Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The “H” in Evolution

Evolutionists say it is a fact that all of biology just happened to arise by accident, and they harshly criticize those who do not agree. But with amazing consistency their criticism is hypocritical—it applies to evolutionary thinking. Consider this recent paper about creationist movements:

In summary, while creationism has evolved diverse labels and strategies for legal and rhetorical purposes, its fundamental essence remains unchanged. That essence is advocacy of miraculous divine intervention, i.e., special creation, in the history of life, and the claim that science must acknowledge special creation or dire consequences for society will follow.

Dire consequences for society? This is precisely the sort of rhetoric used by evolutionists. Skepticism is routinely characterized as anti-science. Diseases will flourish and crops will fall prey to insects without evolution to guide our science. Indeed, the very premise of this paper is that evolution skepticism must be countered. It is a hazard which seeks to return the world to centuries past.

And the fundamental essence of evolution has remained unchanged for centuries. Passages from Lucretius read like modern evolutionary writings. And more recently, the urgings of Enlightenment thinkers laid the groundwork for Darwin and can be found throughout the post-Darwin literature. The essence is the rejection of miraculous divine intervention for a variety of religious and metaphysical reasons. They are repeated ad nauseam today as though they are scientific findings, but they are no different than the evolutionary genre from centuries past.

The persistence of creationism, and the necessity of understanding and effectively opposing creationist movements, can be extremely irritating to those of us who have devoted our careers to researching and teaching about evolution. Why should any time be wasted on those whose religious beliefs cause them to ignore or distort the scientific evidence? However, our situation should be kept in perspective: every science has to deal with the problem of pseudoscience to some degree.

Religious beliefs distorting science? Amazing, I couldn’t describe evolutionary thought any better. Evolutionists, including the author himself, have not hesitated to issue religious mandates for evolution, in spite of the evidence. It would be difficult to think of anything more hypocritical.

Figuring out what flavor(s) of creationism you are dealing with is particularly important in secular forums such as academia, public policy disputes, and court cases, in which creationists usually attempt to hide their underlying theology.

Hide their underlying theology? Unbelievable. This is precisely the evolutionist’s standard procedure. After making theological claims they, incredibly, claim to be doing mere empirical science.

The core idea unifying all the various forms of creationism is the conviction that divine intervention, i.e., special creation, is necessary to explain the diversity of life.

Truly amazing. The core idea behind evolutionary thought is that the diversity of life and origin of species must be explained exclusively by natural laws.

The whole point of the exercise of arguing against evolution is to argue for the interventionist, miracle-working God found in the creationists’ reading of the Bible. In other words, for ID creationists as well as other creationists, the meaning of life, the universe, and everything is on the line, along with the fate of society, over what seems at first glance to be a mere pedestrian question about the scientific correctness of evolution.

The whole point? The whole point of evolution is to argue against the interventionist, miracle-working God. That is yet another fact that evolutionist’s deny.

Everything is on the line? Yes indeed, evolutionists have no choice. They can brook no variation from their strict and dogmatic naturalism.

What should evolution scientists and educators learn from all this? The lesson is something that we already know: history is important. Specifically, history is crucial for understanding creationist movements and the forms they take.

Astonishing. Evolutionists whitewash their own history, or more commonly simply ignore it altogether. For them, Charles Darwin was a nice young man who got in a boat and sailed around the world where he happened to observe evolutionary signs all along the way and then turned into an intellectual revolutionary who practically single-handedly changed the tide of thought on origins. Yes, history, true history that is, is important.

Such a conclusion, if it can be documented, has obvious relevance for a court’s analysis of whether a policy is constitutional. But legal relevance is not the only reason history is important. Often, just asking the questions is enough: deep down, creationists and fundamentalists want to promote their religious views—that’s the whole point of all of this effort, in the end—and they do not require much prodding to do so. Once the sectarian goals are out in the open, it often becomes clear to cooler heads that politicians and courts have been in this position many times before, and that the antievolution policy is unwise because the government’s job is to teach science in science classes, and let people make up their own minds on religious issues.

Deep down? Deep down evolutionists are driven by religion, they are fanatics if ever there were any. Their theology drives them to asanine ideas which they then try to defend with inconsistent and contradictory circumstantial evidence. They are constantly promoting their religious convictions and conclusions.

Nevertheless, however frustrating the creationists may be at times, we should keep in mind the fact that our dispute with them is a peaceful one taking place in a democracy, and that creationism did not appear ex nihilo, but is the product of Western history and deep-seated, very human fears and desires. Exhibiting some empathy deriving from our shared history might go a long way towards reconciling evangelicals with evolution.

Evolutionary thought has a long history. It became particularly popular with the Enlightenment metaphysics and concerns about the role of God in creation. Today’s evolutionary tradition is very much the product of Western history and deep-seated, very human fears and desires.

Evolution is, if anything, a religious idea, and when evolutionists go on the attack watch for the hypocrisy.

490 comments:

  1. Cornelius,

    Are you writing under a deadline? Your reading of Matzke's first quote is completely wrong. He is not saying that creationism will have dire consequences for society. He is referring to the dire warnings about evolution sounded by the creationist side. Return to the quote, reread it, and see for yourself.

    And he of course backs it up with quotes from Stephen Meyer (p. 159) and Henry Morris (p. 160). It's your side that relies on overheated rhetoric.

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  2. I would like to know what is the modern "house view" i.e. logical sound arguments, that proof that miracles are impossible? Can any one help?

    I have considered: "Hume and Spinoza" and have to agree that no philosopher would agree that there are any warrant in their position. (Read for yourself, before you propose a "new" argument.)

    Yes I am implying that it seems as if the consensus is that miracles could happen and therefore cannot be completely disregarded as a potential cause in the physical world. Don't plague me with stinking arguments about claiming a miracle is a science stopper... I will ignore it because the statement above does not imply that at all.

    What everyone thinking about miracles should do is to really think hard about a good definition of what a miracle is (Linked article might help...). In that process spend some time thinking about the observed indeterministic behavior in Quantum Mechanics. It might change the way in which we perceive our reality.

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  3. "Miraculous divine intervention" is rejected because there is no evidence for it, not because of any atheist conspiracy. If you can come up with a way to test for and make predictions based on miracles and supernatural beings, then you can use the tools of science to investigate them. Until then, your whining that "Evolutionary theory is religious, too!" is patently ridiculous.

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  4. Patrick,

    The only ridiculous thing is that you support the view above AND support science that investigate indeterministic phenomenon like those experienced in Quantum Mechanics.

    Wake up and realize that science always investigate effects coming from unknown causes. This is because the fact remains that logically any number of causes can account for a specific effect observed by science. The only thing we can do with science is to infer the nature and proposed characteristics of a specific cause. Science never make the claim that it has proven the complete nature of any cause, including that divine intervention is impossible or not. That is why I asked for an argument to support that claim against miracles.

    If you removed the foam from your face start by defining a miracle, than get support for your position from scientific method. It will benefit you to learn scientific method as well.

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  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  6. oleg, about that deadline:

    Cornelius was noting that:
    a) Nick Matzke (the author of the paper in question) was himself noting "creationism's" warnings of "dire consequences for society"

    b) Matzke seems to take a dim view of arguing scientific issues on the basis of "dire consequences"

    c) But evolutionists including Matzke himself (here and elsewhere) have played the "dire consequences" card

    So the "H" word applies.

    Perhaps you were in too much of a hurry.

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  7. Patrick, you wrote,

    "Miraculous divine intervention" is rejected because there is no evidence for it, not because of any atheist conspiracy. If you can come up with a way to test for and make predictions based on miracles and supernatural beings, then you can use the tools of science to investigate them. Until then, your whining that "Evolutionary theory is religious, too!" is patently ridiculous.

    You take an incoherent approach here.

    1) You assume that knowledge comes only through predictiveness. This assumes that supernatural beings are predictable or have predictable components to them. But by definition miracles are not predictable in any scientific sense; and supernatural beings (if they exist) certainly have freedom not to be predictable in their actions. So your requirement could be re-stated as "we can only know that unpredictable events happen if we can find a way to predict them (or predict other things on their basis)." Or, "we can only know A if A is not-A."

    Here is the result of taking that approach: A is ruled out definitionally, prior to any investigation. I think you can see why that approach fails. To be able to sit at one's breakfast table (as I am doing now) and say, "Because of what Patrick said, now I know miracles have never happened," is hardly satisfactory. I mean, there ought to be at least some looking for evidence, shouldn't there?

    That leads to my next point.

    2) You assume that if there is evidence for miracles, it must be of the sort that is amenable to investigation through "the tools of science." The tools of science are competent for many things but not for all things. Specifically, if miracles have happened, the tools of science are not appropriate for their detection; the proper tools are those of historical and forensic investigation. Science studies "what happens;" history and forensics study "what happened." Science is about regularities, history and forensics are about one-time occurrences, which miracles are if they happen.

    There are of course exceptions and qualifications to the above. Both history and forensics call on science in their support, and a study of some purported miracle might call on before-and-after x-rays. My statement in (2) also needs to take into account the historical sciences like natural history, anthropology, and archeology. But note that predictiveness in those fields is limited by comparison with other branches of science like chemistry and physics; and that these sciences are predictive only to the extent that they involve regularities, for which see (1).

    3) Related to (2), it seems you think that all evidence is scientific evidence. But there is also evidence of testimony, documentation, artifacts, and so on; and there is the evidence (so to speak) of philosophical/logical reflection and argumentation. To limit knowledge to scientific knowledge is to cut off most of what we actually know about reality. (What did you have for dinner yesterday, and do you know that by "the tools of science"?)

    In summary, your assessment of Hunter's argument as "patently ridiculous" is patently unsupported by anything you have said.

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  8. Tom Gilson:

    "But by definition miracles are not predictable in any scientific sense; and supernatural beings (if they exist) certainly have freedom not to be predictable in their actions."

    By what definition? If miracles are entirely unpredictable (in the sense that there is no correspondence between certain events [locations, behavior, etc] and the probability that a miracle occurs), then why do believers go to Lourdes rather than, say, Amsterdam in order to be miraculously healed? Clearly they believe that miracles are much more likely to occur (more predictable) in Lourdes than Amsterdam.

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  9. Troy,

    Since I encouraged people to create a rigorous definition of a miracle, I would like to answer you as well.

    You simply contrasted your personal perception about peoples' act on a wish for a miracle against Tom's defined characteristic of a miracle itself. Just run the relevance of your comment past me again?

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  10. Michael, what is Tom's defined characteristic of a miracle?

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  11. I have to add. My understanding of Tom's "unpredictable" characteristic of a miracle clearly refer to the uniformity of nature, i.e. we predict events based on the uniformity of nature, but a good definition of a miracle would include that this natural predictiveness has to be lifted to some extent. The rest of his argument is that even though nature is uniform we still have no way of using science to completely distinguish an unpredictable event from a predictable one.

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  12. Michael -

    Can I play?

    My definition of a miracle would be 'a violation of natural law(s)'. Commonly I would add '...believed to be brought about by a deity, possibly via a prophet or mortal representative', but I will leave that off for the sake of simplicity.

    Going back to your question, we don't know that miracles are impossible. Science simply must assume it.

    Science cannot ever allow that natural laws are violated. If it did, then the result of any given experiment could conceivable be a miracle.

    So yes, the whole of science is built upon an assumption - one that may well be wrong. However, the major argument against this is that science is incredibly productive! It does at least *seem* to work. Look at the advancements we have made in the last couple of hundred years thanks to science. If science was based on an incorrect assumption, then it should not be nearly as accurate or productive as it is.

    You also wrote:


    Wake up and realize that science always investigate effects coming from unknown causes.


    But it always assumes these unknown causes operate according to fixed natural laws - ie, they are never violated. It would be pointless and useless to invetigate effects of genuine miracles, since you could never investigate them via the scientific method.

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  13. Cornelius -

    Firstly I second Oleg's point re. dire consequences. Matzke is not warning of them - he is saying that's what creationists do, and provides references to back it up.


    The core idea behind evolutionary thought is that the diversity of life and origin of species must be explained exclusively by natural laws.


    This is a point you keep drumming home again and again and again, and I keep correcting you again and again and again. Still you never seem to understand:

    ***ALL SCIENCE*** insists observed phenomena must be explanied exclusively by natural laws!! Again and again you say evolution insists this, as though it is unscientific of evolution to do so. It is not unscientific - it is absolutely scientific!

    There is not a single field of science which would accept a theory which did not explain obersved phenomena through exclusively natural laws.

    Hypotheses which introduce other elements/explanations (eg, Creationism) are simply not science for this very reason (as well as others).

    Why do you keep accusing the theory of evolution of demanding exclusively natural exlpanations as though this was some sort of valid accusation of a scientific theory? Because it is not. The theory of evolution is behaving the way ANY scientific theory should.

    The theory of gravity is built on the (scientific!) assumption that the world is built on exclusively natural laws. Germ theory is built on the (scientific!) assumption that the world is built on exclusively natural laws.

    Why do you have such a problem with this point?

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  14. Ritchie, although in a sense this is true:

    "Science cannot ever allow that natural laws are violated. If it did, then the result of any given experiment could conceivable be a miracle."

    ... and although science is certainly productive, that does not require absolute regularity in nature. See this article, showing "God and Science Do Mix."

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  15. Ritchie,

    By all means! The problem is that your very first statement is not original and comes from Hume's argument and therefore you first have to overcome the arguments against Hume's position. I gave the link, but I am not going to recreate the arguments here.

    The last point you make:

    "But it always assumes these unknown causes operate according to fixed natural laws - ie, they are never violated. It would be pointless and useless to invetigate effects of genuine miracles, since you could never investigate them via the scientific method."

    That is a false assumption. Not Hume or Karl Popper could find any reason to mandate the uniformity of nature and I don't know of any noted philosopher of science who does. In fact... your assumption is completely counter scientific. The objective of science is to continually verify the uniformity of nature i.e. Science always tries to find the contradiction to the laws of nature and by doing that and failing we confirm the laws of nature for time being. The consequence of not always trying to "break" the laws of nature is that all scientific inquiry will have no possible meaning.

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  16. Tom,

    It seems we are echoing each other, thank you. It's a consequence of the communication medium we use and more insight is always welcome.

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  17. Ritchie, you wrote,

    ***ALL SCIENCE*** insists observed phenomena must be explanied exclusively by natural laws!! Again and again you say evolution insists this, as though it is unscientific of evolution to do so. It is not unscientific - it is absolutely scientific!

    I think this means, "it is absolutely scientific to insist that observed phenomena must be explained exclusively by natural laws."

    Just what is "scientific" about insisting on that? Is there a scientific journal article that shows that natural phenomena can only be explained by natural laws? You may be able to find such a claim in a journal, but if you do, it won't be supported by scientific research, it will be a philosophical/metaphysical claim, not an "absolutely scientific" claim.

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  18. Ritchie,

    Based on my and Tom's answer to you above it should be inferred that this statement is also completely counter scientific.

    ***ALL SCIENCE*** insists observed phenomena must be explanied exclusively by natural laws!! Again and again you say evolution insists this, as though it is unscientific of evolution to do so. It is not unscientific - it is absolutely scientific!

    To highlight this problem of yours further. What law of nature would you use to explain the indeterministic phenomenon observed in Quantum Mechanics? ...See your claim on the unwarranted authority of the laws of nature does not hold even on the most fundamental efforts of science.

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  19. Patrick,

    ""Miraculous divine intervention" is rejected because there is no evidence for it, not because of any atheist conspiracy."

    There is very firm scientific proof of miraculous events. The creation of the universe is a miraculous event. It began about 14 billion years ago. Before it began the matter and energy did not exist. Therefore the universe was created by a force outside of the natural universe. Since matter can not create itself when it doesn't exist there has to be another causal agent. We observe intelligence in the universe and extreme complexity. Therefore the creator of the universe must be extremely powerful and extremely intelligent. Therefore there must have been a God that supernaturally created the universe.

    Some argue for a multiverse, however, a multiverse is only hypothetical. There is no way to observe what happened before matter was created. More importantly, a multiverse hypothesis is an insufficient explanation since it too must have had a beginning. Relying on the existence of a multiverse means that our universe would be extremely unlikely. Relying on such an extreme improbability to explain our existence naturally strains ones credulity. And finally, how feasible is it for other universes to exist with different natural laws. It seems unlikely that a universe could exist without the natural laws we observe.
    .

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  20. How gets to make the rules about how science is suppose to work? Why isn't looking for empirical evidence for the existance of ghosts, for example considered scientific?

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  21. Troy,

    I don't know why some people go to Lourdes. That's their choice, and I happen to think they are operating on false beliefs. That some people have false beliefs about miracles is no more significant than that some people have false beliefs about science or history. In fact, you probably have false beliefs about science and history. How fast do electrons travel through a good conductor? Did people people in the Middle Ages believe the earth was flat? (See here and here.)

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  22. Why aren't ancient records of miracles considered evidence?

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  23. Patrick:
    "Miraculous divine intervention" is rejected because there is no evidence for it, not because of any atheist conspiracy. If you can come up with a way to test for and make predictions based on miracles and supernatural beings, then you can use the tools of science to investigate them."

    And blind, undirected chemical processes is rejected because there is no evidence for it, not because of any religious conspiracy.

    If you can come up with a way to test for and make predictions based on blind, undirected chemical processes then you can use the tools of science to investigate them.

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  24. You want to know why IDists and Creationists can be frustrating at times?

    Because we want to see real scientific data and evolutionists refuse to produce any that supports their position.

    Heck they can't even produce a testable hypothesis for their position.

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  25. Ritchie,

    Since you want to play. How certain are scientists that they have found all natural laws for our universe? Conceivably there are laws of nature still to be defined, some of which might just account for things we now would consider a miracle.

    This just to reiterate that your false insistence on science and "only use" the laws of nature.

    To conclude I have to point to you that as Tom highlighted... Your assumption is not based on science at all. It is based on your personal metaphysical preference of materialism. Problem is you can not even give a coherent definition of what materialism is.

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  26. Ritchie:
    The theory of evolution is behaving the way ANY scientific theory should.

    Still waiting on that testable hypothesis pertaining to blind, undirected chemical processes...

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  27. Afternoon all,
    Couple of thoughts to add....

    @Peter Wadeck. Hi...
    You suggest that 'There is very firm scientific proof of miraculous events. The creation of the universe is a miraculous event. It began about 14 billion years ago. Before it began the matter and energy did not exist.'

    Um, as far as I am aware there is no reason to believe that there was 'no matter or energy' before the 'big bang'. The nature of the big bang theory means that there is no way to know what may or may not have been there before. It is just as feasible (more so to my mind) that the universe expands and contracts cyclically ad infinitum, no beginning, no end, just cycles. No need for special creation, no miracle. This view, however, is as unprovable as yours I admit, but I stick by the statement that there is no way to know what was before the big bang. Cheers.

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  28. Michael:

    "To conclude I have to point to you that as Tom highlighted... Your assumption is not based on science at all. It is based on your personal metaphysical preference of materialism. Problem is you can not even give a coherent definition of what materialism is. "

    I wouldn't call myself a materialist precisely because materialism is very vague. It's usually the superstitious and ignorant folks like you who like to use the term in an effort to make atheists look bad. Presumably it makes you feel more comfortable believing in your "immaterial soul".

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  29. @ Michael, Hi..

    I think... I see your point about quantum mechanics.. ( I think, but I am no expert so apologies if I have the wrong end of the stick).

    You said.. 'Conceivably there are laws of nature still to be defined,.... some of which might just account for things we now would consider a miracle.'

    Whilst I agree with the first half, because never can a person say they know everything to the exclusion of all else, I would have to suggest that this unknown law or laws would have to have a 'weak' effect otherwise people would have wised up to it by now surely!

    I do not agree with the second half of above statement. I cannot envisage a Law of Nature that has eluded people for so long that could be responsible for allowing one adult man to walk on water and another part the red sea. I also fail to see how quantum mechanics could be responsible for this apparent phenomenon. I apologise for picking on a couple of the more 'largesse' miracles out there but I think extremes do help to illustrate points.

    Thanks for your time.

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  30. troy,

    Atheists look bad all on their own...

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  31. Michael said: "I would like to know what is the modern "house view" i.e. logical sound arguments, that proof that miracles are impossible? Can any one help?"

    Evolution makes no statement regarding whether or not miracles are possible. Just that they aren't necessary to explain a given natural phenomena.

    Likewise, Science in general makes no statement regarding whether or not miracles are possible. Just that they aren't necessary to explain a given natural phenomena.

    Once you have invoked a miracle as an explanation, you have just left science. That doesn't mean a miracle hasn't happened, just that you can't call it science anymore.

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  32. Believing that something that looks designed was designed by an intelligent being is a reasoned conclusion.

    Continuing to believe that natural selection is powerful enough to develop new organs and all of life when it has been known for years to be highly improbable is Insanity.

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  33. CH - do you think you can make an argument without using the word "amazing"? There are six in this article. You could at least consult a thesaurus.

    And besides, you do absolutely nothing to actually address the content of Matzke's article.

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  34. iantracy603

    "that the universe expands and contracts cyclically ad infinitum, no beginning, no end,"

    Actually, that has been proven scientifically to be false. The universe will expand forever without collapsing. There is no infinite cycle - just one miraculous beginning. NASA has determined the age of the universe. They have calculated a point when it began. Therefore before that point it did not exist. If it did not exist then there was no matter, and no laws of the universe. God did it. It is the only reasonable conclusion.
    .

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  35. Neal Tedford said...

    Believing that something that looks designed was designed by an intelligent being is a reasoned conclusion.


    Please list your objective criteria for determining that something "looks designed".

    My four year old niece thinks big puffy cumulus clouds look like giant floating bunnies. Is it reasonable to conclude the clouds were intelligently designed to look like bunnies?

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  36. Joe G:

    "Atheists look bad all on their own... "

    I seem to recall you wrote on this blog you aren't religious. Some other place you professed being a Muslim. In yet other places you seem to be a Baraminologist. It must be hard on your underdeveloped little brain to keep track of all the lies.

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  37. CH: "Evolution is, if anything, a religious idea"

    "Religion drives science"


    CH, please define the terms religious and religion as you keep using them. You seem to have your own pet definitions of the words different from the rest of the planet.

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  38. It turns out Joe G has been atheist, christian and muslim, and who knows what else, at some point in his life. He says so himself, so it must be true.

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  39. natschuster said...

    How [sic] gets to make the rules about how science is suppose to work?


    There is no one worldwide agency dictating by fiat what the "rules" are. Over the past 500 years the current consensus of assuming and applying unvarying natural laws only was developed for the simple reason that it works. It produces tangible, beneficial results. It cures diseases, it builds schools and hospitals, it discovers oil and gas reserves, it works.

    No one is stopping any of the IDiots here from setting up their own labs and using any supernatural rules they want. Do experiments and write up "...and here a miracle occurs" in the protocols. Knock yourself out. If you get valuable, repeatable results your ideas will be adopted in a heartbeat. If not, the blustering armchair philosophizers like Michael who haven't been within 1000 yards of a real working science lab in their lives will have to stay in their La-Z-Boys.

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  40. iantracy603,

    Your question is valid and needs to be considered. My reference to QM is purely because it has indeterministic properties that has not been defined by any physical law. It might be that there are no such law that we can ever observe and yet we see the effects at it "enters" our observable reality.

    There are no reason to belief that an undefined law of nature will only have a "weak" effect on reality. In quantum theory there are so many mind boggling unknowns that might be governed by undefined laws of nature. If we manage to define those laws we might be able to achieve wonderful things like "Quantum Teleportation" and building a"Quantum Computer" and may more!

    Then you can also think about what we do not know about cosmology, "Dark matter" "Dark Energy" etc. There certainly is a law waiting to be defined or an existing one waiting to be re-defined.

    None of these makes me belief that any new defined law of nature will be weak in any sense.

    Regarding the problem with the miracles you sited. There is nothing to exclude the possibility that all Christs miracles (as an example) has been achieved by Him invoking a pre-existing law of nature that is simply hidden from humans, up till now. (Not that I say it has to be like that.)

    This everything discussed here should be very exciting to any scientist because it means that we can realistically expect to find ways to make miracles become common place.

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  41. troy said...

    It turns out Joe G has been atheist, christian and muslim, and who knows what else, at some point in his life. He says so himself, so it must be true.


    Joe G's reputation as a blustering immature liar was well earned. "One note Joe" been posting this same C&Ped nonsense for years. No one I know actually engages him anymore, except to poke fun.

    Oops! Now I did it! Joe the Internet Tough Guy is going to have to come beat me up! Right Joe?

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  42. iantracy603,

    Just a quick point on your proposal of a universe with out a need to have a beginning. Please consider the possibility of an actual infinite regress of causality. It is an amazing but very pertinent question that has puzzled humans for very long.

    You should understand why it is important for your proposed universe without a beginning.

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  43. oleg:

    ===
    Are you writing under a deadline? Your reading of Matzke's first quote is completely wrong.
    ===

    No, it is your reading of the OP that is wrong.


    ===
    He is not saying that creationism will have dire consequences for society.
    ===

    Of course he is. He compares it with quack medicine, moon-landing denial, etc, and warns seeks to return us to centuries old thinking.

    ===
    He is referring to the dire warnings about evolution sounded by the creationist side. Return to the quote, reread it, and see for yourself.
    ===

    You missed the point, which is that evolution consistently sounds such dire warnings. Evolution's criticism applies to itself.

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  44. Michael, thanks..

    The issue about whether there may be new laws has only arisen recently because of the quantum and cosmological research and only in these domains. Quantum research shows 'repeatedly' the same 'law-breaking' effects (such as particles being in two places at once). If these laws/effects were applicable and/or strong on our scale then would we not see things in two places quite often? This is why I suggest the effects must be weak, on our scale, as opposed to quantum or cosmological scales. Indeed, as the confirmed laws seem to break apart at quantum scale but hold at ours it seems to me to be intuitive that the quantum 'laws' will fall apart at our scale.

    Sorry for repeatedly saying 'our scale' I can't think of a better way to describe it.

    As for biblical 'miracles', even if we accept that there are unknown laws governing quantum effects I still cannot see how these could translate into defying the surface tension properties of water or the nature of fluids.

    Given this was 2,000 yrs ago and was performed by a man who had no access to tech like we now do it is unlikely he could manipulate these laws. Unfortunately it has to be attributed to the intervention of 'super-natural powers' does it not? and for me at least, this is where it becomes a non-argument. (I for instance would simply say they did not happen in the first place anyway, or at least not as described biblically).

    Cheers...

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  45. Wow, that's a lot of stuff:

    First,

    Tom Gilson -

    Forgive me if I missed the point, but I did not get anything from God And Science Do Mix other than unsubstanciated conjecture - a claim that miracles must be rare to be recognised for what they are, for example, is a mere proposition. Not any reason to think miracles happen at all.

    Was there a particular passage in it you wanted me to consider?


    The problem is that your very first statement is not original and comes from Hume's argument and therefore you first have to overcome the arguments against Hume's position.


    'Not being original' isn't a problem. I don't necessarily claim anything I am saying is new...

    As for Hume, I cannot follow your link because it requires me to log in, though I am familiar with Hume's arguments regarding the uniformity of nature. His claim is that there is no reason to expect nature to be uniform. And whilst I accept that may philosophically be true, it undermines any claim to be able to know anything. Again, scientists assume that nature is uniform. This is an assumption. But it is a necessary one.


    In fact... your assumption is completely counter scientific. The objective of science is to continually verify the uniformity of nature i.e. Science always tries to find the contradiction to the laws of nature and by doing that and failing we confirm the laws of nature for time being.


    Scientists, through experimentation, seek to falsify their hypotheses. That is not quite the same.

    Let's be good scientists for a moment - I observe dropped objects fallnig down and I hypothesise that there is a force of attraction between objects with mass, relative to that mass. Now I can test this hypothesis by releasing an object under strict and controlable conditions to see what happens. I cannot prove 'there is a force of attraction between objects with mass, relative to that mass', but I can fail to disprove it - by performing experiment after experiment dropping objects and playing around with the variables. In this way, I can learn something about this force.

    But in order to do so, I must be able to trust my own results. If I allow that miracles happen, then when I drop, say a ball and it falls down, I cannot say whether this is a demonstration of a natural force at work, or a demonstration of a violation of one. Maybe all dropped objects actually stay suspended in mid-air, and every time we have seen a dropped object fall down, it was a miracle! If we allow that miracles happen, we cannot discount this possibility, and any tests we can do on this force are useless - the might be more miracles, after all.

    So even though I am seeknig to identify and learn about a new force, I have to be able to trust my own results, which is impossible if I allow for miracles.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Thorton,

    It was Francis Crick the co-discoverer of the double-helix of DNA that said DNA looked designed.

    The powers ascribed to Natural Selection by evolutionists are BEYOND the powers of nature. How is that good science? It's time for all evolutionists to knock off the hype. It's like the criminal and drug crazed uncle that can't confess his wrongs when his whole family knows anyone. Stop the sham

    ReplyDelete
  47. (cont)


    To highlight this problem of yours further. What law of nature would you use to explain the indeterministic phenomenon observed in Quantum Mechanics?


    I don't know. To my knowledge, Quantum Mechanics is still something of a mystery. And it will always remain so unless we can trust the results of our own experiments, which is impossible if we allow for miracles. That is the point I am getting at.


    How certain are scientists that they have found all natural laws for our universe?


    To my knowledge, not at all. No-one is denying there is a lot more out there to be discovered.


    Conceivably there are laws of nature still to be defined, some of which might just account for things we now would consider a miracle.


    Which would therefore make those things not miracles...


    Your assumption is not based on science at all. It is based on your personal metaphysical preference of materialism.


    It is not *MY* preference. It is the preference of science. And I would use the word 'necessity' rather than preference.

    Long story short - maybe miracles do happen. But science progresses under the assumption that they do not. This is not arbitrary or unfair, it is a simple necessity for performing science.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Thorton:

    Applying natural laws has produced benefits. But it doesn't seem to be able to explain where the universe came from, or how it functions at the cosmic scale, or how stuff works at the quantum scale, or where life came from, or how the mind works.

    ReplyDelete
  49. @michael
    sorry can't access that link...

    @peter
    Been looking quickly and I'm afraid it is not a done deal on the cyclical universe yet... still mileage in the old dog yet :)

    Baum,l., Frampton,p., 2007. Turnaround in cyclic cosmology. Phys Rev Lett (98)
    Ding,y., et al., 2009. Effective scenario of loop quantum cosmology. Phy Rev Lett (102)
    Steinhardt,p., turok,n., 2006. Why the cosmological constant is small and positive. Science (312)
    Khoury,j., steinhardt,p., turok,n., 2003. Inflation versus cyclic predictions for spectral tilt. Phys Rev Lett. (91)

    ReplyDelete
  50. Ritchie,

    So is the law of aerodynamics a miracle? Airplanes defy gravity by a stronger force than gravity. Does it nullify experiments of gravity? Do we insist that man can not fly because of gravity? Of course miracles of God can probably not be explained by science, but this does not nullify the known laws of nature. One can be open to the idea that higher laws of nature and of God exist without nullifying the scientific method.

    You comment proves CH's point. Evolutionists are irrationally fearful of accepting any idea of creation. Certainly Isaac Newton and Louis Pasteur did great science while they were strong believers in a creator.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Thorton wrote:

    "No one is stopping any of the IDiots here from setting up their own labs and using any supernatural rules they want. Do experiments and write up "...and here a miracle occurs" in the protocols. Knock yourself out. If you get valuable, repeatable results your ideas will be adopted in a heartbeat. If not, the blustering armchair philosophizers like Michael who haven't been within 1000 yards of a real working science lab in their lives will have to stay in their La-Z-Boys."

    Well put. The only responses you get to challenging their alleged faith is that they claim that advanced degrees, etc. are required.

    Of course, the mere existence of famous paleontologist and professor Jack Horner shows that to be a cowardly lie.

    If evolutionary theory is such an existential threat, you'd think that they would be doing real work instead of producing mountains of misleading rhetoric. What's Dr. Hunter's excuse for not doing any actual science?

    ReplyDelete
  52. Dr. Hunter, you wrote:
    "Diseases will flourish and crops will fall prey to insects without evolution to guide our science."

    Definitely.

    If you disagree, I suggest that you start a creationist biotech company to make influenza vaccines that are not based on evolutionary theory in any way.

    The true believers (assuming they really believe you) should be throwing millions of dollars at you, and when you succeed in averting an influenza pandemic or epidemic, you will be a wealthy man and can use all that money for God's glory.

    Or you can blog...

    ReplyDelete
  53. Smokey, seems like a creationist by the name of Louis Pasteur did something useful, correct?

    ReplyDelete
  54. iantracy603

    "Been looking quickly and I'm afraid it is not a done deal on the cyclical universe yet... still mileage in the old dog yet :)"


    Even the author's of the cyclical model of the universe admit the cycling is not infinite.

    "Similarly, a local observer will see the cycling as having fi nite duration in the sense that, at some point, after many, many cycles, he will end up inside a black hole (or bad region) and cease to cycle. Thus, we conclude that cycling conserves energy and is not perfectly effi cient; it is neither perpetual motion of the fi rst or second kind."

    http://www.physics.princeton.edu/~steinh/dm2004.pdf

    Infinite cycling breaks the second law of thermodynamics. The universe can not be a large perpetual motion machine. In any event it is a marginal theory with little support. The author admits:

    "One might ask why we should consider an alternative when in inflation has scored so many successes in explaining a wealth of new, highly precise data"

    So if cycling is not infinite forward, it could not have been infinite back in time. Therefore cycling universes suffers from the same logical defect as the multiverse - it ignores the fact of a beginning. Therefore there must be a God.
    .

    ReplyDelete
  55. Neal Tedford -


    So is the law of aerodynamics a miracle? Airplanes defy gravity by a stronger force than gravity. Does it nullify experiments of gravity? Do we insist that man can not fly because of gravity?


    No. Aeroplanes still obey natural laws - it is just that some forces counteract others, in this case, gravity is counteracted by the aerofoil and engines (I can't think of the word. I wanted to say 'propulsion' but I don't think that's right). There is nothing miraculous about aeroplanes, in fact they represent another achievement for science, and show what you can produce when you DO understand natural forces.


    One can be open to the idea that higher laws of nature and of God exist without nullifying the scientific method.


    How? If you allow that miracles may happen then the result of any given experiment may be, in fact, a miracle, and therefore is totally untustworthy. How does that not nullify the scientific method?


    You comment proves CH's point. Evolutionists are irrationally fearful of accepting any idea of creation.


    I am not fearful of it. I simply see no reason to accept it. It is effectively a miracle claim - like asking me to just accept magic. And the idea that this is just actually *scientific* is laughable.


    Certainly Isaac Newton and Louis Pasteur did great science while they were strong believers in a creator.


    Yes it is possible to be a scientist and still be a theist. But you must still accept materialism whilst performing science. I cannot say exactly how these men achieved this, but ask any scientist today who genuinely believes in a God and miracles how they can be sure the results of their own experiments are not miracles. See what they say. I imagine the reply would be something like 'I don't but I just have to assume it is not' - which is precisely the position of science!

    ReplyDelete
  56. The controversial areas of evolution for which there is insufficient evidence do not add one iota usefulness to any kind of research except for finding creative aways to suck up more taxpayer and tuition money.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Ritchie,

    "One can be open to the idea that higher laws of nature and of God exist without nullifying the scientific method.


    How? ..."

    The same way Isaac Newton and Einstein worked. You do experiments, you document the results, etc with the understanding that your work is not the end of all knowledge.

    Perhaps your difinition of a miracle is not accurate. From a biblical standpoint a miracle in a special intervention by God that superceeds the regular working of nature as we are accustomed to. Doesn't the intelligent design of airplanes by humans superceed the regular working of nature compared to the way a cave man would understand the laws nature?

    Is it not possible that God uses higher laws and this is what we call a miracle? How does this invalidate the other laws that he created. Your are placing artifical limits on things.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Joe G: If you can come up with a way to test for and make predictions based on blind, undirected chemical processes then you can use the tools of science to investigate them.

    Isn't that the core problem with evolutionary theory? In principle is it even possible to come up with a test protocol in which the results of the test are by definition unpredictable?

    This question crossed my mind as I was arguing the point on another blog that any evolutionary algorithm that works is non-Darwinian because the algorithm must have an "intelligent selection" factor. The algorithms are constrained by the nature of the output -- a more efficient "digital organism" for example.

    In nature, there is no constraint on the nature of the output -- the design if you will. The only criterion is that the "output" provides a differential survival advantage. How does one parameterize "differential survival advantage" in a true Darwinian simulation?

    ReplyDelete
  59. Pastor Neal wrote:
    "Smokey, seems like a creationist by the name of Louis Pasteur did something useful, correct?"

    So why aren't any modern creationists doing anything useful, Pastor Neal? Where is their (and your) faith?

    "The controversial areas of evolution for which there is insufficient evidence do not add one iota usefulness to any kind of research except for finding creative aways to suck up more taxpayer and tuition money."

    So you say, but your failure to substantiate any of your claims shows that you are just regurgitating.

    Why don't you join up with Dr. hunter and start a Christian biotech company? Think of it—no more influenza vaccines based on evolutionary theory!

    You could then show your success to Congress and get them to stop funding evolutionary biology.

    BTW, what would you guess is the ratio of $ spent on biomedical research that involves evolutionary concepts to the $ spent on hardcore evolutionary biology? I'll give you a hint: in general, the former is funded by NIH, while the latter is funded by NSF.

    Where's your right-wing faith in the marketplace?

    ReplyDelete
  60. Ritchie: Aeroplanes still obey natural laws - it is just that some forces counteract others, in this case, gravity is counteracted by the aerofoil and engines (I can't think of the word. I wanted to say 'propulsion' but I don't think that's right).

    Propulsion is correct. A force that imparts motion, hence, propeller.

    ReplyDelete
  61. @Peter, Hi...

    Getting dangerously close to selective quote mining... This is the text following your quote (which you then said meant the laws of thermodynamics are broken)

    'However,
    because of the stretching of space, the distance between the defective regions remains larger than Hubble distance.
    New cycling regions of space are being created although any one region of space cycles for a finite time. The cyclic
    model thereby satisfies the conventional thermodynamic laws even though the cycling continues forever.'

    Also, your quote suggesting the authors thought there were flaws is from this, the opening paragraph...
    One might ask why we should consider an alternative when inflation has scored so many successes in explaining a wealth of new, highly precise data. There are several reasons. First, seeking an alternative is just plain good
    science. Science proceeds most rapidly when there are two or more competing ideas. The ideas focus attention on
    what are the unresolved issues theorists must address and what are the important measurements experimentalists
    must perform. Inflation has had no serious competition for several years, and the result has been that its flaws have been ignored. Many cosmologists are prepared to declare inflation to be established even'

    I think it is not a dying theory with little support, it is an emerging one. You still have no reason to suggest that everything was popped into existence by a creator, as you cannot prove there was no energy or matter before the big bang because the inflation model cannot account for what happened or existed before time=0). Sorry.

    ReplyDelete
  62. iantracy603,

    I was really hoping that you would consider things honestly, but you create your own preconceptions and ignore what has been said.

    Preconception #1:
    Quantum and Cosmic effects are isolated to quantum scale only.
    Preconception #2:
    Jesus Christ was only a normal human being and primitive in relation to us.

    With those personal convictions of yours there is very little to take this discussion forward.

    Do you really think that Quantum Computing and Quantum Communication is planned for the Quantum Scale only?

    You have to reduce your realty to a very boring level to maintain your metaphysical convictions. Fortunately reality is not dependent on your preconceptions.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Neal Tedford said...

    Smokey, seems like a creationist by the name of Louis Pasteur did something useful, correct?


    But he used the naturalist scientific paradigm to do it, not the supernatural Creationist one.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Michael,
    I am always trying to be honest in life. Please don't suggest that I would try to be dishonest just because we may disagree or I may have a different view, thanks. Anyway..

    Preconception #1:
    Quantum and Cosmic effects are isolated to quantum scale only.

    I say this because it seems logical that if the normal laws do not apply at the quantum scale then it is certainly feasible that the quantum laws will not apply at ours. Your points about quantum computing are valid and I take those on board, we will both see how that research progresses. Do you see how I arrived at this decision without being dishonest?

    Preconception #2:
    Jesus Christ was only a normal human being and primitive in relation to us.

    Well, 'primitive' only in the sense that this was 2,000 yrs ago (not swinging a stone primitive)! However, assuming that J.C was just a man is not a crazy preconception, it is in fact quite realistic from my understanding of the world. I assume that you believe in his divinity etc therefore you approach it with a preconception too don't you? As such it is not a point we should probably get into (as it will be intractable).

    I assure you my take on reality is not boring, I think the world and lifeis truly wonderful, as are the people in it. Cheers.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Neal Tedford said...

    You comment proves CH's point. Evolutionists are irrationally fearful of accepting any idea of creation. Certainly Isaac Newton and Louis Pasteur did great science while they were strong believers in a creator.


    Of course science is not fearful of accepting new ideas. Science just asks that they be supported with positive empirical evidence.

    That's the part you IDiots can't seem to grasp. Your ignorance based personal beliefs do not qualify as positive empirical evidence. Not yesterday, not today, not ever.

    ReplyDelete
  66. natschuster said...

    Thorton:

    Applying natural laws has produced benefits. But it doesn't seem to be able to explain where the universe came from, or how it functions at the cosmic scale, or how stuff works at the quantum scale, or where life came from, or how the mind works


    Since the theory of evolution doesn't concern any of those areas (except tangentially to abiogenesis), what's the problem?

    Remember when the EXPELLED IDiot-for-hire Ben Stein gave an interview complaining that ToE didn't explain gravity? The scientific community is still laughing over that one.

    ReplyDelete
  67. ooh michael, another thought...

    'Do you really think that Quantum Computing and Quantum Communication is planned for the Quantum Scale only?'

    Well, yes actually, these technologies will utilise quantum effects to transport data, either for communication or computing, the data will itself be on the quantum scale, yes or no? When they start making in-roads in to using quantum tech to actually move something that physically exists, like you or I or a mouse, then I will agree with your statement and assertion about my preconception. Cheers again buddy.

    ReplyDelete
  68. iantracy603,

    You said your effort to maintain your metaphysical commitment is not reduced to a boring level. Let's see:

    #1 You think any new law of nature can only have a "weak" impact on our reality
    #2 You think Quantum Laws and Cosmic Laws will be contained in the Quantum & Cosmic scale.
    #3 Considering it rational to reduce Jesus's person to ordinary human being contrary to historical evidence of the contrary.

    Boring... Boring... Very boring...

    ReplyDelete
  69. Thorton:
    Science just asks that they be supported with positive empirical evidence.

    And it is very telling that you cannot provide any for your position.

    ReplyDelete
  70. "Atheists look bad all on their own... "

    troy:
    I seem to recall you wrote on this blog you aren't religious.

    That doesn't make me an atheist.

    troy:
    Some other place you professed being a Muslim.

    Do you know what a Muslim is?

    In yet other places you seem to be a Baraminologist.


    What does that mean?


    It must be hard on your underdeveloped little brain to keep track of all the lies.

    What lies?

    Or is it all your little mind can do to spew false accusations?

    ReplyDelete
  71. diaper boy thorton:
    Joe G's reputation as a blustering immature liar was well earned.

    Nice projection.

    "One note Joe" been posting this same C&Ped nonsense for years. No one I know actually engages him anymore, except to poke fun.

    Imbeciles usually try to poke fun at their superiors and evotards don't engage me because I always expose their lies and nonsense- just as I have done to you and troy.

    They get sick of that after a while and have to attack me.

    ReplyDelete
  72. iantracy603 said...

    ooh michael, another thought...

    'Do you really think that Quantum Computing and Quantum Communication is planned for the Quantum Scale only?'

    Well, yes actually, these technologies will utilise quantum effects to transport data, either for communication or computing, the data will itself be on the quantum scale, yes or no? When they start making in-roads in to using quantum tech to actually move something that physically exists, like you or I or a mouse, then I will agree with your statement and assertion about my preconception.


    Now you dropped to an even lower level of boring.

    What do you think any interaction between classical mechanics and QM would require? Even on an information "only" level, at some point it has to be instantiated in both domains. Quantum Computing is our reality.

    To me Quantum Teleportation / Levitation / Stellar transport is just a realistic potential of this wonderfully created universe.

    ReplyDelete
  73. smokey:
    If you disagree, I suggest that you start a creationist biotech company to make influenza vaccines that are not based on evolutionary theory in any way.

    Name one biotech company that operates under the premise that the diversity of life is due to blind, undirected chemical processes.

    ReplyDelete
  74. iantracy603

    Who is quote mining. The relevant point is:

    "The most likely story is that cycling was preceded by some singular beginning."

    Again, your authors state that there is a beginning. A beginning requires a creator. Again this is a speculative piece with no empirical support. It is a nice theory, but that is all. NASA states publicly that the universe is 13.9 billion years old.

    http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/media/060915/060915_CMB_Timeline75.jpg

    You can always find some speculative piece to support one view or another. This theory is a feather weight against the heavyweight of an inflationary universe. You can close your eyes and click your heals three times and wish for an infinite universe, that doesn't mean there is any compelling reason to believe it is so.
    .

    ReplyDelete
  75. Michael,
    I am not trying to maintain a metaphysical commitment to anything mate, you are making asumptions about me, please don't. I have my views and they are mine.

    #1 You think any new law of nature can only have a "weak" impact on our reality

    No, I suggest that any 'quantum' laws may only have a weak impact on our scale in the normal run of things.

    #2 You think Quantum Laws and Cosmic Laws will be contained in the Quantum & Cosmic scale.
    Yes, I don't see why this is boring, it makes sense to me as I explained. I don't choose to think and what not to think based on what's most 'exciting'.

    #3 Considering it rational to reduce Jesus's person to ordinary human being contrary to historical evidence of the contrary.

    Yes, very rational actually. Please present me with these reams of evidence of his divinity. I'm sorry but I don't believe Jesus was literally the son of god, and I do not believe in 'jaweh' or that the bible is accurate. If this is boring than I hold my hands up and will go buy a pipe and some slippers.

    Now here's a point. We started having a decent discussion here and you've had to start calling me 'boring' or 'dishonest'. Why? Why can't you just disagree without trying to put me down? Please answer this point as it appears to be pertinent to alot of discussions I read here.

    ReplyDelete
  76. Joe:
    "Name one biotech company that operates under the premise that the diversity of life is due to blind, undirected chemical processes."

    Here are two: Genentech and Amgen. Let me know if you find a creationist mole in either of them...

    ReplyDelete
  77. Michael,
    'What do you think any interaction between classical mechanics and QM would require?'
    Fair point, there has to be an interface. We shall see how the research progresses. It is a very exciting area of research I don't disagree. I do however think there is a massive difference between sending and converting data and objects, the understanding of how this may be possible will come in time.

    Which raises an interesting point... If we do eventually teleport a person using QM would that person still have what people describe as a soul? Or would it only transport the physical being?

    ReplyDelete
  78. Right on CH! Keep belting 'em out. Quite obviously the truth hurts.

    Dire consequences for society? This is precisely the sort of rhetoric used by evolutionists.

    Exactly what Darwinists are always claiming!

    Yes indeed folks, Newton, Galileo, Copernicus, Maxwell, Mendel, Leibniz, Kepler, Faraday, and more recently von Braun, Wilder Smith, Townes and a few 1000 others one could list - were all dangerous religious nuts about to destroy the world - if you believe the secular humanist Darwinian propaganda.

    Darwinians, yet never admit that Darwinism was directly linked to WWII and the holocaust, modern eugenics, the global devaluation of human life, the atrocities perpetrated against aboriginals, the disgusting "morality" of Darwinian fundamentalists like Peter Singer et al. etc.

    Darwinism sucks, and Darwinians are suckers.

    ReplyDelete
  79. @ peter, Hi..

    Well, I think the best we can do for now then is sit back and see how the boffs researching this stuff get on in the next ten years.

    Cheers.

    ReplyDelete
  80. iantracy603

    "Well, I think the best we can do for now then is sit back and see how the boffs researching this stuff get on in the next ten years."

    So I guess what you're saying that if the preponderance of science doesn't agree with you you will set it aside. That's fine if you want to ignore the widely accepted findings of science. I, myself, will use the best science to inform my worldview.

    cheers.

    .

    ReplyDelete
  81. iantracy603,

    I intended the "boring" theme in a light hearted rhetoric manner to color in my arguments. The "honesty" theme I only used because I was disappointed that you dismissed my position while you could not deny with any honesty that you understood my points. Since you argued your points I dropped the "honesty" theme.

    Playing the blame game because these discussions people are trying to put down the opposing ideologies. You have a point but the blame is only in the way we defend our positions.

    I did enjoy this discussion and really want to apologize for not making a clear distinction between your arguments and your person. I have no excuse and I could only learn from my mistake/s.

    ReplyDelete
  82. Thorton,

    "Smokey, seems like a creationist by the name of Louis Pasteur did something useful, correct?

    But he used the naturalist scientific paradigm to do it, not the supernatural Creationist one"

    He used the scientific method to allow the evidence to lead him where it did. He did it without clinging to a universal common descent hogwash theory.

    The fact that DNA is a digital information system and cells are complex biological factories with efficiently organized nanomachines leads one to the reasoned conclusion that it was intelligently designed.

    That an evolutionist would compare a fluffy cloud in the sky to the complexity of a cell shows why they do not appreciate what it takes to make a cell. It's back to Darwin's warm little pond of nonsense.

    Evolutionists are like the pimple faced teenage who sees as much value in a Denny's kids menu as he does in the Mona Lisa. It is a shameful approach to dumbing down the evidence in order to propagate its theory.

    ReplyDelete
  83. "Name one biotech company that operates under the premise that the diversity of life is due to blind, undirected chemical processes."

    smokey:
    Here are two: Genentech and Amgen.

    Why would they use an untestable premise?

    And what is the evidence that says they operate under the premise that the diversity of life is due to blind, undirected chemical processes?

    Please be specific.

    ReplyDelete
  84. @michael,
    No worries, thanks for understanding my point there. I appreciate now that the 'boring' line was light-hearted but mis-interpretation of nuances of language is the nature of text-talk I guess. Take it easy, I'm sure we'll chat again. Cheers.

    @Peter
    I accept without hesitation the age of the universe as measured from the big bang. I accept all that science has to offer and if what it says is unchallengable then I consider it fact, at least I hope I do, lol.
    The very nature of our chat here and the current and ongoing work in that area would suggest that the inflationary model has not reached a point where it is unchallengable. I don't deny that it is the prevailing theory, but, the cyclical theory hasn't been conclusively put to bed either with fairly recent research offerings that don't appear to have been instantly rebutted in the literature. This suggests to me that there is a lot of room for a paradigm shift or affirmation in the future. In situations such as these I don't see there being a probelm with holding on for the research to move forward. Cheers.

    Have a nice evening all :)

    ReplyDelete
  85. @ Teal

    'The fact that DNA is a digital information system....'
    Just a quick note, DNA is not digital information by any stretch. Digital refers to I/O yes? DNA is not like this.

    ReplyDelete
  86. iantracy603,

    What is it about evolutionists that they are so slow to the table in understanding the abc's of digital? Perhaps this is why they are still evolutionists. Just a thought.

    Go here:http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v421/n6921/full/nature01410.html

    and here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital

    Should I also mention that some of the earliest bacteria utilize Quantum Mechanics?

    ReplyDelete
  87. JoeG-

    Any company using directed evolution accepts the power of random variation plus selection to generate useful outputs. And a hell of a lot of biotech is based on random library plus selection.

    BTW, what is the Creationist biotech company that uses design in its mission?

    ReplyDelete
  88. Neal Tedford: He did it without clinging to a universal common descent hogwash theory.

    You've been pointed to evidence, but you never respond.

    ReplyDelete
  89. Neal Tedford: What is it about evolutionists that they are so slow to the table in understanding the abc's of digital?

    Without a sense of irony, Neal Tedford points to an article by Leroy "The challenges of biology are focused around three central features of life: evolution, development, and physiology" Hood.

    ReplyDelete
  90. iantracy603

    From one of the foremost scientists investigating genetic information.

    Information theory, evolution, and the origin of life By Hubert P. Yockey

    The structure of DNA found byWatson (1928– ) and Crick (1916–2004) could have been just that of another large molecule, such as hemoglobin, if it had not been that DNA carries the genetic message that is transferred to the proteome by
    the genetic code. Their work completed the modern view that the message in the genetic information system is segregated, linear, and digital."


    The rest of the book discuss these characteristics of genetic information in terms of information theory.

    You have to read about DNA, it's fascinating.

    ReplyDelete
  91. @ Neal

    Ah, I see your point. I confused your use of digital as being I/O, on/off. I see you meant digital as in discrete. Cheers.

    ReplyDelete
  92. RobertC:
    Any company using directed evolution accepts the power of random variation plus selection to generate useful outputs. And a hell of a lot of biotech is based on random library plus selection.

    That doesn't have anything to do with operating under the premise that the diversity of life is due to blind, undirected chemical processes.

    Creation accepts that mutations occur.

    ID accepts tha mutations occur.

    And yes random variation in a targeted search is a powerful tool.

    However that is ID not the ToE.

    ReplyDelete
  93. "Smokey, seems like a creationist by the name of Louis Pasteur did something useful, correct?"

    Pasteur has been claimed by the Creationists with little evidence. He writes almost nothing on evolution, save one vague supportive quote*. Biographers state he was not a practicing Christian. And as others here have point out, he was an experimental naturalist. Where's your evidence, other than that AIG sez so? How is Pasteur's work "Creation Science?"

    *"Et voilà que la virulence nous apparaît sous un jour nouveau qui ne laisse pas d'être inquiétant pour l'humanité, à moins que la nature, dans son évolution à travers les siècles passés, n'ait déjà rencontré toutes les occasions de production des maladies virulentes ou contagieuses, ce qui est fort invraisemblable."

    http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k73613.image.r=evolution.f350

    Now, we can debate the meaning of travers les siècles, which he used, verses à travers les âges, but Pasteur is clearly stating he sees evolution producing new virulences in descent though centuries/ages.

    ReplyDelete
  94. @Michael,

    I really have to go, but, I was confusing the I/O definition of digital with the discrete information definition, my mistake and I have been corrected, no worries. I do know a fair amount about DNA (although I would never have considered using the word digital to describe it) and am learning more every day. :)

    ReplyDelete
  95. Zachriel said...

    Neal Tedford: What is it about evolutionists that they are so slow to the table in understanding the abc's of digital?

    Without a sense of irony, Neal Tedford points to an article by Leroy "The challenges of biology are focused around three central features of life: evolution, development, and physiology" Hood.


    Pastor Tedford isn't the sharpest tool in the shed. He's another scientifically ignorant layman who feels threatened because the scientific evidence for evolution contradicts the religious dogma he was taught. Since he's so impotent scientifically, he strikes back at his fears the only way he knows. Lots of empty bluster, C&Ps of ridiculous claims from Creto sites, posts the rare link to scientific papers that he didn't read and doesn't understand, runs screaming like a little girl from any technical discussions.

    Pretty sad, but that's what religious Fundamentalism does to your brain.

    ReplyDelete
  96. Pastor Neal wrote:
    "He used the scientific method to allow the evidence to lead him where it did."

    You are bearing false witness to support a creationist lie, which all of you use to justify your lack of faith and/or laziness.

    Pasteur used the scientific method to test a hypothesis and produce NEW EVIDENCE, something everyone on your side lacks the faith to do.

    The lie you are selling is that science is just about debating a body of evidence, while real scientists make progress by producing new evidence.

    "He did it without clinging to a universal common descent hogwash theory."

    Are you really this clueless, Pastor Neal? He was testing the hypothesis that life arises spontaneously. If he got different results, he would have falsified common descent!

    "The fact that DNA is a digital information system…"

    The fact that a pastor can't understand metaphor is beyond pathetic.

    "... and cells are complex biological factories with efficiently organized nanomachines"

    Efficiently? Wanna bet? Learn the cell biology underlying the cell's (not the organism's) plumbing system and tell me how it is efficiently organized. Do you think that mixing the sewage with the drinking water (metaphorically) is efficient?

    "... leads one to the reasoned conclusion that it was intelligently designed."

    Only by hiding from the evidence can one reach that conclusion.

    "That an evolutionist would compare a fluffy cloud in the sky to the complexity of a cell…"

    You're bearing false witness again.

    "...shows why they do not appreciate what it takes to make a cell. It's back to Darwin's warm little pond of nonsense."

    Huh? I don't think that any abiogenesis researchers hypothesize that life started in a cellular form.

    "Evolutionists are like the pimple faced teenage who sees as much value in a Denny's kids menu as he does in the Mona Lisa. It is a shameful approach to dumbing down the evidence in order to propagate its theory."

    Like Pasteur, we actively produce new evidence, Pastor Neal, while you lack sufficient faith to do so by testing your allegedly reasoned conclusion in the lab or in the field.

    What are you afraid of? Is God telling you that it's a bunch of bunk?

    Zach wrote:
    "Without a sense of irony, Neal Tedford points to an article by Leroy "The challenges of biology are focused around three central features of life: evolution, development, and physiology" Hood."

    Oh, but Pastor Neal is just a humble Christian who thinks that he understands Lee Hood's work better than Lee Hood himself understands it.

    All this without having the courage or faith to do any science of his own.

    ReplyDelete
  97. Joe G: "Name one biotech company that operates under the premise that the diversity of life is due to blind, undirected chemical processes."

    Joe, I presume that by 'blind, undirected chemical processes," you mean the theory of evolution as it is commonly understood. If that's the case, here are just a few biotech companies that operate under the premise that evolution is true:

    Abraxis BioScience
    Acambis
    Acorda Therapeutics
    Actelion
    Adolor
    AEterna Zentaris
    Alkermes
    Ambrilia Biopharma
    Amgen
    Amylin Pharmaceuticals
    Anika Therapeutics
    Arena Pharmaceuticals
    Array BioPharma
    Avanir Pharmaceuticals
    Bavarian Nordic
    Biocon
    Biogen Idec
    BioMarin Pharmaceutical
    Bioniche Life Sciences
    Cangene
    Carrington Laboratories
    Celgene
    Cephalon
    Cerus
    Coley Pharmaceutical Group
    Crucell
    CSL
    Cubist Pharmaceuticals
    CuraGen
    CV Therapeutics
    Cytogen
    Dusa Pharmaceuticals
    Encysive Pharmaceuticals
    Enzo Biochem
    Enzon Pharmaceuticals
    Exelixis
    Genmab
    GenVec
    Genzyme
    Gilead Sciences
    GPC Biotech
    Human Genome Sciences
    Idenix Pharmaceuticals
    ImClone Systems
    ImmunoGen
    Indevus Pharmaceuticals
    Innogenetics
    Inspire Pharmaceuticals
    InterMune
    Isis Pharmaceuticals
    IsoTis
    JN-International Medical Corporation
    Lexicon Pharmaceuticals
    Life Therapeutics
    LifeCell
    Ligand Pharmaceuticals
    Maxygen
    Medarex
    MediGene
    MedImmune
    Medivir Group
    MGI Pharma
    Micromet
    Millennium Pharmaceuticals
    Monogram Biosciences
    MorphoSys
    Myriad Genetics
    Nabi Biopharmaceuticals
    Nektar Therapeutics
    Neurocrine Biosciences
    NPS Pharmaceuticals
    Omrix Biopharmaceuticals
    Oscient Pharmaceuticals
    OSI Pharmaceuticals
    Palatin Technologies
    PDL BioPharma
    Peptech
    Pharmion
    Progenics Pharmaceuticals
    Protherics
    QLT
    Regeneron Pharmaceuticals
    Replidyne
    SciClone Pharmaceuticals
    Serono
    Sinovac Biotech
    Tanox
    Targacept
    Trimeris
    UCB
    United Therapeutics
    Vernalis
    Vertex Pharmaceuticals
    ViaCell
    ViroPharma
    Vitrolife
    Xoma
    ZymoGenetics

    smokey: "Here are two: Genentech and Amgen."

    Joe: "Why would they use an untestable premise?"

    I don't know Joe, you'd have to ask them. I'll bet they don't think it's an untestable premise.

    Joe: "And what is the evidence that says they operate under the premise that the diversity of life is due to blind, undirected chemical processes?"

    Call them up and ask them. I'll give you a gold star for every one that doesn't accept evolution as a biological fact.

    And besides, that's kind of like asking: "And what is the evidence that says NASA operates under the premise that the motion of planets are guided by blind, undirected gravitational processes?"

    Joe, I understand that you don't agree with evolutionary theory, and that's ok. But to suggest that the overwhelming majority of biologists don't is just delusional.

    ReplyDelete
  98. RobertC:
    Any company using directed evolution accepts the power of random variation plus selection to generate useful outputs. And a hell of a lot of biotech is based on random library plus selection.

    JoeG:
    "That doesn't have anything to do with operating under the premise that the diversity of life is due to blind, undirected chemical processes.

    Creation accepts that mutations occur.

    ID accepts tha mutations occur.

    And yes random variation in a targeted search is a powerful tool.

    However that is ID not the ToE."

    Joe, you can't split evolution from directed evolution. The latter is a accelerated process mimicking the former.

    The recombination and random mutation used in directed evolution are not targeted. They are random processes, including PCR mutagenesis, chemical mutagenesis, and recombination/shuffling. The random libraries are then probed for function.

    Are you now accepting that random input plus selection yields function? I've seen many creationist sites and you yourself claim that mutation can only destroy function. Why would these companies commit to a useless process?

    ReplyDelete
  99. Neal Tedford -


    The same way Isaac Newton and Einstein worked. You do experiments, you document the results, etc with the understanding that your work is not the end of all knowledge.


    That is exactly what you cannot do if you allow that miracles happen. If they do, a miracle might have happened to interfere with your experiments, so you cannot trust them.


    Perhaps your difinition of a miracle is not accurate. From a biblical standpoint a miracle in a special intervention by God that superceeds the regular working of nature as we are accustomed to.


    Need I ever ask if we have even a shred of evidence that this actually happens, ever?


    Doesn't the intelligent design of airplanes by humans superceed the regular working of nature compared to the way a cave man would understand the laws nature?


    No, the aeroplane is still operating according to natural laws. There is nothing miraculous about it. Someone who studied gravity might be aghast at seeing a plane for the first time, but someone who studied propulsion (thanks Zach...) might not bat an eyelid at it.


    Is it not possible that God uses higher laws and this is what we call a miracle? How does this invalidate the other laws that he created. Your are placing artifical limits on things.


    It is possible that this is how it works. But if it is, we simply have no way of knowing. If God sometimes uses 'higher laws' then all experimentation is useless and science comes to a grinding halt.

    ReplyDelete
  100. smokey,

    The cell is a digital information system- that isn't a methaphor.

    The cell is not reducible to matter and energy- it is software driven.

    Your position will always be blind to that fact.

    And that is why it is leading us nowhere.

    ReplyDelete
  101. Ritchie:
    No, the aeroplane is still operating according to natural laws.

    LoL! That isn't the point. Airplanes did not arise via the laws of nature.

    And the laws of nature did not arise by the laws of nature.

    Natural processes only exist in nature and therefor cannot account for its origins.

    Yet science says it had one.

    So does that mean we cannot study nature?

    ReplyDelete
  102. Thorton:

    If the only thing the practise of sticking to natural laws has doen for us is give us the cell phone why should we stick to nautral laws only?

    ReplyDelete
  103. Joe G,

    A cell is more complex than a F-16 jet fighter. Evidence for this is empirical and evolutionists deny this at their own risk.

    Interestingly DNA is not the result of chemicals rubbing against each other any more than a work of Shakespeare is the result of an explosion in a publishing house.

    The full impact of the information age upon biology will leave neo-Darwinism in tatters.

    ReplyDelete
  104. sorry, typos

    "doen" should be "done"
    "nautral" should be "natural"

    my bad

    ReplyDelete
  105. Ritchie,

    Claiming that "invoking a miracle" stop science is a non sequitur and you have done nothing but claiming it. Wake up and realize that only rational arguments can count in a rational conversation. Otherwise your words would be equivalent to bla bla bla... there I proofed my point.

    Are you going to support you claim or will we hear more bla bla bla.

    ReplyDelete
  106. natschuster said...

    Thorton:

    If the only thing the practice of sticking to natural laws has does for us is give us the cell phone why should we stick to natural laws only?


    If you think the only thing science using natural laws has given us in the last several hundred years are cell phones you really need to get outside more.

    Go look out your window. Describe one invention or scientific advancement not based on understandable, repeatable natural laws.

    ReplyDelete
  107. One more thought to add to Joe G about airplanes not arising according to the laws of nature....

    They do operate according to the laws of nature but it took intelligent design and intervention in nature to manufacture the flying machine. It just didn't assemble in a warm little pond. I realize that steel and plastic is different than amino acids, but don't miss the point.

    When you fully accept that it is not natural for DNA to form when you mix the right chemicals together you are on your way to seeing what I'm saying.

    There is no evidence that a single cell or bacteria can arise out of purely naturalistic causes stirring up chemicals. All the empirical evidence we have about a cell, including the fossil record is that it is shouting, "I was designed!"

    How do you figure ancient bacteria acquired the ability to utilize quantum physics?

    ReplyDelete
  108. Thorton,

    ... and all those wonderful things you see outside your window that were invented took intelligent design. No doubt the cell is more complex than any of these things you see outside your window, so you really need to look into the window of the cell and just accept it. It will be okay.

    ReplyDelete
  109. Neal Tedford said...

    Joe G,

    A cell is more complex than a F-16 jet fighter. Evidence for this is empirical and evolutionists deny this at their own risk.


    It only took about 3.5 billion more years to produce too. Good thing only IDiots think complexity is somehow a synonym for 'can't possibly have evolved'.

    Interestingly DNA is not the result of chemicals rubbing against each other any more than a work of Shakespeare is the result of an explosion in a publishing house.

    Evidence please. Your ignorance based personal incredulity doesn't cut it.

    The full impact of the information age upon biology will leave neo-Darwinism in tatters.

    One more bit of empty Creto posturing for the pile:

    The Imminent Demise of Evolution: The Longest Running Falsehood in Creationism

    ReplyDelete
  110. Neal Tedford said...

    Thorton,

    ... and all those wonderful things you see outside your window that were invented took intelligent design. No doubt the cell is more complex than any of these things you see outside your window, so you really need to look into the window of the cell and just accept it. It will be okay.


    What scientific justification do you have in equating "more complex" with "couldn't have evolved"? I know of none. I do know there is ample evidence that the evolutionary process of imperfect self replicators experiencing differential reproductive success (i.e. filtered by selection) can and does produce increased complexity. That's how genetic algorithms work.

    Please enlighten us, and support your position with positive evidence.

    ReplyDelete
  111. Thorton,

    There is no evidence for chemicals forming DNA! Are you back to Darwinian tricks of having to disprove a negative?

    Check your math on the fossil record, bacteria appear shortly after the earth cooled 3 to 3.5 billion years ago ACCORDING TO EVOLUTIONISTS. You should at least read your own literature.

    In other words, you just lost a whole bunch of time to form that ancient bacteria that can perform quantum mechanics and is more complex than an F-16.

    ReplyDelete
  112. I said there is no evidence for chemicals forming DNA! To Clarify, I meant to say.. the chemicals do not form DNA by purely natural forces.

    ReplyDelete
  113. Thorton is unable to support the claims of his position so he is forced to attack ID and anyone who disagrees with him.

    Ya know thorton if you could just produce some positive evidence for your position people wouldn't think you are nothing but a little whiny baby who needs a diaper change.

    ReplyDelete
  114. thorton:
    I do know there is ample evidence that the evolutionary process of imperfect self replicators experiencing differential reproductive success (i.e. filtered by selection) can and does produce increased complexity. That's how genetic algorithms work.

    Genetic algorithms are designed.

    And only designed targeted searches do the trick.

    There isn't any evidence showing blind, undirected chemical processes can produce a replicator nor cause it to increase in complexity.

    ReplyDelete
  115. "There is no evidence for chemicals forming DNA"

    Google Joe. And most scientists propose RNA first.

    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&q=abiotic+synthesis+of+RNA&btnG=Search&as_sdt=8000&as_ylo=2007&as_vis=1

    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&q=abiotic+synthesis+of+biopolymers&as_sdt=8000&as_ylo=2007&as_vis=1

    And yes, some of the products are functional, Adding in RNA ligation, there are even larger products that have expanded functions.

    ReplyDelete
  116. Thorton:

    When I said cell phone, I meant technology in general. Using natural laws has given us technology, but it hasn't answered the big questions about origins. So why is it against the rules to seek answers outside natural laws?

    ReplyDelete
  117. RobertC,

    The reason why the RNA World is required is because DNA is too complex to have arisen first.

    Also yes scientists can synthesize RNA and DNA.

    That does not mean they can form via blind, undirected chemical processes.

    And BTW it wasn't me who said what you are attributing to me.

    ReplyDelete
  118. JoeG-
    "And BTW it wasn't me who said what you are attributing to me."

    Sorry.

    "That does not mean they can form via blind, undirected chemical processes."

    Ahh, but they do. See links above.

    ReplyDelete
  119. The argument and the “sides” are largely about definitions. Why do you necessarily define “natural” as void of purpose, mind, and consciousness on a scale larger than the human’s? Otherwise it will be hard to be called a scientist according to modern traditions for sorting out names. On the other hand, why do you define God as being outside the nature, needing “miracles” as “interventions”? Can either of the sides consider that the nature/ matter may act in purposeful, mindful ways, more powerful than the human’s, and at the same time without a supreme figure being on top of, above and beyond it all? A historical part of the division is the casual perception of the reality being confined to the present moment originating exclusively out of the past. The reason has to be placed in the past to have an effect now and here, so it goes. Well, although this feels and calculates as a good approximation, it makes almost no sense physically. As you introduce system’s memory in modern physics, the distinction between the present – the past – and the future is gone. You can place part of the reason in the future, call it purpose, to be frank (the purpose well beyond our imagination it may be) and have minds more powerful than canonical gods safely generating themselves without any miracles, including known to us forms of life and consciousness. Well, we do not know many details of the picture, but we are getting there I hope. I just do not agree with people explaining processes they do not have a clue about as either happening by chance of by a supreme being’s intent.

    ReplyDelete
  120. Joe G -


    LoL! That isn't the point. Airplanes did not arise via the laws of nature.


    Actually that WAS the point. Neal askeds if an aeroplane was a miracle and whethr it violated the law of gravity.

    Michael -


    Claiming that "invoking a miracle" stop science is a non sequitur and you have done nothing but claiming it. Wake up and realize that only rational arguments can count in a rational conversation.


    Elaborate, please. Why is this a non sequitur? Why is my argument not rational?

    It seems preety straight-forward to me - a scientists needs to trust the results of his/her own experiments to be able to do science. Allow for miracles, and s/he cannot do this. Seem rational to me - and not a non-sequitur...

    ReplyDelete
  121. Joe wrote:
    "The reason why the RNA World is required is because DNA is too complex to have arisen first."

    Huh? What are the chemical differences between DNA and RNA, Joe?

    Have you called Amgen and Genentech yet?

    ReplyDelete
  122. Pastor Neal keeps on bearing false witness:
    "I said there is no evidence for chemicals forming DNA! To Clarify, I meant to say.. the chemicals do not form DNA by purely natural forces."

    So what, Pastor! You haven't pointed out any real scientist who claims that chemicals formed DNA in the absence of life.

    You are using hearsay from lying people and pretending that you know of what you speak. That's a violation of the Ninth Commandment.

    Unless you can show me an actual biologist who believes or hypothesizes that. We both know that your intent is to deceive, and you won't show anything of the sort.

    ReplyDelete
  123. Bumped for pastor Neal Tedford, who seems to be doing his best tap dance to avoid answering tough questions.

    What scientific justification do you have for equating "more complex" with "couldn't have evolved"? I know of none. I do know there is ample evidence that the evolutionary process of imperfect self replicators experiencing differential reproductive success (i.e. filtered by selection) can and does produce increased complexity. That's how genetic algorithms work.

    Please enlighten us, and support your position with positive evidence.

    ReplyDelete
  124. natschuster said...

    Thorton:

    When I said cell phone, I meant technology in general. Using natural laws has given us technology, but it hasn't answered the big questions about origins. So why is it against the rules to seek answers outside natural laws?


    I already told you it's not 'against the rules'. Go do your research and use all the supernatural methods you like. Come back when you have some repeatable positive results.

    ReplyDelete
  125. Pastor Neal:

    "Should I also mention that some of the earliest bacteria utilize Quantum Mechanics? "

    Maybe you shouldn't because it makes you look like an idiot. Bacteria don't utilize scientific theories. It's like saying that raindrops utilize general relativity while falling down.

    I'm a little surprised that a pastor who obviously knows almost nothing about science would feel equipped to make such strong statements about scientific matters. According to your own principles, your afterlife will be quite hot and unpleasant.

    ReplyDelete
  126. Dmitri:

    ===
    The argument and the “sides” are largely about definitions. Why do you necessarily define “natural” as void of purpose, [...] I just do not agree with people explaining processes they do not have a clue about as either happening by chance of by a supreme being’s intent.
    ===

    Good points. But according to evolution, any such musings are entirely gratuitous. Yes, sure, one can envision something beyond the natural laws themselves, if one wishes, but those laws are entirely adequate to explain all we observe.

    ReplyDelete
  127. Bumped for CH, who seems to have the same strange IDC disease that stops him from answering questions.

    CH: "Evolution is, if anything, a religious idea"

    "Religion drives science"


    CH, please define the terms religious and religion as you keep using them. You seem to have your own pet definitions of the words different from the rest of the planet.

    ReplyDelete
  128. CH:
    "But according to evolution,…"

    Huh? Evolution is something that happens to populations of organisms. It doesn't say anything or have an opinion.

    Surely you know this.

    ReplyDelete
  129. Gary: "Darwinians, yet never admit that Darwinism was directly linked to WWII and the holocaust, modern eugenics, the global devaluation of human life, the atrocities perpetrated against aboriginals, the disgusting "morality" of Darwinian fundamentalists like Peter Singer et al. etc."

    Wow, quite a list! We've all heard of course the claims about the Holocust eugenics etc. But atrocities against aboriginals? Firstly, which aboriginals are we talking about? If you mean Australia, the British were there long before Darwin ever published. And what about the atrocities of the Crusades? Don't they also count as "atrocities against aboriginals" - is Darwin retroactively responsible for that too?

    ReplyDelete
  130. Janfeld said...

    Gary: "Darwinians, yet never admit that Darwinism was directly linked to WWII and the holocaust, modern eugenics, the global devaluation of human life, the atrocities perpetrated against aboriginals, the disgusting "morality" of Darwinian fundamentalists like Peter Singer et al. etc."

    Wow, quite a list! We've all heard of course the claims about the Holocust eugenics etc. But atrocities against aboriginals? Firstly, which aboriginals are we talking about? If you mean Australia, the British were there long before Darwin ever published. And what about the atrocities of the Crusades? Don't they also count as "atrocities against aboriginals" - is Darwin retroactively responsible for that too?


    I wonder if Gary thinks chemistry is immoral and should be banned because the Germans used Zyklon B gas in the chambers. Or maybe gravity, because it was used to get bombs from airplanes to the ground.

    Gary could claim ToE is responsible for the Haitian earthquake, the Gulf oil spill, and the French soccer team World Cup debacle, and the other IDiots here would agree and cheer him for it.

    ReplyDelete
  131. To clarify, disagreeing with Ritchie, science does not mandate that all observable phenomena must be explainable by natural laws (that would be naturalism). The goal of science is to explain observable phenomena by testable hypothesis. Whether that is possible for all observable phenomena is an open question. But the key words are observable and testable. It has nothing to do with natural or supernatural.

    ReplyDelete
  132. second opinion -


    To clarify, disagreeing with Ritchie, science does not mandate that all observable phenomena must be explainable by natural laws (that would be naturalism).


    Science is naturalistic. It has to assume naturalism, specifically methodological naturalism - the belief that natural events have natural causes and explanations (as opposed to metaphysical naturalism - the belief that there is nothing beyond the natural laws and forces).


    The goal of science is to explain observable phenomena by testable hypothesis.


    Yes, exactly. And if you allow that miracles happen, that totally undermines the validity of any tests.

    Say I want to test the law of gravity. So, under controlled conditions, I drop a ball. Is this a test of gravity? Not if I allow for the possibility of miracles. Perhaps the natural law is that dropped objects remain stationary in mid-air, and any time I see a dropped ball fall to the ground, it is a miracle.

    Do you see the problem?


    Whether that is possible for all observable phenomena is an open question. But the key words are observable and testable.


    Allowing for miracles effectively renders everythnig untestable!

    ReplyDelete
  133. Ritchie, you said,

    "Forgive me if I missed the point, but I did not get anything from God And Science Do Mix other than unsubstanciated conjecture - a claim that miracles must be rare to be recognised for what they are, for example, is a mere proposition. Not any reason to think miracles happen at all."

    Thank you for taking the time to read it. If you would look at the context in which I gave you that link you would know that my purpose in providing it was not to demonstrate that miracles happen, but to show that if miracles happen, they do not undermine science. This was in answer to your statement that "science cannot ever allow that natural laws are violated."

    There's another link you might want to look at, to give you a more solid philosophical foundation for what you were trying to get at here:

    " If I allow that miracles happen, then when I drop, say a ball and it falls down, I cannot say whether this is a demonstration of a natural force at work, or a demonstration of a violation of one."

    What you've set up in that statement is very much a false dichotomy. For more on that, see here.

    And there's one further exchange you had that I'd like to respond to. The bolded sentence is from Michael, and your answer follows.

    "'Your assumption is not based on science at all. It is based on your personal metaphysical preference of materialism.'

    "It is not *MY* preference. It is the preference of science. And I would use the word 'necessity' rather than preference.

    "Long story short - maybe miracles do happen. But science progresses under the assumption that they do not. This is not arbitrary or unfair, it is a simple necessity for performing science."


    If you still think it is a necessity, then I would refer you to the entire article on God and Science Do Mix once again. Long story short - science can progress if miracles happen. The same applies to your entire 12:21 am comment this morning.

    If you read that linked article expecting it to prove that miracles have happened (as you complained it failed to do), then you read it without paying attention to the context in which I suggested you go there. And if you continue to insist that science cannot progress if miracles are possible, then you missed it all. Science and miracles are not incompatible (read the article again).

    ReplyDelete
  134. Thorton:

    Okay. We can explain the origin of the Universe, the function of the Universe, the origin of life, the origin of the mind, the origin of religion, with "God did it." The universe is here. That's one test. I do believe a Creator would have a reason to create us. That explains religion. Another test. Naturalism does seem to have a better record when it comes to technology.

    So I guess we should stick to the methodology that gets the best results. Naturalism works when developing technology. But it doesn't have such a good record dealing with the problems of origins.

    ReplyDelete
  135. "Skepticism is routinely characterized as anti-science."
    Skepticism is part of science. It is often due to failing to successfully answer skeptical questions that makes a movement become anti-science.

    "Indeed, the very premise of this paper is that evolution skepticism must be countered."
    The paper never uses the term "evolution skepticism" and this is not its premise either. It addresses the issue that biology educators need to be informed about and deal with areas that not part of their expertise and this paper is an information resource over the movements that promote pseudo-scientific claims in biology.It argues that educators need to know about these deleterious, distracting and damaging practices.

    "And the fundamental essence of evolution has remained unchanged forcenturies..."
    A truly ignorant statement. Ideas on evolution has changed dramatically through the centuries and still are today, just not in the direction that the post author would like, hard cheese.

    "The essence is the rejection of miraculous divine intervention for a variety of religious and metaphysical reasons..."
    Anyone, a theist or non-theist alike can study, learn and contribute to the bilogical asciences. The "essence", if you will, is to find the best explanation of these biological processes. As it happens "divine miraculous intervention" is a failed hypothesis, long thrown in the dustbin. The post author fails in his attempted Tu Quoque to distract from the fact that the desire to promote divine intervention in support of his deity is the primary motivation for his pseudo-science, as without it, why would anyone be promoting or be interested in it?

    "Evolutionists, including the author himself, have not hesitated to issue religious mandates for evolution, in spite of the evidence."
    The paper author did no such thing. He is only arguing the educators need to be informed and to be able to reasonably defend against such bullshit as the post author advocates.

    "Hide their underlying theology? Unbelievable. This is precisely the evolutionist’s standard procedure. After making theological claims they, incredibly, claim to be doing mere empirical science."
    There is no theology in the biological sciences. One can make theological interpretations if one chooses but that is optional and outside the science. The science does not fix one theological interpretation over another, it is wholly indeterminate. For example catholic biologist Ken Miller can defend such science whilst remaining a theist.

    "Truly amazing. The core idea behind evolutionary thought is that the diversity of life and origin of species must be explained exclusively by natural laws."
    Methodological naturalism does not assume naturalism nor reject supernaturalism, it is neutral to either (however one distinguishes between these two classes). If supernaturalism is somewhere the best explanation of a phenomena, methodological naturalism would be the best means of showing it. It was not shown in biology because it was not and is not the best explanation.

    "The whole point? The whole point of evolution is to argue against the interventionist, miracle-working God. That is yet another fact that evolutionist’s deny."
    People study biology because they are interested in biology rather than other topics. I know of no biologist, and I know many, who became a biologist because they wanted to argue against a "argue against the interventionist, miracle-working God", indeed some I know are religious.

    As I go through this post there really is nothing more to say, there is no excuse for such poor rhetoric, ignorance and sophistry.

    ReplyDelete
  136. natschuster said...

    Thorton:

    Okay. We can explain the origin of the Universe, the function of the Universe, the origin of life, the origin of the mind, the origin of religion, with "God did it."


    That's not an explanation, it's a place holder. You can certainly accept that as an explanation for your personal philosophy, but science can't. If science doesn't know something the proper scientific response is 'I don't know". You're using the classic "God of the gaps" argument that was discredited centuries ago.

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  137. Tom Gilson -


    Thank you for taking the time to read it. If you would look at the context in which I gave you that link you would know that my purpose in providing it was not to demonstrate that miracles happen, but to show that if miracles happen, they do not undermine science.


    Forgive me, but I think you have not grasped my point. I am not saying miracles are impossible per se, I am saying that science must assume they do not in order to be prodictive - it must exlpain all natural phenomena through entirely natural causes.

    Perhaps miracles do happen. Perhaps there is a God who performs miracles. I am not saying it is definitely not the case. But if it is, then science is simply powerless to identify, explain, or say anything at all about them. Science may be thought of as a mechanism for exploring and explaining natural laws.

    As secondopinion so rightly said: "The goal of science is to explain observable phenomena by testable hypothesis... The key words are observable and testable."

    In the articles you link to, the writer (I notice you are the author of the first, though the second is apparently anonymous) is just putting forwrd entirely hypothetical possibilities for how miracles MIGHT happen. All very interesting from a theological point of view I'm sure, but of no practical use whatsoever to a scientist.

    The CADRE article, for instance, throws out such comments as "...one of the most challenging issues I face in theological reflection is how to understand God's action in the world..." without acknowledging this is a bare-faced assumption which attempts to smuggle in the existence of God in the first place.

    Maybe there is a God performing miracles. Maybe there is a giant fairy who affects the world with the power of her magic wand. Maybe there is a giant frog who can alter natural laws with his croak. The possibilities are endless - and science should not simply assume the existence of any of them with no evidence.

    Scientists must assume methodological naturalism in order to draw any conclusions from their experiments. If miracles are allowed, experimentation is useless.


    Long story short - science can progress if miracles happen.


    You mean science can progress if it allows for the possibility of miracles? How? How is a scientists to know whether his/her results have been affected by a miracle, and if s/he cannot, then how can s/he trust his/her own results? This is my key question. If you respond to no others in my post, I would appreciate a frank, plain and honest answer to this, please.

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  138. And if I may posit a link of my own, I'd heartily recommend reading this:

    http://www.ebonmusings.org/evolution/naturalism.html

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  139. Ritchie: Science is naturalistic. It has to assume naturalism, specifically methodological naturalism - the belief that natural events have natural causes and explanations (as opposed to metaphysical naturalism - the belief that there is nothing beyond the natural laws and forces).

    Naturalism is a useful heuristic. Unevidenced entities, such as fairies have no scientific utility.

    Sign on door: ABSOLUTELY NO DEMONS ALLOWED IN LAB!

    second opinion: The goal of science is to explain observable phenomena by testable hypothesis.

    The distinction between natural and supernatural is not always well-defined. A methodological definition of science, as you suggest, mitigates this ambiguity.

    An angry sky-god hurling lightning bolts at the wicked in the Vale of Tempe below? Climb Mount Olympus and look! Ghosts? Try an Ecto-Plasmic Containment Module!

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  140. faithlessgod said...

    "And the fundamental essence of evolution has remained unchanged forcenturies..."
    A truly ignorant statement. Ideas on evolution has changed dramatically through the centuries and still are today, just not in the direction that the post author would like, hard cheese."


    You are either disingenuous, ill informed, naive or all at once. The mounting evidence undermining Darwinian Evolutions is reverberating through life sciences. Dr. Hunder simply make conversation about content that highlight the dogmatic commitments caused by the metaphysical presuppositions that accompany Darwinian biology.

    The number of peer reviewed articles that undermine Darwinian mechanisms for origin of life are mounting. Any true skeptical thinker would have affirmed his/her neutral position to support scientific progress. Unfortunately modern skepticism has bound themselves to metaphysical naturalism and started to only support the dogma against the mounting evidence.

    Two pieces of hard cheese to chew on:

    Darwinian evolution in the light of genomics

    and

    The Biological Big Bang model for the major transitions in evolution

    P.S. Do your self a favor and read how dogmatically neutral the Darwinian voices on this blog has approached these articles by a committed evolutionist.

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  141. metaphysical naturalism should read methodological naturalism

    My bad.

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  142. faithlessgod said:

    Truly amazing. The core idea behind evolutionary thought is that the diversity of life and origin of species must be explained exclusively by natural laws."
    Methodological naturalism does not assume naturalism nor reject supernaturalism, it is neutral to either (however one distinguishes between these two classes). If supernaturalism is somewhere the best explanation of a phenomena, methodological naturalism would be the best means of showing it. It was not shown in biology because it was not and is not the best explanation."


    See bold:
    Could you give us a practical example how this would happen?

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  143. Michael said...

    Two pieces of hard cheese to chew on:

    Darwinian evolution in the light of genomics

    and

    The Biological Big Bang model for the major transitions in evolution

    P.S. Do your self a favor and read how dogmatically neutral the Darwinian voices on this blog has approached these articles by a committed evolutionist.


    What's to chew on there Mikey? Neither of those articles disagrees with or casts the slightest doubt on the overall Theory of Evolution.

    You didn't bother to read the whole text of either one, as evidenced by your misunderstanding and misrepresenting of Koonin's actual work.

    Another IDiot who thinks science should say what he wants it to say, not what it actually does.

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  144. Ritchie, thank you for your acknowledgment that miracles are not precluded from all possibility. I'll take that as a clarification of your earlier statement,

    "Science cannot ever allow that natural laws are violated. If it did, then the result of any given experiment could conceivable be a miracle."

    You asked,

    "You mean science can progress if it allows for the possibility of miracles? How? How is a scientists to know whether his/her results have been affected by a miracle, and if s/he cannot, then how can s/he trust his/her own results? This is my key question. If you respond to no others in my post, I would appreciate a frank, plain and honest answer to this, please."

    I think I already answered that in the article you read. Science discovers what is regular, the "rule," so to speak; miracles are the exceptions. They are (necessarily) exceptional, rare. If God raises a few people from the dead (resuscitations), that doesn't override the scientific fact that the dead stay dead except in the case of extremely, overwhelmingly rare exceptions. If bush burned and was not consumed, one time in history (Exodus 2), that does not change the scientific fact that fires consume their fuel.

    How does a scientist know her results have not been affected by a miracle? The same way she knows they haven't affected by a grad student's carelessness, a mislabeled bottle from the supply store, a mis-calibrated scale, or by chance: she does the experiment again. She publishes her experiment or speaks of it in a conference, and others repeat her experiment. This is all very normal, as you know. If the same result obtains in every case (within statistical limits of course), then it's not an exceptional result; ergo, it's not a miracle.

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  145. faithlessgod,

    To show that methodological naturalism is not biased against "supernaturalism", I expect you to show what rigorous method would account for attributing a specific phenomenon to a "supernatural" cause.

    Thing is, I think you simply overstated the neutrality of metaphysical naturalism, but now you have an opportunity to redeem yourself.

    I don't see any need to make a value judgment about supernatural causes. Identifying the act of any potential intelligence would suffice for natural science.

    Personally I am convinced that the ID theorists are working successfully towards a rigorous method to detect design as the parsimonious cause a particular natural phenomenon. If you can proof that ID theorists are actually using methodological naturalism to achieve this objective you will also have proven your point to be valid.

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  146. Michael said...

    Personally I am convinced that the ID theorists are working successfully towards a rigorous method to detect design as the parsimonious cause a particular natural phenomenon.


    A pretty interesting claim given that ID does no research, makes no discoveries, publishes no results. The head IDiots are pretty good at writing popular press books full of meaningless coined buzzwords to gull the ignorant arm chair philosophizers though. You're example #1A there Mikey.

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  147. As I told faithlessgod,

    I don't see any need to make a value judgment about supernatural causes. Identifying the act of any potential intelligence would suffice for natural science.

    This accounts for miracles also. You don't need to identify a miracle your simply have to identify the act of any form of intelligence. In Tom's example the act of the "grad student's carelessness" would account for such an act of intelligence that interfered with the flow of nature. Which can be exposed by more experimentation that consciously avoid the act of intelligence to interfere.

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  148. Isaac Newton and other early scientists did not see a contradiction between natural laws and God. On the contrary, it gave them traction to attempt to unravel the laws of nature. They believed God to be consistent and dependable and so they thought that the universe he created must operate according to consistent laws that could be discovered.

    Others such as Carl Linnaeus and Gregor Mendel believed likewise. Evolutionists make a totally unsupported claim when they try to poison the debate by trying to instill fear by saying that science will stop if an intelligent designer or creator is acknowledged. Of course, evolutionists are good at making unsupported claims. Rhetoric and propaganda are their specialty not science.

    As far as a reference for bacteria utilizing quantum mechanics, go here for one of them:

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=when-it-comes-to-photosynthesis-plants-perform-quantum-computation

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  149. Tom Gilson:

    "Science discovers what is regular, the "rule," so to speak; miracles are the exceptions. They are (necessarily) exceptional, rare."

    By this definition, say, every human zygote represents a miracle, since the DNA of no two zygotes is identical. Uniqueness or rareness is not sufficient (nor necessary) for something to qualify as a miracle. Above a certain level of complexity (above the level of elementary particles and small molecules), every object or event is to some extent "unique" or "rare". Therefore a definition of miracle should at least include a divine act.

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  150. Logically design detection is not isolated to the ID movement scientists use it all the time. One of the more complex and recent examples:

    Entropy study suggests Pictish symbols likely were part of a written language

    This actually shows that information theory can be used to infer a set of pattern forming entities to be a language. This method can be applied to any pattern forming entities including supporting the SETI, should we receive such a pattern of entities. Obviously it can be applied to the pattern forming entities found in the genome.

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  151. Troy, that was not a definition of miracles that I gave there. It was just a statement of one of miracles' essential characteristics.

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  152. Neal Tedford said...

    Evolutionists make a totally unsupported claim when they try to poison the debate by trying to instill fear by saying that science will stop if an intelligent designer or creator is acknowledged.


    Science will acknowledge such a thing in an instant IF there is positive empirical evidence for it. Yet every time we ask you for this positive evidence, you come up empty. And every time we ask you to explain some observed physical phenomena like the nested pattern of SNPs with your 'designer' paradigm, you run away screaming.

    Of course, evolutionists are good at making unsupported claims. Rhetoric and propaganda are their specialty not science.

    LOL! Pastor Neal Tedford, the King of Projection! The man who has never cracked a science book or been anywhere near a science lab in his life.

    Pastor Neal, why did you lie and say you were interested in discussing scientific details, then bail out every time I present some evidence from a research paper to discuss? Sure makes you look like a disingenuous blowhard, ya know?

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  153. Michael said...

    Logically design detection is not isolated to the ID movement scientists use it all the time. One of the more complex and recent examples:

    Entropy study suggests Pictish symbols likely were part of a written language

    This actually shows that information theory can be used to infer a set of pattern forming entities to be a language. This method can be applied to any pattern forming entities including supporting the SETI, should we receive such a pattern of entities. Obviously it can be applied to the pattern forming entities found in the genome.


    LOL! More empty blither from the armchair philosophizer.

    This study, just like every other design detection technique, relies on pattern matching the unknown with previous examples know to be designed. In this case the pattern was the distribution of character appearances - the Shannon di-gram entropy - known from other symbolic languages. Even SETI is looking for known-to-be-used-by-humans type signals, on the idea that there are only a finite number of ways to modulate electromagnetic energy.

    Tell us Mikey - what do we use as a baseline to match patterns in the genome? Where is the before-the-fact specification?

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  154. Thorton:

    Why doesn't "God did it" qualify as an explanation? Why is "We don't know" better?

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  155. natschuster: Why doesn't "God did it" qualify as an explanation?

    Because the claim doesn't entail specific and distinguishing empirical predictions.


    natschuster: Why is "We don't know" better?

    It's a fallacy to claim your preferred metaphysics in place of gaps in scientific knowledge. Otherwise, the more ignorant you are the more support you could claim for your position. Don't know why planets trace complex orbits across the sky? Must be angels pushing planets on crystal spheres.

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  156. Zachriel,

    What if "God did it" is true? Would it not then be an explanation?

    I'm not suggesting it's an exhaustive explanation, or that believing "God did it" ought to remove or reduce any person's curiosity over more proximate explanations. I don't think there's any evidence in social science that it functions that way among believers.

    But even if it's not an exhaustive explanation, if it's true then it is an explanation.

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  157. Why does, "trust us, Natural Selection did it" qualify as science?

    It has been shown to highly improbable and mathematically impossible to account for its exaggerated claims.

    Simply using a scientific term does not automatically raise it to the level of science.

    As for ID and positive research, see here:

    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2010/06/intelligent_design_proponents_1036291.html#more

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  158. Neal Tedford:

    "Why does, "trust us, Natural Selection did it" qualify as science?"

    It doesn't. You are just making that up. Please stop your constant lying. I know it's your job as a pastor, but posting here is just a hobby, right?

    "It has been shown to highly improbable and mathematically impossible to account for its exaggerated claims."

    Wow, improbable and impossible. I guess that's even worse than just impossible. Another lie of course. The "impossible" has been observed numerous times. See here for example.

    "Simply using a scientific term does not automatically raise it to the level of science."

    You owe me a new irony detector. That's precisely SOP for ID creationists.

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  159. What if "God did it" is true? Would it not then be an explanation?

    What kind of an explanation is that?

    It's like an exasperated parent telling a child who keeps asking "Why?," that it's "Because I say so, that's why!"

    Believe in your gods if they satisfy you.

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  160. Troy,

    I am quite prepared to discuss your e coli example but wanted to check with you if you are offering up this as your best example of support for universal common descent or do you have something better?

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  161. David,

    For starters, what good does it do a child for a parent to say natural selection did it?

    The child asks how?... and we are right back to all the non-answers (HGT, mutation, etc) that all the evolutionists on this site keep repeating until they start calling their child an idiot for too much questioning.

    We are talking design in origins and not how things function on an everyday basis. You are completely misunderstanding the design inference.

    To be completed.

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  162. To say Natural Selection did all these things that go way beyond empirical evidence is like asking your child to believe in Santa Claus.

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  163. Yes there was a St. Nic. Yes he was a real person. But the Santa Claus story is an fairy tale exaggeration.

    =

    Yes there is Natural Selection. Yes it is a real process. But the Universal Common Descent story is a fairy tale exaggeration.

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  164. Neal Tedford said...

    Troy,

    I am quite prepared to discuss your e coli example but wanted to check with you if you are offering up this as your best example of support for universal common descent or do you have something better?


    Like how you said you were willing to discuss the evidence for common descent with me, but when I posted a few technical papers you ran away so fast you left skid marks?

    Does that lying and blustering work for you in real life Neal? Because it sure isn't working here.

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  165. Troy,

    I can only smile at your faith in the reality of what the E.coli long term experiments exposed about genetic variation.

    Lactose digestion in E. coli

    or was it citrate... Well then at least we know E.coli seems to be front loaded with a capability to change its diet.

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  166. Neal,

    What good does it do to anyone to say that "God did it"? It just invokes an imaginary agency. My point is that "God did it" is vacuous.

    Please tell us how God did it.

    And while you're at it, please tell us which god that might be.

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  167. Neal Tedford said...

    Why does, "trust us, Natural Selection did it" qualify as science?

    It has been shown to highly improbable and mathematically impossible to account for its exaggerated claims.


    Please show us the proof that it is mathematically impossible

    I say you're lying again. Back up your claim with evidence or you admit you were lying.

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  168. Michael said...

    Troy,

    I can only smile at your faith in the reality of what the E.coli long term experiments exposed about genetic variation.

    Lactose digestion in E. coli

    or was it citrate... Well then at least we know E.coli seems to be front loaded with a capability to change its diet.


    Hey Mikey, if the E. coli was 'front loaded' with this change, why didn't all the sample colonies develop the new capability?

    Once again you were too lazy to read the actual research papers and are relying on Creto websites for your knowledge. That certainly explains why you get technical things so horribly wrong so often.

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  169. On E.coli you should consider this as well.

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  170. Tom Gilson -


    Ritchie, thank you for your acknowledgment that miracles are not precluded from all possibility.


    Errr, you're welcome, I guess. Claims of miracles are unscientific, but that does not mean they are impossible - science just cannot progress under the assumption that they are possible. This is, at the end of the day, an assumption, and it may well be wrong, but it is necessary for performing science.


    I think I already answered that in the article you read. Science discovers what is regular, the "rule," so to speak; miracles are the exceptions.


    That is only according to your entirely hypothetical reasoning. Who says miracles are rare - that they are 'exceptions to the rule'? Maybe miracles are extremely common. What reason do we have to think otherwise? Maybe everytime an object drops to the ground instead fo remaining suspended in mid-air it is a miracle. You cannot discount this possibility if you accept miracles happen.


    If God raises a few people from the dead (resuscitations), that doesn't override the scientific fact that the dead stay dead except in the case of extremely, overwhelmingly rare exceptions. If bush burned and was not consumed, one time in history (Exodus 2), that does not change the scientific fact that fires consume their fuel.


    Well, scientifically speaking, yes it does! If we can find even one instance where a burning bush is not consumed by it's flames, that does falsify the rule that fires consume their fuel. That's exactly how science works.


    How does a scientist know her results have not been affected by a miracle? The same way she knows they haven't affected by a grad student's carelessness, a mislabeled bottle from the supply store, a mis-calibrated scale, or by chance: she does the experiment again. She publishes her experiment or speaks of it in a conference, and others repeat her experiment. This is all very normal, as you know. If the same result obtains in every case (within statistical limits of course), then it's not an exceptional result; ergo, it's not a miracle.


    This is indeed standard scientific practice. But it does nothing at all to discount the possibility of miracles. If I perform an experiment and a miracle occurs to interfere with the result, when I repreat the experiment, the same miracle may occur - or even a different one to produce the same flawed result. This is especially likely if indeed miracles are the conscious intervention of a deity - He may decide He does not want a particular experiment to produce it's 'natural' result for reasons we may never understand.

    Repeating the experiment and having others do it too greatly reduces the chances of flawed results through random interference. But miracles may or may not be random - in fact many (including you, apparently) claim they are not random. In which case, repeating the experiment does us no good at all.

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  171. Pastor Neal,

    Below's the abstract of a recent paper, "A formal test of the theory of universal common ancestry", by Douglas Theobald (2010, Nature 465, pp. 219-222). Link

    Please explain what's wrong with the analysis.


    "Universal common ancestry (UCA) is a central pillar of modern evolutionary theory1. As first suggested by Darwin2, the theory of UCA posits that all extant terrestrial organisms share a common genetic heritage, each being the genealogical descendant of a single species from the distant past3, 4, 5, 6. The classic evidence for UCA, although massive, is largely restricted to ‘local’ common ancestry—for example, of specific phyla rather than the entirety of life—and has yet to fully integrate the recent advances from modern phylogenetics and probability theory. Although UCA is widely assumed, it has rarely been subjected to formal quantitative testing7, 8, 9, 10, and this has led to critical commentary emphasizing the intrinsic technical difficulties in empirically evaluating a theory of such broad scope1, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. Furthermore, several researchers have proposed that early life was characterized by rampant horizontal gene transfer, leading some to question the monophyly of life11, 14, 15. Here I provide the first, to my knowledge, formal, fundamental test of UCA, without assuming that sequence similarity implies genetic kinship. I test UCA by applying model selection theory5, 16, 17 to molecular phylogenies, focusing on a set of ubiquitously conserved proteins that are proposed to be orthologous. Among a wide range of biological models involving the independent ancestry of major taxonomic groups, the model selection tests are found to overwhelmingly support UCA irrespective of the presence of horizontal gene transfer and symbiotic fusion events. These results provide powerful statistical evidence corroborating the monophyly of all known life."

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  172. Well, scientifically speaking, yes it does! If we can find even one instance where a burning bush is not consumed by it's flames, that does falsify the rule that fires consume their fuel. That's exactly how science works.

    Because God is so interested in making balls hang in midair and bushes not burn just to have fun with us.

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  173. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  174. Michael said...

    On E.coli you should consider this as well.


    LOL! A Google search for info on Leski's experiment on Uncommonly Dense.

    Why not use Google Scholar to search the actual primary scientific literature for information?

    Google Scholar: Lenski citrate

    Were you afraid of reading some actual scientific data instead of the hand-waving stupidity at your IDiot site and having your head explode?

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  175. Michael:

    "I can only smile at your faith in the reality of what the E.coli long term experiments exposed about genetic variation."

    Followed by a link to Uncommon Descent, Dembski's private buy-my-book outlet, daily censored by a knucklehead called Clive Hayden, who opined today that The Fall and The Flood should be taught in science class. Is that the best you can do?

    Please summarize in your own words what's wrong with the E. coli experiments, or link to a primary scientific source.

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  176. Tom Gilson:
    "What if "God did it" is true? Would it not then be an explanation?"

    It's idiotic as theology, because it would trivialize the very concept of God. Maybe in your heart that's what you want?

    But to truly witness it, you'd have to chuck the rhetoric and have the courage to delve into the KIND of complexity that real, working scientists find throughout biology. I don't see anyone on the ID side with that much faith and courage.

    Are you the exception? Stephen Meyer, I'm sure, saw it and decided it was safer to lie to his audience instead.

    "I'm not suggesting it's an exhaustive explanation, or that believing "God did it" ought to remove or reduce any person's curiosity over more proximate explanations. I don't think there's any evidence in social science that it functions that way among believers."

    There are mountains of evidence showing that everyone who proposes that for biology quits working at the bench or in the field, even among those that used to do so.

    Pastor Neal says:
    "It has been shown to highly improbable and mathematically impossible to account for its exaggerated claims."

    Really? So show us the mathematical proof that it is impossible. Also show us a primary source for these alleged claims, not hearsay.

    "Simply using a scientific term does not automatically raise it to the level of science."

    And why are you using the term "mathematically" when we all know that you will never offer a bit of math?

    "As for ID and positive research, see here:
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2010/06/intelligent_design_proponents_1036291.html#more"

    Pastor Neal, there's no research there, just rhetoric. Do you realize the extent to which you are projecting?

    "Troy, I am quite prepared to discuss your e coli example but wanted to check with you if you are offering up this as your best example of support for universal common descent or do you have something better?"

    I don't believe you for an instant. Besides, why should Troy be limited to a single, best example? Is that the way you think science works?

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  177. What if the "God did it" explanation predicts that there will be things about the Universe that can't be explained in naturalistic terms? And why does an explanation have to predict something?

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  178. "And why does an explanation have to predict something?"

    It only does if it purports to be science.

    There are plenty of testable ID hypotheses (i.e., that make empirical predictions) that one could formulate, but the only case of an IDer (Jonathan Wells) advancing one was a laughable flop. It flopped for two reasons: it wasn't even consistent with the extant data, and someone else accidentally tested it in the process of doing something far more interesting. Wells, of course, couldn't be bothered to test it.

    It therefore probably won't happen again. Rhetoric carries less risk.

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  179. Fil -


    Because God is so interested in making balls hang in midair and bushes not burn just to have fun with us.


    I am not the one claiming such things have ever happened at all...

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  180. I am not the one claiming such things have ever happened at all...

    Yet I find it interesting that although the miracles of the bible were not commonplace, your example of the ball dropping is, as if miracles would be performed by God for trivial things that are of no significance other than 'to have fun with us.'

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  181. @Michael. Hi,

    The different pieces of work concerning E.coli are pretty much unrelated.
    The citrate metabolism arose due to a novel mutation.
    The lactose metabolism is due to a pre-existing feedback loop.
    The first example is of novel change. The second is not 'front loading', it is switching on and off different genes under different conditions, a process that happens in many pathways within cells. In this case the concentration of glucose or lactose in the extracellular matrix around e.coli alters the pattern of gene expression within the cell.

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  182. Fil -


    Yet I find it interesting that although the miracles of the bible were not commonplace, your example of the ball dropping is, as if miracles would be performed by God for trivial things that are of no significance other than 'to have fun with us.'


    My understanding is that they may be, they may not be. Miracles may be trivial or grand, undeniable or barely noticable. There are no limits on miracles - in scale, importance, or anything else. That's kinda the point. They can do ANYTHING. That's what makes them unfalsifiable.

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  183. Michael Behe made some predictions based on ID about drug resistance that requires a number of mutations. And he said that ID predicts that malaria won't be able to find a way around the resistance that sickle cell disease gives people.

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  184. And the fossil record might very well resemble more what ID predicts if each species was a separate creation than if species evolved into other species. Punctuated equilibrium was developed to explain why the fossil record, for the most part does not show what evolution predicts.

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  185. natschuster said...

    Michael Behe made some predictions based on ID about drug resistance that requires a number of mutations.


    And he was proven dead wrong. In fact, Behe's misunderstanding of basic biology and basic probability theory was so atrociously bad it made him a laughingstock in the both the scientific and mathematics communities.

    And he said that ID predicts that malaria won't be able to find a way around the resistance that sickle cell disease gives people.

    That 'prediction' wasn't based on any ID work. It was a general statement made from data already known from evolutionary biology about how the sickled shape of blood cells prevents the malaria carrying plasmodium from spreading. Behe might as well have claimed "ID predicts it will get darker at after the sun sets".

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  186. Tom Gilson: What if "God did it" is true? Would it not then be an explanation?

    Perhaps, but not a scientific explanation.

    Neal Tedford: Why does, "trust us, Natural Selection did it" qualify as science?

    It doesn't. In order to qualify as science, the claim has to entail specific and distinguishing empirical predictions.

    Neal Tedford: It has been shown to highly improbable and mathematically impossible to account for its exaggerated claims.

    No, that's not true. The only ones convinced by such proofs are those within the isolated ID community. They have no influence in the mathematical or scientific communities.

    Neal Tedford: As for ID and positive research ...

    The article doesn't seem to have any positive evidence. It's about a so-called false positive.

    Neal Tedford: But the Universal Common Descent story is a fairy tale exaggeration.

    Common Descent clearly applies to many taxa, such as vertebrates. Universal Common Descent has been a question since Darwin hypothesized "one or a few" original forms.

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  187. Nat wrote:
    "Michael Behe made some predictions based on ID about drug resistance that requires a number of mutations."

    No, he offered conclusions based on his quote mining of a review. Big difference. He's afraid to offer a hypothesis that makes real empirical predictions.

    Think about it, Nat—Behe claims that the people working on this don't understand it. He's got his own lab. Yet he doesn't work in his lab to help all the people who are dying from malaria when according to him, the experts have it all wrong.

    That's just plain evil.

    "And he said that ID predicts that malaria won't be able to find a way around the resistance that sickle cell disease gives people."

    He says lots of stuff, but he doesn't do anything to back it up with data.

    Nat, you're missing something really huge here. A real scientific hypothesis makes predictions that everyone agrees upon BEFORE they see or produce the data. IOW, it's not about PEOPLE making predictions.

    Can you at least wrap your mind around that basic concept?

    "And the fossil record might very well resemble more what ID predicts if each species was a separate creation than if species evolved into other species."

    Big Creationist Lie, Nat. Species don't really "evolve into other species," they really split into subpopulations that cannot interbreed. So it's really about one species evolving into two (or more) species.

    "Punctuated equilibrium was developed to explain why the fossil record, for the most part does not show what evolution predicts."

    Not even close. Do you have a thought in your head that's not preprocessed creationist pablum?

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  188. What Behe said was that ID should guide research. Since malarial parasites won't evolve resistance that requires a lot of mutations, research should focus on certain drugs.


    So what I should have said was that species come from other species.

    And I always understood punctuated equilibrium to be an expalantion for the reason that fossils show up fully formed in the fossil record without any evidence that they evolved form another species. The other evolutionary explanation is that the fossil record is incomplete.

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  189. And Behe wrote that malaria has had thousnads of yeears to find a way around sickel cell, but it hasn't. This is what we would expect from ID, not from evolution. Why doesn't this qualify as a prediction?

    And he did address his critics who pointed out that there seemed to be a new protein bonding site in the HIV virus.

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  190. Well, this is quite a thread. I'm not sure what Hunter's objection to my article was, he doesn't seem to disagree with my statements about creationists, he just seems to be saying "evolutionists do these [presumably bad?] things too!"

    I would disagree that this is true as a general matter -- evolution as a science relies on no religious assumptions not also used throughout science, including many sciences Hunter and other creationists completely accept. It is true that some popularizers and creationism-rebutters argue against creationism by taking the *creationists'* assumptions about God's actions and showing evidence that doesn't comport with these ideas. This is a legitimate activity as long as those ideas are in circulation; but they are not a necessary part of the argument for evolution. But, if you don't like such assumptions, you can also declare that you have no idea how God would do things, and then note that "God did it but we can say nothing about how/why/when/etc." is completely worthless as an explanatory hypothesis, whereas evolutionary hypotheses have provoked and survived all kinds of research and tests, and made many successful predictions. And that's why evolution is science, and "God did it" ain't.

    But my paper wasn't about evolutionists, it was about creationists, and I'm gratified to see apparent agreement from the creationists about my summary of what the real issues are.

    For example, this thread is a particularly strong confirmation of one of my summary points:

    "The definition of creationism that focuses on divine intervention is the fairest and most accurate representation of not only the historical meaning of the term, but also predominant present meaning. Most importantly, the focus on divine intervention best captures what people have been and are still fighting over."

    Cheers, Nick

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  191. Hi Cornellius,

    More Darwinian nonsense revealed in the following article in livescience:

    http://www.livescience.com/animals/crocodiles-surf-currents-100607.html

    But I know how the Darwinian mindset works. "Lets just continue mounting a contradictory pile of crap on our shoulders and given enough time it will eventually sort itself out in our favor". And thats how science works!

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  192. nat wrote:
    "What Behe said was that ID should guide research."

    But Behe hasn't done any research in 15 years.

    "Since malarial parasites won't evolve resistance that requires a lot of mutations, research should focus on certain drugs."

    So why isn't Behe doing anything about it, Nat?

    "So what I should have said was that species come from other species."

    Yes.

    "And I always understood punctuated equilibrium to be an expalantion for the reason that fossils show up fully formed in the fossil record without any evidence that they evolved form another species."

    Your understanding is wrong.

    "The other evolutionary explanation is that the fossil record is incomplete."

    That's simply a fact, not some "evolutionary explanation." There used to be millions and millions of passenger pigeons. Has anyone ever found a fossilized one?

    "And Behe wrote that malaria has had thousnads of yeears to find a way around sickel cell, but it hasn't."

    That would be a fact.

    "This is what we would expect from ID, not from evolution."

    That would be a lie. Why would evolution not be filled with dead ends, Nat? What proportion of species that we know once existed are still around?

    "Why doesn't this qualify as a prediction?"

    Because it's a lie after the fact, not a hypothesis. Real scientists use hypotheses to predict what they haven't seen yet. Behe lacks both the courage and faith to do anything of the sort.

    "And he did address his critics who pointed out that there seemed to be a new protein bonding site in the HIV virus."

    It didn't "seem" to be, Behe was simply wrong and only admitted it after he took a beating from a graduate student. Did he correct his book?

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  193. "What Behe said was that ID should guide research. Since malarial parasites won't evolve resistance that requires a lot of mutations, research should focus on certain drugs."

    Goodness, have you switched sides? That would be the EVOLUTIONARY prediction! Drugs that would require many mutations, and particularly mutations incompatible with retaining function, to evolve resistance to are desired. In fact, directed evolution is used to probe probable evolutionary pathways of resistance, and thwart them by creating drugs that resistance is harder to evolve against.*

    Of course, a designer isn't constrained by evolutionary contingency. We can't design a drug a supernatural power can't overcome. I suppose if the designer, and not evolution, is responsible for malarial drug resistance, we should give up. Did malaria evolve drug resistance, or is this designed?

    "And Behe wrote that malaria has had thousnads of yeears to find a way around sickel cell, but it hasn't. This is what we would expect from ID, not from evolution. Why doesn't this qualify as a prediction?"

    Because it is an observation, not a prediction. Additionally, persons bearing the sickle cell allele are not immune, but suffer less when infected, and are more likely to survive and reproduce. I'm not sure what you then mean by 'find a way around it.' The 'goal' of malaria is to reproduce, not to kill. Less-virulent pathogens often are more successful than deadly ones--transmission by a living carrier, or in this case, a living reservoir for vector transmission might be beneficial.

    *Predicting the emergence of antibiotic resistance by directed evolution and structural analysis

    Nature Structural Biology 8, 238 - 242 (2001)
    doi:10.1038/84981

    "Directed evolution can be a powerful tool to predict antibiotic resistance. Resistance involves the accumulation of mutations beneficial to the pathogen while maintaining residue interactions and core packing that are critical for preserving function. The constraint of maintaining stability, while increasing activity, drastically reduces the number of possible mutational combination pathways. ... Our results demonstrate that directed evolution coupled with structural analysis can be used to predict future mutations that lead to increased antibiotic resistance."

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  194. computerist29-

    Are you joking?

    You post an empirical study of animal behavior as evidence against evolution?

    "...tagged 27 adult seawater crocodiles with sonar transmitters, employing 20 underwater receivers deployed along a 39-mile-long stretch of the river (63 km) to track the reptiles' every move for more than 12 months."

    Wow....

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  195. natschuster said...

    And Behe wrote that malaria has had thousnads of yeears to find a way around sickel cell, but it hasn't. This is what we would expect from ID, not from evolution. Why doesn't this qualify as a prediction?


    Where is Behe's evidence that evolution says malaria must 'find a way around' sickle cell? Vague negative 'predictions' aren't worth spit. Behe could just have well said "ID predicts giraffes won't evolve to 100' high while ToE does. Both are equally stupid and unsupported by reality.

    Behe is an egotistical clown who wrote a popular press book to make money off those who already have the religious leaning to believe ID. He hasn't done or published one bit of actual scientific research even remotely connected to ID, despite all his blustering rhetoric. That's just one of the many reasons he's a laughingstock of the scientific community.

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  196. Behe's point is that it ewould take too much time for the malarial parasite to find a way around sickle cell disease the way it did around chlorquinine. That is because of the number of mutations involved. This is consistant with his math. His whole point is that mutations happen at a certain rate. This puts a limit on how evolution can produce adaptations.

    And he explained how the new protein binding site in HIV doesn't really contradict his point.

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  197. natschuster said...

    Behe's point is that it ewould take too much time for the malarial parasite to find a way around sickle cell disease the way it did around chlorquinine. That is because of the number of mutations involved.


    and that supports ID exactly...how?

    This is consistant with his math. His whole point is that mutations happen at a certain rate. This puts a limit on how evolution can produce adaptations.

    Sorry, but the simple fact is Behe butchered the math and came up with some ridiculous and totally unsupported numbers.

    He's a laughingstock in the scientific community for very good reasons.

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  198. "Behe's point is that it ewould take too much time for the malarial parasite to find a way around…"

    The parasites don't "find their way around" anything. They are selected for reproduction, not harming their hosts. That's what evolutionary theory predicts.

    "That is because of the number of mutations involved."

    You don't even understand Behe's thesis, Nat. He falsely claimed that the mutations would have had to occur simultaneously, which was idiotic.

    "This is consistant with his math."

    He hasn't done anything, including math. He pulled a figure out of context from a review—he's can't even be bothered to read the primary literature. He admitted that under oath, too.

    "His whole point is that mutations happen at a certain rate."

    Then he doesn't have a point, because we can easily measure the rate.

    "This puts a limit on how evolution can produce adaptations."

    Yeah, so? Evolution is limited in ways that an omnipotent being wouldn't be, but everything we see is consistent with the observed mutation rate, despite Behe's ability to fool you and take your money. That's why "God Did It" is preposterous theologically.

    Answer the simple question, Nat: if Behe's so convinced that the malaria experts are wrong, why isn't he DOING ANY RESEARCH?

    Why is Behe letting all those children die if he believes that he has the answer that the experts don't have?

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  199. "And he [Behe] explained how the new protein binding site in HIV doesn't really contradict his point."

    Then why did he put the false claim in his book to support his point, Nat?

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