Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Another Key Evidence For Evolution is Getting Squashed

A new paper out of Germany on the evolution of animal embryos reveals yet again the typical trajectory of evolution’s treatment of the science. Evidence that is barely understood is declared to confirm powerfully evolution. Then, years later, when science looks under the hood and uncovers the incredible details, the mismatch between the data and the theory becomes more clear. At that point the evidence, rather than confirming the theory, is interpreted according to the theory. Rather than the evidence explaining the theory, it is the theory that is explaining the evidence, no matter how awkward. In the end the evidence is contorted every which way in order to serve the theory of evolution. All of this must be presented with great care to avoid any sign of trouble:

There is a remarkable similarity in the appearance of groups of animal species during periods of their embryonic development. This classic observation has long been viewed as an emphatic realization of the principle of common descent.

In other words, before discussing evolution in the light of new scientific evidence, which inevitably makes evolution look bad, one first must give the secret handshake—a proclamation indicating that evolution is unquestionably true and good, and that all the evidential contradictions you are about to discuss will be force-fit into the evolutionary doctrine.

Despite the importance of embryonic conservation as a unifying concept, models seeking to predict and explain different patterns of conservation have remained in contention

Now you are free to openly discuss the evidence which, in fact, never did support evolution as much as evolutionists claimed. In fact,

Here, we focus on early embryonic development and discuss several lines of evidence, from recent molecular data, through developmental networks to life-history strategies, that indicate that early animal embryos are not highly conserved

with the inexorable march of scientific progress, the contradictions always monotonically increase with time.

Bringing this evidence together, we argue that the nature of early development often reflects adaptation to diverse ecological niches. Finally, we synthesize old and new ideas to propose a model that accounts for the evolutionary process by which embryos have come to be conserved.

And so new evolutionary just-so stories are badly needed to replace the old ones that fared so poorly.

von Baer’s observations, and in particular his third law, provided foundational evidence supporting Darwin’s theory of common descent.

See, it wasn’t just an English idea. The Germans also want some credit for the idea that took over the world, even if that idea requires an endless supply of just-so stories to fend off the evidential onslaught.

In fact evolutionists now must believe that those random mutations regularly produce embryological do-overs, without altering the adult form. This, to explain the evidence which is that sister species are often found to have very different development patterns.



As the figure shows, evolutionists have had to construct ever more elaborate just-so stories to explain the supposed evolution of embryonic development.

Confusion abounds and the evolutionists conclude, contra the traditional evolution view, that given the early embryo of an animal species, it would be possible to infer “comparatively little about its evolutionary trajectory.” That once powerful evidence that Darwin and the evolutionists proclaimed is now in the crowded dustbin of evolutionary proofs.

89 comments:

  1. a few 'inconvenient truths':

    Alexander Tsiaras: Conception to birth -- visualized
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKyljukBE70

    Mathematician Alexander Tsiaras on Human Development: "It's a Mystery, It's Magic, It's Divinity" - March 2012
    Excerpt: 'The magic of the mechanisms inside each genetic structure saying exactly where that nerve cell should go, the complexity of these, the mathematical models on how these things are indeed done, are beyond human comprehension. Even though I am a mathematician, I look at this with the marvel of how do these instruction sets not make these mistakes as they build what is us. It's a mystery, it's magic, it's divinity.'
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/03/mathematician_a057741.html

    A Piece from the Developmental Symphony - February 2012
    Excerpt: Embryonic development is an astounding process that seems to happen "automatically.",,, The timing of each step is too precise and the complexity is too intricate to assume that these processes are the mere accumulation by happenstance of changes to regulatory genes. Each gene plays its role at a certain time, and like a symphony, each is activated and silenced in turn such that the final result is a grand performance of orchestrated effort that could only have occurred through design.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/02/a_piece_from_th055921.html

    Understanding Ontogenetic Depth, Part II: Natural Selection Is a Harsh Mistress - Paul Nelson - April 7, 2011
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/04/understanding_ontogenetic_dept_1045581.html

    Modern Synthesis of Neo-Darwinism Is Dead - No Evidence For Body Plan Morphogenesis From Embryonic Mutations - Paul Nelson - video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5548184/modern_synthesis_of_neo_darwinism_is_dead_paul_nelson/

    The mouse is not enough - February 2011
    Excerpt: Richard Behringer, who studies mammalian embryogenesis at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas said, “There is no ‘correct’ system. Each species is unique and uses its own tailored mechanisms to achieve development. By only studying one species (eg, the mouse), naive scientists believe that it represents all mammals.”
    http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/57986/

    Revisiting Those Early Developmental Stages: A Response to PZ Myers - Jonathan M. June 22, 2011
    Excerpt: Let's take an illustrative example. Anurans and urodeles are both modern amphibian groups which we would consider to be closely related. However, there is significant difference in the source of their primordial germ cells. For instance, in urodeles, they arise from unspecific ectodermal cells at the blastula stage; whereas, in anurans, they arise from specific cells of endodermal origin, the cells possessing cytoplasmic granules that originated in the unfertilized egg. Now, here's the conundrum. The difference relates to organs of extreme importance -- i.e. the germ cells. The difference is not only substantial, but it occurs extremely early in development.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/06/revisiting_those_early_develop047571.html

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    1. Here is a excellent deconstruction of PZ Myer's favorite Icon Of Evolution (PZ named his, ahem, 'science' blog after it!);

      Challenging the Precious Pharyngula - Casey Luskin - July 2011
      http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/07/challenging_the_precious_phary048291.html

      Icons of Evolution 10th Anniversary: Haeckel's Embryos - January 2011 - video
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0kHPw3LaG8

      Here's a interesting talk by Dr. John Sanford. Starting at the 17 minute mark going to the 22 minute mark, he relates how slightly detrimental mutations, that accumulate each time a cell divides, are the primary reason why our physical/material bodies grow old and die.

      John Sanford on (Genetic Entropy) Down - Not Up 2-4-2012 (at Loma Linda University) - video
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHsu94HQrL0

      Notes from video:

      *3 new mutations every time a cell divides in your body
      * Average cell of 15 year old has up to 6000 mutations
      *Average cell of 60 year old has 40,000 mutations
      Reproductive cells are 'designed' so that, early on in development, they are 'set aside' and thus they do not accumulate mutations as the rest of the cells of our bodies do. Regardless of this protective barrier against the accumulation of slightly detrimental mutations still we find that,,,
      *60-175 mutations are passed on to each new generation.

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    2. Interestingly, this ‘slightly detrimental’ mutation rate of 60 to 175 per generation is far greater than even what evolutionists agree is an acceptable mutation rate since detrimental mutations will accumulate far faster than ‘natural selection’ (death) can eliminate them from the population:

      Human evolution or extinction - acceptable mutation rate per generation (with clips from Dr. John Sanford) - video
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aC_NyFZG7pM

      Beyond A 'Speed Limit' On Mutations, Species Risk Extinction
      Excerpt: Shakhnovich's group found that for most organisms, including viruses and bacteria, an organism's rate of genome mutation must stay below 6 mutations per genome per generation to prevent the accumulation of too many potentially lethal changes in genetic material.
      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071001172753.htm

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  2. It is not understood by anyone, what is required to substantiate to any significant degree, life's appearance and extrapolation over earth. How anyone can claim there is sufficient evidence to support any kind of material theory or any other theory, they are only forcing an agenda that has no place within legitimate scientific inquiry.

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  3. Where to begin...Maybe with the figure.

    Dr. Hunter states: "As the figure shows, evolutionists have had to construct ever more elaborate just-so stories to explain the supposed evolution of embryonic development."

    Unfortunately, the review he has cited concludes the opposite-that more complex models do NOT better describe the data:

    "With these considerations in mind, we believe that the notion of conservation of the early periods of embryonic development is no longer tenable and, as such, models that do not accommodate early divergence are not supported (models 1 and 3 in Box 1; model 4 cannot be entirely rejected in this view)." (The authors slap model 4 around a good deal).

    What does that leave? The hour glass model, the gold standard (in vertebrates the pharyngula stage which PZ Myers names his blog for!!!) of early and late divergence, with a conserved phenotypic stage. If we take the authors note (the dotted line in the figure): "Although von Baer’s third law is often interpreted as proposing early conservation, von Baer in fact based his observations on post-gastrulation embryos," we're essentially back to the 1828 observation!

    Maybe the most blatant misrepresentation (of the conclusion)--Hunter states: "that given the early embryo of an animal species, it would be possible to infer “comparatively little about its evolutionary trajectory.” "

    Context:
    Thus, we offer an extended answer to the question posed earlier: given the
    early embryo of an animal species, we believe that it would be possible to infer several aspects of the ecological niche of the organism, but comparatively little about its evolutionary trajectory; conversely, given an embryo from the phylotypic period, we would have less confidence to speak
    about its ecology, but would have remarkable insight into its phylogenetic history."

    Remarkable insight into its phylogenetic history. Why? Because the "once powerful evidence that Darwin and the evolutionists proclaimed" that Hunter says is "now in the crowded dustbin of evolutionary proofs" is quite happily functional, predictive, and supported by new data collected with new technologies.

    Case in point-from the review:

    "...several groups collected new time course data sets on gene expression in the embryos ...[flies, frogs, mouse, chicken, fish]... Analysis of the time course data revealed remarkably similar patterns of divergence that were all consistent with the morphological hourglass model."

    ".... similar approach combining gene expression time course data in fish, flies and worms with a measure of gene emergence across the tree of life
    to show that genes expressed both early and late are younger than
    those expressed in mid-embryogenesis [22]"

    "All four studies point towards divergence in genome-wide expression programs early during development converging on a conserved
    phylotypic period and then diverging again, thus mirroring the morphological hourglass."

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    1. Move along folks, nothing to see here,,

      Nothing to see here - video
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSjK2Oqrgic

      Excerpt: 'Here, we focus on early embryonic development and discuss several lines of evidence, from recent molecular data, through developmental networks to life-history strategies, that indicate that early animal embryos are not highly conserved.'
      http://www.cell.com/trends/ecology-evolution/abstract/S0169-5347%2812%2900072-9

      But isn't the early embryonic development period exactly the period that Hackel's bogus embryo drawings misrepresented, and continue to misrepresent, for over 100 plus years?

      Haeckel's Bogus Embryo Drawings - The faked drawings compared to actual pictures
      http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Image:Ontogeny2.jpg

      There is no highly conserved embryonic stage in the vertebrates: - Richardson MK - 1997
      Excerpt: Contrary to recent claims that all vertebrate embryos pass through a stage when they are the same size, we find a greater than 10-fold variation in greatest length at the tailbud stage. Our survey seriously undermines the credibility of Haeckel's drawings,
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9278154

      Current Textbooks Misuse Embryology to Argue for Evolution - June 2010
      http://www.evolutionnews.org/2010/06/current_textbooks_misuse_embry035751.html

      Haeckel's Embryo Drawings Make Cameos in Proposed Texas Instructional Materials - Casey Luskin - June 2011
      http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/06/haeckels_embryos_make_multiple047321.html

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    2. BA, seems like you're making the same mistake Dr. Hunter is.

      You've quoted the review: "that indicate that early animal embryos are not highly conserved.'"

      Is the phylotypic stage early, mid, or late?

      Maybe you should have read the paper. It even has a glossary in a big yellow box!:

      "Phylotypic period: a period during mid-embryogenesis when animals belonging to the same phylum are said to exhibit the greatest level of morphological similarity ....
      the tail-bud or ‘pharyngula’ stage in vertebrates [68], and to the segmented germ band stage in arthropods [5]."

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    3. RobertC:

      Context:
      Thus, we offer an extended answer to the question posed earlier: given the
      early embryo of an animal species, we believe that it would be possible to infer several aspects of the ecological niche of the organism, but comparatively little about its evolutionary trajectory; conversely, given an embryo from the phylotypic period, we would have less confidence to speak
      about its ecology, but would have remarkable insight into its phylogenetic history."


      Sure, evolutionists, who are assuming evolution is true, say they think they can obtain phylogenetic information from a particular embryonic stage because it is somewhat indicative of the adult form. Of course they would think that.

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    4. A somewhat narrow reply-In light of what I've posted above, are you comfortable with your representation of the conclusions of this review?

      "they think they can obtain phylogenetic information from a particular embryonic stage because it is somewhat indicative of the adult form."

      No, they can perform transcriptomic analyses (microarray and RNA sequencing) across the time-course of development, and make a measurement in support of their hypothesis, finding:

      -Convergence on a conserved phylotypic period.
      -That genes expressed both early and late are younger than
      those expressed in mid-embryogenesis
      -That gene expression patterns would describe phylogenetic distance in all stages (with more difference early and late then at the phylotypic stage)

      As the authors put it:
      "In the future, by making use of the power of RNA-seq, it will be possible to examine divergence in gene expression across several evolutionary scales. The macroevolutionary comparison across species can be complemented by microevolutionary
      studies of divergence within species using sequenced strains.
      In addition, allele-specific expression can be readily detected in RNAseq data, which opens the possibility of measuring gene expression in interspecies hybrids. Quantitative genetic modeling using these rich data sets will reveal the modes of evolution in early development and beyond."

      Again, I'll ask-what does the review conclude that warrants the title: "Key Evidence For Evolution is Getting Squashed"

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    5. RobertC:

      Again, I'll ask-what does the review conclude that warrants the title: "Key Evidence For Evolution is Getting Squashed"

      I think you are coming from an evolutionary perspective, which naturally and rightfully views this sort of evidence as valuable. If evolution is true, then of course we'd want to mine these data, and from what is there, no doubt, there would be hints and indications of evolutionary relationships.

      I'm not coming at it from that perspective. Embryonic development has always been claimed as particularly strong, compelling evidence for evolution. But that story has been waning. What I'm interested here is not "Is there interesting, useful information in these data for evolutionary theorizing." Sure, there is. What I'm interested in is "Are these data as power and compelling as evolutionists have always claimed?" The answer is a clear "no." That doesn't mean the evidence falsifies evolution. It doesn't even mean the evidence is difficult for evolution to explain. And nor does it mean the data are not useful for evolutionists. It just means the claim that evolution is a fact is not very well supported by this evidence. What you may not be aware of is the rather outrageous truth claims evolutionists have made about this type of evidence.

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    6. CH: "If evolution is true, then of course we'd want to mine these data, and from what is there, no doubt, there would be hints and indications of evolutionary relationships."

      Odd phrasing. More simply, the RNA-seq data supports the evolutionary hypothesis.

      CH: "I'm not coming at it from that perspective."

      What is an alternative explanation for the genomic, morphological, and transcriptomic data? Let us test it against the data.

      CH: "Are these data as power and compelling as evolutionists have always claimed?" The answer is a clear "no."

      They were perhaps less compelling (ala Richardson) prior to time-resolved transcriptome analysis. The review makes the case the data is MORE compelling now than ever.

      This is why I find your use of it curious, and keep asking if you are comfortable with how you've portrayed it.

      CH:"That doesn't mean the evidence falsifies evolution. It doesn't even mean the evidence is difficult for evolution to explain. And nor does it mean the data are not useful for evolutionists."

      Why don't you make that the post title here and at UD instead of "Another Key Evidence For Evolution is Getting Squashed"

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    7. RobertC, exactly how would one go about falsifying neo-Darwinian evolution?

      "nobody to date has yet found a demarcation criterion according to which Darwin(ism) can be described as scientific" - Imre Lakatos (November 9, 1922 – February 2, 1974) a philosopher of mathematics and science, quote was as stated in 1973 LSE Scientific Method Lecture
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imre_Lakatos#Darwin.27s_theory

      Science and Pseudoscience - Imre Lakatos - exposing Darwinism as a ‘degenerate science program’, as a pseudoscience, using Lakatos's rigid criteria
      https://docs.google.com/document/d/1LpGd3smTV1RwmEXC25IAEKMjiypBl5VJq9ssfv4JgeM/edit

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    8. In this case, if genomic sequences or the RNA-sequencing data didn't clearly align with expected phylogeny, I'd be concerned.

      Seriously, each new data has had a chance to falsify evolution.

      Darwin didn't know about genes-inheritance didn't have a clear mechanism. But it was found, and it agreed with the model.

      Genome sequences make lovely phylogenies, the best interpretation of which is common descent.

      Now we have time-resolved RNA sequencing. Same think-descent with modification, and a phylotypic stage.

      None of this had to be the case in a design scenario. For common descent? All potential falsifications.

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    9. RobertC blindly claims;

      'Genome sequences make lovely phylogenies, the best interpretation of which is common descent.'

      Yet far from 'lovely phylogenies';

      A New Model for Evolution: A Rhizome - Didier Raoult - May 2010
      Excerpt: Thus we cannot currently identify a single common ancestor for the gene repertoire of any organism.,,, Overall, it is now thought that there are no two genes that have a similar history along the phylogenic tree.,,,Therefore the representation of the evolutionary pathway as a tree leading to a single common ancestor on the basis of the analysis of one or more genes provides an incorrect representation of the stability and hierarchy of evolution. Finally, genome analyses have revealed that a very high proportion of genes are likely to be newly created,,, and that some genes are only found in one organism (named ORFans). These genes do not belong to any phylogenic tree and represent new genetic creations.
      http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/05/new-model-for-evolution-rhizome.html

      Why Darwin was wrong about the (genetic) tree of life: - 21 January 2009
      Excerpt: Syvanen recently compared 2000 genes that are common to humans, frogs, sea squirts, sea urchins, fruit flies and nematodes. In theory, he should have been able to use the gene sequences to construct an evolutionary tree showing the relationships between the six animals. He failed. The problem was that different genes told contradictory evolutionary stories. This was especially true of sea-squirt genes. Conventionally, sea squirts - also known as tunicates - are lumped together with frogs, humans and other vertebrates in the phylum Chordata, but the genes were sending mixed signals. Some genes did indeed cluster within the chordates, but others indicated that tunicates should be placed with sea urchins, which aren't chordates. "Roughly 50 per cent of its genes have one evolutionary history and 50 per cent another," Syvanen says. ."We've just annihilated the tree of life. It's not a tree any more, it's a different topology entirely," says Syvanen. "What would Darwin have made of that?"
      http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20126921.600-why-darwin-was-wrong-about-the-tree-of-life.html

      I would like to point out that this, 'annihilation' of Darwin's genetic tree of life, article came out on the very day that Dr. Hillis, a self-proclaimed 'world leading expert' on the genetic tree of life, testified before the Texas State Board Of Education that the genetic tree of life overwhelmingly confirmed gradual Darwinian evolution. One could almost argue it was 'Intelligently Designed' for him to exposed as a fraud on that particular day of his testimony instead of just any other day of the year.

      Delete
  4. So are these studies wrong then?

    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/07/challenging_the_precious_phary048291.html

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    1. The studies listed by the Discovery Institute's staff lawyer are Richardson's studies (the rejected model 3 in the study). See the figure in the original post.

      Richardson's work predates the RNA-sequencing techniques in this review.

      Ironically, the review, based on the new data unequivocally REJECTS Richardson's model that Luskin sees as trouble for evolution, reverting to the "Precious Pharyngula" as he calls it.

      Odd Dr. Hunter has chosen it as a refutation of evolution. I guess when you're against it, you're against it, no matter what the data!

      The only other paper cited by Luskin is: "Gene expression divergence recapitulates the developmental hourglass model"

      I think the title says enough.

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    2. Just to add one more thing:

      This is the way science works. A model is tested. Richardson, using the tools available to him, tested the hourglass model and thought he found inconsistency.

      Newer techniques (the paper literally says "Now in the 21st century" following the introduction of Richardson's model) provided much better data, and shut down these criticisms.

      Was Richardson punished for not adhering to the supposed scientific "Dogma?" No. He has had a great career. A few years back, he had back to back Nature papers on snake/fang evolution. Science needs critics-and you don't get expelled for being one-as long as that criticism is scientific.

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    3. RobertC:

      Odd Dr. Hunter has chosen it as a refutation of evolution.

      No, not a refutation of evolution. A refutation of strong evidential claims made by evolutionists.

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    4. But the review supports the "strong evidential claims made by evolutionists," explicitly rejecting prior models (e.g. Richardson's as cited by Luskin).

      This is why I keep asking you if you are comfortable with the way you've depicted it, as a example of "Key Evidence For Evolution is Getting Squashed" or "evolutionists have had to construct ever more elaborate just-so stories to explain the supposed evolution of embryonic development," when in fact, the review rejects those more elaborate models!

      Lets simplify: What does the review conclude?

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    5. Funny RobertC, looking at Richardson's pictures, I find his overall claim to remain firmly intact:

      Haeckel's Bogus Embryo Drawings - The faked drawings compared to actual pictures
      http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Image:Ontogeny2.jpg

      There is no highly conserved embryonic stage in the vertebrates: - Richardson MK - 1997
      Excerpt: Contrary to recent claims that all vertebrate embryos pass through a stage when they are the same size, we find a greater than 10-fold variation in greatest length at the tailbud stage. Our survey seriously undermines the credibility of Haeckel's drawings,
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9278154

      Thus RichardC, what am I going to believe, my own eyes are a neo-Darwinian dogmatist who sees everything through rose-colored Darwinian glasses?

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    6. RichardC you claim:

      'Richardson's work predates the RNA-sequencing techniques in this review.'

      For the sake of convenience I'm presupposing they found some similarity in RNA sequencing, yet RichardC if similarity counts as evidence for neo-Darwinism in your mind, why does dissimilarity not count as evidence against neo-Darwinism in your mind?

      Chimp chromosome creates puzzles - 2004
      Excerpt: However, the researchers were in for a surprise. Because chimps and humans appear broadly similar, some have assumed that most of the differences would occur in the large regions of DNA that do not appear to have any obvious function. But that was not the case. The researchers report in 'Nature' that many of the differences were within genes, the regions of DNA that code for proteins. 83% of the 231 genes compared had differences that affected the amino acid sequence of the protein they encoded. And 20% showed "significant structural changes".
      http://www.nature.com/news/1998/040524/full/news040524-8.html

      Study Reports a Whopping "23% of Our Genome" Contradicts Standard Human-Ape Evolutionary Phylogeny - Casey Luskin - June 2011
      Excerpt: For about 23% of our genome, we share no immediate genetic ancestry with our closest living relative, the chimpanzee. This encompasses genes and exons to the same extent as intergenic regions. We conclude that about 1/3 of our genes started to evolve as human-specific lineages before the differentiation of human, chimps, and gorillas took place. (of note; 1/3 of our genes is equal to about 7000 genes that we do not share with chimpanzees)
      http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/06/study_reports_a_whopping_23_of047041.html

      Human Gene Count Tumbles Again - 2008
      Excerpt: The researchers considered genes to be valid if and only if similar sequences could be found in other mammals – namely, mouse and dog. Applying this technique to nearly 22,000 genes in the Ensembl gene catalog, the analysis revealed 1,177 “orphan” DNA sequences.
      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080113161406.htm

      Moreover the 'anomaly' of unique ORFan genes is found in every new genome sequenced:

      Widespread ORFan Genes Challenge Common Descent – Paul Nelson – video with references
      http://www.vimeo.com/17135166

      Moreover, these 'new' ORFan genes are found to be just as essential as 'old' genes for maintaining life:

      Age doesn't matter: New genes are as essential as ancient ones - December 2010
      Excerpt: "A new gene is as essential as any other gene; the importance of a gene is independent of its age," said Manyuan Long, PhD, Professor of Ecology & Evolution and senior author of the paper. "New genes are no longer just vinegar, they are now equally likely to be butter and bread. We were shocked."
      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101216142523.htm

      RicahrdC you also state:

      'I guess when you're against it, you're against it, no matter what the data!'

      And this truism that applies to a dogmatist does not apply to you how?

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    7. BA Answer some questions: What does the review conclude?

      Is Hunter's interpretation of the review dishonest?

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    8. RobertC, more importantly what does the evidence actually say? !!! That is what makes Dr. Hunter's critique all the more illuminating because he sees past all the opinions of dogmatic neo-Darwinist, such as yourself, and goes straight to what the evidence is actually saying. And the evidence, no matter how much they, and now you, try to dress it up, is certainly not as comforting to the pseudo-science of Darwinian evolution as you like to pretend it to be!

      Delete
    9. BA -

      Are you TOTALLY unable to answer a simple question?

      Delete
    10. I answer simple questions, you just don't like my answers because they are not the answers you want to hear.,,, But so what, I'm not your puppet!

      Delete
    11. BA -

      You do not answer questions at all.

      RobertC asked you two direct and simple questions and you didn't even attempt to address them. Just as you are not even attempting to address my question below.

      Giving a direct answer is not 'being a puppet', it is having an honest and civil conversation. You should try it sometime.

      Delete
    12. A honest conversation with a neo-Darwinist? Thanks for the laugh!

      Delete
    13. RobertC:

      But the review supports the "strong evidential claims made by evolutionists," explicitly rejecting prior models (e.g. Richardson's as cited by Luskin).

      This is why I keep asking you if you are comfortable with the way you've depicted it, as a example of "Key Evidence For Evolution is Getting Squashed"


      Well your responses make me think the OP was too understated. What you are saying is that the finding of non homologous development patterns in otherwise similar species, which makes no sense on evolution, doesn't matter. So you're saying that the high evidential claims of evolutionists, saying that the embryonic evidence is compelling, is still trucking along. You're not seriously reckoning with the evidence. It would be one thing to offer at least an explanation for how it could be so (beyond speculation), but to say such failed expectations just don't matter, and the embryonic evidence is still compelling, is just denial.

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  5. RobertC

    Again, I'll ask-what does the review conclude that warrants the title: "Key Evidence For Evolution is Getting Squashed"


    Don't worry. I'm sure Cornelius will be along any minute now with his detailed non-evolutionary explanation for all the embryo data. Just like he provided that wonderful non-evolutionary explanation for the Trachylepis skink's unique form of viviparity, and his sterling defense of Sewell's "2LoT disproves evolution!" claims.

    Oh, wait...

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  6. How could any RNA sequencing technique mean something doesn't look the way it looks?

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    1. It is a measure of the divergence (of gene expression) at different stages. Developmental biologists have moved past just looking at the embryos.

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    2. From the abstract of the paper(I do not have access to the full paper) I read:

      "Here, we focus on early embryonic development and discuss several lines of evidence, from recent molecular data, through developmental networks to life-history strategies, that indicate that early animal embryos are not highly conserved."

      But you said "The review makes the case the data is MORE compelling now than ever. "

      The abstract is wrong or I am missing something.

      Delete
    3. You are missing something. Early embryos are divergent, mid-development embryos converge on the phenotypic stage. Late embryos diverge.

      This is the hourglass model that anti-evolutionists hate. Luskin likes Richardson's model, which this review rejects.

      Delete
    4. RobertC said:
      "You are missing something. Early embryos are divergent, mid-development embryos converge on the phenotypic stage. Late embryos diverge.

      This is the hourglass model that anti-evolutionists hate. Luskin likes Richardson's model, which this review rejects."

      So according to you hourglass model is strongevidence of evolution? I do not see how, can you explain to me?

      As far as I understand Richardson said that similarities in pharyngula as deep as was thought. As I cannot read the paper can tell me the percent of matches of transcrited RNA thay found? Is this percentage evidence of deep similarity in mid-development embrios? Wich value will be too low for evolution?

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  7. Watching CH toss these stink bombs then disappear when asked to give his alternate explanations reminds me of the old Tom Leher song about Werner von Braun. Von Braun was the Nazi V2 rocket scientist whose criminal past was ignored by the Allies, and who eventually went on to head the Apollo project for NASA

    "Once ze rockets go up
    who cares where zey come down?
    That's not my department!"
    says Werner von Braun

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  8. Cornelius, you seem to have difficulty with the idea that evolutionary theory is a vast body of theory that is constantly being refined and updated.

    It generates hypotheses that are falsified all the time, as any large body of theory does. It also generates hypotheses that are supported all the time. Every time a hypothesis is falsified, either a bit of the overall model needs to be adjusted, or, more commonly, a bit of the overal model that was missing is still marked as missing.

    Every time a hypothesis is confirmed, that fills out the model a little more.

    You seem to be seeing a house of cards, where there is really a jig-saw puzzle. If you put a card in the wrong place in a house of cards, the whole thing comes tumbling down.

    However, if you put a puzzle piece in the wrong place in a jig-saw puzzle, it just doesn't fit properly, and you have to figure out what does.

    The big picture - the edge pieces, the sky, the ground, the circus tent in the middle, they all still work. It's just that sometimes you find that what you thought was a bit of the circus tent turns out to be a girl's hat, and green bits you thought were trees are a painting on the side of a wagon.

    You need to shed your "house of cards" model. It's not how science works, Kuhn not withstanding. Indeed Kuhn's paradigm shifts are far more analogous to "aha! That's not a window, it's a wall-painting!" Or: "wait a minute, maybe that blue stuff is sea, not sky!"

    It doesn't mean that everything you have is wrong, it just means that it means something different from what you thought it meant.

    What will make ID persuasive is not poking holes in specific bits of evolutionary theories (which evolutionists are far better at doing than IDists) but in showing that the picture that we see can be reinterpreted within a coherent ID framework.

    But rather than pursue this framework, IDists shrug their shoulders and say "that's theology, not science - all we have to do is to show that evolution is vanishingly improbable".

    Well, that's not science.

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    1. Elizabeth,

      That's not a correct representation of what ID is all about.

      BTW, what if I say that your jig-saw analogy must be shredded whereas the house of cards analogy is the real hit? You haven't convinced me that we should do what you say we should.

      Your defence of the evolutionary mode of explanation is no more than a word game.

      Based on evidence, ID claims we can detect specific patterns that are, again based on massive observational support, in practice credibly generated only via intelligent agency.

      Unwarranted extrapolations are no good science.

      I think it is a very bad sign for evolution as a set of scientific theories that no matter how much evidence is collected contrary to evolutionary forecasts, they are constantly updated so as to be able to explain really everything with just enough imagination. This is not scientific theorising but philosophical rhetoric.

      A good scientific theory always has its reasonable scope. A philosophy tends to be comprehensive.

      BTW, macroevolution is not improbable, it is implausible.

      Delete
    2. "ID claims we can detect specific patterns"

      Which pattern? Digits of PI? Or a post-hoc specification of what you observed in nature.

      "again based on massive observational support, in practice credibly generated only via intelligent agency."

      There is NO direct observation of an intelligent agency creating life. Humans have never engineered anything that reproduces biologically with descent. (Venter copied a natural system).

      So because humans design machines (that do not reproduce with modification), the 'designs' you've detected in nature with a post-hoc specification must be designed. .

      More on topic: Aftermath, do you agree with Hunter's interpretation of the review.

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    3. EL:

      Cornelius, you seem to have difficulty with the idea that evolutionary theory is a vast body of theory that is constantly being refined and updated.

      It generates hypotheses that are falsified all the time, as any large body of theory does. It also generates hypotheses that are supported all the time. Every time a hypothesis is falsified, either a bit of the overall model needs to be adjusted, or, more commonly, a bit of the overal model that was missing is still marked as missing.

      Every time a hypothesis is confirmed, that fills out the model a little more.

      You seem to be seeing a house of cards, where there is really a jig-saw puzzle. If you put a card in the wrong place in a house of cards, the whole thing comes tumbling down.


      Well no, this is not what I’m saying. This OP, for instance, says nothing about evolution being falsified. I do point out that there is embryonic evidence that is contradictory. Evolutionists do not reckon with this evidence, so it is worthwhile pointing out.

      Evolutionists have made high claims regarding the embryonic evidence. Even in the recent book *Why Evolution is True* Jerry Coyne cites it as a powerful evidence and appeals to the usual recapitulation argument. In typical fashion, he concedes that Haeckel’s biogenetic law was an overstatement, but he argues that nonetheless the basic argument is intact and powerful evidence. This is just a sloppy handling and misrepresentation of the science. There simply is no such powerful scientific argument for evolution that has and continues to be advertised.

      We need to reckon honestly with the evidence. It is what it is. Instead of making false, high claims of confirmation, we need to admit what the evidence is saying. Not only has the embryonic evidence not lived up to evolutionist’s claims, it has provided contradictions. Similar species, for instance, have non homologous development pathways. That is a falsification of an evolutionary prediction.

      Delete
  9. 'that's not science'

    It is interesting that atheistic materialists always make this claim against ID when the plain fact of the matter is that atheistic materialism cannot even ground 'science' in the first place;

    Is Life Unique? David L. Abel - January 2012
    Concluding Statement: The scientific method itself cannot be reduced to mass and energy. Neither can language, translation, coding and decoding, mathematics, logic theory, programming, symbol systems, the integration of circuits, computation, categorizations, results tabulation, the drawing and discussion of conclusions. The prevailing Kuhnian paradigm rut of philosophic physicalism is obstructing scientific progress, biology in particular. There is more to life than chemistry. All known life is cybernetic. Control is choice-contingent and formal, not physicodynamic.
    http://www.mdpi.com/2075-1729/2/1/106/

    Epistemology – Why Should The Human Mind Even Be Able To Comprehend Reality? – Stephen Meyer - video – (Notes in description)
    http://vimeo.com/32145998

    Why should the human mind be able to comprehend reality so deeply? - referenced article
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qGvbg_212biTtvMschSGZ_9kYSqhooRN4OUW_Pw-w0E/edit

    It is also interesting to note that advances in modern science have falsified materialism of its centuries old foundational premise.

    Material atoms are the base of all reality. Yet it is now found that,,

    Matter reduces to energy
    Energy reduces to information
    Information reduces to consciousness

    Which is a very ID friendly finding:

    notes

    Why the Quantum? It from Bit? A Participatory Universe?
    Excerpt: In conclusion, it may very well be said that information is the irreducible kernel from which everything else flows. Thence the question why nature appears quantized is simply a consequence of the fact that information itself is quantized by necessity. It might even be fair to observe that the concept that information is fundamental is very old knowledge of humanity, witness for example the beginning of gospel according to John: "In the beginning was the Word." Anton Zeilinger - a leading expert in quantum teleportation:
    http://www.metanexus.net/archive/ultimate_reality/zeilinger.pdf

    Information? What Is It Really? Professor Andy McIntosh - video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/4739025

    John 1:1-3
    In the beginning, the Word existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.

    (of note: 'Word' in Greek is 'Logos', and is the root word from which we get our word 'Logic')

    “I’m going to talk about the Bell inequality, and more importantly a new inequality that you might not have heard of called the Leggett inequality, that was recently measured. It was actually formulated almost 30 years ago by Professor Leggett, who is a Nobel Prize winner, but it wasn’t tested until about a year and a half ago (in 2007), when an article appeared in Nature, that the measurement was made by this prominent quantum group in Vienna led by Anton Zeilinger, which they measured the Leggett inequality, which actually goes a step deeper than the Bell inequality and rules out any possible interpretation other than consciousness creates reality when the measurement is made.” – Bernard Haisch, Ph.D., Calphysics Institute, is an astrophysicist and author of over 130 scientific publications.

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    1. BA -

      Once again: "I'm feeling threatened, I'll just throw out a smokescreen of irrelevant urls..."

      How about actually trying to respond to the specific points Elizabeth has raised, as she has done to Cornelius.

      Delete
    2. Ritchie,,,, And why don't neo-Darwinists ever address the fact that they can't even coherently ground science, rational thought, logic, information, etc.. etc.. etc.., in their materialistic worldview? Does such irrationality of your worldview even register in your mind? ,,, Do you think that Almighty God, who created this universe and all life in it, will magically go away if you stick your head far enough in the sand?

      Delete
    3. BA -

      I really don't think it will make a difference, but hope springs eternal, so I'll just try to spell this out again:

      Perform an experiment. Any experiment.

      If you refuse to accept methodological naturalism, if you are committed to the view that miracles can and do happen, then how can you discount the possibility that a miracle happened to affect your experiment?

      Say you drop two balls which are identical in every way except one is red and one is blue. You are testing to see whether colour affects the speed at which objects fall. Yet however many times you repeat the experiment, both balls fall at exactly the same speed.

      Now is that because gravity really doesn't affect objects differently according to their colour? Or is it that red objects really DO fall faster than blue ones, but that a miracle is occurring to make them fall at the same speed for you here and now?

      Please, please, PLEASE don't just reply back with another shopping list of URLs. I want you to engage your brain and actually have a stab at answering this question - in your own words. Just THINK it through. If I want you to back up a claim, I will ask. Please just hit back with a brief and relevant answer in your own words: If you discount methodological naturalism, how can you possibly discount the possibility that a miracle occurred to contaminate your results?

      Delete
  10. Ritchie:

    Maybe you really don't know if a miracle occured or not. Why isn't that okay?

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    1. nat -

      The problem is that if we don't know whether a miracle has occurred, then we can draw no conclusions.

      Do red objects fall faster than blue ones? Allow that miracles happen, and we still don't know the answer even after doing the experiment.

      We precisely measure the speed at which red objects and blue objects fall and then... the results do us no good at all because they might be the result of a miracle.

      So we can draw no conclusions at all. No experiments = no data = no science.

      It is, of course, true that maybe miracles DO occur. I'm not saying science DISPROVES miracles. But science has to ASSUME they don't happen in order to function. It has to be able to perform an experiment and be able to trust it's own results in order to draw conclusions.

      Delete
  11. Some theologies say that everything is, in fact, a miracle. Natural law is just the miracles that happen more often. What's wrong with that?

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

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    2. Jesus referred to his miracles of healing the sick and raising the dead as the works of God. What we refer to as miracles is God "work". When one possesses the knowledge and skills to control the most fundamental forces and laws of nature it is not a "miracle" from that perspective. There is nothing illogical or necessarily fantasy like about possessing and using such knowledge and skill.


      Furthermore, "naturalism" is a misplaced bucket term in an attempt to contain ignorance between what our current understanding of nature is and what we don't have a clue about.

      Evolution has no criteria for differentiating design from evolution. If it took a million scientists, funded with 10 trillion dollars of research money over 50 years, utilizing highly advanced lab equipment, working from a procedure manual that occupied a petabyte of data, and required a million intelligent interventions to develop a most basic reproducing life form from scratch... evolutionists would be fundamentally incapable of attributing origin of life to design.

      Delete
    3. So, so hypothetically you wish to find the cause of cancer. A noble pursuit. In order to do that, you need to evaluate how cancer cells respond to different drugs. Drug A works,miracle or natural cause? If it is a miracle,did it involve the drug or the cell or your perception of the experiment? Did the miracle create a new law of nature or suspend an existing law. Is it safe to give a patient?

      Delete
    4. Neal,

      Science is the admission that we don't know answers to all the questions or even all the questions. Religion on the other hand claims all questions have one answer, God.

      From your perspective, childhood leukemia ,design or natural causes? Why?

      Delete
  12. Ritchie let me make this as clear as possible.

    Materialism is dependent on 'random miracles', which happen for no particular reason at all, as a explanatory principle for the origin of the universe and for the origin of all life on earth. Thus according to your own criteria 'random miracles', happening for no particular reason whatsoever, cannot be excluded from the methodological naturalism framework by your philosophy of materialism. Whereas in Theism, miracles do not happen for no particular reason at all but are rationally intended exceptions to the divinely maintained regularities that are purposed by God in order to guide us. In fact Jesus established His authority as the Son of God precisely by His miracles.

    John 10:38
    But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father."

    Moreover, the regularities you are so fond of claiming as sole propriety of methodological naturalism cannot be explained by methodological naturalism. Your method of science is at a complete loss as to ever explaining the invariance of 'divinely maintained regularities' that it is completely dependent on, whereas in Theism such divinely maintained regularities are not only accounted for, but the Theistic presupposition that there would be such divinely maintained regularities to be found in nature is what drove the founding of modern science by Christian Theists (i.e. by presupposing design).

    notes:

    "This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent Being. … This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of his dominion he is wont to be called “Lord God” παντοκρατωρ [pantokratòr], or “Universal Ruler”… The Supreme God is a Being eternal, infinite, absolutely perfect."
    Sir Isaac Newton - Quoted from what many consider the greatest science masterpiece of all time, his book "Principia"

    Mathematics is the language with which God has written the universe.
    Galileo Galilei

    As should be blatantly obvious, mathematics cannot be grounded in the atheistic materialistic worldview;

    The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences - Eugene Wigner
    Excerpt: The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve. We should be grateful for it and hope that it will remain valid in future research and that it will extend, for better or for worse, to our pleasure, even though perhaps also to our bafflement, to wide branches of learning.
    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~matc/MathDrama/reading/Wigner.html

    The Underlying Mathematical Foundation Of The Universe -Walter Bradley - video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4491491

    THE GOD OF THE MATHEMATICIANS - DAVID P. GOLDMAN - August 2010
    Excerpt: we cannot construct an ontology that makes God dispensable. Secularists can dismiss this as a mere exercise within predefined rules of the game of mathematical logic, but that is sour grapes, for it was the secular side that hoped to substitute logic for God in the first place. Gödel's critique of the continuum hypothesis has the same implication as his incompleteness theorems: Mathematics never will create the sort of closed system that sorts reality into neat boxes.
    http://www.firstthings.com/article/2010/07/the-god-of-the-mathematicians

    The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible. Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

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    1. BA -

      You did exactly what I asked you not to.

      I don't want a massive shopping list of URL's - I want you to explain it to me in your own words.

      In fact you did not even attempt to address the question. You went off on a total tangent.

      Again, I ask: If we are to allow that miracles happen, how are we to trust our own results?

      Please, please, please, no links, no quotes, no ramblings going off on a tangent: just a straightforward attempt to directly answer the question.

      Materialism is dependent on 'random miracles', which happen for no particular reason at all, as a explanatory principle for the origin of the universe and for the origin of all life on earth. Thus according to your own criteria 'random miracles', happening for no particular reason whatsoever, cannot be excluded from the methodological naturalism framework by your philosophy of materialism.

      Just for the record, this is completely false.

      Materialism does not depend on miracles at all. Miracles are anathema to materialism.

      The origin of the universe is a mystery. The ONLY people who are using 'miracle' as an explanation for the origin of the universe are those you claim 'Goddidit'.

      Your method of science is at a complete loss as to ever explaining the invariance of 'divinely maintained regularities'

      What in God's name is a 'divinely maintained regularity'? I've never heard of any scientist describing them (funny that).

      As should be blatantly obvious, mathematics cannot be grounded in the atheistic materialistic worldview

      Well that's yet more donkeypoo, isn't it? 2 + 2 = 4. There doesn't need to be a God for that to be true.

      But I really don't want to get bogged down with all this because it is besides the point and feels very much like you squirming out of a direct answer to my question.

      Again, please just ANSWER MY QUESTION!!!

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    3. Ritchie, so you don't consider the universe popping into existence 13.7 million years ago as a random miracle? Well I guess it is pointless to argue with someone who refuses to be rational. But why should I expect someone to be rational who cannot even account for rational logic in the first place!?!

      Big Brain Theory: Have Cosmologists Lost Theirs? - January 2008
      Excerpt: it’s hard for nature to make a whole universe. It’s much easier to make fragments of one, like planets, yourself maybe in a spacesuit or even — in the most absurd and troubling example — a naked brain floating in space.,, Alan Guth, a cosmologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,,, pointed out that some calculations result in an infinite number of free-floating brains for every normal brain, making it “infinitely unlikely for us to be normal brains.” Nature tends to do what is easiest, from the standpoint of energy and probability. And so these fragments — in particular the brains — would appear far more frequently than real full-fledged universes, or than us.,,
      http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/15/science/15brain.html?_r=3&pagewanted=1&8dpc

      The Absurdity of Inflation, String Theory & The Multiverse - Dr. Bruce Gordon - video
      http://vimeo.com/34468027

      “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms.” J. B. S. Haldane ["When I am dead," in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209.

      Delete
  13. BA -

    Ritchie, so you don't consider the universe popping into existence 13.7 million years ago as a random miracle?

    No, I don't consider it a miracle. It is, in fact, a mystery.

    Did the universe indeed, 'pop into existence'? Frankly, we don't know.

    All we dio know is that the universe 'exploded' out of a singularity - and when you get to something as hot, dense and small as a singularity, all our known laws of physics kinda break down.

    Where did this singularity come from? We don't know. Why did it start to rapidly expand? We don't know.

    That's not to say that we will never know. We are constantly coming up with and testing new hypotheses. Maybe one day we will fully understand singularities and have a probable, well-evidenced theory on how the universe began.

    But no-one is claiming it as a miracle. Except the God squad, of course.

    Now can you please, please, please stop trying to deflect, stop trying to run us off into tangents, and just answer my question as I have asked you to do three times now:

    If you discount methodological naturalism, how can you possibly discount the possibility that a miracle occurred to contaminate your results?

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    1. Oh I see, you do not like the word 'miracle'. OK, do you deny that the origin of the universe was a completely random event, of gargantuan proportions, that was entirely unconcerned with us personally?

      you ask:

      'If you discount methodological naturalism, how can you possibly discount the possibility that a miracle occurred to contaminate your results?'

      Because God is not capricious in His actions, which certainly cannot be said about the 'randomness' you are absolutely dependent on neo-Darwinism! Which brings us back to the failure of materialism to remain coherent within methodological naturalism by the rules. regularity, you yourself set forth!

      notes;

      Quantum Evidence for a Theistic Big Bang
      https://docs.google.com/document/d/1agaJIWjPWHs5vtMx5SkpaMPbantoP471k0lNBUXg0Xo/edit

      The best data we have [concerning the Big Bang] are exactly what I would have predicted, had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, the bible as a whole.
      Dr. Arno Penzias, Nobel Laureate in Physics - co-discoverer of the Cosmic Background Radiation - as stated to the New York Times on March 12, 1978

      “Certainly there was something that set it all off,,, I can’t think of a better theory of the origin of the universe to match Genesis”
      Robert Wilson – Nobel laureate – co-discover Cosmic Background Radiation

      “There is no doubt that a parallel exists between the big bang as an event and the Christian notion of creation from nothing.”
      George Smoot – Nobel laureate in 2006 for his work on COBE

      “,,,the astronomical evidence leads to a biblical view of the origin of the world,,, the essential element in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis is the same.”
      Robert Jastrow – Founder of NASA’s Goddard Institute – Pg.15 ‘God and the Astronomers’

      ,,, 'And if you're curious about how Genesis 1, in particular, fairs. Hey, we look at the Days in Genesis as being long time periods, which is what they must be if you read the Bible consistently, and the Bible scores 4 for 4 in Initial Conditions and 10 for 10 on the Creation Events'
      Hugh Ross - Evidence For Intelligent Design Is Everywhere;

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    2. Richie,

      You realize that if BA responded as you have asked, it would be proof of his point. Miracles happen

      Delete
    3. Vel -

      Lol!

      You win post of the Week! Congrats. :)

      Delete
  14. BA -

    Because God is not capricious in His actions,

    Congratulations, BA. We have finally come out with something resembling an answer!

    Now all we need to do is work out whether it is a GOOD answer...

    What exactly do you mean when you say 'God is not capricious in His actions'?

    Do you mean that the universe USUALLY runs on regular laws and that miracles are rare?

    Are we therefore to assume, as scientists that a miracle was unlikely to happen during our experiment?

    Are we then to just ASSUME a miracle did not happen during our experiment?

    Because that single assumption is exactly what methodological naturalism is...

    do you deny that the origin of the universe was a completely random event, of gargantuan proportions, that was entirely unconcerned with us personally?

    I agree with the 'gargantuan proportions' and 'entirely unconcerned with us personally'. Whether it was random might depend on how you define random. I do not necessarily think it was uncaused, or that it was an act of total chaos. But I don't think it was the result of deliberate, cnoscious intervention or 'design' either.

    As for your quotes, it's all very well to find fiercely religious scientists (as I have pointed out several times, science does not FORBID religious belief). But exactly where in Genesis does it say that the universe was once a tiny singularity and entered a state of rapid expansion? Exactly where does it describe the formation of stars, galaxys, star systems - in more detail than "On day 3, God made X, Y and Z. And they were great."?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. You refuse to see the failure of your own worldview to account for regularity as well you refuse to acknowledge that 'randomness', that you require in neo-Darwinism renders materialism void as well as to methodological naturalism. Moreover, in your rush to keep God out of laboratory experiments you forgot to notify God, who is omnipresent, that he was not allowed in laboratory experiments:

      Here is Wigner commenting on the key laboratory experiment that led Wigner to his Nobel Prize winning work on quantum symmetries,,,

      Eugene Wigner
      Excerpt: When I returned to Berlin, the excellent crystallographer Weissenberg asked me to study: why is it that in a crystal the atoms like to sit in a symmetry plane or symmetry axis. After a short time of thinking I understood:,,,, To express this basic experience in a more direct way: the world does not have a privileged center, there is no absolute rest, preferred direction, unique origin of calendar time, even left and right seem to be rather symmetric. The interference of electrons, photons, neutrons has indicated that the state of a particle can be described by a vector possessing a certain number of components. As the observer is replaced by another observer (working elsewhere, looking at a different direction, using another clock, perhaps being left-handed), the state of the very same particle is described by another vector, obtained from the previous vector by multiplying it with a matrix. This matrix transfers from one observer to another.
      http://www.reak.bme.hu/Wigner_Course/WignerBio/wb1.htm

      i.e. In the experiment the 'world' (i.e. the universe) does not have a ‘privileged center’. Yet strangely, the conscious observer does exhibit a 'privileged center'. This is since the 'matrix', which determines which vector will be used to describe the particle in the experiment, is 'observer-centric' in its origination! Thus explaining Wigner’s dramatic statement, “It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.”

      "It will remain remarkable, in whatever way our future concepts may develop, that the very study of the external world led to the scientific conclusion that the content of the consciousness is the ultimate universal reality" -
      Eugene Wigner - (Remarks on the Mind-Body Question, Eugene Wigner, in Wheeler and Zurek, p.169) - received Nobel Prize in 1963 for 'Quantum Symmetries'
      http://www.informationphilosopher.com/solutions/scientists/wigner/

      Moreover, the argument for God from consciousness can be framed like this:

      1. Consciousness either preceded all of material reality or is a 'epi-phenomena' of material reality.
      2. If consciousness is a 'epi-phenomena' of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality.
      3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality.
      4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality.

      Three intersecting lines of experimental evidence from quantum mechanics that shows that consciousness precedes material reality
      https://docs.google.com/document/d/1G_Fi50ljF5w_XyJHfmSIZsOcPFhgoAZ3PRc_ktY8cFo/edit

      Twenty-one more famous Nobel Prize winners who rejected Darwinism as an account of consciousness - Dr. VJ Torley - April 2012
      http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/twenty-one-more-famous-nobel-prize-winners-who-rejected-darwinism-as-an-account-of-consciousness/

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  15. BA -

    Once again you are just dodging my question. Running scared, frankly.

    Come on, you were doing so well. You actually gave an answer to my question (technically). It began with 'because' and everything. I nearly cried with joy when I read that word.

    Now you just need to explain what you meant by it.

    "We can you discount the possibility that a miracle occurred to contaminate our results...

    ...Because God is not capricious in His actions."

    Come on, join the dots. How does that answer link to the question?

    I promise we'll come back to the topics of materialism, or consciousness or whatever else you want to talk about. But just for here and now, please please please just try to stay on topic.

    You're so, so close to actually answering a question, please don't just retreat back into wriggling, deflecting and link-bombing now. Just try to stay focussed just a little bit longer.

    Come on, BA, you can do it. I believe in you!!!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Ritchie your almost home, let's connect the last remaining dots for you:

      Here is a video:

      Random Chaos vs. Uniformity Of Nature - Presuppositional Apologetics - video
      http://www.metacafe.com/w/6853139

      Now Ritchie, I know you probably don't like apologetic videos, but I found something that ought to trip your trigger. This following site is a easy to use, and understand, interactive website that takes the user through series of very simple questions that you either have to agree with or disagree with! Right up your alley huh Ritchie?

      Presuppositional Apologetics - easy to use interactive website
      http://www.proofthatgodexists.org/index.php

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    2. From the video:

      I really, really want you to answer the question yourself, rather than have me guess what your answer is! That seems a totally stupid way to conduct a discussion.

      But since the video was short, I thought I'd humour you just this once.

      "There is a uniformity in nature. Do an experiment on Monday. Do the same experiment on Tuesday, under the same conditions and expect to get the same result... The laws of nature are consistent over time and space."

      All good stuff. I agree with all of this. This is methodological naturalism. This is the very bedrock of science.

      "... because there is a God who makes sure the laws stay constant. But he can change that at any time He likes."

      Oh dear.

      This is where it all falls apart.

      The assumption is that the laws of nature are constant. Fine. Agree so far. But why suppose that there is a God who oversees things and makes sure they are constant (except when He chooses not to)? Why not just say they just ARE constant?

      The assumption of a God serves no purpose here. It inserts a totally arbitrary variable into the explanation - one we should cut away using Occam's Razor. The only thing the assumption of God is doing here is leaving the door open for the idea that sometimes these constant laws are violated - sometimes miracles happen - and since that itself is an idea for which there is absolutely no evidence at all, it is not one we need to make allowances for. It is an idea born out of nothing but religious faith.

      "The evolutionist has no basis for assuming the uniformity of nature."

      Nonesense. All science is built upon the uniformity of nature. ToE is a scientific theory, so it makes that assumption too.

      And science assumes the uniformity of nature because if it did not, it would not be able to function. Simple.

      The video also throws out the silly idea of a 'random chance universe' - ie one in which the laws are not constant, apparently. Now who exactly is claiming such a universe? Not scientists - they assume the universe's laws are constant. Not 'evolutionists' - they assume the universe's are constant.

      Science's (and yes, that includes evolution's) view is that the universe is constant because it just is. That is a brute fact. The view espoused in this silly video is that the universe is constant because there is a God making it so!

      Your interactive link took me as far as Absolute Moral Laws and then called me an idiot for not agreeing that they existed. I'm guessing that wasn't the conclusion I was supposed to reach. :)

      Delete
    3. Actually Ritchie, despite your protestations to the contrary, from a materialistic perspective you have no right to expect the transcendent universal laws (TUL) to be consistent over time and space (i.e. universal). In fact, that materialists presuppose that there should be variance in the TULs is proven by the fact that they search for variance in the TULs.

      Latest Test of Physical Constants Affirms Biblical Claim - Hugh Ross - September 2010
      Excerpt: The team’s measurements on two quasars (Q0458- 020 and Q2337-011, at redshifts = 1.561 and 1.361, respectively) indicated that all three fundamental physical constants have varied by no more than two parts per quadrillion per year over the last ten billion years—a measurement fifteen times more precise, and thus more restrictive, than any previous determination. The team’s findings add to the list of fundamental forces in physics demonstrated to be exceptionally constant over the universe’s history. This confirmation testifies of the Bible’s capacity to predict accurately a future scientific discovery far in advance. Among the holy books that undergird the religions of the world, the Bible stands alone in proclaiming that the laws governing the universe are fixed, or constant.
      http://www.reasons.org/files/ezine/ezine-2010-03.pdf

      This following site discusses the many technical problems they had with the paper that recently (2010) tried to postulate variance within the fine structure constant:
      http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/why-a-multiverse-proponent-should-be-open-to-young-earth-creationism-and-skeptical-of-man-made-global-warming/#comment-367471

      Stability of Coulomb Systems in a Magnetic Field - Charles Fefferman
      Excerpt of Abstract: I study N electrons and M protons in a magnetic field. It is shown that the total energy per particle is bounded below by a constant independent of M and N, provided the fine structure constant is small. Here, the total energy includes the energy of the magnetic field.
      http://www.jstor.org/pss/2367659?cookieSet=1

      Testing Creation Using the Proton to Electron Mass Ratio
      Excerpt: The bottom line is that the electron to proton mass ratio unquestionably joins the growing list of fundamental constants in physics demonstrated to be constant over the history of the universe.,,,
      http://www.reasons.org/TestingCreationUsingtheProtontoElectronMassRatio

      GRBs Expand Astronomers' Toolbox - Nov. 2009
      Excerpt: a detailed analysis of the GRB (Gamma Ray Burst) in question demonstrated that photons of all energies arrived at essentially the same time. Consequently, these results falsify any quantum gravity models requiring the simplest form of a frothy space.
      http://www.reasons.org/GRBsExpandAstronomersToolbox

      Of course from a Theistic perspective I presuppose such consistency:

      Psalm 119:89-90
      Your word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures.

      Whereas you, despite your protestations to the contrary, have no right to the presupposition, as is testified by the cited tests (scientifically self-defeating tests I might add) for variance, and from the postulated infinite multiverse, parallel universes, even the bounded entropic randomness you demand for the source of variance in Neo-Darwinism:

      "Atheists may do science, but they cannot justify what they do. When they assume the world is rational, approachable, and understandable, they plagiarize Judeo-Christian presuppositions about the nature of reality and the moral need to seek the truth. As an exercise, try generating a philosophy of science from hydrogen coming out of the big bang. It cannot be done. It’s impossible even in principle, because philosophy and science presuppose concepts that are not composed of particles and forces. They refer to ideas that must be true, universal, necessary and certain." Creation-Evolution Headlines
      http://creationsafaris.com/crev201102.htm#20110227a

      Delete
    4. Actually Ritchie, despite your protestations to the contrary, from a materialistic perspective you have no right to expect the transcendent universal laws (TUL) to be consistent over time and space (i.e. universal). In fact, that materialists presuppose that there should be variance in the TULs is proven by the fact that they search for variance in the TULs.

      Latest Test of Physical Constants Affirms Biblical Claim - Hugh Ross - September 2010
      Excerpt: The team’s measurements on two quasars (Q0458- 020 and Q2337-011, at redshifts = 1.561 and 1.361, respectively) indicated that all three fundamental physical constants have varied by no more than two parts per quadrillion per year over the last ten billion years—a measurement fifteen times more precise, and thus more restrictive, than any previous determination. The team’s findings add to the list of fundamental forces in physics demonstrated to be exceptionally constant over the universe’s history. This confirmation testifies of the Bible’s capacity to predict accurately a future scientific discovery far in advance. Among the holy books that undergird the religions of the world, the Bible stands alone in proclaiming that the laws governing the universe are fixed, or constant.
      http://www.reasons.org/files/ezine/ezine-2010-03.pdf

      This following site discusses the many technical problems they had with the paper that recently (2010) tried to postulate variance within the fine structure constant:
      http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/why-a-multiverse-proponent-should-be-open-to-young-earth-creationism-and-skeptical-of-man-made-global-warming/#comment-367471

      Stability of Coulomb Systems in a Magnetic Field - Charles Fefferman
      Excerpt of Abstract: I study N electrons and M protons in a magnetic field. It is shown that the total energy per particle is bounded below by a constant independent of M and N, provided the fine structure constant is small. Here, the total energy includes the energy of the magnetic field.
      http://www.jstor.org/pss/2367659?cookieSet=1

      Testing Creation Using the Proton to Electron Mass Ratio
      Excerpt: The bottom line is that the electron to proton mass ratio unquestionably joins the growing list of fundamental constants in physics demonstrated to be constant over the history of the universe.,,,
      http://www.reasons.org/TestingCreationUsingtheProtontoElectronMassRatio

      Delete
    5. GRBs Expand Astronomers' Toolbox - Nov. 2009
      Excerpt: a detailed analysis of the GRB (Gamma Ray Burst) in question demonstrated that photons of all energies arrived at essentially the same time. Consequently, these results falsify any quantum gravity models requiring the simplest form of a frothy space.
      http://www.reasons.org/GRBsExpandAstronomersToolbox

      Of course from a Theistic perspective I presuppose such consistency:

      Psalm 119:89-90
      Your word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures.

      Whereas you, despite your protestations to the contrary, have no right to the presupposition, as is testified by the cited tests (scientifically self-defeating tests I might add) for variance, and from the postulated infinite multiverse, parallel universes, even the bounded entropic randomness you demand for the source of variance in Neo-Darwinism:

      "Atheists may do science, but they cannot justify what they do. When they assume the world is rational, approachable, and understandable, they plagiarize Judeo-Christian presuppositions about the nature of reality and the moral need to seek the truth. As an exercise, try generating a philosophy of science from hydrogen coming out of the big bang. It cannot be done. It’s impossible even in principle, because philosophy and science presuppose concepts that are not composed of particles and forces. They refer to ideas that must be true, universal, necessary and certain." Creation-Evolution Headlines
      http://creationsafaris.com/crev201102.htm#20110227a

      Delete
    6. Ritchie, you also mentioned something about 2+2=4 just is, i.e. nobody questions it. Well you will be surprised to know that questioning such basic assumptions of arithmetic led to the number 1 mathematical breakthrough of the 20th century. The 'incompleteness theorem' by Kurt Godel:

      This following video is very interesting for revealing how difficult it was for mathematicians to actually 'prove' that mathematics was even true in the first place:

      Georg Cantor - The Mathematics Of Infinity - video
      http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4572335
      entire video: BBC-Dangerous Knowledge (Part 1-10)
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cw-zNRNcF90

      Godel's story on the incompleteness theorem can be picked up here in part 7 of the preceding video:

      BBC-Dangerous Knowledge (Part 7-10)
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oldUAw2Aux0

      The implications of the incompleteness theorem verified what Theists have held as true all along.

      Gödel’s Incompleteness: The #1 Mathematical Breakthrough of the 20th Century
      Excerpt: Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem says:
      “Anything you can draw a circle around cannot explain itself without referring to something outside the circle - something you have to assume to be true but cannot prove "mathematically" to be true.”
      http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/blog/incompleteness/

      THE GOD OF THE MATHEMATICIANS - DAVID P. GOLDMAN - August 2010
      Excerpt: we cannot construct an ontology that makes God dispensable. Secularists can dismiss this as a mere exercise within predefined rules of the game of mathematical logic, but that is sour grapes, for it was the secular side that hoped to substitute logic for God in the first place. Gödel's critique of the continuum hypothesis has the same implication as his incompleteness theorems: Mathematics never will create the sort of closed system that sorts reality into neat boxes.
      http://www.firstthings.com/article/2010/07/the-god-of-the-mathematicians

      Delete
    7. Taking God Out of the Equation - Biblical Worldview - by Ron Tagliapietra - January 1, 2012
      Excerpt: Kurt Gödel (1906–1978) proved that no logical systems (if they include the counting numbers) can have all three of the following properties.
      1. Validity . . . all conclusions are reached by valid reasoning.
      2. Consistency . . . no conclusions contradict any other conclusions.
      3. Completeness . . . all statements made in the system are either true or false.
      The details filled a book, but the basic concept was simple and elegant. He summed it up this way: “Anything you can draw a circle around cannot explain itself without referring to something outside the circle—something you have to assume but cannot prove.” For this reason, his proof is also called the Incompleteness Theorem.
      Kurt Gödel had dropped a bomb on the foundations of mathematics. Math could not play the role of God as infinite and autonomous. It was shocking, though, that logic could prove that mathematics could not be its own ultimate foundation.
      Christians should not have been surprised. The first two conditions are true about math: it is valid and consistent. But only God fulfills the third condition. Only He is complete and therefore self-dependent (autonomous). God alone is “all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28), “the beginning and the end” (Revelation 22:13). God is the ultimate authority (Hebrews 6:13), and in Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3).
      http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v7/n1/equation#

      The God of the Mathematicians - Goldman
      Excerpt: As Gödel told Hao Wang, “Einstein’s religion [was] more abstract, like Spinoza and Indian philosophy. Spinoza’s god is less than a person; mine is more than a person; because God can play the role of a person.” - Kurt Gödel - (Gödel is considered by many to be the greatest mathematician of the 20th century)
      http://www.firstthings.com/article/2010/07/the-god-of-the-mathematicians

      Centrality of Each Individual Observer In The Universe and Christ’s Very Credible Reconciliation Of General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics
      https://docs.google.com/document/d/17SDgYPHPcrl1XX39EXhaQzk7M0zmANKdYIetpZ-WB5Y/edit?hl=en_US

      Delete
    8. As well Ritchie you claim that you do not believe in objective morals. All I can say is that you have one tough row to hoe to make that stick:

      Craig vs Harris - Craig's knock-down argument against Sam Harris's moral landscape - video
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xL_vAH2NIPc

      Stephen Meyer - Morality Presupposes Theism (1 of 4) - video
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSpdh1b0X_M

      Hitler & Darwin, pt. 2: Richard Weikart on Evolutionary Ethics - podcast
      http://intelligentdesign.podomatic.com/entry/2011-11-30T15_33_04-08_00

      Here is a complete reading of C. S. Lewis's classic book 'Mere Christianity' on youtube. Chapter 3 deals with the reality of the moral law within man.

      Mere Christianity - C. S. Lewis - Easy to follow playlist:
      http://www.truthaccordingtoscripture.com/documents/apologetics/mere-christianity/cs-lewis-mere-christianity-toc.php

      Top Ten Reasons We Know the New Testament is True – Frank Turek – video – November 2011
      (41:00 minute mark – Despite what is commonly believed, of someone being 'good enough' to go to heaven, in reality both Mother Teresa and Hitler fall short of the moral perfection required to meet the perfection of God’s objective moral code)
      http://saddleback.com/mc/m/5e22f/

      Objective Morality – The Objections – Frank Turek – video
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5MWBsPf5pg

      The following article explains why, when debating a atheist, the moral argument for God is far better to use than a Biblical argument for God.

      Can We Prove the Existence of God? - April 16, 2012
      http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2012/04/16/can-we-prove-the-existence-of-god/

      Many times atheists, even though they cannot ground objective morality within their worldview, will try to claim that God, as He is portrayed in the Old Testament, is morally evil. In fact Richard Dawkins, in his cowardly refusal to debate William Lane Craig, upon Craig's recent tour of the UK in the fall of 2011, said he would not debate Craig because Craig supported genocide/infanticide in the Bible. This tactic, to try to cover his cowardice to debate Craig, backfired terribly for Dawkins!

      Richard Dawkins Approves Infanticide, not William Lane Craig! (mirror: drcraigvideos)
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmodkyJvhFo

      This following short video clearly shows, in a rather graphic fashion, the ‘moral dilemma' that atheists face when trying to ground objective morality;

      Cruel Logic – video
      Description; A brilliant serial killer videotapes his debates with college faculty victims. The topic of his debate with his victim: His moral right to kill them.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qd1LPRJLnI

      Delete
    9. BA, you've just done it again!

      Look at you! 4 posts of copy-pasted URL's. Do you really think I'm going to tredge through all them just to respond, which would of course just be met by more link-bombing?

      Basically you're just trolling.

      from a materialistic perspective you have no right to expect the transcendent universal laws (TUL) to be consistent over time and space (i.e. universal).

      That may be so. Nevertheless we do, in fact, assume it.

      Why? Well if we did not, then science would be impossible.

      Besides, you have only an invented reason for supposing TUL. I could say "I suppose TUL because I believe in the Magic Blue Fairy who makes it so" and that answer would be every bit as good as your "I suppose TUL because I believe in a God who makes it so".

      Now do you think you can actually formulate a response of your own? Do you think you can actually THINK about a topic and respond appropriately without just copy-pasting other people? Or are you deliberately trying to do an impression of a mindless God-bot who cannot actually have a thought of his own and mindlessly spews other peoples' words?

      Delete
    10. Ritchie you state,

      'That may be so. Nevertheless we do, in fact, assume it.'

      Do I really need to point out the flaw in your reasoning?

      Perhaps you can look at the Theistic presuppositions of Johannes Kepler that allowed him to correctly formulate the laws of planetary motion to give you another hint:

      When Kepler worked out the laws governing planetary motions [they move in ellipses, not circles] and published the results, he suddenly let loose with a paean to God, smack dab in the middle of his treatise. If you didn't know better, you'd think it was one of the Bible psalms. Would any scientist be caught dead doing such a thing today?

      "The wisdom of the Lord is infinite; so also are His glory and His power. Ye heavens, sing His praises! Sun, moon, and planets glorify Him in your ineffable language! Celestial harmonies, all ye who comprehend His marvelous works, praise Him. And thou, my soul, praise thy Creator! It is by Him and in Him that all exists. that which we know best is comprised in Him, as well as in our vain science. To Him be praise, honor, and glory throughout eternity."
      http://www.tomsheepandgoats.com/2007/09/kepler-newton-g.html

      Delete
    11. BA -

      Do I really need to point out the flaw in your reasoning?

      YES!!! YOU DO!!!!

      That is exactly what you need to do!

      When you have a conversation with another person, you actually ENGAGE with their words.

      If you think I am wrong, then point out exactly where I am wrong.

      Come on, we almost had it a while back. You were so close to actually answering a question.

      It seems to me we both agree the the laws governing the world are constant. The difference between us is that you believe it as a matter of religious faith, whereas I merely assume it in order to perform science, because doing so is impossible without that key assumption.

      That key assumption is methodological naturalism. And you oppose it or you do not. And frankly it's hard to tell whether you do or do not, because you've argued for both.

      So here's a simple question: Do you agree that a scientist should adopt methodological naturalism when performing science? Yes or no. You don't have to give an explanation if you don't want (though if you do, please give it in your own words and not in the form of dozens of urls). Just one word will do: yes or no.

      When Kepler worked out the laws governing planetary motions [they move in ellipses, not circles] and published the results, he suddenly let loose with a paean to God, smack dab in the middle of his treatise. If you didn't know better, you'd think it was one of the Bible psalms. Would any scientist be caught dead doing such a thing today?

      Absolutely not. Any scientist worth their salt would be ashamed to include such non-scientific rhetoric in the middle of a treatise. And so they should be - it has no place being there. What's your point?

      Delete
    12. 'Any scientist worth their salt would be ashamed to include such non-scientific rhetoric in the middle of a treatise. And so they should be - it has no place being there. What's your point?'

      Well since science is not even possible without Almighty God, and since Almighty God, whether you admit the obvious or not, indeed created and sustains this universe, and is indeed the source of all life in this universe, and is therefore worthy of all the praise and love our minds, bodies, hearts, and souls can give Him, then I would say that a scientist who is ashamed of God, if he is even worthy to be called a scientist with such a unbalanced view of God, is cutting himself off from the source of all truth, and is therefore such as a fish, pulled from the water, flopping around on the ground, instead of swimming in his element!

      The Christian Founders Of Science - Henry F. Schaefer III - video
      https://vimeo.com/16523153

      I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by men who were inspired. I study the Bible daily.... All my discoveries have been made in an answer to prayer.
      — Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727), considered by many to be the greatest scientist of all time.

      Speculations? I have none. I am resting on certainties. "I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day" [quoting I Timothy 1:12]. —
      Michael Faraday (1791-1867), considered world's greatest experimental physicist

      Delete
    13. BA -

      You forgot to answer my question:

      Do you agree that a scientist should adopt methodological naturalism when performing science?

      A mere 'yes' or 'no' will do.

      Because a few posts ago you were arguing that we need to suppose TUL, which would imply 'yes'. But you also say that we need God to perform science, which implies 'no'.

      I want to be clear on your position here. Please tell me which is the case.

      Well since science is not even possible without Almighty God, and since Almighty God, whether you admit the obvious or not, indeed created and sustains this universe, and is indeed the source of all life in this universe, and is therefore worthy of all the praise and love our minds, bodies, hearts, and souls can give Him,

      All of which is just a statement of religious faith.

      I am not challenging that some scientists are Christian. I perfectly accept that. Science does not necessitate any religious standpoint at all. So of course there can be, and have been, many scientists who were also Christian.

      But you are going far beyopnd your reach to say science RELIES on belief in a Christian God. That a belief in a Christian God is NECESSARY to perform science. That is just total nonesense.

      Newton and Faraday can declare their religious beliefs. They can claim their ideas can as divine inspiration, or that God led them to their answers. That's all fine and dandy, and reveals nothing more than their personal Christian faith. But the fact is that when they performed science, they assumed methodological naturalism (in your language, TUL) just like every scientist should. And that is decidedly not a Christian assumption - it is a secular one.

      Delete
    14. Ritchie you claim science can exist apart from God? Well, you just might have a little problem proving that assumption!

      THE GOD OF THE MATHEMATICIANS - DAVID P. GOLDMAN - August 2010
      Excerpt: we cannot construct an ontology that makes God dispensable. Secularists can dismiss this as a mere exercise within predefined rules of the game of mathematical logic, but that is sour grapes, for it was the secular side that hoped to substitute logic for God in the first place. Gödel's critique of the continuum hypothesis has the same implication as his incompleteness theorems: Mathematics never will create the sort of closed system that sorts reality into neat boxes.
      http://www.firstthings.com/article/2010/07/the-god-of-the-mathematicians

      Delete
    15. BA -

      Once again, you neglected to answer my question.

      Come on, please. Do I need to beg?

      Are you having trouble understanding the question and are too embarrassed to ask me to explain it more simply? If so, please don't be. I won't laugh or belittle you.

      Come on, you did so well before. You technically answered an actual question (although you neglected to really explain your answer). I know you can do it again. I've even broken it down into a mere 'yes' or 'no'. Here's the question again:

      Do you agree that a scientist should adopt methodological naturalism when performing science?

      Please try to think for yourself. It's not as daunting as it sounds.

      Ritchie you claim science can exist apart from God? Well, you just might have a little problem proving that assumption!

      I really don't think I will. All science requires is methodological naturalism (again, TUL if you prefer). This alone is not a theological proposition. It is a secular one. It is a position which does not require God. All it assumes is that the laws and forces that govern the world are constant. That's all. That alone does not presuppose a God, ghosts, spirits, or any supernatural beings, realms or forces.

      In fact, if you are so determined that Christians and Christians alone are capable of performing science/mathematics, then how on Earth do you explain the millions of scientists and mathematicians throughout history who have been Jewish, Buddhist, Sikh, Muslim, Toaist, Jain, Atheist, etc., (basically every religion other than Christian)? How is it possible that a non-Christian can ever do science?

      Delete
    16. Ritchie, once again you can't have methodological naturalism without presupposing God as true. You seem to think you can just have whatever presupposition you want without having to pay the price of justifying your presupposition and then sneaking your preferred presupposition of randomness in the back door. You are severely mistaken! I would even think fair to say you are purposely being intellectually dishonest in the matter.

      Delete
    17. Ritchie, once again you can't have methodological naturalism without presupposing God as true.

      Of course you can.

      Methodological naturalism is simply the assumption that the world works according to constant laws. That is all. There is nothing religious about that assumption. It is simply an assumption on how the world works.

      It is a nonesense to say, 'I accept methodological naturalism is true because I believe in a God who maintains it. Anyone who doesn't believe in God cannot have methodological naturalism.'

      It would be like me saying, 'I accept methodological naturalism is true because I beleive in the Flying Spaghetti Monster who maintains it. Anyone who doesn't believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster cannot have methodological naturalism.'

      Do you see how silly that is? methodological naturalism is just an assumption abuot the world - practical, and secular. You CAN assume there is a God who maintains it if you like, but you have no logical justicifaction for this assumption, and you certainly cannot deny methodological naturalism to others who do not share this belief.

      One could just as easily assume methodological naturalism is a brute fact. The laws of nature are just constant. They just are. They don't need an overseer to make them so.

      Delete
    18. Ritchie, you claim (paraphrase) 'you don't have to believe in God if you don't want to in order to justify your use of TULs' (I imagine you stamping your feet and pouting as you say this), but once again I remind you that in your headlong rush to ban God from all laboratory experiments, indeed from all of science, you have forgotten to inform God, Who IS omnipresent, that he is not allowed in laboratory experiments!

      Here is Wigner commenting on the key laboratory experiment that led Wigner to his Nobel Prize winning work on quantum symmetries,,,

      Eugene Wigner
      Excerpt: When I returned to Berlin, the excellent crystallographer Weissenberg asked me to study: why is it that in a crystal the atoms like to sit in a symmetry plane or symmetry axis. After a short time of thinking I understood:,,,, To express this basic experience in a more direct way: the world does not have a privileged center, there is no absolute rest, preferred direction, unique origin of calendar time, even left and right seem to be rather symmetric. The interference of electrons, photons, neutrons has indicated that the state of a particle can be described by a vector possessing a certain number of components. As the observer is replaced by another observer (working elsewhere, looking at a different direction, using another clock, perhaps being left-handed), the state of the very same particle is described by another vector, obtained from the previous vector by multiplying it with a matrix. This matrix transfers from one observer to another.
      http://www.reak.bme.hu/Wigner_Course/WignerBio/wb1.htm

      i.e. In the experiment the 'world' (i.e. the universe) does not have a ‘privileged center’. Yet strangely, the conscious observer does exhibit a 'privileged center'. This is since the 'matrix', which determines which vector will be used to describe the particle in the experiment, is 'observer-centric' in its origination! Thus explaining Wigner’s dramatic statement, “It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.”

      "It will remain remarkable, in whatever way our future concepts may develop, that the very study of the external world led to the scientific conclusion that the content of the consciousness is the ultimate universal reality" -
      Eugene Wigner - (Remarks on the Mind-Body Question, Eugene Wigner, in Wheeler and Zurek, p.169) - received Nobel Prize in 1963 for 'Quantum Symmetries'
      http://www.informationphilosopher.com/solutions/scientists/wigner/

      Delete
    19. Here is another experiment which highlights the role of 'consciousness' in quantum mechanics;

      “I’m going to talk about the Bell inequality, and more importantly a new inequality that you might not have heard of called the Leggett inequality, that was recently measured. It was actually formulated almost 30 years ago by Professor Leggett, who is a Nobel Prize winner, but it wasn’t tested until about a year and a half ago (in 2007), when an article appeared in Nature, that the measurement was made by this prominent quantum group in Vienna led by Anton Zeilinger, which they measured the Leggett inequality, which actually goes a step deeper than the Bell inequality and rules out any possible interpretation other than consciousness creates reality when the measurement is made.” – Bernard Haisch, Ph.D., Calphysics Institute, is an astrophysicist and author of over 130 scientific publications.

      Preceding quote taken from this following video;

      Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness - A New Measurement - Bernard Haisch, Ph.D (Shortened version of entire video with notes in description of video)
      http://vimeo.com/37517080

      "Thus one decides the photon shall have come by one route or by both routes after it has already done its travel"
      John A. Wheeler

      Alain Aspect speaks on John Wheeler's Delayed Choice Experiment - video
      http://vimeo.com/38508798

      Wheeler's Classic Delayed Choice Experiment:
      Excerpt: Now, for many billions of years the photon is in transit in region 3. Yet we can choose (many billions of years later) which experimental set up to employ – the single wide-focus, or the two narrowly focused instruments. We have chosen whether to know which side of the galaxy the photon passed by (by choosing whether to use the two-telescope set up or not, which are the instruments that would give us the information about which side of the galaxy the photon passed). We have delayed this choice until a time long after the particles "have passed by one side of the galaxy, or the other side of the galaxy, or both sides of the galaxy," so to speak. Yet, it seems paradoxically that our later choice of whether to obtain this information determines which side of the galaxy the light passed, so to speak, billions of years ago. So it seems that time has nothing to do with effects of quantum mechanics. And, indeed, the original thought experiment was not based on any analysis of how particles evolve and behave over time – it was based on the mathematics. This is what the mathematics predicted for a result, and this is exactly the result obtained in the laboratory.
      http://www.bottomlayer.com/bottom/basic_delayed_choice.htm

      Delete
    20. Here’s a recent variation of Wheeler’s Delayed Choice experiment, which highlights the ability of the conscious observer to effect 'spooky action into the past', thus further solidifying consciousness's centrality in reality;

      Quantum physics mimics spooky action into the past - April 23, 2012
      Excerpt: The authors experimentally realized a "Gedankenexperiment" called "delayed-choice entanglement swapping", formulated by Asher Peres in the year 2000. Two pairs of entangled photons are produced, and one photon from each pair is sent to a party called Victor. Of the two remaining photons, one photon is sent to the party Alice and one is sent to the party Bob. Victor can now choose between two kinds of measurements. If he decides to measure his two photons in a way such that they are forced to be in an entangled state, then also Alice's and Bob's photon pair becomes entangled. If Victor chooses to measure his particles individually, Alice's and Bob's photon pair ends up in a separable state. Modern quantum optics technology allowed the team to delay Victor's choice and measurement with respect to the measurements which Alice and Bob perform on their photons. "We found that whether Alice's and Bob's photons are entangled and show quantum correlations or are separable and show classical correlations can be decided after they have been measured", explains Xiao-song Ma, lead author of the study.
      According to the famous words of Albert Einstein, the effects of quantum entanglement appear as "spooky action at a distance". The recent experiment has gone one remarkable step further. "Within a naïve classical world view, quantum mechanics can even mimic an influence of future actions on past events", says Anton Zeilinger.
      http://phys.org/news/2012-04-quantum-physics-mimics-spooky-action.html

      “No, I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”
      (Max Planck, Christian Theist and the father of Quantum Mechanics, as cited in de Purucker, Gottfried. 1940. The Esoteric Tradition. California: Theosophical University Press, ch. 13).

      What drives materialists crazy is that consciousness cannot be seen, tasted, smelled, touched, heard, or studied in a laboratory. But how could it be otherwise? Consciousness is the very thing that is DOING the seeing, the tasting, the smelling, etc… We define material objects by their effect upon our senses – how they feel in our hands, how they appear to our eyes. But we know consciousness simply by BEING it! - APM - UD Blogger

      Moreover, the argument for God from consciousness can be framed like this:

      1. Consciousness either preceded all of material reality or is a 'epi-phenomena' of material reality.
      2. If consciousness is a 'epi-phenomena' of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality.
      3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality.
      4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality.

      Three intersecting lines of experimental evidence from quantum mechanics that shows that consciousness precedes material reality
      https://docs.google.com/document/d/1G_Fi50ljF5w_XyJHfmSIZsOcPFhgoAZ3PRc_ktY8cFo/edit

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    21. Ritchie, you claim (paraphrase) 'you don't have to believe in God if you don't want to in order to justify your use of TULs' (I imagine you stamping your feet and pouting as you say this), but once again I remind you that in your headlong rush to ban God from all laboratory experiments, indeed from all of science, you have forgotten to inform God, Who IS omnipresent, that he is not allowed in laboratory experiments!

      You can imagine what you like, I am writing this perfectly calmly. We do not need to invoke God to perform science - that is a simple fact, like it or lump it.

      Imagine an atheist scientist and a Christian scientist. Both are doing science. Therefore, both assume methodological naturalism - or TUL if you like. They both assume the world is run by constant laws and forces. The only way in which they differ is that the atheist thinks the laws and forces that govern the world simply ARE constant, while the Christian thinks they are kept constant by a cosmic overseer - God.

      What possible difference would this difference of opinion make in their studies? Why on Earth would the Christian's work be any more valid than the atheists?

      I'll take the liberty of answering for you, because goodness knows getting you to rub two braincells together and come up with a single answer to a simple question can take DAYS of grovelling, and is usually fruitless in any case:

      The answer is: none of any significance. The atheist scientist is just as well equipped to perform science as the Christian. They both assume methodological naturalism, and on that asumption alone they can trust the results of their own experiments, and thus perform science.

      However, there is one quirk to the picture - the Christian also believes in a God who can violate these 'constant' laws. He believes in miracles - at least in principle. This belief does stand in opposition to the belief that the laws that govern the world are constant. After all, if they really were constant, then miracles (which are violations of those laws) could never happen.

      The only way a Christian can reconcile this is to assume that no miracle took place during his experiments, even though they are possible in principle. But note the duality here. These beliefs do not fit easily together. On one hand, the Christian believes miracles can and do happen. On the other, when he is performing science, he must assume no miracle happened to take place during his experiments, even though he has absolutely no way of knowing this.

      This, of course, makes your claim that belief in God is actually NECESSARY for performing science laughable. Not only is it totally dispensable, it might ever be a hinderance.

      And for the rest of your posts you just link-bomb again. *sigh* Mostly about consciousness. What that has to do with atheism or methodological naturalism, I'm really not sure, since atheists are not necessarily materialists.

      But in any case, let me ask you a simple question (I ask it rhetorically, of course, since you will be totally unable to answer it as usual): has there ever been discovered consciousness which existed without a material object?

      Materialists, you see, don't not have a problem with consciousness - there are, after all, plenty of things which exist which we cannot see, smell, touch, taste or hear. But they do have a problem believing it can exist outside of a material 'host'. Has THAT ever been observed?

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    22. Ritchie, you are so and dogmatic in your atheistic beliefs, I'm just going to answer this one question and then drop this discussion entirely:

      you ask this about consciousness outside the material body:

      'Has THAT ever been observed?'

      Yes, millions of times in Near Death Experiences!

      Facts about NDEs - video clip on the site
      Excerpt: In 1982 a Gallup poll estimated that 8 million Americans have had a near-death experience and a more resent study, a US News & World Report in March of 1997, found that 15 million have had the experience.
      http://www.ndelight.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=117&Itemid=63

      The Scientific Evidence for Near Death Experiences - Dr Jeffery Long - Melvin Morse M.D. - video
      http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4454627

      Blind Woman Can See During Near Death Experience (NDE) - Pim von Lommel - video
      http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3994599/

      Kenneth Ring and Sharon Cooper (1997) conducted a study of 31 blind people, many of who reported vision during their Near Death Experiences (NDEs). 21 of these people had had an NDE while the remaining 10 had had an out-of-body experience (OBE), but no NDE. It was found that in the NDE sample, about half had been blind from birth. (of note: This 'anomaly' is also found for deaf people who can hear sound during their Near Death Experiences(NDEs).)
      http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2320/is_1_64/ai_65076875/

      A ivy league neurosurgeon confronts the non-material nature of consciousness - December 2011
      Excerpted quote: To me one thing that has emerged from my (Near Death) experience and from very rigorous analysis of that experience over several years, talking it over with others that I respect in neuroscience, and really trying to come up with an answer, is that consciousness outside of the brain is a fact. It’s an established fact. And of course, that was a hard place for me to get, coming from being a card-toting reductive materialist over decades. It was very difficult to get to knowing that consciousness, that there’s a soul of us that is not dependent on the brain.
      http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/he-said-it-a-neurosurgeon-confronts-the-non-material-nature-of-consciousness/

      Neurosurgeon Dr. Eben Alexander’s Near-Death Experience Defies Medical Model of Consciousness - audio interview
      http://www.skeptiko.com/upload/skeptiko-154-eben-alexander.mp3

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    23. Ritchie, you are so and dogmatic in your atheistic beliefs, I'm just going to answer this one question and then drop this discussion entirely:

      Nice talking to you too. I'd like to think you'd actually think on some of the things I've said, but I know that's a loooooooooong shot.

      'Has THAT ever been observed?'

      Yes, millions of times in Near Death Experiences!


      D'oh...

      That's not consciousness without matter. The only evidence of NDE's is people TELLING us about NDE's. People with brains. I'm not denying the brain does many weird and wonderful things during an NDE, but there's still no evidence that it can actually exist OUTSIDE of a brain.

      In fact, since you like URL's so much, here's a little something for you that should give you something to chew over on the topic:

      http://www.ebonmusings.org/atheism/ghost.html

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  16. RobertC: "It is a measure of the divergence (of gene expression) at different stages. Developmental biologists have moved past just looking at the embryos."

    So since you can more often find similarity in certain gene expression patterns than in morphology, you moved on? How strong can the signal be if models 2 and 3 can be proposed in the real world for the same set being sampled? Or perhaps different factors were being judged in the two models? Or is somebody cherry picking?

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    1. Model 3 was based on morphological observation. It predates the techniques reviewed in the paper that support the hourglass model.

      So the conclusion was quite the opposite of what Dr. Hunter claimed: "evolutionists have had to construct ever more elaborate just-so stories." The newer data support the simpler hourglass model.

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  17. Since DNA sequencing, the evolution/Darwin corner 'thought' that DNA would show their theory to be true and correct and at every turn they find themselves lacking even more in any conclusive evidence. In fact, evolution is all about mutation and the mutations 'advancing' life but all that modern scientists can find is that mutations will only degrade such life or at best make it more tolerant but not one time has modern science documented mutations that improve upon said life, to the extent that the life in question exhibited properties that made a different species with ‘qualities’ that the original species didn't have... In other words, talking about the mechanics of living structures is the same as saying that if you crash your car (the mutation) that biological mutations will improve on the crash and can eventually turn your car into a jet airplane if the car crashes enough because of the mutations that happen to the car 'because of the crash'... Does anyone 'really' think that mutation can improve upon these mechanisms to such a point that systems, that are not prevalent in the original will come about as is taught in the Theory of Evolution? The Theory of Evolution is a “speculation” based theory and not a true theory backed by the sciences that can actually be shown by the scientific methods of research. I like how the article stated, "In other words, before discussing evolution in the light of new scientific evidence, which inevitably makes evolution look bad, one first must give the secret handshake—a proclamation indicating that evolution is unquestionably true and good, and that all the evidential contradictions you are about to discuss will be force-fit into the evolutionary doctrine." That is a very "true" statement in how the theory works to keep it from crumbling :p Evolution theory keeps me laughing by all the people who buy into it... (Grin)

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  19. RobertC :"Model 3 was based on morphological observation. It predates the techniques reviewed in the paper that support the hourglass model."

    So what? Recapitulation theory was based on morphological data. Did they study all the same species? It would be very interesting to find species whose RNA expression patterns coincided most often at the time their morphology was the most different. But you can see that since those two things are not the same, you can't say it would be impossible. So the questions remain. Who had more samples? Was someone cherry picking? Can both be true?

    RobertC :"So the conclusion was quite the opposite of what Dr. Hunter claimed: 'evolutionists have had to construct ever more elaborate just-so stories.' The newer data support the simpler hourglass model."

    Read again, he's saying the figure shows that, which it does. The paper can make any type of conclusions that it wants but it doesn't mean various other evolutionists haven't proposed the theories they proposed.

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