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Date: 2006/03/15 12:04:22, Link
Author: Reluctant Cannibal
Hello Shi,

Could you clarify for us which aspects of "Darwinism" you feel that you have falsified:

1) Common descent (universal or otherwise).
2) Random mutations (as the source of the raw material of diversity) + natural selection (as the source of adaptive change).
3) Both
4) Neither
5) Something else

A clear answer to this would be a big help in understanding your arguments.



Date: 2006/03/15 22:49:46, Link
Author: Reluctant Cannibal

The sequence homology data contradicts the second Darwinian thesis of natural selection of random fitting mutations.  That is why there is a need for the ad hoc idea of molecular clock and neutral theory.  If you dont follow this, you need to do some homework.  Since we have yet to have a theory to replace the clock idea, to make sense of the sequence homology data within the paradigm of Darwinism absolutely requires the neutral clock idea to be true.  But the clock idea has now been proven wrong and untenable.  So here you go, without the clock, no one has any clue to explain the homology data.  So the falsification of Darwin's second thesis stays well established.

Hello Shi,

Perhaps I do "need to do some homework" (like everyone else here, and perhaps the biological science community in general). Or perhaps you have not yet managed to articulate precisely what your thesis, and the evidence for it, is. Or perhaps you are simply wrong, but have enough cunning to avoid committing yourself to any concrete claims.

So I'll take your response to mean that you do accept common descent (with the reservation that magic might have been involved, in the case of humans and chimps).

What is missing from your thesis is any explanation of why "The sequence homology data contradicts the second Darwinian thesis of natural selection of random fitting mutations." The molecular clock and neutral theory are simply consequences of the way that genomes work. The molecular clock idea does not explain the data, it is a tool for inferring absolute and relative ages of branching within phylogenies. It is one thing to say that the molecular clock is inaccurate (which it is). It is quite another thing to say that the phenomenon which it measures does not occur. That is the only way I can interpret this: "... to make sense of the sequence homology data within the paradigm of Darwinism absolutely requires the neutral clock idea to be true.".

Date: 2006/03/16 09:40:27, Link
Author: Reluctant Cannibal


ME: What is missing from your thesis is any explanation of why "The sequence homology data contradicts the second Darwinian thesis of natural selection of random fitting mutations."

I thought that anyone who is more than a casual believer would know this but I was wrong.

There you go again,Shi. I can't "know" something that is clearly false. If I were to tell you that there is a hollow world full of dinosaurs inside this one, and that you didn't know this because your knowledge of geophysics was lacking, you would (I hope) want a detailed explanation.


When you only know what the specialists allowed you to know, you are a casual believer.  The limited selective presentation of all relevant facts is shamelessly done in the name of not to confuse the non-specialists.  

More dark hints about the conspiracy of the scientific establishment against the gullible public, eh?


I hope you know who Mayr is and what is the rational for his expectation.  If you dont,some experts here in this forum should have no trouble to help with that.

Of course I've heard of Mayr, please keep the condescension down to a dull roar. Carroll's comment goes to the state of understanding of how the genome worked at the time. Given our current understanding of genetic processes, can you demonstrate your claim with mathematics and data, rather than selective quoting from the literature?


Indeed, the fact is that vastly different species shares nearly identical DNA sequence whereas similar species differs vastly in DNA sequences.

Oh yeah? This looks like a pretty strong claim at first sight, but it's not very meaningful without a clear way to quantify both genetic and phenotypic similarity. Sequence matching and cladistic analysis come to mind. Can you name two living species which are "vastly different" phenotypically, and "nearly identical" genetically?

My apologies for the dodgy quoting. Could somebody spare me a clue?

Date: 2006/03/16 11:08:38, Link
Author: Reluctant Cannibal
Quote (Shi @ Mar. 16 2006,16:16)

Me: Can you name two living species which are "vastly different" phenotypically, and "nearly identical" genetically?
I have given my best try to explain things to you.  And if you don't get it, I doubt you ever will.  I leave your question for others on this thread to deal.  (hint, if you think you are just a regular monkey, no one will blame you if you only mean yourself but not other intelligent homo sapiens)

I didn't think you would be able to substantiate this absurd claim. Do you really expect anyone else to answer the question when you are the only person who believes it?

Anyway, enough of the technical stuff -- we are clearly not going to have a meeting of minds. I would rather hear more of your views about the pro-evolution conspiracy.

Basically, you have a select cadre of leading scientists who know the truth and actively suppress it. Then you have a second tier of postgrad students who believe the dogma, or doubt it but want a piece of that lucrative government funding, and fear for their careers.

Then right at the bottom, you have poor deluded laymen such as myself, trapped in the web of deception.

Is that about right? Could you supply more detail? Maybe suggest some names of the inner circle?

Date: 2006/03/16 12:47:56, Link
Author: Reluctant Cannibal
Quote (jeannot @ Mar. 16 2006,15:40)

Well, his claim could be true, since most genes used in phylogenetic studies don't control morphology.
Anyway, I don't see how it contradicts the theory of evolution.
It would tend to rule out the current models of gene expression (traduction in proteins and so on). Thus it could as well contradict common design or prescribed evolution.

Of course gross phenotype differences may arise from a tiny number of genetic differences -- it really comes down to how one defines "vastly different". I was trying to pick my words carefully (which is why I mentioned cladistics), but I had in mind differences of the kind that led biologists to assign animals to different taxonomic categories before the modern synthesis.

But this is an interesting point, because I think it is at the root of Shi's misconception. He thinks that it does contradict evolution, and that is why he objects so strongly to the actual explanations.

Date: 2006/03/28 09:41:55, Link
Author: Reluctant Cannibal
I just noticed this on Slashdot:

DDoS on Domain Registrar

Netcraft is reporting that 'domain registrar says its nameservers have been hit with a massive DDoS attack, causing outages for customers.

There's no indication of the motive. I'll have to make a note of the IP address for next time ...

Date: 2006/04/11 10:56:31, Link
Author: Reluctant Cannibal
If there is a universal evolution law, it should by definition apply to all phenomena of nature, from the past to the future and from the unconscious to the conscious. Can Darwinism qualify to be such a law?

Why should it?

Date: 2006/04/19 02:03:48, Link
Author: Reluctant Cannibal
Hello AFDave,

Rather than answer your original question as asked, I will step back and address a more fundamental point. What is an explanation, and why are some explanations more satisfying than others? My apologies if I appear to be wasting your time on something so basic and obvious, but it is usually the unexamined background ideas that give rise to such different views of the world.

You may not be a scientist in a formal way, but all of us act as scientists as we seek explanations in our day to day lives. A good explanation explains why something is the way it is, and more importantly, why it is not different. A truly satisfying explanation fits together logically, gives a deeper understanding of the thing explained, and sometimes illuminates things that might have appeared unrelated. In nature there are alway deeper levels of explanation -- for example, you can understand aerodynamics in terms of fluid mechanics, and fluid mechanics in terms of the physics of molecules. A satisfying explanation leads to more explanations at the deeper level, and suggests new avenues of investigation. An unsatisfying explanation is sterile -- it leads nowhere.

People who accept the evolutionary explanations for the complexity and diversity of life, and who have thought them through and understood them, find those explanations the most satisfying. To them, the alternatives are too simple and superficial, and don't really function as explanations at all.

Date: 2006/04/27 11:07:48, Link
Author: Reluctant Cannibal
Your hypothesis, afdave, is nothing more and nothing less than a restatement of the contemporary YEC  interpretation of the Bible, particularly the Old Testament. Clearly your adherence to these beliefs takes precedence over your observations of the world.

Please don't tell us that your religious beliefs did not come first in arriving at your conclusions. That would be dishonest.

Date: 2006/05/08 10:47:08, Link
Author: Reluctant Cannibal
Hello AFDave,

I realise that you have a lot on your plate already, but I couldn't let this go:


"Christians had been discriminating against and killing jews for well over a thousand years before Hitler was born."
Twisted Christianity had been.  You are correct.  It got so bad that a man named Martin Luther turned things upside down.  The result?  The translation of the Bible into the English language and the attendant success of the British Empire, followed by the founding of the United States squarely upon the Bible also, again with great results.  Note also the DECLINE of the British Empire coincident with the REJECTION of the validity and authority of the Bible.

AFDave, it seems that the history of Christianity is another thing that you could learn more about. Next time you are researching, Google "Martin Luther" and anti-semitism. Read his actual writings. With regard to your claims about history, I will just observe that correlation is not causation.

Date: 2006/06/02 02:54:45, Link
Author: Reluctant Cannibal
Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ June 02 2006,07:35)
And I'd love to know where he thinks Cassini and Voyager are, and how they got there

Cassini and Voyager, if they still exist, are in the hard drives in the basement of the same studio in Burbank, CA where they created all of those cgi images used in the evolutionistic prolefeed called "Science and nature programming." Deep space probes?--My arse! Yes, the images have gotten sharpen since the crude clay models used in the whole moon landing shoot, but its still the same charade!

In addition, I have taken a tour of that low-rent, dumbed-down Disneyland in Houston. That whole "Mission Control" folderol looks far less real than Mr. Toad's Ride. It seems people will believe anything their social superiors in academia and government tell them to believe!

Ghost, I have to say that I think that you are taking the low road here. A proper neo-quantum-mechanical treatment with the probes embedded in the crystalline empyrean, being whizzed about on some fantastic epicycle, would be much harder than a full-on conspiracy theory, but ultimately much more satisfying.

Date: 2006/06/04 23:02:55, Link
Author: Reluctant Cannibal
Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ June 04 2006,16:10)
Hey Eric, isn't it true that direct parallax measurements are only good to 1600 light years? If so, parallax might not be a problem for my revised model, which accepts measurements up to several thousand light years. This is one reason I'd like to focus on Cepheid variable stars. Those metrics are much more damaging to a young-earth, geocentric model.

Waitaminute. Ghost, am I to understand that you are an old-earth geocentrist? I suppose any permutation of view is possible, but I had never heard of that combination before.

Or does your revised model accept measurements up to 6010 LY?

Date: 2006/06/07 09:40:54, Link
Author: Reluctant Cannibal
Anyway, what the flip does quantisation of red shift have to do with quantum mechanics? You might say that tree rings are "quantised", but that wouldn't mean that QM is the appropriate tool to study them.

It might just be that quantisation of red shift, if it existed, could be explained by a quantum effect in the first 10e-9 seconds, or whatever, but you would need to make that connection first.

Date: 2006/06/28 06:08:53, Link
Author: Reluctant Cannibal
The answer is, of course, no.

Let's suppose that Ghost's answer to his question is "Yes".

I'm not sure precisely what Ghost is claiming here, so I'll list some examples of items of knowledge in 2 categories:

Knowledge that flows from Scripture
1) According to the Bible, Melchizedek begat Zerubabel. (or somebody).

Knowledge that does not flow from Scripture
1) The structure of DNA.
2) Pythagoras' Theorem.
3) Genghis Khan was born about 844 years ago.
4) Some plant native to Papua New Guinea, as members of a hitherto uncontacted tribe know, is toxic.
5) According to the Analects of Confucius, "It is virtuous manners which constitute the excellence of a neighbourhood".
6) Anything that is not knowledge about the content of Scripture.

It could be that Ghost is using one or more of the words "flow", "valid", "knowledge" or perhaps even "grounded", in a sense with which I am not familiar.

Date: 2006/06/28 06:35:08, Link
Author: Reluctant Cannibal
Quote (ericmurphy @ June 28 2006,11:19)
Quote (Reluctant Cannibal @ June 28 2006,11:08)
It could be that Ghost is using one or more of the words "flow", "valid", "knowledge" or perhaps even "grounded", in a sense with which I am not familiar.

Bill claims that the Bible "metajustifies" all knowledge. I believe he talks about this more on AF Dave's thread, probably back on about page 40 or so. I'm not precisely sure what Bill means by this, but I know he's wrong in any event. The Bible in its generality is so far away from being an accurate account of anything that it's essentially a work of fiction. It's no different from any other literary work composed by human beings. I know Bill disagrees with this, but he can't prove it, or even really provide any evidence for it, so I don't know how he can prove or provide any evidence for the assertion that the Bible "metajustifies" anything.

Thanks, Eric. I was guessing something along the lines of "Western Civilization is founded on Xtianity", or "If God hadn't created everything, there would be no knowledge". I tried to construct examples that would rule these out.

Date: 2006/07/05 06:00:09, Link
Author: Reluctant Cannibal

4) How did the ‘Flood run off’ (Colorado River) manage to flow slowly enough to create its many meanders, but still manage to carry the required trillions of tons of sediment away AND cut through all the layers of pre-Flood solid rock in just one year?
It didn't flow slowly.  It flowed rapidly.  See above.

AFDave, please have another go at answering the above, because your first attempt was pathetic.

How does a fast flow create meanders?

Date: 2006/08/13 21:12:59, Link
Author: Reluctant Cannibal
Quote (Occam's Aftershave @ Aug. 14 2006,00:38)


Anyone make an actual count of the number of normally silent lurkers who were moved to submit a post just to comment on what an ignorant shit-for-brains scumbag AFDave is?

AFDave is sure winning hearts and minds with his 'arguments', ain't he? :D :D :D

*raises hand*

You can add one to that number. At least AFDave is not even bothering to sustain his pretence of being willing to give a fair hearing to the arguments against his case.

Date: 2006/08/16 03:05:43, Link
Author: Reluctant Cannibal
AFDave, two quick questions for you.

If the radiometric date of a rock is wrong, will it be OLDER or YOUNGER than the real ("primary") date?

For your "hypothesis" to be correct, do you need the radiometric to be YOUNGER or OLDER than the real date?

Thank you for your attention.

Date: 2006/09/03 11:49:54, Link
Author: Reluctant Cannibal
AFDave, I can confidently predict that you will not attempt to address the several objections to "hydrological sorting". In fact, I will be astounded if you even acknowledge them.

And why you will ignore these objections? Because you don't need science, or physics, or detailed microscopic analysis to see why the distribution of fossils is fatal to the flood model. You just need a smidgen of common sense and enough courage and honesty to think clearly about it for 20 seconds. But your defence mechanisms are smart enough to know that actually thinking about this question, and all the others, could endanger your faith, so you just skip right over it.

Date: 2006/10/24 21:06:01, Link
Author: Reluctant Cannibal
Quote (Altabin @ Oct. 24 2006,16:06)
"By the way, they do."  Would it be at all churlish to ask for, like, some details?  Because that would be quite interesting.  After all, the problem of reconciling free will and divine foreknowledge has plagued Christian theology since, well, the beginning - and you claim to have some equations to resolve it for good.

I'm not much of a mathematical theologian, but I think I know the answer to this one.

Dimensions == Degrees of freedom.
More degrees of freedom, more free will.

Now I don't know how many degrees of freedom you need for free will to operate, but it's gotta be more than 3.

Date: 2006/11/05 10:14:32, Link
Author: Reluctant Cannibal
In answer to your question #5: No. I personally can't prove that the speed of light has been constant since the "beginning of time". I don't have an opinion one way or the other, but I strongly doubt that it has varied by more than about 1% in cosmologically recent times (i.e. during the Earth's history). I'm not a cosmologist myself, but I think actual cosmologists would agree with this. (Anyone who knows about this topic, please correct me, if I'm wrong).

Now I'd like to discuss some of the misconceptions in your question.

A theory long held as fact since the early 20th Century is that the speed of light is a constant as summed up in E=Mc2 (Otherwise known as Einstein’s theory of general relativity).

The Special Theory of Relativity (of which E=mc^2 is one result) neither requires nor predicts that c is a constant. If c was bigger, E would be bigger. And both Special and General theories of Relativity have had very solid experiment confirmation.

If the speed of light was faster in antiquity than it is now, than the universe is MUCH younger than currently postulated

This doesn't follow at all. Here's a revised statement that I could agree with: "If the speed of light was hundreds of millions of times faster 6000 years ago than it is now, measurements of astronomical distance could be reconciled with a 6000 year old universe". Do you think that "c has always had the exact same value as today" and "c was hundreds of millions times larger 6000 years ago" are the only two possibilities?

since the age of the Universe is currently theorized based on the assumption that the speed of light was, is and always will be a constant.

Cosmological red shift is (I think, I could be wrong) the basis of estimates of the age of the universe, but it is not the only factor by far.

In summary, there is a huge logical gap between a non-constant speed of light and the assertion that the universe is very young. Would you care to fill it?

Date: 2006/11/05 10:43:50, Link
Author: Reluctant Cannibal
I would just like to add a comment on the Special Relativity thing: You might be thinking "Relativity does too depends on a constant speed of light". You will certainly see statements like "c is constant in all frames of reference". Special Relativity is constructed from comparisons of moving frames of reference at the "same" time. Different values of c at different historic epochs would not invalidate relativity.

Date: 2006/11/05 10:58:41, Link
Author: Reluctant Cannibal
Heads up, everyone -- dougp59 has posted his seven questions over in the rather inactive Intelligent Design forum. Lenny Flank has noticed them, but you might not if (like me) you generally just watch AtBC. I had a pop at one of the low-hanging fruit, because I'm not often first at the crime scene.

Date: 2006/11/05 11:36:26, Link
Author: Reluctant Cannibal


EDIT: Ah, I see.;f=2

My bad, I should have thought to do the link. Maybe I should have left the threads to die in peace. BTW, I think it's amusing that a YEC should naturally choose the "Intelligent Design" subforum for his ideas. Apparently he isn't fooled by the ID =/= creationism thing.

Date: 2006/11/05 12:19:59, Link
Author: Reluctant Cannibal
Hi Skeptic,

you are thinking of Joao Maguiejo. I had heard about the fine structure constant thing in your link, also. That's why I left open the possibility of a percent or so variation in c.

But Douglas is a YEC. He needs to get from 12.7 billion years to 6000 years. He is looking for a multiple of hundreds of millions, not 1%. But I suppose that 1% is start.

Date: 2006/11/06 11:48:14, Link
Author: Reluctant Cannibal
Douglas, if you happen to check back in here to see if there are any answers to your questions, I have a serious question for you. I would be genuinely interested to hear your answer.

You appear to be a young earth creationist. Yet you chose the Intelligent Design forum for your questions, rather than Young earth antievolution. Do you feel that the Intelligent Design movement represents your views?

Date: 2006/12/22 16:03:04, Link
Author: Reluctant Cannibal
I was born and grew up in Zimbabwe, went to uni in the UK and stayed here, except for a year in Cape Town and 4 years in the SF Bay Area. I work (and have mostly worked) in London.

Date: 2006/12/23 04:13:53, Link
Author: Reluctant Cannibal
Quote (Steviepinhead @ Dec. 22 2006,17:05)
Let's stay on topic, please.

No more talk about where we, ugh, "work" (whatever that means...).

After all, this is a respectable family forum.

Most of the time. :p

My bad -- it just slipped out. Does "get paid to surf the interweb" sound better?

Date: 2007/01/03 06:49:10, Link
Author: Reluctant Cannibal
Quote (dgszweda @ Jan. 03 2007,06:20)
Quote (improvius @ Jan. 02 2007,16:07)
I don't see how the lack of conclusive evidence for how neanderthals became extinct is supposed to discount the theory of evolution.  And your comment about making a "cat become a cow" suggests that you are grossly ignorant as to what any theory of evolution actually predicts.

The lack of conclusive evidence was just one example.  There is no detailed "Theory of Evolution", except that all creatures were the result of changes from a single species.  To get to that Theory there are hundreds and hundreds of hypothesis all being worked on to support that.  My point was that there are more questions than answers and that their is not as much evidence as many would have people believe.

My comment about making a cat become a cow was not ignorance but overgeneralization.  The fact is that species had to jump to other species, and that hasn't been shown anywhere.  Only changes within a species has been shown.  Please show me the conclusive proof of a species jumping to another species.

Rev. Szweda,

I realise this isn't your area of expertise, but you need to study up on creationism a bit more. It isn't speciation that you are supposed to be denying, but transitions between kinds. Otherwise you will get into all sorts of trouble with stuff like the Ark's bill of lading, and Adam's naming of the animals.



Date: 2007/01/03 08:25:29, Link
Author: Reluctant Cannibal
Another mostly-lurker here, dropping in to say goodbye to this thread. I was going to write a bit more than this, but I find it can be expressed fairly accurately as "What Tim said".

And AFDave, some impartial advice for you. If you really want to keep this thread going forever, I'm sure that Steve Story would look favourably on an honest attempt to respond to any one of the hundreds of unanswered questions floating around. Or you could even retract one of your more flagrantly wrong assertions (The 61 HLA-B alleles thingie would be a good one, as it is recent and particularly simple to prove).

But you won't. I'm sure you are very relieved that the end is in sight. Apart from the considerable cost to you in time, the strain of keeping your stories straight and the constant risk that you might absorb a clue must be taking its toll of you.

Date: 2007/01/05 17:04:25, Link
Author: Reluctant Cannibal
Quote (Zachriel @ Jan. 05 2007,15:05)
Btw, under NDT, why shouldn’t there be many such human-sized (or bigger) bugs? If NDT were true we should see huge insects just as much as huge mammals! It’s 'easy' for evolution we are told! Their 'fitness' for survival would likely be greater than ours.

Amazing that no one ever thought of that before!

Or better yet: The Insect God

Date: 2007/04/23 15:29:44, Link
Author: Reluctant Cannibal
Evening all. I have lurked around the endlessly fascinating E/C debate for a few years now. I post very occasionally, but I worry that if I got too involved the rest of my free time would evaporate and my missus would withdraw internet privileges.

Potted bio: Born in Zimbabwe, BA Physics, most of my working life (as a software developer) in London, except for 4 years in the SF Bay Area. I'm now writing trading software for a bank. I'm jolly good at spelling -- British, American and freestyle.

Of course, I'm on the side of reason, but who doesn't think they are?

Er, that's it.

Date: 2007/04/23 15:52:02, Link
Author: Reluctant Cannibal
Bump! I have a question that I have been carrying around for a while in case I should ever meet a working linguist:

What's your take on Merritt Ruhlen and the Proto-world hypothesis? And how far back are the limits of reconstruction? I have "On the origin of language", and I thought it was interesting, but I'm not persuaded. The consensus view on the interwebs seems to be that he's a bit of a crank, and some of the semantic grouping seem farfetched to me. But it would be so cool!

(I'm into linguistics at the popular science level. I'm learning Russian by slowly wading through novels and newspapers with a dictionary).

Date: 2007/04/24 01:57:12, Link
Author: Reluctant Cannibal
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ April 23 2007,22:47)

What's your take on Merritt Ruhlen and the Proto-world hypothesis?

Do you want my polite answer or my tactless answer?  ;)

Let's have the tactless answer -- it's bound to be more entertaining. I think I know what it's going to be ...

Date: 2007/04/24 16:16:47, Link
Author: Reluctant Cannibal
Thanks Arden -- I thought that was the situation, but it's nice to have some confirmation. Just googling for the info might drag up lots of misinformation that a layman can't easily assess.

The first thing that seemed a bit off when I read The Origin of Language was all the railing against his critics and detractors. Then there was the giant leap from the 8,000-10,000 year horizon to the 80,000 necessary to square the out-of-Africa hypothesis with the lumping of African languages (especially San) with non-African into Proto-world. (I'm pretty much convinced by the out-of-Africa hypothesis).

Date: 2007/04/27 15:25:31, Link
Author: Reluctant Cannibal
Quote (Henry J @ April 27 2007,20:02)
Well, what did they think the dirt was made of, quarks and leptons? Oh wait...

Wood is made of wood atoms. So dirt is probably made of dirt atoms.