Friday, July 22, 2011

Peak Fallacy: The Evolutionists False Alarms and Missed Alarms

In statistical testing there are Type I and Type II errors where the null hypothesis is erroneously rejected and erroneously accepted, respectively. In simple terms we might call these false alarms and missed alarms. Likewise as evolutionists rack up their false conclusions they commit both of these two types of errors. On the one hand, they erroneously conclude the evidence supports evolution. On the other hand, they just as commonly fail to see the many failures of their theory. A good example of this is in a paper published in the leading journal Nature on protein evolution which I discussed in my previous post.

Type I errors


The paper uses a somewhat circuitous method to conclude not only that protein evolution is continuing but that their analysis provides yet more “novel evidence of the common ancestry of life.”

But evolutionary assumptions slip into their analysis at several entry points. The evolutionists beg the question when they conclude their results are evidence for evolution and common descent. In fact their findings support no such conclusion. It is a Type I error typical of the evolution genre.

Type II errors


What is perhaps more interesting are the many Type II errors which one must read between the lines to see. For instance, if proteins ever were actually to evolve it would require a long time (far longer than the age of the universe, for example). The paper does nothing to remedy this problem, and in fact agrees that protein evolution is not a hasty affair.

But the evolutionist’s research takes as its starting point a vast population of proteins, which they suppose to be present in the early earth environment, a good three and a half billion years ago.

But from where did all these complex and advanced proteins come and how did they arise so rapidly so as to be ready and waiting for evolution to use them? This is, of course, absurd. It is a monumental Type II error which evolutionists conveniently ignore.

Another major problem for protein evolution, which the paper amplifies, is that proteins are hard to find. As stated above, their evolution would require a long time. This is because the fitness landscape between them is rugged, and there generally is no gradually increasing slope leading to nature’s thousands of different proteins.

Again, the paper does nothing to remedy this situation. And in fact, by way of rationalizing its results, the paper further aggravates the problem. Because the paper finds that the supposed evolution of proteins must have been rather slow, the evolutionist’s imagine that a process known as epistasis retarded the process. The idea is that mutations, and the resulting changes to the protein’s amino acid sequence, impact the other amino acids in the sequence. So whereas a particular amino acid might have been useful or not useful before a mutation occurs, all that may change after the mutation. The upshot is that the protein evolves by following a circuitous, maze-like path through evolutionary history.

What is important, and unspoken, about this idea is that it calls for the mother of all serendipities. Consider this. Certain types of amino acid changes must occur for a protein to evolve into another protein. At the start, these amino acid changes cannot occur because they are harmful. It appears that protein evolution just isn’t going to happen.

But, as evolutionists argue, the few amino acid changes that are allowed at the beginning act to change the usefulness of other key amino acids, so they can evolve in the right way. Those changes then, in turn, act on yet a few other amino acids to change in the right way. The process continues and so the dominoes fall in just the right way, luckily ending at a new, useful, protein that otherwise was impossible for evolution to find.

It is yet another ludicrous appeal to the astronomical serendipity that silently undergirds much of evolutionary theory. And it is another Type II error.

These are not the only Type II errors in the paper. Evolutionary theory routinely must turn a blind eye to the plethora of contradictions in the data. Religion drives science, and it matters.

40 comments:

  1. But the evolutionist’s research takes as its starting point a vast population of proteins, which they suppose to be present in the early earth environment, a good three and a half billion years ago.

    This seems to be a major misunderstanding that has permeated this series of posts by Dr Hunter. That "vast population of proteins" has not been taken by anyone else as a starting point. The thesis is that the vast population has arisen from a smaller cohort, and has expanded and contracted over time, with expansion having outrun contraction. Just as in the historical expansion of biological forms (see fossil record).

    But from where did all these complex and advanced proteins come and how did they arise so rapidly so as to be ready and waiting for evolution to use them?

    Dr Hunter repeats the same error for emphasis.

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  2. What is important, and unspoken, about this idea is that it calls for the mother of all serendipities. Consider this. Certain types of amino acid changes must occur for a protein to evolve into another protein. At the start, these amino acid changes cannot occur because they are harmful. It appears that protein evolution just isn’t going to happen.

    I suspect that slightly deleterious and neutral mutations are not in Dr Hunter's lexicon.

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  3. Of course the proteins would be useless by themselves. They need all the other components of a cell within which to function further magnifying the absurdity of the evolutionary view. This absurdity is compounded exponentially again when it is understood that cells are only a small part of the ecosystem which includes the fine tuned characteristics of the universe. Evolution has to be the greatest absurdity of human intellectual history.

    .

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  4. Hi, Peter,

    What is your opinion of micro-evolution. Does it occur? (As in the periodic appearance of pandemic strains of the influenza virus.)

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  5. Some mutations can result in harmful enzymes, with no activity and the result will be some failure in the metabolism, but other replacements would have no importance, such Leu-Ile, but this should be an individual mutation. So, the diversity of enzymes from one specie would be greater than the actual.
    Am I right?

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  6. It is safe to say, based on Dr. Hunter's very clear and convincing analysis, it takes faith to be an evolutionist. It really can NOT be a matter of KNOWing these countless serendipities occurred. How can it be? Who has observed 1/10^20th of them? It is a BELIEVING that these vast coincidences simply MUST have occurred that is the pillar of evolutionary faith. They MUST have occurred because, well, here they all are. Coincidence is the only possible explanation. Such is faith not science.

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  7. The more objections Cornelius makes, the more clear his agenda becomes.

    For example…

    CH: In spite of its scientific problems, this paper is being cited by other evolutionists as an authoritative finding and confirmation of protein evolution.

    At first, I took this this sort of claim by Cornelius as a mistake. But after being one of many who continue to point out this isn't the sort of claim science actually makes, I realized it wasn't a mistake - but then mistook it as a simple straw man of evolutionary theory. However, on closer inspection, I've realized that Cornelius' straw man is carefully constructed for his foundationalist, non-scientific literate, Christian theist audience.

    Specifically, he smuggles in a number of foundationalist assumptions implied in fundamentalist theism, then wavies his hands over the fact that science cannot justify that evolutionary theory is True with a capital 'T'

    For example, this continued "response to comments" series doesn't actually represent a response to comments. Instead, he keeps reformulating comments into a foundationalist framework, which is itself absent from the original. He then goes on to attack them assuming foundationalism is true, while failing to show how foundationalism is even possible for science as a whole, let alone evolutionary theory.

    His audience implicitly accepts the latter (which allows him to conveniently omit it from his argument and protect it from exposure to scrutiny). Nor is his audience literate enough to realize the latter is a straw man of science.

    So, it would seem that we can distill Cornelius' goal down to the following: reassure his audience's belief that human beings were created by God in final form is safe, as science has not confirmed that evolution is True, in the foundationalist sense that they both share.

    Anything beyond this goal is irrelevant and will be ignored.

    Comments that cannot be easily reformulated as foundationalist scientific straw men will be ignored. This includes direct, relevant questions. If fact, it seems that Cornelius allows comments since he knows they will be interpreted by his audience in a foundationalist context and provide fodder for new posts.

    Of course, Cornelius' continued refusal to disclose his position on these issues represents the fallacy that someone is not biased or does not hold presuppositions because they do not publicly express or acknowledge bias or presuppositions.

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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  9. The above comment is strongly reminding me of the Sokal paper - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sokal_affair - in that it's a wall of text that has absolutely no meaning. Good job!

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  10. Marcel: The above comment is strongly reminding me of the Sokal paper

    Marcel,

    Perhaps you'd like to point out the inconstancies between my comment and Cornelius's posts?

    For example, have I not asked Cornelius to disclose his position in several relevant areas? Has he, in return, actually responded by clearly disclosing his position, or even explained his failure to respond by showing how they are not relevant?

    Does he not reformulate comments by reframing them in a foundationlist context? Again, as an example….

    CH: In spite of its scientific problems, this paper is being cited by other evolutionists as an authoritative finding and confirmation of protein evolution.

    Here, he'e equivocating on the term scientific problem. Evolutionary theory doesn't claim to fill the hole that many fundamentalist Christians fill with God. Rather it's an explanation for observations which leads to better questions, such as exactly how proteins evolved.

    Nor can the paper be an empirical confirmation of anything, let alone protein evolution, due to the problem of induction. Instead, it's being cited as collaborating evolutionary theory, in that the protein "universe" is, and has been, expanding. Again, while you and others in Cornelius audience might think we can know Truth with a capital 'T', this doesn't mean that science makes the same sort of claim. Nor does evolution explicitly anti-design. However, without an explanation as to the means, method and motive, adding a designer to the mix doesn't actually explain what we observe.

    However, If you're scientifically literate, you'd already know this, as we're quite aware that nearly all scientific theories contain errors. For example, despite being a significant improvement over Netwon's laws of motion, general relatively is incompatible with quantum mechanics. As such, we know that at least one of these theories is clearly wrong. The question is which theory(s), in what areas and to what degree.

    Yet, regardless of how many times we point out this out, Cornelius still frames his arguments as if they are unique to evolution and as if science makes truth claims with a capital 'T'.

    Does Cornelius have a neurological condition which effects his ability to make new memories? Has he experienced some incident that has drastically reduced his reading comprehension?

    Based on other factors, this seems highly unlikely. And, as others have said, I don't think Cornelius isn't intelligent. So, what other conclusion are we supposed to reach?

    Why does Cornelius keep presenting not just any straw man but this particular sort of straw man? Why does he refuse to answer the following questions?

    01. Is there an answer to the problem of inductoin? If so, what it is?

    02. As a professing Christian, where does he put divine revelation in the traditional hierarchy of deduction, induction and philosophy?

    These are reasonable questions which are relevant to the issue at hand.

    In fact, I'd suggest that the answers to these questions are part of what Cornelius smuggles into his argument as they are shared by his audience. As such, he shields them from rational criticism.

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  11. Marcel:

    "The above comment is strongly reminding me of the Sokal paper - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sokal_affair - in that it's a wall of text that has absolutely no meaning. Good job!"
    ===

    Yes, this is of course characteristic of Scott's New Age religious manuscripts, *cough-cough* I mean posts from the Netherworld. Usually he doesn't show up until deep into the discussion long after any meaningful sense can be made of the dirt being slung around, then he makes a grand entrance.

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  12. Perhaps you'd like to point out the inconstancies between my comment and Cornelius's posts?

    Your comment would have to make sense for that...

    Does he not reformulate comments by reframing them in a foundationlist context?

    I rest my case.

    Cornelius still frames his arguments as if they are unique to evolution and as if science makes truth claims with a capital 'T'.

    Cornelius only discusses evolution, at least on this blog; however, I agree - all science is crap. Scientists are thieves who couldn't make it in the real world. The Ig Nobel prizes are just the tip of the iceberg. (I'm a big fan of engineers, though.)

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  13. "I agree - all science is crap. Scientists are thieves who couldn't make it in the real world. The Ig Nobel prizes are just the tip of the iceberg."


    Ha ha ha ha ha!!!

    Thanks for giving me the best laugh I've had all morning.

    At least you've got the stones to admit it. Which is more than can be said for Cornelius.

    Then again, he probably just realises how barking mad it sounds.

    Ha ha!

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  14. Scott: Does he not reformulate comments by reframing them in a foundationlist context?

    Marcel: I rest my case.

    If I said "Ruby on Rails and ASP.NET MVC both use an MVC architecture and have algebraic query extensions (as of Rails v3.0)", but was ignorant as to what MVC and algebraic query extensions meant, does this mean this sentence didn't make sense?

    While I'm not a literary genius , if you were literate about the history and philosophy of science (or even took the effort to look up the term) you would understand what I'm referring to.

    Foundationalism refers to specific theories of epistemology. From Wikipedia...

    A belief is epistemically justified only if (1) it is justified by a basic belief or beliefs or (2) it is justified by a chain of beliefs that is supported by a basic belief , and on which all the others are ultimately based.

    Cornelius' argument can be distilled down to a claim that science cannot justify evolutionary theory as being true with a capital 'T'.

    But we know this already as observations alone cannot justify conclusions. Hume showed us this with his problem of induction. Furthermore, the vast majority of science accepts Karl Popper's explanation of the scientific process of gaining knowledge, which I've outlined elsewhere (and you can also find online should you care to look)

    If you think Science is "crap", it could be that your opinion is based on an naive understanding of this limitation.

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  15. - continued -

    However, the question becomes, why does this limitation mean science "crap", rather that the best method we have? It would seem you holding some hidden assumption that a better means of gaining knowledge exists that doesn't have this limitation - therefore science is "crap" in comparison.

    This is the sort of hidden assumptions that Cornelius smuggles into his arguments and that you, as part of his target audience, both share. This allows Cornelius to shield these assumptions from rational criticism, as he doesn't need to present them explicitly.

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  16. Marcel: Cornelius only discusses evolution, at least on this blog…

    If I only "discussed" Microsoft Windows and said it wasn't a "True" OS because it doesn't run on every CPU that exists, wouldn't this have further reaching implications? After all, with the possible exception of Linux, this can be said about all operating systems, right?

    This is what I'm referring to.

    Science cannot justify anything using empirical observations alone, let alone evolutionary theory. As such Cornelius' objections are merely hand waving over a theory he personally objects to. It's irrational thinking.

    Just as my objections to Windows not being a "true" OS because it didn't run on all CPUs would be arbitrary hand waving against a particular OS, since all operating system have the same problem. My objection would be irrational as well.

    Marcel: I agree - all science is crap.

    Who are you agreeing with, Cornelius? Because, I don't recall Cornelius explicitly saying all of science is crap. Nor am I suggesting it either.

    So, exactly who are you agreeing with?

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  17. Who are you agreeing with, Cornelius?

    You (tongue-in-cheek, of course):

    ... as if science makes truth claims with a capital 'T'.

    Scientists do. Science is not a person, so it can't do anything, but scientists are generally full of crap. (As in, 99%+ of them.)

    Why is science crap? Because it's a pretentious way of saying "make things up and see what you can get away with", elevated to an infallible religion by its priests and sycophants. An astronomy book is less sane, on average, than even an astrology book, or the I Ching, and instead of committing the authors to a mental institution, we give them even more money. There is pretty much no discernible relationship between modern science and the real world - by definition, that makes scientists insane. (I go by "insanity means your worldview does not fit the actual world".)

    There are a small number of scientists who do not fit this, of course; they are usually gainfully employed. But the vast majority are lazy bums who profit from the worship of the uneducated masses. Just like priests, imagine that.

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  18. I missed this:

    It would seem you holding some hidden assumption that a better means of gaining knowledge exists that doesn't have this limitation - therefore science is "crap" in comparison.

    Of course I do, and it's not hidden. However, there are at least two meanings of "better":

    1) Giving greater confidence. Faith is better in this sense.
    2) Working in more cases. Faith is still better in some instances, worse in others. Experimenting (engineering) is better, usually. It's hard to judge in this case, though, because most of science is irrelevant.

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  19. Scott: ... as if science makes truth claims with a capital 'T'.

    Marcel: Scientists do. Science is not a person, so it can't do anything, but scientists are generally full of crap. (As in, 99%+ of them.)

    Again, if you were literate about science, you'd know that the sort of truth implied here isn't Truth with a capital 'T'.

    Science as a method of gaining knowledge lacks a means to know this sort of truth based on empiricism alone, due to the problem of induction. Furthermore, we know our theories contain errors, which we systematically seek to discard.

    For example, General relatively doesn't play well with quantum mechanics. As such, we know that at least one of these theories are wrong to some degree. The question is what parts contain errors and to what degree.

    However, this doesn't mean that what we have yet to discard must be entirely and completely True. At best, we can say it's withstood significant criticism, which is itself a form of knowledge. But that what has yet to be discarded cannot be said to be True with a capital 'T.'

    Positive support cannot come from empirical observations alone.

    At best, we can say that empirical observations more strongly collaborate an explanation, in comparison to some other explanation, but we cannot say that empirical observations are positive support that that explanation is actually true, in reality.

    We justify the tentative acceptance of theories based on the quality of their underlying explanations.

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  20. Marcel: Why is science crap? Because it's a pretentious way of saying "make things up and see what you can get away with", elevated to an infallible religion by its priests and sycophants.

    Again, you're making arguments from a lack of literacy in science.

    Theories are not generalized from observations. Rather, we start with a problem, then use conjecture to create explanations. We then make predictions based on this underlying explanation, then make observations.

    This is what happens at all levels. We tentatively accept that the earth is billions of years old because an earth that is billions of years old is the best explanation of what we observe.

    For example, it's "possible" that God created the earth, and everyone on it, last Thursday, with the appearance of age, implanted false memories, etc. But, we lack a good explanation as to why this would be the case, so we discard it. However, we cannot know that the earth is billions of years old is True with a capital 'T' because we cannot be 100% certain this did not occur.

    As such, that science is somehow "elevated to an infallible religion by its priests and sycophants." represents scientifically illiteracy.

    Scott: It would seem you holding some hidden assumption that a better means of gaining knowledge exists that doesn't have this limitation - therefore science is "crap" in comparison.

    Marcel: Of course I do, and it's not hidden. However, there are at least two meanings of "better":

    What's the rush? You did not reveal the assumption before explaining why it's better. As such, It's still hidden.

    Marcel: 1) Giving greater confidence. Faith is better in this sense.

    If I have greater confidence that some assumption is true, such as God will protect me from the bites of poisonous snakes, does this mean I'm less likely to die from a poisonous snake bite?

    Marcel: 2) Working in more cases. Faith is still better in some instances, worse in others. Experimenting (engineering) is better, usually. It's hard to judge in this case, though, because most of science is irrelevant.

    Just because science has reached tentative conclusions about things that intersect with your theistic faith, this doesn't mean that these conclusions are also based 'faith' in the same sense.

    Better explanations are tentatively accepted over poor explanations. This is because, in practice, we've discovered that we make more progress when we criticize better explanations, rather than poor explanations.

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  21. Marcel barfed:

    ".....all science is crap. Scientists are thieves who couldn't make it in the real world."

    And:

    "....most of science is irrelevant."

    That's hilarious, coming from someone using controlled electricity, a computer, and the internet, that wouldn't exist if it weren't for science and scientists. I'd bet you also use and benefit from a LOT of other things that have been discovered, understood, refined, and provided by science/scientists.

    Faith in what? An imaginary god? Now that's insane.

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  22. The whole truth, you moron, name 3 scientific papers that contributed to the discovery of electricity. Name the other 3 papers that Steve and Wozniak used to create the Apple computer. Go away and play with the other kids.

    Scott, you're repeating what I said and thinking that you're contradicting me, which is at least amusing. When you say "... use conjecture to create explanations", that's less pretentiously said "we make things up". When you say science is not true with a capital T, I agree and rephrase it as "science is full of crap". (When you disagree that scientists claim that science is Truth, I only have to repeat "evolution is fact".)

    "... we know our theories contain errors, which we systematically seek to discard." This is false (obviously), just try to discard the ToE and see where that gets you. (Of course, the answer is that evolution is not an error. The fact that you don't see the problem is, again, amusing.)

    "We tentatively accept that the earth is billions of years old because an earth that is billions of years old is the best explanation of what we observe."

    Another falsehood. The correct phrase is "we willfully reject any contrary interpretation". See Lewontin's famous quote:

    We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.

    "If I have greater confidence that some assumption is true, such as God will protect me from the bites of poisonous snakes, does this mean I'm less likely to die from a poisonous snake bite?"

    Huh? Of course not. If you have greater confidence, you have greater confidence. I think we're veering off track here - why don't you define what you meant by "better"?

    "Just because science has reached tentative conclusions about things that intersect with your theistic faith, this doesn't mean that these conclusions are also based 'faith' in the same sense."

    I wasn't saying they are. I said faith works in more cases. For example, nobody checks to see if the food they're buying from the supermarket is poisoned, let alone doing a scientific study. There are more cases of people buying groceries than of people running scientific studies - ergo, faith works in MORE CASES than science. It was a simple claim :)

    To remind you of your question:

    "... a better means of gaining knowledge exists that doesn't have this limitation"

    We need to know whether the food we're buying is poisoned or not. This is something relevant for billions of people each day. We can investigate the matter "scientifically", or just assume - on faith - that it's not poisoned. The second option works in a lot more cases than the first.

    You're overly-complicating things. My claim is simple: most of science is irrelevant for the real life. That means that scientists are paid to generate irrelevant crap. Given that they're paid with tax money, and that taxation is theft, that makes them thieves. Why is that hard to understand? :P

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  23. Marcel said...

    The whole truth, you moron, name 3 scientific papers that contributed to the discovery of electricity. Name the other 3 papers that Steve and Wozniak used to create the Apple computer. Go away and play with the other kids.


    Marcel, when were transistors invented? When were integrated circuits invented? When were semiconductor memory devices invented?

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  24. Marcel, you're making this too easy. I had hoped that you would come up with something better than 'belch... fart... crap... vomit... god-did-it, I believe it, and that settles it!'

    I didn't say anything about the discovery of electricity. I said you use "controlled electricity". Lightning is electricity, but it's not controlled.

    The controlled electricity, computer, and internet you use to post your massively stupid comments would not exist without science/scientists.

    Would you like to estimate how many scientific discoveries, projects, experiments, refinements, revisions, understandings, and provisions had to take place for you to be able to have and use controlled electricity, a computer, and the internet?

    Would you like to estimate how many of those scientific endeavors and provisions had to take place for you to be able to use, enjoy, and benefit from all of the other modern conveniences you obviously take for granted?

    Have you ever taken a pill or used medicine of any kind? Have you ever been to a doctor? Do you eat processed, pasteurized food? Do you drive a car? Fly in airplanes? Do you have a microwave oven? How about a telephone? Do you use cleaning and/or disinfecting products? Is your house or anything in it painted, stained, varnished, or chemically treated? Do you have modern appliances, a TV set, and a flush toilet that dumps your shit into a plumbing system that goes to a sewage treatment plant? Is the water you drink refined to remove impurities? Have you ever had an X-Ray, an MRI, or a CT-Scan? How about an angiogram? Dental work? Chemo-therapy? Eyeglasses? Hearing aid? Pacemaker? Brain surgery?

    If it weren't for science/scientists, you would likely have died long ago, or would never have been born. Everything you take for granted and denigrate science for was and is provided by science and technology, and without science there would be no technology. In fact, it can easily be said that technology IS science. At the very least, technology is inextricably connected to and dependent on science.

    You should be immensely grateful for science.

    On your blog, you say:

    "I'm an young-earth creationist. I believe the universe to be less than 10,000 years old."

    That statement helps to explain your psychosis.

    And then there are these:

    http://mdpopescu.blogspot.com/2008/11/biblical-laws-during-last-few-years-i.html


    http://mdpopescu.blogspot.com/2007/11/too-many-people-overcrowding-is-common.html

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  25. No, you moron. Technology is engineering. This is science: http://improbable.com/ig/ig-pastwinners.html

    Extracts:
    "... perfecting a method to collect whale snot, using a remote-control helicopter."
    "... using slime mold to determine the optimal routes for railroad tracks."
    "... on icy footpaths in wintertime, people slip and fall less often if they wear socks on the outside of their shoes."

    THIS is what scientists do. Engineers build computers and radios and MRI machines. Scientists play with slime mold and collect whale snot.

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  26. Engineers may "build" computers and radios and MRI machines, but science/scientists did the foundational discoveries, research, and experiments, and therefore science/scientists provided what it takes to make those things possible and available.

    Engineers couldn't build squat if it weren't for science. Engineers use scientific means to engineer their projects. An 'assembler' can put parts together. Robots can assemble or "build" things. It's the underlying, foundational, scientific research and development that makes all technology possible and available.

    Neither I, nor anyone I know of, would say that science/scientists are perfect, but without science/scientists we would all still be living in caves, and then only if we could find a cave and were strong enough and smart enough to take the cave away from someone else, or something else (like a Cave Bear).

    You obviously don't understand that 'science' is the curiosity, observation, investigation, analysis, research, experimentation, refinement, and/or development, and/or understanding of pretty much anything. A caveman deliberately chipping a rock to make it into an spearpoint was doing science, unless he just happened to pick up a rock and chip it without any purpose in mind and just happened to end up with a spearpoint. To do it purposely, he had to think and be curious, and analyze, and experiment, and make mistakes, and refine, and repeat, and understand, and provide/develop spearpoints for himself and/or his tribe.

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  27. Thanks to Eocene for another example of science in action: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2017818/Embryos-involving-genes-animals-mixed-humans-produced-secretively-past-years.html

    Yep. All hail science!

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  28. Again - name 3 of the papers Steve and Wozniak used to build their first computer.

    Neither I, nor anyone I know of, would say that science/scientists are perfect...

    Yep. Not perfect. Also known as lying thieves. I guess both mean pretty much the same thing.

    You're too stupid to keep wasting time on.

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  29. Marcel said...

    Again - name 3 of the papers Steve and Wozniak used to build their first computer.


    Again, tell us when transistors were invented. Tell us when integrated circuits were invented. Tell us when semiconductor memory devices were invented.

    If you're too stupid to answer, we understand.

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  30. Marcel said: "Again - name 3 of the papers Steve and Wozniak used to build their first computer."

    Do you really believe that computers would exist without science/scientists?

    I said: "Neither I, nor anyone I know of, would say that science/scientists are perfect..."

    Marcel said; "Yep. Not perfect. Also known as lying thieves. I guess both mean pretty much the same thing."

    Well then, I'll expect you to immediately and permanently get rid of everything you own, have, use, and benefit from in any way that was or is provided by science in any way whatsoever. That would be everything that mankind has ever made. Enjoy your cave, if you can find one without help from science. And whatever you do, don't use any sort of scientific thinking, knowledge, methods, or provisions to survive. Just pray and hope.

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  31. So... no answer, huh? I thought so. This new priesthood has not yet learned to defend its beliefs.

    I would have been curious to see Scott's reply though...

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  32. Marcel said...

    So... no answer, huh? I thought so. This new priesthood has not yet learned to defend its beliefs.


    T: "Again, tell us when transistors were invented. Tell us when integrated circuits were invented. Tell us when semiconductor memory devices were invented."

    So... no answer, huh? I thought so. This new blustering Creationist has not yet learned to defend its empty claims.

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  33. Marcel said:

    "So... no answer, huh? I thought so. This new priesthood has not yet learned to defend its beliefs."

    I didn't say that Wozniak or anyone else used or referred to scientific papers when he built a computer, and your stupid request is, well, stupid.

    Without science, NO computers would exist.

    Think about this, if you can actually think:

    All of the raw materials for computers and the means to make controlled electrical power were here on the Earth WAY before there were any computers, but there were no computers or controlled electrical power until some people (scientists) gradually figured out how to generate controlled electrical power and use raw materials, and the appropriate, subsequently invented/processed materials to make computers. The process is still ongoing, as computers are improved and made more energy efficient and less expensive. Science is fundamental to all of technology and engineering.

    You claim to be a software programmer. You wouldn't have a job, or anything else, if it weren't for science.

    You can easily prove your non-dependence on science and everything it has provided and figured out, and you can easily prove your faith in your chosen god by getting rid of absolutely everything you own, use, or have and go out into the wilderness (naked) and rely only on prayer for survival. Absolutely nothing but prayer. Go ahead, do it.

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  34. Marcel: Scott, you're repeating what I said and thinking that you're contradicting me, which is at least amusing. When you say "... use conjecture to create explanations", that's less pretentiously said "we make things up".

    Which is a mischaracterization, as "we make things up" fails to include an objective criteria for better explanations and a means by which to criticize and discard them.

    Marcel: When you say science is not true with a capital T, I agree and rephrase it as "science is full of crap".

    Which is yet another mischaracterization. The term "full of crap" usually implies intentional deceit or talking nonsense. Apparently you're unaware that there are other forms of creating knowledge which results in increasingly more accurate descriptions of reality, despite being known to contain errors.

    We know that Einstein's theory of gravity (general relatively) conflicts with quantum mechanics. As such, we know that at last one theory has errors, but we're not sure which or where. However, this doesn't mean that Einstein's theory is "crap" in relationship to Newton's laws of motion.

    Marcel: (When you disagree that scientists claim that science is Truth, I only have to repeat "evolution is fact".)

    And I only need to repeat that "abortionists must die" and "God hates fags"?

    If anyone claims to know that evolution, the explanation, is absolutely and exhaustively True with a capital 'T', they are wrong - just as I'm guessing you'd say the same regarding Christians, abortionists, homosexuals.

    The fossil record indicates a change in organisms over time - even if by a designer changing a common design. The question is, what is the underling explanation for these changes?

    Or, more specifically, Darwinian evolution is a theory of how the knowledge (found in DNA) a biological replicator uses to cause it's environment to replicate itself was created. It's part of a larger theory of knowledge creation.

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  35. Marcel: Another falsehood. The correct phrase is "we willfully reject any contrary interpretation". See Lewontin's famous quote:

    You mean, see Lewontin's quote which is <a href="http://evolutionwiki.org/wiki/Lewontin_on_materialism>famous for being quote mined by creationists</a>?

    Marcel: We need to know whether the food we're buying is poisoned or not. This is something relevant for billions of people each day. We can investigate the matter "scientifically", or just assume - on faith - that it's not poisoned. The second option works in a lot more cases than the first.

    First, do you mean "works" in more scenarios or is currently actively employed "successfully" more frequently?

    Second, How does having faith, rather than employing a scientific test, actually improve the outcome?

    For example what other choice do most consumers have? Check their own food for poison? Grow their own foods? In the majority of cases, consumers do not have the time / resources / knowledge to do either of these things. So, if they didn't have faith, then how would this result worse outcomes in the same cases?

    Furthermore, the cost and time required makes scientific tests prohibitive, which limits the frequency of it's application. However, if scientists had the knowledge to create an inexpensive device which could automatically scan food when you brought in into your home with no effort on your part, this would be employed more frequently and result in more accurate identification than faith.

    As an aside, I'd note that if something isn't prohibited by the laws of physics, the only thing that prevents us from doing it is knowing *how*. This includes making an impact on a cosmic scale, such as moving the orbits of planets, to how to scientifically test food for poison cost and time effectively.

    So, it's simply not true that that science is better than faith "in more cases" - unless you conceding that faith merely appears to "works in more cases" than science the more ignorant we are.

    By the way, what your'e describing isn't faith either: it's inductivism. There is no supernatural explanation here to have faith in.

    We've created theories about about how the way things *are*, rather than employing induction to conclude that we should experience unpoisoned food today, merely because it wasn't poisoned yesterday, and the day before that, and the day before that, etc.

    For example, we explain the fact that the majority of people do not die from eating positioned food from supermarkets because the majority people who work in supermarkets are not sociopaths that go around poisoning the food their store sells. Nor do most people think some supernatural power intercedes to prevent store employees from becoming sociopaths or acting out preexisting sociopathic tendencies to ensure the food they sell is safe.

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  36. ... "we make things up" fails to include...

    So does "use conjecture to create explanations". Is English your first language? Do you know what "conjecture" means, and how it is absolutely equivalent to "making things up"?

    The term "full of crap" usually implies intentional deceit or talking nonsense.

    Really? Stop the presses!

    ... increasingly more accurate descriptions of reality...

    Thanks for the laugh. You mean solar "wind", black holes, dark matter, dark energy, 15 billion years-old universe...

    However, this doesn't mean that Einstein's theory is "crap" in relationship to Newton's laws of motion.

    No, it just means it's crap in relationship to REALITY.

    Marcel: (When you disagree that scientists claim that science is Truth, I only have to repeat "evolution is fact".)

    And I only need to repeat that "abortionists must die" and "God hates fags"?


    Are you saying science is as bad as fundie religion? Nice.

    If anyone claims to know that evolution, the explanation, is absolutely and exhaustively True with a capital 'T', they are wrong...

    Er... are you telling ME? I know that. Tell it to Thorton and the other morons here.

    ... just as I'm guessing you'd say the same regarding Christians, abortionists, homosexuals.

    Er, I have big problems with people who kill children, so I'm not going to defend abortionists. I wouldn't kill them myself, but that's only because I'm too lazy to do it properly so that I don't get caught. I don't consider killing killers to be evil.

    The fossil record indicates a change in organisms over time...

    Bzzt. Wrong. Unless you know of fossils that come with labels. Maybe the wayback machine is more advanced than I thought :P

    You mean, see Lewontin's quote which is famous for being quote mined by creationists?

    Yep, that one. I fail to see anything in that article contradicting what he said.

    First, do you mean "works" in more scenarios or is currently actively employed "successfully" more frequently?

    Both, in this case.

    Second, How does having faith, rather than employing a scientific test, actually improve the outcome?

    Employing a scientific test each time would kill you very quickly. You'd die of starvation or of thirst.

    For example what other choice do most consumers have?

    All the ones you indicated, if they're insane.

    So, if they didn't have faith, then how would this result worse outcomes in the same cases?

    They would be forced to use your alternatives, which would kill them.

    Furthermore, the cost and time required makes scientific tests prohibitive...

    Again with the truisms. Please add "water is wet" to the list.

    However, if scientists...

    Yep. In LaLa land, evolution is also true.

    So, it's simply not true that that science is better than faith "in more cases" - unless you conceding that faith merely appears to "works in more cases" than science the more ignorant we are.

    Er... you meant to wrote "it's not true that FAITH is better than SCIENCE". Responding to that correct statement, I am making a claim about FACTS as they are. You are making one about what you imagine them to be in your imaginary world where evolution is true. Which is why I claim that all evolutionists are crazy - they live in their imaginary world which has little relationship to the real one.

    By the way, what your'e describing isn't faith either: it's inductivism. There is no supernatural explanation here to have faith in.

    Faith is "belief in things not seen". There is no mention of supernaturalism in there.

    We've created theories about about how the way things *are*...

    LOL.

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  37. marcel, you need mental help, now.

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  38. It would appear that further discussion is fruitless as you're selectively ignoring part of my commnets. For example...

    Marcel: Do you know what "conjecture" means, and how it is absolutely equivalent to "making things up"?

    And I explicity indicated that...

    01. We then test these explnations via observations. You've completely omitted this aspect yet again.

    02. We do not know Truth with a captial T. Nor have you outlined a way by which truth with a captial T can be obtained. This claim is absent in all theories, not just evolution.

    It would seem that you're yet another individual here that assumes we create theories by generalizing observations, which is the means that these theories are justified.

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  39. It would seem that you're yet another individual here that assumes we create theories by generalizing observations...

    Are you able to tie your own shoes? Honest question. I have said twice now that "we" (scientists) create theories by making them up. That is the opposite of "generalizing observations"... and yet, that's what you understood from what I said. How hard can it be? Scientists MAKE STUFF UP. There is no observational evidence for black holes, dark matter / energy, 15 billion years, stars dying, stars exploding and a thousand other theories. There is even contradictory observational evidence for some. And yet, you ascribe to me a position I am 100% against.

    Honestly... stop being so much in love with your cleverness. You are nowhere near as smart as you believe. Try *learning* something, it might help (though, to be honest, I cannot guarantee it will make you any happier).

    As for not knowing Truth... again, tell that to all the morons who repeat "evolution is fact". You are very likely one of them.

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  40. Marcel: I have said twice now that "we" (scientists) create theories by making them up. That is the opposite of "generalizing observations"... and yet, that's what you understood from what I said. How hard can it be?

    Do you always ignore caveats despite having them pointed out to you time and time again?

    Again, we start out with conjecture, but it's only part of the process. We then test theories via observations and discard those with errors. Nor have you yet to provide an alternative that isn't "crap".

    Marcel: There is even contradictory observational evidence for some. And yet, you ascribe to me a position I am 100% against.

    This is precisely what I'm referring to here. Before you could even begin to interpret observations as contradictory, you had to first put them in an explanatory framework. And all frameworks start out as conjecture.

    So, the position I ascribe to you is a naive empiricist, in that all observations are theory laden. In other words, you seem to suggest there are instances when we do NOT start out by "making things up", testing those theories with observations, then discarding them with errors. I'm suggesting this is a myth. Apparently, you're using a position you're against 100% without realizing it.

    For example, it could be that the earth is actually surround by a giant planetarium that merely presents a highly elaborate simulation a heliocentric solar system. This could include reflecting photons, radio waves and even returning space craft with just the right about of missing fuel, fake telemetry and even astronauts with implanted memories of collecting fake moon rocks.

    Can we prove this is NOT the case using observations? No we cannot. Nor can we reject it merely because it sounds absurd. Rather, there are objective ways to determine it's a bad explanation, and discard it. Specifically, it's a convoluted elaboration of heliocentric theory in that it doesn't actually explain the night sky. Rather it merely assigns it to some other unexplained cause.

    Furthermore, one could make a similar argument for any observation. This is because we do not actually observe causes, we only observe their effects. This includes the photons that bounce off objects and strike our retinas - which we do not observe directly either as they are converted into electrical impulses and interpreted by our brains.

    And, again, this includes all observations, not just those you happen to find absurd.

    Of course, if you have a way around the problem of induction or a way to interpret observations without first putting them in an explanatory framework based on conjecture then, by all means, please enlighten us.

    Marcel: Try *learning* something, it might help

    What I've learned is that other forms of epistemology exist other than foundationlism. And they explain our recent explosion in the creation of knowledge. Rather, it seems that you're the one who insists on remaining willfully ignorant.

    Marcel: As for not knowing Truth... again, tell that to all the morons who repeat "evolution is fact". You are very likely one of them.

    See above. You continue to be willfully ignorant regarding Fallibilism.

    To repeat my example, we have yet to unify general relative and quantum mechanics. As such, we know they contain errors. However, we do not know which theory and to what degree. Yet we provisionally accept them as true until another theory is presented that, after surviving a critical discussion, is accepted.

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