Friday, April 27, 2012

Here is the Language of Evolution

A common claim of evolutionists is that “Nothing in biology makes sense except in light of evolution.” It shows up everywhere from the popular literature to the peer-reviewed research papers. This claim is equivalent to “Certain things in biology makes sense only in light of evolution,” which in turn is equivalent to “Only evolution can explain certain things in biology.” Or, in the language of scientific hypothesis testing, this is equivalent to: “Evolution and only evolution predicts certain things in biology.”

But this is hardly a scientific hypothesis. In science hypotheses and theories are constructed and predictions are made based on the hypothesis. If the prediction is successful then the hypothesis escapes falsification. If not, then the hypothesis fails. It must be modified or perhaps even discarded.

This reasoning process is sometimes denoted as IF P, THEN Q. And if NOT Q, THEN NOT P.

In other words, if hypothesis P is true, then prediction Q will also be true. And if Q is found to be false, then P is false.

This is the language of science. Of course there are other ways of doing science as well, but the evolutionary claim that “Evolution and only evolution predicts certain things in biology” is, on the other hand, very different. It is not the language of science but rather the language of metaphysics. For science cannot know that a hypothesis, and only that one particular hypothesis, can explain something we observe.

This reasoning process is denoted as IF AND ONLY IF P, THEN Q.

In other words, if hypothesis P is true, and only if hypothesis P is true, then Q will also be true.

In this case Q is not a prediction, but rather something that has already been observed. Q is already known to be true. And P is the theory of evolution. The claim is that there are no possible explanations for these aspects of biology, except for evolution.

Straightaway one can see this claim entails knowledge of all possible explanations. Science has no such knowledge.

What this claim reveals is evolution’s underlying religion foundation that derives from the Enlightenment and remains as crucial as ever today. This claim, in its many different versions, pervades the evolutionary literature. It is the language of evolution.

[Ed: Several modifications were made to the logical statements to make them more robust]

48 comments:

  1. CH -

    1) You are treating 'Nothing in biology makes sense except in light of evolution' as the basis of the very theory itself. It is not. It is one man's rhetorical phrase, not the keystone article of faith that you keep misrepresenting it as.

    2) "Nothing in biology makes sense except in light of evolution" is NOT synonymous with "Evolution and only evolution predicts everything in biology." That is utterly ridiculous.

    That is like saying "Nothing in astronomy makes sense except in light of gravity" is synonymous with "Gravity and only gravity predicts everything in astronomy".

    You make this strawman argument so that therefore any surprising discovery in biology therefore 'falsifies' evolution. But it doesn't. It just highlights your lack of understanding of how science works.

    A scientific theory is a working model. It is not an oracle. Religion has oracles, not science, and it is revealing of your underlying religious bias that you confuse the two. You can have a scientific theory which is essentially true, and yet still make surprising discoveries. New and surprising information does not necessarily falsify your existing theories, much as you want to portray that it should.

    3) You think there is another theory which can make sense of all the biological data that ToE can, if not more? Fine. PRESENT IT. Until that time, ToE is the only theory on the table.

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    1. Ritchie:

      That is like saying "Nothing in astronomy makes sense except in light of gravity" is synonymous with "Gravity and only gravity predicts everything in astronomy".

      Yes, the two statements are indeed synonymous and your intentions are clearly dishonest. Who do you think you're fooling?

      Delete
    2. No, they are not synonymous.

      The first sentence does not claim everything in astronomy currently makes sense. The second does.

      The first sentence allows for new and surprising discoveries. The second does not.

      It is this second point which is the issue. Would the discovery of a new star falsify the theory of gravity just because it did not 'predict' it's existence? Bizarre as this might sounds, this is exactly the trick Cornelius regularly tries to pull with evolution: outline a new discovery, and then claim that just because ToE did not PREDICT it, it therefore FALSIFIES it.

      So wind your neck in before you start arrogantly throwing around accusations, please.

      Delete
  2. Cornelius Hunter

    “Everything in biology makes sense only in light of evolution,” which in turn is equivalent to “Only evolution can explain everything in biology.” Or, in the language of scientific hypothesis testing, this is equivalent to: “Evolution and only evolution predicts everything in biology.”


    Wow CH, those are not anywhere close to being logically equivalent. It's sad to see you're willing to butcher logic to push your political agenda as badly as you butcher science.

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    1. They are all equivalent, your opinion to the contrary notwithstanding. You are the butcher of logic and your political agenda is plainly visible for everyone to see.

      Delete
  3. "Nothing in biology makes sense except in light of evolution" is NOT synonymous with "Evolution and only evolution predicts everything in biology." That is utterly ridiculous.
    ....ToE is the only theory on the table.


    That is ironic. To be clear, there is nothing else on the table and it's not apparent how there ever could be anything else on the table and yet it cannot be said that evolution can or will predict everything in biology?

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  4. It's sad to see you're willing to butcher logic to push your political agenda as badly as you butcher science.

    Even if that were the case (And it isn't.) what would you say about someone who predicted the butchering of entire races based on arrogance with respect to knowledge? Not to mention deforming their own family due to their hubris while blaming God for it: Link

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  5. Three of Darwin's 10 children died in childhood, while another three never had any children of their own, despite being married for years.
    ....
    Annie's sister, Mary, lived for just 23 days, while brother Charles Waring died of the bacterial infection scarlet fever as a toddler.
    Of Darwin's remaining seven children, three did not become parents themselves, despite having long-term marriages.
    ...not all his children fared so badly.
    Three of his sons, George, Francis and Horace became fellows of the Royal Society, Britain's most prestigious scientific body. (Daily Mail)
    Ironic that the priests of knowledge who imagine that they can sit atop pyramid schemes with the power of the State so often destroy themselves.

    In any event, will there ever be a separation of the occult of the sort that Darwin was involved with and State? I doubt it. It will be a brave new world.

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  6. Wow CH, those are not anywhere close to being logically equivalent.

    Imagine if his language only appeared to be illogical in your random brain events due to the fact that you're too stupid to understand it.

    And there you go, that may as well be the equivalent of empirical evidence in the Rorschach tests typical to evolution. Whatever evolution may be, it seems that one can imagine of it what you will.

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  7. mynym -

    That is ironic. To be clear, there is nothing else on the table

    Not unless someone would like to suggest a scientific theory which accounts for at least as much data...?

    ...and it's not apparent how there ever could be anything else on the table...

    Of course it's apparent. Just suggest another scientific theory which explains at least as much data as ToE. Simple.

    ...and yet it cannot be said that evolution can or will predict everything in biology?

    Correct. Because scientific theories are not oracles. They are not sources of divination. You are simply confused about what a scientific theory should tell us.

    Let me give you an example: say today scientists discover a new virus. That is a new discovery. But does it falsify Germ Theory simply because we did not predict it's existence? Of course not.

    And yet this is exactly the logic Cornelius applies to evolution: "a new discovery = a falsification."

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  8. What's funny is that evolutionist can't even get Q right...

    The common scenario for evolutionists for 150 years is to see Q and then accommodate it to claim support for evolution. Later, their Q is found to be invalid.

    For example, evolutionists claimed the objective nested hierachy - The objective nested hierarchy was their Q.

    Another was their baby called "junk dna". Junk DNA was their Q.

    Both of these claims of Q were used to support evolution. However, now both the objective nested hierachy and junk dna are known to be inaccurate.

    So I think the equation needs to be amended to read:

    IF AND ONLY IF P, THEN Q OR NOT Q.

    Which pretty much sums up how evolution is not dependent on actual scientific evidence, but merely accommodates whatever is found to give it a mask of scientific respectability.

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  9. Looks like someone else got there first :)

    Yes, you've got it wrong.

    "This reasoning process is sometimes denoted as IF P, THEN Q. And if NOT Q, THEN NOT P.

    In other words, if hypothesis P is true, then prediction Q will also be true. And if Q is found to be false, then P is false."

    So let's look at the form of Dobzhansky's essay title (in turn taken from a quotation from Teilhard, a Jesuit priest, I should add :)).

    The phrase is:

    Nothing in biology makes sense except in light of evolution.

    Which we can rewrite as:

    If something in biology makes sense, then it makes sense in the light of evolution.

    And the contrapositive is:

    If something in biology does not make sense, then it does not make sense in the light of evolution.

    I'd say that both the statement and the contrapositive are or at least defensible. You might disagree.

    However, neither is the same as saying:

    Only evolution can explain everything in biology.

    If we cast that in If P then Q form, we get:

    If everything in biology is explained, then the explanation is evolution.

    And the contrapositive is:

    If not everything in biology is explained, then the explanation is not evolution.

    Which is false. We know for sure that evolution explains some things in biology ("microevolution" for instance).

    In other words, your "translation" is of a perfectly valid claim (whether or not true) into one that is clearly false.

    Ergo, your "translation" is not a valid translation :)

    And, furthermore, it demonstrates that claim that Dobzhansky's essay title is tantamount to claiming knowledge of all possible explanations is false.

    It doesn't. It merely claims (rightly or wrongly) that where biology makes sense, it makes sense in the light of evolution.

    Which is of course a much narrower claim. Not necessarily true, but not metaphysical, and certainly not "religious".

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    1. EL:

      "Only evolution can explain everything in biology."

      Wouldn't a more accurate rewording of the quote be "only evolution can explain anything in biology?"

      This sounds more like a metaphysical claim than a scientific one.

      Delete
    2. It was Cornelius's "translation" not mine.

      My point is that his "translation" does not have the same meaning as the Dobzhansky essay title.

      Which is not a scientific claim anyway, just an essay title, drawn from words quoted as being from Teilhard de Chardin. Who was, as you probably know, a devout Jesuit priest.

      Delete
    3. EL:

      you've got it wrong.

      Nothing in biology makes sense except in light of evolution.

      Which we can rewrite as:

      If something in biology makes sense, then it makes sense in the light of evolution.


      No, that should be:

      "If something in biology makes sense, then it only makes sense in the light of evolution."

      Delete
    4. Well, no, that is not logically identical to Dobzhansky's essay title IMO, but given that the word "except" is somewhat ambiguous, I guess you could interpret it that way.

      However, your rendering above, even if we accepted as what Dobzhansky/Teihard meant is still not logically identical to:

      “Evolution and only evolution predicts everything in biology"

      Which would assume, as you point out, foreknowledge of all possible explanations.

      And this is what you condemn the claim for assuming.

      The claim does not entail this assumption, as your own new "translation" above makes clear.

      And, in any case, it is not a scientific claim, as we both agree. It is the title of an essay by Dobzhansky, in which he does not even make the claim, but quotes Teilhard as saying something similar:

      "Is evolution a theory, a system, or a hypothesis? It is much more it is a general postulate to which all theories, all hypotheses, all systems much henceforward bow and which they must satisfy in order to be thinkable and true. Evolution is a light which illuminates all facts, a trajectory which all lines of though must follow this is what evolution is"

      Where he does make the claim himself, I discover, is in an earlier essay (1963)

      http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/10/2/text_pop/l_102_01.html

      (page 449) where the context makes his meaning clearer:

      "I venture another, and perhaps equally
      reckless, generalization - nothing makes
      sense in biology except in the light of evolution, sub specie evolutionis. If the living world has not arisen from common ancestors by means of an evolutionary process, then the fundamental unity of living things is a hoax and their diversity is a joke. The unity is understandable as a consequence
      of common descent and of universal necessities imposed by common materials. The diversity is intelligible as the outcome of adaptation of life to different environments, or, if I may use this unfortunately ambiguous and yet indispensable concept, to different ecological niches."

      The whole essay is worth reading (better than the later essay, IMO).

      Again, you may disagree, but we both agree, and Dobzhansky himself agrees, that the claim is not a scientific claim ("I venture another, and perhaps equally
      reckless, generalization....")

      More crucially, it is simply not logically equivalent to an assumption of foreknowledge of all possible explanations.

      That is a mistake, on your part.

      Delete
    5. Moreoever:

      “Evolution and only evolution predicts everything in biology"

      Would be a claim that everything in biology is predictable, which is clearly false, and not made by any scientists I have ever heard of.

      Delete
    6. EL:

      CH: No, that should be: "If something in biology makes sense, then it only makes sense in the light of evolution."

      EL: Well, no, that is not logically identical to Dobzhansky's essay title IMO, but given that the word "except" is somewhat ambiguous, I guess you could interpret it that way.


      The word “except” is not ambiguous here: “Nothing in biology makes sense except in light of evolution.” It indicates the exclusivity of evolution. It indicates that evolution is required to make sense of things in biology. In fact, earlier you agreed and rendered it as: "Anything in biology that makes sense only does so in the light of evolution".

      Now you have switched to “If something in biology makes sense, then it makes sense in the light of evolution,” which is not logically identical to “Nothing in biology makes sense except in light of evolution.”


      However, your rendering above, even if we accepted as what Dobzhansky/Teihard meant is still not logically identical to:

      “Evolution and only evolution predicts everything in biology"


      As I indicated earlier, I have no problem with that. It is inconsequential to the problem. I am editing the OP to clarify this.


      Which would assume, as you point out, foreknowledge of all possible explanations. And this is what you condemn the claim for assuming.

      No, that was not what I condemned it for. The problem is that science cannot know that only theory X can make sense of observation Y.


      The claim does not entail this assumption, as your own new "translation" above makes clear.

      No, it *does* entail this assumption. The statement:

      “If something in biology makes sense, then it only makes sense in the light of evolution”,

      Or your version:

      “Anything in biology that makes sense only does so in the light of evolution”,

      entails the knowledge of all possible explanations. That is not scientific.


      where the context makes his meaning clearer:

      You are quoting from:

      Theodosius Dobzhansky, “Biology, Molecular and Organismic,” American Zoologist, Vol. 4, No. 4, (Nov., 1964), pp. 443-452.
      http://taxonomy.tau.ac.il/.upload/Dobzhansky%201964.pdf

      In this paper Dobzhansky makes the same point when he writes: “If the living world has not arisen from common ancestors by means of an evolutionary process, then the fundamental unity of living things is a hoax and their diversity is a joke.”

      In other words, only evolution can explain “the fundamental unity of living things.” Again, we see the exclusivity of evolution. Just another way of making the same point.


      More crucially, it is simply not logically equivalent to an assumption of foreknowledge of all possible explanations. That is a mistake, on your part.

      No, that is your mistake. Let me explain again. It does entail the knowledge of all possible explanations. The statement “If the living world has not arisen from common ancestors by means of an evolutionary process, then the fundamental unity of living things is a hoax and their diversity is a joke,” means that Dobzhansky thinks he knows all the other explanations. If there was another explanation that did a reasonably good job of explaining “the fundamental unity of living things,” then Dobzhansky’s claim would make no sense. There must not be any such explanation for his claim to make sense.

      Do you understand now, or should I elaborate?

      Delete
    7. "The word “except” is not ambiguous here: “Nothing in biology makes sense except in light of evolution.” It indicates the exclusivity of evolution. It indicates that evolution is required to make sense of things in biology. In fact, earlier you agreed and rendered it as: "Anything in biology that makes sense only does so in the light of evolution"."

      Well, there is certainly more than one logical interpretation, but they don't include your version:

      "Only evolution can explain everything in biology."

      Nothing in Dobzhansky's claim implies that evolution can explain everything in biology, and even more importantly, nothing in his claim implies that if anything could explain everything in biology, evolution would be that explanation.

      Leaving aside the fact that you are interpreting a rhetorical generalization as a scientific claim (which we both agree it is not), and the fact that it may be false (which I think we both agree that it is) it is not identical to the metaphysical assertion you have "translated" it as.

      "Now you have switched to “If something in biology makes sense, then it makes sense in the light of evolution,” which is not logically identical to “Nothing in biology makes sense except in light of evolution.”


      Well, as I said, I agree that both are reasonable interpretations of the original, which is not a model of logical clarity, even if was intended to be a scientific claim, which it certainly (because Dobzhansky tells us so) was not.

      You seem to be convinced that science is infected with unjustified metaphysical claims, and you are seeing them under every bush.

      Interestingly, Dobzhansky was a devout theist, and president of the Teilhard association - and clearly strongly influenced by Teilhard, another devout theist.

      I venture to propose that "religious" habits of assertion influenced his manner of speaking :)

      But that is irrelevant to the issue of whether science is "religious". It isn't, and evolutionary theory entails no such metaphysical claims.

      Delete
    8. "In this paper Dobzhansky makes the same point when he writes: “If the living world has not arisen from common ancestors by means of an evolutionary process, then the fundamental unity of living things is a hoax and their diversity is a joke.”

      In other words, only evolution can explain “the fundamental unity of living things.” Again, we see the exclusivity of evolution. Just another way of making the same point."

      Again, you have misdrawn the exclusivity boundaries. Dobzhansky is still not saying that evolution, and only evolution, explains everything in biology.

      He is saying that without evolutionary theory the unity and diversity of living things make no sense.

      Note that, contrary to your assertion elsewhere, Dobzhansky is not here, nor in his later essay, writing a "tirade against divine creation" (I may have got your exact words wrong). He explicitly believes in divine creation, as does his hero, Teilhard. He is not saying that only evolution, not divine creation, makes sense of biology. Rather, he understands divine creation within the framework of evolution.

      " 'More crucially, it is simply not logically equivalent to an assumption of foreknowledge of all possible explanations. That is a mistake, on your part.'

      No, that is your mistake. Let me explain again. It does entail the knowledge of all possible explanations. The statement “If the living world has not arisen from common ancestors by means of an evolutionary process, then the fundamental unity of living things is a hoax and their diversity is a joke,” means that Dobzhansky thinks he knows all the other explanations."

      And now you have moved the goalposts. Yes, indeed, Dobzhansky rejects biological theories that are not based on common ancestry. He also claims that "evolutionary processes" are the only viable explanations of diversity."

      But this is a much more specific claim by Dobzhansky, and one that I have not seen widely quoted by evolutionary scientists. Indeed, many would disagree with the second part at least if "evolutionary processes" are taken to mean natural selection only. We are now aware of other factors such as drift.

      But again, there is nothing there that implies that evolutionary theory accounts for everything in biology, merely that what is accounted for, is accounted for by evolution - specifically, the unity and diversity of living things. And more to the point, nor does Dobzhansky exclude divine creation from his range of explnations. He is most certainly not saying "evolution, and not divine creation, accounts for unity and diversity in biology". So be careful with those boundaries!

      "If there was another explanation that did a reasonably good job of explaining “the fundamental unity of living things,” then Dobzhansky’s claim would make no sense. There must not be any such explanation for his claim to make sense."

      If I was to say to you: "I must have dropped my keys down the drain; there is no other explanation" would you accuse me of failing to rule out the possibility that they had disappeared down a wormhole in the fabric of space time?"

      Why assume that Dobzhansky is expressing anything other than his conviction that only evolutionary theory, of currently available theories, makes sense of the unity and diversity of life? And, to belabour the point - he is NOT ruling out divine creation. Like Teilhard, he believes in divine creation. But so his "exclusivity" boundaries do not exclude the divine (which is nonetheless not part of evolutionary theory!)

      So please do not read into Dobzhansky's remarks things that are not there, and even more important, do not ascribe Dobzhansky's expressed convictions about evolutionary theory in the 20th century to all evolutionary science in the 21st.

      Delete
    9. to finish:

      "Do you understand now, or should I elaborate?"

      I understand that you think that Dobzhansky was making a hyperbolic claim, which he was. I think you are reading far more into that claim, and ascribing it far more widely, than is justified both by Dobzhansky's words and by the evolutionary science literature.

      We both agree (as does Dobzhansky) that it is not a scientific claim. It's meaningless as a scientific claim. It is also far more limited, and less exclusive than you seem to think.

      If that is the basis of your conviction that "religion drives science" then I think you need to revisit that conviction.

      Delete
    10. EL:

      "Only evolution can explain everything in biology."

      Nothing in Dobzhansky's claim implies that evolution can explain everything in biology


      Again, I have no problem with your interpretation, and am editing the OP accordingly. It makes no difference. Not sure why you are continuing to bring this up.


      You seem to be convinced that science is infected with unjustified metaphysical claims, and you are seeing them under every bush.

      Evolution is all about metaphysics. One certainly need not look very hard to see that.


      Interestingly, Dobzhansky was a devout theist, and president of the Teilhard association - and clearly strongly influenced by Teilhard, another devout theist. I venture to propose that "religious" habits of assertion influenced his manner of speaking :)

      Again, the phrase is popular amongst evolutionists in general, and used in peer-reviewed papers.


      EL: But that is irrelevant to the issue of whether science is "religious". It isn't, and evolutionary theory entails no such metaphysical claims.

      CH: In this paper Dobzhansky makes the same point when he writes: “If the living world has not arisen from common ancestors by means of an evolutionary process, then the fundamental unity of living things is a hoax and their diversity is a joke.” In other words, only evolution can explain “the fundamental unity of living things.” Again, we see the exclusivity of evolution. Just another way of making the same point."

      EL: Again, you have misdrawn the exclusivity boundaries. Dobzhansky is still not saying that evolution, and only evolution, explains everything in biology.



      Arg. As I said, I’m gladly editing the OP. That was in the OP, but I have no problem with your version. Yet you continue to ascribe that claim to me, as though the problem hinges on that.

      He is saying that without evolutionary theory the unity and diversity of living things make no sense.

      Yes, that is precisely what I said above. I’m delighted that we agree on this.


      And now you have moved the goalposts. Yes, indeed, Dobzhansky rejects biological theories that are not based on common ancestry. He also claims that "evolutionary processes" are the only viable explanations of diversity."

      No, I did not move the goalposts. Perhaps that is your perception, but the goalposts have not moved.


      But again, there is nothing there that implies that evolutionary theory accounts for everything in biology

      Arg. This is not relevant.

      Continued …

      Delete
    11. Continued …

      EL:

      , merely that what is accounted for, is accounted for by evolution - specifically, the unity and diversity of living things.

      Now you’re moving the goal posts as you’ve edited out the exclusivity claim. The claim is that *only* evolution can account for the unity and diversity of living things (as you admitted to above: “without evolutionary theory the unity and diversity of living things make no sense”). But here, you’ve removed the exclusivity claim.


      And more to the point, nor does Dobzhansky exclude divine creation from his range of explanations. He is most certainly not saying "evolution, and not divine creation, accounts for unity and diversity in biology". So be careful with those boundaries!

      Yes, agreed, we need to be careful with those boundaries. Dobzhansky claims that only evolution can account for the unity and diversity of living things. He most definitely is saying that biology was not intentionally designed. Your claim that he is not saying divine creation does not account for biology is simply not true. Dobzhansky is saying that God would not have created this world directly, but rather must have used evolution.


      Why assume that Dobzhansky is expressing anything other than his conviction that only evolutionary theory, of currently available theories, makes sense of the unity and diversity of life? And, to belabour the point - he is NOT ruling out divine creation. Like Teilhard, he believes in divine creation.

      Again, you are not being careful with the boundaries. Of course Dobzhansky rules out divine creation. He makes it very clear that God would not have intended for this world. Instead, God must have used evolution as His creation tool.


      So please do not read into Dobzhansky's remarks things that are not there

      I am not doing this.


      If that is the basis of your conviction that "religion drives science" then I think you need to revisit that conviction.

      No, this is not the sole basis of evolution’s metaphysics. As I said, it is just an example. There is much, much more where this came from.

      Delete
    12. "No, I did not move the goalposts. Perhaps that is your perception, but the goalposts have not moved."

      Yes, because you are now quoting a different claim.

      "Now you’re moving the goal posts as you’ve edited out the exclusivity claim. The claim is that *only* evolution can account for the unity and diversity of living things (as you admitted to above: “without evolutionary theory the unity and diversity of living things make no sense”). But here, you’ve removed the exclusivity claim."

      No, because "unity and diversity in living things" is not identical to "everything in biology".

      But more to the point, why interpret Dobzhansky's words as meaning "there can never be a better explanation" when it could as easily mean "it's the only explanation we have that makes sense" especially given the fact that for Dobzhansky, and Teilhard, evolutionary theory was not an alternative to divine creation, but a manifestation of it?

      "Yes, agreed, we need to be careful with those boundaries. Dobzhansky claims that only evolution can account for the unity and diversity of living things. He most definitely is saying that biology was not intentionally designed. Your claim that he is not saying divine creation does not account for biology is simply not true. Dobzhansky is saying that God would not have created this world directly, but rather must have used evolution."

      You are contradicting yourself, and seem to have complete misread both Dobzhansky and Teilhard, whom Dobzhansky greatly admired. Both believed in divine creation. Teilhard's view was that God drew creation to its fulfilment (and saw evolution as an ascent, which is not what most evolutionary biologists would agree with). Dobzhansky nor Teilhard are saying anything about how "directly" God created the world. They are simply acknowledging a divine creator who intended the world to bring forth conscious beings.

      Hence Teilhard's concept of the "omega point". Do you think he was denying God alpha-hood?

      You seem to think that any concept of divine creation that does not involve some direct tinkering in the configuration of biochemical process isn't True Divine Creation! Why make your God so small? Why insist that the Divine Creator of Dobzhansky and Teilhard, and, for that matter, Francis Collins and Polkinghorne is less some how less divine than yours?

      If that is your objection to Dobzhansky's claim, - that he is excluding the divine from the creative process, then I think you need to re-read Dobzhansky! And Teilhard! (Did you know that Dobzhansky was president of the American Teilhard Society? Have you read any Teilhard?)


      "Again, you are not being careful with the boundaries. Of course Dobzhansky rules out divine creation. He makes it very clear that God would not have intended for this world. Instead, God must have used evolution as His creation tool."

      I'm not parsing this (probably a typo, but I can't make out what you meant to type).

      Are you saying that Dobzhansky thinks that God did not intend this world, but used evolution to create it with? That seems completely contradictory to me (and I can't reconstruct your sentence in any way that isn't!)

      Why should it not be possible for God to intend the world to contain conscious living, loving, beings AND use evolution as his creative method?

      "No, this is not the sole basis of evolution’s metaphysics. As I said, it is just an example. There is much, much more where this came from.

      Well, of the two arguments I've seen (Dobzhansky and methodological naturalism) both seem fundamentally flawed! So the rest had better be good....

      Delete
    13. EL:

      Yes, because you are now quoting a different claim.

      No, I am quoting both the original claim as well as the new one you provided. If you’re going to provide a different quote which you say is more important, and I then explain it to you and why it says the same thing as the first quote, it’s not fair to say I’m “moving the goalposts.”


      CH: Now you’re moving the goal posts as you’ve edited out the exclusivity claim. The claim is that *only* evolution can account for the unity and diversity of living things (as you admitted to above: “without evolutionary theory the unity and diversity of living things make no sense”). But here, you’ve removed the exclusivity claim.

      EL: No, because "unity and diversity in living things" is not identical to "everything in biology".


      Are you actually a computer program that never agrees with anything and automatically spits out an argument for everything? This is eerily like a Monty Python skit about a man who goes to the argument office. If I said 2+2=4 would you provide an argument against it?

      In this case, you seem to have run out of new canards and are stuck in the “it’s not identical to everything” loop, even though I’ve explained several times is not relevant. Whether we’re talking about all of biology, or one particular observation, the claim is that only evolution explains it. That’s an exclusivity claim, no matter how many times you say “it’s not identical to everything.”


      Dobzhansky nor Teilhard are saying anything about how "directly" God created the world. They are simply acknowledging a divine creator who intended the world to bring forth conscious beings.

      Did you even read Dobzhansky’s paper? Of course he is making claims about how "directly" God created the world. Here is a representative claim, which he makes in reference to extinctions:

      “All this is understandable in the light of evolution theory; but what a senseless operation it would have been, on God's part, to fabricate a multitude of species ex nihilo and then let most of them die out!”

      His whole point in the essay is that God would not have intended or directly created this world. Rather, He must have done so via evolution. Hence the claim that only evolution explains these things. If you don’t even know what Dobzhansky is saying, and insist on a complete fiction, then this is going to be slow going.


      You seem to think that any concept of divine creation that does not involve some direct tinkering in the configuration of biochemical process isn't True Divine Creation!

      No, I never said any such thing.


      Why make your God so small? Why insist that the Divine Creator of Dobzhansky and Teilhard, and, for that matter, Francis Collins and Polkinghorne is less some how less divine than yours?

      I am now going to scream.


      Are you saying that Dobzhansky thinks that God did not intend this world, but used evolution to create it with? That seems completely contradictory to me (and I can't reconstruct your sentence in any way that isn't!)

      Ah, relief. You are getting closer. Better wording would be “Dobzhansky thinks that God did not intend *the details of* this world, but used evolution to create it.”


      That seems completely contradictory to me

      We’re talking about Dobzhansky, not you.


      Why should it not be possible for God to intend the world to contain conscious living, loving, beings AND use evolution as his creative method?

      Back to screaming. Once again, we’re not talking about what is possible. We’re talking about evolution, and in this case, the claim the only evolution explains many things in biology.


      Well, of the two arguments I've seen (Dobzhansky and methodological naturalism) both seem fundamentally flawed!

      You have pointed out no actual flaws. But you have misread and injected all manner of irrelevant argument.

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    14. "No, I am quoting both the original claim as well as the new one you provided. If you’re going to provide a different quote which you say is more important, and I then explain it to you and why it says the same thing as the first quote, it’s not fair to say I’m “moving the goalposts.”"

      OK, we will have to agree to differ on what Dobzhanksky meant. My interpretation of his words are that he considered that evolution was the only theory that made sense of the unity and diversity of life, not that it was the only possible theory, and that he did not consider it an alternative to divine creation, but a manifestation of it. You think he meant something different. At least one of us is wrong, possibly both of us. Let's leave his own meaning to one side, and consider what evolutionary scientists hold, as that is the core of your point: is evolutionary science (or all science for that matter) driven by "religion", as you claim.

      I would however point out that "intended" is not an antonym of "created directly". God could have intended the universe to have properties that ensured that evolution would take place, saving him the trouble of creating complex life "directly". This was Dobzhansky's clear theological position, as it was Teihard's. You may not share it, but it seems bizarre to claim that neither man believed that the universe was brought into existence by a divine creator who intended it to bring forth life and conciousness. Both were explicit that that was their position.

      But let's agree to differ on that.

      Me: You seem to think that any concept of divine creation that does not involve some direct tinkering in the configuration of biochemical process isn't True Divine Creation!

      CHL No, I never said any such thing.

      So what do you mean by "direct" divine creation? You seem to be implying that "indirect" (e.g. by evolution) would not count as "divine creation" (in that you describe Dobzhansky's essay as a "tirade against divine creation". I can only conclude that you think that only "direct" creation could be divine. Why? And what constitutes "direct"?

      CH: I am now going to scream.

      Well, that makes to of us :) I shall scream in E flat - would you like to take a G?

      Seriously, I am complete perplexed by your position here, Cornelius. I simply don't understand why you seem to think that evolutionary mechanisms would contradict "divine creation" whereas comparably "naturalistic" mechanisms (biochemical reactions for instance) don't. Can you explain?

      More below....

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    15. continued...

      CH: "Ah, relief. You are getting closer. Better wording would be “Dobzhansky thinks that God did not intend *the details of* this world, but used evolution to create it.”

      Again this odd conflation of "intend" with "directly create". If I intend to make a cup of tea, I do not have to personally direct each water molecule to jiggle in a specific direction at a specific time in order to make the kettle boil I can simply heat the water, and let the "details" take care of themselves. Why could God not fully intend that conscious life - human beings even - would come about, and yet rather than "directly" creating them, create a universe in which human beings would be the result, come 13.7 billion years later? It would be a long time to wait for a cup of tea, but God no doubt has more patience than I do :)

      [EL:That seems completely contradictory to me

      CH:We’re talking about Dobzhansky, not you.

      EL: Yes, I know, but I am not so arrogant as to assume that what seems contradictory to me seems contradictory to everyone - hence the qualification.]

      CH: "Back to screaming. Once again, we’re not talking about what is possible. We’re talking about evolution, and in this case, the claim the only evolution explains many things in biology."

      More to the point, we are talking about your repeated assertion that "religion drives science, and it matters". Whatever Dobzhansky meant, it is simply untrue that scientists adopt the view that the only possible explanation for many things in biology is evolution.

      It is certainly true that many scientists adopt the view that the only persuasive explanation currently available for many things in biology is evolution.

      But "the only persuasive explanation currently available" is not identical to "the only possible explanation", and in that difference lies the difference between your mantra being true and being false.

      If it were an article of faith in science that evolution is the only possible explanation of biological phenomena, then you would have a case.

      But there is no such article of faith, and if there was, as you rightly imply, it would render science religion, not science.

      I think you are interpreting the fact that many "evolutionists" (including myself) quote Dobzhansky approvingly as indicating that they rule out, a priori, any possible explanation for biological phenomena, discoverable or undiscoverable, other than evolution.

      I know of no evidence this is the case. Certainly undiscoverable explanations are by definition, out of reach by scientific methodology, but that doesn't mean scientists are obliged to believe that they do not exist. As for potentially discoverable explanations - why should any scientists rule them out a priori?

      Can you provide any evidence that they do?

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    16. EL:


      it seems bizarre to claim that neither man believed that the universe was brought into existence by a divine creator who intended it to bring forth life and conciousness

      Agreed. I said no such thing. I explained that, in D’s view, what was not intended were the details of creation.


      You seem to think that any concept of divine creation that does not involve some direct tinkering in the configuration of biochemical process isn't True Divine Creation!

      Oh, I see what you are saying. This may be a question of semantics. I tend to stick to standard, colloquial meanings. I was using “divine creation” to entail some primary causation.


      I simply don't understand why you seem to think that evolutionary mechanisms would contradict "divine creation" whereas comparably "naturalistic" mechanisms (biochemical reactions for instance) don't. Can you explain?

      Hmm, this may be a tangent. Let me try stepping back a bit. D’s claims are a good example of evolutionary thought’s theological mandate for a naturalistic origins. It is right there in his essay, and the title sums it up. God must work strictly via secondary causes (evolution in this case). That may be true, it may be false, or somewhere in between. But it is a religious claim.


      CH: Ah, relief. You are getting closer. Better wording would be “Dobzhansky thinks that God did not intend *the details of* this world, but used evolution to create it.

      EL: Again this odd conflation of "intend" with "directly create". If I intend to make a cup of tea, I do not have to personally direct each water molecule to jiggle in a specific direction at a specific time in order to make the kettle boil I can simply heat the water, and let the "details" take care of themselves.


      Hmm, I’m unclear why you find this to an “odd conflation.” After all, your cup of tea example just spelled it out. If D looked at one of those molecules, he might find that it “makes no sense.” Obviously, Lizzie did not intend it to be this way. Rather, natural laws were in charge, though Lizzie was in charge of the big picture. She intended for the cup of tea, but not for all the details.


      Why could God not fully intend that conscious life - human beings even - would come about, and yet rather than "directly" creating them, create a universe in which human beings would be the result, come 13.7 billion years later? It would be a long time to wait for a cup of tea, but God no doubt has more patience than I do :)

      Right, but not all the details. “Do you believe God designed the shape of my nose?” Darwin rhetorically asked Lyell. From pseudogenes to our aching backs, the view is that God did not intend for these particulars. Those were under the control of law, just as Malebranche prescribed almost four centuries ago.


      it is simply untrue that scientists adopt the view that the only possible explanation for many things in biology is evolution

      Actually it is worse, they claim it is a fact, just like heliocentrism or the sphericity of the earth.


      If it were an article of faith in science that evolution is the only possible explanation of biological phenomena, then you would have a case.

      D’s essay provides a good example of this.

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  10. However, Cornelius, in this you are right:

    "But this is hardly a scientific hypothesis."

    No, it isn't. So I'm not sure why you are treating it as such. It's the title of an essay, not a testable scientific hypothesis.

    However:

    "In science hypotheses and theories are constructed and predictions are made based on the hypothesis. If the prediction is successful then the hypothesis escapes falsification."

    No. Or only in special circumstances.

    If a prediction is successful, then the null is falsified. If the prediction fails the hypothesis is not falsified, merely the null is retained.


    If there is no null, for instance in Bayesian methods, and the comparison is between two alternative hypotheses, then the one with the better fit to the data is retained. The one with the less good fit is not falsified, but merely deemed a less good fit to the data, and given a lower posterior probability.

    Despite Popper, falsification is not generally how science proceeds. Instead, scientists fit models to data, and retain the best-fitting models (knowing they are imperfect, and therefore false) while discarding the less-well fitting model. If two contradictory models fit the data equally well, then typically we choose the more parsimonious. Sometimes we retain both, and use as appropriate (e.g. Relativity vs Quantum models).

    You can falsify a specific parameter for a model, but that doesn't usually make the headlines. Important, though, as it means that we incrementally narrow down the range into which the true parameter must fall. Thus we can falsify the hypothesis that the earth is 6,000 years old.

    "If not, then the hypothesis fails. It must be modified or perhaps even discarded."

    Yes. But remember, it is the hypothesis that fails, not the theory from which the hypothesis was derived, necessarily. Only if a theory consistently fails to generate successful hypotheses would we discard the theory in favour of a more fruitful one.

    Evolutionary theory is a broad theoretical framework that consistently delivers successfully tested hypotheses. As a result the theory itself is constantly enlarged. We now know, for example, that the major vector for heritability is DNA, that drift (unbiased sampling of the parental genetic material in each generation) plays as great, if not a greater role than selectin (biased sampling of the parental genetic material in each generation); that some genetic transfer is lateral, rather than longitudinal, making the tree of life envisaged by Darwin somewhat bushy; that variance generation mechanisms are heterogeneous, and include horizontal gene transfer and sexual recombination as well as copying infidelity, that genetics is not the only longitudinal inheritance vector; that natural selection operates between populations as well as within (evolution of evolvability) etc.

    But nothing has falsified Darwin's basic principle of natural selection aka heritable variance in reproductive success as the governing principle.

    It could be falsified - we could discover, for instance, that changes in population allele frequencies anticipated, rather than followed, environmental changes, or that alleles that would be beneficial in near future environments stood a greater chance of being generated than alleles that would soon become deleterious.

    If I were an ID scientist, that's what I'd be looking for - anticipatory DNA variants that favoured near-future environmental conditions.

    But I'm not aware of any such findings.

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  11. Elizabeth, so if we found anticipatory DNA variants that favoured near-future environment conditions evolution would be falsified. You're kidding, right?

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    1. If we found consistent anticipatory increases in the prevalence of DNA variants that would turn out to be favoured near-future environment, then, sure.

      It would be difficult to demonstrate, of course, unless we could delineate the specific sequence that conferred the future phenotypic advantage, but if, say, a population inexplicably developed, I dunno, some kind of resistance to UV light that seemed to confer no advantage, and a few years later, UV light increases and kills off the few that don't have the relevant sequence, and if this happened consistently, then sure, that would be something evolutionary theory would struggle to accommodate, because it would suggest that the population "knows" in advance of an environmental change what alleles will prove most useful, and breeds more of those.

      Of course, it could turn out that there really was an evolutionary explanation, but it would certainly raise some eyebrows. If I were an ID scientist I'd certainly want to focus on that finding.

      Same with "frontloading" hypotheses. In principle, you could devise a front-loading hypothesis that could support ID better than evolutionary theory (i.e. made a differential prediction). But I haven't so far seen one is actually properly worked out. Someone (can't remember his/her name) posted one over at UD.

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  12. Elizabeth, like a certain percentage of the population of Finches that have beaks that are larger than are needed for today's seeds?

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  13. Well, right now, the evidence suggests that the distibution of beak sizes tracks the distribution of seed sizes, in that order - i.e. after a season with distribution A of seeds, we get distribution A of beaks, and after a season of distribution B of seeds, we get a shift towards distribution B of beaks.

    If it was the other way round - if you could, in fact, predict the seed distribution next season from the beak distribution this season, rather than the beak distribution next from the seed distribution this - then that would be a problem.

    It's the fact that the beaks follow the seeds, not the seeds the beaks, that is evidence for natural selection.

    Of course you've got to be careful, because the finches could also affect the seed distribution! If all the big seeds get eaten by big-beaked finches, then that could be the reason why seed distribution followed beak distribution! So you'd have to do a very careful model (just as the Grants did, in fact).

    But it should be possible with very careful data collection and statistical modelling.

    Except that in the case of the Grants' finches, it's already been done and we know that beaks follow seeds. So we know that natural selection actually works (from other studies too, including true experimental lab studies, but that is a particularly good set of observational field studies)

    But maybe occasionally, in other places or species, it works the other way round. One Black Swan...

    :)

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  14. Elizabeth, well you're still equating evolution with natural selection. Evolution is much more than natural selection.

    Well, according to your own test - "if we found anticipatory DNA variants that favoured near-future environment conditions evolution would be falsified".

    Results? the beaks are regulated by the bmp4 protein, so the potential for large or small beaks pre-existed seasonal variation of the seeds.

    Evolution falsified.

    Do you have another test?

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    1. Well, tell me what you are calling "evolution".

      And you do seem to have missed my point about anticipatory variants.

      I'm not saying that "the potential for large or small beaks" didn't exist before the environmental change. I'm saying that the distibution B of beak sizes appropriate to distribution B of seed sizes didn't preceed distribution B of seed sizes.

      As for the regulatory issue, again, you seem to have missed my point.

      What governs beak size is regulation of the Bmp4 protein during development. What regulates Bmp4 protein during development are regulatory genes.

      The distribution, therefore, of alleles of the relevant regulatory genes will therefore determine the distribution of beak sizes.

      This follows, and does not precede, the change in distribution of seed sizes.

      Therefore we can conclude that natural selection is responsible for the change in distribution in beak sizes.

      In other words, it is a clear example of Darwinian evolution in action, in real time.

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    2. Elizabeth Liddle
      "This follows, and does not precede, the change in distribution of seed sizes."

      Therefore we can conclude that natural selection is responsible for the change in distribution in beak sizes.

      But ToE means the mutation is ramdom to enviroment change! Should precede the change in distribution of seed sizes.
      You are confirming that this is not evolution.

      "Therefore we can conclude that natural selection is responsible for the change in distribution in beak sizes."

      This maybe true, natural selection in action yes, darwinian evolution no.

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    3. I suggest you read Jonathan Weimer's The Beak of the Finch

      You seem to have misunderstood my point entirely.

      However, you do nonetheless acknowledge that the finch study shows natural selection in action.

      Darwin's theory of evolution was the theory of natural selection. He actually coined the phrase. What the Grants observed in the Galapagos finches (as Darwin himself had done, and which inspired his theory) was natural selection, aka Darwinian evolution.

      I repeat the request I made to Neal to you:

      If your claim is that "evolution" or "Darwinian evolution" has not been observed, please explain exactly what you mean by those terms, because what most of us mean is exactly what was observed by the Grants, in real time, in a field setting, among the Galapagos finches.

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    4. Elizabeth Liddle said:

      "Darwin's theory of evolution was the theory of natural selection."

      "If your claim is that "evolution" or

      "Darwinian evolution" has not been observed,"

      Again the old darwinian trick, changing the meaning of evolution at each time.
      We can start to fix the meaning of darwinian evolution.
      Do ee agree that darwinian evolution means all life forms derived from an UCLA by RM+NS. Beeing RM: mutation unrelated with the needs and the enviroment?

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    5. It's not my trick!

      I'm asking you exactly what you mean when you say it has not been observed!

      Which you have now done. But clearly, using that definition of "evolution" there is no point in saying "oh, but it hasn't been observed" because obviously we can't observe stuff that happened billions of years ago, or will happen in the far future! What we can do, however, is observe the putative processes happening in real time (and they do) as well as observe traces left by those putative processes in the geological, biological, and genetic record.

      I do would say that the current formulation of the theory of evolution posits that all life forms descended from a few, or a single, ancestral population of simple life forms, or proto-life forms that existed about 3 and half to four billion years ago, and that the current diversity and complexity of life is a result of the fact that life-forms self-replicate with heritable variance in the probability of reproductive success in their current environment.

      I would agree that the theory posits that the initial appearance of any novel genetic variation is independent (i.e. unconstrained by) of the needs of the organism in its present or its descendents' future environment). However, the prevalence of a novel variant is in the population is highly dependent on whether it contributes to reproductive success in the current environment.

      Nothing up my sleeve :)

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    6. Elizabeth Liddle said:

      "I would agree that the theory posits that the initial appearance of any novel genetic variation is independent (i.e. unconstrained by) of the needs of the organism in its present or its descendents' future environment).

      Well, then the finches are not an example or evolution. They are following the changes in the seeds. So if this is the machanism how the life forms evolved it is not an observation of darwinism is an observation of lanmarkism. The jiraffe followed the needs of reached higher food.

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    8. "Well, then the finches are not an example or evolution. They are following the changes in the seeds."

      The reason (and this was plotted, finch family by finch family, every individual was tagged and monitoried) that there were more large-beaked finches following a season in which most of the seeds were large was because more of the offspring of the largest-beak finches (who themselves tended to have the largest beaks, taking after their parents and all) survived to breed themselves than the offspring of the smaller-beaked finches.

      No Lamarckian response - simple natural selection of the offspring of the parents whose beaks best enabled them to exploit the larger seeds.

      And no anticipatory mutations either - merely selection of those variants in gene pool that promoted larger beaks (probably variants on regulatory genes governing developmental expression of Bmp4).

      In other words, a perfect example of precisely the mechanism Darwin proposed to explain how populations gradually adapt to a changing habitat.

      "So if this is the machanism how the life forms evolved it is not an observation of darwinism is an observation of lanmarkism. The jiraffe followed the needs of reached higher food."

      No. Accepting for the purposes of argument a relationship between giraffe neck and higher food (which is in dispute), you do not need to invoke a Lamarckian mechanism to explain it - natural selection will do it. Those giraffes with the longest necks remain nourished when all the leaves on the lower branches have already been eaten. They are then better able to produce healthy offspring, who inherit their longer necks. Rinse and repeat, just as with the finches.

      That was what Darwin proposed, and while we do not know whether it is the explanation for giraffe necks, we do know that it is the explanation for why mean beak size in Galapagos finches tends to increase following years in which mean seed size increases.

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  15. "Dr. Cornelius Hunter: Evidence Against Darwinian Evolution in the Hammerhead Shark" - podcast
    http://intelligentdesign.podomatic.com/entry/2012-04-27T16_11_33-07_00

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  16. So let's look at the form of Dobzhansky's essay title (in turn taken from a quotation from Teilhard, a Jesuit priest, I should add :)).

    Which isn't surprising given the occult notion of thesis and antithesis leading to a synthesis of illumination, yet notice how the end is totalitarian in nature:
    Evolution is a light which illuminates all facts, a trajectory which all lines of thought must follow...

    Also notice how the people associated with the occult who have created more babble and new mythologies for you actually don't seem to have the knowledge that they claim to have. Ironic, given that the claim is that you will be illuminated as you progress up the pyramid toward the symbolic eye of knowledge. And yet, if they had the knowledge that they almost invariably claim to have then why can't they make a fortune by being fortunate enough to predict the weather? After all, the priests of knowledge sitting at the top claim to know what the weather will be yet they only seem to be able to profit from their knowledge. (Not unless people like the Jesuits take over in politics and begin selling indulgences for sins against Mother Nature, which goes back to coercion again.) Similarly, if the eugenicists and geneticists who claim biological knowledge had half the knowledge that they claim to have then they would have profited from it far more than they have historically. Just think if you could actually trace a trajectory of adaptation within a group of organisms and it really was just like tracing a trajectory guided by gravity like these charlatans claim. You think they wouldn't profit from knowledge of that sort? Not to mention the fact that it would have already been used in weapons bought by those who sit at the top of pyramid $chemes of illumination and so on. Nothing makes dollars and sense except in the light of those who make money... Lol. (I bet those who claim illumination wish they could do away with Cornelius's funding. And they will, as history shows that when manipulation and corruption fail then coercion emerges by happenstance to target any mention of the God of the Jews.)

    In any event, I wouldn't put too much stock in the antithesis/thesis and Jesuit synthesis pattern. The ludicrous mythology of enlightenment through "materialism" or atheism has probably reached the limit of its usefulness and the old gods of the occult societies like the Jesuits that gave you your ridiculous mythologies of materialism seem to be stirring.

    Historically speaking they didn't even change the language of "out of chaos, order" or progressive "illumination" and so on very much. Yet many think that the myth of matter in motion that the "illuminated ones" created for the masses is true.

    Real dumb. But if you want funding from the top, well...

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  17. Because scientific theories are not oracles. They are not sources of divination. You are simply confused about what a scientific theory should tell us.

    It should tell you something rather than nothing, especially if its proponents are saying that nothing makes sense except in the light of its illumination. On another note, why does it seem like what they're actually saying is the light of their illumination which actually seems to be the darkness of their own imagination?

    Let me give you an example: say today scientists discover a new virus. That is a new discovery. But does it falsify Germ Theory simply because we did not predict it's existence? Of course not.

    Let me give you an example: say that scientists and priests of knowledge used to think that the spontaneous generation of different life forms was imaginable. But then someone proved experimentally that it didn't really matter what they could imagine about life or germs arising spontaneously because they designed a way to observe that life beget life and didn't arise spontaneously. Would that falsify the imaginary notion that life did arise spontaneously unless someone designed a way to observe life arising spontaneously? Of course.

    And yet this is exactly the logic Cornelius applies to evolution: "a new discovery = a falsification."

    At its base in the origin of life and its supposed spontaneous generation evolution has already been falsified based on experimental evidence to the extent that it was ever specified in the first place. But yes, it's true that one can't falsify a Rorschach test and no new discovery or experiment actually matters in that respect. So you can still generally look into the hypothetical goo of evolution and imagine of it what you will.

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  18. Notice all the wealth and things of value created based on actual observable knowledge which can be known by design/experiment in germ theory. Contrast that with the pseudo-science typical to charlatans associated with occult societies like the Darwins, the Jesuits and so on. These days global warming could be cited as an example. If they had the knowledge/scientia that they claim to have then they wouldn't have to rely on politics and the manipulation of the economy to have wealth. Instead, they could create it.

    Also note that there are already weapons controlled by those closer to the top of pyramid $chemes which could shape the weather like HAARP:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=jcmMtUb0mh8#t=140s

    Note that this is closer to experimental knowledge of the climate and technology based on it, unlike the pseudo-science and mythology of global warming/"climate change" promulgated to the masses in general. Imagine if a multinational corporation could change the weather while selling indulgences/carbon credits at the same time. Perhaps Al Gore could ride around the country like the corpulent priests of old to sell indulgences to the gullible.

    In any event, note the hallmarks of their pseudo-science beginning with the lack of experimental and empirical verification.

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  19. These two statements are hard to reconcile:

    1. You have pointed out no actual flaws. But you have misread and injected all manner of irrelevant argument.

    2. Several modifications were made to the logical statements to make them more robust

    If Elizabeth pointed out no actual flaws, why did you bother to make the arguments in the OP "more robust?" If they were they not robust already then they clearly had flaws.

    Can't have it both ways.

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