Saturday, September 12, 2009

No Precambrian Rabbits: Evolution Must Be True

Last week's review of Richard Dawkins' new book in the Economist hit all the usual chords. Dawkins' purpose is to demonstrate that evolution is a fact--as incontrovertible a fact as any in science, and the Economist is only too happy to propagate the absurdity. First, there are the usual silly evidential arguments that only work with the uninformed, of which there are apparently many. True, species appear abruptly in the fossil record but, explains the Economist, "That any traces at all remain from so long ago is astounding, and anyway it is not the completeness of the fossil record but its consistency that matters." After all, there are no fossil rabbits in the ancient strata. That's right, no rabbits before the Cambrian era. Astonishing, evolution must be true.

After this extreme example of the fallacy of affirming the consequent, the review next explains that:

The mammalian skeleton is consistently recognisable in creatures as various as bats, monkeys, horses and humans. Vestiges such as the stumpy wings of flightless birds, and the hairs that prickle on human skin just like the rising hackles on furry mammals, are further testimony to our shared origins. ... At the microscopic scale, molecular genetics connects the various parts of the grand family tree with fantastic detail and accuracy.

Testimony to our shared origins? Grand family tree? Evolutionists in the know are abandoning the venerable evolutionary tree, but don't tell the people. Here we have the fallacy of confirmation bias. There are multitudes of examples of similarities amongst the species that do not fit the evolutionary pattern. It is a glaring example of selecting the evidences that fit the theory, and ignoring the plethora of contradictions.

But the best is saved until last. As always, the real proof is the religious evidence. As the review proclaims:

Glitches, like the laryngeal nerves that are so neatly laid out in fish but that must detour in animals with necks—by a crazy 15 feet (4.6m) in the case of giraffes—demonstrate the incremental, undirected business of evolution in touching detail.

... among the many puzzles that evolution explains so well are the futility and suffering that are ubiquitous in the natural world. All trees would benefit from sticking to a pact to stay small, but natural selection drives them ever upward in search of the light that their competitors also seek. Surely an intelligent designer would have put the rainforest canopy somewhat lower, and saved on tree trunks? The cheetah is perfectly honed to hunt gazelles—but the gazelle is equally well equipped to escape cheetahs. So whose side is the designer on?

The ichneumon wasp paralyses its prey without killing it and lays its larva inside this convenient source of fresh meat, to eat it slowly alive. This is just one striking instance of the immensity of pain in the animal kingdom, which defies explanation except via the unyielding calculus of competitive survival.

With religious arguments like these who needs scientific evidence? But wait, evolution is supposed to be a fact of science. This is where the lie enters in.

It is fine for evolutionists to proclaim their silly idea a fact--it must be for anyone holding their religious dogma. Such religion trumps science, no matter how compelling. The science consistently goes against evolution, but it doesn't matter. Evolution must be true.

The point here is not whether the evolutionists' religious beliefs are right or wrong. If right, then evolution is no doubt true. The point, rather, is that evolution is driven by such arcane religious beliefs that cannot adjust to modern science.

These seventeenth century Enlightenment arguments laid the foundation for Darwin's religious tome, and evolutionists have applied those doctrines ever since. The sentiment of Dawkins and the Economist come right out of this Enlightenment piety. The evidences have been updated and the language has changed but what's important--the ideas--is still the same.

48 comments:

  1. There are multitudes of examples of similarities amongst the species that do not fit the evolutionary pattern.
    Such as?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Such as?

    No, no, this is a blog for making bold proclimations, not for backing them up.

    Oh and also apparently

    This looks like it was designed = A totally non-religious argument

    but

    This looks like is wasn't designed = A totally religious argument.

    ReplyDelete
  3. "Such as?"
    "not for backing them up."

    Incredible. This shows how far evolutionary misinformation and misrepresentation has penetrated science. If you really want science rather than dogma then you'll have to look at the evidence. Try any life science library. If that is not convenient, here are some links for starters:


    http://www.darwinspredictions.com/#_4.2_Genomes_of

    http://www.darwinspredictions.com/#_4.3_Genomes_of

    ReplyDelete
  4. justfinethanks :
    Your childish sarcasm is about to be turned on you.

    looks designed = non religious argument?

    Saying something looks designed or not isn't even an argument!

    Thats just an observation or personal opinion.

    Even your fave high Darwinian priest Dawkin's admits everywhere that natural things look designed!

    There goes your own ignorance-based "rebuttal".

    Next time maybe try to understand before trying to "refute"?

    ReplyDelete
  5. "his is just one striking instance of the immensity of pain in the animal kingdom, which defies explanation except via the unyielding calculus of competitive survival."

    Dr. Hunter - do you not accept that there is pain and suffering in the animal kingdom? Or is that observation also a religiously-inspired one? Besides, what is YOUR explanation of this phenomena? The fall? (and if so wouldn't that be a religious explanation...?)

    ReplyDelete
  6. "do you not accept that there is pain and suffering in the animal kingdom?"

    Yes, I accept that.

    "what is YOUR explanation of this phenomena?"

    Evolutionists use this question as a protectionist device. They believe evolution is a fact, and when faced with the absurdity of their claims they switch the subject. There is little point to discussing *my* idea with folks who are either lying, in denial, or unbelievably ignorant about science.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Cornelius: "Evolutionists use this question as a protectionist device. They believe evolution is a fact, and when faced with the absurdity of their claims they switch the subject. There is little point to discussing *my* idea with folks who are either lying, in denial, or unbelievably ignorant about science."

    Huh? I write 3-4 sentences and from this you conclude I might be lying, in denial or ignorant about science?

    My question is perfectly reasonable. You accept that pain or suffering exists. If you think I'm ignorant, then this is your blog and you have the opportunity to educate myself and others.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Timcol:

    "Huh? I write 3-4 sentences and from this you conclude I might be lying, in denial or ignorant about science?"

    How did you conclude that? I made it clear I was referring to evolutionists.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Cornelius: "How did you conclude that? I made it clear I was referring to evolutionists."

    Since the reply was in response to my question, I think it's reasonable to conclude you were probably including me in the mix. Especially since you don't want to answer the question because you think it's a "protectionist device". But no matter, I'm just interested to see if you are going to answer the question and offer your explanation.

    I'm assuming you are an evangelical Christian given your credentials - do you therefore believe that pain and suffering in the animal kingdom is the result of the Fall as described in Genesis?

    ReplyDelete
  10. What about the rabbits? Ok, let's skip the precambrian but why not the cambrian? Where are they found first in the geologic column and why do you think that is?

    It may sound like I am a mocking evolutionist but actually I am a Biblical creationist but just, wondered how you would answer those questions.

    Another one like it is why are whales never found below dinosaurs? I don't know if it's true that whales are never found below dinosaurs but... I am curious to hear your thoughts.

    Kind regards,
    Mofi

    ReplyDelete
  11. But the best is saved until last. As always, the real proof is the religious evidence.

    You appear to be confusing criticism of the claims of Intelligent Design with evidence for evolution. The Economist is not a scientific journal presenting the results of studies. It is a popular magazine presenting a book review.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Boo:

    "You appear to be confusing criticism of the claims of Intelligent Design with evidence for evolution. The Economist is not a scientific journal presenting the results of studies. It is a popular magazine presenting a book review."

    No, I'm not the one confusing the criticism. This is a classic evolutionary cunard. The evolutionist gives his religious pronouncements and then is shocked when it is pointed out. What me?

    If you think the religion is contrived by pop media such as the Economist, then you are not familiar with evolution.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Timcol:

    "I'm assuming you are an evangelical Christian given your credentials - do you therefore believe that pain and suffering in the animal kingdom is the result of the Fall as described in Genesis?"

    Yes, I am a Christian. That means I believe Jesus is alive right now, and without him we have no hope. But that doesn't get me very far when it comes to detailed metaphysical questions, such as your about the origin of evil. The Bible does not supply such answers to this and many such questions.

    Yes, there are indications, but differing interpretations are possible. In fact, you can interpret the Bible as rejecting evolution or supporting it! That's quite a range of possibilities.

    Here's what's important. This is a question that evolutionists commonly ask, and it reflects evolutionary thinking. Evolutionary thought is all about ultimate truths. It is not a scientific inquiry, and should not be mistaken as such. It does not follow the empirical evidence, but is dogmatically committed to particular religious views.

    So when someone questions evolution, one is really questioning the metaphysics behind evolution. So evolutionists want to know what your metaphysics are. These questions are yet more evidence of what this is all about. Nothing wrong with that, but let's not confuse evolution with science.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I can accept that evolutionists may fall into the confirmation bias trap. I think everybody does to some extent. But what about your religious presuppositions Cornelius? What about your own confirmation bias? I know the ID community wants to promote itself as this somehow pure scientific endeavor that is free from bias. But given that a very high percentage of ID proponents (if not the majority) are also evangelical christians, it's quite likely that confirmation bias is playing a part.

    Let's take the 'pain and suffering' issue again (which I see you don't want to answer). Quite a few ID proponents accept the idea of the fall of mankind and then the consequences this had on the animal kingdom. I don't know what brand of Christian you are, so you may or not accept this. But many do...and because of this belief it inevitably colors their view of the animal kingdom and how it come to be. Furthermore it will often preclude them accepting a more straightforward naturalistic explanation because it would be at odds with their belief system.

    So if you want to say that evolution has religious roots, fine...but don't for a minute think that ID is somehow immune to similar religious roots. It isn't...and it is extremely disingenuous on part of the ID community not to face up to their own religious origins.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Cornelius: "The Bible does not supply such answers to this and many such questions."

    What good is it then?

    ReplyDelete
  16. "What good is it then?"

    Well it tells you how to be saved.

    ReplyDelete
  17. "Let's take the 'pain and suffering' issue again (which I see you don't want to answer)."

    Bingo. This is a typical evolutionary response to an honest answer. Evolutionists are dogmatically committed to particular religious beliefs, and so they can't believe you are not also. They can't believe some people follow the empirical scientific evidence.

    ReplyDelete
  18. "Quite a few ID proponents accept the idea of the fall of mankind and then the consequences this had on the animal kingdom. I don't know what brand of Christian you are, so you may or not accept this. But many do...and because of this belief it inevitably colors their view of the animal kingdom and how it come to be. Furthermore it will often preclude them accepting a more straightforward naturalistic explanation because it would be at odds with their belief system."

    Well I just explained that I recognize a spectrum of biblical interpretations for the origin of evil. So no, my criticism of evolution has nothing to do with some personal religious commitment, save for the fact that I *lack* the evolutionary religious commitments. They might be right, I''m just not sure (unlike them).

    As for your claim about ID, can you name a single ID argument that has religious premises? The answer, of course, is "no."


    "So if you want to say that evolution has religious roots, fine...but don't for a minute think that ID is somehow immune to similar religious roots. It isn't...and it is extremely disingenuous on part of the ID community not to face up to their own religious origins."

    I didn't know that the ID community doesn't face up to its religious roots. Can you give some examples?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Cornelius: "As for your claim about ID, can you name a single ID argument that has religious premises? The answer, of course, is "no."


    Well it's easy to infer from "Intelligent Design" that there is an Intelligent Designer. Yet it is remarkable all the dancing around and skirting around that the ID community does in trying to distance themselves from this fact. We hear things such as "The identify of the Designer" is outside the purvey of ID. Who are you kidding? Yes, ID is pure science and the identify of the Designer is not a question that need not bother them. RIght. Except of course the vast majority of ID proponents already had the Designer figured out before they even considered ID as a viable option. If that isn't confirmation bias I don't know what is...

    ReplyDelete
  20. "Well it tells you how to be saved."


    It does? But each of the approximately 30,000 Christian cults and sects often seem to disagree on exactly how this works. Depending on which church I ask I might get a different answer from each one...

    Besides who wants to be "saved" by some deity who is simply playing some dreadful cosmic game anyway?

    ReplyDelete
  21. "Besides who wants to be "saved" by some deity who is simply playing some dreadful cosmic game anyway?"

    So you've dug yourself into a pit, and now you're complaining about the guy who gave you the shovel and you won't climb up the ladder that he's lowered for you.

    ReplyDelete
  22. If you really want science rather than dogma then you'll have to look at the evidence. Try any life science library. If that is not convenient, here are some links for starters:


    http://www.darwinspredictions.com/#_4.2_Genomes_of

    http://www.darwinspredictions.com/#_4.3_Genomes_of


    I have access to a large life sciences library. So where exactly should I look? I'm not going to read through everything!

    The first of the two links discusses differences between species, not similarities I was asking about.

    The second link actually does present some evidence. The "multitudes" of evidence seem to be two lines: one study on histones, and the work on UCEs. I haven't looked at the papers, but the UCE work always struck me as lacking because it was only laboratory based: a lot of the usual life cycle of mammals was missing. A similar claim could be made about the histone work, but I'm less familiar with that work (and with the ecology of yeast generally).

    So the only evidence you have has gaps in its knowledge: gaps we can (of course) both exploit to claim that the other's position is wrong. Both are certainly puzzles in the Kuhnian sense, but they are hardly multitudes, and there are evolutionary explanations that could account for the patterns (it might be that there are studies that have looked at these systems in more detail: if you know of any more studies on the histones in particular, I'd be interested in the references).

    ReplyDelete
  23. "So you've dug yourself into a pit, and now you're complaining about the guy who gave you the shovel and you won't climb up the ladder that he's lowered for you."


    Apparently I'm in this hypothetical pit simply because I was inquisitive about the world and wanted to partake of "knowledge". For this "sin" I find myself in a pit. Apparently too, it seems if I refuse the shove guy's help his going to cover the pit and bury me alive for all of eternity. Thanks for the help, but no thanks. (besides the idea of the "pit" is a myth-making invention of a few thousand years ago; and it looks like the shovel guy hasn't shown himself for a couple of thousand years ago, assuming he ever did in the first place...)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Bob O:

    ===
    The first of the two links discusses differences between species, not similarities ...

    the UCE work always struck me as lacking because it was only laboratory based: a lot of the usual life cycle of mammals was missing.
    ===

    The double standard is amazing. The bar is so low for evolution evidence it may as well not be there (if one wants examples of speculative lab work, that's where to look), and then the problems with the theory are dismissed for whatever technicality is available.

    Evolutionists were astonished by by UCEs, and then later they there really is no problem.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Lurker:

    "Apparently I'm in this hypothetical pit simply because I was inquisitive about the world and wanted to partake of "knowledge". For this "sin" I find myself in a pit. Apparently too, it seems if I refuse the shove guy's help his going to cover the pit and bury me alive for all of eternity. Thanks for the help, but no thanks. (besides the idea of the "pit" is a myth-making invention of a few thousand years ago; and it looks like the shovel guy hasn't shown himself for a couple of thousand years ago, assuming he ever did in the first place...)"

    I guess scientific absurdity doesn't matter.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Cornelius: "I guess scientific absurdity doesn't matter."

    Sorry, but this really makes no sense. I have no idea of what you are trying to say. If there is absurdity, it is believing that ancient myth used by ancient people to explain a world they could make little sense of it. You want to promote science - why not take a scientific approach to the origins of the OT and NT. After doing so you may realize that it is not quite the divinely inspired book you think it is, let alone the handbook of salvation.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Cornelius: "But that doesn't get me very far when it comes to detailed metaphysical questions, such as your about the origin of evil. The Bible does not supply such answers to this and many such questions."

    I think this a little odd; on the one hand Cornelius disparages evolutionists who, according to him at least, are influenced more by religious beliefs than science. On the surface one would think religion is a bad thing. But no, Cornelius is himself a believer, so obviously religion plays a large part in his life (by the sound of it and because he teaches at Biola I'd assume he is an evangelical Christian).

    But then we are supposed to buy the fact that the science Cornelius practices is not influenced by religion (unlike evolution). Having known a large number of Christians (and as a former fundamentalist Christian myself), that's just a little hard to swallow. Especially when you consider that many have traced the origin of ID directly to creationist/religious roots (can you say cdesign proponentists?). Perhaps Cornelius likes to think that there is no confirmation bias here, but given the way religion takes a control of a person's mind, I must admit I'm quite incredulous.

    Furthermore I think this whole argument of "evolution = religion" is just a dead end. Ultimately if ID is to succeed it needs strong positive evidence, not just the endless evolution-bashing espoused by the likes of Cornelius. So far that evidence seems short in supply

    ReplyDelete
  28. Lurker:

    "Sorry, but this really makes no sense."

    I know. You have no choice. As a Christian I can accept or reject evolution. I can follow the evidence. Atheism doesn't allow that choice. Your options are evolution or evolution.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Incredulous:

    "But then we are supposed to buy the fact that the science Cornelius practices is not influenced by religion (unlike evolution). ... Perhaps Cornelius likes to think that there is no confirmation bias here, but given the way religion takes a control of a person's mind, I must admit I'm quite incredulous."

    Sooo, evolution's absurdities and religious mandates are OK because, after all, those skeptics must be religiously driven as well.

    Unbelievable! Evolution's hypocrisy is at a fever pitch. They make religious pronouncements, claim their asanine theory must be true, and if you point this out they blame *you* for bringing religion into the debate.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Evolutionists were astonished by by UCEs, and then later they there really is no problem.
    What? Did you read the whole of my comment? I wrote "Both are certainly puzzles in the Kuhnian sense," - I can't see how you could interpret that as saying there really is no problem.

    There is a problem, but there are several ways of resolving it. One would be to show that the UCEs are deleterious in the natural environment. Another would be to dump the whole of evolutionary theory.

    If we dumped all of our theories at the first sign of a problem, we wouldn't have any science left: I don't have my copy of What Is This Thing Called Science? handy, but in there it's pointed out that a lot of theories that are currently accepted have been falsified at some point, but it's later found that it wasn't the theory that was wrong.

    Now, this doesn't mean we should just ignore these problems: they are, after all, still problems. But they have to be investigated to see if they are a problem for evolutionary biology, and there are still several lines of enquiry we can take. The more these investigations fail to show an answer, the more we will think that there is something wrong. That's the way we work as scientists: we collect data to try and understand what is interesting or puzzling.

    ReplyDelete
  31. No, I'm not the one confusing the criticism. This is a classic evolutionary cunard. The evolutionist gives his religious pronouncements and then is shocked when it is pointed out. What me?

    Mr. Hunter- your reply is a complete non-sequiter. Criticizing claims of ID is not the same as presenting evidence for evolution. That is simply a fact. Your handwaving about "religious pronouncements" does not alter this fact. No one is "shocked" that anti-ID arguments are religious in nature, because ID itself is really religious in nature. That does not change the fact that these "religious pronouncements" are not the same as evidence for evolution and are not regarded by the scientific community as being such.

    If you think the religion is contrived by pop media such as the Economist, then you are not familiar with evolution.

    Why not quote from an actual "evolutionist" then?

    ReplyDelete
  32. Cornelius: "Sooo, evolution's absurdities and religious mandates are OK because, after all, those skeptics must be religiously driven as well.

    Unbelievable! Evolution's hypocrisy is at a fever pitch. They make religious pronouncements, claim their asanine theory must be true, and if you point this out they blame *you* for bringing religion into the debate."

    The point I was making is that the criticism you level at evolutionists for being religiously driven can also be equally leveled at you - in fact much more so, given the rather dubious history of ID and it's roots in creationism. This is a point you fail to acknowledge.

    And others have pointed out claiming that evolutionists are "religious" is a ludicrous claim and one that you cannot really substantiate. I can see that, yes, evolutionists may hold certain presuppositions, or that confirmation bias is at work (and ultimately where is that not true) - but to seriously claim that evolution is some kind of "religion" makes you sound as credible as a conspirator theorist. To be blunt, it's a stupid argument that has no substance to it.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Dr. Hunter: "I know. You have no choice. As a Christian I can accept or reject evolution. I can follow the evidence. Atheism doesn't allow that choice. Your options are evolution or evolution."

    Not true. There are in fact some atheists who do ascribe to ID. Of course doing so raises all sorts of interesting and philosophical questions. I personally think ID could be a viable option too and is one of the reasons I read blogs like this. For now though, ID remains an interesting undeveloped idea, and one that has barely made it to the hypothesis stage. One sign of this is that most of the writings here and on uncommondescent are nearly always preoccupied with criticizing evolution rather than offering any positive evidence for ID. Yes, we hear about people making "design inferences" although when you poke on this this turns out to be little more than "we don't understand how evolution did it and it looks really complex and must be designed". I've yet to see anybody systematically show how Dembski's ideas around and the explanatory filter are practically applied.

    Right now ID is an interesting concept, but lacks any real positive evidence. For example, ID can say nothing about the scope of design, the methods the designer used, when said design may have occurred, any reuse involved, the characteristics of the designer. And if you go to biologic.org which is supposed to be one of the leading "research" arms of ID, it is woefully lacking in any proper research that might attempt to answer those questions. And we won't even mention the ISCID journal, which has now not published anything in nearly 4 years. If there is any real pragmatic ID research going on it's hard to see it.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Incredulous:

    ===
    And others have pointed out claiming that evolutionists are "religious" is a ludicrous claim
    ===

    I didn't know that. Who would that be? This should be interesting--how does one sanitize centuries of religious claims?

    ====
    but to seriously claim that evolution is some kind of "religion" makes you sound as credible as a conspirator theorist. To be blunt, it's a stupid argument that has no substance to it.
    ====

    No substance? So evolutionists claim their theory if true, use metaphysical premises to prove the point, and yet there is no substance. This sort of anti intellectualism is, unfortunately, not limited to Internet chats. This is typical.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Cornelius: "No substance? So evolutionists claim their theory if true, use metaphysical premises to prove the point, and yet there is no substance. This sort of anti intellectualism is, unfortunately, not limited to Internet chats. This is typical."

    Why do you simply avoid answering questions? The point was made about ID not having substance and once again you just resort to avoiding the question. The point was - where is the substance for ID? Where are the practical workings of applying CSI, design filters etc? Seems to me when it comes down to it ID proponents just throw all of that grand theory out the work and make grand declarations that something is "designed". Where are the working documents? Why has ISCID not published anything; why is the biologic institute not doing relevant research? Do you actually ever answer a question?

    I guess at least we have you saying "metaphysical" now instead of religious, so I suppose that is progress of a fashion...

    ReplyDelete
  36. Incredulous:

    ===
    And others have pointed out claiming that evolutionists are "religious" is a ludicrous claim
    ===

    I asked your for details. I wrote: "I didn't know that. Who would that be?" but you didn't answer. Instead, you claimed that I did not answer you (about ID, ISCID, Biologic Institute, etc). But there was no question.

    You made assertions about lack of progress. OK, fair enough. Not being an ISCID or Biologic person, or in the thick of ID, I had nothing to add. But then you say this:

    ====
    Why do you simply avoid answering questions? The point was made about ID not having substance and once again you just resort to avoiding the question.
    ====

    Sorry, I didn't see a question. What I do see is you not answering a clear and simple question. I'm not surprised because, frankly, you are simply making baseless assertions.

    ===
    Where are the working documents? Why has ISCID not published anything; why is the biologic institute not doing relevant research?
    ===

    Again, I'm not the person to ask.

    ReplyDelete
  37. "Evolutionists in the know are abandoning the venerable evolutionary tree, but don't tell the people."

    I've heard that they're refining the classic tree model, but no one has ever claimed that they're abandoning it completely. Abandoning it for what? If you know, please do tell :)

    "It is a glaring example of selecting the evidences that fit the theory, and ignoring the plethora of contradictions."

    Contradictions such as what? Could it be that scientists don't see them as contradictions, that you're the only one that does? Surely you wouldn't want to religiously rule out the possibility that you've missed something?

    "As always, the real proof is the religious evidence."

    Perhaps, but until you show how those random quotes are supposed to show signs of "religious" beliefs, they don't prove anything. All we have is your argument from your own authority that you're right, and they're wrong.

    "It is fine for evolutionists to proclaim their silly idea a fact--it must be for anyone holding their religious dogma."

    And if we tossed evolution to the side, and Intelligent Design became fact, what then? Wouldn't it too, by your own definition, be "religious dogma" and not science? Or is it only evolution that is "religious" in nature, but absolutely not your own theories?

    "The science consistently goes against evolution, but it doesn't matter."

    But it doesn't, and so evolution isn't religion. Again, you can't just invoke your own, biased authority as some sort of "proof" that evolution is nothing but ideological dogma. I can call you a donkey all night long, but until I actually prove that you are one, my words mean absolutely nothing.

    How, exactly, does science "consistently" go "against evolution"? And if it does, can you explain why only those scientists involved with the theory of evolution are so utterly blind to this fact, or why they're part of such a vast, overwhelming conspiracy on a global level? Are you actually aware of the meaning of your own implications?

    "Evolution must be true."

    Only as long as the evidence shows it to be true. If they don't, you're more than welcome to recognize that, and show everyone else.

    "The point, rather, is that evolution is driven by such arcane religious beliefs that cannot adjust to modern science."

    Unlike, of course, the explicitly religiously motivated, financed and supported "theory" of Intelligent Design.

    I find your ways of repeatedly accuse science of something without ever feeling the need to substantiate those accusations quite cowardly and pathetic. You're not convincing anyone at all. It doesn't matter if we're all under some magic spell of evolution, even if we weren't your arguments are completely void of any substance. They're nothing but one, long argument from authority, and what's even worse is that you're not even invoking any authority other than your own, which is, to say the least, questionable.

    Cornelius, as you're probably well aware, when allegedly disproving one scientific theory, your own theory doesn't automatically attain priority. You don't simply win by default. Even if you somehow were able to completely falsify evolution today, we would simply be back to square one. You still have to show at least as strong evidence in favor of design as there ever was in favor of evolution.

    I don't understand why you reason and argue as if this wasn't the case. It makes you sound as if you don't know what you're talking about. And I'm sure you know that you know absolutely well what you're talking about, don't you? ;)

    ReplyDelete
  38. Nathaniel:

    ====
    But it doesn't, and so evolution isn't religion. Again, you can't just invoke your own, biased authority as some sort of "proof" that evolution is nothing but ideological dogma. I can call you a donkey all night long, but until I actually prove that you are one, my words mean absolutely nothing. ...

    I find your ways of repeatedly accuse science of something without ever feeling the need to substantiate those accusations quite cowardly and pathetic.
    ====

    Do you really expect me to repeat a book's worth of information in every blog post? If you are genuinely interested I have a web page (DarwinsPredictions.com) to get you started. See the Links at the top right.

    ReplyDelete
  39. "Do you really expect me to repeat a book's worth of information in every blog post?"

    Of course not, but you could at least hint at the source behind your claims? You could also try to answer my other points, most of which require no one to read any entire book to find the answer. At some points I even specifically asked for the source for your claims, not the entire explanation itself, and you ignored that in favor of whining about how I didn't read your books.

    "If you are genuinely interested I have a web page (DarwinsPredictions.com) to get you started."

    Right. I clicked one chapter at random and found "3.1 Evolution has hundreds of millions of years available", in which it is apparently scientifically unlawful to ever change one's theories to fit the actual data and facts at hand. Darwin's theory has been changed and refined many times since he wrote it, and we also have much more data than he ever had. Does modern cosmology also prove itself false because the earlier predictions don't still hold true? What is this obsession with Darwin from the ID camp? Why must he be either 100% right, or completely and utterly wrong?

    Evolution doesn't proclaim itself as "true", it's simply the best explanation we have for the evidence at this time. Intelligent Design could take its place, if it actually explained anything properly and if it were actually useful in any way. Since it's not, evolution is still our best theory.

    If you want to falsify evolution, falsify the actual, current theory, and not only the initial predictions of Darwin himself. Or, to put it in other terms, pick on someone who'll fight back, and leave the dead in the ground where they belong. There are plenty of living scientists who have made predictions that you can attack.

    ReplyDelete
  40. "Evolution doesn't proclaim itself as true"

    Of course it does. Its truth is fundamental to evolutionary thought. It has to be true, because design / creation must be false.

    ReplyDelete
  41. "Of course it does. Its truth is fundamental to evolutionary thought. It has to be true, because design / creation must be false."

    I guess this is your problem, right here. You don't even care about which one is true, you have simply decided to be the victim.

    No one has said that "ID/creationism must be false", and no one short of a complete fool would ever claim that. I am personally perfectly capable of entertaining the notion that ID is true, but as long as you consistently fail to show that it is, I won't assume that it is either. Unlike you, I'm not religious (in the actual sense of the word, not the straw man "science is religion" sense) and I don't believe in any gods to begin with, so I don't have a natural bias towards design-oriented theories. I believe the theory best supported by the evidence, and if you can't deal with the fact that that is evolution, then tough luck.

    On top of all that, it is quite dishonest for you to argue the way you do. You are not a victim of anything but your own choice to be one. The scientific community would welcome your ideas if only there was substance to them.

    Stop your sulking, your whining and your misrepresentation of evolution and science in general. Be a man, collect your evidence, present it and be prepared to receive criticism.

    Seriously. You sound like a petulant little child who's not allowed to play in the bigger sandbox with the other children.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Folks:

    This is what it is like to discuss evolution with an evolutionist. In the face of an abundance of evidence, they reply with ad hominems and baseless assertions. You can write books and websites--it doesn't matter.

    ====
    "you have simply decided to be the victim."

    "No one has said that "ID/creationism must be false", and no one short of a complete fool would ever claim that. "

    "Stop your sulking, your whining and your misrepresentation of evolution and science in general. Be a man, collect your evidence, present it and be prepared to receive criticism.

    Seriously. You sound like a petulant little child who's not allowed to play in the bigger sandbox with the other children."
    =====

    No one has said that ID/creationism must be false--except Leibniz, Kant, etc., and Darwin, and the later evolutionists. But other than that, no one would be such a "complete fool."

    This highlights the problem that people are unaware of the facts.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Folks:

    This is what it is like to discuss evolution with a creationist. In the face of an abundance of evidence, they reply by avoiding the subject and referring you somewhere else that also doesn't actually answer any questions. You can show hundreds of years of consistent science--it doesn't matter.

    "No one has said that ID/creationism must be false--except Leibniz, Kant, etc., and Darwin, and the later evolutionists. But other than that, no one would be such a "complete fool.""

    I like how it always falls back on semantics with creationists. It always ends with you having to explain what "theory" means, that to "know" something doesn't necessarily mean absolute, 100%, completely flawless truth and that, as in this case, when evolutionists speak of creation as "must be wrong", they do so in the light of the actual evidence. Creationism and evolution are mutually exclusive, they can't both be true. So, if the facts and evidence have convinced you that evolution is right, then logically and reasonably, creation "must" be false.

    What Cornelius, and all creationists love to do, is imply that this means these people have made up their minds. They want to imply that those who accept evolution as the theory which best and most completely explains our origins are so dead sure that they won't even allow the possibility of another theory replacing theirs.

    This is false. Any theory which has more and/or stronger evidence than that which exist for the theory of evolution, will replace evolution within a probably quite short time span. The problem is that creationists are impatient, because they know that they're right in that other, absolute sense, and they therefor don't care about the amount or strength of evidence in favor. They want the scientific community to just decide that creation is right, for no other reason than that they themselves think it is.

    The scientific community will gladly accept, examine and verify any and all evidence in favor of creationism or Intelligent Design. You cannot blame it on science that you fail to produce this evidence. The only one who can be faulted with not bringing evidence that is convincing enough is you.

    This highlights the problem that people are unaware when they're arguing solely out of faith, instead of actual fact.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Folks:

    This is an unfortunate example of what it is like to discuss evolution with an evolutionist. It is uncanny how repeatable the patterns are. They put words in your mouth and they also misrepresent evolution. Then there are the character attacks.

    Here are some examples:

    "I find your ways of repeatedly accuse science of something without ever feeling the need to substantiate those accusations quite cowardly and pathetic."

    Huh? Not ever feeling the need to substantiate? The blog is full of examples, and there is a lengthy web page resource that is fully referenced.


    "Evolution doesn't proclaim itself as "true", "

    This is false and a remarkable admissioni of either ignorance or denialism.


    "If you want to falsify evolution ..."

    Of course I never attempted that. Evolutionists typically overstate your position. Great way to win a debate.



    "There are plenty of living scientists who have made predictions that you can attack."

    But I did do that. The evolutionist would know that if he genuinely wanted to understand the criticism.



    "you have simply decided to be the victim."

    Yeah, thanks for straitening me out on that. Guess the game is up huh? Amazing how quickly evolutionists can pinpoint our inner hangups.



    "No one has said that "ID/creationism must be false"

    Evolutionists are constantly saying this, and they then turn around and deny every saying any such thing. Unbelievable.



    "Unlike you, I'm not religious ... and I don't believe in any gods to begin with, so I don't have a natural bias towards design-oriented theories. ... This is what it is like to discuss evolution with a creationist."

    This is classic. The atheist, who needs evolution, thinks he is neutral and he calls me, a Christian who can go either way with evolution, a creationist.



    "I like how it always falls back on semantics with creationists. It always ends with you having to explain what "theory" means, that to "know" something doesn't necessarily mean absolute, 100%, completely flawless truth "

    This is a bait and switch that happens over and over. Evolutionists claim that creation is false and that their theory is a fact as much as gravity is a fact, and then they blame the critics when we analyze *their* claim. They want to have it both ways. Over and over they make this claim in the literature, and then when a critic shows up they backtrack, and blame the critic for overstating the claim. But we're using the exact idea and wording they use. Unbelievable.



    "when evolutionists speak of creation as "must be wrong", they do so in the light of the actual evidence."

    No, that is not what evolutionists do. They make religious claims and then turn around and say they did no such thing. That's what evolutionists constantly do. Jerry Coyne provides a good recent example.



    "What Cornelius, and all creationists love to do, is imply that this means these people have made up their minds. ... The problem is that creationists are impatient, because they know that they're right in that other, absolute sense, and they therefore don't care about the amount or strength of evidence in favor. They want the scientific community to just decide that creation is right, for no other reason than that they themselves think it is."

    Except that this is a fabrication. The creationist label, the psycho babble, the contriving of motivations, are all common.



    "This highlights the problem that people are unaware when they're arguing solely out of faith, instead of actual fact."

    They make religious claims, you bring the facts, and then they switch positions.

    Folks, these are the best arguments evolutionists can come up with. When you question their theory, this is what you get. They don't want to talk about the scientific problems, for obvious reasons. So it is always about your character, about religion, ... anything but the science.

    ReplyDelete
  45. This is why I hate debating on blogs... This is 2009, damnit, computers can handle more than 4096 characters!

    [Part One]

    Folks:

    This is an unfortunate example of what it is like to discuss evolution with a creationist. It is uncanny how repeatable the patterns are. They put words in your mouth and they also misrepresent evolution.

    "Huh? Not ever feeling the need to substantiate? The blog is full of examples, and there is a lengthy web page resource that is fully referenced."

    I'm sorry, but I completely fail to see your repeated accusations of "religion" in evolution as anything but your own, personal opinion. Your "references" in this case all seem to be to quotes that you think prove religious thought, but which all normal people see as anything but.

    "Evolution doesn't proclaim itself as "true", [...]"

    "This is false and a remarkable admissioni of either ignorance or denialism.
    "

    How convenient that, in making this comment, you completely ignored my explanation which immediately followed that particular part of my statement.

    "If you want to falsify evolution ..."

    "Of course I never attempted that. Evolutionists typically overstate your position. Great way to win a debate.
    "

    May I remind you that this very article is partly titled "No Precambrian Rabbits", clearly referring to the popular example of falsification of the theory of evolution. Whether you're personally attempting to falsify the entire theory or not, mentioning falsification is entirely relevant.

    "you have simply decided to be the victim."

    "Yeah, thanks for straitening me out on that. Guess the game is up huh? Amazing how quickly evolutionists can pinpoint our inner hangups.
    "

    Not as quickly as you call me, and everyone else convinced by the theory of evolution, "religious". I guess it's OK when you do it, but not when I do it, huh?

    ReplyDelete
  46. [Part Two]

    "No one has said that "ID/creationism must be false"

    "Evolutionists are constantly saying this, and they then turn around and deny every saying any such thing. Unbelievable.
    "

    Again, I explained this in the immediately following part of my statement. Look, at least quote entire sentences if you want to make a point. I could do what you do, pick out "evolutionists are constantly [...]" and claim that as a lie because we don't always do everything "constantly". However, doing that would be utterly pointless...

    "This is classic. The atheist, who needs evolution, thinks he is neutral and he calls me, a Christian who can go either way with evolution, a creationist."

    I actually laughed out loud at this. This will probably be my last comment on this post, because I find little satisfaction in arguing with people who are clearly delusional.

    I would rebut your argument, but it is so childishly ignorant that I just don't know where to begin. If you really want me to, I'll make an attempt. Until then, though, I'll just let your logic speak for itself.

    "Evolutionists claim that creation is false and that their theory is a fact as much as gravity is a fact, and then they blame the critics when we analyze *their* claim. They want to have it both ways. Over and over they make this claim in the literature, and then when a critic shows up they backtrack, and blame the critic for overstating the claim. But we're using the exact idea and wording they use. Unbelievable."

    *sigh...*

    "when evolutionists speak of creation as "must be wrong", they do so in the light of the actual evidence."

    "No, that is not what evolutionists do. They make religious claims and then turn around and say they did no such thing. That's what evolutionists constantly do. Jerry Coyne provides a good recent example.
    "

    No, you merely claim that they're making "religious" claims. Understanding that you are a Christian (a "neutral" Christian, HA!) I could easily make the argument that you are, literally, making religious claims when you argue for a model based almost solely on the holy text in which you place your faith. That would at least make a modicum of sense.

    "The creationist label, the psycho babble, the contriving of motivations, are all common."

    The atheist label, the psycho babble, the contriving of motivations, are all common.

    Evolution has nothing to do with atheism, just as atheism has nothing to do with evolution. On top of that, neither has anything to do with religion. It is you who make claims as to "our" motivations, our atheist psychology and label everything in a way to make it seem less authoritative than the Holy Men of God.

    If I remember correctly, you were the first of the two of us to include creationism in this debate, whereas I went into it assuming we were only talking about Intelligent Design (they are different, aren't they? Or is it more convenient for you to argue that they're the same?)

    ReplyDelete
  47. Point 1:

    "Again, I explained this in the immediately following part of my statement. Look, at least quote entire sentences if you want to make a point."

    I stopped quoting because it just got worse. Here is what you said:

    "No one has said that "ID/creationism must be false", and no one short of a complete fool would ever claim that. I am personally perfectly capable of entertaining the notion that ID is true, but as long as you consistently fail to show that it is, I won't assume that it is either.

    So you are judging evolutionists to be "complete fools." The fact the you are open to ID is irrelevant. Then you said:

    "I like how it always falls back on semantics with creationists. It always ends with you having to explain what "theory" means, that to "know" something doesn't necessarily mean absolute, 100%, completely flawless truth and that, as in this case, when evolutionists speak of creation as "must be wrong", they do so in the light of the actual evidence."

    Doesn't necessarily mean absolute, 100%, completely flawless? So what is it about John Ray's argument that god wouldn't create worms that is uncertain? What is it about Burnet's argument that god would only use natural causes that is uncertain? What is it about Leibniz's rebuke of Newton, accusing him of disrespect of god, that is uncertain? What is it about Kant's mandating a law-like origins that is uncertain? What is it about Wolfe mandating no miracles that is uncertain? What is it about Darwin mandating that god not work as man works that is uncertain?

    Ah, but wait, what about all the evidence? Burnet was bothered by the jagged coastlines and Kant was bothered by the planetary inclination angles. Darwin was bothered by the geographical distribution of bats, Wallace about the designs of flowers, de Beer about extinctions, Ken Miller about the mosquito, Ayala about wisdom teeth. You could write books about this stuff.

    So there's your evidence folks. Yes, it's all about science, after all, look at all the evidence. Wisdom teeth, mosquitos, extinctions, etc. The list goes on and on. As Gould summarized:

    "Odd arrangements and funny solutions are the proof of evolution—paths that a sensible God would never tread but that a natural process, constrained by history, follows perforce. No one understood this better than Darwin. Ernst Mayr has shown how Darwin, in defending evolution, consistently turned to organic parts and geographic distributions that make the least sense."

    Yeah, that's just hard science. Unbelievable. They proclaim this stuff for centuries, and then chastise you for not seeing the "evidence," saying it is you that are religiously driven.


    Point 2:

    I wrote: "Evolutionists claim that creation is false and that their theory is a fact as much as gravity is a fact, and then they blame the critics when we analyze *their* claim. They want to have it both ways. Over and over they make this claim in the literature, and then when a critic shows up they backtrack, and blame the critic for overstating the claim. But we're using the exact idea and wording they use. Unbelievable."

    To which the evolutionist responds: *sigh...*

    Darwin's book was full of arguments against creation (such as those above) and he concluded, "We may safely attribute these structures to inheritance." He had *no idea* how the wonders of nature arose by themselves, but he was sure they must have. And evolution's predictions are always turning out false. Yet evolutionists mandate that evolution is a fact as much as gravity is a fact. That is ludicrous. As Ernst Mayr explained, the fact of evolution is so overwhelmingly established that it would be irrational to call it a theory. [What Evolution Is (New York: Basic Books, 2001) 264]. From Leibniz to Darwin to Coyne, every argument that proves evolution to be a fact (and there are many) rely on metaphysical claims.

    But after centuries of this, the evolutionist then says "sigh ..." when you point it out.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Point 3:

    "No, you merely claim that they're making "religious" claims."

    Right, it is all the skeptic's fault. We're just making this up. There are files and files full of the evolutionists's religious claims, but we're just making it up. Everything from 17th century philosophical works to today's textbooks make religious and metaphysical assertions which cannot be known from the scientific empirical evidence, but we're just making it up. Unbelievable.


    Point 4

    "you are a Christian (a "neutral" Christian, HA!) "

    Sounds like a Bogey Moment.



    Point 5

    "you argue for a model based almost solely on the holy text in which you place your faith."

    Yes, it definitely is a Bogey Moment. I never argued for any model, let alone one based "almost solely on the holy text." At this point the discussion is no longer rational.

    ReplyDelete