AE BB DB Explorer

Search Terms (separate with commas, no spaces):

form_srcid: Venus Mousetrap

form_srcid: Venus Mousetrap

form_cmd: view_author

Your IP address is

View Author detected.

view author posts with search matches:

Retrieve source record and display it.

Your IP address is


form_srcid: Venus Mousetrap

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


DB_result: Resource id #6

Date: 2007/08/16 08:33:57, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
I just wanted to unlurk and offer you all my congrats, as OUDDT approaches its 600th (page) birthday. I've been lurking since around 400, it's one of my guilty pleasures. ;)

I actually started reading UD in the days when it first seemed respectable. No, really. Please don't kill me. :) Somehow Dembski has this ability to project a shield of authenticity that none of the other ID chaps have, although two years of him machine gunning his feet off have weakened it quite a lot.

Again, thanks for all your hard work, and may this thread live long after UD has peri... no, wait, that won't work.

Date: 2007/08/25 16:07:43, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap

"When it comes to evolution, I am totally content with the current standard," he said, adding that his dissatisfaction with current biology textbooks is that they don't cover the weaknesses of the theory of evolution.. . .

How do people this slimy avoid slipping over and injuring themselves all the time?

Date: 2007/08/26 15:37:27, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Richardthughes @ Aug. 26 2007,12:49)





12:34 pm
I can only again speak form myself, but I think with respect to public schools, we have to get away from trying to :

1. Teach ID
2. Teach the Controversy

We have to emphasize what needs to be done is to Explore Evolution in the way Darwin would have wished. The facts will take care of themselves. And if the Darwinists wish to suppress scientific evidence for their own villainous ends, they?ll be in violoation of the law.

We can save teaching ID and teaching the controversy for the universities and for the free market place of ideas.

May the Wedge of Truth be with you.

I can actually feel the grease clogging up my veins.

Date: 2007/09/08 08:00:38, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Sep. 08 2007,04:48)
I know they've been around a long time and the UK goverment has come out against ID and Creationism in the classroom but some of their proposed "lesson" plans are simply unbelievable.
Natural Selection    
Carry out a simulation of selection. Use red and green plastic
cocktail sticks - a hundred of each colour will be required.
Randomly distribute the sticks in a 15 x 15 m square of grass
before the lesson.
 In groups of 6 learners, ask pupils to act as ‘song thrushes’
predating the red and green ‘Cepaea snails’. They are allowed to
predate for 30 sec’s to collect as many snails as possible. Results
are scored individually. Repeat a number of times and total the
number of ‘snails’ predated for each of the ‘birds’.
 The selective advantage of the green snails should be evident.
Provide some real (second-hand) data to confirm this. Emphasize
that this particular example does not involve the formation of any
new species
and note that this is not proper evidence for Darwin’s
hypothesis of universal common ancestry

From a fossil "lesson plan"

Irreducible complexity has sometimes been illustrated using a mousetrap. Research this on the
internet and write 150 words summarising arguments for and against.

The website claims ID is being treated "unfairly" but uses language like this
By contrasting molecules-to-man evolution with a view of species fixity which is impossible to hold scientifically, textbooks misrepresent the choice faced by pupils in their beliefs about their own origins.

Very FTK.

Their conclusion is
The ways in which some textbooks present evolution and its alternatives are neither fair nor scientific. Rather than teaching pupils to think critically,  these textbooks are indoctrinating them using poor arguments. School children should be given the opportunity to properly understand different views on our origins, so that they can come to well informed conclusions about this important issue.

If all of the above was honestly followed, children would laugh IDC out of the classroom.

These people make me feel so ill inside. That they have the gall to accuse the honest side of what they are doing appalls me.

And you'd think I'd be accustomed to it after two years.

Carry out a simulation of selection. Use red and green plastic
cocktail sticks - a hundred of each colour will be required.
Randomly distribute the sticks in a 15 x 15 m square of grass
before the lesson.
 In groups of 6 learners, ask pupils to act as ‘song thrushes’
predating the red and green ‘Cepaea snails’. They are allowed to
predate for 30 sec’s to collect as many snails as possible. Results
are scored individually. Repeat a number of times and total the
number of ‘snails’ predated for each of the ‘birds’.
 The selective advantage of the green snails should be evident.
Provide some real (second-hand) data to confirm this. Emphasize
that this particular example does not involve the formation of any
new species
and note that this is not proper evidence for Darwin’s
hypothesis of universal common ancestry

This is especially greasy. And I can do this too:

In groups of six, have pupils design mousetraps. Emphasize that this particular example does not involve the creation of any new species and note that this is not proper evidence for Dembski's hypothesis of intelligent design.

Occasionally, fake fossils have been artificially produced. Examples include ‘Piltdown man’ and some
Chinese fossils. How have the fakes been detected? What motivated the fakers? Has anyone ever mistaken a
genuine fossil for a fake? Research and write a 200 word essay.

SAY WHAT YOU WANT TO SAY, YOU SHITS. You want kids to think that maybe scientists are wrong about everything? Say it, cowards!

The church seriously needs to crack down on these wankers, or Jesus won't have any credibility left.

Date: 2007/09/08 12:57:35, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (k.e @ Sep. 08 2007,12:33)
Sal is shining shit over here

I want to ask Sal something, but the only answer I can see getting is 'on top of a huge pile of money with many beautiful ladies'.

Date: 2007/09/08 13:38:32, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Bob O'H @ Sep. 08 2007,13:27)
Oh, and somewhere he said that "Sal" wasn't his real name.  Anyone remember where?  ERV's cottage cheese filled blog?  I can't find it at the moment.


It was on ERV's blog, the post after she was banned from UC. When he discovered that one of the people he was arguing with was a teacher at his new university.

Date: 2007/09/10 14:37:13, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Erasmus, FCD @ Sep. 10 2007,14:17)

... damn you. I need a new keyboard now. One without coffee on it.

Date: 2007/10/01 10:46:57, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Great God, the weaselness burns on that site.

   Quite frankly I hope you are ashamed of yourselves, because I am in you.

Why is it that you are ashamed of us? On what basis do you feel ashamed? In an evolutionary worldview there is no basis for “shame”—there is no objective truth to know what is right and wrong. However, in the biblical worldview there is a basis for shame found in Genesis 3.

How fucking arrogant is that? To first impose a non-existent worldview on their critic, and then claim that he's betraying that worldview? And you really believe this clownery is a good argument?

My gosh, they also claim that the word 'unforgivable' is a Christian word and can't be used against them. Did you say you were a science teacher? How much of this crap do you actually support? They actually use the 'The Bible is true because the Bible is true' argument further down that page. Would you let your students get away with answers like that?

Date: 2007/10/05 21:05:34, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
The ID answer is fairly obvious: in this case, unlike most sims where Dembski can pretend that somehow humans are always unwittingly smuggling in the information when they tweak the variables... an intelligence is doing all the selecting.

I have a question: because the program asks for only a face, is it likely that the odd background clutter which sometimes looks like hair, will ever calm down, or will it get randomised because it's not selected for?

Date: 2007/10/07 07:37:05, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Bebbo @ Oct. 07 2007,05:52)
Quote (Richardthughes @ Oct. 06 2007,23:08)
By taking down Galapagos Finch's post, aren't they doing the sort of thing they were moaning about?

I'll be posting their home phone numbers if they don't put it back up. Also, brace yourself for the first wave of media coverage...

The post is still up here on a lame parody site:

Great Frith. What is it with fundies and their total inability to comprehend humour? It's like they confiscated it from a bunch of rebels a hundred years ago and have been trying to reverse-engineer it ever since.

Date: 2007/10/11 08:59:58, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (djmullen @ Oct. 11 2007,06:53)
I've got a question about the No Free Lunch theorems.  I hope somebody can clarify things for me.

I don't claim to understand the math behind NFL, but from reading the commentary, I get the impression that the theory says that there is no single search strategy that will work perfectly for ALL possible search spaces and data arrangements.  For example:

If you have an array set up like this:

1: apple
2: cow
3: echo
4: FTK
5: Geronimo
6: salivate

A simple binary search type algorithm will let you find the word "echo" in the array in three steps or less because the entries are in alphabetical order.

But if the array is arranged like this:

1: cow
2: salivate
3: FTK
4: apple
5: Geronimo
6: echo

The binary search algorithm won't work.

Furthermore, the NFL theorem seems to say that, averaged over all possible arrangements of the data in the array, no single algorithm will work better than a random search, where you choose a number at random, look at the word in that position, see if it's the word you're looking for and repeat the search if it isn't.

Finally, the big thing about the NFL theorem is that it was mathematically proven a few years ago.  Is this more or less right?

My understanding of the critiques of Dembski's work is as follows:

The mathematics is correct - it is true that, averaged over all possible arrangements, no fitness function is greater than any other. But this is not an interesting result. It's like saying that if you stick a sausage in a blender, you get a mushy paste - whereas biologists are more interested in sausages.

It's basically the mathematical equivalent of quote mining - Dembski takes this uninteresting result and tries to claim that it applies to biology, where actually, the situation is quite different. In evolution, we have fitness landscapes, which are full of hills and valleys and mount improbables - in the NFL, we have a random spiky mush.

The result of this is that we can define neighbourhoods in fitness space. One of the examples given by (Haeggstroem?) is that of DNA; we know that, quite often, changing just one nucleotide does not change much at all; the resulting organism has similar or the same fitness. This implicitly defines a neighbourhood; the neighbours to any DNA sequence are all those that can be reached by mutating one nucleotide - and this is how evolution works! (In fact, it's just one of several ways, which gives the fitness neighbourhood even greater population).

But the NFL does not work on this. The NFL is only interested in spiky mushes, where no neighbourhoods can be defined. It would be like a rabbit giving birth to cloud of meat every time one of its nucleotides changed.

So Dembski is math-mining. He goes on, however, to claim that, IF the fitness landscape is so well defined, well, what are the odds of that! It must have been designed! and at that point, you have a man who is quite divorced from reality, and who seems to be claiming that fitness gradients cannot occur in nature. In other words, if you hold Dembski to his words, all the peppered moths have a random chance of being eaten.

Well, that's my understanding of the papers. I am not a mathematician, however, and am more than welcome to be corrected. Mostly it seems that Dembski is claiming stuff so incredibly dumb, underneath the cover of math, that no one will believe he could be so dumb, and instead are left with something incredible.

Date: 2007/10/12 09:21:41, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
My gosh.

I don't normally visit UD, but the ignorance on that thread simply crushes me.

I mean, they must know, really? They can't just keep on saying 'Darwinism sux!' forever without actually studying anything that didn't come from The Bumper Creationist Book of Truthness, can they? How long can people go on applying fallacies to their enemies before they eventually realise that perhaps, just maybe, those fallacies can equally apply to themselves?

Even more horrifying, two people who I thought to be trolls on PT I now find to be perfectly normal posters on UD. I want to cry now.

Date: 2007/10/12 19:28:40, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Ftk @ Oct. 12 2007,17:44)
You make the call.'re asking that question of Darwin's peanut gallery??


I wanna see Ftk's answer! Because I'm totally in agreement about the sheer bollocknaiseness of Bornagain's stuff. It's the creationist tornado-in-a-junkyard that was refuted as being a child's caricature of evolution about ten, twenty years ago? Go on, Ftk! Show me wrong! Don't censor yourself!

PS. I know I used a rude word above, so I'll give you some blank space to cut and paste over it, and then you can answer.


There you go.

Date: 2007/10/15 16:52:31, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Richardthughes @ Oct. 15 2007,16:06)
Uh oh. Darwinian idol facing its Waterloo.

Whoa. So THAT's what ARN does with its time!

How did this one get past them? This one argues /against/ Dembski.

Date: 2007/10/19 13:52:38, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Richardthughes @ Oct. 19 2007,13:20)
I'm looking to get a website that performs the function of

except it tells the truth. or something (taken, sadly. is free!)

It will have the same "Press Release" every day.

Today Intelligent Design (ID) formed no hypothesis, tested no predictions, performed no experiments, added nothing to the body of human knowledge. It still, to date, has no hypothesis, no theory, no predictions, performs no experimentation and is solely a public relations exercise designed to sneak creation science into the classroom.

Oh, gosh, that would be awesome! I wholeheartedly support this idea. :)

Date: 2007/10/19 13:58:47, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Ftk @ Oct. 19 2007,13:48)
LOL....goodness sakes!  You guys can dish it out, but you certainly can't take it.  I'm just pushing buttons to help you understand that your god denial seems as silly to us God believers as our God believin' sounds to you god deniers.

Did ya get that, cuz I'm starting to confuse myself.

TGIF, and all that... :)

Ftk, why don't you answer questions? I wanted to hear your defence of Bornagain's stuff on the Uncommonly Dense thread... you seemed to imply you were behind him, but didn't say why. Now I look here and you're avoiding all these good questions?

How do creationists and ID people delude themselves into believing they have a case, when they must be aware they can't address their own topic, and the other side can?

Date: 2007/10/19 15:40:20, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (blipey @ Oct. 19 2007,15:32)
I'll even give you an answer, to number 27.  That should make writing the equation easier for you; I'm so nice.

Answer.  30,000,000

What exactly was God's reason for killing all those people? All I ever hear is that they were all wicked or something. Seems a bit of a half-arsed solution to drown all of them. Even we mortal humans don't nuke the country when someone commits a crime.

Date: 2007/10/19 15:56:38, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (blipey @ Oct. 19 2007,15:48)
Quote (Venus Mousetrap @ Oct. 19 2007,15:40)
Quote (blipey @ Oct. 19 2007,15:32)
I'll even give you an answer, to number 27.  That should make writing the equation easier for you; I'm so nice.

Answer.  30,000,000

What exactly was God's reason for killing all those people? All I ever hear is that they were all wicked or something. Seems a bit of a half-arsed solution to drown all of them. Even we mortal humans don't nuke the country when someone commits a crime.

Actually, 30 million is the population of the world at the height of the Egyptian Empire.

Ahh, see now, I made a stupid mistake by jumping in with my God bashing without looking. I apologise. I hope Ftk can take comfort in my fallibility, and not feel afraid to answer those questions? :)

Date: 2007/10/20 20:36:11, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Altabin @ Oct. 20 2007,20:31)
Quote (keiths @ Oct. 21 2007,03:23)
Rob Crowther vs. Reality

Rob Crowther:      
No Matter How You Slice It Intelligent Design is a Hot Topic

So, along with their October issue, Wired has published a Geekipedia supplement, 149 People, Places, Ideas & Trends You Need To Know, and nestled between innovation and internet radio is intelligent design...

Clearly, intelligent design as an idea isn't going away. If anything, it is gaining momentum and popularity among the public as they learn more about it.

Search volume for 'intelligent design' ('F' is the Dover decision):

Winner: Reality

And just for the h€ll of it, let's take a look at "evolution":

My theory just ate your "theory"

It looks even better if you have evolution and ID on the same graph.

But then that's what happens if you can't talk about your own theory without mentioning someone elses. :)

Date: 2007/10/22 08:06:59, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
My gosh. I see why you call her a troll now. You're not even slightly honest, are you Ftk?

Date: 2007/10/24 12:54:59, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Oct. 24 2007,12:36)
Ok, usually I let others here copy and paste the best tidbits from UD but this is so absurd I guess I'm calling dibs on this one:

From some pathetic creobot called "Borne"

It’s like asking why something true is true. Why does 1+1=2? Or, ‘what is life’? No one can answer that on purely mechanical or materialistic terms.

This is scarily close to a quote from the parody science program Look Around You.

Narrator: But what is water? It's a difficult question because water is impossible to describe. One might ask the same about birds. What are birds? We just don't know.

EDIT: for clarity

Date: 2007/10/26 17:05:01, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (blipey @ Oct. 26 2007,16:54)
No kidding.  My 3rd grade summer camp class tells better jokes than that spoof.  Good lord.
I'll bet Ftk gets a kick when they say "evilutionists" though.  Man, now that I think about it, that really is STOOPID.

I so wanted to ask Galapagos Finch to explain his cheese-grater-slide joke. Because frankly I suspect he hasn't got a clue what his point was.

Ftk? Can you explain the joke to me?

Date: 2007/10/26 22:31:09, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (keiths @ Oct. 26 2007,21:47)
Quote (ck1 @ Oct. 26 2007,19:41)
And yes, RTH's 1000th post was one of the funniest things on this site ever.  Wish I had a link.

Ask, and it shall be given you.

I hope you're happy. I'm crying now, literally. XD

Date: 2007/10/30 20:40:22, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Richardthughes @ Oct. 30 2007,18:52)
Hey Zach!

right up your alley, chief!

My gosh they are twits.



They cheat by replicating things that are partially correct, and keep on replicating until other things are correct. Evolution isn’t postulated to work that way. It needs to work by getting it all correct at once.

Count on the Darwinistas to cheat.

Congratulations, UD! You have retarded this person. Are any of them going to correct this hopelessly wrong view? It isn't just wrong  - it's the OPPOSITE of what is correct.

Which makes me wonder - why does nochance feel that he knows how evolution is 'postulated', when he can get it backward like that? Evolution is all about partial success, and some stuff being more partially successful than other stuff.

I note also how they skip over the other work on that page debunking IC.

Which is odd, because they could do it. I tried that IC applet and was disappointed - the people who made it seem to have made a vital omission, which is that when the graph fills the screen, it stops evolving - which means that it's missing out on vital time to evolve out a few more nodes and become even more IC.

Date: 2007/10/30 20:55:23, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap


as Gil Dodgen pointed out in a brilliant Sept 28, 2006 post, we should also introduce random errors to the underlying software and hardware running the simulation, and see how fast the phrase improves then.

No way. Are they /really/ dumb enough to bring that back up? This was one of the most retarded statements I ever heard from them, back in 2006, when Dave Thomas was whipping their bottom with his Steiner algorithm.

I mean, what can you do with this? It was explained at the time why it was hopelessly wrong and still even DaveScot went along with it (I seem to recall an anecdote with parachutes, but that may be some odd fit I had).

Once again UD leaves me in despair. I don't know how you chaps stay cheerful all the time.

Date: 2007/11/01 11:04:58, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (franky172 @ Nov. 01 2007,10:51)
Gil Dodgen has opined on the relative value of Zachriel's word Mutagenation program.  Of course Zach is quite capable of pointing out the numerous idiotic comments in Dodgen's reply, but I can't help jumping on the bandwagon pre-emptively.

Dodgen starts out:

I downloaded the simulation and looked at the source code. It is written in a programming language with which I am extremely familiar because I used it to develop the mission planner for our company’s guided airdrop system.

That's that weird parachute anecdote I was remembering.

By the way, your word GA looks really good :)

Date: 2007/11/01 16:54:12, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Leftfield @ Nov. 01 2007,16:15)
Quote (Richardthughes @ Nov. 01 2007,15:30)
There may be trouble, ahead..




3:25 pm
Patrick (46)-

What can you calculate the complexity of? I can’t figure out how to calculate the complexity of anything.

Yeah, somebody help me out, I wasn't expecting to get an actual answer!

I just wanted to join the banned!

leftfield aka congregate

Patrick is basically saying that complexity = length of word, and that Zach's program can't jump from a five letter word to a fifty letter word if there are no similar words intermediate in length between them.

The evolutionary answer to this is 'Well, duh'.

Of course, Patrick is wrong.

'aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa' is specified but not complex.

'qjcicnfkgzafnvuehhgosifhfga' is complex but not specified.

'All Science So Far!' is complex and specified.

ID: Our Theory Is So Complicated, We Need It Explained To Us

EDIT: I mean, Patrick is wrong about the definition of complexity, not about evolving 50-letter words.

Date: 2007/11/01 19:44:44, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Richardthughes @ Nov. 01 2007,16:43)
The weasel thread just get's better and better, but I like this nugget:




3:59 pm
Zachriel has come a long way to making a valid simulation.

A valid simulation of what? Certainly not biological evolution. I could write a program that generates 100,000 random numbers within a certain range, sort them, and store them in an array, then use a random process to generate numbers within that range and check to see if they are in the original database. What would that demonstrate?

use that noggin, Gil.

What is the objective? long words or phrases
What is the survival criteria? Must be English language words
Do we see an improvement over time? Does selection pressure make for better organisms?

Another example...

cdk007 is awesome. Who is he? If I had money and weren't a cheapass, I'd suggest donating him a proper video program. :)

Like the one this chap has.

Date: 2007/11/15 19:56:31, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Nov. 15 2007,19:23)
Wow, that looks like FUN! I'm going to pick a science and make up a new theory too.  

But which science? Hmmm.

I know, chemistry!

Well, I'm going to keep atoms around in my theory because I don't doubt physics very much. Except I've got my own thoughts on electron shells and valence and all that miserable stuff, which I will describe shortly. Which prompts me to replace the periodic table with a continuous table, and introduce overdraft protection into the process of balancing equations. Plus I'm getting rid of organic chemistry altogether, because it is too hard.

I should have it ready by morning. Louis, you're going to be out of a job. Sorry about that.

Hey, guys, let's all pick sciences and make up new theories!  C'mon!

creationists have beaten you to that too.

They have actually produced some plausible scienceness (I read a paper of theirs before they took them down) but still can't quite do it without mentioning jesus.

someone should point batshit77 to this stuff, he'd appreciate it. Apparently the judeo-christian worldview predicts a load of stuff and is the best way to do science, instead of going against common sense and introducing 'randomness' like science does.

when are these dicks going to learn that science is the opposite of common sense?

Date: 2007/11/18 14:09:48, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (guthrie @ Nov. 18 2007,13:24)
Quote (Richardthughes @ Nov. 17 2007,12:09)
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Nov. 14 2007,10:00)
On a related note, how long has she had this pic there?

How she can claim not to believe in a scientific conspiracy is beyond me. It's the most obvious case of doublethink I've ever seen.

I actually found that pic..

Isn't it ripped off some cartoon figure?  And thats a really poor sword.  No real sword is like that, at least none of the effective useful ones that I am familiar with.

It looks like the logo of the Babylon 5 spinoff, Crusade

Date: 2007/11/19 09:11:25, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Nov. 19 2007,08:04)
Well, at least we still have YoungCosmos, even though nobody is allowed to comment there except Ftk and Slimey Sal.

I get the feeling that FtK is still upset with some/all of us. Sal writes on the realities of sex change operations in the context of Jon/Joan Roughgarden  
Will other Darwinists follow suit and have themselves neutered like Roughgarden?   How about it PZ or Ed Brayton, or the boys at ATBC?  Of course, this will inhibit the passing of their genes, and thus, such Darwinists evidence themselves as being biologically unfit.  The irony is that with a high incidence of homosexuality in Darwinian circles, they demonstrate themselves to be biologically unfit.

The irony! It's almost like us Darwinists aren't using the scientific theory of evolution as a lifestyle guide at all!

Date: 2007/11/21 11:06:31, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
I'll admit it's slightly funny (I get a Ray Martinez kind of vibe from solon) but you chaps need to stop... you're making some of the other commenters seem intelligent. It's funnier to watch them cry persecution when they aren't being persecuted.

Date: 2007/11/21 11:46:06, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
solon, at UD:

MacT we know that evolution is not solid science BEFORE WE EVEN CONSIDER IT because it is contrary to the Word Of God. Look at the results of America’s unholy dalliance with Darwinism: abortion, euthanasia, removing God from the public square, flag burning, gay rights, MTV and rap music, global ‘warming’ paranoia, human microchips (the mark of the Beast?) and the UN.

It is all in the Bible and attempting to argue about the pathetic trivial points raised by darwinists just plays into their hands. We need to get this debate back into the True Science that is Scriptural and not jump at the carrots the materialists wave in our faces.

atheist materialists and liberals and other darwinists find a nihilistic solace in peering into the abyss of the universe and convincing themselves that there is no God. They have to because God said that he had stamped his presence on every heart, and a fool sayeth in his heart there is no god.  

Ray Martinez, talk origins:


Armageddon will not be a nuclear conflict, so don't worry about it.
What you should worry about is a cashless society and a numerical 666
prefix that will appear on the microchip embedded into the hand or
forehead, and the sword that comes out of Christ's mouth at the battle
of Armageddon to devour His enemies. God will preserve this Earth, for
these moments. Between the both of them, God will exact His judgement
upon mankind that rejected His Son. Evolution has done more to make
people reject the veracity of the Bible, and thus reject Christ, than
anything in prior history.

Atheists feel so secure in evolutionary theory. One would think that
in the name of objectivity they would see how false it is. I mean
evolution is ASSUMED and all falsifications ignored. Assumptions are
not evidence, but since you guys have no spiritual IQ you are unaware
that evolution is not supported by evidence, but a perpetual default
supposition based on having no other option.

Date: 2007/11/21 12:14:54, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Richardthughes @ Nov. 21 2007,11:47)




9:15 pm
That isn’t flying like a bird. This, is flying like a bird, and I know, because I’ve done it more than 1,500 times since 1973.

very good, Gil. How do you flap your wings? Do you know that technically gliding <> flying? Are you simulating a bird when you're up there?

This is what I hate about Dr Dr WAD (aside from him being a deceptive scumbag). His total inability to grasp satire.

Here's a clue, Dr^2 : simply repeating the words that you FEEL are wrong, will not make other people believe they are wrong. You do this in your Panda-monium game. You did it with your Judge Jones animation. And you just did it here.

I cannot believe a man with four times my education (that's an estimate: I have only a measly BSc degree, so real Drs may correct me if I'm underestimating their efforts :) ) resorts to this kind of 'repeat what your opponent said in a funny voice' argument. It's what eight year olds do when they can't win and just want to piss off their siblings.

Returning to the squirrels: what was your point, Dr Dr? You didn't make one. You just put out that video as if it was somehow an inherent satire - indeed, if I didn't know the way you behave, I would have thought you were being completely honest.

That's how much you suck. You're so bad at arguing, you actually argue for the other side. It's notarguing.

Now if only I could post this on UD. :)

Date: 2007/11/26 09:26:09, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Lazarus on the ongoing renewal of comedy effort:


May the best jibjab win!

Is there somewhere we can post these when we make them? Is there a LOLEvoluitonists?

I really hope there is. Really really. I'm waiting for a picture of a mud pit and a caption that goes 'IM IN UR GOO NOT EVOLVIN TO YOO'. For me that would destroy evolution totally.

UD Humour - It Makes You Want To Die And Obligingly Chokes You Upon Your Own Vomit Too

Date: 2007/11/26 09:32:33, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
And I just reloaded the page and... 404BOOM! It's gone!

Date: 2007/11/26 10:19:25, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Nov. 26 2007,10:11)
The text of it:
Review of JibJab’s Darwin Daze: Sock Hop
Uncommon Descent - Mon, 2007-11-26 04:37

The long anticipated Darwin Daze: Sock Hop, produced by the innovators at studios, has premiered on The musical stars are Dick (The Artful Dodger) Dawkins, Chris Hitchens, Eugenie Scott, Sammy (the Bull) Harris, and Sam Elliot as a small headed Darwin.

The Review is at An excerpt:

Although yours truly was concerned that the transition from atheist bully to entertainer was beyond the reach of all but Elliot, I must confess my error. Dick Dawkins’s smirk and Sammy (the Bull) Harris’s know-it-all glare are freshly squeezed lemons in the cool clear water of Elliot’s unflinching professionalism, Chris Hitchens’s sweet sugary smile and Eugenie Scott’s cooling ice.

Click HERE for a link to the video.
Copyright © 2007 Uncommon Descent. This Feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this material in your news aggregator, the site you are looking at is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact so we can take legal action immediately.

Um... aren't you breaking copyright by posting that here then?

Date: 2007/11/26 14:39:30, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Louis @ Nov. 26 2007,12:58)
Ooops misread that! Try again:


I hope it isn't just me who can see Denyse O RLY's face in that.

Date: 2007/12/05 21:19:19, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (steve_h @ Dec. 05 2007,20:16)
IIRC, Dembski once unwittingly claimed eugenics as an intelligent design discipline.  I don't remember enough context to Google it though. It was one of his "people can intelligently design things, therefore intelligent design is the one true theory of origins" posts.

edit: no edits made this time.
edit: ignore last edit, I was stuck in a "Dollis Hill loop" when I made it.

Date: 2007/12/24 08:55:37, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Dec. 24 2007,07:55)
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Dec. 24 2007,07:11)
It's amusing that even the regulars at UD seem to be getting bored with Granny Tard and her dullness. On her post about the duality of mind and brain, there was only one comment. And on her most recent post, a link to her interview with Guillermo Gonzalez, the very first comment points out a typo in her OP, and the third comment points out that she is confusing IC with ID.

Maybe her Christmas stocking will have a copy of this.

KariosFocus says
PPS: In 30 above, Q, I explicitly addressed the explanatory filter, step by step. I therefore find your comment on situations commonly enountered in nature but not filtering out to exhibiting FSCI, puzzling in that light.

Could somebody with an active account ask for a worked through example of the EF please from KF?

He does alot of "inferring"
For instance, DNA is a complex and functionally specified digital bit-string, just like the underlying code for this web page. The odds of getting to a functioning DNA string by chance, on the gamut of our observed universe, are negligibly different from zero. It is therefore reasonable to infer — absent imposition of arbitrary selective hyperskepticism or philosophically question-begging, historically unwarranted rules such as so-called methodological naturalism — that it is designed.

but no numbers are present.

Lets see the EF done for a
Fractal (Mandelbrot)
malaria parasite.

and so on. Lets see if the EF can tell what is designed and what is not


For their God's sake.

Dembski, you malicious twat. Look at what you've done to KF. He still, after your God knows how many years, thinks that evolution says things should assemble by blind chance.


Sometimes I think hey, let's just let the ID people get on, it's only fair, and then I see this, and I get all pissed off. They abuse my good faith in people.

On the subject of applying the EF, I actually tried to come up with a way to do it (I want to be the first person to make a Java applet to apply ID theory ;) ) and I have to conclude it's impossible. I broke it into three parts:

1) Filter natural law events

Anything that can be explained by the laws of physics is ruled out from design, but there's a larger trick here. Anything that can be explained by ANY law, physical or not, can be ruled out from design also (it can be produced by an algorithmic process), so I conclude from this that the outputs of all possible Turing machines (or equivalent computing systems) are not designed.

Thus to apply this category one must in theory iterate through all possible Turing machines. I'm pretty sure the Halting Problem rules this approach out.

2) Filter for 'chance'.

An easy one: run tests for randomess.

3) Filter for CSI:

The first two rule out data which is specified but not complex (nature), and which is complex but not specified (chance). Dembski seems to imply that what you're left with can only be design, so in theory this step is unneeded, but it seems to be in the EF for some reason.

Problem is, it looks to be impossible if natural law is defined as above, because any algorithm that can detect CSI must have a mathematical means of doing so, which would imply CSI is natural, and thus ruled out from design.

Thus I conclude that CSI is either natural, which disproves Dembski, or unquantifiable, which is scientifically pointless and disproves Dembski's claims it can be measured.

Given Dembski's penchant for avoiding evaluation of his claims, what do you suppose my chances are of posting this on UD?

Date: 2008/01/14 20:29:49, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Jan. 14 2008,17:35)
WAD is a tease or maybe not.  Maybe he doesn't have an answer and he's hoping the tards can help him out without having to admit he's stumped.

"I have an answer but I want to hear YOURS first".

Clever, WAD!

This is the "Let's show the PR firm what ID predicts" thread so it should be a doozy!  Or a dozer I suppose...

God that's lame.

It's been said before, but it bears repeating that even creationism is more scientific than this bullshit.

I should get over there. I'm not banned yet. I was planning to save up my shot at UD for the next Galapagos Finch joke to see if I could get him to explain what he thinks the joke is, but asking them to explain exactly how these predictions are formed from ID theory could be just as fun.

The junk DNA one especially. I love how ID theory can't say anything about the designer... except when it can, like now.

Date: 2008/01/15 08:38:03, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
this is fun.

I post the most plausible bullshit I can about DNA atomic forcefields, and in the very next post DaveScot offers his own theory which by pure coincidence happens to be similar to mine (but without the forcefields, which is a shame).

Luckily I have been doing my research and can back up DaveScot with lots of possibilities. :)

Date: 2008/01/16 22:36:00, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
I found the other day that ERV's blog is the first hit on google for the search 'erv', which is pretty respectable for a three-letter search. Unless you turn full safesearch on, which makes it disappear quicker than William Dembski when asked for his ID predictions.

Date: 2008/01/17 19:41:53, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
I actually can't argue with the response they've given me. I asked for a dna protection mechanism and they gave me one, even after I bullshitted about forcefields and completely made up the term 'retroamino introsposon'. I fail at tard-mining. :)

Date: 2008/01/19 09:31:33, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
PaV knows what he's talking about





9:11 am


Darwinism says that what is random, when extrapolated, results in what ‘appears’ to be ‘designed’. I say that what is designed , when extrapolated, results in what ‘appears’ to be ‘random’. Which side of this do you prefer?

I reckon I can infer the existence of another piece of UD Tech from this; some kind of compressor that enables people like PaV here to cram amounts of error and illogic into a tiny paragraph that would otherwise fill a page.

Date: 2008/01/21 09:28:27, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Jason Spaceman @ Jan. 20 2008,22:11)
Tony Campolo is professor emeritus of sociology at Eastern University and served as pastoral counselor to former President Clinton

Many who support the separation of church and state say that the intelligent design theory of creation ought not to be taught in public schools because it contains a religious bias. They dislike its suggestion that the evolutionary development of life was not the result of natural selection, as Charles Darwin suggested, but was somehow given purposeful direction and, by implication, was guided by God.

Arguing for what they believe is a nonprejudicial science, they contend that children in public schools should be taught Darwin's explanation of how the human race evolved, which they claim is value-free and depends solely on scientific evidence.

In terms of science, Darwin's account may be solid indeed. But value free? Nothing could be further from the truth - and that's where the problem lies.

Some creationists fear Darwin because his theories contradict their literal biblical belief that creation occurred in six 24-hour days. But they do not get at the real dangers of Darwinism. They do not realize that an explanation of the development of biological organisms over eons of time really does not pose the great threat to the dignity of our humanity that they suppose. Instead, they, along with the rest of us, should really fear the ethical implications of Darwin's original writings.

In reality, those writings express the prevalent racism of the 19th century and endorse an extreme laissez-faire political ideology that legitimizes the neglect of the suffering poor by the ruling elite.

Those who argue at school board meetings that Darwin should be taught in public schools seldom have taken the time to read him. If they knew the full title of On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life, they might have gained some inkling of the racism propagated by this controversial theorist. Had they actually read Origin, they likely would be shocked to learn that among Darwin's scientifically based proposals was the elimination of "the negro and Australian peoples," which he considered savage races whose continued survival was hindering the progress of civilization.

Read it here.

I argued via email with a chap from the Edinburgh Creation Group who was making a similar argument; he claimed that evolution is a philosophy built upon a foundation that goes all the way back to the Vedics, and added, as creationists often do, that evolution is responsible for all kinds of social ills.

I pointed out that evolution is a scientific theory, not a philosophy. What pisses me off is that their solution to these social problems is to get rid of the science of evolution, and not address the social problems themselves. (if they even ARE caused by that scientific theory, which I doubt.) It's a mean, dirty, underhanded way to advance Biblical doctrine. And somehow, whenever the analogy is made with chemistry being socially responsible for guns, or atomic theory being socially responsible for the atom bomb, they won't accept that it's EXACTLY THE SAME. Hypocrites.

Who among us wouldn't support the eradication of racism? Yet that's not what creationists seem to want. They want to remove a scientific theory which they claim has racist foundations (yet which, oddly, identifies all humans as being the same species). They paint US with the racism card, despite the fact that we actually CAN separate a scientific model from the real world, and from society, and from morals, and can form moral judgements without a lot of prejudice. They don't seem bothered about any of the other sources of racism in the world; why not? I want it all gone, whether it's white superiority, black superiority, whether it's caused by evolution theory, or Mein Kampf.

To attack a science that threatens you by playing the race card is as cowardly as a guy claiming that he was racially abused in order to avoid the blame for starting a fight (and this has happened to me).

Jesus would be ashamed of you.

Date: 2008/02/06 06:50:15, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (carlsonjok @ Feb. 06 2008,05:32)
Well, I think we have the answer. Casey, in part:
So, based upon what I was told, I had no reason to presume there were “rules” behind using the 117 X 87 pixel graphic that would result in the eruption of much anger when they are violated.

When various blogs erupted in a firestorm yesterday because I used the 117 X 87 pixel graphic for about 24 hours, I first learned that there were rules about using the 117 X 87 pixel graphic. It was then that I first visited, and it was at that time that I tried to register with so that I could legitimately use the 117 X 87 pixel graphic. This morning, when I learned that Mr. Munger felt I had used the 117 X 87 pixel graphic inappropriately, I immediately removed the 117 X 87 pixel graphic.

This isn’t complicated: I never knowingly misused the 117 X 87 pixel graphic, and as soon as I learned I had misused it, I removed it. Thanks again.

Darwinists are so mean and nasty that they forbid me to use a 117 x 87 icon.  117 x 87!! That is tiny!  Miniscule even!  Is there nothing so insignificant that the materialists won't use it to persecute (dare I say EXPEL!) the ID proponents in order to shore up the crumbling edifice of their discredited theory!

If he really feels argumentum ad file size is acceptable, perhaps someone should point out that the text 'THIS SITE IS ENDORSED BY THE DISCOVERY INSTITUTE' is far smaller than that tiny icon.

Date: 2008/02/06 15:44:18, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Richardthughes @ Feb. 06 2008,14:11)



from here:

You have to see the description next to that diagram to get the full tard. These guys have got to be cargo cultists.

In this schematic diagram "structure" and the "information" that codes for it, are represented as vertical (Z-axis) amplitude. Positive Z-axis motion (upward) requires intelligent design. Both "natural selection and "random mutation" being context insensitive are subsequently incapable of producing new structure/information.

This sounds like crap that I'd invent, except I actually attempt some logic at least. I mean, if you translate it to English it says:

'Only intelligent design can increase information, therefore natural selection and random mutation cannot increase information.'

Seriously, I want ID to spread this research as far and wide as possible. It has rather a spreadable texture.

Date: 2008/02/06 15:47:12, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Venus Mousetrap @ Feb. 06 2008,15:44)

Date: 2008/02/07 07:20:05, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Paul Nelson sighting! on the Panda's Thumb, with added irony!


Dan Brooks wrote, about my talk:


   Nelson replied that you ‘cannot presuppose Mom’ in order to provide an evolutionary explanation for ontogeny.

Which is true. Brooks explains how the maternal environment (MOM) establishes the conditions necessary for normal development in C. elegans – but that was exactly my point at the Boston meeting. An adult nematode is required to specify a nematode embryo. So whence the adult nematode?

Another nematode, via development. Eventually, in evolutionary (phylogenetic) time, the ontogeny that specifies the form of C. elegans, or any other metazoan, must be constructed de novo. Natural selection cannot do that, for reasons having to do with the logic of selection itself.

I hope Dan Brooks will respond.

my emphasis.

EDIT: to add URL

Date: 2008/02/07 13:22:55, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Annyday @ Feb. 07 2008,11:57)
I can change pictures into abstract pictures, therefore random mutation can't make information!

Anyone care to guess what exactly he's applied to the picture? I'm curious, and it looks damn cool, but it doesn't fit neatly into anything I know of.

I've just commented on it (and note the difference between URL and title, someone got there quick :) ). I love the way he wants to say that evolution decreases information, but can't back himself up with math.

It looks like the filters applied on evolving art; picbreeder is a fun site for that.



Venus Mousetrap


2:02 pm

I have seen these evolving pictures before, and they’re actually quite fun, but I haven’t seen people try to evolve an existing picture. It doesn’t make sense to.

What they have probably done is taken the picture, and run it into randomly generated functions - it’s actually the function that is evolving, not the picture. At every step, a human selects which one they like best - directed selection - and the process repeats. So this is actually ID, not evolution.

I’m not sure about the CSI decreasing, however. Anyone able to get values of the CSI for each picture?

Date: 2008/02/14 19:41:00, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
this is true by the way. the example is invented (but no less valid), but the program does exist.


Venus Mousetrap


8:26 pm

Dr Dembski: I love the idea of conservation of information, but I’ve been having difficulty demonstrating it. I wrote a program which starts with a letter (’a') and then applies three kinds of random mutations (point, duplication, and deletion).

I’ll show you a quick example…

aa (duplication)
ab (point mutation)
aba (duplication of just the first letter - it selects a random range to duplicate)
abb (point)
bb (deletion)
bbbb (duplication)
bdbb (point)
bdbdbb (duplication of the ‘db’)
bdb (deletion of the 3rd, 4th, 5th letters)

It makes a lovely string of characters, but I really feel I’m missing the point - these can’t be informationally equivalent can they? I mean, I haven’t yet found out how to calculate information, but if all these strings are equivalent, won’t any string be?

Date: 2008/03/05 15:36:50, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Tracy P. Hamilton @ Mar. 05 2008,15:06)
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Mar. 05 2008,14:05)
It's like watching a boat sink, except it never quite goes under the waves completely.
The only negative to using NFV is that it assumes Darwinism to be true if that term is used to encapsulate everything.

NFV = Non-foresighted variation.

When I saw NFV, I thought "No Free Vegetables".  That would be a great title for a Dembski book.  Like Wolpert's "No Free Lunch" but without any meat to it.

That gets my Post of the Week. :)

Date: 2008/03/06 10:59:05, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Paul Nelson @ Mar. 06 2008,09:21)
About re-packaged creationism.  Sorry, that line of argument is premised on a wholly illiberal (unsound) assumption that I don't accept (no one should accept it), namely, that teachers and students are not entitled to talk about scientific matters which may overlap with historically creationist arguments.  I encourage anyone reading this thread to follow out the implications of that position.

Here's an example to help you get started.  My grandfather, Byron Nelson (1893-1972), included illustrations and discussion in his creationist book After Its Kind, first published in 1927 -- reissued in 1995 by Ron Numbers of the Univ. of Wisconsin, in a Garland Press series -- showing fossil stasis.  Almost fifty years later -- roughly, in the mid-70s -- Gould, Eldredge, Stanley, and other evolutionary theorists began to argue that "[fossil] stasis is data," meaning that the stability through time of fossil forms is evidentially significant.

So, can teachers and students talk about fossil stasis?

Let me give you an equivalent example from science fiction. An episode of Deep Space Nine, in fact.

A fleet of enemy ships is on its way to the planet Cardassia (I forget whose) to blow stuff up. The good Captain Sisko wants to warn them, but a treaty prohibits them from sending a message.

What does he do? He calls the station's resident tailor (and former Cardassian spy) Garak, to come and alter his uniform. Immediately. In the middle of the briefing where all this is being discussed. That way, he hasn't actually told Garak anything, and yet the spy now is able to warn Cardassia.

Find that acceptable? It seems to me you're doing the same. You can't teach creationism, so you're going to piggyback on the science that coincides with it. Of course, we all know this, and have done for a long time (even before the Wedge Document put it in writing), but it's interesting to see you practically admit it.

It's even more laughable when your WHOLE BOOK is nothing but 'science that overlaps with creationism'. As Dembski might say, that's so unlikely that it could only have come about by design.

In short, you're not fooling us, and we'd like to stop you fooling people less experienced with the scam.

Date: 2008/03/06 12:54:12, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
I can't believe you didn't know that, with your taste in atheism icons. For a fun twist on it, see Heddle's icon. :)

Date: 2008/03/07 12:49:26, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Paul Nelson @ Mar. 07 2008,12:23)
As most of the participants in this thread want to talk about EE as “repackaged creationism,” “warmed-over creationism,” "creationism redux" -- let’s call this “refried creationism,” or RC for short -- I’ve tried to draft a concise argument expressing the RC criticism as identifying a serious error in EE.  How about this:

1.  Topic A has been discussed in creationist writings, either historically or currently.

2.  Thus, topic A is not material fit for a public school science textbook.

That can’t be what RC entails, however.  A creationist textbook may give a perfectly accurate description of (say) the mechanisms of photosynthesis, yet one wouldn’t want to exclude photosynthesis from teaching materials or classroom discussion on those grounds.

So, on the assumption that there’s more to RC than (1) & (2), can someone here express the “refried creationism” criticism succinctly, in a short propositional form (i.e., as an argument) explaining why scientific topics that may have been discussed in creationist writings are nevertheless illegitimate material for science instruction?

Thanks.  I'd also value the comments of anyone on whatever formulations of RC are posted.

I can't believe you are playing this childish game, Paul. You've gone from Young Earth Creationist to Used Car Salesman.

How about this, Paul?

1. You make a lovely flowerbed, and put up notice saying 'DO NOT WALK ON THE FLOWERBED'.
2. I tie newspapers to my feet, and trample your flowers.
3. When asked, I tell you that I was actually walking on newspapers, not your flowerbed.

Do you honestly believe we can't see you're playing the same game? You disgust me.

Date: 2008/03/07 13:06:43, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Paul Nelson @ Mar. 07 2008,12:52)

Let's take a specific example to focus the discussion.  Suppose Topic A is stasis of form (either in fossil lineages, or from fossil-to-extant taxa), which I mentioned above.

Page 25 of EE illustrates this phenomenon or pattern with nautiloids, comb jellies, and ginkgo leaves.  My grandfather's creationist book After Its Kind featured many similar illustrations.

But here in my office I also have Eldredge and Stanley's classic monograph Living Fossils (Springer, 1984), and papers are published all the time in the primary literature on stasis and living fossils.

So, is the topic "What is stasis of form, and what might it mean for understanding of the history of life?" a fit topic for a public school biology textbook?

I hope, since you're thinking about this, that you could express your view of "refried creationism" (RC) in succinct propositional form, with the premises numbered or clearly distinguished -- helps in the discussion.

Paul, I suspect you know fully well that there is nothing logically or legally 'wrong' with what you're doing. That's the whole point of 'critical analysis' of evolution - it's a cheap, twisted way to game the system. You have taken a bunch of creationist arguments and renamed them 'critical analysis'. Your whole book comprises this.

It isn't illegal, but it is morally wrong to deceive people in this way. You know, morals? I think Jesus mentioned them once or twice?

Date: 2008/03/07 14:25:12, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Paul Nelson @ Mar. 07 2008,13:33)

Is it morally wrong to evaluate current theories of evolution, in the light of the available evidence?

Before you answer, try this experiment, without using Google or other search engines to identify the source and author. Read the following passage, and ask yourself whether you'd allow this material in a public school science classroom, strictly in terms of its content.  Lay aside for the moment the identity of the author, his/her theoretical commitments, and the publication venue:

The popular theory of evolution is the modern synthesis (neo-Darwinism), based on changes in populations underpinned by the mathematics of allelic variation and driven by natural selection.  It accounts more for adaptive changes in the colouration of moths, than in explaining why there are moths at all.  This theory does not predict why there were only 50 or so modal body plans, nor does it provide a basis for rapid, large scale innovations.  It lacks significant connection with embryogenesis and hence there is no nexus to the evolution of form.  It fails to address the question of why the anatomical gaps between phyla are no wider today than they were at their Cambrian appearance.

Paul: no, it isn't morally wrong to evaluate evolution, and that wasn't what I was accusing you of. I was accusing you of deliberately deceiving people by taking creationist arguments, and renaming and changing them to critical analysis (one wonders if we'll see the phrase 'ccritical analysisists' anywhere?)

And once again, I've already said what you're doing is not technically wrong, just like me trampling your flowers. Therefore, your quote probably is acceptable (although I wouldn't bet on it, I'll let people with more knowledge analyse the claims therein.) It's as acceptable as forcing schools to put disclaimer stickers in their textbooks - no reason why you CAN'T, but it clearly shows a lack of care. You don't want to teach kids. You want to stop them from doubting the Bible. Otherwise, I'd expect to see quotes like:

Newton's theory of gravity, while often used in real life, is actually false.

Gravitation theory has no explanation for why gravity occurs, or how the universe was formed. There is no experimental confirmation of gravitons, despite massive detectors having been run for years to detect them.

Intelligent Design does not explain who the designer is, whether it still exists, how many designers there are, what its intent is, where the designer came from, how it designed, or when it designed, nor indeed if design even requires intelligence.

It is not known if Einstein's spacetime is a fully accurate model of gravity.

Thermodynamics is forced to use statistical formulae to model large systems of particles, which cannot give accurate results about single particles.

All of the above are true, Paul, and some are even mentioned in textbooks (it's often important to know the range of validity of a model). My annoyance is at you twisting truths into propaganda at the cost of the education of children. There are a whole bunch of things that evolution does not explain. Some it hasn't explained yet, and some it wasn't ever meant to (it's quite common in the creationist lit for people to confuse the two, which is why Expelled! presents evolution as being abiogenesis).

In short: I'm not objecting to whether what you say is true or legal or not. I'm accusing you of using cheap tricks and loopholes to get what you want, at the cost of anyone who gets in your way - which will probably be children.

Date: 2008/03/07 15:17:09, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Paul Nelson @ Mar. 07 2008,14:56)
Venus, the author of that passage was evolutionary geneticist George Miklos, from his long paper "Emergence of organizational complexities during metazoan evolution: perspectives from molecular biology, palaeontology and neo-Darwinism," Memoirs of the Association of Australasian Palaeontologists 15 (1993):7-41.  The cited material comprises the first five sentences of the paper's abstract.

My points still stand, Paul, if you'd just read them. I don't believe you've actually directly responded to a single one I've made, or you'd realise that my problem is not with you presenting truth, but presenting propaganda. As someone else pointed out, you aren't equipping children with the ability to critically analyse; you're just making them do it, to what happens to be the one subject which creationists don't want their kids to learn.

Date: 2008/03/13 10:28:03, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Paul Nelson @ Mar. 13 2008,08:59)
Replies to various,


I apologize: I thought you were joking, given the "No, I don't wanna read yer stinkin' book!" reactions of some others here. Please send me a PM with your mailing address.

Seussical reaction to the offer of a free copy of EE:

"I will not read it in a bar,
I will not read it in a car,
I will not read it here or there,
I will not read it anywhere,
I do not want yer stinkin' book,
and as far as I'm concerned,
you're a complete idiot."

Sorry, couldn't rhyme that last bit. ;-)

The offer of a free copy of EE continues for anyone else, of course, including those who previously responded seussically.

JAM -- still collecting data on body size.  The issue has turned out to be far more interesting than I could have guessed.

Doc Bill -- why turtles?  Why not?  Turtles are cool.  Here's the bigger point (sorry, JAM, can't help myself), from a recent survey by Massimo Pigliucci:

Is There Something Missing from the Modern Synthesis?


What, then, is the problem?  Without trivializing the great successes of evo-devo, it is hard to escape the feeling that we are making significant progress in understanding relatively circumscribed problems in the origin of form [he mentions butterfly eye-spots], and that advances are being made more at the interface between population genetics and developmental biology than in the broader field of evo-devo.  For instance, baffling evolutionary novelties like the turtle carapace remain almost unscathed mysteries, with some speculation concerning their origin, but little in the way of detailed scenarios and solid empirical evidence (Rieppel 2001; Cebra-Thomas et al. 2005).  In some sense, this is precisely the same sort of problem that bothered Goldschmidt so much during the shaping of the MS [Modern Synthesis], and although his proposed solutions (genomic mutations and hopeful monsters) are not tenable, the uneasy feeling that we are not yet tackling the big questions remains.

Massimo Pigliucci, "Do we need an extended evolutionary synthesis?" Evolution 61 (2007):2743-2749; p. 2745, emphasis added.

If it is possible that (a) turtles share common ancestry with other reptiles, then it is also possible that (b) they do not.  If one denies the possibility of (b), however, (a) becomes a necessary truth, and impossible to test (because it will be the case, come what may).  The proposition of evolutionary theory, "turtles evolved from unknown reptilian ancestors" would then no longer be empirical, i.e., subject to the testimony of evidence, because no data could count against it.

Erasmus, moths exist to provide employment for entomologists, naturally.  Also to flutter around candles and camping lanterns during the summer. :)

I'd still like to hear the answer to the Doc's earlier question: is EE attempting to imply that tortoises were created suddenly in some unknown manner?

Or are we to skip past the fact that EE expresses exactly what creationists want kids to hear, while wrapping it up in a neat 'scientific analysis' package?

I don't understand why you're here Paul, honestly. Half the time you spend not answering questions, and the other half you give answers that I wouldn't even have gotten away with in school (unless you really expect us to be convinced by 'it's not creationism! It's just that all the arguments are FROM creationism!')

(long refuted creationism, at that... sure, I really want my kids on stale arguments made up for religious purposes.)

(if I had kids.)

Date: 2008/03/18 17:21:57, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (C.J.O'Brien @ Mar. 18 2008,15:44)
Hey all,

The last formal education in Physics I had was longer ago than I care to contemplate, so I have an (admittedly very basic) question to ask of those wiser than I.

So, we had my son's birthday party at Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley over the weekend. The temporary set of exhibits was called "Speed," and they had all kinds of hands-on gizmos illustrating various aspects of "speed": velocity, acceleration, drag, etc.

And one was this pneumatic thingy that shot a penny at great speed into a metal plate and then spit it out so you could see how it deformed on impact. They had some exemplars of what happens, based on composition (zinc vs. copper) and angle of impact (the pennies could "flutter" in the tube). It was pretty cool, and we fed it several pennies. But my issue is with the explanatory sign accompanying the exhibit.

It gave F=ma, talked about the force being applied to the penny. So far so good, but then it got into the "equal and opposite" reaction to the force, and then came the inexplicable talk about (paraphrased) "the plate pushes back" and said (verbatim) "the plate is the big F." (meaning the 'F' in F=ma.)

Is it me, or is this just crazily wrong? As I understand it, F is the initial force applied to the penny to shoot it down the tube, and the "equal and opposite reaction" is the deformation of the penny, i.e. the shedding of kinetic energy into heat and stresses in the material of the penny, causing it to be smashed, cracked or folded.

The way they explained it is analagous to saying that if the force of gravity is pushing you into the ground, then the opposite reaction is somehow the ground "pushing back." And that's all wrong. The ground, or the plate in the exhibit, don't exert any force at all, right? In the gravity example, the equal and opposite reaction is all going on inside your body: it's the various stresses and tensions on your skeletal-muscular system involved in keeping you upright, or, if not upright, then at least not a puddle. Right?

And if so, why does a freaking science museum at freaking UC Berkeley have signs that don't hold up to basic high school physics?

The museum's explanation is accurate.

Remember the three laws:

A robot shall not harm a h-

Wait, not those laws. Newton's:

1. A body will remain at constant velocity unless acted on by a net force.
2. F = ma
3. All forces act in equal and opposite pairs.

These seem to be true, although schools have yet to teach the controversy about the failings of Newtonian gravity at speeds close to that of light.

What this means is that the Earth does indeed push up on you with the same force as you push down on it - it has to be, or it'd be violating the first law (you're not moving up or down, so the net force on you is a zero, balanced force).

Similarly, when it comes to your body, all the internal forces are balanced, by tension (which is also a force). If you go to a planet with super-gravity, then you'll find what happens when your body doesn't have the ability to balance the forces; they get balanced for you when your bones and organs puddle onto the ground.

It's the same with the penny, but horizontal. The penny is travelling at a huge velocity until it hits the plate and decelerates to zero. The first law says that a force must have applied to cause this. The third law says that a force is also applied equal and opposite to that. The second law tells you a little about the forces effect.

Since the plate is large and probably mounted, it'll shrug off the penny's force without much problem. However, when the penny takes the force in the other direction, its tiny lil body doesn't have the internal strength to decelerate and keep its shape, so it bends and crinkles.

Try to envision what happens if the plate is replaced with a piece of paper. This time, the penny wins; the paper can apply a force to slow the penny, but can't possibly take the reaction force without tearing, so the penny makes a hole in it.

Date: 2008/03/22 14:07:15, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (J-Dog @ Mar. 22 2008,13:47)
Quote (dochocson @ Mar. 22 2008,13:11)
I've been trying to post as well, but none of them get through. Does UD use IP filtering/blocking?

At UD, home of the fearless, Darwin-fighting IDists all comments are filtered.  That way they can make sure that you realize we have always been at war with Eurasia, and that all comments will properly reflect this political truth.

They also plug the movie Expelled, which is about their kind, freedom-loving voices being censored by us evil Darwinazis.

I have to wonder about their whole 'lying to save souls' philosophy. I mean, they may swing people who are already on the fence anyway, but they're driving people like me further and further away, since I'm hardly likely to worship a God who supports their sleazy tactics. In other words, they're effectively sending me to hell. Is it just a numbers game? It's okay to have a few go to hell if more go to heaven?

Date: 2008/03/23 16:39:00, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
He's still on afaik. Last I saw him he was arguing with Ray 'logic is a trick by atheists' Martinez.

Date: 2008/03/28 13:57:28, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (BopDiddy @ Mar. 28 2008,13:35)
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Mar. 28 2008,13:09)
I just saw a particularly good example of the utter nonsense companies claim in order to sell the products they produce. A cosmetic that spoke of "[letting] the skin breathe". Ugh, now I'm no scientist, but even I know this is crap.

Anyone else find stuff like this annoying? If not, how come, and if so, any particularly egregious examples?

For me it's pretty much any ad that has people in lab coats, glasses and clipboards running around clean white rooms.  Arg.  

There used to one for "The Ponds Institute" that had some bizarre line, with model-scientists as above running around in the background, that went something like "here at the Ponds Institute our scientists are finding new ways of revitalizing your appearance and making you feel your best" or equally ridiculous vagueness.

A company (I believe it was Imperial Leather, but I can find no references to it) did a beautiful parody of this way back in the 90s. They start in a lab with scientists in labcoats, one of whom is talking about their new soap. He points to a molecular ball-and-rod model to illustrate, and at the exact moment he talks about the 'complex molecular structure', a scientist walking behind him slips up on some molecule balls and falls over.

At the end they show the effect of their soap thirty seconds after application, and if I recall, it causes a white lady to turn into a six foot tall black man with dreadlocks.

For some reason few people have tapped into the comedy gold of this kind of advert since. :)

Date: 2008/03/28 15:00:33, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Mar. 28 2008,14:13)
Quote (Venus Mousetrap @ Mar. 28 2008,19:57)
Quote (BopDiddy @ Mar. 28 2008,13:35)
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Mar. 28 2008,13:09)
I just saw a particularly good example of the utter nonsense companies claim in order to sell the products they produce. A cosmetic that spoke of "[letting] the skin breathe". Ugh, now I'm no scientist, but even I know this is crap.

Anyone else find stuff like this annoying? If not, how come, and if so, any particularly egregious examples?

For me it's pretty much any ad that has people in lab coats, glasses and clipboards running around clean white rooms.  Arg.  

There used to one for "The Ponds Institute" that had some bizarre line, with model-scientists as above running around in the background, that went something like "here at the Ponds Institute our scientists are finding new ways of revitalizing your appearance and making you feel your best" or equally ridiculous vagueness.

A company (I believe it was Imperial Leather, but I can find no references to it) did a beautiful parody of this way back in the 90s. They start in a lab with scientists in labcoats, one of whom is talking about their new soap. He points to a molecular ball-and-rod model to illustrate, and at the exact moment he talks about the 'complex molecular structure', a scientist walking behind him slips up on some molecule balls and falls over.

At the end they show the effect of their soap thirty seconds after application, and if I recall, it causes a white lady to turn into a six foot tall black man with dreadlocks.

For some reason few people have tapped into the comedy gold of this kind of advert since. :)

Thanks! I didn't know it was Paul Merton. The one I'm thinking of is a fan-done parody of this parody, as it happens. :)

Date: 2008/04/07 12:40:38, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (JohnW @ April 07 2008,11:54)
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ April 07 2008,09:21)
A geocentric, geostatic model coupled with the restriction that nothing goes faster than the speed of light yields the observation that the universe is a sphere of about 27.5 astronomical units radius, maximum.

That is, if I managed not to shift any decimal places on the back of my envelope here.

That's what I got, Wesley.  I look forward to Kevin's explication of other worldviews, with different, equally valid interpretations of the speed of light, the length of a day, and the circumference of a circle.

I'd actually quite like astrology to be taught in science*. I read this book, you see, about Pagan astrology, and it had all these diagrams and calculations, so there's something to teach already. It'll fill the gap nicely while we wait for ID to be finished.

*no, honestly. I much prefer magical fairies and elemental monsters to the weird dominatrix bloodlust of Christianity. And if it comes to all-worldviews-are-equal, Paganism has the upper hand - after all, it's already based on nature.

Date: 2008/04/07 13:54:05, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (kevinmillerxi @ April 07 2008,12:49)
Hey Wes: For the record, I'm not ticked off with you. If you'll notice, I also put myself (and all other Kevin Millers on imdb) into the mofo category. It's a tongue in cheek thing. I may not agree with a lot of what people like Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins or PZ Myers have to say, but I still admire their chutzpah, and I’d gladly have a beer with them (and you) any time. So wear it as a badge of honor. I'm just trying to have a little fun here.

As for your responses to my statements, despite appearances to the contrary, I'm not coming into this discussion with the assumption, "Everything Wes Elsberry says is wrong." I am listening, and pondering. And I am open to revising my views in light of new and better information. So you'll have to excuse me if I don't dive into a line-by-line response to your posts right away. It’s not an admission of defeat. I just need time to process the various arguments. (Plus, it's been a busy weekend, we have a new baby in the house, and I'm just plain tired.) But even if it turns out that everything you’ve said is right and everything I’ve said is wrong, I’m okay with that, because for me, this has never been about winning or losing. It's about learning. The only thing that really matters to me is getting at the truth, because the truth benefits everyone no matter what side of the debate they’re on. Contrary to how some critics have depicted the film, Expelled is not about promoting a singular point of view, namely, Intelligent Design. It’s about ensuring that all points of view receive a fair and adequate hearing. We made this film because we had good reason to believe that this was not the case with ID, and I stand by that assertion. In addition, my hope is that the film will prompt people on all sides of the issue to engage with one another. Because what I've observed over the past two years is complete polarization. The various camps sit in their respective corners cackling about how stupid the other guys are, but they rarely talk to each other—except to hurl insults. Very few people engaged in this debate seem open to an honest pursuit of the truth. Most are more interested in scoring debating points, looking clever, and promoting their own agenda.

So what I’m trying to do both here and on my blog is engage. In the process, I may say some things that come off as stupid, ignorant or inflammatory. I may hurl a few insults from time to time, and I may needle a few people who need to be needled. After all, I’m only human. But the learning process is often messy and confused. So you’ll have to excuse me if I cack up the joint from time to time.

In light of the above, I do want to ask Wes (and anyone else who cares to respond) a couple of questions:

1) How does science distinguish between a paradigm problem and a research problem? In other words, when a researcher encounters an anomaly, how does he/she determine whether the anomaly is a result of a problem with the data rather than a problem with the theory under which the data is being examined?

2) I understand that you're a Christian, Wes. And yet I get the sense that you believe divine influence is not something that should be factored into your study of the natural world. Fair enough. So my question is, if God doesn't influence the world through natural processes, such as evolution, how does he engage with nature? For example, I assume that you pray. How does God answer your prayers? Does he do so in any scientifically detectable way? Or do you take the Ken Miller approach and say he influences things on the quantum level in a way that we are unable to observe?

I'll have a go, Kevin.

1) All those statistical methods and repetitions that scientists perform are their way of checking the data. On the other hand, paradigm problems occur when the current theory is meeting events that it can't explain.

Relativity, for example, came about when Newtonian gravity just wasn't working at the scale of planets. Einstein showed that his way was much better, and everyone saw that it was true. No all-interpretations-are-equal there: relativity explained what they saw, and Newton didn't.

Or take quantum theory. Classical physics wasn't working - scientists were getting silly results like infinite energies being radiated in the ultraviolet frequency, and they couldn't explain why electrons were able to orbit nuclei without losing energy and spiralling in. It took a scientist to take the utterly stupid step of fudging the math to pretend that all the electrons were stuck in energy levels, and everyone laughed at him (I think it was Bohr) - until they found that it predicted what they were seeing perfectly.

Note the common theme in those two. They made predictions which they then showed to be true. If you can do that, you don't NEED this debate.

The theory of evolution HAS done this part already. It predicts the pattern of life on Earth to astonishing accuracy.

ID, on the other hand... it's hard even to tell exactly what they're trying to do. Can you name even one prediction of ID? I can't. About the most you can get out of them is 'junk DNA has function' (an old creationist claim, of course, but what do you expect), and if you ask them how that prediction follows from their theory then you'll hear a lot of running away before you realise that there is no theory from which to make predictions. Seriously. There is no logical link between the various scraps that IDers throw about. It's pretty pathetic.

I'm not making any of that up. Check for yourself. See if you can do it. And see if you can get them to tell you how to do it, which is even harder.

2) There isn't anything to stop God throwing lightning bolts or inseminating women. Science doesn't rule that out - it just says we can't study it, because we can't repeat observations. You have mixed up 'science cannot describe this' with 'this does not happen'. No one says science explains everything. It doesn't.

If we regularly saw God chuck lightning bolts out of the sky, we could take measurements of the kind of electricity he uses. How much more powerful is divine lightning? What's the spectrum of that? How does he target people without it being attracted by other bodies? We can experiment and theorise.

Date: 2008/04/07 15:11:13, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (kevinmillerxi @ April 07 2008,14:01)
Venus: Thanks for taking my questions seriously. I have a question about your second response:

You said, "There isn't anything to stop God throwing lightning bolts or inseminating women. Science doesn't rule that out - it just says we can't study it, because we can't repeat observations. You have mixed up 'science cannot describe this' with 'this does not happen'. No one says science explains everything. It doesn't."

Actually, lots of people say science explains everything. That's why we have no need for God. But that's beside the point. If God does influence this world, is this influence measureable in any scientific way? If not, how can it be detected? I'm really interested to hear from anyone who approaches this from a theistic position.

Who is saying science explains everything? Not scientists, that's for sure, and they would know. I know Ben Stein is saying that evolutionary science should explain everything up to and including the origin of the universe, so perhaps you should stop listening to him.

There isn't any reason why we couldn't see the effects of God's action on the natural world, but God is not a scientific phenomenon and we can't describe him that way, any more than we can model the likelihood of students coming into fields with planks and making crop circles. The question doesn't make sense really.

Date: 2008/04/08 07:20:29, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (stevestory @ April 08 2008,00:03)
Paul, you're spending all your time and energy defending bullshit. You know it. We know it. Somewhere, deep down, there's a little voice that says 'Dangit, this YEC stuff just doesn't hang together.' We know that it's been a part of your core beliefs. We know that it's a painful thing to realize. But every day can always be the start of a better life. Just because you fell for it years ago, doesn't mean you have to keep fighting reality now. YEC is bullshit. It's done. That ship has sailed, my friend. You're among the best they're got, and frankly, you look like an idiot. You're choosing to look like an idiot. You don't have to do this. You can cut your losses. There's always time to discard ideas that just didn't work out and do something productive. You might think it's too late, but better late, than never.

Why, Mr Anderson, why, WHY!

Date: 2008/04/08 14:47:05, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ April 08 2008,12:47)
Some amazing scientific claims from our very own kevin 11:

What a lot of people misunderstand is that I.D. is not a religious program; it is actually a scientific program—but it does have strong religious implications

Kevin, you made that claim here can you please take time out from signing all those autographs and please show us the science of ID?  So far no one on planet earth has been able to do so.  In fact no one has yet to even offer a theory of intelligent design.  Of course someone as scientifically astute as you knows full well that

The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.

is not a scientific theory, it's a value statement.  An opinion, a claim.  So could you share with us the scientific theory of intelligent design.

So far no one, not dembski, not Behe, not Wells, not anyone has been able to provide a scientific theory of ID.  But it would seem you have some knowledge no one else has.  In the name of open scientific inquiry, would you share it with us?


I'd like this answered also... in fact, I think it's the most important question you have to answer, Kevin. If you can't, then can you please tell us if you're annoyed at being deceived by the ID people?

I mean, you've made a film about this wonderful scientific theory called ID, and now you find out you've been hoaxed. You were lied to. It doesn't exist. Me, I'd be a little unhappy with this.

Date: 2008/04/11 21:12:02, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Richardthughes @ April 11 2008,19:49)
DaveTard chimes in:

My gosh the tard on that thread, especially from Apollos.

It's really bizarre to watch them talk about it, and somehow manage to totally deny any wrongdoing. Can you even get any logic out of post 7? He seems to want to say that the expelled team 'somehow made a similar animation' without saying 'they copied it'.

Date: 2008/04/16 09:10:29, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Paul Nelson @ April 16 2008,08:25)
Hello all,

I'm back from Brazil, and catching up with stuff.  Thanks to Alb for his hard work on the textbooks and Haeckel business -- much appreciated.  I'm doing my own additional survey using the textbook collection at the Univ. of Chicago science library.  Gary, please let me know when your copy of EE arrives (it's being sent from Seattle), and I apologize for any delays in the shipping.

I have some media appearances to do here in Chicago for Expelled, but after the film opens on Friday, life should quiet down a bit and I can rejoin the EE festival here.

Welcome back Paul.

One does rather wonder why you wrote a textbook on the subject that inspired Hitler to kill millions of Jews. ;)

Date: 2008/04/18 08:10:10, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Richardthughes @ April 17 2008,21:41)

"Red Carpet" Premier Gala Thingy:

The church was booked so we went with 'plan B'.

My God, even their photography sucks, and I am NOT a photographer. However I know that the three top rules of photography are:

1) Don't point camera at sun.
2) Don't point camera at things that are pointing at sun.
3) Don't photograph people next to trashcans.

Of course, it may be one of the writing staff, in which case I apologise to the Dalek homeworld for insulting one of their offspring.

Date: 2008/04/18 14:38:19, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Glen Davidson @ April 18 2008,14:20)
I think I'll archive this exchange here, as Kevin has changed the record before.  The first part is Kevin's post (at the time of this writing, on the first page and near the top):

Is Expelled too nice?

That's what Greg Wright concludes in his review of the film over at Past the Popcorn.

[Now my comments]

That was a hideous quotemine, Kevin. Here's what he really wrote:

But if they are—and I stress, if they are, and they might be—Expelled simply plays too nice to catch them red-handed.

He seems to know about as little about these things as you do, Kevin, but at least he's cautious, and stresses the "if".

You simply quotemine the "if" out, and thereby egregiously misrepresent him. But I guess "Expelled" and its promotion have prepared us for these run-of-the-mill prevarications.

Glen D

I actually have to disagree here. The truth of the statement 'Expelled is too nice' does not depend on the truth or falsity of the if.

Date: 2008/04/18 15:40:29, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Glen Davidson @ April 18 2008,15:20)
Quote (Venus Mousetrap @ April 18 2008,14:38)
Quote (Glen Davidson @ April 18 2008,14:20)
I think I'll archive this exchange here, as Kevin has changed the record before.  The first part is Kevin's post (at the time of this writing, on the first page and near the top):

Is Expelled too nice?

That's what Greg Wright concludes in his review of the film over at Past the Popcorn.

[Now my comments]

That was a hideous quotemine, Kevin. Here's what he really wrote:

But if they are—and I stress, if they are, and they might be—Expelled simply plays too nice to catch them red-handed.

He seems to know about as little about these things as you do, Kevin, but at least he's cautious, and stresses the "if".

You simply quotemine the "if" out, and thereby egregiously misrepresent him. But I guess "Expelled" and its promotion have prepared us for these run-of-the-mill prevarications.

Glen D

I actually have to disagree here. The truth of the statement 'Expelled is too nice' does not depend on the truth or falsity of the if.

And what is it about conditionals that you do not understand?

Glen D

I didn't see what Kevin was commenting on, so I could be wrong, but the conditional does not seem to link to the statement that 'Expelled plays too nice', but rather to the fact that they could be caught red-handed.

Date: 2008/04/18 19:50:59, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (didymos @ April 18 2008,19:36)
The One True WAD is still a quote-mining jackass:

I’m moving it to the top of the queue because of all the fuss about Ben Stein’s EXPELLED: NO INTELLIGENCE ALLOWED connecting Darwin to Hitler. Get over it — there was a clear connection!

This from the same chap who denies any 'clear connection!' between ID and religion.

Date: 2008/04/21 09:53:23, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (J-Dog @ April 21 2008,08:29)
Quote (Lou FCD @ April 21 2008,08:02)
Quote (Richardthughes @ April 21 2008,02:59)
Sorry about your moderation, Bob. But as I mock the Tard, I must praise the good, and so I nominate DaveScot...




12:48 am
So should we blame Alfred Nobel (the inventor of dynamite) for suicide bombers? Should we blame Einstein for the proliferation of nuclear weapons? Should we blame Christ for the Spanish Inquisition?

However you answer these questions the same answer applies to blaming Darwin for the holocaust.

...for Post of the Week.


I tried to go post at UD and congratulate DaveScot on his POTW, but I can't  get through to comment.  I think my puppet has ceased to function.

Anyone else still have posting privileges?  I was really looking forward to hearing his response!

I have. Not even making up entirely phoney scientific terms could get me banned. :)

Date: 2008/04/22 11:23:16, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
I just posted this on the Biologic Website thread at UD


I fear this is going to go the same way as the rest of ID research, because nothing has actually changed. The website looks nice and has a lovely logo (I like ambigrams), but I can still see the same problems that pro-evolution people have been noting for years: it's all about the gaps, not about the theory.

Under the research page, for example, it starts talking about the limits placed upon life, and search spaces, which in the ID literature means 'what can evolution actually do?'. There isn't anything there about what design does, so it's back to the old 'if we can't understand how this was done, it was designed'.

I'm sorry if you've heard that before, but the fact is that ID has been doing that for years and it has not once been successful. This site is more of the same - no one is going to take it seriously because it can be so easily demolished by the same refutations.

Here's what I would take seriously: a page with definitions of information as it is used by working ID researchers, definitions of CSI, and a few simple test examples on, for example, randomly generated and designed text strings. An API for common ID mathematical algorithms and functions would also enable people to get started on the first ID programs and applets.

These would be absolutely irrefutable, because they would actually work, and the worst that opponents would be able to say is that they don't do enough... which will become less of a problem as the research is built upon into more complex methods of analysis.

hasn't shown up yet.

EDIT: to clarify which thread. And because I can, apparently.

Date: 2008/04/22 13:38:49, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Venus Mousetrap @ April 22 2008,11:23)
I just posted this on the Biologic Website thread at UD


I fear this is going to go the same way as the rest of ID research, because nothing has actually changed. The website looks nice and has a lovely logo (I like ambigrams), but I can still see the same problems that pro-evolution people have been noting for years: it's all about the gaps, not about the theory.

Under the research page, for example, it starts talking about the limits placed upon life, and search spaces, which in the ID literature means 'what can evolution actually do?'. There isn't anything there about what design does, so it's back to the old 'if we can't understand how this was done, it was designed'.

I'm sorry if you've heard that before, but the fact is that ID has been doing that for years and it has not once been successful. This site is more of the same - no one is going to take it seriously because it can be so easily demolished by the same refutations.

Here's what I would take seriously: a page with definitions of information as it is used by working ID researchers, definitions of CSI, and a few simple test examples on, for example, randomly generated and designed text strings. An API for common ID mathematical algorithms and functions would also enable people to get started on the first ID programs and applets.

These would be absolutely irrefutable, because they would actually work, and the worst that opponents would be able to say is that they don't do enough... which will become less of a problem as the research is built upon into more complex methods of analysis.

hasn't shown up yet.

EDIT: to clarify which thread. And because I can, apparently.

.look what UD decided to let through instead of my comment

Date: 2008/04/23 14:43:44, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ April 23 2008,08:47)
Clearly all pretensions that ID is science, or that UD is a site for discussion of that science, have been dropped. Dr. Dr. D has a new post up at UD, entitled "New Website About Atheism". And one of the choir chimes in with this  
I bet that the other side would not advertise a new ID web site! We are not afraid.

So the relationship of atheism to this allegedly scientific debate is what, exactly? And the "other side" is who, exactly?

I don't believe Dr Dr Dembski has read the site. I just did, and it is a nicely factual review of atheism - no bias, no spin... it could even turn undecided people toward atheism.

I posted a comment on UD to this effect, but I guess I got put into their reality filter because none have shown up lately.

Date: 2008/04/23 14:56:06, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (carlsonjok @ April 23 2008,14:52)
Florida Citizens for Science has an interesting summary of the debate over the "academic freedom" bill today in the state senate.  The moneyshot:
Gaetz’s literature example is a mess. Can a student hold the belief that the Captain Underpants books are great literature like Shakespeare? Good luck with that. That’s what is happening in science. Evolution is the Shakespeare and intelligent design is Captain Underpants. One is literature and the other isn’t. One is science and the other isn’t.


Oddly enough, I have MET the author of that book.

Not Shakespeare. The other chap.

Date: 2008/04/23 16:45:48, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Richardthughes @ April 23 2008,16:33)
Charlie 'gets' evolution:




12:04 pm
Allen MacNeill,
You keep forgetting that, while noting the difference between prescriptive and descriptive, we can also note that Darwin wasn’t only making a prediction. He also drew a qualitative conclusion.
The genocide he predicted would increase man’s average evolutionary level.

Calculate your evolutionary level here:

Biped +10 points
Attracted to monkeys -3 points
Gay -99 points
Opposable thumbs +20 points
Accepted Jesus Christ as your lord and saviour + 50
Add PI/13 points for every CSI you have

IT'S OVER 9000!

Date: 2008/04/25 14:37:49, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Richardthughes @ April 25 2008,14:30)
Quote (ERV @ April 25 2008,14:23)
Just read the complaint against Premise by Yoko.

Its beautiful.

Did you all know EMI is in on the suit too?

I didnt know that.

*wipes away tears of joy*

Has your blog been delisted from Google?

I noticed that too. I search for ERV on Google because it's easier than typing in the url, but it's gone again.

Date: 2008/04/28 16:13:25, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
ERV's blog seems to be back.

Date: 2008/04/30 15:31:48, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
aaarg why am I even bothering. Defintions are so fluid there, it's like swimming in piss. And I would know.

no, wait.

Date: 2008/04/30 17:33:15, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
I give up, I have failed you. I'm not even fit to be in banned camp.


Date: 2008/05/01 09:35:33, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Richardthughes @ May 01 2008,09:31)
Sal is crowing about "Judge Jones" losing in Flori-duh! I didn't know he was involved there. I'm guessing now that the law is passed, some creobot 'teacher' will bang on bout the ark, the ACLU will sue, some schoolkids will lose a million bucks of education money and they we might get a new bill..

Why, what's wrong with Dembski?

Date: 2008/05/12 12:26:08, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (stevestory @ May 10 2008,15:44)
We don't seem to have a general Mike Behe thread per se, so I'm putting this here.

I was reading the new Panda's Thumb story about Behe's ridiculous immune system claims, and it makes me idly wonder, has any idea ever been eviscerated as thoroughly as Irreducible Complexity?

I was arguing IC on Uncommon Descent a week ago here, where I told them they should stop clinging to the flawed notion, but they still believe it's credible, and I rather failed at showing them otherwise.

Apparently they are aware that nothing in evolution prohibits IC, but still insist that it be shown in practice else ID wins by default. I know a goalpost has been moved somewhere there but my argument-fu is weak. In any case they're asking for evidence which is unreasonably difficult to obtain in practice, but easy to show in principle.

Personally I believe that emphasising the power of gene duplication is the key, since that, as far as I know, is the method for adding information (by their definition) - the mechanism they claim doesn't exist. how exactly do they deny that one? we know genes duplicate, we know that it doesn't always harm the animal, we know that they can mutate in different ways to the original gene, we know that this can be selected for, and we have evidence of genes which look like copies of others.

Date: 2008/06/10 07:47:26, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Is that the same as Common Sense Science, which is offering an alternative chemistry because quantum physics isn't Christian enough? (I wish I was joking.)

Date: 2008/06/13 17:33:30, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
is the front cover illustration the result of a cameraman stumbling into an orion slave woman?

Date: 2008/06/15 08:06:23, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ June 15 2008,05:07)
ID is making progress, Sal tells us how:
The Darwinists do not yet fully appreciate they are being slowly challenged in the avant guard of philosopy, movies, and literature –and not just by ID proponents.

[Recall for example, the irreverent treatment of Richard Dawkins in SouthPark where he is shown copulating with a transsexual after the transexaul tosses his/her/its feces on him. Dawkins basically falls in love with Mr. Garretson after Mr. Garretson poops on Dawkins...]

I'm no champion speller, but I have to wonder what Sal's problem is. Are we sure Sal is not an alien who's just been told about southpark and never actually seen it? It sure sounds like it.

In keeping with such delusion Sal also proudly announces a pro-ID film studio.
To get a flavor of the changes happening, visit this radically pro-ID film studio which had its unveiling at the Cannes Film Festival. See


Oh, so ID is nothing to do with Jesus? Ok Sal, thanks for proving that again!

Oddly for South Park, that episode was very lacking in satire, and Dawkins pointed that out - it presented some of Dawkin's arguments, but it had nothing on the other side except Garrison being lewd and bitchy. They didn't do the research very well.

Date: 2008/07/01 16:08:02, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
That sample chapter is quite laughworthy, but it adds nothing new. It's basically 'Darwinism is replacing christianity and destroying faith, and ID is the answer to how you can keep your faith but it's not about religion. Also we're being oppressed.'

Dembski (assuming those bits are his) seems to have a knack for very eloquently putting forward the other side's good arguments, and then trying to refute them with his made up crap. I mean, normally I have a little patience for religion and spirituality, but Dembski clearly lays it out: if what the Darwinists are true, Christianity is WRONG WRONG WRONG. He's putting that dichotomy there himself, and the only thing that he's holding people onto his side with is his made-up scam of a theory. This seems to me to be a very fragile position to put his readers in, because as soon as they realise the nonsense he's offering on his side, the other is going to look exactly as inviting as he says it is.

Date: 2008/07/04 07:51:47, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (nuytsia @ July 04 2008,07:36)
Can someone who is fluent in speaking in tongues, translate her comment into english? ???
Quote (O'dreary @ July 02 2008)
Russ, this’ll turn you off if nothing else does: I am supposedly on the video (I do not care one way or the other - they burnt up km of tape on me, and whether or no, fine, but I try to explain what I would have said in dead tree media. Thankfully, the trees and their dependents live.)

It's okay. I speak Jive.

Date: 2008/07/06 13:21:22, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Richardthughes @ July 05 2008,23:45)
Dave *really* doesn't understand probability:




10:59 pm

So every event that has happened is indeed 1/1 retrospectively

No. Probabilities don’t change just because an outcome fell one way or another in the past. If a given flip of a fair coin turned up heads it doesn’t change the fact that the odds were 50/50 and will forever remain 50/50 for that fair coin.

So, Dave what are the odds of tossing 5 heads in a row, given that you've already tossed 5 heads?

I can't see what's wrong with this. It is true that the odds are always 50/50 for a fair coin. The probability of five heads also doesn't change if five heads have been thrown. What am I missing here?

Date: 2008/07/08 15:11:58, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Richardthughes @ July 08 2008,14:10)
>Richardthughes >midwifetoad >Assassinator >slpage >Gunthernacus >dnmlthr >SpeedDemon >lcd >Paul Nelson >American Saddlebred >argystokes >JAM >celdd >dheddle >Venus Mousetrap >Arden Chatfield >alsymnan >Leftfield

He's on your website, not answering your criticisms...

hey I'm on that list. do I get points for that?

I'm pondering buying a few of the wacky ID and creationism books from Amazon (some have gone really cheap and if I get enough I get free delivery). Then no one can say I haven't read Dumbski's books. :p

Date: 2008/07/10 08:36:54, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (CeilingCat @ July 10 2008,06:34)
UD has weighed in on the Kwok-Heddle fight.  And of course, being UD, they have "settled" the argument by making an Ugly Picture of Kwok.

We can't fight these people, they're much too smart for us.  Can anybody name even one science-minded adult who would have thought this one up?

Davescot forgets that UD's policies don't extend to the civilised world:

I wonder if Abbie “Potty Mouth” Smith will do him a big favor and flush this down the memory hole (in the words of Jerry Pournelle) “Real Soon Now”.

Denys o'reality made me laugh, however.

*He once referred to this site as “Usually Down” (due to server problems, as it happens) and he seemed not to understand when I was making a joke. (But - it must be admitted - the Canadian sense of humour can be recessive.)

It must be a curse to be such a fantastic writer and have no humour with to have express it which.

PS. Kwok really is looking like a twat.

Date: 2008/07/10 08:54:46, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Venus Mousetrap @ July 10 2008,08:36)
Quote (CeilingCat @ July 10 2008,06:34)
UD has weighed in on the Kwok-Heddle fight.  And of course, being UD, they have "settled" the argument by making an Ugly Picture of Kwok.

We can't fight these people, they're much too smart for us.  Can anybody name even one science-minded adult who would have thought this one up?

Davescot forgets that UD's policies don't extend to the civilised world:

I wonder if Abbie “Potty Mouth” Smith will do him a big favor and flush this down the memory hole (in the words of Jerry Pournelle) “Real Soon Now”.

Denys o'reality made me laugh, however.

*He once referred to this site as “Usually Down” (due to server problems, as it happens) and he seemed not to understand when I was making a joke. (But - it must be admitted - the Canadian sense of humour can be recessive.)

It must be a curse to be such a fantastic writer and have no humour with to have express it which.

PS. Kwok really is looking like a twat.

Forget what I just said.





7:15 am


What strikes me is the vast gap between the substance of the book and the presentation and comments on it in the linked blog post.

I began to wonder what was going on when I saw, in the original post — not counting the “Creationism” mislabelling, that is now a standard slander/smear — the following: “You just KNOW their bizarrely erotic book on Creationism for kids is gonna be something new and awesome!”

It turns out, that some sicko in an onward linked page has turned a picture of the simulation of life in the cell — and issue well worth serious reflection on — into a nasty distortion. That tells us a lot about the level and mindset involved.

In such a delusional, slanderous, contemptuous, un-civil, Plato’s Cave environment — and Mr John Kwok, this especially and with abundant reason means YOU — it is unsurprising that one who stands up for so basic a point as that one should READ a book before reviewing it, is now himself attacked.

Sad, but utterly revealing.

I found this comment particularly illuminating by way of sad contrast:

   I downloaded the sample chapter and made it about four pages into it before the lies, distortions and down right [XXXX] made me so angry I couldn’t read on. These people are claiming the moral high ground but seem to have no issue with lying to children. It makes me sick.

   Posted by: Anderw Dart July 3, 2008 11:27 AM

Now, after a bit of follow-up — broken link — I have found and looked at the sample chapter. It is a motivating and context-setting discussion about worldview level challenges faced by teens and college students, and of how issues connected to Intelligent Design are relevant to that set of challenges.

It is plain from the chapter that Mr Dart, sadly, cannot distinguish between disagreement and deception; he also seems to wish to reject what appears to be real cases of people facing challenges to their worldview because of one-sided presentations on the science, as if this is lying — that is where the chapter starts. And, he directly illustrates the point Aristotle warned of in his The Rhetoric: “Our judgements when we are pleased and friendly are very different from those we make when we are pained and hostile.”

Mr Dart, rage is a BLINDING emotion. Please calm down and think again.

[BTW, I did think that the reference to Darwisnims as "propaganda" [p. 15, 6 of 20 in the PDF] was a bit overblown, as it to easily invites the inference that genuine science is the same as evolutionary materialist/ Naturalistic Scientism. Mind you, the context does make the point that this is in a phil and rhetorical/ “educational”/ advocacy not a sci context. But we must recognise the real reading level of those we are dealing with!]

Note to original poster: ERV, one who holds a PhD in philosophy, i.e. Dr Wm A Dembski, is plainly qualified to speak on worldviews matters. And, he is qualified to do so to teens and their parents who are concerned that Science is being hijacked in service to atheism.


PS: ERV, there is much more to the story of modernist theology and its promotion of unwarranted, worldview level question-begging hyper-skepticism than you seem to be aware of.

I'm glad someone on UD knows about theology. I was getting bored with all the science.

Date: 2008/07/10 20:31:33, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
[Graffiti moved to Bathroom Wall. -Admin]

Quote (dheddle @ July 10 2008,20:02)
Quote (ERV @ July 10 2008,18:53)
Heddle-- We went over this shit with Kwok.  You are a fucking dick.

You put up the post. You allow comments. Some creepy dude who thinks you are Jodie Foster and he is John Hinckley spouts psychotic garbage and I (and then others) called him on it. You've got no case. Get over it.

I have to say Heddle is coming across as the more reasonable, and Kwok is coming across as, well, a twat. He's showing exactly the kind of evasion that places like this teach me to spot.

I mean, why doesn't Kwok just point out what's wrong with Heddle's points, instead of mislabelling him as a Dembski fan?

Date: 2008/07/15 06:59:59, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Ftk @ July 15 2008,01:26)
I'm not impressed. But even if his credentials were impressive, why would they trump the far more impressive credentials of those you claim are wrong?

Um...I've never said he was right or that his credentials trump all other evolutionary scientists.  I've only said that I find his theories "interesting" or "compelling".  

What did Jesus Christ say about hypocrisy, FTK?

He doesn't like it?

According to the Bible didn't He say infinitely more against hypocrisy than He did against abortion or homosexuality?


Why do you ignore the most fundamental teachings of Jesus Christ when they don't fit with your right-wing political goals?

Um...well, I didn't realize I was being hypocritical merely because I find Brown's theories interesting.  Honestly, I'm not the one who keeps bringing up his theory.  The tactic that you'll find among hardened evolutionists is to conflate ID with creation science.  Then they move right into bad mouthing the bible.  That way, they think they can convince everyone that ID=religion. That's their right, but discussing Brown's theories doesn't really have anything to do with the consideration of *ID* in public school science classes.

See, if they keep to the point....which is ID, they lose.  So they go ballistic about Noah's ark, etc. in an attempt to pull the conversation toward religion and the bible.  

I'll do whatever it takes to insure that religion is not taught in the public schools because I've had first hand experience with how that works.  

So, you and your friends here can keep on talking about creation science, but I won't be including myself in that conversation.  I'm sympathetic to creation science, but I don't want it in the public schools for obvious reasons.

Hey, FTK... you're on UD, and the Uncommonly Dense Thread. You know that the latter is reaching its 1000th page. That represents all the discussion of Dembski and co's public escapades over two and a half years.

That's an awful lot of opportunity for ID science to get done there. I mean, Tiktaalik was discovered DURING that time.

Did you ever see any of it? On either thread? Any new ID science coming up, being discussed, being picked to death (as happens in science, and as would certainly happen on the Uncommonly Dense Thread)?

Did the Explanatory Filter ever get tested during that time? Did anyone try to measure CSI? I mean, seriously, I'm running out of questions to ask here, because these buzzwords are ALL THERE HAVE EVER BEEN.

But let's not forget what we have seen on the premier ID blog which is about the sciency science of ID. We now know that there are at least 12 things religion predicts. We know that ID lets you keep your faith if you're worried about evolution (as per the green buttocks book.) We know that it pays lots of money to go to events and teach how much atheism sucks. We know that evolution is an assault on faith and that Hitler used it to kill the Jews. (Ironically, we also have by Dembski's admission that eugenics falls under ID, but everyone forgot it when Expelled came out.) I'm sure you're also on UD for entirely unreligious reasons, FTK.

Given that all this happens in the years following the Dover trial, where it was shown that 'creation science' was replaced with 'intelligent design' as if the two were synonymous (that wasn't a legal trick - they actually did it), and that no change has occurred (again, if you heard any ID science discussed in the meantime, do tell), why would anyone not believe this was a religious scam?

Date: 2008/07/23 11:12:37, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
[Graffiti moved to Bathroom Wall. -Admin]

Quote (lcd @ July 23 2008,10:29)
Quote (Nerull @ July 23 2008,10:04)
lcd, do you believe it is moral and required to murder children who do not listen to their parents, under biblical law?

You mean those children who do not listen and then rob, kill, steal from and worse?  I do not have a problem with Capital Punishment.  Indeed, I think it is used too sparingly in the US.

You're speaking of this passage:

Deuteronomy 21:18-21 KJV

18  If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:

19  Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place;

20  And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.

21  And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.

It is easily seen that this is not a run of the mill misbehaving kid.  This is one who has done much wrong.  So to kill a child is not really an issue.  The person is a drunkard, so they are not small, and they are breaking many laws.

So killing a child who sasses?  No.  Using Capitol Punishment on your offspring who is committing serious offenses such as murder, yes.

actually if you read it totally literally, the parents are only required to SAY that he's a glutton and a drunkard. It doesn't say that this has to be true, or that it has to follow from the child's disobedience - it just says they have to say it.

Would I be criticised for being stupidly over-literal there, and if so, am I closer to God's intended word than you, who needed to add in the additional step to determine what God actually means?

Date: 2008/07/23 12:33:48, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
[Graffiti moved to Bathroom Wall. -Admin]

Quote (dheddle @ July 23 2008,12:27)
The ancient law was a shadow of what was to come. Jesus' law is much more severe. You don't have to murder to get an eternal death sentence, you just have to hate someone or call your brother a fool.

Well, that sucks, because I hate my brother.

Date: 2008/07/28 20:29:48, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (lcd @ July 28 2008,20:00)
Well, my God does not need any defending.  What is at issue is telling kids, mine especially, tales that are "just so".  Like what I've seen, Evolution needs to be believed.  That is not science.  I know that I'm going to get hung out to dry, but I think it takes more to believe that things combined just so than to say, and I'll say it again, God did it.

What I am not happy to say that I see no science in the ID movement.  In ID I do see things that can be used to make some believe in LGMs running around in the Universe.  The ID movement tries to cover its tracks, but to do so, I am reminded of Matthew 26:34.

Good night all,


The problem is, you likely don't understand the science, so you can't 'believe' in it. It's like the creationists who use their own ignorance as evidence against evolution (eg. Behe with 'I haven't read any papers which disprove me', the ID movement in general with 'I can't understand this therefore design')

I was arguing with a man from the Edinburgh Creation Group who believes that because he's made a model of the moon's orbit using a 2D model of simple Newtonian gravity, he's proven the Moon couldn't have formed (you can find this masterpiece at the Edinburgh Creation Group website). He apparently hasn't heard of angular momentum, many-body systems, precession, or relativity, all of which and more are essential to model planet formation and orbits, and when I told him of these, he said 'show me a model which works then!'.

Of course, I'm not a scientist. I can't. Even if I did, what would it mean to him? If he doesn't understand it, how can he accept the truth or falsity of it?

The same question goes to you. How can you accept evolution? Do you know what exactly evolution scientists do? How they make trees of relatedness? How they model natural selection? How important natural selection is? (the last one, even scientists don't know exactly).

Date: 2008/07/29 07:35:47, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (lcd @ July 29 2008,07:21)
Quote (Chayanov @ July 28 2008,23:49)
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ July 28 2008,23:06)
What is at issue is telling kids, mine especially, tales that are "just so".

I've asked many Creationists this, and never gotten a coherent answer: how is saying "the Biblical account of creation is true because the Bible says so" not a 'just-so story'?

Because their pastor told them so.

Hehe, good one.

Actually, I can read.  I read what the Bible says on the subject.  As I trust in God, I trust in His Word.  That is the reason why I believe.

I feel sorry for you if you don't or can't understand what a great feeling it is to know that God's love is with you when you follow His Word.

And what you were saying about belief doesn't seem unreasonable? You were saying you couldn't accept science because the just-so stories seemed unbelievable (let's skip over that these are normally testable or even tested hypotheses, which have little bearing on established theory), but you're willing to trust a feeling of euphoria which you believe comes from a person you can't see?

Seriously, why not just come out and say it? You don't understand evolution, and you don't like it. It's ungodly and we're all going to hell. Be the fundie you want to be. :)

Date: 2008/07/30 08:07:54, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
[Graffiti moved to Bathroom Wall. -Admin]

Well, we try, but creationists don't always lie openly - they spin. (Like Jesus would be doing in his grave, if he hadn't ascended.).

Paul Nelson wrote a textbook, Explore Evolution, which claims to critically analyse evolution, but is based almost entirely on creationist claims. When we demanded an explanation, he said words to the effect of 'is there any rule that says we can't use a claim if a creationist has used it?'

And no, there isn't. He's allowed to do that, it's just very dishonest. And childish.

Dembski often lies by omission. He won't put ID theory in a form where it can criticised. He won't say a word against the hundreds of creationists who are now using ID theory to back up their claims, yet he still gets to claim that ID isn't religious.

We also have the evidence of creationists being corrected on their mistakes, and then repeating them later. And quote-mining.

But even with evidence against the other side, who's going to listen to what they don't want to hear?

Date: 2008/07/31 05:10:30, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
The flytrap, ironically or not, is one of the organisms that uses to DEBUNK Irreducible Complexiferity (they wanted a mousetrap, but it was the next best available). Are they taking my name in vain?

Date: 2008/08/01 08:29:18, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Advocatus Diaboli @ Aug. 01 2008,08:22)
Kairosfocus: PS: I must note that I am rather uncomfortable with the level of language used in the OP and its headline.

You're not alone. It was - after all - written by O'leary.

Hey, Denies uses plenty of language. We're just not sure which one.

Date: 2008/08/04 09:16:06, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Don't be hard on DaveScot. He's putting people in moderation to reduce the tardflow to more manageable levels for us.

Tardflow of course has units of tard per unit time. By analogy we can see that the momentum impulse of tard is equal to the force of people slapping their foreheads x length of comment thread. It's believed that this undergoes quasi-random fluctuation as a thread approaches the critical 404 boundary and becomes vacuum tardity.

Of course, this relies on you being able to measure tard. unless you have some kind of magic filter which eliminates mathematics.

Date: 2008/08/05 12:08:47, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Marion Delgado @ Aug. 05 2008,01:15)
If it weren't for banned luck, they'd have no luck at all.

gloom despair and agony on me!

how stupid am I if I don't even slightly get this?

Date: 2008/08/05 13:23:29, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Aug. 05 2008,12:29)
Another hint:

Never heard of him.

Personally I feel ID is better represented by this.

Date: 2008/08/06 13:56:40, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
That thread is about to erupt with tard. I can feel it. Did Dembski really put the debunked creationist guinea pig/human genes argument in The Design of Life? Is he going to pull a Nelson on us?

Date: 2008/08/06 15:07:45, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Larry asks why people call ID 'ID creationism', and gets a quick reply... unfortunately, it's mine, and it's in the moderation queue at 45.

Larry: I believe it has something to do with it being shown that a textbook can have the words 'creationism' replaced with 'intelligent design', and still be presented as the same textbook.

Or it may be something to do with an intelligent design book using, for example, an argument about guinea pig genes that has been seen in various creationist pieces for years.

Or it may be something to do with the fact that creationists everywhere are using ID to back up biblical claims. Maybe I'm just cynical?

Date: 2008/08/06 15:56:18, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
And... it's gone! Silently obliviated.

Date: 2008/08/10 20:37:42, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (lcd @ Aug. 10 2008,19:41)
Quote (midwifetoad @ Aug. 10 2008,19:34)
Quote (lcd @ Aug. 10 2008,18:47)
I've asked my questions at the UD board.

Please forgive me but I hope they answer in a way that shocks and surprises you.



Link please?

From here:

I hope that it clears soon.

lcd: if you spent time writing your comment, you may want to post it here so you have a copy of it, because those wankers will delete it out of the moderation queue if they don't like it.

Date: 2008/08/11 19:10:05, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (cewagner @ Aug. 11 2008,18:35)
How can any intelligent person read this and still believe that evolution is the result of random processes and does not require intelligent input?

because some of us don't just begin worshipping invisible people the moment we can't explain stuff. We do science instead.

Also, some of us actually understand evolution, and know what to expect, which is why this doesn't surprise me. Evolution is EXPECTED to be messy. Unless there's a need for biology to tidy itself up, it won't happen (that would require intelligence, you see).

Date: 2008/08/12 21:35:52, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
It's also merely spooky circumstance that this is a very old creationist claim. One of the worst, in fact, on a par with WERE YOU THERE!?!

Date: 2008/08/13 14:09:20, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (carlsonjok @ Aug. 13 2008,12:15)
Quote (Richardthughes @ Aug. 13 2008,12:07)




11:44 am
“evolution is dead”

No, evolution as a science is not dead and is alive and well and flourishing. They have several journals and annual meetings and there are vigorous debates amongst its members. Mainly because it is based on observations and data and there is change in organisms over time which no one denies but there is also uncertainty as to how the change happens.

There are several evolutionary theories that are part of evolutionary biology that are no threat to ID but because ID limits itself it cannot be a player. One is all the aspects of micro evolution. To deny such is putting one’s head in the sand. The age of the earth is central to any discussion of evolution and if ID does not wish to address it then it can go play in its little cul de sac off on the periphery. However, not everyone in ID is constrained by the big tent approach espoused on this site and legitimate ID science can be done within the framework of evolutionary science.

ID has a lot to contribute but if it chooses to be associated with bogus science then its message will be limited to a social movement and its science will be difficult to hear. What the bogus science offers ID is foot soldiers and financial resources but there is a price to be paid for this allegiance.

Fight in the big tent comming?

God damn you I actually spluttered on my screen. With chocolate.

Date: 2008/08/13 15:15:16, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
My gosh... this is the chap who the DI moaned about being fired? (which apparently is the same as not getting tenure - hey, I don't make the rules).

He does some research that suggests that by a quirk of mathematics, habitable planets, because of their orbits, are more likely to have the setup for perfect eclipses than uninhabitable ones. This is interesting, and I like it. It's one of those weird mathematical tricks like two people sharing birthdays in a large group.

So he's shown that the fact we have nice eclipses IS NOT SURPRISING OR MAGICAL - in essence, score one for the godless atheist naturalist side.

But then he throws in this utter illogic about eclipses driving scientific discovery. Um, what does that have to do with anything? Archimedes was turned on by bathwater. War has been a highly effective way to advance science. But his whole argument hinges on the suggestion that some intelligence set up the universe and the moon in such an unlikely way as to make science all that much easier for us.

I'm pretty sure I can come up with many, many ways that scientific discovery could be made easier. For one, not having THE DARK AGES. For two, not having people who are trying to bring back THE DARK AGES. For three, how about not having clouds at all, or at least having them move in paths which run around our telescopes? Because I'm one of many people who didn't see the 1999 total solar eclipse BECAUSE OF HUGE CLOUDS. (I went to Cornwall to see it and all).

Like the Explanatory Filter, Gonzales idea relies on being able to go through an infinity of possibilities. In the EF, one has to rule out all natural laws, discovered or not; in the Privileged Planet, one cannot claim that our current position is the best without knowing all possible positions. What if we were in one of those little dwarf galaxies over the Milky Way? The whole Milky Way swirly would fill the sky*. We'd be able to watch stars orbit the central black hole. With an X-ray telescope perhaps we'd detect the streamers and deduce the existence of other quasars easily instead of all that difficult science they had to do.

I suspect Gonzales work is going to be just like Dembski's; sloppy in all the areas where the argument is, rejected by science, but fuel for creationists. Hey, I've already had a creationist give me the eclipse argument.

* Stargate Atlantis shows us what this might be like. Sorry, I just watched the episode with the midway station between the Milky Way and the Pegasus galaxy and it's jawdroppingly pretty.

edit: italic

Date: 2008/08/16 10:46:53, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (cewagner @ Aug. 15 2008,15:34)

"A very small cause which escapes our notice determines a considerable effect that we cannot fail to see, and then we say the effect is due to chance. If we knew exactly the laws of nature and the situation of the universe at the initial moment, we could predict exactly the situation of that same universe at a succeeding moment. But even if it were the case that the natural laws had no longer any secret for us, we could still only know the initial situation *approximately*. If that enabled us to predict the succeeding situation with *the same approximation*, that is all we require, and we should say that the phenomenon had been predicted, that it is governed by laws. But it is not always so; it may happen that small differences in the initial conditions produce very great ones in the final phenomena. A small error in the former will produce an enormous error in the latter. Prediction becomes impossible, and we have the fortuitous phenomenon"

Henri Poincare, 1903

Out of interest, what is that multicoloured blobbycircle? It looks like a cellular automaton, something I've always felt the ID people should be studying.

Date: 2008/08/16 17:08:04, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (cewagner @ Aug. 16 2008,16:05)
What does the one have to do with the other?

Allow me to answer my own question:


Fractal geometry and chaos theory examine complexity

Intelligent design examines Organization

They are not the same thing!

In my opinion, cellular automata are a perfect testing ground for ID hypotheses, because they are a universe which is under total control - unlike ours.

For example, the Explanatory Filter requires that all natural laws are ruled out before we can identify design - what better place to do that than in a universe built on rules that we specify?

One structure kind which I believe would be perfect for an ID study is the Garden of Eden pattern - an arrangement of cells which has been mathematically proven to be impossible to form within its CA (that is, there is no precursor pattern which can possibly form it). This is in effect the ID poster child, because it can never appear in a CA - it HAS to be created. If they really have anything which detects design, it should flag up an enormous honk on that.

Which is why they won't ever do this, because they don't have a theory and they don't want to test it etc. etc.

Date: 2008/08/16 17:35:13, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Did you even read what I said?

Date: 2008/08/18 09:10:09, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Richardthughes @ Aug. 18 2008,08:59)
I'm liking this wheel thing:

From an engineering / intelligence perspective (DT is an expert on niether) it does seem an easy concept to understand and create - yet we see none in nature. What was the designer not thinking about?

This is a good IC / Design refutation because we see none yet we can all understand the utility of them.

I've always wondered why there are no balloon animals in the air. Filling a sac with gas is really easy, much easier than flying.

Date: 2008/08/18 20:32:12, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (midwifetoad @ Aug. 18 2008,19:18)
I think everyone would like to see an ID research proposal that didn't involve googling for quotelets.

I reckon my one's fairly worthwhile. The Gardens of Eden have been mathematically verified, which means that in the world of a CA, at least, it is possible to mathematically determine that something is a designed entity. I don't actually know how they do it, but I suspect it's something like an advanced version of irreducible complexity; ie. not the crappy version ID people use which doesn't take into account most mutation mechanisms, but one which rules out, cell by cell, all possible precursors which result in that cell.

I mean, just reading a paper on HOW IT'S DONE would be a fine piece of research.

Date: 2008/08/19 10:08:07, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
I also want to know why I should accept Gonzales' version over this, since this has Stonehenge and aliens in it.

Date: 2008/08/21 12:13:50, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
I play a card game called Mao, which sounds like this only less useful. One of the rules is that you can't be told the rules, and that you have to deduce them as people play. The core rules are simple (lay cards of like suit, or like value, some cards have special effects like the 8 reversing direction of play, etc.) but the reward for winning (by losing all your cards) is that you get to add a new rule of your own invention, which must then be deduced by the other players.

This eventually results in lots of rules acting at once, which is why the game has an explicit Point of Order which can be called if two players need to decide if their rules are clashing and which takes priority, etc.) It's neat. Unless, in my case, you utterly wreck the game by suddenly doubling the number of suits to 8 and making it near impossible to win, and they wouldn't let me cancel my rule *grumble grumble*

Date: 2008/08/22 18:06:23, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (charlie wagner @ Aug. 22 2008,17:37)
What is the difference between 'religious creationism' and 'magic man done it creationism'?

What is the difference between darwinism and "magic man done it evolution?"

lets see what Professor Doolittle has to say on this subject:

"Tissue factor appears..."

"Prothrombin appears..."

"A Thrombin receptor is fashioned..."

"Fibrinogen is born..."

"Antithrombin III appears..."

"Plasminogen is generated..."

Antiplasmin arises..."

"A thrombin-activatable protein is unleashed..."

"Plasminogen activator springs forth..."

"Stuart factor appears..."

Wow!!! All that springing and leaping!!! With all due respect to
Professor Doolittle, he attributes these leaps and springs to gene
duplication and by undirected, random duplication and recombination of
gene pieces. The first problem is, however, that if a gene is
duplicated, it would not immediately have these new, necessary
properties, it would produce a protein with the old properties! How did
these new, duplicated genes acquire these new properties?

I know it's an esoteric process you may not have heard of, but it's called evolution.

If a gene is duplicated, the organism still has the functionality of the old gene, as you point out, which means that a mutation in that section is now no longer as dangerous to the organism. This is one reason why irreducible complexity is a load of bollocks; this gene duplication process is a safety net which gives the genome more material to play with - and not only that, but material which ALREADY is in a useful shape, and which could easily be bent to other shapes.

And guess what? Because this isn't some undefined, wishy-washy bullshit like 'intelligence only comes from intelligence', we can actually test it with simulations, maybe even by looking at real genes.

And guess what? When we look at DNA, we often find sequences which look EXACTLY LIKE they were duplicated in this way.

And then you come along and wonder why we can't accept the obvious truth that stuff looks designed. Hello? We can has evidence for our position. Try some.


If we relegate
the new functions to shuffling of gene pieces or beneficial mutations,
how many worthless, unusable proteins would have to be tried before the
correct one was "found"?

English plz?


Professor Doolittle also does not answer the
crucial questions of how much factor is formed, where is it formed and
how fast is it formed. Any changes in the exact location, quantity and
timing of the appearance of these factors would produce inappropriate
clots, that would harm the organism. All of the factors have to be
introduced at the same time, in the correct proportions and in the
correct location for the whole system to work.

You know this how? I don't believe you. Show me why this is true.

In short, Professor Doolittle's explanation doesn't hold...blood :-)

How is this different from magic?

Because one is testable, and one involves pixies.


Date: 2008/08/29 09:28:06, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Aug. 29 2008,09:18)
Heads up, proof for a 6000 year old earth has been discovered!

Do nuclear decay rates depend on our distance from the sun?

Well, ok maybe not proof as such, but no doubt AIG and the YEC crowd at UD will have a field day and spin it up into "doubts about decay rates leave the door open for a young earth".

Ha, don't you worry, we're on top of him. He'll be expelled from the scientific community faster than you can say 'Adolf'. Then we can get back to, um, worshiping the null god. Or Darwin. I forget which.

Date: 2008/09/02 09:45:20, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Erasmus, FCD @ Sep. 02 2008,00:17)
Well if it is, then he is supposedly a member of the
creation science movement.  and he is a frikkin limey.

My gosh, have you seen that creation science site. Even AiG has more sophisticated babble than that. YU CANT PROVE ORIGINZ! NO TRANSISHUNAL FORMS! RADIOCARBON IZ FAKE! It's like talk origins never existed. :)

Date: 2008/09/03 17:39:02, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Sep. 03 2008,15:51)
The first comment on that thread kinda sums it all up
I don’t even pay attention to these “discoveries” by the scientific establishment anymore.


However I suspect PO is somewhat sock flavoured.

Nonetheless, it's funny.

It just went 404. Taking a comment of mine with it which just came out of moderation, unfortunately.

Date: 2008/09/04 12:42:06, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (charlie wagner @ Sep. 04 2008,12:21)
the absurdity of envisioning the predetermination and preprogramming of sequences of adaptations that are specific to highly particular geological, environmental, and ecological circumstances - when those successions of physical circumstances are themselves inherently contingent, unguided, and unpredictable.

An argument from incredulity that gets you exactly nowhere in this discussion -

Now let's see...where did I hear that?

This is not incredulity. It can be mathematically shown that chaotic influences render a system unforecastable - the whole field is called chaos theory. Even a system of three bodies under gravity is chaotic.

How can you not know this? Weren't you a teacher?

Date: 2008/09/11 18:28:56, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Charlie: nice, but the evidence shows that it's junk... occasionally easily identifiable junk which allows us to predict evolutionary relationships, exactly as if they had evolved. Do we just ignore that?

Not only that, but the theory of evolution gives the perfect reason for junk to be there at all - you try programming an evolutionary algorithm, and I bet you junk will form spontaneously. You'd actually have to specifically remove it if you didn't want any. Do we just ignore that and go with your reasoning, which has no evidence whatsoever?

Date: 2008/09/18 20:28:02, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Ftk @ Sep. 18 2008,19:29)
Does Simon always come across as an overwhelmingly nauseating, pompous ass??

Gads, that whole discussion was nothing but rhetoric.  

What never ceases to amaze me is that molecule to man is no more falsifiable than ID.  *Evolution* is fact, but the idea that everything in nature arose from a primitive blob is merely an historical inference with virtually NO empirical evidence supporting the idea.  Neither theory is any more beneficial to science than the other.

Guys like Simon and Dawkins are such a turn off.  Their mannerisms are deplorable, and their talking points are empty.

Well, except that there seems to be a boundary beyond which the distinction between life and molecules gets more and more vague (viruses? prions?), and that the further back in time you go, the closer life gets to primitive forms like this. Since it's clear that we were not among those forms, is it really that much of a leap to speculate that life may have arisen from the molecules which make it up?

Meanwhile, ID asks us if it's such a leap to suggest that if humans can make neat stuff, and biology is neat, maybe someone made life. Which is nice, except they then spent twenty years giving talks about this idea, making fancy computer graphics about it, and sending DVDs to schools about it, while real scientists were working on abiogenesis hypotheses.

Miller and Urey actually put some gases in a glass globe. People have actually modeled bilipid layers to see if the RNA world hypothesis is feasible. ID people, in the meantime, have stalled. Nowhere can you find people running simulations which measure CSI, or a mathematical treatment of irreducible complexity. This isn't because of oppression. No one can stop Dr Dr Dembski from putting a Java applet up on UD (maybe under the Panda-monium game?) showing off his Explanatory Filter.

Of course, if ID was just a sham as evidenced by the Wedge Document and all the creationists that are free to quote ID to support their crap, then it'd make a lot more sense.

Date: 2008/09/21 21:03:11, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Sep. 21 2008,20:41)
Who has the greater contempt for whom? I can't tell:

William Dembski
7:58 pm

GCUGreyArea: I think you’ll be happier elsewhere, so you have your wish. I didn’t delete your post, however, because it is instructive. The contempt you feel toward ID is the contempt I feel toward Darwinian materialism, only more so. What I find so offensive about that viewpoint is that it bills itself as the antidote to superstition, the only way to enlightenment, and therefore as justified in using any means whatsoever to advance itself.

Could we have the quote that got him banned? Because what Dembski posted actually makes not the slightest sense. GCU's comment holds no contempt for ID, but for the hypocrisy of UD, and is not at all instructive for Dr Dr Twatball's* propaganda purposes.

* alternative spelling

Date: 2008/09/21 21:16:19, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Hey wait, I can add it myself:



6:26 pm

“…have lost the intellectual battle.”


I’d laugh if it wasn’t so tragic.

“Where do they find these clueless chuckleheads and how do they possibly get advanced degrees?”

Here is your answer DaveScot, you find them on Uncommon descent.

Well I guess that’s me expelled. No dissent allowed on uncommon descent.


EDIT: for ineptness

Date: 2008/09/23 11:44:13, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (keiths @ Sep. 23 2008,08:03)
Quote (Skullboy @ Sep. 22 2008,10:15)
Dodgen definitely suffers from slide rule envy. From what I can gather, he is a bright programmer, but not actually an engineer by training.

This sophomoric attempt to show off what he thinks is mathematical depth reminds me of this post from a while back. In it he launches into an elaborate description of binary search algorithms, a matter which is only tangentially related to the issue under discussion.

But of course, deliberately confusing levels of abstraction when discussing computer simulations is one of the most-used tools in the ID toolbox. If you can sound really technical while doing it, the sycophants will all go "oooh" and "ahhh."


You're being too generous in calling GilDo "bright" and in giving him credit for deliberately mixing levels of abstraction in order to fool the rubes.  He's genuinely confused about levels of abstraction.  See these two threads for evidence:

A Realistic Computational Simulation of Random Mutation Filtered by Natural Selection in Biology
Gil Has Never Grasped the Nature of a Simulation Model

My gosh, that's some vintage tard. It's definitely matured over the years to give it that strong, rich kick, and the addition of JAD lends it that little bit of fizz.

It's worth it just for RB's attempt to explain that computation is independent of the machine which performs it, and could be done with logs and ropes, to which Davescot replies 'well why don't you BUILD one then'. Classic. ^.^

Date: 2008/09/29 14:05:51, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (dvunkannon @ Sep. 29 2008,12:23)
Paul Nelson
finds the most relevant issue in the Explore Evolution review, a flub of reflexin for relaxin.

That's quite some slimy scumbaggery there.

Date: 2008/09/29 14:30:00, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (stevestory @ Sep. 29 2008,14:16)
Most of us gave Paul the benefit of the doubt for a while because he acts all nice and interested in debate, but after a while his dishonest behavior shines through.

I believe the moment he lost his credibility with me was when he said words to the effect of 'JUST because a creationist MAY have used an argument in the past, means that WE can't use the same one. There's no RULE against it'.

This was his appalling justification for Explore Evolution being full of near nothing BUT creationist antievolution propaganda, under the guise of inquiry-based learning. And I realised then that this was basically a politely-voiced 'fuck you' to me, to honesty, to parents, and to the children that would be fed this propaganda.

Date: 2008/10/01 05:58:31, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (CeilingCat @ Oct. 01 2008,04:54)
In other news, a comment in the same thread reports Kirk Cameron has a movie out - "Fireproof", with a full $500,000 budget.  Trivia from the IMDB:        
Kirk Cameron, a Christian evangelist, refuses to kiss any woman other than his wife under any circumstance, so to film a scene in which his character in this movie kisses his wife, the filmmakers had to dress Cameron's real-life wife, Chelsea Noble, as the wife character (played throughout the rest of the movie by Erin Bethea) and shoot the kissing scene in shadow so the difference between Noble and Bethea would not be as evident onscreen.

'Reality is much more important to me than some made up piece of fiction. According to this book of ancient tales I live my life by.'

Date: 2008/10/01 07:48:01, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
I must say I'm really amazed this didn't make it past moderation.



Venus Mousetrap


6:03 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

TomRiddle is no longer with us.

Larry Fafarman is in timeout, again. I felt bad that I was taking time away from his holocaust denial work on his own blog. He gets irritable when he doesn’t get enough Jew-bashing time. I think he probably likes Osama because of Osama’s muslim background and connections.

… you criticise anti-semitism (which wasn’t even the subject of the comment that got Larry suspended, but who’s counting) only to follow it up by comparing Obama to a terrorist just because he’s related to muslims?

Date: 2008/10/01 09:29:10, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Oct. 01 2008,08:51)
An amusing little gem I found:

O'Leary notes on a new blog post on UD
I myself would place more confidence in statistical analysis and redundancy than in peer review (who are the peers?) but it is all worth a try, in principle.

Now, if you follow that link you get to (surprise surprise) what is basically a collection of links on one of O'Leary's many blogs.
Clicking on
Part Two: How bad can it get? Pretty bad.
brings you to an collection of rambling words that contains this classic statement from O'Leary
Interestingly, the ID journal, Progress in Complexity, Information, and Design (PCID) has opted to return to the early twentieth century approach, where a senior scholar recommends a junior scholar for publication. Time will tell if this old method can be revived successfully.

O'Leary wrote (or recycled) that on 11/15/06. The last time PCID published was November 2005. Not very good at doing research is she?

Time has told. And it says "ID is bunk".

EDIT: There's a new post on the PCID forum that is not by JAD!
It's that clever dude William Brookfield.
I see William Dembski’s “specified complexity” as an important step towards the filling of the Shannon-ian lacuna. Dembski’s “specification” however, seems to address only the macroscopic properties of specificity while ignoring the microscopic implications. Thermodynamics originally addressed only the macroscopic properties of “temperature” “pressure” and “volume” until a microscopic formulation (statistical mechanics) was developed. I am suggesting brainstorming the microscopic implication of “specifications” and I am here proposing my notion of “correlational improbability” as the microscopic quantifier of informational “specificity.”

I suspect he's been playing with the "ID buzzword phrase generator" again.

Unsurprisingly, this has already been done. Kind of. I keep suggesting that the ID people should focus some research on cellular automata or similar, because a lot of what they are talking about HAS ALREADY BEEN DONE.

Chris Langton, in like the 1970s, noticed that cellular automata seemed to fall into one of four categories:

You had the empty ones which just fizzled out to nothing.

Then you had the ones which formed lots of regular patterns, but didn't do much else.

Then you had the ones which were so jumbled that they were just a chaotic mess.

And finally, you had the ones which were in between the last two, the 'complex' ones, which seemed like randomness but which coalesced into weird, amazing structures. The Game of Life which Davescot so seems to hate is one of these.

People not asleep at this point will notice that these near exactly correspond to Dembski's ideas of regularity, chance, and complexity, so much so that if they weren't all running a creationist scam over there, it'd probably have been mentioned.

But what's really neat is that Langton quantified the 'microstates' of these systems, if you like, with a simple number, which he called lambda. It's a dimensionless fraction, and I forget how it's defined, but it's something like the number of available states divided by the total number of possible states - a kind of measure of computational potential. And with this number, he could tell whereabouts a system was in terms of chaos, regularity, or complexity.

Personally I believe that the very existence of cellular automata like these blows the whole notion of ID out of the water, but still, if I were trying to pretend to be doing research, I would totally be playing around with CAs.

Date: 2008/10/06 07:54:40, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Zachriel @ Oct. 06 2008,07:01)
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Oct. 06 2008,05:04)
Salvador Cordova still has it
Actually, I think my 3 science degrees (and, God willing a 4th one from Johns Hopkins in Applied Physics) make me scientifically literate. There was more science in my Applied Physics course last semester than in all of Darwin’s miserable life. Heck, that makes me more scientifically literate than Darwinists Jack Krebs and Liz Craig of Kansas Center For Sewage (KCFS) who have successfully ensured that Darwinist falsehoods are indoctrinated into the next generation of Kids in kansas. Shame on them.

Sal has convinced me that there is no God, by somehow remaining unstruck by lightning all these years.

Date: 2008/10/08 13:10:05, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Erasmus, FCD @ Oct. 08 2008,12:55)
heddle perhaps we should halt all federal spending on non-essential projects and never find out?  

what, spend 3 million dollars on decay rates?  that'ar bible dont say NUTHIN about no neutrinoes.  kill it.  damn libruls

actually the Leviathan could have been a neutrino. YU CANT PRUV IT WASNT

Date: 2008/10/17 14:15:22, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
I've just watched a video ( by the Edinburgh Creation Group which I found slightly interesting. Not because it was correct (it's a load of crap, which I'll go into in a moment) but because after years of watching near zero ID output from Dembski, this chap called Kirk Dunston comes along and actually presents what he claims is a working ID hypothesis.

He begins with a long ramble on what ID is, how science really uses it even though evolutionists don't admit it, it's not about God, etc, but then he gets to his Design Hypothesis, which, to spare people having to listen to the rest, is at about 18:00 to 30:00, and it is: Entities which are intelligently designed should have significant amounts of functional information.

We've heard this from Dembski, of course, but he then goes on to define functional information. He claims that this is a new formula from a paper in 2007:

I(Ex) = - log2(M(Ex)/N)


I = the amount of functional information, in bits
x = the function you're considering
Ex = the degree of function x (basically how well it performs function x)
M = the number of ways there are to perrform function x this well
N = the total number of ways function x could be performed.

Beneath all the gloss it's very simple: it boils down to 'how many bits do you need to distinguish between the ways of doing the function well enough, versus the ways of not doing it properly?'

For example (his was crap) suppose there are a billion keys in the world, and you have a door with a lock, and you decide that function x is 'using a key to open the lock'. If it's such a crap lock that any key will open it, then the functional information is zero, because you don't need any kind of specification of how to do it. (in the formula, it's
- log2(1 billion/1 billion) = 0).

If half the keys work, the functional information is 1 bit - the amount you need to distinguish between two possibilities. And if only one key works, then it's the negative log of 1 billionth, which is probably around 20 bits.

It's basically the same as Dembski's negative log of how improbable stuff is, yet he doesn't mention Dembski in the video at all. That alone is suspicious; surely Dunston has heard of him?

Anyway, it gets worse. With this defined, he then goes on to use some bogus math to disprove evolution. Just like Dembski. Here it is:

He first defines any non-intelligent search as 'blind search'. Just like Dembski. So already he's ignoring the cumulative search ability of evolution.

He then claims that for a natural process (which uses 'blind search'), M(Ex) can only reasonably be 1, and N will be the number of trials in the blind search, which, by considering a hypothetical population of billions of organisms mutating, he works out to be 10^42 trials. Plugging this into the formula then gives: 140 bits of functional information which can possibly be produced by natural processes.

This, of course, is such a load of nonsense that I find it difficult to believe he isn't a fraud.

Even if you accept that evolutionary search is a blind search (it isn't), he has plugged these numbers into the formula for no reason whatsoever. The formula measures the amount of information required to distinguish a good solution from a bad one. It says nothing about the amount of information inherent TO a solution. It says nothing about performing a search, either. Dunston does not define a function x; he does not say how many possible ways there are of doing x, and therefore cannot say how well nature can do x. I can only assume that Dunston is trying to say 'there are 10^42 possible ways of doing this and nature can only do one', which is meaningless.

I mean, am I wrong here? Has Dunston just totally shoved in these numbers to sound sciency (just like Dembski)? I cannot believe he did this without deliberate intent to deceive, since he apparently does this in his job.

He then goes on to give examples of intelligent design and how it has more functional information, and goes into tornado-in-the-junkyard mode (just like Dembski) and says that just one protein has hundreds of bits of information, a minimal genome needs about 267,000 bits.

By this time I was fed up with this nonsense, and frankly I don't know how he can do his job and mess all this up so badly. He doesn't even give a 'conservation of information' law like Dembski does, he just assumes that there is one, that you can add up amounts of it, and also that functional information is a universal value and not totally dependent on how people define a function.

In fact, the actual mechanism of evolution only comes up once, and he dismisses it as 'vague'. Nice personal incredulity there.

Possibly the laugh of the video comes at the end, where he moans that scientists always unfairly accuse ID of being all about religion. Who's he complaining to? A group of people at an event organised by Edinburgh University's Christian Union.

Anyway, I just wanted to get that off my chest. It really annoys me to see these people and not know if they're totally incompetent (which is worrying) or deliberately lying (which is annoying). If he is merely stupid, then I'd like to offer him the following advice: scientists aren't shunning ID because it's religious. They're shunning it because, like you've just shown, it's a load of bullcrap.

Date: 2008/10/20 09:10:39, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Hehe, one of the links on Wikipedia's page about Dawkin's weasel is Sean Pitman's site. Luckily, his creationist crap is so long winded that no one will even get to the propaganda.

Date: 2008/10/20 09:21:42, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
and the top link goes to this wacky site about neo-darwinism, Gaia and stuff. Maybe I should take them away... I already had to remove a creationist model of the hydrogen atom from there :p

Date: 2008/10/20 09:32:59, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
but on the subject of Demsbki: I've been thinking that maybe he just doesn't realise what he doesn't know. I've always thought he was pushing the ID stuff because he's a crook, but maybe he simply, genuinely, is worse at his own subject than everyone else is.

I mean, he was fooled by the Bible Code, which means he cannot tell how probable it is that words will appear in a random slice of text. If he can't even see past equidistant letter sequences, how can he possibly make a probabalistic argument about evolution? It's all very well him saying 'I just can't see how this can have evolved'... well maybe that's just because he totally fails at probability?

I mean, humans in general are... I know I was easily fooled by the Birthday paradox, the Monty Hall problem, etc, and perhaps it's just arrogance that prevents him doubting himself.

Then again, after watching a guy come up with a clone of Dembski's ideas and blatantly fudge the math, it's hard to say.

Date: 2008/10/20 14:38:22, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Henry J @ Oct. 20 2008,13:58)
Quote (Venus Mousetrap @ Oct. 20 2008,08:21)
and the top link goes to this wacky site about neo-darwinism, Gaia and stuff. Maybe I should take them away... I already had to remove a creationist model of the hydrogen atom from there :p

Why would a creationist model a hydrogen atom differently than anybody else?

Because current physics is evil and materialistic. Sound familiar?

Date: 2008/10/23 09:36:08, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Oct. 23 2008,08:53)
Woot! Dr. Dr. D. visits Baylor!

Best weasel quote - "As a Christian man, yes, I do believe it is God as the divine power and as the intelligent designer of evolution," Dembski answered after being asked a question by the audience. "But that is without saying intelligent design does not always have to be primarily focused on the supernatural."

No, your honour, I didn't steal it. I mean, of course I was holding the money, and of course I left the building, and yes, I may have spent an equivalent sum of money on a car, but how can you possibly connect those events?

Date: 2008/10/23 19:58:47, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Oct. 23 2008,17:12)
My first stab at JavaScript coding is a "weasel". It is aimed at dispelling the misinformation (referring to those who haven't previously been given a clue) and lies (referring to those who have gotten a clue before, but continue to assert the known-false stuff) about Dawkins' "Weasel" program and the "locking letters" issue.

Once I've gotten some feedback, I'll add it to the main site.

Possibly this is me being very stupid, but I'm finding the section on No Locking of Characters nearly unreadable. It's very difficult to follow.

Date: 2008/10/23 20:03:22, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
As for the program, it's quite nice, although it brought up an error on the first run because it didn't expect the display fields to be empty, and it doesn't clear after a page reload. Aside from that it seems fine. :)

Date: 2008/10/24 08:52:24, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Oct. 24 2008,08:14)
Yes, that is a concern. I think that to deal with that, I might have to have it run some, save the state of the run in progress with a cookie, then actually making it all the way through a run might require several presses of the "Run!" button. But as a JavaScript newbie, maybe I don't know the simplest way to deal with the problem. If there is some timer-based event loop that could be used, that would suggest another answer, though probably that also would require the cookie route for saving the state of the run.

Another approach would be for me to learn another language I've avoided so far, Java, and do an applet in that. I think that would in itself deal with a lot of the issues with not playing nice with other processes, but then again I know even less about Java than I currently do about JavaScript.

I'd say Java is probably easier to use than Javascript because it's more strongly typed, easier to debug, and you don't have to mess around trying to cater for every single browser... the only real difficulty with Java (assuming you're already familiar with curly brace languages like C++) is learning what the pre-existing classes do so you can use them. Like with the Applet class, you have to use its init() and paint() methods and be basically familiar with how it updates the applet window, etc. A Java weasel program would look roughly like this:

import java.applet.*; // for the applet classes
import java.awt.*; // for graphics and buttons and stuff
import java.awt.event.*; // for reading button presses

public class WeaselApplet extends Applet

// variables like Strings or char[] arrays for the weasel, etc

public void init()
 // applet setup stuff, like inititalising a dedicated thread
 // for the processing, and the input listeners, etc

public void paint(Graphics g)
 // gets called every time window needs repainting

public void someOtherFunctionThatIAlwaysLeaveOutButWhichIProbablyShouldntReally()

A tutorial on the web is probably better, but that's more or less it.

Date: 2008/10/28 15:25:19, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Maya @ Oct. 28 2008,12:24)
Quote (CeilingCat @ Oct. 28 2008,00:42)
This book is Hard Tard.  Authors: William Dembski and Jonathan Wells.  You can't get much lower than that.

School has kept me from giving Davey the fisking he so richly deserves, but this comment raises a question I've been wondering about for a while.  Is Dembski one of the con men or one of the suckers?  From what I've read of Wells, he's looney but probably knows that he's lying.  Dembski should know that he's "talking bollocks" (to steal a phrase from my foreigner roomie, excuse me, flatmate) but he seems so darn sincere.  Has he brainwashed himself?

I claim to be good looking and wealthy.

In that case, I claim to be very attracted to floor-eschewing felines.

Dembski drops the occasional hint as to his position, which, I believe, is that he has no ability to detect bullshit.

He was taken in by the Bible Code, which most people, especially academicianalic-kinds, should be able to see through immediately.

I mean, let that sink in. The Bible Code. The book that you can find in your library next to books on numerology, chakra, and faith healing.

And, of course, faith healing. Dembski believed that people can invoke the powers of angels to heal the sick and wounded, in spite of infinity cases of this not working, ever.

The man cannot sense bullshit. He can't see past the Comic Sans and the BOLD ITALIC UNDERLINE OF PROFESSIONALISM!!! to the crap underneath.

And this wouldn't matter for ID if ID had ever actually made its case scientifically, and made predictions, and fulfilled them, because then Dembski would know if it was bullshit or not. But without the math or the evidence, he simply has to believe it isn't bullshit. And what do we know about Dembski? HE CAN'T DETECT BULLSHIT.

Date: 2008/11/01 05:59:48, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Nov. 01 2008,05:21)
The empirical work Denyse cites supports a view exactly the reverse of the view she thinks it supports. From my review of The Spatula Brain:
Most damaging to the aims of this book are the "own goals" that Beauregard and O'Leary inadvertently score. Indeed, they repeatedly score "own goals" with respect to the central, dualistic thesis of the book: that mind and brain differ, and that mind controls and modifies brain. Beauregard and O'Leary cite the example of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). "My friend an colleague Jeffrey Schwartz, a nonmaterialist UCLA neuropsychiatrist, started working with OCD sufferers in the 1980s because he sensed that OCD was a clear case of an intact mind troubled by a malfunctioning brain." Schwartz determined by means of scans the cortical and subcortical brain circuitry that appears to underlie OCD, and devised a "mindfulness" treatment protocol that draws upon cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy to treat the disorder. When treatment succeeded, "he was not simply getting patients to change their opinions, but rather to actually change their brains. He wanted them to substitute a useful neural circuit for a useless this therapy, the patient is entirely in control. Both the existence and the role of the mind as independent of the brain are accepted; indeed, that is the basis of the therapy's success" (p. 130). Further neuroimaging disclosed areas of patients' brains that displayed modified activity following treatment.

The problem with all this is that the imaging in fact disclosed something quite other than minds operating independently of brains. By means of imaging, "Schwartz noted that the most recent (and thus most sophisticated) prefrontal parts of the human brain, in evolutionary terms, are almost entirely unaffected by OCD. That is why patients perceive compulsions as alien. They are alien to the most characteristically human parts of the brain. To the extend that the patient's reasoning power and sense of identity remain largely intact, they can actively cooperate with their therapy" (p. 128).

There you have it. Reasoning power and sense of identity are hosted by recently evolved prefrontal areas of the human brain, those areas that render us most characteristically human. We know that the human brain is organized hierarchically, with loops of regulation culminating in highly abstract frontal modeling and monitoring of self relative to one's physical and social environment and related goals, and we know that prefrontal areas of the brain are crucial to these high level representational and planning activities. Schwartz's imaging again confirms this view. The upshot of this research is not that a mind independent of brain monitors and modifies that brain; rather, this imaging confirms once again that the brain regulates and modifies itself by means of these neurally instantiated high level representations of self. Own goal. Similar own goals are evident in Beauregard's description of his scans of subjects asked to "down regulate" emotions, sexual arousal, etc., all of which demonstrate the marshaling of highly specific frontal areas to accomplish the tasks that Beauregard insists upon interpreting as mind acting upon brain. And, because we note that the cortical areas that host these crucially human functions are recently evolved, some version of evolutionary psychology must in fact be correct, Beauregard and O'Leary's repeated dismissals of this new discipline notwithstanding.

And, of course, note the evolutionary assumptions embedded in passages quoted from Spatula above. Uncommonly Denyse has repeatedly and dishonestly fudged and dodged the plain fact that a book of which she is co-author explicitly embraces and evolutionary perspective and acknowledges the reality of common descent.

Damn. This just got personal for me, because I have been struggling with OCD for years (at one time being near totally incapacitated by it), and Jeffrey Schwartz is THE man from whom people have been getting their therapies. I mean, in my fairly expensive therapy sessions, I was actually TAUGHT his 'Brain Lock' technique, and I know that it's general advice for anyone who has OCD. And now I find he's an ID chap, which instantly casts doubt on either his honesty, or his gullibility (or, indeed, his ability to seperate fairies from science). :(

Maybe it's lucky that his Brain Lock idea never really worked for me.

Date: 2008/11/03 17:27:15, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
I know this is a little gruesome, but I wondered, if a person was bisected down the middle in an instant, which side has the soul?

Date: 2008/11/07 10:58:14, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (JLT @ Nov. 07 2008,10:08)
The Disco institute links to reviews of the proposed Texas science standards. I read (well, sort of) Meyer's and Garner's reviews - now I feel sick.

A highlight from Garner's review:


About Section 7: Evolution
The section in the proposed TEKS dealing with biological evolution has been greatly expanded (from two expectations in the current TEKS to five in the draft), probably reflecting the influence of outside groups who are frustrated with the general public’s skepticism about the more speculative claims of the theory. Although minor degrees of evolution are strongly supported by direct evidence (e.g., antibiotic resistance), the significant amount of evidence for greater degrees of change (i.e., major changes between groups) is necessarily circumstantial in nature. Circumstantial evidence supports conclusions of “the evidence is consistent with…” rather than “the evidence demonstrates that…” These limitations should be made clear in the presentation of this subject, and indeed in any field based on circumstantial evidence. In addition, in my experience and that of many objective scientists, assumptions and speculation are more common in evolutionary biology than in perhaps any other field of science. Many published reports that mention evolution are not in fact evidence for evolution at all; rather, they simply attribute their observations to the process or interpret their data assuming it to be true. In many papers, there appears to be no need to invoke evolution to explain the results, but the authors feel obliged to make their belief in the theory evident as a kind of scientific political correctness. Much has been said about how “science classes should be limited to science, not religion,” and I entirely agree. But speculation and assumptions are not science either. At the very least, assumptions should be identified as such. I am entirely supportive of teaching more about evolution in high school biology IF what is known versus what is speculated or assumed are clearly identified as such, and if the limitations of circumstantial evidence are clearly discussed. This could be accomplished if the TEKS apply a standard requiring that the “strengths and weaknesses” be learned by students.

Meyer's is even worse. Compared to him Garner is open an honest about his intentions.

God damn it why won't these people just go AWAY.


The more they do it, the less I believe in their god, who should totally be frying their asses with holy lightning.

Date: 2008/11/07 11:43:33, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Zachriel @ Nov. 07 2008,11:14)
O'Leary: Evolution does and does not predict irreducible complexity, and anyway it doesn’t exist …

The problem is that there is more than one definition of Irreducible Complexity, which leads to different answers depending which one is being used.

Michael Behe's Original Definition:
A single system composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function of the system, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning. (Darwin's Black Box, 39)

William Dembski's Enhanced Definition:
A system performing a given basic function is irreducibly complex if it includes a set of well-matched, mutually interacting, nonarbitrarily individuated parts such that each part in the set is indispensable to maintaining the system's basic, and therefore original, function. The set of these indispensable parts is known as the irreducible core of the system. (No Free Lunch, 285)

Michael Behe's "Evolutionary" Definition
An irreducibly complex evolutionary pathway is one that contains one or more unselected steps (that is, one or more necessary-but-unselected mutations). The degree of irreducible complexity is the number of unselected steps in the pathway.

Consider a system A and a helper B. If A and B evolve such that the function becomes dependent on B, then the system A1-B1 meets Behe's Original Definition, but not Behe's Evolutionary Definition. Or a system A which duplicates to A-A, each of which then migrate to the functional poles A1-A2, again becoming dependent on one another.

(I responded to this on Mike Gene's blog, but it said I had to be logged in to comment.)

I actually came up with my own kind-of definition, but I've yet to implement it.

Take a system S with N parts.

Score S's function according to some fitness function.

Now iterate through all the scores for all systems with N-1 parts. Obviously, many of these will be broken if you've removed a critical piece, so you'll end up with a table of scores ranging from total fail to maybe not broken that much. The measure of fail would be

Fail = how crap it scores now/how it originally scored

and goes from 0 to 1.

Now, Behe's definition seems to be that an IC system will end up with a table full of fail (because removing any bit breaks it), so the mean fail would be close to 0 for IC systems.

This is of course hard to do in real life; I was intending it for evolutionary algorithms where it'd be very easy to remove parts and calculate the score hundreds of times.

Then, of course, I remembered that ID is a scam so they would evade it with rhetoric if it actually worked.

Date: 2008/11/10 07:32:07, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (BeheKilledDarwinism @ Nov. 10 2008,05:10)
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Nov. 10 2008,03:58)
Quote (BeheKilledDarwinism @ Nov. 10 2008,03:51)
Considering the majority of Darwinists seem to be in excess of 60 years old, I'm thinking years, not decades.  :p

Here, obvious Troll (DaveScot being bored?), it seems to me you've made the mistake of confusing the public face of "evilution" with the tens of thousands of unknown scientists also working on "evilution".

The age of the "majority of Darwinists" is simply the average age of the scientists working in the field. As 99.9% of working scientists believe in "evilution" there's your answer.

Or are you saying that "young" scientists believe in ID then?

Care to put some numbers on that, or is mouth froth all you've got?

For example: 96% of scientists over the age of 60 believe in Darwinism, 90% scientists under 30 believe in Intelligent Design.

Obviously I just made that up, but can you provide something similar? Some facts and the soruce of those facts to back up your empty assertions?

Thought not...

Evolution isn't in dispute. Even the 6-day Biblical creationists accept that some level of evolution has taken place amongst species. What's in dispute is to what degree changes have taken place and how they've taken place. The Darwinian mechanisms have delivered 150 years of catastrophic failure, so it's time to move on. I understand that puts your world view in jeopardy, but so be it. Science is the search for truth. Your world view happens to be false.

Now get over it and stop hijacking science with your 19th century 'argument from ignorance' pseudoscience.

BKD: I've never been sure exactly how to apply ID theory mathematically. Could you give me a quick, simple demo of a design inference on something small, say, a few short strings?

Date: 2008/11/11 17:10:15, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Quack @ Nov. 11 2008,16:28)
Quote (steve_h @ Nov. 11 2008,15:47)
I wonder if Barry the lawyer has ever wondered why the legal system that employs him exists. It seems to me that fear of judgement and punishment by other human beings plays quite an obvious role in keeping religious people as well as atheists in line

Which leads to the obvious question: Why do we all, atheists as well as believers judge and punish other people?  why are we not indifferent nihilists? How many atheists are nihilists?

And what about animals? They have no 'God', but they definitely are capable of moral behavior.

I believe they actually use the atheists-not-being-nihilists as an argument against atheism. Something like 'see, they don't believe in God yet they hold themselves accountable to some higher force... clearly they want to believe in God really! How can they maintain that we're just animals and not go around murdering innocent people, their whole argument breaks down yadda yadda'. It is on the face of it a compelling argument; I mean, I personally can't explain why I have a conscience, or why I desire to do good when I could easily get away with doing nothing, or even being bad. But it becomes another argument of the gaps; is God filling that gap which explains my morals (which I arrived at independently, as far as I can tell)? Given the success this line of argument has had in the past, that doesn't seem likely.

As for animals: whose morals are they following? I don't agree with that.

Date: 2008/11/12 07:56:04, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Amadan @ Nov. 12 2008,07:42)
Things have been a bit quiet over at the Tardmines recently. No doubt this is due to the disincentivising effect of the new socialist administration.

To introduce a healthy capitalist spur to productivity, I propose that, in parallel with our own coveted POTW award, we recognise each week's most profound manifestation of true pigheaded ignorance with the Presidential Science Medal:

Admins wishing to avail of this can find it at


for a smaller version.

...I'm not sure if Americans use that word. :)

Date: 2008/11/18 11:45:26, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
On a totally different note, I was just searching for Zachriel's Mutagenation,* and found this bizarre blog which seems to have copied one of his blog posts, run it into a web translator, and then back to English again. Is that what cool kids are doing nowadays, or is it some kind of spam site?

* Dr Dr Sean Pitman is STILL going on about aa's and binding residues you see. He should totally take over UD, he can bullshit a lot better than Dembski.

Date: 2008/11/20 14:15:50, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Henry J @ Nov. 20 2008,10:24)
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Nov. 03 2008,18:49)
Quote (keiths @ Nov. 03 2008,20:41)
Quote (Venus Mousetrap @ Nov. 03 2008,15:27)
I know this is a little gruesome, but I wondered, if a person was bisected down the middle in an instant, which side has the soul?

I thought the soul was presumed to leave the body at death? Ergo, in that case neither side would have the soul.

Then again, if souls are non-material, then that person's soul presumably wouldn't have a specific spatial location anyway, so the question might not be meaningful even if individuals do have souls.


That's if a bisection is an instant death; I was considering the more gruesome possibility that both halves live for at least a few seconds. However, I've kind of worked out an answer myself; either the soul is in the middle, in which case it gets destroyed for an insta-death, or it's in the half which stays 'alive'. Thus it's an undecidable question.

If the soul was outside, both halves would surely still be attached to it, and you'd have a person split in half but still aware of the other side. That's impossible to test as well, but since it relies on magic I reckon it's less likely. :p

Date: 2008/11/27 15:43:24, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Barry Arrington: Croizat and Bueller_007, I take it from your comments that you are true believers in NDE. Good for you. Being a true believer saves all the effort one would otherwise have to expend actually considering the evidence and thinking for ones self. I imagine it is also very comforting for you to know that because your beliefs are impervious to evidence and logic, you will never have to experience the emotional turmoil often associated with critical examination of ones opinions.

Take a peek out over the horizon. See that glowing, orange cloud rising into the sky, way in the distance?

That was my irony meter.

Date: 2008/12/04 12:54:15, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (sparc @ Dec. 04 2008,11:46)




1:50 pm


NDE doesn’t predict when or if significant changes will happen. Since you cannot seem to acknowledge that simple fact you need to move along. Don’t post any more in this thread. Other authors here may continue to entertain your obstinance but I will not.





10:43 pm


I asked you to stay out of this thread several days ago. If you continue to post to it I’m just going to delete them as I did just now.
I was rather hoping for  
rest in beace rib

What a piece of excrement.

Date: 2008/12/11 10:20:01, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (dheddle @ Dec. 11 2008,09:33)
This was enough to break me from my funk and blog on matters UD. If anyone is interested.

Well that's my POTW. XD

Date: 2008/12/11 11:19:15, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
I keep going to UD meaning to say something. Not even anything that would need them to moderate my post away. And... I can't. I just can't.

It's like being Alice in Wonderland. I'm trying my hardest to make sense of the rules of the place. I'm drinking the tea, moving along the table with the hare, and suddenly Dembski changes the rules AND EVERYONE CARRIES ON AS NORMAL. A very merry unbirthday, to him!

Date: 2008/12/17 16:27:21, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Have you noticed the 'Put a sock in it' page of stuff UD doesn't want to answer questions on has been updated with recent events, like Dembski's Eggplantery Filter?

Date: 2009/01/13 12:16:27, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (J-Dog @ Jan. 13 2009,10:21)
Dave gets "testy" with Fuller... where 'testy" = Fuller you are a blathering idiot, stop Or I will have to ban you, oh, if only I could...

ID & Teh "Science Of God"

My god he's fantastic isn't he? I read some of Fuller's book about... er... Darwin? a while ago, and I couldn't even work out which side he was arguing for. The English language just seems to slide around his words. In fact, from reading this it seems like he's on our side. Which one of you is Fuller?


Imagine a Darwinist’s knee-jerk dismissal of Behe’s concept: ‘Just because, say, a cell looks like it’s been purpose-built doesn’t mean that you can compare its parts to those of a mousetrap. That’s to take a superficial similarity and read into it way too much meaning. The cell’s apparent design could have been just as easily brought about by a combination of contingencies spread over a long stretch of time. Keep off the mechanistic metaphors, if you really want to understand how life works’.

Er, thanks, Fuller, except that most people who rebut the mousetrap tend to say exactly WHY the two examples are dissimilar (flexibility of the genome, fact that mousetraps don't have babies, etc.), so it's hardly knee-jerk, is it?

Date: 2009/02/01 02:47:58, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
In the spirit of UD's claim that they'll listen to their opponents fairly, here's a comment of mine on the Kirk thread that didn't get past moderation a few days ago.


tyharris: if there's one human trend established time and time again, it's that humans are <i>terrible</i> at probability. Intuitive probability, that is. It's why the Birthday Paradox is so odd to people, why some people fall for the Bible Code, and why mystics trick people into believing they can speak to the dead.

Therefore, when I see people trying to guess the probabilities of evolution, it's difficult for me not to be very skeptical at their results, especially when they're already motivated to deny them. Creationists tried it first with tornado-in-a-junkyard calculations, and some of that has made its way into ID.

For me Darwinian evolution is the far more probable option simply because of the evidence. I don't view in terms of information levels and complexity. Instead I notice that lifeforms have DNA from other lifeforms in a way that could be explained by animals giving birth (which happens) to modified animals (which happens) due to natural selection (which happens).

ID claims it doesn't deny evolution, just Darwinism. But you know that Darwinian processes do work at this level (as creationists have been telling us for years, microevolution happens, which is also as far as ID goes) and provide the explanation, and ID does not. If ID is to displace Darwinism as the force of evolutionary change, it has to tell us what's going on between births to change DNA.

I'd also like to add where I view ID from. It's no secret that I am very, very skeptical about ID given its past, and present, but I don't use that in rebuttals because it's an ad hominem. The top people in ID seem to be more than happy to give the other side as much ammunition as they need to block them in the courts, so no problem there. Kirk gave his lecture to the Edinburgh Creation Group, for example, a group which is also claiming that Darwin causes racism and sexual disease, and that the moon must have been placed by God because a school-level simulation of a single body under gravity doesn't reproduce the effects of tidal locking. He can claim it's not about religion all he likes but people just won't see it that way.

What ID needs to do, if it wants to get into science, is stop looking so damn suspicious. At this moment, and for the past ten years, it has given every appearance that it is exactly what the wedge document says it is. Even if that's not true, it doesn't matter. People can read the wedge document, see what ID is doing, and notice that the two are the same.

So, just admit it. It looks suspicious. Try reassuring people instead of accusing them of censorship and propaganda. They've all read the wedge document, they all watch ID's top people give talks to churches or claim that their mission in life is to destroy Darwin for the glory of Jesus. Reassure them that you're really doing science, instead of pushing them away. Show them what you have. Invite discussion. Don't hide the science!

The comment after this, thanking them for backing up my opinion that they're not interested in the science, also didn't make it out of moderation.

Date: 2009/02/04 03:46:40, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Reg @ Feb. 04 2009,03:16)
And one on the 'if we don't succeed' one:
Dr Dembski states one possible reason for a hypothetical future failure of ID. But in the event that Intelligent Design does not succeed, I can see at least two possible reasons:
* Not taking advantage of the incredible resources available to us.
* ID being wrong.
Others might exist which have not yet occurred to me. Any analysis of the relative probabilities of these options would be welcome.

I did like the video Dr Dr Dembski posted. The tune is perfect for that (and ironic given the tune's real music video). But honestly, is he trying to suggest that he's had no resources to use? He's had the backing of the DI for ten years. He's had people willing to criticise his stuff for ten years. He's had TEN YEARS!

Someone needs to do a parody of this video showing the 'exponential growth of ID'.

1999: 0 peer-reviewed ID papers were available to the world.
2009: 0 peer-reviewed ID papers were available to the world.

Date: 2009/02/04 11:35:53, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
In the interests of fairness I've been thinking about their main gripe that the Darwinian process of natural selection gets a free ride without question, while ID has to prove itself. And I have to admit that it does, to someone like me, seem that this is true.

I've been following the evolution/ID wars for about four years, but I've not seen anyone offer any kind of mathematical evidence that natural selection is doing the job. We get evidence for evolution itself - that's easy, fossils, tree of life, etc - but it seems like people just assume natural selection is doing the job of changing one species into another.

Since I'm not a creationist, I know the difference between personal ignorance and reality, and therefore, just because I don't know how natural selection is shown by scientists, I'm not going to assume it isn't. But I would like to know what to say to creationists who bring this up. Why do we say natural selection, and not some other force? Why can we be so sure? Is there some kind of proof-by-induction where we can mathematically represent populations, selection, mutation, reproduction, etc, and show that these processes result in new forms?

I even tried doing it myself, but that was hard. Also, all my attempts to simulate evolution have failed. So basically, I'm running on faith, but a skeptical faith - one that knows the ID side is pushing a pile of crap and lying about it, and that scientists have no reason to lie. But even so, I feel like an evangelist, preaching what I believe instead of what I know. I feel no better than the side I'm fighting.

So that's my question. What is the evidence for natural selection being responsible for evolution? How strong is it? What should we expect to see if natural selection is responsible for evolution? What would we expect to falsify it?

Date: 2009/02/04 14:55:23, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (J-Dog @ Feb. 04 2009,13:04)
Quote (Venus Mousetrap @ Feb. 04 2009,11:35)
So that's my question. What is the evidence for natural selection being responsible for evolution? How strong is it? What should we expect to see if natural selection is responsible for evolution? What would we expect to falsify it?

Why mathematical evidence????  IMO, this would be one of the last areas I would look at - of course my background in Anthro not maths...

BUT, if you look at Evo in light of the huge preponderance of evidence, the evidence for Evo IS absolutely overwhelming.  "Overwhelming Evidence" - for real!

Bio, Geo, Chem, Physics, Atomics, Anthro... all scientific disciplines and discoveries contribute to the evidence, and there is nothing but some feverish little creo/ID minds that rail against the evidence.

The quote from Dobzhansky really does say it all Flytrap - "Nothing in biology makes sense except for evolution."

I'm fine with evolution. But remember that the people at UD have been suckered into saying that ID doesn't dispute evolution, just natural selection as the mechanism. That's the gap they're trying to push intelligent design into, and it's so much easier for them when it seems that evolution doesn't even try to explain its own mechanism.

Everyone else: thanks for the resources. I'm reading about the Price equation at the moment. And it's pretty disgusting that UD - even Dembski - doesn't mention that stuff like this exists, and even denies that it does, and is using that to try and elevate their fraudulent science to an equal level! To me, I have a vague awareness that 'scientists do math stuff like this with evolution', but seeing the math makes it less esoteric, even if I can't understand it.

Date: 2009/02/15 05:59:20, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (KCdgw @ Feb. 14 2009,12:47)
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Feb. 14 2009,09:53)
Quote (Ptaylor @ Feb. 13 2009,22:18)
Quote (J-Dog @ Feb. 13 2009,12:58)

Your stunning scientific hypothesis is proven out and validated.

Joe Volunteers

Thank you for this honour.

I noticed quite a long time ago that Joe has - might I say - an elevated estimation of his abilities. This little comment two and a half years ago was telling:
To this day I kick myself for not going to the “Kitzmiller” fiasco…

Eric Rothschild and Stephen Harvey vs. Joe?

Didn't he notice what they did to Buckingham and Bonsell on the stand, not to mention Behe and Minnich?

All Joe has ever read of the trial is the DI's version of it.


I still wonder to this day how they interpret the Dover trial as being won on false pretenses. I mean, we evil atheist materialists didn't write those drafts of Pandas, nor did we replace 'creationism' with 'intelligent design', nor did we make up 'cdesign proponentsists', nor did we try to get schools to teach it, nor did we get filmed as saying it's all about the Jesus and then lie about it to the judge. It was all them. I must be a godless atheist liberal because I can't see any way you can spin this other than 'they lied'.

Date: 2009/02/23 16:11:31, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (AmandaHuginKiss @ Feb. 23 2009,15:50)
Quote (Richardthughes @ Feb. 24 2009,08:25)
Amanda, please confirm you're not me, for the sake of Carlson's conspiracy fantasies.



then why was yourhis comment posted one minute after hisyours? HUH

Date: 2009/02/24 14:34:55, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Feb. 24 2009,13:26)
He does what he “feels” is right for him. He has no standard other than his feelings and you have nothing to offer him except your feelings. What if you do ask him to imagine how much the babies suffer? So what? Why should he care? I just told you a few days or so ago that millions of babies suffer from abortion. It didn’t move you. When behavior is based on sentiment and personal preferences, chaos follows. The natural moral law is there for all to follow, and it is the only principle around which a well-ordered society can be maintained.

Darwinists, of course, have no standard for morality, and worse, they militate against the one standard that does exist, just as you are doing. That is why they are the enemy of society. In any case, if you explain to the one who tortures babies that there are “consequences” he has not thought of, he may counter that there are “benefits” that you haven’t thought of. Utilitarianism doesn’t work. Also, I thought we settled the point that we are moving from an “is” to an “is.” So, why are you going over that area again. We are not going from an “is” to an “ought.” Do I need to go back over that


I especially like how at the end of his frothy rant he says
Do I need to go back over that

as a statement rather then a question.

Socks, work on the enemy of society aspect please! It seems to bring out the inner fundie.

When behavior is based on sentiment and personal preferences, chaos follows.

This worries me. Not only is there no attempt to justify this, he seems to be implying that we should follow a pre-defined moral law regardless of how we feel about it. In other words, if his God says kill babies, we should do it. Why? Because if we don't follow an absolute law, the world will fall into chaos!

It's just more of fundies projecting their failures onto atheists. He can't envision how he'd function without laws put down for him, so he pretends that everyone has the same problem.

Date: 2009/03/12 14:08:12, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Unless you want to define evolution as anything that ever does anything, you have to have an idea of a progression, as opposed to a digression, otherwise, if evolution is defined as the mere movement in any direction, nothing would stand to falsify it, except staying static, but nothing would stand to falsify the direction itself, and so it would become vacuous; it would be like congratulating yourself for reaching your destination, and defining your destination as the place that you’ve reached. I can’t understand a construction of evolution in that way. Please forgive me if I misunderstood your point. Evolution has to be directional, and if it is not directional by definition, I can’t see how it is an evolution.

Date: 2009/03/18 07:48:59, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Richard Simons @ Mar. 17 2009,20:10)
Quote (FrankH @ Mar. 17 2009,13:07)
On the misuse of probability at UD and other Creto sites.  Please correct me if I'm wrong on where I think they get their assumptions on the probabilities of the formation of complex proteins:

1:  That atoms forming together via covalent or ionic bonds are random and equal in probability.

2:  There is nothing special about Carbon nor its ability to form long and complex chains.

3:  A complex protein is formed spontaneously and no pre-cursors were needed nor formed first.

4:  The probability is done in a "Random Walk" style.  By that with three degrees of motion, in either a "positive" or "negative" manner (ie towards the completion or removing itself from the completion of the protein).

Am I missing anything?


They also assume that only one protein meets the requirements, an assumption that is almost certainly wrong for every function.

Well, they've got a little more clever than that. They say that there are fewer ways to achieve a function than not to achieve a function (which is likely true) and that as the size of a protein increases, there become exponentially more ways to fail than to succeed (which is likely true).

Therefore, larger protein = less likelihood of evolution.

However, I've noticed that this actually doesn't account for a protein being built up slowly. They assume that because evolution is a random walk, it's not possible to teleport over sequence space.

But in fact, adding little bits of protein is the same as teleporting from a smaller sequence space to a larger one, and with natural selection you're guaranteed to end up on the equivalent island in the larger space (since the protein will likely do what it did before).

In fact, how about this example? I take a bit-string and decide that its fitness is decided simply by how many 1s it has. I can now make a list of increasingly large possible bit-strings, and their fitnesses.

0: 0
1: 1

00: 0
01: 1
10: 1
11: 2

000: 0
001: 1
010: 1
011: 2
100: 1
101: 2
110: 2
111: 3

0000: 0
0001: 1
0010: 1
0011: 2
0100: 1
0101: 2
0110: 2
0111: 3
1000: 1
1001: 2
1010: 2
1011: 3
1100: 2
1101: 3
1110: 3
1111: 4

and so on. I could take the string 0111111111111111 (fitness 15), and KF would tell me that the chances of getting something with that much fitness is 16 / 2^16. Tiny!

But not true. In fact, I began with the string 0, and added a 1 each time. And ended up on that tiny island.

I know this is a silly, simple example, but I bet evolution works the same way. Am I wrong? :)

Date: 2010/02/23 08:35:36, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Hi chaps! I've been away from here for quite a while. Did I miss anything?

Date: 2010/03/07 12:34:42, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Holy crap... I'd forgotten how greasy they could be. Check out their attempts to imitate the other side on the Rube Goldberg Machine.

Above all, please remember that the marble machine only appears to be designed. There is absolutely no evidence in this video that it was designed. After all, any visual evidence that it was designed is only that: the visual, the apparition, the appearance. . . no way past it. . . no underlying meaning, nothing but a phenomenom whose ultimate being can be explained only by those precursors which survived and explain all that we see, they explain everything. . . oops, that is, er . . . oh, nevermind.

I like your humor Tim. I’ll try my hand at it.

No irreducible complexity here, I mean, obviously the marble could be used as a small little round ball, and the wood could be used as smaller pieces of wood, such as firewood, toothpicks, or trash. Not to mention that you could take any one piece, large enough, of that machine and use it for a whittling stick. So obviously all pieces were used in one of those ways, and the firewood, toothpicks, trash, and whittling sticks got together with the ball and decided to self-assemble themselves into a one “self-assembled” self, by accident, of course, of some whittling sticks being more useful than others, some trash more trashy than others, some firewood more firey than others, and toothpicks more picky than others.

How does trash, toothpicks, firewood and whittling become relevant to a complex marble machine, you ask? Well, I don’t have to explain, because it’s enough to show that the individual pieces served other functions, how those functions have any purchase on the current function is only a question that an ID person would ask, we evolutionists don’t bother ourselves with such inanity. It is enough to show that a mousetrap could be reduced to a tie clip, and the question of efficacy and relevance of catching mice by holding ties in place need not bother us evolutionists. ;)

Nice, Clive. Fancy doing some work on ID, now?

I reckon it must be like the way some oppressed minorities take insults and turn them into self-labels (like 'queer'), except they do it with criticism. 'We don't have a mechanism! We don't have a theory! Get used to it!'

Date: 2010/03/09 12:55:13, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Mar. 09 2010,03:09)
Quote (sparc @ Mar. 08 2010,23:32)
New Peer-Reviewed ID Paper — Deconstructing the Dawkins WEASEL

I find it interesting that he uses  

in the paper but the word "Dawkins" does not appear. Neither does the phrase "Intelligent Design".

So as this paper was announced as
New Peer-Reviewed ID Paper — Deconstructing the Dawkins WEASEL

A) How does it support ID?
B) How do we know he's talking about Dawkins WEASEL without a reference to where it's defined?

Poor poor Dr Dr Dembski. As yet there are no comments on that post. Don't be afraid to dig in y'all.

I've been thinking lately about what would happen if we did just turn around and say 'fine, Darwinian evolution is wrong. What have you got?'. Because all the fine research that Dr D has been doing to pick away at evolution would suddenly be completely irrelevant, and we'd be left with the theory of 'anything we can't explain is designed', which has about as much use as the 'tall buildings have a lot of height' theory.

But it did kinda give me a glimpse into the ID way of seeing, I think. Because, when you get down to it, I don't really know how Darwinian evolution works. At least, not when it comes to, as IDers say, 'mechanisms forming out of chance and necessity'. Certainly I appreciate the idea that something could form one piece at a time, and those pieces could change, interact with other pieces, etc. But I have no idea how you'd go about proving or denoting something like that, or even if that is what population geneticists actually do.

I think ID supporters are the same. They see only the black box of Darwinian evolution (the mysterious 'chance' mechanism), the black box of ID (the mysterious 'designer did it'), and consider the two to be of the same merit.

The problem is, the public know even less about evolution than they do, so they're going to see it the same way. Is there no way to make the Darwinian box more open to those uneducated in biology?

Date: 2010/03/17 05:26:11, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Mar. 16 2010,14:51)
Quote (bjray @ Mar. 16 2010,13:58)
However, you must realize that to my (somewhat) surprise, my inbox was filled with about 25 alerts from this forum regarding your replies. So, I have my work cut out for me.

You'll, er, want to turn that off!

Just to reiterate, CSI is the prize.

I would really like to see the CSI calculated for any one of the things that Dr Dembski claims it can be calculated for. Or a baseball. Or a cake. Or a salt crystal.

If CSI really means something and is something, then why can't we see it being worked out? Is there a list of objects and the values for the CSI for each? Even just one? And how it was worked out?

Can we give the explanatory filter a go while we're about it?  :D

I'd also like to know the CSI of a Garden of Eden pattern in Conway's Game of Life (or any cellular automaton), as by the rules of that universe, it meets the most major requirement for design: it absolutely cannot come about by natural laws (and cannot arise by chance either). If it ever appears in the Game of Life, it HAS to be created. By the laws of the Game of Life, this thing should be the most CSI-ey thing in existence.

Of course, since a Garden of Eden doesn't have any function beyond 'being a Garden of Eden', ID can't analyse it, which just shows that Dembski's claim to 'finding patterns which indicate design' ultimately means 'inventing a pattern and then claiming that evolution can't do it'. In essence, he sneaks in the very information he finds by specifying a function, then claiming that the inability of natural causes to produce that function IS the information.

Date: 2010/03/24 08:08:45, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
1) I hate Mornington Crescent because everyone looks at my favourite card game, Mao, and says 'Hey, that's Mornington Crescent!' and then they won't take it seriously (or at least, with the minimum seriousness required for Mao).

2) Sewell's essay is quite frightening.


He went on to talk about how genetic accidents and survival of the fittest produced even more complex collections of atoms, and how something called "intelligence" allowed some of these collections of atoms to design computers and laser printers and the Internet. But when he finished, I still didn't know how to incorporate natural selection -- or intelligence -- into my model, so I never did get the simulation to work. I decided the model was still missing a force or two -- or a smarter random number generator.

It's hypothetical, true, but this is about as bad as the guy who wrote a moon simulator that left out various details such as, you know, the fact that bodies rotate, or having more than two bodies in the system, or tidal locking, or anything that scientists actually use to model moon formation with, and then declaring that because his sim shows the moon can't form naturally, maybe we should look outside the universe for answers.

Date: 2010/03/24 09:27:35, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap

It is no surprise that there are scientific problems with evolution. Its predictions are continually turning out to be false.

Yes, we should instead start using a science that makes no predictions at all!

It undoubtedly ranks number one in faulty expectations. For instance, one of its primary predictions, common descent, has badly failed.

Common descent? Seriously?

The reconciliation of the molecular and the visible, morphological, features has been a major problem in trying to resolve the evolutionary tree. The molecular and morphological features often indicate “strikingly different” evolutionary trees that cannot be explained as due to different methods being used.

You know, it's one thing to pick at bits of evolution that are difficult to grasp. Like natural selection. According to UD, nobody knows how natural selection works, and for all that I can grasp of it, I might as well believe them. But common descent?

Douglas Theobald

Well-determined phylogenetic trees inferred from the independent evidence of morphology and molecular sequences match with an extremely high degree of statistical significance.

One of these things is not like the other thing. I wonder who's wrong?

Also I find it kind of amusing that none of them are concerned about what happens to ID theory if common descent is false. Because for all the concern that Sewell shows, the answer is 'bugger all'. You can't hurt a ghost.

Date: 2010/03/24 09:44:01, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (FrankH @ Mar. 24 2010,09:18)
Quote (Venus Mousetrap @ Mar. 24 2010,08:08)
1) I hate Mornington Crescent because everyone looks at my favourite card game, Mao, and says 'Hey, that's Mornington Crescent!' and then they won't take it seriously (or at least, with the minimum seriousness required for Mao).

2) Sewell's essay is quite frightening.  
He went on to talk about how genetic accidents and survival of the fittest produced even more complex collections of atoms, and how something called "intelligence" allowed some of these collections of atoms to design computers and laser printers and the Internet. But when he finished, I still didn't know how to incorporate natural selection -- or intelligence -- into my model, so I never did get the simulation to work. I decided the model was still missing a force or two -- or a smarter random number generator.
It's hypothetical, true, but this is about as bad as the guy who wrote a moon simulator that left out various details such as, you know, the fact that bodies rotate, or having more than two bodies in the system, or tidal locking, or anything that scientists actually use to model moon formation with, and then declaring that because his sim shows the moon can't form naturally, maybe we should look outside the universe for answers.

Good thing that there's no Jupiter nor Sun to mess up his calculations.

My guess, a 15 year old with Dr. Austin's book and a want to be a hacker.

Sadly, no. I actually argued with him by e-mail because he runs the Edinburgh Creation Group's website, which is full of this kind of badly argued crap. When I told him that real science is slightly more detailed than this, he said 'Well show me a model that works!', as though his personal say had some bearing on the matter. Also note that he clearly IS aware of the actual scientific theories, and has decided to dismiss them.

The normal mode of operation for the ECG is:

- spend 50 minutes talking about things which science says which nobody has a problem with
- say something monumentally stupid
- declare that because of [monumental stupid], science is wrong/science is evil/therefore Noah/therefore Jesus.
- be monumentally stupid for 10 minutes
- everyone leaves

Date: 2010/03/26 21:23:38, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Those aren't furries. No furry would wear a human suit. :)

Date: 2010/03/30 03:57:56, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Robert Byers @ Mar. 30 2010,03:25)
Quote (afarensis @ Mar. 24 2010,20:07)
Quote (Robert Byers @ Mar. 24 2010,03:10)
Quote (afarensis @ Mar. 20 2010,09:35)
Meanwhile, over at The Panda's Thumb Byers undermines his argument:

In any issue of determining if old bones are of humans and not apes there is a clue. The bible teaches that women uniquely have great pain at childbirth. Animals do not. This is a great anatomical reality of our women’s skeleton and so if there is a female hobbit one just needs to examine, if possible, whether she had pain at childbirth by looking at her skeleton. If so we got a daughter of Adam. if not we got a dumb old monkey.

So we can tell the difference between "monkey" and human by looking at reproduction, but not marsupial and placental?

Reproduction can be different and yet not is evidence of segregated kinds.
Snakes can bear live young or by eggs yet they are still snakes.
With people there is a express intervention in nature by God to make a difference in reproduction. Animals are not affected.

Umm, there is this from Ankel-Simons Primate Anatomy:

This condition is especially demanding in those primates in which the inner diameter of the female pelvis and the circumference of the fullterm newborn offspring are critically close to each other - for example, in some macaques, in some New World Monkeys (Namely Saimiri and Cebus)..., and in Homo sapiens. In such primates the infant may be unable to pass through the canal during labor and both mother and infant may die because of this. Only humans are able to remedy this critical situation by means of surgical interference (cesarean section). This crucial "bottleneck" situation exists in other nonhuman primates that combine single births, highly developed brains, and newborns that are relatively large in correlation to the sacroiliac articulation.
(All bolding and emphasis in the above quote were added by me.)

So, there you have it, a number of female primates feel pain during childbirth for exactly the same reason human females do - it is caused by a trade off between locomotion, birth, and resting posture. Apparently no intervention by god(s) is needed.

Stilling trying to say animals have pain at birthing. They don't. there are reasons that are accepted for this.
The pain by our women is from well understood reasons. In fact they go further and try to say evolution is the origin of it. Standing upright and getting bigger heads/shoulders .
Its not true that apes etc have like pain , like duration, like percentages.
They don't for the very reasons that even evolution invokes to explain things here.
If apes did have like pain then uprightness/head size etc would not be the reason and origin of the reasons for birth pains.
Mankind is unique from animals in this and everything.

Well, that's a fairly reasonable argument, and I would say that

Quote (Robert Byers @ ,)
The bible says clearly why women got pain. A punishment.

Oh, sorry. Never mind about the reasonable part.

Date: 2010/05/04 10:06:11, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Challenge 4 is easy. Using a Dembski integral, one can derive a surjective submorphism from string one to string two. If we incorporate that into a Mullings Matrix M, where

M = cT,

c of course being the Cordova metric, we can then invert M and Behe-filter it about l (l being the Leary Curve, which you should have obtained from the integral). This should leave you with a vector V, in which

V(1) = the identifier of the designed string
V(2) = the CSI in string 1
V(3) = the CSI in string 2.

Date: 2010/05/04 11:57:25, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Cubist @ May 04 2010,11:42)
Quote (Venus Mousetrap @ May 04 2010,10:06)
Challenge 4 is easy. Using a Dembski integral, one can derive a surjective submorphism from string one to string two. If we incorporate that into a Mullings Matrix M, where

M = cT,

c of course being the Cordova metric, we can then invert M and Behe-filter it about l (l being the Leary Curve, which you should have obtained from the integral). This should leave you with a vector V, in which

V(1) = the identifier of the designed string
V(2) = the CSI in string 1
V(3) = the CSI in string 2.

Well, then: With such a... rigorous... procedure to employ, it should be child's play to identify which of the two character strings is Designed. So would you care to do that thing?

You mean this counts as showing my work? :)

Date: 2010/05/14 04:37:40, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Those scrunched up balls of paper on the front page look so designed.

Date: 2010/05/17 10:15:49, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (J-Dog @ May 17 2010,08:05)
Quote (CeilingCat @ May 17 2010,00:50)
Edinburgh sweater sighting!  Does Dr. Dr. Dembski have a sartorial rival in the Edinburg Creation Group?  Look at the bottom of this page.  URL courtesy of Batshit_77 here.  

You too can get a little batshit by watching the video, which stars The Sweater.

Pay attention because he spent three years studying it in the library.  (John Baez Crackpot Scale: 10 points for pointing out how long he's been working on his theory.)

That is some truly beautiful crazed stuff, including a "Tree Of Crazy" that Ken Ham would just die for:

I actually have a reply from the person who gave that talk, since I e-mailed him a few years ago to complain that it was a load of bull. I don't know if I should post it, though - I asked at the time if I could repost his reply, but he never answered that question.

Date: 2010/05/17 10:57:49, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Jkrebs @ May 17 2010,10:41)
From wikipedia:

James Burnett, Lord Monboddo (25 October 1714 – 26 May 1799) was a Scottish  judge, scholar of linguistic evolution, philosopher and deist. He is most famous today as a founder of modern comparative historical linguistics  (Hobbs 1992). In 1767 he became a judge in the Court of Session. As such, Burnett adopted an honorary title based on his father's estate, Monboddo House. Monboddo was one of a number of scholars involved at the time in development of early concepts of evolution. Some credit him with anticipating in principle the idea of natural selection that was developed into a scientific theory by Charles Darwin (Watt 1985; Bailey 2005; Cloyd 1972), and others do not.[1]

So that's why he's there, despite the fact that nobody (maybe) has ever heard of him.

And no love for Lamarck? He invented evolution as well. I'm pretty sure he was a pagan buddhist capitalist or something.

Date: 2010/05/19 05:01:20, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (afarensis @ May 18 2010,22:50)
Okay, so, I, um, had to subscribe to the Darwinism thing. Couldn't resist. It's a sickness, I know, I'll start the twelve step program as soon as I'm able. Sob, sniffle. A small taste:

Nature can create fascinating patterns - snowflakes,
sand dunes, crystals, stalagmites and stalactites. Tornadoes
and turbulence and cloud formations.

But non-living things cannot create language. They
*cannot* create codes.  Rocks cannot think and they
cannot talk.  And they cannot create information.

It is believed by some that life on planet earth arose
accidentally from the "primordial soup," the early ocean which
produced enzymes and eventually RNA, DNA, and primitive cells.

But there is still a problem with this theory: It fails to
answer the question, 'Where did the information come from?'

I was about to argue with this, but then I saw that he enclosed *cannot* in asterisks, which makes his argument completely undefeatable. I might as well give up now. The best I've got is a few weedy little carats.

Date: 2010/05/19 10:20:39, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (curiousgeorge @ May 19 2010,10:07)
I would be interested in hearing the counter arguments to what he is saying rather than seeing people try to brush it off.

Anyone care to do so?

Why don't you try? It's good practice.

Date: 2010/05/20 09:27:16, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (curiousgeorge @ May 19 2010,18:03)
So no serious responses as of yet...

I'll have a go, then. This is 'the atheist's riddle'.



The starting point of this discussion is my central thesis, which is:

1) DNA is not merely a molecule with a pattern; it is a code, a language, and an information storage mechanism.
2) All codes are created by a conscious mind; there is no natural process known to science that creates coded information.
3) Therefore DNA was designed by a mind.

If you can provide an empirical example of a code or language that occurs naturally, you've toppled my proof. All you need is one.

Perry Marshall

I offer the following counter:

a) All minds are ultimately the result of DNA, since it tells the body how to form, and there are no known non-biological minds.
b) Following from point 3, this means that DNA was designed by a mind which was formed from DNA, which was also designed by a mind, in an infinite chain of causality.
c) Since the universe has existed for a finite time, this cannot be the case. Therefore either point 3 is false, or there exist minds which are not biological - something science has never observed.
d) Therefore, DNA was not designed by a mind.

If you can provide an empirical example of a non-biological mind, you've toppled my counter.

Date: 2010/06/04 13:30:04, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Hermagoras @ June 04 2010,12:41)
ID Can Haz Peer Review!

Thoughts?  My university doesn't subscribe, so I can't get the full text.

Hmm, I know that name. :)

All science so far!

Date: 2010/06/10 10:28:37, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Richardthughes @ June 10 2010,09:46)
Quote (keiths @ June 10 2010,09:23)
Science won’t win. Turns out there is an irreducible difference between observer and thing observed, called intellect, which leads to the age-old divide between theory and observation. God has played an amusing little trick on man. The very thing we use to glorify ourselves is also the principal barrier between ourselves and God.

Luckily for allanius, his puny intellect doesn't present much of a barrier at all.

What a pompous twit.

Presumably he didn't reason himself to that position, because if he did he'd be at odds with it.

So the ID position is that there is this thing called intellect, which is unmeasurable by science, and they know this because they... can't measure it, presumably?

Date: 2010/06/21 07:46:54, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (sparc @ June 20 2010,23:26)
Allen –

“To be as specific as possible, according to current ID theory, how and when and where was the bacterial flagellum designed,”

While those are certainly interesting questions, it is only the materialist position that makes them the primary questions, and presupposes that they have a definitive, findable answer. For things which are designed, the material aspects of their design (how, when, and where) are much less relevant. For instance, when analyzing a computer program, I can interpret it just fine without knowing who programmed it, where they were sitting, or what device they used to input it. I can’t tell by looking at a program whether the typist used a Dvorak or a QUERTY keyboard. The main thing is that, with design, the logical relationships between the components are primary considerations, and the historical factors that led to those logical relationships are of secondary importance, and perhaps irrelevant.

But you (and by you, I mean Clive, who is currently the fastest way to communicate with UD) don't even take 'logical relationships' into account. The only thing you do is calculate probabilities, then pretend that this is somehow the same thing as design! That's your only 'logical relationship', and it's pretty weak.

Design is ALL ABOUT THE HISTORY. The only reason you cut the history out is because you know, in the case of biology, that history is EVOLUTION.

Take your calculations of complexity for example. For people who are obsessed with tiny bio-machines, you don't actually study machinery at all. You study brute force combinations of molecules. It's a bit like claiming to have written a chess-playing program when all it's doing is checking each of the 10^120 possible games of chess each move. That has nothing to do with how chess is actually played.

Is a machine with 3 cogs less complex than a machine with 4? Is a machine with two disconnected cogs less complex than a machine with two interlocking cogs? You don't know. All you can do is look over every machine that can possibly be made and see which ones don't work. Where is your 'logical relationship'? How is that your 'primary consideration'? What does that have to do with complex machines? Zero.

And also, if you don't care about the design process, then what was all that about irreducible complexity? 'Irreducible complexity can't evolve', remember? Seems like you were very interested in the historical process when you could take a stab at evolution.

Date: 2010/06/21 10:09:28, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (dvunkannon @ June 21 2010,09:49)
Quote (Venus Mousetrap @ June 21 2010,08:46)
Take your calculations of complexity for example. For people who are obsessed with tiny bio-machines, you don't actually study machinery at all. You study brute force combinations of molecules. It's a bit like claiming to have written a chess-playing program when all it's doing is checking each of the 10^120 possible games of chess each move. That has nothing to do with how chess is actually played.

Actually, the ID reasoning is closer to this:

The number of possible chess games is 10^10^50. If every particle in the universe played a complete game in Planck interval for the entire history of the universe, only a vanishingly small number of games could be played compared to the total number of games. Therefore it is impossible for a computer to play chess.

So I was a little off with the chess games figure then :)

Date: 2010/07/05 18:31:29, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
This is off topic, but too awesome not to share. A newly discovered fractal called the Mandelbox which looks amazing. Although for fun I suppose we could ask UD how much CSI it has.

Date: 2010/07/16 14:39:02, Link
Author: Venus Mousetrap
Quote (Maya @ July 16 2010,14:09)
Quote (Maya @ July 14 2010,14:30)
Wagenweg escapes from the UD padded room and gives his support to Meyer's YouTube video:
evolution looks at the observable and from it concludes that an explsoion took place and created our universe. That origin is unobserveable just as unobservable as there being an intelligent agent who created the universe. Both are unobservable would you agree?? Yet in evolution the "science" behind the "facts" has made a conclusion of the unobservable by looking at the observed. how is this any different of a method than the method od ID???

Even more errors than question marks, and in so few words!

That YouTube thread is the gift that keeps on giving.  Kairosfocus takes personal umbrage at comments by Oakram*.  Oakram responds on the YouTube thread, invoking Kairosfocus' True Name.  That's some old magic, that is.

  • With a handle like that, it must be a guy.  Which one of you is overcompensating?

  • It's a very woody name.

    Date: 2010/07/17 07:01:32, Link
    Author: Venus Mousetrap
    I don't have a puppet at UD, just myself. Still in moderation, though.

    Date: 2010/07/31 09:56:06, Link
    Author: Venus Mousetrap
    Quote (Joe G @ July 31 2010,09:08)
    Let x = $10 and y = $20

    The set {x,y} contains $30

    the power set { {}, {x}, {y}, {x, y} } also contains $30.

    $30 = $30

    Does anyone disagree with that?

    If you disagree can you provide a valid resource that agrees with you?

    How comes you know what a set is but not the definition of equality?

    Date: 2010/10/29 06:52:00, Link
    Author: Venus Mousetrap
    I don't know if this is old hat, but I found some one-minute interviews with the Dempster on the internets. This one is him talking about why ID isn't creationism. Possibly.