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Date: 2006/12/30 07:56:11, Link
Author: olegt
It's official: ID is a game played by creationists.

Date: 2006/12/30 08:06:44, Link
Author: olegt

The board game is designed by evangelists Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron of the Left Behind fame.  

And to top it off, Bill Dembski is basking in glory:

You can't make this up!

Date: 2007/10/02 13:32:58, Link
Author: olegt
Meantime, Dembski is back on the EIL list:

Date: 2007/10/06 00:09:57, Link
Author: olegt

I think you've got it backwards.  Science is not about complexity.  Science tends to reduce seemingly complex phenomena to simpler causes.  When we say something is complex it usually means we don't understand it.

Date: 2007/10/09 22:47:03, Link
Author: olegt

You ought to quote the entire speech.  My irony meter blew up again when I read that it's time the scientific community got off its duff and confirmed the theory.

Date: 2007/10/17 17:49:16, Link
Author: olegt
StevenB elucidates the real value of junk science (a.k.a. creationism).  

Granted, CS is bad science, but do you really believe that it constitutes a societal threat similar to Darwinism? Does it invade psychology, sociology, business, political science, and just about every other subject under the sun and contaminate them all with the same revolutionary ethic?

Date: 2007/10/18 07:10:00, Link
Author: olegt
Someone should tell the delightfully ignorant BA77 to look inside a color jet printer.  There he'll find three tanks containing inks of secondary colors cyan, magenta and yellow.  And (surprise, surprise!) there will be at least one more tank containing black ink.

Date: 2007/10/26 11:02:36, Link
Author: olegt
DI's is its own best P-A-R-O-D-Y evah!  Check out this announcement of a
super-duper-secret-insider gathering of IDers in Seattle last August. Tasty tidbits follow:

3rd Annual Discovery Society Insiders Briefing on Intelligent Design
August 10-11, 2007

Discovery Society Members are invited to attend the Third Annual Insiders Briefing on Intelligent Design - the nation's foremost gathering of intelligent design scientists, scholars and theorists. :O (What the hell is the difference?  Are some of them both scholars AND theorists?)

After enjoying a sumptuous meal with Seattle's picturesque Lake Union as a backdrop, Dr. John West and Attorney Casey Luskin will introduce you to a panel of courageous scientists who have persevered in their research and development of intelligent design theory.  :O (No word whether the attendees will get to enjoy the sumptuous meal.)

To cap off the evening, Society members will experience a short, exclusive film preview for insiders only. :O (No doubt the Designer was caught on tape.)

Date: 2007/10/26 12:13:45, Link
Author: olegt
Wow.  Dembski is lecturing scientists on how to retract papers?  Gotta place an order for irony meters.

Date: 2007/10/27 18:24:48, Link
Author: olegt
mentok at UD:

So the designer built life forms using his consciousness/mind using his own being as the source material. The mechanism used to build forms was/is the consciousness/mind of the designer. It is a mechanism in the sense of the way it functions in order to build things. When we look at our consciousness and mind we have a very limited view of what they are and how they function. In fact they appear to function like magic. Our consciousness is dependent on our mind to keep us informed as to the nature of our reality. Mistakenly many people identify their mind with themselves. They see themselves as either their mind or as a combination of their body and mind. They not only see their mind as themselves they see themselves as controlling the mind, or they see the mind as an expression of themselves. All of that is in fact not true.

I'll have whatever she is having.

Date: 2007/10/31 11:18:45, Link
Author: olegt
Patrick on the Today's Class Project thread:

I’m curious how many ID proponents have ever bothered to read the Wedge document. I know I have not. On top of that most of the leading ID proponents were originally Darwinists.

Wow.  The guy sure lacks in curiosity department.

Date: 2007/11/05 14:24:02, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Ftk @ Nov. 05 2007,13:29)
My other point was that I just find it odd that with all these early humans running around talking and socializing for approx. 100,000 years, it just seems that perhaps we should see earlier signs of the written word, advanced architecture, or more clues about their social lives.  

75% of the world is literate....and that was apparently accomplished within about 5,000 years.  It just seems that if humans had been speaking for 100,000 years they'd have advanced a bit quicker in that area.  But, then again, perhaps they were actually more ape like all that time and just too dull to put much of anything together.

That's how science works, ftk.  You develop a nice theory that makes perfect sense to you and a bunch of other folks and them -- boom! -- it doesn't survive the experimental test.  But that's okay, it happens to every scientist.  

And one nit to pick.  The high level of literacy in the world is a very recent thing.  Take a look here.

Date: 2007/11/06 16:09:16, Link
Author: olegt
Borne shoots and scores:
Christ descending from primates carries tremendous problematic and may constitute a real insult to Deity.

Which one of you is glarson24?  This guy is too good to be true.

Date: 2007/11/07 10:42:14, Link
Author: olegt

You can rant about NOVA being pro-Darwinist (or something) all you want, but getting a show about intelligent design on that very program was DI's intention from the get-go.  Here is an excerpt from the 5-year plan (hehe) in the Wedge Document:
4. Significant coverage in national media:

* Cover story on major news magazine such as Time or Newsweek
* PBS show such as Nova treating design theory fairly
* Regular press coverage on developments in design theory
* Favorable op-ed pieces and columns on the design movement by 3rd party media

Date: 2007/11/08 00:16:14, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Jkrebs @ Nov. 07 2007,21:19)
Sorry to interject with serious business, but did anyone happen to save the P.falciparum - No Black Swan Observed thread at UD before DaveScot purged all comments (well, almost all) having to do with religion?  Bornagain77 and quite a few others were making some interesting comments about how God interjects CSI into the world, etc., and about different Christian perspectives on the issue, as well as on BA77's ideas about an ID research project.

But without any warning, Dave deleted it all.  

So if any foresightful person saved it, let me know.


This is getting interesting.  Political correctness ID-style.  Can bannination of BA77 be far behind?   :D

Date: 2007/11/09 23:47:18, Link
Author: olegt
Looks like it's contagious: now kairofocus has it:

In a wit^ch-hunt^ing environment, so-called peer review rapidly becomes simply worthless as a criterion of excellence.

Date: 2007/11/10 18:25:19, Link
Author: olegt
Reasonable Kansans has made it to the highly selective   ID resource list at  

Other luminaries include Mindful Hack and Post-Darwinist.  Sadly, Larry Fafarman has not made the list.

Date: 2007/11/12 10:44:02, Link
Author: olegt
A little improv comedy from BA77.
Though the study is technically a bit beyond me right now…I do smell another rat in evolutionary thinking with this particular study!

Date: 2007/11/12 11:39:45, Link
Author: olegt
And the ranks of EvoInfoLab swelled with the arrival of [drum roll] Granville Sewell, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Texas, El-Paso, a fearless solver of partial differential equations and a big fan of the 2nd law of thermodynamics.  

The Darwinists are shaking in their boots.

Date: 2007/11/12 11:44:24, Link
Author: olegt
BarryA has checked his reading skills and the answer isn't all that encouraging.  

Nominated for TotW award.

P.S.  I have saved the entire thread in case it disappears soon.

Date: 2007/11/13 13:28:57, Link
Author: olegt
A quick scan of UD reveals the following most popular recent posts (with number of replies):

Darwin at Columbine (152)
Veritatis Splendor or Veritatis Peccator? (94)
Future Risk Assessment in the Genome (79)
P.falciparum - No Black Swan Observed (72)
Low Probability is Only Half of Specified Complexity (70)
Pathological consequences of Darwinism vs ID (59)
On Moral Progress In A Materialist World (57)
Provine and Nelson at Cornell, November 12: If Neo-Darwinism Fails, Then What? (56)
I Liked the Old Atheists Better (48)
Getting Hollywood to “Sell the Product” to Children (47)
PBS’s Judgment Day - Don’t believe Darwin’s kludge? You just don’t understand it! Or else … (45)
“Is Belief in Divine Creation Rational?” (44)
The science rule the Christian Darwinist doesn’t want (34)
Dodgen Daily (31)
Will Darwinists just grow up about social Darwinism or not? Maybe not … (26)
Antony Flew interview (24)
Reading Level Comparison (23)
Turning Cars Into Submarines (16)
New assessment dramatically scales back ape language skills (16)
Mike Behe and bad design (16)
Orwellian world an inevitable outcome of materialist philosophy (12)
GA This! (10)
Weather Channel Founder: “[Global Warming] is the greatest scam in history” (9)
Not a Darwinbot? Got a story? Tell it to The EXPELLED! (8)
Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial (5) (5)
“Punctuated Evolution” (3)
O’Leary on radio today, tonight (2)
Level Four Tornado Through Kentucky Junk Yard Self Assembles Lime Green Hummer. (1)
ID lectures at the University of Buffalo (11/8) and Daemen College (11/9) (1)

All science so far!

Date: 2007/11/13 16:20:24, Link
Author: olegt
Hah!  A new scientific term has just been introduced by DLH:

What BarryA is referring to is moral evil explicitly contrary to moral law, such as the Holocaust, directly by persons, and indirectly by evil intelligent agents.

So we CAN discuss the nature of those designers, after all.

Date: 2007/11/14 03:35:59, Link
Author: olegt
Casey Luskin has just posted a longish rebuttal to Judgment Day on his blog.  With like a zillion links to his boring old articles.  But there are some gems that just catch your attention.  
During her Kitzmiller testimony, Barbara Forrest testified that Discovery Institute sought to impose "theocracy," and PBS quotes her making statements to a similar effect. This is a blatantly false claim, for Discovery Institute has adamantly opposed any attempts to create "theocracy."

Did I miss an epic fight?

Date: 2007/11/19 14:13:14, Link
Author: olegt
Gil Dodgen likens evolution to phlogiston:
Once Lavoisier discovered the true chemical nature of oxygen and combustion, the phlogiston theory was dead. The fact that the vast majority of scientists held on to phlogiston theory for a long time after that made no difference concerning its truth status – whether as a theory it was alive or dead.

This is BS.  Phlogiston was abandoned quickly and decisively right after Lavoisier's 1775 work.  Here is what John Priestly, one of the precious few remaining proponents of phlogiston, wrote in 1796:
There have been few, if any, revolutions in science so great, so sudden, and so general, as the prevalence of what is now usually termed the new system of chemistry, or that of the Antiphlogistians, over the doctrine of Stahl, which was at one time thought to have been the greatest discovery that had ever been made in the science. I remember hearing Mr. Peter Woulfe, whose knowledge of chemistry will not be questioned, say, that there had hardly been any thing that deserved to be called a discovery subsequent to it. Though there had been some who occasionally expressed doubts of the existence of such a principle as that of phlogiston, nothing had been advanced that could have laid the foundation of another system before the labours of Mr. Lavoisier and his friends, from whom this new system is often called that of the French.

This system had hardly been published in France, before the principal philosophers and chemists of England, notwithstanding the rivalship which has long subsisted between the two countries, eagerly adopted it. Dr. Black in Edinburgh, and as far as I hear all the Scots have declared themselves converts and what is more, the same has been done by Mr. Kirwan, who wrote a pretty large treatise in opposition to it. The English reviewers of books, I perceive, universally favour the new doctrine. In America also, I hear of nothing else. It is taught, I believe, in all the schools on this continent, and the old system is entirely exploded. And now that Dr. Crawford is dead, I hardly know of any person, except my friends of the Lunar Society at Birmingham, who adhere to the doctrine of phlogiston; and what may now be the case with them, in this age of revolutions, philosophical as well as civil, I will not at this distance answer for.

Gil, if ID had any scientific value it would have already made it.  Alas, it's all hat, no cattle.

Date: 2007/11/24 09:12:22, Link
Author: olegt
BA77 looks for experimental evidence for ID --- and finds it --- in a crackpot journal Progress in Physics featuring papers with titles like "Completing Einstein's Proof of E=mc^2".  

In the words of BA77 himself, "Truly Truly, a potential breathtaking breakthrough!"

Date: 2007/11/25 19:30:21, Link
Author: olegt
BA77 comes forward with this:
Do you know about quantum non-locality? If so for a long time it was limited to transcendent information for sub-atomic particles being communicated faster that the speed of light no matter where in the universe.

This is complete nonsense.  Physicists know well that long-range quantum entanglement does not allow one to send information faster than at the speed of light.  There is a decent discussion of that on Wikipedia, with references:
Quantum entanglement
No communication theorem

Date: 2007/11/25 21:10:19, Link
Author: olegt
Getawitness does a great job.  BA77 strikes back:

I can’t believe you are questioning the validity of quantum non-locality.

But his response is rather underwhelming.  

The theoretical paper by Cramer writes about a nonlinear version of quantum mechanics, which might allow for superluminal transfer of information.  There are no experimental indications of nonlinearity, so this is squarely in the realm of speculation.  

The next reference is an abstract of a Ph.D. thesis "The philosophical implications of quantum non-locality."  That's not even a theory.

Aspect's paper specifically denies the possibility of superluminal information transfer in that experiment:  
It is worth emphasizing that non-separability, which is at the roots of quantum teleportation, does not imply the possibility of practical faster-than-light communication.  An observer sitting behind a polarizer only sees an apparently random series of - and + results, and single measurements on his side cannot make him aware that the distant operator has suddenly changed the orientation of his polarizer.

It's true that quantum correlations can be nonlocal: the states of well-separated quantum objects can be entangled in a non-classical way.  But so far there is no indication that it can be used for instantaneous communications.

Date: 2007/11/28 17:46:27, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Nov. 28 2007,17:30)
Design Inference!!!

cdesign proponentsists is a troll!!!


And this, towards the end of the message:

I think the guardians of this site have done a great job of providing a space where proponents and fans of ID can work together to move the paradigm forward. I just hope that the defenders can recognize a good camouflage and deal with it.


Date: 2007/11/29 06:06:29, Link
Author: olegt
aardpig might want to strengthen his position as follows.  The NASA and Templeton grants were secured prior to Guillermo's appointment at Iowa State.  On the NASA grant he was neither a PI, nor a co-PI, just a postdoc sustained by the money.  Templeton's grant was for writing a book, not for doing research, IIRC.  

That leaves us with $50K of research money secured by GG in his entire period as a tenure-track faculty at a major research university.  That's peanuts (you need $100K a year to survive).  And that $50K came from DI in 2007.

EDIT: corrected tags

Date: 2007/11/29 14:06:34, Link
Author: olegt
Discussion of GG's funding level is getting to a quantitative level.  


My point being that I called [Nadine Barlow] to ask how much funding a professor of Astronomy must recieve to maintain tenure. The first thing she told me is THERE IS NO SET GOAL!!!!!! She said that full time professors can bring in anywhere from $60k-$100k. Whe she told me this on the phone I literally laughed think of your comment “must one land typically $500k or more on funding;”.

That's $60-100k a year, darling.  GG managed to get $50k of research funding over the course of 6 years at Iowa State.  Do the math.

Date: 2007/12/02 10:07:22, Link
Author: olegt
russ sez
No wonder contempt for the academy continues to grow.

See this:

and goes on to quote David Klinghoffer's article in Weekly Standard.  He conveniently forgets to mention that Klinghoffer is a senior fellow at DI, that very place where contempt for academia is the only thing they grow.

Date: 2007/12/04 18:53:41, Link
Author: olegt
aardpig's swan song:
Ms O’Leary — thank you for giving me the heads up about my imminent marching orders.

Once again, for the whole world to see, UD demonstrates its utter contempt for open debate, and instead censors those who try to offer a counterpoint to the DI-driven propaganda that’s cut-and-pasted straight into its pages.

Nevertheless, I’ve enjoyed my brief time on UD. It’s reaffirmed my initial suspicion that supporters of ID are either religion-driven nutcases (see bornagain77), conspiracy theorists, or simply those who cannot come to terms with the success of science in illuminating the beautiful universe around us.

I place you in the latter category, and will light a candle tonight in the hope that one day, perhaps, you will emerge from your cave of willful ignorance and enjoy the true splendors of the world.

I smell bacon.

Date: 2007/12/05 09:59:29, Link
Author: olegt
"Unacknowledged information costs" is back online in a revised form.

In other news, Tom English is no longer listed at the EIL personnel page.

Date: 2007/12/05 21:42:12, Link
Author: olegt
Rude explains how books are evaluated at UD:
My copy came in from Amazon yesterday and I’ve only had time for a very brief perusal. But it looks absolutely great. It covers all the basics, is well organized, well written, and esthetically pleasing.

It’d make a great text book.

Date: 2007/12/08 18:15:09, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Richardthughes @ Nov. 08 2007,14:32)
EF This:

Parody or slimey Sal?

The story is consistent with what Sal wrote in September at UD:
My retreat from the public view….
Of Groups and Labs at Baylor

Date: 2007/12/14 18:51:52, Link
Author: olegt
This is old nooz.  In 2005 Dembski wrote:
Dismantling materialism is a good thing. Not only does intelligent design rid us of this ideology, which suffocates the human spirit, but, in my personal experience, I've found that it opens the path for people to come to Christ. Indeed, once materialism is no longer an option, Christianity again becomes an option. True, there are then also other options. But Christianity is more than able to hold its own once it is seen as a live option. The problem with materialism is that it rules out Christianity so completely that it is not even a live option. Thus, in its relation to Christianity, intelligent design should be viewed as a ground-clearing operation that gets rid of the intellectual rubbish that for generations has kept Christianity from receiving serious consideration.

Date: 2007/12/18 19:12:32, Link
Author: olegt
BarryA pontificates:

A measuring standard is not the same thing as the phenomenon to be measured. The freezing point of water under given conditions (whatever those conditions are) is what it is. There can be no compromise on that. If the freezing point of water under given conditions is X, if someone says it is Y, they are wrong. They are not kind of wrong or partially wrong. They are just wrong. There can be no compromise between those who posit X and those who posit Y.

He apparently never heard of supercooled water.

Date: 2007/12/21 15:39:47, Link
Author: olegt
Last line of defense from DaveScot:
The laughable part is that the whale’s ancient ancestor is still in dispute. Prehistoric evolution is nothing but guesswork and the guesses change as often as women’s fashion.

What’s wrong with the paper is that it’s useless. What practical difference does it make what creatures whales descended from?

Earth to Dave: ever heard of the difference between basic and applied research?  General relativity was useless at the beginning of 20th century.  Nowadays GPS employs Einstein's equations.  

Got it?  Write that down.

Date: 2007/12/29 11:12:36, Link
Author: olegt
Ftk said

Wes, you simply cannot be this dense, that is why I cannot muster up any respect for you.

ID & creation science do not have the same "argumentative content".  Change your initials to IDAE (intelligent design anti-evolution) rather than IDC if you must as that follows your line of reasoning.

Ftk, Wes is right and you are wrong.  I have yet to find an ID line of argument that is not a creationist one.  Here is a quote from Henry Morris, a YEC and founder of the Institute for Creation Research:
Our other hesitation to get on [ID] bandwagon is their use of the same arguments and evidences we Biblical creationists have used for years, while simultaneously trying to distance themselves from us...

These well-meaning folks did not really invent the idea of intelligent design, of course. Dembski often refers, for example, to the bacterial flagellum as a strong evidence for design (and indeed it is); but one of our ICR scientists (the late Dr. Dick Bliss) was using this example in his talks on creation a generation ago. And what about our monographs on the monarch butterfly, the bombardier beetle, and many other testimonies to divine design? Creationists have been documenting design for many years, going back to Paley’s watchmaker and beyond.

Dembski uses the term “specified complexity” as the main criterion for recognizing design. This has essentially the same meaning as “organized complexity,” which is more meaningful and which I have often used myself. He refers to the Borel number (1 in 10^50) as what he calls a “universal probability bound,” below which chance is precluded. He himself calculates the total conceivable number of specified events throughout cosmic history to be 10^150 with one chance out of that number as being the limit of chance. In a book written a quarter of a century ago, I had estimated this number to be 10^110, and had also referred to the Borel number for comparison. His treatment did add the term “universal probability bound” to the rhetoric.

(emphasis mine --OT)

You just can't deny that ID recycles the arguments from "creation science".  Creationists figured out on their own that they ought to distance themselves from the Bible somewhat to gain a shred of credibility.  Here is Henry Morris again explaining how "creation science" is different from Biblical creationism:
Question: “What is the difference between scientific creationism and Biblical creationism?”

Answer: The first is based solely on scientific evidence, from such sciences as those listed above; the second is based on Biblical teachings. The Genesis record includes the account of the six days of creation, the names of the first man and woman, the record of God’s curse on the earth because of human sin, the story of Noah’s ark, and other such events which could never be determined scientifically. On the other hand, scientific creationism deals with such physical entities as fossils, whereas the Bible never refers to fossils at all. It is quite possible for scientific creationism to be discussed and evaluated without any reference whatever to Biblical creationism.

Read Dembski's response to Morris here and then feel free to tell me whether there is any substantive difference between "scientific creationism" and ID.  You know I'm a good listener.

Date: 2007/12/29 12:07:32, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Ftk @ Dec. 29 2007,11:43)
Creationists figured out on their own that they ought to distance themselves from the Bible somewhat to gain a shred of credibility.

Of course creationists had to distance themselves from the bible because, even if something could be proven absolutely true from a biblical perspective, we would have to turn our backs on that truth and consider another option due to today's understanding of the SOCAS.  My God, that is the stupidest line of reasoning I've ever heard.  

But, we can read a book like Origin of the Species and lay everything out to line up with that wonderful novel because, hey, it's not a religious source!!  How wonderful.

It's funny, Ftk, that you totally failed to respond to the substance of my comment and went on a tangent instead.  Let me repeat in condensed form what I wrote and backed up with quotes.  Creationists themselves said that ID is repackaged scientific creationism.  Are you going to call Henry Morris a liar?  Just curious.

And when you issue a private apology to Wes, kindly let us know.

Date: 2007/12/29 12:13:27, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Ftk @ Dec. 29 2007,12:01)

When I read Brown's work on creation science, and then read a Behe or Dembski book on ID, THEY ARE OBVIOUSLY COMPLETELY DIFFERENT CONCEPTS.  So frame it however you wish, but it's still dishonest to mislead the public so that you can twist away in court.

That's a straw man, Ftk.  No one ever said that Behe and Dembski copied from Brown.  Dembski got his stuff from Henry Morris. Go ahead and comment on that.  We can discuss where Behe's IC came from, too, if you wish.

Date: 2007/12/29 12:33:30, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Ftk @ Dec. 29 2007,12:19)
Yet for some reason you won't even engage on a single paragraph of his?

You simply cannot be serious.  No offense to AFDave, but it's useless to pick out little bits of creation science and debate it with ardent evolutionists.  The big picture is always missing and the relationship between theories (in the case of Brown's) are much to difficult to address properly without a full blown all encompassing debate.

Engaging in a "single paragraph" is idiotic, and a worthless task.

Intresting line of defense, Ftk, but I am afraid it doesn't work.  The big picture is made from these little bits.  If every single little bit turns out to be bogus then there is no big picture.  

And now I'd like to hear from you on the theme of Henry Morris.

Date: 2007/12/29 13:07:05, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Ftk @ Dec. 29 2007,12:55)
Quote (olegt @ Dec. 29 2007,12:33)
Quote (Ftk @ Dec. 29 2007,12:19)
Yet for some reason you won't even engage on a single paragraph of his?

You simply cannot be serious.  No offense to AFDave, but it's useless to pick out little bits of creation science and debate it with ardent evolutionists.  The big picture is always missing and the relationship between theories (in the case of Brown's) are much to difficult to address properly without a full blown all encompassing debate.

Engaging in a "single paragraph" is idiotic, and a worthless task.

Intresting line of defense, Ftk, but I am afraid it doesn't work.  The big picture is made from these little bits.  If every single little bit turns out to be bogus then there is no big picture.  

And now I'd like to hear from you on the theme of Henry Morris.


He's simply wrong.  Line up The Genesis Flood next to The Edge of Evolution. comparison.

Morris was likely unsettled by the "ungodly" tactics of ID.  That is no way to consider ID, IMHO.  It's a scientific inference, and has no business (in secular science) getting into religious discussions about who's designer is right wrong or indifferent.  Unlike Morris, ID proponents are not interested in inserting God into the classroom, which may have been a problem for him.


"He's simply wrong" doesn't strike me as a winning argument.  Morris is much more specific in his charges.  In particular, he says that bacterial flagella and specified complexity were lifted by IDers from YECs.  Would you care to dispute that?  

And the second half of your comment is wrong, too.  Morris, just like IDers and well before them, tried to distance himself from the Bible: that's what "scientific creationism" is for.  Reread the Morris quote again:

The first is based solely on scientific evidence, from such sciences as those listed above; the second is based on Biblical teachings. The Genesis record includes the account of the six days of creation, the names of the first man and woman, the record of God’s curse on the earth because of human sin, the story of Noah’s ark, and other such events which could never be determined scientifically. On the other hand, scientific creationism deals with such physical entities as fossils, whereas the Bible never refers to fossils at all. It is quite possible for scientific creationism to be discussed and evaluated without any reference whatever to Biblical creationism.

Date: 2007/12/29 14:07:15, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Ftk @ Dec. 29 2007,13:49)
And, Morris lifted the idea from Paley, Moses, or someone else on a different level before the BF was in the picture.  So what?  Design has been considered since the beginning of time whether by pagans, alien worshipers, Satanists, or whomever.  Do you see how ridiculous it is to claim that there is only one known source in which the ID theme has been considered a viable conclusion?  

If Morris had a problem with them considering the BF just because creationists had done so as well, then copyright the damn flagellum and insist that it be labeled "creationism" for all eternity [please note sarcasm].  The rest of us will consider the eye, the blood clotting cascade, or any number of other systems in regard to SC.

Like I said, put the creationist and ID books side by side, and note the *vast* difference.

But, see, the truth doesn't bode well in the courts for the evolutionist, so the objective is to make sure that anything that doesn't fit into the evolutionary paradigm is considered "religion".  And, it always helps if the Judge doesn't understand the issues enough to write his own decision on the case...cue Dover.

Great.  Now we both agree that there was a succession from Moses and Paley to Morris and from there to Dembski and Meyers.  Behe belongs to the same evolutionary tree.  :)

And incidentally, judges need not understand the issues argued in court in depth, at least not in advance: they have experts on both sides who explain the issues to them.  Perhaps, the explanatory powers of ID are not what they are cracked up to be.

Date: 2007/12/30 10:41:16, Link
Author: olegt
Sal explains, half-jokingly, that young-universe apologetics is the Chewbacca defense, a fictional legal strategy used in the South Park episode "Chef Aid".  The aim of the argument is to deliberately confuse the jury.  

I am not making it up.

I seriously think YEC has a chance, but I used the term "Chewbacca Defense of YEC" to humorously describe the process of defending YEC by criticizing the Big Bang since such a line of argumentation is a bit unsporting.

Date: 2007/12/30 23:40:28, Link
Author: olegt
I'm not attempting, as yet, to provide a reason why someone can't find bestiality unacceptable.  Any culture can come up reasons for their cultural morality,  I'm simply asking why *all* cultures find this act unacceptable.


Not quite so: there are well-known exceptions.  The ancient Greeks were fairly relaxed about it and so were some Asians.  Wikipedia has a short summary of the subject.

Date: 2007/12/31 13:15:29, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Ftk @ Dec. 31 2007,13:04)
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Dec. 31 2007,12:30)
Talking with FTK is so odd. Try and imagine a face to face conversation with someone who flatout ignored 80% of what you said, usually just replying with nonsequitors or generalizations about what people with your opinions are all like. Only on the internet would such a person keep getting attention for more than 5 minutes.

LOL, yeah, and try to imagine a real life conversation where 5-10 people are all throwing question at you at the same time, and when you answer one of them, they all come up with a new set up questions to throw at you before you have a chance to answer question number 2.

That's what physics seminars used to be like in the old Soviet Union.  The speaker would be subjected to a barrage of questions from the hostile audience.  I survived.

Date: 2007/12/31 14:39:34, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Ftk @ Dec. 31 2007,14:18)
Dave, I said Darwinism = a faith belief, not a religion.  But, certainly some atheists treat it as a religion.

Dave...for the atheist, the only thing that can affect our morality is *mere matter*.  That is at the base, and everything around us is due to where *evolution* has taken us.  Even our our mind and *thoughts* evolved, and from those thoughts came morality.  You are simply not taking this discussion back to first causes, and that's fine, but not thorough.


I am an atheist (or maybe an agnostic, but let's not split hairs), but I have no idea how a bunch of atoms can "affect morality".  Don't you think that we atheists might operate with slightly more complex concepts such as mind, conscience and self-awareness?  That we don't view ourselves as a mere assembly of atoms?  

You are probably aware that the properties of atoms in a liquid or solid (and even in a molecule) are radically different from those of individual atoms.  A crystal is rigid even though individual atoms have no rigidity.  It's a concept that does not even apply to individual atoms.  This is what we physicists call "emergent phenomena".  They are not present in individual atoms and only arise when many atoms come together.

Same with people.  Humans are not a bunch of atoms, they are much more complex entities.  Your misguided attempts to sneak in this primitive reductionism look just silly.

Date: 2007/12/31 15:47:01, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Mister DNA @ Dec. 31 2007,15:41)
Quote (dheddle @ Dec. 31 2007,15:31)
It appears that the latest "Brites" UD post, on industrial sabotage of stem cell research, the one that was generating embarrassment among the UD faithful, was constructed from some of those famous short half-life UD isotopes.

Tardium 404, I think.

edited: added linkage.

This is brutally funny.

Date: 2007/12/31 17:38:00, Link
Author: olegt
Here's a creationist blog whose owner, Professor Smith,  presents him/herself as follows:

First post (crossed fingers)

Hello everyone! I’m new to this so I hope everything goes well. Welcome to Professor Smith’s Weblog. First things first. Who am I? I’m a researcher at a middle-size public university on the Eastern seaboard. I am choosing to remain anonymous right now because politics is rife in academia. Until I get tenure I’d rather people not hold my political opinions against me. I am particularly sensitive about this because I support Intelligent Design science and trust me, that is considered totally beyond-the-pale among the scientific orthodoxy. But I think we’re witnessing the birth of a new science right now and it’s important to support it–and just downright interesting! How often does one see a new science come along? I will post items of note here, and I hope to inspire challenging discussion among other Intelligent Design supporters.

The blog hasn't yet attracted too many admirers apart from our own J-Dog and yours truly.  If you pay a visit now, you'll have a chance to observe a bannination in progress.  Needless to say, I've already been banned.


Date: 2007/12/31 17:51:31, Link
Author: olegt
To give you an idea of the scientific level, I'll point out this recent gem:

Milk Genes

I was thinking about lactose tolerance the other day and managed to scrounge up an article that I had remembered reading.  This article relates the findings that lactose tolerance is something that evolved in humans rather recently.

The findings supports the idea that milk drinkers became widespread in Europe only after dairy farming had become established there—not the other way around.

This has been a contentious issue for some time now, about how/when lactose tolerance came about.  The new findings support that lactose tolerance came about after dairy farming was established, and this presents a tough problem for evolution.  Why would humans undertake dairy farming if they couldn’t actually eat/drink dairy products?  This question alone is enough to dispel the evolutionary hypothesis.  If, however, we were designed to drink milk, then it is only natural that we would search for other milk sources that we could utilize.

Date: 2007/12/31 19:53:57, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (someotherguy @ Dec. 31 2007,18:05)
Has he given any indication at either his blog or UD as to what he researches?

No.  He agreed with me that he is not a physicist.  The following mind-boggling passage makes it clear that Prof. Smith is not a biologist, either:
One of the less credible evolutionary stories is the supposed transition from dinosaurs to birds.  Darwinists tell us that dinosaurs didn’t die out, they simply evolved into birds with feathers and flight.  This, of course, is highly controversial and hotly debated, and rightfully so, since the evidence of this transition is highly suspect and very thin.

He/she is also not a chemist as chemists don't capitalize the names of chemical compounds:

From thread Common Design and DNA (Part III).

The language of DNA - Adenine (A), Thymine (T), Guanine (G), and Cytosine ( C) - can be thought of as the ones and zeros that make your computer run, just in base 4 instead of binary and using letters instead of numbers.

And, oh, that "letters instead of numbers" gem is a good indication he/she is not a computer scientist.

Date: 2007/12/31 20:00:10, Link
Author: olegt
Maybe we'll find out for sure when we die and meet up on the other side.  Until then, you're going to have an extremely hard time trying to convince the grand majority of the population on planet earth that a designer doesn't exist.

This is your own invention, Ftk.  Scientists don't have a goal of disproving God.  They just don't use the concept of God in their work.  Ponder the difference.

Date: 2007/12/31 20:23:58, Link
Author: olegt
How do we know that is an urban legend?  How do we know we use every part of our brain?  How do people who, when half of their brain is removed, find that the remaining half gradually takes over most functions of the removed half?

Great questions, Ftk!  We answer them by doing experiments.  Go back to the previous page and read someotherguy's comment.

Date: 2007/12/31 22:15:11, Link
Author: olegt
I join in wishing Ftk a Happy New Year.  


P.S.  Be a good gal next year and Santa will bring you an Edit button. :D

Date: 2008/01/01 02:18:35, Link
Author: olegt
Happy New Year to all, indeed.  And have pity on UD: we can't wish them a happy new year overthere 'cause we've all been banned.  Too bad!

Date: 2008/01/01 12:31:00, Link
Author: olegt
ERV, it's likely that I, too, first learned about professorsmith from Ian's post.  

GCT, I have observed professorsmith for a while and I strongly doubt that he/she is a faculty member anywhere.  His/her view of academia packed with scheming materialists is such a bad caricature that I can't help laughing.  

Take this description of his/her regular lunches with a colleague.
I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised.

Dr. R. has reasserted himself, this time not so pleasantly. I am supposing he didn’t enjoy being pressed the way I pressed him during our last meeting - and especially being compelled to admit so many shortcomings in his world-view, and even confess a need for faith. I suppose once alone he felt faintly embarrassed by the whole thing. Or perhaps he got with materialist colleagues who bucked up his materialist resolve. Whatever, he came at me with guns blazing today. We talked until after the restaurant had cleared. Most of his assertions themselves were articles of faith really, although he pressed them as though they were gold plated facts. I had my hands full.

Really?  Faculty rarely go for lunch to a restaurant for no particular reason (such as to treat a visitor).  University cafeteria, maybe.  And we don't sit around arguing until the restaurant had cleared: it's noon and there's work to do!  

But professorsmith seems to have a lot of time on his/her hands.  Check out the regular Dog Sunday feature on that blog.  Time stamps on photographs featured in those posts show that he/she can afford to ditch work and spend a couple of hours.  In the woods.  At midday on a Wednesday.  In the middle of a semester!

Date: 2008/01/01 12:45:21, Link
Author: olegt
Lou, this is a guy/gal who claims to be a researcher three years from tenure.  An assistant prof is supposed to be working his/her ass off teaching, working in the lab, writing papers, getting grants and supervising grad students.  Spending a couple of hours with dogs at midday usually doesn't fit in this schedule.

Date: 2008/01/01 16:29:58, Link
Author: olegt

That statement was qualified.  As to the chick, she and our subject are not related.

Date: 2008/01/01 21:28:39, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (GCT @ Jan. 01 2008,18:03)
Quote (olegt @ Jan. 01 2008,17:29)

That statement was qualified.  As to the chick, she and our subject are not related.

I'm just sayin' it's still a bold statement.  It's tripping my no true Scotsman filter.  This Prof. Smith is obviously not who (s)he says (s)he is, but I don't think we need to make such sweeping statements either.


Let's not get hung up on this minor point.  I speak from personal experience acquired on several campuses, but maybe I'm generalizing a bit.  It's not important.  

The story with Dr. R. is ridiculous on another level.  On the one hand, professorsmith is hiding his/her creationist ideology from "materialist" colleagues until tenure.  On the other, he/she is openly arguing a creationist stance before Dr. R., who is also a colleague.  Why risk blowing cover if it supposedly is so dangerous?  That doesn't make sense.

Date: 2008/01/02 21:36:26, Link
Author: olegt

Go lie down and stay away from blogging for a couple of weeks.  You'll be all right.

Date: 2008/01/03 08:53:25, Link
Author: olegt

You may be right, but I just can't imagine a tenure-track professor of biology that ignorant of evolution.  

There are other signs as well.  He/she misspells the word pheromone.  In the same post we are told that "The nervous and endocrine systems are highly entertwined, much as the brain and mind are intertwined."  

Or examine the thread Hairy Design and you'll see that professorsmith can't access subscription-only science journals from home.  Anyone affiliated with a university can do that using a proxy server!  A tenure-track researcher surely would know about that.

Date: 2008/01/03 12:36:47, Link
Author: olegt
Yeah, it looks like the adoration is mutual.  :p

Date: 2008/01/03 14:35:21, Link
Author: olegt
ERV, I comment on that blog under my full name.  The question is how does he/she know I'm olegt?  We must have met! :O

Bob, it wasn't my fault, really.  Nature asked me to comment.

Date: 2008/01/04 09:19:37, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Ftk @ Jan. 04 2008,09:10)
Lou, did one of my posts just disappear into space?  I was responding to OM.

Where did it go, man?

Fear not, Ftk, your message has resonated with the masses: I appropriated one of your lines for my signature.  

And here is your entire comment, on the Bathroom Wall.

Date: 2008/01/04 13:26:57, Link
Author: olegt

This a men's bathroom.

Date: 2008/01/04 22:01:20, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Ftk @ Jan. 04 2008,20:15)
Oh, hey, this is kind of interesting. I seem to remember a little spat between ERV & UD/Sal a few months back.  Seems she went to UD to defend herself and was banned by DS.  Then the circus took up at her place, and she and Sal went back a forth for a while.

Now, she was livid, *LIVID* I tell you because she was banned from UD and unable to defend her position.  She was also very concerned about the demeanor of the UD posters and commenters.   Another time she was outraged at Behe for what she described as "scientific sexism" for making this really vile statement:  

Although she calls herself a “pre-grad student,” the tone of the post is decidedly junior high, the tone of someone who is trying hard to compete with all the other Mean Girls on that unpleasant website. I’ll pass over all that and try to stick to the substance.

Now, let’s consider how I was treated at Pharyngula (Lou‘s blog comments at the bottom).  I was banned in the same manner that ERV was, and the name calling was, well.....interesting:

I nominate FTK for female dog of the year, FTK is a bitch. She's a liar too, cretin,  FtK is outright lying , nutjob extremist FtK , fuckwit, ignorant or simply dishonest , she's insane,  twit , can we nominate FtK as Haemorrhoid of the Year?, fucking stupid , Given how she fawns on people like Sal, Dembski, and Dave Scot, she seems to be looking for some kind of daddy figure., ftk is a liar and a bitch.,  Deceit and deception, PZ  writes: you are incredibly creepy. So creepy that if every I were unfortunate enough to meet either you or Slimy Sal in person I would not shake hands with you, unless there was a washroom handy and a bucket of disinfectant available,  Sex between Sal and FtK... now that's bestiality,  let Sal and FTK have fun rubbing the slime on each other,  fools and idiots,  Ftk deserves, well, disgusted pity,  asshole of the year, chronically dishonest, repetitive, and insipid, I hereby pronounce Ftk as "Taint of the Year" ,  annoying twat , asshole,  FTK was doing was shitting in the communal punch-bowl from which we all drink with her belligerent, serial lying and refusal to admit her error and churlish behavior while flogging us with her rigid morality, BITE ME, FtK!,  PZ writes: Throwing FtK out is like chasing away a plague rat. She's got nothing to contribute but poison.,  FTK is a bitch. She's a liar too.,  Nice job, Ftk. You’re an idiot, infantile and dumber than a goddamned rock, annoying, insulting, unreasonable, clueless, vile, condescending with no discernible reason for being so, offensive, childish, and … did I mention dumb?, Also, you’re just mad because the UD boys were all swooning over me first. That makes you sloppy seconds, She’s a narcissistic, self-absorbed, self-martyring, smarmy, brain-dead bitch.


I'll have to refresh your memory on the Sal-Abbie spat.  

After ERV had been banned, Sal suggested at UD that she deliberately misled her readers about the evolution of HIV.  This is the worst accusation that you can make against a scientist.  When he or she is caught cheating, it's the end of a career.  There have been several notable cases recently (Hendrik Schön in physics, Woo-Suk Hwang in biology) and you might want to read about what happened to these guys.  

It's no wonder that Abbie reacted strongly to Sal's completely false accusations.  After  some prodding from evil Darwinists, Sal apologized, the classy guy that he is.  

Now tell us Abbie overreacted.

Date: 2008/01/05 11:39:03, Link
Author: olegt
Another gem from professorsmith, in response to Rich:
I’ve changed my mind and allowed Rich’s latest missive to go through because I think an important point needs to be made here.

1) Blogs are not classrooms. I would not treat my classroom as a blog just as I’m not treating my blog as a classroom.

2) But, more importantly, I do to some extent want my students to look things up, to see for themselves. I want my students to learn critical thinking (they certainly don’t get it in high school biology) and not to simply take in whatever they are told as fact. That is the key difference here. The Darwinist gets upset when asked to do a little work or to look things up. The Darwinist already knows the answer as specified by her worldview. The Darwinist has no need for studying the problem or getting information from multiple sources. The Darwinist gets upset when I tell her to go look at a link and actually read it. The Darwinist is unscientific. The Darwinist would rather I teach my class some dogmatic, uncritical pablum and present it as fact.

So, to answer your question, Rich, yes and no. I do encourage my students to look things up and see for themselves. I do encourage my students to explore links and read more thoroughly on the subject. It’s a shame that you think expanding your knowledge is a bad thing.

This person has no idea what teaching looks like from this side of the classroom.  I barely have time to cover the material my students have come to learn.  There's no time for remedial lessons in logic.  It's higher education, for crying out loud!  

And students who can't be bothered to click on a link?  It would be their problem, not mine.

Date: 2008/01/05 12:17:36, Link
Author: olegt

You, an anonymous poster, were subjected to juvenile name calling by 17-year-olds.  I don't condone it (ah, the pleasure of expanding one's dictionary!), but it would be a fool's errand to try and stamp out teenage rants.  

ERV, a real graduate student also known as S. Abbie Smith, was subjected to deliberate character assassination by a grown-up with three college degrees (and an aspiring scientist to boot).  

I think there's a bit of a difference here.

Date: 2008/01/05 13:11:16, Link
Author: olegt
I told him in the comments of that post that I understand his position, but that the way in which he went about making his point, which was highly provocative, was not fair to Darwinists in general.

For the sake of accuracy, let me mention that an hour later you disavowed your criticism:

You’ll have to ignore comment one of this post. In light of a recent turn of events, it would be hypocritical to suggest that you be more considerate of Darwinists.


Comment by Ftk — December 6, 2007 @ 10:10 pm

Date: 2008/01/05 14:13:04, Link
Author: olegt
Since I had just gotten after Sal for doing the same thing, I felt hypocritical for getting after him and told him so.  I had no right to tell him he was acting innapropriately when I had done the same thing.

That smacks of moral relativism, Ftk.  Where was your moral compass?   :p

Date: 2008/01/05 14:16:00, Link
Author: olegt

No, he/she claims to be a scientist:
My purpose as a scientist is to try to understand the world.  We see patterns in the world: Nature is full of hidden messages for us to decipher.  Poor materialist scientists have no way of knowing this: they are short-sighted and see only randomness.

The quote is wickedly funny, by the way.

Date: 2008/01/05 14:59:22, Link
Author: olegt

I don't think so, either.  But here is professorsmith:
And, no, you can’t get me to give up too much back story. I’m three years from tenure and I’m not going to wind up like Gonzalez. But, I am curious as to why you can “conclude” that I’m not a physicist nor a biologist. Is it because of the canard that no true physicist or biologist supports ID? Well, I’ll have you know that there are more of us out here than you know.

Date: 2008/01/05 15:20:50, Link
Author: olegt
I think that bestiality is wrong because of the set of guidelines that I live by.  I believe those guidelines were given in order for us to live a life according to how we were *designed* to live.  The bible states that these type of acts are immoral, and there is good reason why one shouldn't engage in them.  


The Bible has lots of other guidelines that are, for some reason, ignored by modern Christians and Jews.  A. J. Jacobs, an Esquire editor, recently wrote a book The year of living biblically.  Doesn't his experience demonstrate that the rules of the game evolved over the millennia?  Or do you still not wear clothes of mixed fibers?

Date: 2008/01/05 16:07:24, Link
Author: olegt

It'd be fun to invite professorsmith to the party.  However, I am afraid he/she does not approve of this site:
Mr. Hurd,
I’m not sure what response you are talking about. It might have been picked up in the spam filter and I might have missed it. Either way, do you really think that I would go to ATBC where many have a militant mindset against ID and ID practitioners?

Date: 2008/01/05 16:16:25, Link
Author: olegt
Thanks for the detailed answer, Ftk.  

I mean no disrespect and I don't think anyone else will engage in that.  My point was that those laws weren't absolute since they were open to human interpretation.

Date: 2008/01/05 21:00:55, Link
Author: olegt

Sal's not a Ph. D. candidate.  He is taking evening classes towards a master's degree in physics:
My retreat from the public view….

No word yet on future plans.

Date: 2008/01/05 23:37:19, Link
Author: olegt
I dunno, factician.  Casey Luskin went to grad school (he has an M. A. in Earth Sciences from UCSD), but he still writes crap like this:
But there is a deeper question: (2) If humans and chimps were truly only 1% different at the genetic level, why should that demonstrate common ancestry? As noted in Slide 9, similarities in key genetic sequences may be explained as a result of functional requirements and common design rather than mere common descent. We might reasonably ask the evolutionist why the 1% difference value is considered powerful evidence for Darwinian evolution, and at what point does the comparison cease to support Darwinian evolution? What about 2% different? 3%? 5%? 10%? Is there an objective metric for falsification here, or is PBS putting forth a fallacious argument for human / chimp common ancestry?

Darwin's Failed Predictions, Slide 10:
The myth of 1% human-chimp genetic differences

The silliness is not caused by a lack of education.  They are simply not interested in science; rather, they view it as an instrument for advancing their cause.  It's a PR effort and so everything goes.  It doesn't matter that we find their "ID science" laughable: we are not their target audience, Ftk is.

Date: 2008/01/06 14:10:45, Link
Author: olegt

More dogs in the snow

Lately, I’ve seen a lot of Darwinists on this blog, so I’m glad it’s Sunday when I can put up pictures of my dogs and not have to worry about their dogmatic mindsets.  I just happen to like these pictures, and I hope you do too.

It's strange to hear this from a guy/gal claiming to work at a state university, a place presumably crawling with Darwinists.  How do you keep your sanity at work, Prof?  :p

Date: 2008/01/06 18:42:24, Link
Author: olegt
Hi UnMark,

Great job so far!  I love professorsmith's reaction:
“No apparent divine direction” would be more palatable than “directionless” but that’s not what Darwinists say. If it were the former, I would have a lot less problem with them. Alas, it is the latter. There was a flap a while ago about how this appeared in quite a few textbooks, even Ken Miller had it in his book.

All science so far!   :p

Date: 2008/01/07 18:34:23, Link
Author: olegt
Instead of wasting 3,109 words, BarryA should have just said Scientific ideas are tentative.

Date: 2008/01/07 20:10:25, Link
Author: olegt
Hmm... Tried to post to a wrong thread.

Date: 2008/01/07 20:12:24, Link
Author: olegt
Oh, this is delicious:
8:45 pm


Oops, you’re right.

But the reason I asked is because it’s perhaps not the only alternative.

Yes, it is possible that evolutionary theory is just fundamentally wrong, and that intelligent design proponents are revolutionary geniuses who in the future will be revered while the likes of Darwin, Gould and Sean B. Carroll are scoffed at.

But let’s remember that ID is not the only alternative to evolution. There is after all Creationism in its various forms.

This is what I call Zugzwang.

Date: 2008/01/08 06:27:37, Link
Author: olegt
xcdesignproponentsists gets his reward:
7:19 am
xcdesignwhatever is no longer with us. Anyone wanting to criticize Behe’s “Edge of Evolution” without bothering to read it first can do it elsewhere.

xcdp, please come out for a round of applause.

Date: 2008/01/08 10:43:32, Link
Author: olegt
I *heart* Darth Piglet.  The tard is strong with this one.

Date: 2008/01/08 12:09:37, Link
Author: olegt

That should be yarn theory.

Date: 2008/01/08 20:18:41, Link
Author: olegt
The latest from the bunker:
Your compadres can complain all they want about the way I run my blog

Welcome to our humble home, professorsmith!  Feel free to delurk.

Date: 2008/01/09 18:16:59, Link
Author: olegt
Sewell unleashed a tsunami of nonsense with his post.  Frost122585 writes:
Schrodinger’s cat to my best understanding is merely a physical expression of the inability of mathematics to “get at” the darkest abysses of rational understanding of the objective universe- especially when dealing in probabilities.

He has it exactly backwards.  We do have a mathematical description of quantum physics.  It works with great precision, as has been verified by numerous experiments.  It's our minds that fail to rationalize the behavior of quantum objects.  Not surprising, given that our brains have been shaped by classical experience.

Date: 2008/01/09 18:42:32, Link
Author: olegt
More from the same author:
Well this is true- yet think about how the macro world is highly predictable and the micro world is not as predictable- then think about the small electrical impulses in our brains that seem to be involved in our decision making–

maybe free will is a little like this.

Strictly speaking, macro world can be rather unpredictable, too: with a few exceptions (harmonic oscillator), the dynamics of most classical systems is not only analytically intractable, it's also chaotic. That means that even the most powerful computer cannot predict the exact motion of the system: a small change in the initial conditions or a tiny round-off error will produce a trajectory that eventually diverges from the "correct" one.  And that's not a bug, it's a feature.  It's precisely this unpredictable behavior that gives rise to ergodicity and statistical mechanics.

Date: 2008/01/10 06:58:55, Link
Author: olegt
jerry brings sci-fi under the big tent, thus putting ID on a firm foundation:
In his great short story, The Last Question, [Asimov] tells of a super, super computer that has intelligence and tries to answer the question of how to reverse entropy. And the answer could be the basis for many of the discussions on this site.

Edited to add a comma.

Date: 2008/01/10 12:29:34, Link
Author: olegt
DaveT starts a great thread defending Arguments from Incredulity.  See, physicists use it all the time:
Let’s take the example that Granville Sewell offered in his most recent post here. He described Schrodinger’s equation and showed us that it’s theoretically possible for a pitched baseball to stop and hover in mid-air. A commenter who appeared to have a reasonable understanding of Schrodinger’s equation at first protested then ended up agreeing that it’s possible but the odds against it are long and for all practical purposes incalculable. They went on to agree that the quantum uncertainty is tractible in the analysis of a single electron orbiting a single proton (a hydrogen atom) but that the math is intractible for a pitched baseball because such a large number of particles are involved.

So how do we “know” that a pitched baseball won’t stop and hover in mid-air? Incredulity is how. We can’t precisely calculate the odds against it due to the system being so complex but we know it is (literally) incredibly improbable. It’s the same thing with ID. Although we can’t calculate the odds precisely we do know enough to see that self-organization of atoms into structures as complex as the machinery found in living cells is incredibly improbable. We couple this with the sure knowledge that intelligent agency routinely produces organizations of matter that, absent the intelligent agent’s intervention, are incredibly unlikely.

[emphasis mine --OT]

Earth to DaveT: no sane physicist uses quantum mechanics to compute the motion of a baseball through air.  We write down Newton's equations of motion and take into account (at the very least) gravity and (if you really insist) air resistance and the rotation of the ball.  Solutions to these time-tested equations show unequivocally that the ball does not stop midway in the air.  So much for incredulity.

In the comments, Sewell tells it like it is:
Someone, with apparently little scientific background, wrote in a 2005 American Spectator article (approximately) “the minute you begin to seriously entertain the idea that the human body could have come about without design, you have lost your mind.” That is the real argument, in a nutshell.

You just can't make it up.

Date: 2008/01/10 13:09:09, Link
Author: olegt
A great comment from Q:
Since the possibility that portions of the process are possible, the “incredulity” argument is quite weakened. Obviousness is lost. A more refined argument is needed to demonstrate that that which is possible actually becomes that which is not possible. In other words, incredulity has limits.

ROFLMAO!!1!!  Thank you, DaveT!

Date: 2008/01/11 08:40:28, Link
Author: olegt
professorsmith informs us how universities work and why IDers won't do research:
Tenured professors at universities have to have lab access just as much as untenured ones and if the school won’t allow it and put some money towards it, what then? And, what do Christian universities have to do with anything? What will scientists in industry do when the bulk of research is done at the university level? And, what, pray tell, will armchair scientists do, experiments in their basements? Yet, your hypothesis is still wrong. There is research being done that is suggestive and evidential in support of ID science. It’s simply done under the guise of supporting evolution. I’ve pointed out studies of this nature before. However, these studies need to fly under the radar.

Two errors.

1.  The school ponies up money for a lab when the professor is hired, as part of a start-up package.  Lab space is allocated at the same time.  From then on, building up and maintaining the lab is the responsibility of the faculty member.  The university does not put any more money towards it, the funding comes from grants.  

2.  If those super-duper-secret ID studies are supposed to fly under the radar, how come professorsmith outed them?

Date: 2008/01/11 09:12:56, Link
Author: olegt
Elsewhere we learn how much a lab costs:
Paying a salary to someone or paying someone a thousand bucks to travel to a conference or speaking engagement is quite different from spending the billions necessary to build up a state of the art lab.

This is off by a few orders of magnitude.  The annual outlays of the NIH are $28B, most of which is dispensed in the form of 50,000 competetive grants.  That works out to something like half a million per grant.  A PI can have two or three such grants, but we're still talking a million with an M, not B.  

Universities don't give money to faculty members for research, they take it in the form of overhead.  The exception is a start-up package given to a newly hired professor.  But the order of magnitude there is again a million, not a billion bucks, and that's for an experimentalist at a top research university.  

So no, individual labs don't cost billions.

Date: 2008/01/12 09:02:09, Link
Author: olegt
tribune7 on the future of science:
I think the future of science lies with home schoolers and graduates of non-public (yes mostly Christian) schools.

Date: 2008/01/12 12:32:29, Link
Author: olegt
Quality tard from toc:
I suspect that Mr. Dodgen’s observations are typical of many scientists working in business and industry. In the marketplace, the free exchange of ideas is sacrosanct.

Scientists in the university setting work within the last bastions of Marxism remaining on the planet. The university seems analogous to the kremlin; fear dominates a closed system; disagree with the department chair and you’re history.

The poster knows nothing about either industry or academia.

Date: 2008/01/12 12:48:41, Link
Author: olegt
DaveT finds a silver lining in Wikipedia:
There is one saving grace in this situation. Every single minute that the misguided liberal youths who comprise the bulk of Wikipedia low-level administrators spend in censoring anything appearing in wikipedia that conflicts with their leftist ideology is a minute they aren’t spending studying, working, or participating in the political system. The latter activities might actually someday get them into positions of real authority where they can do some real damage.

C'mon, Dave, look on both bright sides: every single minute these misguided liberal youths are studying, working, or participating in the political system is a minute they aren't spending at Wikipedia.  

It's a win-win situation for ID.

Date: 2008/01/12 13:17:45, Link
Author: olegt
Mapou comes up with a fresh idea:
I think it’s time for the dissenters to form their own version of an online encyclopedia to compete directly against the obviously biased Wikipedia.

You mean like this?

Date: 2008/01/13 21:24:40, Link
Author: olegt
Hi UnMark,

The latest post, citing Casey Luskin on the double standard, is complete BS.  Here's my comment at Mens' News Daily:
Casey sure has a short memory. Nature has previously published an article about intelligent design, by the same author and under the same rubric News Feature: G. Brumfiel, "Intelligent design: Who has designs on your students' minds?" Nature 434, 1062-1065 (28 April 2005). doi:10.1038/4341062a. (You can read it for free at Sal Cordova's website That article quotes Michael Behe, William Dembski, Stephen Meyer, Sal Cordova, Caroline Crocker and Casey Luskin himself. What double standard are you talking about, Casey?

Date: 2008/01/13 22:09:04, Link
Author: olegt
UnMark, well done.

Date: 2008/01/14 19:33:47, Link
Author: olegt
This Mapou character must be a top secret Darwinian sock puppet.  
We are engaged in a nasty war (don’t kid yourselves) against an entrenched and determined enemy. And we are the attackers. The way I see it, we cannot win this war the way we’re going about it. The enemy owns the territory. They have impregnable fortresses and giants in their midst. They own the educational system and they own the media. Unlimited propaganda and unmitigated deceit are their weapons of mass destruction. Sure, many of us have shown great personal courage but that’s not going to cut it. We won’t stand a chance if we think we can fight this war on our own. The enemy will crush us like bugs.


Date: 2008/01/14 20:39:05, Link
Author: olegt
Erasmus, I seen hiz blog, iz awsum.  That's why I think he is our top secret.

Date: 2008/01/14 22:02:14, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Jan. 14 2008,21:46)
oleg, i can't spare the brain cells to compare, but I have a hunch, call it a design inference if you wish, that this might be the same dude we are discussing.

Yup, that's him.  ID sure is a big tent.

Date: 2008/01/16 13:06:43, Link
Author: olegt
Only 12% of American adults believe that humans evolved without God's involvement and 53% think God created man in present form.  Couple that with the following graph and what do you conclude?

American public needs some education.

Date: 2008/01/16 17:22:23, Link
Author: olegt
Atom at 137
We could expect an engineer to leave some form of signature or copyright notice on their creation (signing it, if you will.)

He then figures out that the signature has the form of the number phi, a.k.a. the golden ratio

With this in mind, I think that Phi (also known as the Divine Ratio) is such a signature mark. It shows up EVERYWHERE in nature, as if nature has a reason to favor this particular ratio over others. It can be seen in the ratio of width to run length in DNA, in the spiral shape of galaxies, in the fibonnacci sequence, in the body proportions of man and animals, and lots of other places. It ties together all of nature with a single unity and is robust enough to still be recognized everywhere, even after eons of environmental change.

Glad we've solved that.  What about his social security number?

Date: 2008/01/16 17:29:04, Link
Author: olegt
Oh noes!  Wrong guy:

Date: 2008/01/16 19:40:11, Link
Author: olegt
With all the commenters banned, professorsmith is feeling so ronery.

Date: 2008/01/16 19:54:03, Link
Author: olegt
'nother P-A-R-O-D-Y moment from Dembski.  The IDers don't get it, so he has to chide his sock puppet:
Galapagos Finch: I’m afraid you have plagiarized my parody of ritualistic denunciations by scientific organizations of ID (see here). Unless the Board of Governors of the Brites credits me and my parody as the inspiration for your denunciation of ID, I will need to have my attorney take action. Also, I’m contacting the president of the University of Southern North Dakota at Hoople, where I happen to know you teach, to see that you are summarily removed from your position (remember what happened to Ward Churchill!).

You're so funny, Bill!

ETA:  The P-word appears twice!

Date: 2008/01/17 07:16:54, Link
Author: olegt
For whatever reason, two of my messages were let through in the thread Even More Darwinist Hypocrisy.  The good prof responded with the usual ur doing it rong.

Here's my latest comment that is languishing somewhere in the moderation queue:
Oleg Tchernyshyov // January 17, 2008 at 3:21 am

Oh, I’ve read both articles. Not sure about you, though.

To begin with, multiverse doesn’t get “a free pass” in the article. It gives equal time to both sides. Brumfiel quotes David Gross (a Nobel laureate and certainly an authority in particle physics) saying that the anthropic principle is not science. In response, Susskind doesn’t say that it is. Here is the exact quote:

It would be very foolish to throw away the right answer on the basis that it doesn’t conform to some criteria for what is or isn’t science.

Lenny is well aware that he is bending the definition of science. He finds it “deeply, deeply troubling” that there’s no way to test the principle. The article ends thusly:

Gross believes that the emergence of multiple universes in science has its origins in theorists’ 20-year struggle to explain the finely tuned numbers of the cosmos. “People in string theory are very frustrated, as am I, by our inability to be more predictive after all these years,” he says. But that’s no excuse for using such “bizarre science”, he warns. “It is a dangerous business.”

A free pass? I don’t think so. It paints the picture as it is, giving an opportunity to several scientists on both sides to speak up.

Where’s the double standard, again?

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Date: 2008/01/17 10:50:56, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (dheddle @ Jan. 17 2008,10:08)
Quote (hooligans @ Jan. 17 2008,09:42)
Censorship! Censorship! All of Shoghi's insightful comments related to frontloading and the development of predictions in ID have done gone and been dissapeared.

I was personally offended that his experiment related to spider propagation in a novel environment was considered beneath those at UD. Holy crap, they will allow comments related to forcefields around DNA!! Please!!! I mean come on, a middle school student who gets censored for expressing ID views at UD. This has got to be brought to the attention of the Expelled Producers.

Yes they censor, but that's not the worst of it! They have destroyed a crucial piece of evidence for their own cause. This is complicated stuff, so try to stay with me. Earlier on this thread, olegt reported on the mathematical ID discovery that the golden ratio passes the Turing test, the EF test, and lands on a singularity on a plot of CSI vs. All Irrational Numbers. That almost rescued me from the dark side, but what really allowed me to finally see the error of my ways was an easily missed nugget from olegt's post, right at the top, when he told us where to find the comment on UD:

Atom at 137

Someone named Atom posting at UD comment 137. As everyone knows, 137 is a magic number. It is almost exactly one over the fine structure constant (the slight deviation is a result of the fall.)

I was hooked!

But then---censorship, and now Atom's comment  has dropped to the boring number 133. The universe no longer makes sense.

That's called atomic decay, David.  Atom lost four marbles.

Date: 2008/01/17 18:16:30, Link
Author: olegt
DaveT points out why Guillermo Gonzalez's work important.
As an avid reader of what’s called “hard” science fiction (science fiction which incorporates as much as possible from actual experimental sciences into the plot) for the last 40 years and counting I recognized Gonzalez work as having important implications for hard science fiction.

Read the whole thing to see Dave reluctantly abandon Teh Copernican Principle of Mediocrity.

Date: 2008/01/18 09:47:17, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (J-Dog @ Jan. 18 2008,09:03)
Quote (Lou FCD @ Jan. 18 2008,08:03)
See, that's what I'm thinking.

I was pretty sure for a while that he was just some random crank pretending to be a Professor, but then I got to thinking about Dembski, Behe, etc.

Maybe he's an art professor or a math professor or something.

Engineering, anyone?  Shop?  Probably not biology, but maybe something unrelated?  He wouldn't be the first Dr. Dr. to pontificate authoritatively on a subject about which he is neither qualified nor conversant.

...or he could be a refrigerator repairman.

Well he/she sure do write purty, so maybe some east coast private school?  I could see that, plus the dog in the snow pics means AZ, and FL are out.  I think some small, snobish east coast private school, maybe a girl's school?  Plus the insulation form the Real World, and their insistence on an ID World, maybe a 14th century French Lit Professor?

MA.  At least some of the pics were taken in the Blue Hills Reservation, just south of Boston.  That bog with a boardwalk is pretty well known.

Date: 2008/01/18 21:49:27, Link
Author: olegt
In case anyone still thinks that professorsmith might be a biologist, this post should help:

Is My Mushroom a Boy or a Girl?
January 18, 2008 · No Comments

Here’s a fascinating article that has determined that fungus have sexual differences.  This is a great study into the code of DNA and how that code can be programmed for different purposes.  This is a great support for ID, in that it shows how much DNA is an actual code or program.

Date: 2008/01/20 15:07:26, Link
Author: olegt
OA, your experience is not unique.  A number of people on this blog have gone through that, including me.  

The latest news from the bunker is Coyotes on the Prowl.  No doggie pics this time, unfortunately.
I had taken [the Collies] out for a short, nighttime stroll so that they could “do their potties,” (which is their command to evacuate their systems), when I noticed some sort of dog-like creature dart out and run across the road in front of us.  We were, thankfully, near the house, so I headed for the front door with M and A when I noticed that there were two more figures standing just beyond my fence, looking at us.

The story is probably made up: it's hard to believe that the human would spot the coyotes before the dogs would.

Date: 2008/01/20 22:03:02, Link
Author: olegt
there are literally hundreds of leading experts in a multitude of scientific disciplines who are "skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life."

More like 700 hundred crackpots.

Date: 2008/01/22 19:10:50, Link
Author: olegt
In a piece titled Lacking a Middle-Ground, the Swiss Devolve into Evolutionary Dogmatism, Casey the Earth scientist laments the rejection of young-Earth creationism by a school district in Switzerland and pleads for the introduction of ID as a middle ground.  I like this line in particular:
Since young earth creationism is so controversial, the article reports that “[t]he school authorities in canton Bern quickly revised the brochure included in the textbook” and removed the young earth creationist materials, leaving students to be told that “evolution has been proven beyond all reasonable doubt.”

Casey, wake up!  YEC isn't controversial, it's brain-dead.

And this line from the article at swissinfo, quoted by Casey, really caught me by surprise:
According to Scheidegger, evangelical Christian churches are the driving force behind a literal translation of the book of Genesis and the rejection of evolution.

Ya don't say?!!

Date: 2008/01/24 11:02:38, Link
Author: olegt
Just a reminder about who DI is appealing to.  

John West, Associate Director of DI's Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture, is giving a talk at the Faith and Law Forum, an organization whose purpose is formulated thusly:
Faith and Law is a volunteer, nonprofit organization that seeks to examine the vocational implications of a Christian worldview so congressional staff can better understand the significance of their faith in their calling to the public square. It promotes Christian worldview development through regular (one or two per month) Faith & Law lectures, bi-weekly worldview reading groups, and a semi-annual “Great Objects Day” for senior staff to deepen their understanding of one critical politico-cultural issue at a time.

All science so far!

Date: 2008/01/25 13:38:19, Link
Author: olegt
I am appropriating this little gem for my signature:
Science needs checks and balances just like the rest of government.

Date: 2008/01/26 09:16:59, Link
Author: olegt

Date: 2008/01/26 10:11:04, Link
Author: olegt
Oh NOES!  Don't start till I get popcorn!

Date: 2008/01/27 20:52:30, Link
Author: olegt
PaV's comment in his own thread OOL is a Sticky Situation is a good illustration of what's wrong with the UD crowd.  
Our task is not to explain the Designer, but to detect, and acknowledge, design. If the Creator made gravity, then we have proven the capacity to understand it’s subtlety, as with quantum mechanics and such. Though our minds cannot wrap itself completely around the Creator, that doesn’t mean we can’t understand elements of what the Creator created. IOW, I don’t need to understand quantum mechanics to use a microwave; but a microwave oven uses quantum mechanics, and I know that it does; but I don’t know quantum mechanics.

These guys, for the most part, don't know diddly-squat about science, are well aware of that, and yet make grand pronouncements precisely on that subject.  

In this instance, quantum mechanics is essential neither for the generation of microwaves in a magnetron, nor for their absorption by water molecules: both processes are squarely within the realm of classical physics.  Quantum mechanics is essential when you deal with narrow discrete lines in atomic or molecular spectra.  Microwave absorption in water takes place in broad bands that reflect rotations and frequent collisions of electric dipoles.  Classical Newtonian physics is fully capable of dealing with that.  

PaV continues:
An analogy presents itsself. In QM, the hydrogen atom is known with exquisite precision; and science likes to pat itself on the back about this. But the hydrogen atom consists of one electron and one proton. But after that, to describe all the other elements, approximations of the hydrogen atom (!) are used. So, no one understand atoms other than hydrogen with precision, but using hydrogen as a model we can get good approximations of the other elements. We will never know God with precision; but we can still understand Him in some way, some ‘approximate’ way.

The part on quantum mechanics is ok, we do rely on the exact solution for the hydrogen atom as a starting point for jumping to other elements.  But the analogy with God (I'm sure he meant the Designer :p) does not work: there is no ID theory that could boast the success of the Schroedinger equation.  

What a sorry bunch.

Date: 2008/01/28 07:39:01, Link
Author: olegt
I haven't read the previous thread, but if I understand it correctly, TP is arguing something physicists and mathematicians have known for a while: a zigzag path in a spacetime with a metric signature (+,-,-,-) has a shorter length than a straight line.  Duh!

Date: 2008/01/28 13:14:06, Link
Author: olegt
blipey, I'll have to look for the reference.  

TP, yes, it's well known (to physicists and mathematicians, anyway) that light travels along null geodesics.

Date: 2008/01/28 15:02:39, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Thought Provoker @ Jan. 28 2008,13:52)
Thank you again olegt.

Now that we finally got that squared away, hopefully we can see how the apparent interconnections of "non-local" photons in quantum experiments (e.g. EPR, Bell inequality, Greenberger–Horne–Zeilinger (GHZ) states, etc.) isn't that mysterious once it is recognized that this all happens in four dimensional space-time.

Is this another obvious statement?

Obvious?  I don't think so.  Your statement is wrong, on a couple of levels.

For starters, the relativistic aspect is not particularly relevant to the EPR paradox: the original and its variants apply to nonrelativistic quantum mechanics as well.  The 1935 paper by Einstein et al. dealt with the physical observable known as momentum, a concept perfectly valid in nonrelativistic mechanics.  Bell formulated his theorem for two nonrelativistic particles carrying spins 1/2.  You don't need photons, you can do experiments with particles at rest.  

Relativity only serves to highlight the paradox: if a physical signal could travel faster than the speed of light, it would also violate causality (in a different reference frame).  So, relativity does not explain anything; on the contrary, it makes quantum physics more mysterious.  

The EPR paradox is not only stated but also resolved without any help from relativity.  While the measurement performed on one part of an entangled pair does change the wavefunction of the pair, there are no experimentally measurable consequences to the other part.  Suppose Alice and Bob share two spin-1/2 particles in an entangled state with a total spin 0.  If Alice measures the spin of her particle, she knows instantaneously that Bob's particle as a spin pointing in the opposite direction.  She can predict what the result of Bob's measurement will be, but she can't send Bob any signal using this setup because no matter what Bob does with his particle, he won't be able to learn whether Alice did her measurement.  So Alice can't send an instantaneous signal to Bob and thus there is no paradox.  There is a vast amount of literature on this, so I won't go into details.  

To conclude, TP, your appeal to spacetime does not resolve the EPR paradox because relativity makes it even worse (no physical object can travel faster than light).  The resolution lies in the nonclassical nature of quantum randomness: the rules of quantum physics are logically consistent, even though they do not agree with probabilistic interpretations inspired by classical physics (hence the paradox in the form of Bell's theorem).  Experiments nonetheless show that quantum theory gives correct predictions, so it's vindicated.

Date: 2008/01/28 22:09:25, Link
Author: olegt
TP, all current interpretations of quantum mechanics are equivalent as far as experimental consequences are concerned.  So there is no physical reason to prefer one interpretation over another.  The Copenhagen interpretation has the advantage of being taught in college courses, which makes it the lingua franca of QM.  That's a good enough reason to stick with it and there are no good reasons to do otherwise.  

The rest of your comment contains statements that are either trivially true or extremely vague.  Yes, the quantum wavefunction of a particle can be changed at a distance if it is in an entangled state.  However, I have no idea what you mean by "quantum information" that travels faster than light.  Give a formal definition, then we can discuss it.  

And no, relativity is not necessary for the understanding of quantum physics.  Every textbook I know (and that's not a small number) deals at length with the nonrelativistic theory first.  Relativistic quantum mechanics is a marriage of quantum mechanics and relativity, two areas of physics that are already well developed on their own.  Take a look inside this classic textbook and you'll see what I mean.  

ETA: Penrose's views on quantum gravity are irrelevant to this question.  There is no theory of quantum gravity yet, as far as I know.

Date: 2008/01/28 22:38:55, Link
Author: olegt
Uncommonly Denyse offers three more predictions.  Here's the main theorem, the other two being the corollaries:
1. Academic institutions will force students to sign statements saying that they renounce the idea that the universe could be intelligently designed. So students from most normal human traditions will be forced to sign a statement saying that their tradition is actually lies, garbage, and drivel. Even though the evidence of the fine tuning of the universe actually supports their traditions’ most basic elements. And if they appeal to the judiciary, the judgebots will demand that they sign, if they want an education.

Denyse, wake up, it's already happening!  Colleges with religious affiliations already require their students (and professors) to sign a statement of faith.  And you know what?  They are convinced that statements of faith do not in themselves limit true academic freedom. Here's how the good folks at Patrick Henry College handle it.
Academic Freedom or Religious Coercion?

Professors at Patrick Henry College sign a statement of faith as a requirement of employment. This practice might suggest to some that our professors give up academic freedom when they sign the PHC statement of faith. The unstated assumption embedded in such a claim is that academic freedom is an intrinsically good thing and policies that compromise this freedom are undesirable. Fair enough. Most people agree that academic freedom is good. But this only raises an obvious question, namely, what exactly is academic freedom?

Their brilliant solution?  Redefine academic freedom so that it's not violated!

But perhaps academic freedom should be understood in another sense. What if we define academic freedom as the freedom for scholars holding similar worldviews to associate and in so doing to form a community of scholars actively pursuing truth in a collegial and cooperative fashion? Academic freedom in this sense seeks to step back from the radically individualized conception in the first definition in favor of a view that emphasizes community and cooperation.

What did they say about people in glass houses?

Date: 2008/01/29 12:05:17, Link
Author: olegt
Then I'm a bad atheist since I don't worship Darwin and, by and large, only hear his name when creashunists utter it.  I was seriously LOLled when I learned (from Casey Luskin, I think) that I was a Darwinist.  Since I am a physicist, I must also be a Newtonian and an Einsteinist.  And a Bohred Gibbsian Maxwellist to boot.

Date: 2008/01/29 20:07:11, Link
Author: olegt
TP, quantum decoherence was not the subject of our discussion and couldn't have been.  Quantum entanglement is destroyed by decoherence, which means that if you wish to have the former, you make sure that the latter does not occur.  There is no point in dragging it in if your goal is to discuss entanglement.  

I see no further point in having a discussion with you since you are unable to stay on topic and keep changing the subject.  You haven't bothered to define what you mean by "quantum information," and from that I conclude that you are not interested in having a conversation, either.  

Best wishes,


Date: 2008/02/01 13:07:53, Link
Author: olegt
bFast tells us what ID-Day would look like:
if a UFO came down, and little green men popped off. If they went on to claim that they are the designer of life on earth. If they then sat down with the scientists and showed them how they did it. This would be a solid victory for ID.

Feel free to use the quote in your signature.

Date: 2008/02/02 08:59:46, Link
Author: olegt
I am not wedded to Penrose's interpretation.  I would really like to hear someone actually defend Many Worlds interpretation.  The best I get is that it is just as good as anything else because it predicts that results of measurements.  Whoopty ding dong, I know plenty of ID Proponents that will happily provide a hypothesis that predicts the results of all experiments.

An explaination needs to make sense.

Penrose's explanation makes sense.

This is where you go off the rails, TP.  All of the various interpretations of QM make sense: they're all logically consistent.  That is a minimal requirement for a physical theory.  

Unfortunately, logical consistency does not guarantee the validity.  A theory must be tested experimentally.  Penrose's theory fingers gravity as the cause of wave function collapse.  In principle, it can be tested.  If and when it is tested, we'll see how it fares.  

Multiworld interpretation does not seem to be experimentally testable at the moment.

Date: 2008/02/02 10:22:12, Link
Author: olegt
If I understand correctly, the Afshar would also be supporting evidence for Penrose's OR.

I'd like to see how.  Please explain.  Don't change the subject.

Date: 2008/02/02 11:51:48, Link
Author: olegt
TP, no, you do NOT seem to understand what you are talking about.  Here's a typical example.
Experiments demonstrating Greenberger–Horne–Zeilinger (GHZ) quantum states coupled with demonstrations involving C60 and C70 fullerenes("BuckyBalls") make for some pretty hard evidence to explain.

Penrose's OR does that.

GHZ experiments demonstrate the existence of quantum entanglement.  Penrose, with his OR, tries to explain the collapse of the wavefunction, which (among other things) kills entanglement and returns physics to its classical form.  It's plain wrong to suggest that Penrose's OR explains GHZ.  

And you are precisely right: everything is fine as long as you provide direct quotes from Penrose, but as soon as you try to formulate things in your own words it becomes clear that you don't have the foggiest idea about the subject.  You find it cool to throw around the names of Penrose, Hawkings, or Zeilinger, but you don't have a clue about the physics.

Date: 2008/02/02 16:51:07, Link
Author: olegt
If you read this description of TIQM it sounds very similar to OR.  But instead of "quanglement" going backwards and forwards in time, TIQM has advanced and retarded waves.

Penrose changed the term from "waveform collapse" to "objective reduction" for a reason.  I suggest it is because OR doesn't posit a wave-form collapsing into a particle-form.  It's all waves.  Or more specifically, it's all part of one, giant wavefunction that is our universe.

They may sound similar to you, TP, but they aren't.  

Cramer's "transactional interpretation" is just a philosophical icing on the cake of standard quantum mechanics.  The physics and mathematics remain exactly the same, the only new element is a warm and fuzzy feeling in our stomachs.  Here's a quote from Cramer's definitive article in the Reviews of Modern Physics:
It should be emphasized that the TI is an interpretation of the existing formalism of quantum mechanics rather than a new theory or revision of the quantum mechanical formalism. As such, it makes no predictions which differ from those of conventional quantum mechanics. It is not testable except on the basis of its value in dealing with interpretational problems. The author has found it to be more useful as a guide for deciding which quantum mechanical calculations to perform than to the performance of such calculations. [Emphasis in the original, underlining mine --OT]

On the other hand, Penrose's theory is physically different from the standard QM.  He argues that the collapse of a wavefunction occurs because of gravitational effects.  Thus, an experimental check of Penrose's objective collapse is possible and it must show that gravity is indeed involved.  

In light of the above, Afshar's experiment cannot be viewed as a confirmation of either Cramer's or Penrose's theories.  The former is untestable, as its author himself wrote.  The latter did not receive a boost from Afshar because his experiments had nothing to do with gravity.  There go your claims.

Date: 2008/02/02 23:39:52, Link
Author: olegt
olegt, at this point I'm not sure where our disagreements are.  You confirmed my understanding of the Traveling Twin's shorter path through spacetime.  While you balked at my use of quantum information, you appeared comfortable with Penrose's quanglement.  I didn't get into the single wavefunction because it was obvious you would view that as just philosophical shading of standard QM like TIQM.

TP, I'll repeat one more time, but my patience is not infinite.  

Your comments make no sense.  You throw around quotes from Penrose and Hawking but you can't formulate anything on your own.  You claim that different theories are similar where they are not, find experimental support for them where there is none, and use categories that you can't even define.  As a result, your posts are a curious mixture of things that are trivially true ("shortcuts" in Minkowski space), unsupported and usually false assertions (Penrose's OR is similar to Cramer's TI), and plain non sequiturs (GHZ confirms Penrose's OR).  This stuff doesn't provoke deep thoughts, it reminds me of Alan Sokal's hoax paper Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity.  

The funniest thing is that you nod in agreement, move on and then ask me to point out where we disagree.  

And you guessed it right: I do find Penrose's hypothesis a speculation because it lacks an experimental confirmation.  You got a problem with that?

Date: 2008/02/02 23:44:11, Link
Author: olegt
When we're both done reading it (all of it), I'll listen to your views...if I think they have merit, I'll hook Vox up with this link and tell him his atheist audience thinks he's full of it.

But, until you've read the whole thing, I think I'll hold off on that.

What's next?  Shall we have to read Ann Coulter, listen to Rush Limbaugh and watch Michelle Malkin?  You can't be serious, Ftk.

Date: 2008/02/03 09:43:04, Link
Author: olegt
Magnan is channeling Alan Sokal:
The phenomena of parapsychology are strong evidence that at least human minds are able to regularly transcend the physical brain and at least apparently act as mobile centers of consciousness. Quantum theories of conscioiusness are some of the most advanced today and posit an immaterial conscious mind biasing the collapse of state vectors of quantum phenomena in the brain in order to manipulate brain activity (firing of synaptic junctions).

Date: 2008/02/03 10:58:25, Link
Author: olegt
I have no idea why Day would bring up fractals.  They're not infinitely complex (unless he thinks white noise is infinitely complex).  Fractals arise quite naturally and don't require any intelligent designer.  Domain walls in a critical state of a magnet are fractal surfaces.  Britain's coastline is a fractal curve (Slartibartfast for Designer!).  Day even acknowledges that in the text himself!  What's the point then?

Date: 2008/02/03 18:03:36, Link
Author: olegt
Ftk, you don't seem to understand what ad hominem means.  Please look it up before formulating your argument.

Date: 2008/02/03 20:47:36, Link
Author: olegt
TP, I'm not going to reply to the first part of your latest comment since I've already commented on those subjects.  I'm going to answer the rest and it'll be a long answer.
The brings us to to justifying the default position or, as you say, "Standard QM" while we wait for experimental confirmation.  What is the "Standard QM" explanation for why BuckyBalls exhibit coherence but baseballs don't?  If the quote from the BuckyBall experimenters is any indication it comes down to assuming there is unexplainable magic behind Heisenberg's pronouncement.

It looks like magic only if you put it in black-and-white terms: an object either exhibits quantum coherence or it doesn't.  But it doesn't work that way.  Coherence, quantified through a suitable statistical quantity like the density matrix, decreases to zero gradually as the object is getting wacked by the environment.  Experiments show that it usually does so in an exponential fashion, as exp(-t/T), where T is called a decoherence time.  You can say that a quantum system possesses coherence over time intervals short to T and doesn't over ones longer than T.  While that would only be a qualitative description, it shows that the situation is a bit more complex than you assume.  

In light of this fact, the question becomes quantitative: how long is the decoherence time?  The answer depends on the particular physical system and its environment.  While calculating it is not an easy task, in some cases it has been done in the framework of standard quantum mechanics.  For instance, Das Sarma and his collaborators recently computed the decoherence time for a phosphorus spin planted in silicon (a few milliseconds at 8 degrees Kelvin).  In this case, decoherence is caused by the hyperfine interaction of the phosphorus electron spin with the spins of silicon nuclei.  The calculated value agrees with the experimentally measured one in various settings, thus indicating that perhaps gravity has nothing to do with decoherence in this case, it's all within the reach of standard quantum mechanics.  

I don't think anyone computed the decoherence time for a baseball in a typical environment.  It's a much more complicated task.  However, given the vastly greater number of degrees of freedom (10^23 vs 1) and their strong interaction with the environment, one can reasonably infer that the decoherence time will be much, much shorter than in the case of an electron spin in ultrapure silicon.  That, and not exotic gravitational quantum effects, are the likely reason for the lack of quantum coherence for baseballs.  
So, by "Standard QM" could an isolated planet-size rock in an isolated part of space be in superposition as long as there is no chance anyone could measure both position and momentum?

Penrose has a logical explanation.  Mass, whether in superposition or not, curves space.  The larger the mass, the steeper the curve.  Ergo, coherence is time limited for objects with mass, the larger the mass, the shorter the time.

Coherence of massless photons can be maintained forever.

Coherence of very light electrons have a long time limit.

Coherence of heavier atoms have shorter time limits.

Coherence of BuckyBalls is too short to do much more than interference patterns.

Coherence of Baseballs is so short as to be undetectable.

I'm afraid I don't find this argument convincing.  For starters, not only mass, but also the number of particles involved increases in this sequence.  More importantly, standard quantum mechanics provides an excellent account for decoherence in at least some of the physical systems (see the example above), while Penrose's theory remains at this point a speculation.

Date: 2008/02/04 12:10:43, Link
Author: olegt
If you visit the DI blog Evolution News & Views, you'll be stunned to find the ResearchBlogging.Org icon displayed prominently on the front page.  You see, Casey now blogs on peer-reviewed research.  Except that he doesn't.  

Casey's post is about a posthumous essay by Leslie Orgel that was printed in PLoS Biology.  Orgel's article is an opinion piece, not a peer-reviewed research paper.  Which means that Luskin is simply using the ResearchBlogging.Org icon to look legit. Nice try, Casey!

Folks at ResearchBlogging.Org are aware of this situation.  Stay tuned for further developments.

Date: 2008/02/04 21:38:41, Link
Author: olegt
GilDodgen asketh:
Any news as to whether or not The Design of Life might become the companion book to Expelled?

I am not making this up.

Date: 2008/02/05 21:28:00, Link
Author: olegt
I thought this was a Casey Luskin thread.  Wrong door, apparently...

Date: 2008/02/05 21:30:22, Link
Author: olegt
Ftk, congratulations on your Salvador Cordova award!  The acceptance speech could have been longer, though.

Date: 2008/02/05 21:42:08, Link
Author: olegt
I've no plans to travel to Laurel, Ftk.

Date: 2008/02/06 12:41:12, Link
Author: olegt
jerry sez:
I have been posting for a couple years now and have yet to see anyone banned because they asked an “awkward question.” You can prove me wrong by listing some awkward questions that do not get answered. I am not aware of any.

The most common reasons one gets banned are ad hominem attacks and constant irrelevant criticisms or maybe just plain thickness in their arguments.

Why don’t you assemble some of the awkward questions and we can discuss whether they are valid or not.

Here is my bannination thread, in case anyone wishes to provide an example.

Date: 2008/02/07 07:21:06, Link
Author: olegt
DaveT on how science ought to work:
A scientist who discredits the work of another is not winning friends in the process. Ruining the work of another takes away jobs while not creating any new ones. I was recently involved in a discussion of this in another forum with hundreds of scientists. Nearly all agreed that science needs what I termed “official falsifiers” whose sole task is finding flaws in the work of others. Jokes ensued that the holders of that job would need tenure, an armored Humvee, bodyguards, a windowless office, martial arts training, a hotline to the FBI witness protection program, no family, and not be concerned about being hated and scorned by everyone like he was the grim reaper. Jokes aside, it’s a real problem.

Welcome to the real world, Dave.  There already is such a process.  It's called anonymous peer review.

Date: 2008/02/08 06:19:35, Link
Author: olegt
As always happens in discussions of academic freedom at UD, Rick Sternberg is paraded as an ID martyr.  Daniel King asks:
Does anyone know what Sternberg is doing now?

Richard von Sternberg has served out his term (5-Jan-04 to 4-Jan-07) as a Research Associate at the Smithsonian and is now serving another term (15-Nov-06 to 14-Nov-09) as a Research Collaborator.  Neither is a paid position, so he has never been a Smithsonian employee.
STernberg's CV at his web site.
Smithsonian Research Associates in 2004
Smithsonian Research Associates in 2005
Smithsonian Research Associates in 2007

Date: 2008/02/10 09:52:42, Link
Author: olegt
FtK quotes Vox Day at UD:
The idea that religion is the enemy of science is a remarkably silly one when examined in scientific terms. Consider that Christian nation and the hostility to science that it supposedly harbors due to its extraordinary religiosity. And yet the United States of America accounts for more than one-third of the global scientific output despite representing only 4.5 percent of the global population. The scientific overperformance of religious America is a factor of 7.89, representing 28.7 percent more scientific output per capita than the most atheistic nation in Europe, France.

Vox Day uses dated (1999) statistics and cherry-picks his numbers.  One can find the latest data in the NSF report Science and Engineering Indicators.  The US share of the world scientific output shrank from 34.2% (1995) to 28.9% (2005).  While France indeed underperforms the US in the number of scientific publications per capita, Britain and Sweden outperform the US by 9% and 58%.  Needless to say, Sweden is even less religious than France and Britain isn't far behind France in that respect.

Aside from that, a quick look at the top research universities in the US shows that they are concentrated in the Northeast and California, not in the Bible Belt.

Date: 2008/02/12 08:47:35, Link
Author: olegt
Not content with being a mere Isaac Newton of information theory, Bill Dembski photoshops himself onto the picture of the 1927 Solvay Congress alongside Einstein, Bohr, Planck and the like.  No farting noises this time.

Date: 2008/02/12 09:37:52, Link
Author: olegt
Speaking of dolls...

Date: 2008/02/12 11:16:35, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Maya @ Feb. 12 2008,11:07)
Leaving aside J-Dog's low hanging humor center, isn't this a copyright violation?  Or is the picture in the public domain?

It is in public domain.  See here:

Date: 2008/02/12 13:59:56, Link
Author: olegt

There is some digital evidence that ties Galapagos Finch to Dembski and Marks.  I'll comment on that later.

Date: 2008/02/13 06:30:26, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (BopDiddy @ Feb. 12 2008,11:31)
Quote (olegt @ Feb. 12 2008,08:47)
Not content with being a mere Isaac Newton of information theory, Bill Dembski photoshops himself onto the picture of the 1927 Solvay Congress alongside Einstein, Bohr, Planck and the like.

Now, now.  We don't know categorically that Dembski was involved in the creation of that parody.

We're the ones claiming that he was involved in its creation, so it's up to us to provide evidence of his involvement.  

Anyone here know any shitty math to help with this proof?

Let me first point a couple of clues that seem to tie Galapagos Finch to Dembski or Marks.  

* Finch is no layman.  As can be seen from  this page on, he is familiar with scientific typesetting.  The satirical article Socio-Chortelist Evolution of Humor: Emergent Jocularity from the Process of Natural Selection is produced in LaTeX: the file contains the digital string  
/Creator( TeX output 2006.10.02:1551)/Producer(dvipdfm 0.13.2c, Copyright 1998, by Mark A. Wicks)
LaTeX is a markup language used almost exclusively by people in academia, specifically by mathematicians, physicists, and computer scientists.  Dembski has a Ph.D. in math, Marks is a computer scientist.

* LaTeX documents come in a great variety of styles.  Gloppy's paper is apparently based on an IEEE template.  Here's a PDF sample.  Those of you who saw the preprints by Dembski and Marks on evolutionary computing will recognize the document style.  

* The digital string shown above, while not unique, is not that common.  There is a variety of ways to go from a device-independent output created by LaTeX (a .dvi file) to a PDF file, dvipdfm being one among maybe half a dozen (including Ghostscript, dvips, Quartz, pdfeTeX).  The preprints of Dembski and Marks also use dvipdfm.

It's all circumstantial evidence at this point.  Teh smoking gun, I has it, but it will have to wait until maybe tonight: I have a bunch of grown-up things to do.  Meanwhile, if someone has the old draft of the preprint by Dembski and Marks ev2.pdf please email me a copy.   My contact info is in the profile.

Date: 2008/02/13 11:48:41, Link
Author: olegt
Attenshun everyone!  GROUND YOUR IRONY METERS NOW!

DaveScot complains about D'OL being called Douchbag For Christ.  But what about this comment of yours, Dave?

Date: 2008/02/14 09:05:39, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Richardthughes @ Feb. 14 2008,08:12)
The ink seems to have broken... how convenient!

It's broken on purpose.  When I saved the thread last night the link was, which still works.  The current thread links to  It differs by one letter.  Nice job, Dave.

Date: 2008/02/14 09:15:19, Link
Author: olegt
And the thread is now closed to comments.  Wow, Dave, what courage!

Date: 2008/02/14 16:23:45, Link
Author: olegt
And don't miss this piece of fun wherein a righteous DaveScot wishes that Mapou burn in hell cos' Mapou lacks in the compashun department:
What a striking lack of compassion. I officially and openly despise you now and it is my fervent wish that you burn in hell. You represent what I hate most in the world. Any respect I had for you has completely vanished.

On further reflection, strike that fervent wish. My first wish is that you find compassion in your heart for the other living things you share the planet with. Barring that my second wish is that some sob who considers you a soulless animal get ahold of you in this lifetime and give you taste of what it’s like to be treated that way. Barring that I hope in wherever we find ourselves when we die you have to endure every bit of pain you caused before relief is granted. I still find people like you despicable though. I doubt you care but know it nonetheless. Have a nice day.

This couldn't happen to a nicer bunch.

Date: 2008/02/14 21:53:52, Link
Author: olegt
User skram has posted the following message on the thread What happened to “Colson Praises PETA”?.

Speaking of random mutations, I composed another problem, which has practical significance.  Does anyone want to take a crack?

The URL link in the opening post of A sterling example of the anti-religionists underwent a point mutation at some point between last night and this afternoon. Compare the original URL, which still works, and the mutant: (original) (current)

Was that a chance mutation or was an intelligent agent involved?

Date: 2008/02/15 11:54:07, Link
Author: olegt
My sock puppet skram left the following comment on that thread:
Dave, in this case I made the inference because I knew the properties of the designer.  I can specify which ones upon further request.  

It might appear later but I'm not holding my breath.

ETA: And by the way, the thread with the mutation, which was already closed to new comments, has disappeared.  Like, totally.

Date: 2008/02/15 19:35:05, Link
Author: olegt
Mister DNA,

For what it's worth, there already is a Casey Luskin Graduate Award.  Can you guess the first recipient?

Date: 2008/02/16 19:28:34, Link
Author: olegt
For a person who has spent a considerable amount of time at Dell, DaveT demonstrates a rather poor understanding of parallel processing:
Let’s look at an example in the engineering world of parallel processing. The example is the Ansari X Prize. This was a competition with a $10 million prize to the first team to produce a reusable vehicle that can carry passengers outside the atmosphere.

The “generation time” is about a year. That’s how long it takes to build a single prototype vehicle. If only one team were working on the problem only one vehicle per year would have a chance at success. About a dozen different teams worked in parallel on the problem generating about 12 test flights per year. One of them, after 5 or 10 years, won the prize. That’s the power of parallel effort. The generation time is indeed a factor in the equation but the number of individual efforts to find a solution is equally important. A long generation time can be effectively negated by many generations being produced in parallel. This is such a simple, fundamental principle in any inventive undertaking it’s hard for me to believe I need to belabor it and much easier to believe that anyone who claims to not understand it is being purposely obtuse.

Date: 2008/02/18 05:18:02, Link
Author: olegt
Happy birthday, Bob!

Date: 2008/02/25 07:30:17, Link
Author: olegt
DaveT defends Sewell's 2000 article in Mathematical Intelligencer:
Well, that depends on whether you consider math as a part of science. It was published in a peer reviewed math journal.

Unbeknownst to DaveT, the article was published in the Opinion section.

Date: 2008/02/26 15:11:03, Link
Author: olegt
David Berlinski is an expert in biology?  That's rich.

Date: 2008/02/28 08:56:33, Link
Author: olegt
From Ben Stein's op-ed Darwinism: The Imperialism of Biology?

Maybe we would have a new theory: We are just pitiful humans. Life is unimaginably complex. We are still trying to figure it out. We need every bit of input we can get. Let's be humble about what we know and what we don't know, and maybe in time, some answers will come.

Shorter Ben Stein: I no nuttin' and iz proud of it.

Date: 2008/02/28 10:31:39, Link
Author: olegt
And if Darwin is behind both Marxism and imperialism, it follows that he also gave us Denyse O'Leary.

Date: 2008/02/29 23:13:05, Link
Author: olegt

Watch closely developments on this thread and save it often: Melkikh’s Improbability of Darwinism and deterministic evolution model

DLH digs out a whacky paper that bashes evolution and suggests that an electron is "a quantum computer with many degrees of freedom".  This is crackpottery of the finest kind published in a very silly journal Entropy (go ahead and browse its papers).  

I predict another 404.  The question is how long will it take teh clueless UD gang to figure it out?

Date: 2008/02/29 23:24:57, Link
Author: olegt
6 comments so far, including

Entropy, an International and Interdisciplinary Journal of Entropy and Information Studies. ISSN 1099-4300, CODEN: ENTRFG, © 1999-2007 by MDPI. It is a peer-reviewed scientific journal, and it is published online quarterly at [URL=

This “conclusion . . . that species could not be formed due to random mutations” is officially published in a “peer reviewed” scientific journal!

As far as entropy being a “peer-reviewed journal” goes, well, it certainly isn’t “one of the major peer-reviewed journals”. Davison has a number of articles published in an obscure “peer-reviewed journal” also. This article is about 4 years old. Though the author claims that the chance of a new species evolving via RM+NS is vastly less than the UPB, he has hardly shaken the world. I wasn’t exactly able to follow his argument, but I don’t think that the scientific establishment is that far out. I actually do not believe that speciation is beyond the ability of RV+NS.

Date: 2008/02/29 23:55:09, Link
Author: olegt
Editor-in-Chief Shu-Kun Lin explains what Entropy is about:
Entropy has been launched as a scientific journal to provide an advanced forum for the community of entropy and information researchers.

There are many types of entropy reported in the scientific literature [1]. The great diversity in the concept and definition may cause tremendous problems. My own humble suggestion is the following regarding the main two kinds of entropy: 1. Any information-theoretic entropy (Shannon's entropy [2], H) should be defined in a way that its relation with information is clear. 2. Any theories regarding thermodynamic entropy (classical entropy, S, or the entropy of Clausius, Gibbs and Boltzmann and Plank) should conform with the second law of thermodynamics.

Teh community of entropy - I like the sound of it.

Date: 2008/03/01 18:55:42, Link
Author: olegt
Finally, someone smells a rat:
7:39 pm

Something is wrong here. This paper is no more than somebody’s musings. It is not rigorous in its mathematical reasoning at all.

I’m on vacation. I hope someone takes the time to investigate here. Be careful. It’s important to know where this paper comes from.

Date: 2008/03/01 19:02:19, Link
Author: olegt

7:54 pm

Do a Google search. There’s a Ural State Technical University, but not a Ural State Technical Institute. I think this is someone’s elaborate scam. In the paper cited, he talks about extablishing a maximum by evaluating a partial derivative. But he doesn’t carry out the differentiation. His treatment of the Schrodinger equation is absolutely trite, and amounts to gibberish. I’d stop this thread until you can confirm the existence of a magazine called Entropy. I looked at another supposed paper in Volume 6, and it is again just amateurish dribble. So caution is in order here.

Date: 2008/03/03 20:37:44, Link
Author: olegt
The thread “No process can result in a net gain of information” underlies 2LoT is silly, and doubly so.  First DLH picks up a paper from a third-rate physics teacher at a third-rate university (who publishes his stuff in the aforementioned silly journal Entropy), then the church choir sings variations of “Entropy is disorder."  

Entropy does not equate disorder.  This common misunderstanding has been discussed many times by physicists, but it isn't going away anytime soon.  Consider this excerpt from an  article published in the Journal of Chemical Education:
To aid students in visualizing an increase in entropy many elementary chemistry texts use artists' before-and-after drawings of groups of "orderly" molecules that become "disorderly".  This has been an anachronism ever since the ideas of quantized energy levels were introduced in elementary chemistry.  "Orderly-disorderly" seems to be an easy visual support but it can be so grievously misleading as to be characterized as a failure-prone crutch rather than a truly reliable, sturdy aid.

After mentioning the origin of this visual device in the late 1800s and listing some errors in its use in modern texts, I will build on a recent article by Daniel F. Styer.  It succinctly summarizes objections from statistical mechanics to characterizing higher entropy conditions as disorderly (1).  Then after citing many failures of "disorder" as a criterion for evaluating entropy — all educationally unsettling, a few serious, I will urge the abandonment of order-disorder in introducing entropy to beginning students.  Although it seems plausible, it is vague and potentially misleading, a non-fundamental description that does not point toward calculation or elaboration in elementary chemistry, and an anachronism since the introduction of portions of quantum mechanics in first-year textbooks.

There are well-known examples of physical systems where the onset of order is accompanied by an increase in entropy.  The great chemist Lars Onsager pointed out as early as in 1949 that the ordered (nematic) phase of hard, rod-shaped molecules has a higher entropy than the corresponding fully disordered phase.  Peter Pusey explains in a recent Science perspective that a liquid of hard spheres freezes with an increase in entropy:
The freezing transition of hard spheres was discovered by computer simulation in 1957 (3) and confirmed some 30 years later by experiments on colloidal suspensions (4). The transition is driven by entropy--paradoxically, the apparently ordered crystal has a higher entropy than the metastable fluid from which it grows, for example (5, 6)--and is controlled by just one variable, the concentration by volume, or volume fraction, of the particles in the suspension. As the concentration is increased, spheres in the fluid become increasingly crowded by their neighbors. By crystallizing, they gain more freedom for local motions: While ordered on the large scale, a crystal is locally disordered. Above the melting concentration (volume fraction 0.545) the entropy loss associated with large-scale ordering is more than offset by the entropy gain associated with increased local freedom.

Date: 2008/03/04 06:08:26, Link
Author: olegt
Sal informs us that Caroline Crocker is selling a new product, intellectual honesty.  $5,000 if made from scratch, $1,000 for gently used.  Details are available from her agent at intellectual

Date: 2008/03/04 06:14:39, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Turncoat @ Mar. 04 2008,02:15)
Quote (hooligans @ Feb. 29 2008,21:45)

Did you actually step foot into the lab? Did you see photos of the equipment? What kind of staff does the lab employ?

I virtually set foot in the EvoInfo lab, just as I've virtually quaffed a few at PT. The inside dope is that Galapagos Finch handles development and testing of MATLAB programs.

The funniest thing, Turncoat, is that you're exactly right.

Date: 2008/03/05 22:27:21, Link
Author: olegt
Iz true.  66 Witherspoon St. is the address of UPS store #2026 in Princeton.  CLick on to see what a "suite" looks like.

Date: 2008/03/06 07:06:45, Link
Author: olegt
Speaking of nonentities, here are a couple more:
Journal of Evolutionary Informatics
Institute for Evolutionary Informatics

Date: 2008/03/19 07:11:38, Link
Author: olegt
EIL continues to evolve.  The critique of Schneider's ev has been taken off the EIL publication list.  

The paper was titled "Unacknowledged Information Costs in Evolutionary Computing: A Case Study on the Evolution of Nucleotide Binding Sites".  It's now gone.  The link provided above by Hermagoras goes to a 404.

The current list of papers (all preprints), for future references:
* William A. Dembski and Robert J. Marks II "Conservation of Information in Search: Measuring the Cost of Success" (in review).
* William A. Dembski and Robert J. Marks II   "The Information Cost of No Free Lunch," (in review)
* William A. Dembski and Robert J. Marks II  "Horizontal and Vertical No Free Lunch for Active Information in Assisted Searches" (in review)
* William A. Dembski and Robert J. Marks II  "Judicious Use of Computational Resources in Evolutionary Search" (in review)

Date: 2008/04/04 15:05:44, Link
Author: olegt
garygagliardi points out, quite reasonably, that Dembski's explanatory filter may fail simply because we don't know all the laws of Nature.  How do you rule out an unknown natural explanation?  UDers scramble to come up with answers.  Here's a sampling from gpuccio:

3) No known law can explain CSI (biological information) on a basis of necessity, and probably no law will ever can [sic]. If and when somebody tries to do that, we will evaluate his results.

This is silly on several levels.  First, no one knows what CSI is.  Dembski hasn't provided any recipe for measuring CSI experimentally in any biological system.  Second, this is an extrapolation (no law now, hence no law ever).  Third, in the same breath he admits that one day a natural explanation may arise and they will have to reevaluate the evidence.  That exposes the explanatory filter for what it is: god of the gaps.

Date: 2008/04/05 11:37:20, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Bob O'H @ April 05 2008,02:25)
Bob O'H could be quite an educational resource at Uncommon Descent. Unfortunately, I don't think scordova has his listening ears on.

This is Sal we're talking about.  Does he have listening ears?

He does.  However, they only deploy under hard kicking.

Date: 2008/04/09 12:25:09, Link
Author: olegt

Date: 2008/04/11 08:51:29, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ April 11 2008,08:05)
Does DaveTard have a sense of humor after all?
I’ve written probably a million words on this blog and when someone has to reach back years through all of that to find a mistake it’s a clear example of the exception that proves the rule. The rule being that I, like Rush Limbaugh, am right 99.7% of the time. Maybe more.

My Bold.

It's in my signature already.  Classic tard.

Date: 2008/04/11 12:22:26, Link
Author: olegt
From Ben Stein's interview with Coral Ridge Ministries, courtesy of Bill Dembski:

Jerry: What’s a nice Jewish boy like you doing in a nice Christian film like this?

Ben: What’s a nice Jewish boy like me doing in a “Christian” film like this? It’s a film for people who believe in freedom of speech. It’s a film for people who believe that worship of God and the worship of God as the author and creator of the universe is a legitimate belief and legitimately able to be spoken about. It’s a film for Muslims who believe in that. It’s a film for Hindus who believe in that. It’s a film for people who believe in God or believe in freedom of speech or believe in the idea that academic discourse in America’s colleges and universities should not be shut down. It’s a film for people who believe in what Thomas Jefferson thought of as his vision of America. It’s not a proselytizing film for Christians or Muslims or Jews or Hindus. It’s a film for people who want to believe and who do believe that there is a God, an Intelligent Designer, and you know something, it’s even a film for people who don’t believe in that, but they believe in freedom of speech for everyone anyway.

All science so far!

Date: 2008/04/11 21:14:45, Link
Author: olegt
Dave is on a roll:

That’s really our whole point when it comes to evolutionary theory. It ignores the laws of physics.

Right Dave, it clearly violates the 4th, 5th and 6th laws of thermodynamics.

Date: 2008/04/12 12:45:23, Link
Author: olegt
FtK on Expelled:
In fact, this may be one of the most fair and balanced flicks ever made.

I think fair and balanced should be capitalized.

Date: 2008/04/12 16:44:18, Link
Author: olegt
It doesn't sound like Dembski.  The word notpology is a dead giveaway.  RB, fess up.

Date: 2008/04/12 20:10:41, Link
Author: olegt
Alright, you've already found it.

Date: 2008/04/12 22:31:35, Link
Author: olegt

I think you have been asked several times about the alternative theory that presumably fares better than mainstream biology.  You have avoided answering the question so far.

Date: 2008/04/12 23:52:33, Link
Author: olegt
Thanks, VMartin, for providing an exhaustive answer.

Date: 2008/04/13 11:23:47, Link
Author: olegt
AussieID opines:
On that point, has anyone requested their own libraries to purchase some seminal ID literature? What response did you get? I think readers here would be quite interested in this feedback.

Anyway, every library carrying a copy of Behe’s Edge of Evolution would be a great start!

I have just looked up Behe's books at two of the libraries I use.  The university library has The edge of evolution and Darwin's black box (one copy each).  The county public library has multiple copies of each.  

Them pesky materialist librarians!

Date: 2008/04/14 09:16:04, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ April 14 2008,08:51)
Quote (blipey @ April 14 2008,08:34)
Is this like waiting for answers to your unanswered list of questions at AtBC.  We're not going to live that long.

I'm going to go with a zero percent chance that you're going to provide a link with actual evidence of current students involved with PZ's blog.

Please post this prediction so we can see who' right.  Without having to go to AtBC to see it anyway.  DO IT FOR THE LURKERS!

Erm, PZ does let his students blog about subjects that they have heard about in his class. See here, or here for some examples.

Note that these are academic subjects; PZ is not asking them to blog about burning Christian babies or anything. I personally have no problem with that; the students get the feedback of various educated Pharyngulites, and it seems to be a valid use of internet technology as a teaching aid.

I'm not sure it's such a good idea.  Look at the first student post at Pharyngula and think whether such an environment is conducive to learning.  

I don't think a personal blog should be an extension of the classroom.

Date: 2008/04/14 09:47:31, Link
Author: olegt
The strongest students survive in this environment.  Weaker ones might find themselves strongly discouraged by that kind of experience.

Apart from the purely pedagogical issues, there are ethical concerns.  First and foremost, Christian students won't find the environment particularly welcome on a blog whose owner wears his letter A on the sleeve.  Second, should a student's grade be based, even in part, on an extracurricular activity?  I don't think all of PZ's students participate on the blog.  That opens him to a charge of favoritism.

Some may disagree with me, but I think one needs to maintain a firewall between teaching and personal advocacy.

Date: 2008/04/15 08:25:45, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Ftk @ April 15 2008,07:44)
This is what you guys consider plagerism?

My goodness you're some desperate folks.

The devil is in detail, FtK.  You need to dig a bit deeper into it to understand the allegations of plagiarism.  ERV plans a series of posts on the subject, here is the first one.

In a nutshell, if Inner Life of a Cell were a realistic depiction of intracellular processes, sort of a documentary film, then there would be no case here because any other animation made from scratch would look pretty much the same.  It turns out that the animation is a cartoon and, starting from scratch, different cartoonists would come up with very dissimilar videos.

However, if you actually peered inside a cell, you wouldn't see those pretty pictures.  The processes are rather chaotic.  The walker looks like a drunken sailor stepping back and forth and only slowly drifting in the right direction.  Chemicals don't stick immediately to their intended locations, instead bouncing around multiple times and only occasionally getting into place.  Lots of stuff floats around obstructing the view.  An animator thus must focus on a few objects and processes of cellular life and discard lots of other things.  It seems like the makers of the animation in Expelled have made exactly the same choices as the guys at xvivo.  That's why the analogy is not two documentaries faithfully portraying the same subject but rather two Mickey Mouse cartoons in which Mickey wears different pairs of shorts.

Date: 2008/04/15 14:05:04, Link
Author: olegt
What battle?

Date: 2008/04/15 19:36:02, Link
Author: olegt

What the heck is a cosmus?

Date: 2008/04/15 22:48:24, Link
Author: olegt

Okay, I just have to know…

Are you the *real* Jonathan Sarfati? There are so many sock puppets running around here at UD that it’s impossible to trust anyone using a name like yours.

Of course, you could say “yes”, and I still wouldn’t know for sure….sigh.

The Internet sucks in that respect!

Nice illustration to the First Law of Creationism:

Creationism is isomorphic to its parody.

Date: 2008/04/17 09:22:56, Link
Author: olegt
Allen's comments have unleashed a flood of fresh tard.  For instance, bililiad writes (quoting a previous post by William J. Murray):


To claim that materialistic Darwinists display “good” behavior and “noble” humanitarian ideals now is irrelevant; they do so by sleeping in a cultural bed of traditional spiritual thought and values. Will those high ideals still be in place after 200 years of a culture embracing materialistic Darwinism?

So true! But whenever I try to make this point out to Darwinists, they treat me like I am a blithering idiot.

They always come back with boring gibberish about how evolution works across populations and not individuals, and how groups always achieve more than lone individuals, and how morality and altruism both have evolutionary explanations, and nonsense like that.

But Janice has it right: true morality is all about having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Now if only Ben Stein would convert - he’d be my true hero and I’d be in seventh heaven!

Is this guy is an AtBC sockpuppet or indeed a blithering IDiot?  Impossible to tell.  Further proof that ID is indistinguishable from its parody.

Date: 2008/04/20 17:23:28, Link
Author: olegt
Whatever it is, I have been saving that thread on my laptop.

Date: 2008/04/25 09:02:17, Link
Author: olegt
Check out The History of the Evolutionary Informatics Lab Web Site (With Supporting Documents) compiled by Bob Marks.  There's a truly spectacular Easter egg hidden on that web page.

Date: 2008/04/25 09:58:26, Link
Author: olegt
Keep searching, guys.

Date: 2008/04/25 15:47:55, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (JohnW @ April 25 2008,14:52)
Quote (Hermagoras @ April 25 2008,12:45)
Quote (Richardthughes @ April 25 2008,14:09)
All science so far*

*If tinfoil-hat crackpot wooery qualifies. If it doesn't, we'll redefine science.

Is anybody else surprised kairosfocus hasn't come out of retirement for this?  I would think he could smell the tard wafting over the Caribbean.

Paging batshit77... paging batshit77...

He's BA-A-A-ACK!!

I think Quantum Mechanics reveals the “miraculous” foundation upon which God has built our reality. For though Quantum events obey strict probabilistic rules that gives them a coherent structure in our reality, this does not detract, in any way, that the events are supernatural events in the first place, indeed they are blatantly defying our concepts of time and space every time we observe them happening in experiment.

There's more!

Date: 2008/04/25 20:42:18, Link
Author: olegt
It was fun while it lasted.  Now it looks like Gloppy has 404ed teh links.  :(

Well, at least we still have the Institute for Evolutionary Informatics!

Date: 2008/04/26 07:26:26, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Quack @ April 26 2008,02:10)
Quote (olegt @ April 25 2008,20:42)
It was fun while it lasted.  Now it looks like Gloppy has 404ed teh links.  :(

Well, at least we still have the Institute for Evolutionary Informatics!

Bad link. Better one higher up in thread.

No, the link was fine.  The page has been removed.  

Gloppy, I hope you don't kill your fine journal!

Date: 2008/04/27 10:01:55, Link
Author: olegt
Yeah, it's great comic relief.  Ftk links to 10 Ways Darwinists Help Intelligent Design at The Evangelical Outpost.  I looked at Part I, which lists the following:
1. Darwinists have no idea what ID is,
2. Darwinists claim wrongly that ID is stealth creationism,
3. Darwinists use "science of the gaps" argument,
4. Darwinists killed Sternberg's career
5. Darwinists claim natural selection explains it all.

Claims #1 and 4 are patently false.  Eugenie Scott has studied IDers under a microscope and even we here at AtBC know more about the ID movement than the author.  Sternberg's career has never been in danger: he continues to work at the NIH and remains an associate at the Museum of Natural History.  

#2: Henry Morris, the late young-Earth creationist, pointed out that IDers have not generated anything new, they simply recycled existing creationist talking points.  

#3 is incoherent whining.  What the hell is "science of the gaps"?  

#5 reveals the author's total ignorance of evolutionary biology: natural selection isn't the only source of biological diversity.  Allen MacNeill lists 47 sources of biological variation on his blog.

So all 5 claims are complete bunk.  The charitable interpretation is sheer ignorance of Joe Carter.  Good company you keep, ftk.

Date: 2008/04/28 09:25:44, Link
Author: olegt
Excerpt from Intelligent design documentary creates stir in Dallas News:
Nearly $4 million was spent on producing the movie and "a multiple of that" in distribution and marketing so far, Mr. Craft says.

Date: 2008/05/04 12:00:27, Link
Author: olegt
Science doesn't equate math, Sal.  The ability to do calculations is a necessary, but not sufficient skill for a scientist.  This case is a great illustration that a poorly chosen mathematical model can totally ruin your scientific theory.  

Formally, Sal is completely right: a gambler playing against an infinitely large house will eventually lose no matter how strongly the odds are skewed in his favor.  That's a rigorous result.  However, if we watch the gambler over a finite period of time, he will be gaining for a while and it will take a very long time for the house to recoup the initial losses and win.  (One can make back-of-the-envelope calculations to see that, I might get around to it eventually, but I don't have time right now.)  

However, in the context of natural selection an allele carrying a beneficial mutation plays against a finite house, which consists of all the other alleles.  There is a finite (and not necessarily small) probability that it will survive long enough to become the dominant allele.  Then the game changes completely because the player (the allele with a beneficial mutation) has become the house.  

Yes, math can be rigorous and wrong.  Not the first time and not the last time, either.

Date: 2008/05/04 22:15:26, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Bob O'H @ May 04 2008,13:55)
olegt - Sal's main point, that most new mutations will go extinct through drift, is correct.  But we've known about this for a long time: it even gets taught to undergrads.  But Sal never answers the "So what?" satisfactorily.  It just means that evolution takes a bit longer.  I guess this is a problem for Sal or Sanford, who only allow it 10 000 years, but the rest of us just take it into account.  I'm guessing that Sal has never taken a course on phylogenetics: you get shown that the mutation rate equals the fixation rate for neutral alleles.  And yet we can still build trees, and time events with sensible figures.

Sal screws a few other things up: the quote of Mike Lynch at the end is a non sequitur, and the rest of that book shows Sal's argument is crap (basically, Mike was trying to show that molecular evolution can happen without selection).  And his stuff about multiple genes is nonsensical.

I'm sure there's more too, but I'm off to bed.

You're right, Bob.  

Just for the sheer fun of it, I wrote and ran a random walk program where walkers start at 0 and are destroyed if they enter the negative side.  That's pretty much gambler's ruin.  The main difference from Sal's code is a large number of walkers, which is needed to get the statistics of survival.  If anyone is interested I can post the program (it's in c++ but can be easily ported to any other language).

When walkers had a slight preference to step in the positive direction (with a probability p=0.51), about 3.8% of them survived in the long run (upwards of 1000 steps) and kept moving (on average) in the positive direction.  Twice as many survived for a twice as large bias  (p=0.52).  On the other hand, when walkers have a slight negative bias (p=0.49), I found essentially no survivors in the long run.  

The bottom line is what Bob said above: while most players are ruined at the initial stage, a finite fraction (roughly 1.9 times the bias) survive and keep playing indefinitely, eventually ruining the house.  

Likewise, in a population model most alleles with a slightly advantageous mutation will perish.  However, a finite (and not vanishingly small) fraction will live and get fixed in the population.

Date: 2008/05/05 11:43:34, Link
Author: olegt
Mike Gene it ain't.  The thread was started by a TT poster named Joy.  She demands an apology from the National Academy of Sciences and has declared Raevmo, Zachriel and myself Holocaust deniers.  Check it out.

Date: 2008/05/05 14:19:45, Link
Author: olegt
Joy is a big girl, so she makes her own definitions:

I am not Jewish, and I am not the ADL (or even AIPAC). I can extend denial of the whole perversion of science that led to the Holocaust under the heading of denial because it IS denial. Sleight of mind, distraction and retreat into narrow definitions is SOP for DDs around here. I do not recognize ADL's "authority" to define the Holocaust - or the American experience that led to it - as an exclusively Jewish horror. "Authority" is what caused the whole mess. I'm not falling for this crazy sleight of mind at this late date.

It would be logical to conclude that everyone has the right to ignore her authority, but logic isn't exactly Joy's cup of tea.

Date: 2008/05/05 15:04:06, Link
Author: olegt
Oh, the Joy of Tard...

Date: 2008/05/05 17:34:36, Link
Author: olegt
Sal to Joe Felsenstein: Attaboy!

In anycase, I felt your rebuttal was for the most part well argued. I hope I have at least clarified my position, even if you disagree.


Date: 2008/05/06 07:56:44, Link
Author: olegt
The last piece of the imaginary empire, JoEI (the Journal of Evolutionary Informatics), is gone, too.

Date: 2008/05/06 08:03:03, Link
Author: olegt
It seems like kairosfocus is being muzzled by the same nanny filter as BA77:

In the mod piled post from earlier on today, You will see I take a key case from the older Judeo-Christian text [N^u^m 12], and so illustrate how one of the greatest worthies of that tradition — M^oshe had an inter-ra^cial [second, it seems] marriage to a black African woman.

Leaders of Israel (including siblings!) objected, in terms that more than hint of r^acism etc (and by extension concerns on r^acial mixing etc). The text subjects them to a direct judge^ment for this.


But, in particular eras, laws, institutions and views may help or hinder moral behaviour to one extent or another. In a th^eistic one, by donning the robes of a p^arson. in a scientific one, by putting on a lab coat.

Funny, in addition to pr0n, the filter seems to be after religious terms!

Date: 2008/05/06 08:36:36, Link
Author: olegt
Dave wakes up and discovers that he is surrounded by a bunch of Christian fundies.
It seems a bunch of you are saying the only way a person can have an acceptable standard of ethics is to get it out of a book written by men thousands of years ago.

Ignore the fact that there are many books which claim divine inspiration. Ignore the fact that there are more interpretations of the one true book of God than Carter has little liver pills.

Is that how God works now? We don’t have the ability to tell right from wrong until we read the proper book and make the proper ritual motions?

Spare me.

Date: 2008/05/06 09:30:59, Link
Author: olegt
Well, Sal could have saved himself from the coming embarrassment by using his own Excel code.  Just enter a slight disadvantage (probability of winning p=0.49) and see how many players survive.

Date: 2008/05/06 14:30:14, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (BopDiddy @ May 06 2008,14:27)
My calendar says it's a Tuesday, but it feels very Friday:

6 May 2008
Who’s in it for the money?
William Dembski

Critics of the ID movement often complain that we’re fabulously well funded by right-wing extremists and in it for our own aggrandizement. Fortunately, money leaves a trail. When one follows it, Darwinists seem to be doing much better financially than ID theorists (perhaps an indication that they are serving Mammon more faithfully). Let’s consider a few better off Darwinists: ...

No Free Lunch, indeed.  Rough Visa bill this month, Dr^n?

Penis envy?

Date: 2008/05/06 16:28:27, Link
Author: olegt
BarryA is a tard.  His example supposedly proving the existence of an absolute moral standard is sex with little children.  In Barry's view, there is no reason to consider it a bad idea other than god told us not to.  Hey Barry, if you flexed your considerable brain muscle, maybe you could figure out that such an activity hurts little children, both physically and psychologically?  That didn't occur to you, did it?  

And while we're on the subject of absolute, immutable, set-in-stone moral standards, what's with the age of consent?  It used to be moral to get a 12-year-old bride in Christian medieval England, remember?  Is it still moral or has morality evolved?

Date: 2008/05/06 21:32:59, Link
Author: olegt
BarryA's thread is a tardmine.  Here's the always reliable BA77

Yet in materialism anything goes so it is of necessity to actually prove the physical reality of a dominant transcendent reality which has dominion over the material reality. This proof is accomplished partially through Dr. Anton Zeilinger’s work in quantum non-locality. He actually proves the transcendence and dominion of “spiritual information” over the material/energy realm. This in conjuntion with the failure of gravity to be tied to the material/energy realm and timeless (eternal) nature of light as well as the sheer poverty and discoherence of the “many world’s interpretation” in quantum mechanics, in my humble opinion, forces one to accept the reality of a higher, timeless, transcendent, dimension from which our “material” reality has its primary reality based.

Dr. Anton Zeilinger is even confident enough of the reality and dominion of this transcendent realm he manipulates in his quantum teleportation experments to state:

Just enjoy it!

Date: 2008/05/07 07:26:24, Link
Author: olegt
Sal isn't in any danger.  He's in a different program administered by a different division and located on a different campus.

Date: 2008/05/07 20:40:58, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Lou FCD @ May 07 2008,20:25)
Quote (didymos @ May 07 2008,21:22)
The only man right for the job is Cordova.  Do it, Sal. Do it.  Just consider all the stupid shit you could say and how much joy you'll bring to materialist evolanders the world over.  This could be it Sal: the one that makes you a legend................

That's beer-snort funny.  Thanks.

No, leave it to Casey an earth scientist Luskin.

Date: 2008/05/09 21:48:21, Link
Author: olegt

That "British physicist" David Tyler is not a physicist at all.  Larry Moran has a post Who is David Tyler?  I am sure that Denyse is aware of that (numerous people have pointed it out to her) but she probably thinks that it sounds better than Senior Lecturer in the Department of Clothing Design and Technology.

Date: 2008/05/10 07:53:17, Link
Author: olegt
Sarfati gets the boot.

Jonathan Sarfati
12:32 am

“All I want to say to the bible quotes you provide is I can easily give counter examples for all of them. You can quotemine the bible to support whatever you want.”

More likely, your understanding of basic historical-grammatical hermeneutics is on a par with that LePage moron in his recent New Scientist diatribe against creation, ID and the Bible.

2:24 am
jonathan safarti

I don’t care for your tone in that last comment. Goodbye.

7:17 am
DaveScott at 83
I found jonathan safarti to provide some of the more substantive links and comments on this blog. What’s the “beef”?

Date: 2008/05/10 16:31:28, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Richardthughes @ May 10 2008,16:01)
Gloppy (Marks) tries to drum up some LOLs for his EPICFAILY unfunny post.

Another P-A-R-O-D-Y, featuring a memo on a fake Iowa State University letterhead, is not generating too many laughs, either.  Better take it down, Bob: your underwear is showing!


Date: 2008/05/10 22:03:06, Link
Author: olegt
Bwa-ha-ha-ha!  Both of Gloppy's recent posts on UD have disappeared.  Gloppy has even nixed his entire site

And check out this dialogue at UD:

William Dembski
9:18 pm
Galapagos: I use this slide regularly in my public presentations. First you ripped off my “Society for Advancing Real Science Denuncation of ID” (see and now this. Just wait till my attorneys get through with you!

Galapagos Finch
9:31 pm
Come on now! This is citation bluffing plain and simple.

Besides. I did NOT steal this from you.

I stole it from W. Clement Stone.



ETA: Trying to spice it up, Gloppy adds the line “To err is human. To moo bovine.”  That's a good one, Bob!  Good night and don't forget to log out.

Date: 2008/05/10 22:08:13, Link
Author: olegt
Gloppy confirms that he's been Expelled:

The BRITES go dim. Web site shut down by summary judgement order.

Galapagos Finch

In the coverage of my flee from Dembski’s legal goons with their copyright infringement subpoenas a few months back, I asked for assistance and was quoted by Daniel Doughnut at ENN as saying “Help! I need somebody!” The BRITES and I now have been sued by Yoko Ono for copyright infringement for using the opening line of a Beatles tune. I have just now received the summary judgment decision from Judge Utfray Opsla and we have lost the first stage of the legal battle.

Thus, subject to Order D08-3423 from The Honorable Utphray Opslay from the the 9th Federal Circuit Court, San Fransisco, in the matter of Ono Inc. vs The BRITES LTD, The BRITES web site is disabled until further notice by order of the court’s summary judgment findings.

Keep clicking on the Google ads. It will help pay the legal bills.

If we win on appeal, might be back unless we find something better to do.

Until then, you won’t have Gloppy Finch to kick around any more.

Date: 2008/05/10 23:18:41, Link
Author: olegt
The thread The Difference Between “Seeing” and “Understanding” containing the Dembski-Galapagos dialog has been obliterated.  Someone at UD shows a dose of common sense.

Date: 2008/05/11 06:15:55, Link
Author: olegt
Gloppy is no more.  All 4 of his May 10 posts at UD are gone and site is empty.  

I have the PDF file but I'm not going to put it on the web.  If anyone wants it for private viewing email me.

Date: 2008/05/11 09:06:42, Link
Author: olegt
Say what you will, but the sight of a Fellow and Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE  prancing around in Gloppy's suit had a high entertainment value.  Now it's back to the usual programming at UD: O'Leary, kairosfocus and BA77 on all channels.

Date: 2008/05/13 06:54:00, Link
Author: olegt
Search engine caches won't help with 404ed threads.  As a rule, these threads are killed quickly before google or yahoo can catch them.  I don't see any simple solution short of mirroring UD offline.

Date: 2008/05/15 21:59:05, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Henry J @ May 15 2008,21:19)
I'm wondering how close can you get to C before wind drag becomes a problem. After all, if the ship is going .999999C, then any particles it hits are also going .999999C, and even if there aren't many of them per cubic meter that's going to add up. Another factor is that with number of particles hit per second ship time goes up proportionally with time dilation (although occupants of the ship would see that as length contraction).

(And that's ignoring the gamma rays and maybe other radiation generated each time one of those .999999C particles hits the ship.)


It was Woody Allen who pointed it out first:

It is impossible to travel faster than the speed of light, and certainly not desirable, as one's hat keeps blowing off.

Date: 2008/05/15 22:12:11, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Lou FCD @ May 15 2008,15:39)
Kate's post about Dr. Hau's work is here, from last year, complete with links to some articles about it (one of them in Nature, in physicseese) and the actual lab results page.

From Kate's post:

Dr. Hau has previously managed to slow light down to 38 mph. Yes, you read that correctly. Despite the theories of relativity, which state that the speed of light cannot be altered, Dr. Hau figured out how to make light move at a pace of half the speed limit on I-95.

Then, just when the scientific community was beginning to catch its collective breath, she brought it to a dead stop, held it, and released it back into the wild at its regular speed of about 300,000 kps (186,000 mps).

As if that wasn’t enough, this Woman of Wow has just rocked the physics we all know and love yet again. This time, it’s an exponentially bigger advance.

Dr. Hau took a beam of light, transformed it into matter, transported it through space to another location, changed it back into light, and sent it on its merry way. Now, Dr. Hau has done this on a very minute scale. We’re talking about thousandths of an inch here.

But let me just say this about that:

It’s now just a matter (no pun intended) of scale.

And from the lab results page:

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Physicists have for the first time stopped and extinguished a light pulse in one part of space and then revived it in a completely separate location. They accomplished this feat by completely
converting the light pulse into matter that travels between the two locations and is subsequently changed back to light.

Matter, unlike light, can easily be manipulated, and the experiments provide a powerful means to control optical information. The findings, published this week by Harvard University researchers in the journal
Nature, could present an entirely new way for scientists and engineers to manipulate the light pulses used in fiber-optic communications, the technology at the heart of our highly networked society.

"We demonstrate that we can stop a light pulse in a supercooled sodium cloud, store the data contained within it, and totally extinguish it, only to reincarnate the pulse in another cloud two-tenths of a
millimeter away," says Lene Vestergaard Hau, Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics and of Applied Physics in Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences and School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

(more at each link)

Weird stuff.


Light only travels at the speed c in vacuum.  In matter it slows down in the inverse proportion to its index of refraction n.  In diamond, n is as large as 2.5, so light travels at about 100,000 km/s instead of 300,000.  

The index of refraction can be pretty large in the vicinity of an absorption line where the light-matter interaction is quite strong, so it will slow down quite a bit.  Think of it as a constant absorption and reemission of photons by atoms.

Date: 2008/05/17 09:34:51, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (dogdidit @ May 17 2008,09:00)
Quote (digitus impudicus @ May 16 2008,23:31)
Can someone explain to me rationally the whole F-35 and evolution thingy?  after 16 beers, that concept still doesn't make sense...

It's simple, really. As stash explains:
We look inside the cell, and, behold, it is a high-tech world.

Stash claims to work at a company that produces parachutes for the ejection seat for the F-35, so presumably he would know high-tech when he sees it. I haven't peered into the innards of the cell myself (erm, which cell??) but I am waiting with anticipation for stash to reveal precisely which high-tech machinery he has observed. Semiconductor devices, such as field-effect or bipolar junction transistors? Amplifiers, diodes, switches, NAND gates, integrated circuits? RF modulators, filters, and up-converters? GaAs MMICs? FIR filters, forward error correction circuits, encryption devices with key-fill? CCD arrays, laser diodes, CRT or LCD or plasma displays? HDTV? iPods? Bluetooth? MPEG-1? -2? -4? (Poor MPEG-3; always a bridesmaid...) Magnetrons? Travelling wave tubes? High voltage power supplies? Lasers, radars, wireless communication, fiber optics? Memory using magnetic media, optical drive, static or dynamic or flash RAM? Solid fuel rockets? Parachutes?

I sure hope stash doesn't keep me waiting...

It's not Stash, it's GilDodgen.

Date: 2008/05/18 07:20:01, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Bob O'H @ May 18 2008,00:05)
Stash = Botnik = Dembski?

Doesn't sound like Dembski.  I was wondering if the appearance of Stash shortly after Marks' self-bannination was coincidental, but I'm having second thoughts.  Stash just looks like one of your less pleasant UD tards.

His/her flippant manner reminds me of professorsmith, whose blog has been on vacation since April 27.

Date: 2008/05/19 21:58:19, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (keiths @ May 19 2008,21:34)
This comment by Raevmo deserves wider circulation:
Raevmo Says:
May 19th, 2008 at 5:37 pm

Don't be so hard on Oleg. "Tard" is a technical term reserved for collections of strongly correlated nonsensical beliefs, such as high-delusion supertarductors and frustrated goddidits.

Even Joy had to admit that was funny.


I believe the concept originated elsewhere.  Here's ERV:

Goden TARD Award

When it comes to The Arguments Regarding Design, few people can top our dear friend Egnor.

Date: 2008/05/20 15:02:33, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Lou FCD @ May 20 2008,14:49)
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ May 20 2008,15:46)
Quote (Richardthughes @ May 20 2008,12:02)

None of this really matters. Joy's true classic -- the one that posterity will remember her for -- is claiming that she understands what holocaust denial is better than Jews do.

Link please?

Everybody on that thread (including mynym.  mynym!) politely told her that she was off her rocker.  That didn't help much.

Date: 2008/05/20 20:02:40, Link
Author: olegt
Born and raised in the USSR.  Have lived on the US East Coast since 1992 drifting south.  Current location: Bawlmore, MD.

Date: 2008/05/21 09:29:53, Link
Author: olegt
Unlike concerned citizens of TT, FtK understands that tard is a tradable commodity, not a personal trait.
I've never been real comfortable about posting AdSense, donate buttons, advertising widgets, etc. on my blog like many bloggers do. BUT, desperate times call for desperate measures. Hell, in a couple months maybe I can gather enough pennies from Adsense to buy a gallon of milk! Yes, yes, I know the Ebola boys will have a heyday with this one, but such is life. Obviously, I'm very thick skinned. Here's a thought though...maybe the little rascals should get together and start a "tard" God knows I provide them with hours upon hours of entertainment as they twist and spin my ever thought, and this particular post should give them a whole new line of material. What ya say, boys? Each of you throw in $5 bucks for another year of "tard"??

So there you have it....FtK gone blog whore. Make of it what you will.

Hello, FtK, we're glad that you're alive and in high spirits!

Date: 2008/05/21 09:32:07, Link
Author: olegt
Happy birthday, Hermagoras!

Date: 2008/05/21 09:43:31, Link
Author: olegt
carlsonjok, I don't know how much control FtK has over the content of google ads.  It is ironic, though, that one of the adds links to Geese Police.  [Ca-ching!]

Date: 2008/05/21 21:39:45, Link
Author: olegt
Sounds like O'Leary is going full tilt at windmills.  The multiverse hypothesis has not been accepted by astronomers and astrophysicists.  It can't be tested at the moment (nor in the foreseeable future).  There's no chance it will be taught in school any time soon.

Date: 2008/05/22 07:31:56, Link
Author: olegt
Hi JackT and welcome to the club.  After much posturing, Mike Gene did answer your questions.  His response boils down to this:

Q.: [Do you see yourself in 10 years] jiggling scientific articles until they vibrate to the tune of intelligent design?

A.: Probably, since the stack continues to grow. What’s so fascinating (to me, at least) is that all it takes is some gentle jiggling and the rabbit pokes his head out. This is because so much of molecular, cell, and evolutionary biology has become quite friendly (unintentionally so) to a teleological perspective and I expect this trend to continue. So why wouldn’t I maintain such an interest?

This is best left without comment.

Date: 2008/05/22 10:28:05, Link
Author: olegt
leo stands up to Dr Dr WmAD:

22 May 2008

“There is no controversy”
William Dembski

“There is no controversy.” “There should be no controversy.” “It’s okay to expel those who pretend that there is a controversy.” “Academic freedom does not apply where the scientific consensus says there is no controversy.” …

The Washington Post has a ridiculous editorial that elevates evolutionary theory to the same status as gravitational theory and the truths of mathematics (go here).

Meanwhile, the Altenberg meeting coming up this summer brings together biologists who see the contemporary state of evolutionary theory as in upheaval (go here). Yes, the field is in disarray, but there is NO CONTROVERSY. What, are we living in a Kafka novel?

10:16 am
The first quote was in the editorial, but not the other ones. I guess making up quotes is one way of trying to start a controversy.

RBH, start the bannination countdown.

Date: 2008/05/22 10:37:12, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Richardthughes @ May 21 2008,12:55)
Can someone poke the 'apology' thread there please, I feel there is more TARD to mine. bonus points if you can get another nugget from Joy.

Here she is, in Bunny and a Book:

And this is no doubt what makes the "RM/NS" shorthand so popular among both IDers and DDs. The DDs like it (and teach it to everybody's children as the most instruction in biological evolution a huge majority of them ever receive) because it's catchy like a propaganda slogan, it's easy to impart, and it artificially supports their preference for selection as life's designer. IDers like it because it's so easily revealed to BE simplistic, dumbed-down pablum that looks a lot like ideological sloganeering, which leaves wide open the actual source and nature of biological evolution.

The deal is, it is known that biological evolution doesn't work exclusively or even primarily by RM/NS. It's not a good - or even adequate - description of what's going on. Obviously the pablum doesn't sell well to the public (or their children), since upwards of 60% don't believe it even after taking the requisite indoctrination and passing the test. The DD answer to that situation?

"Waaaaaa! You don't know enough to make that judgment!"

Which is darned lame. Of course they know enough to judge RM/NS insufficient for explanation - they were taught it on purpose, supposedly so they'd have enough knowledge to judge. When they DO judge, the truth comes out clearly - they were taught simplistic pablum that science knows very well to be insufficient! Tell me, aiguy… whose fault is that?

I'm just reading, don't care to enter into the arguments here. I simply note that you're pushing the pablum as if we're all 15-year old hormone-addled school children, when reality is that we are well beyond the RM/NS scam and have been for a long time. It's just a little bit insulting when you resort to this smokescreen when objects to your definitional distractions, that's all.

Zachriel provides a quick smackdown by reductio ad absurdum:

The deal is, it is known that planets don't orbit exclusively or even primarily by tracing ellipses. It's not a good - or even adequate - description of what's going on.

Turns out that elliptical orbits are a oversimplification of chaotic planetary dynamics. Why do they lie to children!?

Date: 2008/05/22 10:53:58, Link
Author: olegt
I might add that Zachriel is taking it a bit too far, though I agree with the gist of his argument.  

In freshman physics we solve problems about planets moving in (gasp!) circular orbits.  We teach Amontons' laws of friction even though duct tapes and post-it notes violate both the 1st and 2nd of those.  There are no material points and ideal gases in Nature, etc. etc.

Date: 2008/05/22 10:56:15, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Richardthughes @ May 22 2008,10:46)
What is DD? Not her bra size... I'm guessing Divine Design?

Darwin defenders, I suppose.

Date: 2008/05/22 11:09:44, Link
Author: olegt
I think it is worth knowing the source and context of the "no controversy" quote.  Jay Labov,  the National Academy's Senior Advisor for Education and Communications, gave an interview to Free Exchange on Campus.  The relevant excerpt:

The overwhelming consensus of the scientific community, based on an overwhelming body of evidence (which is summarized in Science, Evolution, and Creationism) is that there is no viable alternative to evolution that explains the biodiversity observed on this planet. Despite the doubt that critics have attempted to sow for the past 80 years, there is no controversy within the scientific community that evolution has occurred and continues to occur. The only viable debates among scientists are about the mechanisms of evolution. These debates are entirely consistent with disagreements among scientists in other fields about various phenomena. However, as with all science, scientific disagreements about the mechanisms of evolution are argued around scientific evidence.

Someone should post it on that thread and see Dr Dr nix it.

Date: 2008/05/22 12:53:47, Link
Author: olegt
sparc, on the other hand, does have a sense of humor:

Maybe a tag would help. Something like For heaven’s sake people. This is a P-A-R-O-D-Y !!

Will that be the cited reason for his bannination?

Date: 2008/05/22 12:58:19, Link
Author: olegt
CJYman smokes some good stuff:

Now on to gravitational theory. Do we even have a gravitational theory? There’s quantum field theory and then there’s string theory and do we yet know if gravity is a field or a boson … very controversial stuff here.

I vaguely recall the names of Newton and Einstein, but who am I to object?

Date: 2008/05/22 15:36:35, Link
Author: olegt
This is a riot.

3:02 pm
Adding to what I wrote two comments earlier, Theoretical Physicist Lee Smolin thinks that we may need to review even some of our most basic understanding of Physics.

It is good for Theories to go through spring cleaning once in a while. You’d be amazed at what you may find — both good and bad.

I'm afraid no amount of spring cleaning will get rid of Newtonian mechanics.  It lives on despite the two 20th-century revolutions that brought about relativity and quantum mechanics.  No surprise there: classical mechanics has been thoroughly tested in its domain of validity (low velocities and large scales).  Relativity and quantum theory have supplanted it outside of that realm.  But we still rely on classical mechanics when we build bridges and launch satellites.  Will these guys ever learn?

Date: 2008/05/23 13:53:10, Link
Author: olegt
That's a good one!

1:41 pm
Bill Dembski can take some measure of comfort in knowing that somewhere in the infinity of multiverses there is a planet called “Dembski” that exhibits exquisite intelligent design in all aspects of its existence.

Of course, to be fair, there is also the possibility that somewhere in the infinity of multiverses there is a planet called “Dawkins”…but I’d rather not consider that!

Date: 2008/05/23 21:42:41, Link
Author: olegt

Denyse advertises Casey's interview with a videogame artist Dennis DeMercer.

Anyone want to try this game and let me know if it’s good?

This time on ID the Future, Casey Luskin — changing things up a little — sits down to talk with videogame artist Dennis DeMercer about his recent work on the Nintendo DS version of the forthcoming game Spore. Working with Amaze Entertainment, DeMercer was responsible for animating 3-D creatures ranging from single-celled organisms to advanced intergalactic civilizations in a game that centers around players evolving creatures from one species into another in order to climb the evolutionary ladder.

But is this highly anticipated game as much an example of the cultural pervasiveness of Darwinian evolution as it seems? Ironically, no. Luskin and DeMercer discuss their discovery that, despite the obviously evolutionary theme, Spore’s game-play actually hinges on intelligent design theory, because success depends entirely on the ability of the player — i.e. intelligent agent — to fashion a creature ready to take on the growing challenges of its environment.

Win the popular culture and you’ve won everything. See, they can’t really Expell DeMercer.

But there is no interview at ID the Future.  Instead, one finds this notice:

Intelligent Design: The Videogame (Updated)
Update: This audio file removed at the request of Amaze Entertainment.

Posted by CSC at 2:36 PM

Date: 2008/05/25 05:30:39, Link
Author: olegt
Holy tard!  Has Dave been defrocked?

Date: 2008/05/26 06:30:46, Link
Author: olegt
On the "No Controversy" thread, BA77 carefully explains his theory of magnetism to Dave:

If undisturbed, the magnet will cling to the refrigerator without losing strength, until entropic processes dissolve either the refrigerator, the magnet, or both.
Yet materialism is steadfast in insisting that electromagnetism (as well as gravity) arises from a purely material/energy basis and as such. If this materialistic presuposition were true a small but noticable conversion of matter to energy should be noted for the length of time that the magnet defies gravity and performs this “work” of clinging to the refrigerator with no mechanical bond.

As I stated in my post I excerpted this from the mentioned site, yet it sounds very reasonable to me that we should expect a drain of a power source with no mechanical bond.

If I am wrong in this matter and have somehow misinterpreted something, please show me where I have misinterpreted what I read and cited.

Someone should put him out of misery by pointing out that he mixes up the concepts of force and work.  The work equals applied force F multiplied by the displacement dr.  No matter how long a magnet clings to a fridge, its position remains unchanged.  That means dr=0 and no work is done by magnetic force.  Energy is conserved.

Date: 2008/05/26 14:28:06, Link
Author: olegt
gpuccio obfuscates fractals:

10:56 am

I agree with you. Still, just to be clear about fractals, although the mathematical formula is rather simple, its computation is long and requires great computational resources (anyone old enough to have computed a mandelbrot on an old computer can understand what I am saying).

I am not aware of natural processes which can output a mandelbrot, although the formula is very simple. Perhaps other kinds of fractals, which do not imply computations with complex numbers, may be found as the result of natural processes (I am thinking of snowflakes and similar, but I could be wrong).

But if I see a print of a mandelbrot, I would think that it has been produced using designed tools (a computer).

Anyway, I am not an expert of fractals (although I love them very much), so if I have something wrong, please correct me.

Glad to help, gpuccio.  Here's the formal definition of the Mandelbrot set.  It's a simple iterative procedure.  Start with zero treated as a complex number.  Square it, add a complex number c, repeat.  If the sequence does not escape to infinity, the number c is in the set.  Drawing the Mandelbrot set requires no more computational power than simulating the growth of a snowflake (both are local processes with simple rules).   Thus, to use IDers' own terminology, the Mandelbrot set, like a snowflake, is specified but not complex.  

There is nothing complex (or unnatural) about complex numbers, either.  The Mandelbrot set can be defined in terms of real numbers just as well (that's how it's done on a computer anyway).  The iterative procedure will then involve two equations instead of one (for the real and imaginary parts).  

Lastly, fractals are found in natural processes.  Here's a partial list on Wikipedia: Random and natural fractals.

Date: 2008/05/28 22:36:44, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ May 28 2008,18:24)
Tard addicts, I give you

They can't agree about fractals

Patrick has to doublecheck his "facts"
Active information is involved. (I just emailed Bill to doublecheck on how to calculate this in regards to fractals, procedural textures, etc.) The same applies to GAs. Active information requires intelligence based upon all known observation.

Oh dear, it's all stopped making sense.

Wordy bully Blowhard KF also said a few threads ago

PS: Fractals do NOT pass the EF — they are caught as “law” — the first test.

It is the programs and formulae that generate them that pass the EF. [And, these are known independently to be agent-originated, so they support the EF’s reliability.]

So this should be fun!

I love gpuccio's heroic efforts to derive the following remarkable statements:
1) Fractals, in themselves, are not CSI.
3) The information in DNA is not fractal.
4) CSI is not fractal.
Never mind that no one has even defined what CSI is.  What the heck does it mean for information to be fractal, even in principle?  The word fractal refers to a non-integer (fractional) dimensionality of an object.  Information has no geometry and thus no dimensionality.

Date: 2008/05/30 20:55:55, Link
Author: olegt
Non sequitur, anyone?

Do Car Engineers Turn to Darwinian Evolution or Intelligent Design?

Casey Luskin

Don’t read into this post too much, but take it as a series of curious observations. We’re often told that Darwinism is like a scientific magic bullet that can solve anything. Darwinists love to quote Theodosius Dobzhansky saying, “nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” We’re also told that intelligent design threatens to destroy science. Nonetheless, I can’t help but notice that when engineers design technology to be sold to the public, they prefer to tell them about processes of intelligent design over unguided selection and random mutation.

Date: 2008/06/01 13:07:03, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ June 01 2008,07:25)
Uncommonly Denyse writes a sentence:
The reality is that right now, scientists seem to be trying to dump Darwin’s theory as a theory of everything in biology, yet the secular chants of praise for Darwin have increased in volume in the popular media - competing with a flood tide of nonsense from evolutionary psychologists, flogging to journals material that, if only it were well written and a little more plausible, might have morphed into saleable “Clan of the Cave Bear” fiction.

"If only it were well written."

jerry throws a bucket of cold water on Denyse:

11:45 am
The problem with citing the Altenberg meeting is that all of them believe in naturalistic processes for evolution, just not strict traditional mutation and selection processes. All they are doing is adding new naturalistic processes that expand traditional Darwinism.

They are not getting rid of selection at all. One of the major critics of traditional Darwinism is the book by Jablonka and Lamb and they refer to selection on nearly every other page as a process that explains how things happened.

So getting rid of traditional Darwinism for a more sophisticated naturalistic mechanistic paradigm or synthesis does not move the ball forward very much if at all.

We can sit on the sidelines and throw arrows at the new synthesis whatever it may turn out to be but the game will be the same. Darwin will still be the hero because he started it all and it is his basic process that will still rule supreme. No one is getting rid of variation and selection.

Right on, jerry!

Date: 2008/06/03 08:53:39, Link
Author: olegt
You realize how totally fubar Uncommon Descent is when BA77 acts like the voice of reason:

10:28 pm

Thus the YECists commit an egregious violation of . . .
what is currently known to be true in science.”

The instant violation appears to be your violation of logic.

. . .unchanging universal constants (which is what is actually at the very basis of all dating techniques)

See NIST’s Constants in the category ” Universal constants Which of those address dating methods?

Please read up on dating methods. There are many more issues in dating different from changing “universal constants”. Many are addressed in Don DeYoung’s Thousands not Billions. 2005, ISBN 0-89051-441-0.

DeYoung in Ch 9 suggests that actual evidence may fit with accelerating radioactive decay rate models.
How do you see that as any “universal constant” varying.

Some YEC may have proposed that some “constants” may be varying parameters. However, do not tar all with the same brush.

Please detail, document and support your criticism rather than trying to start a flame war.

Date: 2008/06/04 07:36:51, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (sparc @ June 03 2008,22:52)
Happy anniversary Dr. Dembski          
Mr. Dembski also has little interest in publicizing his research through traditional means. "I've just gotten kind of blasé about submitting things to journals where you often wait two years to get things into print," he says. "And I find I can actually get the turnaround faster by writing a book and getting the ideas expressed there. My books sell well. I get a royalty. And the material gets read more."

Looks as if Dr. Dembski changed his mind on June 5th 2007 and now is seemingly quite willing to wait two years to get things into print:


365 days under review and counting. Peer review indeed is a pain in the ass.

Fear not, sparc.  Here comes good news in buckets!  

Ladies and gentlemen, JOEI is back! TADA!  

The editorial board is headed by Gloppy as Editor in Chief with the rest of the EIL (Dembski, Sewell and two recent additions) in tow.  Papers are being accepted now!  

It's gonna be real science:
Although broad in scope, JOEI is interested only in papers based in mathematics, science and engineering.  Papers dealing in topics heavily philosophical or theological have better venues elsewhere.

But it would still help to cite the classics:

Citations of references in text should be identified using numbers in square brackets (e.g., “as discussed by Paley [10]”; “as discussed elsewhere [11, 12]”).

“Anonamous peer review” is such a bitch.  Einstein's only peer-reviewed paper was rejected.*  And Frank Tipler doesn't like it, either.  We're gonna fix that!  
To have a paper published in JOEI, the author is responsible for soliciting their own reviews from a minimum of two established researchers in the field of the paper's topic.  Alternately, the paper can be sponsored for publication by any one of members of the Editorial Board.  The paper must then be approved by the Editor-in-Chief who will examine the contents for suitability to JOEI.  The names of the sponsors will be included on the paper.  Although no formal written review is required, any comments by the sponsors wish will be posted with the paper.  

The definition of established researchers is intentionally left vague.  Subsumed in this group is certainly all professors at research univerisites and scientists with Ph.D.'s at leading industrial research institutions. Sponsorship by any member of the editorial board suffices for publication with the approval of the Editor-in-Chief.

At his discretion, the Editor-in-Chief can solicit additional outside review of a paper outside of his field of expertise.   In all matters of publication, the decision of the Editor-in-Chief is final and binding.

And if you are unable to find even two stooges who like your work, send it along and we might put it up anyway:

Any unsponsored paper can be posted in the unsponsored papers section of JOEI.  JOEI takes no responsibility for the technical content of these papers.   Unsolicited established researchers may opt to sponsor the paper thereby upgrading its status.  Posting is at the discretion of the Editor-in-Chief.

Well, it looks like this journal will be as successful as PCID.  Smooth sailing, Gloppy!

*And oh, about that paper by Einstein and Rosen that was rejected by Physical Review?  Here's the story in Physics Today.  The paper was entitled Do Gravitational Waves Exist? and Einsten's answer was No.  The referee (Robertson) pointed out an error invalidating the proof but Einstein got indignant, withdrew the paper and submitted it elsewhere, with the diamterically opposite conclusion.  So the paper wasn't exactly rejected, the referee was right and Einstein was wrong.  By now we have solid proof that gravitational waves do exist: they are responsible for slowing down binary pulsars (1993 Nobel prize in physics).

Date: 2008/06/05 07:10:43, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (skeptic @ June 04 2008,15:19)
Actually, Occam, we already teach the strengths and weaknesses in all other courses.  A real good example is the critical analysis currently underway with string theory so why should evolution be any different.  The truth is both sides have an agenda and neither has much to do with science education.

String theory isn't discussed in any high-school physics textbook, as far as I know.

Date: 2008/06/05 09:39:32, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (JackT @ June 01 2008,17:32)
And may I add: is it not ironic that Mike Gene is himself a sock puppet?  It is no secret that for years the person who currently calls himself Mike Gene posted at under the name Julie Thomas using the nntp feed at Case Western Reserve University.  And Michael Thomas ( is probably the same person as well.


MikeGene responded.

Date: 2008/06/05 09:42:46, Link
Author: olegt
Zachriel on the purported analogy between The Design Matrix and a police investigation:

I have no objection to shoe-leather. Indeed, I strongly support such an approach. The problem is that the putative spokespersons for the ID Movement claim to have strong evidence of the perpetrator, can't name the suspect, and their theories are rejected as vacuous or simply false by the courts.

Ouch!  Zachriel, you mean bully.

Date: 2008/06/07 13:35:39, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (keiths @ June 07 2008,11:08)
There's a new post at Evolution News & Views entitled None Dare Call It Journalism.

Surprisingly, it's not about Denyse.

You can enjoy the director's cut of this Cothran's post at his own blog vere loqui.

Date: 2008/06/08 06:35:41, Link
Author: olegt
Hi DiEb,

Yeah, its' funny to see how Sal is arguing about fine mathematical points while at the same time he cannot spot a missing minus sign in your answer for the Fourier transform (#148).  A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

Date: 2008/06/09 07:27:40, Link
Author: olegt
I was reading a list of bullet points Mike Gene flashed a few days ago:

* It is more like a police investigation than either religion or science.
* As an investigation, it allows room for subjectivity and different levels of evidence.
* It begins with a question.
* It represents a Fifth Way of viewing things.

Zachriel shot down the first of these with a bang.  The rest of them strike me as completely trivial.  

On the second point, any scientific theory relies on subjective feelings of its author in the early stages.  It's also typically not all that well tested.  The third one is a gem: what intellectual endeavor doesn't start with a question?  

Lastly, "the fifth way of viewing things" is explained here and boils down to this:
I suspect there is a deeper logic and rationality to evolution than random changes captured and propagated by selection and it is just such logic and rationality that may impart the purposes that Zeigler cannot see. Just as biochemists had to learn the cell is far more sophisticated than they ever imagined, so too might evolutionary biologists one day appreciate that evolution is far more sophisticated than Gould or Dawkins ever imagined.
 To see how vacuous this statement is, let's translate it to another discipline.  "Just as physicists had to learn that atoms and light are far more sophisticated than they ever imagined, so too might astronomers one day appreciate that cosmology is is far more sophisticated than Einstein or Hubble ever imagined."  Yeah, let's quit doing science and write about aliens and UFOs.

Date: 2008/06/09 14:49:06, Link
Author: olegt
Creation scientists would study retroviruses in the same manner evolutionist do.

Well, why don't they?

Date: 2008/06/11 07:32:20, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Henry J @ June 10 2008,22:30)
Didn't Thought Provoker troll here for a bit before tucking his tail?

Remember "The Traveling Twin Takes a Short Cut", from late January and early February this year?


Some of us also followed TP to Telic Thoughts.

Date: 2008/06/11 09:26:29, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Ftk @ June 11 2008,08:54)
Vox wouldn't post over here...his IQ is far too high to mingle with the likes of you folks... :p  :p  :p

But, here's an idea.  Why not set up a thread for Vox and PZ to'd need some moderators and judges from both sides, etc.  It sounded like he was up for something like that as long as he didn't have to host the thing from his own blog.

Oh, and...

:p  :p  :p

Of course.  He's smarter than Feynman, you know.

Date: 2008/06/11 11:17:19, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Ftk @ June 11 2008,10:25)
I'd be scared too if the foundation for my worldview rested on Walt Brown's "science".

??  That's certainly not the case.  I find his work extremely interesting, but I've repeated ad naseum that I don't know how old the earth is.  But then, scientists have struggled with that question as well. Just over one hundred years ago, they thought that it was about 100 million years old. Then they changed their minds, and decided it was 500 million years old. Then they changed their minds a couple more times >>>1.3 billion years, 3 billion, and then 4.55 billion.

No doubt, they think they've got the number right this time, but I think I'll wait around for the next round of data to come in before I succomb to the faith of scientists that they've landed the absolute correct age of the earth.

You forgot to mention the error bars, ftk.  That's a very serious mistake.  There's no contradiction between earlier and later estimates.  Previous estimates had large uncertainties because the data on which they were based were scarce and the methods were untested.  The error bars shrank as our methods became more reliable.  

At the moment different dating methods agree within their individual uncertainty ranges and  give the age of the Earth as 4.55 plus or minus 0.05 billion years.  Take a look here.

Date: 2008/06/12 15:35:39, Link
Author: olegt
Walt Brown's hydroplate theory is a tall tale that doesn't withstand basic scrutiny.

Take his assertion that asteroids are rocks lifted into orbit by water bursting from underground cavities.  It's easy to estimate what kind of pressure is required to send the fluid into outer space.  Water density (1000 kg per cubic meter) multiplied by the escape velocity (11.2 km/s) squared and divided by two is 63 GPa (620,000 atm).  Such pressure simply cannot build up in a cavity in the Earth's crust: no mineral can withstand that kind of stress.  Basalt fiber has the ultimate strength of 5 GPa.  If a cavity ruptures at 5 GPa, the water will rise to a height of 500 km and come back down to earth.  No asteroids.

Knowing the mass of the asteroid belt, one can estimate the energy involved.  It equals 2x10^{29} joules.  Just to put it in proper perspective, it equals the amount of energy the Earth receives from the Sun in 34 thousand years.  Part of that energy must have been converted into heat by atmospheric drag as the water and rock traveled through the atmosphere.  Even if that fraction were 1% (a lowball estimate), the atmosphere would become a hot plasma with a temperature of a few hundred thousand degrees.  The hot atmosphere would escape the Earth in a matter of seconds.  Land would be scorched and the oceans would boil.  

This is beyond ridiculous.

Date: 2008/06/13 06:13:27, Link
Author: olegt
Dr. Dr. quotes an endorsement from Ann Coulter mentioning that "Bill Dembski [is] often called the Isaac Newton of intelligent design."  U r doing it wrong, Ann: he is the Isaac Newton of information theory.

Date: 2008/06/13 08:16:29, Link
Author: olegt
Dr. Dr. sez:
Granville: Miller claims to say the Nicene Creed every Sunday and mean it. I’m sure Francis Collins means it as well. But it doesn’t stop them from being ID’s most implacable opponents.

Date: 2008/06/13 10:41:32, Link
Author: olegt
Sorry, Ftk, but where's the science on the other side?

Date: 2008/06/13 11:35:40, Link
Author: olegt
I suppose any further conversation is pointless.

Date: 2008/06/13 16:06:28, Link
Author: olegt
Access to information is a double-edged sword.  Without teh interwebz, we'd never hear any farting noises from Dr. Dr. Dembski and would never have guessed that Gloppy is running the Evoinfo Lab.

Date: 2008/06/13 16:34:45, Link
Author: olegt
Check out the other books published by Harvest House in the same series:
Wrestling with Angels: Adventures in Faith and Doubt.
Why Guys Need God: The Spiritual Side of Money, Sex, and Relationships.
O2: Breathing New Life into Faith.

All science so far!

Date: 2008/06/14 07:14:19, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (keiths @ June 14 2008,01:48)
Quote (stevestory @ June 13 2008,21:42)
Never heard of this Sean McDowell guy.

I'll bet he's the son of Josh "Evidence That Demands a Verdict" McDowell.

Poor kid, and now he's getting mixed up with Dembski.

Here's an excerpt from the poor kid's bio.  
[Sean McDowell] is the head of the Bible Department at Capistrano Valley Christian Schools, where he teaches courses on apologetics and Bible. He graduated summa cum laude from Talbot Theological Seminary with a double Master’s degree in Theology and Philosophy.

Eminently qualified to write on ID.

Date: 2008/06/14 17:56:12, Link
Author: olegt
Hi Marion,

We're well aware of the great effort Denyse is making.  I personally think that her prose is almost on par with Vogon poetry.

Date: 2008/06/15 14:09:58, Link
Author: olegt
Deep thoughts from gpuccio:
Unfortunately, we have not a quantitative model for beauty, as we have for CSI. In a sense, beauty could be considered a special kind of functional specification, a special kind of meaning and of conscious recognition. The simplest quantitative aspect of beauty in art and nature of which I am aware is the widespread presence of the golden ratio both in works of art and in biological beings.

Date: 2008/06/15 14:43:19, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (stevestory @ June 15 2008,14:29)
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ June 15 2008,06:07)
I'm no champion speller, but I have to wonder what Sal's problem is.

I suspect Salvador learned English late in life, as a second or third language.

You might be surprised, OM, but to my foreign ear Sal comes across as a rather articulate speaker.  Listen here.

Date: 2008/06/15 18:52:43, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (stevestory @ June 15 2008,18:45)
Salvador, Telic Thoughts, and Walt Brown

The tard density threatens to tear a hole in the Space Time Continuum.

That thread is pretty long.  Here is a direct link to Sal's comment on Brown.

ETA: Walt's name was brought up by Thought Provoker who offered this delightful euphemism:
Hi Mike,

I think, therefore I am.

I can only presume that other people think at all, much less what they think unless they present it.

I find it difficult to trust people who do not honestly and openly present what they think and defend it.

I offer Walt Brown as a religiously oriented thinker willing to honestly present and defend his hypothesis.

I must say that I actually enjoy TP's company there.  He's a good sport.

Date: 2008/06/16 06:26:54, Link
Author: olegt
The thread Evidence and Truth is a gem.  The opening post ends in the following way:
Right there, in that scene, we see the difference between evidence and truth.  Relying solely on the evidence may very well deliver only a superficial, or even false, understanding of the world.

Date: 2008/06/16 07:27:31, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (olegt @ June 15 2008,14:09)
Deep thoughts from gpuccio:
Unfortunately, we have not a quantitative model for beauty, as we have for CSI. In a sense, beauty could be considered a special kind of functional specification, a special kind of meaning and of conscious recognition. The simplest quantitative aspect of beauty in art and nature of which I am aware is the widespread presence of the golden ratio both in works of art and in biological beings.

The beauty argument backfires as duncan points out to the flip side of the coin---ugliness.  DaveT immediately zaps him but gpuccio feels compelled to respond at length saying "it’s not a problem for me, but the possible answers to those questions are obviously of philosophical and religious kind. I don’t think that’s at present a scientific problem."  Shouldn't that apply equally well to beauty?

Date: 2008/06/16 07:33:53, Link
Author: olegt
The Pixie, puzzled by Mike's opening post, asks:

What else are you suggesting we use, Mike?

Have at it, boys.  

My entry: Use the Force, Luke.

Date: 2008/06/18 12:29:44, Link
Author: olegt
Check this out:
TE’s [theistic evolutionists] aren’t loonies. They’re spineless appeasers. They know wearing on their sleeve a belief in a personal living God who can make miracles happen with a wave of His hand will make them look like superstitious fools among the “higher” scientists. National Academy members, the higher scientists, are 71% positive atheists, 22% agnostics, and just 7% who profess a faith in God. Plain and simple, TE’s are caving in to pressure from the majority of the most accomplished scientists. Wimps. If Judas was alive today he’d be a TE.

Guess which fundy wrote that.  BA77?  Nope.  Dr. Dr. Hisself?  Wrong again.  Answer.

Date: 2008/06/18 12:51:04, Link
Author: olegt
Ted Davis's reply to this tantrum is well worth reading.

Date: 2008/06/18 22:35:02, Link
Author: olegt
The fun continues.  When Francis Beckwith observes that
At the end of the day, ID advocates do themselves no favors by hurling insults at people like Miller and Collins. For they are more accomplished, more successful, and more well-respected than any ID advocate anywhere. That’s harsh, I know. But it’s the truth.

Dave counters:
You need to get out more. George W. Bush is an ID advocate and he’s arguably the most powerful man in the world. Collins and Miller together don’t amount to a pimple on his butt. I know it’s harsh but scientists and academics in general don’t get a lot of respect outside their sheltered world. Heck, even Ann Coulter makes them look insignificant by each and every metric you named.

You should get out more often, Dave.  Society hearts scientists.  According to a 2003 Harris Interactive Poll,  
Americans see scientists, firemen, doctors, teachers and nurses as the professions and occupations which have the most prestige. At the other end of the spectrum, the occupations which are seen as having the least prestige are real estate agents, stockbrokers, actors, bankers and accountants.

Only three occupations are perceived to have "very great" prestige by more than half of all adults; these are scientists (57%), firemen (55%) and doctors (52%). They are followed by four professions which are perceived to have "very great" prestige by more than 40% but less than 50% - teachers (49%), nurses (47%), military officers (46%) and police officers (42%).
 2006 data are here.

Date: 2008/06/19 07:39:42, Link
Author: olegt
Sal writes:
ID does not explain why or how….

This is a slightly less eloquent way of saying
We believe that intelligent design is neither sound science nor good theology.

ISSR Statement on the Concept of 'Intelligent Design'

Date: 2008/06/19 21:41:45, Link
Author: olegt
Salvador has plans to rewrite Maxwell's equations.  Darwinism will be toast and the Earth will be young again.  

In other news, God used electricity to make stars and galaxies.  No word on the size of his utility bill.  


Date: 2008/06/24 19:39:56, Link
Author: olegt
Oh well, it looks like Conservapedia is down.  Closed for renovations, I suppose.

Date: 2008/06/25 21:59:24, Link
Author: olegt
Poor Billy.  Turns out ID was booted from Hillsdale.  Hillsdale!  

William Dembski
8:50 pm
This post brought to mind academic intolerance toward ID that I witnessed six years ago at Hillsdale College. In November 2002, I took part in a symposium on ID at Hillsdale (go here for Jonathan Wells’ report). Frank Steiner, a professor of biology at Hillsdale and the school’s dean of sciences, had the last word. He made clear that ID would never be taught at Hillsdale as long as he was dean.

Date: 2008/06/26 18:47:40, Link
Author: olegt
This is so cool: BA77 is once again a voice of reason at UD defending Bell's inequalities of quantum mechanics against YEC Paul Giem.

Date: 2008/06/30 07:56:09, Link
Author: olegt
JOEI is back online:

The Journal of Evolutionary Informatics (JOEI) invites submission of manuscripts concerning theoretical and applied aspects of information phenomona [sic] in science, mathematics and engineeering. JOEI is a quarterly open access journal.

Seems like it's starting for real, so we might as well open a thread to keep an eye on its progress.  Editorial policies are summarized here:

JOEI considers submitted papers based on a peer sponsorship. The motivation for peer sponsorhip review is discussed in Professor Frank Tipler's insightful article on the history of anonymous peer review which, by permission, we make avalable here.

To have a paper published in JOEI, the author is responsible for soliciting their own reviews from a minimum of two established researchers in the field of the paper's topic. Alternately, the paper can be sponsored for publication by any one of members of the Editorial Board. The paper must then be approved by the Editor-in-Chief. The names of the sponsors will be included on the paper.

The definition of established researchers includes all professors at major univerisites and scientists with Ph.D.'s at leading research institutions.

At his discretion, the Editor-in-Chief can reject sponsorship of a peer for any reason, including inappropriate conflict of interest perceived or real. The Editor-in-Chief can, at his discretion, solicit additional outside review of a paper outside of his field of expertise. In all matters of publication, the decision of the Editor-in-Chief is final and binding.

Date: 2008/07/04 21:40:57, Link
Author: olegt
A comment by Philip J. Rayment on the talk page caught my attention:
It's mainly Aschlafly that pursued this. Many others, including me, disagreed with that course. That was simply the first of several mistakes you made, and the others relate to you having almost no idea of what creationists believe. Do you support the concept of criticising an idea without knowing much about it? Because that is what you are doing. Creationists accept speciation. They also accept beneficial mutations. The one that they don't accept is mutations adding information, because it is not observed (apart from some questionable claims, such as this one of Lenski's). I won't ask for examples simply because I've been down this road before, of having supposed examples provided, only to have them not stack up when investigated.  [bolding my --OT]

Could someone remind me again how ID differs from creationism?

Date: 2008/07/05 22:49:50, Link
Author: olegt
Joy is unique among the TT denizens.  She combines ignorance with arrogance that results in comments like this one:
Just an aside to let the groupies (as opposed to practicing scientists) know that in addition to the fact that no model of organic evolution that ignores physical theoretics can ever explain 'reality' as we perceive and experience it, I'd just like to add the scientific FACT that…

…if there are more than 3+1 dimensions in reality, we can't rule out the existence of intelligent life in any or all of them, or circumscribe the capabilities of such conscious existence according to the provisional [ignoring anomalies] 'rules' here in 3+1. Really.

Keep in mind that she is (or was at the time) herself a groupie of one Matti Pitkänen, a crackpot mathematical physicist.

Date: 2008/07/06 12:14:55, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Bob O'H @ July 06 2008,05:21)
Dave responds about the outing of Gloppy  



11:50 am

Tard Alert!

Rumor has it Galapagos Finch’s real name was discovered by the evos, outted, and because he’s at risk for job discrimination for public support of ID he decided discretion was the better part of valor and buried the site.

I guess this is the first kind of official confirmation that Galapagos Finch is Robert Marcks. Well done Dave.
The only information I have on the matter is what Oleg posted on After The Bar Closes. Ironically Oleg unknowingly used the Explanatory Filter and reached a design inference based on the evidence. Presuming the evidence was valid I believe the design inference is indisputable. -ds

Hang on a moment, I thought the explanatory filter showed if something was designed as opposed to being the result of chance, but didn't say who did it.

Right, Bob.  The nontrivial part was identifying the designer.

Everybody knew from the start that Gloppy was a sock puppet of someone with enough weight in the ID circles to be on familiar terms with Dr Dr.  In fact, many of us suspected that it was Dr Dr hisself (I certainly did).  But when I saw Gloppy's essay produced from an IEEE template it had engineer written all over it.  The rest is history.  

And I don't think Marks is afraid for his career.  He just looks ridiculous in a clown suit.

Date: 2008/07/06 15:08:10, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (stevestory @ July 06 2008,15:05)
Quote (Guts @ July 06 2008,15:54)
how would you know that steve? Again, it is quite clear that you are scientifically illiterate. You wouldn't know a scientific revolution if it punched in the face.

Sadly, your revolution isn't going to be punching anyone in the face.

There's a new revolution in the works, Steve.  That'll show us!

Date: 2008/07/06 15:08:10, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (stevestory @ July 06 2008,15:05)
Quote (Guts @ July 06 2008,15:54)
how would you know that steve? Again, it is quite clear that you are scientifically illiterate. You wouldn't know a scientific revolution if it punched in the face.

Sadly, your revolution isn't going to be punching anyone in the face.

There's a new revolution in the works, Steve.  That'll show us!

Date: 2008/07/06 15:51:24, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Guts @ July 06 2008,15:49)
I couldn't possibly have given a more direct answer.

Oh leave him alone, guys.  He can't give any answers.  Not qualified.

Date: 2008/07/06 15:51:24, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Guts @ July 06 2008,15:49)
I couldn't possibly have given a more direct answer.

Oh leave him alone, guys.  He can't give any answers.  Not qualified.

Date: 2008/07/06 15:56:23, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ July 06 2008,15:45)
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ July 06 2008,15:33)
Quote (Guts @ July 06 2008,15:32)

So it's ID, and a Journal, but not an ID Journal

Nope, they wanted it to be more general than just ID.

A second ago you knew nothing about it!

I call troll pretending to be Guts.

Apparently this troll is indeed the real Gutless.


Guts' admission of trolling has just disappeared from TT.  Classy guy!

Date: 2008/07/06 15:56:23, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ July 06 2008,15:45)
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ July 06 2008,15:33)
Quote (Guts @ July 06 2008,15:32)

So it's ID, and a Journal, but not an ID Journal

Nope, they wanted it to be more general than just ID.

A second ago you knew nothing about it!

I call troll pretending to be Guts.

Apparently this troll is indeed the real Gutless.


Guts' admission of trolling has just disappeared from TT.  Classy guy!

Date: 2008/07/06 16:40:09, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Guts @ July 06 2008,16:37)

Anyway, how about those dozens of predictions?

I already listed them fully, but it was deleted by steve.

That's even better than Dog ate my homework!

Date: 2008/07/06 16:40:09, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Guts @ July 06 2008,16:37)

Anyway, how about those dozens of predictions?

I already listed them fully, but it was deleted by steve.

That's even better than Dog ate my homework!

Date: 2008/07/06 19:20:51, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Guts @ July 06 2008,19:18)
Like I said, I'm not here to explain to a bunch of trolls my position, it's a complete waste of time. I'm only here to expose the lies and deceit that crop up here. It's very simple concept to understand.

You = troll

Me  = troll smasher, not patient teacher

This from a guy who a few hours ago admitted he came here to troll.  LOL

Date: 2008/07/06 19:20:51, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Guts @ July 06 2008,19:18)
Like I said, I'm not here to explain to a bunch of trolls my position, it's a complete waste of time. I'm only here to expose the lies and deceit that crop up here. It's very simple concept to understand.

You = troll

Me  = troll smasher, not patient teacher

This from a guy who a few hours ago admitted he came here to troll.  LOL

Date: 2008/07/06 19:42:21, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Guts @ July 06 2008,19:41)

That's nice guts. Now, if you've finish obsfucating, ID predictions? Or even a scientific theory would be a good start.

Read my blogs. Let me know if you have any questions.

Be sure to link to them, buddy.

Date: 2008/07/06 19:42:21, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Guts @ July 06 2008,19:41)

That's nice guts. Now, if you've finish obsfucating, ID predictions? Or even a scientific theory would be a good start.

Read my blogs. Let me know if you have any questions.

Be sure to link to them, buddy.

Date: 2008/07/09 07:42:41, Link
Author: olegt
Itching for a fight, FtK?

Date: 2008/07/09 08:03:26, Link
Author: olegt
If you're looking for a real fight, why don't you explain to us how ID is different from scientific creationism.  You still have those Henry Morris quotes, don't you?

Date: 2008/07/09 08:30:28, Link
Author: olegt
Yes, FtK, that's what I thought: you did lose those Henry Morris quotes.  Let me remind you of them.  You should, after all, know the history of the movement in which you participate.  Here's Henry Morris in Creation and its Critics: Answers to Common Questions and Criticisms on the Creation Movement

SECTION I - Creation and Religion

Question: "Since creationism is based on the Genesis creation story, why should it be included in public education?"

Answer: Scientific creationism is not based on Genesis or any other religious teaching. One can present the scientific evidences for creation (and against evolution) without referring at all to the Bible or to any type of religion.

Entire books1 have been written on scientific creationism without a single quotation from the Bible and without basing any argument on Biblical authority or doctrine. Such arguments deal with genetics, paleontology, geology, thermodynamics, and other sciences with theology or religion. Indeed, the scientific case for creation is based on our knowledge of DNA, mutations, fossils, and other scientific terms and concepts which do not even appear in the Bible. Furthermore, creationist scientists many who were formerly evolutionists made a thorough study of the scientific evidences related to origins and are firmly convinced (not by religious faith but by the scientific evidences) that the scientific data explicitly support the Creation Model and contradict the Evolution Model.

Question: "But isn't this so-called scientific creationism simply a backdoor method of getting Biblical creationism introduced?"

Answer: We could just as easily ask whether teaching evolution is a backdoor method of introducing atheism. Scientific creationism and Biblical creationism can, in fact, be taught quite independently of each other. We ourselves are opposed to the teaching of Biblical creationism in public schools. Teachers of biblical creationism should have a good knowledge of the Bible and a firm commitment to its authority, and these qualifications cannot be imposed on public school teachers. Biblical creationism, as well as other sectarian views of creation, should be taught in churches (as well as synagogues and mosques) but only scientific creationism in public schools. Both can well be taught in religious schools.

Question: "What is the difference between scientific creationism and Biblical creationism?"

Answer: The first is based solely on scientific evidence, from such sciences as those listed above; the second is based on Biblical teachings. The Genesis record includes the account of the six days of creation, the names of the first man and woman, the record of God's curse on the earth because of human sin, the story of Noah's ark, and other such events which could never be determined scientifically. On the other hand, scientific creationism deals with such physical entities as fossils, whereas the Bible never refers to fossils at all. It is quite possible for scientific creationism to be discussed and evaluated without any reference whatever to Biblical creationism.

I could substitute ID for scientific creationism in this text and no one would notice.

Date: 2008/07/09 10:45:40, Link
Author: olegt
What, no word on Henry Morris, FtK?  Chicken?

Date: 2008/07/09 11:55:38, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Ftk @ July 09 2008,10:58)
Quote (olegt @ July 09 2008,10:45)
What, no word on Henry Morris, FtK?  Chicken?

I have no idea what your point is.  I already told you that many creationists support ID and that both ID and evolution are not new concepts.  WTF?  Don't get your angle here.

Just to be clear, FtK, do you now agree that ID is scientific creationism re-branded?  You didn't seem to a couple of pages ago, but maybe you saw the light.

Date: 2008/07/09 12:01:16, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (lcd @ July 09 2008,11:56)
How is Ftk supposed to actually respond to real questions when so many of you are only out to be very vindictive, call names or speculate on private matters with them?

Very sad actually.

lcd, David Heddle's blog may contain the answer to your question.

Date: 2008/07/09 14:03:54, Link
Author: olegt
Flood geology as science?  It's laughable apologetics, that's what it is.

Date: 2008/07/09 14:17:54, Link
Author: olegt
Which god?

Date: 2008/07/09 14:19:27, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Chayanov @ July 09 2008,14:18)
Did they evolve new features after the fall and will they degenerate as soon as they no longer pose a threat, or will they keep evolving until they take us out?

Well, see, they had fangs and claws and venom, but, see, they never used them. Why God made poisonous insects is a complete mystery, so let's put that in the ol' navel and gaze for a while. Ooohhhh....

Elementary, my dear Watson.  They were all retrofitted after teh fall.

Date: 2008/07/09 14:45:36, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Ftk @ July 09 2008,14:36)
Quote (olegt @ July 09 2008,14:17)
Which god?

Who cares.  It's irrelevant to the scientific discussion about the matter.  We can't witness that primitive blob evolving any more than we can witness how the designer (what or whomever that may be) chose to create the universe.

All we can do is observe the empirical evidence around us and postulate from there.

Keep religion out of the discussion folks.

Really?  You don't care which god?  Swear on the Bible, FtK!

The problem of life origin may be difficult, but not necessarily impossible to solve.  Scientists invent new tools to peer deep into the past, so we may be able to find out how it happened one day.  Look at the progress over the last 150 years: we even learned what stars are made of!  Don't misunderestimate science.

Date: 2008/07/09 15:00:29, Link
Author: olegt
Hugs and kisses, FtK.  

If god is out of the equation, what's the difference between creation science and ID?

Date: 2008/07/09 15:22:49, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Ftk @ July 09 2008,15:10)
Quote (olegt @ July 09 2008,15:00)
Hugs and kisses, FtK.  

If god is out of the equation, what's the difference between creation science and ID?


Oleg, we've been over this time and time again.  I honestly don't understand why you don't see the difference.

Read Brown's book.  It ='s creation science.

Read Dembski's no free lunch.  It ='s ID

There is a difference...huge really.  Creation science fucks with virtually every field of secular science in case you haven't noticed.  

ID only postulates the idea that there has to be a designing force responsible for the complexity we see in nature.  

Sure, some issues may overlap, but ID is a different concept that has no overt religious teachings.  Religious implications?  Sure.  But, then evolution has religious implications as well.

Excellent, FtK, now we're moving somewhere!  

You're right, Behe and Dembski's ID stuff is different from Walt Brown's.  At the same time, it's virtually indistinguishable from the scientific creationism of Henry Morris.  Here's Dembski responding to Morris:  
Morris claims that intelligent design brings nothing new to the debate: "It is not really a new approach, using basically the same evidence and arguments used for years by scientific creationists but made to appear more sophisticated with complex nomenclature and argumentation." Morris notes that the bacterial flagellum, the icon of intelligent design, was used by the late Dick Bliss. So too, my use of the term "specified complexity" as a criterion for detecting design has, according to Morris, "essentially the same meaning as 'organized complexity,' which is more meaningful and which I have often used myself." And as for my universal probability bound of 10^(–150), below which chance is precluded, Emile Borel proposed a less conservative one of 10^(–50) and Morris himself proposed a bound of 10^(–110).

You can read Morris's original critique of ID here.  The bottom line: Dembski and Behe didn't invent a new brand of creationism, they just re-branded an existing one.  Sure, their creation science is different from Brown's but it's identical to Morris's.

Date: 2008/07/09 15:40:26, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Ftk @ July 09 2008,15:30)
No Ftk, the lungs developed after they need arose.  Also, evolution does not target specific members but parts of  species.

So there was no need to have lungs until the first fish needed a way to get from mud puddle to mud puddle.  Lungs arose from that.


Here's an excerpt from Evolution: the Triumf of an Idea by science journalist Carl Zimmer.  

Lungs, for example, appear to have evolved in fish long before any air-breathing land vertebrate existed.  There are still some primitive, air-breathing fish alive today, such as the bichir of Africa.  Lungs are helpful to the bichir, but not absolutely essential, because it can get oxygen through its gills. But by breathing through its lungs from time to time, a bichir can boost its swimming stamina with an extra supply of oxygen to the heart.  Around 360 million years ago, one lineage of air-breathing fish began spending some time on dry land.  As they increased their time out of the water, they adapted their limblike fins to support their weight as they walked.  Eventually their gills disappeared altogether.  Over the course of millions of years, these early tetrapods became completely dependent on their lungs -- a process documented with fossils.

I highly recommend reading the book.  I'm sure you can get it at the local library.

Date: 2008/07/09 18:02:18, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Ftk @ July 09 2008,16:30)
Sure, I'll get the book when I have time.  Rather enjoyed Shubin's "Your Inner Fish".

But, bear in mind that I can tell good stories like that too.   Kinda reminds me of the crap they use to postulate about the coelacanth.

Stories are fine.  I'm all for telling them, and they could very well be accurate in many instances, but just don't present them as fact (like Zimmer does in the quote above).

It's not just a good story, FtK.  Zimmer is a good writer of course and his book was written for the lay audience (it's a companion to the PBS series Evolution).  However, at the end of that passage Zimmer specifically notes that the good story "is documented with fossils."  

Lungfish, another "living fossil" with lungs, is considered to be a close relative of early tetrapods on the basis of morphology.  A few years ago paleontologists discovered a fossil sarcopterygian fish that looks like the latest common ancestor of lungfishes and tetrapods.  

Just a story?  Only if you want to dismiss it out of hand.

Date: 2008/07/09 19:28:04, Link
Author: olegt
Oh brother, the world's coming to an end.  What's next?  Gloppy spilling guts on the Uncommonly Dense thread?  Behe guest-posting at ERV?

Date: 2008/07/09 19:31:15, Link
Author: olegt
FtK said
Oh, well shit.  Now, you're going to go and make me think again.  The rest of these bozos are easy prey, but you post lengthy crap that I have to dissect and actually do a little bit of thinking.


I haven't even read through the whole thing yet, so give me some time - a week perhaps...maybe less.

Methinks the problem is more mundane: there's nothing at Creation Science about this new discovery yet.  So let's wait for a week.  Or maybe the famed scientist Luskin will post something.

Date: 2008/07/09 21:31:36, Link
Author: olegt

9:16 pm
stcordova’s last comment was deleted for inappropriate graphic sexual content and he, for the time being, is no longer with us.

Date: 2008/07/09 21:41:53, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Ftk @ July 09 2008,21:35)
[quote]What is the evidence that common design is a better paradigm than common descent for a modern biological scientist?  My evidence is numbers of papers published and numbers of new products or treatments. Your evidence is ???????? [quote]

Um, I don't believe my point was that common design is a *better* paradigm than common descent.  My assertion was that science would not have been hindered if the simliarities we observe in nature today had been considered part of the design paradigm rather than due to common descent.  The important discoveries science has made were due to simliarities between organisms, not the conclusion that everything in nature stems from a common blob.  

Why are all scientific papers based on common descent?  Because it was deemed "fact" early on, and everyone based their evolutionary scenarios on that ideology.  Like I said, if common design had been the basis for similiarities and differences between organisms, our charts would differ somewhat from what we see today, but there would be no reason for science to have suffered as observations and predictions would still be readily accessible under the design paradigm.

Is this what such a classification would look like?

Date: 2008/07/09 22:07:18, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ July 09 2008,21:32)
Hi, Joy

We've never met on your blog, I'm just a biologist and swamp denizen. But I have a question for you, reprised in this comment. Briefly, the very first time I read TT I encountered a comment by you that revealed a stunning ignorance of modern biology (as you will see if you click that link). That's OK, lots of folks get out of their element and everybody has gaps in their knowledge. But you still felt that you could comment about biology. Most reasonable folks don't wade into areas where their ignorance shows quite so badly.

So I guess my question is this. Based on my readings at TT, it appears that both you and Nelson know next to nothing about biology. Yet this whole discussion is about biology, trying to distinguish between two explanations for the observed diversity of life on this planet. Why do you think anyone should listen to your pontifications when it is quite clear that your knowledge of the subject matter (biology) is exceedingly shallow?


She's almost as good with physics.  Understands next to nothing but feels an urge to pontificate on the subject.  Big fan of Matti Pitkänen, a certified crackpot.

Date: 2008/07/09 22:41:10, Link
Author: olegt
Joy, while it may be hard to imagine objects in more than 3 dimensions, the math isn't necessarily harder.  So whether it's 8, 10, or 26, the game is pretty much the same.  

And in infinite dimensions things tend to simplify, so people sometimes organize a calculation with the infinite number of dimensions as a starting point and hope to get back to d=4 via a perturbation theory with 1/d as a small parameter.  Check it out: Quantum gravity at a large number of dimensions.  

I'm not scared of Matti's math, I just don't see any point in digging through it.  High investment, low return.

Date: 2008/07/10 08:05:25, Link
Author: olegt
Musta been a miniban.  

Here are some pertinent thoughts by Dave expressed recently at TT:
re; Sal

I've seen him do some egregious quote mining and I'm pretty sure I mentioned it in a negative way at least once in a comment under a UD article he wrote.

No one is perfect. On the plus side Sal is fairly well informed, works diligently for the cause, and he bends over backwards trying not to offend anyone. He's a really nice person as far as I know and there is definitely a dearth of nicety in both camps.

I'm the one that made him an author on UD by the way so don't blame Dembski. I have no idea whether or not Bill approved of the action. There has been a time or two when I was tempted to undo what I did but the feeling passed quickly.

Date: 2008/07/10 15:25:20, Link
Author: olegt
[Graffiti moved to Bathroom Wall. -Admin]


If you had taken the trouble to actually read the ERV thread, you'd see how we "admire" Kwok.

Date: 2008/07/10 16:05:31, Link
Author: olegt
[Graffiti moved to Bathroom Wall. -Admin]

Quote (Ftk @ July 10 2008,16:03)
Quote (Richardthughes @ July 10 2008,15:57)
Admiring an attribute is not the same as admiring a person.

If you're too simple to understand that, perhaps less Internet and more school?


The attribute you admire is his "endless enthusiasm for fighting creationism".  Um, that would include his antics, his reviews without having read books, and his wish for seeing Dembski dead.  They're all a part of his "enthusiasm for fighting creationism".  

Have a nice day, atheist twat.

You're smearing Richard, FtK.  It's despicable.

Date: 2008/07/10 16:17:41, Link
Author: olegt
[Graffiti moved to Bathroom Wall. -Admin]

Hon, by smearing I don't mean name calling.  You're putting words in Rich's mouth.  He does not admire Kwok.  Find the courage to apologize.

Date: 2008/07/10 16:53:20, Link
Author: olegt
[Graffiti moved to Bathroom Wall. -Admin]

Quote (Ftk @ July 10 2008,16:29)
Quote (olegt @ July 10 2008,16:17)
Hon, by smearing I don't mean name calling.  You're putting words in Rich's mouth.  He does not admire Kwok.  Find the courage to apologize.

I will not apologize!  He said he admires his enthusiasm for fighting creationism!  

Besides that, he owes me an apology for calling me a creobot!

I admire your pigheaded determination, FtK.

Date: 2008/07/11 06:57:38, Link
Author: olegt
We know from scientific studies in the past, light was much faster.  

I am not aware of any such studies.  Care to provide a reference?

Date: 2008/07/11 07:23:13, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (lcd @ July 11 2008,07:19)
Quote (olegt @ July 11 2008,06:57)
We know from scientific studies in the past, light was much faster.  
I am not aware of any such studies.  Care to provide a reference?

Barry Setterfield has looked into this.  It does provide a reasonable explanation of why things look so far off in the Universe while still being young.

Setterfield speculated that the speed of light had been much faster in the past.  There is no experimental or observational evidence for that, however.  I know that physicists looked for a variable speed of light (on a much smaller scale than Setterfield would like, such as 1 in 100,000) but did not find evidence for that, either.

Date: 2008/07/11 07:48:02, Link
Author: olegt
Right on, dogdidit!  The speed of light leaves its signature in lots of physical phenomena.  The article that I linked mentions how physicists examined absorption lines by interstellar clouds of gas that existed billions of years ago.  The absorption spectrum depends on the speed of light (via the fine-structure constant), so a different speed of light would shift the absorption lines and that wold be observable.  No change was detected within the accuracy of the experiment, which puts the upper bound on the variation of the speed of light at a few parts in 100,000 over 12 billion years.  

Of course, it is possible that not only c but also the electron charge and Planck's constant changed, but that would affect other observables.

Date: 2008/07/11 08:58:47, Link
Author: olegt
I'm still waiting for lcd to provide some reference to data confirming Setterfield's hypothesis.

Date: 2008/07/11 09:16:25, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (lcd @ July 11 2008,09:11)
Quote (olegt @ July 11 2008,08:58)
I'm still waiting for lcd to provide some reference to data confirming Setterfield's hypothesis.

Setterfield has his own evidence in his paper.

To answer Nerull's question, no I don't think you're a liar.  It is perfectly reasonable for people to look at the same data, see what needs to be done and disagree totally on how it is supposed to be done.

I have that same issue whenever I get together with the other engineers and we're supposed to collaborate and do something.  The way it is solved and how we do it many times is not based on merit but who yells the loudest, who's in charge or who has the purse strings.

Now I hope you understand where I am coming from when I really wonder why some is accepted as science but other voices, Behe, Setterfield and others aren't.  As they don't control the purse strings nor are they in charge, their work is ignored or marginalized.

It would be nice if you could put a brief summary of that evidence, as I did in my comments: I don't have time to wade through Setterfield's paper at the moment.

Date: 2008/07/11 09:17:46, Link
Author: olegt
Moderators might want to consider opening a separate thread for lcd and moving much of the latest material in this thread there.

Date: 2008/07/11 10:17:27, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Ftk @ July 11 2008,09:54)
Quote (Richardthughes @ July 11 2008,09:32)
FtK, have you considered actually studying the issue, then you might be better equipped to evaluate?

lol...luv, you have no idea as to the depth of studying and outside conversations I am involved in regarding the arguments your pals put forth.  

Nuf. said.

I've learned over the years that it doesn't matter what evidence is put forth if you're conversing with a group of  people who have closed off their ability to remain open minded because of their philosophical beliefs.

What's it measured in?  Nanometers?

Date: 2008/07/11 11:39:16, Link
Author: olegt
[Graffiti moved to Bathroom Wall. -Admin]

Quote (ERV @ July 11 2008,11:17)
Quote (keiths @ July 10 2008,22:33)
Imagine if Dembski had shown up on your blog spouting the kind of nonsense that Kwok did today.  We all would have skewered him, and rightly so.  Why should the standards be different just because Kwok is on "our side" of the ID debate?

keiths, ask yourself when I last supported someone just because they were on 'our side'.  Have I ever done that?

Does it make sense that I would be doing it now?

You think maybe I have reasons for doing things that you dont know about, and just might not be any of your business?


It doesn't make sense, but here you are, defending Kwok and bashing Heddle.  I'm squarely on Heddle's side in this brouhaha, as are lots of AtBC folks.  You might want to slow down and think about it, ERV.

Date: 2008/07/11 23:12:29, Link
Author: olegt
Mike Gene/Julie Thomas gets her panties in a twist.

Date: 2008/07/12 08:16:26, Link
Author: olegt
Dave asks at UD: What do Design Detection and Nazis Have in Common?

It’s a crying shame that people just can’t seem to drop this obsession with Darwin and Nazis. If we can stick to the science we can win this thing. Evolution solely by unintelligent causes doesn’t have a leg to stand on when put under the microscope of math & physics. The only legs it has are the ones we intelligent design proponents give it when we wander off the reservation of science and reason and start waving our hands in the air shouting that Darwinism is evil, Darwin led to the holocaust, and Darwin is killing God. Those are not scientific arguments, they never will be scientific arguments, and if we keep doing it we’re never going to get ID accepted as science. Period. End of story. Keep it up at your own peril and don’t say I didn’t warn you.

The problem, Dave, is that ID "scholars" just can't stick to science.  They weren't designed to.  Take a look around, they're a bunch of theologians, lawyers, philosophers, and a handful of engineers.  They don't do science.  When was the last ID conference where people presented some scientific-looking results?  Where are ID journals?  Even YECs are more prolific.  Walt Brown is publishing the 8th edition of his hydroplate model.  It's laughable, to be sure, but at least he has a model.  Your big tent can't even do that.  Linking Darwin to Hitler is the best they can do, Dave.  

Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas.

Date: 2008/07/13 15:54:00, Link
Author: olegt
Charles Voss, the author of the add-on text, is vice president of Origins Research Association.  
Origins Resource Association is a nonprofit organization of scientists, educators, and citizens concerned about what we see as the brainwashing of our society into an unquestioning belief in evolution. Our mission is to furnish resources to help counter this trend.
  ORA began in 1980 under the name Louisiana Citizens for Academic Freedom in Origins, or LCAFO. (You can see why we changed to a shorter name!) The organization was founded to furnish material and expertise to the state of Louisiana in support of the "Balanced Treatment Act." This Act contained two main provisions: (1) Evolution could be presented in Louisiana public schools as theory but not proven scientific fact; and (2) Public school students should also be exposed to whatever evidence favored creation.

Date: 2008/07/16 10:10:26, Link
Author: olegt
Tard advisory

Tardmeters around the world registered a strong uptick this morning, indicating an influx of fresh, unscreened tard in the environment.  The source was traced to a naked singularity in the tard field that had escaped from the UD bunker and was last seen at Telic Thoughts.  

Click on the link AT YOUR OWN RISK.  You have been warned.

Date: 2008/07/17 20:25:51, Link
Author: olegt
Over at Panda's Thumb, Nick Matzke describes how Luskin has lost it (on Altenberg).  A totally unforced error, even funnier than Where's the Wrist?

Date: 2008/07/18 06:37:28, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Ftk @ July 17 2008,23:38)
“Altenberg 16 participant chemist and engineer Stuart Pivar...”

Casey described Jerry Fodor in the same way, and Fodor wasn’t one of the actual 16 either.  They were both “participants” of the conference....not two of the 16.   There is nothing wrong with the way he phrased that sentence.  Heck, I’m not sure how anyone could have misunderstand it the way Nick did as Casey includes several links that give the names of the 16.  

Darwinism = Intellectual Cult....Alpha Male says so. :p  :p  :p

FtK, neither Fodor, nor Pivar were “participants” of the workshop in any sense or form.  Here's a direct link to the authoritative source (Pigliucci) who explains what this was all about:

The so-called “Woodstock of evolution” (not my term, and a pretty bad one for sure) will see a group of scientists, by now known as “the Altenberg 16” (because there are sixteen of us, and we’ll meet at the Konrad Lorenz Institute for theoretical biology in Altenberg, near Vienna) has been featured on blogs by a variety of nutcases, as well as the quintessential ID “think” tank, the Discovery Institute of Seattle. They have presented the workshop that I am organizing in collaboration with my colleague Gerd Müller, and the proceedings of which will be published next year by MIT Press, as an almost conspiratorial, quasi-secret cabala, brought to the light of day by the brave work of independent journalists and “scholars” bent on getting the truth out about evolution. Of course, nothing could be further from the (actual) truth.

The workshop is part of a regular series organized by the KLI (they do a couple of these a year), that has been going on for years now. Each workshop is limited to a small number of participants, both for logistical reasons (the Institute is small, and they have to budget the costs of paying for travel and lodging for all scientists involved) and because the idea is to get people to focus on discussing, rather than lecturing (hard to do with large groups). Articles and commentaries on the web have also made much of the fact that the meeting is “private,” meaning that the public and journalists are not invited. This is completely normal for small science workshops all over the world, and I was genuinely puzzled by the charge until I realized (it took me a while) that a sense of conspiracy increases the likelihood that people will read journalistic internet articles and ID sympathetic blogs. You’ve got to sell the product, even at the cost of, shall we say, bending, the reality.

I have run workshops and Pigliucci's explanation totally makes sense to me.  A typical workshop features a small number of people and is often run on a shoestring budget.  The press is not invited: a workshop is not a conference, people come there to explore new directions, not to show off results. Here are workshop guidelines for the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics in Santa Barbara, CA.  
* The workshop should begin within about six months of the time of the proposal.
* The duration of the workshop should be 1-3 weeks, usually 2 weeks.
* There should be 10-30 participants.

Mazur made stuff up and Casey swallowed it hook, line and sinker.  Totally his fault.

Date: 2008/07/18 07:39:12, Link
Author: olegt
Card-carrying member of the APS here.  :angry:

Lord Monckton, whose opinion article appeared in the July issue of the APS Forum on Physics & Society is neither a physicist, nor an APS member, so his letter doesn't signify any change in the APS stance on the matter.  By printing his letter the APS simply shows that it isn't afraid of debating the issue on scientific terms (it is a scientific organization, not a political one).

Monckton's letter is quite revealing.  He throws in a bunch of equations to undermine the conclusions of the IPCC.  But science doesn't matter much to him.  Read his concluding remarks to see what it is all about.  
Even if temperature had risen above natural variability, the recent solar Grand Maximum may have been chiefly responsible. Even if the sun were not chiefly to blame for the past half-century’s warming, the IPCC has not demonstrated that, since CO2 occupies only one-ten-thousandth part more of the atmosphere that it did in 1750, it has contributed more than a small fraction of the warming. Even if carbon dioxide were chiefly responsible for the warming that ceased in 1998 and may not resume until 2015, the distinctive, projected fingerprint of anthropogenic “greenhouse-gas” warming is entirely absent from the observed record. Even if the fingerprint were present, computer models are long proven to be inherently incapable of providing projections of the future state of the climate that are sound enough for policymaking. Even if per impossibilethe models could ever become reliable, the present paper demonstrates that it is not at all likely that the world will warm as much as the IPCC imagines. Even if the world were to warm that much, the overwhelming majority of the scientific, peer-reviewed literature does not predict that catastrophe would ensue. Even if catastrophe might ensue, even the most drastic proposals to mitigate future climate change by reducing emissions of carbon dioxide would make very little difference to the climate. Even if mitigation were likely to be effective, it would do more harm than good: already millions face starvation as the dash for biofuels takes agricultural land out of essential food production: a warning that taking precautions, “just in case”, can do untold harm unless there is a sound, scientific basis for them. Finally, even if mitigation might do more good than harm, adaptation as (and if) necessary would be far more cost-effective and less likely to be harmful.

See, he starts with a full denial of the warming trend, a position abandoned even by the most hardened GW skeptics, and then presents a dozen fallback positions that leave no doubt where he is coming from.  

And in fact, he isn't even sure his equations work!

In short, we must get the science right, or we shall get the policy wrong. If the concluding equation in this analysis (Eqn. 30) is correct, the IPCC’s estimates of climate sensitivity must have been very much exaggerated. There may, therefore, be a good reason why, contrary to the projections of the models on which the IPCC relies, temperatures have not risen for a decade and have been falling since the phase-transition in global temperature trends that occurred in late 2001. Perhaps real-world climate sensitivity is very much below the IPCC’s estimates. Perhaps, therefore, there is no “climate crisis” at all. At present, then, in policy terms there is no case for doing anything. The correct policy approach to a non-problem is to have the courage to do nothing.

What else would one expect from Maggie Thatcher's policy advisor?

Date: 2008/07/18 07:50:54, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Ftk @ July 18 2008,07:36)
I'm going to try to get in touch with this Mazur chick and find out what's really going on here.  I've never heard of the gal in the ID camp, so I don't know why she would be out to stick it to you guys.  It certainly couldn't be good for her career to do so.  We've all seen you guys throw around the crank/liar/insane label often enough to know that you'll work at destroying her reputation as a journalist if she questions your theory.

Of course, I guess it makes sense that the "16" wouldn't allow Pivar or Fodor to comment or participate in any way since they actually question the extent to which the ToE is a viable theory.  

DO NOT QUESTION AUTHORITY.  Bow before Darwin you fools!

Go ahead, FtK, get to the bottom of this controversy.  

And while you're at it, ask Mazur to explain how the mormons were behind G. W. Bush's rise to power.

As to why some people were invited and others were not, it's up to the workshop organizers to decide whom they want to invite.  You want to organize a workshop with Fodor and Pivar, raise the money and have a ball.

Date: 2008/07/18 11:47:50, Link
Author: olegt

9:42 am


Have a great one…

William Dembski
11:31 am
Thanks FtK. Nice of you to remember. –Bill

Credit where credit is due.

Date: 2008/07/18 21:36:26, Link
Author: olegt
I might add that Bill's two doctorates are from excellent schools: U. Chicago and Northwestern.  Not to mention a M. Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, another top-notch place.  

Dembski has a good pedigree: one of his Ph. D. advisors at U. Chicago was Leo Kadanoff, a renowned theoretical physicist and applied mathematician, who has just stepped down as President of the American Physical Society (hehehe).  Here's what Kadanoff said recently of his former student's work.
Behe and Dembski start from a different presupposition.  They do, I think, believe in a Creator and then find this Creator in their studies.  Their main conclusions are not, as I see it, compelling---but they are possible.  However, in my view, as we shall understand more about complexity,  Behe’s  examples and Dembski’s arguments will become less and less convincing.

I applaud their work: Good skeptics make good science.  Behe and Dembski’s work will drive further studies of complexity. However, many of their followers want their work to replace science in the school curriculum.  I cannot applaud that.

It's a good idea to read the entire presentation.  Here it is in PDF.

Date: 2008/07/18 21:52:52, Link
Author: olegt
The Joy of reason:
A few years ago I worked as tech support for an internet provider. After being there for a year and a half's worth of steady paychecks, I was suddenly informed by HR that they could no longer write my checks out to the name on my bank account because my SS card had a different name first.

I argued that the middle name on that SS card is the name on my bank account as well as the name on my birth certificate and I can use any of the names I've got if I so choose. They told me I'd have to take time off work - unpaid - to go sit at the SS office all day to get the names switched around to suit their new policy, supposedly imposed by Homeland Security. Being not very tolerant of pointless corporate/governmental stupidity, I told 'em to shove their silly policy on which of my legal names I can choose to have on my paycheck - they didn't pay me enough for that sort of garbage.

Joy's post is really about a recent New York Times column by Olivia Judson  Let's get rid of Darwinism, which is worth reading (unlike Joy's post).  I agree with Olivia's thesis: Darwin isn't synonymous with evolutionary biology.  Classical physics isn't Newtonism and quantum physics isn't Planckism.

Date: 2008/07/18 22:13:35, Link
Author: olegt

I think the editors are safe.  Monckton's letter appeared in the Forum on Physics and Society, a section of the APS that was created to deal with exactly such hot-button issues.  By putting out a bazillion disclaimers all over the place, the APS leadership is overreacting.  Consider this statement:

he Forum on Physics and Society is a place for discussion and disagreement on scientific and policy matters. Our newsletter publishes a combination of non- peer- reviewed technical articles, policy analyses, and opinion. All articles and editorials published in the newsletter solely represent the views of their authors and the Editors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Forum Executive Committee nor those of the American Physical Society.

The executive committee of the Forum on Physics and Society, however, believes that the statement in the July 2008 edition of our newsletter, Physics and Society, that "There is considerable presence within the scientific community of people who do not agree with the IPCC conclusion that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are very probably likely to be primarily responsible for the global warming that has occurred since the Industrial Revolution," exaggerates the number of scientists who disagree with the IPCC conclusion on anthropogenic CO2 and global warming. That statement does not represent the views of APS or the Executive Committee of the Forum on Physics and Society. The FPS Executive Committee strongly endorses the position of the APS Council that "Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth's climate.

This is a silly semantic game.  "Considerable presence" is too vague to represent an exaggeration.  Of course GW deniers immediately jumped on this, but what else do you expect from them?  They would do it no matter how carefully the editors worded their introduction.

Date: 2008/07/19 07:38:29, Link
Author: olegt
I would reserve my judgement until responses to Mockton's letter are printed in the next issue of the newsletter.  That should be interesting.  It won't make the conservative press, though.

Date: 2008/07/19 10:19:51, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (dhogaza @ July 19 2008,08:23)
 It won't make the conservative press, though.

Exactly, and that's what Monckton counts on.

And he's already milking it.

Date: 2008/07/19 10:47:25, Link
Author: olegt
This week's Science has a two-page story on the Altenberg workshop Evolution: Modernizing the Modern Synthesis by Elizabeth Pennisi.  A tease:
Massimo Pigliucci is no Jimi Hendrix. This soft-spoken evolutionary biologist from Stony Brook University in New York state looks nothing like that radical hard-rock musician whose dramatic guitar solos helped revolutionize rock 'n'roll. But to Suzan Mazur, a veteran journalist who occasionally covers science, Pigliucci is the headliner this week at a small meeting she believes will be the equivalent of Woodstock for evolutionary biology. The invitation-only conference, being held in Altenberg, Austria, "promises to be far more transforming for the world" than the 1969 music festival, Mazur wrote online in March for, an independent news publication in New Zealand.

That hyperbole has reverberated throughout the evolutionary biology community, putting Pigliucci and the 15 other participants at the forefront of a debate over whether ideas about evolution need updating. The mere mention of the "Altenberg 16," as Mazur dubbed the group, causes some evolutionary biologists to roll their eyes. It's a joke, says Jerry Coyne of the University of Chicago in Illinois. "I don't think there's anything that needs fixing." Mazur's attention, Pigliucci admits, "frankly caused me embarrassment."

Date: 2008/07/19 11:00:37, Link
Author: olegt
I went back to check Luskin's post and Mazur's story to which Luskin linked.  

According to Mazur, the same thing happened to Altenberg 16 participant chemist and engineer Stuart Pivar: "Stuart Pivar has been investigating self-organization in living forms but thinks natural selection is irrelevant – and has paid the price for this on the blogosphere." Once again, Mazur reveals that Darwinists are commonly intolerant towards people who doubt Darwin:

Pivar's also a keen observer of some of the conflicts of interest tainting science. He accuses the National Academy of Sciences of excluding other approaches to evolution but natural selection in their recent book Science, Education and Creationism.

Mazur also reports that Altenberg 16 participant, Rutgers philosopher Jerry Fodor, "essentially argues that biologists increasingly see the central story of Darwin as wrong in a way that can’t be repaired." Mazur recounts that Michael Ruse condemned Fodor for even printing such thoughts in a mainstream publication – not because of the empirical data, but because of politics: In Ruse's words, "to write a piece slagging off natural selection in that way, is to give a piece of candy to the creationists." Apparently Ruse would suggest that scientists banish from their minds—and certainly from their pens—any real doubts about the sufficiency of natural selection, for purely political reasons.

Guess what? Mazur never identified either Fodor or Pivar as participants in the Altenberg workshop.  That's Casey's totally own, unforced error.  

Most likely he read another of Mazur's articles on the subject, which lists the "Altenberg 16" with photographs and then shows a few more photos of people unrelated to the workshop, Fodor and Pivar among them.  

Discovery Institute should fire those fact checkers.  On second thought, maybe they should hire them in the first place.

Date: 2008/07/19 13:25:31, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (J-Dog @ July 19 2008,09:00)
No, No, NO!  Dr. Dr. got NO degree from Northwestern.  He was a post-doc in maths at NU - before they figured out that something about the young Doc just didn't add up.  Northwestern is WAY too cool for Dr. Dr.

He has PhD from U of Chicago in Mathematics, and MA and PhD in Phililosophy from UIC (University of Illinois Chicago).

Actually, we're both off a bit.  According to Dembski's CV (available in PDF here), he worked as a math postdoc at MIT, U. Chicago and Princeton and then went on to study philosophy and theology at UIC and Princeton, respectively.  He did a philosophy postdoc at Northwestern.

Date: 2008/07/19 14:44:42, Link
Author: olegt
BarryA responds to the question "What would happen to your faith if you found out that Jesus had died and not risen?"  His answer's bottom line:
It is a little difficult to discuss this issue, because it is like discussing the question “what would you do if you found out green is really red?” Well, green isn’t red and it is impossible for it to be red. Similarly, Christ has risen, and it is impossible for me to believe he has not.

Barry has chosen a bad counterexample.  About 6% of men and some women have the red-green colorblindness.  

The Creamer Color Chart is an easy to use test to screen for red-green colorblindness. Two easily recognized symbols are presented to the child. Difficulty recognizing  the red star indicates the need for further testing. The orange circle is seen by all.

Yes, Barry, sometimes green is red.

Date: 2008/07/19 18:07:55, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (silverspoon @ July 18 2008,14:44)
Where does Luskin get this from?

In his EV news & views column he wrote:

Pigliucci's comment sure sounds like damage control. In fact, according to Suzan Mazur, a journalist experienced in covering evolution who was invited to report on the conference, there is patently politically-motivated damage control taking place.

(my bolding)

According to Pigliucci journalists were not invited. Help me out here, ftk. Is Luskin mistaken yet again?

Again, it appears quite likely that Luskin misunderstood what Mazur was saying.  Here's an excerpt from Mazur's article Altenberg 16: An Exposé Of The Evolution Industry cited by Luskin:
Pigliucci again brought up the subject of the Austrian talks at our meeting and suggested I contact organizers in Europe to see if press was being invited. Later realizing something extraordinary might be brewing, I contacted Konrad Lorenz Institute.

     I got Werner Callebaut on the phone. Callebaut is a Belgian philosopher and KLI’s scientific manager. He was friendly – like his autobiography on the institute’s web site – and told me that he knew the paper I was writing the evolution debate piece for. He also said that one or two journalists did attend KLI sessions sometimes.

     Callebaut has been involved with KLI workshops for years. He knows the public is interested in such intellectual events and he has coordinated radio shows of these kinds of brainstorming conversations in the past. Callebaut’s Altenberg paper is on non-centrality of the gene.

     I next received the letter of invitation from KLI that was originally sent to A-16 scientists. It was signed by Massimo Pigliucci and Gerd Mueller and described the talks as "a major event" and "a major stepping stone for the entire field of evolutionary biology".

[Emphasis mine --OT]

One might conclude from the last paragraph that Mazur was invited.  That wasn't the case, however.  She simply had a copy of the invitation letter sent previously to the 16 participants.  Here's yet another of Mazur's articles, The Invite -- "Altenberg 16" Evolution Summit, containing the invitation letter in full.  This paragraph makes it clear that the letter is addressed to the participants and not to a journalist:
The goals of the workshop are two-fold: first, to bring a highly stimulating group of people together in Vienna to foster an open dialogue about the MS and the EES. Second, to produce a high-impact edited book (published by MIT Press), having the ambitious aim of providing a laboratory for ideas about what the EES might eventually look like. Since the intention is to have the book out for the Darwin anniversary year 2009, a prerequisite for accepting participation will be to agree to have a manuscript ready for the time of the workshop.

Casey, you're overworked.  Slow down, dude.

Date: 2008/07/19 21:29:08, Link
Author: olegt

Never mind, Jack.  Bill is cranky tonight.  He is so pissed at Olivia Judson that he changed the original caption to the photo ("Olivia Judson, as Dr Tatiana, dispenses sex advice") to "Olivia Judson busy at her research."  

Whatsamatta, Bill?  Didn't get a new sweater for birfday?

Date: 2008/07/20 01:59:23, Link
Author: olegt

Date: 2008/07/20 10:53:58, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ July 20 2008,10:16)
Is TP actually Bradley Monton?

What makes you think so, Wes?  TP is an enginner.

Date: 2008/07/21 07:17:30, Link
Author: olegt
Someone should point out to Bradford that Evidence, shmevidence has already been discussed at TT.

Date: 2008/07/21 07:29:31, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (ERV @ July 21 2008,06:32)
Good god!  Dave Scot is on his knees, licking my boots, begging me to spank him.

Janie!  What did you do to that boy???

It's Dembski's fault!  He posted a photo of that Judson chick!  Dave just had to respond!

Date: 2008/07/21 12:59:25, Link
Author: olegt
DLH might benefit from taking a peek at the actual process of peer review in an APS journal, such as Physical Review Letters.  Here is an excerpt from the form a referee submits to the editors (in addition to a written report):

This form is to assist the Editors and is not a substitute for
your written report. It may be useful, however, as an outline
for your report, which should explain why the paper does, or
does not, meet our criteria.

Manuscript Code:





I. Letters published in PRL must meet a high standard of importance and

  a) Please judge the importance of the paper to its specific field.

          not important ( )  ( )  ( )  ( )  ( ) very important

  b) Please judge the broad interest of the paper, apart from from its
     importance to its specific field, to a wide spectrum of physicists.

        not interesting ( )  ( )  ( )  ( )  ( ) very interesting

  c) Please judge the validity of the paper.

     probably not valid ( )  ( )  ( )  ( )  ( ) probably valid

The Physics & Society editor did not evaluate any of those points.  There are two obvious reasons for that: (i) Physics & Society does not referee its articles.  (ii) The editor, Al Saperstein, is not an expert on climate.  Saperstein merely asked Monckton to edit the letter for clarity.  That's not peer review by any measure.

Date: 2008/07/21 21:08:00, Link
Author: olegt
8:21 pm
Please review the history above.
Was not Lord Monckton entirely within his right to point out strongly unscientific and unfair disclamation singling out one side and not the other side when both sides were invited to post articles in an open debate?

There appears to have been major exaggerations about the case in blogs and a reaction against those by the APS.

By the way, he has posted nine of his other papers at the Science and Public Policy Institute

Lord Monckton and the SPPI outfit (where he serves as Chief Policy Adviser) richly deserve all of this---and much, much more.  On July 15 the SPPI issued the following press release:

Proved: There is No Climate Crisis
Written by Robert Ferguson  
Tuesday, 15 July 2008

WASHINGTON (7-15-08) - Mathematical proof that there is no “climate crisis” appears today in a major, peer-reviewed paper in Physics and Society, a learned journal of the 10,000-strong American Physical Society, SPPI reports.  Christopher Monckton, who once advised Margaret Thatcher, demonstrates via 30 equations that computer models used by the UN’s climate panel (IPCC) were pre-programmed with overstated values for the three variables whose product is “climate sensitivity” (temperature increase in response to greenhouse-gas increase), resulting in a 500-2000% overstatement of CO2’s effect on temperature in the IPCC’s latest climate assessment report, published in 2007.

Of course the APS had to correct this shameless promotion by putting the disclaimer front and center.

Date: 2008/07/23 06:40:19, Link
Author: olegt
Don't be to harsh, Bill.  FtK can learn a thing or two.


If you're a regular surfer of the ID/evolution blogs and forums, you've no doubt run across several discussion about "epigenetics" lately.

Epigenetics, epigenetics, epigenetics...

Well, believe it or not, PZ actually wrote a whole post on the topic without succumbing to his tendancy to digress into an atheistic rant about religion. It's quite interesting, but what I enjoyed even more was a link that Greg Patterson referenced. At that PBS site, you'll find several articles, Q&A's and short video clips that provide an easy to understand explanation of epigenetics.

Go check it out!!!

Date: 2008/07/25 06:00:44, Link
Author: olegt
kairosfocus sez:
Pardon a fairly direct observation: when adherents of — and, especially, advocates for — a theory/research programme begin to disavow their more or less direct intellectual progenitors, that is a telling sign.

It sure is, Gordon.  ID isn't creationism in a cheap tuxedo, right?

Date: 2008/07/25 15:44:09, Link
Author: olegt
The stards come out in full force.  Denyse and Dr Dr are joined by the eponym* of the Casey Luskin Award:

Another dimension of my job is to assist students and faculty who are victims of this persecution.  But I’m trying to help end the persecution. On a daily basis I see persecution of ID proponents that no one even hears about because we can’t make it public–to protect the victims. Those like Atticus Finch who blame the victims are part of the problem, not the solution.

If so many people are indeed being "persecuted", how come the victims aren't suing the pants off the Darwinist establishment?

*Bonus points for identifying the eponym.

Date: 2008/07/25 15:50:14, Link
Author: olegt
Wow!  The peasants are revolting.  Frost122585 asks: where is teh ID Science?

The real question is where will ID take us? ID needs to be turned into a fruitful scientific paradigm if it is to replace Darwinism. It will only be able to do this when it’s advocates are able to show why ID is the superior road for the progress of science to take.

Watch for Dr Dr's reaction.

Date: 2008/07/25 20:55:44, Link
Author: olegt
Way to go, Lou!  Enjoy the ride!

Date: 2008/07/26 08:08:27, Link
Author: olegt
I don't know whether anyone has pointed this out, but the book seems to be a smashing success.  From the page:

Explore Evolution (Paperback)
by stephen c. Meyer (Author), Scott Minnish (Author), Jonathan Moneymaker (Author), Paul A Nelson (Author), Ralph Seelke (Author)
No customer reviews yet. Be the first.

Currently unavailable.
We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock. Sales Rank: #3,385,858 in Books

Looks like you can only buy it through the Disco store.

Date: 2008/07/27 08:39:43, Link
Author: olegt
fifth monarchy man tells us how Einstein's theory is pure common sense:

They don’t have to understand it fully to grasp that time is a dimension just like length and width. It’s really rather simple...   it’s easer to grasp time as a dimension than differential equations.  In redneck logic Einstein wins.

Actually, promoting time to a fourth dimension was the subject of special relativity.  General relativity deals with a curved spacetime.  It's pretty heavy on (ahem) differential equations, and not just ordinary differential equations but partial ones.  Curvature and connection are hardly redneck stuff.

Date: 2008/07/27 09:56:53, Link
Author: olegt
More wisdom from fmm:
When Einstein’s relativity predicted a certain bending of light at an eclipse it was not as though Newton’s theory predicted the opposite.

Newton made no predictions at all about bending light. Therefore Einstein’s prediction was distinguishing

Newton didn't make any predictions in that regard, but a calculation based on Newtonian mechanics was made nonetheless ca. 1801 by  Johann Georg von Soldner.  Einstein's first (1911) calculation, based on special relativity, yielded the same value.  

When general relativity was formulated (1915), Einstein got an answer that was twice as large.  It turned out that his previous, ad hoc calculation included the effect of time dilation but didn't account for space curvature near the sun.  

So, Newtonian mechanics did make a prediction about the bending angle and Einstein's theory of general relativity made a different prediction.  1919 observations by Eddington and others were consistent with the latter but not the former.

Date: 2008/07/27 20:58:55, Link
Author: olegt
Speaking of UFOs, Denyse tackles that controversy at Underwhelming Evidence.  

Increase in UFO sitings in Canada ... ?

Tiffany Crawford (Canwest News Service July 18, 2008) reports,
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Canadians in four provinces reported seeing a record number of unidentified flying objects in 2007, according to an annual report released by a Winnipeg-based non-profit organization that has recorded UFO sightings since 1989.

The UFOlogy Research Institute, which compiles data from sources including Transport Canada and the Department of National Defence, said researchers examined 836 alleged UFO sightings in 2007, an increase of almost 12 per cent over 2006.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Does this prove Canucks are Ca-nuts? Well, maybe. But not necessarily.
In the wake of National Geographic's Extraterrestrial and increased funding for pursuit of extraterrestrial life, no doubt many more amateurs are anxious to help. And the more people look up at the night sky, the more strange things will be discovered - or anyway believed in.

Date: 2008/07/28 09:33:08, Link
Author: olegt
UD don't need no stinkin' diversity:

William Dembski
9:17 am
Bob O’H is no longer with this forum.

Bob's offense?  Pointing out that Denyse can't write.  Duh.

Date: 2008/07/29 11:01:10, Link
Author: olegt
Joy gives Zachriel a lesson in new math.

It wasn't an explosion (relatively speaking) because it took maybe 30 million years? That sort of demands we sacrifice basic understanding of relative comparisons and factors of 10. 30 million years compared to 3.8 billion years deals with exponentials. It took just over one ten-thousandth [10^-5] of total evolutionary time for the animal kingdom to diversity as far as it was going to diversify clade-wise, everything else was just fun with evo-devo and expression in ecological interplay. Tinkering. That seems fairly 'explosive' to me, relatively speaking.

Ummm.  If memory serves right, Joy was educated in the US, where a billion is 10^9, not 10^12 (as it would be in Russia).  So 30 million = 30 x 10^6 divided by 3.8 billion = 3.8 x 10^9 is 0.008, i.e. about 10^-2, not 10^-5.

Date: 2008/07/30 08:49:19, Link
Author: olegt
[Graffiti moved to Bathroom Wall. -Admin]

Quote (lcd @ July 30 2008,07:20)
I can't point to any one professor.  I admit that.  The idea and I will say it is a strong one that I took as fact up until recently is that a college professorship with tenure is cushy and part of some "good ol' boy network" of "you scratch my back I'll scratch yours" along with some sort of conspiracy of silence.

Lies?  So if someone really thinks that they have the facts and they believe it, those are lies?

What the issue really is boils down to too many scientists seem to be so busy looking into their microscopes to notice that the rest of us aren't there with them.

Like the person who came to the church to dissect and really "blow the myth of evolution out of the water".  He came to us to talk to us.  Will some of these college professors do the same or are they "too busy"?  From what I've been reading, too many science types are "loathe to discuss Creation vs Evolution" for fear that they will give credibility to Creation.

I have something for you.

Your silence and refusal to go and speak out gives the impression that you have something to hide.  That you're afraid to have your ideas actually put forth in open debate.

If you really feel that Darwinian science and scientists are being made into "liars and charlatans" and that your science can't stand up under real scrutiny with the public looking in, I can point them to a device that will show them where the problem is.

It's called a mirror.

So, lcd, you have no data to back up your conspiracy theory, yet you feel justified in belittling an entire profession?  This won't help the dialog.  

Scientists are well aware that the public needs to be informed about what they do.  We try to inform the public about our research.  Look up the web site of any research university and you will find press releases about the latest discoveries.  (Here's Harvard for example.)  

Federal funding agencies require us to conduct public outreach.  I have a deadline tomorrow to submit this year's highlight of my research efforts for the general public.  Here's a recent web page with highlights at the National Science Foundation.

Last month I had a high-school intern getting actual, hands-on experience of working in my group alongside a postdoc.  There were 6 such high-school interns working with various groups at our materials science center alone.  And no, they weren't sons and daughters of professors or their friends: the students were selected from a large pool of candidates on the strengths of their applications.  

Are our outreach efforts as effective as we might like them to be?  Not by a long shot.  There are various reasons for that, the main ones being lack of time and the difficulty of conveying cutting-edge research to the not-so-advanced public.  You need a talent to do that and scientists are not selected on that basis, so their mileage varies.  But saying that we are an intellectual cabal interested in keeping some sort of secret from leaking out is downright silly.

Date: 2008/07/31 08:49:52, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Bob O'H @ July 31 2008,06:49)
Quote (Chayanov @ July 30 2008,21:16)
I'm sure there are other mathematicians out there who would like to pretend that they're scientists, too...

There are and they do.  They're called theoretical physicists.

Oh, sorry, Oleg.  Didn't see you lurking there.  :)

Hey Bob,

Denyse thinks that David Tyler* is a physicist.  At that level of resolution you're splitting hairs.  
*Who is David Tyler?

Date: 2008/08/01 10:19:41, Link
Author: olegt
Quick! Shield your irony meters!  Joy holds forth:
If you are not just playing internet footsies and are indeed the college educated engineer you claim to be, you should have a better understanding of science than you display.

Date: 2008/08/01 10:27:28, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (carlsonjok @ Aug. 01 2008,09:55)
Quote (Lou FCD @ Aug. 01 2008,09:32)
Quote (Advocatus Diaboli @ Aug. 01 2008,09:22)
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.

He needs to touch base with batshitinsane77 and get a copy of that nanny filter.

BA77's nanny filter is unreliable.  In this comment, he manages to get the word "model" by the filter without the normal "^" in the middle.

That's funny.  Maybe he is a sock puppet after all.  Occasional lucid posts betray high intelligence under the thick layer of creationist makeup.

Date: 2008/08/04 12:16:53, Link
Author: olegt
Heddle is your guy, Richard.  I'm in condensed matter, so my astroparticle knowledge is not all that reliable.  Didn't read yet the article: the summer is coming to an end and I am facing multiple deadlines.  But I think David is right: production of heavy elements as we know it requires a fine tuning of the constants.  

I think it's a largely pointless exercise, though.

Date: 2008/08/06 12:16:47, Link
Author: olegt
bFast has had it with the YECs at UD:

This thread is frustrating. If all I knew about ID was in this thread, I would agree with those who claim that ID is just creationism (YEC) in a cheap tuxedo — that ID is not presenting the whole truth about what its position is, but lying to score a few points.

ID’s motto is to follow the evidence where it leads. The majority of posters on this thread cherrypick evidence to fit their interpretation of an open Bible. This is no way to do science, folks!

Date: 2008/08/10 10:49:17, Link
Author: olegt
Fresh tard from Joy:
To flesh this out, consider current CERN experiments once again seeking good ol' Wiggly Higgly, their "God Particle." They're predicting that if they once again don't find him, they'll at least know where he's not (and tweak their theory that predicted him at much lower energy levels accordingly).

I personally am of the opinion that Higgs doesn't exist - they'll never find him, he's not there to find. Now, I know how they work. They'll claim for a few years that they "might" have found him. They'll pour over readouts until they're cross-eyed, then they'll predict Higgs is so close to approaching the equally missing graviton that they'll never have the power to find him. But he'll remain in their model, because their model relies upon the existence of a "God Particle." Sad, really.

Then someday, someone will come along with the new theory physicists have known they needed for nearly 50 years now. Just like they knew would happen, because "everybody knew" the SM was wrong. They were just clocking accelerator time because it was available, and they could…

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.  The Higgs story comes in two parts.  The Standard Model (SM) relies heavily on one of them: the Higgs mechanism is the only known way to generate masses for W and Z, the heavy cousins of the photon.  The SM has been thoroughly tested: all of its predictions, including those which rely on the Higgs mechanism, are consistent with experiments.  

The Higgs boson is not part of the SM.  All the SM has to say about it is this: since the Higgs field exists, we ought to be able to create waves in it.  The properties of those excitations are determined by physics beyond the SM, which we do not know at this time.  

A few speculative scenarios have been offered on the basis of extensions of the Standard Model, string theory or just symmetry considerations.  In the simplest scenario, the excitations of the Higgs field would be in the form of a particle without spin and electrical charge, the Higgs boson.  As far as theory is concerned, its mass is anyone's guess.  Existing experimental data exclude a Higgs boson with a mass below 114 GeV and around 170 GeV.  

Not finding the Higgs boson at the LHC will not invalidate the Standard Model: it does not rely on the Higgs boson and makes no predictions about its mass.  

And what does the graviton (which is, by the way, massless) have to do with it?  I have no idea.  She must have thrown it in to make it sound authoritative.

Date: 2008/08/11 16:08:39, Link
Author: olegt
When someone points out that you are wrong, just raise the level of pomposity.  And don't forget to add boldface and italic types:
It was from the beginning quite simple, there was no need to go Googling for authority I've already dismissed in my example. When I said that there is no evidence that a Higgs particle exists, all you needed to know is that there is no evidence that a Higgs particle exists. THAT is the actual state of affairs. Simply shifting the goalposts after every failed attempt does not inspire great confidence in the accuracy of the theory.

Citing the 'primary literature' about where one team thinks they might find Wiggly Higgly next time they look is utterly pointless and completely non-contextual to this example. I don't care where the Tevatron team thinks he's hiding this time, nor do I care where the Brookhaven or LHC teams think he's hiding (and they all have different ideas about that). It doesn't matter. The FACT is that he's still MIA, and every time they fail to find him it lends support to the suspicion that he doesn't exist at all.

Actually, the goal posts have not been moved.  In 1979 Cabbibo et al. showed that the Higgs boson should be lighter than 200 GeV.  Today that theoretical upper bound stands at 190 GeV.  The lower theoretical bound has been floating around 100 GeV and is at 130 GeV today.  See Searches for Higgs bosons (a PDF file).

Earlier experiments at CERN (LEP) have ruled out a Higgs mass below 114 GeV.  The Tevatron at Fermilab shows no Higgs around 170 GeV.  There's still plenty of space for a Higgs within those bounds.

Date: 2008/08/12 07:32:45, Link
Author: olegt
The tard keeps flowing, overwhelming poor Zachriel:
The search space ranges from 140 GeV to more than 11 TeV. Predictions from 140 GeV through ~1.5 TeV have already been tested. Yes, this shortens the search space, but that's always going to be limited by the power we are able to provide in the Largest Machines on Earth. We are not likely ever to get past 5 TeV, and that's being hopeful. We are never likely to be close enough to a collapsing star to directly measure what happens when the laws of physics turn to mush either. Or, we should all hope NOT!

Here's what has actually been done, from Searches for Higgs bosons linked above (emphasis mine):

Prior to 1989, when the electron-positron collider LEP at CERN came into operation, the searches for Higgs bosons were sensitive to masses below a few GeV only (see Ref. 7 for a review).  In the LEP1 phase, the collider was operating at center-of-mass energies close to [the mass of Z boson]. During the LEP2 phase, the energy was increased in steps, reaching 209 GeV in the year 2000 before the final shutdown. The combined data of the four LEP experiments, ALEPH, DELPHI, L3, and OPAL, are sensitive to neutral Higgs bosons with masses up to about 117 GeV and to charged Higgs bosons with masses up to about 80 GeV.

Higgs boson searches have also been carried out at the Tevatron proton-antiproton collider. With the presently available data samples, the sensitivity of the two experiments, CDF and DØ, is still rather limited, but with increasing sample sizes, the range of sensitivity should eventually exceed the LEP range [8]. The searches will continue later at the LHC proton-proton collider, covering masses up to about 1 TeV [9]. If Higgs bosons are indeed discovered, the Higgs mechanism could be studied in great detail at future electron-positron [10,11] and muon-antimuon colliders [12].

Since this review was last updated (2005), the Tevatron experiments have reached above the LEP range.  This month (August 2008), they ruled out a Higgs mass around 170 GeV (plus-minus a couple of GeV).  That's the only portion of the energy range above 140 GeV that has been excluded (at the confidence level of 95%).  

Joy just makes things up as she goes along.

Date: 2008/08/12 08:45:46, Link
Author: olegt
Joy has a background in health physics, which deals mostly with effects of ionizing radiation on humans.  At US universities, health physics programs are typically administered by medical schools and schools of public health (as at Colorado State) or by departments of nuclear engineering (as at Texas A&M).  A typical curriculum doesn't offer much in the way of particle physics.

Date: 2008/08/12 20:02:30, Link
Author: olegt
Dave, speaking of gravity:
First of all Laws of Nature are those things which are observed over and over and over again without exception. We need not have physical theories to explain them. One such Law of Nature is the law of gravity. We have observed its effects countless times without exception. Mass is attracted to other masses. We don’t have a physical theory to explain the mechanism by which gravity works but due to empirical observations it is considered a law nonetheless. An exception may exist that disproves the law but until an exception is observed the law remains intact.

Another law that doesn’t get as much press is called the Law of Biogenesis - life comes only from life. It is supported by countless observations without exception. An exception may exist but until it is observed the law remains intact.

There's a simple reason why the "law of biogenesis" doesn't get much press: it's a one-trick pony.  "Life only comes from life" is an empirical observation, and a rather trivial one at that.  Not every empirical observation deserves to be called a law.  It is promoted to a law when it provides a concise and faithful description of a large body of experimental data.  Think data compression, Dave.  

Take Kepler's laws of planetary motion.  The seemingly complex motion of planets in the sky is reduced to simple motion of each planet in an elliptical orbit.  The motion of each planet is fully specified by just two parameters: the major semiaxis and the eccentricity.  Kepler's laws deserve their place in history.  

Newton's laws of motion and of universal gravitation are laws of an even higher order than Kepler's.  For one thing, you can derive the latter from the former.  More importantly, Newton's laws describe a much wider class of phenomena and have a much stronger predictive power.  For example, Kepler's laws do not describe the influence of planets on each other, whereas Newton's do.  Thus, when it was discovered that Uranus's orbit deviates from the predicted one, the discrepancy was blamed on the gravitational pull of an unknown planet.  Le Verrier calculated its location and Neptune was indeed discovered within 1 degree of it.  That's predictive power!

In contrast, Dave's "law of biogenesis" belongs in a totally different category.  It's as insightful as "Night follows day" or "No pain, no gain."  Common-sense science.

Date: 2008/08/13 06:24:56, Link
Author: olegt

I think Neil Shubin will agree with me.  "Living things from living things" doesn't take you far.  The idea that descent with modification explains the diversity of life does.  

"Every living thing has parents" is the zeroth-order approximation that paints a static picture.  All of the power is in the next order.  Shubin says exactly that in the second quote.

Date: 2008/08/13 07:26:23, Link
Author: olegt
Joy apparently reads the Swamp:

A Very Cool, Very Big Machine

I have expressed some interest in High Energy Physics and various QC, GUT and SUSY theories on occasion. There are several Swamp denizens (including one doing double duty as commenter here and peanut gallery heckler there) who strongly believe that I have no business being or right to be interested or following theories and developments at that end of physics. I beg to differ.

Why, anyone interested in what science knows or doesn't know about the nature of nature and/or any part of nature (and what they're doing to plug holes in their knowledge) might find the theories and experiments of HEP of great interest and entertainment value. I figure that when I have no business or right to know what's going on in theoretical and experimental physics, they'll stop reporting what's going on in theoretical and experimental physics. A situation none of us should welcome...

Adjust you reading glasses, Joy.  No one is trying to keep you away from physics.  It's great that you are interested!  The remainder of your post about the opening of the LHC is quite informative.  It's clear that you did your homework this time.  My hat is off to you.

Date: 2008/08/13 07:38:08, Link
Author: olegt
Rude on Ted Davis's departure from UD.  

In spite of all the nuanced chatter one thing is clear. Ted says that many TEs won’t enter the Big Tent because it’s too big, that unless we disavow the YECs and Common Descent deniers (and Global Warming deniers?) they will stand aloof. Well if that’s the case then who wants them? The age of the earth and common descent are empirical questions for which I have no dog in the race, nor should ID because they are irrelevant.

Should ID be an organization with litmus tests for irrelevant issues just so that sophisticated people can avoid embarrassment?

Irrelevant isn't the right word, Rude.  Those issues are settled.  When a large number of people under the big tent argue against long-established science, they look like a bunch of crackpots.

Date: 2008/08/13 10:23:17, Link
Author: olegt
Ya gotta cheer your troops.  "Dogmatic opponents of design who demanded the Center be shut down have met their Waterloo."

Date: 2008/08/14 07:59:22, Link
Author: olegt
I'll try to address the original comment Joy posted here last night.
Um... Guess you're not conversant with "Rickover's Navy." But that's neither here nor there. I have every right to follow the theories and the progress of experiments to test them, with whatever level of understanding I can or care to apply. I've seen evidence of stranger beasties than mere twin mini-holes, so I'm not scared.

Since they choose to take the risks in all our names (without asking, thanks), I might as well follow what they're looking for and why. I need no petty bullshit about my bona-fides on that level, nor do I need anyone's permission to follow my interest. Or the [public] money.

I didn't even know who Rickover was until last night.  Still don't know how this is relevant to my explanation of what health physics is and where and by whom it's taught.  Maybe Joy wanted to say that she was educated in the Navy, but the train of thought didn't pause long enough at that station and moved on.  

On to the next complaint.  As I have said before, you are more than welcome to explore physics and you are free to express your opinion about physical theories and experiments.  Likewise, others are free to point out your misconceptions.  Particularly when you can't get your numbers straight.  

We now have arrived at Misconception 1 in your comment.  Physicists did not "choose to take the risks in all our names."  The doomsday scenarios, which started floating in connection with RHIC experiments at Brookhaven and were later recycled for the LHC, were the work of outsiders.  To address these concerns, Brookhaven Lab director convened a panel of top-notch particle physicists, both theorists and experimentalists, who assessed the 3 proposed scenarios (production of black holes, decay of the vacuum, formation of strangelets).  Their opinion in a nutshell (with lots more details at the link):
"We conclude that there are no credible mechanisms for catastrophic scenarios at RHIC," said committee chair Robert Jaffe, Professor of Physics and Director, Center for Theoretical Physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "Accordingly, we see no reason to delay RHIC operation."

So the physicists didn't "choose to take the risks," they did not see any.  

On to the next paragraph.
Oh, give me a break. That information was out there all along, it's obvious I've been keeping up. The only 'new' thing here is the LHC. That background and overview was entirely superfluous to the Higgs analogy. Is still immaterial to the Higgs analogy, as offered. As if I'm somehow not "qualified" to offer such an analogy. That's bullshit, from Zach or from you.

As far as I can tell, the Higgs analogy was meant to support the following thesis: lack of evidence for theory 1 constitutes evidence for competing theory 2.  Let's set aside the main thesis, with which I disagree: a lack of evidence for theory 1 doesn't support theory 2, it is consistent with it; support comes in the form of positive evidence.  Your Higgs analogy illustrates this point.  As I pointed out above, the search for the particle has just begun.  Out of the plausible range (100-200 GeV), experiments have ruled out only two regions, 100-114 GeV and 168-172 GeV.  That's 15% of the search space, if you will.  The absence of the Higgs signal in these ranges is consistent with the nonexistence of the Higgs boson, but it doesn't constitute evidence for such a theory.  Once the entire range up to 200 GeV is covered and the Higgs is not there, then you can say: told ya!  


You just thought you'd inject some snide asides (based on your dislike of me personally because I think life is intelligently designed) for Zach's benefit, since he tried so hard at TT to pretend to knowledge he doesn't own. Even I - who claims to be nobody at all - knew better than that.

This is Misconception 2.  You have no idea what is going on inside my head.  It's the mix of ignorance and arrogance that I dislike.

Date: 2008/08/14 11:13:00, Link
Author: olegt
Already in a hole, Dave keeps digging:
Let me summarize then the state of things and ask for reasoned objections. Do we have a:

Theory of Gravity - no.
Law of Gravity - yes.

Theory of Biogenesis - no.
Law of Biogenesis - yes.

There is a theory of gravity, Dave.  It's called general relativity.  Here's a quote from a popular book A Journey into Gravity and Spacetime by John Wheeler, an eminent theoretical physicist, who collaborated with Einstein, advised Feynman, and coined the term black hole, among other things:

Einstein called his findings of 1905 special relativity... General relativity is the name he gave to the later idea that  gravitational fall is really free float.  Today it is more natural to describe his teaching as Einstein's geometric theory of gravity.  

(p. 13, emphasis in the original)

Date: 2008/08/14 16:56:11, Link
Author: olegt
That's really silly.  

Model T had a mileage of 13-21 mpg, which is on a par with today's SUVs.  Thus, even if drivers in 1925 drove the same number of miles on average as we do today (not bloody likely), 100 million today's SUVs would burn 200 times as much gasoline as did 0.5 million Model T drivers.  That translates into 200 times as much CO2 produced by the SUVs.

Date: 2008/08/14 18:31:20, Link
Author: olegt
The site is back up.  

I found a cool article discussing Professor values.  The table of contents has 4 items:

1 Crimes by Professors
2 Immoral, Unethical or Bizarre Behavior
3 References
4 Sources

My, we're a bunch of criminals and perverts!

Date: 2008/08/15 09:01:23, Link
Author: olegt
The entry on Reality contains a hidden gem:

[Reality] is very well known to have a liberal bias.

Great job, Pepek2008!

Date: 2008/08/16 13:21:20, Link
Author: olegt
Thought Provoker,

It's one thing to be arrogant.  Lots of scientists are arrogant SOBs (not that I endorse that kind of attitude).  It's a totally different thing when you are consistently wrong about a great many things and don't learn from your errors.  Zachriel sums up nicely what's wrong with Joy's comments:

The problem, Joy, is that you just sidestep when errors are pointed out to you. For instance, you suggested that the search for the Higgs boson has been completed for energies up to 1 TeV. I provided a recent report from Fermilab explaining why this is not correct. You repeated your misstatement, never correcting it.

Date: 2008/08/16 13:30:03, Link
Author: olegt
I suggest both God and Randomness are metaphysical constructs.  The evidence from Quantum Mechanical experiments show quantum effects are interconnected in both space and time.

Been there, done that, TP.  This stuff is good for cocktail conversations, but there's no science in it.

Date: 2008/08/16 15:16:12, Link
Author: olegt
Why do we presume true randomness exists?

In a nutshell, TP, because it's the only game in town.  

Quantum mechanics postulates that measuring the location of a particle prepared in a state with a wave function psi(x) reveals the particle at a point x with the probability psi(x) squared.  This uncertainty is of a totally different kind than the classical one.  We may have perfect knowledge about the system, meaning that the system has zero entropy, yet the location of the particle is unknown and can only be ascribed a probability.  

A good example of that would be a hydrogen atom in a not-too-noisy environment (a vacuum chamber will do).  Its electron is in the state of lowest energy (-13.6 eV) known as 1s described in any QM textbook as well as on Wikipedia.  The state has zero entropy, yet the electron's position is uncertain and is consistent with the probability distribution given by psi(x) squared.  

As you may know, attempts were made to reduce this quantum uncertainty to our ignorance of some hidden classical variables.  However, quantum entanglement indicates that such hidden variables have to possess rather unphysical properties: they must be able to propagate faster than light.  Such entities violate causality and are thus unobservable, even in principle.  So hidden variables are no more physical than the tooth fairy.  

There's no other theory that competes with the standard QM, as far as I know.  So the randomness hypothesis is the only thing we have.

Date: 2008/08/16 15:46:55, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (midwifetoad @ Aug. 16 2008,15:22)
Is the assumption of randomness really necessary? Would a system of variation that produced all possible alleles in sequential order have different evolutionary consequenses than one that produced them in random order?

Just asking. :p

Randomness may not be necessary in many cases: you can feed deterministic pseudorandom numbers to a Monte Carlo simulator and it will still reproduce thermal properties of the simulated system (unless of course you have a lousy number generator with a short period).  Likewise, evolution can proceed equally well when mutations are deterministic and cover a broad enough range.  

It would be impossible to prove that mutations are truly random: there is no experimental test that can show that, as far as I know.

Date: 2008/08/16 23:10:54, Link
Author: olegt
While you may still want to interpret Dr. Penrose's universal wavefunction as dynamic and truly random, I think it is obvious that it is fixed similar to a set of pseudorandom numbers or, more appropriately, a Mandelbrot Set in four complex dimensions of space-time.

This makes no sense, TP.  The Mandelbrot set is defined in the complex plane or equivalently in a two-dimensional real space.  Space-time is four-dimensional.  What the heck are you talking about?

Date: 2008/08/17 13:18:46, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Thought Provoker @ Aug. 17 2008,00:18)
Hi Oleg,

Thank you for providing the link to the Mandelbrot Set I was too lazy to do.

As to your questions.  From page 179 of Penrose's The Road to Reality...
"Up to this point, we have been considering spaces of only one dimension.  The reader might well be puzzled by this remark, since the complex plane, the Riemann sphere, and various other Riemann surfaces have featured strongly in several of the previous chapters.  However, in the context of holomorphic functions, these surfaces are really to be thought of as being, in essence, of only one dimension, this dimension being a COMPLEX dimension..."

Here, Penrose is explaining that a complex dimension is still a single dimension.  This is at the start of Chapter 10 where Penrose starts laying the foundations for understanding Chapter 18, Minkowskian geometry, where he describes the observable universe as being four COMPLEX dimensions of space-time and how the "clock paradox" is a geometry problem that ceases to be a paradox when recognized as such.  This eventually leads to Chapter 23 titled The entangled quantum world.  While Penrose doesn't argue for orchestration in this chapter, he is clearly indicating quantum effects are interconnected (i.e. "entangled").

As for the Mandelbrot Set.  If we can forgo semantic concerns, I am trying to convey the concept of a wavefunction in four complex dimensions.

When you realise that Mandelbrot Set is the result of a very simple formula of only one dimension (albeit complex) it helps communicate what a four dimensional version would be like.

The Mandelbrot Set demonstrates a combination of apparent chaos and patterns.  A four dimensional version would do something similar.  If one of the dimensions was time, some parts would be indistiguishable from random chaos but there would also be patterns.

A question for you...

If time is a property of the four dimensional universe, how could the universe's wavefunction be anything but static?


Penrose's 4-dimensional complex space is the twistor manifold, not the spacetime.  The two are related (you can use twistors to describe light rays in Minkowski space) but they are not the same.  

You can surely generate patterns a la Mandelbrot in higher-dimensional spaces, but unless you specify how such a structure is connected to the wave function of a particle, this is daydreaming.  

Anyway, you and I have gone over these things at length and I see no further point in doing so.

Date: 2008/08/17 21:52:48, Link
Author: olegt
Hi TP, and thanks for the compliment.  I'll reciprocate below.  

Scientists may appear pedantic to you, but that's how science works.  Particularly physics, which makes a connection between the real world of physical objects and the ideal world of mathematics.  If you wish to make that connection, you need to translate objects into mathematical terms.   Instead, you walk around telling everyone that quantum events are interconnected in space and time or that the wave function is sorta like a Mandelbrot set in higher dimensions.  

Such fantasy games are known as Cargo cult.  Here's Richard Feynman describing the phenomenon:
In the South Seas there is a cargo cult of people. During the war they saw airplanes land with lots of good materials, and they want the same thing to happen now. So they've arranged to imitate things like
runways, to put fires along the sides of the runways, to make a wooden hut for a man to sit in, with two wooden pieces on his head like headphones and bars of bamboo sticking out like antennas--he's the controller--and they wait for the airplanes to land. They're doing everything right. The form is perfect. It looks exactly the way it looked before. But it doesn't work. No airplanes land. So I call these things cargo cult science, because they follow all the apparent precepts and forms of scientific investigation, but they're missing something essential, because the planes don't land.

That's what happens when you read Penrose's Road to Reality without having a minimal background.  It's not a book for laymen.  You think you are making profound, thought-provoking statements, but actually you're just parroting lines that you don't understand.  

Take the issue of Minkowski space.  It has 4 real dimensions.  A complex 4-dimensional space would correspond to an 8-dimensional real space.  I don't have Penrose's book anymore, but I am 99.9999% sure that you are misreading it again.  Here's why.

Penrose did consider a complexified Minkowski space, but he did not identify it with our spacetime.  It was just another mathematical object to play with.  Often, when a theoretical physicist cannot solve a real-world problem, he replaces the original physical model with another one that can be solved.  While the new model doesn't describe the real world, the solvable toy model may tell him something interesting.  The complexified Minkowski space is exactly such a toy model.  It allows one to solve a nontrivial model with Yang-Mills gauge fields, something that isn't possible in ordinary Minkowski space.  But it is still a toy model, not a model of our space-time.  It contains too many (real) dimensions.  Here's what Penrose himself wrote about it in 1987:

Of course the possibility of simply describing things in terms of complexified (compactified) Minkowski space CM had occurred to me but - for reasons which are still not entirely clear to me - I had (correctly) *rejected this as insufficiently subtle for Nature. I think that one reason for being unhappy with CM as playing a primary role in physics was that the complexification is far too gross. As many additional "unseen" dimension (namely four) would need to be adjoined as are already directly physically interpretable (3).

Date: 2008/08/18 07:47:51, Link
Author: olegt
I've gone back to the original AtBC thread linked to by creeky belly.  As this September 2007 comment indicates, TP doesn't seem to have learned much since then.  He's still talking about shortcuts in Minkowski space, Mandelbrot sets, and interconnected photons in spacetime.  And this after pages and pages of conversations both here and at TT!  Get a life, TP.

Date: 2008/08/18 11:53:17, Link
Author: olegt

Telling me I am wrong is of no help.

Show me.

Give me a better model I can understand.

I did, TP.  At least I tried.  

After our long conversation about Penrose's book at TT I summarized what you need in order to comprehend it:

Sadly, I must tell you that you don't understand what Penrose is doing and I am not sure that I can help you. I tried above to explain what Penrose did with twistors. However, there is certain prerequisite knowledge that one must possess in order to appreciate Penrose's book or my explanations in the previous posts. One needs, at the very least, to know quantum mechanics at the level of a two-semester undergraduate course: canonical quantization, operators, wave functions, that sort of things. I still don't know whether you have that knowledge. Perhaps you could describe your background.

That assessment still stands.

Date: 2008/08/18 16:15:07, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Thought Provoker @ Aug. 18 2008,15:51)
Another 2008 paper I found (when I should have been working)...

1 Introduction
Twistor methods were originally introduced by Penrose with the aim of providing a mathematical
framework which could lead to a synthesis of quantum theory and relativity [P].

Are you trying to make a point, TP?

Date: 2008/08/19 07:23:31, Link
Author: olegt
TP wrote

I don't have the patience or the time to still through actual classes.  However, I am getting motivated to look for some on-line courses and possibly text-books.  I would like to understand these Twistor String papers better.  Not everyone explains things as clearly as Penrose did in The Road to Reality.

With enough determination you can do it, TP.  MIT puts much of its course material (lecture notes and problem sets) online.  Here are courses of the physics department.  Quantum Physics I (8.04) will get you started and after that, Quantum Physics II (8.05) will provide a bare minimum of conceptual and technical knowledge to understand Penrose's book.  Don't skimp on homework.  

My point was that "Twistor methods were originally introduced by Penrose with the aim of providing a mathematical framework which could lead to a synthesis of quantum theory and relativity".

In The Road to Reality Penrose was clearly laying the foundation for synthesizing Quantum Mechanics with space-time relativity.  It was the basis behind his term "quanglement", the entanglement of quantum effects via four-dimensional complex geometry.  A geometry where things that "travel" at the speed of light collapse to a single point (e.g. photons entangled at the same point in Twistor space).

He's still laying the foundation, as are doing string theorists.  creeky belly is absolutely right that the papers you quoted yesterday are mental gymnastics.  These guys are flexing their considerable mathematical muscle, but so far the connection to reality is pretty minimal.  

As I tried to convey to you on many occasions, quantum entanglement is not the only nonclassical aspect of quantum physics.  You don't need entangled particles to see that: a single particle with spin 1/2, the simplest quantum system, exhibits inherently undeterministic properties (see Stern-Gerlach experiment).  Therefore your program of reducing the quantum aspects to the geometry of Minkowski space is doomed from the start.  Penrose has no such intention: he quantizes his twistors using the textbook procedure of canonical quantization, which works the same for everything from the simple harmonic oscillator to the electromagnetic field.  Quantum physics is not born from geometry, it is married to it.

Date: 2008/08/19 11:41:22, Link
Author: olegt
Joy lectures Zachriel on the nitty-gritty of publishing in Nature:
Reference [3] refers to a letter ('letter', not research) published in Nature Genetics in 2005 and written by 11 duly authoritative scientists insisting that these ultraconserved elements are "selectively constrained"...

Well, maybe in the early 20th century that was the case, but today that's simply not true.  Letters in Nature Genetics, like in any other journal of the Nature Publishing Group, are short research papers subject to the same stringent peer review as regular articles.  An excerpt from the Nature guide for authors and referees:
Letters include received/accepted dates. They may be accompanied by supplementary information. Letters are peer reviewed, and authors must provide a competing financial interests statement before publication.

Don't know about biology, but in physics there are quite a few journals publishing exclusively letter-length articles: Physical Review Letters, Europhysics Letters, Applied Physics Letters, Physics Letters, Modern Physics Letters etc.  Needless to say, all of them are peer-reviewed, although the level of stringency varies: it's pretty hard to get a letter into PRL, while MPL will publish just about anything.  

Judging by its impact factor of 25.5, the competition in Nature Genetics is cut-throat.

Date: 2008/08/22 10:08:25, Link
Author: olegt
Gil Dodgen laments:
This demonstrates the double standard in public education. Anything that is atheism friendly is just fine; anything that is theism friendly is ruled out of court (or into a court, as the case may be). Never mind the evidence.

It's a great illustration to the main thesis of Conservapedia: Reality has a liberal bias.

Date: 2008/08/22 10:55:44, Link
Author: olegt

Retroviral promoters in the human genome

The paper whose abstract lies below the fold has been cited as supportive of intelligent design here by my friend Casey Luskin of the Discovery Institute . I’m afraid I disagree with Casey’s analysis but I don’t have access to the full paper and would welcome review of my take on it from someone with access and expertise in virology.

That sounds like a job for ERV.

Date: 2008/09/07 16:10:27, Link
Author: olegt
The only thing missing from Denyse's thread was the word dittos.

Not anymore.

Date: 2008/09/13 11:22:20, Link
Author: olegt
Just shows how far out Luskin is.  

He trots out this loser LeVake, whose case (argued by Pat Robertson's ACLJ) sank like a rock: (i) A district court summarily dismissed it.  (ii) An appellate court agreed with the district court.  (iii) The Minnesota Supreme Court declined to hear the case.  (iv) The US Supreme Court did the same.  Linky.

And now, adding insult to injury, hard-core nuts at UD tell Casey to go pound sand.  O, brother...

Date: 2008/09/13 16:38:07, Link
Author: olegt
Bradford started a hilarious thread on an anthropic (multiverse) explanation for the Higgs phenomenon.  Choice voodoo from Thought Provoker:

The only reason I can see to even question this logic is due to the long presumed view that everything is made up of solid particles i.e. materialistic.

I echo Bradford's hint that a guest host post at Telic Thoughts might be in order.

Questioning the presumed materialistic viewpoint is one of the key arguments behind the ID debate, both as a scientific exploration and as a political/religious movement.

I chuckle when people accuse me of being a materialist. I have come to believe there is no such thing as solid matter. I tend to embrace Sir Roger Penrose's quantum interpretation (Objective Reduction) which is a Copenhagen derivation.

BTW, have you read Penrose's The Road to Reality? I think it is quite good.

This quantum interpretation logically leads to the Penrose/Hameroff Orch OR model of consciousness which provides some support of a scientific ID hypothesis.

The Road to Reality is a nice book but it requires a certain level of knowledge (at least two semesters of quantum mechanics) that neither TP nor his correspondent possesses.  

TP is totally out to lunch on "solid particles."  A particle is a mathematical abstraction.  It means that an object is modeled as a single point.  A point has no size and no shape, while the tendency to retain shape is the defining characteristic of a solid!  We don't think of electrons as solid spheres, we picture them as points.  (String theorists have a different model, but that's another story.)  

As far as experiments show, electrons are point-like down to the smallest distances we can probe.  Protons aren't: scattering experiments indicate the presence of 3 point-like quarks within a proton (plus gluons).  So we model a proton as a point particle on length scales above 10^{-15} m.  On shorter length scales it's a fuzzy sphere made of 3 quarks exchanging gluons with each other and photons with outside electrical charges.

Date: 2008/09/13 17:11:34, Link
Author: olegt
Hi TP, nice of you to drop by.  

There is nothing mysterious about negative-mass solutions in physics.  Dirac's solution was to fill all states with negative energy with electrons (Dirac sea).  Hitting an electron out of a negative-energy state leaves a hole in the Dirac sea, which behaves like a particle with a positive mass and a positive charge---a positron.  

If you think this is a speculation, it's not.  A similar story happens in semiconductors such as silicon or germanium.  They have a Fermi sea of electrons.  Electrons with energies above the Fermi-sea level behave as electrons in a vacuum (albeit with a different mass, which may also depend on the direction of motion).  Electrons below the Fermi-sea level act like particles with a negative (and again direction-dependent) mass.  Knocking out an electron from below the sea level creates a positively charged hole.  The holes are charge carriers in p-type semiconductors, so this is for real.

P. S. When I call something a mathematical abstraction it doesn't mean that I am poo-pooing it.  This week I discussed in my general physics class (wait for it) the particle model.  A particle is a mathematical abstraction.  We use such abstractions in physics.  We find them useful.  They help us simplify physical models and make equations solvable.  Hurray for mathematical abstractions!  

In the same vein, we have mathematical models of black holes: Schwarzschild black hole (simplest), Kerr black hole (rotating), Reissner-Nordström black hole (electrically charged).  These are abstractions, just like a point particle.  They may capture some, or even most, features of a real black hole, but usually there are some subtleties left out.  And yes, we have good observational evidence that black holes exist.

When I remarked at one point in the past that Penrose's math is "just math," I meant it in a different sense.  Unlike Dirac, he has new math, but he has no new physics.  Penrose compares himself in the book to Hamilton, who reformulated classical mechanics in terms of canonical variables (coordinates and momenta).  Hamilton's theory contained no new physical principles, but it helped a hundred years later in the formulation of quantum mechanics: quantization was first done in terms of canonical variables.  Likewise, Penrose thinks that his math, while not particularly useful to physics at the current stage, may be useful later when quantum gravity is ultimately developed.

Date: 2008/09/13 20:49:09, Link
Author: olegt
Yesss!  Teach them professor values!

P.S.  I must admit I'm a relatively lame member of the guild: I'm only practicing atheism, unjustified claims of expertise and knowledge, liberal beliefs, and anti-patriotism (not a US citizen, hehe) and am sorely lacking in censorship, socialism, liberal grading, liberal bias and promotion of sexual immorality.  But hey, we do what we can!

Date: 2008/09/13 22:22:47, Link
Author: olegt
Yeah, ftk, Shanahan is quite a loon.  Here's some additional info about him.  

I don't have a US citizenship, just a green card.

Date: 2008/09/14 00:05:49, Link
Author: olegt
Doug puts up a sensible question:

Joy, Island or anyone that can answer this.
Why does CERN have the ability to accelerate particles fast enough to produce 7TeV?
I thought they were guessing that the Higgs could have been discovered in the range of GeVs…. but now they have an accelerator that goes past the 1TeV they originally assumed would have been needed to discover the Higgs boson.
It looks like the thinking went: at the most 1TeV, then more than likely less, then in the range of 115GeV-165GeV…. now with a machine that can surpass the original 1TeV.

Just kind of confusing.

So, does their guess of > than 1TeV mean that Fermilab is inadequate?

Joy responds as usual, making 4 errors in a short comment.  (i) She's wrong on the energy of individual protons (7 TeV) and that of pairs (14 TeV).  (ii) She confuses Tevatron at Fermilab (protons at 1 TeV) with RHIC at Brookhaven (heavy-ion nuclei at 100 GeV).  (iii) There's nothing wrong with the Standard Model at the GeV level.  (iv) A more accurate model, if it is required, will look like the Standard Model at and below the 100-GeV level.

And most interestingly, she has no answer for Doug, apart from "because they do".  Why even bother?  

Doug's question has a simple answer.  7 TeV is the energy of a proton. At that energy a proton looks like a bunch of independent particles, rather than a blob of matter.  Collisions of interest involve one quark from each of the incident protons.  The 3 quarks inside a proton carry a fraction of the 7 TeV: they share it not only with one another but also with gluons, which are quite numerous.  As a result, a quark carries only a small fraction of the 7 TeV.  

The quarks emit W and Z bosons which combine to produce a Higgs.  Since the quarks remain in the picture, the bosons receive only a fraction of the quark energy.  

That's why out of the 14 TeV less than 1 TeV goes to the formation of a Higgs.

Date: 2008/09/14 13:19:31, Link
Author: olegt
Sure, TP.  You might want to add this reference to a Wikipedia article showing two quarks emitting W or Z bosons that combine into a Higgs.

Date: 2008/09/15 21:38:24, Link
Author: olegt
Hi Rob,

No, I'm not banned.  I simply promised Mike Gene not to darken his doorstep: he was getting all worked up about my presence at TT.

Date: 2008/09/20 14:48:19, Link
Author: olegt
It's not a malfunction, William.  It's intelligent design.

Date: 2008/09/20 22:28:35, Link
Author: olegt
Here's another sample of fine conservative writing from (ahem) American Thinker.  In a piece headlined The Drumbeat one William Staneski opines (emphasis mine):

The drumbeat. It's always there. Day and night. Rain or shine. Winter or Summer. Sunday or Monday. It comes at you from every direction. It comes over the TV, the radio, at work, at school, in music, in the newspapers, from the politicians, in conversation with others, even in church. It wears you down. It robs you of the will to resist its message. Even short-lived victories, which stop it briefly, leave you with the knowledge that it will return; each minor victory bound to be lost to the redoubled efforts of this patient and persistent force. You can't escape it. It never stops. It never gives up. It never ends. It rains upon you from every possible angle, from every possible source.

It's the drumbeat of the left. It is political, philosophical, theological, and social. It pervades every activity. It is post-structural, post-modern, post-everything in the parlance of the day. It is tolerant, diverse, non-judgmental, non-discriminatory, egalitarian, politically correct, multicultural, globalist, and collectivist. It insists that there are no rights and wrongs, no moral absolutes. It turns everything upside down in its looking glass world. It denies the correctness of all that produced what our culture revered before the deconstruction of the world in accordance with the tenets of cultural Marxism.

It denies God, human exceptionalism, and the soul. We are reduced to Darwinian animals floundering in an amoral sea of meaninglessness. It is a product of the nihilistic, existentialist philosophical movement, which went hand in hand with modern art, atonal music, scientific materialism and modern physics, and the generally discordant nature of the twentieth century.

And here is the reaction from the conservative forum (founded by Lucianne Goldberg of the Monica Lewinsky fame), 99% dittos.

Date: 2008/09/21 16:15:28, Link
Author: olegt
Bill Dembski has a lovely post November Apologetics Conference — We need more than good arguments.  

It’s nice to be in such distinguished company as indicated in this press release. I’ll certainly make my usual ID arguments. But I’ll also be pointing out that our opponents, the materialists and their cronies, are now battling principally for political rather than intellectual control. Indeed, the materialists have lost the intellectual battle.

List of ID victories follows:
* computers are still stupider than humans,
* chimpanzees are stupider than dogs and birds,
* origin of life has not been clarified.

The punchline:

There’s an old New Yorker cartoon that shows a client seated across from his attorney. The attorney remarks, “You’ve got a great case Mr. Smith. Now, how much justice can you afford?” We’ve made a good case. What we need now are good legal and political strategies.

I suppose this can be fairly interpreted as We don't need no stinkin' science no more.

ETA: oh, and there's also a gratuitous swipe at liberal fascism.  That's a winning intellectual argument.

Date: 2008/09/21 18:25:54, Link
Author: olegt
For the record I regret the loss of BobOH. He’s two faced, snarky, and not very bright but still represents the cream of the crop amongst our critics and I’d welcome him back.

Let DaveTard apologize for this comment first.  Then decline the invitation.

Date: 2008/09/22 19:05:59, Link
Author: olegt
Screw you Wes.  Have you ever talked to a serious "modern" creation scientist at length?  I mean a series of heart to heart discussions?   I highly doubt it.  From what I have seen over the past 5 years, you all avoid them like the plague.  I've literally begged someone to get in touch with Walt time and time again, and they absolutely refuse....couldn't care less to actually sit down with someone personally, get to know them a little and ask pointed questions in a respectful manner.

Ftk, you have no idea how science works.  

We don't have "heart to heart discussions".  We read other people's papers and listen to their talks in conferences and seminars.  If I see something worth emulating then I might contact the author for further details.  

Kooks of all sorts have been presenting their stuff at mainstream conferences.  The March Meeting of the American Physical Society reserves a special session or two discretely named General Theory.  If no one listens to them, perhaps it is crap, don't you think?

Creationists have been publishing their books forever.  Walt has what, the 8th edition coming up?  If he had some great ideas there, don't you think some smart people would have picked them up?  Dembski has published volume after volume.  Everybody is free to read his books.  It's just that nobody thinks it's useful for anything.  Sad, really.

Date: 2008/09/22 20:17:30, Link
Author: olegt
Guess what?  I don't give a flying f*ck how "science works".   I don't know if you've noticed, but the creation/evolution debate is causing more commotion than it ever has in the past regardless of whether you'd like to admit that or not.  

Of course you don't.  If you did then you would know that science isn't settled, or even learned, in debates.  Debates are the stuff of philosophy and social sciences.  

And those creation-evolution debates?  They're good for entertainment.  On both sides.

Date: 2008/09/22 22:46:19, Link
Author: olegt
Here's a classification of creationism according to Henry Morris (formatting in the original):

Creationism can be studied and taught in any of three basic forms, as follows:

(1) Scientific creationism (no reliance on Biblical revelation, utilizing only scientific data to support and expound the creation model).
(2) Biblical creationism (no reliance on scientific data, using only the Bible to expound and defend the creation model).
(3) Scientific Biblical creationism (full reliance on Biblical revelation but also using scientific data to support and develop the creation model).

These are not contradictory systems, of course, but supplementary, each appropriate for certain applications. For example, creationists should not advocate that Biblical creationism be taught in public schools, both because of judicial restrictions against religion in such schools and also (more importantly) because teachers who do not believe the Bible should not be asked to teach the Bible. It is both legal and desirable, however, that scientific creationism be taught in public schools as a valid alternative to evolutionism.

Two quick points.  First, his scheme totally undermines FtK's classification.  Second, it applies, mutatis mutandis, to ID.  The ID crowd is so talentless, they can't come up with anything new.

And of course there are also old-earth creation scientists.

Date: 2008/09/22 23:09:18, Link
Author: olegt
I agree, FtK, you don't understand my stance.  I am not saying that ID is identical to creationism.  My point is that ID is creationism in disguise.  There is nothing in ID arguments that has not been previously floated by creationists (esp. "scientific" ones).  The only thing that's missing is a reference to God.  

And even in that they were not the first: if you read early drafts of Of pandas and people, you'll find creation science instead of intelligent design.  Here's the story.

Date: 2008/09/22 23:27:37, Link
Author: olegt
My initial question to Wes was whether he had actually taken the time to thoroughly question a *creation scientist* about their theories.  I see a lot of misunderstanding in regard to creation science.  I also find it odd that absolutely no one has ever considered actually confronting creation scientists about their work.  

I know all of you would consider it waaaaayyyy beneath you to do so, but you'd think that after 5 years I would have run across at least one person willing to call Brown.

Again, that's how science works, whatever you think of that.  

Even in mainstream science, most of the published results are not exactly earth-shattering discoveries.  In fact, you have to filter through a lot of mediocre and even plain wrong papers before you come across something that is worth emulating and developing further.  If I contacted every physicist who did something wrong I would look like this:

So you end up filtering out BS and moving on.  

Same with creationism.  If these guys said something useful, someone somewhere would have picked it up.  Sooner or later.  But no one in the mainstream seems interested.  There's enough crap within science to pay attention to crap outside of it.

Date: 2008/09/22 23:31:31, Link
Author: olegt
Some of the things written by Dembski and Behe are certainly new to the design inference.

Could you give us a couple of examples?

Date: 2008/09/24 10:06:17, Link
Author: olegt

There is simple truth that you can't seem to grasp: if a creationist had a bright idea, people in science would have picked it up.  

Mendel did not have heart-to-heart conversations with his contemporary biologists.  His work became known only after his death.  But it was a hit.

Lemaitre did not have heart-to-heart conversations with astronomers.  He published his results and they were accepted upon experimental verification.  

I've seen Walt's book.  His scenario would have evaporated the oceans a couple of times over.  Brown is no Lemaitre.

Date: 2008/10/17 21:48:04, Link
Author: olegt
Dave does some research.  

Just out of curiosity I’ll see if I can find out how many of the top 100 richest Americans have no degree. I’ll predict that a majority do not.

He discovers that things don't work that way:

Outside the top ten a majority have degrees. What might still be surprising is few of them have advanced degrees. The majority are Bachelor of Science, usually from an Ivy league. Graduate degrees are nearly all Masters in Business from an Ivy League.

That's hardly surprising.  Entrepreneurs don't need an advanced degree in science.  Those who start on a path to a Ph. D. intend to become successful scientists, not businessmen.  

Sometimes people change careers: Jim Simons, a highly successful mathematician, quit academia and now runs a highly profitable hedge fund Renaissance Technologies.  He is #57 on the Forbes 400 list.  But such cases are rare.

Date: 2008/10/21 15:25:09, Link
Author: olegt
An interesting conversation is taking place at UD.

Sal Gal
2:41 pm

Let’s work now on developing a nose for bogus data analysis. Note that the fitted curve in the plot above does not track the sharp dip of 1984 or the sharp rise of 1998, yet descends rapidly with the relatively modest decrease in temperatures since 2006.

In over words, the fitted curve is quite smooth until 2006. Then the bottom falls out, even though the decrease in recorded temperatures is obviously less than in previous years.

There’s a classic book, How to Lie with Statistics, that many undergrads read in a lightweight first course in stats, and that I recommend highly to people who would like to avoid propagating lies inadvertently.

2:56 pm
Sal Gal:

The source of the graph is NASA’s atmospheric science group in Huntsville. That’s the definitive source on atmospheric temperature measurement. The scientists at Huntsville, among other things, run the network of satellites that measure the temp of the atmosphere with global coverage since 1978 calibrated by traditional balloon soundings.

So you’re basically accusing NASA of publishing misleading data because it’s what, become a global warming skeptic or something? OH OH I KNOW! NASA is in the pocket of big oil.

Dave's wrong: the bogus "global trend line" was put there by one Andrew Barr at National Post (a conservative newspaper in Canada), not by the NASA scientists.  Here is a link to an opinion article where the graph first appeared.

Date: 2008/10/22 18:23:01, Link
Author: olegt
We need a new award category, Tard of the Week:
We’ll come to our senses, and realize that The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien, Dave Letterman, The Today Show, Good Morning America, The View, and Oprah aren’t trustworthy news sources.

There's more at the source.

Date: 2008/10/23 13:56:11, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (dvunkannon @ Oct. 23 2008,13:20)
Frosty the No-Nothing expounds on the NAS
They pay themselves good salaries for doing nothing and dont care about anything except shaping public education around socialist ideals because bigger government means more money for them.

Compare Wikipedia
The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is a corporation in the United States whose members serve pro bono as "advisers to the nation on science, engineering, and medicine."

Is Frosty really VenomFangX from YouTube? Something about his willingness to spout on topics he knows nothing about reminds me of the basement dweller.

Believe it or not, the guy claims to be majoring in political science at Towson University, the second-largest public university in Maryland.

Date: 2008/10/26 12:23:29, Link
Author: olegt
Since Friday night, the entire UD forum has seen 15 comments vs. 27 on this thread alone.  What's behind the hiatus?  Dave jumped the shark?  A general pre-election funk?  UD going out of business?  Inquiring minds want to know.

Date: 2008/10/29 21:24:04, Link
Author: olegt
Dave enlivens the stale board with a post Lest we forget Global “Warming”.  When some poor soul tries to inject a dose of reality, the comment is promptly expunged and a warning is sounded:
Put a sock in repeating any of the mainstream delusions in this thread. That view gets more than enough coverage elsewhere.

Sig worthy.

Date: 2008/10/30 13:04:22, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (dheddle @ Oct. 30 2008,12:11)
So close but, alas, the wrong half of the ticket.

I didn't realize you were a fan of Palin, David.  I'm speechless.

Date: 2008/11/06 15:56:44, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (sparc @ Nov. 06 2008,15:47)
The first speaker (Mr McDowell?) mentions the fine-tuning of gravity required for life: equivalent to one inch in the diameter of the universe stronger or weaker and life wouldn’t have been possible.


Reg, one of the numbers I found for gravity’s fine tuning is 1 part in 10^40.

Inches per mile: 6.336*10^4
Miles per light year: ~5.878*10^12
Light years across universe: 1.56*10^11.

Inches across universe:
(9.3*10^10) *
(5.879*10^12) *
(6.336*10^4) = ~5.81*10^28

This is actually not even close to 1 part in 10^40. In terms of inches, the fine tuning would be to 1 part in ~1.72*10^11
of an inch. So McDowell’s assertion regarding moving the constant 1 inch to the right or left is entirely correct, even dramatically understated.

Any corrections to my math are welcome and appreciated.
IIRC, gravity on Mt. Everest is about 3 * 10^-1% smaller than at sea level and still one will find life there. Still, I am optimistic that his numbers will enable Apollos to develop an ID research program that will identify the exact position of Garden Eden.

I have no idea what these guys are talking about.  Gravity at the poles is stronger than it is at the equator by about 0.5% thanks to the rotation of the planet and to its slightly nonspherical shape (squeezed at the poles).

Date: 2008/11/06 15:59:31, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Henry J @ Nov. 06 2008,15:55)
That's talking about the fine tuning constant, not the particular amount of gravitational force at any particular location.


Do you mean the fine structure constant?  It has nothing to do with gravity, it involves electricity and quantum physics.  I just can't imagine why gravity needs to be fine-tuned for life.  Can someone provide the context?

Date: 2008/11/10 19:07:23, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (dheddle @ Nov. 10 2008,18:05)
OK, I know it is in the crudest of popular science magazines, but Discover has a CID related article that says exactly what I've be saying for years. 1) Physicists accept that the constants exhibit fine tuning and 2) The multiverse is the only alternative to God and 3) The multiverse, ultimately, is not amenable to any direct test (meaning a detection of another universe).

Carr's money quote on p. 3:

On the other hand, if there is no multiverse, where does that leave physicists? “If there is only one universe,” Carr says, “you might have to have a fine-tuner. If you don’t want God, you’d better have a multiverse.”

That's been the essence of my CID argument all along. Man it has gotten me into some trouble.

And posting this makes me feel kind of retro. Makes me feel so 2005.


I think your points (1) and (2) represent a false dichotomy.  Not having a theory that explains the values of fundamental physical constants doesn't point to a whimsical designer.  

I won't quibble with (3), although Max Tegmark probably would.

Date: 2008/11/11 07:29:38, Link
Author: olegt

No further thoughts on (1) and (2).  As to Tegmark, keep in mind that he is not just a good scientist but also is a fun-loving guy:

Every time I've written ten mainstream papers, I allow myself to indulge in writing one wacky one, like my Scientific American article about parallel universes.

That link goes to the paper I referenced.

Date: 2008/11/14 09:26:42, Link
Author: olegt
Vladimir Krondan offers this piece of tardom:
I mean, look at the obvious for a change. Look at your hands and what they can do… play piano and write and so on. Isn’t it blitheringly obvious they were given to you for a purpose, and hence that is proof of intelligent intention?

Careful with that argument, Volodya.  As Lily Tomlin said, "We have reason to believe that man first walked upright to free his hands for masturbation."

Date: 2008/11/14 22:16:03, Link
Author: olegt
Dembski on peer review in 2001:
I've just gotten kind of blase about submitting things to journals where you often wait two years to get things into print. And I find I can actually get the turnaround faster by writing a book and getting the ideas expressed there. My books sell well. I get a royalty. And the material gets read more.

and in 2008:
Robert Marks and I continue to crank away at papers and have finally cracked the peer-review barrier in the information sciences with a paper on conservation of information (stay tuned at for a formal announcement).

Date: 2008/11/16 08:32:47, Link
Author: olegt
Sunday morning at UD.  While Barry attends church, Dave is up to some house cleaning:
No atheist/theist slugfest here

I deleted a recent post by Bill Dembski, another by Gil Dodgen, and another by IDNET that appeared to serve no purpose other than antagonizing atheists. This is not “serving the ID community”.

Theism and atheism are bound to come up in discussion here but the science (or art if you don’t believe it’s science) of design detection is not informed by theistic or atheistic belief so these should come up infrequently and when they do, if the conversation becomes disrespectful or proselytizing or antagonistic, the material is going to disappear.

Good luck, Dave.  Just be sure not to disappear yourself.

Date: 2008/11/16 09:30:38, Link
Author: olegt
Granville Sewell advises Dave not to rock the boat.  Dave obliges by scrubbing off the names and toning down the language.  Sewell's comment disappears as well:
I deleted a recent post by Bill Dembski, another by Gil Dodgen, and another by IDNET three recent posts that appeared to serve no purpose other than antagonizing atheists. This is not “serving the ID community”.

Theism and atheism are bound to come up in discussion here but the science (or art if you don’t believe it’s science) of design detection is not informed by theistic or atheistic belief so these should come up infrequently and when they do, if the conversation becomes disrespectful or proselytizing or antagonistic, the material is going to disappear.

I also continue to expect that comments be about the subject of the article they appear under. Off topic comments are subject to removal.

Date: 2008/11/16 13:29:33, Link
Author: olegt
Granville Sewell does a great impression of one blind man and the elephant in his post Fine-tuning of the constants AND equations of Nature?  He writes some silly things about the Schroedinger equation.
The Schrodinger partial differential equation of quantum mechanics is the heart of atomic physics. This elegant PDE governs the behavior of all particles under the fundamental forces, but, unlike other PDEs, it cannot be derived from simpler principles. Like time, space, matter and energy, it “just is”. To quote from one of my PDE books, “Schrodinger’s equation is most easily regarded as simply an axiom that leads to the correct physical conclusions, rather than as an equation that can be derived from simpler principles…In principle, elaborations of it explain the structure of all atoms and molecules and so all of chemistry.”

First, Schroedinger's equation is a good first approximation for the understanding of atomic physics (electrons plus nuclei), but it won't work for two other fundamental forces: weak and strong interactions.  You need a relativistic quantum theory for those and the Schroedinger describes the non-relativistic limit.  No creation or annihilation of particles, no photons even!  Second, it can be derived from a more fundamental theory: it is the non-relativistic limit of the Dirac equation in quantum electrodynamics.  Schroedinger's equation misses the relativistic spin-orbit coupling (a rather significant interaction at the heavier end of the periodic table), while Dirac's gets it right.  
The Schrodinger equation contains a parameter, h, called Planck’s constant, which is one of the many constants of Nature that is very “fine-tuned”: change it a little bit and you get a universe that cannot support any imaginable forms of life. Now I know enough mathematics and physics to be sure that most changes to this equation itself would result in a universe that could not have supported life; the properties of the elements in the periodic table certainly depend sensitively on the properties of this magnificent PDE. There may be some ways to modify it without disasterous results (I doubt it); but there is no doubt that the Schrodinger equation itself is very fine-tuned for life.

Actually, Planck's constant is now simply viewed as the conversion factor between frequency and energy, in the same sense as the speed of light c is the conversion factor between the units of time and length (the SI no longer has an independent standard of length: it is based on the standard of time).  The one and only* physical parameter in atomic physics is the fine-structure constant alpha = e^2/h-bar c.  This parameter determines the properties of atoms and thus affects chemistry.  For a while, physicists have tried to find out "why" alpha has the value of approximately 1/137.036.  Now we know that alpha is not a fundamental constant of nature: the Standard Model of particle physics predicts (and particle experiments confirm) that alpha grows at higher energies.  One can of course say that the parameters of the Standard Model are fine-tuned for life, but sooner or later we'll find what determines them and creationists will just move on to the next gaps in the knowledge.
So I think to explain our existence without design, we not only have to imagine some cosmic random-number generator which churns out values for Planck’s constant and the other constants, but also a cosmic random-equation generator. Are we to assume that in all these other universes imagined by man to explain our existence, the behavior of particles is still governed by the Schrodinger equation, but the forces, masses and charges, and Planck’s constant have random values? Or perhaps the behavior of particles is governed by random types of PDEs in different universes, but there are still many universes in which Schrodinger’s equation holds, with random values for Planck’s constant? No doubt there were some universes which couldn’t produce life because the governing equation looked just like the Schrodinger equation, but with first derivatives in space where there should be second derivatives, or a second derivative in time where there should be a first derivative, or the complex number i was missing, or the mass was in the numerator, or the probability of finding a system in a given state was proportional to |u| rather than |u|^2??

Ironically, Dirac's equation is linear in the spatial derivatives and it is valid in our Universe.  What a bunch of nonsense!

*ETA: apart from the electron mass.

Date: 2008/11/16 22:01:17, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (utidjian @ Nov. 16 2008,16:45)
Quote (olegt @ Nov. 16 2008,13:29)


I read that entire bit of tard by Granville Sewell. It kinda reminds me of discussions one might have after a first semester Physics class and a couple of bong hits. Kinda revelling in buzzwords of Physics but not really knowing what they mean and how they got their meaning.

Thanks for your clarification and links on the origins of the Schroedinger Equation.


I can see why Sewell might treat the Schroedinger equation as god-given truth: he is an applied mathematician whose specialty is solving partial differential equations on a computer.  He doesn't care where that PDE came from.  Hence the axiomatic approach.  

This cultural barrier is, unfortunately, not a rare thing.  Vladimir Arnold, a great Russian mathematician, once wrote:
Mathematics is a part of physics. Physics is an experimental science, a part of natural science. Mathematics is the part of physics where experiments are cheap.

If mathematicians do not come to their senses, then the consumers who preserved a need in a modern, in the best meaning of the word, mathematical theory as well as the immunity (characteristic of any sensible person) to the useless axiomatic chatter will in the end turn down the services of the undereducated scholastics in both the schools and the universities...

A teacher of mathematics, who [did not come] to grips with at least some of the volumes of the course by Landau and Lifshitz*, will then become a relict like the one nowadays who does not know the difference between an open and a closed set.

*A legendary 10-volume graduate-level course of physics.

Date: 2008/11/16 22:10:28, Link
Author: olegt
The tard flow is getting turbulent.  tribune7 replies to NotedScholars:
“Beyond the natural” is a metaphor, and not a very useful one.

It’s not a metaphor. It is a literal statement. Natural has a meaning. Supernatural has a meaning. Natural explanations fail to describe the universe. Supernatural ones do not. The only reason to reject a supernatural explanation is emotion.

Date: 2008/11/16 22:14:31, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (bystander @ Nov. 16 2008,21:54)
now that UD is open and  free, why don't you post this there.


I've been banned once already by Dr. Dr. Dembski.  It'll happen quickly again, so what's the point?  I say let them marinate in their own juice.

Date: 2008/11/17 06:30:37, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (bystander @ Nov. 17 2008,00:14)
I wonder if Davey will be seen outside of UD anywhere to have a vent.

Keep an eye on Telic Thoughts, the only other ID site above the freezing point.

Date: 2008/11/17 06:36:25, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Amadan @ Nov. 17 2008,04:24)
Kairosfocus:I will break my silence (I have no other means of effective contact) to wish you well . . .

The insight! The elegance of language! The intellectual savoir faire!

The preceding sentence is worthy of note, too:
It was brought to my attention by observers of UD, that you have stepped down as moderator in chief here at UD.

Either KF reads AtBC first thing in the morning or we have some strong competition.

Date: 2008/11/17 06:54:47, Link
Author: olegt
Barry's post reads like a statement in the Soviet press announcing that another apparatchik "resigned to take a job elsewhere."

Date: 2008/11/17 09:46:07, Link
Author: olegt
StephenB writes:
Dave Scot is one of the most scientifically literate commentators on the internet—period.

The UD crowd so much reminds me of the Soviet society ca. 1980, I wanna cry.  

The 110th anniversary of the birth of Vladimir ll'ich Lenin, greatest genius of the human race, founder of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and creator of the world's first socialist state, is being celebrated...

Lenin left us in his legacy a revolutionary theory, which lights the path of the country to the heights of communism and the working base in the struggle of the world's workers to free themselves from capitalist exploitation and for national liberation from imperialist oppression.

One of the important parts of the Leninist legacy was Lenin's teaching relative to electrification as a starting point for the creation of a material-technical base for the classless society.

V. I. Lenin and Hydraulic Engineering
V. Yu. Steklov*, Power Technology and Engineering (formerly Hydrotechnical Construction) 14, 329 (1980).
*Central Committee of Senior Power Engineers, Ministry of Power and Electrification of the USSR

Date: 2008/11/17 16:34:40, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (steve_h @ Nov. 17 2008,15:19)
The post in which DS announced that he had deleted some posts has been deleted.

To quote Churchill, this is “like watching two dogs fighting under a carpet.”  Something is happening but it's hard to tell what.

Date: 2008/11/22 09:55:34, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Nov. 22 2008,01:03)
The problem is that such an account, while useful, fails to support a key false belief underlying methodological naturalism: That humans are really the 98% chimpanzee and cannot in principle have motives absent in chimpanzees.

O'Leary is probably one of the stupidest people that ever lived.  And there have been some doozies too brutha.  Extract a positive formulation of 'methodological naturalism' from that spunk pile, I dare you.  ok i'll do it.

"methodological naturalism means something I don't understand"

that's about all i could get.

Denyse is truly amazing.  In her latest post she calls Behe "a working biochemist."  So I went to ISI Web of Science to see what M. J. Behe has been up to lately.  The last time he published what passes for a research paper [1] was 2004.  The one before then came out in 1998 [2].  

I suppose by this measure Denyse is a great writer.

[1] M. J. Behe and D. W. Snoke, Simulating evolution by gene duplication of protein features that require multiple amino acid residues, Protein Science 13, 2651 (2004). doi:10.1110/ps.04802904

[2] M. J. Behe, Tracts of adenosine and cytidine residues in the genomes of prokaryotes and eukaryotes, DNA Sequence 8, 375 (1998).

Date: 2008/11/22 11:00:56, Link
Author: olegt
Happy birfday, carlson!

Date: 2008/11/23 09:49:21, Link
Author: olegt
Who's afraid of Abbie Smith?  
This site still has moderators, as it happens, and none of them fancy troll holes.

Incidentally, hearing that Abbie Smith and/or Nick Matzke “completely destroyed” Mike Behe’s thesis is like hearing that some communist ideologue “completely destroyed” the Laffer curve (Laffer’s thesis on taxation).

It tells me something about Communist ideology, nothing much about the Laffer curve.

The interesting thing about Darwinism is that it is now represented so largely by cultists who are prepared to acribe miracles - even the massive intricacy of the cell - to it.

Funny that Denyse would compare Behe's thesis to the Laffer curve.  Neither idea has empirical support.

Date: 2008/11/23 10:13:54, Link
Author: olegt
kairos tells it like it is:
#5,6 Paul, Stephen

I agree with your views. In fact the real Catholic Church position is strongly sympathetic to ID, which is the genuine modern 5th way of Thomas Aquinas. However there is what I would instead call Galileo syndrome, the fear to be disproven in the future.
However, as a catholic, I don’t worry much about. Please let us remember that the fight between materialism and religion has been fought during the last two millennia; now we are at a in which materialism seem to be have constrained religion into a corner but things can change. In this battle ID is now what assault troops are in an army; the rest of the army will follow when the linefront has been broken.

All science so far.

Date: 2008/11/23 10:36:59, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (CeilingCat @ Nov. 23 2008,10:16)
Granny Spice on proof, ID style:        
...the Darwin cult’s howls of outrage against Edge are the best evidence that he is on to something and that his work should be seriously considered at such a conference.
Isn't that one of the seven warning signs of crank science?  Objections to your theory are the best and/or only evidence in favor of it?

Exactly, CC.  John Baez's Crackpot Index awards "20 points for defending yourself by bringing up (real or imagined) ridicule accorded to your past theories."

Date: 2008/11/23 15:53:35, Link
Author: olegt

You're right.  The idea behind the Laffer curve is sensible, it's just that the level of taxation in the US is such that we are on the low-tax side of the curve.  Details are explained in the link.

Date: 2008/11/26 09:35:27, Link
Author: olegt
Dave gave up on Dembski's CSI and is trying to defend Behe instead:
Sal Gal

It has always been my contention that establishing an upper bound for the emergence of a bacterial flagellum by chance & necessity is a problem as intractible as quantum mechanics when more than a few particles are involved. That is the reason I liked Behe’s “Edge of Evolution” which, rather than trying to prove something virtually impossible for chance & necessity to accomplish it rather examined empirical evidence of what chance & necessity was able and not able to accomplish in the real world with a number of opportunities so great as to be far beyond the reach of practical duplication in a laboratory. The result was that the limits predicted by ID, which acknowledges and accounts for microevolution, were the same limits observed in nature. No black swan was observed. PO’s attack on the average mutation rate figure used to predict what chance & selection could accomplish might not be absolutely correct but it nonetheless correctly predicted the observed outcomes.

Umm, Dave, here's Behe himself counting black swans:

And now let’s talk about Dr. Musgrave’s “core argument,” that subsequent to the virus leaping to humans from chimps Vpu developed the ability to act as a viroporin, allowing the leakage of cations which helps release the virus from the cell membrane. Yes, I’m perfectly willing to concede that this does appear to be the development of a new viral protein-viral protein binding site, one which I overlooked when writing about HIV. So the square point in Figure 7.4 representing HIV should be placed on the Y axis at a value of one, instead of zero, and Table 7.1 should list one protein-binding site developed by HIV instead of zero.

Date: 2008/11/30 10:20:19, Link
Author: olegt
Methodological naturalism was invented in the 1980’s for one purpose and one purpose only—-to combat the science of intelligent design. That is simply a fact that can be verified by consulting the literature on the philosophy of science. You cannot find one reference to he subject at any earlier time.

This is bullshit.  Nick Matzke had a post in 2006 On the Origins of Methodological Naturalism.  It begins
Remember how, according to the ID movement, “methodological naturalism” was supposed to be a Darwinist/atheist conspiracy to arbitrarily exclude ID? Well, let’s have a look at who coined the term.

Go ahead and read the whole thing.

Date: 2008/11/30 17:58:52, Link
Author: olegt
StephenB replying to ribczynski:
—–ribczynski: “I’m surprised that this isn’t obvious to you, but the practice of methodological naturalism long preceded the coining of the term itself.”

No, as a matter of fact, it did not. There was no such rule, and I invite you to provide one example in all of history to support your assertion. That science has come to be “primarily” about natural causes is obvious; that science cannot be “exclusively” about natural causes should be equally obvious. At no time in history has any scientist stated that science is exclusively about natural causes.

Here's one.  Jean Buridan, a 14th-century* priest, whose notion of impetus preceded Galileo's inertia and Newton's momentum, wrote:
in natural philosophy we ought to accept actions and dependencies as if they always proceed in a natural way.

What is now known as science used to be called natural philosophy, StephenB.  Note the first word in that term.

*ETA: That was way before creationism was rebranded intelligent design.

Date: 2008/12/02 12:18:26, Link
Author: olegt
Luskin did not post anything on ENV last month, so I was getting worried about him.  I'm happy to report that Casey has been accounted for.  He's been fighting little green men at a local library.
Recently I went to a public library to do some work, and I saw a book featured on top of a reference desk titled Life on Other Planets (by Rhonda Lucas Donald, Watts Library, 2003). The title page featured little green men with big alien bug-eyes, the kind of picture you might see on some nutty UFO website. The book and its display were clearly aimed at students — perhaps junior high or high school-aged. Fun and silly pictures don’t bother me if they get kids interested in reading about science. The problem here was that when I opened the book, what I found was not science, but science-fiction.

I am not making it up.

Date: 2008/12/02 17:33:49, Link
Author: olegt
The funniest thing is this: Casey thinks that the book is "aimed at students — perhaps junior high or high school-aged."  The publisher recommends it for ages 9-12.

Life on Other Planets on

Date: 2008/12/02 21:22:23, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (bystander @ Dec. 02 2008,20:53)
Reading that thread it is obvious that Barry is going to have to start booting people. Whoever ribczynki is, he/she is a very clear writer and is doing well against the tards, and the IDiots can't maintain the paranoia that the science establishment has nothing better to do than to prop up an ailing theory.

Although the paper that Barry links to is very strange. OOL has nothing to do with a Cosmological model. The physicists could be wrong about string theory and the multiverse but it doesn't change the fact that life started around 4 billion (?) years ago.

I agree.  Koonin's paper is not exactly science.  It contains quite a bit of metaphysics.

The nice thing about the journal in which Koonin's paper was published is its policy of open peer review.  The author knows the identity of the reviewers and furthermore, the referee comments, along with the author's rebuttals, are available for everyone to read.  

Date: 2008/12/03 21:24:08, Link
Author: olegt
Now that Dr Dr disowns the explanatory filter, Dave has the courage to tell he never really liked it anyway.  Or something.

Yeah, I recognized that problem for the EF in biology at first glance which is why I never liked talking about it with the flagellum. It works great if you have enough information about the probabilistic resources. It still makes me smile when I caught the guy who did the work on Harvard’s “Inner Life of the Cell” video red-handed using the EF to prove that the video clip used in Expelled was based on his work. I had to agree with him. The EF doesn’t lie. It’s a sound algorithm but like all algorithms it’s subject to rule of computing “Garbage In Garbage Out”. With something as complex as the flagellum it seems to be an intractible problem to qualify the input data well enough.

An even better example was when Panda’s Thumb presented us with 4 DNA sequences of several hundred bases each and challenged us to use the EF to find which of them contained evidence of design. Someone here, I think it was Patrick, found a Venter Institute watermark in one of them and we ran the watermark through the EF and reached a design inference. Venter used the principles behind the EF to design a hidden watermark that would stand up in court if he ever needed to show that someone stole DNA sequences from his artificial genome. And that WAS in biology.

Right, Dave, the EF was also awfully handy in catching Gloppy.  Or so you said.

Date: 2008/12/04 12:21:51, Link
Author: olegt
StephenB to Olofsson: we don't need no stinkin' math:
Design is a far more likely alternative than chance. Don’t let your foray into statistics, which is appreciated, mislead you about the reality of the big picture. The numbers associated with the CSI, which are debatable, are not synonymous with the fact of CSI, which is not.

Date: 2008/12/10 22:51:28, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Occam's Aftershave @ Dec. 10 2008,21:41)
Holy fuck, look what the head IDiot just did!  Order, counterorder, disorder!

10  December  2008
Reinstating the Explanatory Filter
William Dembski

In an off-hand comment in a thread on this blog I remarked that I was dispensing with the Explanatory Filter in favor of just going with straight-up specified complexity. On further reflection, I think the Explanatory Filter ranks among the most brilliant inventions of all time (right up there with sliced bread). I’m herewith reinstating it — it will appear, without reservation or hesitation, in all my future work on design detection.

After a Zeppelin-sized ego masturbation like that what is left to say?

Better yet, what will DaveTard say?   :p

This thread has a good chance of being nixplained.

Date: 2008/12/17 06:10:06, Link
Author: olegt
gpuccio expounds the generation of CSI by mind:
I believe that there is a “mental” step where CSI is already formed as mental, formal processes. Maybe that level is already material (brain processes), maybe not. That’s not the important point.

The important point is that even that “mental” CSI is certainly formal and complex, so it demands some explanation in terms of causality, even if that explanation may well go beyond what we presently understand about the physical world.

But in the end, we always come to the main question: where does the complexity, the form, come from? Is Dawkins right in speaking of infinite causal regress?

No, he isn’t. Because we can find here an “uncaused cause”, and that is consciousness itself: the undeniable existence of a transcendental I who perceives, wills, and is essentially simple. Indeed, that “I” is the unifying simplicity underlying all human conscious processes.

Is that simple “I” the origin of CSI? I do believe that. I do believe that the origin of CSI is intuitive, and not rational. It is a direct perception, and not a deduction or inference. Or at least, let’s say that the “seed” of CSI is intuitive. There is certainly a “processing” of CSI which is mental, but that is probably more a reshuffling than a true ex novo generation.

So, in my view, CSI is the product of the mental reshuffling of continuous transcendental intuitions of the conscious I. That’s what makes humans capable of generating new CSI, while computers are not. Computers are simply not conscious. They have no transcendental I. They are merely objects, and not subjects.

I suppose TARD is a form of CSI.

Date: 2008/12/20 12:51:23, Link
Author: olegt
Denyse writes a post in defense of amateur science.  She mentions Forrest Mims as a great amateur success story (which he certainly is) and says
So, if you want a career in science, but don’t want to punch a clock for The Man, consider these folks your friends.

This is unnecessarily divisive.  Forrest Mims himself replies to Denyse:
A few Ph.D.s, as you may have noticed, are infected with an arrogance syndrome for which amateur science is a wonderful antidote. Some of these Ph.D.s have spent a career never going beyond their Ph.D. work. Serious amateurs are always going beyond their academic preparation, which is often nil.

Fortunately, most Ph.D.s are very supportive of amateur scientists, which is why SCIENCE invited the essay I wrote. In my career doing science only rarely have I been asked my degree (B.A. in government with minors in history and English). All that has mattered is my peer-reviewed publications and the instruments I’ve designed.

That's the great thing about science: anyone can submit their paper to a science journal.  It doesn't matter whether you have a degree: if your paper makes sense, it'll see the light of day.  

And while I am sympathetic to amateur scientists, I don't think studying under one is a great idea.  University provides an infrastructure that an individual amateur scientist, no matter how successful, does not have.  You have a community of scientists specializing in different subfields and you can learn different subjects from them.  

In the comments, Gil cites the development of Linux as an example of amateurs succeeding in computer programming.  I don't think it's a good example.  Linus Torvalds wasn't exactly an amateur, he was a student at the University of Helsinki, graduating with a master's degree in computer science.  The title of his master's thesis was Linux: A Portable Operating System.  Sure, some Linux developers were amateurs, but lots of others were professional programmers and students of computerr science working in their spare time.

Date: 2008/12/20 14:41:29, Link
Author: olegt

Congrats on the successful end of the semester and on the new job!

Date: 2008/12/21 09:48:17, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Bob O'H @ Dec. 21 2008,08:05)
Granny Spice is making as much sense as usual.  She reports that:

1. Some scientists are suggesting that a paper in Cell is dodgy,
2. A paper in Journal of Experimental Biology is being retracted, because of fraud,
3. Nature is going to retract a study because the results couldn't be reproduced,
4. A Texas stem cell researcher has been found to have falsified their data with Photoshop,
5. Enrollment for research has been stopped at one hospital because the admin was crappy,
6. John Ioannidis has been showing that a lot of research findings are false.  And people are investigating why.

Her conclusion?

The wonderful thing about science is that it is self-correcting? Oh, come on!
My own sense is that too many people today are invested in proving stuff they are sure is true, and not enough in finding out what is really going on.

It's posts like this that keep on drawing us back.  Eh, Richard?

Denyse lecturing scientists on ethics?  O the irony!  

In the same post she links to her 2006 ARN piece Peer Review: Gold standard or gold in them thar hills?.  It borrowed liberally from an editorial Rethinking Peer Review published in the  New Atlantis.  Here are a few examples:

New Atlantis: Also known as refereeing, the peer review process is used by journal editors to aid in deciding which papers are worth publishing.
O’Leary: Peer review, also called refereeing, is a decision-making process by which science journals decide which papers are worth the investment of resources to publish.

New Atlantis: Eventually—especially following the post-World War II research boom—the deluge of manuscripts and their increasing specialization made it difficult for even an editorial board of a dozen or so experts to handle the load... Journal editors began to seek out experts capable of commenting on manuscriptsnot only researchers in the same general field, but researchers familiar with the specific techniques and even laboratory materials described in the papers under consideration. The transition from the editorial board model to the peer review model was eased by technological advances, like the Xerox copier in 1959, that reduced the hassles of sending manuscripts to experts scattered around the globe.
O’Leary: After World War II, specialized science research boomed. Researchers followed up on a number of useful discoveries made during the war (for example, antibiotics and nuclear technology). The subsequent Cold War, and then the space race, kept alive the
drive for further military advances as well. But only specialists could assess the specialized papers that resulted, so editors increasingly deferred to them. The development of the Xerox copier in 1959 made the new system practical, so all the major journals adopted peer review.

New Atlantis: The Cochrane Collaboration, an international healthcare analysis group based in the U.K., published a report in 2003 concluding that there is “little empirical evidence to support the use of editorial peer review as a mechanism to ensure quality of biomedical research, despite its widespread use and costs.” The Royal Society has also studied the effects of peer review.
O’Leary: Major bodies such as the Cochrane Collaboration and the Royal Society, as well as others have added volume to the dissatisfaction with peer review.

New Atlantis: Perhaps the most powerful criticism of peer review is that it fails to achieve its core ob jective: quality control.
O’Leary: Generally, the two most common complaints are that peer review fails to safeguard quality, which was its original purpose and that it punishes new ideas, regardless of merit.

None of the paraphrased passages were attributed to the New Atlantis piece, although there was one attributed direct quote.  

I wrote to Denyse at the time, pointing out the questionable practice.  She wrote back saying she had done nothing wrong.  She nonetheless amended her post, inserting more direct quotes from the New Atlantis editorial with attribution.  

Keep up the good work, Denyse.

Date: 2008/12/23 12:00:34, Link
Author: olegt
80% is a good starting point, KF.  Once you master that, you should strive to reach 100%.  For the sake of your fellow IDers.

Date: 2008/12/24 07:21:50, Link
Author: olegt
Mark Frank points out that KF's latest post is 1663 words long (approaching the length of an undergraduate essay!) and asks him to try and stick with a 200-word limit.  KF of course is having none of that:
PS: Mark,

A: There is a reason an undergrad term paper is of length 2,000 - 5,000 words, and why College grad level theses start at around 40,000.

I think it is fair to say that a 200 word synopsis is not at all in the same class, where one expects and has to properly address seriously hostile scrutiny [cf Antievo, Panda's Thumb and the like, if you don't know what I am saying], and brief citations will invariably be pounced on as “quote mining” and more.

But also, we can take this in steps. There’s no rush . . .

To put this in another perspective, 1700 words is considered the ideal length for “short reports of original research focused on an outstanding finding whose importance means that it will be of interest to scientists in other fields” in Nature.  

You just can't write for an audience, KF.

E.T.A. And in case onlookers have any doubts, KF tells us that he is still actually officially “retired” from regular commenting at UD.

Date: 2008/12/24 08:48:08, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Dec. 24 2008,08:27)
Blood in the water as Casey takes on Ken Miller

Someone should tell Casey that self-flagellation should come after swimming.

It's only Episode 1 in the series, but Casey has already jumped the shark:  
I like to explain the "irreducible core" using the analogy of a bicycle: A bicycle has an irreducible core that requires a frame, two wheels, a motor mechanism (like legs on pedals), and a steering mechanism (like handle-bars attached to the front wheel). A bicycle also has a seat, but obviously you can ride a bike without a seat (though it wouldn't be very fun). So, while the seat sure helps a lot, it is not part of the irreducible core of a bike. Same could be said for light deflectors, etc. So the fact that a bike has a couple dispensable parts doesn't mean that there isn't an irreducible core to a bike.


Date: 2008/12/24 09:40:43, Link
Author: olegt
Olivia Judson sez: How about Ten Days of Newton?

Date: 2008/12/25 09:35:56, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Missing Shade of Blue @ Dec. 24 2008,17:58)

I don't know if I want to go into too much detail about it, but I would be happy to give a broad description of my work. The dissertation is in the foundations of statistical mechanics. Slightly more specifically, I'm investigating the physical grounds for the success of phase averaging (the process by which thermodynamic quantities are calculated by averaging over functions on phase space under some probability distribution). The textbook justification for this is ergodicity (crudely, the idea that thermodynamic systems follow a trajectory that passes arbitrarily close to every point in phase space), but that is unsatisfactory for a number of reasons, so I'm exploring the possibility of a non-ergodic approach to the foundations of the theory.

Sounds like you're a mathematical physicist, Missing Shade of Blue.  What's wrong with ergodicity?  Phase-space averaging seems to describe time-averaged properties of systems in thermal equilibrium pretty well.  

(I hope I am not derailing the thread. ;) )

Date: 2008/12/25 10:02:40, Link
Author: olegt
allanius resorts to an argument from authority:
And will you ripple your brawny muscles at Kant as well, Noted Scholar, when he says that the study of origins lies outside the realm of science because origins cannot be observed? Would it be too much to ask you to descend from Olympus and demonstrate to us benighted souls at UD that you understand the historical conflict between theory and empirical science?

Philosophers, even great ones, can be spectacularly wrong.  Auguste Comte wrote in 1835 something similar about astronomy:
On the subject of stars, all investigations which are not ultimately reducible to simple visual observations are ... necessarily denied to us. While we can conceive of the possibility of determining their shapes, their sizes, and their motions, we shall never be able by any means to study their chemical composition or their mineralogical structure ... Our knowledge concerning their gaseous envelopes is necessarily limited to their existence, size ... and refractive power, we shall not at all be able to determine their chemical composition or even their density... I regard any notion concerning the true mean temperature of the various stars as forever denied to us.

We know how that turned out.

Date: 2008/12/25 22:49:00, Link
Author: olegt
Missing Shade of Blue,

Physicists are content with the microcanonical distribution being stationary, so it describes an equilibrium state.  Whether it's unique is of course another question, but that's the difference between physics and mathematics.  I'm sure you've heard this joke: all mathematicians think and all physicists know that a face-centered cubic lattice is the most efficient stacking of hard spheres.  ;)

And while I agree that not all systems are ergodic, non-ergodicity may have important physical implications.  Spontaneous symmetry breaking makes the system non-ergodic: a magnetized piece of iron will not change its magnetization direction for a very long time (much longer than any reasonable experimental time scale).  Glass becomes non-ergodic at a sufficiently low temperature, too.  So ergodicity is more than just a technical step in getting to the microcanonical distribution.

Date: 2008/12/26 17:25:32, Link
Author: olegt
Missing Shade of Blue,

I work in physics of condensed matter, studying all kinds of magnetic phenomena, as a theorist.  My interest in the foundations of statistical mechanics is not exactly idle: I teach a graduate course in statistical physics every other year.  So I am interested in what mathematicians think about this.  

I do have a slight quibble with the notion that glass "becomes non-ergodic" at low temperatures. The phrase suggests that the system in its high-temperature equilibrium state is ergodic, and that it loses this ergodicity when it freezes into a glass state. But there is no reason to believe that the equilibrium state is ergodic if you reject the standard stat. mech. assumption that thermodynamic equilibrium implies ergodicity.

I am not sure that there are sufficient grounds for rejecting the link between ergodicity and thermodynamic equilibrium.  A key point to remember is this: physicists like to work in the so-called thermodynamic limit (infinite number of particles).  If your system is too small, you can't even define a temperature, so there is no thermodynamics to speak of.  For example, even though N>1 hard spheres in a box are an ergodic system, the velocity distribution becomes Maxwellian only in the limit of an infinite N.  

We don't have proofs of ergodicity for virtually all the systems to which we usually apply classical stat. mech. In fact, there's good reason to think many of these systems are not ergodic. The KAM Theorem leads us to expect that a typical Hamiltonian system with finite degrees of freedom will contain islands of non-ergodic flow.

Yes, KAM theory tells us that some invariant tori of an integrable system remain such even after the addition of a nonlinear perturbation.  That is quite significant since it follows that realistic dynamical systems can be non-ergodic.  However, there is an important caveat: the perturbation must be sufficiently weak.  And furthermore, the bounds on the strength of the perturbation become more stringent as the number of degrees of freedom increases, so in the thermodynamic limit invariant tori shrink and a typical system becomes ergodic.  

Let me quote Henk Broer's brief overview KAM theory: the legacy of Kolmogorov’s 1954 paper (PDF file):
On the other hand, and from a more global point of view, the measure-theoretical part of KAM theory implies that for typical Hamiltonian systems in finitely many degrees of freedom, no ergodicity holds, since the energy hypersurfaces can be decomposed in several disjoint invariant sets of positive measure. This is of particular interest for statistical physics, where the ergodic hypothesis roughly claims that the system, when confined to bounded energy hypersurfaces, is ergodic. This paradox probably is resolved as the number of particles is increasing since the obstruction to ergodicity provided by the KAM tori then seems to decrease rapidly in importance.

Towards the end of the paper he discusses a particular case of N coupled nonlinear oscillators, where the allowed perturbation strength goes down exponentially with N.  

Of course, ergodicity in systems with an infinite number of degrees of freedom is not yet well understood.  But it looks to me like physicists need not be alarmed just yet: while we now know that ergodicity is broken in some realistic finite systems, there are as yet no reasons to question ergodicity of realistic systems in the thermodynamic limit.

Date: 2008/12/27 17:44:54, Link
Author: olegt
gpuccio sez:  
Another property, if we accept the Popperian view, is falsifiability. Well, I must emphasize again that all the “negative” tests I have suggested are potential ways to falsify my view: in other words, if and when you will produce a machine which freely generates consciousness and CSI as the human brain is supposed to do, you will have falsified my assumption that machines cannot do that, and that a transcendental I is necessary to have that result.

gpuccio, you need to come over and explain something.  When someone comes up with a super-duper machine that supposedly does all that, how would you check empirically whether it “freely generates consciousness and CSI”?  

Date: 2008/12/29 07:55:31, Link
Author: olegt
Fuller's 2009 to-do list for ID is very promising:
In particular, my comments will focus on two general lines of thought that have also been featured in two books I have written relating to the debate over the past couple of years. Science vs. Religion? Intelligent Design and the Problem of Evolution and Dissent over Descent: Intelligent Design’s Challenge to Darwinism
1. Darwinism is an undead 19th century social theory.
2. ID needs to confront the ‘Pastafarian’ Argument.

Water or decaff only, Steve. :p

Date: 2008/12/29 13:30:14, Link
Author: olegt
Thanks to Fuller, the big tent is coming apart:    

Upright BiPed
2:11 pm

Steve Fuller,

After all, what good is a theory of ‘intelligent design’ if it has nothing to say about the nature of the designer?

I couldn’t disagree with you more. Going down this road is a fool’s choice. The answer to your question is simple: The nature of the Designer is not a scientific question. Forcing it into the conversation will eliminate ID from the debate.


Before you saddle up your dinosaur, I strongly suggest you take these remnants of wisdom to heart.

2:14 pm

My G-d, someone at UD finally came right out and said it. Thought we would never see the day.

Accommodationists—what you desire will never come to pass. You will never be taken seriously by the Big Science establishment because Darwinism is a belief system, linked to identity. You can play all sorts of semantic games about your intentions, a la Casey Luskin, but none of it will matter. They will never let you in the club; worse, in your eagerness to play nice with them you will forfeit the high ground you gain gratis through the self-evident nature of ID, which becomes more obvious with each passing day.

IDers who claim to be agnostic—your position is as untenable as it is tedious. There is no intelligence in nature and no capacity for design. Those who think there can be are indulging in a sophisticated form of the pathetic fallacy. One thing Plato said that is undeniably true is “Nothing comes from nothing.” A complex organ represents a preexisting idea, a plan. To attempt to substitute vast periods of time for the required plan is to commit the same sin against logic and common sense as Lucretius.


William J. Murray
2:24 pm

#19: Exactly.
#20: And so the internal war begins.

Date: 2008/12/30 15:03:29, Link
Author: olegt
I avoid Wikipedia at all costs, always preferring other sources.


Please, NOT in publishing, online or otherwise.


Just don’t ever quote Wikipedia as a source to me, and expect me to take it as some kind of authority.

Really, Denyse?  Your book By Design or by Chance contains at least 5 references to Wikipedia.  Did you mean to say that you had been unable to find any other sources to tell you about the Big Bang, Georges Lemaitre and convergent evolution?  

For the record, I think Wikipedia is an excellent starting point for learning about a subject, but it is not an authoritative source.  I would not cite in a publication.

Date: 2008/12/30 18:29:33, Link
Author: olegt
Denyse is on a roll today!  Those Martians aren't the designers we're looking for!
But, for the record, proposed intelligent beings on other planets have not usually been treated as an argument for design in nature - usually the opposite. The idea seems to be “That just shows how easily intelligent life can arise purely by chance.”

Well, I suppose then Mt. Rushmore is not a good example of design, either?  ROFL.

Date: 2008/12/30 18:58:18, Link
Author: olegt
Apparently, Casey is in worse shape than I thought.  He knows that unicycles exist, but he still insists that a bicycle is irreducible:      
For example, consider again the bicycle. Bicycles have two wheels. Unicycles, having only one wheel, are missing an obvious component found on bicycles. Does this imply that you can remove one wheel from a bicycle and it will still function? Of course not. Try removing a wheel from a bike and you'll quickly see that it requires two wheels to function. The fact that a unicycle lacks certain components of a bicycle does not mean that the bicycle is therefore not irreducibly complex.

A round of applause, please!

And now, for Casey's sake, here's a video of a bicycle with one wheel that functions pretty well.  Enjoy!

Date: 2009/01/02 09:15:20, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Zachriel @ Jan. 02 2009,08:15)
gpuccio: CSI is an objective formal property that we in ID believe, on the basis of empirical observations and of theoretical considerations, to be invariably associated with the process of design.

Hi, gpuccio. We know you read AtBC on some occasions. CSI is not "objective", but based upon the background knowledge of the Semiotic Agent.

X = –log2 [ BIGNUMBER · S(T) · P(T|H) ]

Quoting Dembski, "S’s background knowledge now induces a descriptive complexity of T, which measures the simplest way S has of describing T." Furthermore, P is also dependent on our insight of a reasonable probability distribution, a dependency that seems to imply we already have to know the answer before we start our calculation. See here.

A discussion of CSI is ongoing at Mark Frank's blog:
Making the Case for Materialism.
Welcome to Wales.

Date: 2009/01/02 14:46:24, Link
Author: olegt
Bwahahaha!  Fundies asking for change!

Date: 2009/01/06 13:25:03, Link
Author: olegt
Actually, a peaceful exchange with the participation of Zachriel, myself, gpuccio, and kairosfocus has been going on for the last few days at Mark Frank's blog.  KF has already flounced once and returned.

Date: 2009/01/06 19:17:07, Link
Author: olegt
StephenB tells Fuller: how can we know anything about the designer?      
For all I know, ID technology may someday go beyond the design inference and advance to a level that reflects a deeper understanding of the designer and his attributes. Indeed, some scientists have already concluded that, by simply observing God’s handiwork, we can infer not only his intelligence but also his wisdom. We have hints of that already. The Catholic Church, during its canonization process, calls on medical science to help determine whether seemingly miraculous healings attributed to the intervention of a saint are really miraculous. Still, I can’t imagine how ID could ever detect the designer’s identity unless the designer makes another guest appearance. His last visit did not go so well.

You just can't make this up!

Date: 2009/01/09 06:57:19, Link
Author: olegt
It's Groundhog Day at UD.  Posts and comments from last night are gone from the front page (they are still in the system).  The first comment is marked 9:39 am yesterday.

Date: 2009/01/17 17:20:08, Link
Author: olegt
In case you are still not convinced that Steve Fuller is an AtBC sock puppet, read Part IV of ID and the Science of God:

Second, and perhaps more provocatively, I believe that the style of  ‘scientific theology’ exemplified by theodicy helps to serve Christianity’s proselytising mission – i.e. conversion of the unbelievers. I have spent a fair amount of time (including at the Dover trial) defending the idea that certain religious beliefs have outright facilitated – not impeded – scientific discovery. But I would also make the reverse case, namely, that as more of the natural world is illuminated by hypotheses concerning the designer, thus enabling us to get a more exact understanding of the design, the closer science comes to communion with God. Indeed, if design were as illusory or superficial as Darwinists maintain, then the concept of design should not be so illuminating — even for evolutionists who continue to operate with stealth notions of design in the guise of, say, ‘adaptation’ or ‘optimisation’.

Nobody denies the metaphorical, even poetic, appeal of conceiving of nature as an artefact. However, an explanation is required for why turning the poetry into prose works even better, though not infallibly. That we are created in the image and likeness of the creative deity is the most straightforward explanation on offer. Of course, that doesn’t ‘prove’ God’s existence but it does provide grounds for selling the Biblical deity on scientific grounds – indeed, as the Jesuits were doing in China at the same time they were holding Galileo’s feet to the fire in Rome.

Date: 2009/01/17 17:25:36, Link
Author: olegt
A bonus feature: Fuller accuses tribune7 of being a traitor.
In that case, you’re not an ID theorist. you’re a D theorist. It sounds to me like you are the one in the wrong place — unless you’re a fifth columnist!

Date: 2009/01/19 08:57:37, Link
Author: olegt
Fuller's posts bring out quality stuff to the surface!  allanius writes:
Having said that, modern science is providing an induction of providence of its own accord. The blood clotting cascade is not only good but “very good.” The manufacturing capability of the cell is “very good” to the point of being astonishing. Light and gravity are both “very good” and in fact beyond human understanding. Hearing and sight are engineering marvels.

Light and gravity beyond human understanding?  What century is this guy living in?

Date: 2009/01/20 13:19:34, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Nils Ruhr @ Jan. 20 2009,13:07)
This is clearly POSITIVE evidence for ID. Dembski's articles are peer-reviewed, which means they are good quality stuff! Stop being such a bad loser and accept that ID has peer-reviewd articles.


Publishing a paper in a peer-reviewed journal is not exactly a big accomplishment.  If you want me to congratulate Dembski on rising to the level of a graduate student, I can do that.  Break out the champagne!

Date: 2009/01/24 09:35:37, Link
Author: olegt
Gil Dodgen
The thing that intrigues me is that in all Darwinian speculating, whether bio or psycho, no one ever asks the hard questions, like: How did the particular trait that offers a survival advantage originate? What mutations or random genetic accidents would be required to engineer the trait? What is the probability of these accidents occurring? How many individuals and reproductive events would be required for the trait to be selected and preserved in the population? In other words, could the probabilistic resources have been up to the task of overcoming the improbabilities?

The thing that intrigues me is that in all Dodgen's whining there is not an iota of curiosity.  How about googling around a bit, Gil?  

N. B. Sutter and E. A. Ostrander, Dog star rising: the canine genetic system, Nature Reviews Genetics 5, 900 (2004).  doi:10.1038/nrg1492.
Purebred dogs are providing invaluable information about morphology, behaviour and complex diseases, both of themselves and humans, by supplying tractable populations in which to map genes that control those processes. The diversification of dog breeds has led to the development of breeds enriched for particular genetic disorders, the mapping and cloning of which have been facilitated by the availability of the canine genome map and sequence. These tools have aided our understanding of canine population genetics, linkage disequilibrium and haplotype sharing in the dog, and have informed ongoing efforts of the need to identify quantitative trait loci that are important in complex traits.

Date: 2009/01/24 09:44:48, Link
Author: olegt
Happy birthdays to Wes and SD!

Date: 2009/01/26 18:11:43, Link
Author: olegt
There is another gem in gpuccio's comment:
Yes, you are right: great changes take place at molecular level in natural history, and we don’t know why ot how. We in ID are certain that those changes are guided, for the reasons you know, but for the rest we are as ignorant as the darwinists.

You're much too modest, gpuccio.  The level of ignorance at UD is remarkable even on average, to say nothing of the shining examples of Gil Dodgen and Denyse.

Date: 2009/01/26 18:24:23, Link
Author: olegt
jerry adds another level of obfuscation to CSI:
We might even take this to a new level above this and say that the functional element or protein or RNA then becomes part of a coordinated system and maybe we can call the data or information in DNA something like systematic, functional complex, specified information or SFCSI.

Date: 2009/01/28 19:58:47, Link
Author: olegt
UD resident Vogon writer Denyse calls an editorial in Financial Times "amazingly silly."  

Ironically, she can't format the post properly and ends up echoing the FT editors:
But Darwin is also worth defending because attacks on evolution symbolise a wider and more varied assault on policies based on evidence rather than prejudice. Some of this assault comes from the same religious forces as creationism – think, for example, of those ranged against embryonic stem cell research. Sheer ignorance plays a role too and so do the mass media.

UD folks are confused.  No comments.

Date: 2009/01/30 10:10:27, Link
Author: olegt
StephenB asks:    
Professor Olofsson, as a mathematician, you must have some notion about the soundness of the Darwninian [sic] model, and, in a reciprocal sense, about providing a sound mathematical model for intelligent design.

So, first, what is your estimate of the probability that incrementalism can do what Darwinists say it can do?


Second, since you think Dembski’s formulations are not supported by sound mathematics, you must have a better idea. What is it? It is one thing to kibbitz from the sidelines, it is something else to actually come up with something. If you are so sure about what is wrong, it seems reasonable that you should be able to affirm what is right.

StephenB has no idea how science works.  

Asking a mathematician to rule on the validity of a scientific theory is a fool's errand.  Mathematicians haven't yet caught up even with the 19th-century physics.  They still aren't quite sure whether statistical mechanics has a sound mathematical basis.

Date: 2009/01/30 12:29:56, Link
Author: olegt
StephenB heads deeper into the woods :    
Think of it this way. Darwinism can either be measured or it can’t. A mathematician should be able to know that and comment one way or the other.

With regard to intelligent design, one cannot recognize an allegedly flawed approach to applying mathematical models without having some idea about that which would be appropriate.

He is wrong on both counts.  Empirical support for a theory has nothing to do with a mathematical foundation.  And yes, you can show that a theory is wrong without offering an alternative.  The ultraviolet catastrophe in thermal physics comes to mind.  The Bohr-van Leeuwen theorem, demonstrating the impossibility of dia, para and ferromagnetism in classical physics, is another example.  The resolution of both required the invention of quantum mechanics, which happened later.

Date: 2009/01/31 11:33:52, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Maya @ Jan. 31 2009,11:06)
DaveScot does physics:  
...the fine tuning of the universe, which if it was different by one part in 10^60 the universe would not be gravitationally stable (if the universe was heavier or lighter by as much one grain of sand it would not be stable)....

Now I might be just an aspiring biologist, but I really doubt my fellow students over in the physics department would agree with that.

Davey, stick to what you know.  If the topic is anything other than unhealthy snack foods, you should not interrupt the grownups when they're talking.

I have no idea where Dave got this from.

Date: 2009/01/31 12:05:04, Link
Author: olegt
I suppose this is the source of that bit of tardom.  It can be traced down to Hugh Ross, who in turn quoted Larry Krauss, a respected cosmologist and popularizer of science.  

Trouble is, Krauss didn't say that the amount of matter in the Universe must be fine-tuned to 1 part in 10^60, he said that about the coupling constants in the current, tentative cosmological models.

Date: 2009/01/31 12:40:32, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Maya @ Jan. 31 2009,12:36)
New UD FAQ Coming Soon
I especially invite our opponents to participate in this process. I assure you that if you raise any fair objection, it will be treated with respect, and you could very well prompt us to modify the FAQ.

My scientific prediction is that this will result in the need to open "Uncommonly Dense Thread 3" far sooner than anticipated.

Barry cracks me up sometimes:
In November 2008 I recruited three of UD’s most insightful and prolific commenters – StephenB, GPuccio and Kairosfocus – to craft a revised “Frequently Asked Questions” section for our homepage. I am very pleased to announce that after three months of intense effort by these gentlemen, the new FAQ – which is entitled “Frequently Raised But Weak Arguments Against Intelligent Design – is nearing completion. Watch for the final product to appear on this page soon.

I very much look forward to the prolific insights.

Date: 2009/02/01 09:53:31, Link
Author: olegt
Dave is on a roll:  
The number of elementary particles in the universe is approximated to be 10^80. There’s no known law which says it has to be that number. It could be any larger or smaller number. This establishes the complexity of the number since it one specific one among an infinite or nearly infinite set.

Physicists tell us that this specific amount of mass energy, plus or minus about 10^20 particles (about the number of particles in a grain of sand), is required to balance the gravitational force in the universe such that it doesn’t prematurely collapse before stars and galaxies could form or fly apart so quickly that stars and galaxies could not form. Thus the number has a specification - it allows stars and galaxies to form.

No, Dave, that's not what physicists tell you.  

For starters, at this stage of our measuring capabilities, it would be impossible to measure any physical quantity with the accuracy of 1 in 10^60, let alone the mass of matter in the Universe.  Fifteen significant figures (frequency measurements) is pretty much it.  So this claim is rubbish.

Second, it's not the mass of matter or the number of particles in the Universe that must be fine-tuned to a great accuracy.  It's the values of bare coupling constants in quantum field theories that attempt to derive the cosmological constant.

Date: 2009/02/02 10:47:03, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Kristine @ Feb. 02 2009,10:12)
Hmmm, I have a question.
The publications page at has just been updated. Two forthcoming peer-reviewed articles that Robert Marks and I did are now up online (both should be published later this year).*

*For obvious reasons I’m not sharing the names of the publications until the articles are actually in print.

Maybe it's a stupid question. But when a scholar submits a paper for peer review and publication, doesn't that scholar normally sign over all rights (except in the case of open access archiving) to that paper to the publisher? These papers by Dembski and Marks have already been scattered about the internet (in various versions) like confetti in search of a celebration. For the love of kitty litter, didn't Dembski present "Conservation of Information in Search" in 2001?

As to the name and rep of the journals, I see that one of the papers is being/has been translated into Russian...

Many journals, although not all, allow authors to distribute preprints prior to publication.  (Witness the existence of the physics preprint server  Some also permit keeping an electronic version of the paper on an author's web site.  

I'm curious, though, how do you know that one of the papers is being translated into Russian?

Date: 2009/02/02 20:54:44, Link
Author: olegt
Borne waxed philosophical about the fate of ID:    
ID (or some other form of it) cannot fail.

The truth always comes out in the end.

All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.

-Arthur Schopenhauer

We’re still in phase 2.

ID started at phase 3 (way back in the beginning), then men invented materialism.

Like antimatter, creationism moves backwards in time.  And your watch is late, Borne.  ID is already well into phase 1.

Date: 2009/02/03 12:56:12, Link
Author: olegt
jerry makes a Freudian typo:
The FAQ is whether ID is science of not.

Of course it is!

Date: 2009/02/03 14:29:42, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Ptaylor @ Feb. 03 2009,14:24)
Kairosfocus on the FAQ 1 thread:  
A short remark:<snip>

566 words follow.

You forgot to mention five postscripts.

Date: 2009/02/06 13:20:22, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (sparc @ Feb. 06 2009,13:07)
What is poly(A)?
These guys are indeed qualified to discuss biology.

And just to be inclusive, they wouldn't mind discussing astrology in an astronomy class.  Linky.

Date: 2009/02/08 08:40:26, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (mitschlag @ Feb. 08 2009,08:14)
Quote (JLT @ Feb. 08 2009,06:24)
Fuller is even more deluded than I previously thought:

My own view on Young Earth Creationism is relatively relaxed.

Not entirely deluded.  Foundationally ignorant.  (The whole thread is a delightful exercise in cognitive dissonance.)

You can only laugh at this kind of ignorance.  Or perpetrate a hoax on the poor social scientists, as physicist Alan Sokal did.

Date: 2009/02/09 09:27:15, Link
Author: olegt
Dave writes a post Someone please send Barbara Forrest a thesaurus where he thinks he is smarter than Barbara Forrest.  His main argument, you see, supernatural isn't listed as an antonym of natural in MSN Encarta's Thesaurus.  Perhaps some suicidal sock puppet might point out to him that (1) supernatural is a rarely used word and (2) its one and only antonym in Encarta is natural.

Date: 2009/02/16 20:25:25, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Feb. 16 2009,10:08)
Quote (slpage @ Feb. 16 2009,09:56)
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Feb. 16 2009,07:02)
Quote (sledgehammer @ Feb. 16 2009,01:26)
I also notice that Mike Gene's IDthink page at his publisher's site comes up:

"SUSPENDED: This Domain ( Has Been Disabled"

Maybe someone hasn't been paying the bills?

And then there's this bit of hilarity (my emphasis)      
Description:  Arbor Vitae Press is a small, independent publisher dedicated to the production and distribution of high quality books addressing major topics and issues of our times. We are committed to showcasing the works of both new and published authors who provide fresh, insightful and thought provoking commentary on analyses of important contemporary and controversial issues that are consistent with a Judeo-Christian worldview.

And yet we are told that ID has nothing to do with religion.

Gene especially was always so adamant about his non-religiosity.  Whatever...

What's even more amusing is that Gene's book seems to be the only thing ever published by Arbor Vitae Press. A search on their ISBN (978-0-9786314) yields only this book.  Is it a vanity press with a single vain author? Maybe our resident librarian/witch can enlighten us on this...

I am not a librarian, but I am reasonably sure that Arborvitae Publishing only planned to publish one book: The Design Matrix.  The web site of this publisher is down but you can access its old pages via Wayback Machine:*/
The web site was created shortly before the intended release of the book (Fall 2006) and folded shortly after the actual release (November 2007).

Date: 2009/02/17 16:15:36, Link
Author: olegt
sledgehammer, that is another one-man publisher, based in London.

Date: 2009/02/18 22:08:20, Link
Author: olegt
Happy birfday, Bob!  Sauerkraut brine works well the morning after.

Date: 2009/02/19 10:31:41, Link
Author: olegt
StephenB has a theory why evolutionary biologists don't go around killing people:  
For all I know, evolutionary biologists are too busy committing adultery and destroying the religious faith of their students to run stop lights and shoot people.

There's hope for you, science nerds!

Date: 2009/02/21 09:31:07, Link
Author: olegt
Here is the debate page at Explore Evolution:
The "debate" consists of 5 anonymous editorials posted ca. November 2008.

Date: 2009/02/21 13:58:54, Link
Author: olegt
Forget irony meters!  StephenB flatly denies what he wrote 4 hours ago.  In the same thread!

10:14 am

—–Rob: “As JT said, Dembski’s CSI measure is inversely, not directly, proportional to the complexity of the pattern. All else being equal, a string of all 1’s has more CSI than a more complicated string. The “C” in CSI refers to the improbability of the pattern occurring (under some null hypothesis(es)), not the complexity of the pattern.”

Rob, is it clear to me that you do not even begin to grasp the concept of CSI, let alone it’s subset FSCI. I don’t think it is fair for you to continue throwing thumbtacks along the highway hoping that someone will get a flat time. Somehow, you labor under the misconception that persistent mindless criticism of a proposition constitutes a refutation. It doesn’t


2:08 pm

Rob @21 and 22, there must be some misunderstanding. I said nothing at all about your references about Dembski, nor did I comment about your grasp of CSI. With as much humility as I can muster, I can only say that I don’t know what you are talking about? I have written no posts today.

Date: 2009/02/21 15:28:02, Link
Author: olegt
Wait, it gets better!
4:11 pm

—-Rob: “Being the honorable fellow that he is, I’m sure that StephenB will tell me what I said that he disagrees with, or retract his charge of “mindless criticism”.

I agree that the charge of “mindless criticism” is grossly unfair and borderline rude. As it turns out, though, I did not make that charge nor did I write that post @18. I noticed those comments as well, but I have no idea how they appeared there or how they arranged themselves into such an insulting formulation. Please stop accusing me of that which I did not do.

My EF tells me that StephenB is a deep-cover sock puppet.

Date: 2009/02/21 18:36:17, Link
Author: olegt
Casey is such a crybaby.  He submits Rob Crowther (his superior at DI) a report entitled Pro-Evolution Blogger Abbie Smith Flipped Me Off on Friday Night, and Here’s the Story.  Rob publishes said report on Evolution News & Views.  

And what was this forgiveness spiel about?  Here's a quote from the talk:
I’m not interested in holding grudges. I’m interested in forgiving so we can all move forward in a spirit of civility! …There Is a Better Way: Free Speech, Civility, and Peaceful Co-Existence in the Academy

Peaceful co-existence, huh?  I thought your  Wedgie Manifesto called for "direct confrontation", no?

Date: 2009/02/22 21:43:21, Link
Author: olegt
Meanwhile, UD remains a good source.  Gil provides a killer argument regarding design:
Type or copy e^(i*pi)+1 = 0 into Google, and click on the first link.

This is Euler’s famous identity. e is an irrational number generated by (1/0! + 1/1! + 1/2! + 1/3!…) and is the famous Euler number that appears everywhere in mathematics. i is the square root of -1 (the imaginary number). pi is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter and is also an irrational number. This identity combines all of the most essential numbers in mathematics into a beautiful identity.

What do i, pi, e, 1 and 0 have to do with each other? i is a totally abstract concept, pi has to do with geometry, e is the basis of the natural logarithm, and e^x is its own derivative. 1 and 0 represent the basis of Boolean logic.

Those who deny that there is intelligence and design behind all of this do so at their own peril, in my opinion, and without excuse.

I [heart] Euler's formula as much as the next guy, but the last paragraph is a complete non sequitur.

Date: 2009/02/24 07:45:11, Link
Author: olegt
It could be worse!

Date: 2009/02/25 06:39:14, Link
Author: olegt
Denyse promises a revolution:  
Meanwhile a bunch of well-meaning idiots has written to the Daily Telegraph advising us that

We are concerned that, according to recent research by ComRes for the public theology think tank Theos, only 37 per cent of people in the United Kingdom believe that Darwin’s theory of evolution is (to quote the question used in this survey of more than 2,000 respondents) “so well established that it’s beyond reasonable doubt”.

Evolution, we believe, has become caught in the crossfire of a religious battle in which Darwin had little interest. Despite his own loss of Christian faith, he wrote shortly before his death: “It seems to me absurd to doubt that a man may be an ardent Theist and an evolutionist.”

Notice that these people - despite being supposedly smart - never ask themselves the obvious question, let alone answer it - so why did Darwin lose his faith then? And why are we not allowed to think that the answer to that question matters?

So we’re just supposed to be stupid unquestioning churchgoers, hollering for Jesus in a damp, smelly tabernacle somewhere? But, toffs, what if we are, um, not. What if we are smarter than you, and much more numerous - but not nearly as privileged, at present? Did you ever think of that? Did you ever think of what it means for the future?

So who are the "well-meaning idiots"?  According to the Telegraph,  
The influential signatories of the letter include two Church of England bishops, a spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain and a member of the Evangelical Alliance, as well as Professor Lord Winston, the fertility pioneer, and Professor Sir Martin Evans, winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine.

Well, Denyse, if your side consists of Christian fundamentalists, you are neither smarter, nor more numerous than the rest of us.

ETA: fixed formatting.

Date: 2009/02/26 16:22:53, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (slpage @ Feb. 26 2009,14:39)
Sounds a lot like the 'publisher' of ReMine's book..

Where the 'publisher' just happened to use the same email address that ReMine did...

Yeah, it's not hard to figure out who the publisher of ReMine's book is. Saint Paul Science lists a Minnesota address, so one can find some information about it at the MN Secretary of State web site.  The agent name is, not surprisingly, Walter J. ReMine.

MikeGene, in contrast, does not leave such obvious clues.  Arborvitae Publishing listed no physical address.  Nonetheless, those of you familiar with MikeGene's history can figure this one out.  I'll leave it as homework.  ;)

Date: 2009/03/01 12:33:37, Link
Author: olegt
gpuccio thinks that code duplication is a sign of design:
I would like to comment that the duplication of a piece of software program, to the purpose that the programmer may work on it and transform it according to his plans, is a very common step in computer programming (and in many other forms of design), and allows the designer to reuse the parts which can be kept in the new item. So, I have always considered gene duplication as a very likely signature of design.

He has probably never written programming code.  According to Wikipedia, "code duplication is generally considered a mark of poor or lazy programming style."

Date: 2009/03/02 09:42:22, Link
Author: olegt
The letter is such a whinefest:
If you're not careful, "creationists" (80% of Americans) might notice this irony: you boycott their states, but you forgot to boycott their money. If one percent of the people you've censored and boycotted wrote letters to their congressmen demanding a defunding of evolutionary research — a boycott of you — the grant money currently allocated to advancing Darwinist ideology (it's ideologues, not scientists, who censor) would be re-allocated to genuine non-ideological science.

Do you think they'd be successful? The arguments that your allies have used would be the basis for defunding you. The appellation "consensus science" could be used as a litmus test for withdrawal of funding. Why fund research on "settled" science? Why waste precious research dollars on studying a "fact" like Darwinism, when there are so many pressing problems in medicine and other sciences that remain unsolved? Research funding properly goes to controversies, not settled issues. How many scientific theories that are taught to public school students as non-controversial are the basis for substantial federal funding? How much money does the NSF devote to research on Newtonian gravitation or heliocentrism?

I would love to see Egnor and Discovery carry out those threats.  Hey Mike, TITS or GTFO.

Date: 2009/03/06 10:41:53, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (GCUGreyArea @ Mar. 06 2009,10:29)
Someone should produce a glossary of terms.

I think tard comes in small but finite quantities.  Hypothetical particles carrying tard shall be known as tardons.  

Empirical evidence of tard quantization comes from kairosfocus.  He emitted 18 tardons this morning.  He called them bleats, but I think he was being too modest.

Date: 2009/03/07 17:51:19, Link
Author: olegt
Can someone make a sandbox for Junior?

Date: 2009/03/09 07:34:42, Link
Author: olegt
[Graffiti moved to Bathroom Wall. - Lou FCD]

Ben Stein applies the Poof! theory in economics:  
Notice that recently Ben Bernanke said the recession might end this year, and the stock market rocketed up that day.

What we need, as Bill Clinton aptly pointed out recently, is more cheerleading and less fear-mongering. We elected Mr. Obama to be National Spirit Leader, not National Scary Storyteller.

If Mr. Obama and Mr. Geithner, his Treasury Secretary, and Mr. Volcker, his well-respected advisor, and some real superstars like Warren Buffett and Jack Welch all came out and said, "The recession will end within 12 months. We are sure of it," the recession WOULD end within 12 months.

Date: 2009/03/09 16:29:04, Link
Author: olegt
[Graffiti moved to Bathroom Wall. - Lou FCD]


I don't think anyone can fix the burst housing bubble by talking it up.  Toxic assets held by many banks are real, not a figment of imagination.  I would think that someone supposedly knowledgeable in economics (Stein) should understand that.

Date: 2009/03/13 17:04:42, Link
Author: olegt
Sig-worthy, from Upright Biped:  

You spit in the face of people who work to provide you the society you count on - while following the elitist idea that (S)cience is simply smarter than the guy who plows the corn you eat, as well as the one who drives the bread truck and climbs the telephone pole.

“I trust science more than common sense”

The fact is: its a twisted ideological fallacy. It was common sense that gave you relativity, plate techntonics, Newtonian mechanics, AND EVERY OTHER SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERY EVER MADE.

Bonus tard: Common Sense Science.  Denies quantum mechanics and Einstein's relativity.

Date: 2009/03/25 21:36:56, Link
Author: olegt
StevenB has no idea what he is talking about:  
Timeaus: I agree with your assessment. It appears that this Pope has already begun to detach himself from his advisors and their dubious orientation to the problem of evolution. It was he, after all, who coined the phrase “the intelligent project,” declared that Darwinism has not been proven, and fired Jerry Coyne, radical Darwinist and Vatican astronomer, all of which sent shock waves throughout the Catholic TE academy. I think he understands the importance of this issue, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he weighs in on it again in a year or two.

First, Jerry Coyne is a well-known evolutionary biologist at U. Chicago.  The Vatican Astronomer Observatory head was Fr. George Coyne.  

Second, Fr. Coyne wasn't fired.  At 73 years of age, he had been asking his superiors to find a new director and they finally did just that.

Date: 2009/03/25 22:38:26, Link
Author: olegt
We should nominate StephenB for the Casey Luskin Award.

Date: 2009/03/26 11:06:36, Link
Author: olegt
Joe comes as close as he ever will to conceding the elusive nature of CSI:  
One final note- the point of CSI is to know whether or not it is present. Its presence is a signal of intentional design. Getting an exact number, although good for parlor games, may or may not be of any use scientifically.

Shorter CSI: we just know it's designed.

Date: 2009/03/26 22:07:19, Link
Author: olegt
You can have your CSI and eat it, too.

Date: 2009/03/27 08:04:13, Link
Author: olegt
Here is my latest reply to Joe, in which I prove that the CSI of a cake is zero.  The proof is based on Joe's own length-of-recipe definition and common assumptions about information and entropy (e.g. additivity).  


Ya see oleg it is AS I HAVE STATED:

A designed object contains all the information that went into making it.

Yes or no- Do you understand that point?

Before I can agree or disagree with a statement I need to have a clear understanding of it. You have steadfastly refused to define your terms, so I will have to fill in the blanks as best I can.

On the basis of what you have said and by using what little I know about information and statistics I am forced to conclude that the information content of a cake is zero. Others in this thread and at AtBC have hinted at this outcome, but here is my simple proof.

Here are my assumptions. First, I assume along with you that the amount of CSI X in a cake is determined by the number of letters in the recipe. I further assume that CSI, like Shannon information and entropy, is an additive quantity. The third and final assumption is that CSI, like entropy, is a function of state: if two cakes are the same in size and taste, they contain equal amounts of CSI. It does not matter how they were prepared.

It follows from these assumptions that the amount of CSI in a cake X=0. To see why this is so, note that the amount of CSI in 2 cakes of the same size is X+X because CSI is additive. On the other hand, a recipe for preparing two cakes can be obtained from a recipe for one by appending the single-word sentence Repeat. It follows that the amount of CSI in the second cake X is based on the number of letters in the sentence Repeat.

While that already is a pretty minimal amount of information, we can shrink it a bit further. 4 cakes can be made by appending to the modified recipe another single-word sentence Repeat. The amount of CSI contained in the two new cakes, 2X, is again based on the number of letters in the sentence Repeat. Thus 2X = X, which means X = 0. Q.E.D.

I hope this answers your question, Joe.

ETA: edited for clarity.

Date: 2009/03/27 11:11:02, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (sparc @ Mar. 27 2009,10:53)
Quote (Bob O'H @ Mar. 27 2009,02:09)
Quote (sparc @ Mar. 27 2009,00:46)
Do these clowns really beleave that this will increase their hirsch-factor?

You know, it probably will.

Of course one should correct for self-cited articles before calculating h. But even if not it is unlikely that Dembski's ISI h-index will ever reach 10 because that would require at least 10 peer reviewed papers, ten of which have been cited at least 10 times.

Is that 10 meant to be 102, a.k.a. 210?  

According to ISI Web of Science, William A. Dembski's h-index is 1.  And yes, that would be the same in any base.

Date: 2009/03/27 15:41:20, Link
Author: olegt

it's pointless to argue with Joe at this point.  He has painted himself into a corner.  Any further responses from him will be insults.  I'm done.

Date: 2009/03/27 15:58:30, Link
Author: olegt
Joe's continuing temper tantrum:
So I will say it again-

If YOUR "proof"/ outcome had any merit then you should be able to demonstrate a cake arising without information.

Failure to produce such a demonstration is a strong indication that YOU are full of shit.

Is that clear enough?

This is completely silly.  

His position is "A, therefore B," where
A = a cake contains lots of Joe-information,
B = a cake cannot arise spontaneously.  

I show that A is false.  What does he do?  He ascribes to me the position "not A, therefore not B."  

Talk about a non sequitur!

Date: 2009/03/28 22:51:39, Link
Author: olegt
Joe is in a state of denial.  
What does this have to do with oleg? Oleg said:
First, I assume along with you that the amount of CSI X in a cake is determined by the number of letters in the recipe.

Seems like a real stupid assumption now doesn’t it. And it certainly ain’t what I assumed at all.

Joe the Information Technologist 1- oleg the information theorist 0

Yet letter count is precisely what he suggested in a previous post, repeating it three times!
A simple character count reveals 202 characters which translates into 1010 bits of information/ specified complexity..

you write down the procedure without wasting words/ characters and count those bits.

Again just count the bits in the instructions.

Poor guy.

Date: 2009/04/04 10:43:05, Link
Author: olegt
Joe has no one to talk to on his own blog, so he goes to UD to say this:
I understand perfectly well what nested hierarchy means.


Date: 2009/04/11 09:38:46, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Bob O'H @ April 11 2009,02:06)
StephenB has 10 "principles of right reason":
Something cannot come from nothing.
I thought quantum physics had done away with that one.  But I'm not a physicist, merely a dealer in 'lower truths'.
A thing cannot be and not be at the same time [related to but not identical to the above]
Sounds reasonable (I suspect Schrödinger's cat isn't a counter-example because the issue there is epistemic uncertainty, with added quantum weirdness.  But I'm not a physicist, so please correct me if I'm wrong).

Whilst we're on the subject, this was a surprise:
With regard to your assessment of my “cartoons,” I shrug that off as lack of imagination from one who has yet to learn how to dramatize a subtle point with descriptive metaphors. Most academics, of which I am one, are texbooks wired for sound. They couldn’t make themselves interesting if their life depended on it. They think intelligence is synonymous with boring. Let me assure you that it is not.

That must make him popular at faculty parties.  Does anyone know what academic enterprises he indulges in?  Engineering, perhaps?  Animation?

Something out of nothing is too vague to argue against.  The physical vacuum is not exactly "nothing."  It is more like a background in which particles move.  For all we know, it's filled with a Higgs condensate.  One can also argue that conservation of energy and various other conservation laws are a more precise expression of this principle.

I think Schroedinger's cat is a pretty good refutation of the other principle, A thing cannot be and not be at the same time.  While the cat story is a bit of hyperbole, a pretty good case can be made for the electron spin on the basis of the Stern-Gerlach experiment.  

If one measures the projection of the electron spin onto some chosen axis (we'll call it z) one always finds one of two values, +1/2 and -1/2 in Planck's units.  If a measurement is repeated, one obtains the same result as before, as long as the electron spin is undisturbed in between the measurements.  This suggests that the electron spin either has projection +1/2 or -1/2 on the z axis.  

Next we put the electron in a state with its spin measuring +1/2 along a different axis x perpendicular to z.  If we measure its spin on z, we will find +1/2 and -1/2 with equal probabilities.  Most interestingly, the experiment of Stern and Gerlach demonstrated that the electron could not have a definite value of spin along z in that state.  It was in a quantum superposition of states with its spin having a projection +1/2 and -1/2 on the z axis.  In other words, the spin's z projection simultaneously was +1/2 and was not +1/2.  Quantum mechanics is at odds with the very foundations of logic.

This quantum weirdness is the very reason why quantum computers are supposed to be much more powerful than their classical counterparts.  Because your registers can be simultaneously in different states, you can in effect run many parallel computations on one processor.  Microsoft is making an investment in quantum computing.  It opened Station Q of Microsoft Research on the University of California's campus in Santa Barbara and is also rumored to have given money to some experimental teams working on fractional quantum Hall effect, which may one day be used to build a quantum computer.

Date: 2009/04/12 07:20:18, Link
Author: olegt
Little Joe hasn't had anyone to play with lately.  No one posts on his blog and even fellow UD creationists ignore him.  He's so ronery!

ETA: He begs for someone---anyone---to show up, insulting them at the same time:

Does this- your absence- mean that you didn't have a point?

And Touch-hole-

What happened to you?


Date: 2009/04/12 07:40:33, Link
Author: olegt
John Davison explains why he does not [heart] evolution:  
Living things violate all known physical laws, yet the individual reactions that drive life all obey physical laws. That is why I cannot accept the notion that an evolving life could ever emerge spontaneously even once

Which physical laws are violated by living things, John?  I am not aware of a single one.

Date: 2009/04/12 08:38:10, Link
Author: olegt

I can see how John's lemon can be made into lemonade.  He wants to say that chemistry can be reduced to physics, but biology can't.  Well, that lemonade is still Kool-Aid.  

Reductionism is a pipe dream, whether one tries to apply it to biology or chemistry.  Phil Anderson, a Nobel laureate in condensed-matter physics, wrote a very nice essay More is different* in 1972:
The constructionist hypothesis breaks down when confronted with the twin difficulties of scale and complexity. The behavior of large and complex aggregates of elementary particles, it turns out, is not to be understood in terms of a simple extrapolation of the properties of a few particles. Instead, at each level of complexity entirely new properties appear, and the understanding of the new behaviors requires research which I think is as fundamental in its nature as any other.  That is, it seems to me that one may array the sciences roughly linearly in a hierarchy, according to the idea: the elementary entities of science X obey the laws of science Y.

X: Y
Solid-state or many-body physics: elementary particle physics
chemistry: many-body physics
molecular biology: chemistry
cell biology: molecular biology
psychology: physiology
social sciences: psychology

But this hierarchy does not imply that science X is "just applied Y."  At each stage entirely new laws, concepts and generalizations are necessary, requiring inspiration and creativity to just as great a degree as the previous one.  Psychology is not applied biology, nor is biology applied chemistry.

*Science only has the first page of the essay for free.  If you want to read it in its entirety, google its title.

Date: 2009/04/13 07:19:46, Link
Author: olegt
No, Cat, the thread is still alive: Outsider Meddling — Skeptics Need Not Apply (or, Just Have Faith).  

Here's Clive's admonition:

Clive Hayden
10:27 pm


“You are an intellectual coward…”

Do you want to be moderated Joseph? Don’t call names, don’t be disrespectful, or you will be.

And here's your morning cup o' Joe:

6:18 am


When someone make a claim, refuses to support it, and instead disrespects me, then that is an intellectual coward.

Both David Kellogg and Alan Fox have made a specific claim that they have refused to support.

Instead they have both been very disrespectful.

They have proven they are intellectual cowards.

For example Kellogg says that I am using a different definition of nested hierarchy although he has nothing to support his claim.

A clear sign of an intellectual coward is one who makes bald assertions and false accusations.

Both Alan and David fit the bill.

Perhaps you should get on them for not suppprting their claim then I wouldn’t have to respond the way I do.

It's your turn, Clive.

Date: 2009/04/13 13:35:06, Link
Author: olegt
StephenB defends his argument:  
A logician would know that the way to engage a faulty argument is to expose the fault.

My opening gambit was stated in this way:

“A changeless, timeless, impersonal cause cannot exist without its effects. If a changeless, impersonal condition for the effects is timeless, then the effects must be timeless as well.”

That is a straight if/then proposition and the concrete example which follows, makes it crystal clear.

The temperature of -O degrees C is the CAUSE of frozen water. If, therefore, the temperature [the changeless timeless cause] was present from all eternity, that is, if it was always -O degrees, then the water was ALWAYS FROZEN. Under the circumstances, it would be impossible for the water to BEGIN to freeze.

We can, therefore, conclude that the only way the water could BEGIN to freeze a finite time ago, is if a personal agent chooses to create a new effect.

That argument is both analyzable and logically compelling.

So, according to StephenB, periodic motion of the Earth around the Sun is an example of a personal agent.  Ok then.

Date: 2009/04/14 19:29:04, Link
Author: olegt
Bilbo has  a running series of imaginary dialogs between Mike Gene and Michael Behe.  They're quite, umm, entertaining.  

Imaginary conversation between Michael Behe and Mike Gene.
Behe and Gene discuss the Evolution of the Flagellum.

An excerpt:
Behe: Speaking of rabbits, why exactly are you wearing that bunny suit, Mike?

MG: Bilbo's idea. And I assume that's why you're in a white lab coat?

Behe: Ditto. Well, the sooner we get this over with, the sooner Bilbo will let me go back to Lehigh and you to your…uh…hole in the ground. Where should we start?

MG: Why don't we start with what we both agree on regarding evolution and ID? We both accept the notion of common descent, natural selection, and that at least some events in biological history are random.

Behe: Yes, and we both believe that the origin of life was a designed event.

MG: Well, perhaps it would be more accurate to say that I suspect the OOL was a designed event. And I incorporate that into my working hypothesis of front-loaded evolution.

Behe: Yes, we might begin to part company rather early. Perhaps by looking at the chart (opposite the Title page and on p.218) I include in my book, The Edge of Evolution, we can get an idea of where our views come close and where they diverge. I think evidence of ID begins with the Laws of Nature and works its way down through the origin of life, and at least to the origin of Classes in the Taxonomic categories.


Date: 2009/04/18 12:38:28, Link
Author: olegt
TARD is strong with this one.  StephenB attempts a refutation:  
Possible Objections:

—” The universe is uncaused”

That is thinkable only if we abandon the principle of causality, in which case our discourse would mean nothing. Anyway, in spite of your splendid role as Devil’s advocate, (and outstanding source for feedback) I am sure that you don’t mean that objection seriously.

I am sure someone has already pointed out to him that statements of causality require the antecedent to precede the consequent in time (Causality @ Wikipedia) and that as far as we know, space and time "began" with the Big Bang.  So it makes no sense of speaking about a cause that precedes the Universe.  Causality indeed fails.

Here is an essay by Paul Davies What Happened Before the Big Bang? on the subject.

Date: 2009/04/18 13:40:15, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Hermagoras @ April 18 2009,13:34)
Thanks for that.  I had already mentioned Augustine about a hundred posts earlier, but this essay gives me a chance to bring him back.

You're welcome, Hermagoras.  I'm curious to see what transpires.  My bet is StevenB will claim that the uncaused first cause needs no stinkin' time.  I may be wrong.

Date: 2009/04/18 16:23:04, Link
Author: olegt

Nakashima is awesum.

Date: 2009/04/29 21:45:53, Link
Author: olegt
StephenB tries to argue with Allen MacNeill that methodological naturalism is a recent invention by Darwinists.  
From Ron Numbers, who is your main source and the one who pushes MN back as far as he can get away with, said this to Paul Nelson [Ron numbers, methodological naturalism, and the rules of baseball]

“If you’re going to have a game, he continued, you’ve got to have some rules. For a long time now — really from the middle of the 19th century — one of the rules in science has been that the hypothesis of supernatural design is excluded from scientific discourse as a candidate explanation. Just as in baseball, where the first and third base lines define the field of play, in science one of the defining rules has been that the hypothesis of design, although quite possible, falls wholly outside the lines of admissible discourse.”

So, this is the most radical view from any historian and it comes from the one most likely to push it back to the earliest date that he thinks he can get away with. Even by his biased, anti-ID standard, he confesses that Methodological naturalism does not predate the mid-nineteenth century. Even at that, it is clear that such a “rule” was not enforced, so you have no case. All these attempts to attribute MN to ancient Greece, the middle ages, or even at the time of Francis Bacon, are obviously made up for the purpose of providing historical cover for an arbitrary rule that really has no history at all. Even with your guy pushing it all the way back as far as he can, you have no case. As I pointed out much earlier, it all began with Darwinian ideology and started festering from that point. About 1980, it finally occurred to someone to use it as a tool for oppression and then rewrite history to cover it up. Give it up. Googling will not help you because you have no place else to go.

That Ron Numbers quote does not come from Numbers directly, but by way of one Paul Nelson:  Ron Numbers, Methodological Naturalism, and the Rules of Baseball.  Paul of course fails to mention that these rules were invented by Christian natural philosophers.  Here is an actual Ron Numbers quote on the subject:
... scientific naturalism of the methodological kind could---and did---coexist with orthodox Christianity.  Despite the occasional efforts of unbelievers to use scientific naturalism to construct a world without God, it has retained strong Christian support down to the present.  And well it might, for, as we have seen, scientific naturalism was largely made in Christendom by pious Christians.  Although it possessed the potential to corrode religious beliefs---and sometimes did so---it flourished among Christian scientists who believed that God customarily achieved his ends through natural means.

R. L. Numbers, Science without God: Natural Laws and Christian Beliefs, in When Science & Christianity Meet, p. 284.

Stephen, the F you received from Allen is well deserved.  Next time read the original, not Cliff Notes.

Date: 2009/04/30 10:01:08, Link
Author: olegt
StevenB brings out the time-tested weapon of blog wars: ALL CAPS.
I know what science is as well as anyone since I have experience with it. What my examples proved, and I have a hundred more if you need them, is that the scientists of antiquity did not employ methdological naturalism, which Intrudes anti-design ideology APRIORI. According to MN, the scientist MAY NOT DRAW ANY CONCLUSION ABOUT DESIGN. This is news to you?

No, methodological naturalism goes beyond that. ID grounds its conclusions in its observations and SOLELY IN ITS OBSERVATIONS. Methodological naturalism goes one step further and insists that it MAY NOT DRAW CERTAIN CONCLUSIONS BASED ON THOSE OBSERVATIONS. Stop misrepresenting your own arbitrary law.

Time to switch to decaf, Stephen.

Date: 2009/05/01 06:04:57, Link
Author: olegt
Clive Hayden's idea of a convincing argument:  
I’m going to continue quoting Chesterton until this fact sinks-in.

Clive, I hear Vogon poetry works even better.

Date: 2009/05/01 13:56:13, Link
Author: olegt
42 is a great number!  Congrats, Lou!

Date: 2009/05/02 10:14:02, Link
Author: olegt
I found this amusing:
Given the paradox of Maxwell’s Demon,63 which indicates the ability of an information source to decrease entropy over time, the Law of Conservation of Information might actually prove more basic than the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The title of Leo Szilard’s celebrated 1929 paper on Maxwell’s Demon is worth recalling here: “On the Decrease of Entropy in a Thermodynamic System by the Intervention of Intelligent Beings.”64 The information source that for Szilard reverses entropy is intelligent. Likewise, the LCI Regress, as noted in the last bullet point, suggests that intelligence is ultimately the source of the information that accounts for successful search.

For one thing, it's an instance of quote mining.  In the article Szillard stresses that a Maxwell demon need not be an intelligent being:  
As long as we allow intelligent beings to perform the intervention, a direct test is not possible.  But we can try to describe simple nonliving devices that effect such couplings and see if indeed entropy is generated and in what quantity.  Having already recognized that the only important factor is a certain characteristic type of coupling, a "measurement", we need not construct any complicated models which imitate the intervention of living beings in detail.  We can be satisfied with the construction of this particular type of coupling which is accompanied by memory.  (p. 130)

As we have seen in this example, a simple inanimate device can achieve the same essential result as would be achieved by intelligent beings.  We have the examined the "biological phenomena" of a nonliving device and have seen that it generates exactly the quantity of entropy which is required by thermodynamics.  (p. 132)

And if Billy and Gloppy insist on an intelligent demon, they should take into account the entropy he produces.  A human body dumps about 100 watts of heat into the colder atmosphere, which is an irreversible process.  A back-of-the-envelope calculation shows that the amount of entropy generated every second is of order 1021 bits.  The demon will have to work pretty hard to offset that entropy increase.  To do so, he must perform calculations at a rate exceeding 1016 terabytes per second.  For comparison, the world's internet traffic is about 160 terabytes per second.  So unless their intelligent agent is a spirit without a body, his entropy will overwhelm his information input by multiple orders of magnitude.

And LCI supplanting the second law of thermodynamics?  That's delusions of grandeur.

Date: 2009/05/02 20:12:49, Link
Author: olegt
Barry's new post is entitled Quote of the Day:  
Nothing strikes me as more tiresomely vapid than the notion that there is some sort of inherent opposition – or impermeable partition – between faith and reason, or that the modern period is marked by its unique devotion to the latter. One can believe that faith is mere credulous assent to unfounded premises, while reason consists in a pure obedience to empirical fact, only if one is largely ignorant of both. . . .

Barry, if you want to rant against atheism all day, go ahead.  I'm just not sure why you want to do that on a site that attempts to distance ID from the Religious Right.

And for the record, despite being an atheist, I think that faith is rational.  So stop kicking the dead horse.

Date: 2009/05/05 19:35:31, Link
Author: olegt
Vincent Torley, a philosopher with a Ph.D. from Melburne, writes:  
All I have to do is argue that there is a strong prima facie case for believing that the physical constants in question can vary over a much wider range than the narrow range of values which is compatible with the existence of intelligent life in the cosmos. And most physicists would agree with me. The most spectacular case in point is the cosmological constant, of which the Nobel-winning physicist (and atheist) Steven Weinberg has written of this constant:
…[F]rom first principles one would guess that this constant is very large….

In fact, astronomical observations show that the cosmological constant is very small, very much smaller than would have been guessed from first principles (In The New York Review of Books. Review: “A Designer Universe?” October 21, 1999.)

Well, Vincent, you can make anyone agree with you by quoting them out of context.  Here is the actual passage from Weinberg's review (subscription):  
In fact, astronomical observations show that the cosmological constant is quite small, very much smaller than would have been guessed from first principles.

It is still too early to tell whether there is some fundamental principle that can explain why the cosmological constant must be this small. But even if there is no such principle, recent developments in cosmology offer the possibility of an explanation of why the measured values of the cosmological constant and other physical constants are favorable for the appearance of intelligent life. According to the "chaotic inflation" theories of André Linde and others, the expanding cloud of billions of galaxies that we call the big bang may be just one fragment of a much larger universe in which big bangs go off all the time, each one with different values for the fundamental constants.

So no, Weinberg does not agree with you, Vincent, and I am not sure about most physicists, either.  And anyway, God of the gaps is a pretty feeble fellow.

Date: 2009/05/06 16:39:06, Link
Author: olegt
Fresh T.A.R.D. from StephenB:
Similary, a large numbers cosmologists and astrophysicists were so scandalized by the evidence for a “big bang,” and so concerned that it suggested creator, they concocted the multiverse hypothesis to escape from the implications of their own evidence. That is not science; that is desparation.

Stephen, you are conflating two entirely different epochs in astrophysics.  There was a certain resistance impedance to the reception of the big bang in the 1930s.  By the 1950s the idea was part of mainstream astrophysics.  In 1964 it was positively confirmed by the observation of the cosmic microwave background.  The big bang has been accepted by virtually all astrophysicists since then.  

The multiverse in cosmology is a recent invention.

Date: 2009/05/07 17:25:33, Link
Author: olegt
StephenB continues to enlighten us about the National Academy of Sciences:  
The National Academy of Science is a politically correct monolith that promotes an anti-God agenda. Just as 95.8% of evolutionary biologists are atheist/agnostic, 93% of those on the NAS roster are also atheist/agnostic. So, when you tell me that its members do not respond to the overwhelming evidence for a finely tuned universe, all you are telling me is that their anti-God bias rules it out apriori. Few things could be more irrational the positing “infinite multiple universes” as a response to the argument for a “privileged planet.”

In keeping with that point, there can be no doubt at all that the NAS is agenda driven. If you don’t believe in radical Darwinism or global warming, you are out, and I mean out. To be a member of NAS is to have confirmed your political correctness, your designated place as a member of the hive, and your official status as a dutiful little worker bee. No one in the hive will acknowledge the evidence for the “privileged planet” until the queen bee gives them permission. That is very unlikely to happen. A finely tuned universe implies a creator. Atheists need to get over that. They really do.

Hey Stephen, how come Philip Skell, a signatory of Dissent from Darwin, is still a member of the NAS, and so is Richard Lindzen, a vocal skeptic of global warming?  Facts don't seem to bother you.

Date: 2009/05/08 08:50:15, Link
Author: olegt
It's gone again.

Date: 2009/05/08 09:15:43, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Tracy P. Hamilton @ May 08 2009,09:00)
Suggest that StephenB google National Academy of Design Science.

There already exists a National Association of Scholars with the address  The real NAS has to use

Date: 2009/05/08 19:42:40, Link
Author: olegt

Isn't giving an exam at 8 pm on Friday against the law?

Date: 2009/05/08 19:59:59, Link
Author: olegt
StephenB reveals his proof of a personal Creator.  Enjoy.
An impersonal law cannot be responsible for the universe or the laws that regulate it. It must be a personal creator.

1: Premise: For all impersonal, unchanging causes that have always existed, none can begin in time.

2. Therefore: All effects that have always existed could not have begun to exist

3. Therefore: All impersonal, unchanging causes that have always existed could not have begun in time.

4: Therefore, no effect can begin to exist if its impersonal, unchanging cause always was.

5: Therefore: No impersonal, unchanging cause can begin to exist if its effect always was.

6: Therefore, no impersonal, unchanging cause can exist without its effect.

7: Therefore, no effect can exist without its impersonal, unchanging cause.

8: Therefore, the impersonal, unchanging law cannot cause the universe to begin to exist.

9: The universe began to exist.

10: Therefore, a personal agent caused the universe to begin to exist.

Date: 2009/05/12 19:44:47, Link
Author: olegt
It doesn't seem to occur to StephenB that formal logic and mathematics were not handed down to us by Teh Designer but are human constructions reflecting our worldly experience.  As our experience grows, existing knowledge gets corrected from time to time.  

His favorite logical principle, a thing cannot be and not be at the same time, works well for macroscopic things, but it fails in quantum mechanics.  Schroedinger's cat is hyperbole, but one can place an atom in an excited state inside a mirror cavity and it will evolve into a state that is a superposition of "atom + vacuum" and "atom + photon".  In this state the photon simultaneously exists and does not exist.  

Can a photon be considered a thing?  I don't see why not.  Like any other particle, it can carry energy and momentum.

Date: 2009/05/13 18:03:11, Link
Author: olegt
Come on, guys!  On the ID scale, Mullings is an accomplished physicist.  Just like Dembski is the Isaac Newton of information theory.

Date: 2009/05/13 18:23:53, Link
Author: olegt
Jerry is a seasoned mathematician.  He  almost got a Master's degree in math.

Date: 2009/05/13 19:28:33, Link
Author: olegt
He's back!  Gil Dodg'em is BACK!!!11!!
This pretty much says it all and reveals what’s going on: The sure indicator of a “scientific” paradigm in its death throes is that its adherents declare those who present evidential, mathematical, and logical challenges are stupid, uninformed, uneducated, and motivated by nefarious intent.

I am not stupid, uninformed, uneducated, or motivated by nefarious intent. I just looked at the evidence, thought logically, and concluded that Darwinism is the biggest joke in the history of science.

But it’s not very funny, when one considers its influence on our culture.

All science so far!

Date: 2009/05/13 19:46:22, Link
Author: olegt
It's a shame Barry shut down the thread when it was finally getting somewhere.  Maybe we should open a thread here and invite them to continue the discussion.  Torley posed this question:
The human mind is infinitely inventive. I don’t see how any discovery could possibly establish beyond all rational doubt that a thing can simultaneously exist and not exist. Another interpretation of the data is always possible. Now, if someone were to suggest that there might be some subatomic particles that can neither be straightforwardly said to exist nor to not exist, I just might be prepared to countenance that. (For all I know, Schroedinger’s wave function might fall into that category, although I’d certainly attribute existence to its square, the probability function.) But that’s an attack on LEM (Law of Excluded Middle), not LNC.

I could discuss with him the Stern-Gerlach experiment with electron spins.  It demonstrates beyond reasonable doubt that classical binary logic fails: a quantum bit can simultaneously be 1 and not 1, i.e. 0.

Incidentally, that's precisely the reason why a quantum computer is expected to be exponentially faster than a classical one.  Its quantum bits can be set simultaneously to 0s and 1s, so it performs a massively parallel computation.

A photon simultaneously existing and not is just a variant of the same type of quantum superposition.

Date: 2009/05/14 08:06:03, Link
Author: olegt
Victory shall be mine!
It’s fun to see the somewhat desperate gusto with which Darwinists resist extinction. ID already won the battle in the public square, hands down, since it’s perfectly self-evident. But maybe a FEW MORE INFLAMMATORY POSTS on UD by [fill in the blank] can save the day!

Survival of the fittest, anyone?

Sorry about that coffee on the monitor.

Date: 2009/05/20 15:48:58, Link
Author: olegt
A tard gem from Mapou:  
It is not true that scientists know what atoms are made of. They may have identified some constituent particles (electrons, protons, quarks, etc.) by their interactions but they would be hard pressed to tell you what they are made of.

Where've you been, Mapou?  Its the 21st century and everyone knows that atoms are made of green cheese.

Date: 2009/05/24 08:58:34, Link
Author: olegt
Gordon Mullings dons his physicist hat in an attempt to justify the lack of empirical research by creationists:  
(And, in my home discipline, theorists hold a much higher prestige than empirical researchers. Einstein for instance made his name off “parasiting” off the empirical findings of others, providing novel explanations of well known but otherwise puzzling results. largely for his work on Brownian motion and on the photo-effect, he won a Nobel prize, without having done any of the practical experimental work. Indeed, his favourite type of experiment seems to have been the thought experiment — the experiment done in the head.)

Let's go by the Nobel prizes in physics.  In the last 30 years, 8 prizes were given to theorists, 19 to experimentalists, and 3 were shared.  I suppose that makes it clear that physics is first and foremost an experimental science.  

ETA: To see what happens when a theory tries to strike it on its own, look to the example of string theory.  Although it was popular for a while, these days string theorists are having trouble finding steady jobs.

Date: 2009/05/24 18:16:46, Link
Author: olegt
jerry is shaking his fists at Diffaxial:
The scenario which you call a fantasy was made up to illustrate a point that most of the changes that are touted as evolution are trivial and essentially devolution. And this is consistent with what ID would predict and as such represents an empirical test of Behe’s ideas. I have not seen anything in any book/article/discussion/treatise on evolution dispute that. And you have not disputed that or provided any counter examples nor has anyone who has ever appeared here. Which is why the scenario though obviously fictitious represents the main problem with evolutionary biology. If you want to call it a fantasy, indulge yourself. It is ok with me.

Delicious, simply delicious!  I [heart] you, jerry.  ID is a Gedankenteorie.

Date: 2009/05/31 01:22:01, Link
Author: olegt
Frosty sums it up:  
Meyer is brilliant. I very much look forward to buying his book.

Brilliant indeed.

Date: 2009/06/02 10:07:41, Link
Author: olegt
tgpeeler thinks he is being clever:    
So my point is this. If everything is to be explained in terms of physics, and this means “natural selection” in biology, then why don’t physicists know about “natural selection”? Go ahead and ask a physicist if “natural selection” is a physical force. I have. He will say “no” and maybe laugh at you for thinking such a thing. But if “natural selection” isn’t a force in nature, as described by physics, which is all we have to describe anything, remember, then what is it, EXACTLY, and what is the source of its immense causal powers?

He seems to think that biology is applied chemistry and chemistry is applied physics:    
Premise: Only the laws of physics have causal power in nature. (Fundamental naturalist claim)
Premise: But “natural selection” is not part of physics. (Just ask a physicist. He will only recognize four forces: gravity, electromagnetism, nuclear strong and weak.)
Conclusion: Therefore, natural selection has no causal power in nature. (So what is it, again, really?)

Tom, if you are genuinely curious what physicists think about this, google Phil Anderson's essay More is Different.  Or if googling is not one of your strengths, here it is.

Reductionism of the kind you describe simply does not work.  Yes, we speak of four forces through which subatomic particles interact.  But those four forces neither are the most fundamental blocks, nor do they explain everything in nature.  They are just that: the four types of interactions useful in particle physics.  Move to shorter or longer length scales and the picture will change.

On a more microscopic level (shorter length scales and higher energies), the electromagnetic and weak forces turn out to be the flip sides of the same electroweak force.  We are down to three forces and there are encouraging signs that strong and elctroweak interactions can be unified at even higher energies.

On the more macroscopic level (atoms and molecules), weak and strong forces are totally negligible and electromagnetic interactions fully dominate the picture.  We're down to one force, right?  

Not quite.  On the scale of everyday objects, there are "new" forces that have no resemblance to the four you mentioned.  How about the elastic force?  You can't just click your heels and say oh, that's simply electromagnetic interactions!  Theory of elasticity is completely separate from particle physics: it does not care about the microscopic origins of interatomic forces and deals with a new set of phenomena that emerge only in large collections of particles forming periodic crystals.  

To sum it up: don't ask particle physicists about biology.  It's none of their business.

Date: 2009/06/02 21:42:08, Link
Author: olegt
Atom gets worked up about ISCID:

Atom: Furthermore, I remember seeing many discussions on ISCID in its heyday about a “4th Law of Thermodynamics” (with relation to information) where many similar ideas were discussed and if I remember correctly, the phrase Conservation of Information was also used in association with those concepts.

serendipity: The ISCID forums aren’t exactly the first place I’d go if I were trying to gauge the scientific zeitgeist.

Atom: Aside from your unnecessary jab at ISCID, you’ve made your point... But if you’d like to have conversations with me in the future you’ll stay clear from the “I’m-so-clever” little references to ISCID’s popularity and Moonies. I have limited time and prefer not to spend it on people who would think to insult me behind a keyboard.

A word of advice, Atom.  If you are so sensitive about ISCID's lack of scientific standing, don't bring it up in the first place.  Ditto the 4th law of thermodynamics.

Date: 2009/06/03 07:43:20, Link
Author: olegt
As Gordon Mullings keeps yapping about quantum mechanics, one of you sock puppets might want to point out to him the ultimate quantum coin: an electron spin in the Stern-Gerlach experiment.  

You prepare the spin in a state with a known projection of +1/2 along, say, the z axis and then measure its value along the x axis.  You get +1/2 and -1/2 with equal probabilities.  As far as we know, there are no hidden variables controlling the outcome.  It's pure chance.  Yet it's totally different from flipping a classical coin, where the outcome is too difficult to compute and a small uncertainty in the initial state makes the outcome essentially indeterminate. Not so with a spin: there is no uncertainty in its initially prepared state, we know the state exactly, the entropy of that state is zero.  And yet the outcome of the measurement is uncertain.  

Let him find the causal chain in this one.  It should be fun.

Date: 2009/06/03 08:10:43, Link
Author: olegt
Of course you can't stop Gordon.  I just want him to spin in a new direction, pun intended.

Date: 2009/06/03 09:08:19, Link
Author: olegt
Denyse does her best to promote Benjamin Wiker's new book:  
A friend writes to draw attention to Ben Wiker’s new “very balanced” biography of Darwin, which argues that he “deliberately set out to create a ‘godless’ science and that the theory preceded his collection of evidence.”

Don’t be put off by the title, “The Life and Lies of Charles Darwin.”

Yeah, right.  I am sure that should have been very fair and balanced.

Date: 2009/06/04 23:31:05, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (sparc @ June 04 2009,23:12)
adjunct professor at Biola Cornelius Hunter

Is he really teaching there? I couldn't find any C. Hunter on the Bioloa pages. Not even in the 2003-2005 Biola catalog in which adjunct faculty is named.

He goes by the name George Hunter at Biola.  

Take a look at this web page: Biola Science and Religion Faculty.  The list also includes Discovery Fellows DrDrD, Paul Nelson, William Lane Craig, and J. M. Reynolds, who is listed as a research fellow at the Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture.

Date: 2009/06/05 19:52:35, Link
Author: olegt
Denyse, who passes herself as a journalist, apparently lacks investigative skills.  Like, totally.  
While I was waiting in his office recently, I chanced to see, framed on his wall, a modern version of the Oath of Hippocrates. I have sought a number of times since then the exact wording of the modern version on the Internet, but have not found it.

Denyse, let me share with you a top secret, apparently known only to Darwinists:
Google -> Wikipedia -> Modern Version of the Hippocratic Oath.  

Those who are able to read past the first link may skip the intermediate step.

Date: 2009/06/07 22:17:37, Link
Author: olegt
Michael Flannery, in a post about Wiker's book, does not forget to hawk his own, Alfred Russel Wallace's Theory of Intelligent Evolution.  

Being curious about Flannery's publisher, Erasmus Press, I looked it up on the web.  Guess what?  It's another creationist vanity press!  The publisher is Dr. Dr. Dembski, with Flannery in charge of publicity and marketing.  So far EP has published two books, one by the Marketing guy, the other by the Publisher hisself.

Yeah, let's go straight to the masses!  Oxford and Cambridge university presses are so overrated!

Date: 2009/06/12 13:45:41, Link
Author: olegt
Post at Scientific Blogging: Theropod Dinosaurs Evolved Into Birds? Not Likely, Says Study.  

Date: 2009/06/14 08:19:36, Link
Author: olegt
Dr Dr D further clarifies his position:    
Postscript [added 06.14.09, 7:40AM CST]: It’s interesting to see Campbell disparage the biblical cosmology for being several millennia old and thus out of touch with current cosmologies — myths that impact our lives being myths that are compatible with contemporary cosmologies, according to Campbell. But when I studied ancient near eastern cosmologies at Princeton Theological Seminary, I found an interesting thing: they divided into cosmologies in which creation occurs through a spoken word by a supreme deity (the biblical cosmology was not unique in this regard) and cosmologies in which natural forces evolve and do all the creating, producing better and more powerful deities as time flows along (e.g., the Babylonian creation, in which Marduk is born several generations down and finally becomes the chief god). Given that this is an information age and that the Bible teaches that God created the world through a spoken word, would it not follow that the biblical cosmology is actually back in the saddle and ready again to engage culture? It would seem then that the provenance and length of time that a cosmology has been with us need not sap it of its cultural relevance or impact.

allanius gets the message:    
Exactly! That’s why so many of us are delighted wtih the ID movement. Not only is it personally encouraging, and not only does it lay the groundwork for the restoration of culture after the abomination known as “modernism,” but it is also helpful to seekers of an intellectual bent.


Date: 2009/06/14 13:22:14, Link
Author: olegt
herb explains what an “evolutionary astronomer” is:  
In addition to what Joseph already said, I would add the assumption of a 4.6 billion year old solar system.

BTW, I’m aware the Hydroplate Theory is relatively young and will likely have to be tweaked as new evidence comes in, but so far it at least passes the beverage through the nose test, unlike the mainstream theories.

He's right.  Uncle Walty's theory has ruined quite a few keyboards.

Date: 2009/06/14 20:32:52, Link
Author: olegt
This is funny:

Khan: Can you give me a quantitative way to calculate the effects of intelligence? you can use an example, say, a flagellum if you’d like.

StephenB: Of couse. I can show you how ID calculates the probability that a given phenomenon was a product of an intelligent agency, and I will be happy to do that with a very simple example. I will not, however, indulge you until you show me some evidence that you understand DK’s misrepresentation of ID’s main argument, which you are apparently trying to provide cover for. Do you understand his error and are you willing to acknowledge it?

Khan: WHy would I acknowledge someone else’s error? that is just bizarre, esp. since I wasn’t trying to cover for him.. he can do just fine by himself. now, can you please show me how to calculate the effects of intelligence?

It's simple, Khan.  Dr Bussell desperately needs someone to agree with him, so he throws a tantrum.  

Date: 2009/06/17 12:49:58, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Richardthughes @ June 15 2009,08:58)
He's still going. He sure can calculate CSI, he just wont do it.

That's a piece of cake, as we know.

Date: 2009/06/19 21:21:57, Link
Author: olegt
BA77 delivers pure, unadulterated joy:

David Kellogg: BA77, genetic entropy and conservation of information are “foundational principles of science”?

bornagain77: Yes.

In addition to the formal proof of the Law of Conservation of Information by Dembski and Marks, which falsifies the theoretical foundation of unguided evolution, “pure transcendent information” is now shown to “eternally exist” by the controlled violation of the first law of thermodynamics* in quantum teleportation experiments. (i.e. it is shown that all transcendent information that can possibly exist, for all physical events, past, present, and future, already does exist.)

*a.k.a. conservation of energy.  Needless to say, it has nothing to do with information.

Date: 2009/06/20 06:54:01, Link
Author: olegt
If you ever had a slightest doubt that UD is anti-science, this comment from Clive and the subsequent reaction from StephenB should dispel it.  Clive quotes Chesterton at length and Stephen heartily agrees.  

I get it. Well put. The problem with methodological naturalism is that,

“It discredits supernatural stories that have some foundation, simply by telling natural stories that have no foundation…It might be stated this way. There are certain sequences or developments (cases of one thing following another), which are, in the true sense of the word, reasonable. They are, in the true sense of the word, necessary. Such are mathematical and merely logical sequences…I observed that learned men in spectacles were talking of the actual things that happened–dawn and death and so on–as if THEY were rational and inevitable. They talked as if the fact that trees bear fruit were just as NECESSARY as the fact that two and one trees make three. But it is not…These men in spectacles spoke much of a man named Newton, who was hit by an apple, and who discovered a law. But they could not be got to see the distinction between a true law, a law of reason, and the mere fact of apples falling. If the apple hit Newton’s nose, Newton’s nose hit the apple. That is a true necessity: because we cannot conceive the one occurring without the other. But we can quite well conceive the apple not falling on his nose; we can fancy it flying ardently through the air to hit some other nose, of which it had a more definite dislike. We have always in our fairy tales kept this sharp distinction between the science of mental relations, in which there really are laws, and the science of physical facts, in which there are no laws, but only weird repetitions. We believe in bodily miracles, but not in mental impossibilities…The man of science says, “Cut the stalk, and the apple will fall”; but he says it calmly, as if the one idea really led up to the other…But the scientific men do muddle their heads, until they imagine a necessary mental connection between an apple leaving the tree and an apple reaching the ground. They do really talk as if they had found not only a set of marvellous facts, but a truth connecting those facts. They do talk as if the connection of two strange things physically connected them philosophically. They feel that because one incomprehensible thing constantly follows another incomprehensible thing the two together somehow make up a comprehensible thing. Two black riddles make a white answer… A law implies that we know the nature of the generalisation and enactment; not merely that we have noticed some of the effects. If there is a law that pick-pockets shall go to prison, it implies that there is an imaginable mental connection between the idea of prison and the idea of picking pockets. And we know what the idea is. We can say why we take liberty from a man who takes liberties. But we cannot say why an egg can turn into a chicken any more than we can say why a bear could turn into a fairy prince. As IDEAS, the egg and the chicken are further off from each other than the bear and the prince; for no egg in itself suggests a chicken, whereas some princes do suggest bears. Granted, then, that certain transformations do happen, it is essential that we should regard them in the philosophic manner of fairy tales, not in the unphilosophic manner of science and the “Laws of Nature.”

It is not a “law,” for we do not understand its general formula. It is not a necessity, for though we can count on it happening practically, we have no right to say that it must always happen. It is no argument for unalterable law (as Huxley fancied) that we count on the ordinary course of things. We do not count on it; we bet on it. We risk the remote possibility of a miracle as we do that of a poisoned pancake or a world-destroying comet. We leave it out of account, not because it is a miracle, and therefore an impossibility, but because it is a miracle, and therefore an exception. All the terms used in the science books, “law,” “necessity,” “order,” “tendency,” and so on, are really unintellectual, because they assume an inner synthesis, which we do not possess.”
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

Yes, Clive, scientific knowledge is provisional but it gets infinitely closer to the Truth (as you define it) than the pathetic scholastics you cling to.  Newton's laws of motion remain as true today as they were in Newton's time.  If you along with Chesterton don't get it, it's your loss, really.

Date: 2009/06/20 07:24:23, Link
Author: olegt
Last night was a real tardfest at UD.  

First, herb came up with a sensible idea:

Anton Maria Schyrleus wrote a work on “theo-astronomy” and dedicated it to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Excellent pointB—I missed how RDK had omitted the “theo” (as he is required to do under methodological naturalism, appropriately enough!). I would humbly suggest (for those who are comfortable with it) that we informally adopt the term “theo-biology” to describe ID, as it allows the consideration of God’s influence on nature.

Clive's reaction sums it all up:
I’d rather have that than atheo-biology.

Not to be outdone, herb called Behe an eminent scientist:
For example, Michael Behe and Gerald Joyce* are two eminent scientists. Behe works within the broader framework which acknowledges the possibility of a God, while Joyce (it seems to me) unnecessarily and perhaps to his own disadvantage restricts himself to a materialistic stance. And guess what? Behe is well-known as a scientist and a leader in the ID movement, while I doubt one person in a hundred has ever heard of Joyce, who spends his time fiddling with RNA enzymes trying to get them to reproduce.

*Gerald Joyce is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a recipient of Pfizer Award in Enzyme Chemistry, Herbert W. Dickerman Award, Hans Sigrist Prize, and the Urey Medal.  

Which one of you is herb?

Date: 2009/06/21 21:05:02, Link
Author: olegt
Stephen Bussell asketh:    
Show me where any rule was ever applied to science. Show me where anyone ever demanded that reference to the supernatural in any way was unscientific. Show me that any scientist ever dared to call another scientist a psuedo scientist for looking for causes beyond the physical universe. Provide evidence for your claims.

Glad you asked, Stephen.  Go ahead and read Ron Number's book When Science & Christianity Meet.  It provides plenty of such quotes in Chapter 12, Science without God: Natural Laws and Christian Beliefs.  

A teaser:    
We are to press known secondary causes as far as they will go in explanation of facts.  We are not to resort to an unknown (i.e. supernatural) cause for explanation of phenomena till the power of known causes has been exhausted.  If we cease to observe this rule there is an end to all science and all sound sense.  

Those are words of George Frederick Wright, a geologist and an ordained Congregational minister.  They were written more than a century before 1983.  

There is much, much more in Numbers's book.

Date: 2009/06/22 06:24:48, Link
Author: olegt
StephenB moveth the goal posts:  
—-David offering quotes for methodological naturalism:

“We are to press known secondary causes as far as they will go in explanation of facts. We are not to resort to an unknown (i.e. supernatural) cause for explanation of phenomena till the power of known causes has been exhausted. If we cease to observe this rule there is an end to all science and all sound sense. — George Frederick Wright, Geologist and minister, 1882 (h/t olegt)”

By George, I think they are beginning to get it. Recall my earlier remark to David where I wrote, Methodological naturalism did not exist in the 13th century, or the 14th century, or the 15th century, or the 16th century, or the 17th century, or the 18th century…

Did you notice what I left out? Why did I not write about the 19th century? Was methodological naturalism practiced at that time? No, but the noose was beginning to tighten, and scientists were beginning to get the idea that maybe they could narrow the field and define science in such as way that they could protect their paradigm. Of course, Wright was all over the map and changed his mind finally denouncing Darwin.

Stephen, we have you on record saying  
308.  I have provided plenty of evidence that methodological naturalism has no history prior to 1983.

354.  [C] As I have made abundantly clear, no such rule ever existed before 1983. It is on that subject that Darwinists display their highest degree of intellectual honesty by trying to rewrite history.

421. Never before in history [prior to 1983] had one group of scientists presumed to tell another group of scientists what kinds of methodlogies they could use in the name of science.

But if you insist, Numbers also quoted Buffon, an 18th-century natural historian:
The force of impulsion, or what is commonly called the centrifugal force, is still unknown; but it affects not the general theory.  It is evident, that, as the attractive force continually draws all the planets towards the sun, they would fall in a perpendicular line into that luminary, if they were not kept at a distance by some other power, forcing them to move in a straight line.  If, again, this impulsive force were not counteracted by that of attraction, all the planets would fly off in the tangents of their respective orbits.  This progressive or impulsive force was unquestionably at first communicated to the planets by the Supreme Being.  But, in physical subjects, we ought, as much as possible, to avoid having recourse to supernatural causes; and, I imagine, a probable reason may be assigned for the impulsive force of the planets, which will be agreeable to the laws of mechanics, and not more surprising than many revolutions that must have happened in the universe.

That was written in 1749.  Time to move your goal posts again, Stephen.

Date: 2009/06/22 14:03:42, Link
Author: olegt
StephenB: ID didn't come from no monkey!  
Further, Numbers writes, “After the Edwards ruling, they set about removing references to God and Creationism from their tracts.”

That is a flat out lie. ID did not mutate to avoid a court decision. ID was designed in its present form—an empirically based argument that would not use the word “supernatural” before the Edwards case was decided. That means they were honestly editing.

Oh come on, Stephen!  There is a fossil record.

Date: 2009/06/23 13:31:53, Link
Author: olegt
Sig-worthy denial of the obvious from StephenB:
—David Kelllogg: “The less you believe in God, the less plausible ID is, and vice versa. That’s what Behe wrote, and Jones’s summary of that view is quite reasonable.”

I think you had better stay with the “more plausible” paradigm and avoid the “less plausible” paradigm. Again, the point should be obvious. To say that believing in God makes ID “more plausible” is not even close to saying that the plausibility of ID DEPENDS on a belief in God. Not even close. To say that atheism makes Darwinism more plausible does not at all mean that the plausibility of Darwinism DEPENDS on atheism.

Emphasis mine.

Date: 2009/06/23 16:09:53, Link
Author: olegt
StephenB has gone off the deep end:
The words are there for anyone who cares to analyze the contrast. Indeed, you were trying to rationalize the difference earlier and now you say that I made them up. The issue is clear: Michael Behe used the words “more plausible” [an abbreviation (I know how you like to reframe time-saving abbreviations as errors so I label them to take that area of sophistry away from you)] and Judge Jones disgracefully rewrote them as [abbreviation] “depends on.” Judge Jones lied.

Unbeknownst to StephenB, Behe has written a response to the Kitzmiller decision.  Here is a relevant excerpt:
(20) As Plaintiffs aptly submit to the Court, throughout the entire trial only one piece of evidence generated by Defendants addressed the strength of the ID inference: the argument is less plausible to those for whom God’s existence is in question, and is much less plausible for those who deny God’s existence. (P-718 at 705).

As I pointed out in my direct testimony to the Court, the Big Bang theory also was deemed less plausible by some scientists who disliked its supposed extra-scientific implications. I showed the Court an editorial in the prestigious journal Nature that carried the title “Down with the Big Bang”, and called the Big Bang a “philosophically unacceptable” theory which gave succor to “Creationists”. Because real people — including scientists — do not base all of their judgments on strictly scientific reasoning, various scientific theories can be more or less appealing to people based on their supposed extra-scientific implications. It is unfair to suggest ID is unique in that regard.

No complaints about the judge twisting his words.

Date: 2009/06/25 11:27:07, Link
Author: olegt
StephenB on irreducible complexity:    
In that same general area, he goes into great detail explaining “irreducible complexity” and makes it clear that he draws his inferences from the patterns. He makes it doubly clear that it has nothing to religion.

What is “religious” about drawing inferences about patterns in nature?

Stephen, IDers did not invent irreducible complexity, they borrowed it (and everything else) from creationists.  Here is the late Henry Morris of the Institute for Creation Research in Design Revelation:
These well-meaning folks did not really invent the idea of intelligent design, of course. Dembski often refers, for example, to the bacterial flagellum as a strong evidence for design (and indeed it is); but one of our ICR scientists (the late Dr. Dick Bliss) was using this example in his talks on creation a generation ago. And what about our monographs on the monarch butterfly, the bombardier beetle, and many other testimonies to divine design? Creationists have been documenting design for many years, going back to Paley's watchmaker and beyond.

Dembski uses the term "specified complexity" as the main criterion for recognizing design. This has essentially the same meaning as "organized complexity," which is more meaningful and which I have often used myself. He refers to the Borel number (1 in 1050) as what he calls a "universal probability bound," below which chance is precluded. He himself calculates the total conceivable number of specified events throughout cosmic history to be 10150 with one chance out of that number as being the limit of chance. In a book written a quarter of a century ago, I had estimated this number to be 10110, and had also referred to the Borel number for comparison. His treatment did add the term "universal probability bound" to the rhetoric.

See, Stephen, creationists had already tried this tack in the past, claiming that scientific creationism is science, not religion.  It didn't work in courts, either.  IDers have no new tricks of their own, it's all warmed-up creationist stuff.  They just won't (and probably can't) untangle from it.

Date: 2009/06/25 15:04:54, Link
Author: olegt
Gordon Mullings sees a revolution coming.  Bold and italics are his:  
Try to understand what is going to happen when people as a whole wake up one morning and realise that they can no longer trust courts, august institutions of science, professors from major universities etc to present a basic true and fair, balanced view of important matters, or of people connected to such matters. Indeed, that for many such individuals and the institutions they dominate, there is no more to truth or fairness or morality than subjective opinion and balances of power.

And, when the ordinary Joe Smith in the street understands that significant injustice is now being institutionalised though such distortions.

Then, reads the history of such days, and tremble.

Please, please PLEASE try to correct the mess before it is too late; forever — and most likely horrendously bloodily — too late.


I'm quaking in my boots already.

Date: 2009/06/27 09:10:18, Link
Author: olegt
jerry asks:    
By the way has David Kellogg or others admitted to kairosfocus that it was shown that Dawkins used a latching mechanism in the book, the Blind Watchmaker, for the Weasel program. If one is going to complain about grudgingly admitting something then maybe people should apologize for that episode. Another occasion of several hundred comments over meaningless dribble brought on by our anti ID friends here.

I am sure Gordon appreciates this.

Date: 2009/07/01 19:41:21, Link
Author: olegt
Clive: Math?  We don't need no stinkin' math!  
I’m just being consistent with the measurement. Anything that describes things on the bodily level is bound to separate into races if one wants to see it that way, even on a genetic level as Lewontin shows, which is why I prefer a qualitative measurement, like the soul endowed by their Creator, (which cannot be a quantitative measurement), to dispel the notion of race. Quantitative measurements won’t do it.

Words fail me.

Date: 2009/07/30 15:39:52, Link
Author: olegt
If anyone is in need of a signature, here is a pearl from Bradford:
All theories are analogous in nature.

Date: 2009/08/12 19:57:08, Link
Author: olegt
StephenB's valiant effort to respond to Barrett Brown ends in failure:    
Unfortunately, I have had no success in registering with the Huffington Post to hold Barrett Brown accountable for his views, and he obviously does not have the courage to defend his remarks here. So, he gets a pass.

It took me about 60 seconds to find the Huff Post registration page and create an account.  Either Stephen is totally internet-disabled or he chickened out.  Since he is working on a graduate degree in communication studies, the latter appears more likely.

Date: 2009/08/13 07:40:43, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (dvunkannon @ Aug. 13 2009,07:10)
CB isn't DDrr.. D. As a thelogian of some renown, there is no way Fresh Willy would lower hisself to quoting the likes of Lewis and Chesterton, even for camouflage.

Yet he did, in his latest book The End of Christianity.   In the Introduction, on page 34, we read:
Creation is inherently covenantal. Thus, in creating this world, God, far from expanding himself, contracted himself by limiting his possibilities. G. K. Chesterton put it this way:
Every act of will [and that includes divine creation] is an act of self-limitation. To desire action is to desire limitation. In that sense every act is an act of self-sacrifice. When you choose anything, you reject everything else... Every act is an irrevocable selection and exclusion. Just as when you marry one woman you give up all the others, so when you take one course of action you give up all the other courses.18

18G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, in Collected Works of G. K. Chesterton, vol. 1 (San Francisco: Ignatius, 1986), 243.

Or how about this thread opened by Dembski at UD?  “Doubts about Darwinism,” by G. K. Chesterton

Date: 2009/08/13 11:06:49, Link
Author: olegt
Speaking of Lewis and Chesterton, Dembski has just rolled out a buy-my-book campaign for The End of Christianity.  The post lists a bazillion endorsements, one of which calls him the C. S. Lewis of this generation.  Quite fitting: Bill's theodicy is a sheer fantasy based on a violation of causality, as this endorsement explains (emphasis mine):
William Dembski’s latest book, The End of Christianity: Finding a Good God in an Evil World, shows how the traditional Christian doctrine that sin entered the world through humans is not refuted by the evidence that natural evils (earthquakes, storms, disease, death, etc.) are chronologically much older than humans within the universe. Because time within the created universe need not follow the same order as the logical process of God’s creation of the universe, human sin could have caused earlier evil. There are many aspects of the problem of evil left mysterious by this book (and indeed by all other attempts to solve the problem), but I strongly recommend The End of Christianity as a refreshing approach that maintains the traditional theistic doctrines of God’s omniscience and omnipotence.

–Don Page, Professor of Physics, University of Alberta, Canada

Date: 2009/08/13 11:28:01, Link
Author: olegt
I've no idea, 'Ras.  It wouldn't surprise me if Clive turned out to be his sock.  (Nothing surprises me after Gloppy's memorable performances.)

Date: 2009/08/13 11:40:28, Link
Author: olegt
Carlson, that's a POTW!

Date: 2009/08/19 10:27:25, Link
Author: olegt
I loves DrDr's postscript:  
P.S. Our critics will immediately say that this really isn’t a pro-ID article but that it’s about something else (I’ve seen this line now for over a decade once work on ID started encroaching into peer-review territory). Before you believe this, have a look at the article. In it we critique, for instance, Richard Dawkins METHINKS*IT*IS*LIKE*A*WEASEL (p. 1055). Question: When Dawkins introduced this example, was he arguing pro-Darwinism? Yes he was. In critiquing his example and arguing that information is not created by unguided evolutionary processes, we are indeed making an argument that supports ID.

Bill, critiquing a competing theory is not the same as providing support for yours.  How about generating positive evidence, Mr. Isaac Newton of information theory?

Date: 2009/08/19 11:09:51, Link
Author: olegt
I don't think it's worth raising an issue with the editors.  There's a better way.

IEEE Trans. Syst. Man Cybern. A. publishes comments and author's replies.  See this paper, for example.  Someone knowledgeable might want to fisk DrDrD and Gloppy in print.

Date: 2009/08/19 11:57:32, Link
Author: olegt
Oh well, that thread has lasted a couple of hours!    

William Dembski
11:46 am

NS: Get a textbook on general relativity, and you will typically find a math textbook devoted mainly to Riemannian geometry. So by your reasoning, it actually isn’t about the structure of spacetime.

I’m growing weary of these quibbling and thus shutting the comments off.

And Bill, no, a general relativity textbook would not be "devoted mainly to Riemannian geometry."  There would be physical content on top of the math.  Like, you know, clock synchronization, perihelion precession, models of the Universe etc.  Science isn't math.

Date: 2009/08/19 13:03:37, Link
Author: olegt
In other news, Frost122585 increasingly looks like a deep-cover sock:
Allow me to explain what i mean by the above. ID wants a base of personally motivated and sincerely interested fallows [sic!] and advocates. ID does not want a social “fad” situation. People like BIll and other are already making a good living selling books and etc- but what I think real ID advocated really want is for the theory of ID to get in the driver seat of science and make a real difference in how science is done and what is produced by it- at least to a similar level that Darwin’s theory did.

Date: 2009/08/20 06:27:12, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Ptaylor @ Aug. 20 2009,01:41)
I notice the number of comments on the Dembski Pro-ID Article post has slipped from 10 to 9. Anyone know which comment was the offender?

(FWIW current comments are from: Indium, David v Squatney, Sal Gal x 2, Dembski, Learned Hand, Dembski, ppb, Dembski)

Here is the obliterated comment:

11:39 am

Not to burst your bubbles, but this isn’t actually a pro-ID article. It’s more about math than anything else.


O, and the quibbling has gone plural.

Date: 2009/08/21 11:25:04, Link
Author: olegt
It's gratifying to see that, after all these years, the UD regulars are finally starting to realize that Weasel was meant to illustrate just one aspect of evolution: cumulative selection.  After typing millions of lines on the subject, Gordon E. Mullings got around to actually reading Dawkins' original text!  

I suppose we can call it progress.  What's next?  Asking DrDr why he made Weasel the centerpiece of his article?  I think not.

Date: 2009/08/22 08:54:56, Link
Author: olegt
O, I don't think it's Dembski.  This is classic Marks.  Gloppy is strong in him.

Date: 2009/08/23 10:33:58, Link
Author: olegt
11 preprints since 2004 is a fairly thin publication record, particularly for a theorist (experimentalists usually need extra time to build a lab from scratch).  However, given that Janna had 2 children in the meantime, her tenure clock was likely stopped for 2 years so she has effectively been at Barnard for 3 years only.  If that is indeed the case and her publication rate picks up then she has a shot at tenure.  Otherwise, no amount of face time on Colbert Report will save her.

ETA.  I should caution that the number of publications is not a very reliable indicator.  What matters is the impact a person has on his or her field of work.  Ken Wilson had very few publications when he came up for tenure at Cornell in the late 1960s.  Fortunately, the Cornell faculty saw that Wilson's work on scaling and renormalization group was top-notch and he was tenured.  In 1982 Wilson received the Nobel Prize for that work.

Date: 2009/08/23 11:12:02, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (KCdgw @ Aug. 23 2009,10:59)
ETA.  I should caution that the number of publications is not a very reliable indicator.  What matters is the impact a person has on his or her field of work.

And also how much grant money she brings in, I would imagine.

Of course.  

In that respect she is doing much better than Gonzalez did (even by Casey Luskin's measure).  She got $400,000 from the NSF alone:

AST-0908365, $365,800.
PHY-0758022, $40,000.

Date: 2009/08/23 14:32:03, Link
Author: olegt
StephenB is a deep thinker.  
You are equivocating again with that weasel worded “no one has suggested” routine. That always a dead giveaway for Darwinists when they are reluctant to answer a simple question. Yes or no. Can an automobile be a part of a crankshaft? If not, why not?

I'm sure you are also reluctant to answer a simple question.  Yes or no.  Did you stop beating your wife?  If not, why not?

Date: 2009/08/26 09:28:53, Link
Author: olegt
Denyse started a new thread wherein she demanded to see Dawkins's original Weasel code.  This brings back the memories of the Schlafly-Lenski exchange.


ETA: looks like I'm late to the tardwatchers' party!

Date: 2009/08/26 09:54:02, Link
Author: olegt
The peasants are revolting!
Scientists, when they write computer programs and make scientific claims based on their performance, are supposed to make the code available. Thomas Schneider has done this with EV. Christof Adami has done this with AVIDA. It is simply unconscionable that over 20 years after the program has been out and used to argue for Darwinism, Dawkins still has not made this code publicly available.

I’m not sure I’m being too hard on Dawkins. Granted, The Blind Watchmaker and his WEASEL program came out in the 80s before easy dissemination of the program code on the Internet would have been available. But the program has been much discussed on the Internet in the last decade. So where is the code?

Date: 2009/08/27 17:50:05, Link
Author: olegt
This is funny:
William Dembski
5:29 pm

yakky d:

Are you a high school student perchance? Let me tell you how the real world works. McWhorther gets a call from his boss at the Manhattan Institute: “Say, John, several of our biggest donors are threatening to withdraw funding because of your recent stunt at Bloggingheads. Knock it off and get that video pulled.” Of course, I’m not saying that this is what happened. But something like this could easily have happened. I’ve witnessed this sort of stuff first-hand.

Right, a conservative think tank, with sponsors like the John M. Olin Foundation, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, and Exxon-Mobil, is out to get you, Bill.  


Date: 2009/08/27 18:12:21, Link
Author: olegt
Heh.  DrDr is so miffed he picks up a fight:  

William Dembski
6:07 pm

yakky d

Excuse me, you raised the ridiculous scenario about Dawkins directly approaching McWhorter. I sketched a much more realistic scenario. No, I’m not accusing the Manhattan Institute of anything. I am, however, sketching a much more realistic scenario. More realistic still would be Columbia University putting pressure on him.

But please, answer my question: are you a high school student?

Is it Friday already?

Date: 2009/08/27 18:31:16, Link
Author: olegt
The fight isn't going well:  

yakky d
6:23 pm

No, I am not a high school student.

But who at Columbia do you have in mind? Fellow faculty members? His dean? The president?


Date: 2009/08/28 10:24:33, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Zachriel @ Aug. 28 2009,10:19)
David Coppedge: The Cambrian explosion, which Darwin admitted was the greatest challenge to his theory, has not been solved in the 150 years since The Origin.  In fact, it has gotten much worse.  This film does more than demolish a defunct idea.  It offers the only alternative that does explain the sudden appearance of all the animal phyla: intelligent design.

hdx: lampreys, fish, amphibians, reptile, birds and humans all have the same ‘form’ by this definition.

After all, humans are 'just' elaborated Deuterostomes. A tube with appendages to stuff food into one end.


David Coppedge is the YEC who runs Creation Safaris.  A nice lineup of posters they have at UD!

Date: 2009/08/30 22:39:09, Link
Author: olegt
I'm with you, Zachriel.

Date: 2009/08/31 07:45:31, Link
Author: olegt
nullasalus is an interesting case.  He is well read, but he is also among the least gracious among the TT denizens.  Seems unable to ever concede a point, however minor.  

The navel-gazing thread, meanwhile, is attracting crackpots.  Ulrich Mohrhoff makes an appearance.

Date: 2009/09/01 05:35:18, Link
Author: olegt
Hi Alan,

To be well read does not directly translate into an ability to generate new ideas.  Nullasalus is not ignorant, he is arrogant.

Date: 2009/09/01 09:54:54, Link
Author: olegt
JOHN_A_DESIGNER seemed like a sensible guy so far, but this unsubtle dig about the lack of objective basis for morals and ethics shows that he, too, is fubar.  No, John, I don't think that there is an objective basis for those, but I think it makes sense to have them anyway.  We can haz rights nao?  

Anyway, with the school year upon us, I have little time for TT.  Now that JoeG has joined the fun, there are plenty of deep thinkers in that thread.  And if they have specific questions, they should feel free to visit teh swamp.  Joy did and look how it turned out!

Date: 2009/09/01 11:30:13, Link
Author: olegt
Scoff now while you still can. 20 years from now we will see who was on the wrong side of history. I suspect you will get to know first hand how dedicated Marxists felt the day after the Soviet Union fell and America won the cold war.

Let's see... The Wedge Strategy said ID would win 20 years from 1999.  Today is 2009 and the victory is still 20 years ahead.  Did we discover a new fundamental[ist] constant?

Date: 2009/09/02 10:40:43, Link
Author: olegt
Happy birthdays all around!

Date: 2009/09/02 14:45:41, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Sep. 02 2009,09:57)
Pigs flew:

On the other hand, my critics are right in another important way: The sentence is misleading as the words, “under the circumstances,” by which I meant to convey “if, as it turns out,” easily translates into “according to the conditions just mentioned,” which would make it appear that I am arguing that events can occur solely through natural causes. I mistakenly assumed that my readers understood that all physical events automatically require sufficient causes, so I should have bridged that gap by using a different transitional phrase. I have not been attentive enough to that point...

That means, of course, that I owe Rob and Diffaxial apologies for my half of the misunderstanding and the attendant allusions to dishonesty.

It's half notpology ("I mistakenly assumed that my readers understood...") but that is more than I would expected from Stephen, EVAR.

Wow!  It only took 225 comments to get to the bottom of this!  Good job, StepnenB!

Date: 2009/09/05 21:39:19, Link
Author: olegt
How interesting! The simple equation F = MA leads to the concept of four-dimensional space.

Wow, that's sig-worthy!  I [heart] Gil.

Date: 2009/09/05 21:51:12, Link
Author: olegt

9:40 pm

This Blue Lotus clown is a troll. I recognize him. Trolls should be required to identify themselves.

It is a simple design inference. I once suggested that computer simulations that purport to simulate biological evolution should not artificially isolate the means of reproduction from the effects of random errors, and every time this troll logs on with another name he talks about stuff like throwing computers out of airplanes to simulate airdrop guidance software, which he knows is one of my areas of software engineering expertise.

His MO is easily recognizable, and he reappears under different names.

He is a cowardly scumbag.

Date: 2009/09/12 08:02:29, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Raevmo @ Sep. 10 2009,12:12)
Sal is still talking to my sock, even though it was silently banned days ago.

Maybe someone (Alan?) can go there and invite Sal to continue the discussion here. Is there a Walter Remine/Haldane's Dilemma thread?

Sal sends regrets:  
I saw the hyperlink pointing to ATBC. I have a policy of not going there anymore. Haven't visited since 2008 or so. It's a real cesspoll and waste of time IIRC.

What happened to Jarrod? On what grounds is he not here?

Date: 2009/09/15 15:20:05, Link
Author: olegt
Clive is a one-trick pony.  
Dar-win is a misnomer, Dar-lose is more accurate.

Date: 2009/09/22 13:07:11, Link
Author: olegt
I lovez this new chewing toy:
So there would be no reason to reject physics merely because of your one quotation there---(but that doesn't mean that you have to blindly swallow HRW's quotation as infallible without doing your own science homework and critical examination of the issue.)

Floyd, I have more physics textbooks in my office than you can count to.  

My copy of Serway's Physics for Scientists and Engineers (3rd Edition) lists the age of the Universe as 15-20 billion years.  That was the knowledge back in 1992.  We now have it with a much better accuracy.

How about Relativity by Rindler?  It discusses the age of the Universe and mentions some experiments from which it was determined: 13.5 to 13.9 billion years according to the data from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe.

Incidentally, the WMAP team has improved the precision even further: the latest figure is 13.73 plus or minus 0.12 billion years.  

Kind regards!

Date: 2009/09/22 17:30:42, Link
Author: olegt
Teh global flood?  Haven't seen that one in a while.  Boy, this is fun!

Floyd, do you have any idea how much water is needed so that all of the mountain ranges on Earth would be covered?  

Even with the assumption of extreme rain (precipitation rate of 100 mm an hour) deluging the Earth 24/7 for forty days, the waters will only rise by 96 meters.  That's just 2 per cent of Mt. Ararat's height.  It makes no sense to use rain for that purpose.  

So where did the flood water come from?  Where did it go?  Did it leave any traces?

Date: 2009/09/23 21:00:59, Link
Author: olegt
Floyd on the main thread:  
Anyway, I'm looking for ANY evolutionist---be they as religious as the Pope or as atheist as Dawkins---to step up to the plate and specifically reconcile or resolve these specific Big Five Incompatibilities between evolution and Christianity.

Isn't that the responsibility of theologians?

Date: 2009/09/24 15:25:58, Link
Author: olegt
Heh, it seems like the TT admins are afraid of teh Swamp: if you link to AtBC your comment is treated as spam.  Petty and insecure.

P.S.  Raevmo, mine disappeared after I added a link to your comment here in which you say hello to Sal.  Coincidence?

Date: 2009/09/24 18:35:01, Link
Author: olegt
From the Judge Jones thread:

Clive Hayden
4:21 pm


I know that Dr. Dembski’s position is that the Intelligent Designer can be entirely natural.

Clive is demonstrably wrong.  Here is Dembski in his own words:
The fine-tuning of the universe, about which cosmologists make such a to-do, is both complex and specified and readily yields design. So too, Michael Behe's irreducibly complex biochemical systems readily yield design. The complexity-specification criterion demonstrates that design pervades cosmology and biology. Moreover, it is a transcendent design, not reducible to the physical world. Indeed, no intelligent agent who is strictly physical could have presided over the origin of the universe or the origin of life.

Date: 2009/09/24 19:55:06, Link
Author: olegt
Denyse to Dembski, who has posted a link to a blasphemy contest sponsored by an atheist organization:

12:46 pm

Bill, why are you always scooping me on wingnut news? I still haven’t completely forgiven you for scooping me on the Big Bazooms theory of human evolution.

I know Denyse is a hopeless case, but maybe someone should point out to her that she is using the wrong term.  It should be a moonbat, not a wingnut.  William Safire, the author of the Times column On Language, looked into these terms and had this to say:
The prevailing put-down of right-wing bloggers is wingnuts; this has recently been countered by the vilification of left-wing partisans who use the Web as moonbats, the origin of which I currently seek.

I can't imagine that the Center for Inquiry is a right-wing operation.  

And don't get me started on the Big Bazooms!

Date: 2009/09/25 06:56:09, Link
Author: olegt
From StephenB's gem of a tard unearthed by Bill:
Many great minds agree with me, including some of the most influential philsophers who ever lived. I will let someone else do the talking. He is William Lane Craig, one of the most talented [and thorough] philosophers that I know.

It's just unbelievable that someone would call Craig one of the most influential philosophers of all times.  A great philosopher Craig is not.  He is better known as “the finest Christian apologist of the last half century.”  

Craig's philosophical contributions include such great achievements as reviving the cosmological argument.  He clings to the Lorentz ether theory, which includes thoroughly obsolete notions of absolute space and absolute simultaneity of time.  (General relativity makes absolutely no sense from this perspective.)

Lastly, Craig is a Research Professor of Philosophy (!) at Talbot School of Theology (!), Biola University (!!).  Needless to say, he is a Discovery Fellow.  

The guy is a living fossil.  What he does would be considered cutting-edge stuff a mere 400 years ago.  A great tard in the original sense of the word.

ETA: snark

Date: 2009/09/30 10:03:45, Link
Author: olegt
I can't believe this was written by a guy with a Ph.D. in philosophy (emphasis in the original):
In the end, there will be a reckoning for us all: Judgement Day. In the meantime, evil agents do get away with a lot of bad things. As to why God lets them do so, I don’t think it’s because He is powerless or indifferent to suffering. Two alternative possibilities which I think deserve to be explored in further depth are the following:

(1) The first human beings, when they rejected God at the beginning of human history, made God promise not to avert life-threatening dangers and safety hazards to human beings in the ways He used to before the Fall – “We don’t need your help, thank you! Leave us alone!” God cannot lie (Hebrews 6:18), so He cannot break a promise. Fortunately for us, Adam’s intelligence was no match for God’s. By Adam I mean the original leader of the human race, who possessed the authority to make decisions binding on the whole of humanity, including posterity. Although Adam thought he had turned the world into a “God-free zone,” he was not clever enough to anticipate God’s plan to redeem the human race – a plan whose execution required the performance of several hundred miracles – and he had no inkling of the Incarnation. Since the “terms and conditions” of God’s promise of non-intervention to Adam did not include miracles that were part of God’s redemptive plan, but was limited to life-saving (and injury-preventing) interventions of the sort that God would have made before the Fall, God’s hands were not totally tied. Although we live in a world where God often seems absent, we should remember that the really important work of God has been accomplished. Calvary saw to that; the rest is a mopping-up job. The final resolution of human history will be at a time that God decides.

There is a second part, but my capacity to digest TARD is limited.

Date: 2009/10/01 13:05:34, Link
Author: olegt
Clive Hayden proposes that the laws of nature have changed since duh flud.  When astonished Nakashima asks for any evidence of that, Clive responds:  
It’s in Genesis. If you think Nature, in her present form, explains herself, you’re mistaken. She doesn’t now and she didn’t before the Fall. All we have are repetitions of nature, where is the evidence that we should believe this to have always been the case? Repetition? That’s not a real reason, not a reason perceived reasonably, for the repetitions in nature are not connected philosophically like the laws of logic are, they only repeat. Why they repeat, or why they must be as they are, we have no evidence for, and since we have no evidence for why whether or not they are necessities or not, we cannot reasonably say that they couldn’t have been otherwise. The narrative is the real story, the real explanation, the physical repetitions are, and can only be, descriptions. But descriptions are not explanations. And what point does a literalist worldview bring me to? If you claim that nature is immutable, you are begging the question, for that is your philosophical point of view, which is not empirically evidential.

If this guy is someone's sock, congrats to the owner on infiltrating the inner sanctum of the ID movement and moderating the TARD.  If, on the other hand, he is real... O well, I can't imagine that Clive is for real.  It just boggles the mind.

Date: 2009/10/04 08:06:09, Link
Author: olegt
Quote (Beelzebub667 @ Oct. 04 2009,03:53)
Quote (Richardthughes @ Oct. 03 2009,21:43)
I spy olegt over there...

I'd never seen the crackpot index, but it does nail VD pretty perfectly.  Notice his elegant sidestep at being pwnded -- it's not his theory, just one he subscribes to.  Very lame, but when you're Vox Day, lame is sufficient.

Crackpots have universal features, so Baez catalogued them.  Teddy is no exception.

Date: 2009/10/04 08:26:11, Link
Author: olegt
Dembski replies to Khan about ID grant applications to the NSF:
Khan: ID relevant research by ID supporters has certainly been supported by the NSF — indeed, my own early work on randomness was supported with an NSF postdoctoral grant. But research proposals that specifically name ID and indicate that the research is intended to support that hypothesis would, I strongly suspect, not get funded. But I’m happy to be proven wrong. Anyone? Anyone?

That's pretty lame even by your standards, Bill.  The NSF grant that supported your postdoctoral work had been written by one of your postdoctoral advisers, none of whom is known to be an ID "scientist".  

P.S. It would be interesting to write up essentially the same ID research proposal in two ways, one making the ID connection explicit, the other cloaking it, perhaps even by suggesting that the research actually supports Darwinism, and then seeing which variant, if any, gets accepted. If enough of such proposals are submitted and if only the “cloaked” variants get accepted, that would be strong (experimental?) evidence that ID is being systematically discriminated against.

That experiment has been performed, at least in part.  I recall reading Gloppy's NSF grant proposal on the EIL server.  If I remember correctly, the proposal did not explicitly mention ID and yet it still was rejected (reviews and a rejection letter from the program officer were there as well) because the ideas were lame.

Date: 2009/10/04 11:36:02, Link
Author: olegt
BarryA, classy guy, quote mines Seversky in a newly open thread:

But Seversky’s defense of porn and his attempt to smear millions both pale in comparison to this gob-smacking passage: “I cannot speak for Richard Dawkins but I know I would prefer to give to those that do not include proselytization [sic] as part of their program.”

There you have it. Our opponents count among their number a man who would rather see a young woman live in sexual slavery if that’s what it takes to insulate her from the influence of Christians who would try to help her.

Here is Seversky's unabridged quote:
As for charitable donations, I cannot speak for Richard Dawkins but I know I would prefer to give to those that do not include proselytization as part of their program.

It is clear that he was not saying that he would prefer to pay the pimp, but rather that he would give to a charity that does not proselytize.  

Barry, you might want to post a correction and apologize.

Date: 2009/10/04 20:53:03, Link
Author: olegt
Alas, economics was declared off-topic on that thread, presumably to enable people to discuss Satan, the Magi, and other relevant subjects.  I decided to play nice and am staying away from the echo chamber.  It gets boring after a while.  

But I thought that TARD watchers would be amused by the Ted's reaction to a quick comment "calculation? can we see the math?"

You're kidding, right? You come here to mock, and that's fine. It comes with the territory. But I have no interest in handing over successful models to people whose intention isn't merely to criticize, but denigrate. If you genuinely find my critics to be more perspicacious, then you would be better served by asking for their superior tools.

That's again straight from the Crackpot Index: 20 points for talking about how great your theory is, but never actually explaining it.

Date: 2009/10/05 18:37:13, Link
Author: olegt
Here is Joe Gallien on his blog Intelligent Reasoning:
Ya see Rich with arhaeology and forensics FIRST they determine agency involvement- ie design- and THEN they set out to see if they can dupicate it and therefore figure out a mechansim."

And here is ID guy at Telic Thoughts:
Ya see it is exactly as I have already stated- first we determione murder or not and THEN we invewstigate to figure out the who.

I can haz a design inference?

Date: 2009/10/12 14:30:57, Link
Author: olegt
Even Telic Thoughts has gone bonkers lately.  Bilbo, the token lefty (and a 9/11 truther), started a recent thread with these opening comments:  
Alternative to Dembski's Theodicy?

I've been skimming through William Dembski's The End of Christianity. I was pleased to find out that he also attributes the design of natural evil to Satan. As he correctly points out, C. S. Lewis suggested this idea in Mere Christianity and The Problem of Pain. And I'm also pleased to see that he, too, thinks that predation and animal pain is evil, along with Lewis.

He also started a thread on Satanic design.   :O

Date: 2009/10/12 19:50:10, Link
Author: olegt
Denyse did not read The Selfish Gene but she know why it's wrong:
I wouldn’t be bothered reading about the selfish gene because it has never been identified. It is an artifact of a science popularizer’s imagination. Same for the “meme.”

If you told me that there was a gene that predicts likelihood of developing ovarian cancer, do you imagine I would not be interested?

This is so funny.  You just can't make it up.  Bwahahaha!

ETA: Signature worthy.

Date: 2009/10/13 08:31:26, Link
Author: olegt
Vox's comment posted at 4:44 am is a TARD gem:    
It boils down to one thing: scientists tend to be very bad at logic. So, they are not a credible authority on anything that relies upon logic rather than science.

Date: 2009/10/15 16:44:48, Link
Author: olegt
niwrad needs to crack a textbook on thermodynamics.  Pronto.  
Not true. Thermodynamics does speak a lot about “an intelligent source of organization”. What is “Maxwell’s demon” (a fundamental concept in thermodynamics) but “an intelligent source of organization”? Bill Dembski wrote: “It is CSI that enables Maxwell’s demon to outsmart a thermodynamic system tending toward thermal equilibrium” (”Intelligent Design”, 6.1). So also from this viewpoint thermodynamics perfectly agrees with ID theory. When thermodynamics says that Maxwell’s demon is the only way to systematically decrease entropy in a system it states exactly the same thing of ID theory when says that intelligence is the only source of CSI.

Let me count the errors.  

1.  Maxwell's demon is not a fundamental concept of thermodynamics.*  Like Dawkins's weasel, it's just a toy model used to make a point.  I taught gradual statistical physics last spring and I did not even mention the demon.  

2.  Leó Szilárd showed that any decrease of entropy the demon produces in the system will be more than offset by an increase in demon's own entropy.  So the total amount of entropy increases.  

3.  Intelligent beings that we observe (i.e. humans) produce so much entropy through perspiration alone that it will dwarf any amount of information (measured in the same units) that they can physically produce.  One kcal of heat  at room temperature is equivalent to 1.5 trillion trillion (that's 1.5 x 1024) bits of entropy.  

*It was introduced in statistical physics, actually, but that's a minor point.

Date: 2009/10/17 08:10:19, Link
Author: olegt
niwrad summarizes the discussion on the 2nd law of thermodynamics:

It seem to me an important questions is: Maxvell’s demon does violate or does not violate SLoT? Just here not all commenters agree. In my opinion Maxvell’s demon can be considered in two main senses: (1) a machine, an artificial system (one-way filter); (2) a thermodynamic metaphor of intelligence.

(1) Maxvell’s demon as a machine. But there are many kinds of machines, and then we have again to distinguish.

(A) Maxvell’s demon as a mechanical-thermo machine. In this case I agree with Monastyrski #71 when says “the decrease in entropy caused by the intelligent demon is more than compensated for by an increase in the demon’s own entropy”. SLoT is not violated.

(B) Maxvell’s demon as a computer. If the Maxvell’s demon is a computer for which the Landauer’s principle is involved, according to givemeabreak #75, there is no increase of entropy because computation per se does not consume energy. SLoT is violated.

(2) Maxvell’s demon as intelligence. But what is intelligence in the first place? This is one of the above fundamental and difficult questions. Without knowing what intelligence is how can we to speak about Maxvell’s demon, which is one of its symbols? Intelligence can be considered in two main senses: (A) physical intelligence; (B) pure intelligence or metaphysical intelligence.

(A) If intelligence is a physical agent then energy is involved. SLoT is not violated.

(B) If intelligence is a metaphysical entity then no energy is involved. SLoT is violated.

This is a sensible summary of his options.  He is still wrong on 1B, and trivially so.  Landauer's principle is a consequence of the 2nd law of thermodynamics.  If something works in accordance with Landauer's principle, it isn't going to violate the 2nd law.  The total entropy of the system gas + demon will be the same or increase.  

Here is Charles H. Bennett, a computation theorist from IBM, explaining what Landauer's principle is about (emphasis mine):
In his classic 1961 paper [2], Rolf Landauer attempted to apply thermodynamic reasoning to digital computers. Paralleling the fruitful distinction in statistical physics between macroscopic and microscopic degrees of freedom, he noted that some of a computer’s degrees of freedom are used to encode the logical state of the computation, and these ”information bearing” degrees of freedom (IBDF) are by design sufficiently robust that, within limits, the computer’s logical (i.e. digital) state evolves deterministically as a function of its initial value, regardless of small fluctuations or variations in the environment or in the computer’s other non-information bearing degrees of freedom (NIBDF). While a computer as a whole (including its power supply and other parts of its environment), may be viewed as a closed system obeying reversible laws of motion (Hamiltonian or, more properly for a quantum system, unitary dynamics), Landauer noted that the logical state often evolves irreversibly, with two or more distinct logical states having a single logical successor. Therefore, because Hamiltonian/unitary dynamics conserves (fine-grained) entropy, the entropy decrease of the IBDF during a logically irreversible operation must be compensated by an equal or greater entropy increase in the NIBDF and environment. This is Landauer’s principle.


Bennett adds:
Earman and Norton have pointed out with some justice that Landauer’s principle appears both unnecessary and insufficient as an exorcism Maxwell’s demon, because if the Demon is a thermodynamic system already governed by the Second Law, no further supposition about information and entropy is needed to save the Second Law. On the other hand, if the Demon is not assumed to obey the Second Law, no supposition about the entropy cost of information processing can save the Second Law from the Demon.

I would nevertheless argue that Landauer’s principle serves an important pedagogic purpose of helping students avoid a misconception that many people have fallen into during the 20’th century, including giants like von Neumann, Gabor, and Brillouin and even, perhaps, Szilard. This is the informal belief that there is an intrinsic cost of order kT for every elementary act of information processing, e.g. the acquisition of information by measurement, or the copying of information from one storage medium into another, or the execution of a logic operation by a computer, regardless of the act’s logical reversibility or irreversibility. In particular, the great success of the quantum theory of radiation in the early 20’th century led Gabor and Brillouin to seek an exorcism of the Demon based on a presumed cost of information acquisition, which in turn they attributed to the energy cost of a thermal photon, or in the case of Gabor’s high-compression Szilard engine [16], to the cost of recreating a static radiation field localized to one end of a long cylinder, into which the molecule would wander to trigger the power stroke. Landauer’s principle, while perhaps obvious in retrospect, makes it clear that information processing and acquisition have no intrinsic, irreducible thermodynamic cost, whereas the seemingly humble act of information destruction does have a cost, exactly sufficient to save the Second Law from the Demon.

So options 1A, 1B, and 2A are in accord with the 2nd law of thermodynamics.  The only construct violating it is 2B (pure, metaphysical intelligence).  OK, I suppose.

Date: 2009/10/17 09:17:02, Link
Author: olegt
Denyse auditions for a "gap tooth creationist moron:"
Even though I am not a creationist by any reasonable definition, I sometimes get pegged as the local gap tooth creationist moron. (But then I don’t have gaps in my teeth either. Check unretouched photos.)

As the best gap tooth they could come up with, a local TV station interviewed me about “superstition” the other day.

The issue turned out to be superstition related to numbers. Were they hoping I’d fall in?

Look, guys, numbers here are assigned on a strict directional rota. If the number bugs you so much, move.

Don’t mess up the street directory for everyone else. Paramedics, fire chiefs, police chiefs, et cetera, might need a directory they can make sense of. You might be glad for that yourself one day.

Sensible answers so far.  I am sure the TV people were disappointed.

Well, turns out Denyse saved her best answer for an off-camera presentation:
Anyway, I didn’t get a chance to say this on the program so I will now: No numbers are evil or unlucky. All numbers are – in my view – created by God to march in a strict series or else a discoverable* series, and that is what makes mathematics possible. And mathematics is evidence for design, not