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Date: 2006/09/27 03:22:00, Link
Author: pwe
This topic has become very relevant lately due to Coral Ridge Ministries' release of the movie and book Darwin's Deadly Legacy.

It is clear that accepting the concepts of evolutionary biology does not compel genocidal behavior. Nor does it compel fascism, communism, or robber-baron style Social Darwinism. (If it did compel behavior of some sort, only one of the options would be engaged, not some opting for A, others for B, and still others for options C through Z.)

As Elsberry shows here, it's just about anything considered bad that's linked back to Darwinism. Only democratic, free-market economics being based on the Bible goes free.

But let's see ...

I don't know much about Italian and Spanism fascism; but I do know they were based on nationalist ideas. The same with German Nazism. In Mein Kampf Hitler writes about Nature as a Godess with an eternal will, a different will for each species and each human race. It's not purposeless evolution, but rather intelligent design.

Karl Marx accepted darwin's theory of evolution as the history of nature, but rejected its relevance for human society. Charles darwin was building faily directly on Thomas Malthus' claim that it was unavoidable that populations would grow faster than food supply. Any Marxist would say that it is social organization that prevents an equally efficient increase in food supply.

As for social Darwinism, this is a very odd fellow. It's generally used for Herbert Spencer's laissez-faire liberalism, where the only task of the state was to protect the weak against the strong, while allowing the strong free enterprise. Not exactly the same as fascist totalitarianism or Marxist planned economics.

- pwe

Date: 2006/10/02 06:13:28, Link
Author: pwe
I have started reading Richard Weikart's book From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany, and I am posting the review on my blog, as I read along.

Part 1 is here.

Richard Weikart is a fellow of the DI-CSC and besides that a professor of history. He participated in Coral Ridge Ministries' Darwin's Deadly Legacy.

After have read around 100 pages of the book, my impression is that Weikart is rather selective in his quoting and presentation. He also views 'Darwinism' (by which he means Darwin's theory of evolution as presented in The Origin of Species) against the 'Judeo-Christian worldview', a humanist variety of Christiany.

It's not that Weikart blames the holocaust on Darwin or on Darwinism; his claim rather is that Darwinism was part of the intellectual background for the holocaust. On its own, this is a rather uninteresting statement - because, how could it fail to be true?

No, my problem with Weikart is the way in which he contrasts evolution and creation, almost as if this is a clearcut dividing line. Figuring out from Hitler's Mein Kampf whether Hitler was an evolutionist or a creationist is impossible, even meaningless, because he anyway operates with nature as a deity that has endowed each human race with its own purpose.

If it wasn't because of Weikart's participation in Darwin's Deadly Legacy and his fellowship of the DI-CSC, I wouldn't have had all that much against his approach. But as the case is, I find him consciously manipulating

- pwe

Date: 2006/10/05 06:31:02, Link
Author: pwe
Just for the record: C'est finis! All six parts - phew! It'll take a long time. before I'll do anything like that again  :)

- pwe

Date: 2006/11/28 09:10:50, Link
Author: pwe
Quote (dougp59 @ Nov. 03 2006,10:13)
What are they looking for in the data?  An INFERENCE of intelligence, which would lead them to conclude an intelligence responsible for sending the obviously 'designed' message .
(Recall the movie “Contact” with Jodie Foster.)  

Question #2  If we are prepared to say that an inference of intelligence detected from far away originating radio waves must be proof of intelligent life (the designer of the radio signal), then why is an inference of intelligence in complex living systems here on earth not proof of an intelligent designer of that complex system?  

Does this sound like a double standard?

According to the article SETI and Intelligent Design, the SETI project isn't searching for any messages:

In fact, the signals actually sought by today’s SETI searches are not complex, as the ID advocates assume. We’re not looking for intricately coded messages, mathematical series, or even the aliens’ version of "I Love Lucy." Our instruments are largely insensitive to the modulation—or message—that might be conveyed by an extraterrestrial broadcast. A SETI radio signal of the type we could actually find would be a persistent, narrow-band whistle. Such a simple phenomenon appears to lack just about any degree of structure, although if it originates on a planet, we should see periodic Doppler effects as the world bearing the transmitter rotates and orbits.

So, the SETI project is not looking for any "obviously 'designed' message", just something that's not known to have been produced by a natural source (all known natural radio sources are broad-band) and which produces a Doppler effect.

That is, the search isn't directed towards search for intelligence directly, only for something that is not known to have been produced naturally, and which might originate from a planet. That's all.

Complex living systems have been encountered here on earth; they are even produced naturally. Ok, maybe some invisible hand might have a rôle in the production of an embryo, but as far as empirical science can tell, it's all natural.

- pwe

Date: 2006/11/28 09:43:48, Link
Author: pwe
Quote (skeptic griggsy @ Nov. 27 2006,07:54)
Theistic evolution is an oxymoron, because it conflates natural selection [causalism] and teleology.
Causalism does not need a divine intruder to work. That is just god of the gaps! :)    :angry:  :O

Oh, well, how about this: the creator set up initial conditions that would causally lead to the intended goal.

Somewhat like writing a program, starting it and going to sleep. The program will run to its end without needing any further interaction.

Just too bad that the creator is running the program on a Microsoft operating system, so the program is hanging there with a "general failure"  :p

- pwe

Date: 2006/11/29 07:13:42, Link
Author: pwe
George Gilder, a Senior Fellow of the Discovery Institute, gave May 1, 2004, a speech to The Philadelphia Society at their national meeting in Chicago, Illinois. The text of the speech is avaiable as Market Economics and the Conservative Movement.

According to this article, Gilder said:


Now, at the Discovery Institute, with my friend of 40 or more years, Bruce Chapman, we are again carrying this essential concept of ordered liberty, this reconciliation of cultural conservatism and economic conservatism forward with the focus on my part on science and technology, the implications of the new findings in science and technology for a deeper understanding of the themes of ordered liberty.

So, for Gilder, "findings in science and technology" have political implications. The term 'ordered liberty' rhymes with 'designed randomness', doesn't it? But what then are those findings?


One is Information Theory. Now, Information Theory was conceived by Claude Shannon at MIT and Bell Labs in the late 1940’s. He was focusing on determining how much information could be transmitted down a particular communications channel. And the key insight was that information, real information, consists of surprise and he measured surprise in terms of what he called entropy as an analogy to a concept in physics. The crucial insight was that information is not equilibrium but disequilibrium. Information is not predictable data. Information is unexpected data. Information is news--what you don’t expect. A crucial insight of Information Theory, absolutely central, is that it takes a low entropy carrier to bear a high entropy message. In other words, you have to have a predictable carrier in order to bear a lot of information.

And how is that relevant to ordered liberty?:


What you need is economic systems that are predictable; that can bear a lot of the good news, the unexpected boons of human creativity. Creativity always comes as a surprise to us. If creativity was not surprising you could plan it and socialism would prevail. But surprise is what defines creativity. It is news. It is unexpected data. In order to have an environment that can result in the surprises of human creativity you need to have a predictable, stable environment of law; stable law, stable families, stable money, stable property. These are essential to a productive economy. So, Information Theory is an absolutely vital finding that underlies almost the entire information economy--does underlie the information economy. And it also fully supports the Philadelphia Society’s concept of ordered liberty, which combines the low entropy of order with the high entropy of creativity. The crucial point, however, is that an economy is an information system not a material system. So, it’s ruled by the laws of information not by the laws of matter.

That is, order (= low entropy, when order = high predictability) furthers creativity (= high entropy). Sure, in a predictable economic environment you can better allow investments in creativity, because an immediate return of investments isn't needed. It's a question of calculated riscs, just to come up with yet another way of saying 'ordered liberty'. The better you can calculate the riscs, the more riscs can you allow yourself to take. Besides the finding that information is disequilibrium, what more findings can Gilder mention?


The second key discovery about information during the twentieth century was Kurt Gödel’s demonstration and Gödel’s proof that no mathematical system is coherent or self-sufficient in itself. Any mathematical or logical system is necessarily dependent on premises beyond itself and irreducible to the system. In other words, Gödel’s proof sustains the second great theme of ordered liberty of transcendent order under God.

What Gödel demonstrated is that no first-order system capable of producing the whole numbers with a finite number of axioms can prove all true statements about the whole numbers. That is, any such system "is necessarily dependent on premises beyond itself". And it is beyond me, how that sustains the theme of ordered liberty of transcendent order under God.

Luckily, Gilder has the power to enlighten us:


The key point is that every logical system and ultimately all logic is reducible to mathematical propositions and is dependent on premises beyond itself. And order is necessarily transcendent. It’s not reductionist and that is the critical insight. It is hierarchical, not reductionist.

That any theory needs additional ad hoc hypotheses when applied to the real world is hardly surprising these days. And I still don't see, what Gilder means by 'order'. Are there some additional premises that he has left out?  


So, this means that the world began not in a primordial soup, it began--"In the beginning was the Word"--not a primordial soup. These divergent themes of conservatism: ordered liberty and transcendent order really have been fully and deeply confirmed by the most important scientific discoveries of the twentieth century. A lot of conservatives sort of adopt an intuitive resistance to the discoveries of science without a full grasp of how deeply they affirm conservative insights and how leftist scientism--this sort of materialist reductionism--has been completely overthrown by the twentieth century scientific discoveries.

Who has claimed that the world began in a primordial soup? There seems to be some equivocation here, doesn't there? Anyway, Gilder appears to forget that there also is the rightist biblicism; the belief that each and every true statement can be derived from the Bible, although the Bible is finite. And how do we know that a false statement doesn't slip in, while we interpret the Bible?

Now, Gilder doesn't go there. Instead he recommends budget deficits as the solution to the economic problems:


So, information is disequilibrium not equilibrium. This is one of the problems of much economics because economists always tend to favor equilibrium. They seem to believe that somehow the correct system is always in balance. But, I believe that science tells you that economies should have balanced law, families--all these--property rights and stable money. But the basic forces of growth are disequilibrium. The effort to reduce economics to equilibria is deadly and destructive. I think it took a long time for the Republican Party really to recognize this fact. For a long time the Republican Party resisted lower tax rates in the name of a totem of a balanced budget from the time of Hoover through Eisenhower and Nixon and Ford. Equilibrium economics prevailed. It wasn’t really until Ronald Reagan that we had a president who reconciled these two great principles of ordered liberty and brought disequilibrium to the fore.

Gilder's semantic leaps can be somewhat hard to follow, so let's try to make the logic a bit more explicit.

Information is surprise. If you live in an area, where there's a 90% probability of rain on any one day, you won't be surprised, if the weather forecast tells you that it's going to rain the next day. Neither is this much information, because it's what you would have expected, even without the weather forecast. If the weather forecast tells you it's going to be clear and sunny the next day, there's more surprise and more information, because it's contrary to expectations. Now, Shannon's entropy measures the average surprise, it measures so to speak uncertainty. And a decrease in uncertainty is an increase in information.If you know everything, that is, if you have no uncertainty, you cannot gain any new information.The concept of entropy is also used in thermodynamics and here refers to the uncertainty of the microstate of a thermodynamic system given a certain macrostate. Let's assume we have two equally big containers, A and B, connected through a valve. Assume A to be filled with air molecules and B to be completely empty. This is a system in disequilibrium, because there is an ueven distribution of molecules. The macrostate is given by the combined volume of the two containers and the total energy of the air molecules. The microstate could be defined as the number of molecules in either container. At first, there is no uncertainty regarding the microstate: all air molecules are in A. If we open the valve, air molecules will start moving from A to B. Pick out an air molecule at random (equal probability for all molecules), is it in A or is it in B? At the very beginning we would be very surprised, if it were in B, because it takes time for air molecules to move - perhaps not much time, but we are measuring really quick here. That is, at the beginning, we can be pretty certain that a randomly chosen air molecule will be in A. With time, however, uncertainty will increase, as more molecules move from A to B. At equilibrium, half of the air molecules in A and the other half in B, the process grinds to a halt. Air molecules will still move around, and an air molecule may move from A to B, but it's equally likely that an air molecule moves from B to A.

At the start we have maximum disequilibrium and no uncertainty. When equilibrium is reached we have maximum uncertainty. Since, for Shannon, information is negation of uncertainty, there is more information in a system in equilibrium (because there is more uncertainty) than in a system in disequilibrium (because there is less uncertainty).

Let's say that all people in a society have the same number of dollar bills. Pick a dollar bill at random, who owns it? We here have a system in equilibrium - everybody has the same number of dollar bills - and we have maximum uncertainty, since the probability is the same for each person to own the dollar bill in question. Now, let 10% of the population own 90% of the dollar bills, and 90% of the population own 10% of the dollar bills. That's disequilibrium, and we won't be much surprised. if a randomly chosen dollar bill belongs to someone in the richest 10% of the population.

Now, of course, what Gilder is after is that money makes the world go around. The rich people can't use all their money for consumption; maybe the richest 10% of the population will spend 90% of their money on investments and even charity. Investments means production, and productions means products that can be sold and purchased. Charity means a sure ticket to heaven for the giver and money that can be used for purchasing products for the receiver.

A budget deficit for the state, such as through lowering taxes, means more money to the tax payers, and with a bit of luck, increasingly more, the more they paid in tax. But for the system to work, there must actually be some production, which in turn means there must be some purchase - if no-one buys anything, production will also soon stop. So purchase is actually equally important, and therefore purchase-capable people are needed. The rich can't simply thrive on selling to themselves, because they can't spend all their money on consumption, if they also need to invest money to keep up production.

Gilder knows quite well that spending money is needed to keep the show going, though he sees low tax rates as an integral part of government spending:


Indeed, it is only with low tax rates that a nation can sustain the levels of spending necessary to support the defense and national security that is necessary to defend ordered liberty. For the entire 40 years of the Philadelphia Society’s existence countries with low or declining tax rates have been able to increase their government spending three times faster than countries with high or rising tax rates. If you want low absolute levels of government spending the best thing to do is to enact high tax rates and oppressive regulations because these will succeed in suppressing the surprises of entrepreneurial creativity on which human triumph always depends.

So, low tax rates increase the surprises of entrepreneurial creativity, and somehow that leads to the defense and national security necessary to defend ordered liberty. That is, somehow it is all tied up with military technology, and, of course, anyone familiar with military triumph knows that it is all a question of surprising the enemy. Just read Sun Tzu's The Art of War, if in doubt.

Yet, Gilder sees no problem in a purchase deficit:


This article [in the Regulation magazine from the Cato Institute] implies that balance is good for trade and budgets and stuff. Balanced tires or a balanced diet--they’re deeply desirable. But a balance of trade or a balanced budget is not necessarily desirable at all. Indeed, a trade gap signifies a capital surplus. It means that people want to send us money.

Maybe so, maybe not so. But Gilder claims it is so:


So, the way to think of this is: a foreigner with a dollar can do two things with it. He can buy an American good--buy an apple exported from the United States, for example--or he can buy an asset in the United States. If he purchases the apple, he eats it and we don’t have it anymore. If he purchases the asset in the United States, we keep it. And he registers a deeper commitment to America than he does in buying an apple, or a side of beef or any other kind of American product. When we begin to run a trade surplus I begin to worry.

But if the foreigner purchases an apple, the apple will be removed from the US, and the payment for the apple will be deposited in the US. The difference between a stock asset and an apple is that the purchaser doesn't get anything immediately from the asset, but hopes he can sell it some day for more than he gave for it. Where is that capital increase going to come from? If no-one buys anything but stock assets, there can be no production, and money will be only worth their waste paper value. A material production somewhere is needed in order for those money to really have any value - they can't be woth more money otherwise. Of course, the value of money can be measured in non-material goods - the US is taking up big loans in China, and the Chinese government buys a more friendly tone towards violations of humans rights in China and a lowered US support of Taiwan for those loans. Still, the money can't be used for anything good in the US, if there is no production there.

Gilder, of course, knows this, and sees entrepreneurial creativity as the solution:


So, the real solution is entrepreneurial creativity, which is a force of disequilibrium, "creative destruction," said Shumpeter. This is a great era of entrepreneurial creativity in the United States.

An what's more:


The triumph of the entrepreneur is ultimately a moral triumph as well as merely a material triumph. Because, he ultimately is an information agent. The essential rule of enterprise is the golden rule. The good fortune of others is always your own. That’s the fundamental principle of capitalism. Where you get rich by serving others and where you, above all, hope that others succeed. Where always the biggest untapped market is the poor. The billions of people around the world who are now at last ascending toward the bounties of ordered freedom that the Philadelphia Society upholds. It’s not greed or self-interest but the service of others that propels the advances of capitalism. Equilibrium economics is an economics of death. Disequilibrium, entrepreneurial economics, the economics of surprise and creativity is the economics of life. The key message of ordered liberty is "choose life."

Sure, the good fortune of others is always your own; you need rich buyers. This is why the biggest untapped market is always the poor.

- pwe

Date: 2006/11/30 08:19:50, Link
Author: pwe
Quote (Richardthughes @ Nov. 29 2006,10:54)

D*mbski muses:

Quote of the day
by William Dembski on November 28th, 2006 · 8 Comments
“You measure a democracy by the freedom it gives its dissidents, not the freedom it gives its assimilated conformists.” — Who said it and how does it apply to the ID-evolution controversy?

then... 6th [remainig] post in..

6. William Dembski // Nov 29th 2006 at 10:43 am

PWE is no longer with us. –WmAD

Comment by William Dembski — November 29, 2006 @ 10:43 am



Yes, it's quite funny, and the reason for my demise might have been that I - just as an example og how dissidents were treated - mentioned John A Davison whining over at Brainstorms, because DaveScot had banned him from UD.

Ok, John is banned from just about everywhere, but Dembski is the only one that I know of that has whined about treatment of dissidents.

- pwe

Date: 2006/12/04 10:50:34, Link
Author: pwe
Denyse O'Leary has on her ARN blog, The ID Report, a five part series on Why is tech guru George Gilder not a Darwinist? The second part, Life as architecture of ideas or information, is particularly interesting.

George Gilder is co-founder of the Discovery Institute, a born-again Christian, and he likes glass-fiber cables, so all in all, he is indeed a tech guru.

O'Leary starts out with:

As Gilder explains in his National Review article, the tormented computer genius Alvin Turing stressed that a computer is not wires and metal but "its architecture of ideas."

We'll ignore that it is 'Alan Turing', and only pick up the notion that it is not the material implementation that matters. It's a funny thing with anti-evolutionists: that they believe that all evolutionists are materialists, and that therefore anyone who is not a materialist must be one of their heroes.

My point in this post is to show that by that reasoning, Richard Dawkins must belong right up there with Allan Turing as an ID hero.

O'Leary continues:

Most writers understand this concept quite easily, actually. A book for which the publisher has forwarded $50 000 advance can be lodged on a computer whose market value is $500 - and whose scrap value is 50 cents. The ideas give value to the computer, not the other way around.

Really, it was no different in the days of pen and paper or clay tablets. It was always the ideas that gave value to the material objects, not the other way round.

Yes, we understand this concept quite easily; but, may we ask, is O'Leary aware that 99% of all clay tablets found deal with economic transactions: so and so much grain is paid in tax, so and so much silver is paid in for some goods, and so on. Transactions describing movements of material objects. And without some material embodyment, the architecture of ideas in a computer is of little use.

But ok, we live in the Age of Information, and we have known that for some time, so what is O'Leary's real point?

Of course, that 'Darwinian materialism' must be provable wrong. To this purpose, O'Leray quotes Gilder for the following:

I came to see that the computer offers an insuperable obstacle to Darwinian materialism. In a computer, as information theory shows, the content is manifestly independent of its material substrate. No possible knowledge of the computer's materials can yield any information whatsoever about the actual content of its computations. In the usual hierarchy of causation, they reflect the software or "source code" used to program the device; and, like the design of the computer itself, the software is contrived by human intelligence.

What Darwinian materialism? Unfortunately, materialism can refer to quite a gamut of ideas (ironic, ne'est-ce pas?); but usually implies something about the primacy of matter over ideas, whatever happens to be meant by 'ideas'. For instance, in Marxist historical materialism, the word 'materialism' refers to primacy of material production over the ideology; that is, the organization of material production causes ideologies rather than the other way around. This is obviously a very different kind of materialism than Democritus of Abdera's dictum, "There is nothing but atoms and space, everything else is only an opinion".

O'Leary shortly after writes:

Consider Shannon's concept of entropy. "News" or information cannot be described by purely physical or chemical theories. We can easily see why this is so if we think about it. To you, information is what your mind accepts as information. For example, the discovery via an e-mail that someone you love really prefers someone else [!] is information to you. To the computer, the key information was only more bits 'n bytes. As Gilder says, "Information is defined by its independence from physical determination: If it is determined, it is predictable and thus by definition not information."

Yes, of course, but who doesn't know this? And anyway, Gilder in the quoted passage gets things wrong. There is quite a difference between whether something is determined and whether it is known to be determined, and even if it is known to be determined, whether the entire causal chain is known. If I flip a coin, I have reason to believe that it is fully determined whether it lands heads up or tails up; there is not some fairy that manipulates it underways. Yet I cannot predict the outcome, except statistically.

If I receive an e-mail, the content of that e-mail is fully determined; it doesn't randomly change just because I open and read it. Whether it is information for me or not is a different matter, so O'Leary and Gilder are confusing knowledge and determination.

Quoting Gilder, O'Leary writes:

in all the sciences I studied, information comes first, and regulates the flesh and the world, not the other way around. The pattern seemed to echo some familiar wisdom. Could it be, I asked myself one day in astonishment, that the opening of St. John's Gospel, In the beginning was the Word, is a central dogma of modern science?

If information is something that can only be picked up by a mind, how can information regulate "the flesh and the world"? And, as for the Gospel of John, it was the Word of God, not just any old word.

And a paragraph later:

I can now affirm the principle empirically. Salient in virtually every technical field from quantum theory and molecular biology to computer science and economics is an increasing concern with the word. It passes by many names: logos, logic, bits, bytes, mathematics, software, knowledge, syntax, semantics, code, plan, program, design, algorithm, as well as the ubiquitous "information." In every case, the information is independent of its physical embodiment or carrier

So, it's the word by any other name; but how does that relate to Darwinism?

After having supplied the above quote, O'Leary turns rather mysterious:

But what about DNA?, one might ask. Isn't our DNA a deterministic code that just happened to evolve and create us? Well, the chemistry of DNA is irrelevant to its message. The four DNA code letters - A,C,G,T - do not, in themselves, tell a creature what to be, any more than letters of an alphabet tell you what to write. Additional information does that. For example, the simple nematode worms that survived a recent space shuttle disaster and were returned to their owners have only somewhat fewer genes than humans (20 000 vs. 30 000) - which basically tells you that most of what is really happening is not happening in the genes.

Of course, the letters of an alphabet doesn't tell me, what to write; but the letters in for instance O'Leary's post tell me, what to read, don't they? And how is the 'small' difference between the number of nematode genes and human genes (which is 50% of the number of nematode genes) related to, what is really happening?

Yet another Gilder quote:

Like a sheet of paper or a series of magnetic points on a computer's hard disk or the electrical domains in a random-access memory or indeed all the undulations of the electromagnetic spectrum that bear information through air or wires in telecommunications DNA is a neutral carrier of information, independent of its chemistry and physics. By asserting that the DNA message precedes and regulates the form of the proteins, and that proteins cannot specify a DNA program, Crick's Central Dogma unintentionally recapitulates St. John's assertion of the primacy of the word over the flesh.

It was for some time thought that proteins were the carriers of inheritance, and with the discovery of DNA, it was still discussed, which had which rôle. With Francis Crick's Central Dogma the discussion ended with DNA being the carrier of inheritance, and proteins being encoded in DNA. O'Leary writes that there are four DNA code letters, A,C,G,T. However, these do not encode anything; we need three of them to make, what's called a codon, the actual letter of the DNA code. There are therefore 4*4*4 = 64 different codons, a 64 letter alphabeth. Each codon either encodes an amino acid or is a stop code. There are 20 amino acids, so 64 letter alphabeth of DNA is actually translated to a 21 letter alphabeth, of which the 20 letters, the amino acids, are used in proteins. It is therefore not possible from a protein to reconstruct its gene (the sequence of codons that encoded it), and therefore proteins cannot precede DNA.

So, contrary to O'Leary's statement above, that "what is really happening is not happening in the genes", Gilder follows the general trend by claiming that DNA is the provider of information.

Perhaps O'Leary has misunderstood Gilders statement that "DNA is a neutral carrier of information, independent of its chemistry and physics"? A statement that by the way is not quite right, but let's just ignore that.

O'Leary does not make a distinction between DNA and genes, while Gilder does not mention genes. However, the way he refers to DNA, he clearly means DNA patterns, not the individuals DNA molecules.

This, interestingly, brings Gilder in exact line with the atheist Darwinist materialist Richard Dawkins, who back in 1986 published The Blind Watchmaker.

On p. 127 of said book, Dawkins writes:

DNA gets the best of both worlds. DNA molecules themselves, as physical entities, are like dewdrops. Under the right conditions they come into existence at a great rate, but no one of them has existed for long, and all will be destroyed within a few months. They are not durable like rocks. But the patterns that they bear in their sequences are as durable as the hardest rocks. They have what it takes to exist for millions of years, and that is why they are still here today. The essential difference from dewdrops is that new dewdrops are not begotten by old dewdrops. Dewdrops doubtless resemble other dewdrops, but they don't specifically resemble their own 'parent' dewdrops. Unlike DNA molecules, they don't form lineages, and therefore can't pass on messages. Dewdrops come into existence by spontaneous generation, DNA messages by replication.

That is, while DNA molecules are material, genes = DNA patterns are not, though each concrete instance needs to exist in a material form.

For Dawkins as for Gilder, the DNA molecules are carriers of information, an information that is the DNA pattern, which itself is neither physical nor chemical, but apparently, in a Platonistic sense, an idea. An entire genome must therefore, for Dawkins, not be something physical and chemical, but "its architecture of ideas."

Maybe the ID people should study Darwinists a bit more closely, before they run out and claim to have refuted Darwinist materialism?

- pwe

Date: 2006/12/04 11:25:23, Link
Author: pwe
Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 04 2006,09:10)
just a clarification, Behe is still employed and earning a paycheck (Professor of Biochemistry, Lehigh University), so the "onetime" biochemist label is a bit premature.

I think he prefers "heretic biochemist", if I remember correctly.

Umm. could be.

Lehigh's Department of Biological Sciences has this little disclaimer:

The faculty in the Department of Biological Sciences is committed to the highest standards of scientific integrity and academic function. This commitment carries with it unwavering support for academic freedom and the free exchange of ideas. It also demands the utmost respect for the scientific method, integrity in the conduct of research, and recognition that the validity of any scientific model comes only as a result of rational hypothesis testing, sound experimentation, and findings that can be replicated by others.

The department faculty, then, are unequivocal in their support of evolutionary theory, which has its roots in the seminal work of Charles Darwin and has been supported by findings accumulated over 140 years. The sole dissenter from this position, Prof. Michael Behe, is a well-known proponent of "intelligent design." While we respect Prof. Behe's right to express his views, they are his alone and are in no way endorsed by the department. It is our collective position that intelligent design has no basis in science, has not been tested experimentally, and should not be regarded as scientific.

So, he is a professor of the department, but he is indeed considered to be a 'heretic'; the rest of the faculty members regarding intelligent design as not scientific.

And, by the way: have you noticed it's a fine full moon to night? (at least as seen from here, where I sit)

- pwe

Date: 2006/12/05 11:27:13, Link
Author: pwe
In Part Four, The hierarchy of information vs. "nothing but", of Denyse O'Leary five part series on George Gilder, there is an interesting little detail.

O'Leary writes:

Regarding the "causes of economic growth," its [sic] worth remembering that - at every stage - "economic growth" is first and foremost an idea in the minds of men. It always begins with an idea of a better life - clean water or public schools, for example. The material advance follows the idea. Without the idea the advance never happens. Ignoring this principle has led to much waste in foreign aid efforts by wealthy countries. Why? Because things have been forced on people as "improvements" before they wanted or cared about them, and they responded by ignoring, subverting, or destroying them.

So, instead of just forcing our things on other people, we also have to force our ideas on them.

O'Leary continues:

Example: My own country (Canada) once exported tins of powdered milk to a poor country where the malnourished people did not normally drink milk after they were weaned. But the recipients threw away the powdered milk and used only the aluminum tins! The people were not stupid. They easily understood the value of the tins in their daily life. But they did not understand the value of the milk. They did not know about the importance of proteins in the diet. So an effort to improve health in that region did not depend on supplying a physical substance such as powdered milk. It depended on getting the people to accept the idea that a higher protein diet would alleviate illness and the idea that the donated powdered milk could help them do so. In that case, only a change at the highest level of the system (the ideas in the minds of men) could change centuries of misery. Indeed, once they accepted the idea, they might seek local sources of milk, and might not end up needing much help from Canada.

See, things are not that simple. To metabolize lactose, an ingredient in milk and other dairy products, you need the enzyme lactase, an enzyme produced, for obvious reasons, by young mammals, but usually not by adult mammals. For humans, the production generally cease between the ages two and five. This is called lactose intolerance (Wikipedia article).

Northern Europeans (and people elsewhere of Northern European origin) with their long tradition of living on dairy products have very few lactose intolerant people, whereas among African Bantus 89% are lactose intolerant, and among Native Americans 100% are lactose intolerant. So, it's not just a question of giving people the idea that milk is healthy, because maybe it isn't.

It is not possible from O'Leary's short story above to see, if the milk was cow milk or plant milk, and if it was cow milk, whether it had been treated with lactose catalysing bacteria or another process with the same purpose. But all in all, it is possible that the milk powder was thrown away, becayúse it really wasn't healthy.

It's not just a question of ideas, lactose intolerance is real, not hysteria, and lactose tolerance is due to a mutation that is most widespread among Northern Europeans. So whether O'Leary likes it or not, she has unknowingly touched upon a subject that favors the evil Darwinists rather than the good IDists.


- pwe

Date: 2006/12/05 11:46:52, Link
Author: pwe
Quote (VMartin @ Dec. 05 2006,11:04)
During stalinism and later only accepted theory was lysenkism. Lysenko contradicted Darwin. Lysenko claimed that only environment forms living beings and he tried his theory with catastrofical outcome in prax. All the time they denigrated morganism.

If you at that time  had tried contradict Lysenko with darwinism you would ended in Gulag, you stupid american villager.

But what then was 'Darwinism' to Stalin and Lysenko?

It's near impossible to figure out, what people mean by 'Darwinism', although I have spent some time trying.

According to Richard Weikart, Hitler was a 'social darwinist'. Usually, 'social Darwinism' refers to laissez-faire liberalism, which is for a minimal state, whose only rôle is to protect the weak against the strong. Hardly descriptive of a totalitarian ideology as Nazism.

Anyway, Darwin wasn't opposed to the idea that environment played a rôle; his pangenesis theory of inheritance stated that germ cells contained information from the entire body, even such as was due to environmental influences on the individual.

- pwe

Date: 2006/12/06 07:14:18, Link
Author: pwe
Quote (VMartin @ Dec. 05 2006,12:35)
Problem is complex one. According Lysenko "Genetics is pseudoscience".

"Removing from biology mendelism-morganism-weismanism we made biology get rid of chance." (1951)

Yet his mixture of lamarckism + dialectic marxism + darwinism and vitalism seems to be the definition of the "lysenkism". Darwinism (they thought neodarwinism) was too plain, frigid. Inheritance should be explained via "creative darwinism".  Inheritance is due lamarckism that mendelists-morganists threw away.

You see that this have nothing to do with new synthesis or neodarwinism at all.

Yes, Lysenko was primarily against Mendelian genetics - which was considered to be similar to believing in fairies, since genes could not be seen back then.

Interesting that Lysenko was against chance. That moves him into line with the IDists, doesn't it?

- pwe

Date: 2006/12/06 11:41:37, Link
Author: pwe
Quote (Zachriel @ Dec. 05 2006,18:47)
G. K. Chesterton    
There are many other signs of this confession of failure, for which I have hardly left myself space.

Apparently, 'Darwinism' went down to defeat in around 1918 — just like the German army.

Thanks for the link  :)

Here's another quote:

My concern for the moment, however, is only with a certain controversial tone; the tone of a gentleman who remarked to me, in a stoic and almost tragic voice: "I am the Last Darwinian." I do not for a moment suggest that these Darwinians are no longer Darwinians. But if this is how the Darwinians talk while they are still Darwinians, how do you suppose the anti-Darwinians are talking?

Well, you gotta hand it to them: when they are funny, they are really funny. Now we only need some joke about William Dembski saying, "I am the Last Paleyan".

- pwe

Date: 2006/12/06 11:48:11, Link
Author: pwe
Quote (Kristine @ Dec. 06 2006,10:37)
So why am I different? Would anyone at UD say that I was designed that way?

Doubt it.

Oh, sure they would :) The Creator had designed you Kristine of all people to be evangelist of postmodern estrangement in exactly your congregation.

See, we aren't really maladjusted, the apparent maladjustment is part of the design (and anyway, why isn't it ebverybody else that's maladjusted?)

- pwe

Date: 2006/12/07 07:12:25, Link
Author: pwe
Quote (Jason Spaceman @ Dec. 07 2006,01:56)
· ...
Advocates of the theory argue that some features of the universe and nature are so complex that they must have been designed by a higher intelligence. Last week, the Guardian revealed that 59 schools had told Truth in Science the materials were a "useful classroom resource".

Umm, I thought that simplicity was the trademark of intelligence. If you can do everything from scratch, why bother with making things complex? If you fine-tune constants of nature as you like and make up any natural laws you like, why make things complex?

- pwe

Date: 2006/12/07 07:54:46, Link
Author: pwe
Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Dec. 06 2006,16:09)
The best creationist critique of abiogenesis is The Mystery of Life's Origin, but most of the references are seriously out of date. Nevertheless, it outlines many of the physical hurdles that any scenario must overcome. As far as I know, no one has successfully rebutted it.

Well, I have read some chapters of the book, and for a layman like me, they appear to point at real problems. But then again, I am a layman, so what do I know?

And the book is hosted by Lambert Dolphin, who claims that the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics was part of the curse of the creation caused by Adam and Eve's eating of the forbidden fruit. And that the expansion of the universe is due to rebellious angels that abandoned their job of keeping the stars in place.

So, basically we are given the choice of still accepting prebiotic evolution or giving in to complete make-believe.

- pwe

Date: 2006/12/07 08:08:16, Link
Author: pwe
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Dec. 03 2006,04:32)
Just read this.

I had no idea it existed. Fascinating.

Thanks for the link  :)

And indeed it is fascinating.

I noticed this passage:

"The designer and maker of the device knew what they wanted to achieve and they did it expertly; they made no mistakes," he said.

"To do this, it can't have been very far from their everyday stock work."

And I thought that an intelligent designer didn't need to practise  :)

- pwe

Date: 2006/12/09 05:44:00, Link
Author: pwe
Quote (Richardthughes @ Dec. 09 2006,00:26)

Three outcomes, all favourable to ID!

Well, Dembski is just trying to be constructive - you haven't lost until you think you have lost.

Quoting Dembski from the linkeed thread:

To sum up, we might say that outcome 1. would be a recipe for complacency, outcome 2. would encourage us to take greater care and try again, and option 3. would inspire us to work that much harder for ID’s ultimate success. I trust that Providence will bring about the outcome that will best foster ID’s ultimate success. The important thing is ID’s intellectual vitality.

Note "ID’s intellectual vitality", Dover's only a flesh wound, you know :)

ETA: Michael Behe's trying to cover up for Dover as well according to the PT:

- pwe

Date: 2006/12/09 05:58:14, Link
Author: pwe
Quote (VMartin @ Dec. 08 2006,11:03)
As to the "new information" - I gave you example that information can be in a text if you read the text backwards. The question  How would you recognize 'new information' in a text if you saw it? has no sense. You and I see the TEXT - not information.  The text I  may underestand but you may not (or vice versa). I would say  the same process we may find in genome. Information written in DNA is the function of "reading frame" - each different reading frame read different information. I have read that in some cases information in a gene is overlappinig. Reading and underestanding of what has beed coded is what matters. For instance you do not underestand Magyar and let say you have a magyar book. Do you think that information is there or not? I suppose that to decide such a question would require to learn Magyar first. Observer (reading frame) is for recognising of information crucial.


do you know that only prokaryotes use frame shifts? Eukaryotes do not.

Is this behavioral difference encoded in DNA or is it not?

Quote (VMartin @ Dec. 08 2006,11:03)
Summary - I dont know what does it mean to "see information" in genome as much as I do not know what does it mean to "smell information" in genome. You might be probably aware that DNA is not information - DNA is only bearer, carrier of information and not the information itself.

Could you be more specific here? Is it like Richard Dawkins making a distinction between DNA molecules and DNA patterms?

- pwe

Date: 2006/12/11 11:14:26, Link
Author: pwe
Quote (VMartin @ Dec. 10 2006,13:20)
So you see that exegese or interpreation or hetmeneutic
is what is important. Even if someignorants here insist
that I am evading the "simple" question how would I "see" new infrormation in genome (???).

Well, but bacteria do not interpret their genome at will, so what's your point?

Of course, on its own, a genome means nothing, it carries no information (except the information about its particular sequence of base pairs), so where do the interpretative rules reside?

- pwe

Date: 2006/12/11 11:53:02, Link
Author: pwe
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Dec. 11 2006,11:44)
What Crandaddy really wants to say, as he attacks naturalistic models of human cognition, is that a non-material (spiritual) dimension is required to account for the normative intentionality and consciousness we display.  But that gets us no further than before (and indeed sets back the discussion a few centuries).  

Not necessarily a few centuries  :)

The way I read Crandaddy, he is more into phenomenology than into "ghost-in-the-machine" thinking, so only about one century.

- pwe

Date: 2006/12/12 06:49:58, Link
Author: pwe
Quote (VMartin @ Dec. 11 2006,14:45)
I would say that interpretative rules reside in the organism as a whole or more specifically at the beginning in zygote. Without zygote is interpetation impossible. My opinion is that DNA is not enough to create life - even if we would have complete DNA from marsupial wolf we would never recreate one without its zygote - which we do not have.

Anyway Davison observation that development of gonads in different species seems to be unexplainable from common ancestor is interesting.
It would mean that zygotes between species differ more
than darwinists believe.

Ok, but from whence then the first zygotes?

Do you suggest that all species have a different origin?

- pwe

Date: 2006/12/14 10:18:18, Link
Author: pwe
Quote (VMartin @ Dec. 12 2006,14:41)
My opinion is - and its thanks Davisons Manifesto -
that evolution is a fact. But it WAS driven by forces we are not aware of. Forces that probably are not in effect nowadays. I do not believe with Davison in random mutation and natural selection as forces behind evolution of mankind.

I agree with great Russian philosopher S.Bulgakov that evolution is driven by inteligentsia and in some point of development man obtained spirit. Spirit present itself in language.

Language and speech of mankind cannot evolve by random mutation and natural selection too. It is also  Noam Chomsky opinion.
(some folks here like linguists very).

I am aware that some Russian (and other) linguists for some reason assumed biological evolution and language evolution to follow the same rules.

But language is learned, while you don't learn your biology. Two peoples interacting with each other will tend to adopt words from each other.

Nut whales didn't learn to swim by taking lessons from fish, or did they?

Apparently the problem is due to a non-Darwinian idea of evolution anf inheritance.

See for instace my article about Johann Gottlieb Fichte for an example of, what the linguists are arguing against.

I know that some Darwinists claim that biological inheritance and cultural inheritance can be described similarly, e.g. in a cladiogram; but I think they are wrong.

I live near an airport, but believe me: I don't have wings  ;)

- pwe

Date: 2006/12/14 10:30:02, Link
Author: pwe
Quote (Jason Spaceman @ Dec. 14 2006,03:44)
Read it here.

Thanks for the link, Jason  :)

Here's the end of the article:

However, Steve Fuller, a sociologist at the University of Warwick, UK, who testified in favour of ID in the Dover trial, believes the Biologic Institute's activities could help break down barriers between religious people and scientists. "Regardless of whether the science cuts any ice against evolution, one of the virtues is that it could provide a kind of model for how religiously motivated people can go into the lab."

Ronald Numbers, a historian at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, who has studied creationism, views it in a different light. The lab's existence will help sustain support within the anti-evolution community, he says. "It will be good for the troops if leaders in the ID movement can claim: 'We're not just talking theory. We have labs, we have real scientists working on this.'"

Well, let's see some output from that lab, before we decide how it'll function.

That you can be a creationist and not get too dirty in lab is as correct as it is that you don't do much in that lab in the first round. The 2nd Law of Laboratorydynamics states that the more you work, the dirtier you get, and that's impossible for the IDists and creationists to circumvent.

- pwe

Date: 2006/12/21 10:54:47, Link
Author: pwe
Quote (Zachriel @ Dec. 21 2006,07:42)
When I refreshed crandaddy's A Simple Request thread at Uncommon Descent, the comment count went from 19 to 17. Oops, now it's 16.

I think we have just seen history being written, er, rewritten.

Yes, UD is the only blog in the known blog universe, where the number of posts in a thread can cecrease over time.

Wonder if there is some scientific explanation for it. It's against the SLoT, isn't it?

- pwe

Date: 2007/01/03 09:04:40, Link
Author: pwe
:D  :D  :D  - Thanks for the info.

From the ad for the game:

"Intelligent Design vs Evolution" is unique in that the playing pieces are small rubber brains and each team plays for "brain" cards. Each player uses his or her brains to get more brains, and the team with the most brains wins. It has been designed to make people think . . . and that's exactly what it does.

So, the team with the most rubber brains wins. Guess, which team that would be.

- pwe

Date: 2008/01/11 06:50:48, Link
Author: pwe
Quote (Thought Provoker @ Jan. 07 2008,20:04)
Even if you aren't interested, I will keep my promise to explain how I think Mike's methodology would have scored my previous example.  Besides, this is supposed to be "The Critic's Resources" which means you should know shit.

Sure, we know shit, when we smell it, and guys, aren't we smelling shit right now?

One of the things Mike attempts to do is provide a continuum from chance to "design".  Nothing is absolutely totally chance or totally "design".

I always try to tell my project leader that  ;)

- pwe

Date: 2008/01/15 11:14:28, Link
Author: pwe
Quote (Thought Provoker @ Jan. 04 2008,22:07)
The four criteria are…

1. Analogy - How similar is the phenomenon to something known to be designed?

2. Discontinuity - How irreducibly complex is the phenomenon?

3. Rationality - How purposeful (i.e. functional) is the phenomenon?

4. Foresight - How much front loading is involved in the phenomenon?

1. Analogy -- how do you measure "[h]ow similar is the phenomenon to something known to be designed"? Isn't that rather subjective? For the average ID-guy, a bacterial flagellum may be the spitting image of the motore+screw of their toy boat, but for the rest of us, the analogy may be a wee bit less striking.

2. Discontinuity -- gee, I dunno how this could be done, and I'm a genius, so it's as irreducibly complex as can be.

3. Rationality -- purposeful, as judged by who? Humans are notoriously bad at guessings ieach other's purposes, so whakes anyone think we can guess purposes elsewhere?

4. Foresight -- Doesn't Mike Gene know that's undecidable?

- pwe

Date: 2008/01/22 10:39:53, Link
Author: pwe
Oh, what a lovely article, Kristine

Date: 2008/01/26 04:27:08, Link
Author: pwe
Quote (Thought Provoker @ Jan. 25 2008,22:00)
This trivializes the explanation of quantum experiments involving Bell’s inequality and Greenberger–Horne–Zeilinger (GHZ) quantum states, at least for light.  The quantum effects are interconnected because the space-time path length between them is zero.

To me, this starts to tie everything together, as in “life, universe and everything”.

And, yes, that includes Biology.

You don't say?

I have a question, though.

Which of the twins is Mike Gene and which is William Dembski?

- pwe

Date: 2008/01/26 06:15:19, Link
Author: pwe
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Jan. 21 2008,06:26)
Having read the Origin, I'm hardly shocked to discover that even emeritus professor Campolo is making stuff up. Darwin did write a passage about the extirpation of aboriginal people, but IIRC it was in The Descent of Man, and it was an observation and prediction based upon demonstrated behavior, not an endorsement of a particular mode of action. Campolo apparently has never encountered any discussion of the difference between is and ought.

Here is the passage from Descent of Man, Vol. 1, that apparently confused Prof. Campolo:


The great break in the organic chain between man and his nearest allies, which cannot be bridged over by any extinct or living species, has often been advanced as a grave objection to the belief that man is descended from some lower form; but this objection will not appear of much weight to those who, convinced by general reasons, believe in the general principle of evolution. Breaks incessantly occur in all parts of the series, some being wide, sharp and defined, others less so in various degrees; as between the orang and its nearest allies—between the Tarsius and the other Lemuridæ—between the elephant and in a more striking manner between the Ornithorhynchus or Echidna, and other mammals. But all these breaks depend merely on the number of related forms which have become extinct. At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked,16 will no doubt be exterminated. The break will then be rendered wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as at present between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.

Darwin does not endorse the extermination of various peoples, but one would have to be blind not to notice that extirpation was exactly what "civilised" people had been doing, and were in the active process of doing, around the world. Campolo also overlooks Darwin's zinger concerning Caucasian people and how hopefully man would evolve to a "more civilised state".

It is also worth noting that, while Darwin here writes about 'civilised' and 'savage' human races, in the very next chapters he claims that no soch division can be made (on physiological traits, and that's what we are dealing with, when we talk about the theory of evolution)

The distinction between 'civilised' and 'savage' races or nations was not Darwin's invention, but part of the general thinking in Europe.

The idea of black Africans as link between gorillas and Caucasians as promoted here is also rejected by Darwin later.

The main point in the passage quoted by Wesley is that, if the black Africans become extinct, that link will be missed; that is, we are dealing with a missing link in the making. Therefore, we may assume, such events also occurred in the past, so no need to worry about missing links: they do not disprove Darwin's theory!

It can get rather annoying to have to explain this over and over and ... and over, but creationists are extremely thick-headed, so maybe if we wrote it on a sledge-hammer, then we could ...

- pwe

Date: 2008/01/26 06:21:48, Link
Author: pwe
Quote (Advocatus Diaboli @ Jan. 26 2008,04:39)
ID-idea.blogspot is from an ideist. One of the polite, smart ideists in Finland, btw. There are more finnish pro-science blogs than these ID/creationism blogs, so its not all bad up here in cold Finland.

Here's my blog: Paholaisen asianajaja.

From AD's blog:

Jokin aika sitten IDeismin VoimaDuo William "Informaatiotieteen-paris-hilton" Dembski ja Michael "Värekarva" Behe olivat espanjalaisen Pro-ID nettisivuston haastattelussa. Onneksi PTET jaksoi kahlata sen läpi.

I couldn't have said it better myself  ;)

- pwe

Date: 2008/01/26 08:51:17, Link
Author: pwe
Quote (ERV @ Jan. 26 2008,08:37)
Hi everyone!

Something has 'come up' recently, and I was wondering if you all had any photographs of Casey Luskin?  YouTube videos are good too, as I can get screen-shots from there.

Thank you :)

Why do we ALL need to have a photo of Casey Luskin?

- pwe

Date: 2008/01/27 06:54:13, Link
Author: pwe
Quote (Quack @ Jan. 27 2008,05:23)
I just love this kitchy panegyric at page 233, which IMHO is but the tip of the iceberg of Behe's pathetic propaganda style of writing:
.... Why does the scientific community not greedily embrace its startling discovery? Why is the observation of design handled with intellectual gloves? The dilemma is that while one side of the elephant is labeled intelligent design, the other side might be labeled God.

Ummm, a labelled elephant? Does sound as an act of intelligent design, it sure does.

Poor elephant  :(

Anyway, I don't think Behe's right -- it's just that the arguments don't really work, unless you have to have drink a lot of champagne already.

- pwe

Date: 2008/01/27 07:16:44, Link
Author: pwe
Quote (Bob O'H @ Jan. 27 2008,02:34)
I just wandered over to see what Sal was doing, and noticed the recent comments:
Recent Comments

   * John A. Davison on My view of the End Times

I'll get the popcorn.

I love it so!


Thanks Bob for the tip  :)

In the thread My view of the End Times, JAD responds:

Evil already reigns in the persons of P.Z. Myers, Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins, all of whom have abandoned any pretense of rationality to dedicate all of their energies to the cause of Universal Atheism. We now have our very first proclaimed atheist congressman, an atheist political action committee, and atheist inspired day camps for the purpose of converting our youth to godless atheism. It is eerily reminiscent of Hitlerjugend and potentially just as dangerous. Go to Pharyngula and click on the scarlet A to discover Richard Dawkins at his atheist best. My God, they are now peddling coffee mugs, bumper stickers and Tshirts to an adoring crowd of atheist zealots and doing so from the blog of a tenured member of the faculty of the University of Minnesota, my doctoral alma mater. I complained to the Provost but received no reply.

This sort of thing wiuld have been unthinkable twenty years ago. Western Civilization is in a state of profound decay.

Oh, the horror, the horror -- where can we run and hide from those scarlet As?

- pwe

Date: 2008/01/29 08:55:10, Link
Author: pwe
Quote (bystander @ Jan. 28 2008,00:25)
Behe probably believed that the Nobel would be his after this book. What is it 10 years later and he gets beaten up by a graduate student and has to go on a radical Christian radio station to get a warm welcome.

:D Yes, they are a weird lot, aren't they?

Who has the blackest box?

Charles Darwin was in The Origin of Species not too concernes with giving details about the mechanism of variation. In the Conclusion he wrote something about use and disuse of organs and subsequent modifications to other organs. Later he developed the pangenesis theory that was picked apart by Francis Galton.

However, Charles Darwin at least tried to come up with a gray box, and that box has become a whiter shade of pale since then due to RESEARCH.

THe Disco Kids, including Behe, employ the black boxiest black box that has ever black boxed this or any other known or unknown planet and its surroundings, namely intelligence.

Intelligence is a quantity (or is it a quality?) capable of doing ANYTHING -- you imagine it, intelligence can do it. But intelligence does not have any parts, no internal workings or anything else, it is not subject to any kind of scientific analysis.

So who should have a black box shoveled down their throats?

- pwe

Date: 2008/01/29 09:16:00, Link
Author: pwe
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Jan. 27 2008,15:45)
On this thread, Sal shows his true colors. Writing about Berg's Nomogenesis, Sal notes that Berg's book had a "foreword by Nobel Laureate Theodosius Dobzhansky". In the comments, fellow whacko JAD actually has the smarts to question this assertion, "Are you sure Dobzhansky was a Nobel Laureate?". Sal corrects himself, in typical Sal fashion (when you are caught in a mistake, tell another whopper).        
By golly, I was wrong! He was not a Nobel Laureate. He did receive a nomination.

But according to the official Nobel website, nobody knows who the nominees are until many years later.      
Nomination to the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is by invitation only. The Nobel Committee sends confidential forms to persons who are competent and qualified to nominate candidates for the Nobel Prize in Pysiology or Medicine. The names of the nominees and other information about the nominations cannot be revealed until 50 years later.

More damningly, a search of the database for nominations (available from a link on that page), using the search term "Dobzhansky", yields this      
There are no matches.

Add to that the beginning of Sal's post:

I wish to thank Professor Davison for introducing me to Nomogenesis by Leo Berg.

Professor Davison, anyone we know?

- pwe

Date: 2008/01/30 10:47:07, Link
Author: pwe
Quote (Peter Henderson @ Jan. 30 2008,09:29)
I apologise if some on this forum find this offensive:

Offensive? Au contraire mon frère.

This natural born super genius writes about genetics:

Evolutionists say that biological life forms change in an “upward” direction, becoming more and more complex, through spontaneous mutation of genetic information. However, the word mutation means by definition “copying error.” A mutation is a structural change in the hereditary material which makes the offspring different from the parents. Mutations are errors in copying the genetic codes.

You may copy something perfectly or imperfectly, but you cannot copy something more perfectly. If we copy something perfectly, then there is no change from one generation to the next. If we copy something imperfectly, then the information is degraded or corrupted and the next generation will suffer from the imperfections of the copying processes.

Isn't that just right? Of course, any change is an imperfection, and the imperfect will suffer righteously in hell!

- pwe

Date: 2008/01/30 10:56:34, Link
Author: pwe
Quote (Peter Henderson @ Jan. 30 2008,09:29)
and some articles/sermons:

However, if you had served us this one:

The Big Bang; the Age of the Universe; and Red Shift

I would have had to kill you  :angry:

Here we read:

Here we go again! The astronomers who believe in evolution have attempted to better "define" the age of the universe and the rate of expansion of the "Expanding Universe", a presumed event based upon a belief in one of the various Big Bang theories.

Except that it's the other way around. The universe was thought to be fairly static, when Hubble discovered the redshift af distant galaxies, which in turn made the Roman Catholic Priest Georges Lemaître come up with the Big Bang theory.

But then again, what do you expect from a creationist?

- pwe

Date: 2008/02/05 04:23:46, Link
Author: pwe
Quote (Jason Spaceman @ Feb. 04 2008,21:05)
Today, Answers in Genesis features a piece on the common accusation that creationists reject science.

It's just that the creationist definition of 'science' isn't quite the same as the one used by scientists.

According to the Bible astrologers and necromancers should be killed (why is it that an all-loving god is so happy abound having people killed?), but maybe astrologers and necromancers just have their own definition of science?

- pwe

Date: 2008/02/12 10:55:13, Link
Author: pwe
Quote (Mister DNA @ Feb. 08 2008,15:07)
Quote (J. O'Donnell @ Feb. 08 2008,14:53)
Is this blogging on pseudoscience thing free to use? I could probably stick it to a couple of my posts.

Sure. Right now, there's a few requirements which are negotiable if you think I'm being a hardass:

1) The image - whether you're using the one from or hosting it on your own site - links to (the code for using the images hosted at are at the site)

2) Any future posts using the image contain a "" tag

3) You're willing to - at the very least - have the headline of your post aggregated at At the most, it will be your post's headline and the first paragraph or first few sentences - the post will contain a link back to your site for readers wishing to read the entire article.

Is that agreeable?

Is it ok for anyone to join the fun?

I have made a couple of blog posts about William Dembski and might like to add the icon to them.

- pwe

Date: 2008/02/13 02:21:01, Link
Author: pwe
[quote=Albatrossity2,Feb. 12 2008,17:01]
Quote (Annyday @ Feb. 12 2008,16:08)
In fact, I suspect that he writes stuff like this just to raise a ruckus here. It seems very likely that most of the readers of his blog (besides the multiple personalities of JAD) come from the AtBC crowd. Maybe if we could bring ourselves to ignore him for a while; he'd get even more shrill in an attempt to get more attention.  ;)

Good point.

But then again -- he makes us laugh, and we need to laugh, so ...

- pwe

Date: 2008/02/13 02:25:53, Link
Author: pwe
Quote (Annyday @ Feb. 10 2008,09:42)
Sal's posting again.

Short version: Darwin was an evil atheist who couldn't do math, God is great, Sal still doesn't understand population genetics or Kimura and proof of creationism and/or God's existence is on its way any day now.

These parts of this post were particularly good.

Darwin was a dolt when it came to math. He couldn’t even do high school algebra. This fact seems not to mean much to Mark Chu-Carrol of the Darwinist weblog “Good math, bad math”. That’s because Chu is a Darwinophile, and he let’s his Darwinism blind him from the truth. Where is Chu’s criticism of Darwin’s math? Non-existent. This is evidence of Chu’s bias and willingness to distort the truth in order to defend Darwin.

Darwin was bad at math, and his theory is full of math contradictions.


Kimura’s differential equations blew Darwinism out of water in molecular evolution. Darwin couldn’t solve differential equations because that requires calculus, and Darwin couldn’t even do high school algebra, much less do calculus, much less differential equations…..

[Even I can do high school algebra, and so can Bill Dembski and so can Jonathan Wells :-) ]


Darwinism is no where near physics as a science, heck, it’s not even as good as high school algebra.

The subtlety of Sal's argument truly places him among history's great writers.

Ummm, well, I wonder if Sal knows that Bishop George Berkeley critizised differential calculus and yet claimed that the mind of God heard the sound of falling trees in the wood, when nobody else heard it (or something like that).

- pwe

Date: 2008/02/13 10:17:16, Link
Author: pwe
Quote (Mister DNA @ Feb. 10 2008,08:29)
First off, how is the blog's new look?

Looks fine.

Now I only need to find out, what a DoucheBag Is  :)

- pwe

Date: 2008/02/13 10:20:15, Link
Author: pwe
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Feb. 13 2008,10:06)
Am I wrong?  Talk to me!

Is there anything in particular you want to talk about?

- pwe

Date: 2008/02/19 06:43:15, Link
Author: pwe
Quote (Bob O'H @ Feb. 18 2008,12:47)
P.S. You're not a day late, Kristine.

Kristine is always a day late -- and so am I  :)

Tillykke med fødselsdagen!

- pwe