Saturday, March 19, 2011

Anthropomorphic Terminology: Obstacle or Enabler?

As Bioessays Editor-in-Chief Andrew Moore reports, the lack of public acceptance of evolution is a fundamental misunderstanding of its core concepts. In fact, in the latest Bioessays Jacques Dubochet contends that many people think of evolution as producing modifications with an aim. They think of eyes as having evolved in order to see, and legs having evolved for walking, rather than in terms of directionless variation, and natural selection without motivation, design or strategy. “It is about time,” warns Moore, “that we stopped such anthropomorphic terminology and thinking, and confronted the likelihood that – far from being ‘excusable shorthand’ – it is an important contributor to a false impression of evolution among many non-scientists.” But Moore has it backwards.

Moore laments the use of anthropomorphic terminology in the evolution literature and rightly points out it misrepresents evolutionary theory:

There have even been meetings organized under titles such as “Molecular Strategies in Biological Evolution.” This and other examples impose a fallacious sense of direction of causality in evolution, and that is completely consistent with a common misconception of evolution facilitating organisms towards certain aims or goals. Another concept that arises from the “anthropomorphisation” of evolution is the “problem”: in other words, an organism or system evolves towards what we, retrospectively, identify as a barrier, or “problem” that had to be “solved,” and we wonder how it was overcome. Nature doesn’t solve anything. “Evolved towards” is another trap: we can only say “towards” in retrospect. The system cannot actually evolve towards anything.

But why would Moore think that such an error has led to the lay public rejecting evolution? I know people who are skeptical of evolution, and believe me this misconception (whether they hold it or not) is not the reason.

In fact, quite the opposite, it is precisely non evolutionary language that makes evolution more palatable. Anthropomorphic and Lamarckian terminology allows us to escape evolution’s foundational claim, and ultimate absurdity, that the biological world spontaneously arose by itself. Indeed, that very phrase, spontaneously arose by itself, while a scientifically accurate description of evolutionary thinking, is almost universally rejected by evolutionists as a straw man rendition of their theory. It is always interesting to see how evolutionists react when confronted with their own ideas, sans the euphemisms.

Consider this example conclusion from research involving the third eye:

A G_o-mediated phototransduction pathway might already be present in the ciliary photoreceptors of early coelomates, the last common ancestor of lizard (vertebrate) and scallop (mollusk), because both have this pathway. Later, the ancestral vertebrate photoreceptor acquired a second G protein, either gustducin or transducin, for chromatic antagonism and perhaps other purposes. The parietal photoreceptor evolved subsequently and retained these ancestral features.

This anthropomorphic and Lamarckian language is important in the evolutionary genre. Imagine if evolutionists reported that random biological variation produced a phototransduction pathway, and then produced myriad new proteins, which fortunately just happened to include a second G protein, which fortunately just happened to ... well you get the point.

Andrew Moore is correct that anthropomorphic and Lamarckian descriptions are misleading accounts of evolution. But he underestimates their important role as a necessary literary device to suppress the underlying absurdity. Far from an obstacle, they help enable acceptance of evolution.

83 comments:

  1. Cornelius Hunter:

    "Indeed, that very phrase, spontaneously arose by itself, while a scientifically accurate description of evolutionary thinking, is almost universally rejected by evolutionists as a straw man rendition of their theory."
    ===

    And it's humorous every time you insist they explain the always avoided foundational corner stone on their believe in "NO INTELLIGENCE ALLOWED". They know full well they come off as fools in whatever unscientific explanation they fabricate on the fly.

    BTW, speaking of fools. Don't many of them have a sacred holiday coming up soon ???

    ---

    Cornelius Hunter:

    "It is always interesting to see how evolutionists react when confronted with their own ideas, sans the euphemisms."
    ===

    Interesting is putting it mildly. How about entertainment ???

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anthropomorphic and Lamarckian terminology allows us to escape evolution’s foundational claim, and ultimate absurdity, that the biological world spontaneously arose by itself.

    What could be more absurdly anthropomorphic than the claim that the biological world was conjured into existence by an imaginary super-human?

    Indeed, that very phrase, spontaneously arose by itself, while a scientifically accurate description of evolutionary thinking, is almost universally rejected by evolutionists as a straw man rendition of their theory. It is always interesting to see how evolutionists react when confronted with their own ideas, sans the euphemisms.

    Three words tossed off without context can scarcely qualify as a “scientifically accurate description.”

    ReplyDelete
  3. [Life] spontaneously arose by itself.

    I will just give you my take on it: To define abiogenesis like this is the transparent effort to make this sound unlikely to the layman because to a layman “spontaneous” means something similar as “instantaneous”. Spontaneous actually has a scientific meaning (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spontaneous_process). So to say that life arose by spontaneous processes would not tell a scientist anything because it only means that the laws of thermodynamics were not violated.

    In this context in the strange creationist logic a non-violation of natural laws however implies without God. Since the “by itself” implies the same thing the whole sentence is to read: “Life without God arose without God.” If scientist would actually claim that you would obviously love it.

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  4. Cornelius Hunter: Anthropomorphic Terminology: Obstacle or Enabler?

    'I am gone into the fields
    To take what this sweet hour yields.
    Reflection, you may come to-morrow;
    Sit by the fireside with Sorrow.
    You with the unpaid bill, Despair,-
    You, tiresome verse-reciter, Care,-
    I will pay you in the grave,-
    Death will listen to your stave.
    Expectation too, be off!
    To-day is for itself enough.
    Hope, in pity mock not Woe
    With smiles, nor follow where I go;
    Long having lived on your sweet food,
    At length I find one moment's good
    After long pain: with all your love,
    This you never told me of.'

    ReplyDelete
  5. CH,
    if you look at the phrase "spontaneously arose by itself", all it means is that biological diversity arose through natural processes. this is hardly a unique claim of evolution, and indeed is a working assumption of all science (everything occurs through natural processes). so the reason it is a strawman is that the phrase is not a "foundational claim" of evolutionary biology anymore than "cancer arises through natural processes" is a fundamental claim of oncology.

    ReplyDelete
  6. CH,
    is "Cancer arises spontaneously by itself" a scientifically accurate statement?

    ReplyDelete
  7. As Bioessays Editor-in-Chief Andrew Moore reports, the lack of public acceptance of evolution is a fundamental misunderstanding of its core concepts.

    He's wrong. It is pretty clear that most of the lack of acceptance of evolution is a religious issue (religious not sensu Cornelius).

    ReplyDelete
  8. Geoxus:"He's wrong. It is pretty clear that most of the lack of acceptance of evolution is a religious issue "

    No it is not religious, is grandma common sense.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Blas said...

    Geoxus:"He's wrong. It is pretty clear that most of the lack of acceptance of evolution is a religious issue "

    No it is not religious, is grandma common sense.


    Blas, if our present biodiversity didn't get here by evolution, and it didn't get here by Intelligent Design, how did it get here?

    Maybe you could ask your grandma since you seem afraid to answer.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Blas,

    No it is not religious, is grandma common sense.

    Obviously, we know that not a single grandma professes a religion. Thus, their "common sense" and archaic prejudices trump actual scientific understanding! You lose evilutionists!

    ReplyDelete
  11. One of the problems in explaining biological processes or indeed any scientific concept is that human language is drenched in metaphors of intentionality; we instinctively see intention behind every process. In fact, to describe something without using these metaphors requires much more effort and a lot more explanation. So, for example, instead of "the clouds, though heavy at times are somewhat broken up and drifting such that occasionally the sun is occasionally exposed", we say "the sun is trying to shine" and everybody knows what that means. Do we really think the sun is "trying"? Of course not, it's just convenient short-hand.

    Similarly "the ancestral vertebrate photoreceptor acquired a second G protein" is just short-hand for something like "a mutation occurred in the DNA that codes for the ancestral vertebrate photoreceptor that resulted in the addition of a second G protein" (or something along those lines). We always need to remind ourselves that these short-hands are convenient but not necessarily accurate. However, they also can't really be avoided without producing needlessly long and elaborate expositions every time we refer to a process.

    So, once we’ve already explained the underlying process in detail (in this case how DNA codes for proteins and the role of mutations in creating variation) we can skip over all the long explanations and just say something like “the photoreceptor ‘aquired’ a second G protein”.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I wonder if some Creationists think that when a sailor refers to a ship as 'she', that means the vessel is an actual living entity with female organs.

    ReplyDelete
  13. "As Bioessays Editor-in-Chief Andrew Moore reports, the lack of public acceptance of evolution is a fundamental misunderstanding of its core concepts.

    He's wrong. It is pretty clear that most of the lack of acceptance of evolution is a religious issue."

    I would say it is both. Certainly do religious convictions hinder the acceptance of the ToE. But a lot more people would accept the ToE if it was explained to them properly.

    http://rachelheldevans.com/evolution

    To prevent the ToE to be properly taught in high schools is the logical reason for the existence of the ID lobby.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Darwinists try to hide the intentionality in their pseudo-scientific narratives by claiming that traits evolve because of evolutionary pressure. For example, they might say that eyes evolved because there was evolutionary pressure to see. Never mind, of course, that there are countless animals that thrive without the benefit of sight.

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  15. Geoxus:

    He's wrong. It is pretty clear that most of the lack of acceptance of evolution is a religious issue

    The reverse is also true. That's Cornelius main point on this blog, I believe.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Louis the Fruit Loop said...

    Darwinists try to hide the intentionality in their pseudo-scientific narratives by claiming that traits evolve because of evolutionary pressure. For example, they might say that eyes evolved because there was evolutionary pressure to see. Never mind, of course, that there are countless animals that thrive without the benefit of sight.


    And the ones that thrive without benefit of sight live in environments where sight doesn't provide any survival advantage. That's how evolution works fruit loop.

    The result of evolutionary processes is to maximize survival potential in the local environment. In most environments eyesight provides an advantage, so animals that can see (or see better than others) were selected for. In environments where eyes don't provide an advantage (i.e lightless caves) , they are not selected for.

    That's Evolution 101. You may want to read up on it someday.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Louis the Fruit Loop said...

    Geoxus: He's wrong. It is pretty clear that most of the lack of acceptance of evolution is a religious issue

    The reverse is also true. That's Cornelius main point on this blog, I believe.


    The actual point of Cornelius' blog is to give the otherwise impotent Creationists and ID nutters a place to rant and vent against the solid sciences that threatens their Fundy religious beliefs. You're a perfect example Looie.

    ReplyDelete
  18. second opinion said...

    ...But a lot more people would accept the ToE if it was explained to them properly.

    ROTFL.

    As though no school has ever explained it to them properly!

    After more than a century of attempts at teaching this inane theory, you still can't get everyone to swallow it, therefore its the teachers fault or religion!?!?

    As though "Darwin's simple idea" were so difficult to grasp!!

    Amazing. You Darwinists are hopelessly lost in the chaos of cognitive dissonance that it short circuits your ability to reason correctly.

    And thus if a majority still don't believe it is because the theory itself is incredible and unfounded rather than the teaching of it?

    ...To prevent the ToE to be properly taught in high schools is the logical reason for the existence of the ID lobby.

    Another ROTFLMAO is required after this asinine statement.

    You Darwinians need serious de-programming more than anything else.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Gary said...

    You Darwinians need serious de-programming more than anything else.


    Pity we don't have some sooper-smart Creationist use statistical mechanics to disprove ToE once and for all.

    I guess the Creto who bragged about having done that was just a blustering buffoon, don't you agree Gary?

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  20. second opinion:

    I would say it is both. Certainly do religious convictions hinder the acceptance of the ToE. But a lot more people would accept the ToE if it was explained to them properly.

    I don't want to imply that education is irrelevant, but I think religion is the most important factor. Where I live evolutionary theory is poorly taught too, but very rarely people reject it. The religious anti-evolution propaganda here is close to non-existent, as people are predominantly Catholic. Bad education in general makes people more likely to fell for anti-evolution, but it doesn't seem to make them become deniers by themselves.

    That said, of course don't want to people simply accept the ToE. We want people to actually understand the basics of it.

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  21. Geoxus:

    ===
    It is pretty clear that most of the lack of acceptance of evolution is a religious issue
    ===

    This is what evolutionists need to believe. In fact it is precisely the opposite. It is evolution that is religiously mandated. That is abundantly documented for anyone interested in the facts, rather than making up facts.

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  22. Cornelius,

    This is what evolutionists need to believe.

    To believe otherwise is delusional. Even if you thought there are good scientific reasons to reject evolution, you should be aware that only a small fraction of the evolution deniers are familiar with them. The vast majority of evolution deniers are religiously motivated. If not, where do sophisticated objections like "there are still monkeys" came from? Where does "flood geology" come from? Where does "cdesign proponetsists" come from?

    This is what evolutionists need to believe. In fact it is precisely the opposite. It is evolution that is religiously mandated.

    Yeah, tell that to Catholics. I guess the Modern Synthesis was incorporated into Catholicism in the Second Vatican Council?

    That is abundantly documented for anyone interested in the facts, rather than making up facts.

    As you infallibly show us week by week on this blog.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Norm Olsen:

    ===
    However, they also can't really be avoided without producing needlessly long and elaborate expositions every time we refer to a process.

    So, once we’ve already explained the underlying process in detail (in this case how DNA codes for proteins and the role of mutations in creating variation) we can skip over all the long explanations and just say something like “the photoreceptor ‘aquired’ a second G protein”.
    ===

    I think this is a good point. Here's another, slightly different, example. Yesterday I heard someone say the sun was going down.

    But in the case of evolution this convenient and reasonable use of language ever so gradually morphs into protective euphemism. The more we tell ourselves that "the ancestral vertebrate photoreceptor acquired a second G protein **for chromatic antagonism and perhaps other purposes**," the more we can ignore the elephant in the room.

    *How* did such designs arise in the first place? These awkward problems are so often ignored, and the focus is on functionality. X has this function, therefore it evolved.

    Another example is the oft-used phrase, "selection pressure." Yes, we all understand what this actually means. First, there is, in fact, no "pressure" at the level of variation. And second, selection does not influence the variation. So while the use of the word "pressure" suggests that selection can induce biological change to occur in response to environmental challenges*, this is not generally true under evolutionary theory. But it is this particular step in the process where so much of the magic must take place. It is precisely this, often overlooked, step where blind biological variation is supposed to construct high complexity designs. By using phrases such as "selection pressure" it is conveniently ignored.

    * Ironically, what the science is telling us is that biological adaptation, in spite of evolutionary theory, in fact does respond to environmental challenges.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Cornelius Hunter said...

    Geoxus:

    ===
    It is pretty clear that most of the lack of acceptance of evolution is a religious issue
    ===

    This is what evolutionists need to believe. In fact it is precisely the opposite. It is evolution that is religiously mandated. That is abundantly documented for anyone interested in the facts, rather than making up facts.


    Speaking of making up things as you go Cornelius, when will you be giving us your definitions of 'fact' and 'theory', and explaining the difference between the two?

    If you don't understand the difference just say so, and one of the scientifically knowledgeable folks here will gladly explain it to you.

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  25. Gary,

    if even a Prof. with a PhD in biochemistry like Cornelius Hunter does not accurately represent the ToE and I don't mean the judgment of the evidence but the theoretical framework underneath it, I have little hope that you could so I don't bother to ask.

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  26. Geoxus:

    Evolutionists need to believe that rejection of evolution is religiously mandated. To this you responded:

    ===
    To believe otherwise is delusional. Even if you thought there are good scientific reasons to reject evolution, you should be aware that only a small fraction of the evolution deniers are familiar with them.
    ===

    This is elitism. Sure, there are many uneducated people in the world who lack scientific understanding. This well explains why people don't understand quantum mechanics, differential calculus, and other complicated topics. But evolution makes a basic claim that is rather ridiculous and, yes, understandable to the lay person.

    ===
    The vast majority of evolution deniers are religiously motivated.
    ===

    This is just more elitism. Perhaps if you knew a few more of these "deniers" you would understand. There are many religious people who really don't care much if the earth is young or old, evolution happened or didn't, etc., but doubt evolution because it doesn't make sense.


    ===
    If not, where do sophisticated objections like "there are still monkeys" came from? Where does "flood geology" come from? Where does "cdesign proponetsists" come from?
    ===

    Sure there are people all over the map. No doubt there are some who simply are religiously motivated to reject evolution. But you simply cannot so cleanly separate the absurdity of the science from the religious talk. When you present a silly theory, and then people who reject it talk about god, or a designer, or whatever, you need to be careful in deducing causal relationships.

    It would be different if we were talking about quantum mechanics or calculus. But we're not. We're talking about a religiously motivated theory that drives science in spite of the evidence.


    ===
    CH: This is what evolutionists need to believe. In fact it is precisely the opposite. It is evolution that is religiously mandated.

    Yeah, tell that to Catholics. I guess the Modern Synthesis was incorporated into Catholicism in the Second Vatican Council?
    ===

    Strange. If you think Catholics have not done their fair share in mandating evolution then you're ignorant of the history of evolutionary thought. For the most part Catholics were not in the lead, but they have certainly done their share of the lifting.

    ReplyDelete
  27. second opinion:

    "like Cornelius Hunter does not accurately represent the ToE"

    How so?

    ReplyDelete
  28. Cornelius Hunter said...

    second opinion:

    "like Cornelius Hunter does not accurately represent the ToE"

    How so?


    By continuously and dishonestly equivocating between the observed fact of evolution and the theory of evolution that explains the fact, among other things.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thorton:

    And the ones that thrive without benefit of sight live in environments where sight doesn't provide any survival advantage. That's how evolution works fruit loop.

    The result of evolutionary processes is to maximize survival potential in the local environment. In most environments eyesight provides an advantage, so animals that can see (or see better than others) were selected for. In environments where eyes don't provide an advantage (i.e lightless caves) , they are not selected for.

    That's Evolution 101. You may want to read up on it someday.


    This is all nonsense, of course. If a species was doing fine without eyes, no environmental pressure would make eyes necessary. They would all become extinct if eyesight became a necessity for survival given that evolution takes eons to do anything even with one billionth the complexity of eyesight.

    And why select for eyesight since echolocation works pretty well even in daylight? Besides, if the ability to see gave some an advantage over the ones that can't see, one would expect that the ability to detect and process x-rays, infra-red, ultra-violet, and a huge gamut of other radio frequencies, would give any creature a powerful competitive advantage over other species and even within one's own species. Why don't we see those traits all over the place?

    I tell you why. It's because they were not designed that way, that's why.

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  30. Thorton:

    Cornelius Hunter said...

    second opinion:

    "like Cornelius Hunter does not accurately represent the ToE"

    Cornelius: How so?

    Thorton: By continuously and dishonestly equivocating between the observed fact of evolution and the theory of evolution that explains the fact, among other things.


    Cornelius asked for an example, not for your personal opinion, which isn't worth much, as we know. Besides, it is a lie that there is such a thing as the observed fact of Darwinian evolution given that nobody has ever observed cows evolving into whales all by themselves.

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  31. Thorton:

    The actual point of Cornelius' blog is to give the otherwise impotent Creationists and ID nutters a place to rant and vent against the solid sciences that threatens their Fundy religious beliefs. You're a perfect example Looie.

    This is just your dumb opinion, of course.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Thorton:

    Speaking of making up things as you go Cornelius, when will you be giving us your definitions of 'fact' and 'theory', and explaining the difference between the two?

    If you don't understand the difference just say so, and one of the scientifically knowledgeable folks here will gladly explain it to you.


    The insufferable pomposity of evolutionists (we are the smartest beings on earth) raises its ugly and stupid little head again.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Cornelius:

    This is elitism. Sure, there are many uneducated people in the world who lack scientific understanding. This well explains why people don't understand quantum mechanics, differential calculus, and other complicated topics.

    But why is people more likely to reject evolution than quantum physics? Both are very complicated theories, and quantum mechanics deals with phenomena that would seem patently absurd to us observers of a Newtonian world. If people can find both of them to be absurd, why the ToE gets much more rejected by the layperson?

    I don't understand quantum physics well, and some things you hear about it do sound against common sense to me. But as it is very complex topic and I have a limited lifetime, I prefer to trust physicists to do their work right, and to think that the apparent absurdity of the whole field stems from my incomplete knowledge, rather than dismissing it from my superficial understanding. Yes, there is some elitism in this. I'd call it "the sensible layperson's elitism".

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  34. Gary:

    second opinion said...

    ...But a lot more people would accept the ToE if it was explained to them properly.

    ROTFL.

    As though no school has ever explained it to them properly!

    After more than a century of attempts at teaching this inane theory, you still can't get everyone to swallow it, therefore its the teachers fault or religion!?!?

    As though "Darwin's simple idea" were so difficult to grasp!!

    Amazing. You Darwinists are hopelessly lost in the chaos of cognitive dissonance that it short circuits your ability to reason correctly.

    And thus if a majority still don't believe it is because the theory itself is incredible and unfounded rather than the teaching of it?


    Well argued. Evolutionists also love to see themselves as being intellectually superior. To them, any critic of evolution is necessarily inferior in both intelligence and knowledge. As if the ToE were a highly complex theory that only rocket scientists can understand. In fact, it is a trivially simple theory, as theories go. Truth is, many rocket scientists do in fact spit on the ToE.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Louis the Fruit Loop said...

    And why select for eyesight since echolocation works pretty well even in daylight?


    Because eyesight is a passive collection system that works over much greater distances. In darkness there is no light to collect so active ranging systems like echolocation work better.

    Besides, if the ability to see gave some an advantage over the ones that can't see, one would expect that the ability to detect and process x-rays, infra-red, ultra-violet, and a huge gamut of other radio frequencies, would give any creature a powerful competitive advantage over other species and even within one's own species. Why don't we see those traits all over the place?

    We do you moron. Pit vipers have a primitive eye cup that detects the infrared signature of their prey. Raptors can see well into the ultraviolet range to detect mice because mouse urine glows in UV. For most animals detecting light in the visible spectrum is good enough, and the extra energy cost of further vision range isn't worth the rewards.

    You might want to do some simple Google searches before making yourself look like an ignorant boob.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Geoxus:

    But why is people more likely to reject evolution than quantum physics? Both are very complicated theories, and quantum mechanics deals with phenomena that would seem patently absurd to us observers of a Newtonian world. If people can find both of them to be absurd, why the ToE gets much more rejected by the layperson?

    Because it is a lie that the ToE is a complex theory on a par with quantum mechanics. In fact, the ToE is both absurdly simple and ridiculously absurd. Darwin was neither an Einstein nor a Schroedinger, that's for sure. Heck, he could not even be compared to Edison. The ToE is really the brainchild of a cretin who had a bone to pick with his idea of God or with Christianity.

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  37. Louis the Fruit Loop said...

    Cornelius asked for an example, not for your personal opinion, which isn't worth much, as we know.


    As opposed to Cornelius' unsupported opinion that the evolutionary sciences are actually a religion. Right.

    Besides, it is a lie that there is such a thing as the observed fact of Darwinian evolution given that nobody has ever observed cows evolving into whales all by themselves.

    The process of evolution has been observed countless numbers of times both in the lab and in the wild. Demanding that the process be observed for tens of thousands of years, long enough to see large morphological changes in real time is something only a moron Creationist or IDiot would demand.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Louis the Fruit Loop said...

    Evolutionists also love to see themselves as being intellectually superior. To them, any critic of evolution is necessarily inferior in both intelligence and knowledge.


    Not at all. It's just that we never get honest, scientifically sound arguments against ToE. We get shrill idiots like you and Tedford and Gary who scream and fling their poo and argue from emotionally driven abject ignorance.

    As if the ToE were a highly complex theory that only rocket scientists can understand. In fact, it is a trivially simple theory, as theories go.

    Yet you're still to slow to grasp it.

    Truth is, many rocket scientists do in fact spit on the ToE.

    Then it should be easy for you to name some.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Thorton:

    Me: And why select for eyesight since echolocation works pretty well even in daylight?

    Thorton: Because eyesight is a passive collection system that works over much greater distances. In darkness there is no light to collect so active ranging systems like echolocation work better.


    I guess this is why toothed whales (who have eyes) have a sophisticated echolocation ability while the other animals who inhabit the same environment don't. Makes sense. Yeah, sure.

    Me: Besides, if the ability to see gave some an advantage over the ones that can't see, one would expect that the ability to detect and process x-rays, infra-red, ultra-violet, and a huge gamut of other radio frequencies, would give any creature a powerful competitive advantage over other species and even within one's own species. Why don't we see those traits all over the place?

    Thorton: We do you moron. Pit vipers have a primitive eye cup that detects the infrared signature of their prey. Raptors can see well into the ultraviolet range to detect mice because mouse urine glows in UV. For most animals detecting light in the visible spectrum is good enough, and the extra energy cost of further vision range isn't worth the rewards.


    I hardly consider raptors and pit vipers to be all over the place. My point is that those traits would benefit all complex species, not just a few. If humans had ultra-violet and infrared vision, imagine how beneficial to survival that would be. You've heard of Marvel Comics' X-Men, haven't you? I noticed that you failed to offer examples of creatures with x-ray vision. X-ray vision would confer them with an amazing evolutionary advantage. Even microwave radiation and detection would be an enormous asset. Again, why aren't those super creatures all over the place? After all, it's just a matter of a a few mutations, right?

    You might want to do some simple Google searches before making yourself look like an ignorant boob.

    You might want consult a dictionary for "all over the place".

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  40. Thorton:

    Me: Cornelius asked for an example, not for your personal opinion, which isn't worth much, as we know.

    Thorton: As opposed to Cornelius' unsupported opinion that the evolutionary sciences are actually a religion. Right.


    Just your stupid and dishonest opinion again. Why don't I believe you? Cornelius provides ample evidence for his argument over and over. You claim otherwise because you are an inconsequential grunt who needs his/her daily dose of brownie points. That's all.

    Me: Besides, it is a lie that there is such a thing as the observed fact of Darwinian evolution given that nobody has ever observed cows evolving into whales all by themselves.

    Thorton: The process of evolution has been observed countless numbers of times both in the lab and in the wild.


    Sure, finches grow longer beaks and wolves can be bred into chihuahuas. So what? As I wrote elsewhere, hunters and farmers have known about adaptation via selective breeding for tens of thousands of years. You think you were the first to notice this? That's a laugh.

    Demanding that the process be observed for tens of thousands of years, long enough to see large morphological changes in real time is something only a moron Creationist or IDiot would demand.

    It's called falsifiability, dimwit. Sir Karl Popper, the intellectual giant of the 20th century who coined the term, had a big issue with the ToE for precisely this reason. Falsifiability is what distinguishes pseudoscientific (chicken feather voodoo) theories like the ToE from real scientific theories like Newtonian mechanics and behavioral psychology.

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  41. But you simply cannot so cleanly separate the absurdity of the science from the religious talk. When you present a silly theory, and then people who reject it talk about god, or a designer, or whatever, you need to be careful in deducing causal relationships.

    Of course we should be careful, but with transitional fossils like “cdesign proponentsists” I think the evidence for causality is strong.

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  42. Cornelius:

    If you think Catholics have not done their fair share in mandating evolution then you're ignorant of the history of evolutionary thought. For the most part Catholics were not in the lead, but they have certainly done their share of the lifting.

    Yes, I must be ignorant! Enlighten us, oh Cornelius the Historian of Evolution. I'm looking forward a new chapter in the history of the Conspiracy. Wait, I must get some cookies and coco first.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Me: Evolutionists also love to see themselves as being intellectually superior. To them, any critic of evolution is necessarily inferior in both intelligence and knowledge.

    Thorton: Not at all. It's just that we never get honest, scientifically sound arguments against ToE. We get shrill idiots like you and Tedford and Gary who scream and fling their poo and argue from emotionally driven abject ignorance.


    More gutless and biased opinions from someone who must get his/her daily dose of brownie points.

    Me:As if the ToE were a highly complex theory that only rocket scientists can understand. In fact, it is a trivially simple theory, as theories go.

    Yet you're still to slow to grasp it.


    There is nothing to grasp. It's an inferior and simplistic theory penned down by an inferior mind who had a grudge against some folks and their God.

    Me: Truth is, many rocket scientists do in fact spit on the ToE.

    Thorton: Then it should be easy for you to name some.


    Sure. Wernher von Braun and Jason W. Pratt to name two off the top of my head. There are some who are currently working for JPL in Pasadena right now but naming them would bring the evolutionist thought Nazis at JPL and Caltech out of the woodwork with their fangs exposed. Not a good idea.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Louis the Fruit Loop said...

    Me: And why select for eyesight since echolocation works pretty well even in daylight?

    Thorton: Because eyesight is a passive collection system that works over much greater distances. In darkness there is no light to collect so active ranging systems like echolocation work better.

    I guess this is why toothed whales (who have eyes) have a sophisticated echolocation ability while the other animals who inhabit the same environment don't. Makes sense. Yeah, sure.


    The other animals don't hunt the same prey over the same range and didn't start from the same evolutionary place (as a land dwelling mammal) as the toothed whales.

    BTW, you realize you just gave a great argument against design, don't you? Why didn't your Great Designer give all the animals the same equipment? He must be a pretty incompetent putz it seems to me.

    I hardly consider raptors and pit vipers to be all over the place. My point is that those traits would benefit all complex species, not just a few.

    Demonstrate it. Provide the scientific evidence that extended range vision would be enough of a survival advantage to mammals to be selected for. And no, citing your favorite comic books does not count as scientific evidence.

    Making empty blustering claims is easy for you. Backing them up is much tougher.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Looie the Fruit Loop said...

    It's called falsifiability, dimwit. Sir Karl Popper, the intellectual giant of the 20th century who coined the term, had a big issue with the ToE for precisely this reason. Falsifiability is what distinguishes pseudoscientific (chicken feather voodoo) theories like the ToE from real scientific theories like Newtonian mechanics and behavioral psychology.


    Here's an easy way to falsify ToE fruit loop. Take all the fossils in the fossil record, sort them according to best fit morphology and geologic age. Create a phylogenetic tree. Take DNA samples from all extant species. Make a best fit phylogenetic tree. Compare the two independent trees. If the trees don't correlate to well over 99%, ToE is falsified.

    Not falsified still doesn't mean not falsifiable you moron. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever.

    Now dimwit, tell us what would falsify your claim that an Intelligent Designer poofed everything into existence?

    ReplyDelete
  46. Louie the Fruit Loop said...

    Me: Truth is, many rocket scientists do in fact spit on the ToE.

    Thorton: Then it should be easy for you to name some.

    Sure. Wernher von Braun and Jason W. Pratt to name two off the top of my head.


    LOL! Two in the last 50 years is 'many'. And then we get the cowardly 'I could give you more but the Evil Science Conspiracy would EXPEL them!!"

    You're a funny little clown there fruit loop.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Thorton:

    [skip nonsense]

    BTW, you realize you just gave a great argument against design, don't you? Why didn't your Great Designer give all the animals the same equipment? He must be a pretty incompetent putz it seems to me.


    There you go, making Hunter's point for him all over again. The dimwits imagine a designer of their own dimwitted invention and then they claim that he would never do it that way. Therefore evolution must be true. How lame.

    Nobody in their right mind would ever call the designer of the DNA code, echolocation, the eye and the brain an incompetent putz. Only a gutless ignoramus like Thorton would do such a thing.

    Me: I hardly consider raptors and pit vipers to be all over the place. My point is that those traits would benefit all complex species, not just a few.

    Thorton: Demonstrate it. Provide the scientific evidence that extended range vision would be enough of a survival advantage to mammals to be selected for.


    And the moron calls him/herself intelligent. Go figure. This does not deserve an answer beyond this: What a moron!

    ReplyDelete
  48. Correction. I wrote previously:

    Take all the genetic codes of all extant species and write a computer algorithm to do a comparison and create a phylogenetic tree.

    I meant to write:

    Take all the genetic codes of all extant species and write a computer algorithm to do a comparison and create a genetic evolutionary tree.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Louis Savain: Sure, finches grow longer beaks and wolves can be bred into chihuahuas. So what? As I wrote elsewhere, hunters and farmers have known about adaptation via selective breeding for tens of thousands of years.

    They have? Can you support that statement?

    Louis Savain: I contend that non-nested hierarchies have already been found in the genetic record of bats and echolocating whales but you dishonest bozos in the evolutionist camp claim that it is due to convergence.

    Actually bats and whales nest quite well with the standard phylogenetic tree.

    Louis Savain: Imagine that, blind convergence resulted in the same genetic code being formed independently in two different species after they hopped on different branch of the evolutionary tree!

    That is incorrect. Many of the proteins involved in mammalian hearing, such as prestin are highly conserved. In other words, they have inherited almost identical genes. However, bats and whales require heightened sensitivity to high-frequency sounds, and share about 10-14 non-synonymous amino acid sites in prestin. It's not extraordinary to have similar structures adapted to similar situations.

    Louis Savain: How many independently formed amino acid sequences must be identical before the convergence excuse becomes ridiculous and the existence of non-nested hierarchies becomes a fact?

    The Theory of Evolution posits two countervailing forces in this regard; divergence from common ancestors, and convergence due to natural selection. Other mechanisms, such as hybridization, can also result in crosses within the overall nested hierarchy.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Zachriel:

    Louis Savain: Sure, finches grow longer beaks and wolves can be bred into chihuahuas. So what? As I wrote elsewhere, hunters and farmers have known about adaptation via selective breeding for tens of thousands of years.

    Zachriel: They have? Can you support that statement?


    What is there that needs supporting? Farmers have been breeding animals since before recorded history. It is not far-fetched to suppose that hunters have observed many instances of wild migrating ducks breeding with domesticated ducks. I am neither a hunter nor a farmer and I have observed it with my own eyes.

    Louis Savain: I contend that non-nested hierarchies have already been found in the genetic record of bats and echolocating whales but you dishonest bozos in the evolutionist camp claim that it is due to convergence.

    Zachriel: Actually bats and whales nest quite well with the standard phylogenetic tree.


    This is not entirely true. The whole point of the research conducted by Rossiter, Zhang et al, is that echolocating bats and toothed whales share common genetic material that do not fit into the nested evolutionary tree, unless one is willing to go out on limb and claim convergence of identical genetic changes in prestin used for echolocation.

    Louis Savain: Imagine that, blind convergence resulted in the same genetic code being formed independently in two different species after they hopped on different branch of the evolutionary tree!

    Zachriel: That is incorrect. Many of the proteins involved in mammalian hearing, such as prestin are highly conserved. In other words, they have inherited almost identical genes.


    So what? There many more genes other than prestin that are also common to all mammals.

    Continued...

    ReplyDelete
  51. Cornelius, I'm wondering why you don't rebuke or at least distance yourself from someone as off the rails as Louis Savain? He's really not helping your case. Or, do you agree with him? Are his criticisms accurate?

    One of my motivations for participating in these forums over the past year is to let those who do understand why evolution is true see that not all Christians are scientifically illiterate buffoons. But with Eocene, Gary, Neal, and now to an astonishing degree, Louis, I'm beginning to think that's a fool's errand.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Geoxus: "It is pretty clear that most of the lack of acceptance of evolution is a religious issue"

    Cornelius Hunter: "This is what evolutionists need to believe. In fact it is precisely the opposite."

    That is nonsense, Cornelius. I can only speak for myself of course, but my decades long rejection of evolution was entirely religiously mandated. My theology ruled out evolution; therefore evolution wasn't true. Simple as that. But one day, after noticing that the evidence for evolution was getting more convincing the more I learned about it, I decided that from that moment on I would let what's true determine my theology, and not the other way around. I was shocked to find out how thoroughly convincing evolution was from a scientific perspective. My acceptance of evolution had nothing to do with it being 'religiously mandated', in fact, if anything, it was religiously mandated against. (and in an area that I perhaps agree with you on, I don't find any of the accommodationist's [like the BioLogos folks] theological justifications for evolution convincing.)

    "No one could really believe evolution based on evidence, there must be some ulterior motive," is what Creationists need to believe.

    I fully concede that I could be mistaken about the evidence for evolution. But to say that I don't really accept it because of the evidence is lunacy.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Derick Childress said...

    Cornelius, I'm wondering why you don't rebuke or at least distance yourself from someone as off the rails as Louis Savain? He's really not helping your case. Or, do you agree with him? Are his criticisms accurate?

    One of my motivations for participating in these forums over the past year is to let those who do understand why evolution is true see that not all Christians are scientifically illiterate buffoons. But with Eocene, Gary, Neal, and now to an astonishing degree, Louis, I'm beginning to think that's a fool's errand.


    I smile every time one of those slobbering nutjobs makes a post because I know they are going to make Intelligent Design Creationism look worse than any scientific research I present ever could.

    I wonder if CH secretly cringes every time one of those scientifically illiterate mouth-breathers goes to bat for his side.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Louis the Fruit Loop said...

    Thorton: Here's an easy way to falsify ToE fruit loop. Take all the fossils in the fossil record, sort them according to best fit morphology and geologic age. Create a phylogenetic tree. Take DNA samples from all extant species. Make a best fit phylogenetic tree. Compare the two independent trees. If the trees don't correlate to well over 99%, ToE is falsified.

    No. That would not falsify the ToE because I can claim that the same thing could be evidence for a designer.


    LOL! Now you can't even parse a simple English sentence. I didn't say the twin nested hierarchies are evidence for evolution (even though they are). I said if they didn't match then ToE would be falsified, which it would.

    And for the record fruit loop - an instance of convergent evolution in a strongly conserved gene does not violate any nested hierarchy rules.

    In all your slobbering you forgot to answer:

    What observation(s) would falsify "the Intelligent Designer did it"?

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  55. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Louis Savain said...

    Ok. My last two comments were deleted. What the hell is going on?


    It's the raving lunatic filter acting up. You probably overloaded it.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Derick Childress:

    ===
    I can only speak for myself of course, but my decades long rejection of evolution was entirely religiously mandated. My theology ruled out evolution; therefore evolution wasn't true. Simple as that. ...

    I fully concede that I could be mistaken about the evidence for evolution. But to say that I don't really accept it because of the evidence is lunacy.
    ===

    Sure, as I said:

    ###
    Sure there are people all over the map. No doubt there are some who simply are religiously motivated to reject evolution.
    ###

    Fideism is unfortunately common amongst creationists. So you were one who rejected evolution for purely religious reasons. But Derick you seem to underestimate the continuing role of metaphysics in your (new) convictions.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Derick Childress:

    ===
    Cornelius, I'm wondering why you don't rebuke or at least distance yourself from someone as off the rails as Louis Savain? He's really not helping your case. Or, do you agree with him? Are his criticisms accurate?
    ===

    I read mainly comments made by people thoughtfully trying to make their case.

    Louis seems to equate evolution with atheism. I have written extensively in this blog and elsewhere that this is a misconception going back centuries. It could be an innocent mistake, but I also consider that it could be yet another manifestation of underlying religious influences. For example, see the penultimate paragraph here:

    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2011/01/enduring-warfare-thesis-theses.html

    ReplyDelete
  59. Louis: Liar. IDers never claimed that a designer poofed anything into existence. That a lame strawman of your making.

    Louis,

    As I've mentioned earlier, the problem is that "design evolution" appears to be a convoluted elaboration of darwinian evolution.

    First, you've claimed the biological complexity we observe represents intentional design on the part of an intelligent agent.

    Second, would you agree that mutations do effect the biological complexly we observe, even if only negatively?

    If so, it's unclear how you can avoid the role that evolutionary processes would play without appealing to some kind of "magic" on the part of the designer.

    This is because, when we attempt to take your claim seriously, in that it is true in reality and all observations (including, at a minimum, negative effects of random mutations and natural selection) should conform with it, this would have a significant impact on the biological complexity we observe.

    For example, what we observe is that over 98% of all species that have ever existed have gone extinct, leaving only 2% that survive today.

    Is the fact that human beings are part of this 2% an undirected, natural out outcome or does it represent an intentional outcome planed by an intelligent designer?

    If the latter, this designer would need to either manipulate or compensate for evolutionary processes to ensure the particular species we still observe today retained their desired features and did not go extinct. If the former, evolutionary processes played a massive role determining which species lost features and/or ended up going extinct since they were not compensated for.

    Since you refused to respond earlier, I'll ask yet again. Can we at least agree on this?

    ReplyDelete
  60. OK, I get it. Time for me to go. See ya.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Scott, I'm not aware of anyone who said that nothing has changed since creation.

    You said, "If the latter, this designer would need to either manipulate or compensate for evolutionary processes to ensure the particular species we still observe today retained their desired features and did not go extinct"

    ? Can you clarify please

    ReplyDelete
  62. Cornelius Hunter

    I said

    "like Cornelius Hunter does not accurately represent the ToE"

    you asked

    How so?

    I was considering to show more examples but I will just go with this one:

    * Ironically, what the science is telling us is that biological adaptation, in spite of evolutionary theory, in fact does respond to environmental challenges.

    What is the fact:
    1) The ToE says that biological adaptation due to evolutionary processes does not respond to environmental challenges.
    2) The ToE does not claim that all biological adaption is due to evolutionary processes.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Louis Savain: What is there that needs supporting?

    Your claim that hunters and farmers have known about adaptation via selective breeding for tens of thousands of years. They selected the best in each generation, but that doesn't mean they knew that this would bring about long term evolutionary adaptation.

    Louis Savain: The whole point of the research conducted by Rossiter, Zhang et al, is that echolocating bats and toothed whales share common genetic material that do not fit into the nested evolutionary tree, unless one is willing to go out on limb and claim convergence of identical genetic changes in prestin used for echolocation.

    It's not "out on a limb" to say that natural selection leads to convergence. It's part of evolutionary theory.

    Zachriel: Many of the proteins involved in mammalian hearing, such as prestin are highly conserved. In other words, they have inherited almost identical genes.

    Louis Savain: So what? There many more genes other than prestin that are also common to all mammals.

    It matters a great deal. If identical prestins are inherited, then subjected to similar selective pressures, then a similar or even identical result is plausible. This would be a question of available protein structures.

    ReplyDelete
  64. second opinion:

    ===
    What is the fact:
    1) The ToE says that biological adaptation due to evolutionary processes does not respond to environmental challenges.
    2) The ToE does not claim that all biological adaption is due to evolutionary processes.
    ===

    This is pathetic. You accuse me of misrepresenting evolution, and as an example you use my statement that "what the science is telling us is that biological adaptation, in spite of evolutionary theory, in fact does respond to environmental challenges." And you provide the above commentary which incredibly tries to locate adaptive variation and adaptive mutations outside of evolutionary theory. Do I really need to once again cite the various major 20th c evolutionists who repeatedly and unequivocally stated that variation (yes *the* variation that occurs, and which is supposed to provide the fuel for selection to work its magic) is independent of need?

    Once again, when you repeat back to evolutionists what their theory says, they resist. They are their own judge.

    ReplyDelete
  65. It is far from pathetic but demonstrates an important difference in how we see the world. When you say "evolutionists who stated that variation is independent of need" you nearly subconsciously insert the word "all" to mean "evolutionists who stated that all variation is independent of need". And even if evolutionary biologists were using that word it would not have any bearing on what the theory says.

    ReplyDelete
  66. second opinion:

    ===
    It is far from pathetic but demonstrates an important difference in how we see the world. When you say "evolutionists who stated that variation is independent of need" you nearly subconsciously insert the word "all" to mean "evolutionists who stated that all variation is independent of need". And even if evolutionary biologists were using that word it would not have any bearing on what the theory says.
    ===

    No, it is pathetic. You are accusing me of misrepresenting evolution when, in fact, you are misrepresenting evolution. The idea that Ronald Fisher, when he wrote:

    ###
    The essence of Darwinian evolution is that populations [adapt] by producing mutations that are random with respect to the organism’s need, that is those that have random direction in phenotypic space
    ###

    really did not mean to make such a broad, sweeping statement. And when evolutionists resisted the evidence for adaptive variation, that really didn't matter.

    You're accusing me of exactly what you are doing. Such hypocrisy is standard procedure with evolutionists.

    ReplyDelete
  67. I was going to accuse you of making an argument from authority but instead I'm just going to say Ronald Fisher died 1962. So why should I care what he said? But he still did not use the word "all".

    ReplyDelete
  68. second opinion:

    OK, so let's recap:

    1. Evolution predicted that biological variation does not respond to need, but rather is independent of need.

    2. Evolutionists resisted scientific evidence that biological variation does, in fact, respond to need.

    3. I summarized this as follows: "Ironically, what the science is telling us is that biological adaptation, in spite of evolutionary theory, in fact does respond to environmental challenges."

    4. Evolutionsts say I am misrepresenting evolution.

    Day after day, this is what evolution is all about. Double talk, canards, rewriting history, hypocrisy, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Cornelius Hunter said...

    second opinion:

    OK, so let's recap:

    1. Evolution predicted that biological variation does not respond to need, but rather is independent of need.

    2. Evolutionists resisted scientific evidence that biological variation does, in fact, respond to need.

    3. I summarized this as follows: "Ironically, what the science is telling us is that biological adaptation, in spite of evolutionary theory, in fact does respond to environmental challenges."

    4. Evolutionsts say I am misrepresenting evolution.


    1. Misrepresentation of actual evolutionary theory as Pedant has already pointed out.

    2. Outright lie

    3. Repeat of the misrepresentation

    4. Demonstrably true

    Day after day, this is what evolution is all about. Double talk, canards, rewriting history, hypocrisy, etc.

    Pathetic Cornelius. Just pathetic. Jesus must be so proud of you.

    When can we expect you to provide your definitions of 'fact' and 'theory', and give us your understanding of the difference between the two?

    ReplyDelete
  70. Look, I'm not interested in playing rhetorical games. I'm interested in the argument. If you present something and I have the feeling that you might have a point but you are not representing the ToE properly I'm just asking questions to clarify the issue. And if I don't think you have a point but you are misrepresenting the ToE I'm asking questions to find out where this comes from.

    The start of the conversation was that I admittedly provokingly accused you of misrepresenting the ToE. And then you ask how. But you did not really want to know that which is kind of clear from your reaction in this post.

    ReplyDelete
  71. second opinion:

    ===
    Look, I'm not interested in playing rhetorical games. I'm interested in the argument. If you present something and I have the feeling that you might have a point but you are not representing the ToE properly I'm just asking questions to clarify the issue. And if I don't think you have a point but you are misrepresenting the ToE I'm asking questions to find out where this comes from.

    The start of the conversation was that I admittedly provokingly accused you of misrepresenting the ToE. And then you ask how. But you did not really want to know that which is kind of clear from your reaction in this post.
    ===

    The problem is evolutionists utterly fail to reckon with the evidence. When you examine the evidence and how it compares with their theory, they accuse you of having ulterior motives, misrepresenting evolutionary thinking, abusing science, and so forth. These are not only false, contrived accusations, but they are precisely what evolutionists do.

    Regarding your example, of course evolutionists predicted that "all" biological variation was random with respect to the organism’s need. It is ludicrous to read back into their writings, and into their opposition to the evidence, anything different.

    ReplyDelete
  72. Cornelius Hunter said...

    Regarding your example, of course evolutionists predicted that "all" biological variation was random with respect to the organism’s need. It is ludicrous to read back into their writings, and into their opposition to the evidence, anything different.


    LOL! So no scientists anywhere actually said ALL biological variation was random with respect to the organism’s need. That was just Corneilus Hunter "reading into" their writings.

    I guess you won't mind if we "read back into" your writing then CH. We see a pathetic, small minded man spreading whatever falsehoods he can against science to prop up his weak faith. It is ludicrous to read back into your writings, with their dishonest misrepresentation of the actual scientific evidence, anything different.

    ReplyDelete
  73. Cornelius Hunter

    "1. Evolution predicted that biological variation does not respond to need, but rather is independent of need."

    The claim that biological variation does not respond need was to derived from observations because variation did not seem to be dependent. And experiments to demonstrate otherwise largely failed. The famous example for that failure Lysenko comes to mind. Secondly there was no known mechanism. (It is interesting to note that some of the epigenetic mechanisms were discovered before it was discovered that these changes could be inherited.)

    What is a little bit discerning about the whole issue is that you who beats the empiricism drum so loudly then accuse evolutionary biologists for sticking to the data.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Cornelius Hunter: Anthropomorphic Terminology: Obstacle or Enabler?

    http://tinyurl.com/25eqf84

    ReplyDelete
  75. second opinion:

    ===
    The claim that biological variation does not respond need was to derived from observations because variation did not seem to be dependent. And experiments to demonstrate otherwise largely failed. The famous example for that failure Lysenko comes to mind.
    ===

    There was evidence on both sides. Paul Kammerer's work comes to mind for ealy in the century. There were others later in the century. All were rejected, at least partly, for being "the wrong answer."


    ===
    Secondly there was no known mechanism. (It is interesting to note that some of the epigenetic mechanisms were discovered before it was discovered that these changes could be inherited.)
    ===

    It is astonishing to hear an evolutionist complain about lack of mechanism. If ever there was a theory that lacked a mechanism, it is evolution. That there was no known mechanism for adaptive change, say in the early 20th c, simply reflects the fact that so little was understood, period. If you have empirical evidence for adaptive change, and you have no known mechanism, then maybe that should raise a flag for you that genetics is more complicated.

    Evolutionists adopted mutation. They embarked on mutation experiments to see what it could do, but mutation was soon found to be impotent. That didn't bother evolutionists too much.


    ===
    What is a little bit discerning about the whole issue is that you who beats the empiricism drum so loudly then accuse evolutionary biologists for sticking to the data.
    ===

    Sticking to the data? If evolutionists were sticking to the data they would not insist evolution is an undeniable fact and they wouldn't misrepresent the evidence. Regarding epigenetics, evolutionists did not stick to the data, they resisted it. Even now, evolutionists insist that epigenetics is simply a new wrinkle on evolution, in spite of having no detailed explanation or mechanism for how evolution would / could have created such amazing mechanisms.

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  76. You have just admitted that there was ongoing research over the question whether variation was dependent or independent of need and to what extend since the time of Darwin. So why would most of the evolutionary biologists in face of contradicting evidence claim that "all" variation was independent of need? They would have nothing to gain from such a position. Even if we accept your claim about the underlying metaphysics of evolutionary biology it would be completely irrelevant to these metaphysics one way or the other.

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  77. Cornelius,

    1. Evolution predicted that biological variation does not respond to need, but rather is independent of need.

    Nope. Geneticists discovered, sometimes using model organisms, that genetic variation did not respond to need, but was random, with selection making it appear as if responding to need. All evolution means is that species come from previous species. Anything else you want to attach to it is trying to make a cartoon of evolution out of discoveries about how genetics/mutation/adaptation works, not what evolution has predicted or not. This is exactly what you do in your "failed predictions of evolution." You present whatever the authors of some work expected, their hypothesis, as a "prediction of evolution," and whatever they actually got as a failure of evolution. You are just playing equivocation fallacies on top of other rhetorical games.

    2. Evolutionists resisted scientific evidence that biological variation does, in fact, respond to need.

    It is normal to be skeptical about something that data so far has shown to be wrong. Again. These are more geneticists, than "evolutionists." Finding phenomena such as epigenetics does not invalidate the data showing that genetic variation does not "respond" to need, but is rather filtered by need. Does it? But you rather equivocate genetic variation and biological variation. Classic creationism at its best.

    3. I summarized this as follows: "Ironically, what the science is telling us is that biological adaptation, in spite of evolutionary theory, in fact does respond to environmental challenges."

    Another case of the equivocation fallacy. Of course biological adaptation responds to environmental challenges. It is the underlying mutational process, and its resulting phenotypic variation, that was found to be independent of environmental challenges. This might have lead to confusion about whether inheritable phenotypic traits could come from anything but genetic variation. But that is far from being a "prediction of evolution." You might be able to find quotes making such a claim. But using them to purposely equivocate genetic variation and its implications, with biological adaptation, is plainly dishonest. You sure have to know better.

    4. Evolutionsts say I am misrepresenting evolution.

    Well, I just showed beyond reasonable doubt that you do.

    Day after day, this is what evolution is all about. Double talk, canards, rewriting history, hypocrisy, etc.

    Well, seems like these adjectives apply to you and not to the evil evolutionists of your machinations.

    Misguided religion drives your pseudoscience and rants, and it does indeed matter.

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  78. Sticking to the data? If evolutionists were sticking to the data they would not insist evolution is an undeniable fact and they wouldn't misrepresent the evidence.

    You misrepresent evidence then have the gall to say "evolutionists" do? I save your well-deserved adjective.

    ... Even now, evolutionists insist that epigenetics is simply a new wrinkle on evolution, in spite of having no detailed explanation or mechanism for how evolution would / could have created such amazing mechanisms.

    Nope. It is not even a wrinkle. It is just one more natural phenomenon to take into account. To creationists though, it is yet another thing to add to their list of things "evolution has not explained." As if we needed the orbits of each and every object in the universe before accepting that gravitation shapes them. That creationists, cdesign proponetsists included, would not ask for the latter shows that their opposition to evolution is plainly religious. Evidence has nothing to do with it.

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  79. Negative Entropy:

    ===
    Misguided religion drives your pseudoscience and rants, and it does indeed matter.
    ===

    What Misguided religion are your referring to?

    ReplyDelete
  80. Cornelius Hunter said...

    Negative Entropy:

    ===
    Misguided religion drives your pseudoscience and rants, and it does indeed matter.
    ===

    What Misguided religion are your referring to?


    Yours, the one that drives you to bastardize, misrepresent, and flat out lie about actual evolutionary theory. The one that Biola requires you follow to teach there. The one the Discovery Institute has in their Wedge Strategy document.

    That one.

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  81. Cornelius, speaking of misguided religion: when you made this claim a few months ago

    Cornelius Hunter said...

    ...evolutionists won the day in the Kitzmiller case. But their victory came at a cost. There were substantial legal costs, but evolutionists paid a far greater cost which can't be measured in dollars. They gave up their soul.


    Who did the evolutionists give up their soul to?

    ReplyDelete
  82. CH: What Misguided religion are your referring to?

    That would be Apocalyptic theodicy, in that everyone participates in the dualistic cosmic battle of good and evil whether they admit it or even realize it.

    If Apocalyptic theodicy is true, evolution wouldn't merely an issue of being mistaken about the biological complexity we observe. It would necessarily represent either good or evil in this cosmic battle. There is no neutral ground as Apocalyptic theodicy is dualistic in this age.

    Again, we do not need to unpack this as this as Jesus was an Apocalyptic Jew. It's unclear how you can be neutral on this issue as a Christian.

    Do you deny Apocalyptic theodicy? How does the revelation of heavenly secrets it refers to fit into the traditional hierarchy of philosophy, induction and deduction?

    Either you need to indicate you're making an exception to one of the core parts of Christianity or disclose where it falls in the traditional hierarchy. Otherwise, you're disclosure is incomplete.

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