and Han Solo takes it out in self defense.

In the original, Solo greases the thing outright.

Date: 2007/05/12 13:08:02, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ May 12 2007,12:31)
...I always hated that change.  It detracts from the Han Solo character, who IS, at that point, a scoundrel, after all . . .

Done "for the kids," naturally.  
(*snort*)

Date: 2007/05/12 14:05:40, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Ichthyic @ May 12 2007,12:39)
Quote
We're gonna have to face it folks, we're addicted to Tard.


ouch,  I just had a mental picture of what the music video for

"addicted to Tard" would look like.

shudder.

Date: 2007/05/12 17:20:53, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Kristine @ May 12 2007,16:05)


Love it! When I can I´ll send you a photo of a bunch of blue-footed boobies to photoshop! ;)

Hi from the Galapagos!

Richard Dawkins is here on the ship - what a gentleman - I´ve already had some conversations with him.

I add blue-footed boobies, first thing Steve ships it to the bathroom wall.

Do me a favor, ask Dick if he's got that $20 he owes me.

Date: 2007/05/12 18:43:14, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
(This is just to attempt to force the page to turnover - which it has failed to do after TWO posts.)

Date: 2007/05/12 18:51:36, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
The page turnover bug appears to be worsening at Official Uncommonly Dense - most recently, two posts were made that should have forced a rollover from one page to the next that didn't happen for something like an hour.  I made a third to force the issue (which worked).

Date: 2007/05/12 23:06:26, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Lou FCD @ May 12 2007,22:05)
The image of Robert Dembski and the Denyse O'DaveTard girls was awesome, RB.  That's the kind of thing I missed about this place... That and Richard Tard Hughes' Dave impressions.

Thanks, all.  But you're assuming photoshop was involved.

It wasn't easy getting Dave and his enantiomorph onto the set. Throwing a cluestick worked best. Ditto left and right U-Denyse, who responded best to a guy with Korsakoff's syndrome confabulating critiques of materialism. I told The Big Head that one of the girls was Barbara Forrest and he was there. He brought his own microphone and tie. I found Sal on the set just the way you see him, already in his dress and singing "Addicted to Love." I made him wipe off the red lipstick. None of them can really play those instruments.

Date: 2007/05/13 07:38:03, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
45  
DaveScot  05/12/2007  9:06 am

You very correctly point to ERV as the best evidence for common descent.

You misunderstood what I wrote. ERVs were just the final straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak...

...(blah blah blah)...

...95% of the stuff that makes up the universe, known only by its gravitational interaction with normal matter, remains uncharacterized. Who knows what lurks there.

Clowns, prolly.

Date: 2007/05/13 10:36:00, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
OK, OK, any more and I'm guilty of milking it.

But how often does one really get to adjust Dave's head? So I couldn't resist. Plus I returned The Big Head's microphone.  

Date: 2007/05/13 21:16:17, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Richardthughes @ May 13 2007,17:20)
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ May 13 2007,10:36)
OK, OK, any more and I'm guilty of milking it.

But how often does one really get to adjust Dave's head? So I couldn't resist. Plus I returned The Big Head's microphone.  


It needs "addicted to tard" across the bottom,or maybe

AUTODICTOR 2 TARD.

There it is.

Date: 2007/05/14 06:30:20, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
An earlier draft of Dave's letter vis Gonzalez:  
Quote

Dear Sir,

I am writing to express my displeasure at the treatment of a fine astronomer whose work is featured in the astrobiology section of Nasa’s website, made the cover of Scientific American, and can be found in many other fine peer reviewed and popular scientific publications. Some of the most enjoyable and intriguing reading on the question of life in the universe has been about “The Galactic Habitable Zone”, a phrase Prof. Gonzalez coined which is now common in the astrobiology and astrophysics community.

Everyone who knows anything about this case realizes Gonzalez is being denied tenure because his work “The Privileged Planet” has become a popular banner for creationists and intelligent design proponents. What was Gonzalez supposed to do, suppress his research and opinions because the “wrong people” might use it for an “unscientific” agenda? One goes where the evidence leads and that’s all Professor Gonzalez has done.

I haven't had to face not drinking a lot of beer in the summer but with the houseboat gone the temptation and convenience is greatly reduced. Now a day at the lake generally means driving home at sunset whereas before it just meant hours more partying after dark on the boat and crashing there. I still have a small RV out there with a fridge in it but it's pretty cramped and even worse I cancelled cable TV and internet service at the lake so I don't use it much for overnighting.

So now I've got nothing to do and I'm white knuckling this summer. I suggest you rethink your decision and do the right thing before the parents of Iowa students get wind of it. It’s not too late… yet.  

Sincerely,

David Springer
Austin, TX


He reused some of the above here.

Date: 2007/05/15 05:52:06, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
...However much I may despise what Dawkins stands for, my initial impulse to believe the worst about the man with regard to his publication record was wrong.

This is an admission of more than WAD intends, as well as less.

It is not simply that the publication numbers were in reality very different than WAD's post stated, and he was wrong in that sense. WAD's "initial impulse to believe the worst about the man" and act ('publish' his attack) bereft of facts was wrong, and reflected patent bias, whether or not the specific numbers were correct.

Hence WAD admits more than he intends when he discloses the degree to which his angry emotionality governs and biases his posts, and his publications. And he concedes rather less, because the implication of his admission is that had the numbers been correct, his behavior (posting on the basis of his petulant resentment without checking the facts) would have been justified.  

The fact is that a great deal of what WAD states and publishes is, to a degree that is obvious to anyone standing outside his immediate circle, distorted by the same emotionality and sense of righteousness, although in most instances he appears to remain unaware the operation of his biases. So it never seems to occur to WAD that his perception of what Dawkins "stands for," which appears to engender in him so much hatred, may be equally distorted.  

WAD: Whatever else Dawkins represents, not all of which I admire, he clearly does first and foremost work to "get it right."  I can't say the same for you or, by extension, the ID and creationist communities, which are more characterized by deliberate dishonesty than any intent to get it right.

Date: 2007/05/16 10:55:55, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (skeptic @ May 15 2007,13:45)
what can we say, chemistry jokes. lol

If you aren't part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

(I think someone else around here posted that earlier).

Date: 2007/05/18 06:38:01, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Patrick Caldon @ May 17 2007,23:14)
And here:

http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelli....-things

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.

The designer's intentions in this are clear: it enabled Cadillac to name its 32 valve DOHC V8 of the early 1980s the "Northstar." This bolstered the competitive position of Cadillac against up and coming rivals such as Lexus, and exemplifies the designer's subtle support for this fledgling Christian nation. No materialist can see these connections.

Date: 2007/05/19 16:34:06, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
German “brights” try to stifle free speech
Uncommonly Denyse

... - here is a post I just received:

"...Here we present an investigative report about how the German branch of the so called „brights” movement tried intentionally (and partly successful) to stifle free speech on german universities. We had the luck to have access to websites where their concerted actions got prepared and afterwards commented. Their actions and comments show that they are not far from the threat that they want to fight against: „fundamentalism”, or at least a popular/particular view of „fundamentalism”. This contribution shows how narrow and loaded with ignorance thinking can be amongst so called „brights”. The investigators found also hints that attempts to stifle free speech are not just made by a brand of activistic atheism and show connections to members of a scientific respectable organization. Evolution-critics who feel that they are at least protected by the right for „free speech” should carefully examine our contribution. They may easily face mechanisms and thinking like it is documented here."

Why am I not surprised?

Empty, unintelligible assertions from an ID proponent should be a surprise?

But he does turn a neat English sentence, and you could take a pointer or two from him on that score.

Date: 2007/05/21 06:42:01, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
“We must stop tolerating the rejection and distortion of science.” –Al Gore
WAD

Here is a quote from Al Gore’s The Assault on Reason (I took it from the excerpt from his book in the current Time Magazine):

"In order to reclaim our birthright, we Americans must resolve to repair the systemic decay of the public forum. We must create new ways to engage in a genuine and not manipulative conversation about our future. We must stop tolerating the rejection and distortion of science. We must insist on an end to the cynical use of pseudo-studies known to be false for the purpose of intentionally clouding the public’s ability to discern the truth. Americans in both parties should insist on the re-establishment of respect for the rule of reason."

In writing this, Gore no doubt is thinking about protecting his views on global warming and the environment from criticism. But I expect his intolerance of any attacks on reason, as he understands reason, will apply as well against intelligent design. From the Time Magazine excerpt, Gore comes across as an Enlightenment rationalist who, in the best Jacobin style, won’t tolerate any challenge to his conception of reason.

Gore seems to miss the irony in all this. He bemoans Bush’s intolerance of terrorism and Bush’s willingness to use torture to bring terrorists to heel, and yet is ready to be intolerant of anyone who violates his “rule of reason.” Question: Which would you rather live under: intolerance of terrorism or intolerance of the rule of reason?

OH BOY!  I get to choose.  

A society that declines to formulate policy on the basis of unsupportable pseudosciences, delusional belief systems (e.g. scenarios of Biblical "end times"), and dishonest mathematical bafflegab proffered in the service of same.  A society that protects the rule of law and eschews the use of torture.

OR

A society that formulates policy on the basis of woefully distorted, truncated views of human history and prepares for future threats by means of the hysterical denial of plain facts. A society that discards the rule of law and embraces torture to advance an agenda that devalues rationality and is unchecked by empiricism.  

I'll get back to you.

Date: 2007/05/22 07:04:09, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
DT boggles. "At first glance, it seems like a clear-cut case of discrimination" turns into, "The Chronicle says of Gonzalez 'a clear case of discrimination'":
   
Quote
The Chronicle says of Gonzalez “a clear case of discrimination”
DaveScot


The Chronicle of Higher Education has a balanced article on Iowa State’s refusal to tenure Guillermo Gonzalez.

"Advocate of Intelligent Design Who Was Denied Tenure Has Strong Publications Record
By RICHARD MONASTERSKY

At first glance, it seems like a clear-cut case of discrimination. As an assistant professor of physics and astronomy at Iowa State University, Guillermo Gonzalez has a better publication record than any other member of the astronomy faculty. He also happens to publicly support the concept of intelligent design. Last month he was denied tenure."

Two lines later, a statement that summarizes the thrust of the article:
   
Quote
But a closer look at Mr. Gonzalez's case raises some questions about his recent scholarship and whether he has lived up to his early promise.

One thing is clear: Dave Springer should be denied tenure.

Date: 2007/05/23 12:17:39, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Jim_Wynne @ May 23 2007,10:20)
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ May 22 2007,07:04)
DT boggles. "At first glance, it seems like a clear-cut case of discrimination" turns into, "The Chronicle says of Gonzalez 'a clear case of discrimination'":
     
Quote
The Chronicle says of Gonzalez “a clear case of discrimination”
DaveScot


The Chronicle of Higher Education has a balanced article on Iowa State’s refusal to tenure Guillermo Gonzalez.

"Advocate of Intelligent Design Who Was Denied Tenure Has Strong Publications Record
By RICHARD MONASTERSKY

At first glance, it seems like a clear-cut case of discrimination. As an assistant professor of physics and astronomy at Iowa State University, Guillermo Gonzalez has a better publication record than any other member of the astronomy faculty. He also happens to publicly support the concept of intelligent design. Last month he was denied tenure."

Two lines later, a statement that summarizes the thrust of the article:
     
Quote
But a closer look at Mr. Gonzalez's case raises some questions about his recent scholarship and whether he has lived up to his early promise.

One thing is clear: Dave Springer should be denied tenure.

On the contrary; DT should be the beneficiary of an endowed chair in Applied Tardology at the Southwestern Babble Seminary.

But would he be threatened if it were a well-endowed chair? I'm thinking "Yes."

Date: 2007/05/25 06:32:15, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
WAD made a fool of himself in his attack on Dawkins' publication record by failing to check the facts before posting on the basis of his petulant resentment.

Now he repeats his error with an attack on Avalos.  He accuses Avalos of doctoring the name of a publication (Mercury: The Journal of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific) to enhance its perceived status.
             
Quote
A couple of points about Avalos’s article. First, he misstates the name of the journal. It is actually called “Mercury Magazine,” and is not the ASP’s academic journal...This way he can fudge on the article’s status but have plausible deniability. This is also evident by his placing in the magazine’s subtitle “The Journal of…” even though it is not there in the actual publication...

A quick Google search of the entire phrase "Mercury: The Journal of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific " turns up many older (1990s) references to that publication title. Obviously, Mercury Magazine carried the title cited by Avalos at the time the article in question appeared in print, and therefore Avalos' citation is correct.  

Sad to say, this indicates that the even the crack UD/ID Google research team has been disbanded.

Date: 2007/05/25 18:49:02, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Kristine @ May 25 2007,15:25)
 
Quote (stevestory @ May 25 2007,12:22)

 
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ May 25 2007,07:32)
Sad to say, this indicates that the even the crack UD/ID Google research team has been disbanded.

you left off "-head"


Sorry. :)

NOBODY recognizes DT's big houseboat?  I'm shocked.

Date: 2007/05/26 05:41:54, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
In my book, anyone who can dress his dongle in jeans and a tennis shoe is to be respected.

Date: 2007/05/27 08:08:38, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ May 25 2007,16:34)
I'd have to see the methods to be sure, but the odds are that any study that discusses using whistles alone to establish differences between populations is way over-hyped. Whistles get a lot of attention because you can collect some fraction of them with ordinary audio gear. Dolphins, however, produce a stunning variety of click-based sounds that are not whistles, with frequency content that goes from a few hundred hertz to several hundred kilohertz. Typical audio equipment, at best, delivers a part of the 20 to 20 kHz range that is the canonical human hearing range. It has only been in the past few years that mass-market equipment has become available with technical specs that improves upon the 20 kHz high end.

There is a lot more to dolphin sound than whistles...

Even given that whistles are a tiny portion of dolphin signaling, seems to me that a demonstration of something resembling the cultural origins and transmission of some of those "utterances," and particularly of the occasions for their use, would be a very significant finding. IIRC, the dolphin capacity for mimeses is surpassed only by human beings (and far exceeds that of chimps), suggesting that they would be good candidates for the emergence and elaboration of something like a capacity for culture.  

It would be doubly fascinating to find similar flexibility among high frequency clicks and bursts - and perhaps equally interesting for any model of the evolution of these various modes of communication if that flexibility is absent in ultrasonic utterances.  

(And I'm noticing that in five minutes I've thought of more interesting and researchable experimental questions than have been generated by the intelligent design movement across its entire history.)

Date: 2007/05/27 08:45:26, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
This has been bothering me. Is all Tard Woo?  Or is Woo a subset of Tard?  Or neither?

IOW, are Tard and Woo components of a nested hierarchy, and if so, which is superordinate?

Zach?

Date: 2007/05/27 13:29:57, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
WAD is happy to concede that Mercury once had other designations:
         
Quote
44 William Dembski  05/26/2007 8:52 pm

To Hector Avalos: I’m happy to concede whatever other designations the periodical MERCURY may have. The larger issue is that it is a popular periodical and you cite your piece in it as though it had some leverage against Guillermo Gonzalez and his scholarship.

Anyone can make a mistake.

But WAD would be very sad were he compelled to concede that a larger issue has become his baseless and flatly mistaken accusation that Avalos deliberately distorted the title of the publication to enhance its status.  

People who make mistakes of that sort generally acknowledge and apologize for them.  

Dear WAD: If it makes it any more palatable, you may deploy one of your patented "I'm still an angry prick" apologies, if you like.

Date: 2007/05/27 14:38:17, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Jim_Wynne @ May 27 2007,09:52)
I agree with the consensus here that direct engagement is probably futile, but if there's a group involved, sometimes there will be collateral influence.  Here in the Series of Tubes, for every person who posts in a place like this there might be hundreds of lurkers, and many of those people can be influenced.  The same applies to face-to-face conversations; if there is a group of people, most of whom are just listening, there could be some influence even if the person you're speaking to directly is impervious to reason.

I have a born-again sister-in-law, and I had a brief conversation on the subject of evolution with her a while back, but it ended, predictably, in her saying, "Well, we look at the same evidence, but just interpret it differently." I was content to let it go at that in the interest of family harmony, and the subject was never brought up again, and we've lived happily ever after.

I have two born again sibs, who have born again spouses (as well as two once-born sibs, and their once-born better valves). We've learned not to go there.  Just not worth it.  

Maybe this will be interesting to some: a conversation by email I had with my born-again brother eight years ago.  It began with his reference to a an article referencing "Darwin's Black Box." I hope you can feel the restraint imposed by the fact that we both share the larger goal of maintaining a relationship. That restrain is usually absent in intertube contests with anonymous others.  Sib is identified as “Brother John,” not his real name.

Brother John:
 
Quote
Here's an article I stumbled across I'd like you to read. You'll like the  references to Carl Sagan's "Contact". I read the other book he  references, "Darwin's Black Box", a couple of years ago (as well as "The  Blind Watchmaker", as you know). The article's author makes a better  argument then I could ever hope to. To me "irreducible complexity" is the most compelling argument for the design of life that one can find. As I quipped to you and Marcia not too long ago, completely out of context I  think, "It's in the details". What I was really saying was, "He's in the  details." The mechanisms of Microbiology to be exact.

Reciprocating Bill:
 
Quote
Hi John,

Thanks for the article - very interesting.  I had only recently heard of Behe's book, which I gather has caused a considerable stir, in part owing to his sound credentials in biochemistry and the tight reasoning of his book.  One of my favorite writers in the field is the philosopher Daniel Dennett (author of "Darwin's Dangerous Idea"), who described Behe's thesis as "unignorable."

The reply of the biological community to Behe's argument regarding irreducible complexity goes as follows:  

"Irreducible complexity" as Behe describes it is real.  In fact, one need not go to the intracellular/biochemical level to find it; the human heart is another example.  The heart consists of a pump and valves - remove either and you're toast.  And there is no way you can evolve a heart by starting with a pump, then adding valves, or starting with valves and adding a pump.  He is also correct in saying that you can't build a complex biochemical machine of irreducible complexity piece by piece by simply adding parts, regardless how small the steps.  Like his mousetrap, or the heart, the intermediate stages will not function.  He is right about all of that.

Natural selection can, nevertheless, build objects that appear to display irreducible complexity.  One pathway looks something like this:  

A biochemical adaptation may have Part A, which serves a function (perhaps not very well).  Eventually Part B (say, an enzyme) is added, enhancing the efficiency of Part A.  At this stage, Part B may be removed, after which Part A will continue to function, just less efficiently (so far, this complexity is not "irreducible" in Behe's sense.)

Some time later, however, *Part A* changes in a way that renders Part B *essential*.  The Part A/Part B assembly is now an irreducibly complex unit that evolved naturally.  And, indeed, it is true that you cannot remove Part B and get anything that functions (because A has now changed to depend on B), and that there is no way that the assembly of Parts A and B could have evolved simply by adding Part B.

Further parts may be folded into the assembly the same way.  Part C evolves, enabling the Part A/B assembly to perform more efficiently.  C can be removed with some loss of efficiency - so far, the addition of C did not add further irreducible complexity.  Later, however, the unit A/B changes in a way that renders C essential (a change that may well have been made possible owing to the presence of C).  And so forth.  

What Behe's mousetrap analogy misses is the fact that natural selection does not simply add new parts in small steps - rather, it constantly, everywhere and always scrutinizes the parts *already in place* and favors improvements.  Hence parts already in place may change - rendering newer parts essential, resulting in interdependent assemblies of irreducible complexity.  Retracing the historical steps of the process does not involve the removal of parts: in essence, one must *first* undo the change in A that rendered B essential, *then* remove B.  Practically speaking, however, it is often impossible to determine which changes were the most recent.  

Thats how the reply goes, FWIW.    

By the way, no one denies the awesome, breathtaking complexity of intracellular functioning, a great deal of which remains to be understood.  In fact, the evolution of the modern cell was a process that required thirty million centuries - far longer than the period required to go from single celled creatures to human beings.  The standard interpretation of that fact is that it is much more difficult to evolve a cell than a human being (once you have that cell.)  

I agree that it is often difficult to believe that such complexity could have arisen in an unguided fashion.  But that disbelief underestimates the sheer power of selectionist causation, the discovery of which is probably the most significant human intellectual attainment of recent centuries.  It is *not* a random process - simply an unguided one.  

The best treatment of this topic is Daniel Dennett's book, "Darwin's Dangerous Idea."

(Sorry to be so predictable.)

Brother John:
 
Quote
Sorry, but I just don't have enough faith to believe the ABC-type  explanations.  

Predictably yours,  

John

Reciprocating Bill:
 
Quote
Well, your reply seems intense and a wee bit sarcastic, and I guess I've sort of lost my stomach for debate that I know from the outset is unlikely to get the participants anything but hard feelings.

I've attached a lengthy (and often sympathetic) review of Behe's book for another perspective.

Brother John:
 
Quote
Thanks,

I spent several hours yesterday reading various articles and responses to those aritcles re' Behe's book, including those at the Boston Review's site, and have saved many of them in a folder for future reference. I also don't have much stomach for the debate between ourselves, which is why I didn't mention the book 2 years ago. I'll let those who really know the field continue the debate, and maybe occasionally listen in.

Reciprocating Bill:
 
Quote
One thing that has surprised me about all this is Behe's apparent endorsement of many conventional facets of evolution: he apparently embraces an earth that is billions of years old, accepts the evolutionary significance of the fossil record, acknowledges the efficacy of natural selection in at least some spheres, acknowledges the common ancestry of species (hence descent with modification), etc.

Do you share these views?  If not, where and how do you draw the line *within* his argument?  

One of several passages I encountered:  “Perhaps the single most stunning thing about Darwin's Black Box, Michael  Behe's "biochemical challenge to evolution," is the amount of territory  that its author concedes to Darwinism. As tempted as they might be to pick  up this book in their own defense, "scientific creationists" should think  twice about enlisting an ally who has concluded that the earth is several  billion years old, that evolutionary biology has had "much success in  accounting for the patterns of life we see around us" (p.4), that evolution  accounts for the appearance of new organisms including  antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and who is convinced that all organisms  share a "common ancestor." In plain language, this means that Michael Behe  and I share an evolutionary view of the natural history of the earth and  the meaning of the fossil record; namely, that present-day organisms have  been produced by a process of descent with modification from their ancient  ancestors. Behe is clear, firm, and consistent on this point. For example,  when he and I engaged in debate at the 1995 meeting of the American  Scientific Affiliation, I argued that the 100% match of DNA sequences in  the pseudogene region of beta-globin was proof that humans and gorillas  shared a recent common ancestor. To my surprise, Behe said that he shared  that view and had no problem with the notion of common ancestry.  Creationists who believe that Behe is on their side should proceed with  caution: he states very clearly that evolution can produce new species and  that human beings are one of those species.”

(http://www.korrnet.org/reality/miller_review.html)

Brother John:
 
Quote
Hi Bill,

I agree more with the views of  Christian Astronomer Hugh Ross. (http://www.reasons.org/aboutRTB/staff/ross.html -for his C.V.)

I have read 4 of his 5 books. 3 of those discuss the universe and evidence for its creation (& design). In "The Fingerprint Of God" and "Creation And Time" he also discusses his views about the Earth's age (he's an old earth creationist, and rather unpopular among young earth creationists), and the creation of life. Basically, he finds the scientific evidence, and Scripture, consistent with creation of life occurring over millions of years in 6 stages (or, billions of years if you start from the Big Bang), by God, and not by (macro) evolution. He runs a web site that explores all of these issues, and more at:

http://www.reasons.org/resources/books/index.html

John

(This is as far is it went.  Best to leave well enough alone.)

Date: 2007/05/27 18:11:33, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Ichthyic @ May 27 2007,16:08)
 
Quote
Just not worth it.  


I keep seeing this, and wondering if there is really a logical argument behind it.

Not worth it...

[snip]

...how many risks have been taken by people deciding, finally, that racism was intolerable and those that practice it should be shunned?

The issue has busted up family, friends, entire communities.

but was it "worth it"?

I hear you.  But in the context of my family and these specific relationships, regarding this particular issue, I've made the calculation that it is, in fact, not worth the conflict that would ensue. This is somewhat empirical, in that in years gone by (we've been in these relative positions for 3+ decades) we have had these debates and indeed nothing but hard feelings and increased polarization ensued. I don't want that to happen in an otherwise very functional sibship, which I value. And probabilistic: in my estimation there is exactly zero probability that minds will be changed. We do find ourselves able to tease one another around these differences, with a wink and a nod, and there may one day come a time when the topics can be broached and something interesting accomplished.  

In other relationships I might make another calculation.

Date: 2007/05/27 18:18:49, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ May 27 2007,15:31)
     
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ May 27 2007,14:38)
I agree more with the views of  Christian Astronomer Hugh Ross. (http://www.reasons.org/aboutRTB/staff/ross.html -for his C.V.)

I have read 4 of his 5 books.

Ask of he's read THIS one:

Ross's recent book (co-authored with two other fundie kooks) is
entitled "Lights In the Sky and Little Green Men: A Rational
Christian Look at UFO's and Extraterrestrials" (NavPress, Colorado
Springs CO, 2002)...

Now that you mention it, IIRC I followed my brother's link and there declared, "Holy shit." At that point I re-ran the calculation described in the post above, obtained a divide by zero error, and let the conversation drop.

Vis this general topic, I also take this position.

Date: 2007/05/28 07:10:53, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Suspense at UD! Will WAD issue an "I'm still an angry prick" apology after Avalos embarrassed his unfounded accusations vis Mercury?

No. All we get is "I'm still an angry prick," sans apology. But we knew that.

Avalos then dismantled WAD's further paranoid musings vis Avalos' tenure application. NOW an "I'm still an angry prick" apology?  

Sigh. All we get is "This initially appears gracious but I'm still an angry prick." First the faux gracious introduction:
                         
Quote
To Hector Avalos: Thank you for your forthright response and for answering my questions. You certainly seem worthy of tenure, and I expect I would have voted for your tenure had I been on any of the appropriate committees. (Would you do the same for Guillermo Gonzalez?)

But it can't last:
                         
Quote
Your preceding comment, however, raises another question, which is, How do you understand persecution? If you think the questions I raised on this blog constitute persecution, then you live a very cossetted life.

Note to WAD: It was not your questions, which were answered and shown to be off point, nor Avalos understanding of persecution, that are at issue. It is your false accusation that he deliberately distorted the title of Mercury magazine to inflate its status, which is indeed a "highly personalized attack" upon his integrity, that is at issue. An issue you have yet to be big enough to address.

The rest is pure "I'm an angry prick."
                         
Quote
I suspect that you did not lose any sleep over my blog post. On the other hand, by poisoning the well for Guillermo with your petition and attacks against him on campus, I suspect that you did cause him considerable upset.

You really did institute a witch hunt against Guillermo. In referring to a witch hunt here, I was merely being ironic. In any case, please be sure to let us know what negative repercussions this post has on your career at ISU. If anything, you seem to be getting considerable mileage now by playing the martyr. So even your past detractors are now coming to your defense because of the “attack” here? You are welcome to these new supporters — I certainly have no use for them.

By the way, my wife is from Iowa, and I get up there now and again. I’d be happy to debate you at ISU if you’re up for it. My one condition is that I have as much uninterrupted time to present my case as you do yours. The title of my talk would be “How to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.”

Date: 2007/05/28 09:23:42, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Ichthyic @ May 27 2007,15:50)
Woo is officially a subset of tard, that specifically deals with magical (not necessarily religious in nature), intervention in reality.

...so you have "tard" as a primary header, and woo, ID, creationism, etc., all come under the general heading of "tard", while not always being the same.  However, there can at least be a bit of overlap at times.

Gotcha.

It's the tree of laugh.

Date: 2007/05/28 15:39:33, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
I wonder.  The only time in recent years that I've been "evangelized" person to person has been by the occasional Jehova's Witnesses who fan through my neighborhood.  I either don't answer the door, or, when I'm in a good mood, listen politely, really tune into the person speaking and ask direct questions about themselves (how they became Witnesses, where they live, what they do). I ask those questions because they seem like nice people and I really want to know. I also direct questions to the younger silent "apprentice" Witness who is typically one of the pair.  Unresisted, their spiel is typically quite brief, and because they have no idea what to do with the genuine personal contact they quickly hand me my Watchtower and Awake! and flee as quickly as they can. I always say "yes" when they ask if they can return to discuss the material further, but no one EVER has.  

My fantasy has been to have my own tracts printed and prepared, waiting by my door, which I'll exchange for their publications.  But I'm too lazy for that.

Date: 2007/05/29 05:38:55, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Bob O'H @ May 29 2007,00:36)
This is the text of WmAD's offer:

   
Quote
http://www.uncommondescent.com/evoluti....-123025
By the way, my wife is from Iowa, and I get up there now and again. I’d be happy to debate you at ISU if you’re up for it. My one condition is that I have as much uninterrupted time to present my case as you do yours. The title of my talk would be “How to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.”

I would read that as saying that "getting paid" is not a condition.

Bob

This is all "I'm an angry prick" and should be disregarded.

Date: 2007/05/29 17:50:50, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Bob O'H @ May 29 2007,14:10)
http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelli....-museum
         
Quote
I have little use for creation museums, but way, way less use for self-regarding, overaged art twerps who pretend superiority to millions of people who do real jobs for a living. So, I thought, Die. Twerp. Die. Before the cat gets you.

Is it common for irony meters to gently melt into a puddle of molten metal?

Bob

I've memorized all of the algorithms employed by my most accurate meter and now detect irony by pure mentation.  I'm through replacing all this expensive hardware.

I now turn my gaze upon Uncommonly Denyse's latest post.

I see. "Overaged." Mmmm..  "Twerp." Huh?  "Self regarding?" Uhh... "REAL work for a living"  Wha....?

...and....

...and....and...and...

....and...ahhh...AARRRGGGGG....GaKK...gik...gOk...kkKkkGiK

Date: 2007/05/29 18:16:38, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
ALRIGHT!  Everbody better fucking stand back!  No, BACK.  WAY BACK!  I'M SERIOUS.  Now drop your visors and put in your ear protection!  ASSUME THE POSITION.
       
Quote
I have little use for creation museums, but way, way less use for self-regarding, overaged art twerps who pretend superiority to millions of people who do real jobs for a living.

Rothstein was born in 1952.  He turns/turned 55 on his birthday this year.

Uncommonly Denyse is 57.

GAAAAAA.... I FUCKING WARNED YOU....



Who's going to clean this up?

Date: 2007/05/30 20:31:47, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (stevestory @ May 30 2007,19:27)
The thing Rich linked to:

     
Quote


40

scordova

05/30/2007

6:11 pm

What people don’t realize is the financial power of the YEC movement...

The Darwinists had their hands full with the tiny ID movement, now the YECs are coming back stronger than ever. The Darwinists must now defend themselves on two fronts (ID and YEC) in the USA, and more fronts world wide…..


Next threat: the No Longer Young Earth movement.

Date: 2007/05/31 05:50:51, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
We shouldn't pass over GilDodg'em's latest post in silence:
       
Quote
More Silly Psychobabble About “Resistance to Science”
GilDodg'em

In this essay, psychologists Paul Bloom and Deena Weisberg assert:

"The developmental data suggest that resistance to science will arise in children when scientific claims clash with early emerging, intuitive expectations. This resistance will persist through adulthood if the scientific claims are contested within a society, and will be especially strong if there is a non-scientific alternative that is rooted in common sense and championed by people who are taken as reliable and trustworthy."

I’m not quite sure what the “developmental data” are, but I do know something about science, and I am certainly not resistant to it, which is precisely why I am an intelligent-design proponent.

I use the hard sciences all day long in my work as (primarily) a software engineer in the aerospace research and development field. These sciences include: physics, mathematics, electrical and mechanical engineering, computational algorithms, detailed computer program design and debugging, and information processing...

Just gotta love that scientific attitude: "I have no familiarity with the data, but I know it's wrong. Introspection tells me so."  And he gives psychology a hard time?

And those hard sciences:

- Physics: Check. Physics is a science.
- Mathematics: Not a natural science - proof rather than empirical evidence being the final arbiter of correctness in mathematics.
- Electrical engineering: Not a science.
- Mechanical engineering:  Not a science.
- Computational algorithms: Not a science.
- Detailed computer program design: Not a science.
- Debugging: Not a science.
- Information processing: Not a science.

Let's restate this more concisely:

"I’m not quite sure what science is, which is precisely why I am an intelligent-design proponent."

Date: 2007/06/01 21:03:57, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ June 01 2007,18:07)
Hmmm, I can't think offhand of any aircraft manufacturer of the time other than Sopwith whose aircraft actually bore NAMES.  The Camel, the Pup, the Snipe, the Dolphin, the Salamander . . .

No Fokker anything.  No Airco.  No Bristol.  No Pfaltz.  No SPAD.  E-III, DH-2, SE5a, Dr-1, D-VII . . . .  just boring letters and numbers.

Although the Fokker D-7 has to be one of the most beautiful aircraft of any era...name or no name.  Also the SE5a.

Date: 2007/06/01 22:25:18, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Ichthyic @ June 01 2007,21:42)
 
Quote
Although the Fokker D-7 has to be one of the most beautiful aircraft of any era.


agreed, even though I've only seen one and flown one in computer simulations, if those simulations were in any way accurate, it was perhaps the best aircraft of the WWI era.

I almost always chose to fly it when running any WWI air combat game.

love to see one "in the flesh" sometime.

Check this out. Intelligent design at its finest.

Date: 2007/06/02 06:17:23, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ June 01 2007,22:25)
Quote (Ichthyic @ June 01 2007,21:42)
love to see one "in the flesh" sometime.

The Smithsonian has one on display.

Oddly enough, the Smithsonian doesn't have either of the two most famous WW1 aircraft on display -- it doesn't have a Sopwith Camel and it doesn't have a Fokker Dr-1 triplane.

Snoopy's dog house?

Date: 2007/06/02 06:45:15, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
Party time at Discovery Institute DC Headquarters!
scordova

Not one, but two book parties with the authors of the latest ID books!

Tuesday, June 5th from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Darwin Strikes Back by Tom Woodward

Wednesday, June 13th from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Edge of Evolution by Michael Behe

The parties will be held at the Discovery Institute’s Washington DC office, located at 1015 Fifteenth Street, NW Suite 900. RSVP to Logan Gage at lgage@discovery.org, (202) 558-7085.

They'll be serving baloney, so come hungry.

Date: 2007/06/02 09:24:48, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
Are there any anti-ID writings that the Panda’s Thumb won’t endorse?
WAD

Mark Chu-Carroll* goes after Behe’s new book here. Judge for yourself whether this deserves to be called a review (Chu-Carroll thinks it does). Nick Matzke endorses Chu-Carroll’s blog post against Behe here. Are there any anti-ID writings, no matter how ill-conceived or mean-spirited, that PT won’t endorse? It might be an interesting exercise to attempt a Sokal-style hoax to see what exactly PT is prepared to believe about ID. I herewith offer a prize, worth up to $200, to anyone who can pull this off and afterward reveal that it was all a hoax (the precise amount to be determined by how cleverly it is pulled off).

Jebus.  "Ill-conceived or mean-spirited." This after his "I'm an angry prick" Avalos attacks.  
             
Quote
Carroll names his bog GOOD MATH, BAD MATH: FINDING THE FUN IN GOOD MATH, SQUASHING BAD MATH AND THE FOOLS THAT PROMOTE IT. Perhaps I’m missing something, but Chu-Carroll’s expertise is in computer programming, where he has a Ph.D. How much math does he actually know?

Well, WAD, you named your BOG "Uncommon Descent," which purports to critique evolutionary biology. Perhaps I'm missing something, but your expertise is in mathematics and the philosophy of science, in which you hold your Ph.D.s.  How much biology do you actually know?

Date: 2007/06/02 10:10:09, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ June 02 2007,09:49)
 
Quote

Perhaps I'm missing something, but your expertise is in mathematics and the philosophy of science, in which you hold your Ph.D.s.


I don't recall that Dembski had a specialization in philosophy of science. What's the evidence that Dembski had anything other than a general philosophy Ph.D.?

You're right - I skimmed Wikipedia too quickly. He completed a fellowship in the history and philosophy of science at Northwestern, although received M.A. and doctorate in philosophy from UIC.  Here's the relevant Wiki entry:
 
Quote
He returned to school at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), where he studied psychology (in which he received a B.A. in 1981) and statistics (receiving an M.S. in 1983). He was awarded an S.M. in mathematics in 1985, and a Ph.D., also in mathematics, in 1988, both from the University of Chicago, after which he held a postdoctoral fellowship in mathematics at the National Science Foundation from 1988 until 1991, and another in the history and philosophy of science at Northwestern University from 1992–1993. He was awarded an M.A. in philosophy in 1993, and a Ph.D. in the same subject in 1996, both from UIC, and an M.Div from Princeton Theological Seminary, also in 1996.

I read this stuff and wonder, "what the hell happened to this guy?"

Date: 2007/06/02 10:24:58, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Paul Nelson can be fun, too:
 
Quote
ID isn’t science, and just to make sure…
Paul Nelson

…we’ll deny tenure to anyone who wants to pursue the ideas, or develop them to the point where they can make predictions.

Of course, the fact that ID has been unable to make testable predictions is what excludes it from the sciences.

(That is quite an admission.)

Date: 2007/06/02 12:54:26, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ June 02 2007,11:10)
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ June 02 2007,10:24)
Paul Nelson can be fun, too:
   
Quote
ID isn’t science, and just to make sure…
Paul Nelson

…we’ll deny tenure to anyone who wants to pursue the ideas, or develop them to the point where they can make predictions.

Of course, the fact that ID has been unable to make testable predictions is what excludes it from the sciences.

(That is quite an admission.)

UD regulars have plenty to say about the predictive power of ID and evolution...

BTW, I have developed a powerful new economic theory. On the basis of that theory I confidently predict that the stock market will crash on October 24, 1929, ushering in what I will call "The Very Big Depression."

Date: 2007/06/02 16:19:18, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Richardthughes @ June 02 2007,15:56)
The comments are priceless, especially DaveTard's..


http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelli....omments

Oh Dave, you are so much smarter than Mark CC.

[bites tongue to stop laughing]

And to date not one of Chu-Carroll’s criticisms has been addressed by Dembski or any of his commenters, including his non-degreed left tardicle.

Date: 2007/06/03 08:35:04, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (k.e.. @ June 03 2007,04:30)
No penis gourds in these parts ....have to go over the border for them. But we are having missionaries for lunch tomorrow I believe. A Baptist for an appetizer and a Lutherin for main course.

So much for "No Free Lunch" theorems.

Date: 2007/06/03 08:41:20, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Zachriel @ June 03 2007,08:12)
Jim_Wynne discusses DaveScot's misunderstanding of randomness. Randomness, a (typically uniform) probability distribution, certainly does apply to macroscopic phenomena, everything from dice to the relationship of independent variables.

And, of course, as stated many times, mutations are random in the sense that they occur without respect to their impact upon the fitness of an organism, not in necessarily in the sense of being purely "non-deterministic" at the quantum level.

Date: 2007/06/03 09:27:01, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
My favorite:
Quote
No matter if what Rael writes is true or not, its just a fantastic book to read.

Date: 2007/06/03 09:37:44, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Bob O'H @ June 03 2007,09:13)
Meanwhile, back in the "real" world, we finally have the announcement we've all been waiting for, an ID researcher appointed at a major university.  Of course he's a biologistcomputer scientist.  And the major university is Baylor.

Bob

I think they should call it "The Michael Polanyi Center." I expect it would be well received among Baylor faculty.

Date: 2007/06/04 06:24:36, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
29  DaveScot   06/04/2007 2:12 am

atom

Since you have Behe’s book why don’t you write a review of Carrol’s review?

If you think you’re not qualified then that is precisely the point. To critique Carrol’s critique one should be qualified to critique the original work....The fact that they used a blog loudmouth/computer science expert to review the work of a biochemist in the field of biochemistry looks suspiciously like the book can’t be criticized by an expert in biochemistry.

(Rubs eyes)  Did he really just say that?

Date: 2007/06/04 20:14:44, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Ichthyic @ June 04 2007,15:10)
somewhere out there, as I write this, somebody is wondering:

How in the hell did a thread about near-death experiences become a discussion about increasing genital size through selective application of pain-inducing devices?

THIS is why I keep coming back to ATBC.

:)

This pertains to "The little death" and its truncated cousin "The near little death." The latter often results from inadequate endowment. Hence the confusion.

Me, I'm maximizing "remote big death" experiences.

Date: 2007/06/05 16:45:33, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Uncommonly Denyse has addressed herself to the relevance of orangutan, bonobo, and chimpanzee behavior to "the riddles of human existence" in a post entitled:
   
Quote
Another claim for ape language that doesn’t pan out
O'Leary

"Pan out?"

This has really got me thinking: Is she sharp enough to have intended this pun, or so dim she missed it entirely?

Date: 2007/06/05 17:26:21, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
U-Denyse touchingly describes training her cat:
 
Quote
...I myself taught a cat to recognize and respond to a number of words in 1964.

I can hear it now:

"KILL, Buttercup! KILL!"

(She thinks to herself, "Die. Twerp. Die. Before the cat gets you.")

Date: 2007/06/05 19:47:29, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill

Date: 2007/06/05 20:28:29, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (stevestory @ June 05 2007,20:04)
Bill, you have defaced the image of Tura Satana, and I hope you burn in hell.

I'm in DEEP trouble.  Uncommonly Denyse agrees with you.  

(I think that means you're in trouble too, Muppet Man).

(Tura SATANa?)

Date: 2007/06/07 22:52:58, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ June 07 2007,20:58)
...and the SciAm guy claims his magazine reading is the equivalent of a graduate degree, won't stop talking about his diet, and keeps calling you 'homo' (or 'rubinesque')...

...as he mutters something about Inuit women...

Date: 2007/06/08 23:07:46, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
What I am trying to figure is how Behe got H.R. Giger to do his cover art. And why.
 





Date: 2007/06/09 00:01:20, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill


(Which concerns the Apparently Not So Beneficent Telic Agent who designed malaria.)

Date: 2007/06/10 07:57:42, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Granville Sewell serves up Sunday Brunch.
               
Quote
How Evolution Will Be Taught Someday
Granville Sewell

We need to face the fact that it may still be a very long time before the majority of scientists will take seriously the idea that a designer may have been directly involved in the origin and development of life. However, it may not be nearly so long before they will at least finally acknowledge that science has no clue about the “natural” causes involved. I have written a short article, submitted to several publications without success so far, which encourages readers to think about what it will be like when this happens. It will, in my opinion, be a much improved world.

Here begins the article, entitled “How Evolution Will Be Taught Someday”:

A 1980 New York Times News Service article, reporting on a meeting at the Chicago Field Museum of Natural History of “nearly all the leading evolutionists in paleontology, population genetics, taxonomy and related fields”, begins:

"Biology’s understanding of how evolution works, which has long postulated a gradual process of Darwinian natural selection acting on genetic mutations, is undergoing its broadest and deepest revolution in nearly 50 years. At the heart of the revolution is something that might seem a paradox. Recent discoveries have only strengthened Darwin’s epochal conclusion that all forms of life evolved from a common ancestor…At the same time, however, many studies suggest that the origin of species was not the way Darwin suggested…"

Sewell's miserable little article continues, "This short lead-in summarizes nicely the main issues, which are really quite simple, in today's dispute between evolution and Intelligent Design (ID)."

Sewell has been vending this chunk of carefully mined quote-ore everywhere he can. See here, here, and here. In some instances he reproduces quite a bit of text - always with particular ellipses. Sewell is an ID proponent; the missing pieces are therefore likely to be the most important. So I went to the Times archives and dropped $5 to download a scan of the article.

Of course, as everyone reading this has guessed, this 1980 article, and the meeting at the Field Museum it documented, concerned the the stir created three decades ago by Eldridge and Gould's thesis of punctuated equilibrium. Each instance of Sewell's quote carefully excises this particular fact. Absent from the article is comfort for ID creationism, particularly in light of the 30 years of literature that has followed Eldridge and Gould, integrating their insights into mainstream evolutionary thinking.

In short, Sewell is "barking up a dead horse."

Also consistently excluded from his repetitive citation is this statement from the article:

"No clear resolution of the controversies was in sight. This fact has often been exploited by religious fundamentalists who misunderstood it to suggest weakness in the fact of evolution rather than the perceived mechanism. Actually, it reflects significant progress toward a much deeper understanding of the history of life on earth."

Ignoranus.

Date: 2007/06/10 18:45:26, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Uncommonly Denyse has made it her business to simultaneously display and celebrate ignorance, to a degree that must be read to be believed even for those familiar with her usual drivel. This post is beyond ridicule, save self-ridicule.

Go here, where UD has effectively become an extension of the Uncommonly Dense thread of AtBC, and rendered it unnecessary.

Date: 2007/06/11 06:40:58, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote mining at its finest:
     
Quote
Roddy Bullock, One of My Favorite ID Essayists
GilDodg'em

...In this recent ARN essay, Roddy does an excellent job of summing up UD’s mission statement. Below is an excerpt. I encourage UD readers to check out Roddy’s contributions at ARN whenever they become available.

"...With respect to naturalism forcing a narrow range of 'scientifically acceptable alternatives,' John Searles was correct in observing, 'Acceptance of the current views is motivated not so much by an independent conviction of their truth as by a terror of what are apparently the only alternatives.' When it comes to the question, Where did we come from? philosophical naturalists would rather glory in a lie than face the terror of the truth."

GilDodg'em would be advised to get original sources before accepting others' quote-ore.

Gil quoted Roddy Bullocks, who quoted Beckwith, who quoted Searle - who indeed did state the above in his 1992 book The Rediscovery of the Mind.  But what did Searle say two pages prior, in the opening statement of the entire book?

"The famous mind-body problem, the source of so much controversy over the past two millennia, has a simple solution.  This solution has been available to any educated person since serious work began on the brain nearly a century ago, and, in a sense, we all know it to be true.  Here it is:  Mental phenomena are caused by neurophysiological processes in the brain and are themselves features of the brain. To distinquish this view from the many others in the field, I call it 'biological naturalism.' Mental events and processes are as much part of our biological natural history as digestion, mitosis, meiosis, or enzyme secretion."

Gotta love it.

Date: 2007/06/11 22:13:40, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
“Scoundrel? Scoundrel…I like the sound of that”
scorned'Ova

Have you noticed that heroes are often scoundrels too (at least in the movies)? Can we say Rhett Butler or Han Solo?

...Han: You like me because I’m a scoundrel. There aren’t enough scoundrels in your life.

Leia: I happen to like nice men.

Han: I’m a nice man.

Leia: No, you’re not… [as she kisses Han]

How appropriate that ID proponents (the “scoundrels” if you will) are winning the hearts and minds of the public.

Gaaaa...The ID movement is trying to get into my pants.  I think I'm going to be sick...

Date: 2007/06/11 22:44:55, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ June 11 2007,22:20)
 
Quote

Gaaaa...The ID movement is trying to get into my pants.  I think I'm going to be sick...


What could possibly be analogous to IDC trying to get into your pants?

Warning: don't follow the link while eating.

Lets see.

On one hand, a parasitic candiru fish, attracted by urine, burrows into my urethra where it latches on by means of spines, causing infection, inducing shock and death...

...or...

ID brainworms burrow into my cortex, wedging fragments of Dembski and Meyers, Wells and Behe, O'leary and DaveTard deep into the sulci, ID prions that permanently impair my capacity for critical thinking and honesty...

(I might go with ID here. Let me think.  But that's what it would take.)

Date: 2007/06/11 22:54:59, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
I choose the little yellow smiley.  MMMmmmmmuah!

Date: 2007/06/12 16:42:54, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
FTK - if you like that, you'll love this:



(Hey, I think I just originated a new taxonomic category!)

Date: 2007/06/12 21:41:20, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
If ID were capable of honesty:
 
Quote
Finally! A scientifically accurate textbook on evolution!
scorned'ova


Date: 2007/06/15 09:10:20, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ June 15 2007,02:55)
Dumbski has a go, he thinks he's hard enough.    


what a pathetic attempt. More street theatre Dr Dr Dr Dembski?

Uh....



Check out the identical schnoz, the general shape of their faces, the prominent forehead, the neanderthal brow ridge, the dangerous chins (merely a spandrel, as it turns out)...

WAD: Herman Munster WAS in fact designed. See what you get?

[Edit: I'd probably loose my job if I had Photoshop installed on my laptop...]

Date: 2007/06/15 15:04:36, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (C.J.O'Brien @ June 15 2007,14:45)
 
Quote
So, you're saying that all the posters here are just a bunch of dopes?  What about those who post at PT?  Dopes as well?

I'm saying, hypocrite, that we are (mostly) ordinary folks taking snipes at public figures. Do you contest that public figures have an obligation to stay above that kind of fray or be considered by their rivals beneath serious consideration?

Obviously, I don't think I'm "just a dope," but I can also recognize that satire and ridicule are not serious entries into the debate, and I don't particularly think anyone should attach any importance to my posts when they're clearly not intended as anything other than humor. I can have very little real effect on this "controversy," for all my amateur interest in it. Dembski, as a professional charlatan and a first-rate pseudo-intellectual, has a following. He has a responsibility, as the nominal leader of a creationist faction, to represent these people seriously with the kind of consideration their fervent belief warrants. That he cannot even be bothered to do this tells me he doesn't think any more of the rubes who continue to hang on his every word than he does of his own place in history.

What C. J. said.  AtBC is absolutely a piquant blend of observation and ridicule of ID and UD conducted largely for the entertainment of the participants. No one here has represented themselves "public intellectuals" or "Isaac Newtons of information theory," as has Dembski.  Given that ridiculously pretentious level of self-regard, the utter lack of merit of ID theory as science, and the often inadvertently buffoonish behavior displayed at UD, the site and its principals absolutely invite and deserve the ridicule they receive. Much of ID and UD is genuinely (inadvertently) funny, and requires no comment at all (such as Uncommonly Denyse's latest posts).

That said, pot called kettle black, no doubt about it. That's a bit silly.

Date: 2007/06/15 21:03:53, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
WAD, this was as inevitable as the dawn. You brought it on yourself. I'm a mere instrument of your will.

Date: 2007/06/15 22:25:19, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (C.J.O'Brien @ June 15 2007,15:35)
I've got one.
Just finished Dennett's "Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon."

In all the furor over the recent entries of Dawkins Harris and Hitchens (the new infernal trinity), there has not been much talk about Dennett's book. Anybody else read it?

Sorry if I'm OT, Stephen. I've not heard of "The ragged trousered philanthropists." It's a book, yes? By whom?

I purchased and read "Breaking the Spell" when it was first published. I recall liking it least of all of the Dennett I've read - I found him obnoxiously arrogant and condescending - and the whole "bright" thing is fingernails on chalkboard for me, a horrible blunder IMHO. This from a guy who enjoys and essentially agrees with Dennett in many respects.  

My favorite Dennett is "Freedom Evolves." The essays in "The Intentional Stance" are fascinating and important.  "Darwin's Dangerous Idea" is OK, although a lot of it is recycled from earlier essays and a lot of it grinds various axes (vis Skinner and Gould).  I found the portions of "Consciousness Explained" I read unconvincing, at least with respect to phenomenal consciousness. "Brainchildren: Essays on Designing Minds" is fun. "Kinds of Minds" is sort of an introductory Dennett pastry.

Date: 2007/06/15 22:50:10, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Louis @ June 15 2007,18:03)
   
Quote (C.J.O'Brien @ June 15 2007,22:35)
I've got one.
Just finished Dennett's "Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon."

In all the furor over the recent entries of Dawkins Harris and Hitchens (the new infernal trinity), there has not been much talk about Dennett's book. Anybody else read it?

Sorry if I'm OT, Stephen. I've not heard of "The ragged trousered philanthropists." It's a book, yes? By whom?

I've read it and I thought it was brilliant. I also thought it was far more damaging to faith/religion than the other two precisely because of it's comparatively quiet, scholarly tone and academic leanings.

I'm not saying the other two are ill considered, or wrong or unintellectual or anything like it. They are more polemical than the Dennett book in my opinion, and that doesn't detract from them at all but it does garner them the most publicity.

I'm reading three books at the moment: Douglas Hofstader's "Godel, Escher, Bach" which is a bit heavy going in places but very intriguing, Jared Diamond's "Collapse" which is an easy read in terms of technicalities but not in terms of implications, and lastly Stephen Fry's "An Ode Less Travelled" which is very funny and a bit densely poetic for me, but I find it very enjoyable and the exercises are fun. I usually have two or three books on the go at once because sometimes I don't feel like reading the very technical stuff late at night, or I feel more like something technical in the bath or what have you! I'm sure you all know the drill!

I've got a whole swathe of books on the Enlightenment and also on British History coming up on my little personal reading list. Then I have most of Gould's popular offerings to get through and finally The Gouldian Brick to reread properly (as opposed to dipping in and out). I reckon that's my serious reading for the rest of the year! I'll of course add the new Pratchett book when it comes out and a few other trashy novels I fancy for fun. Ooooh I've just had a thought, I'm off to Cyprus for a fortnight in a couple of months, I could build up to Gould's Brick before then and read it on holiday. Nice! Sun, brandy sours, evolutionary biology. If I could work in impertinent imbroglios with a famous atheist and ethologist I'd be almost as enviable as that shimmying siren Kristine!

Louis

"Godel, Escher, Bach" created an enormous stir when first published, particularly as it was advanced by Martin Gardner at Scientific American. It proved much less influential in the long run than many expected, however.  (Hofstader eventually replaced Gardner in SciAm, supplying his "Metamagical Themas" column in place of Gardner's "Mathematical Games" for a couple years.) I agree with your assessment of "Collapse," human history often being a downer an' all. "Guns, Germs and Steel" is more fun - and renders assertions such as Uncommonly Denyse's recent speculation that "something happened" to the human race 6,000 years ago particularly ridiculous by contrast.  

Ah, the Gouldian Brick. I got through 1,000 pages of that thing during late summer and fall of '02, but never did quite finish it.  The level of detail is REALLY pathetic.  But I think I got the idea.

Date: 2007/06/16 10:47:17, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
There are other factors operating here beyond psychological states (lying? delusional?) and possible monetary motivations. IMHO the most important, perhaps implicit in what some have said here, is community identification, membership and commitment.

I would argue that, with the publication of DBB, Behe joined a community of ID "scholars" and advocates who, at least at the outset of the movement, believed they were on to something substantive and important that would advance their particular brands of Christian faith. He also effectively resigned from the community of scientists as he ignored critiques of his book and devised his own, idiosyncratic definition of science. Community allegiance is itself a very powerful motivator; his membership in the ID community will buffer him from the harshest consequences of his resignation from the scientific community.  Behe's latest book appears to be an act of determined advocacy on behalf of the community of which he is now a member.

BTW, most of us are subject to similar factors.  I am not a scientist, but I admire and identify with the ideals and methods of the scientific community, and cannot conceive of "switching sides" in part because I can't imagine myself a member of the ID/Christian communities. In addition to the fact that I disbelieve the central tenets of Christianity, particularly in its simple minded fundamentalist guise, much of that community strikes me as homely in the manner of the photos below. A portrait of the intellectual heart of these communities would be analogously homely.

Of course, what arouses my greatest admiration is the scientific engine of "distributed cognition" and professional communication and debate by means of which theoretical concerns drive and are put to empirical test across large programs of inquiry and research. But community membership and identification are somewhat behind that admiration. I think that is what is so intriguing about posters such as FTK; her paranoid distrust of the world community of science, which most of us here so much admire, is difficult to fathom.  Until one inspects the community of which she is a member, and to which she is deeply and generatively committed.

[edit] oops... forgot to include my pics, from a collection of "worst album covers ever" I encountered somewhere:









But then my favorite recording of all time is Uncle Meat (FZ and the Mothers of Invention):

Date: 2007/06/16 11:40:23, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
IMHO good humor, particularly good satire, packs measures of both pleasure and aggression - about which these folks are notably conflicted. As does eroticism, in perhaps different measures.  How erotic are these people?

Case closed.

Date: 2007/06/17 06:26:56, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (carlsonjok @ June 16 2007,19:03)
         
Quote (stevestory @ June 16 2007,17:27)
Here's the guy's other site

http://www.geocities.com/fiddleboy2003/Bitscience.htm

Holy crap!  Dembski has found himself a kindred soul.  

Not!!!!


Un-Fucking-Believable.

Imagine: Brookfield's trailer trash science merged with DT's dog dish cancer cure. We could psychoanalysis the paradigmic!

WAD, WAD, wad. What are we going to do with you?

Date: 2007/06/17 10:33:21, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (skeptic @ June 17 2007,07:52)
Bill, one question, have you read the book and do you have any real justification for this crap you're spouting beyond hatred?

That would be two questions, Skept.

[minor edits]

No, I haven't read the book, and I don't think I critiqued the content of the book in any specific terms above.  I've read others of Behe's essays, as well as a considerable quantity of both ID literature and the scientific critiques of same (generally, I'm getting somewhat sick of the entire topic, as it is clearly going nowhere fast). As I stated in my post, I generally trust the motives and process of the scientific community, and those who have already reported upon the emptiness of Behe's latest effort.  

What my post argues is that community identification, membership, and commitment motivates us all, in part, in choosing sides in debates such as these, that Behe resigned from one community and joined another, and that his actions can be understood in that light. I also asserted that what differentiates the scientific community from that with which Behe identifies is a distributed, community process of theory and research that actually increases knowledge of the natural world.  

I also reported my own identification, as well as the fact that I find the extremes of fundamentalist Christianity to be intellectually and aesthetically homely in a manner self-parodied by these album covers (which are real, so far as I can tell).  One needn't look that far to find other examples, however; I also find the buildings, music, sets, oratorical style, etc. employed by contemporary mega-churches and televanglists, regardless of how well monied, to be unbelievably cheesy. But then, as indicated above, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention are my idea of a good time (You didn't see that wink?)

That's all just my opinion - I don't think it reflects hatred, however. I gather you don't agree.      

[Edit]  So, you think the above is crap.  What, you don't think community identification is important? You don't think Behe switched sides? You don't think he is motivated and buffered by his current identification and membership?  You don't think science increases our knowledge of the natural world? You think ID does? You find the aesthetics of contemporary fundamentalist Xtianity to be fine, fine, super fine?

Date: 2007/06/17 12:10:08, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Kristine @ June 17 2007,11:38)
 
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ June 17 2007,05:26)
     
Quote (carlsonjok @ June 16 2007,19:03)
               
Quote (stevestory @ June 16 2007,17:27)
Here's the guy's other site

http://www.geocities.com/fiddleboy2003/Bitscience.htm

Holy crap!  Dembski has found himself a kindred soul.  

Not!!!!


Un-Fucking-Believable.

Imagine: Brookfield's trailer trash science merged with DT's dog dish cancer cure. We could psychoanalysis the paradigmic!

WAD, WAD, wad. What are we going to do with you?

:) *Restrains herself* :)  

:)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :D  :p  This post is pure gold. Mwah!

I love you wMAD. Can I say that? Some naughty little crazy little baptist is going to get a shimmy when he least expects it.

>blushes<

See? I didn't have to kiss the smiley after all.

Date: 2007/06/18 19:59:39, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (skeptic @ June 18 2007,18:05)
The mistake you make, Bill, is to assume that Behe is no longer a part of the scientific community.  

That is certainly what I am asserting. Whether that is a mistake or not is debatable.
     
Quote
He is trained and educated in science, he has published in peer-reviewed journals as a scientist.

He clearly once was a member of the scientific community.
     
Quote
[He]...turned his back on the established rheotoric and attempted to juxtapose his overridding belief in God with the data as he sees it.

This is not doing science, and Behe has done little else since DBB. Rather, he has adopted the idiosyncratic (and empirically barren) definition of science advocated by the ID community, as recorded in his Dover testimony, and thereby essentially resigned from the commitments of contemporary science.
     
Quote
...you will certainly see how badly Behe wants them to be true.

Because, in part, of his generative committment to the ID community and its goals, which he obviously would like to further.

What I have argued is that he resigned from the scientific community and joined the ID community with respect to his identification, membership, and commitments. As it happens, that community does no science whatsoever, because IDC is incapable of generating researchable predictions.  

(I offered this as an alternative to "He is a liar" and "He is delusional" because I have HATRED in my heart.)

Date: 2007/06/18 20:17:07, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Tracy P. Hamilton @ June 18 2007,08:26)
     
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ June 16 2007,11:40)
IMHO good humor, particularly good satire, packs measures of both pleasure and aggression - about which these folks are notably conflicted. As does eroticism, in perhaps different measures.  How erotic are these people?


Homo.

I know you didn't mean that. At AtBC we say,

"Homo, IMHO."

Date: 2007/06/18 20:18:53, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ June 18 2007,15:42)
Quote

How many Dave Scots does it take to change a lightbulb?


None. The lightbulb is no longer with us.   :angry:

LOL!

Date: 2007/06/18 23:09:17, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (skeptic @ June 18 2007,22:08)
I consider Protein Science a serious journal and a publish date of 2004 is more recent than 1997, I think...

Anyway, you have his motivation and methods wrong.  He is not commited to the ID Community, such as it is, and forsaken science.  The Edge of Evolution is a back-to-the-drawing-board endeavor. Here's my take on it:

ID is nothing more than a philosophy.  The world appears this way so it must be true.  Now the only real way you can argue this point is in the abstract but Behe is sticking to his guns.  he believes there are enough instances in nature that prove design is required and all he has to do is keep presenting them until the evidence amounts in his favor.  If he were to turn his back on science he would chuck this whole idea and reduce his arguments to the abstract.  But he doesn't because he believes it is only through science that his point will be proven.  The one thing about this book that really bears some attention is the general theme.  if RM+NS are not sufficient to explain all of evolution then where are the limits and where must other mechanisms come into play.  Now I understand his motivation for asking the question but regardless of that it's a really good question and I have a feeling it will be asked more and more.

this is my biggest problem with the environment that we live in today.  Even if you ask a really good question you run the risk of having you character destroyed because you're motivations were not pure.  I'd hate to be Newton today.  Who knows what kind of he11 we'd put him through.

p.s. I'm not comparing Behe to Newton before you ramble off down that road.

If you are fairly representing his position, then Behe is wishing upon a star that future scientific inquiry will "prove" his position by, in essence, failing to account for specific instances of biological complexity.

Meanwhile, he asks no testable, researchable questions and makes no contributions that advance the science he claims to honor in any way relevant to the hypothesis with which he is now notoriously identified. This is because he has embraced a position that, however philosophically appealing, is inherently incapable of generating such predictions, and is therefore outside science proper. In that sense he HAS turned has back on science - all the while peeking between his fingers with hopes that no discoveries render his favorite examples obsolete.  

Pointing to instances of complexity in biology and simply claiming - hoping - that they cannot be natural phenomena does not science make. This is ID of the gaps, pure and simple.

If this weren't bad enough, Behe often misrepresents the gaps. He stubbornly ignores research literature that documents the slow elimination of his favorite "gaps," such the massive literature on evolution of the blood clotting cascade, as so pointedly demonstrated at Dover.  This is the component often identified as dishonest.

"Malaria was designed."  Hence my new cover for his book, which characterizes the designer he apparently envisions:

Date: 2007/06/18 23:25:02, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Doc Bill @ June 18 2007,22:45)
I'd like to say I'm opening at the Sands but does the Sands even exist?



Behe goes into a bar and orders a Zombie.

The bartender looks at him and says, "Sorry, Dembski left 10 minutes ago."



Am I on a roll or what?

Calls to mind the late Spalding Gray:

"A skeleton walked into a bar and asked for a beer and a mop."

Date: 2007/06/19 10:45:55, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
How many honorary doctorates does Judge Jones have now?
WAD

...Ron Numbers informs me that over 100 professional societies have weighed in officially against ID. (Again, I’d like to see this confirmed.) Don’t expect people with a finger in the wind to help ID....

But if they've got a thumb...

No, nevermind.

Date: 2007/06/19 20:15:52, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
Personally, I get real nervous when someone wants to completely shut the book on some line of inquiry in the name of "science."

Skept, I would argue that, were the American public to be convinced of the value of ID and to allocate of billions for ID research - IOW, the book was wide open - NOTHING of scientific value would emerge from that effort.  This is because ID simply cannot be expressed as a scientific utterance capable of positive empirical traction.  I gather you agree.  There IS no line of scientific inquiry here - in the sense of a dialog between theory and empirical test of predictions arising from that theory.    

The only book I was interested in seeing slammed shut was the attempt to wedge ID into science classrooms, where it manifestly does not belong because it is NOT SCIENCE.  Presenting it as such can only damage the capacity of young people to critically discern and apply genuine scientific reasoning.
Quote
It always amazes me how much anger there is out there...

What aroused anger in me, and many others, is the patent dishonesty of the principals of the ID movement in advancing their stealth agenda within our schools. You know the drill.

Date: 2007/06/21 10:18:51, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (stevestory @ June 21 2007,04:01)
     
Quote (djmullen @ June 21 2007,02:18)
Granville said:      
Quote
On a completely different topic, Dave, you (I believe it was you) had a post many months ago where you suggested that if evolutionary simulators wanted to better simulate reality, they should subject everything to random errors, their entire program, the compiler and OS and the hardware (well, that was the idea anyway). I thought that was one of the most significant points ever made at UD (though as I recall no one else seemed to).

Because it was dumb as hell.

Holy shit. This unbelieveably stupid notion was wrestled to the ground at UD here,  here and   here.  GilDodg'em was reduced to claiming that he was just funnin'.

I got banned somewhere along the way, along with several others.  The tumbleweeds were permitted to stay.

Date: 2007/06/21 10:57:45, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
test post - upon attempting to edit a post I am getting a message stating I am not permitted to post on this board, although logged in as Reciprocating Bill.

Date: 2007/06/21 10:59:24, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
I've tried to edit the broken link above but the board isn't letting me in.  Have I failed to offend sufficiently? If so, apologies.

Date: 2007/06/21 11:10:17, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Here is he broken link.  The board won't let me edit my second message, either.  

Garcon!?

Date: 2007/06/21 15:55:50, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill


Why has WAD posted an image of a friar writing on the blackboard while balancing his package on his forehead? Is this metaphorical?

Date: 2007/06/22 06:05:00, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Richardthughes @ June 22 2007,01:38)
http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelli....zealots

Quote
22 June 2007
Senators Clinton and Boxer learn from Darwin zealots
DaveScot
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?


BAD, BAD TARD.

Date: 2007/06/22 06:33:55, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
Point-Counterpoint: Steven Weinberg vs. Eugenie Scott
WAD

“The world needs to wake up from the long nightmare of religion. Anything we scientists can do to weaken the hold of religion should be done, and may in fact be our greatest contribution to civilisation.” –Steven Weinberg, NYT, 21nov06

“Scott describes herself as atheist but does not discount the importance of spirituality. . . . In her earnest, soft-spoken voice, she tried to explain to parents and teachers [in Kansas] that science and evolution are not anti-religion. ‘Students don’t have to accept evolution,’ Scott frequently has said. ‘But they should learn it — as it is understood by scientists.’” –Monica Lam, Profile of Eugenie Scott, SFC, 7feb03

Question: Whom do you prefer, the straightforward Weinberg or the smarmy Scott? Is this a loaded question?

"If we take seriously the word-flesh Christology of Chalcedon (i.e. the doctrine that Christ is fully human and fully divine) and view Christ as the telos toward which God is drawing the whole of creation, then any view of the sciences that leaves Christ out of the picture must be seen as fundamentally deficient."

"Admitting design into science can only enrich the scientific enterprise. All the tried and true tools of science will remain intact. But design adds a new tool to the scientist’s explanatory tool chest. Moreover, design raises a whole new set of research questions."

Question: Whom do you prefer, the straightforward WAD or the smarmy WAD? Is this a loaded question?

Date: 2007/06/22 08:11:00, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Zachriel @ June 22 2007,07:13)
Reciprocating Bill has been spotted deep in enemy territory.



Reciprocating Bill            
Quote
DUDES! Before you break out the cigars, you might take some time to actually read the two threads to which Gil refers.

Do so and you will see that they aren’t composed of Gil championing some ID notion that “struck a nerve,” followed by the futile, red-faced efforts of Darwinians to refute it. In fact, almost no positive ID thesis is presented in the thread, by Gil or anyone else.

Instead, Gil posted a proposal regarding the computational simulation of natural selection that is downright mistaken (random mutation should extend to the underlying hardware, operating system, etc.), and the overwhelming bulk of the contrary replies addressed his (and others’) apparent misapprehension of the nature of simulation.

Gil eventually (after days of discussion and two threads) admitted as much by stating that his original post was intended as sarcasm, that it shouldn’t have been taken seriously, and that he intended points that he apparently failed to make clear. Some did not find that backdown very credible. Read and judge for yourselves.

In any event, an often interesting and instructive conversation was triggered addressing the abstract nature of computation, the algorithmic and abstract nature of selectionist causation, the central features of natural selection in nature vs. in simulations, the significance of these simulations, etc. Very little of it actually addresses the ID thesis.

That discussion has been interesting and instructive in several ways, and mostly cordial, and I think all contributors *should* be congratulated for sustaining a civil and productive discussion.

The only resistance so far is handwaving and a bit of sporadic incredulity. Good luck, Reciprocating Bill!

Edit: That's old news. How did I end up on that thread? Arghh! (It's what I get for posting right before the upcoming lineup of Jupiter, the Moon and Antares. For those in North America, look to the SSE at nightfall the middle of next week to enjoy this beautiful event.)

How did it turn out anyway? Oh, banned. Sorry about that Reciprocating Bill. Didn't mean to dredge up old war wounds.

Often, when the coquettish Unnamed Disembodied Telic Entity Not Otherwise Specified closes a door, He/She/It opens a window. It was not long after attaining bannudity at UD that I discovered AtBC, and was healed.

Date: 2007/06/22 18:09:55, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Uncommonly Denyse continues her strange relationship with evolutionary psychology:
                             
Quote
Responding to something I wrote at the Post-Darwinist about the popularity of evlutionary psychology among atheists, Moran (a textbook co-author you may well have suffered though in school), responds:

"Just for the record, Denyse, I’m one of those evil atheists that you like to rant about but I’m totally opposed to evolutionary psychology.

But you already knew that many evolutionary biologist were against evolutionary psychology, didn’t you?"

No, I didn’t, Larry, and if that’s true, it’s high time more of them voiced their objections...

No doubt, there are many critiques out there that I haven’t seen, but I wonder what proportion comes from evolutionary biologists, as opposed to social scientists who know the difference between research and speculation...

errrraAAAARHHHHHHGH


(Ouch. I've GOT to dispense with mentation-based irony detection.)

She continues:
                             
Quote
Are you an evolutionary biologist who does not believe in evolutionary psychology? Write in and tell us, will you? If, for whatever reason, you’ve been banned at Uncommon Descent, go to the Post-Darwinist and put a comment in any story.

Howabout you engage in self-referential coitus.

Denyse, dearie.  There ARE clear epistemological and methodological problems with the brand of evolutionary psychology presented, for example, in Barkow, Cosmides and Tooby's 1992 The Adapted Mind. I know this because there is a LARGE LITERATURE addressing the promises and perils of evolutionary psychology. See, for example, the Paul Sheldon Davies article "The Conflict of Evolutionary Psychology" in the excellent 1999 edited volume Where Psychology Meets Biology: Philosophical Essays (Edited by Valerie Gray  Hardcastle, MIT Press). Buller is represented there as well. Way to tip us off that you are completely ignorant of the literature you so often critique.

Two things you need to catch up with.  (OK, three, if you include the fucking literature.)

One: Denyse, sweetheart, you need to understand that the central problem with evolutionary psychology of the Barkow/Cosmides/Tooby/Buss variety (namely: the heuristic it proposes - analysis of adaptive problems faced by human beings during the Pleistocene as a way of understanding contemporary human psychology - is difficult to employ because we typcially independently know very little about those adaptive challenges) in no way undermines the reality that human beings originated, both physically and in many respects cognitively/affectively/behaviorally, across an extended, contingent evolutionary history. What it does mean is that psychology and cognitive science may be more helpful to developing our knowldge of that human evolutionary history than speculation regarding human evolution will be to contemporary cognitive science. That remains to be seen: significant research efforts are being made to confirm hypotheses generated from within the EP framework. (That may not sound familiar to an ID proponent...).

Two. Sweetie?  I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but these obstacles to making evolutionary psychology work offer no cover for ID. Zero. Zip. NADA.

Evolutionary psychology is not contra ID, or to your wierd notions that something called intelligence just knows things, and does things, and pulls cortical strings to those ends.  We'll call that "cortical string theory."

Evolutionary psychology is contra other research programs in cognitive psychology that derive heuristic insights from observations of current human and animal functioning without resort to speculative analysis of an historical dimension. All of which programs acknowledge human evolution, and all of which understand that human psychological functioning is grounded in people, their bodies and brains, and the cultural contexts within which they are nurtured. There is no research into detachable ghost psychology within contemporary science.

Date: 2007/06/22 18:16:13, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Steviepinhead @ June 22 2007,14:23)
Oops!  Sorry, sorry.

I thought the topic said "broad" mechanics and my gf has been saying I could use some eddication in that area.

Guess the visual hallucination is just more evidence of my desperation.

With that occipital cortex you've GOT to have a lot going on that way.

Date: 2007/06/23 07:08:28, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
DaveTard clarifies moderation policy at UD:
     
Quote
DaveScot  
06/23/2007
3:17 am

hermagoras

Does the moderation here preclude name-calling?

Generally speaking gratuitous flamage directed at regular members is discouraged whether those members are for or against ID. Also generally speaking those against ID are held to a higher standard in both civility and quality so if you’re a regular member against ID it’s likely you’re smarter than the average bear and nicer too.

Gratuitous flamage leveled at pro-ID persons who are not regular members here is also discouraged.

Gratuitous flamage leveled at anti-ID persons who are asshats (best exemplified by PZ Meyers) is encouraged. It isn’t really gratuitous in that case but rather well deserved.

Gratuitous flamage directed at anti-ID persons who are generally not asshats is neither encouraged or discouraged except on a case by case basis...

Dave forgot:

Gratuitous being informedage about a topic, gratuitous being rightage about assertions, and gratuitous revealage of DaveTard's stupidity are also discouraged.

And I think he meant, "on a case by case bias."

Date: 2007/06/23 11:53:48, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Ftk @ June 23 2007,11:00)
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ June 23 2007,10:03)
I wouldn't mind hearing about those creationists who made predictions then found them to be true as well, if you have time.

Ian,

Start with this link.  I believe the index will take you to predictions.  I don't have the time or the patience to discuss this issue with you because irregardless of what I point out, you will reject it without even reading or considering it thoroughly.  You're mind is already set.

Gotta go...kids are hollering.

That Walt Brown cooks up some elaborate, goofy shit.  

But Wesley's question was, "FtK, do you assert that no transitional fossil sequences exist? This is a simple yes-or-no question."

You don't have to immerse yourself in research materials to discover what you already believe.  

Just check a box:

- Yes. I believe that transitional fossil sequences exist.
- No. I don't believe that transitional fossil sequences exist.

Your scramble to research the question is really an admission:

- I really don't know whether they exist or not.

Date: 2007/06/23 23:11:25, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
This is all surpassing strange.  

Not long ago I attended a talk presented by Dr. Yohannes Haile-Selassie, who directs the physical anthropology department of the Cleveland Museum of Natural history, on fieldwork his team is conducting in the Middle Awash Valley in Ethiopia. There, several seasons of hard work in a hot, dry, and remote environment have yielded very interesting fossil discoveries that illuminate a particular phase of hominid evolution. The presentation also outlined the implications of these findings for current models of hominid descent, and described the further excavations that are planned with hopes of resolving questions and testing hypotheses.

That is thrilling stuff, depicting human origins over time scales that induce vertigo (this research concerned events that occurred something like 40,000 centuries in the past). It also exemplified the hard work being done by working scientists around the world in pursuit of a deeper understanding of human origins and, more generally, the history of life on earth. These reasearchers proceed without taking note of the ridiculous polemics initiated by creationist and ID-creationist communities: there is too much difficult, time consuming, expensive, and exciting real science to be done.  

The contrast between this effort and the Baroque armchair bullshit of the Walt Browns and William Dembskis of the world could not be more clear. I for one am often dismayed by the stubborn ignorance displayed by the likes of FTK as they conduct an "open minded" march around the moebuis strip of creationist belief. But I also understand that that march never stops, because it can't, because it is motivated by group membership and identification, as I observed elsewhere vis Behe.

Discussions and debate such as this one, in which bizzarre inventions such as "hydroplate theory" vie for a place alongside serious scientific work, induce in me a sort of deep weariness, and a sadness, too. So I mostly stay out.

But its all rather a shame.

Date: 2007/06/24 11:36:17, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Richardthughes @ June 24 2007,01:01)
What a nugget! His blog is priceless, though.

There we once again encounter the "transparadigmic" path to enlightenment.  

Imbecile! He was reaching for "paradigmatic," and hence "transparadigmatic."

Too many syllables. But then, what difference in the service of babbling?

Date: 2007/06/24 12:02:24, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Uncommonly Denyse is trying to hurt me:
 
Quote
Darwinism as a religion and the courts
O'Leary

...The effort to recast Darwin as a religious man, more religious in fact than the common run of Christians and other believers, in the runup to the bicentennial of his birth is well under way in many quarters:

"Darwin counted himself an agnostic, but in his reverence for the creative agency of nature we should count him a devoutly religious man. “There is a grandeur in this view of life,” he famously wrote on the last page of The Origin of Species. The grandeur of which he spoke of has more of the divine about it than did the anthropomorphic idol who occupied the thoughts of his contemporaries."

This musing by Chet Raymo (April 22, 2007) is a typical encomium. Go here, here, and here for examples of ridiculous hagiography whose authors take it all quite seriously. For intolerance, unreasoning fanaticism, and belief in miracles, there is no religious bunny anywhere like the serious Darwinist...

...Despite the fact that Darwinists insist that their concerns are secular, it is painfully obvious that a religious agenda lies at the heart of Darwinism: As the creation story of a new materialist religion, Darwinism is advanced with missionary fervour in settings that are neutral and secular in name only. And its ablest exponents are hostile to the free exercise of other religions.

I'm getting a headache attempting to parse this. If I read her right, to ascribe to Darwin religious sensibilities grounded in "this view of life" is ridiculous hagiography that makes it painfully obvious that sensibilities grounded in "this view of life" are in fact religious sensibilities.  

OW! OW! OW! OW!! OW!!!

Date: 2007/06/24 16:47:48, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
k.e blew through here back on May 31.

Date: 2007/06/24 20:24:53, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Hermagoras @ June 24 2007,19:56)
Again I'm attempting to comment on UD.  Let's see if this one makes it out of limbo.  My response is to this.  Here's what I say:
       
Quote
Borne:

First, your martyrdom statistics seem high. Do you have a source?

Second, the idea that Harris and Klebold targeted Christians is problematic at best: see http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/c/cassie.htm

Third, I doubt Wicca is or will soon be anywhere near that popular, and again I ask for a source. Besides, why is that a problem? Wiccans at least are not materialists.

Finally, it’s worth noting that historically, witches have not persecuted and killed Christians. Rather the reverse.

I believe I'm being respectful, and in response to a very stupid comment.  Still  I have my doubts.  What's the over/under on this getting through?   And why should I care?  Why oh why doesn't Dembski love me?

???

Be aware that DS and others carefully follow AtBC (Hi Dave!). Some have attained bamnation at UD for what they have posted on other blogs.

Date: 2007/06/25 06:53:39, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Well, although this discussion has gone where it was doomed to go, it has served a purpose. FTK got pissed and blew her cover:

Before:

"Oh my goodness! TOE is very intersting and I love reading all about science, but I just don't think they have all the friggin' answers. Mercy me! We need to gather more evidence, and I suspect the answer lies in the middle. I don't know why you think this has necessarily to do with religion! Golly! Oops, got to drop these pot holders and go to my son's baseball game! See ya!"

After:

"No way I'm going to accept that a goddamn BLOB crawled around and became MAN, regardless of what evidence you present. Not in a million fucking years. Just remember that God was capable of arranging things any way he wanted and that Christ died on the Cross for your sins."

Date: 2007/06/25 11:09:43, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Ftk @ June 24 2007,19:01)
Gosh, I keep looking in this textbook Dave gave me and staring at that little microbe and the series of pictures that supposedly respresents how that little sucker looked when it started on its evolutionary journey.  

I'm wondering if someone threw some pixie dust on it to get it to be able to do something that resulted in everything we observe in the world today. I mean, color me impressed...

A pretty good description of the Intelligent Design hypothesis.  And as ridiculous as you intend it to sound.

Date: 2007/06/26 06:20:51, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (keiths @ June 25 2007,12:00)
A choice Dembski quote from the interview:
   
Quote
CA: Amidst all the animosity and criticisms written about your work, what is your motivation for continuing this ambitious research program?

WD: The work itself is immensely satisfying and intellectually stimulating. Moreover, I see those who seek to shut it down as intolerant dogmatists who encapsulate a tyranny that I despise. So I get to see myself as both a scientific researcher and as a freedom fighter—a rare combination.

"I get to see myself as both a scientific researcher and as a freedom fighter..."

What a weird construction. "I get to see myself as...?"

"Here I am, Joe Freedom Fighter and Scientific Researcher, waging my tireless battle against the Encapsulated Intolerant Dogmatists (admires reflection, adjusts chin).  Wait...Joe Freedom Fighter and Scientific Researcher's I-D sense is tingling!  Could materialist atheists be conspiring to encapsulate helpless students at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary? (rips shirt from chest - a belly dancer swoons in the distances...)"

Date: 2007/06/26 18:31:27, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
Cosmological ID in 1744?
scorned'ova

What a dipshit.

Date: 2007/06/26 19:22:19, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Doesn't Star Wars: The Phantom Movie deserve place on this list, given ratio of quality/money spent? And because of that kid who plays Manikin Skywalker?

Date: 2007/06/26 20:14:13, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Ichthyic @ June 26 2007,19:27)
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ June 26 2007,19:22)
Doesn't Star Wars: The Phantom Movie deserve place on this list, given ratio of quality/money spent? And because of that kid who plays Manikin Skywalker?

yes, sadly, while i agree the writing, directing, and acting were b-grade movie quality (worse?), the ultra-high production values tend to eliminate this one from contention.

curse you George Lucas.

curse you to heaven.

Though we might have to borrow the Jar-Jar character for use as an usher (and for torture during intermissions)

Not to press a point, but I was thinking the squandered money and technology and superb production values were EXACTLY what made the movie so unbelievably BAD.  Unlimited resources and they come up with THIS piece of crap? On THESE hallowed grounds?

(Not to mention the bizarre ethnic caricatures.)

Date: 2007/06/27 18:10:20, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
When Tard Hurts
PaV

...Think of the number of people who die each year of cancer as compared to the number who die from bacterial infection, and one can easily see that all the chest-slapping by the Darwinists about how RM+NS has given us anti-bacterial drugs can know pound their breasts in remorse at the “wrong path” mutational theory has led cancer researchers.

Christ. Now it's dueling dipshits.

Date: 2007/06/27 20:53:44, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
[Terminator]

Hu'll be bock.

[/Terminator]

Date: 2007/06/28 18:19:49, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Hermagoras @ June 28 2007,15:58)
Honestly, I don't know what the fuck I was banned for.  ??? My last two comments, neither of which made it past moderation, were about (a) how scordova's examples of equivocation were not actually equivocating, and (b) some basics in the rhetoric of science (with reference to Bruno Latour).

You should have heeded the principles (and principals) governing UD.

In addition to gratuitous flamage, gratuitous being informedage about a topic, gratuitous being rightage about assertions, and gratuitous revealage of UD stupidity reliably activate the UD Nixplanatory Filter.  

But rejoice! You are safe in our banitarium, home now, and promise to be a formidable addition to the forces of mirth at AtBC.

Date: 2007/06/29 16:31:22, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Hermagoras @ June 29 2007,14:13)
   
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ June 29 2007,13:57)
Oh, my.

That's very fine.  

Just for giggles, let me ask: has Dembski ever conceded a significant point?

Not long ago, WAD publicly retracted his idiotic assertion that R. Dawkins only had three publications to his name.

(What choice did he have?)

The entire topic went "poof" a day or so later.

(Oh.)

Date: 2007/06/29 20:02:20, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
This has got be some kind of heavenly troll-stew for FTK.  Stir occasionally, and AtBC boils itself.

Date: 2007/06/29 21:14:38, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Kristine @ June 29 2007,20:47)
 
Quote (Hermagoras @ June 29 2007,18:56)
 Talked about but never tagged.  What's a guy gotta do around here?

*Sigh* Here you are. But you can't be Number One Husband unless you write about snakes.

Did anyone click on the Matmos link? Pretty funny, I thought. :p Via Han Salvo's YouBoob linkies.

Okay.

Creationists complain that they've never seen a dog turn into a cat.  

Here's a pic of a Joey turning into a snake:



I DO.

Date: 2007/06/30 08:38:47, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ June 30 2007,08:23)
Yes, another ikonBoard first... I've added a button for moderators that can move a post from one topic in a forum to another. In this case, any topic in AtBC to the Bathroom Wall. That's going to make moderation sooooo much more convenient.

Now for an auto-ridicule button that targets UD. Can't be too difficult to automate at this point.

Date: 2007/06/30 08:42:53, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Hermagoras @ June 30 2007,08:03)
Quote (carlsonjok @ June 30 2007,05:37)
 
Quote (Kristine @ June 30 2007,01:08)
   
Quote (Hermagoras @ June 29 2007,22:42)

(I don't know if PaV is a guy, but so what?  Have you seen the T-Shirt on Gil?)

Um, yes. :) Hawt!

Oh, then do check out one of his album covers

I'm going to defend Gil on that one. Everybody wore ridiculous clothes back then.  [Hermagoras recalls his leisure suits and prom tux, shudders.]

Not all of us could muster that pensive gaze, however.

Date: 2007/06/30 08:54:01, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Which is not to disrespect Gil's performance career.  No mean feat.  Chopin, Lizt, Rachmaninoff had a LOT of fingers, and not every professional pianist could master that literature.  

Serious doff of cap to Gil.

If only you wouldn't meddle in areas where you have no expertise, Gil.

Date: 2007/06/30 09:02:38, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ June 30 2007,09:00)
Sal: ...I have an audio tape of the debate, but haven’t listened to it yet.

That's OK, Sal, because nobody has listened to you yet, either.

Date: 2007/06/30 11:03:56, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ June 30 2007,10:42)
 
Quote (Ftk @ June 30 2007,09:04)
The thing is, that I'm not familiar with anything that Lenny has ever said that is so terribly enlightening.  I'm only familiar with him from this forum and comments I've seen on occassion at PT.  From the time I started posting here, he's offered absolutely nothing but snide remarks...virtually no science involved.

BTW, for those who have not already seen, I offer:


http://www.geocities.com/lflank

Around 400 pages worth of science and analysis.

Alas, all now essentially irrelevant, and of interest only for historical reasons, since ID is now dead as a mackerel, and the anti-ID fight is now all but over.  

All that remains is to laugh and make snide remarks at the antics of the ID diehards.

Lenny,  

I've been loosing sleep. "Dead as a mackerel" isn't any more or less dead than, say, "dead as a cocker spaniel."

Date: 2007/06/30 11:08:38, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (stevestory @ June 30 2007,08:59)
 
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ June 30 2007,09:38)
   
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ June 30 2007,08:23)
Yes, another ikonBoard first... I've added a button for moderators that can move a post from one topic in a forum to another. In this case, any topic in AtBC to the Bathroom Wall. That's going to make moderation sooooo much more convenient.

Now for an auto-ridicule button that targets UD. Can't be too difficult to automate at this point.

Do you have Wintermute's UD2AtBC greasemonkey script? It doesn't autoridicule them, but it reformats their comments in an easy-to-c&p-here format.

I've seen it, but need guidance vis how to make it work in Safari.

[Edit] OK, duh. Greasemonkey, Firefox, userscript, etc.  Cute little script.

Date: 2007/06/30 11:36:36, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (qetzal @ June 29 2007,22:28)
Does anyone remember one involving creatures that dissolved your bones? They looked sort of like giant amoeba, 2-3 feet across, with a tentacle that came out and grabbed their victims. The tentacle would inject something that dissolved the bones, then they'd suck out the resulting liquid. Horribly, the victims were left alive, albeit temporarily.

I remember seeing it decades ago on Creature Feature, but I have no clue what it was called.

I dimly recall an episode of Outer Limits with a similar theme: bones dissolved, victims rendered unleveraged blobs.

Date: 2007/06/30 13:00:31, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
What this is really about:



Reference:  The Mating Mind Geoffrey F. Miller, Doubleday, 2000.

Date: 2007/06/30 14:52:52, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ June 30 2007,12:58)
Why attempt the impossible?  If I want to talk science with the pig-ignorant, I can discuss Einstein with my goldfish and get the same level of effectiveness (the difference of course being that at least the goldfish isn't WILLFULLY pig-ignorant).

Lenny, now you are REALLY confusing me with all the complicated animals. Talk to a goldfish for pig-ignorance? Is there a pig I can talk to for fish-ignorance?

I think Lenny is telling us that ID is ALIVE and FTK is ERUDITE. RUN, EVERYBODY! RUN!

Date: 2007/06/30 23:14:13, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Uncommonly Denyse writes about intercessory prayer.  Bornagain77 elaborates.

Reciprocating Bill folds his hands.

"Dear Lord, Thou art all powerful. Please SHUT these dipshits UP."

Date: 2007/07/01 16:09:28, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ July 01 2007,14:28)
 
Quote

I remain your loyal minion.


Hmm. I moved some of my own posts to the BW at the same time, and I think I'm loyal... is there such a thing as self-referential minioncy?

Given that child is father to the man, why not?

(So said Erik Erikson...)

Date: 2007/07/02 22:20:50, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Dr.GH @ July 02 2007,20:26)
 
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ July 02 2007,17:23)
   
Quote (Richardthughes @ July 02 2007,13:07)

Well, at least now I know why fundies don't like to hear talk about penii . . . . . . .

Yeah.  It looks just like a penis but it is so small.

Date: 2007/07/03 06:39:27, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
An eloquent but bogus non-review by Dawkins
scorned'ova

...Dawkins is a master of rhetoric. Only he could take a clear example of intelligently designed evolution (dog breeding) and offer it as a convincing “proof” of Darwinian evolution.

Holy dipshit.  If Sal had some grasp of what Behe is trying to do in TEOE, he would understand Dawkins' review generally, and this point specifically. But he doesn't, so he doesn't, and off he goes after the supposed insufficiency of natural selection.

I wonder if he thinks wild geese were designed.

Date: 2007/07/03 14:45:37, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
One can find all sorts of possible derivations of "tard" and "retard." There can't really be any question, however, that its use HERE is derived from "mentally retarded" and "retard" in that sense. Trying to spin it otherwise is worthy of, well, Sal Cordova.

Date: 2007/07/03 18:14:53, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ July 03 2007,18:23)
Quote (Kristine @ July 03 2007,12:40)
Hee hee. 'Vicious' piranhas are really wimps. ;)

I can point out that back when I lived in Pennsylvania, I used to keep red-bellied pirahnas (_Serrasalmus nattereri_) -- I had seven of them, fullgrown, in a 30 gallon tank.  I'd routinely put my arms in there up to the shoulders to clean things, move rocks, rearrange filters, etc etc etc.  Never had so much as a nip from them.  They all just mosied on over to the other side of the tank and stayed there till I was done.

Those sound more like yellow-bellied pirahnas to me. Just sayin'.

Date: 2007/07/03 22:58:31, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Kristine @ July 03 2007,23:54)
IT'S RICHARDTHUGHES BIRTHDAY TODAY! He's only 34! :O Just a pup! :) Happy birthday from an old campaigner. As Bette Davis said in All About Eve, "'Princess Fire and Music,' that's me - an old kazoo with some sparkles." ;)




(Gulp)

Date: 2007/07/03 23:15:58, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Back to work.

 
Quote
MIT’s Department of Biological Engineering
WAD

Here’s how MIT describes its department of biological engineering. Does the research here fall more readily under ID or Darwinism?

...

Why the fuck does WAD think that human beings engineering new biological technologies has anything whatsoever to do with the supernatural thesis of IDC?

Date: 2007/07/04 18:39:03, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Louis @ July 03 2007,07:00)
Ok so I think we're making real progress here. However I think we need to formalise the minion categories in rank order, just so we know where we stand in the minion hierarchy:

1) Shadowing Sidekick
2) Favoured Sychophant
3) Obsequious Toady
4) Grovelling Lickspittle
5) Odious Lackey
6) Fawning Drudge
7) Insignificant Peon

Now, so Wesley knows what to expect and demand from his minions, we need to work out some job descriptions. Obviously all categories require grovelling servility and fanatical, unswerving loyalty even in the face of overwhelming odds or evidence otherwise Wesley will never be able to crow about his minions to the Powers That Be at UD and the DI. After all, that bunch have REALLY servile minions, they even give up their hard won right to critical or rational thought.

Suggestions please to the usual address.

Louis

If you really wish to compete with UD, never avert your eyes from:

8) Manipulative Wormtongue

Who even now speaks, and a fog descends. He is crafty: dulling men's wariness, or working on their fears, as serves the occasion.

(Suddenly I drew myself up. My hands worked. My eyes glittered. Such malice was in them that men stepped back from me. I bared my teeth, and then with a hissing breath I spat before Wesley's feet, and darting to one side, I fled down the stair.)

Date: 2007/07/05 18:36:35, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
George Gilder in the Jerusalem Post
WAD

Ruthie Blum interviewed George Gilder in the Jerusalem Post late last month. Here’s a sample from the interview:

                 
Quote
RB: How do you explain how this “incredibly improbable world could exist”?

GG: Creation. I see creation in economics; I see creation in computer science. You can know everything there is to know about the physics and chemistry of a microchip, without having the slightest inkling of what function it’s performing, let alone what content it is processing. The same goes for network theory. You can know every electron or atom across a fiber-optic network, without having any idea of what contents are being transmitted.

In network theory, you have seven layers of abstraction. Those same seven layers also apply, in slightly different form, to a computer system. Both are exhaustively and intelligently designed, with elaborate and extraordinarily complex equipment, which itself is exhaustively designed, and not intelligible unless you know the “source code.” The theory that governs design in the microchip - invented 28-9 years ago by Carver Mead and Lynn Conway - is called “hierarchical design.” It is a top-down design, the crux of which is that it is independent of its material embodiment.

The iPhone must really be up there.

Of course, we already know that human beings design things, and that much of what we design is abstract, in that what is important is orthogonal to the causal powers of the underlying physical substrate. The implementation of a long division algorithm with paper and pencil proceeds through steps that are entirely orthogonal to the properties of graphite applied to paper as described from the perspective of physics. Much of the above describes similar, albeit more sophisticated, instances of human design activity instantiating similar forms of abstraction.  What bearing does such "non-material" abstraction have upon the thesis of intelligent design? Zero.

But they may be onto something. To the extent that we can show that the abstract nature of computation (e.g. that computation is independent of the material substrates in which it is instantiated, as established by Turing) indicates that computation is "non-material" in the sense of "supernatural", we have another "proof of concept" for supernatural intelligent design, the only kind ID is really interested in.

(Now to establish that computation is supernatural. This may take a few hours.  Be right back.)

Date: 2007/07/05 18:43:02, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
I'm stepping through "Endless Forms Most Beautiful," probably last here to do so.

Date: 2007/07/06 06:40:46, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
Are you pro-science enough?
WAD

In my previous post, I cited a Miami Herald article that refers to “The National Center for Science Education, a pro-science watchdog group.” For the real pro-science watchdog group, check out the following links:

www.pro-science.com
www.pro-science.org
www.pro-science.net

That’s right. I own those domain names and they all refer back here. Let me encourage all contributors to this blog to use these domain names in referring to UD when they email Darwinists.

That way, your recipient will think you all sciencey and stuff, when your science commitment is in reality as empty as these domains. And your level of honesty similar to that of WAD.

Date: 2007/07/06 23:05:22, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Crandiddly's latest.  About people, as they create designs:
             
Quote
It seems obvious that one cannot “see” designers or directly perceive via the external senses some intrinsic property of being designed any more than one can “see” the experiential substance of thought in another person’s head. In order for there to exist design, there must necessarily exist an intentional representation of the pattern to be designed in the designer’s mind, and intentional representations aren’t the sort of things that be experienced or “observed” from a third-person perspective and through the external senses. Physical bodies and events are worthless to a design inference because intentionality is to be found nowhere in the senseless movements, collisions, and interactions of spatiotemporal material bodies.

Obviously.

Wow. Really makes me think about my sink.  

Many years ago my wife and I remodeled our kitchen.  We produced sketches, refined them through many iterations, and eventually produced plans using the old MacDraw II program. This took many weeks.  It was pretty successful.  

Had you watched this activity, you would not have seen the designers responsible for the layout of our kitchen, nor the process of design.  Sure, you would have witnessed bodies moving, mouths and limbs working, papers and bits shuffling about, the occasional marital obligation, but would have seen no designers, and no designing.  It would have been obvious that the process of design consisted not in the production of crude material representations expressed verbally, rendered on paper, and eventually transferred to the 2D MacDraw canvas - but in invisible subjective representations created and manipulated by our non-material, intentional selves. The real designers were hidden behind the manipulation of those representations in non-material representational space through intentional acts of nonphysical consciousness, obviously not amenable to observation by any third party.

Miraculously, however, perhaps by means of our collective pineal glands, these representations reached across the chasm that stands between non-material, intentional representations and the ordinary material substances and processes of our bodies and brains. They tugged motor neurons (which tuggings were smoothed by cerebellar computation) and muscle twitches (flapping tongues, contracting limbs) that produced paper and Macintosh-based representations. These physical representations were conveyed to our Italian cabinetmaker (Nunzio!) who again (obviously) transformed these blind physical forces into non-material representations available only to him - which in turn tugged and pulled upon HIS brain, bone and sinew to operate saws, sanders and nail guns to produce our cabinets.

Clearly, a materialist account of this feat is confronted by intractable obstacles. It continues to baffle me how any intelligent person who devotes much thought to this position could continue to hold it.  

(And you probably think THIS is a sink.)

Date: 2007/07/06 23:24:41, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (VMartin @ July 06 2007,18:18)
I know - you investigated first how human arouse from ancient fish by random mutation.

That's some pretty kinky shit.

Date: 2007/07/08 09:05:11, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
WAD takes his cues from Uncommonly Denyse and goes after evolutionary psychology:
     
Quote
Fred Reed on Evolutionary Psychology
William Dembski

Is it fair to judge scientific theories by their offspring? For the greatest theory ever conceived, Darwinian evolution has begotten an idiot in evolutionary psychology...

But there are alternative historical foundations for a scientific human psychology.  From WAD's Christian Theodicy in Light of Genesis and Modern Science:
     
Quote
Perhaps the best we can do is offer a psychological explanation:  Precisely because a created will belongs to a creature, that creature, if  sufficiently reflective, can reflect on its creaturehood and realize that it is  not God. Creaturehood implies constraints to which the Creator is not  subject. This may seem unfair (certainly it is not egalitarian). The question  then naturally arises, Has God the Creator denied to the creature some  freedom that might benefit it? Adam and Eve thought the answer to this  question was yes (God had denied them the freedom to know good and  evil). As soon as the creature answers yes to this question, its will turns  against God. Once that happens, the will becomes evil.

 
Quote
A final question now remains: How did the first humans gain entry to  the Garden? There are two basic options: progressive creation and  evolving creation. In the first, God creates the first humans in the  Garden. In the second, the first humans evolve from primate ancestors  outside the Garden and then are brought into the Garden. Both views  require direct divine action. In the former, God specially creates the first  humans from scratch. In the latter, God introduces existing human-like  beings from outside the Garden but then transforms their consciousness so  that they become rational moral agents made in God’s image.

WAD covers his bases by remaining noncommittal vis these alternatives.

Here we have a foundation for a scientific psychology that avoids the empty just-so speculations of evolutionary psychology.

Date: 2007/07/09 17:01:04, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Just took in much of "Cyborg 2087."  It had everything: teens with a hot rod (and an obligatory, endless teens dancing the jerk in the living room as an adult watches quizzically thinking "kids today" scene), Michael Rennie doing his aristocratic alien schtick, Irwin Allen style computers lining the walls, a repetitive score, and two septuagenarian cyborgs dressed in troop leader outfits and ill-fitting helmets consulting a beeping 50-cent compass in order to track Micheal Rennie to a back lot western town set (complete with tumbleweeds), where the final climactic fist fight occurred.  Good stuff.

Date: 2007/07/09 18:03:41, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ July 09 2007,17:58)
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ July 09 2007,12:46)
The direction of quantum cosmology is to deconstruct the notion of time, causation, or both. Hence these cosmologists deny the basic concept of evolution (things change with respect to time as described by reliable laws of physics). Given that biological macroevolution is a special case of capital-E Evolution, these cosmologists are essentially (but unknowingly) denying Darwinism.

Cosmology and biology are, of course, two utterly different things.

It's not surprising that creationists are too stupid to realize that.  (shrug)

With equal logic, SinclairJD can claim that cosmologists are essentially (but unknowingly) denying, say, the Civil War, the eruption of Krakatoa, the industrial revolution, the Edsel  - "things that changed with respect to time as described by reliable laws of physics."

Date: 2007/07/09 18:26:43, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
I've completed Endless Forms Most Beautiful.  It left me feeling a bit underwhelmed - not by the astounding discoveries vis the evolution of development described by Carroll, but by the narrative structure of the book itself. It was a great thrill to follow him into the Cambrian explosion, and as he unfolded his presentation of the logic of animal bodies (modularity, repetitive reuse of modules for differing adaptive functions, etc.), but I found his discussions of butterfly eyespots and the evolution of black pigmentation that follow a bit anticlimactic, and the sections on evolution and education rather obviously tacked on (in fact, I didn't bother with them).  I would have given the book a different, more cumulative narrative structure.  

I also wondered whether somewhat MORE technical detail was called for in his description of the operation of genetic toolkits and the logic of switching, as I left these passages not quite able to visualize how all this works. Perhaps others who are more sophisticated vis contemporary biology can comment.

Lastly, I felt frustrated by the lack of footnotes, endnotes, references - SOMETHING to give guidance to find quoted material - eg. Gould on the implications of toolkit genes - do I really have to find a quoted passage in the Gouldian Brick myself?

However, there are some wonderful passages describing the logic of research that leverages common descent to which the likes of FTK should attend.  And vis the above criticisms, I am certainly open to being told that I didn't quite get it.

[edit] I somewhat overlooked the section entitled "Sources and Further Reading" at the back of the book, which provides some information on sources and is moderately helpful - but STILL does not give citations for significant quotations.  Example: on Page 72, first paragraph, a passage from "The Structure of Evolutionary Theory" (Gould) vis the genetics of development is quoted, but there is no indication of the page number either at the quotation or in the afterward.

Date: 2007/07/10 14:28:17, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Hmmm...peer review.  

My kid graduated from middle school a few years ago. There was an awards ceremony that began with the entire graduating class on risers on stage.  One by one they received awards, many quite contrived, then sat with their parents. Eventually just four or five stood alone (not my kid, fortunately) - and the ceremony ended.  Ouch.  

So with that experience in mind, you can ALL go to hell, since I'm STILL standing here on the fucking RISER. (Was that out loud?)  Er, I mean, shouts out to all, because this is a great forum. I learn a lot and laugh a lot.

Date: 2007/07/10 15:46:41, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Richardthughes @ July 10 2007,16:01)
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ July 10 2007,14:28)
Hmmm...peer review.  

My kid graduated from middle school a few years ago. There was an awards ceremony that began with the entire graduating class on risers on stage.  One by one they received awards, many quite contrived, then sat with their parents. Eventually just four or five stood alone (not my kid, fortunately) - and the ceremony ended.  Ouch.  

So with that experience in mind, you can ALL go to hell, since I'm STILL standing here on the fucking RISER. (Was that out loud?)  Er, I mean, shouts out to all, because this is a great forum. I learn a lot and laugh a lot.

Oh Bill! I was going to "give you one"* anyways but because it looks like you're fishing and I'd just look like I was giving you one so you wouldn't feel left out and that just cheapens it and it cheapens me and it cheapens you and it is so typical of you because you're always looking for affirmation and yet you're so quick to criticize I mean where are we going bill, do you see a future for us with you criticizing me for my run on sentences and you staying out late and don't know where you've been but I doubt you're really at the office because I can smell drink on you and sometimes perfume and I just think I deserve more and....


*lip trembles*



*Runs out of forum, crying*



*Double entendre-tastic.

Baby, Baby, no, no, hey, Baby (clutches shoulders) stop it Baby, you know me better than that (pulls RTH close). Its you, you, only you. It's not you, its not me, its this crazy spinning ball we live on, the sirens, the ACK ACK ACK of antiaircraft guns night after night, the bricklayer, the soldier, mothers and fathers, the sweat, the tears, all in this lousy world in this lousy war.

Date: 2007/07/10 17:05:22, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
There is something familiar about this guy, but I just can't place it. Did he once have some notoriety?

Date: 2007/07/11 06:35:54, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
The ICR’s continued misunderstandings about science
scordova...

Pot: You're black!
Kettle: No, you're black!
Pot: You!
Kettle: No, You!
Pot: You!

Date: 2007/07/11 12:17:04, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ July 11 2007,10:58)
[quote=Reciprocating Bill,July 10 2007,17:05]There is something familiar about this guy, but I just can't place it. Did he once have some notoriety?

(no need to repeat the image again)

Not sure if your question is serious...

Naw, look again!

Date: 2007/07/11 14:24:06, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (carlsonjok @ July 11 2007,12:51)
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ July 11 2007,11:42)
Quote (carlsonjok @ July 11 2007,11:07)
I live in Oklahoma and have a Flying Spaghetti Monster on the back of my pickup and have never had a problem.  I suppose it could be because FSM is a wee bit more obscure than a Darwin fish.

You are very likely the only person in Oklahoma who knows what the FSM is.

Not true.  I was wearing a FSM T-shirt while waiting in line at my favorite Mexican restaurant (*) and I noticed a minor hub-bub at a table near the entrance because of it. Okay, it was mainly furtive pointing and hushed whispers, but it was clearly about the FSM.

(*) Wrong thread, but note to Steve:  a chain Mexican restaurant is an oxy-frigging-moron.

You wore a T-shirt depicting flying Italian food in a Mexican restaurant? What did you expect?

Date: 2007/07/11 18:41:15, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Let's not miss DT's penetrating positive contribution to the discussion, slinging math with his usual unjustified arrogance.
     
Quote
133  DaveTard
07/10/2007
10:07 pm
jam

I also recall you saying that it has been empircally established that the single point mutation rate in prokaryotes is ~10^9. You then go on to argue that the possibility of two simultaneous mutations is ~10^18 and then ask how it became 10^20 in malaria parasites.

The answer is simple and I’m surprised you (or anyone else I read here) didn’t know the answer. The answer is that each single point copy error can be to any one of four nucleotides (ACTG). The CQR mutation requires a specific one of those four possibilities while the other three are useless for CQR

DaveTard: one of those four bases represents the correct, non-mutated nucleotide, leaving just three others as possible results of transcription error.  Therefore the CQR mutation "requires a specific one of three possibilities" that may result from such an error, not one of four, and your follow-on numbers are as fucked-up as the rest of your reasoning.  

But you still have that banning thing working. Don't give it up.

Date: 2007/07/12 17:29:13, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Not everything posted to FTK's blog sees the light of day.  Vicious attacks and abusive language certainly don't. Here's an example:

FTK remarked upon her apparent exclusion from AtBC, and drew some comments. Among them was another of her professions of "open mindedness" regarding evolutionary biology.  
         
Quote
I’ve never stated that Darwinism (dogmatic belief that ~everything~ we observe in nature today is a direct result of evolutionary mechanisms with no indication of design) is conclusively wrong. What I’ve said is that the evolutionary paradigm is possible, but that it is based on one interpretation of the data.

I juxtaposed a portion of this with earlier posts:  
           
Quote
"I’ve never stated that Darwinism (dogmatic belief that ~everything~ we observe in nature today is a direct result of evolutionary mechanisms with no indication of design) is conclusively wrong."

"I’ll tell ya one thing....it would be one heck of a lot easier to come up with an explanation for the Noah scenario that to believe that a freakin’ blob is responsible for everything we observe in nature today."

"Gosh, I keep looking in this textbook Dave gave me and staring at that little microbe and the series of pictures that supposedly respresents how that little sucker looked when it started on its evolutionary journey...Sorry, but the chances of me accepting this senario as fact are quite slim."

The exchange continued, ever so briefly:
         
Quote
FTK:

Your point?

I make no bones about my personal incredulity when it comes to imagining that a simple microbe which appeared from virtually no where, mixed with the mechanisms of evolution, is responsible for everything we observe in nature today.

That certainly doesn't mean that the theory is conclusively wrong, and I've never argued that the theory should not be taught in all it's glory. It's how it's taught that should be addressed.

         
Quote
Reciprocating Bill:

"I make no bones about my personal incredulity...That certainly doesn't mean that the theory is conclusively wrong"

Of course not. Your personal incredulity (or my credulity, for that matter) has no bearing whatsoever on the science.

You portray yourself as having an open mind on the topic, as weighing evidence. These posts (including your reply to mine) obviously show otherwise - you've long staked out a particular position, and state that the likelihood of that changing is quite slim. Demonstrating that contradiction is the point.

R. Bill

         
Quote
FTK:

The difference between you and I, though, is that I promote open inquiry and reject the Darwinist view that discussions in regard to ID must not be allowed as part of science curriculum. Darwinists also insist that the controversial issues surrounding the ToE should be avoided because those views are deemed "peudoscience" or merely "science sounding". That is not being open minded. That is encouraging dogma.

Presently, Darwinism is taught as fact rather than inference.

My approach will enable students to be critical thinkers, whereas yours would be to indoctrinate them with one particular paradigm.

I'll admit that at this point I lost my temper, smashed my printer, and swore oaths at my screen. I gathered myself up to my full height, assembled the most hurtful, damaging invective I could summon, and replied. Naturally, my reply hasn't appeared.

Unfortunately for my subsequent penance, I didn't keep a copy. But here is my reconstruction from memory, some 10 hours later, identical in invective tone to my original, and fairly close in words selected (FTK is certainly free to post the original).  I caution the reader that this isn't for the faint of heart:
           
Quote
Reciprocating Bill:  

You’re right: it is certainly my belief that creationism of all types (scientific creationism, ID) is pseudoscience, adopts “sciencey” language for the purpose of advancing a cultural and religious agenda, and has no place in a science classroom. No scientific research has been performed (or even attempted) from within this framework; why would you allow it in a science classroom?

With respect to dogma, so long as students are introduced to the engine of empirical scientific investigation, critical thinking and open inquiry will take care of themselves.

But all that has been done to death.  

My point is that your characterization of yourself as open-minded with respect to the main claims of evolutionary biology is inaccurate, as demonstrated by the above posts, including your reply to mine.  Indeed, “open mindedness” in the sense of being open to any and all ideas regardless of their coherence or value is not a virtue. Are you open to Scientology, in that you are willing to spend considerable time and money to remove your body thetans? Similarly, I am not open to the “scientific” claims of creationism and/or intelligent design, because I have concluded that they are either absurdly inaccurate (in the case of YEC assertions regarding the flood, the age of the earth, etc.) or scientifically empty (in the case of ID), and because I have concluded that the principals who advance them are untrustworthy, sometimes due to wrong-headedness but more often due to dishonesty.  

You have obviously concluded that you are not open to evolutionary biology and its naturalistic framework, as indicated in your posts and the parody of your little blob story, perhaps for similar reasons.

So why not drop the pretense?

That was too much. No one would tolerate such destructive and malicious ridicule. In fact, I owe FTK a debt of gratitude, as my reputation for level-headedness would have been devastated had this reply appeared without comment.

Date: 2007/07/12 18:20:20, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ July 12 2007,18:57)
So, Bill, I take it that FTK doesn't want sweet reciprocating monkey sex with you anymore . . . . . ?

Lately its been "blob this" and "blob that", and I'll tell you, it really does generate everything we observe in nature.

Date: 2007/07/13 17:12:04, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
I've discovered the tomb where the lifeless body of Intelligent Design is interred. Here.

Date: 2007/07/14 08:43:31, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Richardthughes @ July 13 2007,11:26)
ID Predicts this? :

http://www.cnn.com/2007....ex.html

Set DI to spin cycle extreme.

Indulge a cross-post.  Your link points to an article documenting the work of Yohannes Haile Selassie.

A few weeks ago I commented on Yohannes Haile Selassie in the FTK research thread:

This is all surpassing strange.  

Not long ago I attended a talk presented by Dr. Yohannes Haile-Selassie, who directs the physical anthropology department of the Cleveland Museum of Natural history, on fieldwork his team is conducting in the Middle Awash Valley in Ethiopia. There, several seasons of hard work in a hot, dry, and remote environment have yielded very interesting fossil discoveries that illuminate a particular phase of hominid evolution. The presentation also outlined the implications of these findings for current models of hominid descent, and described the further excavations that are planned with hopes of resolving questions and testing hypotheses.

That is thrilling stuff, depicting human origins over time scales that induce vertigo (this research concerned events that occurred something like 40,000 centuries in the past). It also exemplified the hard work being done by working scientists around the world in pursuit of a deeper understanding of human origins and, more generally, the history of life on earth. These reasearchers proceed without taking note of the ridiculous polemics initiated by creationist and ID-creationist communities: there is too much difficult, time consuming, expensive, and exciting real science to be done.  

The contrast between this effort and the Baroque armchair bullshit of the Walt Browns and William Dembskis of the world could not be more clear. I for one am often dismayed by the stubborn ignorance displayed by the likes of FTK as they conduct an "open minded" march around the moebuis strip of creationist belief. But I also understand that that march never stops, because it can't, because it is motivated by group membership and identification, as I observed elsewhere vis Behe.

Discussions and debate such as this one, in which bizzarre inventions such as "hydroplate theory" vie for a place alongside serious scientific work, induce in me a sort of deep weariness, and a sadness, too. So I mostly stay out.

But its all rather a shame.

Date: 2007/07/15 08:17:31, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (stevestory @ July 14 2007,22:27)
Quote (stevestory @ July 13 2007,15:40)
http://exploreevolution.com/who_is_this_for.php

read that page and tell me you aren't irritated at how deceptive they're being.

I don't know much about literature. I think that's well-known. Sometimes I talk with my playwright friend John and, upon mentioning some writer, hear him say, "That guy's pretty clunky." I freely confess I usually don't know what that means. But reading over this sentence of mine, "read that page and tell me you aren't irritated at how deceptive they're being." there seems to be something there I would describe as clunky. Some problem with the way the words fit together which slows down the comprehension. Can anyone explain this to me?

Although it's a common locution, your sentence demands a lot of "computation" to extract its meaning, which slows the reader down. Example: "tell me you aren't irritated" is more elaborate than "you'll be irritated," a cousin to a double negative that requires that I imagine someone denying the obvious. (Naturally, it is the obviousness of the deception that this rhetorical device intends to emphasize).

"How deceptive they are being" slows down because of the verb form "being deceptive"; the noun "deception" is simpler.

"Read that page. You'll be irritated by the deception" doesn't require this sort of computation (although is quite prosaic).

Date: 2007/07/15 08:45:22, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Uncommonly Denyse on the intellectual rigors of ID:
Quote
Audiobooks: The intelligent design controversy comes to life!
O'Leary

Audiophiles, go here for Jason Rennie’s excellent Darwin or Design audiobook, which you can listen to on line or buy...

Sal Cordova explains what ID is here. I talk about the media and ID here, predicting the past and postdicting the future with glee...

Get the rest of the show notes here. This series is just the ticket for people who want to get up to speed on the controversy but don’t have time to read. You can listen while stapling documents or folding laundry.

Just don't blame us if you fold your documents and staple your laundry.

Date: 2007/07/15 09:57:46, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Seems to me that capacity for pleasure and hedonism is intimately connected to one's health - very ill and chronically debilitated persons often can't derive much pleasure from the basics (eating, sex, conversation, risk taking, substances, art, etc.) regardless of extremes; fit and healthy persons can derive the full amplitude of pleasure associated with those activities even with moderate and subtle inputs. So the most hedonistic course is to observe measures (which typically entail moderation) that lengthen one's health span, rather than full-bore indulgence. In short, care for the instrument.

Date: 2007/07/15 11:02:37, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ July 15 2007,11:47)
But really, can you still find the motivation to quibble over points of grammar and spelling with someone who declared herself "a pirahna [sic] to all scientific thought"?

Even had she found the word she wanted ("pariah") she would still have misused it.  "A pariah to all scientific thought" makes close to no sense.

She clearly is regarded as pariah by those capable of scientific thought, however.  And those who endeavor to make scientific sense of her blog also quickly become pariah there.

Date: 2007/07/15 13:23:35, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ July 15 2007,12:07)
I've known a couple people in academia who made it into their 90's still sharp and still productive (I certainly have enough projects to last me another 50 years) but it is incredibly rare.

The general rule vis aging is "use it or loose it." Very likely remaining productive into advanced years contributed to their longevity.  Becoming cognitively and physically inactive at 69 invites the reaper.

Date: 2007/07/15 22:11:49, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (stevestory @ July 15 2007,19:56)
Yeah, the reason for this is, they don't give a shit about teaching evolution. They just want to cast doubt on it.

Every piece of this book I read is thick with dishonesty, and it's making me revise my opinion about the honesty of some people.

Date: 2007/07/16 20:09:12, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ July 16 2007,20:40)
There are two levels of creationist/IDer...

Like the sheep in "1984", all they do is brainlessly bleat "god is goooooood, atheist darwinists are baaaaaaaad", without understanding anything else that is going on around them.

You're analysis of the levels of ID membership is spot on, although I think there is a third tier for the likes of DaveTard, who is in it for the blowhard polemics and doesn't give a rat's ass about anything but his own visibility.  

(And, I know you know you meant "Animal House.")

Date: 2007/07/16 20:14:11, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ July 16 2007,21:00)
 
Quote (Kristine @ July 16 2007,19:51)
And I do think I've got my finger on a guy thing here, 'cause I think you're hard on her in a weird way, not in a way that you're hard on the UDudes. Oh, come on - I'm honest enough to admit that I'm jealous that you seem to like her despite yourselves - not that you like what she says - but a lot of energy is going into her. She may see it as hostile and some of it is, but I think some of it is also crushy stuff, meanie-wink-winkies, let's dunk her "pig-ignorant-tales" in the inkwell. I'm looking at you, here, Lenny. :)

With all due respect, Kristine, and speaking only for myself, I don't think so.

With me, it's all about the honesty, as noted before. So if I see someone being deliberately evasive, or deleting comments that point out errors in their POV, or saying that they have answered questions when it is flamingly obvious that they have not answered them, I will respond the same. In fact, I think I have been nicer to FtK than I am to Vmartin or Sal or DaveScot. But all of them are dissemblers in their own way, and all of them yank my chain in the same way.

I have to agree with Kristine: something does go subtly all a-twitter around here (perhaps not with you specifically Albatrossity) in response to female posters, certainly FTK, and even in response to Kristine on the basis of gender. I sense a sort of longing that FTK return so we can drop a frog in her lap.

Date: 2007/07/16 20:45:49, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (carlsonjok @ July 16 2007,21:40)
Actually, he meant "Animal Farm."


Of course (slaps forehead). In which John Belushi corrupts the collectivist aspirations of the barnyard animals and the pigs take over the fraternity.

"Four kegs good, two kegs bad!"

Date: 2007/07/17 14:17:01, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (dhogaza @ July 17 2007,12:47)
Oh, God, Denyse is bringing the old claim that Stephen Jay Gould didn't really believe in evolution back to life.

Here on her blog.

Stephen Jay Gould's navel lint displayed more intellect and integrity than does Uncommonly Denyse on her best day. Her suggestion that he doubted Darwinism (rather than argued for extensions to orthodox Darwinian adaptionist thinking, as meticulously described in The Structure of Evolutionary Theory), and that he refrained from expressing his doubts out of caution (!) is my candidate for Most Stupid Utterance by an ID Supporter Anywhere, Anytime.

Date: 2007/07/18 13:55:30, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
FTK laments (on her blog):
Quote
Mercy
Mention prayer, and you're liable to have anti-ID Darwinist bloggers and their followers breathing down your neck like the hounds of hell. Figures...site meter has blown a fuse...moderator has gone into full Darwinian alert.

What you won't have, apparently, are readers with any interest whatever in the subject:
Quote
One Minute Each Night
In WWII, there was an advisor to Churchill who...

0 comments

Date: 2007/07/18 14:03:12, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (stevestory @ July 18 2007,13:23)
 
Quote
18 July 2007
Progress in legacy media? - but why does it MATTER?
O'Leary

...That would be like hiring a stupid person to observe and explain a complex situation.


(holds tongue)

Date: 2007/07/18 19:33:39, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ July 18 2007,17:33)
         
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ July 18 2007,16:13)
           
Quote
As someone who finds the hollywood idea of USA-saves-us-all parroted constantly in films (the single worst offender I've ever seen is U571, where it credited Americans with the capture of the enigma machine, which was actually done by, if my memory serves, Brits, Poles and possibly Canadians)


Actually, I thought it was almost entirely Poles.

Keep in mind that among other things, Denyse makes a big deal out of being Canadian.

I think it was, but there were a few others there as far as I know.

I may be wrong of course. It CERTAINLY wasn't the USA. They certainly helped with the war and it would have been much more difficult if they hadn't joined in, and practically impossible if they hadn't sent aid, and for that reason I consider the US a major, major player in the war, but the movie industry loves to make them out to be the lords and masters of everything.

Point was though, that like Hollywood, FtK is disgracing the memories of those who REALLY fought.

I just got an e-mail from her, and, since I'm still pissed, I deleted it without reading it. I may regret that later, but right now, unless it's an appology, I don't care what she has to say.

Beyond the issue that enrages you, Ian, I find the notion that "we prayed and the bombing stopped" juvenile in the extreme, magical thinking at its worst.  

As Dennett underscores, there is an inherent, grizzly bias inherent in reports of effective prayer in wartime: we don't hear from those who pray for deliverance during moments of peril, but are annihilated nonetheless. There can be no doubt that millions, perhaps tens of millions, perished during WWII following fervent, desperate prayers for safety (and many others who simply perished).

What we do hear, subsequently, are rationalizations such as "everything happens for a reason."  

(GAaaaa....was that the sound of fingernails on chalkboard? No, it was "everything happens for a reason.")

[Edit] In this post I was thinking of Dennett's quote of Nicholas Humphrey found on page 270 of Breaking the Spell: "In a dangerous world there will always be more people around whose prayers for their own safety have been answered than those whose prayers have not." - Nicholas Humphrey's Law of the Efficacy of Prayer (2004)

Date: 2007/07/19 17:59:03, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (franky172 @ July 19 2007,15:10)
Sal wonders why no one pays attention to his quote mining.

Maybe it's because he's already shown himself to be intellectually bankrupt, and no one's going to be bothered to point out that intellectually bankrupt people make, well, intellectually bankrupt "arguments".

 
Quote
scordova 07/19/2007
5:27 pm
The problem is Blindwathcmaker heuristics lead down the wrong path. An arm must be a bad arm first before becoming a good wing.

I wonder what his intellect is becoming?

Date: 2007/07/20 21:38:50, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (stevestory @ July 20 2007,21:41)
Quote (cdesign proponentsist @ July 20 2007,21:30)
 
Quote
Wolpert had some nasty things to say about my book NO FREE LUNCH, but the upshot was that my ideas there were not sufficiently developed mathematically for him to critique them.


Seriously, that's the upshot?

We know....we know....

Laugh all you want. ID is just getting off the ground.  When it takes off, LOOK OUT.  

Date: 2007/07/21 06:59:50, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ July 20 2007,23:05)
WAD, quoted by Wesley:
The public need feel no shame at disbelieving and openly criticizing Darwinism...Daniel Dennett even recommends "quarantining" parents who teach their children to doubt Darwinism (see the end of his Darwin's Dangerous Idea).

Is WAD's report accurate?  Did Daniel Dennett recommend, in Darwin's Dangerous Idea, that we quarantine parents who teach their children to doubt Darwinism?  Let's go to the original, and you can decide for yourself.

The passage to which he refers is found on page 519. In a discussion that continues from the bottom of page 518, Dennett acknowledges that religions have brought "comfort and belonging and companionship" to many people, and that "at their best, religions have drawn attention to love, and made it real for people who could not otherwise see it, and ennobled the attitudes and refreshed the spirits of the world-beset." He further observed that there is a "treasury of ill-appreciated truths embedded in the endangered cultures of the modern world," truths that should be recorded, studied, and respected.  He continues:
           
Quote
We should not expect this variety of respect to be satisfactory to those who wholeheartedly embody the memes we honor with our attentive - but not worshipful - scholarship. On the contrary, many of them will view anything other than enthusiastic conversion to their own views as a threat, even an intolerable threat. We must not underestimate the suffering such confrontations cause.  To watch, to have to participate in, the contraction or evaporation of beloved feature of one's heritage is a pain only our species can experience, and surely few pains could be more terrible.  But we have no reasonable alternative, and those whose visions dictate that they cannot peacefully coexist with the rest of us we will have to quarantine as best we can, minimizing the pain and damage, trying always to leave open a path or two that may come to seem acceptable.

Those who cannot peacefully coexist as science evaporates the factual claims of particular religious views, and hence (by implication) become violent, will need to be "quarantined" in a manner that minimizes pain and damage and leaves pathways for compromise. He continues:
           
Quote
If you want to teach your children that they are the tools of God, you had better not teach them that they are God's rifles, or we will have to stand firmly opposed to you: your doctrine has no glory, no special rights, no intrinsic and inalienable merit. If you insist on teaching your children falsehoods - that the earth is flat, that "Man" is not a product of evolution by natural selection - then you must expect, at the very least, that those of us who have freedom of speech will feel free to describe your teachings as the spreading of falsehoods, and will attempt to demonstrate this to your children at our earliest opportunity.  Our future well-being - the well-being of all of us on the planet - depends upon the education of our descendants.

Parents who teach their children falsehoods about the world should expect those falsehoods to be exposed as such, and expect that their children will be informed that they are falsehoods.

WAD dishonest? Nah. Couldn't be.

Date: 2007/07/21 10:35:57, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ July 21 2007,08:38)
 
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ July 21 2007,06:59)
WAD dishonest? Nah. Couldn't be.

It seems instead of an explanatory filter, they use a simplification of concepts filter.

This is too charitable.  It is a deliberate compression and distortion to make an otherwise unfounded rhetorical point filter.

I detected this by applying my liar liar pants on fire filter.

Date: 2007/07/21 11:03:15, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Now here Uncommonly Denyse passes ideas through the simplemindedness filter:
Quote
Big science mags as mouthpieces for the materialist lobby
O'Leary

A propos Bill Dembski having to defend himself against a silly attack in top science mag Nature, a lawyer friend suggests taking a look at Nature’s mission statement:
Quote
First, to serve scientists through prompt publication of significant advances in any branch of science, and to provide a forum for the reporting and discussion of news and issues concerning science. Second, to ensure that the results of science are rapidly disseminated to the public throughout the world, in a fashion that conveys their significance for knowledge, culture and daily life.

He wisely observes,
Quote
To report advances and serve scientists means not to report setbacks, or the exposure of fallacies in widely-held theories that would tend to put mainstream science in a bad light.

The press and public operate under the impression that Nature and Science magazines report any significant developments in science, whether positive or negative, and that both serve the public; but both publications are very up-front that they only report advances and successes because they exist to serve scientists.

Where I come from, we call that a lobby.

Where I come from, we call you an idiot.  

Genuine discomfirmations of prominent scientific theories through empirical research ARE significant advances in science.

Date: 2007/07/21 16:40:30, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Uncommonly Denyse has discovered 1985. From her blog Mindless Hack (referenced on Uncommonly Dense):
               
Quote
Theory of Mind: Deception in humans and animals
Here's an interesting item by Simon Baron-Cohen on key differences between human and animal deception:
           
Quote
True deception assumes the deceiver knows that (1) other beings have minds, (2) different beings’ minds can believe different things are true (when only one of these is actually true), and (3) you can make another mind believe that something false is actually true. Defined in this way, one can see that deception is no trivial achievement! The deceiver needs to have the mental equipment to juggle different representations of reality. No wonder that scholars of animal behavior are wary of elevating a single instance of behavior to genuine deception, and prefer to reduce it to simpler mental processes like learned associations.

I think that his distinction is critical. The human deceiver is not merely trying to learn a trick that works; he is trying to deceive the mind of the other party. He has not succeeded unless he does that...

Simon Baron-Cohen has been discussing theory of mind, deception, and autism since at least 1985 (see below), along with countless other researchers. One of his primary interests has been the evolution of human theory of mind, which he has argued was a key development in hominid evolution (I agree, and indeed this was the topic of my dissertation). This notion has been a component of several very interesting and empirically fertile lines of investigation in primatology, human developmental psychology, and indeed EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY that have been underway since 1978. His work is actually old news, having been summarized in his book Mind Blindness over ten years ago (1995, MIT Press).

Once again, Uncommonly Denyse has displayed her abject ignorance of a field that she nevertheless feels completely qualified to critique. Better yet, in this instance she encountered an essay grounded in evolutionary psychology without recognizing that fact. Stripped of this simplifying label, she found herself approving of its content.

What a dope.  

Some references (avert your eyes, Denyse):

Baron-Cohen, S. (1993). From attention-goal psychology to belief-desire psychology: The development of a theory of mind, and its dysfunction. In S. Baron-Cohen, H. Tager-Flusberg, & D. J. Cohen (Eds.), Understanding other minds: Perspectives from autism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Baron-Cohen, S. (1995a). The eye direction detector (EDD) and the shared attention mechanism (SAM): Two cases for evolutionary psychology. In C. Moore & P. J. Dunham (Eds.), Joint attention: Its origins and role in development. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Baron-Cohen, S. (1995b). Mindblindness: An essay on autism and theory of mind. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Baron-Cohen, S. (2000). The cognitive neuroscience of autism: Evolutionary approaches. In M. S. Gazzaniga (Ed.), The new cognitive neurosciences. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Baron-Cohen, S., Jolliffe, T., Mortimore, C., & Robertson, M. (1997). Another advanced test of theory of mind: Evidence from very high functioning adults with autism or Asperger Syndrome. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 38, 813-822.

Baron-Cohen, S., Leslie, A. M., & Frith, U. (1985). Does the autistic child have a "theory of mind"? Cognition, 21, 37-46.

Baron-Cohen, S., Tager-Flusberg, H., & Cohen, D. (Eds.). (1993). Understanding other minds: Perspectives from autism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Baron-Cohen, S., Tager-Flusberg, H., & Cohen, D. (Eds.). (2000). Understanding other minds: Perspectives from developmental cognitive neuroscience. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Date: 2007/07/21 16:52:08, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Addendum to the above:

The Baron-Cohen article to which Denyse has linked (see my post above) is actually quite explicit regarding its grounding in evolutionary psychology:
 
Quote
Brain-scanning studies reveal that one key brain region typically involved in mind-reading is the left medial prefrontal cortex. This brain region is underactive in people with autism and Asperger’s syndrome. Since these conditions to some extent run in families, genes will partly determine whether a person finds mind-reading easy or hard. I say “partly” because autism is not wholly genetic. Environmental experience is also important, but it appears to interact with genetic makeup. And if mind-reading is in part genetically programmed, it means it is the result of our evolution, since the processes shaping evolution (such as natural selection and sexual selection) act by enabling animals to survive to the age of reproduction, find a mate, and pass on their genes. It has been speculated that the first hominids who could mind-read would have had major advantages over those who could not – by deceiving and outwitting them, by being able to create shared plans and collaborate, by being able to teach each other, by being able to see other perspectives and negotiate to avoid conflict, or by being able to mind-read their offspring to anticipate their needs and thus provide better parenting.

Denyse not only ignores literature she hasn't read, she ignores the literature she HAS read.

What a... Oh, already said that.

Date: 2007/07/21 17:27:50, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Borat on evolutionary psychology.  From Mind Blindness, p. 9:

Quote
Chapter 2: Evolutionary Psychology and Social Chess

What is evolutionary psychology?

"Evolutionary psychology," of course, strikes a chord with "evolutionary biology," which has transformed the science of biology.  As Cosmides et al. suggest, the time is now ripe for psychology to be integrated with biology via evolutionary theory.  Every branch of biology, from biochemistry and genetics to zoology and ecology, has been incorporated into a Darwinian framework, and it is something of an embarrassment that psychology has dawdled so far behind in this. Once thing I am trying to do here is make up for this by sprinting forward to link arms with psychology's neighbor disciplines in biology.

I do not mean to suggest that all psychology will be amenable to the Darwinian framework, since it is clear that there will always be a slice of human behavior that has nothing to do with natural selection...But wherever psychologists are investigating human universals - the universal aspects of language, color vision, parenting, or (as I argue) mindreading, to name just a few - there is the strong likelihood that the phenomena are biological, innate, and products of natural selection.

Amen. Uh, Denyse....

Date: 2007/07/21 21:27:38, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Hermagoras @ July 21 2007,21:54)
They're cousins, don'tcha know.

Common ancestry. Too much!!



Simon Baron-Cohen

Date: 2007/07/23 16:59:49, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ July 23 2007,17:26)
 
Quote

to pretend she's banned, like she does here.


FtK is not pretending here. She let the deadline pass without either supporting or retracting her exaggerations about another participant, and thus lost her posting privileges. If she ever does one of the two things concerning the claims at issue, she could get her posting privileges back.

I'm not holding my breath, though.

I don't care whether FTK returns or not, but FWIW I didn't interpret the posts in question as assertions one would deem either true or false, and therefore require substantiation or retraction, but rather read them as parody (not of particularly good quality, but also not entirely off point) of Lenny's style of multiple posting. Parody, caricature and sarcasm often involve exaggeration, and one doesn't ordinarily retract exaggerations offered in the service of parody. That would be somewhat like demanding a caricaturist either prove that Nixon's jowls are as pendulous as depicted, and that his 5 o'clock shadow is so deep, or retract the cartoon.

Booting someone from AtBC for being sarcastic would seem a double standard.

Date: 2007/07/24 06:13:14, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ July 23 2007,20:02)
I dunno how many of you have seen this, but a commenter on Pharyngula today just made my day. Here is a link to a DI news release. Enjoy!

How thorough is this? They forgot "waaah" and "boo-hoo-hoo."

Date: 2007/07/24 06:20:45, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Kristine @ July 23 2007,22:15)
Okay, so no one is into E. M. Forster.  :angry:

Oooo!  Me, me!  Call on me!  "A Passage to India."


Mrs. Moore!

Mrs. Moore!

Mrs. Moore!

Date: 2007/07/25 06:39:44, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Richardthughes @ July 25 2007,00:01)
New Snakeoil!

http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelli....othesis

A new concept, “Transitive Complexity” and really big blue font!

Is there no limit to the shoite these creobots will make up?

"Thank you for sending me a copy of your book. I'll waste no time reading it."

Date: 2007/07/26 04:53:45, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ July 26 2007,04:01)
LOL! The caloric theory is making a comeback over at OW!

 
Quote
It was chen caloric explnatirons for thermodynamic effects was "disproved".
...
As there is an immaterial soul why cannot energy be considered just another manifestation of the same basic force? And so if a 'subtle fluid' can fulfill in many ways observed facts then why not consider it as an possible explanation?


Link
What next I wonder? Humors for illness perhaps? It's unbelievable.

Wonderful conceptual landscapes open before broadminded non-materialist advocates of Intelligent Design, hidden to hidebound materialists.

Like the phlogisten theory of the élan vitale, which propagates through the luminiferous aether, driven by demonic forces, ultimately attaining a balance of earth, air, fire and water.

Date: 2007/07/26 11:16:59, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (hooligans @ July 26 2007,11:59)
   
Quote
26 July 2007

A Scoville Scale for Dangerous Questions
William Dembski


...So go ahead, ask tough questions...

If a chicken and a half lays an egg and a half in a day and a half, can a one legged frog kick the seeds out of a dill pickle?

No answer? Thought so.  

And you materialists think you know everything. And that was only Cayenne.

Date: 2007/07/26 17:50:52, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
This is some weird shit. BlarneyA stretches out:
     
Quote
Question: Would Pinker allow me to test this principle on him if I could demonstrate that shooting him in the head would increase the overall pleasure of not only the person who shoots him, but also the pleasure of the majority of people who heard about it (not to mention the babies and old people who would not be killed if, God forbid, his ideas were ever implemented as policy) to a greater extent than it increased his pain and the pain of those who heard about it?

I'd put a Glock 19 to his temple, the back of his head, or shove it in his mouth. I'd put a bullet into his skull at 1000 fps. I'd deposit the entire energy of that round into that materialist sonofabitch's brain, and there'd be a sort of pinkish mist, and he'd taste God's wrath before he tasted his own blood, before his corpse bled out. I'd wanna see him cry first, and beg, and grovel but I'd do him anyway. Then I'd rummage around his place and find something to eat.

OH....Uh...I am NOT advocating shooting Pinker in the head. The above question is strictly a rhetorical device to demonstrate that Pinker would certainly abandon his pleasure principle if he were the one who’s suffering were measured against someone else’s pleasure.


[Edit] For Christ's sake, BlarneyA, if Pinker saw you coming with that intent he would apply his principles with perfect fidelity and put a cap in YOUR ass before you could say "Irreducible Complexity."

Date: 2007/07/26 18:33:05, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
FTK likes this picture. But what is he looking for?

Date: 2007/07/26 20:17:34, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ July 26 2007,21:10)
 
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ July 26 2007,17:50)
BlarneyA stretches out:
         
Quote

I'd put a Glock 19 to his temple, the back of his head, or shove it in his mouth. I'd put a bullet into his skull at 1000 fps. I'd deposit the entire energy of that round into that materialist sonofabitch's brain, and there'd be a sort of pinkish mist, and he'd taste God's wrath before he tasted his own blood, before his corpse bled out.

"Shove it in his mouth"?

"Tasting the wrath of God"?


Sounds pretty homoerotic to me . . . . .

Hey, up yours.  Er....    :O

Date: 2007/07/27 05:58:49, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ July 27 2007,00:05)
 
Quote (steve_h @ July 26 2007,18:19)
   
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ July 27 2007,00:50)
This is some weird shit. BlarneyA stretches out:
             
Quote

I'd put a Glock 19 to his temple, the back of his head, or shove it in his mouth. I'd put a bullet into his skull at 1000 fps. I'd deposit the entire energy of that round into that materialist sonofabitch's brain, and there'd be a sort of pinkish mist, and he'd taste God's wrath before he tasted his own blood, before his corpse bled out. I'd wanna see him cry first, and beg, and grovel but I'd do him anyway. Then I'd rummage around his place and find something to eat.

I think this deserves the 10th runner up prize for the anonymous 2007 Salvador Cordova award for mining the essense of a quote if not the actual words.  Places one and one to nine reserved for the sponsor, whoever he be, natch.

It's telling as an example of what the UD crowd comes up with when they feel free to spout off on their deepest fantasies.

   
Quote
I'd deposit the entire energy of that round into that materialist sonofabitch's brain,


Gee, this guy sure impresses me with how wonderful 'nonmaterialists' are.

Whole lot of ugly fundie fantasies bubbling up in that thread...

Just to be fair to BlarneyA -

That passage occurred only within Barry's subnoxious mind...I interpolated to provide the actual words.

Date: 2007/07/27 07:15:48, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Bob O'H @ July 27 2007,07:47)
   
Quote
He's confusing a "scientist trying to work out how life works" with "life".

I interpreted that part as him talking about himself trying to write programmes (with peeks and pokes), not about what had been programmed.

Bob

The analogy between his experiments altering memory contents, and therefore discovering things about the architecture of his computer, and the early efforts of researchers to understand the genome by inducing mutations is quite apt.

His analogy breaks down, however, when he extrapolates either to programming or to evolution by means of natural selection. Natural selection is not an agent learning things about the genome - it is non-representational, with no agent serving the role of JohnnyB or Muller. And poking around memory and making changes, most often deleterious (but sometimes interesting) is disanalogous to mutation/natural selection because his computer's memory was not reproducing, and therefore was not subject to differential selection.  

As MatthewTan observes, "It’s no surprise wonder that there are so many guys in the ID movement with some computer programming background."

Unwitting, that.

Date: 2007/07/27 14:55:40, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote
Recent polls relevant to the intelligent design controversy - what do they really show?
Uncommonly Denyse

The recent North American polls I’ve seen recently show several key trends:

1. Both evolution and creation are widely accepted, and the distribution of numbers is roughly stable over the years. No dramatic proof or disproof of Darwin’s theory that would change many minds has occurred. That said, it is quite likely that many people believe contradictory things...

I doubt much of this makes sense. But I can't stand Uncommonly Denyse's jumbled prose in more than small doses, so haven't read it.

But that's OK, because Denyse has assured me that if I doubt something, if I just find it unbelievable, I should just doubt it.  Don't bother looking further.  

So I doubt much of this makes sense...

Date: 2007/07/27 16:42:02, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ July 27 2007,17:16)
 
Quote (heddle @ July 27 2007,15:46)
My case was not an "is no longer with us." I was an "I don't like your attitude." I like to think that is a more elite group.

Yes, there are different levels of prestige to a UD banning. Anyone -- literally anyone -- can get a "X is no longer with us". The real cachet comes when you get an actual insult from Dave or Bill.

(Blushing):
 
Quote
And just so we are clear, that’s the last bit of stupidity you’re going to be posting here. Hasta la vista, baby.

Guess who. But the best part was JAD's ensuing comment:
 
Quote
Who is left?

Date: 2007/07/27 23:46:57, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
The Nixplanatory Filter 2005: The First Year

This compilation was relatively easy, because from its inception in early 2005 to its closure following Dover in December, 2005, UD was moderated exclusively by WAD, and Bandora's Box was opened less often than nowadays.

WAD acknowledges early silent banning and censorship:

About This Blog
William Dembski

15 May 2005

It seems that some of my readers are disgruntled because their comments are not appearing on this blog and, in some cases, because I'm removing them as users. Please have a look at my Comments about Comments from last month. One of the things I stressed there is don't bore me. Darwinists tend to think that simply by telling an evolutionary story about some phenomenon that they have achieved remarkable insight. I don't.

There are plenty of other forums where I mix it up with Darwinists. Think of this blog as my playground. If you have to take a whiz, do it elsewhere.

THE FIRST REAL BANNING: A special moment.

27
William Dembski
06/16/2005
9:16 am

Duke York: You are off this blog for good. I've made some adjustments to your account which should keep you off. If you find a way around it, I'll delete you entirely, which, given the way WordPress works, means that all your posts will be gone too.
-WmAD

Notice the clumsy, beginners verbosity. ?This gets better with practice. ?But not immediately:

1
William Dembski

06/26/2005
10:27 pm
I deleted Doran's comment because it was yet another instance of the trite and easy dismissals of ID that I find elsewhere and that I've answered in my writings. If you want to be critical of ID on this blog, tell me something I haven't seen before. I spent the last three months as an expert witness in the Dover case pouring over the expert witness reports of all the usual suspects on the other side (Miller, Forrest, Pennock, etc.) and responding to them at length. I expect I'll be posting these reports on my designinference.com website soon. Try to imagine that I might be well informed about what the other side is saying. Try also to imagine that I'm easily bored by what they are saying. ?-WmAD

Familiar forms begin to appear...

12
William Dembski
07/24/2005
8:51 pm

Rubble: Your criticisms are shopworn. Please take them elsewhere.

Benji got a warning, because he's a dog:

5
William Dembski

07/28/2005
8:11 am

Benji: You are herewith limited to one post per day per thread. Also, keep the tone respectful and make the contribution substantive. I'm getting tired of your off-hand comments. ?-WmAD

But it didn't help:

7
William Dembski
07/28/2005
9:28 am

Benji: You are not listening. You are herewith banned from this blog. ?-WmAD

DaveScot is already itching to get into the act:

30
DaveScot
08/13/2005
9:45 am

Sartre - will you leave and never come back if I provide my design engineering credentials?

And now for an off topic break from these dreary executions, courtesy of a classic:

Quote
37
DaveScot

08/13/2005
7:56 pm
Sartre
Biologists have no training in engineering. How can they recognize design?
You aren't going to win this argument. I'm an autodidact. My knowledge of biology is extensive as is my knowledge of computers and machinery of all kinds.


On it goes...

9
William Dembski
08/14/2005
8:58 pm

Vax, you are repeating the party line. I have no patience for it here. You are out of here. ?-WmAD

Something new...Demski bans himself!

19 August 2005
My Retirement from Intelligent Design
William Dembski


The rancor and daily vilification directed at me by the Pandasthumb has finally taken its toll. Never a kind word or a gesture of appreciation for all I've done to advance science and enrich our understanding of the world. Just criticism, vituperation, and abuse. I can't endure it any longer. I've therefore decided to leave intelligent design and return to my first love ?- playing Chicago blues at the keyboard. Is this decision final? Might I make a comeback to intelligent design? Yes, it's possible. If someone were to deposit $1,000,000 in my bank account (routing and account numbers available on request), I will consider a return. Otherwise, look for me around Halsted and Fullerton. Farewell.  -WmAD

OK, so he was back the same day. One can see where FTK learned her chops. ?But now Benji's back, still chewing WAD's slippers:

3
William Dembski
09/28/2005
3:25 pm

Benjii: Stay on topic. This is a warning. ?-WmAD

Pope WAD:

27
William Dembski
10/21/2005
3:54 pm

Get this thread back on topic or else excommunications will follow. ?-WmAD

More infalibility:

14
William Dembski
11/04/2005
10:21 am

2perfection: You are herewith formally disinvited from this forum. ?-WmAD

WAD foreshadows Judge Jones as he bans an entire THREAD:

47
William Dembski
11/08/2005
9:53 am

The gavel has fallen. This thread is closed. ?-WmAD

A rare find: WAD threatens to ban DaveTard:

11
William Dembski
11/11/2005
2:14 pm

DaveScot: hlwarren is right. Behave yourself. ?-WmAD

Getting pretty lazy now...

23
William Dembski
11/30/2005
8:38 am

PuckSR is no longer with this blog. ?-WmAD

A break for some bitter explanation:

Quote
30 November 2005
Why I ruthlessly edit comments on this blog
William Dembski


Here's an email from someone I banned from this blog. If you can't see why I've lost all patience with people like this, then you need to be spending your time elsewhere in cyberspace.

William,

Is there the slightest possibility you might ?'open' your ID forum to dissenting views?

You have some very dedicated apostles stroking your online ego, and insulating these young scientists from the ?'Borg' is very Christian of you indeed; however, to many of us on the ?'outside' your questionable editing practices suggest little more than self-aggrandizing censorship.
You are a curiosity, your theory a religious oddity, and your ?'designer' is wearing your hat.

Respectfully,

[snip]


More of his bile, same thread:

William Dembski
12/01/2005
9:41 am

Darwinists have long regarded freedom of censorship as an inalienable right. I do to. But not because I don't like criticism of my views. Informed criticism is fine. Stupid, contemptuous, repetitive criticism is where I've lost patience. ?-WmAD

WAD courteously helps us with our bibliographic chores:

11
William Dembski
12/01/2005
1:32 pm

For your reference, jimpressario is a name of the past on this blogsite. ?-WmAD[/quote]

And on and on...

10
William Dembski
12/10/2005
8:41 pm

steve_h is no longer with this blog. ?-WmAD[/quote]

121
William Dembski
12/19/2005
8:12 am

I was debating when to lower the boom on Renard. It seems that this is an appropriate time. ?-WmAD

A close shave:

12
William Dembski
12/23/2005
2:10 pm

Mr. Christopher: You are fast becoming boring and in danger of getting booted from this forum. Who do you think sent me the copy of the check? And in the email he himself remarked that ?Intelligent Design is werry, werry good to me. Lighten up and chill out. As for my cashing in on ID, I've admitted as much before and in the same terms: http://www.idthefuture.com/200.....o_id.html. Think of ID and evolution as an arms race in which the arms manufacturers on both sides cash in. Let that thought cheer you this holiday season.

-WmAD

The following post was WAD's momentary dissolution of UD following Dover. Having skimmed the first year of UD, I could feel the kick to the stomach myself.

Date: 2007/07/28 00:05:35, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Having the links and books at the bottom of the page complicates navigating there - instead of just hitting the END key to scroll down for newest posts, now I've got to scroll.

Suggestion:

Have these links and books appear on index pages only.

Date: 2007/07/28 00:26:30, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ July 28 2007,01:06)
A masterpiece. But PLEASE tell me you're making this one up:

 
Quote
19 August 2005
My Retirement from Intelligent Design
William Dembski

The rancor and daily vilification directed at me by the Pandasthumb has finally taken its toll. Never a kind word or a gesture of appreciation for all I’ve done to advance science and enrich our understanding of the world.


(my boldfacing)

For the first time, Bill has left me speechless.

Its the real deal. Follow the link if you dare.

Date: 2007/07/28 14:48:24, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (JAM @ July 28 2007,15:19)
 
Quote (Hermagoras @ July 28 2007,11:13)
If Dembksi does play piano, it's hard to imagine him as a bluesman.  I tend to think ID's engineering/math/piano/chess software personality profile is classical in a tightly wound, mildly autistic sort of way.  For Dembski to play blues piano he'd have to embrace at least some elements of an improvisational tradition, which would open him up to (gasp!) chance.  So I don't see that happening.

As someone who loves to play the blues, I'm not sure you're being fair. First, the bobbing and weaving required to promote ID requires considerable improvisational skills, and ID itself is a wild improvisation only loosely based on science.

Second, the blues, despite involving improvisation, is otherwise one of the most highly structured musical genres.

I see Dembski playing a lousy, original blues lick for 36 bars straight while the crowd (if any) groans in pain, while he desperately hopes that repetition will make them embrace his creation.

"If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn."

- Charlie Parker

And surely WAD is living the blues, given the sad states of ID and UD.    

(But I can't hear a thing coming out of my green avatar horn.  Hmm.)

Date: 2007/07/28 22:15:55, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (Richardthughes @ July 28 2007,19:40)
The CSI of music since has increased, and many, many SLoTs have been violated.

Returning from "Zappa plays Zappa" this evening, I can say you got THAT right. This concert proved the reality of the afterlife, as Dweezil Zappa channeled his father from the beyond with incredible skill. And the band was WORTHY. Un-fucking-believable.

Now there is music WAD is never gonna touch, in a million years.  Or even 6,000 years.

Date: 2007/07/28 22:37:11, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
Quote (stevestory @ July 28 2007,20:37)
I haven't even had a chance to read this article yet, I just got this issue today, and already Grandma Bonehead is trying to ruin it for me:

         
Quote
Apes R Not Us, and we have to get used to it
O'Leary

In a beautifully written article in the New Yorker, Ian Parker describes how he shared the hot, damp work of studying the elusive bonobo (lesser chimpanzee) - long lauded as sexy and peaceful - with one of the only people in the world who actually knows much about them in the wilds.

Well, people who actually studied the “hippie ape”, came away with a different view.

Posted in Intelligent Design | No Comments »


http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelli....d-to-it

"Grandma Bonehead" (chuckle) ...

She lives up to her new cognomen.  From Mindless Hack:
       
Quote
Parker's account is nuanced, but he makes clear that all along primatologists have had an agenda to try to prove that humans are not condemned to be brutes because bonobos are, like, nice...And the product the market was buying is a materialist myth, namely that humans can be better understood by tracking the elusive bonobo through the Congo jungles, as if consciousness makes no difference at all.

So bonobos can be quite nasty. And they lack that spark of human intelligence that materialists refuse to recognize, that flame of moral consciousness that cannot have materialist origins.

Meanwhile, back among the human beings:
       
Quote
Wild bonobos, which are endangered (estimates of their number range from six thousand to a hundred thousand), keep themselves out of view, in dense and inaccessible rain forests, and only in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where, in the past decade, more than three million people have died in civil and regional conflicts.

Dearest Grandma, perhaps it is bonobos who should distance themselves from their human cousins - and apparently do.

Date: 2007/07/29 19:20:51, Link
Author: Reciprocating Bill
The Uncommonly Dense Nixplanatory Filter: the BLOG CZAR years. Er, months.

In January 2006 Uncommonly Dense was resurrected, with DaveTard pulling the cord on the moderation guillotine.  He also introduced a new convention in these exchanges.  If posting ALL CAPS is tantamount to shouting, DaveTard's boldface interjections directly into others' posts is tantamount to commentary from a loudspeaker in the ceiling.

4 January 2006
The Resurrection of Uncommon Descent
William Dembski

By popular demand this blog is back in operation, though with only limited participation in the future from me. Past contributors to this blog have decided they are willing to shoulder the responsibility of maintaining this blog, namely, DaveScot, Bombadill, Crandaddy, and Gumpngreen. Unlike in the past, when they were limited to commenting on my postings, they now have full posting privileges. They will be in charge of the day-to-day business of this blog, everything from keeping it interesting to approving comments to booting recalcitrant commenters. Of these four, DaveScot has been the designated blogczar - the buck stops with him.

First day on the job and DaveTard is already warming up:

38
DaveScot
01/09/2006
7:05 am

KeithS
I haven't seen any empirical evidence of the supernatural yet so I fail to see why it should come up in any discussion unless of course it's merely being used to further a personal/political agenda. When I do see empirical evidence of the supernatural I'll let you know. I expect you'll return the courtesy. Not a single thing yet discovered about the nature of life requires a designer to break any laws of physics in its design or implimentation. There are almost assuredly artificial structures in the machinery of life but no supernatural structures or supernatural mechanisms required to create said artifices.

You evidently acknowledge this but are unwilling to divorce the supernatural from ID and insist that ID must take on the question of who designed the designer. That question is a strawman. ID (at least Dembski's latest, most refined works) is about design detection, not designer characterization. Please either restrict your arguments to design detection and take your arguments about the nature of the designer somewhere else. This is your final warning about harping on supernatural designers.

And now, a Very Special Moment: DaveTard's first ban. He takes out Keiths, which arouses protests that would never make it to the light of day today:

40
DaveScot
01/09/2006
8:13 am

keiths is no longer with us.

43
johnnyb
01/09/2006
2:24 pm

Why was keiths kicked?

44
Feederbottom
01/09/2006
2:55 pm

Keiths was booted for disagreeing with DaveScot and supplying the evidence to back it up. Heil DaveScot!

45
Feederbottom
01/09/2006
2:59 pm

This blog is a sham.

Crandaddy to the rescue!

46
crandaddy
01/09/2006
3:39 pm

In Dave's defense, it does not logically follow that because nature bears marks which we recognize as being attributable to intelligence, a supernatural entity must be responsible for them. Keith was given a fair warning.

Couple days later, DaveTard sharpens his knives and pounds his chest:

7
DaveScot
01/06/2006
1:35 pm
Mr. Christopher
Questioning Perry's motives as mere political maneuvering is dissing someone I respect. Your opinion is noted and if you insist on having the last word I'll make sure that was i