Sunday, July 11, 2010

John Horgan and Evolution’s Anti Intellectualism

At Scientific American John Horgan has provided a helpful reminder of Karl Popper’s skepticism of evolutionary theory and why it doesn’t matter. The great philosopher found evolution to be “almost a tautology” and “not a testable scientific theory but a metaphysical research program.” He was browbeaten by evolutionists into a forced retraction but in fact he remained a skeptic as evidenced when Horgan interviewed him in 1992. “One ought to look for alternatives!” Popper exclaimed to Horgan, banging his kitchen table.

Popper’s call for alternatives may sound reminiscent of evolutionists themselves, but it is altogether different. One of the most common rebuttals evolutionists make when confronted with science is “so what’s your alternative?”

That question is the barcode on a long history of religious claims regarding origins. Open the box and you’ll find thinkers from Leibniz and Kant in the Enlightenment days to Jerry Coyne and Ken Miller these days pronouncing metaphysical truths that mandate a strictly naturalistic origins narrative. Darwin and his theory were, at bottom, all about what god would and wouldn’t do. And he wouldn’t create this world, that was for certain.

So when evolutionists ask “so what’s your alternative?” it is implicit that god must not be the answer. That answer is dismissed out of hand, for it has long since been falsified. The answer must be strictly naturalistic. Horgan makes this abundantly clear:

The philosopher Daniel Dennett once called the theory of evolution by natural selection "the single best idea anyone has ever had." I'm inclined to agree. But Darwinism sticks in the craw of some really smart people. I don't mean intelligent-designers (aka IDiots) and other religious ignorami but knowledgeable scientists and scholars.

If you think biology was designed, you’re one of the religious ignorami—an IDiot. And why is that? Because you have violated the religious mandates of evolutionary thought. Evolution is an anti intellectual, cowardly religious movement that propagates lies about science. Don’t expect intelligence to emerge from it.

118 comments:

  1. So when evolutionists ask “so what’s your alternative?” it is implicit that god must not be the answer.

    How can it be cowardly and religious to ask for an alternative theory?

    Of course God can't be an answer to scientifiic question. That's a non-negotiable ground rule of science.

    Given that rule, what is stopping anyone from coming up with an alternative that doesn't involve God?

    I would like to see such an alternative. Intelligent design has failed miserably to qualify.

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  2. A brief history of this thread.

    Cornelius readsScientific American and finds another reminder that mainstream journalists do not take IDers seriously. John Horgan's blog article mentions ID only in passing and in a derogatory way. Cornelius decides to write a blog entry about that. This is followed by 400 comments on nested hierarchies.

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  3. Cornelius Hunter: The great philosopher found evolution to be “almost a tautology” and “not a testable scientific theory but a metaphysical research program.”

    The phrase “almost a tautology” is very odd, especially for a philosopher. Popper was referring to natural selection expressed in terms of "survival of the fittest." Natural selection is not a tautology, but occurs when heritable differences in organisms causes differential reproductive potential. Because the mechanics of population genetics are fairly well understood, natural selection is often taken to be the correlation between heritable differences and reproductive success.

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  4. Actually Theism is the only answer that makes sense:

    Materialism compared to Theism within the scientific method:
    http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=dc8z67wz_5fwz42dg9

    Is Intelligent Design Science? - Stephen Meyer - Video
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2010/07/is_intelligent_design_science036521.html

    Intelligent Design - The Anthropic Hypothesis
    http://lettherebelight-77.blogspot.com/2009/10/intelligent-design-anthropic-hypothesis_19.html

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  5. Strange to lead with Popper, then call for the inclusion of God in science. Even stranger to say "it is implicit that god must not be the answer. That answer is dismissed out of hand, for it has long since been falsified."

    Of course, the reason god is not the scientific answer is not that god is falsified, but that god is non-falsifiable, and hypotheses invoking the supernatural are not science.

    Popper himself concludes the inclusion of theism in biology "was worse than an open admission of failure, for it created the impression that an ultimate explanation had been reached"
    Popper, Karl. 1976. Unended Quest: An Intellectual Autobiography p. 172.

    It is also a profound misreading of Popper to say he was critiquing evolution as a whole. He readily accepted common descent, and saw it as falsifiable. Initially, he rejected natural selection as a testable hypothesis. Later, he realized it was directly testable due to advanced in technique and understanding. Had he been writing today, he might turn to advanced sequencing techniques that trace changes in evolution as driven by natural selection on the genetic/chemical level.

    Popper:
    "All scientific theories are conjectures, even those that have successfully passed many severe and varied tests. The Mendelian underpinning of modern Darwinism has been well tested, and so has the theory of evolution which says that all terrestrial life has evolved from a few primitive unicellular organisms, possibly even from one single organism.

    However, Darwin's own most important contribution to the theory of evolution, his theory of natural selection, is difficult to test. There are some tests, even some experimental tests; and in some cases, such as the famous phenomenon known as 'industrial melanism', we can observe natural selection happening under our very eyes, as it were. Nevertheless, really severe tests of the theory of natural selection are hard to come by, much more so than tests of otherwise comparable theories in physics or chemistry."

    Popper wasn't beaten into submission. He just came to realize new data and techniques allowed the experimental testing of natural selection as a falsifiable hypothesis.

    "Nevertheless, I have changed my mind about the testability and logical status of the theory of natural selection; and I am glad to have an opportunity to make a recantation."
    Miller, David. 1985. Popper Selections

    So I guess you must argue against the exclusion of god from science. Why is it in courtrooms, geology class, and weather prediction, we are perfectly alright with methodological naturalism? Why no protest to consider the demons that could have committed the crime and planted the evidence, why no consideration of God in earthquakes and hurricanes? Where are the cries that the judges in courtrooms and meteorologists on the nightly news is a horrible cowardly atheist for not considering supernatural alternatives?

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  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  7. Science could care less if the answer is a Theistic one or not. To refuse to let Darwinism be falsified simply because a Theistic answer is not even allowed to be considered is the height of hypocrisy!

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  8. Sorry, theistic answers do not provide a causal explanation with testable entailments.

    That's why they are not admissible in the Court of Science. It's a jurisdictional point that you can always appeal to a higher court.

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  9. Actually David Theistic answers do provide causal explanations (specifically Genetic Entropy) and can be tested against materialistic answers. I might add that Darwinian evolution has no foundation to science proper to be discerned:

    Materialism compared to Theism within the scientific method:
    http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=dc8z67wz_5fwz42dg9

    Stephen Meyer gives a good summary of the circular argument Darwinists use here:

    Is Intelligent Design Science? - Stephen Meyer - Video
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2010/07/is_intelligent_design_science036521.html

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  10. ba77 wrote:
    "To refuse to let Darwinism be falsified simply because a Theistic answer is not even allowed to be considered is the height of hypocrisy!"

    Don't you and gpuccio falsify Darwinism every day over at UD?

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  11. And don't you deny the obvious everyday Smokey

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  12. We scientist stand thoroughly by this „hypocrisy“. Science has been far to successful to give it up.

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  13. Me:
    "Don't you and gpuccio falsify Darwinism every day over at UD?"

    bornagain77 said...
    And don't you deny the obvious everyday Smokey"

    Pardon me? Am I denying the obvious by asking if you and gpuccio falsify Darwinism?

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  14. Materialism is a complete failure according to the "science" you think (imagine) you are protecting. For you to try define the pseudo-scientific idea of materialistic Darwinism within science itself is a severely twisted view of how science operates. If materialists would let "science" do its job then Darwinism would rightly be regulated to the trash heap of history!

    Materialism compared to Theism within the scientific method:
    http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=dc8z67wz_5fwz42dg9

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  15. ba77 wrote:
    "Materialism is a complete failure according to the "science" you think (imagine) you are protecting."

    How am I protecting anything by simply asking if you and gpuccio falsify Darwinism every day?

    "For you to try define the pseudo-scientific idea of materialistic Darwinism within science itself is a severely twisted view of how science operates."

    How am I defining anything by simply asking if you and gpuccio falsify Darwinism every day?

    "If materialists would let "science" do its job then Darwinism would rightly be regulated to the trash heap of history!"

    Don't you and gpuccio falsify Darwinism every day over at UD?

    If that's not what you think you are doing, what do you think you're doing?

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  16. This blog is wonderful for laughs. I must thank you. What you have stated does nothing to prove that evolution is a religious movement.

    Evolution merely describes part of nature. The fact that that part of nature is important to many people does not make evolution a religion. Consider some attributes of religion and how evolution compares:
    Religions explain ultimate reality. Evolution stops with the development of life (it does not even include the origins of life).
    Religions describe the place and role of humans within ultimate reality. Evolution describes only our biological background relative to present and recent human environments.
    Religions almost always include reverence for and/or belief in a supernatural power or powers. Evolution does not.
    Religions have a social structure built around their beliefs. Although science as a whole has a social structure, no such structure is particular to evolutionary biologists, and one does not have to participate in that structure to be a scientist.
    Religions impose moral prescriptions on their members. Evolution does not. Evolution has been used (and misused) as a basis for morals and values by some people, such as Thomas Henry Huxley, Herbert Spencer, and E. O. Wilson (Ruse 2000), but their view, although based on evolution, is not the science of evolution; it goes beyond that.
    Religions include rituals and sacraments. With the possible exception of college graduation ceremonies, there is nothing comparable in evolutionary studies.
    Religious ideas are highly static; they change primarily by splitting off new religions. Ideas in evolutionary biology change rapidly as new evidence is found.

    (http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA610.html)

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  17. My comment was addressed to second opinion Smokey. Sorry to jump to premature conclusions on your exact position.

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  18. Zachriel:

    " The phrase “almost a tautology” is very odd "

    Yes, that is odd. I don't know why Popper would qualify that with "almost," given that evolutionists unquestionably ascribe everything to evolution, regardless.

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  19. RobertC"

    ===
    Of course, the reason god is not the scientific answer is not that god is falsified, but that god is non-falsifiable, and hypotheses invoking the supernatural are not science.
    ===

    More anti intellectualism and mis reading -- no one said *god* was falsified. (Leibniz, Kant, Darwin, Coyne, Miller and the rest use theistic arguments, but you already knew that)

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  20. ba77 wrote:
    "My comment was addressed to second opinion Smokey. Sorry to jump to premature conclusions on your exact position."

    Sorry for the confusion. So what is your answer to my question?

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  21. ChrisEB:

    "This blog is wonderful for laughs. I must thank you. What you have stated does nothing to prove that evolution is a religious movement."

    I see, so evolution is based on religious claims, but it actually isn't?


    "Evolution merely describes part of nature."

    False.


    "The fact that that part of nature is important to many people does not make evolution a religion."

    Who said it did? (Canard)


    "Consider some attributes of religion and how evolution compares:
    Religions explain ultimate reality. Evolution stops with the development of life (it does not even include the origins of life)."

    False and irrelevant.


    "Religions describe the place and role of humans within ultimate reality. Evolution describes only our biological background relative to present and recent human environments."

    False.


    "Religions almost always include reverence for and/or belief in a supernatural power or powers. Evolution does not."

    False.


    "Religions have a social structure built around their beliefs. Although science as a whole has a social structure, no such structure is particular to evolutionary biologists, and one does not have to participate in that structure to be a scientist."

    False and irrelevant.


    "Religions impose moral prescriptions on their members. Evolution does not."

    False and irrelevant.


    "Evolution has been used (and misused) as a basis for morals and values by some people, such as Thomas Henry Huxley, Herbert Spencer, and E. O. Wilson (Ruse 2000), but their view, although based on evolution, is not the science of evolution; it goes beyond that."

    Irrelevant.


    "Religious ideas are highly static; they change primarily by splitting off new religions. Ideas in evolutionary biology change rapidly as new evidence is found."

    False.


    I think you just broke the hypocrisy record.

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  22. No. But why do you ask? Do you think we do so everyday? If not, why? If so, why? Just what is your exact position on Intelligent Design? Do you believe purely material processes produced the staggering level of complexity/information, we find in molecular biology, that defies sufficient description even though no one has demonstrated material processes generating any complex functional information in the first place? Or not?

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  23. ChrisEB said...

    This blog is wonderful for laughs. I must thank you. What you have stated does nothing to prove that evolution is a religious movement.

    Evolution merely describes part of nature. The fact that that part of nature is important to many people does not make evolution a religion. Consider some attributes of religion and how evolution compares:


    I have asked Dr. Hunter for his definitions of "religion" and 'religious" numerous times now, but he refuses to answer. He's basically admitted that he uses a non-standard definition to score cheap rhetorical points with the IDC mouthbreathers, and apparently it has its desired effect. Not particularly honest, but CH doesn't care. He's got his inane little "evolution is a religion" catchphrase, and he's going to spout it no matter how lacking in integrity it makes him look.

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  24. Cornelius Hunter said...

    I think you just broke the hypocrisy record.


    Don't worry CH, he's nowhere near the lofty scores you set here with every new OP.

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  25. Materialism compared to Theism within the scientific method:
    http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=dc8z67wz_5fwz42dg9


    That link to the ravings of an unidentified lunatic isn't helpful to your case.

    You might consider engaging counsel.

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  26. ba77 wrote:
    "No. But why do you ask?"

    I'm wondering why you do what you do.

    "Just what is your exact position on Intelligent Design?"

    I'm wondering why it's more about blogging than doing real science in the lab or in the field.

    "Do you believe…"

    Science is about the evidence, not belief.

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  27. David do you mind providing the formal proof that materialism is true in the first place so as to disqualify yourself from being considered a "raving lunatic", with no foundation in reality, in the first place?

    The Failure Of Local Realism - Materialism - Alain Aspect - video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4744145

    So David since you will be unable to provide a formal proof that materialism is even true in the first place, in fact it is shown to be false, should you not seek counsel?

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  28. Smokey the level of "belief" of evolutionists, in the ability of purely material processes to produce unmatched levels of information, though no one has ever seen material processes produce any information, is a level of faith that would make suicide bombers blush in embarrassment.

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  29. Okay, I'll try. Evolutionists often talk about how an omnipotent designer would not create things in a certain way. But talking about how an omnipotent desinger would or would not do anything is a theological discussion, not a scientific one.

    And evolutionists often say that using an omnipoten creator is cheating, since it is not falsifiable, or testable. This is an asserttion abotu how we arrive at ultimate truths. But again, this is not a scientific arguement, but rather a metaphysical one.

    Now, IMHO, if a religious question is allowed as evidence of evolution, e.g. why would God create life using a nested hierarchy when He didn't have to, then religious answeres should be allowed as well. So if we can find a good theological explanation for why God would use a nested hierarchy, then that is no loneger evidence for evolution.

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  30. David do you mind providing the formal proof that materialism is true in the first place so as to disqualify yourself from being considered a "raving lunatic", with no foundation in reality, in the first place?
    .....
    So David since you will be unable to provide a formal proof that materialism is even true in the first place, in fact it is shown to be false, should you not seek counsel?


    That's a handy way of pursuing an argument, ask a question and then answer it yourself.

    You have devised an unbeatable rhetorical strategy, bornagain77.

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  31. natschuster said...

    Okay, I'll try. Evolutionists often talk about how an omnipotent designer would not create things in a certain way. But talking about how an omnipotent desinger would or would not do anything is a theological discussion, not a scientific one.


    That's why IDC isn't science.

    And evolutionists often say that using an omnipoten creator is cheating, since it is not falsifiable, or testable. This is an asserttion abotu how we arrive at ultimate truths. But again, this is not a scientific arguement, but rather a metaphysical one.

    That's why IDC isn't science.

    Now, IMHO, if a religious question is allowed as evidence of evolution, e.g. why would God create life using a nested hierarchy when He didn't have to, then religious answeres should be allowed as well. So if we can find a good theological explanation for why God would use a nested hierarchy, then that is no loneger evidence for evolution.

    A theological explanation is fine for theology class, but won't work in the real, empirical world. If you want common descent replaced in science classes, you need to find a physical, empirically testable explanation for the matching twin nested hierarchies of life better than the extremely well supported one of common descent

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  32. Well David, you are welcome to try to reestablish hidden variables if you want so as to reestablish materialism as somewhat tenable. A fruitless endeavor, but you are free to believe it can be done despite being wrong scientifically in doing so. Myself, if someone showed me that my entire basis for reasoning was wrong, as I have done for you with materialism, I would hope I would be humble enough to admit it and move on

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  33. natschuster said...

    Now, IMHO, if a religious question is allowed as evidence of evolution, e.g. why would God create life using a nested hierarchy when He didn't have to,


    That argument is not used as positive evidence for evolution. It's used to point out the logical weakness of the IDC position.

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  34. BA77:

    "Smokey the level of "belief" of evolutionists, in the ability of purely material processes to produce unmatched levels of information, though no one has ever seen material processes produce any information, is a level of faith that would make suicide bombers blush in embarrassment. "

    No one has ever seen material processes produce any information? Either you are using some very odd definitions of material processes and/or information, or you are quite insane. Just a moment ago, I could have sworn I saw material raindrops give me some information about the expected wetness of my clothes.

    BA77, nobody takes you seriously. Your bizarre posts at UD with dozens of links to irrelevant videos and creationist websites are notorious. Even Clive Hayden, an extremely stupid person, has difficulties with your "contributions". Enough said.

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  35. ba77 wrote:
    "Smokey the level of "belief" of evolutionists, in the ability of purely material processes to produce unmatched levels of information, though no one has ever seen material processes produce any information, is a level of faith that would make suicide bombers blush in embarrassment."

    J Mol Evol (2003) 56:162–168
    DOI: 10.1007/s00239-002-2389-y
    Can an Arbitrary Sequence Evolve Towards Acquiring a Biological Function? Yuuki Hayashi,1 Hiroshi Sakata,1 Yoshihide Makino,1 Itaru Urabe,1 Tetsuya Yomo1,2,3,4

    I'll bet that you'll quote-mine the abstract of that paper, though, right!

    You still didn't answer my question. How come?

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  36. The Capabilities of Chaos and Complexity: David L. Abel - Null Hypothesis For Information Generation - 2009
    To focus the scientific community’s attention on its own tendencies toward overzealous metaphysical imagination bordering on “wish-fulfillment,” we propose the following readily falsifiable null hypothesis, and invite rigorous experimental attempts to falsify it: "Physicodynamics cannot spontaneously traverse The Cybernetic Cut: physicodynamics alone cannot organize itself into formally functional systems requiring algorithmic optimization, computational halting, and circuit integration." A single exception of non trivial, unaided spontaneous optimization of formal function by truly natural process would falsify this null hypothesis.
    http://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/10/1/247/pdf
    Can We Falsify Any Of The Following Null Hypothesis (For Information Generation)
    1) Mathematical Logic
    2) Algorithmic Optimization
    3) Cybernetic Programming
    4) Computational Halting
    5) Integrated Circuits
    6) Organization (e.g. homeostatic optimization far from equilibrium)
    7) Material Symbol Systems (e.g. genetics)
    8) Any Goal Oriented bona fide system
    9) Language
    10) Formal function of any kind
    11) Utilitarian work
    http://mdpi.com/1422-0067/10/1/247/ag

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  37. bornagain77,

    You are talking complete nonsense.

    Hidden variables and local realism have nothing to do with materialism or any other philosophical movement. They are theoretical constructs in quantum mechanics, no less and no more. Violation of Bell's inequalities just means that we cannot associate some unknown classical variables with the uncertainty of a quantum measurement. (And if we tried to then they would have unphysical properties like traveling faster than the speed of light, which would violate causality.) It does not prove the existence of God and does not disprove materialism.

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  38. To see if functional information is generated over parent type you must pass this test:

    For a broad outline of the "Fitness test", required to be passed to show a violation of the principle of Genetic Entropy, please see the following video and articles:

    Is Antibiotic Resistance evidence for evolution? - "The Fitness Test" - video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3995248

    Testing the Biological Fitness of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria - 2008
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/aid/v2/n1/darwin-at-drugstore

    Thank Goodness the NCSE Is Wrong: Fitness Costs Are Important to Evolutionary Microbiology
    Excerpt: it (an antibiotic resistant bacterium) reproduces slower than it did before it was changed. This effect is widely recognized, and is called the fitness cost of antibiotic resistance. It is the existence of these costs and other examples of the limits of evolution that call into question the neo-Darwinian story of macroevolution.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2010/03/thank_goodness_the_ncse_is_wro.html


    List Of Degraded Molecular Abilities Of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria:
    http://www.trueorigin.org/bacteria01.asp

    This "fitness test" fairly conclusively demonstrates "optimal information" was originally encoded within a "parent" bacteria/bacterium by God, and has not been added to by any "teleological" methods in the beneficial adaptations of the sub-species of bacteria. Thus the inference to Genetic Entropy, i.e. that God has not specifically moved within nature in a teleological manner, to gradually increase the functional information of a genome, still holds as true for the principle of Genetic Entropy.

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  39. Oleg, since hidden variables are falsified as a "cause" for the "spooky action at a distance", what is the entity that is the true "cause"?

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  40. RC: Of course, the reason god is not the scientific answer is not that god is falsified, but that god is non-falsifiable, and hypotheses invoking the supernatural are not science.
    ===

    CH: More anti intellectualism and mis reading -- no one said *god* was falsified.

    +++++++

    Original post: ...it is implicit that god must not be the answer. That answer is dismissed out of hand, for it has long since been falsified.

    My point stands. The rejection is not because of a falsification, but because "that answer" is not scientific, not falsifiable.

    +++++++++++
    (Leibniz, Kant, Darwin, Coyne, Miller and the rest use theistic arguments, but you already knew that)

    Or perhaps counter-theistic arguments. No key data from modern evolutionary biology depends on a theistic interpretation. That evolutionary biologists get drawn into theistic debates only reflects the overwhelming religiousness of society, and that some persons seek to insert religion into science.

    I see you won't even venture a defense of your mis-reading of Popper, or explain why methodological naturalism is ok in many cases, but not biology.

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  41. But let's really look for some evolution,,, by golly!!!!

    Michael Behe, The Edge of Evolution, pg. 162 Swine Flu, Viruses, and the Edge of Evolution
    "Indeed, the work on malaria and AIDS demonstrates that after all possible unintelligent processes in the cell--both ones we've discovered so far and ones we haven't--at best extremely limited benefit, since no such process was able to do much of anything. It's critical to notice that no artificial limitations were placed on the kinds of mutations or processes the microorganisms could undergo in nature. Nothing--neither point mutation, deletion, insertion, gene duplication, transposition, genome duplication, self-organization nor any other process yet undiscovered--was of much use." http://www.evolutionnews.org/2009/05/swine_flu_viruses_and_the_edge.html


    This following recent study solidly confirms the severe limit for evolution found by Dr Behe:

    Reductive Evolution Can Prevent Populations from Taking Simple Adaptive Paths to High Fitness - Ann K. Gauger, Stephanie Ebnet, Pamela F. Fahey, and Ralph Seelke – 2010
    Excerpt: In experimental evolution, the best way to permit various evolutionary alternatives, and assess their relative likelihood, is to avoid conditions that rule them out. Our experiments, like others (e.g. [40]), used populations of cells growing slowly under limiting nutrient conditions, thereby allowing a number of paths to be taken to higher fitness. We engineered the cells to have a two-step adaptive path to high fitness, but they were not limited to that option. Cells could reduce expression of the non-functional trpAE49V,D60N allele in a variety of ways, or they could acquire a weakly functional tryptophan synthase subunit by a single site reversion to trpAD60N, bringing them within one step of full reversion (Figure 6). When all of these possibilities are left open by the experimental design, the populations consistently take paths that reduce expression of trpAE49V,D60N, making the path to new (restored) function virtually inaccessible. This demonstrates that the cost of expressing genes that provide weak new functions is a significant constraint on the emergence of new functions. In particular, populations with multiple adaptive paths open to them may be much less likely to take an adaptive path to high fitness if that path requires over-expression.
    http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/index.php/main/article/view/BIO-C.2010.2/BIO-C.2010.2

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  42. bornagain77,

    There is no spooky action at a distance.

    If you prepare two particles, A and B, in an entangled state and separate them, a measurement performed on particle A has no immediate physical impact on particle B. No experiment performed near A can detect any change resultant from the measurement performed on B. None. The change occurs in our description of the particle state written in terms of their wave function. But the wave function is not a physical observable, so no action at a distance takes place.

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  43. oleg and the evidence says,

    Signal Travels Farther and Faster Than Light
    Excerpt: It was as if some ghostly bridge across the city of Geneva, Switzerland, had permitted two photons of light nearly seven miles apart to respond simultaneously to a stimulus applied to just one of them. ,,,,,,,, In essence, Gisin sent pairs of photons in opposite directions to villages north and south of Geneva along optical fibers of the kind used to transmit telephone calls. Reaching the ends of these fibers, the two photons were forced to make random choices between alternative, equally possible pathways.

    Since there was no way for the photons to communicate with each other, "classical" physics would predict that their independent choices would bear no relationship to each other. But when the paths of the two photons were properly adjusted and the results compared, the independent decisions by the paired photons always matched, even though there was no physical way for them to communicate with each other.
    http://www.cebaf.gov/news/internet/1997/spooky.html

    So again instead of denying the obvious please tell me what entity connected the particles

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  44. BA,

    That quote from Behe is completely illogical. Is he denying HIV drug resistance is from point mutations due to poor fidelity of reverse transcriptase? Is he denying new flu strains emerge-antigenic drift and shift are also observed and understood at the molecular level!

    Hundreds of such changes have been sequenced from patients, studied, and recapitulated in-vitro by directed evolution. I literally cannot fathom why anyone with half a brain and a knowledge of the literature would say such a thing. By the way, if these aren't natural processes, is God driving HIV drug resistance, malarial resistance, and new flu types?

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  45. bornagain77,

    No, a physical signal does not travel faster than the speed of light. If you read two thirds of the way down the article you will see this:

    Whatever the nature of the connection between entangled particles may be, nearly all physicists agree that it cannot be used to transmit messages faster than the speed of light. All it can do is assure that a random choice by one entangled particle is instantly echoed by its distant partner. This is not the same thing as transmitting information, the experts say, and therefore it does not violate relativity theory.

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  46. There is nothing spooky about the correlations revealed by simultaneous measurements of photon pairs: they were prepared in a state that ensures such correlations.

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  47. Robert, he was looking specifically for the generation of functional complexity, not variation within a already existing kind:

    What does the recent hard evidence say about novel protein-protein binding site generation?

    "The likelihood of developing two binding sites in a protein complex would be the square of of the probability of developing one: a double CCC (chloroquine complexity cluster), 10^20 times 10^20, which is 10^40. There have likely been fewer than 10^40 cells in the entire world in the past 4 billion years, so the odds are against a single event of this variety (just 2 binding sites being generated by accident) in the history of life. It is biologically unreasonable." Michael J. Behe PhD. (from page 146 of his book "Edge of Evolution")


    Nature Paper,, Finds Darwinian Processes Lacking - Michael Behe - Oct. 2009
    Excerpt: Now, thanks to the work of Bridgham et al (2009), even such apparently minor switches in structure and function (of a protein to its supposed ancestral form) are shown to be quite problematic. It seems Darwinian processes can’t manage to do even as much as I had thought. (which was 1 in 10^40 for just 2 binding sites)
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2009/10/nature_paper_finally_reaches_t.html

    ReplyDelete
  48. oleg, instead of echoing the space-time constraint of us ever communicating information instantaneously in this universe, which I already knew about, please tell me the exact entity which is instantaneously entangling the photons now that hidden variables are refuted.

    ReplyDelete
  49. As for the second BA link:

    Here's why this paper ID is touting it is actually great proof of evolution in action:

    Basically, the authors take a enzyme for Tryptophan (an amino acid) production, with two amino acids in the enzyme mutated to make it non-functional, and query whether, and by what path, it can revert to producing tryptophan.

    This is an extension of some classic work where the reversion of a single mutation were studied. In this case, E. coli revert to tryptophan production in the singly mutated case (without mutagenesis) at about 1 per 10^10 clonal colonies.

    This study doesn't look at a large enough populations, to get a double reversion--in general, they're well below what would be expected for a single reversion, so (especially in concert with selective antibiotic) the cells are dead without tryptophan. Ok. Asking too much for the screen.

    In the presence of a little tryptophan, to keep the cells alive, the cells grow, but never re-evolve tryptophan metabolism. Why? The gross experimental over-expression of the
    tryptophan synthesizing enzymes is a huge cost for the bacteria. They're spending a ton of energy on it. We see this in recombinant protein
    expression-you can turn bacteria into protein factories, but they're dead by the
    end. So the cells get by fine with the (relatively abundant) tryptophan provided the media, but the synthetic system forces them to make the enzymes as 15%+ of their total protein. Sick cells.

    So, instead, of re-evolving the synthetic machinery, they kick the genes, or mutations inactivating expression are fixed. They just turn it off.

    By the authors own data, the inactivating mutations have better fitness in these media conditions, even with the wild type tryptophan enzymes. Again, this is because they over-expressed the target to toxic levels.

    And since the bacteria kick expression, to avoid toxicity, they don't evolve tryptophan synthesis.

    Its just an inappropriate query for re-evolution of tryptophan synthesis. Dead cells don't evolve. And healthy cells will shut off over-expression that costs them precious resources.

    So, evolution worked. The bacteria dodged a worse cost to fitness by shutting down the production of 3 enzymes, and used the tryptophan supplied in the media to survive. In the no tryptophan supplied case, insufficient sampling size (by
    all known estimates of E. coli mutation rates) means the double mutant had no chance to emerge.

    Going forward, I'd be interested in the results with more mild over-expression, more limited tryptophan, and larger numbers screened.

    Now you might say, this is evidence evolution can work by losing something. Can it gain information?

    Of course evolution can produce gain-of-function changes. Directed evolution experiments, evo-devo, and direct observation of lab and natural evolution show this.

    ReplyDelete
  50. bornagain77,

    There is no need for any entity to instantaneously entangle the photons. They were already entangled at the beginning of the experiment, then taken apart, still entangled. When the measurement is done on them, they are still entangled.

    ReplyDelete
  51. BA,

    Ahh, another Behe quote (related, who knows). When in doubt keep it moving, and keep dodging, I suppose.

    Behe's inability to calculate, and his forgetfulness of neutral mutations have been dealt with extensively elsewhere:

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/loom/2009/10/15/the-blind-locksmith-continued-an-update-from-joe-thornton/

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/06/it_just_gets_worse_for_behe.php

    And again, if HIV resistance, Malarial resistance, etc., are not natural, is the designer inflicting us with them?

    ReplyDelete
  52. oleg, I guess you need to write Aspect, and tell him of your stunning "no need to explain it" hypothesis.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Robert page 3 evolution in solid culture

    ReplyDelete
  54. Explain what, bornagain77?

    ReplyDelete
  55. Robert, Behe's inability to calculate? that is funny since he corrected these guys in their calculations (which really didn't even matter for the point being made by the experiment)

    Waiting Longer for Two Mutations, Part 5 - Michael Behe
    Excerpt: the appearance of a particular (beneficial) double mutation in humans would have an expected time of appearance of 216 million years,
    http://behe.uncommondescent.com/2009/03/waiting-longer-for-two-mutations-part-5/

    In fact Dr. Sternberg used the Darwinists numbers to make his point,,,

    Robert Maybe you would care to write Dr. Sternberg and tell him where he went wrong on his calculations:

    Whale Evolution Vs. Population Genetics - Richard Sternberg PhD. in Evolutionary Biology - video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4165203

    ReplyDelete
  56. ba77,

    Don't you and gpuccio falsify Darwinism every day over at UD?

    If you don't think you are falsifying Darwinism, what exactly are you doing?

    ReplyDelete
  57. I noticed you mentioned drift Robert, but i think if you are interested in being honest you need to chalk drift up to Genetic Entropy:

    The consequences of genetic drift for bacterial genome complexity - Howard Ochman - 2009
    Excerpt: The increased availability of sequenced bacterial genomes allows application of an alternative estimator of drift, the genome-wide ratio of replacement to silent substitutions in protein-coding sequences. This ratio, which reflects the action of purifying selection across the entire genome, shows a strong inverse relationship with genome size, indicating that drift promotes genome reduction in bacteria.
    http://genome.cshlp.org/content/early/2009/06/05/gr.091785.109

    ReplyDelete
  58. Here is a better quote from Behe on his "calculation:

    Waiting Longer for Two Mutations - Michael J. Behe
    Excerpt: Citing malaria literature sources (White 2004) I had noted that the de novo appearance of chloroquine resistance in Plasmodium falciparum was an event of probability of 1 in 10^20. I then wrote that ‘‘for humans to achieve a mutation like this by chance, we would have to wait 100 million times 10 million years’’ (Behe 2007) (because that is the extrapolated time that it would take to produce 10^20 humans). Durrett and Schmidt (2008, p. 1507) retort that my number ‘‘is 5 million times larger than the calculation we have just given’’ using their model (which nonetheless "using their model" gives a prohibitively long waiting time of 216 million years). Their criticism compares apples to oranges. My figure of 10^20 is an empirical statistic from the literature; it is not, as their calculation is, a theoretical estimate from a population genetics model.
    http://www.discovery.org/a/9461

    ReplyDelete
  59. RobertC:

    ===
    My point stands. The rejection is not because of a falsification, but because "that answer" is not scientific, not falsifiable.
    ===

    That's a distinction without a difference. Make up whatever metaphysics you want, the point is your evolution is not a fact because of science, but non science.


    ===
    Or perhaps counter-theistic arguments.
    ===

    Use whatever label you want, they're not scientific.


    ===
    No key data from modern evolutionary biology depends on a theistic interpretation.
    ===

    Of course they do.


    ===
    That evolutionary biologists get drawn into theistic debates only reflects the overwhelming religiousness of society, and that some persons seek to insert religion into science.
    ===

    They did not become "drawn into theistic debates" they started them. Your memory seems to be failing.


    ===
    I see you won't even venture a defense of your mis-reading of Popper, or explain why methodological naturalism is ok in many cases, but not biology.
    ===

    This has been explained many times, but the evolutionist continues with his endless tail chasing. There's nothing wrong with MN, in biology or any other area of science. What is wrong is evolutionist's truth claims.

    ReplyDelete
  60. BA-

    The authors have answered that here:

    http://www.genetics.org/cgi/content/full/181/2/821

    Old news. Not winning converts.

    ReplyDelete
  61. ===
    RC: My point stands. The rejection is not because of a falsification, but because "that answer" is not scientific, not falsifiable.
    ===

    CH: That's a distinction without a difference. Make up whatever metaphysics you want, the point is your evolution is not a fact because of science, but non science.
    ++++++

    I take it you at least went back and read what you wrote. What a hoot that you denied anyone said what you had written in the original post.

    Now you argue that saying god is a falsified hypothesis of evolution (as you did in the original post) is identical to saying god is a non-falsifiable hypothesis not considered by science. Is it not evident these are not the same? I suppose if you are arguing for the reintroduction of supernatural thought into religion, your judgment as to the difference might be clouded.

    Of course, Popper has warned us on this subject:
    the inclusion of theism in biology "was worse than an open admission of failure, for it created the impression that an ultimate explanation had been reached"
    Popper, Karl. 1976. Unended Quest: An Intellectual Autobiography p. 172.

    And where do we stop when we overthrow methodological naturalism? Shall we have a "demon did it" defense in courtrooms? Will we have naturalist and theist weathermen? Again, why are we so comfortable with methodological naturalism in so many cases, with the exception of movements like yours that thrash against biology? Are theist biologists liars or insane?

    ===
    RC: No key data from modern evolutionary biology depends on a theistic interpretation.
    ===

    CH: Of course they do.

    +++++

    No analysis? No single example? Because there isn't one. My favorite data for evolution is direct observation and empirical genomic sequencing. We can observe novel functions evolve in directed evolution, artificial, and natural selection. Algorithms can cluster data into nested hierarchies, finding common ancestry the best of all tested hypotheses.

    How is it that theists of diverse creed (present company excluded) and atheists can agree on this?

    ReplyDelete
  62. RobertC:

    ===
    Now you argue that saying god is a falsified hypothesis of evolution (as you did in the original post) is identical to saying god is a non-falsifiable hypothesis not considered by science. Is it not evident these are not the same?
    ===

    I said "distinction without a difference," not "identical." My point, which I thought I made obvious, is that such arguments are metaphysical, whatever distinctions they otherwise have.

    ReplyDelete
  63. RobertC:

    ===
    Of course, Popper has warned us on this subject:
    the inclusion of theism in biology "was worse than an open admission of failure, for it created the impression that an ultimate explanation had been reached"
    Popper, Karl. 1976. Unended Quest: An Intellectual Autobiography p. 172.
    ===

    Exactly my point. I suggest you take heed of Popper's warning.

    ReplyDelete
  64. RobertC:


    Me: "There's nothing wrong with MN, in biology or any other area of science."

    Robert: "And where do we stop when we overthrow methodological naturalism?"

    And so it goes, the tail-chasing never ends. Now do you see why people have given up on evolutionists?

    ReplyDelete
  65. RobertC:


    ########
    ===
    RC: No key data from modern evolutionary biology depends on a theistic interpretation.
    ===

    CH: Of course they do.

    +++++

    No analysis? No single example?
    ########

    Yeah, no analysis, no example, just dozens of blogs and a few books. Does anyone actually take these people seriously?


    ===
    How is it that theists of diverse creed (present company excluded) and atheists can agree on this?
    ===

    Because they hold the same religious views about god, regardless of whether they are theists or atheists.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Chasing my own tail, or throwing darts at a moving target?

    We started in the original post with "“so what’s your alternative?” it is implicit that god must not be the answer. That answer is dismissed out of hand, for it has long since been falsified.""

    Which you denied, then admitted saying.

    Despite your umbrage at the exclusion of god from the realm of science, you now state "There's nothing wrong with MN, in biology or any other area of science" when pressed. Seems contradictory to me. Is the supernatural now part of methodological naturalism? I'm all in favor of conducting and teaching science in a methodologically natural manner. I'm not sure your peers at the DI or Biola would agree. Perhaps there is a fancy new definition of MN in circles I;m not privileged to.

    "My point, which I thought I made obvious, is that such arguments are metaphysical, whatever distinctions they otherwise have."

    Ok. So you define the philosophy of science as metaphysical. What's the impact then? What is your point? Metaphysics, therefore religion? Therefore fundamentalism in the classroom? What bogus equivocation are you reaching for? I don't concede, by the way that the practice of science as empirical and experimental is in any way metaphysical.

    And I repeat: the data for evolution is direct observation and empirical genomic sequencing. We can observe novel functions evolve in directed evolution, artificial, and natural selection. Algorithms can cluster data into nested hierarchies, finding common ancestry the best of all tested hypotheses.

    How is it that theists of diverse creed (present company excluded) and atheists can agree on this?

    ReplyDelete
  67. ===
    How is it that theists of diverse creed (present company excluded) and atheists can agree on this?
    ===

    Because they hold the same religious views about god, regardless of whether they are theists or atheists.

    ++++++++++++

    Hah!!! You've got to be kidding!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  68. "Yeah, no analysis, no example, just dozens of blogs and a few books. Does anyone actually take these people seriously?"

    A few blogs and books vs. the scientific literature. Who should be taken seriously?

    And back to the "distinction without a difference." The meaning of the options is very different. One says god is rejected (falsified) by science*, the other says god is not considered-not part of the realm of science and scientific investigation. In impact, the former dictates atheism, while the latter allows theism. Since many scientists and mainstream churches find theistic evolution appealing, I would say we are dealing with the latter.

    *"..it is implicit that god must not be the answer. That answer is dismissed out of hand, for it has long since been falsified"

    ReplyDelete
  69. RobertC:

    "A few blogs and books vs. the scientific literature. Who should be taken seriously?"

    First the evolutionists says you have no analysis or examples. When that claim is shown to be false he comes back with the "well so what, it's all meaningless anyway. After all we have all this scientific literature." Ah, yes, the scientific literature. You mean the scientific literature with the unscientific premise that evolution is a fact?



    "One says god is rejected (falsified) by science*, the other says god is not considered-not part of the realm of science and scientific investigation. In impact, the former dictates atheism,"

    False. Gnosticism and deism are not atheism, in spite of the many such accusations.

    "while the latter allows theism. Since many scientists and mainstream churches find theistic evolution appealing, I would say we are dealing with the latter."

    Fine, you're still outside of science.

    ReplyDelete
  70. @RobertC:

    You don't get CHhs argument. He claims the evolutionary biologist are heretics. They are not doing real science like all the other scientist. He argues they use some special metaphysical premises that the other scientist don't use. This fallacy actually has a name: It's called the No true Scotsman fallacy.

    The brighter ones of his disciples like Michael, Joe G and bornagain77 are willing to go the extra step and to dismiss methodological naturalism altogether. Just to turn around a second later and use the result of this evil naturalism to support their ID claims.

    ReplyDelete
  71. second op:

    "He claims the evolutionary biologist are heretics."

    No, I'm merely pointing out that evolution is a metaphysical / religious theory.

    As for MN, see this:

    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/01/evolutions-kobayashi-maru-scenario.html

    ReplyDelete
  72. @ Cornelius Hunter:

    Sorry, but I can’t resist to ask:
    What about the thousands of evolutionary biologist? Surely the few publicly visible ones are “religious” according to you. But what about the rest? Does it never occur to them that evolution is a religious theory? Are they just accepting it? When does the evolutionary biologist become “stupid”? Already in evolutionary biology 101 or when he gets his degree? Or during his PhD?
    In the next two questions I’m interested in your definition of metaphysical.
    If evolutionary biologist would pretend that the Designer could be anything else but God, would saying that “the Designer would not design it that way” still be a metaphysical argument? Technically?
    If I would argue that it is not designed because the designer did not mix and match, would that still be a metaphysical argument? After all ID is based on the analogy of human designers designing things and human designers are known to mix and match.

    ReplyDelete
  73. No, I'm merely pointing out that evolution is a metaphysical / religious theory.

    And yet it has empirically testable entailments. Are there any other metaphysical / religious theories that exhibit such behavior?

    (Why propose quasi-equivalence between metaphysical and religious? Aren't they distinct concepts?)

    ReplyDelete
  74. RC: "while the latter allows theism. Since many scientists and mainstream churches find theistic evolution appealing, I would say we are dealing with the latter."

    CH: Fine, you're still outside of science.

    Of course this last statement was. I was talking about the impact of science on religious belief! Goodness, I know this lazy argument is easy to make, but a scientific theory having religious implications that authors discuss in the pop culture is not the same as a scientific theory being based in religion! The discussion of science is not the practice of science.

    I'm glad you see the distinction now. The theism agnosticism, atheism, allowed for by evolution is outside of science, and not a consideration of it. This is how it can exist, and not contradict with the religion of individuals. Of course, you must try and try to bottle it back up with science to play this game.

    I still don't understand:

    1) What kind of methodological naturalism considers god?

    2) What the impact of theory and philosophy of science being metaphysical is, other than the false equivocation that metaphysics=religion (therefore lets teach fundamentalism in science?!?).

    3) Any modern evidence, outside of pop literature and literature discussing evolution and society or ID and religion, that uses a theological argument as the primary data or tested hypothesis.

    ReplyDelete
  75. RobertC: "How is it that theists of diverse creed (present company excluded) and atheists can agree on this? "

    Cornelius: "Because they hold the same religious views about god, regardless of whether they are theists or atheists."

    What!? How and the world could a theist and an atheist hold the same views about God CH? Can you tell us your definition of 1) "Theist" 2) "Atheist" and 3) "same"

    In other words, you're saying that a Christian like myself has the same view of God as Jerry Coyne because we agree on one aspect of biology?

    CH, you've said some pretty nonsensical things, but this might be close to taking the cake. This give Joe a run for his money.

    ReplyDelete
  76. Cornelius Hunter said...

    No, I'm merely pointing out that evolution is a metaphysical / religious theory.


    Only by your made-up-on-the-spot inane definitions of metaphysical and religious.

    Do you realize the rest of the world doesn't use your goofy pet definitions? Of course you do, but that doesn't stop you from continuing the disingenuous blustering rhetoric.

    ReplyDelete
  77. RobertC: "How is it that theists of diverse creed (present company excluded) and atheists can agree on this? "

    Cornelius: "Because they hold the same religious views about god, regardless of whether they are theists or atheists."

    This is freaking hilarious.

    ReplyDelete
  78. So, I went back to the "Kobayashi Maru" blog:

    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/01/evolutions-kobayashi-maru-scenario.html

    There you say:

    "Naturalism is now unscientific according to the evolutionist's own criterion of testability. ....
    The mandating of methodological naturalism is bad for the philosophy of science and, not surprisingly, bad for science itself."

    Here you say: "There's nothing wrong with MN, in biology or any other area of science. What is wrong is evolutionist's truth claims."

    Hmm.....

    ReplyDelete
  79. "Evolution is an anti intellectual, cowardly religious movement that propagates lies about science. Don’t expect intelligence to emerge from it."

    Absolutely right.
    The problem is also that evolutionist worshipers are all suffering from acute cognitive dissonance. In the words of Hoyle, they are !mentally ill".

    They cannot reason clearly on the subject because they have put their minds on hold and their minds are shut like a steel trap on materialism and cannot escape.

    I will also point to a certain reference given long ago that pointed out another thing that happens to those who a priori exclude all non materialist explanations: "the god of this world has blinded the minds of those who refuse to believe"

    Visibly true in these types of forums where the Darwinians inevitably demonstrate their own inability to see anything other than their own flawed arguments

    ReplyDelete
  80. Gary-

    Its a wonderful testament to your side that you skip over the debate, fail to respond in any meaningful way, and go right to personal abuse. Well done.

    "Their minds are shut like a steel trap on materialism and cannot escape."

    So you reject materialism? In biology, or all sciences? Presented with a defense where a criminal claims innocence, base on a case that forensic evidence was planted by demons to make him appear guilty, what do you do?

    Do you adhere to methodological naturalism, and convict? Or do you conclude there is no way to prove angels and demons didn't supernaturally plant evidence such to rule out all reasonable doubt, or do you join those naturalists who "a priori exclude all non materialist explanations" from their science, and convict based on forensic data?

    Why is it we are so ok with naturalism in the courtroom, the weather, in describing disease, earthquakes and hurricanes, but so opposed to it in biology?

    And which of Hunter's two takes on naturalism do you support:

    "Naturalism is now unscientific according to the evolutionist's own criterion of testability. ....
    The mandating of methodological naturalism is bad for the philosophy of science and, not surprisingly, bad for science itself."



    "There's nothing wrong with MN, in biology or any other area of science. What is wrong is evolutionist's truth claims."

    ReplyDelete
  81. second opinion:


    "What about the thousands of evolutionary biologist?"

    Do I need to explain there is no safety in numbers? What about the thousands of republicans? What about the thousands of blood-letters? The thousands of geocentrists...


    "Surely the few publicly visible ones are “religious” according to you. But what about the rest? Does it never occur to them that evolution is a religious theory? "

    You underestimate religion. People make religious claims while denying doing anything of the sort. Just read the evolution literature.



    ===
    If evolutionary biologist would pretend that the Designer could be anything else but God, would saying that “the Designer would not design it that way” still be a metaphysical argument? Technically?
    ===

    Well "metaphysics" refers to the thinking, assumptions, presuppositions, and so forth, that occur before the science begins. It provides the ground rules that the science must follow. So whether evolutionists make claims about god or about some more vague, hypothetical, designer(s) or creator(s), I don't see how such claims are scientific.


    ===
    If I would argue that it is not designed because the designer did not mix and match, would that still be a metaphysical argument? After all ID is based on the analogy of human designers designing things and human designers are known to mix and match.
    ===

    btw, that's not a good example since mixing and matching is in fact found in biology. But to your question, the answer, I think, is mixed. First, sure, if you compare to human design practices and conclude something in biology doesn't follow known practices, then it would seem you are within science, and not using metaphysical assumptions. But the metaphysics enters when you go further, and claim "it is not designed." As usual, rationalism seeks and concludes with certainty where the science supports no such claim.

    ReplyDelete
  82. "A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable." That is my thesis and my signature. The only issue has always been the question. What WAS the mechanism by which evolution took place? Since Darwinism can explain NOTHING beyond the elaboration of varieties and subspecies, it is without foundation as a working hypothesis and should have been abandoned long ago. All present evidence pleads that progressive evolution is a phenomenon of the distant past, a process no longer in operation. My weblog is dedicated to that proposition which I am prepared to defend anywhere I am allowed to hold forth.

    Ufortunately, like my predecessors on whose science mine is firmly based, my science is also not allowed to exist by the silent fiat of the Darwinian establishment led by such atheist zealots as Clinton Richard Dawkins, Paul Zachary Myers and Wesley Royce Elsberry.

    Those who pretend they have no adversaries are not scientists. The scientist is always anxious to defend his convictions on his ground or that of his adversary. I have been denied that opportunity by a ruling community of scholars who regard their proposal as settled science immune to criticism, a luxury no idea has ever enjoyed as the history of science has repeatedly demonstrated.

    I presume I will be allowed to speak here.

    jadavison.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
  83. I presume I will be allowed to speak here.

    I certainly hope so, John. Do try and remain civil though, won't you. And remember Dr. Elsberry is not an atheist but a practising Lutheran.

    ReplyDelete
  84. Well "metaphysics" refers to the thinking, assumptions, presuppositions, and so forth, that occur before the science begins. It provides the ground rules that the science must follow.

    Is that what you've been talking about all along, Dr Hunter, when you use the term "metaphysics"?

    If so, would you flesh that list out a bit with specific examples that pertain to evolutionary theory, including the "and so forth"?

    And it would be especially helpful if you would indicate for each example of a metaphysical ground rule of evolutionary theory, where it differs from a comparable ground rule underlying a science such as chemistry.

    ReplyDelete
  85. "And remember Dr. Elsberry is not an atheist but a practising Lutheran."

    Ahh, but Dr. Hunter has already informed us that theists and atheists hold the same religious views, if they believe in evolution....

    ReplyDelete
  86. Alan Fox

    I have always remained civil until I was treated with contempt at which time I responded in kind. How I am received here will determine how I behave here.

    As for Elsberry, while he may claim to be religious, there is no room for a God of any description in the Darwinian paradigm which he supports. Darwinism IS atheism and those who claim otherwise are wrong - dead wrong.

    ReplyDelete
  87. jadavidson said: "Darwinism IS atheism and those who claim otherwise are wrong - dead wrong."

    I'm sorry sir, but you are simply mistaken on this point, or you are using non-standard definitions of either 'Darwinism' or 'atheism'. There are many who are both 'real' Christians, and 'real' evolutionists; I myself am one of those. I believe that Jesus was the messiah, son of God and that he was crucified and raised from the dead and that we are all here by the intention of God and through his providence; yet I also accept that the theory of evolution as commonly understood as natural selection acting on heritable variation is a fairly accurate description of the process that God used to bring us about.

    I don't consider Genesis 1 to be a literal account of how God created the universe, but that doesn't make me less of a Christian than not considering Psalms 93:1 (among others) to be a literal account of whether the earth moves relative to the sun or not.

    ReplyDelete
  88. I am on record, with others long before me, that Natural Selection is very real, but that its role always WAS and IS still to PREVENT evolution. The most intensive artificial selection has failed to create a new member even of the same Genus. The proper conclusion to be drawn from this experimental result is that Natural Selection WAS not and IS not the mechanism for speciation or the formation of any other taxonomic category. To continue to support the Darwinian fairy tale is to deny the testimony of the fossil record and the experimental laboratory. Those who insist on supporting this hoax cannot properly be regarded as scientists.

    I am not here to attempt to convert others as I learned long ago that is a hopeless venture. I am here to present my thesis and to defend it with hard cold facts rather than with empty rhetoric. Those who choose not to engage me here or elsewhere are no longer my concern. I am supremely confident of my science and that of the distinguished predecessors on which it is firmly based. I am a scientist not a debater.

    There is no role for a personal God in science and there never has been.

    "The main source of the present-day conflicts between the spheres of religion and science lies in the concept of a personal God"
    Albert Einstein

    jadavison.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
  89. jadavison: "I am here to present my thesis and to defend it with hard cold facts rather than with empty rhetoric."

    Very interesting. What would be the primary mechanism of evolution then?

    ReplyDelete
  90. RobertC:

    "Ahh, but Dr. Hunter has already informed us that theists and atheists hold the same religious views"

    Please read:


    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2009/08/real-problem-with-atheism.html

    and

    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/03/sermon-from-pz-myers.html

    ReplyDelete
  91. David:

    ===
    Is that what you've been talking about all along, Dr Hunter, when you use the term "metaphysics"?
    ===

    Yes.

    ===
    If so, would you flesh that list out a bit with specific examples that pertain to evolutionary theory, including the "and so forth"?
    ===

    Please read:

    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2009/06/evolutions-religion-revealed.html

    ReplyDelete
  92. RobertC:

    "Hmm..... "

    Please read:

    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/05/question-for-barbara-forrest.html

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

    ReplyDelete
  93. Derek Childress,

    Visit my website and for starters read my paper - "A Prescribed Evoutionary Hypothesis" which you will find under "Evolutionary Works." Once you have digested that material, I will be happy to respond to specific questions. You can hardly expect me to repeat here that which is already freely available on my website and elsewhere.

    jadavison.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
  94. Thank you for your reply to my request for examples of metaphysical ground rules in evolutionary science, Dr Hunter.

    I’ve read your linked blog of 06/23/09 and I saw several examples where persons evaluated alternative hypotheses to explain one or another aspect of biological diversity and descent. In each comparison, the rejected hypothesis entailed separate creation.

    I am aware that separate creation is a religious position in our culture, deriving from beliefs in biblical inerrancy in all spheres, including natural science. Because of the popular acceptance of such religious beliefs about biological origins, and because those beliefs are contradicted by science, such comparisons need to be made in a variety of venues, including textbooks, classrooms, and occasionally even in scholarly works.

    But If it weren’t for the historical background of the argument for separate creation in our culture, the idea of separate creation would have no religious connotations. It would just be a logical possibility, and its explanatory worth would stand or fall in the light of the evidence. In either case, with or without religious motivation, separate creation doesn’t explain the data as well as evolution.

    There’s no metaphysics being conducted here; just normal scientific hypothesis testing.

    Your charge that the evolutionists were taking metaphysical positions seems to derive from a focus on an accidental property of the separate creation argument, its religious history in Western Europe. But to argue against a religious supposition on the basis of empirical evidence is not to employ a religious argument – it is to employ an empirical argument. And since religion is not equivalent to metaphysics, such argumentation is not in any sense metaphysical.

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  95. Cornelius-
    I'm not pleased your only response it to shoo me off towards old posts.

    I don't see how they explain:

    1) How methodological naturalism is both bad and good, depending on your mood.

    2) What kind of methodological naturalism considers god?

    3) What the impact of theory and philosophy of science being metaphysical (which remains undefined by you) is, other than the false equivocation that metaphysics=religion (therefore lets teach fundamentalism in science?!?).

    4) Any modern evidence, outside of pop literature and literature discussing evolution and society or ID and religion, that uses a theological argument as the primary data or tested hypothesis.

    5) How theism=atheism, except in a fundamentalist worldview, where everyone who doesn't share your limited beliefs gets lumped together.

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  96. David:

    "There’s no metaphysics being conducted here; just normal scientific hypothesis testing."

    OK, so can you now tell me how it is that evolution is a fact?

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  97. RobertC:

    " I'm not pleased your only response it to shoo me off towards old posts. "

    I provided those links because it seemed that you do not have a good understanding of the relationship between MN and realism and completeness. For instance,


    "1) How methodological naturalism is both bad and good, depending on your mood? "

    The reason I gave the links is because to answer this question I basically need to type in the same material here in this comment. What you should have learned in reading those posts is that MN if perfectly fine insofar as it goes, but given that you are adhering to MN, you then lose any guarantee of completeness or realism (take your pick). It is like the Heisenberg uncertainty principle where you can have low uncertainty in position or velocity, but not both. Here, if you mandate method, then you can have realism or completeness, but not both.

    If this doesn't make sense to you then I can try to explain more.

    If you do understand this, then hopefully you can see the answer to your question fairly easily. MN is good when the user realizes the above, and acknowledges the limitations (sacrificing either realism or completeness). MN is bad when the user tries to have his cake and eat it too, by claiming realism and completeness (as evolutionists often do).

    Make sense?

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  98. RobertC:

    "How theism=atheism, except in a fundamentalist worldview, where everyone who doesn't share your limited beliefs gets lumped together. "

    Theists such as F Collins, and atheists such as J Coyne, both argue that god would not create certain things we observe (eg, pseudogenes, shared errors, etc). They're using the same metaphysical argument. Make sense? It has nothing to do with my beliefs (which are not "limited").

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  99. Hi, Dr Hunter,

    I thought this thread had run its course, but I see that you've kept it alive. Thanks for your comment. In reply to my claim,

    "There’s no metaphysics being conducted here; just normal scientific hypothesis testing."

    You said:

    OK, so can you now tell me how it is that evolution is a fact?

    I think the argument is along the same lines that heliocentrism is a fact. It started out as an hypothesis, but has now been so well supported by observation that it's an accepted fact.

    This is all empirical science, not metaphysics.

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  100. David:

    "I think the argument is along the same lines that heliocentrism is a fact. It started out as an hypothesis, but has now been so well supported by observation that it's an accepted fact. This is all empirical science, not metaphysics. "

    But heliocentrism is broadly supported by the evidence, whereas it is uncontroversial that fundamental predictions of evolution have turned out wrong.

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  102. Sorry, Dr Hunter, but support by evidence and failure of predictions are separate issues. (But a nice try at evasion of the point.) Of course it is noncontroversial, except in fundamentalist circles, that evolution is broadly supported by the evidence. Read the scientific literature. It's empirical, not metaphysical.

    As it happens I've read your "fundamental predictions" and find that they are by and large not specific to evolutionary theory, but simply reflective of general biological thinking at various periods of history. Scientific predictions fall before new and better data all the time and in all of science's branches. This is not an embarrassment, but a badge of honor.

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  103. David:

    "support by evidence and failure of predictions are separate issues. ... Scientific predictions fall before new and better data all the time and in all of science's branches. This is not an embarrassment, but a badge of honor. "

    So false predictions don't matter?

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  104. Cornelius Hunter said...

    David:

    "support by evidence and failure of predictions are separate issues. ... Scientific predictions fall before new and better data all the time and in all of science's branches. This is not an embarrassment, but a badge of honor. "

    So false predictions don't matter?


    False strawman versions of predictions that have nothing to do with actual evolutionary research and discoveries certainly don't matter.

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  106. So false predictions don't matter?

    Give me an example of a false prediction and I'll evaluate whether it matters. Assuming that by "matters" you mean that it invalidates evolutionary theory or makes evolution a non-fact.

    Maybe then we'll see where the metaphysics comes in.

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  107. Cornelius said: "But heliocentrism is broadly supported by the evidence, whereas it is uncontroversial that fundamental predictions of evolution have turned out wrong."

    Cornelius, perhaps you're not aware that heliocentricity suffers from a monumental failed prediction: the absence of stellar parallax. Of course those crafty astronomers just changed their song and dance, (no doubt due to their metaphysical bias that the earth must revolve around the sun) claiming that the stars must just be too far away to be able to measure parallax. (how convenient!)

    Sure, there are pieces of evidence here and there that seem to be consistent with heliocentricity - all circumstantial when taken individually of course - But a scientific theory lives or dies by initial failed predictions, right?

    Right?

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  108. David:

    "Give me an example of a false prediction and I'll evaluate whether it matters. Assuming that by "matters" you mean that it invalidates evolutionary theory or makes evolution a non-fact."

    No, as I explain at www.darwinspredictions.com, it usually is not a matter of invalidating a theory. Usually theories can be rescued from false predictions. But the dogma with which evolution is held to be true, even after many fundamental predictions going false, indicates the theory is not vulnerable to the data, and that the claim that the theory is a fact is unsupported.

    So how is evolution a fact if fundamental predictions have been wrong?

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  109. Derick:

    "Cornelius, perhaps you're not aware that heliocentricity suffers from a monumental failed prediction: the absence of stellar parallax. "

    But heliocentrism wasn't a fact in the early 17th c., when stellar distances were less well understood and Newtonion physics had not yet arrived. So your example, rather than explaining how evolution can be a fact in spite of its many false predictions, just points out the problem.

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  110. So how is evolution a fact if fundamental predictions have been wrong?

    I guess it would depend on what one means by "fundamental." As persons like Zachriel keep insisting, Common Descent is a fundamental prediction of evolutionary theory. Ain't been falsified yet, to my knowledge, but you're welcome to make the argument.

    ...the theory is not vulnerable to the data...

    A mammal fossil in the Cambrian would do the trick.

    About those metaphysics...

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  111. But heliocentrism wasn't a fact in the early 17th c., when stellar distances were less well understood and Newtonion physics had not yet arrived.

    But evolution wasn’t a fact in 1880, when genetics was not understood and molecular biology had not yet arrived.

    So your argument, rather than explaining how evolution can’t be a fact in spite of all the consilient evidence for it, just fails.

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  112. Cornelius Hunter said...

    So how is evolution a fact if fundamental predictions have been wrong?


    Simple. The fundamental predictions of ToE have not been wrong. That list you cobbled together is full of ridiculously bad strawmen arguments, and the occasional example of where new data has cause a rethinking of some specific small detail of the overall process.

    Given your demonstrated lack of understanding of actual evolutionary theory and on the self-correcting nature of science in general, it's easy to see why you'd be so confused.

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  113. Me: "Cornelius, perhaps you're not aware that heliocentricity suffers from a monumental failed prediction: the absence of stellar parallax. "

    Cornelius: "But heliocentrism wasn't a fact in the early 17th c., when stellar distances were less well understood and Newtonion physics had not yet arrived. So your example, rather than explaining how evolution can be a fact in spite of its many false predictions, just points out the problem."

    Cornelius, could you elaborate? I'm not sure why you mean by 'just points out the problem'. The problem with what - the analogy, or of considering common descent a 'fact'?

    You're right - it's not a perfect analogy; stellar parallax was a fundamental prediction of heliocentricity, whereas no fundamental evolutionary prediction has been falsified, though they easily could have been. Lots of details change as new information is acquired, but accommodation of new facts is the sign of a healthy scientific model.

    And even though the lack of stellar parallax seemed to be a harsh blow to heliocentricity, today few people hold that failed prediction against the view, because the discrepancy was adequately explained. (well, to all but the most die-hard of scientific-concordists)

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  114. Derick:

    "no fundamental evolutionary prediction has been falsified"

    I didn't know that.

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