Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Web Weavers

Imagine if you called a car salesman, explained the type of car you wanted to buy, and he exclaimed he has exactly what you are looking for. Furthermore, the car is almost new, has only a few miles, and yet is priced at a mere ten thousand dollars! You and a friend hurry over to the car lot and with a big smile the salesman shows you a junker. You recognize the make as being at least thirty years old, and the car looks like it has at least 200,000 miles. The tires are worn bare, the body is rusted away, the seats are so worn down there are holes in the fabric, the paint is so faded that you can see bare metal in places, the rear window is smashed, the hood doesn’t close properly, and half the steering wheel is missing. “Wait, this beauty is only ten thousand dollars, and it only has a few miles …” exclaims the salesman as you and your friend walk away in disgust. "Incredible,” you complain to your friend, “that salesman misled us.”

Evolutionists say that evolution is a scientific fact. Evolutionists, who disagree on many things, come together on this basic point. There is no question, they insist, evolution is beyond any shadow of a doubt—it is a scientific fact every bit as much as gravity or the roundness of the earth is a scientific fact.

This is not a statement about evolution, it is a statement about our knowledge of evolution. And while people can disagree about the details of evolution, there is less room for disagreement when it comes to our knowledge. Particularly when it is said to be such a clear cut fact. As the leading evolutionist Ernst Mayr wrote:

It is very questionable whether the term “evolutionary theory” should be used any longer. That evolution has occurred and takes place all the time is a fact so overwhelmingly established that it has become irrational to call it a theory. [What Evolution Is, 264]

Strangely enough, nowhere in Mayr’s exhaustive volume does he prove this claim. Yes there is evidence for evolution, but there is also evidence the earth is flat. In fact there are substantial scientific problems with the theory of evolution. We can argue about its standing, but if ever there was a fact it is that evolutionists have nowhere shown why those problems don’t matter, and why evolution is such a no-brainer. This is not nit picking—from a scientific perspective evolution is nowhere near facthood.

So it is not surprising that evolutionists don’t actually deliver on their claim. And there simply is very little wiggle room. Their high claims about evolution and the comparisons with the shape of the earth and gravity (one evolutionist said it is far more certain than gravity) don’t allow for much caveat.

The evidence must be overwhelming. Certainly the explanation of the evidence and the reasoning must be well documented. There must be books and articles for all to understand this incredible finding.

But it is nowhere to be found. Evolutionists have been challenged about this strange claim ever since they began making it centuries ago. Yet they continue to insist on their problematic claim without backing it up. Such backup usually isn’t required because they typically issue their claims to non scientific audiences and students—those who are not in a position to see through the false claims.

If ever there was a false claim, this is it. The claim that evolution is a scientific fact simply is not true. Evolution itself may well be true, but we do not know it to be true with the kind of confidence and certainty evolutionists insist on. I do not know what the truth about evolution is, but I do know what our knowledge about evolution is.

When informed skeptics probe evolutionists about this false claim, it is typical for evolutionists to equivocate on evolution. They will say, for instance, that we observe viruses or bacteria adapting, so therefore evolution is a fact. But all the while, when evolutionists claim their idea is a fact, they have been referring to the origin of all the species. That is a very different claim than the mere adaptation of viruses or bacteria.

This common equivocation helps to expose the problem. If the fact of evolution was so obvious they would simply explain it (or provide the reference). Instead they equivocate.

But it doesn’t stop there. Evolutionists practice all kinds of logical excursions in their efforts to convince people of their dogma. One even more absurd tactic is to present evidence as ipso facto proof. It would be like pointing to the rising sun as proof (not evidence for) geocentrism. Here is how one textbook makes this absurd argument:

It is important not to miss the key point of the result you see illustrated in figure 17.3: evolution is an observation, not a conclusion. Because the dating of the samples is independent of what the samples are like, successive change through time is a data statement. While the statement that evolution is the result of natural selection is a theory advanced by Darwin, the statement that macroevolution has occurred is a factual observation.

In other words, the student is told that while the details of how the fossils evolved may be uncertain, the fossils themselves are a factual observation that macroevolution has occurred.

Many people do not understand the details of the scientific evidence, and how badly evolution fares. Likewise, they do not understand the extent to which evolutionists will go to cover up the science and propagate false claims. For scientists these falsehoods are obvious and disturbing, but non scientists often are unaware of how blatant is the problem.

This argument that the fossils are a factual observation of macroevolution, as exemplified by the quote above, helps to clarify the situation.

As in the case of the car salesman, there is no graceful exit. We cannot say that the car salesman made a mistake. Likewise, evolutionists are not making mistakes when they perpetrate these falsehoods.

And when you point this out to evolutionists, as I did here, they continue to defend the claim with more canards. One such canard is that the authors of the textbook are using a highly nuanced definition of macroevolution. Don’t we all understand that by “macroevolution” evolutionists such as the authors don’t actually mean evolution on a grand scale? Rather, they use the word to refer to the patterns that emerge from such evolution.

This is, of course, a distinction without a difference. It is another example of the web of falsehoods needed by evolutionists. Certainly the term macroevolution can entail the mechanisms required for and patterns that emerge from the process. But this doesn’t help matters.

The authors of the text are perfectly clear. The student is to understand that the fossil sequence is a factual observation that macroevolution has occurred, regardless of what combination of selection and other processes were involved. Here, for example, is how Mayr defines macroevolution:


Evolution above the species level; the evolution of higher taxa and the production of evolutionary novelties, such as new structures. [287]

And here is how Jerry Coyne, another leading evolutionist, defines macroevolution in his book Why Evolution is True:


“Major” evolutionary change, usually thought of as large changes in body form or the evolution of one type of plant or animal from another type. The change from our primate ancestor to modern humans, or from early reptiles to birds, would be considered macroevolution.

And here is how Mark Ridley defines macroevolution in his leading university textbook, Evolution:


Evolution on the grand scale: the term refers to events above the species level; the origin of a new higher group, such as the vertebrates, would be an example of a macroevolutionary event.

But why restrict ourselves to such luminaries as Mayr, Coyne and Ridley? Here is how the text authors themselves explain macroevolution to the student:


evolutionary change on a grand scale. Macroevolution is larger, more complex changes that result in the creation of new species and higher taxonomic groups.

A sequence of fossil species is not a factual observation that they are related via common descent. The sequence is not a factual observation of evolution on a grand scale. There is no question this is a false statement, and it is obviously false.

410 comments:

  1. CH does his clown-dance equivocation over the observed fact of evolution (morphological change over time) and the theory of evolution that explains the observations. Episode #2473.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I offered you the opportunity to be precise so that we would be understanding each other, but you didn't take it in this new post. Here's another chance for you:

    Well, let's hear what you actually think, then, Dr. Hunter.

    1. Do you think the rhinolike critters in the figure in your previous post share common ancestry?

    (a) yes
    (b) no


    2. Whether or not you personally believe in their common ancestry, would you consider the statement "Those creatures share common ancestry"

    (a) a reasonable scientific statement
    (b) an unreasonable scientific statement


    3. Regardless of your answers to #1 and #2, do you think this progression of similar fossil forms:

    (a) supports the idea that they share common ancestry

    (b) doesn't support the idea that they share common ancestry

    I'm being specific, because you are accusing people and introductory textbooks of outrageous lies and fraud. If you actually do accept the common ancestry of these fossils, or think that the idea is reasonable, then your objections boil down to the splitting of very fine hairs, at most. Which is a very long ways from lies and fraud. And even if you abandon the "lies" claim, how much value is there in hair-splitting the language of an introductory textbook that is probably mandated to be written at a 9th-grade reading level.

    If you don't accept these things, which you've given every impression you don't, then my reading of you is basically accurate.

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  3. I agree that a sequence of fossil species is not a factual observation that they are related via common descent. However, the sequence of fossils shown by the authors is a factual observation. Furthermore, it's an observation that has been made many times for other groups (e.g. horses, hominids, and whales). So the question remains, what is the best explanation for the appearance of these sequences? I'd like to hear Dr. Hunter's explanation.

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  4. Norm Olsen:

    I'd like to hear Dr. Hunter's explanation.

    A vain hope.

    Dr Hunter has said that it's unscientific to suggest explanations.

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  5. NickM:

    I'll respond here rather than in the previous thread.

    ===
    Well, let's hear what you actually think, then, Dr. Hunter.
    ===

    I've made my views abundantly clear.


    ===
    1. Do you think the rhinolike critters in the figure in your previous post share common ancestry?

    (a) yes
    (b) no
    ===

    "Do you think" is ambiguous. Let me repeat my position, which does not boil down to a simple yes or no answer to your question. Unlike evolutionists (and many creationists) who hold strong views on this, many people including myself do not. Unlike you I don't have a religious ax to grind and I don't have a metaphysical dog in this fight. Looking at the science, there is no question there are substantial problems with this hypothesis. The data certainly do not bode well for the hypothesis. Yes, there certainly is supporting evidence to consider, but given the preponderance of evidence (scientific that is), it certainly seems unlikely. And the fact that it is religiously motivated doesn't help. But then again perhaps the data didn't bode well for quantum mechanics or dark matter, at some point.


    ===
    2. Whether or not you personally believe in their common ancestry, would you consider the statement "Those creatures share common ancestry"

    (a) a reasonable scientific statement
    (b) an unreasonable scientific statement
    ===

    The statement "It is a fact that those creatures share common ancestry" is a non scientific, dogmatic, claim. The statement "Those creatures might share common ancestry" is a perfectly reasonable inquiry.



    ===
    3. Regardless of your answers to #1 and #2, do you think this progression of similar fossil forms:

    (a) supports the idea that they share common ancestry

    (b) doesn't support the idea that they share common ancestry
    ===

    (a)


    ===
    I'm being specific, because you are accusing people and introductory textbooks of outrageous lies and fraud.
    ===

    The claim that the fossils themselves are a factual observation that macroevolution has occurred is *obviously* false. The authors went out of their way to make the point in the sectoin entitled "The Evidence for Evolution" and the false claim passed the small army of reviewers. Now you and the others are defending it. Therefore the idea that this is a dumb mistake that somehow persisted is ruled out.




    ===
    If you actually do accept the common ancestry of these fossils, or think that the idea is reasonable, then your objections boil down to the splitting of very fine hairs, at most. Which is a very long ways from lies and fraud. And even if you abandon the "lies" claim, how much value is there in hair-splitting the language of an introductory textbook that is probably mandated to be written at a 9th-grade reading level.

    If you don't accept these things, which you've given every impression you don't, then my reading of you is basically accurate.
    ===

    And that, of course, is what it's all about for evolutionists. This isn't about truth, its about labelling those who don't agree with assumed and contrived motives to defend your personal belief system.

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  6. Cornelius wrote: Unlike you I don't have a religious ax to grind and I don't have a metaphysical dog in this fight.

    You teach at a bible college where the doctrinal statement specifically says no to common descent. And the Biola HR department states in no uncertain terms that "prospective and existing employees must affirm that their personal theological beliefs are in agreement with the Biola Doctrinal Statement."

    But no, you don't have an ax to grind. Of course not. Right.

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  7. Exactly, My Hunter.

    To knowingly make assertions based on known false reasoning is to lie. It is, in fact, worse than mere lying, for it is intellectual dishonesty, it is hypocrisy with respect to reason.

    Just as hypocrisy with respect to morality is a special from of lying, and is far worse than mere lying, so too is hypocrisy with respect to reason a special from of lying, and is far worse than mere lying.

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  8. CH says,
    Unlike you I don't have a religious ax to grind and I don't have a metaphysical dog in this fight.

    Cornelius, is in other words telling us that this'yer rust heap of a 20 year old jalopy with 200k miles is a almost-never-used second hand bargain.

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  9. CH wrote: And that, of course, is what it's all about for evolutionists. This isn't about truth, its about labelling those who don't agree with assumed and contrived motives to defend your personal belief system.

    Not for this "evolutionist". It's about figuring out how stuff works and where stuff came from and how things got to be the way they are, to put it crudely. I don't think that is an assumed or a contrived motive. I actually like to think that it's a simple and honest one.

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  10. Dr Hunter:

    The claim that the fossils themselves are a factual observation that macroevolution has occurred is *obviously* false.

    No, it’s true: The forms of those Perissodactyls changed with time, a factual observation [that confirms the hypothesis] that macroevolution in the rhinoceros lineage has occurred.

    If macroevolution occurred, then we should see such lineages.

    An hypothesis predicts data, and data confirm the hypothesis. That's called scientific explanation.

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  11. CH said:

    Unlike you I don't have a religious ax to grind and I don't have a metaphysical dog in this fight.

    This, of course, is incorrect. As a front man for the Discovery Institute, your dog is very much in evidence. And thanks to the wedge document, the ability of the DI to lie is well-known and clearly documented. The saintly aspect doesn't convince.

    Of course, the goal here is to throw enough negative hyperbole towards evolution to convince the casual reader that the ToE is a "theory in crisis" and (by implication) ID is a much stronger theory than it really is.

    However, the Mel Gibson-like tone of CH's latest rants suggests a heightened level of desperation. An interesting development.

    But carry on - I enjoy a well-designed shtick.

    ReplyDelete
  12. But you're going to get drek.

    ReplyDelete
  13. ===
    The statement "It is a fact that those creatures share common ancestry" is a non scientific, dogmatic, claim. The statement "Those creatures might share common ancestry" is a perfectly reasonable inquiry.
    ===

    CH: I think everyone on this board can agree that there exists a possibility that all mammals are related by common descent in precisely the same physical, sexual way as, say, Barack Obama is related to his distant cousin Dick Cheney, just by many, many, many (maaaaaany) more generations.

    And, likewise, we can all agree that there exists a possibility that this is (somehow) not the case, and the physical origin of mammal species is something else (whatever that may be).

    So.

    The question is not "might" thus-and-such be or not be the case.

    The question is: Which do you find MORE LIKELY.

    MORE.

    LIKELY.


    Any refusal to answer is appropriately construed as equivalent to answering "fifty-fifty".

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  14. Cornelius wrote: The statement "It is a fact that those creatures share common ancestry" is a non scientific, dogmatic, claim. The statement "Those creatures might share common ancestry" is a perfectly reasonable inquiry.

    Whoa! Let's apply this dodge in other contexts.

    The statement "It is a fact that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old" is a non scientific, dogmatic, claim. The statement "it might be 4.5 billion years old" is a perfectly reasonable inquiry.

    Or

    The statement "It is a fact that protons and neutrons are made of three quarks" is a non scientific, dogmatic, claim. The statement "Those particles might consist of quarks" is a perfectly reasonable inquiry.

    Everybody, feel free to add your own dodges.

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  15. But you're going to get drek.

    True, but I expect that so it isn't a shock when it happens. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hilarious analogy, that of the used car salesman pretending an old wreck to be as good as new. Reminds me of people trying to pass off a 2000 year old book as a more reliable guide to reality than modern science.

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  17. It is really fascinating to see that none of the evolutionists has the least bit of understanding that historical studies can never make factual claims about a causal hypothesis. So, except if anyone can produce a viable natural mechanism that covers all the causal requirements and that can be experimentally repeated, then you have to admit that claims about the hypothesis being a fact are excluded by the pure nature of the evolutionary inquiry.

    The way I see it is that when a causal hypothesis comes under pressure that cannot be lifted by the required evidence, then unwarranted claims follow. But only if there are metaphysical interests at play. This behaviour usually is aggravated if competing hypotheses are available. Again, only if the competing hypothesis has impact on the same metaphysical interests.

    Thank you all evolutionist chatting here for playing your religious roles so well. Materialism is a religion, that much is clear.

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  18. If neo-Darwinists would actually use science correctly then there would be no problem (actually there would be no more neo-Darwinists if they did science correctly). But as Dr. Hunter points out neo-Darwinists are used car salesmen trying real hard to sell their junk pseudo-science as genuine hard science, all the while ignoring foundational principles of "real" science that preclude their scenario from being plausible.

    "Physics is the only real science. The rest are just stamp collecting."
    -- Ernest Rutherford

    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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  19. Oleg,

    My last comment exposes your "Straw man" arguments. Which of those "Straw men" are historical inquiries and which of those are empirically observed facts?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Good to see you again, BA77

    Last time when you were on this blog you fled when you were asked about details of this paper by Mcintosh that you promoted. It appeared that you had lied about having read the paper. Would you care to answer the questions now? Or will you cowardly flee again?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Michael and Ba77: Ignoring for the moment the debate about what constitutes a "scientific fact", what do you think the best explanation is for the patterns of fossil sequences we see in the fossil record?

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  22. Michael the epistemologist:

    It is really fascinating to see that none of the evolutionists has the least bit of understanding that historical studies can never make factual claims about a causal hypothesis.

    Pity the poor historians:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_method

    Where did you learn that bit of claptrap, Michael?

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  23. David,
    Yep, it can never be a fact that washington crossed the delaware, just a hypothesis..

    ReplyDelete
  24. CH: "Do you think" is ambiguous."

    Lol. This is right up there with "it depends on what you think 'is' is". Dancing Cornelius at his best.

    CH: Unlike you I don't have a religious ax to grind and I don't have a metaphysical dog in this fight.

    Do you really think anybody believes you? Do you believe it? You who said you think a supernatural agent is responsible for evolution (you said it on March 30th if I recall). You are one seriously deluded person.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Antonin Scalia on historical inquiry:

    Originalism thus focuses on determining the original meaning ascribed to the Constitution, Scalia said.

    “To begin with, I deny the premise that law has nothing to do with historical inquiry,” he said.


    http://www.cavalierdaily.com/2010/04/19/supreme-court-justice-scalia-visits-law-school/

    ReplyDelete
  26. Michael-

    I'm still at a loss regarding the claim that metaphysics is inherently wrong, and even more shocked when metaphysics are equated with religion.

    All science would rely on at least the metaphysical assumptions of uniformity and parsimony. No? Can I write a non-uniformitarian critique of science? Sure. Will anyone give a damn? Doubtful. Crying metaphysics doesn't win you the day. It has no impact. It surely doesn't redefine parsimony as religion (though one, with this logic, surely could).

    And Cornelius is so vocal in calling out theories that circularly rely on a conclusion to defend them, or rely on a religious assumption. I wonder if he sees the outrageous hypocrisy in the following:

    http://www.ideacenter.org

    q: "Doesn't ID require an infinite regress? If the existence of complexity requires a designer, then doesn't the designer require yet another designer?

    a: "An infinite regress is required only when one assumes there is no God."

    q: "ID is asking us to accept the existence of an intelligent designer. Where is there evidence for the intelligent designer?"

    a: "The answer is that intelligent design theory itself is the evidence for the intelligent designer."

    q: "FAQ: Can we positively say something was designed?"

    a: "Essentially, yes, but design is an inference. Yet design is an inference no more and no less than evolution is an inference. Both theories look for clues from history to infer what happened--but like any historical scientific theory, 100% confidence not attainable. Few things in science are said with 100% confidence--most scientific claims are at heart, inferences. The design inference works like this: from our understanding of how intelligent agents operate, they tend to produce high levels of complex and specified information (CSI). Thus, when we find this CSI, we have positive evidence of intelligent design. Through this evidence matching known products of intelligent design, we can infer that an object was designed."

    Besides logically failing, where is the direct observation in that last answer? You're seven degrees of separation from 'fact'. It seems like ID is weakly using and defending an inferential process.

    ReplyDelete
  27. RobertC quoting Dr Hunter at ideacenter.org:

    q: "Doesn't ID require an infinite regress? If the existence of complexity requires a designer, then doesn't the designer require yet another designer?

    a: "An infinite regress is required only when one assumes there is no God."


    I guess we're stuck with infinite regress.

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  28. nanobot74,

    What about your "Washington" claim contains a causal hypothesis? Where are the factual claims about what ultimately caused "Washington to cross the Delaware"?

    Would you say there is a difference between a causal hypothesis and evidence for a specific observed effect? (Remember all observations are historical... all of them even the "instantaneous" observations are actually historical because any measurement takes time. That is why scientific certainty relies on repeatability.)

    David,

    Would you like to help me make sense of your Antonin Scalia quote? What do you imply about law, like in "law of justice", and historical inquiry? Have you got any idea what the epistemic certainty of legal matters is as opposed to scientific certainty?

    ReplyDelete
  29. Michael,

    While you're at it, clarify your position vis-a-vis the age of the Earth and the reality of quarks. I'm curious.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Michael:

    Would you like to help me make sense of your Antonin Scalia quote? What do you imply about law, like in "law of justice", and historical inquiry? Have you got any idea what the epistemic certainty of legal matters is as opposed to scientific certainty?

    Nah, I just thought it was interesting that Scalia was using an historical approach to divining the intents of the framers of the American Constitution.

    But you are welcome to explain how the epistemic certainty of legal matters differs from the epistemic certainty of scientific matters.

    Indeed, you might want to explain what epistemic certainty means.

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  31. RobertC,

    Your whole argument is lopsided and useless, because ID's position has consistently been that the causal hypothesis will never try to rule out any potential causes that can leave designed effects. It is scientific rigour that ID applies when it consistently proclaim that the nature of the designer can not be probed by scientific method. It is a pity that evolutionary textbooks undermine this same level of scientific rigour.

    P.S.
    What is the evolutionary solution to the materialistic infinite causal regress issue? It is just laughable to see people worshipping Dawkins because he claimed God to be "ultimately complex" because of a compounding causal regress, when materialism is actually the only view that sit on the horns of his dilemma. I know of no theistic view that accept the requirement of an infinite causal regress.

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  32. Michael said...

    Your whole argument is lopsided and useless, because ID's position has consistently been that the causal hypothesis will never try to rule out any potential causes that can leave designed effects. It is scientific rigour that ID applies when it consistently proclaim that the nature of the designer can not be probed by scientific method. It is a pity that evolutionary textbooks undermine this same level of scientific rigour.


    LOL! It's a riot to watch a pompous stuffed-shirt armchair philosophizer like our Michael here try to overturn 150+ years of observed physical reality by the tossing about of scientifically meaningless philosophical buzzwords.

    Go git 'em Mikey!

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  33. Certainty

    It covers epistemic certainty in detail.

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  34. David,

    "...divining the intents of the framers of the American Constitution."

    So you agree that historical inferences can infer the intent of conscious agents? What about this inference is based on unconscious blind natural processes? The only natural aspect is the encoded message captured in ink on the skin of an animal, but even the encoding process is evidently guided. Inference to the code's meaning presuppose intelligence.

    Well done, you supported ID!

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  35. Michael-

    So it is ok for ID to use metaphysical premises (God) as a solution, resort to circular logic (ID proves ID), and inference based on unproved* (unprovable) premises because "the causal hypothesis will never try to rule out any potential causes that can leave designed effects." Like evolution. Some logic there. Word salad man, not an argument.

    * ID works by:
    1)Thing looks designed. (How is that known?)

    2) Things that appear designed can only be designed (unproved premise-unprovable in that it must rule out all other causes of the appearance of design).

    3) Therefore designer.

    Except that"the causal hypothesis will never try to rule out any potential causes that can leave designed effects." Like evolution.

    LOL. Do you read what you write?

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  36. Michael said:

    It is really fascinating to see that none of the evolutionists has the least bit of understanding that historical studies can never make factual claims about a causal hypothesis.

    Since ID is entirely historical, I trust you will apply this same reasoning to demonstrate that ID can never show that something was designed.

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  37. All of those august authors refer to "macroevolution" by name? I've been given to understand by my intellectual betters that that must mean they're creationists, because only creationists use that word.

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  38. Matteo said...

    All of those august authors refer to "macroevolution" by name? I've been given to understand by my intellectual betters that that must mean they're creationists, because only creationists use that word.


    Maybe you shouldn't get your "science" from places like AIG, Uncommonly Dense, and Chick tracts.

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  39. Matteo states:"All of those august authors refer to "macroevolution" by name? I've been given to understand by my intellectual betters that that must mean they're creationists, because only creationists use that word."

    I suggest you cede to their intellectual betters, those who are using the word.

    Typically, the distinction is unpopular with evolutionary biologists because different timescales rather than different processes are involved and because people often use a false distinction to claim there is no evidence that "macro"evolution can occur.

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  40. this following statement is false;

    "Since ID is entirely historical, I trust you will apply this same reasoning to demonstrate that ID can never show that something was designed."

    In fact ID makes it "scientific" case by referring to the only known cause NOW in operation that is known to be sufficient to explain the orgination of functional information; namely Intelligence, whereas neo-Darwinism has no material cause that it can refer to for the origination of functional information:

    Stephen C. Meyer - The Scientific Basis For Intelligent Design - video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4104651/

    The Capabilities of Chaos and Complexity - David L. Abel - 2009
    Excerpt: "A monstrous ravine runs through presumed objective reality. It is the great divide between physicality and formalism. On the one side of this Grand Canyon lies everything that can be explained by the chance and necessity of physicodynamics. On the other side lies those phenomena than can only be explained by formal choice contingency and decision theory—the ability to choose with intent what aspects of ontological being will be preferred, pursued, selected, rearranged, integrated, organized, preserved, and used. Physical dynamics includes spontaneous non linear phenomena, but not our formal applied-science called “non linear dynamics”(i.e. language,information).
    http://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/10/1/247/pdf

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  41. Matteo: "All of those august authors refer to "macroevolution" by name? I've been given to understand by my intellectual betters that that must mean they're creationists, because only creationists use that word."

    Thornton: "Maybe you shouldn't get your "science" from places like AIG, Uncommonly Dense, and Chick tracts."

    Can I get an "LOL!"

    Could it be that all these years I've been giving DarwinDefenders far too great benefit of the doubt? Could it be that they really are as ... hmmm, what's the world ... unintelligent ... as they so frequently appear.

    Well, considering that they worship the UIND (un-intelligent non-design), I suppose that, just perhaps, one ought to consider that some of it is bound to rub off.

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  42. bornagain:

    this following statement is false;

    "Since ID is entirely historical, I trust you will apply this same reasoning to demonstrate that ID can never show that something was designed."


    Unless you can provide documented evidence of the designer in action creating a new species in recent times, then any example provided by ID that I've seen happened in the (fairly distant) past. This makes it historical. And Michael's thesis was that causation can't be determined from historical events. If this is true, then it holds for both evolution and ID.

    If you don't agree, complain to him. It's his idea.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Thanks for your replies. Now you're admitting that the fossils *are* evidence for macroevolution and common ancestry of those fossils. And that this section of the textbook was explicitly about "evidence for evolution". So all your elaborate rhetoric about "lies", yadda yadda, boils down the horrible, horrendous sin the textbook authors made about calling the sequence of fossils an "observation of macroevolution". Now you've said they made a "dumb mistake", which is a big retreate from a a deliberate lie.

    Anyway, even at "dumb mistake" you haven't made any kind of a case for your claim yet.

    1. Macroevolution means more than just common ancestry, as I pointed out, and the statement is defensible on those terms.

    2. Even if they/you were just talking about common ancestry, even you consider common ancestry a fact in numerous cases where neither you nor anyone has directly literally observed & documented the common ancestry in question. I.e. in basically every modern species.

    3. As for the plausibility of the common ancestry of these rhinolike thingies, you (as usual) make vague unsupported assertions about the problems with this hypothesis:

    Looking at the science, there is no question there are substantial problems with this hypothesis. The data certainly do not bode well for the hypothesis. Yes, there certainly is supporting evidence to consider, but given the preponderance of evidence (scientific that is), it certainly seems unlikely. And the fact that it is religiously motivated doesn't help. But then again perhaps the data didn't bode well for quantum mechanics or dark matter, at some point.

    What evidence is against the common ancestry of these forms? They aren't even that different, probably on the level of the differences in modern dogs (or less!). Even the YEC "baraminologists" accept common ancestry in cases like this! E.g., as they have done with the fossil horse series. And there are lots more fossils in-between these three!

    Just to let you know where I'm coming from, I like Steve Gould's definition of "fact" as "something so well-supported that it would be perverse to deny". And the deniable of common ancestry for these rhinos is perverse. Here's the argument: basically, if one admits that very similar forms today share common ancestry (like different modern dogs and wolves), and admits that the same applies to fossils, then if you have a sequence of such very similar forms in the fossil record, common ancestry for those fossils is as well-supported as it is for the modern forms which you already accept common ancestry for. Game over.

    * (Note: we are not talking about e.g. thylacine-wolf similarity or other classic convergence cases. Hunter has been horrifically tripped up by such cases in the past: http://austringer.net/wp/index.php/2007/01/26/cornelius-g-hunter-thylacines-wolves-and-images/

    These are actually *not that similar* in morphological detail. See: http://www.sciohost.org/ncse/kvd/Padian/kpslides.html#marsupials

    end of note)

    From where I'm sitting, it looks like you have:

    (a) admitted that this gradual fossil sequence is evidence for common ancestry,

    (b) have claimed there are huge problems with the common ancestry of these critters, but haven't given us a word in terms of specifics of what these problems are

    (c) haven't provided an alternative hypothesis that explains these data better

    (d) haven't even told us what criteria you think should be used to determine when the conclusion of common ancestry of two fossils is a scientifically reasonable conclusion, and when it's unreasonable. Heck, the baraminologists are light-years ahead of you.

    In conclusion, you've given us no actual reasons to accept your claims about these rhino relatives.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Mike,

    It's your "Straw man" interpretation of my position that B77 argue against. I specifically mentioned the open factual status of a causal hypothesis, when I said: "...can never make factual claims about a causal hypothesis". If you like to know how this is properly applied to ID it goes like this:

    "Any of a number of potential intelligent causes** can be accurately inferred to be the best explanation for the Functional Specified Complex Information (FSCI) observed in all life forms, because ALL current, repeated empirical observations show that only a form of intelligence can cause FSCI" There you have it... ID CAN produce "...a viable [naturally observed] mechanism [i.e. intelligence] that covers all the causal requirements and that can be experimentally repeated*** " ...and it most certainly is not unconscious, unguided, evolution.

    This is straight forward application of an inference to the best explanation.

    Creating a "Straw man" argument to strengthen your position is not rational i.e. stupid. Can you show any insight into the relationship between repeated empirical evidence for a specific causal process and inference to the best explanation for a past event.

    **(See... there is no factual claim about the nature of the intelligence)
    ***(Every time an intelligent source is essentially required to produce FSCI, [like computer code] the mechanism of ID is experimentally proven, just like any falling object is proof of gravity)

    ReplyDelete
  45. above should read:

    Creating a "Straw man" argument to strengthen your position is not rational i.e. it is just stupid.

    ReplyDelete
  46. If the evolutionist cannot see the false factual claim that "unguided, unconscious, natural processes" is supposedly proven by apparent evolutionary observations, then there is very little hope for evolutionary science. This make belief evolutionary fantasy will persist until David L. Abel's list of null hypotheses has all been falsified.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Cornelius Hunter said:

    "Cornelius wrote: Unlike you I don't have a religious ax to grind and I don't have a metaphysical dog in this fight."

    ------------------------------------------------

    Oleg said:

    "You teach at a bible college where the doctrinal statement specifically says no to common descent. And the Biola HR department states in no uncertain terms that "prospective and existing employees must affirm that their personal theological beliefs are in agreement with the Biola Doctrinal Statement."

    Mike said:

    "This, of course, is incorrect. As a front man for the Discovery Institute, your dog is very much in evidence. And thanks to the wedge document, the ability of the DI to lie is well-known and clearly documented. The saintly aspect doesn't convince."

    ===============================================

    Interestingly one of the most admirable things that attracted me to his blog is his "Neutrality" stance when explaining the subject. While I don't know his exact religious views if any, he certainly has a handle on the way science is supposed to work minus either of the religious views of both creationists and evolutionists. It is definitely possible for science to work neutrally without either religious bias. Simple observing the engineering mechanisms for which the natural world in all of it's phazes actually works, taking note of these observations and meditating on what applications can be obtained by copying and replicating what we observe. One has to wonder and ponder how much scientific discovery and invention has been stifled because of this incessant need to prove and justify ones worldview and lifestyle choices.

    Lately I have noticed several wonderful science articles illuminating some amazing facts on some discovery without referencing the religious worldview of evolution and it was refreshing. In other cases, some science research did an excellent job in an article, but it seems in the last couple of sentences, you could see they were obligated to acknowledge the E-word and you could tell they really didn't want to. However, dire consequences would have been in order had they not participated in the ritualistic Emperor worship of Darwin by burning incense in an alter before his image for which a small citation in the paper sufficed to appease the thought police.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Michael, channeling, presumably, Dembski:

    because ALL current, repeated empirical observations show that only a form of intelligence can cause FSCI

    I guess Dembski's been beaten up so much about CSI in the physical world he's now calling it FCSI. I haven't seen Dembski's definition of functional (my search of the first Google page links only shows it appearing on this site and UD), but I don't think it will pass the hurricane test.

    The complex, specified information in a hurricane has a functional purpose, one that is even "human-friendly"; it distributes heat from the tropics toward the poles.

    Of course, it also kills those who didn't pray hard enough to the mysterious hurricane designer.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Michael,

    In response to my request that you explain what epistemic certainty means, you kindly gave me a link to a Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article entitled “Certainty.” In that 6,000 word article, I found discussions of various philosophers’ opinions about epistemic certainty, pro and con, but I didn’t find anything certain

    You are the one who introduced this concept to the discussion. What was the point?

    Do you think epistemic certainty is possible? If so, in what instances? Are there instances, such as in science, in which epistemic certainty is not possible? What is the difference in your mind between epistemic and scientific certainty?

    ReplyDelete
  50. David,

    From the SEP:
    Roughly characterized, a belief is certain in this sense when it has the highest possible epistemic status.

    Just take this and use your common sense to realise that the "highest possible" epistemic status is the one that can be offered by which ever method used (...including the scientific method). This strict definition of epistemic certainty will always be useful because it allows for an improvement on the scientific method or any other epistemic method.

    It should be clear that scientific certainty IS a form of epistemic certainty where the method used to achieve the highest possible epistemic status is the current agreed scientific method.

    What I am saying is that Darwinian evolution is a poor application of scientific method and therefore has not yet reached the highest possible epistemic status. This is simply because none of the Darwinian methods has been directly observed to bring about macro-evolution. I also highlighted why ID achieved the highest possible epistemic status because the act of an intelligence creating FSCI (a form of SCI) is empirically supported, to the extent that a null hypothesis can be posited.

    P.S.
    Crack the null hypotheses listed above and you will have found a natural mechanism that cause what we now only know as intelligence...

    ReplyDelete
  51. Eocene, you forgot to provide us with your scientific definition of KIND.

    Please correct this omission and provide the definition, thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Michael: It is really fascinating to see that none of the evolutionists has the least bit of understanding that historical studies can never make factual claims about a causal hypothesis.

    Of course you can. For instance, the hypothesis that the Great Pyramids were built by humans led to a search for human artifacts, and that search led to the discovery of a community of human builders. Or the hypothesis that humans descended from more primitive apes led to the discovery of primitive hominids. Or any murder investigation, where forensic scientists posit testable hypotheses.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Michael, please provide a scientific definition of FSCI, and an objective way to test for and measure it.

    That way we'll know you're not just tossing around meaningless ID-coined buzzwords. Again.

    ReplyDelete
  54. John,

    You presume too much. There is a little rule of thumb I use that might be useful to you. It goes like this:

    "If you read between the lines, of someone else's arguments, and make connections with other notions in your mind, then you most probably will be creating a "Straw Man" argument."

    Best way to avoid this is to stick to the straight forward meaning of someone else's arguments and only ask questions about what ever notion or urge that might be in your mind.

    ReplyDelete
  55. For David:

    From the SEP I referenced:
    "Given this account of Descartes's epistemology, we can now see that both cognitio and scientia are varieties of, not only knowledge, but certainty as well."

    ReplyDelete
  56. Michael said...

    Functional SCI is a type of SCI


    Sorry Michael, that's not an answer.

    I asked for a scientific definition of FSCI and an objective way to determine if it exists and how to measure it.

    All you provided was a link to UD claiming that such a thing as FSCI exists, but not giving any rigorous definition or objective way to quantify it.

    There's no rigorous definition or objective way to measure CSI given there either.

    Please try again.

    ReplyDelete
  57. From Michael's UD link:

    "FSCI is a descriptive summary of a categorization that emerged as pre-ID movement OOL researchers struggled to understand the difference between crystals, random polymers and informational macromolecules."

    Can someone please translate that either into English, or a formula with measurable parameters?


    "FSCI is actually a functionally specified subset of CSI"

    Aha!

    "This also leads to a simple metric for FSCI, the functionally specified bit"

    Can someone give a biological example of how to count the number of functionally specified bits?

    ReplyDelete
  58. John from the previous article said, "The accidents and inefficiencies are real... The sperm whale catches its food about 1 km below sea level, but has to resurface every hour to breathe. Why did our creator choose to give gills to the whale shark, but not to the whale? Science has a good answer for that. I'm guessing you don't, or that it involves God's chosen species being able to harpoon them for lamp oil."

    This is a perfect illustration of what Dr Hunter has said all along.... "God would not have done it that way" argument. They just can't get away from it. Evolution and "God wouldn't have done it that way" arguments are like Siamese twins.

    You missed the wonder of the design of a creature that can dive 1 km and stay under water for an hour because your personal preference is that they should have gills???

    "He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not." (John 1:10)

    ReplyDelete
  59. Neal "Liar for Jesus" Tedford said...

    This is a perfect illustration of what Dr Hunter has said all along.... "God would not have done it that way" argument. They just can't get away from it. Evolution and "God wouldn't have done it that way" arguments are like Siamese twins.


    It's a perfect example of your dishonest word twisting. No one said "God would not have done it that way" . The argument was a question "Why was it done that way?", and pointed out that ToE has a supported with evidence viable answer while ID has no answer.

    Do you accept the theory of plate tectonics? Why or why not?

    Where is that genetic evidence we all are descended from Noah you claimed to have?

    "He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not." (John 1:10)

    LOL! Once again, so much for ID being "scientific" and not about religion.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Thorton,

    What is the definition of a "species" that all biologists agree on?

    ReplyDelete
  61. Neal Tedford said...

    Thorton,

    What is the definition of a "species" that all biologists agree on?


    There isn't one. "Species" is a human construct to compartmentalize the empirically observed analog world, and like all analog processes defining where one type ends and another begins is a matter of convention. Like defining where red stops and orange starts on the color spectrum.

    The most widely accepted criteria for defining different species is two populations that no longer have interactive gene flow, either from genetic differences, behavioral differences, or geographic isolation.

    As seen in the Ensatina example, we have one species in the process of splitting into multiple species.

    I answered you question, now when will you answer mine?

    Do you accept the theory of plate tectonics? Why or why not?

    Where is that genetic evidence we all are descended from Noah you claimed to have?

    ReplyDelete
  62. Neal Tedford: This is a perfect illustration of what Dr Hunter has said all along.... "God would not have done it that way" argument. They just can't get away from it. Evolution and "God wouldn't have done it that way" arguments are like Siamese twins.

    I never said God wouldn't have done it that way. I said God's will would likely be part of your answer .

    There's no recourse to gods here. We expect natural selection to equip large aquatic animals with gills (they would need the gills before they could get big, unless they're hollow like cnidarians or fractal like sponges, or very flat like vendobionts and platyhelminths and acoels).

    Every animal that possesses lungs but no gills is either terrestrial or has terrestrial ancestors.

    ReplyDelete
  63. David: An hypothesis predicts data, and data confirm the hypothesis. That's called scientific explanation.

    That is true only if the data are actual data and not spurious data. When the scientific experiment is not under the control of the scientist, as is the case with the "experiment" that nature conducted millions of years ago when forming fossils, how can spurious data be distinguished from actual data?

    A scientific experiment has to be carefully constructed so that science is not fooled by the results. Was nature so clever as to construct a rigorous experiment?

    Since most of the fossil record shows abrupt appearance of new forms, how can science really be sure that any sequence of fossils that appears to be a progression of forms is not in reality a series of abrupt appearances that just happen to suggest a pattern?

    It might be reasonable to assume that the pattern is a real pattern, but that assumption leaves the fossils that appeared abruptly unexplained. Yes, there is the explanation that the fossil record is not perfect, but this is another assumption. Some have said that the fossil record is real.

    I believe that the fossil record is ambiguous with regards to providing support for any theory. It obviously does record a series of different animal forms throughout time. It does not tell us anything about the mechanisms that caused those forms to appear, let alone tell us how one form could possibly have changed into another (if that is what actually happened). A hypothesis about the mechanism has to come from somewhere else.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Michael:

    It's your "Straw man" interpretation of my position that B77 argue against. I specifically mentioned the open factual status of a causal hypothesis, when I said: "...can never make factual claims about a causal hypothesis". If you like to know how this is properly applied to ID it goes like this:

    Whereupon you provided a detailed answer to a different question.

    Your thesis is that evolution cannot use a set of fossils to show that evolutionary mechanisms caused a progression because this happened in the past and we can't make causal inferences from historical events. Unless you can calculate the CSI or FSCI of these fossils (and you can't), then your inference of design is equally suspect under your own thesis. You can't have it both ways.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Doublee:

    David: An hypothesis predicts data, and data confirm the hypothesis. That's called scientific explanation.

    That is true only if the data are actual data and not spurious data. When the scientific experiment is not under the control of the scientist, as is the case with the "experiment" that nature conducted millions of years ago when forming fossils, how can spurious data be distinguished from actual data?

    There are ways:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleontology

    ReplyDelete
  66. Doublee,

    Your rather arbitrary definition would leave astronomy out in the cold.

    Back to the drawing board.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Michael:

    From the SEP:
    “Roughly characterized, a belief is certain in this sense when it has the highest possible epistemic status.”


    So there appear to be relative measures of epistemic status that enable us certify the highest one of which we are aware as “certain.”

    Can you explain how a relative measure like epistemic status can warrant an absolute qualifier like “certain”? I was taught that certainty was like virginity, not subject to adulteration.

    ReplyDelete
  68. John,

    You were discussing inefficiencies and gave the whale as an example with the implication that evolution has the answer (which it really doesn't) to why the inefficiency exists, and said "I'm guessing you don't, or that it involves God's chosen species being able to harpoon them for lamp oil."

    It is just another common evolutionary argument to build up support for their non-existent evidence by mocking a so-called inefficency in nature.

    Awhile back I was presented a link to the Panda's thumb website that showed so-called evidence for whale evolution. It had one so-called intermediate sketched with a hole half way up its snout. Do we really need to beat this dead horse (whale) again? Whale evolution is just speculation. But, you guys can relax about the whale, because even if evolutionists change their mind and say they didn't come from land mammals your theory will still be in good shape because independent evolution happened all the time anyways, right?

    Your recourse is always back to some vague notion of the superstitious ability of natural selection to perform its godlike tasks. Apparently you can call evolution a fact without really knowing the how or why of common descent.

    The design inference does not need to know why. We could know that Stonehenge and the pyramids were designed before we knew why or even how.

    ReplyDelete
  69. The design inference does not need to know why. We could know that Stonehenge and the pyramids were designed before we knew why or even how.

    How was the design inference used to discover that Stonehenge and the pyramids were designed? Please show the work.

    How was the design inference used to discover that whales were designed? Please show the work.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Neal Tedford:

    The design inference does not need to know why.

    Then it is scientifically useless, if you think that science is a search for causes.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Neal Tedford said...

    The design inference does not need to know why. We could know that Stonehenge and the pyramids were designed before we knew why or even how.


    I too would like you to list the objective criteria that were used to determine Stonehenge and the pyramids were designed. Walk us through the design inference process.

    BTW, why are you still avoiding my questions when I answer yours?

    Do you accept the theory of plate tectonics? Why or why not?

    Where is that genetic evidence we all are descended from Noah you claimed to have?

    ReplyDelete
  72. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  73. Neal said: "Awhile back I was presented a link to the Panda's thumb website that showed so-called evidence for whale evolution. It had one so-called intermediate sketched with a hole half way up its snout."

    Neal, this shows that you are either completely unwilling to evaluate the evidence, or that you are intentionally distorting it. I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt.

    First, let's clear up that misconception that whale evolution isn't supported by the fossil record, and since you think Richard Dawkins 'has a funny voice' let's use a presentation by a fellow Christian: Ken Miller on whale Evolution

    This is just a small excerpt. I highly recommend watching the whole lecture.

    One of the charts he references: Whale Evolution

    ReplyDelete
  74. The design inference does not need to know why. We could know that Stonehenge and the pyramids were designed before we knew why or even how.

    Comparisons between ID and Stonehenge are common, but rarely appropriate.

    Stonehenge and the pyramids have some significant differences from ID - it is fairly evident that they use materials available to the humans of the time; proposed construction techniques are historically feasible; they are immersed in a web of other cultural and social data from the period; and most importantly, they are (almost) universally accepted as designed by experts and layment alike.

    With ID, on the other hand, you know none of this. You have no idea about the capabilities, processes, or identity of the designer. You don't know how the design was executed. (In fact, we can't even imagine the technology required to carry out such a design plan.) And most importantly, you don't have consensus that a design even took place. Any discussion of Stonehenge automatically assumes design as a starting point - that's the thing you're trying to prove with ID.

    So when someone compares ID to Stonehenge, it's not. It's more like a scratch on a rock in the forest. You say it's put there by aliens, and I suggest a more likely explanation is a falling tree or a rabid squirrel.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Neal,

    Apparently you're out of ammo. "So-called" inefficiency?

    Swimming uses up energy (oxygen and food).
    Oxygen is collected hundreds of meters above the food.
    Food collection at depth is limited by foraging time.
    Time is lost rising and diving.
    Concentration of predators is greatest near the surface (mostly a problem for the young).

    All else being equal, sperm whales with gills outcompete the sperm whales we know that lack them. But sperm whales can certainly survive without them in the absence of such competition.

    If the fossil and genetic records showed convincingly that whales did not have terrestrial ancestors, the theory of evolution would be finished. We see convergence in cases where animals have similar functional needs, or perhaps rarely where the change is so minor as to have no significant effect.

    Convergence in gill loss between whales and tetrapods would be highly inadaptive for whales. Darwin specifically said his theory would be falsified if it could be shown that the progression of one species was solely for the benefit of another. Development of lungs only (no gills) in historically entirely aquatic cetaceans would benefit many other species at the expense of the whales themselves.

    ReplyDelete
  76. re: whale evolution (or lack thereof):

    I kind of fancy Dr. Sternberg's take on whale evolution:

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

    How Whales Have (NOT) Changed Over 35 Million Years – May 2010
    Excerpt: We could have found that the main whale lineages over time each experimented with being large, small and medium-sized and that all the dietary forms appeared throughout their evolution, or that whales started out medium-sized and the largest and smallest ones appeared more recently—but the data show none of that. Instead, we find that the differences today were apparent very early on.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com/education/beacon-comes-home-with-the-bacon/#comment-356170

    What Does It take To Change A Cow Into A Whale - David Berlinski - video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRqdvhL3pgM

    Here is a cool animated video showing a sperm whale using echolocation to hunt a giant squid:

    Sperm whale Vs giant squid - video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_z2Lfxpi710

    "Whales have a long generation time, and they don't have huge populations. They're like the worst-case scenario for trying to evolve structures rapidly," "To fix all the mutations needed to convert a little land mammal into a fully functional whale [in ten million years]--mathematically that's totally not possible." Casey Luskin
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2009/11/6_bones_of_contention_with_nat.html#more

    Whale Evolution? Darwinist 'Trawlers' Have Every Reason To Be Concerned:
    Excerpt: As one review noted: "The anatomical structure, biological function, and way of life of whales are so distinctly different from those of terrestrial mammals that they cannot possibly have evolved from the latter by small genetic changes; aquatics require the simultaneous presence of all their complex features to survive."
    http://www.arn.org/blogs/index.php/2/2009/12/29/whale_evolution_darwinist_trawlers_have

    In fact the entire argument for inferring the supposed sequence for whale evolution, in the fossil record, is based on the erroneous readings of "bone homology", or bone similarity, between different species. Yet this entire line of reasoning, for establishing scientific certainty for any proposed evolutionary sequence, is anything but "certain", as this following video clearly points out:

    Investigating Evolution: Homology - video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgXT9sU6y18

    ReplyDelete
  77. Michael,

    I said Dembski was the one who tweaked the acronym to make it FSCI? Am I wrong?

    Orgel is no more qualified than Dembski to say crystals lack complexity without rigorously defining complexity.

    ReplyDelete
  78. This following video's critique of the deceptive fossil sequence used by Ken Miller and others for whale evolution is verified by the second citation I listed above:

    Whale Evolution? - Exposing The Deception - video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4032568

    Further note:

    Whale Tale Two
    Excerpt: We think that the most logical interpretation of the Pakicetus fossils are that they represent land-dwelling mammals that didn’t even have teeth or ears in common with modern whales. This actually pulls the whale evolution tree out by the roots. Evolutionists are back to the point of not having any clue as to how land mammals could possibly have evolved into whales.
    http://www.ridgecrest.ca.us/~do_while/sage/v6i2f.htm

    ReplyDelete
  79. NickM:


    ===
    Now you're admitting that the fossils *are* evidence for macroevolution and common ancestry of those fossils.
    ===

    No, my position has not changed. I've made it clear. I answered your questions with the same answers I've always given.


    ===
    And that this section of the textbook was explicitly about "evidence for evolution".
    ===

    That is important because that means evolution is not presupposed to be true.


    ===
    So all your elaborate rhetoric about "lies", yadda yadda, boils down the horrible, horrendous sin the textbook authors made about calling the sequence of fossils an "observation of macroevolution". Now you've said they made a "dumb mistake", which is a big retreate from a a deliberate lie.
    ===

    No, again you are misreading. I made the obvious point that a "dumb mistake" is ruled out.


    ===
    Anyway, even at "dumb mistake" you haven't made any kind of a case for your claim yet.
    ===

    Of course I have. Since it seems you have not read the blog, I'll summarize here:

    1. The authors give the usual definition of macro evolution: "evolutionary change on a grand scale. Macroevolution is larger, more complex changes that result in the creation of new species and higher taxonomic groups."

    2. The authors state that fossil sequences of large-scale change (as exemplified by different hoofed mammal fossil species). Their point is that the dating of fossils is independent of morphology, and when ordered by time, the differences between the fossils form a trend. They do not appear "jumbled" but rather "there is evidence of successive change as evolution predicts".

    3. The authors claim that for such fossil sequences, while the details of how the fossils evolved one to the other may be uncertain, the fossils themselves are a factual observation that macroevolution has occurred. That is false.



    ====
    1. Macroevolution means more than just common ancestry, as I pointed out, and the statement is defensible on those terms.
    ====

    No, the context is they are presenting evidence for evolution. They just finished defining macroevolution, and then falsely claim the fossil sequence if a factual observation of macroevolution. I've explained this, but you continue to be confused by the fact that the concept of macroevolution involves its mechanisms and patterns. That is both irrelevant and inconsequential. It is irrelevant because the context is that the authors are presenting evidence for evolution, not assuming it is true and then looking at patterns. Indeed, the authors *explicitly state* that *how* the macroevolution is not their present concern. Their point is an epistemological one: the fossil sequences are factual observations macroevolution occurred (as opposed to did not occur). It is inconsequential because even if one sought to inject mechanism and pattern into the discussion, as you are trying to do, that doesn't change the claim that the fossil sequences are factual observations macroevolution occurred. You're revisionist attempt to say the authors are *really* just making a comment about macroevolutionary patterns is yet another unfortunate sign of obvious cover-up rather than simply admitting an obvious problem.

    Continued ...

    ReplyDelete
  80. Continued from previous...

    ===
    2. Even if they/you were just talking about common ancestry, even you consider common ancestry a fact in numerous cases where neither you nor anyone has directly literally observed & documented the common ancestry in question. I.e. in basically every modern species.
    ===

    It is not a question of whether direct observation is available or not. That is a false dichotomy. We all agree that heliocentrism is a fact and geocentrism is false, though none of us can teleport outside the solar system and watch if for a few months. But not even the most diehard geocentrist would say that the rising sun is a factual observation of geocentrism.


    ===
    3. As for the plausibility of the common ancestry of these rhinolike thingies, you (as usual) make vague unsupported assertions about the problems with this hypothesis:
    ===

    No, I give specific problems with common ancestry at www.DarwinsPredictions.com, and in my books.


    ===
    What evidence is against the common ancestry of these forms?
    ===

    How about unknown mechanism, for starters? There are many problems with common ancestry in general. Genetic homeostasis, non homologous development, serendipitious evolution to name a few. You can see several more at www.DarwinsPredictions.com.

    Regarding serendipitious evolution, if these forms evolved one from the other, then it would be via mechanisms which evolution itself would have had to have created, selected for some other reason, or just drift. This makes cosmological fine-tuning look trivial, and evolutionists are oblivious to this problem. They just draw from this well of serendipity whenever the need arises.


    ===
    They aren't even that different, probably on the level of the differences in modern dogs (or less!).
    ===

    No, that's another example of evolution influencing the data. Titanotheriidae have greater morphological variation than modern dogs.


    ===
    Even the YEC "baraminologists" accept common ancestry in cases like this!
    ===

    There are many people, including myself, who are not religiously motivated in this origins discussion.


    ===
    Just to let you know where I'm coming from, I like Steve Gould's definition of "fact" as "something so well-supported that it would be perverse to deny".
    ===

    Sure, that's consistent with how evolutionists use the term.

    Continued ...

    ReplyDelete
  81. Continued from previous...


    ===
    And the deniable of common ancestry for these rhinos is perverse.
    ===

    Again, this is evolution influencing science. There certainly are arguments and evidence that Titanotheriidae are genetically related via common descent. But to say that not accepting the claim that this is a fact is, itself, perverse, is a disturbing example of evolution's influence.


    ===
    Here's the argument: basically, if one admits that very similar forms today share common ancestry (like different modern dogs and wolves), and admits that the same applies to fossils, then if you have a sequence of such very similar forms in the fossil record, common ancestry for those fossils is as well-supported as it is for the modern forms which you already accept common ancestry for. Game over.
    ===

    Again, this is bad science. Anyone familiar with the literature knows that even evolutionists agree that macroevolutionary mechanism remains uncertain and it is not likely merely to be the accumulation of adapations that we do actually observe, as a consequence of complex mechanisms.



    ====
    * (Note: we are not talking about e.g. thylacine-wolf similarity or other classic convergence cases. Hunter has been horrifically tripped up by such cases in the past: http://austringer.net/wp/index.php/2007/01/26/cornelius-g-hunter-thylacines-wolves-and-images/

    These are actually *not that similar* in morphological detail. See: http://www.sciohost.org/ncse/kvd/Padian/kpslides.html#marsupials

    end of note)
    ====

    Just so readers understand, according to evolution a mouse-like species is supposed to have given rise to the marsupials and placentals. In both lineages, you have flying squirrels, moles, rats. anteaters, cats, etc. This is one example of a repeated designs in biology that *cannot* be due to common descent. In other words, in different lineages and different environments, you had repeated designs independently evolving over and over. Now I'm not saying I know what is going on here (this is not an easy problem), but it is abundantly clear that evolutionists don't either. And yet they're dogmatically claiming to have the truth, and criticizing anyone who is more circumspect and not going along with their dogma, as "perverse."

    The bottom line is that convergence is massive in biology, and it poses a huge elephant in the room. I gave a couple briefings at a conference about 10 years ago, showing more than a hundred slides as illustrations. These were unpublished slides and I made a few inconsequential mistakes here and there on these slides. One such mistake was on a slide about the massive convergence in biology, which is uncontroversial. So these were small graphics, for an uncontroversial point, in an unpublished slide, with graphic mistakes which I fully acknowledge.

    No big deal right? Not for evolutionists. Rather than addressing the point being made, evolutionists have amplified the mistake. It's an unfortunate example of what evolution is about, and Nick is demonstrating here.

    ReplyDelete
  82. ba77: from your last cited source:

    “Evolutionary convergence” means “coincidence.”


    All that needs to be said.

    ReplyDelete
  83. John,

    What is your problem with FSCI? You have not made an argument. You are just saying you don't like it because you think Dr. Dembski created it. Wake up and realise that SCI is a concept that can be understood, interpreted and applied. When you do that you realise that information can be specified according to various objectives. In the case of FSCI it is functionally specified.

    When you interact with the concept you will also realise that information can be coded in various ways of which digital coding is one. Then you can even start to talk about digital Functionally Specified Complex Information (dFSCI).

    And still... the concept had its origin probably with Orgel's work.

    Again..., what is your issue with SCI? Or is it simply the case that you are too obtuse to comprehend the unique required attributes of information that expose the signature of design?

    ReplyDelete
  84. Dr Hunter:

    Just so readers understand, according to evolution a mouse-like species is supposed to have given rise to the marsupials and placentals. In both lineages, you have flying squirrels, moles, rats. anteaters, cats, etc. This is one example of a repeated designs in biology that *cannot* be due to common descent.

    What??!!

    How come *cannot*?

    ReplyDelete
  85. Michael,

    You of all people should not be flinging the word "obtuse" around.

    I stated my problem with it, and it is the same one I would have if it arose from Orgel or Charles Darwin. If you say DNA is complex and silicate crystals and hurricanes are not, you need to provide a rigorous definition for your CSI that can be used to make a quantitative assessment of that statement. I'm arguing more in favor of the crystals and hurricanes rather than against biological materials.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Dr Hunter:

    The bottom line is that convergence is massive in biology, and it poses a huge elephant in the room.

    Ah, now I get it. Convergence disproves common descent! Gotta hand it to that Creator, leaving all of those delicious clues.

    ReplyDelete
  87. Cornelius wrote:

    Again, this is evolution influencing science. There certainly are arguments and evidence that Titanotheriidae are genetically related via common descent. But to say that not accepting the claim that this is a fact is, itself, perverse, is a disturbing example of evolution's influence.

    So there are good reasons to believe that FIg. 17.3 correctly reflects common descent, huh? You just want to keep the hope alive that it's not 100% certain, I suppose. Well, write your own damn textbook and say so. It's a free country.

    Again, this is bad science. Anyone familiar with the literature knows that even evolutionists agree that macroevolutionary mechanism remains uncertain and it is not likely merely to be the accumulation of adapations that we do actually observe, as a consequence of complex mechanisms.

    Moving goalposts alert! You don't need to know the exact mechanism to declare evolution. You can, in principle, observe generation after generation, and compare traits. As was done with dogs. It would be great to know the mechanism, but that's a separate question.

    ReplyDelete
  88. Thornton "Liar of the Sake Of Lying" DarwinDefender said: "[nothing interesting, really]"

    ReplyDelete
  89. John "Liar of the Sake Of Lying" DarwinDefender said: "... The complex, specified information in a hurricane has a functional purpose, one that is even "human-friendly"; it distributes heat from the tropics toward the poles.

    Of course, it also kills those who didn't pray hard enough to the mysterious hurricane designer.
    "

    These people are intellectually dishonest -- they lie about the very nature of reason, and of truth. It is logically impossible to reason with them, for they have chosen to be unreasonable and chosen to be intellectually dishonest. It is not that they do not understand, but that they *will not* understand.

    ReplyDelete
  90. Cornelius wrote:

    The bottom line is that convergence is massive in biology, and it poses a huge elephant in the room. I gave a couple briefings at a conference about 10 years ago, showing more than a hundred slides as illustrations. These were unpublished slides and I made a few inconsequential mistakes here and there on these slides. One such mistake was on a slide about the massive convergence in biology, which is uncontroversial. So these were small graphics, for an uncontroversial point, in an unpublished slide, with graphic mistakes which I fully acknowledge.

    That's why you should publish your findings, Cornelius. Trouble is IDers don't have anything publishable to say. You can't even keep your own journals alive. PCID died 5 years ago. BIO-Complexity has only published 2 papers since inception. So all you can do is jeer from the sidelines.

    ReplyDelete
  91. BA77 : "Investigating Evolution: Homology - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgXT9sU6y18"

    The various pathways by which the gonads of different species are "colonized" by the actual gametogenic cells is also an interesting example of homology confounding Darwinistic evolutionism.

    ReplyDelete
  92. Eocene:

    ===
    Interestingly one of the most admirable things that attracted me to his blog is his "Neutrality" stance when explaining the subject. While I don't know his exact religious views if any, he certainly has a handle on the way science is supposed to work minus either of the religious views of both creationists and evolutionists.
    ===

    I am a Christian which means I can choose from a wide spectrum of views on origins, ranging from mostly law-like to mostly miraculous. Christians are all over the map on this, whereas atheists, for instance, don't have much choice.

    More importantly than the atheists, there are many theists who have strong beliefs about what must be true. They don't allow for the full spectrum of choices, but characterize certain answers as unacceptable, for various religious reasons. These folks fall into the evolution and creation camps, for the most part.

    I don't see either scripture or science supporting that kind of certainty, though this is not to say we can't make progress.

    ReplyDelete
  93. Oleg:

    "That's why you should publish "

    Actually I have published these materials (several books and www.DarwinsPredictions.com).

    ReplyDelete
  94. Cornelius Hunter: Just so readers understand, according to evolution a mouse-like species is supposed to have given rise to the marsupials and placentals.

    The first stem placental is more shrew-like than mouse-like, and the first stem marsupial is shrew-opossum like. The common ancestor is thought to have lived about 15 million years earlier, maybe a "shrew/shrew/opossum", with a probable dental formula of (5.1.5.4)/(4.1.5.4).

    The nested hierarchy yields predictions. We may never find the ancestor itself, but we may well find combinations of these ancestral traits.

    ReplyDelete
  95. C.Hunter:Just so readers understand, according to evolution a mouse-like species is supposed to have given rise to the marsupials and placentals. In both lineages, you have flying squirrels, moles, rats. anteaters, cats, etc. This is one example of a repeated designs in biology that *cannot* be due to common descent. In other words, in different lineages and different environments, you had repeated designs independently evolving over and over. Now I'm not saying I know what is going on here (this is not an easy problem), but it is abundantly clear that evolutionists don't either. And yet they're dogmatically claiming to have the truth, and criticizing anyone who is more circumspect and not going along with their dogma, as "perverse."

    And, to call something “perverse” is to make a moral assertion.

    Odd, isn’t it? I mean, does not moral reasoning fall under the purview of religion, or at best, of philosophy, rather than of science?

    Why, it’s almost as though one were to assert, or at least insinuate, that anti-Darwinists were thereby somehow “wicked.” Oh, wait! That’s been done, hasn’t it?

    ReplyDelete
  96. Michael said...


    What is your problem with FSCI?

    Again..., what is your issue with SCI?


    Neither of them have a rigorous enough definition to allow for an objective assessment of their quantity or quality.

    "This has heaps of FSCI" has no more meaning that "this tastes good". Both are purely subjective calls and therefore worthless as scientific measurements.

    If you think I'm wrong, please provide a detailed method and sample calculation of the FCSI in a living object, say, a common house cat.

    ReplyDelete
  97. John “Theoretic Problems May Be Ignored At Will” DarwinDefender:The nested hierarchy yields predictions.

    Oh? Do you mean like the famous “horse series”?

    ReplyDelete
  98. Cornelius Hunter said...

    ===
    Just to let you know where I'm coming from, I like Steve Gould's definition of "fact" as "something so well-supported that it would be perverse to deny".
    ===

    Sure, that's consistent with how evolutionists use the term.


    That's consistent with how everyone in every science uses the term. That's it's not consistent with the idiotic definition you made up for yourself is not science's problem.

    ReplyDelete
  99. I meant publishing in peer-reviewed literature, Cornelius. The process tends to weed out errors. Where did you publish your books?

    ReplyDelete
  100. It has now been demonstrated Irreducible Complexity can be mathematically quantified as functional information bits(Fits).

    Functional information and the emergence of bio-complexity:
    Robert M. Hazen, Patrick L. Griffin, James M. Carothers, and Jack W. Szostak:
    Abstract: Complex emergent systems of many interacting components, including complex biological systems, have the potential to perform quantifiable functions. Accordingly, we define 'functional information,' I(Ex), as a measure of system complexity. For a given system and function, x (e.g., a folded RNA sequence that binds to GTP), and degree of function, Ex (e.g., the RNA-GTP binding energy), I(Ex)= -log2 [F(Ex)], where F(Ex) is the fraction of all possible configurations of the system that possess a degree of function > Ex. Functional information, which we illustrate with letter sequences, artificial life, and biopolymers, thus represents the probability that an arbitrary configuration of a system will achieve a specific function to a specified degree. In each case we observe evidence for several distinct solutions with different maximum degrees of function, features that lead to steps in plots of information versus degree of functions.
    http://genetics.mgh.harvard.edu/szostakweb/publications/Szostak_pdfs/Hazen_etal_PNAS_2007.pdf

    Mathematically Defining Functional Information In Molecular Biology - Kirk Durston - short video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3995236
    Entire video:
    http://vimeo.com/1775160

    ReplyDelete
  101. and this paper:

    and this paper:

    Measuring the functional sequence complexity of proteins - Kirk K Durston, David KY Chiu, David L Abel and Jack T Trevors - 2007
    Excerpt: We have extended Shannon uncertainty by incorporating the data variable with a functionality variable. The resulting measured unit, which we call Functional bit (Fit), is calculated from the sequence data jointly with the defined functionality variable. To demonstrate the relevance to functional bioinformatics, a method to measure functional sequence complexity was developed and applied to 35 protein families.,,,
    http://www.tbiomed.com/content/4/1/47

    It is interesting to note that many evolutionists are very evasive if questioned by someone to precisely define functional information:

    The Evolution-Lobby’s Useless Definition of Biological Information - Feb. 2010
    Excerpt: By wrongly implying that Shannon information is the only “sense used by information theorists,” the NCSE avoids answering more difficult questions like how the information in biological systems becomes functional, or in its own words, “useful.”,,,Since biology is based upon functional information, Darwin-skeptics are interested in the far more important question of, Does neo-Darwinism explain how new functional biological information arises?
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2010/02/the_evolutionlobbys_useless_de.html

    ReplyDelete
  102. oleg,
    One was published by Brazos press, whose mission is:

    "Brazos Press fosters the renewal of classical, orthodox Christianity by publishing thoughtful, theologically grounded books on subjects of importance to the church and the world"

    no metaphysical ax to grind, eh?

    ReplyDelete
  103. Cornelius:

    Christians are all over the map on this, whereas atheists, for instance, don't have much choice.

    Like most humans, atheists have developed the ability to consider concepts even if we don't actually agree with them. We just have this pesky need for actual evidence before we consider something a valid explanation. One could equally argue (wrongly) that Christians are unable to do science because they are fixated on the supernatural.

    ReplyDelete
  104. Oleg “Talking-Points” DarwinDefender:That's why you should publish your findings, Cornelius. Trouble is IDers don't have anything publishable to say.

    C.Hunter:Actually I have published these materials (several books and www.DarwinsPredictions.com).

    Wouldn’t matter to DarwinDefenders; they just move the goal-post.


    Oleg “Talking-Points” DarwinDefender:… So all you can do is jeer from the sidelines.

    And? You have an actual point?

    ReplyDelete
  105. CH said,
    "I am a Christian which means I can choose from a wide spectrum of views on origins, ranging from mostly law-like to mostly miraculous."

    That's a questionable statement. Aren't you bound by your institution's doctrinal statement? The explanatory note to that statement clarifies that you must believe that Adam was created directly by God from non-living matter, and that humans do not share common ancestry with other animals.

    http://www.biola.edu/about/doctrinal-statement/

    You are understandably reticent about acknowledging your accession to this dogma. Are we wrong to conclude that you are bound by it? Is the statement of faith merely optional for BIOLA employees?

    ReplyDelete
  106. re this comment:

    "Christians are unable to do science because they are fixated on the supernatural."

    Exactly who is the super-naturalists?

    Is Our World Natural? - July 2010
    Excerpt: Materialists need to be challenged when they blindly refer to nature, natural, or unnatural. They also need to be challenged when they disparage the “super”-natural. “Super” is a prefix that means above. But it doesn’t matter if something is above (super-), below (sub-), beyond (epi-), around (peri-), opposed (anti-), or not (non-, un-). If it is outside the natural box, it is unnatural or super-natural by definition. Naturalism wants to subsume everything in its definition of the universe. If a naturalist wants to categorize anything as unnatural, whether creationism, pseudoscience, or conservative politics, he unmasks himself as a supernaturalist in spite of himself.
    Christians may want to refer to a document at this site to learn how to unmask pseudo-naturalism, entitled, Naturalism and Supernaturalism: A False Dichotomy. In addition to exploring the many meanings of natural, it exposes the impossibility of pure materialism. If no one can avoid being a supernaturalist (and the materialist must be one to engage in argumentation using symbolic language, reason and logic), it changes the nature of the debate on origins.
    http://www.creationsafaris.com/crev201007.htm#20100727a

    I really like the preceding article, for it points out that since evolutionists are in fact the ones claiming that a "natural material process" can do something no one has ever witnessed a "natural material process" doing before, namely that it can generate functional information all by itself, then this by default makes the evolutionists "super-naturalists" since they are in fact claiming something for nature, as they have arbitrarily defined "nature" to purely material processes, which is in fact not attributable to nature as they have it defined. The evolutionists are in fact claiming something which is in fact "beyond" nature. Whereas on the other hand, we constantly see Intelligent agents generating functional information every time we write, or see someone write, a sentence of human language, mathematical logic or computer code, etc... . Thus this make Intelligent Design proponents "naturalists" in the purest sense of the word natural, and conversely makes evolutionists "super-naturalists" in the purest sense of the word natural.

    Stephen C. Meyer - The Solid Scientific Basis For Intelligent Design - short video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4104651

    ReplyDelete
  107. Oleg:

    "I meant publishing in peer-reviewed literature"

    Yes, I'm sure the editors of The Journal of Molecular Evolution would be delighted to accept a paper questioning evolutionary dogma.

    ReplyDelete
  108. evolutionary materialists don't even have a foundation in reality to refer to:

    The Mental Universe - Richard Conn Henry - Professor of Physics John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: The only reality is mind and observations, but observations are not of things. To see the Universe as it really is, we must abandon our tendency to conceptualize observations as things.,,, Physicists shy away from the truth because the truth is so alien to everyday physics. A common way to evade the mental universe is to invoke "decoherence" - the notion that "the physical environment" is sufficient to create reality, independent of the human mind. Yet the idea that any irreversible act of amplification is necessary to collapse the wave function is known to be wrong: in "Renninger-type" experiments, the wave function is collapsed simply by your human mind seeing nothing. The universe is entirely mental,,,, The Universe is immaterial — mental and spiritual. Live, and enjoy.
    http://henry.pha.jhu.edu/The.mental.universe.pdf

    The Quantum Enigma of Consciousness and the Identity of the Designer - Richard Conn Henry - Professor of Physics John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: It is more than 80 years since the discovery of quantum mechanics gave us the most fundamental insight ever into our nature: the overturning of the Copernican Revolution, and the restoration of us human beings to centrality in the Universe.
    And yet, have you ever before read a sentence having meaning similar to that of my preceding sentence? Likely you have not, and the reason you have not is, in my opinion, that physicists are in a state of denial…
    http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/the-quantum-enigma-of-consciousness-and-the-identity-of-the-designer/


    As Professor Henry pointed out, it has been known since the discovery of quantum mechanics itself, early last century, that the universe is indeed "Mental", as is illustrated by this quote from Max Planck.

    "As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter."
    Max Planck - The Father Of Quantum Mechanics - (Of Note: Max Planck was a devout Christian, which is not surprising when you realize practically every founder of each major branch of modern science also "happened" to have a deep Christian connection.)

    ReplyDelete
  109. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  110. Cornelius Hunter said...

    The bottom line is that convergence is massive in biology, and it poses a huge elephant in the room.


    Why do you think convergence is any kind of problem for ToE? Convergence of morphological forms happens because there are only a small finite number of solution to real world physics problems - how to create lift with a wing, how to move efficiently through water, how to detect light energy, etc. In many cases different lineages facing the same physical problems have hit upon similar solutions.

    I know it would be out of character for you, but instead of just ranting about the so-called problem why don't you provide some evidence that there actually is a problem?

    ReplyDelete
  111. Really is convergence expected,? what does the evidence say?

    Lenski's Citrate E-Coli - Disproof of "Convergent" Evolution - Fazale Rana - video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4564682

    Upon closer inspection, it seems Lenski's "cuddled" E. coli are actually headed for "genetic meltdown" instead of evolving into something better.

    New Work by Richard Lenski:
    Excerpt: Interestingly, in this paper they report that the E. coli strain became a “mutator.” That means it lost at least some of its ability to repair its DNA, so mutations are accumulating now at a rate about seventy times faster than normal.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2009/10/new_work_by_richard_lenski.html

    ReplyDelete
  112. Cornelius Hunter said...

    Oleg:

    "I meant publishing in peer-reviewed literature"

    Yes, I'm sure the editors of The Journal of Molecular Evolution would be delighted to accept a paper questioning evolutionary dogma.


    I guess we'll never know, because no ID 'scientist' has ever bothered to do any research and submit it to them for critical peer review.

    ReplyDelete
  113. A "peer reviewed" paper was published in 2004, pointing out the obvious impossibilities of evolutionary processes producing such an explosion of complex functional information in the Cambrian explosion. Yet, just for questioning that unguided Darwinian evolution could do as such, the paper brought forth much persecution of the editor who dared allowed the heretical publication of "doubting the sufficiency of neo-Darwinian evolution" to produce such massive amounts of complex functional information in the Cambrian explosion. The persecution was so severe it caught the attention of a Congressional Investigation Committee.

    Here is a website and video clip describing that persecution:

    "Expelled Exposed" Exposed: Your One-Stop Rebuttal to Attacks on the Documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed
    http://www.ncseexposed.org/

    Get Expelled - Richard Sternberg - video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HS03sGrehI

    ReplyDelete
  114. Cornelius wrote:

    Yes, I'm sure the editors of The Journal of Molecular Evolution would be delighted to accept a paper questioning evolutionary dogma.

    Yes, they would react to it as I would to a manuscript questioning the accepted theory of ferromagnetism. (It happens from time to time.) But if the paper is not batsh*t crazy they will send it out to review.

    I am sure the reviewer will point out lots of problems with your arguments (I do when I review crackpot physics papers sent to me) and reject it outright, but at least that way you will learn something and improve your arguments.

    Of course it's much easier to score rhetorical points on the internet where most of your opponents are not experts in biology. But come on, man!

    ReplyDelete
  115. Cornelius,
    "Yes, I'm sure the editors of The Journal of Molecular Evolution would be delighted to accept a paper questioning evolutionary dogma"

    Actually, I'm sure they would be, provided you had actual data to back it up. Behe and Snoke published their anti-Darwinian paper in a mainstream science journal, so you have no excuse to keep playing the oppressed victim card.

    ReplyDelete
  116. learned-hand:

    ====
    CH said,
    "I am a Christian which means I can choose from a wide spectrum of views on origins, ranging from mostly law-like to mostly miraculous."

    That's a questionable statement.
    ====

    Evolution is motivated and justified by religion, and they cannot accept that others are not so driven.


    ====
    Aren't you bound by your institution's doctrinal statement?
    ====

    I agree with it.


    ====
    The explanatory note to that statement clarifies that you must believe that Adam was created directly by God from non-living matter, and that humans do not share common ancestry with other animals.
    ====

    That's not the doctrinal statement. What is it about "This doctrinal statement, presented here ..." you don't understand? What is it about "subject to various interpretations" you don't understand?

    ReplyDelete
  117. evolutionists don't even accept the findings of there own experts!!!

    “The central question of the Chicago conference was whether the mechanisms underlying microevolution can be extrapolated to explain the phenomena of macroevolution. At the risk of doing violence to the position of some people at the meeting, the answer can be given as a clear, No.”
    Roger Lewin - Historic Chicago “Macroevolution” conference of 1980

    Hopeful Monsters and Other Tales: Evolutionists Challenge Darwin - Feb. 2010
    Excerpt: Jerry Fodor, a (atheistic) philosopher at Rutgers, is angry at the dogmatic Darwinists who see natural selection as the be-all and end-all of evolutionary change.,,, Fodor’s beef with natural selection appears to stem from its storytelling propensity. Why do people have traits like hair on their heads and dark hair with dark eyes? “You can make up a story that explains why it was good to have those properties in the original environment of selection,” he said. “Do we have any reason to think that story is true? No.” - Fodor co-authored the book "What Darwin Got Wrong"
    http://www.creationsafaris.com/crev201002.htm#20100224a

    ReplyDelete
  118. Cornelius,

    What is it about "subject to various interpretations" you don't understand?

    Wow, even quote-mining your own university. what it actually says is "In addition, the following explanatory notes indicate the organization’s understanding and teaching position on certain points which could be subject to various interpretations."

    they state that the doctrinal statement is subject to various interpretations, but then use the explanatory note to explain how it should be interpreted.

    to clear the air, why don't you just answer a simple question: do you agree with the following "The origin of the universe, the origin of life, the origin of kinds of living things, and the origin of humans cannot be explained adequately apart from reference to that intelligent exercise of power"?

    ReplyDelete
  119. Cornelisu wrote:

    That's not the doctrinal statement. What is it about "This doctrinal statement, presented here ..." you don't understand? What is it about "subject to various interpretations" you don't understand?

    Here is what the explanatory note states:

    Therefore, creation models which seek to harmonize science and the Bible should maintain at least the following: (a) God providentially directs His creation, (b) He specially intervened in at least the above-mentioned points in the creation process, and (c) God specially created Adam and Eve (Adam’s body from non-living material, and his spiritual nature immediately from God). Inadequate origin models hold that (a) God never directly intervened in creating nature and/or (b) humans share a common physical ancestry with earlier life forms.

    Various interpretations of that? That's like Henry Ford's famous line: , "Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black".

    ReplyDelete
  120. erratum: "What is it about "subject to various interpretations" you don't understand?" should be in quotes as a statement from CH

    ReplyDelete
  121. bornagain:

    My actual statement was:

    One could equally argue (wrongly) that Christians are unable to do science because they are fixated on the supernatural.

    Might want to slow down the reading a bit before you crank up the abstract generator...

    ReplyDelete
  122. Thorton:

    ===
    Why do you think convergence is any kind of problem for ToE? Convergence of morphological forms happens because there are only a small finite number of solution to real world physics problems
    ===

    This common evolutionary rationalization of convergence is problematic. First, we have no strong reason for why it is true. Evolutionists merely assert it. Yet it is crucial to their story. Second, while necessary, it is not sufficient. What this claim misses is the problem of how frequently biological variation just happens to hit upon design marvels. Here, we do at least have an idea. Even with evolution-friendly reasoning, the universe of genotypes maps to a universe of phenotypes mostly full of junk. Now I'm not proving anything here, there are just too many unknowns. But when evolutionists say there is no problem, evolution must be a fact, to doubt it would be perverse, and so forth, you know that only religion can produce such claims.

    ReplyDelete
  123. Even with evolution-friendly reasoning, the universe of genotypes maps to a universe of phenotypes mostly full of junk.

    Good thing that standard evolutionary processes that evolutionary theory uses to explain adaptive complexity bear absolutely no relationship to the all-at-once-assembly-by-total-dumb-luck which appears to be the model you are evaluating in your head.

    ReplyDelete
  124. Cornelius: This common evolutionary rationalization of convergence (physical constraint) is problematic. First, we have no strong reason for why it is true. Evolutionists merely assert it.

    Human inventors seem to seem to have limited imagination then; airplane wings mimic condor wings, and cameras mimic eyes.

    ReplyDelete
  125. So, Dr. Hunter, you still have provided 0 evidence against the proposition that these rhinolike forms are related by common ancestry. You referenced generic arguments against common ancestry writ large, but that says nothing about common ancestry in this particular case, which is what I was asking about, and what the textbook was talking about in this instance.

    Let's get to specifics. What, specifically, do you find implausible?

    * it is implausible that a lineage's body size could increase by an order of magnitude or two over 10 or 20 million years?

    * it is implausible that a lineage could lose some teeth or specialize some of them for a different food type?

    * it is implausible that bumps on a nose could elaborate into a horn, e.g. under sexual selection pressure, over 10-20 million years?

    There's not a heck of a lot more to the changes in this group than that. Where's the hugely unlikely event that contradicts the common-sense, face-value interpretation of the fossil record?

    Re: dogs -- you're wrong. The variation within the dog species is comparable to the variation in the entire *order* Carnivora:

    Abby Grace Drake and Christian Peter Klingenberg

    Large‐Scale Diversification of Skull Shape in Domestic Dogs: Disparity and Modularity

    Am Nat 2010. Vol. 175, pp. 289–301

    DOI: 10.1086/650372

    Abstract:

    The variation among domestic dog breeds offers a unique opportunity to study large‐scale diversification by microevolutionary mechanisms. We use geometric morphometrics to quantify the diversity of skull shape in 106 breeds of domestic dog, in three wild canid species, and across the order Carnivora. The amount of shape variation among domestic dogs far exceeds that in wild species, and it is comparable to the disparity throughout the Carnivora. The greatest shape distances between dog breeds clearly surpass the maximum divergence between species in the Carnivora. Moreover, domestic dogs occupy a range of novel shapes outside the domain of wild carnivorans. The disparity among companion dogs substantially exceeds that of other classes of breeds, suggesting that relaxed functional demands facilitated diversification. Much of the diversity of dog skull shapes stems from variation between short and elongate skulls and from modularity of the face versus that of the neurocranium. These patterns of integration and modularity apply to variation among individuals and breeds, but they also apply to fluctuating asymmetry, indicating they have a shared developmental basis. These patterns of variation are also found for the wolf and across the Carnivora, suggesting that they existed before the domestication of dogs and are not a result of selective breeding.

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  126. Nick:

    ===
    Good thing that standard evolutionary processes that evolutionary theory uses to explain adaptive complexity bear absolutely no relationship to the all-at-once-assembly-by-total-dumb-luck which appears to be the model you are evaluating in your head.
    ===

    Those "standard evolutionary processes" are speculative. The fact that the designs we observe are surrounded by functional designs (ie, you can tweak a design and it still works) does not mean the phenotype universe is necessarily loaded with useful designs. Anyone who ever tried to make something knows most designs don't work. Ask Thomas Edison.

    So with evolution we must believe the designs we can observe in this phenotype universe are all connected in an incredible subspace / manifold. So mutations can migrate designs all around to find millions of different designs. But this design space is astronomically huge. From what we know about math, science and engineering, it certainly is not compelling that such a subspace necessarily exists.

    It is possible? Sure, why not. We just don't know enough to absolutely rule it out. But we're certainly nowhere close to dictating that it must exist. Yet evolutionists are absolutely certain that evolution is an undeniable fact. Guess why...

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  127. Cornelius: Second, while necessary, it is not sufficient. What this claim misses is the problem of how frequently biological variation just happens to hit upon design marvels.

    Constraints on organisms do not just arise from the laws of physics, but also from available materials (you would never make your camera lens from cells), the adaptive constraint (the need to feed yourself and avoid being eaten prior to reproduction; there are only so many ways for mammals to make a living, for example), and phylogenetic constraints (there were ice age wooly elephants and rhinos, but no wooly alligators). Convergence is most convincing (most likely to fool us into thinking it's homology on inspection) when the species are closely related to begin with.

    Convergence arises because we have lineages diverging from common ancestry, bearing similar genetic tools and anatomical frameworks, solving similar problems and being shaped by natural selection. Convergence was well known (as "analogy") prior to Darwin. Darwin noted that traits associated with mode of life were generally recognized as being the least useful in classification (analogous). Darwin provided an explanation.

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  128. Cornelius Hunter said...

    Thorton:

    ===
    Why do you think convergence is any kind of problem for ToE? Convergence of morphological forms happens because there are only a small finite number of solution to real world physics problems
    ===

    This common evolutionary rationalization of convergence is problematic. First, we have no strong reason for why it is true. Evolutionists merely assert it. Yet it is crucial to their story.


    What a ridiculously uninformed statement. Science has every reason to accept it as true, because we can and have tested the laws of physics and know what works. We can observe and record selection pressures first hand that drive such solutions. Do you think efficient bio-mechanical motion through water is "no strong reason" for both fish and cetaceans to be streamlined?

    Second, while necessary, it is not sufficient. What this claim misses is the problem of how frequently biological variation just happens to hit upon design marvels.

    Again, why is the frequency a problem? The process of evolution tends to drive morphological shapes towards maximum evolutionary fitness in their local environment. Since there are only a finite number of optimums, why is it surprising that different lineages dealing with similar environmental pressures converged upon similar solutions?

    Here, we do at least have an idea. Even with evolution-friendly reasoning, the universe of genotypes maps to a universe of phenotypes mostly full of junk. Now I'm not proving anything here, there are just too many unknowns. But when evolutionists say there is no problem, evolution must be a fact, to doubt it would be perverse, and so forth

    You haven't demonstrated any problem or given any reason to doubt it, just reiterated your assertion with zero evidence to back it up. And we both know how useless your custom definition of 'fact' is.

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  129. Cornelius:So with evolution we must believe the designs we can observe in this phenotype universe are all connected in an incredible subspace / manifold. So mutations can migrate designs all around to find millions of different designs. But this design space is astronomically huge. From what we know about math, science and engineering, it certainly is not compelling that such a subspace necessarily exists.

    I'm curious, Cornelius, where do you think there is an unbridgeable gap in, say, vertebrate morphospace? Because every week, paleonotology narrows the gaps and developmental biology and genetics expands the bridges.

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  130. Note that Hunter is still talking about whether or not there is a continuous chain of phenotypes to connect everything in biology, where as I was specifically talking about the rhino case which was the beginning of this discussion. If there is a nice continuous chain of fossil forms, surely that proves that such a chain of functional forms exists at least for that group, and thus directly answers the exact objection Cornelius Hunter has to common ancestry. So even he should accept the common ancestry of those rhinolike fossils, regardless of what he thinks about common ancestry elsewhere.

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  132. ba77:

    "What Does It take To Change A Cow Into A Whale - David Berlinski - video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRqdvhL3pgM"

    Uh, not to single just one of your links out, but did you actually watch this one? Berlinski just ends up looking foolish: David Berlinski on Whale evolution rebuttal

    It's not like I really expected you to be aware of counter arguments to your position, but really, have you never heard of Google?

    I'm curious though, do you genuinely think that Berlinski presented a good argument?

    If the answer is anything approaching 'yes', you've probably got some more reading to do before you're qualified to 'refute' evolution. (that is, you've got to understand what it says first)

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  133. John,

    What is the specification of the alleged complex patterns in crystals and hurricanes? Then there is also the big problem of your inability to understand that when patterns are specified and complex it denotes information that is an abstraction of something other than the pattern carrying entity itself (e.g. genes contains the abstraction of life building instructions). Can you just begin to interpret the abstraction of something other than the "crystals and hurricanes" itself? Without specification, complexity cannot lead to information.

    Each term in SCI is well defined and for a necessary whole and I now know that you are simply unable to comprehend any of them.

    My best guess is that you are willingly ignorant because you actually think it protect you against the weight of the design inference in biology.

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  134. Ernst Mayr described himself perfectly on page 132 of "The Growth of Biological Thought" with -

    "...but is not very convincing for a dyed-in-the-wool Darwinian like myself."

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

    jadavison.wordpress.com

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  135. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  136. Michael: (two posts above),

    Hurricanes are complex (it takes large amounts of information to describe them completely) and specified: different points in the hurricane have distinct values of temperature, pressure, wind speed, and humidity that contain information that will produce further information outside the scope of the hurricane itself, such as stream discharge, aquifer saturation, sea surface salinity and temperature, little Billy's ball game getting rained out, whether you will need to buy a new roof, the survival of nestling birds, etc. This microcosm of variability in temperature, humidity, wind speed, and pressure is an abstract way of coding for mortality.

    As for the ability to quantify CSI:

    1. The only form of Dembski's equation for specified complexity I have seen (from multiple sources) involves no terms, only factors. The product of the factors is log-transformed, so they could certainly be written out in term form. But a more likely explanation is that you have seen the same expressions I have but do not know the difference between terms and factors.

    2. His factors have been defined, but they are not all precisely calculable, and we have no reason to think they are reliably estimable.

    What we have here is another Drake equation. Wildly varying results depending on who makes the estimates. The Drake equation does not yield fruitful scientific study either.

    There is currently no reason to think the design inference is anything more than pareidolia given the abundance of maladaptation arising from phylogenetic constraint.

    As for your continued ad hominem, incompetence knows nothing better than itself. Brilliance to you would be a mind with the same set of incompetencies as your own.

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  137. Michael said...

    What is the specification of the alleged complex patterns in crystals and hurricanes?


    Michael, where is the before the fact specification for the genome of any animal? All you IDiots did was find a complex structure (DNA) in nature, wait until science described and mapped it, then declared that after-the-fact mapping to be a 'specification'.

    Any clown can pick the results of the horse race after the race has been run. Show us an FSCI specification that ID predicted before it was confirmed by science.

    BTW, when will you be presenting that objective way to measure FCSI, or even plain old CSI in a living creature? How about calculating that example of the FCSI in a house cat?

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  138. Thorton: Any clown can pick the results of the horse race after the race has been run. Show us an FSCI specification that ID predicted before it was confirmed by science.

    I'm not so sure your analogy holds up. In a horse race, you are not specifying that a particular horse will win; you are picking a horse that you hope will win. There is no one-to-one relationship between between your "design document" and a particular horse before the fact.

    With a human designed object, presumably you can go back in the document files and find the particular document that specified the design you are observing. There is a one-to-one relationship between that design document and the design. From your viewpoint this is an after-the-fact exercise. From the designer's viewpoint there is no prediction involved; the designer knows what he wants to design.

    In fact, isn't the discovery of any designed artifact by an archaeologist an after-the-fact exercise? The archaeologist may not find the design specification, but he is certainly interested in discovering how the particular object was constructed using the contemporary technology.

    I submit that the discovery of design in the cell follows the same pattern. There is a one-to-one correspondence between a genetic sequence and the particular organelle being considered. The discovery of the speciification is an after-the-fact exercise.

    Is science at the point yet where it can envision a particular genetic sequence and predict what will result?

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  139. Doublee: In fact, isn't the discovery of any designed artifact by an archaeologist an after-the-fact exercise?

    Archaeologists determine the artificial nature of an object by comparison to known artifacts, then by proceeding to test their hypothesis by the collection of evidence, typically by tracing the links of causation from the artifact to the art to the artificer.

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  140. Doublee:

    There is a one-to-one correspondence between a genetic sequence and the particular organelle being considered.

    I wonder what this means, considering that some genetic sequences are genes and other genetic sequences are regulatory elements. The construction of an organ and organelle is likely to involve several genes and a coordinated program of gene expression, don't you think?

    Such a program is not easily unraveled and of questionable relevance to any design inference.

    But if you have some examples in mind, I would like to see them.

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  141. Doublee: In fact, isn't the discovery of any designed artifact by an archaeologist an after-the-fact exercise? The archaeologist may not find the design specification, but he is certainly interested in discovering how the particular object was constructed using the contemporary technology.


    In general for archeology, I'd say yes. But in this case, ID has not suggested that the designer has stopped work (although there is no evidence of any design work happening now).

    Furthermore, what "contemporary technology" would you apply in the ID case?

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  142. Doublee: There is a one-to-one correspondence between a genetic sequence and the particular organelle being considered.

    Actually, there can be a great deal of flexibility in gene sequence, as well as degree of function. You could compare the range of sequences that can provide a given function and degree to come up with a measure of functional information, but the number would be dependent on the specified function and degree.

    So?

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  143. Doublee: I'm not so sure your analogy holds up. In a horse race, you are not specifying that a particular horse will win; you are picking a horse that you hope will win.

    You are making a wager that your specified horse will win. In the end result somebody's specified horse did win. Dembski is effectively finding a lottery winner after the fact and implying that result was woven into the plan of a grand designer.


    From the designer's viewpoint there is no prediction involved; the designer knows what he wants to design.

    Designers working with living things (breeders) often get what they do not desire. No one tried to breed a high incidence of deafness into Dalmatians.

    In fact, isn't the discovery of any designed artifact by an archaeologist an after-the-fact exercise?

    The earliest stone tools are so unimpressively indistinct from naturally fragmented rocks that context is required to secure an inference of artifice (such as cutmarks in nearby bones).

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  144. Evolutionists say that evolution is a scientific fact. Evolutionists, who disagree on many things, come together on this basic point. There is no question, they insist, evolution is beyond any shadow of a doubt—it is a scientific fact every bit as much as gravity or the roundness of the earth is a scientific fact.
    Well since we've been able to document cases of evolution in the wild as well as in the laboratory, I'd say it's pretty much a fact just as much as the roundness of the Earth. In science, repeatedly confirmed observation is about as factual as you're going to get. Round Earth is a scientific fact as much as evolution is a scientific fact. Just as we can say that the round Earth is a fact by having filmed it rotating, by sending people falling around it dozens of times a day, by measuring its roundness with the shadows of sticks at different points on the globe, we can say that evolution is a fact from the observed changes in gene-regulated traits within populations over time, by the documented cases of speciation, by the development of pests and diseases that are resistant to the poisons with which we try to flood their environment.

    Or do you mean something different from what scientists mean when you say "evolution?" Perhaps you also mean something different when you say "scientific fact" as well. You should really try to talk about the same thing scientists talk about if you want to address their claims. Anything else is just misdirection, pure and simple.

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  145. Nick:

    ===
    So, Dr. Hunter, you still have provided 0 evidence against the proposition that these rhinolike forms are related by common ancestry. You referenced generic arguments against common ancestry writ large, but that says nothing about common ancestry in this particular case, which is what I was asking about, and what the textbook was talking about in this instance.
    ===

    No, the textbook was using Titanotheriidae merely as an illustration of a more general claim they were making, which is that "successive change through time is a data statement" and therefore "that macroevolution has occurred is a factual observation."


    ===
    Re: dogs -- you're wrong. The variation within the dog species is comparable to the variation in the entire *order* Carnivora: Abby Grace Drake and Christian Peter Klingenberg, "Large-Scale Diversification of Skull Shape in Domestic Dogs: Disparity and Modularity," Am Nat 2010. Vol. 175, pp. 289–301.

    "The amount of shape variation among domestic dogs far exceeds that in wild species ..."
    ===

    The variation to which you are referring has come about via breeding. So in other words, with evolution we are to believe that a wide spectrum of shapes and traits--everything from the french poodle to St. Bernhard--is pre stored and available via breeding (not mutation). This inherent capability and pre stored varieties were not selected for in evolution. Rather, they just happened to be created by evolution. Evolution created a few wild types, and amazingly we are able to breed all kinds of varieties from them. That's another example of serendipity.

    Now evolutionists want to argue that such variety should be interpreted as evidence that larger-scale evolution is easy. After all, look at the great variety that just emerges for free in dogs. This is circular reasoning. Sure if we assume that evolution just creates the raw material for all kinds of designs, serendipitiously for free, then why not Titanotheriidae? But this is circular.

    Furthermore the Titanotheriidae is a family with more significant change than the shape and size variation in dogs. The size goes from 18 inches to 8 feet, different kinds of "horns" emerge (slingshot, battering ram), spines, skull geometries and strange nasal passages.

    These are more significant changes than in dogs (and even including domesticated dogs that have been bred). This is not the sort of change one would expect from breeding, and of course breeding didn't take place anyway. So the dog analogy is not a good one.


    ====
    Let's get to specifics. What, specifically, do you find implausible?

    * it is implausible that a lineage's body size could increase by an order of magnitude or two over 10 or 20 million years?

    * it is implausible that a lineage could lose some teeth or specialize some of them for a different food type?

    * it is implausible that bumps on a nose could elaborate into a horn, e.g. under sexual selection pressure, over 10-20 million years?
    ====

    What is implausible is the claim that the Titanotheriidae fossil sequence is a factual observation that macroevolution. Sure it is possible that there is common descent here, and sure this is evidence for evolution. But it is not proof; it is not a direct observation.

    It is what it is, but evolutionists can't understand that, and instead insist on their bizarre, dogmatic, non scientific views.


    ====
    You referenced generic arguments against common ancestry writ large, but that says nothing about common ancestry in this particular case,
    ====

    I think general problems are relevant. In any particular case we have limited information, but biology gives us plenty of problems with the concept that we know apply at least in many cases. Sure, we don't know exactly which are at play in any one case such as this one, but I think the preponderance of data is relevant.

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  146. kylesplawn:

    ===
    Well since we've been able to document cases of evolution in the wild as well as in the laboratory, I'd say it's pretty much a fact just as much as the roundness of the Earth.
    ===

    Here we go again with the same evolutionary equivocation.

    ===
    Or do you mean something different from what scientists mean when you say "evolution?" Perhaps you also mean something different when you say "scientific fact" as well. You should really try to talk about the same thing scientists talk about if you want to address their claims. Anything else is just misdirection, pure and simple.
    ===

    No, I'm not one who is equivocating.

    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/05/evolution-is-scientific-fact.html

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  147. John:

    ===
    I'm curious, Cornelius, where do you think there is an unbridgeable gap in, say, vertebrate morphospace?
    ===

    I didn't say there is such a gap.

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  148. Dr Hunter to Nick:

    What is implausible is the claim that the Titanotheriidae fossil sequence is a factual observation that macroevolution. Sure it is possible that there is common descent here, and sure this is evidence for evolution. But it is not proof; it is not a direct observation.

    It is a direct observation of a change in a lineage with time. Change in a lineage with time is macroevolution.

    You can challenge the claim that the observed fossil sequence represents a lineage. But then, it might behoove you to tell the world what you think it does represent. And back up your claim with evidence and reason.

    It is what it is, but evolutionists can't understand that, and instead insist on their bizarre, dogmatic, non scientific views.

    It might be prudent to let the scientists who are actually working in a field decide what is scientific and what is not. But you can define science in any way you like, and I for one would be happy to hear you out. But how might one distinguish such a redefinition from crankery?

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  149. Dr Hunter:

    It is what it is, but evolutionists can't understand that, and instead insist on their bizarre, dogmatic, non scientific views.

    And what is it?

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  150. Cornelius:

    Since you've mentioned repeatedly that you don't have any "dog in this fight" - can we expect your next post to analyze the rather serious scientific flaws in Intelligent Design as well? I would look forward to seeing how ID stands up to the same rigorous standards.

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  151. kylesplawn said...

    Or do you mean something different from what scientists mean when you say "evolution?" Perhaps you also mean something different when you say "scientific fact" as well. You should really try to talk about the same thing scientists talk about if you want to address their claims. Anything else is just misdirection, pure and simple.


    Oops Cornelius! Looks like yet another reader has noticed your childish rhetorical trick of redefining words as they are commonly used by the scientific community and putting in your own goofy definitions. Without telling anyone of course.

    So far in the CH custom dictionary we're got

    Evolution: the atheist claim that everything came from nothing.

    Fact: anything that supports my literal Biblical creation views

    Lie: anything that contradicts my literal Biblical creation views

    Theory of Evolution: evil atheistic just-so stories that despite the evidence should be rejected until proven to me, personally

    Theory of Intelligent Design Biblical Creationism: logically and morally approved idea of origins that despite having no evidence should be accepted until proven false to me, personally.

    Religious idea: anything that supports the theory of evolution

    Scientific idea: anything that supports Biblical Creationism.


    Others feel free to add to this list.

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  152. John:
    Dembski is effectively finding a lottery winner after the fact and implying that result was woven into the plan of a grand designer.

    I'm not quite sure what you are saying here, unless you are saying that complex specified information does not justify a design inference.

    Designers working with living things (breeders) often get what they do not desire. No one tried to breed a high incidence of deafness into Dalmatians.

    Breeders are not designers; they are selectors.

    The earliest stone tools are so unimpressively indistinct from naturally fragmented rocks that context is required to secure an inference of artifice (such as cutmarks in nearby bones).

    However the design was detected, it was still detected after the fact. Some designed artifacts are more difficult to detect than others. So what? There may be designed objects that are intended to look completely natural i.e., not designed.

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  153. Doublee said...

    I'm not quite sure what you are saying here, unless you are saying that complex specified information does not justify a design inference.


    "complex specified information" is a vague, undefined, and ultimately meaningless sciency-sounding catchphrase invented by the IDiots to give an air of legitimacy to their vacuous drivel. The term is not accepted or used in any legitimate scientific field.

    There is no rigorous definition of it in biological organisms and no objective way to measure it in biological organisms. Indeed there in not even an objective way to show it exists in biological organisms.

    It fits well with all the other equally meaningless jello-like buzzterms they've come up with: functional specified complex information, specified complexity, and the newest from the IDiots - digital functional complex specified information

    You might as well claim DNA contains the property of klanglehoopsnort so it must be designed!

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  154. Mike:

    ===
    Since you've mentioned repeatedly that you don't have any "dog in this fight" - can we expect your next post to analyze the rather serious scientific flaws in Intelligent Design as well? I would look forward to seeing how ID stands up to the same rigorous standards.
    ===

    ID doesn't blackball scientists, control the faculty positions and journals, control education and media, and so forth.

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  155. Here we go again with the same evolutionary equivocation. ... No, I'm not one who is equivocating.

    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/05/evolution-is-scientific-fact.html

    Hmm, let me see:
    "Moths changing color or bacteria gain resistance to antibiotics do not constitute evolution."
    This is pure crap, that's exactly what constitutes evolution to a biologist. It's not nice to make up your own pretend-definitions and then use them to play with the grownups. Again, try sticking to the terms as actual scientists use them if you want to claim you're talking about the same things.
    So let's stick to the proper vocabulary and not your imaginary one: Has evolution, as the term is used in biology, been observed and documented? If it has but that is not enough to classify it as a scientific fact, what else is needed?

    ID doesn't blackball scientists, control the faculty positions and journals, control education and media, and so forth.
    Neither do "evolutionists" in any meaningfully conspiratorial sense you're trying to impart. You may as well bemoan the control of physics journals by Quantumists, who keep blacklists of scientists that don't cotton to quantum mechanics.

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  156. JADavison (engaging in pointless quote-bombing): "Science commits suicide when it adopts a creed. -- Thomas Henry Huxley"

    "No non-trivial human activity is even possible without the adoption of some creed or other" -- Ilíon (and anyone else who uses his mind to think)

    To paraphrase Aldous Huxley, "The question is not: 'Shall we adopt a creed?' but rather: 'Shall we adopt a good creed?'"

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  157. Thorton said:

    "So far in the CH custom dictionary we're got . . . . . "Others feel free to add to this list."

    ============================================

    Interesting observation here. Dr Hunter often is noted for ending his OPs with his flavourite signature phraze = "Religion drives science and it matters."

    It's a true factual statement. Evolution was invented to counter religious worldviews. I'm not totlly unsympathetic to the arguements and reasons against most of the misconduct for which religion has been in the past and is at many times in the present responsible for. But seriously, religion is the driving factor for the atheistic evolutionist movement and sadly it colours the scientific results and holds back science from amazing discoveries. Without religion, they have no purpose.

    It's this same underlying theme here that illustates the existance of the username Thorton. "Cornelius Hunter drives Thorton and it matters."

    A little spooky when you meditate on it, because there are actually those with no purpose in life until gifted one by a responsibly talented writer. *wink*

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  158. John said...

    Hurricanes are complex (it takes large amounts of information to describe them completely) and specified: different points... (see the rest above)

    John,

    You end the post addressed to me whining about my supposed ad hominem arguments after which you launch your best set of insults you probably have in your repertoire. Had you just realised that I did not call you "obtuse or willingly ignorant" based on no argument... I gave my arguments in both cases and none of them had the structure... "John is wrong because he is obtuse and/or willingly ignorant." IOW, learn your fallacies better. Just because I conclude, with evidence that you are ignorant does not mean I used ad hominem.

    Then, about your SCI in hurricanes.

    First, your complexity claim is just ill informed... Complexity is not defined by the act of a mind trying to describe something. It is just silly, because according to your argument even the concept "nothing" is complex because the amount of information required to describe it properly can also fill volumes of information.

    The proper way is to use probability to define the complexity of patterns. It goes like this...The number of possible arrangements of properties within a hurricane is huge (if not infinite) BUT there are a set of very distinct physical laws that always prefers one arrangement over any other, at any given moment in time.

    IOW the probability for any arrangement of properties of a hurricane are almost** completely restricted by laws of nature. Information scientists refer to this part as the degrees of freedom within which a pattern can be formed. Hurricanes has virtually no degree of freedom because it is almost completely constrained by laws of nature at all times.

    For a counter example of something really complex, take a deck of cards. There are 8.0658175170943878571660636856404e+67 (52*n!)possible arrangements of which none are preferred by any physical law. (i.e There are many degree of freedom not influence by nature.) The same kind of degrees of freedom applies to codes expressed in the DNA.

    Now for specification: John, there you have some insight because specification is subjective, in the sense that it needs a mind to define it. (This is where the abstraction thing about information, denoting something other than itself, comes in.) However there are lots of complex patterns that has virtually no useful specification, like those reated by monkey's bashing away on a typewriter.

    There you have it, hurricanes has no SCI because it is just specified with no complexity.

    P.S. The fact that I pointed out to you that you made a silly mistake regarding complexity is not an ad hominem argument.

    **Some intelligence might impact the properties of a hurricane.

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  159. Dr Hunter:

    ID doesn't blackball scientists, control the faculty positions and journals, control education and media, and so forth.

    Thank God.

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  160. Michael: There you have it, hurricanes has no SCI because it is just specified with no complexity.

    Weather is considered a classic instance of a complex dynamic system. Thunderstorms are often called storm complexes.

    A complex is a whole that comprehends a number of intricate parts, especially one with interconnected or mutually related parts.

    Michael: Hurricanes has virtually no degree of freedom because it is almost completely constrained by laws of nature at all times.

    If you didn't have the benefit of a modern explanation for weather patterns, would you conclude design?

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  161. Doublee:

    John: Dembski is effectively finding a lottery winner after the fact and implying that result was woven into the plan of a grand designer.

    Doublee: I'm not quite sure what you are saying here, unless you are saying that complex specified information does not justify a design inference.


    Now that you interpreted what I said this way, I'm saying five things.

    1. Dembski is ruling out chance based on probability after the fact. I could similarly point to the lottery winner and say the probability that she would have won is too low to be explained by chance. But of course I would be wrong. What I'm not doing, and what Dembski has not done, is take into account all the other possible outcomes that could have occurred but that did not occur. If Dembski thinks he has a more probable explanation, he needs to be more explicit. A mystery designer is an entity of incalculable likelihood that is not known to exist. You cannot reject a hypothesis with nonzero likelihood in favor of it scientifically.

    2. No one is arguing that biologic complexity arose through chance alone. The sculpting of natural selection is not taken into account in Dembski's equations; he is arguing against a strawman of pure chance.

    3. Dembski's CSI formula is another Drake equation with wildly varying results dependent upon who makes the guesstimates. There is no practical application. Likewise, SETI is a humanistic endeavor, not really science.

    4. Complex specified information does not require design; a hurricane is a classic example of self-organizing complexity that contains specified information. In order to infer design, you need additional contextual information and a specific hypothesis that is more probable than chance or other natural sources of variation. For the arrowheads, we know of past human hunters who fashioned similar devices.

    5. The design inference is fundamentally subjective. It has not been demonstrated that it represents anything more than pareidolia.

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  162. Eocene said...

    Thorton said:

    "So far in the CH custom dictionary we're got . . . . . "Others feel free to add to this list."

    ============================================

    Interesting observation here. Dr Hunter often is noted for ending his OPs with his flavourite signature phraze = "Religion drives science and it matters."

    It's a true factual statement. Evolution was invented to counter religious worldviews.


    LOL! More ridiculous rhetoric from the peanut gallery. ToE is a well supported scientific theory developed to explain the observed fact that life on the planet has changed and diversified drastically over time, period. It was no more "invented to counter religious worldviews" than the theory of heliocentrism was invented to counter the religious worldview of a geocentric Earth.

    When will you be providing that scientific definition of KIND?

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  163. Zachriel,

    I actually expected this line of confusion. Complex systems theory uses a different type of complexity as a design inference through specified complex patterns. The reason is that:

    * ...Complex systems theory is about complexity expressed as a measure of the amount of effort required to determine/predict/know the state of the system and,
    * ...Design detection through SCI is about complexity expressed as a measure of the amount effort (quantified as a probability measure) to produce/cause a specific pattern.

    You see... epistemology vs. ontology

    Complex systems theory is about epistemology

    Design detection is about ontology

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  164. Michael, where is that objective method for calculating the FSCI of a biological entity, and a real world example of the calculation of FSCI in a living animal?

    I've looked all over your pet site Uncommonly Dense and can't find them anywhere.

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  165. This whole "after the fact design detection is not valid" nonsense is a complete farce. Anyone has to realise that any origins related question about any artefact can only be answered "after the fact". Can anyone propose a logical alternative?

    ReplyDelete
  166. Michael: * ...Design detection through SCI is about complexity expressed as a measure of the amount effort (quantified as a probability measure) to produce/cause a specific pattern.

    If it is a probability measure, and a question of the difficulty of description, then a random sequence is the most complex sequence. Is that correct?

    Using this definition of complexity, let's say we take a very complex image. If we should find an exact replica of this complex image, then this would be complex and specified, therefore designed. Is that correct?

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  167. Michael said...

    This whole "after the fact design detection is not valid" nonsense is a complete farce. Anyone has to realise that any origins related question about any artefact can only be answered "after the fact". Can anyone propose a logical alternative?


    Do try to keep up here Michael, OK?

    No one said ""after the fact design detection is not valid" . What has been pointed out repeatedly is determining the specification after the fact, then claiming because that particular specification is improbable that design can be concluded is invalid.

    It's the 'lottery' fallacy all the time. That's exactly what all your IDiot arguments are based on.

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  168. Zachriel said...

    "If it is a probability measure, and a question of the difficulty of description, then a random sequence is the most complex sequence. Is that correct?

    First you need to get your ontology vs. epistemology understanding straight. It is not "... a question of the difficulty of description", because this is an epistemological question and should be "...a question of the difficulty/probability to come into existence", an ontological question.

    If it is simply a question of something (anything) to exist or not to exist then randomness has no impact on complexity. And if the question is about the probability of a specific pattern to come into existence then randomness only describe the absence of agency/mind/intention etc. The pattern with the highest ontological complexity is the one with the lowest probability come into existence by random processes.

    That is why the argument is that there are no observed random process that can produce DNA.

    Your "exact replica" example has bearing on the probability of a pattern to come into existence and would actually reduce the complexity. Another example might highlight this; The radio signals from pulsars has a very precise and repeating pattern but the probability that it happens is virtually 1 due to the fact that there are an observed natural phenomenon that creates the pattern.

    So if the probability of creating "exact replicas" through random processes are close to 1 then the complexity is very low and visa versa.

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  169. Who has declared that specification in SCI has to have a low probability? Probability only defines complexity. As I discussed above...Specification is a subjective measure done by a mind or consciousness.

    This "after the fact specification story" smells like yet another "Straw man" argument...

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  170. Thorton said:

    "When will you be providing that scientific definition of KIND?"

    Okay, I'll try and simplify this as cleverly as I can because most often a child usually gets this. Are you ready ???

    Thorton, Zachriel, Derick Childress, Larry Moran, Richard Dawkins, Cornelius Hunter.

    Okay, only one of these individuals doesn't fit the same KIND. Can you tell who it is ???

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  171. Michael: {complexity}"...a question of the difficulty/probability to come into existence",

    What does "difficulty" mean in this context?

    Probability has a well-defined meaning. Don't be averse to providing the appropriate mathematics.

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  172. John:
    No one is arguing that biologic complexity arose through chance alone. The sculpting of natural selection is not taken into account in Dembski's equations; he is arguing against a strawman of pure chance.

    Natural selection can operate only after the fact. The analysis is not complete until it is determined what number of chance events must occur before natural selection can have anything to act upon.

    What would be the conclusion if that analysis would show that the number of chance events that must occur before a selectable function is generated cannot occur in the time available?

    By "cannot occur", I mean that the chance of a selectable function being generated in the time available is so small that for all practical purposes it cannot occur.

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  173. Doublee,

    "Natural selection can operate only after the fact."

    You are exactly right, because NS is a subjective measure of specification. Jerry Fodor made a complete argument why NS is nonsensical without agency. In other words nature can not select for anything.

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  174. Not "measure of" but "type of"

    ReplyDelete
  175. Cornelius

    Will you please remove my weblog from your links. I find your behavior and tactics embarrassing and I want nothing more to do with you or your clientele. If you don't remove it, I will alert the world that you refused me!

    jadavison.wordpress.com

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  176. "In other words nature can not select for anything."

    Nonsense. This is another emperically false argument, which tries to define selection as requiring a selector.

    For example, currents in water can select for particle size, producing well-sorted layers of deposition. A complex pattern. What are the odds of this order spontaneously happening? Of course, we'll ignore the process that produces the non-random outcome like all your calculations ignore the path. And the result as specified (conforming to a pattern) as anything-the rocks are ordered from large to small.

    There are outcomes of natural processes which meet your definition of SCI. Random variation plus selection has been observed to result in novel functions.

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  177. Eocene said...

    Thorton said:

    "When will you be providing that scientific definition of KIND?"

    Okay, I'll try and simplify this as cleverly as I can because most often a child usually gets this. Are you ready ???

    Thorton, Zachriel, Derick Childress, Larry Moran, Richard Dawkins, Cornelius Hunter.

    Okay, only one of these individuals doesn't fit the same KIND. Can you tell who it is ???


    Easy. Thorton, Zachriel, Derick Childress, Larry Moran, and Richard Dawkins are all intellectually honest.

    You still didn't provide a definition of KIND as you used it here:

    "Eocene: "To simply lay out and insist that change and variety within the same KIND of creature/organism (Rhino KIND)(Diatom KIND) ETC is factual proof of macroevolution is absolutely dishonest."

    How do you determine if an extinct animal belongs to the Rhino KIND?

    If you're too embarrassed to even acknowledge your piece of stupidity I understand.

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  178. RobertC:
    Nonsense. This is another emperically false argument, which tries to define selection as requiring a selector.

    Let's not get carried away with the term natural selection. Selection does imply that there is a selector and to select is to choose, and to choose is to make a conscious choice among alternatives. Selecting requires intelligence.

    That is why natural selection is an oxymoron and is not a useful term, but alas, it is the accepted term. I prefer the term differential survival when talking about evolution.

    To say water currents select particle sizes? You must be putting us on. Come to think of it, I have observed gravity selecting my fork to fall to the floor when I have mishandled it. And if I keep dropping forks on the floor, I am sure they would form an interesting pattern, especially when you consider the way the forks strike each other would select the direction in which they bounce and land.

    And what are the odds of that particular pattern forming? Who cares? The pattern doesn't do anything. You could say the pattern is complex, but it is certainly not specified.

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  179. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  180. "Selection does imply that there is a selector and to select is to choose, and to choose is to make a conscious choice among alternatives. Selecting requires intelligence."

    And the eight degrees of inference continues. And selection requires a selector, and choice requires a chooser, and choices are intelligent, and intelligence is Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, cuz you say so. Did the big boulder choose to settle first? Did the slow gazelles choose the get eaten by cheetahs? Did the slow cheetahs choose to starve? Lol!!!

    And Cornelius accuses Darwinism of metaphysics and inference. Hilarious!

    "To say water currents select particle sizes? You must be putting us on. Come to think of it, I have observed gravity selecting my fork to fall to the floor when I have mishandled it. And if I keep dropping forks on the floor, I am sure they would form an interesting pattern, especially when you consider the way the forks strike each other would select the direction in which they bounce and land."

    Yep. See the issues when you make post-hoc conclusions about the nature of a pattern?

    "You could say the pattern is complex, but it is certainly not specified."

    From your favorite institute: "...and conforms to a pattern (making it specified)."

    http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1431

    Seems like any pattern is specified. Except when it isn't. According to your plastic and increasing meaningless definitions. Maybe you meant to mean it isn't functional (fCSI). Or neato (nFSCI). Or biologically relevant (brnFSCI)? Or makes Cornelius Hunter mad? mCHmbrnFSCI? The ever changing hell no that ain't true definition.......

    BTW, the 'scientific method' and 'experiment' in the above link is hilarious.

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  181. Cornelius:

    ===
    Since you've mentioned repeatedly that you don't have any "dog in this fight" - can we expect your next post to analyze the rather serious scientific flaws in Intelligent Design as well? I would look forward to seeing how ID stands up to the same rigorous standards.
    ===

    ID doesn't blackball scientists, control the faculty positions and journals, control education and media, and so forth.


    Which is a political comment and sidesteps my question.

    So I am forced to assume that either:

    a) You aren't planning to or can't discuss the science of ID, or

    b) There isn't enough science in ID to warrant the discussion.

    Which would you choose?

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  182. Thorton said: "When will you be providing that scientific definition of KIND?"

    Eocene said: "Okay, I'll try and simplify this as cleverly as I can because most often a child usually gets this. Are you ready ???

    Thorton, Zachriel, Derick Childress, Larry Moran, Richard Dawkins, Cornelius Hunter.

    Okay, only one of these individuals doesn't fit the same KIND. Can you tell who it is ???"
    ====================

    Eocene, I think the gracious thing would be to give you a do-over on that ridiculous example. It kind of illustrates Thorton's point: The definition would change based on what your (perhaps arbitrary) criteria for 'kind' is. If you're sorting by religion, may have three distinct categories: Cornelius and I (at least) would fall in the theist category, specifically Christian; the others may fall into the agnostic or atheist camp, or some other view altogether. If you're sorting by species, then everyone on your list is obviously the same kind; but if you're sorting by ethnicity, you might have a different arrangement altogether. If you're sorting by profession, I may be the odd man out, but if you sort by facial hair, then Larry and Cornelius would fall into a different category than myself and Dawkins. If you sort by hair color you may get some overlap in your 'kinds'; I have mostly brown hair like Cornelius appears to, but I also have lots of grey like Dawkins.

    Point being, there are as many definitions of 'kind' as there are criteria for categorizing things, according to your example.

    What Thorton (and myself now) are asking for is a clarification of what you mean by 'kind' when you said:

    "Eocene: "To simply lay out and insist that change and variety within the same KIND of creature/organism (Rhino KIND)(Diatom KIND) ETC is factual proof of macroevolution is absolutely dishonest."

    Can you be more specific on your criteria for 'kind' in this biological sense? Are tetrapods the same 'kind' of animal because they all have a spinal column and four limbs at some point in development? Are plants the same 'kind' because they utilize photosynthesis?

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  183. Hi Derick

    First of all I appreciate your clean respectful response as opposed to the usual Thortonian version demanded here that I often have to deal with.

    >>>"If you're too embarrassed to even acknowledge your piece of stupidity I understand."<<<

    First, when I gave my definition of a KIND to Mr Thorhill, admittedly it was a bit on the humorous cheeky side, but also illustratively in line with one definition given in this dictionary link:

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/species

    As you'll notice it is the definition for the word/term species. Both words (species/kind) are closely related, though species seems to have as much problem with definition shell games as does the word/term KIND. But it is that first definition listed that I used with the one in question and here is that dictionary version.

    1) "a class of individuals having some common characteristics or qualities; distinct sort or kind."

    Okay so EXACTLY what is meant by the biblical KIND ??? Actually from an opposing materialistic defintions standpoint there will never be any type of satisfying answer. One has to understand the people the term was first given to. They had very little education if any as compared to where we are now today. They had no concept of the deeper technical scientific matters we have a knowledge of today. That simple word term would have sufficed to those people back then who would have understood that a Zebra, Donkey, various Horses, etc were from the same KIND. Domestic dogs, wolves, foxes, etc were from the same KIND. In the plant realm, Oaks, Pines, Poplous , etc all show differing types within the same KIND. That's the simplest way I can explain it. It wasn't meant as an intellectual treminology for the approval of our modern world's Genius elites, it was simply written for the coomon man to understand a general description of the beginning and order of appearrance of things and nothing more. It also denotes a sense of order as opposed to chaos. The Bible was NOT written to be a technical scientific manuscipted explanation of the natural world for our modern day Scientific approval.

    As for Mr Thornhill's comment here that you quoted:

    "How do you determine if an extinct animal belongs to the Rhino KIND?"

    I have NO IDEA unless I have some time machine to go back or verify for sure. I also do not possess the ability to employ a sort of divination to channel dead spirits of these things to help me concoct a fanciful story and insist that my version is truth is correct for no other reason than I have the initials Phd behind my name that says I have that right. I'm not going to make some dogmatic assertions to simply back my belief on a matter and call it a fact for no other reason than I say so. Both sides /creos/evos get caught up in these rediculous fossil speculation debates that do nothing but cloud issues and give to birth further hatreds.

    Not sure If I'm running out of space here, but it's the best I can honestly give for a simple answer without nitpicking intellectually about it which ultimately leads zero common ground.

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  184. Eocene said...

    First, when I gave my definition of a KIND to Mr Thorhill, admittedly it was a bit on the humorous cheeky side, but also illustratively in line with one definition given in this dictionary link:


    Interesting spin. So when you said this...

    "Eocene: "To simply lay out and insist that change and variety within the same KIND of creature/organism (Rhino KIND)(Diatom KIND) ETC is factual proof of macroevolution is absolutely dishonest."

    ... were you just being "humorous and cheeky" when you made the unsupported accusation of dishonesty? I don't think very many saw the humor.

    But wait! Now you say this

    The Bible was NOT written to be a technical scientific manuscipted explanation of the natural world for our modern day Scientific approval.

    So were you deliberately lying when you made the first accusation of dishonesty?

    Then we get this

    I'm not going to make some dogmatic assertions to simply back my belief on a matter and call it a fact for no other reason than I say so.

    But that's exactly what you did when you accused others of dishonesty for presenting scientifically accurate data.

    Fact is - you stuck your foot in your mouth on this KIND thing, you got called on it. Maybe next time you'll think before just blurting out the knee-jerk Creto reaction to science.

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  185. Eocene,

    You'll never find common ground if you continue to be dismissive of serious science and misrepresent it sarcastically.

    ReplyDelete
  186. Michael,

    You gave me no choice but to interpret your name calling as ad hominem argument, because otherwise you had no argument. And you are the only one making silly mistakes; terms and factors have universal unambiguous definition in mathematics that is within the grasp of a competent eigth-grader.

    You won’t understand this, but here is some of the reason’s why Dembski’s line of inference is generally considered to be cargo cult science. Definitions are of course important. Dembski’s does not conform to standard definitions of complexity, specification, or information, and he conflates these terms in his writing.

    In computational science, one commonly used definition of complexity is Kolmogorov complexity, defined as the minimum information necessary to represent the string symbolically. In Kolmogorov, a single letter of the alphabet is of minimal complexity, a long random string of letters is complex, but a long string of a single letter repeated would have lower complexity than the random string. Unfortunately, there is no way to specify Kolmogorov complexity in a precise and objective manner; precise values depend on compression techniques and languages. You can of course, choose your techniques and measure in your chosen manner.

    With regard to specification, if we consider “any random string of letters of length ten” (“**********”, where “*” is a wild card) we have not made a specification. If I get one particular output of length ten from a random string generator, krmuvzyoxb we now have a specification, one specific string distinct from all other length-10 strings we could make in ASCII.

    Information, from information theory, is defined as the negative of the base-2 logarithm of probability.

    In Dembski’s verbal rhetoric, following Paul Davies, a single letter, such as q, is specified but not complex. (Agreement here with the rest of the world.) To Dembski, a long random string is complex, but not specified (here he is only correct if he means the unspecified wild card, but that’s not what he means), and a Shakespearean sonnet is complex and specified. He arrives at the conventional answer for the sonnet, but he implies specification is conformance to a pattern, in disagreement with the root meaning of specification.
    (ctd.)

    ReplyDelete
  187. In his formulas, he defines PHI (note: sorry, no equation editor on this machine)as the number of strings with Kolmogorov complexity less than or equal to some observed string of interest. PHI will be thus low when Kolmogorov complexity is low.

    His specificity (SIGMA, p.18 of link; “log” refers to base-2 logarithm) is –log(PHI * P), where P is the probality of a string we observe arising via chance. Probability of any one specific string is a simple function of its length. What Dembski is looking for here is compressible strings. By taking the negative log, he is treating this specificity as a form of information. Indeed, there would be few highly-compressible strings produced by random string generation, so restriction to a set of highly compressible strings reduces uncertainty within string space. However, this probabilistic information does not connote functional information (like that found in the exons of genes in the framework of cellular chemistry); nor does it follow that a highly compressible sequence is necessarily a message, whereas as a Kolmogorov-complex (incompressible) sequence is not a message. Significantly, compressibility of DNA sequences arises from the repetitive sequences like Alu and not from functional exons.

    Dembski then produces specified complexity through the inclusion of a pair of factors within the logarithm that he terms probabilistic resources (M N). He states the maximum value of M N must be 10**120 (** implies exponentiation) as a result of Seth Lloyd’s work. But it is debatable that this limit applies. Were we not in a universe that possessed life, we could never be having this discussion, and as far as we know, there are other universes that do not harbor life, or at least where life did not arise by chance. This leads us to Dembski’s biggest problem in attacking naturalistic origin scenarios for genes and structures; he has made no allowance for natural selection. As with pre-Darwinian thinkers, there is only conscious design and pure chance in his world, with no understanding of how complexity could arise through combinations of chance and natural law. He has fallen for Hoyle’s fallacy.



    Notice once again that Dembski’s specified complexity is high where Kolmogorov complexity is low. Fully in keeping with creationists equating science with religion, simplicity is complexity.

    Notice also that his complexity measure has the form of information (reduction in uncertainty), which is not the same thing as complexity.

    Hurricanes are complex. Not because it takes many words to paint a verbal picture of them, but because it takes many bits of information to specify them. I already provided you the nature of those data. A philosopher might babble on and on about “nothing” for pages and pages, but a mathematician will tell you X: X is a member of the empty set.

    Hurricanes certainly do have some repetitive structure, so I think they still would fit in Dembski’s specified complexity (which is really just a bizarre phrasing for compressibility).

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  188. Thorton:

    ""Eocene: "To simply lay out and insist that change and variety within the same KIND of creature/organism (Rhino KIND)(Diatom KIND) ETC is factual proof of macroevolution is absolutely dishonest."

    ==============================================

    Please don't read something into what I said. Those so-called Rhino pics are anybody's guess, assertion, assumption, speculation as to what they are. Do they look and have similiarities ??? Sure. Are they all somehow related ??? I don't know, they could be. But they are NOT examples of the Macro (Jumping from one KIND of Species into a complete other) evolution. IF they are all Rhino KINDS, then they are simply different varieties within that type of animal. This is now going towards a Macro definition shell game and sadly the intent of that is never to come to a complete agreement on anything. Now if you could show how something as different as a horse morphed eventually into the cow KIND, then I'm all for looking at that. It's called using common sense. Yes I understand that common sense is not allowed in these debates, but they should be. I believe this is where faith and religion of the evo theory comes into play.

    This is what Cornelius was getting at in putting up an artist's animation concept (or even computer cartoon animations) of supposed fossil proofs and making dogmatic statements that this shows observed macroevolutionary FACT. This is stupid. Nobody was there. Nobody owns a time machine to prove one way or another. And again I have to emphasize, this where the only way to technically disprove (without a shadow of doubt) such an assumption (not FACT) is to use a time machine and follow the supposed crime scene trail, but since such a thing doesn't exist we are forced and obligated to take these individuals word at it for no other reason than they state it's the honest to goodness truth. Do any of you realize that this is the very thing that religion gets accused of ??? Evolution is a faith based dogma and the perfect racket if it doesn't have to follow all the same rules of real scientific method.

    ========================================
    Thorton:

    "Fact is - you stuck your foot in your mouth on this KIND thing, you got called on it. Maybe next time you'll think before just blurting out the knee-jerk Creto reaction to science."

    ========================================

    No I didn't, you read into it what you wanted. I explained the reasons the term was used in the biblical account and you didn't like it. That's kool, you have that freedom to believe as you wish. But as true to your nature here in this forum venue, when backed into a corner, you find the need like some vicious wounded animal to use derogatory insulting words/terms and names to display your psuedo-righteous indignation when no intelligent response is to be found in your vocabulary portfolio. I don't have a problem with you disagreeing with me, but don't twist what I say or read something that's not there, please.

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  189. John,

    My argument is very clear that I never used SCI with a definition for specification other than a subjective measure. I did not use it apart from mind and I did not start with proving specification.

    Even so, I am still chuckling at your silly definition of complexity in a hurricane...

    All you need to contend with is the fact that the probability of a hurricane having a particular set of properties by random natural events is virtually 1 (...certain to happen.), and therefore has no complexity in the SCI sense.

    If you contend that a model like SCI cannot create its own operational definitions of the terms used then you operate within a strange approach to science. Each new explanation of any event requires to have its own operational parameters. It seems as if you conflate Dembski's use of information theoretic methods with the operational terms he created. An example is like saying Plantinga's epistemological use of the term "Warrant" must be interpreted by the financial meaning of the word "Warrant = A type of security issued by a corporation". Good science there John...not...

    P.S.
    Even though Kolmogorov complexity places very little semantic relevance to high compressibility of a pattern, as part of the quantitative method, every sane person knows that the application implies specification (semantic significance) in the sense Dembski discussed it. Code breaking uses it all the time and they break codes to get to the specified meaning of a pattern.

    (I use semantic significance to denote specification by an intelligence)

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  190. Michael: It seems as if you conflate Dembski's use of information theoretic methods with the operational terms he created.

    This is Dembski's formula for specified complexity: χ = –log2 [ BIGNUM · ϕS(T) · P(T|H) ]

    The complexity is defined in terms of a Chance Hypothesis. Specificity is defined in terms of a Semiotic Agent. The former has a problem with an unambiguous way of determining an appropriate Chance Hypothesis. The latter has the problem of the necessary subjectivity of the Agent.

    Dembski: Can objects, even if nothing is known about how they arose, exhibit features that reliably signal the action of an intelligent cause?

    After many attempts, no one has ever taken the time to work through a few examples.

    -
    Today, William got an incredible deal on an old Victorian house. Highly satisfied with his business acumen, William settled in for a blissful night of sleep in his new home.

    SLAM!

    William woke with a start. He listened intently. But he didn't hear anything, so he settled back to sleep.

    Cree..eak

    William listened even more closely this time until, after a bit, the creaking noise died away. For some reason, he recalled the seller's maniacal laughter just after William signed the papers to buy the house.

    SLAM!

    William was trembling and his teeth were rattling. He thought about getting out of bed to investigate. Instead, he pulled the covers over his head.

    Cree..eak

    Hmm, William thought. Being a famous design theoretician, I can use the patented (not really) Dembski Inference to determine if the pattern is being caused by a ghost, er, some unspecified intelligent cause.

    SLAM!
    Cree..eak
    SLAM!
    Cree..eak
    SLAM!
    Cree..eak
    SLAM!
    Cree..eak

    -

    For our first calculation. Let's assume the pattern is 01010101010101 …

    Using Dembski's Inference, what can we infer about the pattern without risking a venture about the house? Assume the pattern is regular for now. Be sure to show your math (e.g. Chance Hypothesis). And remember! No peeking from beneath the covers!

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  191. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  192. John,

    If my discussion above was not clear. You made a "Straw man" argument out of Dembski's method to assess specification quantitatively, where my argument was based on the NON-complex nature of a hurricane. (I even accepted your notions of specification, even the "mortality" one...) Dembski's paper you sighted starts his explanation of complexity, only after he established specification. See section "7 Specified Complexity".

    I simply used the straight forward explanation that one of Dr. Dembski's friends used:

    Complex Specified Information – It’s not that hard to understand

    My definition of complexity is straight forward and consistent with ID's SCI: "If nature can not create a pattern by chance application of purely natural phenomenon then it is complex to the measure of the improbability of the pattern being a chance event..."

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  193. It stays a very funny situation to see thinking people denying the scientific reality of design detection, just because of the unwanted effect it has on their favourite dogma. It is almost like people arguing with Copernicus about heliocentric evidence because they want to uphold geocentric views.

    What they don't realise is that mocking design detection mocks all of scientific effort, because any scientific investigation has to proof that designed effects are accounted for within their findings. If they don't they might end in jail or lose all credibility. Design detection is part of science, always.

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  194. John,

    I would in principle leave my objections that NS is not a natural phenomenon. Let's say it is and if it invalidate Dambski's design inference. What you forget is that NS never has been an naturalistic explanation for the origin of life from non life?

    Unfortunately if you look for SCI you can not simply assume the very thing you want to proof to be the cause of the SCI, that is circular reasoning. Can you see that? Unfortunately you have to ask what natural process caused genetic code in the first place, and if you want to say Natural Selection then you presuppose actually presuppose genetic code.

    Therefore you are back at square one. What is the natural mechanism that caused the SCI in genetic code in the first place?

    You see Dembski's inference is still in tact and you actually tried to disproof him on his terms by proposing a natural phenomenon, in the form of NS. The problem it is a self referencing proof and that is maybe why Dembski did not bother to use it... Unlike you that is a very clever thing to do.

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  195. Zachriel:
    The complexity is defined in terms of a Chance Hypothesis. Specificity is defined in terms of a Semiotic Agent. The former has a problem with an unambiguous way of determining an appropriate Chance Hypothesis. The latter has the problem of the necessary subjectivity of the Agent.

    At the risk of misunderstanding what you said, I venture forth.

    If the determination of the probability of the occurence of a chance event is ambiguous, then it is also ambiguous whether chance events are sufficient to drive evolution.

    If chance events cannot be shown to generate the functional and morphological changes needed by evolution, then you cannot claim that evolution is a fact.

    As I asked in my July 31, 9:04 A.M. post:
    What would be the conclusion if ... the number of chance events that must occur before a selectable function is generated cannot occur in the time available?

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  196. Eocene said...

    Thorton:

    ""Eocene: "To simply lay out and insist that change and variety within the same KIND of creature/organism

    (Rhino KIND)(Diatom KIND) ETC is factual proof of macroevolution is absolutely dishonest."

    ==============================================

    Please don't read something into what I said.


    I didn't. Those are your exact words, and I portrayed them as such.

    Those so-called Rhino pics are anybody's guess, assertion, assumption, speculation as to what they are.

    No, they're not "anybody's guess". They're the result of years upon years of detailed morphological examinations by professional paleontologists.

    Do they look and have similiarities ??? Sure. Are they all somehow related ??? I don't know, they could be. But they are NOT examples of the Macro (Jumping from one KIND of Species into a complete other) evolution.

    To the scientific community they are, beyond any reasonable doubt.

    IF they are all Rhino KINDS, then they are simply different varieties within that type of animal.

    There is no such thing as the Rhino KIND. That's a figment of an ignorant Creationist's imagination.

    This is now going towards a Macro definition shell game and sadly the intent of that is never to come to a complete agreement on anything. Now if you could show how something as different as a horse morphed eventually into the cow KIND, then I'm all for looking at that.

    There is no such thing as a horse KIND or a cow KIND either.

    It's called using common sense. Yes I understand that common sense is not allowed in these debates, but they should be. I believe this is where faith and religion of the evo theory comes into play.

    The whole point of doing science is to get away from "common sense" which is notoriously inaccurate and most often wrong. "Common sense" says that the Sun revolves around a stationary earth, and that in a vacuum heavier things fall faster than light things.

    This is what Cornelius was getting at in putting up an artist's animation concept (or even computer cartoon animations) of supposed fossil proofs and making dogmatic statements that this shows observed macroevolutionary FACT. This is stupid.

    Those pictures alone are not the sole evidence for macroevolution. The fact of macroevolution has been determined from hundreds of thousands of corroborating and cross-corrolating pieces of consilient evidence. The diagrams were just an example. Cornelius deliberately misrepresented the context of their presentation to try and make a cheap rhetorical point. That's pretty dishonest in my book.

    Nobody was there. Nobody owns a time machine to prove one way or another. And again I have to emphasize, this where the only way to technically disprove (without a shadow of doubt) such an assumption (not FACT) is to use a time machine and follow the supposed crime scene trail, but since such a thing doesn't exist we are forced and obligated to take these individuals word at it for no other reason than they state it's the honest to goodness truth.

    Don't be an idiot. Science doesn't need to eyewitness an event to figure out what happened any more than detectives or FAA air crash investigators do. There is more than ample evidence left behind by the event to determine reality to a level that science considers factual.

    Do any of you realize that this is the very thing that religion gets accused of ??? Evolution is a faith based dogma and the perfect racket if it doesn't have to follow all the same rules of real scientific method.

    There is no individual science of evolution. The theory of evolution draws its evidence for hundreds of different scientific disciplines, and every last one follows the scientific "rules."

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  197. Eocene said...(cont)
    ========================================
    Thorton:

    "Fact is - you stuck your foot in your mouth on this KIND thing, you got called on it. Maybe next time you'll think before just blurting out the knee-jerk Creto reaction to science."

    ========================================

    No I didn't, you read into it what you wanted. I explained the reasons the term was used in the biblical account and you didn't like it.


    I didn't criticise the Biblical account. I criticized your use of the undefined term here to call someone dishonest.

    That's kool, you have that freedom to believe as you wish. But as true to your nature here in this forum venue, when backed into a corner, you find the need like some vicious wounded animal to use derogatory insulting words/terms and names to display your psuedo-righteous indignation when no intelligent response is to be found in your vocabulary portfolio. I don't have a problem with you disagreeing with me, but don't twist what I say or read something that's not there, please.

    I didn't. You made a very stupid and insulting claim, I called you on it, and to no one's surprise you can't back it up. Happens all the time with IDCers posting anti-science nonsense on the web.

    If you don't want to get called on your idiocy, don't post idiocy.

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  198. Michael said...

    If you contend that a model like SCI cannot create its own operational definitions of the terms used then you operate within a strange approach to science


    Great! You IDiots make up all the subjective empty buzzwords you like - CSI, FCSI, ABCDEFGSCI - and the scientific community will still laugh at your childish antics until you come up with some objective ways to do things.

    What they don't realise is that mocking design detection mocks all of scientific effort,

    We're not mocking design detection, just your unscientific IDiot version of it that goes "gee that looks designed to me, so it must be designed."

    When will you be providing that method of objectively measuring FSCI in a biological entity, and giving us a sample calculation? It's almost like you can't and are just stalling to avoid the question.

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  199. Thorton

    "If you don't want to get called on your idiocy, don't post idiocy."

    And here is the biggest problem in trying to engage you in any type of respectful intelligent dialog. NOBODY CAN, IT'S IMPOSSIBLE!!!

    I don't know exactly how old you are, but you need to dump the adulescent street gutter behavior at the door. Insults, name calling , vulgarities, and filth that come out of your keyboard DO NOT a foundation or basis for your arguements or position make. Maybe you can stick to debating with JoeG since he seems on par with your style of discussion.

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