Thursday, February 18, 2010

Jerry Coyne: Why Embryology Proves Evolution

It seems that evolutionists are forever repeating their refrain that evolution is both theory and fact. And for good reason—evolution is commonly misunderstood. On the one hand, evolution is a mechanistic explanation for the origin of species. That is the theory part of evolution and it is open to substantial revision. A wide variety of explanations are possible and even the venerable natural selection can be discarded if need be. The only requirement, it seems, is that the explanation must be mechanistic. Aside from that, most any explanation, no matter how fantastic, is fair game.

On the other hand, evolution is known to be true. That is the fact part of evolution. So the question of if evolution occurred has been settled, even if the question of how evolution occurred remains open to revision.

And this fact/theory distinction is not particular to evolution. Science is full of ideas that we all agree are true even if we don’t fully understand them. A favorite example is gravity, which physicists are still researching even though no one would doubt it is real. Evolutionists like to say that evolution is as much a fact as is gravity. Indeed, some have said that evolution is even more certain than gravity.

There is, however, an important difference between evolution and gravity. Gravity is a fact because we can observe it. Indeed we can feel it. Not so with evolution. Even evolutionists agree that the adaptation that we can observe is insufficient to explain the large-scale changes evolution needs.

So how do we know that evolution, and especially that large-scale part, is a fact? This is where evolution becomes metaphysical. For the past 350 years a number of theological and philosophical proofs have mandated the truth of evolution.

Evolution is commonly understood to be “just science” because its explanation is strictly mechanistic. But that is the theory part of evolution. The fact part of evolution is metaphysical. Here is an example.

In his book Why Evolution is True, Jerry Coyne explains why embryology proves evolution to be true. It is not that evolution predicted precisely what we observe in the developmental stages of the various species. In fact, evolution does not require what we observe to be true. Evolution could explain a wide variety of observables.

But as Coyne explains, what we observe cannot be explained by alternative, non mechanistic, theories. As Coyne reminds his reader, the facts of embryology “make sense only in light of evolution.” This is equivalent to an IF-AND-ONLY-IF-THEN statement, and it reveals the non scientific, metaphysical, aspect of evolution. Coyne writes:

Embryonic stages don't look like the adult forms of their ancestors, as Haeckel claimed, but like the embryonic forms of ancestors. Human fetuses, for example, never resemble adult fish or reptiles, but in certain ways they do resemble embryonic fish and reptiles. Also, the recapitulation is neither strict nor inevitable: not every feature of an ancestor’s embryo appears in its descendants, nor do all stages of development unfold in a strict evolutionary order. Further, some species, like plants, have dispensed with nearly all traces of their ancestry during development. … Yet we shouldn’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. Embryos still show a form of recapitulation: features that arose earlier in evolution often appear earlier in development. And this makes sense only if species have an evolutionary history.

Now, we’re not absolutely sure why some species retain much of their evolutionary history during development. The “adding new stuff onto old” principle is just a hypothesis—and explanation for the facts of embryology. It’s hard to prove that it was easier for a developmental program to evolve one way rather than another. But the facts of embryology remain, and make sense only in light of evolution. [78-9]

Skeptics argue this is bad science and evolutionists retort that it is good science. But in fact, it is not science at all. Coyne and the evolutionists rely on metaphysical premises to make this argument. Evolutionists say their idea is a fact, and their proofs are always metaphysical.

123 comments:

  1. Cornelius, would you mind telling me how ID explains embryology? What is the ID explanation for the different stages, or the other facts that are observed? If it is false that it only makes sense in light of evolution, in what other light does it also make sense?

    That is what people like me want to know. You keep repeating that claims like that are false, yet you give no explanation whatsoever of why that is. You just state it categorically.

    Given the theories and hypotheses we do have, which ones explain embryology? If there are any, is ID one of them?

    As always, I have to point out the oddity of ID proponents spending so much time "debunking" evolution, and so little time giving any explanation at all (whether better or not) themselves. Because honestly, you're not just a "skeptic" of evolution, you're an active proponent of another theory. I know you haven't claimed to be unbiased outright, but it's easy to see the suggestion being made.

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  2. In fact, John A. Davison, an embryologist will tell you that embryology is the best model we have for evolution. If one considers the fact that the development phase of the individual organism is a discrete unfolding process of pre-existing information, then one can easily see how this may fit into a front-loaded perspective of evolution for all of life.

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  3. Nathaniel,

    I dont want to speak for Dr. Hunter, but I think you miss the point of this blog. It is not the intent of the blog to give an explanation of the origins of life etc., but rather to point out that "religion drives science & it matters"

    ps - cool name : Nathaniel - God has given

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  4. Cornelius -

    "But in fact, it is not science at all. Coyne and the evolutionists rely on metaphysical premises to make this argument."

    What metaphysical premise? What IS this premise, which is metaphysical? Can you state it plainly?

    I know I have asked you this many times, but you never give me a straight answer. Can you not just simply say what this metaphysical premise actually is? Because if you cannot, then your argument really doesn't have a leg to stand up on.

    I will give you an example. Consider the following sentence: 'ID is a hypothesis built on the metaphysical premise that... there exists a being capable of designing and implementing biological features and mechanisms, and does so through means which need not necessarily be natural.'

    See? Not so hard.

    Now your turn. 'The theory of evolution is a theory built on the metaphysical premise that...'

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    Replies
    1. Maybe he saying Coyne's assumptions are implied. Coyne says, "...this makes sense only if species have an evolutionary history," Which implies the assumption, "Since there is no god," or "Since there is no creator," or "Since there is no design, this makes sense only if species have an evolutionary history."

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  5. But the facts of embryology remain, and make sense only in light of evolution.

    Embyonics supports phylogeny.

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  6. Darren:

    "I dont want to speak for Dr. Hunter, but I think you miss the point of this blog. It is not the intent of the blog to give an explanation of the origins of life etc., but rather to point out that "religion drives science & it matters""

    While that may be so, I see this as a widespread problem among ID proponents. Would Hunter be such a skeptic toward evolution if he did not believe that ID was more "true"? It seems to me that his skepticism isn't founded in fact, but in pure disagreement.

    Add to that the fact that I came to this post via another, pro-ID blog, not through Hunter's own blog. If he would like his blog to be distanced from the pro-ID movement, then maybe he should discontinue the automatic publication of his posts on that particular blog as well. He can't have the cake and eat it too.

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  7. Nathaniel,

    Darwinian evolutionists have often said that evolution is the only game in town. This idea is echoed in the claim that evolution is a "fact." For sure, it's the only option from a naturalistic viewpoint. Would you agree with this?

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  8. Leslie:

    "Darwinian evolutionists have often said that evolution is the only game in town."

    True, but that statement isn't made due to some dogma or willful ignorance. It's about the fact that evolution is the only theory that adequately explains what we see in nature. If you think there is another, I'd be glad to know of it.

    "This idea is echoed in the claim that evolution is a "fact.""

    Again, true.

    "For sure, it's the only option from a naturalistic viewpoint. Would you agree with this?"

    Sure, at least in the sense that it's the only option backed up by any credible evidence.

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  9. Thanks Nathaniel,

    My point is this - if evolution is the only game in town from a naturalistic viewpoint, then really it means there is only one alternative. If naturalistic Darwinian evolution is false, then design is true. I think most people would agree with this. Either we evolved by some naturalistic mechanistic process, or things are designed. The design of course could be naturalistic too (i.e. the designer could be part of nature as well), but my point is simply that if it wasn't a naturalistic process then it had to be a designed scenario.

    If this is the case, then one does not necessarily have to offer direct support for design (although I believe good support has been offered, but that's a different discussion). So, in making arguments against naturalistic evolution, one is making a case for design.

    It is important to notice that this works the other way around as well - if you make a case against design, you are strengthening the case for naturalistic evolution, and I have seen evolutionists use this fact plenty of times. For example, evolutionists often argue that there are all sorts of examples of "bad design" in nature. What's their point? It's that in pointing out problems with the design hypothesis, you strengthen the case for evolution.

    So it works both ways, but it works nonetheless. Since these are the two options we have to consider, in making a case against one, you automatically bolster the case for the other. Thus, it is fully legitimate to make cases against naturalistic evolution in order to strengthen the case for design. Even if design theorists never once made a positive case for design, making a negative case against naturalistic evolution would still be beneficial for their cause.

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  10. That evolution happens is a fact. How evolution happens, is explained by its various theories.

    The missing step is to provide an operational definition (e.g., testable) for evolution. Otherwise, the above statements are meaningless.

    Keep pulling on this thread, Dr. Hunter!

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  11. Leslie:

    I think that's a false dichotomy. "The only game in town" implies "that we know of". As I said, it's not based on dogma, but observation. There could be another explanation that we know nothing about, but that fits perfectly. The only claim I, and anyone that I know of, can make comfortably is that there is no other known mechanism that explains the diversity in nature, and is backed up by physical evidence.

    I do not agree that lack of evidence for evolution in itself is evidence for creation. First of all, to use the term creation so broadly seems pointless. As creationists are so fond of repeating: "creation demands a creator". "Creation" by an otherwise naturally evolved entity isn't the same as the more popular (and, I would argue, the only actually believed) "creation" by a theistic, supernatural deity. You would have to specify which "creation" a lack of evidence for evolution, in that case, actually supports.

    If I wanted to be cheeky about it, I could even tell you that a lack of evidence for evolution proves not creation, but uncaused spontaneous existence. There is, after all, just as much evidence for that as any kind of special creation.

    The "bad design" arguments aren't actually used as evidence for evolution, because they're not. They're evidence against creation. They are separate, whether you like it or not. "Bad design" is only invoked as a direct response to creationists and IDists that argue that nature is "perfectly" designed. "Bad design", in fact, speaks against evolution as well, but it does so less than it speaks against design, and there is the added bonus that we can explain the reason behind it as well.

    So no, I don't agree with your reasoning at all.

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  12. Dr. Hunter: "But as Coyne explains, what we observe cannot be explained by alternative, non mechanistic, theories. "

    Well, there's nothing stopping you, Dr. H, from providing an alternative, non-mechanistic hypothesis or theory. Lots of people here would love to see it. If you have something that can overthrow evolution, you would be the Darwin of the 21st Century.

    But the trouble is, you never have and it doesn't look like you ever well. In fact your motives and agenda are completely opaque - you won't even invoke ID as an explanation (as I've said before, as a Fellow of the DI, you're not exactly their best spokesperson!).

    Sir, your unwillingness to put forward even a speculative alternative hypothesis makes you, in my opinion, an intellectual coward. As such you have very little credibility in my book. It's clear to that despite the prolific posts on this blog, you don't really have anyting new or interesting to say (it's all one long drawn-out and repetitive argument from incredulity), so I think it's time to find more intellectually fulfilling pastures.

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  13. Nathaniel,

    Fair enough. However, I'm not sure how one can label something a fact and then say there's room open for it to be wrong. Facts cannot be wrong, or they wouldn't be facts. That's really my issue here. And perhaps you're not willing to say evolution is a fact. If the evolutionist is willing to say "we could be wrong, maybe evolution isn't the answer, but we are pretty sure it is" then that would be fine. But then let's set aside this business of it being a fact if that's the case. On the other hand, if it is considered a fact, I think we must be honest and deal with the consequences of that mindset.

    I do disagree however that the bad design arguments are not intended to provide evidence for naturalistic evolution and are only intended to be used against design. When I have heard them, the arguments have always been put forth in that fashion. In fact, I have heard it said specifically by some that this actually makes it easier on God, because then he can't be blamed for the bad design or various faults in nature. The argument is direct - if there is bad design, then it is less likely that there is an intelligent designer and more likely that there is a mechanistic naturalistic process. It has nothing to do with whether or not I like it - it's what is directly said.

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  14. The fact is that the chance worshipers don't want a another theory, they want Darwinism for keeps, its their one-size-fits-all custom for atheism. Its highly inconceivable that a chance worshiper is willing or able to accept anything but their fantasy world of NS + RM.

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  15. One thing I have not seen discussed yet is the fact that in the very earliest stages of development embryos do not resemble each other.

    They begin to resemble each other only in the mid stages of development and then begin to diverge again to acquire their final forms.

    How then does this fact of the developmnet of embryos affect the argument that embryology supports the theory of evolution?

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  16. computerist92: "The fact is that the chance worshipers don't want a another theory, they want Darwinism for keeps, its their one-size-fits-all custom for atheism. Its highly inconceivable that a chance worshiper is willing or able to accept anything but their fantasy world of NS + RM."

    You're totally wrong. There are plenty of people (including atheists) who would be quite open to alternative theories, hypotheses etc. If that means there is some kind of intelligence in the Universe, so be it. I just don't think there is any evidence yet or anything approaching a viable hypothesis. Dr. H has plenty of opportunity on this blog to suggest one, but does not want to.

    I also actually think ID is in conflict with Christianity but that's another story...)

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  17. Leslie -

    I agree with Nathaniel that evidence for one theory is not by default evidence for a competing theory. The reason being that both theories could, in fact, be wrong.

    The theory of evolution is not the only POSSIBLE naturalistic theory. But it is the only one that has been put forward which really stands up to the evidence. One day someone might come up with another naturalistic theory which does an even better job of explaining all the evidence. In which case, evolution will cease to be the only one on the table. But until that time, the theory of evolution stands alone.

    "The argument is direct - if there is bad design, then it is less likely that there is an intelligent designer and more likely that there is a mechanistic naturalistic process."

    Well the first part is certainly true. Bad/sloppy design does rather seem to go against the whole idea of there being an intelligent designer. At least, a competent one. But it is also exactly what we would expect if the theory of evolution was true. So it is both evidence against ID and evidence for evolution.

    As for evolution being a fact, let me say that I have heard that assertion made in two contexts:

    1. when the speaker is referring to the original meaning of the word 'evolution' to mean simply 'change' or 'progression'. Therefore, it really IS a fact that animal species really do 'evolve' (change). HOW may be debated, but one way or another, change itself does happen. This is a fact which I believe is beyond dispute. It is unfortunate that the word 'evolution' is also used as a shorthand for the Theory of Evolution through Natural Selection.

    2. when the speaker is asserting that there is so much supporting evidence that it is unreasonable not to accept it as a fact. This may be technically inaccurate, but it is founded on the observation that scientific theories are never absolutely proved. However, we can build up so much supporting evidence for a theory that, for practical purposes, we should just consider it a fact.

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  18. Doublee -

    "in the very earliest stages of development embryos do not resemble each other...They begin to resemble each other only in the mid stages of development and then begin to diverge again to acquire their final forms."

    Really? Can you please back that up. Because to my knowledge that is not true...

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  19. Timcol62

    "I just don't think there is any evidence yet or anything approaching a viable hypothesis."

    If you dont see any yet, i dont think you ever will.

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  20. Leslie:

    "Fair enough. However, I'm not sure how one can label something a fact and then say there's room open for it to be wrong."

    Evolution, as in "dogs are domesticated wolves" is a fact. It has been studied, observed and confirmed. It's hard to state with the same certainty that evolution on a larger timescale (aka. macro-evolution) is also a fact, but there is enough evidence to consider it likely. More convincingly, for all the evidence that exists for "macro-evolution" being a fact, there is virtually none whatsoever against it.

    I speak of evolution, as a whole, as fact, but you are of course allowed to disagree. However, I consider our lowest level of agreement to be "micro-evolution" as being actual fact.

    "If the evolutionist is willing to say "we could be wrong, maybe evolution isn't the answer, but we are pretty sure it is" then that would be fine."

    They do, if they honor the scientific method. I don't want to make a "no true scientist" argument, but if a scientist isn't prepared to admit to being wrong when being presented with enough evidence, you and me both should join in disregarding him as a credible man of science.

    I'm not a scientist myself, but I still try to follow the scientific method in that sense. I freely and gladly admit that evolution could be proven wrong.

    "I do disagree however that the bad design arguments are not intended to provide evidence for naturalistic evolution and are only intended to be used against design. When I have heard them, the arguments have always been put forth in that fashion."

    Tell me, without the idea of "intelligent design" at all, what use is there to give examples of "stupid design"? Who would present evidence for evolution and bring up the topic of intelligence, unless there had previously been people advocating it? Without ID, what sense does it make at all to give examples of "stupid design", seeing as no decision in evolution by natural selection is neither "good" nor "bad". There's just "beneficial" (and neutral).

    The point of evolution is whether or not a final product is "intelligent", the stages that led up to that final product all had a purpose. 10,000 "intelligent" changes could very well lead up to one, single "dumb" organ.

    Personally, I hate the "intelligent" part of ID more than any other. It just reeks of desperate, religious motives. Who's to say that if the proposed designer actually existed, he, she or it would necessarily have to be "intelligent" at all? By what would you even measure this "intelligence"? Human standards? How arrogant is that.

    The ultimate problem is that there is no evidence of design whatsoever that cannot also be explained by evolution. That, along with all the evidence that doesn't make any sense having been "designed" is what convinces me that evolution is true, and ID false.

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  21. Ritchie:

    Regarding early embryo development.

    The quickest reference I could find is Jonathan Wells' "Icons of Evolution". On page 94, there is a section entitled, "The earliest stages in vertebrate development are not the most similar."

    On page 95, there is a drawing of the "Early Stages in Vertebrate Embryos", which shows how different the early stages are.

    For this section, Wells cites Lewis Wolpert, "The Triumph of the Embryo", p.12. I do not have quick access to this book, so I can't confirm if it indeed supports Wells.

    The next section is entitled, "The dissimilarity of early embryos is well known". Here Wells says the following:

    "The dissimilarity of early vertebrate embryos has been known to biologists for over a century. Embryologist Adam Sedgwick pointed out in 1894 that von Baer's law of early similarity and later difference is 'not in accordance with the facts of development.' Comparing a dog-fish with a [chicken], Sedgwick wrote: 'There is no stage in development in which the unaided eye would fail to distinguish between them with ease.'"

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  22. Nathaniel,

    "The ultimate problem is that there is no evidence of design whatsoever that cannot also be explained by evolution"

    When I see a dictionary, I would never assume that it just randomly evolved or suddenly came into existence. I would have to assume there was some sort of printing press with ink etc. Same goes with me & the universe.

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  23. Darren:

    "When I see a dictionary, I would never assume that it just randomly evolved or suddenly came into existence."

    When I see a dictionary, I'm not ignorant enough to compare it to living, biological organisms. I'm sorry to make it sound so harsh, but it's true. That example is one of the dumbest ones around.

    Besides, what is it you believe? That someone, something, just "happened" to exist and was able to create the universe? Isn't that exactly what you just described as something ridiculous?

    How are you able to completely deny and reject a scenario under secular circumstances, but unquestionably accept them under religious ones?

    Why is evolution, a tangible and explainable process that we are unwrapping day-by-day, so much more unthinkable than a random, all-powerful entity just happening to exist to create the entire universe by magic? I truly, honestly don't get it. Enlighten me, if you will.

    "I would have to assume there was some sort of printing press with ink etc."

    Yes, in that weak, Swiss cheese of an analogy you presented, there would have to be a printing press. That printing press is called evolution by natural selection. What is it called in Intelligent Design? How does the ID printing press work? Who runs it? Why was it built? What purpose does it serve? And why, why, why does it so closely imitate a result that would come out of a natural system built on variation and selection?

    There's a reason why every book printed by a printing press is an exact copy, a clone, of all the other books printed the same way. It's because they are made by "intelligent design". You tell me where all the identical clones are in nature.

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  24. Nathanial:

    ====
    Because honestly, you're not just a "skeptic" of evolution, you're an active proponent of another theory.
    ====

    Well I'm glad you're being honest. So, I'm an active proponent of another theory. Where did I present this theory, and what did I say? Oh, and what is the theory?

    Please be specific as this will help my faltering memory.

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  25. Cornelius:

    I guess he meant:
    http://www.discovery.org/p/208

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  26. LOL, oh the demands put forth by the Darwnists (slams fists onto table...). I'd say leave them in the dust. If Darwinists do anything for ID, its to impede progress, rarely do they add any quality control, its those same old tired "ID = creationism" or "whats your theory" nonsense. But please, continue with your ramblings, progressively they fall short of anything significant and eventually they become obsolete.

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  27. Doublee -

    I'm sorry to say I don't have ready access to these books, so I'm going to have to do this blind...

    Nevertheless, it does seem you are correct. From what I've been reading, most people do mention that vertibrate embroys 'pass through' a stage called the phylotypic stage, where they all very much resemble each other - so much so that they can scarecely be distinguished from each other. This presumably means there is at least one stage before the phylotypic stage.

    However, why is this a problem for the theory of evolution, exactly?

    The phylotypic stage is an observation - an undeniable fact. Yet what theory can explain it? Why should all vertibrate species pass through a stage where they all look incredibly similar if evolution is incorrect? Why should human embroys have tails, and gill arches which form, in humans, muscles and nerves of the jaw, ears and larynx, and yet in fish, the gills? The theory of evolution provides one - does any other theory?

    More specifically to the quotes you mentioned, I have heard that Wells focusses on the arguments of Earnest Haeckel, who hypothesized that vertibrate embroys in the womb retrace the steps of their evolutionary history (eg, becoming in turn, a fish, then an amphibian, then a reptile, then a mammal, etc). This is, of course, wrong, and this has been known for a long time.

    Again, I'm doing this blind, but what you're saying does seem to confirm that this is the argument Wells is rebutting. If so, he is simply flogging a dead horse. These are simply not the ideas modern embryology are based on.

    The evidence for evolution in embryology is elegantly demonstrated in the convergence between vertibrate embroys - for example, the fact that they all use the same genes to define regions of the body, that they all use the same unlikely arrangement of protrusions to build their faces and that all embryos have a tail - even embroys which will develop into tailess adults.

    I have read Wells present Heackel's thoroughly falsified hypothesis as a central component of modern evolutionary theory before (Lee Strobel's Case For A Creator) and then attack it as if disproving this discredited idea is somehow striking a blow against evolution, so I know he at least has a track record of doing this. But it is simply a strawman.

    And frankly, he really should know better. It's hard to believe he holds the qualifications he does without also knowing he is misrepresenting the data. Basically it's hard to believe that his errors are accidental or based on simple ignorance...

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  28. computerist29 -

    "I'd say leave them in the dust. If Darwinists do anything for ID, its to impede progress, rarely do they add any quality control,"

    An amusing accusation to make against the theory of evolution which does actually make testable predictions - ie, gives us grounds to do further research.

    ID makes no predictions. It does not enable progress at all. It halts progress. If biologists were all proponents of ID, they would all merely claim every unsolved biological mystery was evidence of a miracle and go home.

    Accept ID if you wish. But please don't labour under the illusion that it is science - in any way, shape or form.

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  29. LMAO, now repeat after me: "ID proponents do not accept evolution (a change from point A to point B), we don't believe in protein synthesis and all those sciency thingy's that are supposedly going on in the background (something which Darwin knew completely about)" LOL, (end of irony).

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  30. Charles:

    ================
    "Well I'm glad you're being honest. So, I'm an active proponent of another theory. Where did I present this theory, and what did I say? Oh, and what is the theory? Please be specific as this will help my faltering memory."

    I guess he meant:
    http://www.discovery.org/p/208
    ================

    Umm, 3 books about evolution, a website about evolution, and interests in the historical and theological, as well as scientific, aspects of the theory. Please help me here Charles, not only is my memory failing but it seems my eyesight is going. I can't see what you're referring to. This is very embarassing, especially on a public blog, but I must know. Please be specific.

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  31. Science is based on facts and logic. ID is based on facts and logic. Darwinism is based on fairytales and logic. Darwinism can't have it both ways; either claims of facts followed by faulty logic or claims of logic followed by faulty facts.

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  32. Cornelius:

    I admit that I took that from memory, and it now seems I might have you mixed up with someone else.

    However, your involvement in ID doesn't exactly become less seeing as I don't follow your blog, I only see your posts on the definitely pro-ID website Uncommon Descent. If you are not pro-ID, why are they so consistently posting your blog posts over there as well? Also, your presentation is posted on the website of the Discovery Institute. Again, not exactly an anti-ID/Creationism institution, wouldn't you say?

    If you want to maintain the illusion that you are truly unbiased and neutral, maybe you should distance yourself from these two websites a little. You don't want to purposely give people the wrong impression, do you?

    But yes, I do admit that jumped to conclusions.

    Now that that is out of the way, would you mind being honest with what you do believe? For the sake of clarity?

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  33. Nathaniel:

    ====
    Now that that is out of the way, would you mind being honest with what you do believe? For the sake of clarity?
    ====

    I believe it is wrong to: conclude your theory is a fact based on metaphysical assumptions and then deny doing any such thing, and mandate a philosophy of science without explaining the details of what you mean.

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  34. Cornelius:

    Do you also believe in being disingenuous? You know what I meant with that question.

    Do you, or do you not, believe evolution is true. If not, which other idea, theory or explanation do you favour?

    Shouldn't be so hard to give a straight answer to this question, should it?

    (I will respectfully accept it if you simply say that you do not wish to answer, but don't jerk me around like you did and then pretend to be unbiased and neutral about evolution. That's just plain dishonest.)

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  35. computerist -

    "LMAO, now repeat after me: "ID proponents do not accept evolution (a change from point A to point B), we don't believe in protein synthesis and all those sciency thingy's that are supposedly going on in the background (something which Darwin knew completely about)" LOL, (end of irony)."

    I did not say ID proponents do not accept any scientific theories or evidence at all. I find it quite easy to believe you accept, for example, germ theory, and the theory of gravity.

    But ID is not based on these. Neither is it based on evolution (in the sense you mentioned above) or protein synthesis.

    ID fails as a theory because scientific theories must make predictions for experiments we can do - and outline in advance what evidence would support the theory and what evidence would falsify the theory.

    This cannot be done with ID. It simply points to biological mysteries and claims they are evidence for supernatural design, which covers all possible evidence.

    Unless you or someone you know are willing to break the mould and outline testable mechanisms by which ID could actually function...?

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  36. Cornelius:

    Actually I meant the "Fellow - CSC" part of the link. But you are right, I should have been clearer:

    Are you a proponent of Intelligent Design?

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  37. Nathaniel

    "When I see a dictionary, I'm not ignorant enough to compare it to living, biological organisms"

    Who was comparing them to living organisms?

    "How are you able to completely deny and reject a scenario under secular circumstances, but unquestionably accept them under religious ones?"

    Because to me, one makes perfectly good sense with an enormous amount of evidence to back it up. The other is completely far fetched with more holes than your swiss cheese you talk about.

    "Yes, in that weak, Swiss cheese of an analogy you presented, there would have to be a printing press. That printing press is called evolution by natural selection. What is it called in Intelligent Design? How does the ID printing press work? Who runs it? Why was it built? What purpose does it serve? And why, why, why does it so closely imitate a result that would come out of a natural system built on variation and selection?"

    Ignorant, weak.....all ad hominem attacks. But anyway, of course Evolution explains everything! Even the printing press! This is why evolution is absurd.

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  38. Ritchie writes:

    "However, why is this a problem for the theory of evolution, exactly?"

    The problem is not that the embroyos go through a stage where they resemble each other; the problem is that the embryos start out quite different from each other.

    If the argument is that embyrological development recapitulates evolutionary history, then you would expect the very first stages to be almost indistinguishable from each other.

    The fact that the earliest stages are quite different refutes the argument before it even gets off the ground.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Darren:

    Ok, baby steps it is.

    "Who was comparing them to living organisms?"

    You were. You were comparing the evolution of living, biological organisms with the industrial manufacturing of a non-living, non-biological item.

    A book could not evolve even if it wanted to. Not even "micro-evolution", which is unquestionably a fact. A book could not simply "become" a fashion magazine, but a wolf could (and did) evolve into a modern dog.

    Any kind of comparison of biological, living beings evolving to the construction of a machine or an item is invalid, and usually based on ignorance of what evolution even is.

    "Because to me, one makes perfectly good sense with an enormous amount of evidence to back it up."

    So show me the evidence. Show me the evidence that God just "suddenly came into existence", or the evidence that God has always existed. You'd be the first in the entire world to do so if you could.

    Notice how I used your own words just now? You describe evolution as incredible and unthinkable because living beings "suddenly came into existence", but you think it's perfectly logical when applied to your own God?

    Again, how can you criticize "my" theory that way, and then claim that the exact same reason is why "your" theory is true? Can you not see the cognitive dissonance here?

    "Ignorant, weak.....all ad hominem attacks."

    No, they're not. I'm not saying I'm right because you're ignorant (that would be an ad hominem), I'm saying you're ignorant because you've clearly demonstrated that you are. Specifically by comparing evolution to the construction of a book.

    Not only are you ignorant of evolution, you have now demonstrated that you are ignorant regarding the proper definition of an ad hominem fallacy as well.

    "But anyway, of course Evolution explains everything! Even the printing press! This is why evolution is absurd."

    Evolution doesn't explain everything, but it explains much more than "Goddidit" and "that's just the way it is". I have never claimed that evolution "explains" the printing press either, so I don't even know where you got that from.

    If evolution is "absurd", it's because you have decided to believe it is. Clearly, you don't even understand enough of it to make such a decision in any informed manner.

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  40. Doublee:

    "If the argument is that embyrological development recapitulates evolutionary history, then you would expect the very first stages to be almost indistinguishable from each other"

    The possibility that "ontogegy recapitulates phylogeny" have been considered wrong for quite some time now.

    Just google that phrase and you should get all the info you need.

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  41. Nathaniel,

    With you, its easy to see. Intent is prior to content.

    Have a good day & God Bless.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Nathaniel:

    ====
    Do you also believe in being disingenuous? You know what I meant with that question.

    Do you, or do you not, believe evolution is true. If not, which other idea, theory or explanation do you favour?

    Shouldn't be so hard to give a straight answer to this question, should it?
    ====

    My answer was not disingenuous. Regarding evolution, from a religious perspective I do not hold that evolution must be false. From a scientfic perspective, evolution is not a good theory. From a history of thought perspective, evolution is a religious theory with non scientific mandates that trump its scientific problems. None of that means evolution must be false.

    The broader question of whether or not evolution is true, or what other explanation is true, is a question that evolutionists typically ask. As rationalists, they value certainty and think more in terms of explanations than the data. They believe one must have a theory to work from. As an empiricist I share none of these views.

    Given that the data do not support evolution, and that it is propped up by religious claims, I of course would guess that it might be false. But stranger things have happened. Evolution could well be true, in some form.


    ======
    (I will respectfully accept it if you simply say that you do not wish to answer, but don't jerk me around like you did and then pretend to be unbiased and neutral about evolution. That's just plain dishonest.)
    ======

    This is classic rationalism.

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  43. Charles:

    "Are you a proponent of Intelligent Design?"

    As rationalists, evolutionists are geared to think in terms of absolute truths. They hold pre existing ideas (that do not come from science) that lead them to conclude that one explanation is true, and all others are false. This shows up light bright red flashing lights in the evolution literature, dating back to the mid 17th century. When I give examples of this, evolutionists defend this rationalism because they are rationalists. It makes perfect sense to them.

    On the other hand, there is empiricism which is far more interested in investigating nature and the data without committing strongly to an explanation. It makes no sense, and seems disingenuous to rationalists. So in the history of thought you have these ways of thinking in opposition. Read about this history and you'll be thinking you're reading about today's origins debate. Read the 17th or 18th century pre Darwin evolutionists, and you'll see there the same thoughts, opinions and sentiments that you see in today's evolutionists. But evolutionists have no concept of the larger history they are working within.

    And these ways of thinking, and their conflicts, are by no means limited to science. You can see the same dynamic in other fields, including religion of course. Whereas empiricists tend to hold opposing ideas in tension, proceed tentatively, and have no difficulty with uncertainty, rationalists hold preconceived notions that mandate the truth. All other ideas must be false. Empiricists seem disingenuous to rationalists who make value judgments. Their philosophy of science leads to truth and is good, and others are an attack on rational thought and science, and are nefarious.

    Intelligent Design is a empiricist reaction to the rationalism that has dominated science of late. From the perspective of challenging the popular theory and advancing knowledge, I see this as a good thing. But I am not a proponent of any theory in the sense that rationalists are proponents of their theories.

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  44. A past evolution is undeniable. It was a strategic error for the IDist to introduce Intelligent Design as a subject for debate. Every aspect of the universe from the Bohr atom to the solar system was designed. Design, which implies intelligence is a given upon which science has always proceeded. The two major mysteries in biological science are the informatiopn which makes possible the development of the individual (ontogeny) and evolution (phylogeny). These are closely related phenomenona, part of the same reproductive continuum (or continua) as there is no reason whatsoever for assuming a single origin of life and several reasons not to. Leo S. Berg was one of the first to recognize that there can be no role for chance in either of these phenomena -

    "Neither in the one nor in the other is there room for chance."
    Nomogenesis, page 134

    The Darwnian model can explain nothing more than the elaboration of intraspeciic varieties or subspecies, neither of which are incipient species. In short, there is not a word in Darwin's Victorian fantasy that has anything to do with its grandiose title - not a word! Until this is accepted, this idiotic debate will continue here as at every other weblog dedicated to these two central problems. There has never been a role for debate in science and I know of no question that ever benefitted from it. Neither does anyone else.

    My position on these matters is well known so I will not repeat it here except to agree with Robert Broom who believed that evolution resulted from a Plan, a word he capitalized much to the distress of the Darwinians who have always pretended that Broom, like Bateson, Mivart, Schindewolf, Berg, Schindewolf, Grasse, Goldschmidt and more recently Lovtrup and Davison DO NOT EXIST. Darwinism is now hanging by its fingernails, supported only by congenital atheists like Paul Zachary Myers, Clinton Richard Dawkins and Wesley E. Elsberry all of whom have abandoned any pretext of science as they frantically attack any deviation from the most absurd proposal ever to escape the human imagination to find the printed page.

    "A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable."
    John A. Davison

    jadavison.wordpress.com

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  45. Doublee -

    "If the argument is that embyrological development recapitulates evolutionary history, then you would expect the very first stages to be almost indistinguishable from each other."

    But that is not the argument. It is Heakel's hypothesis - one which has long been known to be wrong. If you got the idea that this is what modern evolutionary theory claims from Well's book, then I must reiterate that he is spreading a gross misrepresentation.

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  46. Cornelius:

    You've made your views on why you believe what you believe quite clear, and I can't say I much disagree with anything other than the "evolution is religion" part. However, that (again) wasn't what I asked. Please read my question again, and either answer it properly or tell me you don't want to. I'll even accept the answer "none", if that's what you want. What I want, however, is to know how you believe life as we know it came to be what it is today. No part of your answer actually answered that question.

    I'm also still curious about your heavy ties to admittedly and openly anti-evolution websites and institutes. Are they any better than evolutionists? Is ID/creationism less religious than evolution?

    I really don't want to put words or opinions in other people's mouths, and I admitted when I did so in error. However, your consistent refusal to clarify what it is you do believe leads me to think that I was still right when I described you as an ID proponent.

    "Given that the data do not support evolution"

    I'm very fascinated by claims like this. Look, I agree that there are those that interpret some evidence differently, but how could anyone possibly say that "the data do not support evolution"? In your opinion, is there no evidence whatsoever of evolution? What about the fossils, what about the DNA, what about the geographical placement, what about the similarities, what about the retroviruses? What about all that? How can you honestly claim that none of that support evolution? I could admit that they do not support evolution exclusively, but not at all?

    Again, such remarks are all too common from those that oppose evolution out of strictly religious motives. They come from people that simply don't want to believe evolution happened, for whatever reasons. Even if we look at it statistically, the non-religious that oppose evolution are few to the point of non-existing, but the religious that do accept evolution are, in comparison, substantial. What would this suggest, but a heavy religious bias against evolution that has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual evidence or data.

    You admit that evolution could be right regardless, and I'll gladly admit the same in reverse: it's quite possible that evolution is false. I just don't think your arguments are very good, and they all suggest to me that you have motives for opposing evolution that you seem almost ashamed to admit to. That's my interpretation, anyway.

    "[...] I am not a proponent of any theory in the sense that rationalists are proponents of their theories."

    So you're saying you have absolutely no opinion one way or the other. You're completely and utterly neutral? Empiricist or not, I truly don't believe that. I don't believe a human being is even capable of neutrality to such a degree.

    WV: "reheat"

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  47. John D:

    Thanks for the comment -- a welcome note of sanity.

    "It was a strategic error for the IDist to introduce Intelligent Design as a subject for debate. Every aspect of the universe from the Bohr atom to the solar system was designed. Design, which implies intelligence is a given upon which science has always proceeded."

    Yes, I think this is a legitimate point. I'm kind of floored when people ask "How would you do science under design."

    ps: Nice blog.

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  48. What evidence there is of Dr. Hunter's views suggests that he is a traditional, as opposed to ID, creationist. He is faculty at BIOLA, which teaches "evolution within the context of a Scriptural view of creation." (See BIOLA's "Biological Science" page. Can't seem to paste the URL here.) BIOLA's Doctrinal Statement, which seems to preclude any objective assessment of scientific evidence that contradicts preexisting religious beliefs, specifically instructs that God created Adam from nonliving materials. (Again, I can't paste the URL; please google BIOLA and "statement of faith.")

    Dr. Hunter's constant insistence that actual biological science is also predicated on religious assumptions suggests that he is aware that such doctrinal limitations are fatal to an honest inquiry into the natural world, and would like to put science on an equal footing with his ideology. His inability to identify any such assumptions suggests one reason why his perspective is marginalized and disregarded by both camps.

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  49. To deny a past evolution is without foundation. To insist it is still in operation is as well. A new Genus has not appeared in 2 million years and a new verifiable species not in historical times. Everything we know from the fossil records pleads for a goal directed phylogeny with Homo sapiens a target of that planned sequence. All we see today is rampant extinction without a single replacement during a period in which man has drastically altered the earth's environbment. Aren't these precisely the conditions that would favor a Darwinian evolution? Where are the new species not to mention Genera, Orders or any of the other higher Taxa? Both the fosssil record and the experimental laboratory support a guided evolution which is now finished.

    I realize this is not a popular position yet I believe it is in complete accord with the present state of our knowledge. I will be happy to defend this thesis on my weblog or anywhere else where I am still permitted to speak. I especially invite Darwinians to challenge my perspective on their turf, mine or any other venue that is willing to consider an alternative to both Christian Fundamentalism and Darwinian atheism. The truth lies elsewhere and I think I know where that is.

    jadavison.wordpress.com

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  50. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  51. Cornelius,

    After some thoughtful discussion on the dichotomy you present between empiricists and rationalists, you then label as a point well taken John Davison's notion that everything in the Universe is designed, "from the Bohr atom to the solar system," that the detection of this design is self-evident, that it unambiguously leads to an intelligence overriding the Universe, and that the matter is not up for discussion. Of course the Bohr atom was indeed designed, by Niels Bohr, as a model of our growing body of knowledge concerning the nature of the atom. Today, we understand that the Bohr atom does not exist in nature. Like Darwin's 1800s model of evolution, some parts of the model have been robust under further scrutiny and other aspects have had to be scrapped. Still, the Bohr model is useful today in the introductory-level teaching of chemistry.

    The formation of the Solar System, however, is not something that Davison or any other human directly witnessed. I would guess that he infers design from its (mostly) orderly behavior. Physicists and astronomers would regard this appearance of design as a result of natural laws: gravitation, conservation of angular momentum, radioactivity, tidal friction, collisional kinematics. The collisions however have also introduced some individualistic quirks that would make it seem that the "designer" is not a micromanager: Earth, with its large, close but receding moon, Uranus spinning on its side, Venus slowly rotating "backward" with respect to the angular momentum of the rest of the system. Again, this is theory, but theory providing a good (parsimonious and likely in comparison to other proposed ideas) explanation for the evidence we observe, and thus "well supported" by evidence. Yes, I know, describing the motives of a supernatural "designer" is metaphysics - it is only a temporary conceit to confront equally metaphysical claims that all observation of design of the physical world is intentional rather than apparent and subjective. The whimsical, inscrutable model of a creator that you sometimes offer would explain any possible observations, all those observed and all those that are not observed, is completely untestable, and can be entertained by modern scientists only if no other possible explanation exists.

    Scientific understanding of the Universe cannot progress without some assumptions. Foremost is that if there is a supernatural creator or force, it is not messing with us. We go to bed "knowing" that when we wake up the next morning, one mole of hydrogen at rest will not have a mass of 11.5 grams. This is perhaps a metaphysical assumption, but not a religious one. A religious assumption would be one that is accepted even in the face of massive evidence to the contrary. In this case, there is no such massive evidence to the contrary. What we have learned is that the "laws of nature" are not invariant on all scales of observation, but that does not imply that these laws are changing on a temporal basis.

    I know, this is all very rationalist. That "rationalist" is a dirty word to you explains much. I'm not trying to be sarcastic here - I do thank you for opening up regarding you philosophy and for allowing dissenting comments to stand on this blog.

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  52. It is not a question of whether there IS or IS NOT a creator or other supernatural agency. Rather is is the mandatory assumption that there WAS or WERE such entities in the distant past. Simply stated, it is merely a question of tense! I speak as a strict determinist agreeing with Eintein's lifelong view of the universe. With Einstein I am unable to imagine a personal God nor do I see any need for such. I reject Free Will just as he did as well. We are all victims in our "prescribed" destinies and there is absolutely nothing we can do to alter those fates. That is why I reject debate as a useful instrument of communication. Debate is the "dirty word." It has never resolved anything and I challenge anyone to prove otherwise. Debate is little more than an instrument for the expression of our congenital prejudices. Science is discovery; it has no personality, no bias and need not even be reasonable. Indeed it is only the "reasonableness" of the Darwinian fantasy that has allowed it to persist without a shred of tangible experimental or descriptive evidence in its favor. It is the most failed hypothesis in the history of science. It should have been discarded in Darwin's own day when St George Mivart asked the devastating question - How can natural selection have been involved with a structure which had not yet appeared?

    For further exposition I recommend my essay -"What's wrong with Darwinism?" under the ESSAYS button on my home page. I am happy to defend my position anywhere that can be arranged. So far I, with my distinguished sources, have not been allowed to exist by the evolutionary establishment, an establishment still dominated by the personas of homozygous atheists like Paul Zachary Myers and Clinton Richard Dawkins, the most recent members of six generations of like minded interpretors of the animate world.

    jadavison.wordpress.com

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  53. Nathaniel:

    ===============
    What I want, however, is to know how you believe life as we know it came to be what it is today. No part of your answer actually answered that question.
    ===============

    Well I explained that I am not a proponent of any theory in the sense that rationalists are proponents of their theories. More next...

    ===============
    So you're saying you have absolutely no opinion one way or the other. You're completely and utterly neutral? Empiricist or not, I truly don't believe that. I don't believe a human being is even capable of neutrality to such a degree.
    ===============

    I definitely have an opinion based on the empirical evidence. I think it is obvious that given our current knowledge, purely mechanistic explanations for the origin of species is not a fact. I don't think that is a point that is even up for intelligent debate. Indeed, it is not even a very good theory. Unlikely events are, of course, possible, and the appeal, implicit or explicit, to such unlikely events in the evolutionary literature suggests there can be broad agreement on this obvious point.

    So either we're living in a lucky universe or God created the species. Those are two explanations that come to my mind right off the bat, take your pick. I'm not a big fan of "Gee I must have gotten lucky" type theories, so I would say God created the species.

    Of course that idea spans a broad spectrum of explanations, ranging from theistic evolution to YEC. I am a Christian and Christianity, as opposed to so many other religions, permits a variety of models of divine action and interaction with creation. You can trace this back to Basil and his model concerning the relative autonomy of nature.

    So as a Christian I have great liberty when it comes to origins. I do think one can go too far, and exceed the bounds of this liberty (in both directions, so to speak). Christians who end up with a model of divine action that looks like Aristotle's Prime Mover have, I think, lost the flavor of scripture. And Christians who mandate excessive divine intervention have also gone too far.

    Of course all this sits comfortably with the fact that evolution has fared so poorly. Where the scripture leaves open questions, science can help to fill in details. Clearly the evolutionary model of God creating laws which exclusively do the creating has broadly failed. On the other hand, clearly nature has incredible autonomy, in its ability to adapt and so forth, according to natural laws. Indeed, this autonomy which we observe and are still learning about is itself, it seems, profoundly complex. This is why ID is not based on miracles. If the "inference to design" seems fuzzy, it is because nature is complex.

    So if you're asking about my religious presuppositions, aside from avoiding the extremes I'm quite neutral. It does seem that not a few Christians have taken to these extremes, but it is not clear to me that scripture mandates their views, as they claim.

    If you're asking about my overall view, accounting for the science, I think God created the species according to some combination of actions and laws the details of which, it seems to me, are not easily determined from the evidence. This is not to say that we can't make headway in figuring this out. But what doesn't help is to have evolutionists making dogmatic, non scientific and contra scientific claims and poisoning the water with all manner of ad hominems, and so forth.

    If you think my position is far too neutral, please be aware that I think evolutionists take a position that is too committed.

    Continued ...

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  54. Nathaniel:

    ===============
    I'm also still curious about your heavy ties to admittedly and openly anti-evolution websites and institutes. Are they any better than evolutionists? Is ID/creationism less religious than evolution?
    ===============

    Your conflation of ID with creationism is a typical example of this poisoning of the water. It is a pathetic sign of the anti intellectualism that is rampant in evolution.



    ===============
    I'm very fascinated by claims like this. Look, I agree that there are those that interpret some evidence differently, but how could anyone possibly say that "the data do not support evolution"? In your opinion, is there no evidence whatsoever of evolution? What about the fossils, what about the DNA, what about the geographical placement, what about the similarities, what about the retroviruses? What about all that? How can you honestly claim that none of that support evolution? I could admit that they do not support evolution exclusively, but not at all?
    ===============

    Arrg. Of course there is evidence that supports evolution. There is plenty--a mountain as evolutionists like to say. That's not the point in science. One can show there is plenty of evidence for geocentrism and a flat earth. Flat earth models are used all the time these days. That doesn't mean the earth is flat. The evidences you cite above raise problems for evolution. The fossils, DNA, geographic distributions, retroviruses, etc. all raise problems. Yes, if you are selective they can be converted into purely supporting evidences, but from a theory-neutral view they raise problems. Evolutionists readily admit to all these, but they insist evolution is a fact because it must be, because God would never have created what we observe.



    ===============
    Even if we look at it statistically, the non-religious that oppose evolution are few to the point of non-existing,
    ===============

    No, the non-religious that *support* the fact of evolution are few to the point of non-existing.


    ===============
    You admit that evolution could be right regardless, and I'll gladly admit the same in reverse: it's quite possible that evolution is false. I just don't think your arguments are very good, and they all suggest to me that you have motives for opposing evolution that you seem almost ashamed to admit to. That's my interpretation, anyway.
    ===============

    You are saying evolution created evolution, and following this absurdity you say skeptics of evolution don't have good arguments. Well I guess you are consistent in your absurdity.

    You've turned science on its head, and you can't understand why folks could possibly doubt evolution. So your only explanation is the absurd idea that we must have ulterior motives that we're ashamed to admit.

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  55. jadavison:

    "Why am I now unable to comment?"

    Sometimes this blogspot interface doesn't work. Or your comment may be too long.

    ReplyDelete
  56. John:


    =====
    After some thoughtful discussion on the dichotomy you present between empiricists and rationalists, you then label as a point well taken John Davison's notion that everything in the Universe is designed, "from the Bohr atom to the solar system," that the detection of this design is self-evident, that it unambiguously leads to an intelligence overriding the Universe, and that the matter is not up for discussion.
    =====

    Well what I was agreeing with was John's point that "It was a strategic error for the IDist to introduce Intelligent Design as a subject for debate." I don't hold such a strong opinion and probably wouldn't go that far, but I think it is a legimate point as I said.





    ====
    The formation of the Solar System, however, is not something that Davison or any other human directly witnessed. I would guess that he infers design from its (mostly) orderly behavior. Physicists and astronomers would regard this appearance of design as a result of natural laws: gravitation, conservation of angular momentum, radioactivity, tidal friction, collisional kinematics. The collisions however have also introduced some individualistic quirks that would make it seem that the "designer" is not a micromanager: Earth, with its large, close but receding moon, Uranus spinning on its side, Venus slowly rotating "backward" with respect to the angular momentum of the rest of the system. Again, this is theory, but theory providing a good (parsimonious and likely in comparison to other proposed ideas) explanation for the evidence we observe, and thus "well supported" by evidence.
    ====

    But it is neither parsimonious nor likely. Only by comparing "to other proposed ideas" can we conclude this. Quite the opposite, both the evolution of the solar system and of the species are now classic examples of theories that, as initially proposed, were fairly parsimonious and then increasingly became complex, unlikely, unparsimonious Rube Goldberg devices in order to explain future observations.


    Continued...

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  57. John:


    ====
    Yes, I know, describing the motives of a supernatural "designer" is metaphysics - it is only a temporary conceit to confront equally metaphysical claims that all observation of design of the physical world is intentional rather than apparent and subjective.
    ====

    No, Premise A is not a temporary conceit in the following argument:

    A: God wouldn't create evil.
    B: Evil exists in the world.
    C: God didn't directly create the world.

    From Darwin to Dobzhansky, the "biology only makes sense in light of evolution" is not a temporary conceit.



    =====
    Scientific understanding of the Universe cannot progress without some assumptions. Foremost is that if there is a supernatural creator or force, it is not messing with us. We go to bed "knowing" that when we wake up the next morning, one mole of hydrogen at rest will not have a mass of 11.5 grams.
    =====

    Do you think this is at risk with anything but evolutionary (ie, rigidly mechanistic approaches)? Hint: This warning is the height of absurdity. It is another sign of evolution's anti intellectualism, as it is so ignorant of the history of science to think that without purely mechanistic approaches the assumption of uniformity, as described above, become up for grabs. Yeah, without evolution you're going to have scientists throwing away their lab notebooks because none of it can be trusted. The irony is that, if anything, it is the exact opposite. It is the purely evolutionary approaches that would leave us in such a predicament.




    ====
    This is perhaps a metaphysical assumption, but not a religious one.
    ====

    Oh please. Evolution is nowhere close to such innocence. More next...


    ======
    A religious assumption would be one that is accepted even in the face of massive evidence to the contrary. In this case, there is no such massive evidence to the contrary. What we have learned is that the "laws of nature" are not invariant on all scales of observation, but that does not imply that these laws are changing on a temporal basis.

    I know, this is all very rationalist. That "rationalist" is a dirty word to you explains much. I'm not trying to be sarcastic here - I do thank you for opening up regarding you philosophy and for allowing dissenting comments to stand on this blog.
    ======

    This is a strawman. First, rationalism per se is not a bad thing. But as with empiricism, it can be contorted. The problem with evolution is not its rationalism, but its denial of such. And again, at issue here is nothing even close to assumptions such as uniformity. The metaphysics in evolution go far beyond mere uniformity. For instance, read my blog at the top of this comment trail for an example.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Evolution WAS a fact. That much is obvious to the vast majority of serious students of the natural world. The central problem has always been the same. What WAS the mechanism by which it took (past tense) place?

    The atheist Darwinians believe that it is intrinsic in the nature of matter to self assemble into a living, evolving entity at least once. If that were true, life would have been created long ago under controlled conditions. They also believe creative evolution is still in progress despite experimental and descriptive evidence that renders that assumption without merit.

    Since all the information required to produce an adult organism is contained in the unfertilized egg, I have proposed that the same might have been true of the earliest life forms; that they contained within their germinal lines all the information for all the life forms that would ever appear. This idea was first anticipated by William Bateson in 1914 -

    "Finally, Bateson likewise (1914, page 640)inclines to the view that the entire process of evolution may be regarded as an 'unpacking of an original complex which contained within itself the whole range of diversity which living things present.'."
    Leo Berg, Nomogenesis, page 359.

    There is nothing in the status of our present knowledge in conflict with this perspective, a perspective in direct conflict with the Darwinian myth.

    I have little more to offer here but will be happy to respond to any questions that my thesis might evoke on my weblog.

    jadavison.wordpress.com

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  59. jadavison -

    I was just reading through this thread, not intending to comment, but I'm apparently unable to resist picking you up on this howler:

    "A new Genus has not appeared in 2 million years and a new verifiable species not in historical times... All we see today is rampant extinction without a single replacement during a period in which man has drastically altered the earth's environbment. Aren't these precisely the conditions that would favor a Darwinian evolution? Where are the new species not to mention Genera, Orders or any of the other higher Taxa?"

    I'm afraid this simply demonstrates a lack of understanding of how natural selection operates. Richard Dawkins compares this famously flawed (yet popular) argument to the observation that, on a tree, all the most recent sproutings are the tiny twigs! No major boughs have sprouted for a long time!

    According to the theory of evolution, EVERY feature which distinguishes between species, genera, or higher taxa started out as a tiny, seemingly insignificant mutation - the possesion of which would not mark an animals out from its kin. Time is required to turn this tiny genetic variation into a taxa-defining charcteristic. To pluck a random example it is possible that, given millions of years, dobermans and terriers give rise to seperate species, seperate genera, seperate orders, ect. But only time will reveal that.

    You are also wrong that we have no observed speciation. We have. Many times. See this link for examples:

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html

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  60. Cornelius -

    Wow. I certainly feel like I for one have learned to a lot about your views here.

    If I may butt in here, can I ask what exactly you think science is and how is operates, exactly?

    Because I am beginning to think that your core problem is not a misunderstanding of just how the theory of evolution works, but how science itself works.

    In a nutshell, what is science? What does it do, and how does it do it?

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  61. Ritchie:

    "In a nutshell, what is science?"

    Science is where we decide what is true based on our religious beliefs and then pretend that the empirical evidence mandates our preconceived truth.

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  62. Cute.

    Do you have a real answer?

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  63. Ritchie:

    ====
    I was just reading through this thread, not intending to comment, but I'm apparently unable to resist picking you up on this howler:
    ====

    Yeah, you tell 'em Ritchie. What does this guy Davison know anyway? Thankfully you evolutionists are keeping things on the up and up.

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  64. Cornelius -

    Clearly I'm annoying you, though I have to say I'm at a loss to identify exactly what I'm doing wrong. Am I being rude or breaking any rules of your blog site? I have even defended you personally as a hospitable blog owner (possibly prematurely, it seems...). What am I doing which merits comments like these?

    Or am I just asking inconvenient questions which you would prefer not to answer - or even consider?

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  65. Ritchie:

    "Clearly I'm annoying you, though I have to say I'm at a loss to identify exactly what I'm doing wrong. Am I being rude or breaking any rules of your blog site?"

    No, no annoyance or rules broken. I do marvel, however, at the certainty evolutionists have, both philosophically and scientifically, in spite of the many glaring issues.

    Rather than consider the possibility that evolution has problems, you suspect that I have some misconception of how science works which has confused my analysis of evolution. Sorry, but this is so silly that one hardly knows how to respond. I mean seriously, if you actually are interested in finding violations of the "scientific method," why don't you look closer to home?

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  66. Response to Ritchie:

    I'm afraid, Ritchie, that Richard Dawkins argument is crap. Boughs grow only to a maximum length, this max gives us about all the twigs you can sprout. It takes a few keys to unlock and/or understand John A. Davison's PEH. One way to go about that is clear thinking in discrete hops rather than the ol'continous Darwinian mess. Simplistically speaking, I like to think of John A. Davison's entire evolutionary scenario as an odometer; the rollover effect takes place right after 999999 (maximum evolutionary threshold) to 000000 (extinction). At each step we are stepping through a prescribed blueprint, with information gaining independently from how much information is actually expressed at a given instance of time. This perspective is entirely information-centric rather than species-centric. ID/PEH proponents such as me see change in relation to information carrying capacity and how much information is induced at a single instance of time, what that information is is what the designer thought it should be. This is where irreducible complexity comes into the scene; while a fraction of information is carried its only expressed at the next prescribed evolutionary hop - ie: the information per hop is only expressed when it matches the next blueprint -. This explains why you will never achieve an irreducible complex structure such as a bacterial flagellum through NS & RM. Natural selection only comes into play after this happens, not while. NS keeps the 999999 from rolling over for as long as possible from the inevitable forward-biased momentum which you can thank both the designer for and RM's which is out of the hands of the designer (think of how your car rusts here). RM's concerns itself with the stuff after the radix point, 999999.0512...

    This is again, all simplistically speaking, and why make things complicated anyways.

    You may find this view troubling but that is the whole idea, isn't it?

    Your talkorigins link to the "new" species is crap too, but I'll save that for another time.

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  67. Cornelius -

    I challenged your understanding of how science operates because you seem to see no problem in hypothesizing a supernatural agent as part of a possible scientific explanation.

    Are you unaware that all scientific theories and hypotheses must be entirely naturalistic? How could science possibly function if it allows un-/sub-/super-natural explanations?

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  68. computerist -

    It's not so much that I find the view troubling as I find it confusing.

    Perhaps it's me being slow, but could you explain that again more simply please? What exactly do you think the theory of evolutions (fallacous?) explaination is as to how new genera, families, orders, etc, are created, and what is your belief as to how this actually happens?

    "This is where irreducible complexity comes into the scene; while a fraction of information is carried its only expressed at the next prescribed evolutionary hop - ie: the information per hop is only expressed when it matches the next blueprint -. This explains why you will never achieve an irreducible complex structure such as a bacterial flagellum through NS & RM."

    We have witnessed NS & RM producing structures which have either been typically thought to be irreducibly complex, or count as such by the definition of irreducible complexity by the concept's creator, Michael Behe. For example, see here for a model for the origin of the bacterial flagellum:

    http://www.talkdesign.org/faqs/flagellum.html

    "Your talkorigins link to the "new" species is crap too, but I'll save that for another time."

    I'm willing to hear if it you're willing to share.

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  69. Ritchie

    There is not a word in any of Dawkins' lengthy tomes that has anything to do with speciation or the origin of any other taxonomic category. The man lives in a fantasy world entirely of his own construction. He always has. His several books, each more bizarre than its predecessor, reveal a disturbed mind no longer capable of rationale thought. Dawkins, like PeeZee Myers, is just one more Darwinian mystic who, in desperation, has finally abandoned science entirely to become an evangelist for Universal Atheism. They are both perfect losers, doomed to be nothing but incidental little footnotes in the history of evolutionary science.

    jadavison.wordpress.com

    Every step in the evolutionary sequence was an unambiguous, instantaneous event for which intermediate gradual transformations never were involved. The reason we do not see evolution in action is because it is not taking place.

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  70. jadavison -

    I'm sorry, but your appraisal of Richard Dawkins is wildly inaccurate to the point of perversity. Believe him to be mistaken, misled or simply motivated by atheism if you must (though I would still defend him on any of these points), but what is surely beyond doubt is that he is one of the most acclaimed and celebrated scientists of our time.

    Besides being the author of a dozen popular science books, several of which are considered so scientifically cannon that they are studied in school here in the UK, he is the author of dozens of peer-reviewed articles for scientific journals (a reasonable measure of a scientist's productivity), has won mny awards including Zoological Society Silver Medal (1989), Faraday Award (1990), Kistler Prize (2001), is a Fellow of the Royal Society, and has had several prominent positions at leading universities, including assistant professor of zoology at University of California, Berkeley, lecturer and reader in zoology at Oxford, and Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford. He gave the 1991 Royal Institution Christmas Lecture and is a senior editor of the Council for Secular Humanism's Free Inquiry magazine. He topped Prospect magazine's 2004 list of the top 100 public British intellectuals, and was listed by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2007.

    None of which AUTOMATICALLY makes him right on any particular point, of course. Being highly regarded does not make a person inerrant. Nevertheless, your portrayal of him as a marginalised and deluded fantasist is demonstrably way, way off the mark. Whether right or wrong, he is unquestionably one of academia's A-listers.

    Can the ID movement boast of anyone so widely recognized and highly regarded, professionally?


    "The reason we do not see evolution in action is because it is not taking place."

    We do see it taking place. See Lenski's E.Coli bacteria study, for example.

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  71. Ritchie:

    "Are you unaware that all scientific theories and hypotheses must be entirely naturalistic? How could science possibly function if it allows un-/sub-/super-natural explanations?"

    How do you answer this question:

    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/01/question-for-joe-felsenstein-and.html

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  72. So, you're a Christian. No surprise there.

    Not that I expect a serious answer on this question, but if you were a non-believer, would design be just as obvious to you? Without the belief in a creator, would everything look as if it were created to you?

    "If you think my position is far too neutral, please be aware that I think evolutionists take a position that is too committed."

    That's just it, though. I really don't think you're neutral at all. I think you're deluding yourself into thinking you're neutral, when you really aren't. You obviously have a fairly strong opinion on what you believe happened, and that opinion will bias you, whether you want it or not. I'm fully aware that my non-belief makes me biased towards naturalistic explanations, but the difference is that I'm non-religious for the same reason that I accept a naturalistic explanation. You argue that evolution is "poor science" while you, at the very same time, believe in the most unscientific of all ideas - the existence of God.

    I believe that my beliefs, my lack of beliefs and my biases leave me somewhere closer to the middle, while you are straddling two extremes at the same time. You both have unrealistic expectations on how rigid science should be, and have unrealistically low standards when it comes to your religion.

    That's just my idea, though. I'm sure you'll disagree quite strongly :)

    "Your conflation of ID with creationism is a typical example of this poisoning of the water. It is a pathetic sign of the anti intellectualism that is rampant in evolution."

    I'm not saying creationism and ID are the same thing. I know they're not. What I am saying, however, is that those that are too ashamed to believe in a literal creation story make up the "theory" of intelligent design instead, in which they claim to be "neutral" and "empiricist", but really will only accept one and only one conclusion - that God created everything. Again, anecdotal evidence, but I have not heard a single ID proponent ever give anything other than the Christian God as example of who the designer could be.

    It's not evolution's problem that Christians conflate the two ideas themselves. It's Christians who write books on creationism, and then change that word to intelligent design when losing a case in court, not evolutionists. It's the IDists that welcome the support of creationism-believing Christians because the two largely end up being the same theory. In fact, ID doesn't even actually preclude straight-up creationism from being true. They are not mutually exclusive. The one is just a fancier way of describing the other.

    Again, you'll probably disagree, but all you've done so far is to corroborate it.

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  73. Continued...

    "One can show there is plenty of evidence for geocentrism and a flat earth."

    One could show such evidence, yes, but it would be completely crushed by all the evidence there is for a round earth and heliocentrism. Just like one could show evidence for "design", which would be completely crushed by all the evidence for evolution. I know it's not just about who has the most evidence, but do you honestly believe that evolution is like believing in a flat earth, and that there's as much evidence for ID as there is for heliocentrism? If you are, then you, sir, are quite a but more deluded than I thought.

    "The fossils, DNA, geographic distributions, retroviruses, etc. all raise problems. Yes, if you are selective they can be converted into purely supporting evidences, but from a theory-neutral view they raise problems."

    But you're not "theory-neutral". You're a Christian that believes intelligent design is more true than evolution. The problems that arise in evolution are also usually explained by other evidence discovered later. Surely you're not suggesting that we abandon all the evidence we have, because some other problems can't be reconciled just yet? There's just as much problem with the evidence for ID, but apparently that can be ignored at your convenience.

    "No, the non-religious that *support* the fact of evolution are few to the point of non-existing."

    Hilarious. Again you're being disingenuous, because I suspect you know quite well what I mean. I'm not talking "evolutionist religious", but "church religious". I'm talking actual religion, involving worship, doctrines and rituals. Whatever mindset you believe evolutionists have, they are not an actual religion by any definition of the word, in any dictionary you can find.

    Let me put it this way, then: The ratio of Christians vs. non-believers is ridiculously high in the ID society, compared to the same in evolution. If I were to take a rough guess at some percentages, I'd wager that some 95% of IDists are Christians against some fraction of a percent that are non-religious. The rest are simply followers of some other religion (Islam, for example). The percentages in evolution are harder to guess, as there are quite many Christians and Muslims that accept the theory even though it goes against their religion. However, the number of active non-believers in science in general is quite high.

    Again, this is pure speculation. I have no facts to support this. But I doubt you could present any facts to prove otherwise either.

    "[...] you can't understand why folks could possibly doubt evolution."

    No, I understand perfectly well why people doubt evolution. The problem is spelled 'religion'. What I don't believe is that even a substantial part of those that doubt evolution do so purely on the supposed lack of good science behind it. When you dig a little, you always find the surface of religious motives beneath. Just like you, the self-proclaimed "empiricist" turned out to be a Christian. Nothing wrong with that, but it wasn't exactly a surprise either.

    "So your only explanation is the absurd idea that we must have ulterior motives that we're ashamed to admit. "

    Not the only explanation, but certainly a logical and reasonable one. Do you dispute the fact that a significantly larger ratio of actively religious people doubt evolution than non-religious? I know it's not proof, but it's very strong suggestion.

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  74. Cornelius -

    "How do you answer this question:"

    None of your four options are sufficient, as I explained in the very first post on the thread.

    B I suppose comes reasonanbly close. If there are supernatural forces at work in the universe, science, rooted as it is in naturalism, would not be able to identify it. That does not mean it would point to incorrect conclusions, but it would at least be able to tell us that we don't know what is happening.

    And now let me ask you - what is your point in posing this question? Science cannot identify and describe non-naturalistic phenomenon. So are you concluding that science itself is therefore possibly flawed?

    I thought you were presenting yourself as someone who is scientifically objective and neutral? But now you are undermining the whole of science?

    Allow me to point out that science - though hypothetically possibly flawed - is still by far the most reliable and productive means by which we understand the world around us. That does seem to speak towards it being true. By contrast, all supernatural forces are completely hypothetical. We have no reason to believe they exist, though yes, it is possible they do.

    So are you a scientist who is pointing out that the theory of evolution is unscientific, or are you a non-scientist pointing out that science itself is possibly flawed?

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  75. Formal religion has no place in science and it was a serious error for the IDists to attempt to place evolution in a religious straight jacket. They are largely responsible for the polarization that has ensued. No other area of science still suffers from that strategic mistake. Natural selection, the cornerstone of the Darwinian model has repeated failed the acid test of verification as a creative device. Just as important, so has the most intensive artificial selection. The simple reality is that there is "nothing" in the neo-Darwinian hypothesis that had (past tense) anything whatsoever to do with speciation or any other aspect of the ascending sequence that characterizes the fossil record, the perfect proof of organic evolution.

    I am sorry but Clinton Richard Dawkins and Paul Zachary Myers, his New World ally, are primary obstacles to the progress of evolutionary science. Neither has contributed a scintilla to the central problem which is the MECHANISM by which organic evolution took (past tense) place. Both have completely abandoned any semblance of science to attack any deviation from Darwin's infantile dream. They remain atheists because they are congenitally unable to accept a goal directed world even as everything we know demands that interpretation. There is about as much chance of rescuing Dawkins and Myers from their "presribed" fates as there is of convincing Pope Benedect XVI that he must abandon Christianity. Dawkins and Myers are already the laughing stock of serious biologists and you will not find them cited in the literature of experimental science, paleontology, taxonomy or any other aspect of natural history. They are self deluded losers, doomed to be mere footnotes in the history of evolutionary science.

    There is as yet no established "theory of evolution." There are two failed hypotheses, "Lamarck's Inheritance of Acquired Characters" and Darwin's "Origin of Species through Natural Selection," neither with a shred of empirical support. Religion, especially Protestant Fundamentalism, is just as barren as Atheist Darwinism.

    Furthermore, there is no role for "debate" in science, yet that is all that we see going on here as on countless other internet so called "forums." The history of science is littered with "debates" none of which ever resolved any issue. I have just finished an essay - "The Futility of Debate" and will send a link to it in a subsequent message, assuming I haven't been banished in the interim for disrupting the current "debate." If that should happen it won't be the first time. I have been banished from more forums than any other person in the history of internet communication, one of my proudest achievements. Thank you Cornelius for tolerating me thus far.

    "A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undmeonstrable."

    jadavison.wordpress.com

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  76. http://jadavison.wordpress.com/2008/01/06/predictions/#comments

    #240

    The Absurdity of Debate.

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  77. As Leslie said above, there are onlt two options. A few people disagreed but I concure with Leslie and this is why. Things happened either all by themselves or not. There is no other option, within these two there might be variations of opinion of exactly by what process and path but nevertheless only those two options are open. This simplifies things, so that we can see what we are delaing with philosophically and why no other ideas occur to us to choose from, it is not a result of science that this is so but of plain reason and philosophy. From these two alternatives men choose based on their predilection.
    You have always found the two schools of though in minor varyiation all the way back two the early Greeks, before any scientific method or Darwin or Christianity.
    There is a form of it surprisingly reminiscent of Darwinism in the Argonuatica believed to be written in the 3rd century BC by Apollinus of Rhodes, if memory serves me well and later more famously Epicurus makes the case for naturalsim while simultaneously believing in gods.
    Embryology is whatever you imagine it to be. It is whatever it is nonetheless, regardless of what you "see" in it.Early on this was soley based on appearances and lust for evidences and that was the basis for it , it certainly wasn't microbiology. So the foundation of Darwinism's evidence were just as much pure speculation and reasoning based on predilection and superficial appearances which were immediately employed and adopted. Then it was called evidence and many other things were then called evidence as well which were later proven not to be. That didn't stop anyone though, the evidences that were no longer evidences were replaced by new evidences until they were replaced on evidences but there never at any point lacked any evidneces.
    We could say it another way-- that there were no evidneces from the begining but evidences were sought and appearances were used as substitutes.
    Nathaniel asked for an alternative hypothesis to embryology, I say common design fits very well, as well as common formation or matrix of all living things, which can all be included in common design. You may ask what is the evidence or test? Well I say the same evidence you have, similarity in appearance and structure. We could also say commopn design would include common pathways and mechanisms and vehicles. This alternative would not affect the evidence or what we see under the microscope only the implications, which are at heart philosphical.
    I have also seen it said here that evolution is the best explanation or fits the evidence. Of course it will because the philosophical premise demands it. As we can see Epicurus was able to come to similar conclusions and fit them before the so called evidence of today, showing that this whole line of though is not the result of or dependent on scienctific facts, no the predilection come sand did come first, to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.
    Nathaniel also said he sees no evidence of intelligent design as yet, though there maybe(I paraphrase)and that is the reason for his rejection of it. Well I say the evidence is available to everyman not just specialists. Yes there are different levels of it but the brightest is open to us all and you miss it. Intelligence. In my opinion it is far fetched to come up with an alternative when actual experience teaches us that intelligence come from intelligence. You and not you alone but a whole group of men have dug very deep to try to deny it but it all begins with a simplke refusal and denial not science. The science comes later and is not the property or the enterprise or creation of atheism, it belongs to us all.

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  78. For the purposes of science naturalism is necessary frame of thought for we as rational beings are seeking for mastery of natural things that we deal with and affect us. So therefore whther Christian, theist, or agnostic or atheist it makes no diference to science. We all must and do adopt a naturalistic view, one could almost say atheistic view by default for specific goals when we "do" scientific investigations and research. Scienctific is just another way of saying we check and test oursleves to eliminate error and give oursleves surety in a matter.Anyone can and everyone is a scientist, a truth seeker in some sense, as much as we are able.

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  79. Jadavision,
    There is room for debate. It seems correct to me to say that there should be no room for debate when it comes to science but that is exactly the issue. the debate is whether evolution and darwinsim is science according to sciences' own defintions.
    I say it is not and so do many others and the disagreement is becoming helpful and bringing clarity and balance where it is needed. The issue is that in the name of science a philosphy of life is being pushed by some. This I believe is undeniable. As humans we should all know that we are subject to such errors, including people who do scientific investigations. It happens when they step outside the bounds proscribed by their ideals. The philophical-- unexplored and unnamed bias is naturalism, which as I said above is an assumed mindset and framework for all when engaged in science, theist or non theist. The problem is when you assume and apply naturalsim, forgetting its roots as a philosphy for science, for the specific purposes investigating and mastering nature for our own ends, and applying it and extending it specualtively as a philosphy of all life and reality which cannot and does not fall under the power and purview of such investigation -- and call it the scienctific outlook connecting it to the rest of actual proven science. Climategate being a prime example.

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  80. ASR,

    There are two significant differences between "common design" and "common descent" as explanations for the observed similarities in organisms. The first is that those similarities are a *necessary* prediction entailed by common descent. Similarities are not a necessary result of, and consequently not well explained by, common design.

    The second is that the common descent hypothesis makes additional predictions--not just that there will be similarities, but that they will be structured in a way that demonstrates progressive developments over time. The nested heirarchy apparent in nature fits this prediction. Common design, on the other hand, makes no prediction as to the structure of similarities. There is no "design" hypothesis that explains the differences between a bat and a sparrow, or whether a sparrow's molecular biology will be closer to a bat's or a lizard's. (Excepting, of course, the designer's whim or whimsy, which are not amenable to scientific investigation.)

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  81. jadavison -

    "Formal religion has no place in science"

    I'm glad we at least agree on this.

    "The simple reality is that there is "nothing" in the neo-Darwinian hypothesis that had (past tense) anything whatsoever to do with speciation or any other aspect of the ascending sequence that characterizes the fossil record, the perfect proof of organic evolution."

    You mean apart from the fact that it accounts for it?

    "Clinton Richard Dawkins"

    Clinton...?

    "...are primary obstacles to the progress of evolutionary science. Neither has contributed a scintilla to the central problem which is the MECHANISM by which organic evolution took (past tense) place."

    Richard Dawkins championed the gene-centred view of evolution through the late twentieth century, though it was unfashionable. It is now favoured by most biologists. He also described the effects of the extended phenotype - a hugely important aspect of evolution.

    "They remain atheists because they are congenitally unable to accept a goal directed world even as everything we know demands that interpretation."

    No such interpretation is demanded at all. There is nothing at all about the universe which even implies it is a deliberate creation, let alone one created with a specific goal in mind. The universe is exactly as we would expect to see it if it were the result of nothing more than random chance.

    "Dawkins and Myers are already the laughing stock of serious biologists"

    What serious biologists, specifically? As I already mentioned, Dawkins is possibly one of the most influential, important and highly regarded biologist of our time.

    "There is as yet no established "theory of evolution." There are two failed hypotheses, "Lamarck's Inheritance of Acquired Characters" and Darwin's "Origin of Species through Natural Selection," neither with a shred of empirical support."

    Funny how a theory (Darwin's theory of evolution through natural selection) without a shred of empirical support can actually BE a theory, when the title alone demands a minimum standard of evidence. Funny too that there are entire scientific journals published dealing exclusively with the evidence this theory generates.

    "The history of science is littered with "debates" none of which ever resolved any issue."

    Possibly your most bizarre claim of all. Modern science is entirely made up of concensus views. How else are new ideas to be shared and theories to win support other than through debate?

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  82. That's right Ritchie, that is his name - Clinton Richard Dawkins, just like Paul Zachary Myers is PeeZee's name. What a pair of losers they really are. And just who is Ritchie I ask, confident that he will never let his identity be known?

    Anonymity is cowardice and the only good thing I can say about Dawkins and Meyers is their masochistic willingness to expose their identity. The vast majority of their disciples are anonymous unfulfilled blowhards, a feature shared by both camps in this meaningless debate.

    Theories, sensu strictu, are verified hypotheses and Darwinism doesn't qualify. There is only one way any hypothesis has ever been converted to the status of theory; that is by experimental or observational verification. Science has never been made up of concensus views and it never will be. I forget who said this - "If its science it is not concensus and if its conscensus it is not science."

    Furthermore, my ideas, like those of my distinguished sources, ARE NOT shared with Darwinists. Darwinists continue, as they always have, to pretend we many critics don't exist.

    Darwinism is an unprecedented scientific scandal, six generations of mass hysteria fueled by literally thousands of congenitally disadvantaged intellectual lightweights who are not only stone deaf, like all pure white blue-eyed cats, but blind as the proverbial bat to the world in which they find themselves.

    "Then there are the fanatical atheists whose intolerance is the same as that of the religious fanatics, and it springs from the same source....They are creatures who can't hear the music of the spheres."
    Albert Einstein

    jadavison.wordpress.com

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  83. It was Michael Crichton who said that and I mispelled consensus.

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  84. jadavison -

    "That's right Ritchie, that is his name - Clinton Richard Dawkins, just like Paul Zachary Myers is PeeZee's name."

    Well there's a thing I didn't know. Cool!

    However, the rest of your post seems to have deteriorated into an angry diatribe against him and PZ Meyers - a rant which makes up in vitriol what it lacks in actual substance.

    "The vast majority of their disciples are anonymous unfulfilled blowhards, a feature shared by both camps in this meaningless debate."

    Have you ever heard of Project Steve? In a nutshell, the Discovery Institute drew up a survey of academics who doubted the theory of evolution. In response, a list was drawn up of academics who do accept the theory of evolution, and whose name was Stephen/Steve/Stephanie. Not only was the second list far longer, it also contained a much higher percentage of actual biologists or people whose field of expertise would be touched on by evolution. Here are some numbers for you:

    http://www.daylightatheism.org/2009/05/cfac-steve-statistics.html

    "Theories, sensu strictu, are verified hypotheses and Darwinism doesn't qualify."

    How amusing, when an extremely popular (yet misleading) challenge to the theory of evolution is that it is 'only a theory'. I'm afraid it really is a theory - it has earned that status, and it has done so through experimental and observational verification. It truly is a scientific theory. ID, by the way, is not.

    As for my point on consensus views - you seem to have gotten the wrong end of the stick. It is true that the truth is not established by popular opinion - just because everyone believes it, does not mean it is true.

    However, my point (which perhaps I didn't phrase well) it that when we talk about current scientific thinking, what we are talking about is what the majority of scientists believe. If we say 'modern science tells us X, Y, Z' then what we mean is 'most scientists believe X, Y, Z'.

    And while facts themselves can be presented and should be accepted by objective sceintists, THEORIES are much more subjective. They are just explanations of those facts. The theory of evolution is not a single, observable fact in and of itself, but it does account for a vast amount of testable, observable, verifiable facts. And how would people become swayed into accepted one theory or another if not through debate?

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  85. (continued)

    "Darwinism is an unprecedented scientific scandal, six generations of mass hysteria fueled by literally thousands of congenitally disadvantaged intellectual lightweights who are not only stone deaf, like all pure white blue-eyed cats, but blind as the proverbial bat to the world in which they find themselves."

    Rarely do conspiracy theorists or denialists come out with anything more paranoid. Scientists operate through the sceintific principles of observation, experimentation and falsification every day as part of their bread and butter. They are not likely to get caught up in mass hysteria fuelled by intellectual lightweights. A scientifically illiterate general public might, but not the scientific elite.

    Yet the theory of evolution is widely accepted right through the halls of academia. It is ID which has very few actual scientists to champion it, and those who there are generally focuss their energies on appealing to the largely scientifically-illiterate public through non-peer-reviewed books for public consumption, church gatherings and editorials in sympathetic media outlets. The number of articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals supporting ID is negligable to non-existent. By contract, there are entire journals dedicated to all the data the theory of evolution throws up.

    The pattern is clear - the vast majority of intellectual heavyweights accept evolution. ID and Creationism do not even participate in performing science - they just go straight to the pulpits and try to sway converts. If they want to do science, let them write articles for peer-reviewed scientific journals. That's what REAL scientists do.

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  86. Ritchie, whoever that is and he obviosly doesn't choose to let us know.

    I want to thank you for repeating my descriptions of the Dawkins/Myers dynamic duo. They have both degenerated into hate mongering enemies of the very institutions that have made Western Civilization great, Christianity, especially the Roman Church, and Constitutional Democracy. They have beacome powerful influences, virtual Anti-Christs serving to further weaken a society already in decay. If these are your heroes I can only predict that you will go down wih them right along with their other thousands of like minded pseudo-scientific sycophants. They are Cultists with all the paraphernalia that attend that pathetic condition, bumper stickers, coffee mugs and Tshirts all emblazoned with the big red A for Atheism. It is hard to believe isn't it? Not any longer it isn't! Scientists do not seek followers, they seek the truth, often a lonely task.

    And please do not try to identify me as an IDist. I have been banished 4 times from Uncommon Descent. My science is independent of any personal God just as was the science of every one of my six major predecessors plus Albert Einstein.

    "No sadder proof can be given by a man of his own littleness than disbelief in great men."
    Thomas Carlyle

    I repeat "there is no theory of evolution." There WAS evolution. How it took place remains shrouded in mystery and all your bluster will not change that. One thing is certain. Darwinism with its cornerstones, random mutation and natural selection, played no role whatsoever in that phenomenon. Phylogeny, exactly like ontogeny does today, proceeded (past tense) on the basis of an enormous stock of "prescribed" information, a planned sequence in which the environment served ONLY to allow that plan to proceed.

    My reception here is typical and does not surprise me. I have little more to offer and I thank Cornelius for allowing me to hold forth. I have my own website and I invite all to participate there. I ask only that you identify yourself. I have limited tolerance for those who only snipe from behind the veil of anonymity.

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  87. Nathaniel:

    "if you were a non-believer, would design be just as obvious to you? Without the belief in a creator, would everything look as if it were created to you?"

    Definitely not -- atheists have no choice, Christians do. Christians can literally be anywhere from evolutionist to YEC. It is not Christians, but atheists who are one-sided. When I was an atheist I naturally believed in evolution. Nothing looked designed to me because I could not allow for that. When I became a Christian I continued to be an evolutionist. I saw no problem. But then later I looked more closely at the science. Unlike an atheist, I could consider the data without assuming evolution must be true. As a Christian I had that liberty.




    "That's just it, though. I really don't think you're neutral at all. I think you're deluding yourself into thinking you're neutral, when you really aren't. You obviously have a fairly strong opinion on what you believe happened, and that opinion will bias you,"

    Yes, of course, the science has biased me, as I explained.




    "I'm non-religious for the same reason that I accept a naturalistic explanation."

    And whatever reason that is, it cannot be based on the science at hand.





    "I know it's not just about who has the most evidence, but do you honestly believe that evolution is like believing in a flat earth"

    No, but there's a reason why evolution is motivated and mandated by metaphysics -- that is the only way to conclude it is a fact. From a scientific perspective, it is quite weak.




    "But you're not "theory-neutral". You're a Christian that believes intelligent design is more true than evolution."

    There's that rock solid evolutionary logic at work again.





    "The problems that arise in evolution are also usually explained by other evidence discovered later."

    Correction, the problems are explained by increasing theory complexity. Later evidence just makes things worse.





    "Again you're being disingenuous, because I suspect you know quite well what I mean. I'm not talking "evolutionist religious", but "church religious". I'm talking actual religion, involving worship, doctrines and rituals. Whatever mindset you believe evolutionists have, they are not an actual religion by any definition of the word, in any dictionary you can find."

    The Anglicans, Lutherans, Roman Catholics, etc. are going to be surprised to hear this. I know you don't understand this, but you're soaking in it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bEkq7JCbik






    "Let me put it this way, then: The ratio of Christians vs. non-believers is ridiculously high in the ID society, compared to the same in evolution."

    More evolutionary logic. Non believers are 99.99% evolutionists while Christians are all over map, and they think the bias exists with Christians. Yeah, there are no non-believers who think design is a good inference. Gee, I wonder why.






    "No, I understand perfectly well why people doubt evolution. The problem is spelled 'religion'. What I don't believe is that even a substantial part of those that doubt evolution do so purely on the supposed lack of good science behind it. When you dig a little, you always find the surface of religious motives beneath. Just like you, the self-proclaimed "empiricist" turned out to be a Christian."

    Wow ...





    "Do you dispute the fact that a significantly larger ratio of actively religious people doubt evolution than non-religious? I know it's not proof, but it's very strong suggestion."

    I agree with your premise. Its the (evolutionary) logic that follows that is scary.

    ReplyDelete
  88. John:

    "I have little more to offer and I thank Cornelius for allowing me to hold forth."

    There are many readers here who are interested in your comments. Please feel free to share your insights and ignore the noise ...

    ReplyDelete
  89. Ritchie:

    Here is your answer:

    ================================
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/01/question-for-joe-felsenstein-and.html

    B. If methodological naturalism ever fails then science, constrained to methodological naturalism, will lead to the wrong answer. Don't worry, it is fine if science is sometimes incorrect.
    ================================

    You added this comment:

    "If there are supernatural forces at work in the universe, science, rooted as it is in naturalism, would not be able to identify it. That does not mean it would point to incorrect conclusions, but it would at least be able to tell us that we don't know what is happening."

    Next question: If this hypothetical case were ever to occur, just how is it that science could detect it? IOW, how is it that science could tell us that we don't know what is happening?

    ReplyDelete
  90. The decay of Western Civiization received an enormous stimulus when Darwin's zealous followers declared that Darwin made God unnecessary. With that the so called Age of Enligtenment began a decline that continues to this very day. It is not just Muslim jihadists that seek the destruction of Western Civilization. We have enemies within with the same goal, extreme incendiaries like Pee Zee Myers and Richard Dawkins with their legions of like minded followers. An enemy of Democracy now occupies the White House.

    For those who think they can eliminate God from our civilization, I recommend Thomas E. Woods Jr's book - "How The Catholic Church Built Western Civilzation."

    Below is a sentence from the last paragraph of that important book, one which I believe defines the issues we now face.

    "I am not a Catholic," wrote French philosopher Simone Weil, "but I consider the Christian idea, which has its roots in Greek thought and in the course of the centuries has nourished all of our European civilization, as something that one cannot renounce without becoming degraded."

    We are now witnessing that degradation and we must recognize those who bear the responsibilty for it. We must counter their pernicious influence before it is too late.

    jadavison.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
  91. jadavison -

    "I ask only that you identify yourself. I have limited tolerance for those who only snipe from behind the veil of anonymity."

    ??? I have not identified myself because I do not expect you would know anything at all about me. My name is Richard Hollis, I live in Essex, England, I am 28 and I work in London as a journalist. But I rather doubt this will mean anything at all to you. What else about me do you want to know?

    "My science is independent of any personal God just as was the science of every one of my six major predecessors plus Albert Einstein."

    YOU are the direct intellectual descendant of Albert Einstein - six times removed? In which case I think you should be the one outline exactly who YOU are. That seems far more interesting that my dull personal history.

    "And please do not try to identify me as an IDist."

    Very well, I shall not. Though your zealous tirade against Richard Dawkins and PZ Meyers demonstrates a passionate belief in the Christian God and an apparent opinion that His existence is at all relevant to the issue we are discussing - that of evolution.

    If you think God has anything at all to do with creation, then YOU are the one advocating religion, not science.

    "Scientists do not seek followers, they seek the truth, often a lonely task."

    Lol, so now you are taking the fact that no-one is convinced by your arguments as evidence that what you are doing is science? Funny, I'm taking it as evidence that what you're saying falls rather short of rational...

    "I have been banished 4 times from Uncommon Descent."

    And what lessons have you drawn from that?

    ReplyDelete
  92. Cornelius -

    "Next question: If this hypothetical case were ever to occur, just how is it that science could detect it? IOW, how is it that science could tell us that we don't know what is happening?"

    Well, I'm going to make up an example of methodological naturalism failing - the Altantic Ocean turning bright pink.

    We may try to find an explanation for this. But we never would, if the cause genuinely was a failure of methodological naturalism. Such an act would not be repeatable or supportable under natural laws. It would forever be an absolute mystery.

    ReplyDelete
  93. Ritchie Hollis

    You are obviously ignorant of my declared beliefs or you would know that I have postulated not a personal Christian God, but a minimum of two gods, one benevolent, the other malevolent. The simple truth is that no one knows anything about God or gods. There is no need for God or gods to exist in any event. All that is needed is that they once did. That is why it is wrong to describe Nietzsche as an atheist. His Gott ist tot requires that Gott once lived. I suggest you digest my essays "What is an atheist?" and "What is a creationist." before you accuse me of being a Christian Bible-banging Fundamentalist.

    To use a simple example of what I mean, one that you might be able to wrap your mind around -
    Henry Ford invented the automobile assembly line. Ford is dead but the assembly line persist. Get it? I doubt it.

    As near as I can determine you have contributed absolutely nothing of substance to this discussion. I have better things to do with my remaining time that to spar with someone of your calibre. Anyone who can identify with losers like Dawkins and Myers is hardly a worthy adversary.

    The lesson I have learned over the 81 years I have been observing the human animal has been summarized by Albert Einstein -

    "In order to form an immaculate member of a flock of sheep one must, above all, be a sheep....The majority of the stupid is invincible and guaranteed for all time....Whoever undertakes to set himself up as judge in the field of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the Gods."
    Ideas and Opinions, page 28.

    jadavison.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
  94. Ritchie:

    =========
    Well, I'm going to make up an example of methodological naturalism failing - the Altantic Ocean turning bright pink.

    We may try to find an explanation for this. But we never would, if the cause genuinely was a failure of methodological naturalism. Such an act would not be repeatable or supportable under natural laws. It would forever be an absolute mystery.
    =========

    So it is OK for scientists to identify where they think MN fails?

    ReplyDelete
  95. jadavison -

    In which case, goodbye. Much good may your bitter words and bizarre beliefs do you.

    ReplyDelete
  96. Cornelius -

    "So it is OK for scientists to identify where they think MN fails?"

    In principle, yes. But then what?

    A mystery is just a mystery. If you declare it is the point where MN fails, then you cannot proceed at all by performing science. If you indentify any point where MN fails, you are affectively identifying a point where you are no longer doing science.

    ReplyDelete
  97. Ritchie:

    "In principle, yes. But then what?"

    You are guilty of god-of-the-gaps reasoning.

    ReplyDelete
  98. Ritchie

    I am not bitter at all. I am having the time of my life exposing charlatans like Myers and Dawkins as the pathetic creatures they have proven to be. All the thousands of fans like yourself will not save them from their certain fates to be permanent embarrassments to themselves and to the never ending search for the truth concerning the mechanism for organic evolution. They are to be pitied but it will not be by me. They deserve all the abuse I continue to heap upon them.

    It doesn't get any better than this.

    "How do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways."
    after Elizabeth Barrett Browning

    jadavison.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
  99. Cornelius -

    "You are guilty of god-of-the-gaps reasoning."

    How so?

    ReplyDelete
  100. jadavison -

    I'm afraid you are not exposing them at all. At least, you are not doing so here. All you are doing is marshalling a barrel-load of empty insults. That isn't exposing them - it's just childishly insulting them. Anyone can name-call. That doesn't prove a thing - except the mentality of the insulter, or course.

    ReplyDelete
  101. Ritchie:

    ===
    "You are guilty of god-of-the-gaps reasoning."

    How so?
    ===

    The gog criticism is used against any claim that strictly naturalistic explanations are not plausible for a given phenomenon.

    ReplyDelete
  102. The only reason I insult my enemies is to get their attention. Darwinists are hamstrung by their idiotic ideology, deaf to reality. We recognize their thesis, why can't they recognize ours and demolish it as we have demolished theirs countless times? Dawkins and Myers are transparent cowards content to let their minions like Ritchie represent their interests, while they, having now abandoned any semblance of science, do everything in their power to destroy the fabric of Western Civilization, the Judeo-Christian ethic. Why are they engaged in this bizarre enterprise? I will tell you why. This they must do because the only conceivable alternative to the Darwinian myth requires a guided process of some sort, a reality beyond their comprehension.

    Darwinism has all the success as lifting oneself up by ones bootstraps, an isometric exercize in futility, intellectual masochism, self-flagellation and nihilism.

    It is hard to believe isn't it?

    Thomas Henry Huxley, who never accepted Darwin's thesis, reminded us -

    "Science commits suicide when she adopts a creed."

    Slow perhaps but certain.

    "If you tell the truth, you can be certain, sooner or later, to be found out."
    Oscar Wilde

    It doesn't get any better than this.

    I love it so!

    ReplyDelete
  103. Cornelius -

    "The gog criticism is used against any claim that strictly naturalistic explanations are not plausible for a given phenomenon."

    No, the GoG argument is any claim which takes a mystery as evidence for whatever unsupported explanation is used to account for that mystery.

    For example, don't know how life arose? It must have been God.

    All I am saying here is that when we come to a mystery, we can decide it is unsolvable because we have reached the very frontier of MN (in which case any proposed explanation is no longer science) or we can assume that the mystery does have a natural explanation and try to find it using scientific methods.

    ReplyDelete
  104. jadavison -

    "The only reason I insult my enemies is to get their attention."

    1) The very fact that you use the word 'enemies' speaks volumes about your attitude to open debate.
    2) Whose attention are you trying to get? They are not here on this site. And I assure you you would have a better time engaging with 'evolutionists' if you actually used evidence and logic to make your points, not childish name-calling.

    "Dawkins and Myers are transparent cowards content to let their minions like Ritchie represent their interests"

    They are not here! Do you honest imagine they are reading this? I'm sure they are busy people with things to do - things like science. How lucky for you you are not burdened by having to do this.

    "Why are they engaged in this bizarre enterprise? I will tell you why. This they must do because the only conceivable alternative to the Darwinian myth requires a guided process of some sort,"

    Again, a moment's thought would reveal this is not true. Perhaps the forensic record, the fossil record and every other piece of evidence commonly held for the theory of evolution came about by pure chance. That is a possible alternative. Phenominally unlikely, but possible.

    Dawkins, Meyers, et al, are opposed to all versions of Creationism (and I use the term to encompass all hypotheses which advocate the idea that the universe/life is the product of deliberate design) because they are all based on religious assertions, and are simply not science.

    So instead of getting off on your self-congratulatory masterbation, perhaps you could do yourself a favour by actually presenting a single piece of evidence which might convince me that you could possibly be right.

    ReplyDelete
  105. Ritchie

    The reason that Myers, Dawkins and Elsberry "are not here" is the same reason they are not at any forum dealing with the great mystery of organic evolution. Dawkins doesn't even speak at his own website. All three use the same methods. They send forth devout followers like yourself to represent them. They are all three cowards, promoting the most failed hypothesis in the history of science, not by defending it, because they know it is indefensible, but rather, by lashing out blindly at any alternative view based on the most reasonable assumptions that creation required creators and design required designers. Please note my use of the past tense. They have conned thousands of pathetic sycophants like yourself into their ranks to do the dirty work they themselves are afraid to do because they know they will fail. They are terrified of me and my sources just as Terry Trainor claimed -

    "Davison is the Darwinians' worst nightmare."

    Every one of my six major sources demolished the Darwinian fantasy, each in his own way, ways that rendered Darwin's Victorian dream an intellectual disaster unparalleled in the history of science. It has persisted for one reason only. The Darwinists have always pretended that they never had any credible critics. They still do and they will hang on by their dirty fingernails as long as possible but to no avail. Darwinism is kaput, dead, a scandal, an intellectual and scientific disgrace: 150 years of mass hysteria fueled by those several poor souls doomed to congenital atheism.

    There is nothing to debate. Debate never resolved anything. Scientists don't debate, they discover. I do not debate. I confront and the cowards send forth there tragic little foot soldiers like Ritchie and Alan Fox, mindless automatons with no credentials whatsoever.

    You may go back to their isolated bastions, their Alamos, and tell your cowardly masters that I have no respect for them because they refuse to represent themselves, the certain proof of their fear and insecurity.

    "War, God help me, I love it so."
    General George S. Patton

    jadavison.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
  106. Jadavison -

    See, you're doing it again. More trash talk, arrogant bravado and childish (and inaccurate) insults.

    "Dawkins doesn't even speak at his own website."

    Yes, he quite blatantly does:

    www.richarddawkins.net

    "They are all three cowards, promoting the most failed hypothesis in the history of science, not by defending it, because they know it is indefensible..."

    Dawkins' latest book, The Greatest Show On Earth specifically outlines the evidence for the theory of evolution.

    "...lashing out blindly at any alternative view based on the most reasonable assumptions that creation required creators and design required designers."

    They are not reasonable assumptions. The theory of evolution elegantly demonstrates how we can have apparent design without a designer (in nature). That is the point of it.

    "Every one of my six major sources demolished the Darwinian fantasy,"

    Which are? Bearing in mind the theory of evolution is one of the strongest theories in modern science...

    "There is nothing to debate."

    Perhaps not with you. You need to present evidence or logical arguments to have a debate. Not just bellow out "I'm right and everyone who disagrees with me is a moron, so HA HA!" in as many different words as you can come up with.

    "You may go back to their isolated bastions, their Alamos, and tell your cowardly masters that I have no respect for them because they refuse to represent themselves, the certain proof of their fear and insecurity."

    It's ironic that you spoke earlier of deluded fantasies... Your words here demonstrate a towering self-regard and deluded self-image which as far as I can see is totally without merit.

    ReplyDelete
  107. So debate as they do on so many blogs. I am a scientist and scientists don't debate. Whatever you do, don't publish your conclusions and don't use your own name which is also characteristic of internet groupthinks. In your case, knowing your full name won't help anyway help because you are obviously not a scientist by your own admission.

    I have the self regard to stand by my science publicly and proclaim it with conviction. As for evidence, you obviously have read none of my papers, not even my essays, probably because you are not equipped either by training or inclination to do so. If you had you would know of both indirect and direct evidence for the Prescribed Evolutionary Hypotheis. You are also monumentally uninformed concerning the history of the last century and a half of evolutionary science, like your heroes pretending that the Darwinian fairy tale has survived. It has been destroyed time and time again by real scientists. Darwinism has been preserved by armchair theoreticians like Stephen Jay Gould, Ernst Mayr, William Provine and, most recently, Richard Dawkins, not one of whom ever dirtied his hands in the laboratory or in a paleontological site. They have collectively wasted several meters of libary shelving with pure drivel, not a word of which had anything ton do with the great mystery of an ascending and now finished organic evolution. By contrast, the real heroes of evolutionay science, among them Leo Berg, Richard Goldschmidt and Pierre Grasse each wrote a single book dealing strictly with organic evolution. There is more science in any one page from any of these authors than there is in all the writings of all the Darwinians that ever lived. I have been the voice for a few great scientists and most of my science stems directy from theirs. I have resurrected these great minds from the dungeons to which the Darwinain zealots have tried to confine them. Paul Zachary Myers even uses "dungeon" to describe his "hate file" where you will find me as one of the charter inmates, one of my proudest moments. It is the Darwinians who are confined, chained by their congenital atheism, joined by a common ideology which dooms them to ignominity and scientific disgrace. They mimic one another and deserve one another.

    "No man was ever great by imitation....I never desire to communicate with a man who has written more than he has read."
    Samuel Johnson

    Your insistence on the "theory of evolution" is laughable. Evolution is NOT a theory, it WAS a fact, an undeniable reality. Dawkins, Myers and Elsberry are not scientists by any stretch of the imagination. They are propagandists for the Darwinian hoax who have left science to gather like minded intellectual disasters in a desperate attempt to preserve a myth, a lie, a deceit as Soren Lovtrup described it - Darwin's infantile attempt to explain the natural world through "natural selection."

    By the way there is no place for logical arguement in science and there never has been.

    "Hypotheses have to be reasonable, facts don't."
    Anonymous

    "An hypothesis does not cease being an hypothesis when a lot of people believe it."
    Boris Ephrussi

    jadavison.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
  108. I see no point in continuing to waste my time here. If Cornelius is going to cultivate atheist, chance-worshipping Darwinian zealots, his forum does not need my input. Those who are interested in my science know where to find me.

    jadavison.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
  109. jadavison -

    Goodbye then. I hope to hear from you again when you've learnt the difference between a supported, evidenced assertion with references and childish, arrogant mud-slinging.

    ReplyDelete
  110. Ritchie

    You will find my references on the shelves of the world's libaries and on my web page. Where may I find your sources? Do you even have any or are you, like Alan Fox and so many others, just another myrmidon* for Darwinian mysticism?

    * a faithful follower who carries out orders without question. American Heritage Dictonary

    jadavison.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
  111. Ritchie

    I take it from your last comment that you are running this blog, that you hope to hear from me again after I have learned something. I thought this was Cornelius Hunter's weblog. He already invited me back without conditions which is why I returned. I don't see how you offer anything here I can't find at After The Bar Closes, richarddawkins.net or Pharyngula. They all banished me long ago. So did Uncommon Descent (four times). I don't enjoy being insulted, especially by those allied with my mortal enemies, the purveyors of hate toward our most treasured institutions, those who worship at the altar of chance like Paul Zachary Myers and Clinton Richard Dawkins. Why should I not treat them and their followers with the same contempt they demonstrated for me long ago? I don't banish adversaries from my website. Quite the contrary I invite all, without reservation, promising that their comments will remain, a promise I have kept until it became necessary in very few instances to stop what had become chronic abuse such as that exhibited here by Ritchie Hollis. I don't expect other blogs to be as tolerant as I am on mine but I do expect either to be treated with respect or banished.

    I recommend that Cornelius issue a warning to Ritchie Hollis. I will be happy to contribute further to this group when I can be assured that I will be treated with respect. If that is out of the question it will soon become apparent.

    jadavison.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
  112. jadavison -

    "You will find my references on the shelves of the world's libaries and on my web page. Where may I find your sources?"

    So you are referencing yourself? You are your reference for your own assertions? Not really good enough. You see, Richard Dawkins being a celebrated and revered biologist is supported by the facts that his professional CV is crammed full of scientific achievements, his list of awards which is as long as your arm, the reception of his books (both both academics and the general public) and the countless professional biologists singing his praises.

    Whereas your depiction of him as a deluded and marginalized fantasist is supported by...?

    "I take it from your last comment that you are running this blog,"

    I am not, and never pretended to. I said goodbye because you yourself said you saw no point in continuing to waste your time here, which I interpreted to mean you were leaving. Sadly not...

    "I don't see how you offer anything here I can't find at After The Bar Closes, richarddawkins.net or Pharyngula."

    I don't claim to provide anything you wouldn't find there.

    "I don't enjoy being insulted"

    So why do you start slinging insults at others? Surely a sensible person would expect a few back?

    "especially by those allied with my mortal enemies,"

    Again the words 'deluded' and 'fantasist' are ringing in my ears...

    "the purveyors of hate toward our most treasured institutions,"

    They (we?) are no such thing. Stop being such a drama queen.

    "Why should I not treat them and their followers with the same contempt they demonstrated for me long ago?"

    That's called bigotry. I once was mugged by a black man. Would I be justified in returning such treatment to all black people? Of course not. That would be bigotry.

    "I have kept until it became necessary in very few instances to stop what had become chronic abuse such as that exhibited here by Ritchie Hollis."

    You think my remarks towards you count as chronic abuse? How can you possibly be so thin-skinned and yet believe yourself justified in throwing around vitriolic abuse at other people? You are a hypocrit.

    "I don't expect other blogs to be as tolerant as I am on mine but I do expect either to be treated with respect or banished."

    Then when you are on other peoples' blogs, perhaps you should respect others! You are no more worthy of respect than I. Perhaps that is why you get banned so much...

    "I recommend that Cornelius issue a warning to Ritchie Hollis."

    This is not your site. Learn your place. You have no authority here. Cornelius may ban me if he sees fit, but as it stands we are both guests on here. I suggest you behave as such.

    "I will be happy to contribute further to this group when I can be assured that I will be treated with respect."

    Then show that level of respect to others!

    ReplyDelete
  113. I show no respect for those who have banished me from their proceedings. That is a very long list and is why I am holding forth here. Maybe you can convince Cornelius to do the same.

    Richard Dawkins is a self deluded egomaniac who has done more to inhibit progress in evolutionary science than any other person since Charles Darwin. Just because he has conned you and thousands of others just like you doesn't surprise me in the least. He lives in a fantasy world entirely of his own construction. His books, each more bizarre than its predecessor, betray a disturbed mind, a mentality that begins and ends with himself. Frankly, I think he is clinicly insane. Neither he nor his New World alter ego PeeZee "godless liberal, randomly ejaculating" Myers have published a word clarifying the mystery of phylogeny, not a word. They are a primary reason the Darwinian hoax still survives. They do this by denigrating any proposition that departs from the most enduring myth in the history of science.

    When one has to stoop to peddling Tshirts, coffee mugs and bumper stickers all emblazoned with the big red A for atheism, no further evidence need be offered to establish that one is no scientist. I love the way the pair of them celebrate one anothers birthdays and write poems of praise to one another. They are cut from the same atheist, ultraliberal "prescribed" cloth and there is absolutley nothing that can be done for or with them. They are born losers. I thoroughly enjoy watching them commit masochistic suicide.

    "Science commits suicide when she adopts a creed."
    Thomas Henry Huxley

    I say - get on with it!

    It is hard to believe isn't it?

    Not at all. It is a matter of record.

    "I read as little of Richard Dawkins as possible."
    Cyrus Noe

    jadavison.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
  114. jadavison -

    I really don't know what to say. We're just going round in circles here. You've just gone straight back to empty insults.

    "I show no respect for those who have banished me from their proceedings."

    Then ask for none FROM them.

    "Richard Dawkins is a self deluded egomaniac..."

    The whole paragraph is just an plainly stupid and vaccuous tirade. If Richard Dawkins were just a deluded egomaniac, how is he the toast of the scientific academia? How has he won more awards than you can shake a stick at? Why is he continually handed positions of great scientific prestige? These are facts which belie your depiction of him. You have to account for them. Believe him to be wrong if you like, but you cannot seriously deny that many people - and the scientific elite at that - consider him worthy of many accolades.

    "He lives in a fantasy world entirely of his own construction."

    If this were true, no-one would agree with him. The thing about deluded people is that they are usually alone in believing their delusions. Richard Dawkins would not find himself so widely celebrated and revered as a scientist. He might well instead find himself on the internet ranting at people who can see through his crazy nonsense and get himself banned repeatedly from blog sites for being a nuisance.

    "They are cut from the same atheist, ultraliberal "prescribed" cloth and there is absolutley nothing that can be done for or with them."

    Please explain what atheism has to do with it. The theory of evolution is accepted as true by a truly huge number of people, many of whom hold religious beliefs - Christian, Jewish, Islam and many others. Acceptance of the theory of evolution is perfectly compatible with religious belief.

    ReplyDelete
  115. Ritchie

    Richard Dawkins is the laughingstock of the serious scientific community. He contributes nothing of substance and never has. He is a pompous cowardly blowhard with a gigantic following of like minded atheist disciples like yourself. No serious scientist would dream of trying to persuade anyone that there is no God and never was one. That is all that the man has done for quite some time now.

    There is no theory of evolution. Facts are not theories. You seem to have the notion that I am not an evolutionist. I agree there is no necessary conflict between ones religion and science. That is the whole point. Just what do Dawkins and Myers hope to achieve by attacking not only those who hold religious convictions but the religious institutions themselves? Dawkins proclaims that religion harms young minds. Myers calls the Holy Father "benny who wears funny hats." The President of the United States is "asshole in chief." He accuses those who do not agree with his every word all kinds of hideous names, commits them to his "hate file," his "dungeon." He accuse me (in his dungeon) of wanking, a word I had to look up to find it is a synonym for masturbation. This is hilarious coming from a man who introduces each daily edition of hatespeech with the description of his blog -

    "Random biological ejaculations from a godless liberal."

    I thought all ejaculatios were biological, but random as well? What a sticky mess!

    The pair of them spew hate every time they open their atheist Marxist mouths. Trash like Dawkins and Myers are to be despised by decent people everywhere and as near as I can tell they are!

    They are living breathing anti-Christs, insatiable anarchists hell bent on the destruction of Western Civilization and the Christian institutions that built that civilzation. They are both cowards as well, pretending that they have no critics. That has always been the Darwinian way. I have challenged them repeatedly to a public confrontation. They are terrified of me and especially of my distinguished predecessors on whose science my own is firmly based. Why should I grant them any quarter when I don't even exist in their intellectual ghettos, crawling with their cheering equally cowardly, anonymous fans? I have nothing but naked contempt for them both and for those who blindly follow them. They are, in a word, EVIL.

    The up side is they are fulfilling Thomas Henry Huxley's prophecy that "science commits suicide when she adopts a creed." It is the greatest show in town.

    I love it so!

    It doesn't get any better than this.

    jadavison.wordpress.com

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  116. Jadavison -

    "Richard Dawkins is the laughingstock of the serious scientific community."

    Support this statement! Provide evidence for it! Don't just assert it!

    Why do you think this? What makes you believe this is the case?

    Because I disagree. And as evidence I provide his impressive CV, his list of awards and qualifications, and the fact that he is given prominent positions of scholarship?

    What EVIDENCE can you provide to counter this?

    "He contributes nothing of substance and never has."

    He championed the gene-centred view of evolution back in the 70's when it was still unfashionable among the scientific fcommunity (it is now widely accepted), came up with the concept of the meme, and outlined extended phenotypic effects. And these are just his major achievements. It is to say nothing of the dozens of articles he has written for peer-reviewed scientific journals he has written, or the hundreds of students he has taught at some of the most prestigous universities in Britain and USA. Do you honestly consider this to be 'nothing of substance'?

    "There is no theory of evolution."

    Well, yes there is. The theory of evolution is the theory of evolution. It makes no sense to say there isn't one. It's like saying there is no theory of gravity or germ theory - utterly absurd.

    "Just what do Dawkins and Myers hope to achieve by attacking not only those who hold religious convictions but the religious institutions themselves?"

    I don't know about Myers, but Dawkins is not trying to prove a point about the theory of evolution with his views on atheism. The two matters are seperate. Dawkins has written on both, but the two ideas do not necessarily feed into each other. He is not trying to prove evolutionary theory by showing there is no God.

    There is however an area of overlap - his work teaching biology is often hamstrung by ludicrous religious Creationist beliefs drilled into his students. I imagine this has made him frustrated and impatient with Crerationism in general. And it is perfectly understandable too.

    "I have challenged them repeatedly to a public confrontation. They are terrified of me"

    Why exactly would they have heard of you? Seriously, who are you?

    "They are living breathing anti-Christs, insatiable anarchists hell bent on the destruction of Western Civilization... They are, in a word, EVIL."

    Okay, now you are sounding genuinely crazy. Seriously. I don't mean this in an insulting way, I mean it in a 'you honestly need to see a doctor about this' kind of way. Really, I'm worried for your mental health...

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  117. Ritchie Hollis

    Charles Robert Darwin is buried in Westminster Abbey and he was a phoney too, a deluded mystic who lived (just like Dawkins does) in his own private little world. They are each a ghastly embarrassment to British Science. Darwinians are all phoneys, not a scientist in the lot.

    What you are obviously unable to understand is that Darwinians are all "born that way" congenital atheists, incompetent even to imagine a planned universe let alone accept one even as everything around them allows no other explanation. All Darwinians suffer from this deficieny disease. There is something missing in their cerebral cortices which renders them helpless, unable to be scientists. It is sad and apparently incurable.

    Don't take my word for it. Here is Ernst Mayr, the most prestigious Darwinian of his day, describing himself after discussing some aspects of DNA -

    "This may be true, but is not very convincing for a dyed-in-the-wool Darwinian like myself."
    The Growth of Biolgical Thought, page 134

    Like all other fanatics, atheist or religious, Darwinians are useless members of the scientific community, never having contributed a single word which helps us to understand the great mystery of phylogeny.

    The hysteria of the Salem Witch trials lasted but a few months. The hysteria of godless, aimless, purposeless Darwinian mysticism is still going strong 200 years after the birth of its creator.

    It is hard to believe isn't it?

    Not any longer it isn't.

    "Then there are the fanatical atheists whose intolerance is the same as that of the religious fanatics, and it springs from the same source... They are creature who can't hear the music of the spheres...Everything is determined...by forces over which we have no control.
    Albert Einstein

    jadavison.wordpress.com

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  118. By the way, Dawkins stopped teaching at Oxford long before he retired. He was probably terrified at the prospect that a student might ask him an embarrassing question.

    Like ever Darwinian before him, Dawkins goes right on pretending that he has no credible critics, that great biologsts like Leo Berg, Richard B. Goldschmidt, Robert Broom, Otto Schindewolf, William Bateson and Pierre Grasse never lived. He is living proof of Richard Feynman's quip that the easiest person to fool is yourself. Dawkins has been fooling himself all his adult life.

    I am confident that sooner or later it will dawn on him that his evolutionary notions are completely without merit. How he reacts to that inevitable revelation will be revealing as to the man's character and legacy. I don't believe it will be pretty.

    jadavison.wordpress.com

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  119. Ritchie Hollis

    If you are going to repeat what I have written here, at least have the common decency to do it verbatim. You must be pretty desperate to resort to such shabby tactics as - "They are terrified of me" leaving out "and especially of the several distinguished predecessors on whose science my own is firmly based." There are sins of omission as well as commission. You ought to be ashamed of yourself. Both Dawkins and Myers know all about me and for you to claim otherwise is pretty shabby of you.

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  120. jadavison -

    Your first post is just more of the same mpmsense I've been asking you to back up for ages now. I mean we have a few new howlers ("Darwinians are all "born that way" congenital atheists", "There is something missing in their cerebral cortices which renders them helpless, unable to be scientists.") but still no evidence actually corroborating your claims. While Dawkins is widely regarded among the academic elite as one of the greatest living biologists, you are simply shutting your eyes and shouting loudly to yourself over and over again that he is deluded and alone.

    Just saying it doesn't make it true.

    Frankly I'm getting bored of hearing your angry paranoid rants which are utterly without support (neither quote you provide, for example, actually supports what you are saying - possibly unbeknownst to you). And I'm actually rather ambarrassed that I've humoured you this far by responding to you. So this shall be my final post on this thread if you insist on posting nothing more than vaccuous and absurd rhetoric.

    "By the way, Dawkins stopped teaching at Oxford long before he retired. He was probably terrified at the prospect that a student might ask him an embarrassing question."

    He still has not retired.

    "There are sins of omission as well as commission. You ought to be ashamed of yourself."

    I don't saee that I've quoted you out of context at all. My quote IS verbatim, and it is the relevant point I was responding to.

    "Both Dawkins and Myers know all about me and for you to claim otherwise is pretty shabby of you."

    I didn't claim they didn't. I asked why they would have. I've certainly never heard of you. Are you a scientist? What articles have you published in peer-reviewed scientific journals?

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  121. Ritchie Hollis is wrong again. Dawkins is no longer a faculty member at Oxford.

    Dawkins is a loser and he knows it. So does Myers. Otherwise they would respond to my challenges. I don't exist just as none of my predecessors never did. We have never been allowed to exist by the ruling atheist Darwinian establishment.

    If you would just visit my weblog or google me you would find out plenty about me. You would discover that I am the most denigrated and ridiculed evolutionary scientist that ever lived. What you won't discover is why. That is why I just explained it. It is fear that makes ethical and moral defectives like Dawkins and Myers behave as they do. They hate because they are afraid of their adversaries, those of us who recognize a purposeful universe. They are terrified of us which is why they try to destroy us. That is all those two clowns now do. The Bible bangers are no better. Each of these factions hates the other, oblivious to the fact that they are both dead wrong. I never did have any sympathy with either side because of their shared intolerance exactly as Einstein observed.

    "Let my enemies devour each other."
    Salvador Dali

    I don't intend to respond any more to Ritchie as it obviously is an exercise in futility.

    jadavison.wordpress.com

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