Thursday, June 2, 2011

Response to Comments

The theory of evolution states that the entire biological world is a fluke—it just happened to arise all by itself. Actually, evolutionary thought extends this claim to the entire universe. From a scientific perspective there are, not surprisingly, substantial problems with this view. It is an idea that goes back at least to the ancient Epicureans who believed swerving atoms created the world and today’s version is, frankly, no less ridiculous. But that’s not all. Evolutionists are not merely interested in researching this unlikely idea—they also insist it is a fact. This is where the story takes a turn for the really strange (as if it were not already strange enough). For there literally is no question—at least no rational question—that evolution is not a fact. It would be like saying Santa Claus is a fact. And yet this is what evolutionists steadfastly claim. They are unable to justify the claim, but they are nonetheless quite certain of it and they are unable to see anything wrong with their idea. Here are some recent comments from evolutionists.

I recently explained that the vitamin C pseudogene pattern is not powerful evidence as evolutionists claim. Evolution did not predict it and would not be harmed if there was no such pattern. Given that the pseudogene exists in certain species, it is true that the pattern fits evolution. But this isolated fact does not mean much. For instance, the sun rising fits geocentrism, and a pig with a cold nose fits the theory that pigs can fly. To this an evolutionist explained how the pattern is interpreted according to evolution, and concluded:

Under evolutionary theory we would predict that the loss of function in GULO will result in loss of conservation—the relaxation of purifying selection—and the accumulation of more differences to GULOP sequences than to functional GULO sequences per unit time as inferred in molecular phylogenies. And this is so. Despite this, we would still expect the differences within a clade such as Haplorrhini to match create a nested hierarchy because of the differing times since divergence as predicted by common descent. And they do. Clearly, this is not the same as wet nose/flying pig.

The evolutionist’s comments about the pseudogene pattern and how it fits evolution seem reasonable. But he has missed the larger point. The consistency of the pattern with evolutionary expectations is not strong evidence for evolution. Sure, let’s call it a successful prediction. All kinds of ridiculous theories enjoy successful predictions, such as the theory that pigs can fly. The question here is not whether the evidence is consistent with evolution, but whether this is powerful and compelling evidence for evolution, as they claim. It isn’t. This is important because evolutionists use examples such as these are a sort of proof text for their claim that evolution is a fact.

I also made the point that evolution and common descent lack a plausible mechanism. To this an evolution commented:

As you are aware, the hypothesized pattern of common descent is evaluated independently of any reference to mechanism.

This is the typical defense, but it is not quite true. Common descent does make claims about the expected pattern of designs in biology, and as such it specifies the underlying mechanism of evolution, to a certain degree. For instance, it requires gradualism. Without gradualism common descent could not know what biological patterns to expect. Yet evolutionists routinely turn off gradualism where the data do not fit.

I also explained that, aside from consistent data, evolution and common descent have made so many false predictions. If we are going to evaluate theories according to their predictions, then certainly we must conclude evolution and common descent are false by modus tollens. To this an evolution commented:

No, we must not conclude that at all. I would have thought that by now, you should have realized that the expected observations given a certain hypothesis are probabilistic. Here, let me help you:

This is what you want things to be like: If hypothesis H then observation O. Not O, therefore not H.

This is what things are like: If hypothesis H then there is some sort of probability of observation O. Not O, therefore ... well, definitely not not H via modus tollens.

I would also have thought that by now, you should have realized that there are alternatives to strict Popperian falsification for evaluating theories. …

Common descent didn't come out looking silly at all - unlike your sophistry.

Actually I briefly discuss this issue of predictions and falsification here (Sections 1.1 – 1.4). Contrary to the evolutionist’s complaint here, I did not say that a falsified prediction implies the hypothesis is false. What the evolutionist omitted was the word “many.” This is not a case of one or two failures. Evolution and common descent have generated a plethora of false predictions, including their major predictions. My point was that evolutionists advertise their few successful predictions to be compelling while failing to reckon with their many false predictions.

Indeed, if there is a fallacy here it is not in my suggestion that false predictions be seriously dealt with, but in the evolutionist’s over estimating the power of their successful predictions. Yes, we can agree the vitamin C pseudogene patterns are consistent with evolution and common descent, but this is hardly the strong evidence they claim it to be. This is important because it is precisely this type of mistake that masks the tremendous mistake evolutionists are making. If a few consistent observations make evolution compelling, then its myriad problems can be ignored. After all, evolution must be a fact, so those problems must merely be research problems. It is a case of confirmation bias on steroids.

Next, in my previous post I discussed how evolutionists say that random biological variation, such as caused by mutations, created the entire biological world. I noted that an analogy once used for this claim is that of a room full of monkeys pounding away at typewriters and producing Hamlet. To this an evolution commented:

It is, pardon me, disgraceful. When used by third-rate creationist debaters, it is either a sign of total ignorance of evolutionary biology, or a deliberate attempt to mislead an unwary audience into thinking that evolutionary biology is nothing but a theory of pure mutation, unaided by natural selection. That strikes the audience as an absurd theory. They are not being told of the effect of natural selection.

Why CH, who knows much better, would endorse this absurdity without at least a little embarrassment is a matter for puzzlement.

But I did discuss the role of selection in the evolutionary explanation. I also explained why selection doesn’t solve the problem and that experiments have helped to demonstrate this.

The problem here is not that evolutionists are ill-informed or not smart. They are well educated, intelligent people. But knowledge and intelligence do not ensure wisdom. Very smart people can believe in strange things. This has been repeatedly demonstrated throughout history, and today it is demonstrated no better than in the theory of evolution.

58 comments:

  1. Cornelius Hunter said...

    I recently explained that the vitamin C pseudogene pattern is not powerful evidence as evolutionists claim. Evolution did not predict it and would not be harmed if there was no such pattern. Given that the pseudogene exists in certain species, it is true that the pattern fits evolution. But this isolated fact does not mean much.


    Poor Cornelius, still can't grasp that science doesn't look at each piece of data as an isolated fact. Science looks at all the data taken as a whole, and uses the consilience of the evidence to establish patterns.

    I can just imagine Cornelius trying to put together a jigsaw puzzle, taking each piece to a separate room where he can view it in isolation, then whining that any one piece doesn't match the picture on the box.

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  2. BTW Cornelius, you haven't explained a thing. You've made numerous unsupported assertions, most of which are so over-the-top and ridiculous that it's hard not to snicker out loud. But that's OK, your chest-beating is still mildly entertaining and certainly not a threat to science.

    The only people who swallow your guff are ones like Tedford the Idiot, Gary, natschuster, etc. Those with the slightest bit of science education easily see how full of it you really are.

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  3. Recently junk-dna was commented on by several evolutionists on this blog. Their comments clearly illustrate how unmoveable and unreasonable these evolutionists are to the point of obsurdity....

    They won't even agree to the textbook definition of Junk-DNA, but instead invent definitions of their own! Perhaps they should start a campaign to correct all the professionals that write medical, language, and science dictionaries. Make sure they understand that Junk doesn't mean garbage that has no apparent function, but rather useful junkyard type junk, because that is what evolutionists really meant.

    Here are some of the companies that provide online defintions that you should include in your campaign to correct their inaccuracies:

    MedicineNet.com- “Junk DNA: Noncoding regions of DNA that have no apparent function. The term "junk DNA" is a disparaging one, expressing some of the disappointment felt by geneticists when they first gazed upon sizable segments of the genetic code and, instead of seeing one wonderful gene after another, they saw a few exons surrounded by vast stretches of "junk DNA. Exons are the regions of DNA that contain the code for producing the polypeptide molecules that make up protein. Each exon codes for a specific portion of the complete protein. In humans and some other species, the exons are separated by long regions of junk DNA. However, junk DNA has been found to be even more conserved than protein-coding regions of the DNA in humans and other mammalian species. The extent of conservation indicates that there is some function for junk DNA that remains to be determined. Junk DNA may prove not to be junk.”

    NOTICE THE LAST SENTENCE: “MAY PROVE NOT TO BE JUNK”.


    Biology Online- “ Junk dna - That portion of dna which is not transcribed and expressed, comprising about 90% of the 3 billion base pairs of the human genome; its function is not known. Stretches of dna that do not code for genes; most of the genome consists of junk DNA. DNA that seems to have no apparent function and is therefore obsolete in its current genome. “
    Wikipedia –“In genetics, noncoding DNA describes components of an organism's DNA sequences that do not encode for protein sequences. In many eukaryotes, a large percentage of an organism's total genome size is noncoding DNA, although the amount of noncoding DNA, and the proportion of coding versus noncoding DNA varies greatly between species.
    Much of this DNA has no known biological function and at one time was sometimes referred to as "junk DNA". However, many types of noncoding DNA sequences do have known biological functions, including the transcriptional and translational regulation of protein-coding sequences. Other noncoding sequences have likely but as-yet undetermined function, an inference from high levels of homology and conservation seen in sequences that do not encode proteins but appear to be under heavy selective pressure.”
    NOTICE “AT ONE TIME WAS SOMETIMES REFERRED TO AS JUNK DNA”

    The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2005 - DNA that serves no known biological purpose, such as coding for proteins or their regulation. Junk DNA makes up the vast majority of the DNA in the cells of most plants and animals, composing, for example, about 95 percent of the human genome.

    Websters - Definition of JUNK DNA
    “ a region of DNA (as spacer DNA) that usually consists of a repeating DNA sequence, does not code for protein, and has no known function”

    Medilexicon
    “Junk-DNA Definitions:
    1. that portion of DNA that is not transcribed and expressed, comprising a major fraction of the base pairs of the human genome; much of this DNA is repetitive in seuqence and appears to serve no purpose; its function is not known. segments of DNA that appear to serve no function and are replicated along with the rest of the DNA that serves vital functions; examples are pseudogenes and tandemly repeated DNA sequences that seem functionless but are retained by unequal crossing-over.

    Synonyms: selfish DNA”

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  4. The joys of junk:

    Pseudogene-derived small interference RNAs regulate
    gene expression...


    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2011/04/28/1103894108.full.pdf

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  5. Tedford the Idiot, thanks for demonstrating my point. If stupidity was a professional sport you'd be a first ballot hall-of-famer.

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  6. Pedant, from your link

    "Pseudogenes have long been considered dysfunctional genes with gene-like features because most of them have lost the ability of protein-coding or are otherwise no longer expressed because of frame-shift or stop-codon mutations (1, 2). Therefore, pseudogenes were conventionally thought to be accidental byproducts of genome evolution that did not call for special attention by researchers."

    That's why its called junk.


    It goes on "Over the past years, however, it has become evident that pseudogenes may have diverse functions, mainly in regulating gene expression."

    As Medicine.Net said, "Junk DNA may prove not to be junk.”

    There is no justification for calling non-coding genes "junk" (in any sense of the word) if they have function. Your just toying with the definition of Junk-DNA in order to save face. The term is misleading. Pseudogenes that have function are no more junk or "pseudo" than genes that code for proteins.

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  7. I thought you'd enjoy that reference, Tedford, and we are in debt to the creation scientists, Yan-Zi Wen, Ling-Ling Zheng, Jian-You Liao, Ming-Hui Wang, Ying Wei, Xue-Min Guo, Liang-Hu Qu, Francisco J. Ayala, and Zhao-Rong Lun, who did that research.

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  9. I stand in awe of Thorton's amazing intelligence, as shown by his flawless argumentation.

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  10. Pedant, note in the introduction, "Therefore, pseudogenes were conventionally thought to be accidental byproducts of genome evolution that did not call for special attention by researchers".

    "did not call for special attention by researchers". Why? because evolutionary predictions temporarily threw their focus off.

    A good theory is the wind in the sails of progress not a doldrum that stalls progress.

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  11. Tedford the Idiot said...

    Pedant, note in the introduction,


    Gee Tedford, I suppose we should be alerting all the major news agencies:

    FLASH! Evolution, one of the most important theories in all of science with over 150 years' of corroborating, consilient evidence and successfully used in hundreds of scientific fields, was today overthrown by a single scientifically ignorant blustering Pastor because he didn't like the term 'junk'.

    Be sure Fox News gets the memo. They love airing the views of clueless belligerent idiots.

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  12. Cornelius,

    As I've mentioned several times before, you've failed to define and disclose several key terms and concepts which your argument hinges on. In the absence of such definitions and disclosure, it's unclear how we can have a reasonable discussion.

    Specifically, you've continually make claims about "evolutionary thought which are clearly loaded. You evaluate evolutionary theory by appealing to a justificationalist framework which you have yet to substantiate and represents equivocation given the problem of induction - which fundamentally changed science.

    The fact that you've failed to acknowledge or address these issues indicates you're not interested in having a reasonable discussion. Instead, it appears that you're merely disingenuously preaching to the choir by evaluating evolutionary theory in the justifcationalist framework that you and your audience holds.

    Essentially you're smuggling in theistic assumptions as part of your argument. As such, you're attacking a straw man.

    So, I'll ask you yet again…

    01. Given the problem of induction, how can you appeal to justificationsm, or a lack there off, in the case of evolutionary theory? The problem here is that all observations themselves are theory laden.

    Your claims do not exist in a vacuum.

    02. As a confessing Christian, where do you put revelation in the traditional hierarchy of philosophy, induction and deduction?

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  13. CH: I recently explained that the vitamin C pseudogene pattern is not powerful evidence as evolutionists claim. Evolution did not predict it and would not be harmed if there was no such pattern. Given that the pseudogene exists in certain species, it is true that the pattern fits evolution. But this isolated fact does not mean much. For instance, the sun rising fits geocentrism, and a pig with a cold nose fits the theory that pigs can fly.

    You're post should have been titled, Selectively Responding to Comments"

    In previous posts, you've indicated you're a realist. Is this correct?

    I'm asking because solipsism accepts everything you and I observe as external to ourselves with the one exception that these same observations are supposedly facets of one's internal self. Since solipsism predicts exactly the same empirical observations we observe, this means every every discovery in technology, medicine and particle physics also “supports” solipsism. They just happen to be internal to the solipsist, rather than external.

    Given your objection above, why are you a realist, rather than a solipsist?

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  14. Contrary to the evolutionist’s complaint here, I did not say that a falsified prediction implies the hypothesis is false. What the evolutionist omitted was the word “many.”

    What Cornelius fails to understand is that this complaint still fails. To invoke modus tollens, the conclusion has to follow deductively from the premises. Having many predictions that were "probably bad", would at best make the theory less probable.

    My point was that ...

    My point was that you can't invoke modus tollens.

    Let's continue to examine this:

    Theories make predictions using a set of several premises. For example:

    If theory T and A and B and C and D and E and F then with some probability we expect X.

    Not X.

    What conclusion can we draw from this?

    Is the theory improbable? Perhaps, but this also depends on how sound the premises A-F were. If X didn't happen and we find out that A was a bad assumption then we can now say that T and (new A) and B and C and D and E and F then with some probability we expect Y. In this way, theories can make bad predictions and still remain viable. Would the theory, after a certain number of bad predictions, become false by modus tollens? Obviously not, even though Cornelius likes to pretend so.

    What I wrote above might seem like a cop-out, allowing any theory to survive any kind of test and, in a way, this is true. One can continue changing ones premises (but not inventing them out of thin air the way ID would have to do to make predictions) indefinitely and the theory would still not be false by modus tollens. This is why it's important to COMPARE theories.

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  15. CH said:
    Next, in my previous post I discussed how evolutionists say that random biological variation, such as caused by mutations, created the entire biological world. I noted that an analogy once used for this claim is that of a room full of monkeys pounding away at typewriters and producing Hamlet. To this an evolution commented:


    me:
    It is, pardon me, disgraceful. When used by third-rate creationist debaters, it is either a sign of total ignorance of evolutionary biology, or a deliberate attempt to mislead an unwary audience into thinking that evolutionary biology is nothing but a theory of pure mutation, unaided by natural selection. That strikes the audience as an absurd theory. They are not being told of the effect of natural selection.

    Why CH, who knows much better, would endorse this absurdity without at least a little embarrassment is a matter for puzzlement.



    CH again: But I did discuss the role of selection in the evolutionary explanation. I also explained why selection doesn’t solve the problem and that experiments have helped to demonstrate this.

    First, thanks to CH for referring to me as "an evolution". That sounds impressive, though I must modestly say that there are other evolutions too.

    CH's reply does not convey what he said that drew my response. Keep in mind the long, sad history of creationist debaters trying to convince their audiences that evolutionary biology is putting forward a theory that adaptations came about purely at random. Ignoring that, CH did not just say that monkeys with typewriters was "an analogy once used for this claim". He said this:

    An analogy once used for this claim is that of a room full of monkeys pounding away at typewriters and producing Hamlet. Today the analogy needs to be updated from typewriters to computer keyboards, but otherwise remains apropos. When the letters are selected at random, a page (or screen) full of text is going to be meaningless.

    The he brought in selection later, mostly to dismiss it as ineffective.

    Let's have CH clarify: when creationist debaters try to convince people that modern evolutionary theory is a theory of adaptation by pure random mutation, are they misleading their audiences?. Is that a problem for CH?

    I change not a jot or a tittle of what I said.

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  16. CH:The question here is not whether the evidence is consistent with evolution, but whether this is powerful and compelling evidence for evolution, as they claim. It isn’t."

    Bravo - yes. What a meaty counterargument: It isn't.

    The problem with your oft-repeated pig nose analogy is that your 'explanation' for the phenomenon has been made without consideration of any of the simpler and more logical alternatives. Further, that explanation has only a single piece of supporting evidence, and one which offers only the weakest, most indirect support for the explanation. Further still, if we were investigating the hypothesis, we'd then make another prediction: if the pig can fly, we should be able to, you know, observe it flying.

    The example of GULOP is not equivalent as evolutionary theory does stand as the simplest explanation for what we observe. Not only does GULOP itself provide several lines of evidence for evolution, there is then all the rest of the genetic, morphological, biogeographic, developmental and paleontological evidence.

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  17. Cornelius:

    ...a pig with a cold nose fits the theory that pigs can fly.

    Yeah, and that conclusion rests on a the assumption that pigs can fly in the first place. I know that ID supporters (of which you are obviously not one - cough, cough) are quite happy to pull assumptions out of thin air and would, perhaps, be happy to accept such a conclusion. Real science, however, has to justify it's assumptions. In real science, one could also compare one's hypothesis to another. So, a pig with a cold nose fits the theory that someone has been running wild with ice blocks better than it supports the conclusion that pigs can fly (notice that the assumptions going into the conclusion here are, at the very least, plausible).

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  18. Hawks said...

    Real science, however, has to justify it's assumptions.

    Obviously incredibly superficial arguments are acceptable to evolutionists such as common descent follows from a limited amount of evolution being observed.

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  19. Shubee said...

    Hawks said...

    Real science, however, has to justify it's assumptions.

    Obviously incredibly superficial arguments are acceptable to evolutionists such as common descent follows from a limited amount of evolution being observed.


    LOL! Not like the following rigorous science offered by the Creationists:

    Shubee: "Society in general has a very clear understanding of the inadequate robustness of present-day humans."

    There are a number of questions you have avoided waiting for you on the other thread regarding your obviously incredibly superficial arguments. Any chance you'll grow a spine and answer them?

    Didn't think so.

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  20. Sir Knight,

    You have proven yourself incapable of understanding the simplest of concepts, such as there being a distinction between assumptions and conclusions. Please respect my religious right to not engage in debates with mentally defective ignoramuses.

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  21. The monkey's banging on the typewriters has long been used as an analogy for mutation and natural selection. I think this whole analogy is going evaporate just as Darwin's cellular goo concept did. It makes for interesting talking points, but its like making an analogy to describe an abacus and then using that analogy to describe the World Wide Web and all the networks and servers and software connected to it.

    Here's an interesting read: http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/the-unbearable-wholeness-of-beings

    Darwinists are neck deep in unsolved problems with their theory, however, they their about to be taken 20,000 leagues under the sea.

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  23. I wrote: Given your objection above, why are you a realist, rather than a solipsist?

    I've asked this question several times before and Cornelius has yet to answer.

    The most common responses is that it's a question of metaphysics. While we cannot know for sure, our personal experience of interacting with what strongly appears to be other conscious beings, rather than highly convincing zombies, overwhelming appeals to one's intuition, etc.

    While I'd agree this can be compelling, we're not limited to intuition. However, this might not be obvious, so I'll elaborate on this below.

    Should we attempt to take it seriously, in that it's true in reality and that all observations should conform to it, Solipsism presents an implicit theory that there are dream-like aspects of myself that act like autonomous conscious beings which surprise me, have different personalities and even disagree with me on Solipsism. And there object-like facets of myself that obey laws of physics like facets even though, as a non-physicist, I can’t do the math that describes their behavior. Not to mention that these supposed people-like facets of myself discover new things about myself (physics like facets) all the time, which I wasn’t aware of previously.

    However, observations still fit this theory, which means they would still "support" solipsism. Given Cornelius objections, how can one be a realist without making a metaphysical claim?

    The key difference is that Solipsism makes no attempt to explain *why* object-like facets of one’s self would obey laws of physics-like facets of one’s self, etc. No explanation is presented at all. Instead, the claim is based on a supposed philosophical limitation that we cannot know anything exists outside of our own minds.

    In other words, Solipsism consists of the theory of realty with the added exception of it all being elaborate facets of the internal self. It merely attempts to explain away the currently tenable theory of reality. Despite portraying itself as anti-reality, solipsism is actually a convoluted elaboration of reality, which can be discarded.

    Cornelius' claim that the vitamin C pseudogene pattern is not powerful evidence that collaborates evolutionary theory is merely a variant of solipsism. Rather than drawing a boundary at our minds, he's merely move the boundary to the biological complexity we observe, which appears arbitrary and irrational.

    For example, it could be that the earth is surrounded by a giant planetarium that merely presents a highly elaborate simulation a heliocentric solar system. This includes bouncing back radio waves and photons, capturing space craft and returning them with less fuel, false telemetry and even astronauts with implanted memories or collecting fake moon rocks. Beyond this planetarium, you could claim anything you like exists, or nothing at all.

    In this case, the boundary has been arbitrarily moved to the earth's atmosphere, rather than the biological complexity we observe.

    Cornelius argument is cut from the same cloth. It's founded on the claim that we supposedly cannot know God wouldn't create everything as if modern evolutionary theory is true. But as I've illustrated, this is merely hand waving as one could arbitrarily make the same claim about anything. He's simply drawn the line at the biological complexity we observe.

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  24. Shubee said...

    I have proven myself incapable of understanding the simplest of concepts, such as there being a connection between robustness and environment. Please respect my religious right to be a spineless mentally defective ignoramus.


    That's what I thought.

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  25. Scott

    "For example, it could be that the earth is surrounded by a giant planetarium that merely presents a highly elaborate simulation a heliocentric solar system. This includes bouncing back radio waves and photons, capturing space craft and ...."


    Cool, a matrix.

    Don't get me going ...I read lots of sci-fi book when I was younger.

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  26. Eugne,

    Sort of. But there are key differences.

    First, the Matrix was a complete virtual realty simulation.

    However, In my hypothetical scenario, everything inside the earth's atmosphere was accepted as reality. It's only those things outside the earth's atmosphere that are claimed to be a simulation.

    This is the sort of arbitrary boundary I'm referring to. Why draw the line here, rather than there?

    Second, there was an external reality in The Matrix, which was used as a starting point for the simulation. However, solipsism claims there is no external reality at all.

    When you dream, you interact with equivalents of the zombies implied by Solipsism which act as if they are conscious, but are merely manufactured by your mind. As such, we have observable evidence that our minds can create beings that merely appear conscious.

    Again, why are we realists?

    Like The Matrix, these figments are based on an external reality. If there was no reality, then what are these dream-people based on? Why do our dreams have any resemblance to our waken state? Why do object-like facets of my internal self behave laws of physics-like facets of my internal self?

    Solipsism gives no explanation. That's just what our mind creates. While we cannot rule them out with 100% certainty, Non-explanations are indefensible as an explanation for anything we observe in particular. It's an appeal to a possibility, not an explanation. As such, we discard it.

    If there was no solar system outside the earth's atmosphere, then why do we observe eight planets, rather than 4, 10 or some other number? What is the simulation's data modeled after, if not a number of orbiting planets?

    Sure, there a possibility that this is the case, but it's not an explanation. That's just what the simulator happens to simulate.

    Note that we can say the same about an abstract intelligent designer or God. That's just what the designer must have wanted. This isn't an explanation. it's faith in a possibility we cannot rule out with 100% certainty.

    In fact, the Wedge Document makes this goal quite clear…

    Governing Goals

    - To defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies.
    - To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and hurnan beings are created by God.


    Just like Solipsism, not only does ID fail to explain the biologically complexity we observe, it's goal is to displace any existing explanations that currently exist.

    Again, the implied claim here is that the biological complexity we observe is beyond human problem reassigning and problem solving.

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  27. In case it's not clear, when Cornelius claims to be a realist, he appears to be appealing to a false dilemma, as the same boundary in solipsism could be arbitrary drawn somewhere else.

    In this case, he conveniently drawing it at the biological complexity we observe.

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  28. Scott,

    The first verse of the Bible says, "...God created the heavens and earth". The cosmos is real. Also, "the heavens declare the glory of God". So in answer to your question, the Christian believes the universe is real. God is distinct from creation itself. What we perceive of that universe is limited by our minds and senses, but the Christian view is that they are real.

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  29. The difference between Darwinism, ID Theory, and creationism:

    Darwinism is based on theology that narrowly defines what a creator is allowed to do and not do, then finds evidence outside that view to support universal common descent.

    Id Theory is based on the science which attempts to identify generic properties of design itself and find evidence of those properties in living organisms.

    Creationism is based on theology which identifies the creator.

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  30. Neal: The first verse of the Bible says, "...God created the heavens and earth". The cosmos is real. Also, "the heavens declare the glory of God". So in answer to your question, the Christian believes the universe is real. God is distinct from creation itself. What we perceive of that universe is limited by our minds and senses, but the Christian view is that they are real.

    Neal,

    I'm quite aware of the Christian view, which is based on justificationism.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't this imply you think divine revelation solves the problem of induction?

    Do put divine revelation above induction in the justificationalist hierarchy of deduction, induction and philosophy. Do you put it above deduction as well?

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  31. Neal,

    Without a functional reason to prefer one of countless variants, advocating one is irrational.

    God could just as well have created everything last Thursday, with the appearance of age, false memories, etc. Yet, we do not see you advocating this claim.

    Clearly, it can't be because God is good, or that God is a designer, as supposedly we cannot determine what God would or would not do based on this supposed properties. Right?

    As such, why have you picked this particular variant, rather than countless others?
    What could possible explain your behavior?

    We don't have to look far to notice this particular variant (intelligent design) just so happens to correspond with traditional fundamental interpretation of the Christinan the Bible.

    So, apparently, you've picked one of countless variants because you think divine revelation is the solution to the problem of induction and that the bible represents divine revelation from the Christian God.

    Would this be an accrete assessment? If not, why have you picked this particular variant, rather than countless others?

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  33. Neal Tedford said...

    Darwinism is based on theology that narrowly defines what a creator is allowed to do and not do, then finds evidence outside that view to support universal common descent.

    I sort of agree. I suspect that Darwinism is secretly based on a religious assumption — that there is no God.

    Id Theory is based on the science which attempts to identify generic properties of design itself and find evidence of those properties in living organisms.

    I don't believe that there's enough theory on generic design properties identification to justify calling this unfounded optimism a science.

    Creationism is based on theology which identifies the creator.

    I don't think that there is much difference between Creationism and Intelligent Design.

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  34. Actually, I'm persuaded that Intelligent Design is just an inferior approach to traditional Creationism.

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  35. Shubee, Darwin in his closing remarks in the Origin of Species actually mentioned the creator but relegated him to having created first life and then left it alone. Later on he wrote about first life arising from a warm little pond on its own. So Darwin's view was muddled.

    Today, scientists like Ken Miller and Francis Collins think that God put together just the right conditions at the Big Bang for everything to have evolved on its own since. That's appears to be the politically correct view now. Others such as Dawkins and Hawkings and bloggers here, most atheists, take great comfort in Darwinism to completely deny the existence of God. That's why they feel so threatened.

    Neo-Darwinism does not allow for an active creator. The foundation of it is based on their narrow view of what creation should have looked like IF there was a creator. They then find evidence outside their artifical and narrow view and use it as evidence to rule out a creator. It is "practical atheism" in relation to the origin of life and species, even though many evolutionists would not call themselves atheists. I believe we deny God when we are not true to Him, even though this is not strictly atheism. Neo-Darwinism is about UNGUIDED evolution, so it is not compatible with guided evolution (theistic evolution).

    I think it is important that people realize all the theology that Darwin and his followers used in forming their theory. It depends on it. Theology is the handmaiden of Darwinism. Here's a good read on Darwins use of theology summarizing an article for the british journal of the history of science:

    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/05/charles_darwin_theologian_majo046391.html

    I think both ID (nameless designer) and creationism (God) have an important role to play. ID can bring forth some strictly scientific arguments. But this is not enough for individuals, because they need to know the savior and creator personally. Belief in God as creator (Hebrews 11) and Jesus is ultimately takes faith. I don't believe it is a blind faith, but a reasonable faith. A little faith brings confirmation to an individual that God is real through the ministry of the Holy Spirit to that person.

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  36. Huge LOL! This is just precious. An IDiot and a Creationist arguing over whose pulled-out-of-their-butt fantasy is more correct!

    It's like watching two sci-fi worshiping nerds argue over whether the Starship Enterprise could defeat the Death Star.

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  37. It couldn't, just FYI - http://www.stardestroyer.net/Empire/ and particularly http://www.stardestroyer.net/Empire/Essays/FiveMinutes.html :P

    I honestly can't understand what this clown is doing here. Well, some people like to make fools of themselves I guess...

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  38. Marcel said...

    It couldn't, just FYI - http://www.stardestroyer.net/Empire/ and particularly http://www.stardestroyer.net/Empire/Essays/FiveMinutes.html :P

    I honestly can't understand what this clown is doing here. Well, some people like to make fools of themselves I guess...


    Big LOL! I bet you look so cute when you dress up in your little white stormtrooper outfit.

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  39. When I objected to CH's use of the monkeys-typewriters analogy to evolution, I said

    Let's have CH clarify: when creationist debaters try to convince people that modern evolutionary theory is a theory of adaptation by pure random mutation, are they misleading their audiences?. Is that a problem for CH?

    No response from CH yet, but Neil Tedford has stepped in, saying that

    The monkey's banging on the typewriters has long been used as an analogy for mutation and natural selection. I think this whole analogy is going evaporate just as Darwin's cellular goo concept did.

    Tedford fails to name one evolutionary biologist who has used this analogy. Even one.

    The monkeys-typewriters analogy is used by creationists as a deeply misleading analogy to evolution. It is objected to by evolutionary biologists (but not apparently by CH). Richard Dawkins's well-known Weasel program is intended as a teaching example to refute that analogy and show how natural selection can accumulate adaptive changes.

    That program is often misdescribed by creationists and ID types as either (a) a realistic model of evolution, or (b) a way of showing that natural selection can create real-life adaptations. Dawkins was clear that the program was not intended to do either of these, but of course that does not stop opponents of evolurionary biology from mischaracterizing it.

    So while we're waiting for CH to say what he thinks of creationist misuse of the monkeys-typewriters analogy, can Tedford provide one example of an evolutionary biologist agreeing that the analogy to evolution is correct? Just one? If he does not, then he was making statements that are without any foundation.

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  40. Neal -

    "Darwin in his closing remarks in the Origin of Species actually mentioned the creator but relegated him to having created first life and then left it alone. Later on he wrote about first life arising from a warm little pond on its own. So Darwin's view was muddled."

    Actually the first edition of On The Origin of Species did not include this mention of a Creator. It was added from the second edition onwards to appease those who took immediate offense at the challenge his theory posed for the role of God in creation.

    In fact he later wrote in a letter to a colleague, Joseph Hooker, about his regret in being talked into making this unnecessary and misleading concession:

    "But I have long regretted that I truckled to public opinion and used the Pentateuchal term of creation, by which I really meant "appeared" by some wholly unknown process. It is mere rubbish thinking, at present, of the origin of life; one might as well think of the origin of matter."

    http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/entry-4065

    "Today, scientists like Ken Miller and Francis Collins think that God put together just the right conditions at the Big Bang for everything to have evolved on its own since. That's appears to be the politically correct view now."

    I don't know what makes you think that. Collins regularly comes under a lot of fire for including notions of a deity in with his science - since this is a very unscientific thing to do.

    " Others such as Dawkins and Hawkings and bloggers here, most atheists, take great comfort in Darwinism to completely deny the existence of God. That's why they feel so threatened."

    Cute pop psycho-babble, but wrong again. Dawkins, Hawkings et al have never stated that there is no God. In the God Delusion, Dawkins specifically states that on a 1-7 scale where 1 is absolute belief in God and 7 was absolute belief in no gods, he would put himself as a 6. They do not champion the view that there is DEFINITELY no God - because we can never know that for absolute certain. What they DO say is that there is no reason to think there is a God/gods - no evidence for one, no need for one in science, and that it is certainly inexcusable to smuggle the assumption of a God into a scientific theory.

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  41. Joe Felsenstein:

    ...can Tedford provide one example of an evolutionary biologist agreeing that the analogy to evolution is correct? Just one? If he does not, then he was making statements that are without any foundation.

    Come on, I know you're not new to this blog ;-)

    Shubee:

    I don't think that there is much difference between Creationism and Intelligent Design.

    Oh, please, don't spoil the fun for us.

    Pedant,

    Do you know if the daffodils paper is out yet?

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  42. Geoxus,

    In a word, no. Not found on Robert Scotland's Web site or in PubMed.

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  43. Pedant,

    Too bad. I bet Cornelius is dying to read it :P

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  44. Neal: Neo-Darwinism does not allow for an active creator. The foundation of it is based on their narrow view of what creation should have looked like IF there was a creator.

    Neal,

    Despite numerous correction and clarification to the contrary, why do you keep repeating this same straw man?

    Evolutionary theory does not exclude supernatural interventions. For all we know an abstract intelligent designer may have wanted us to have exactly five fingers, rather than four, six or some other number digits that would have occurred naturally.

    However assuming we have five fingers rather than six, merely because that's just what the designer must have wanted, doesn't explain the biological complexity we observe. This is the problem evolutionary theory addresses.

    You seem to be confused regarding this issue.

    When I say, biological complexity, I'm referring to concrete differences between species and even within species. And the explanation for these concrete differences is evolutionary processes, such as HGT, duplication, random mutation, natural selection, etc. This is in contrast to the problem of reconciling your particular theodicy with what we observe.

    These are two separate issues, which unfortunately appear mutually exclusive to particular religious interpretations and beliefs.

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  45. Scott

    Solipsism is giving me heebe jeebes. Philosophy, too after a while.

    Speaking of Matrix, rather matrix I read this interesting book by Frank Wilczek who explains the framework of reality he calls The Grid. It's seems the space-time needs some kind of supporting framework which is supposed to be superconducting, transparent and multi layered.

    This is better than sci-fi!

    Also, a little present for YECs

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  46. Scott said, "When I say, biological complexity, I'm referring to concrete differences between species and even within species. And the explanation for these concrete differences is evolutionary processes, such as HGT, duplication, random mutation, natural selection, etc. "

    NO they don't. That's the problem at hand. You say it does, but your confusing what evolutionist imagine and assume with actual observation. Evolutionary theory is a failure in its own right without dragging creation or design in.

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  47. Tedford the Idiot said...

    Scott said, "When I say, biological complexity, I'm referring to concrete differences between species and even within species. And the explanation for these concrete differences is evolutionary processes, such as HGT, duplication, random mutation, natural selection, etc. "

    NO they don't. That's the problem at hand. You say it does, but your confusing what evolutionist imagine and assume with actual observation. Evolutionary theory is a failure in its own right without dragging creation or design in.


    Wow Tedford, so you're now claiming that HGT, duplication, random mutation, natural selection, etc. aren't empirically observable processes??

    Did an accident somehow cut off the oxygen supply to both your brain cells? Funny how you and the rest of the Cretos can scream "evolution is wrong!!" all day long but you never have the spine (or the evidence) to demonstrate what is right.

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  48. Ritchie, perhaps someone pointed out to Darwin after the first edition of 'Origin of Species' was published that he never actually addressed the "Origin" of species. In the later edition he does address the actual Origin by refering to the Creator. Darwins theology is the handmaiden of his theory in all editions of 'Origins'.

    Thanks for reminding me of the 1-7 rating system that atheists such as Dawkin's use. Do atheists who are 7's debate atheists who are 6's, like Dawkins? Dawkins seems quite open to the idea of space aliens creating first life. Hawkings thinks he has a case for believing the universe spontaneously arose from 'nothing'. They have no evidence to back up what they say, so its pure bias driving their opinion.

    Their opinions are not inspiring at all. It takes more faith to be an atheist than to be believe in a Creator.

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  49. Thorton

    "Did an accident somehow cut off the oxygen supply to both your brain cells?"

    LOL Insulting but funny.

    Who needs brain cells when you can grab the whole Boltzmann brain poping into existence from random fluctuation nearby.

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  50. Neal: NO they don't. That's the problem at hand. You say it does, but your confusing what evolutionist imagine and assume with actual observation. Evolutionary theory is a failure in its own right without dragging creation or design in.

    Neal,

    First, rather than respond to my point, you're merely went off on a tangent by making another objection. This seems to be a common avoidance tactic as, sooner or later, you're likely to bring up this same objection while avoiding some other point being raised, etc.

    Again, evolutionary theory doesn't exclude God any more than any other field.

    In the case of gravity, the majority of theists think gravity is a natural force created by God as a secondary cause. This way, a perfect good God doesn't end up being directly responsible for death and injury of of human beings, the destruction of property, etc. Since science things gravity is a natural force, there is no point of conflict.

    Second, explanations are not observations. As such, you cannot "observe" an explanation any more than you can observe gravity.

    Nor can you observe the explanations behind chemical reactions. One could claim that an intelligent agent miraculously intervenes to reduce pain whenever it observes anyone takes acetylsalicylic acid (Aspirin). Clearly, we cannot disprove this claim with 100% certainty.

    On one hand, we have a hard to vary chain of explanations as to why Aspirin reduces pain via a number of processes and chemical reactions. On the other hand, we have a claim in which the intelligent designer is only related to reducing pain directly through the claim itself. There is no chain. The intelligent designer represents the only link which can be easily varied by a number of other agents or causes.

    There could be a multitude of angels that reduce pain when taking aspirin. Or there could be a patron saint of aspirin that intervenes on one's behalf. Or it could be that some "healing energies" from native american tree spirits remain after the bark is process into acetylsalicylic acid, etc.

    Despite the fact that we cannot rule out these state of affairs, we can objectively note that all of these supernatural claims are non-explications. None of them play a functional role in the reduction of pain.

    Non-Explanations are indefensible as an explanation of anything. As such, we discard them. We can say the same for un-conceived explanations.

    So, given the above criteria, evolutionary processes, such as HGT, duplication, random mutation, natural selection, etc., do explain the concrete difference we observe. And they do so quite well.

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  51. Eugen said...

    Thorton

    "Did an accident somehow cut off the oxygen supply to both your brain cells?"

    LOL Insulting but funny.


    Pretty much the only value this board has is for entertainment - poking fun at blustering mouth breathing fools like Tedford here.

    You're never going to get a serious discussion on any evolutionary topic here because the IDCers either don't know the science or lie about the tiny bit they do know.

    If they want to keep offering themselves up as human pinatas, who are we to deny them their pleasure?

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  52. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  53. -- continued --

    Of course, you're asking different questions.

    Why is there any complexity at all (why is there something rather than nothing)? How can I reconcile my particular theodicy with what we know about biology?

    This is in contrast to why do we observe this complexity rather than some other complexity.

    Clearly, saying that's just what the designer must have wanted doesn't explain why we have five fingers, rather than four, six, or some other number of digits. It's a non-explantion.

    However, that we have five fingers because our common ancestor had five fingers does so very well. In fact, we can trace this back through a great number of common ancestors, in including the ancestors of whales, which have five bones in their flippers.

    An that's just one of many hard to vary chains that collaborates evolutionary theory.

    While we cannot rule out with 100% certainty a state of affairs in which "an intelligent designer did it", we can objectively not that this is represents a non-explination, which is indefensible as an explantation for anything in particular, let alone the biological complexity we observe. As such we discard it.

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  54. Neal - "perhaps someone pointed out to Darwin after the first edition of 'Origin of Species' was published that he never actually addressed the "Origin" of species. In the later edition he does address the actual Origin by refering to the Creator. Darwins theology is the handmaiden of his theory in all editions of 'Origins'."

    "Perhaps"? How much weight do you imagine this carries? You're just making this up, aren't you? Still I suppose inventing the evidence to support the conclusion you want to reach is second nature to someone who supports ID. The facts are there and are not in dispute - Darwin wrote in personal letters to his friend that his inclusion of the mention of a Creator in the second and subsequent editions of ORIGINS was due to peer pressure from religious quarters, and he later regretted giving this consession. So I'm afraid your entirely hypothetical scenario doesn't hold up.

    "Do atheists who are 7's debate atheists who are 6's, like Dawkins?"

    I know a great many atheists, and I know of none who are 7's.

    "Dawkins seems quite open to the idea of space aliens creating first life. Hawkings thinks he has a case for believing the universe spontaneously arose from 'nothing'. They have no evidence to back up what they say, so its pure bias driving their opinion."

    Believing the universe spontaneously arose from 'nothing' is merely the best supported and most logical scientific conclusion we can draw from the evidence we have available to us. It is not 'bias' to discount wild, unscientific and wholly unsupported flights of fancy such as 'There is a magic man in the sky who made everything'.

    "Their opinions are not inspiring at all. It takes more faith to be an atheist than to be believe in a Creator."

    It does not. What total rubbish. To believe in a Creator of the universe, you must believe in a being greater - and therefore MORE IMPROBABLE - than the universe. Therefore 'a Creator did it' is a MORE IMPROBABLE explanation for anything than ANY explanation which requires only natural forces.

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  55. "To believe in a Creator of the universe, you must believe in a being greater - and therefore MORE IMPROBABLE - than the universe."

    This is the extent of an evolutionist's understanding of probabilities. Entertaining :)

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  56. Ritchie said, "Believing the universe spontaneously arose from 'nothing' is merely the best supported and most logical scientific conclusion we can draw from the evidence we have available to us."

    Please tell us how nothing can produce something.

    Everything that begins has a cause. Infinite regression is not logical.

    What was the first cause that had no beginning?
    The best explanation is God, as described in the Bible, is eternal without beginning. The elegant properties of the physical universe and of life bear a clear and present witness to being designed on purpose. Furthermore there are millions of people in the world from all positions of life, cultures and educational levels that bear witness to the personal life changing power of Jesus Christ.

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  57. Tedford the Idiot said...

    Please tell us how nothing can produce something.


    You Tedford have nothing discernible in the way of intelligence yet you still manage to produce pages of empty blustering rhetoric.

    Magic!

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  58. Neal -

    "Please tell us how nothing can produce something."

    Even if I were to try and fail, that would not imply a Creator. That would only lead us to the question 'Where did this Creator come from?'

    "Everything that begins has a cause. Infinite regression is not logical."

    I am not posing infinite regression. I am stating that the beginning of the universe is a mystery - a mystery which is not solved by posting an entirely hypothetical Creator, since this just begs the question fo the Creator's origin. And if you state that the Creator has no origin, then YOU are the one falling back on infinite regression.

    "What was the first cause that had no beginning?
    The best explanation is God, as described in the Bible, is eternal without beginning."

    No, it explains nothing until you can demonstrate the testable properties of this God.

    "The elegant properties of the physical universe and of life bear a clear and present witness to being designed on purpose."

    Give me even one example of this.

    "Furthermore there are millions of people in the world from all positions of life, cultures and educational levels that bear witness to the personal life changing power of Jesus Christ."

    There are millions of people in the world from all positions of life, cultures and educational levels that bear witness to the personal life changing power of Allah and his prophet Mohammud.

    There are millions of people in the world from all positions of life, cultures and educational levels that bear witness to the personal life changing power of the Hindu pantheon of gods.

    Just because ideas are tenacious doesn't mean they are accurate.

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