Wednesday, May 8, 2013

ATPsynthase: It’s Elegant, It’s Conserved, It’s Magnificent, It’s Efficient, It’s Fast, It’s Reversible … It Evolved?

Worshipping the Creation



Still think the world evolved? Wondering why anyone would doubt the unquestionable fact that random chance events created everything? Well there’s nothing like an ATPsynthase animation to awaken one out of one’s slumber. Or you can believe ATPsynthase, and everything else for that matter, just spontaneously self-assembled billions of years ago for no reason in some warm little pond from various parts that, as luck would have it, just happened to be “lying around,” and subsequently was “selected” by no one or no thing and has been with us ever since. That’s just good solid scientific research.

58 comments:

  1. What if a paid Creationist propagandist posted his usual misrepresentations and outright lies about an area of evolutionary research, and nobody cared?

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    1. We will never know because you are always here showing how much you really do care ;)

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  2. No, Cornelius. I'm wondering why you continually insist that "evolutionists" think it's all down to "random chance". Or why you constantly conflate biological evolution with the formation of the Solar System/Earth/etc.

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    1. because evolutionists assert that they operate by the same physical laws. Some physicists claim the order observed in other large scale cosmological structures is even more precariously balanced than those in this video, so it may also be for that reason.

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    2. Yes, physical laws. Laws are not "random chance". They're, you know, laws. And of course probability does play a role. Look around: when does it NOT play a role?

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    3. Didymos:

      I'm wondering why you continually insist that "evolutionists" think it's all down to "random chance".

      Because that is what they think. They can’t have it both ways. They can’t rule out teleology, final causes and design, but then to avoid the absurdity claim that the creation of the world actually was directed. Don’t fall for the natural selection canard, that doesn’t change anything. The theory still holds that every cause that created the world is undirected. Selection doesn’t magically induce the right mutations.


      Or why you constantly conflate biological evolution with the formation of the Solar System/Earth/etc.

      Evolutionary thought is by no means limited to the biological world.

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    4. Cornelius Hunter

      Didymos: "I'm wondering why you continually insist that "evolutionists" think it's all down to "random chance".

      Because that is what they think.


      CH, you've been corrected on this false statement too many times to count. If that's still your understanding of how evolution works it's no wonder you had to give up doing real science decades ago.

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    5. Meanwhile, back in the real world...

      The evolution of A-, F-, and V-type ATP synthases and ATPases: reversals in function and changes in the H+/ATP coupling ratio.
      Cross, Muller
      Federation of European Biochemical Societies,2004 Oct 8;576(1-2):1-4.

      Abstract: "Members of the FoF1, AoA1 and VoV1 family of ATP synthases and ATPases have undergone at least two reversals in primary function. The first was from a progenitor proton-pumping ATPase to a proton-driven ATP synthase. The second involved transforming the synthase back into a proton-pumping ATPase. As proposed earlier [FEBS Lett. 259 (1990) 227], these reversals required changes in the H+/ATP coupling ratio from an optimal value of about 2 for an ATPase function to about 4 for an ATP synthase function. The doubling of the ratio that occurred at the ATPase-to-Synthase transition was accomplished by duplicating the gene that encodes the nucleotide-binding catalytic subunits followed by loss of function in one of the genes. The halving of the ratio that occurred at the Synthase-to-ATPase transition was achieved by a duplication/fusion of the gene that encodes the proton-binding transporter subunits, followed by a loss of function in one half of the double-sized protein. These events allowed conservation of quaternary structure, while maintaining a sufficient driving force to sustain an adequate phosphorylation potential or electrochemical gradient. Here, we describe intermediate evolutionary steps and a fine-tuning of the H+/ATP coupling ratio to optimize synthase function in response to different environments. In addition, we propose a third reversal of function, from an ATPase back to an ATP synthase. In contrast to the first two reversals which required a partial loss in function, the change in coupling ratio required for the third reversal is explained by a gain in function."

      CH never lets things like nasty scientific facts get in the way of his Evo-bashing propaganda.

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    6. Here's another excellent Nature article about the history of research into ATP synthesis and more on its evolutionary history

      Why Are Cells Powered by Proton Gradients?
      Lane
      Nature Education 3(9):18

      Summary: Peter Mitchell's demonstration that ATP synthesis is powered by proton gradients was one of the most counterintuitive discoveries in biology, and it took a long time to be accepted. The precise mechanisms by which a proton gradient is formed and coupled to ATP synthesis (chemiosmotic coupling) is now known in atomic detail, but the broader question that drove Mitchell — why are proton gradients so central to life? — is still little explored. Recent research suggests that proton gradients are strictly necessary to the origin of life and highlights the geological setting in which natural gradients form across membranes, in much the same way as they do in cells. But the dependence of life on proton gradients might also have prevented the evolution of life beyond the prokaryotic level of complexity, until the unique chimeric origin of the eukaryotic cell overcame this obstacle

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    7. CH: Because that is what they think. They can’t have it both ways. They can’t rule out teleology, final causes and design, but then to avoid the absurdity claim that the creation of the world actually was directed. Don’t fall for the natural selection canard, that doesn’t change anything. The theory still holds that every cause that created the world is undirected. Selection doesn’t magically induce the right mutations.

      Cornelius, this is a classic example of equivocation. If by "random chance" you mean: "was not deliberately designed", then say that.

      But if you mean "random" ("random chance" is a tautology), in the sense that evolutionary biologist mean it when they contrast the "randomness" of mutations, as opposed to the "non-randomness" of natural selection, then make that clear.

      Better to abjure the word "random" altogether IMO, as it has so many meanings. Just say "undesigned", if that's what you mean.

      Or, if you want to represent what evolutionary biologists mean, say something like: random sampling of nearby solution space followed by biased sampling of those solutions that work best in the current environment.


      Why not write something like:

      Still think the world evolved? Wondering why anyone would doubt the unquestionable fact that unintended events created everything? Well there’s nothing like an ATPsynthase animation to awaken one out of one’s slumber. Or you can believe ATPsynthase, and every other constituent of life for that matter, just spontaneously emerged from an iterative process of random sampling of nearby solution space followed by biased sampling of those solutions that work best in the current environment, that started billions of years ago in some warm little pond when, by means of chemistry that we don't yet understand yet, assemblies of self-replicating molecules began to form.

      But it doesn't sound quite so unreasonable when you put it like that, does it?

      On the other hand, it has the undoubted virtue of honestly representing the position you oppose.









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    8. "assemblies of self-replicating molecules began to form."

      Do you have any example of self-replicating molecules not related with life?

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  3. CH, I still like the ones in this series better:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/F1ATPase?feature=watch

    ,especially the closeup. It's really wonderful how precise it has to be.

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  4. ATPase runs at nearly "100% efficiency"... "elegant"... "in species as different from bacteria to humans have nearly identifical ATPase's"... "unchanged" (not evolved).

    No tinkering with ATPase over eons of time... just super efficiency and elegance from the beginning. Extremely advanced technology beyond anything that humans in the 21st century could design or duplicate.

    The mythology of Darwinism is that nature has had eons of time to optimize life fails here.

    The fact of the matter is that life is so far technologically advanced that Darwinists misread it for "junk", "clunky", "inefficient", etc....
    They were not only completely clueless, but worse, they didn't know they were clueless. Now, evolution is just accepted dogma without question by many because that is just what they were told. I wonder how things may have turned out differently if Darwinism hadn't taken off. To make an analogy, in the movie, "It's a Wonderful Life", Mr Potter takes over and the town of Bedford becomes a nightmare place. Or, in "Back to the Future", Biff takes over. Darwin is the "Mr. Potter" or "Biff" of biology.

    Thank you CH for speaking the truth.



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    1. Tedford, I see you were too lazy to even look at those two excellent introductory texts on evolution I provided.

      There's no one quite so ignorant as the willfully ignorant.

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  5. There is a whole chemical production going on to get to the "proton motive force" which powers ATP synthase as explained by professor Walker. Incredible system!

    Lecture on ATP

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  6. All life depends on ATPase. All cells have it. So, we see this monumentally advanced technology would need to exist in first life also. Blue-green algae has it and its fossils show up in precambrian rock. Blue-green algae also utilizes quantum mechanics... its photosynthesis efficiency is nearly 100%.

    So, where is the evolution of ATPase, if it exists already optimized in the smallest and most ancient of life forms? Only in the imagination of evolutionists.

    Where is this heading for Darwinists in the future? The trend in scientific understanding of life is towards seeing more and more complexity earlier and earlier and less and less time available for evolution to do its supposed thing.






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    1. Poor Tedford the Slow. Too lazy to read the scientific literature that's been presented, too afraid to do any research himself. Forever destined to remain willfully ignorant and proud of it, the archetypical Creationist blowhard.

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  7. The evidence even leaves evolutionists talking like "Biff" in Back to the Future.

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  8. Thought I would stop by to see if any sort of significant criticism of Darwinism was being presented by ID supporters. Didn't make it past the subheading....

    CH: Worshipping the Creation

    Except, I do not worship anything in the sense implied. Nor is it clear that, if I was, what ever I was supposedly worshiping was actually created in the first place.

    IOW, It's unclear what this sort of subhead has to do with criticizing Darwinism. Rather, it seems to be some kind of "wink" to the flock as to where their preferred theology is conflict with Darwinism. As such, it would seem that CH's objection is actually based on Biblical claims which supposedly has been divinely revealed as true.

    Specially, Apocalyptic theodicy claims there is a cosmic battle of Good and Evil raging in this age in which everyone takes sides, even if they do not realize it or not. And let's not forget that the Bible claims that Yahweh created the universe, including biological life.

    So, apparently, it has been divinely revealed that I'm worshiping something, whether I realize it or not. And whatever I'm worshiping was created.

    It's all right there in the subheading.

    And, the funny thing is, CH will not deny this belief, either. He'll just ignore the issue, as if failing to actually acknowledge it somehow makes him impartial or objective.

    Note the contrast here. Apparently, CH knows we worship the created, despite explicitly and directly denying it. But, on the other hand, we cannot infer what theological assumptions are implied by the subhead "Worshiping the Created" unless CH explicitly addresses it. And he simply refuses to acknowledge or deny the issue.

    What other conclusion should we reach, other than CH thinks has some sort of divine inside track on truth that we don't have access to or ignore? Why should we take these sort of "objections" remotely serious?

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    1. Scott:

      Rather, it seems to be some kind of "wink" to the flock as to where their preferred theology is conflict with Darwinism.

      Evolution is a religious theory and then, as in this example, I get the blame for it.

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    2. Scott - "Except, I do not worship anything in the sense implied. "

      (assuming you're an evolutionist)
      You believe that blind material forces created the universe and everything in it, that life and consciousness stem from the mysterious vortex of time and chance. You believe millions of years of culled genetic accidents led to the creation of You.

      Whether openly worshipful or not, you recognize these superstitious forces as your creator. That is the ultimate view of reality that you bow down to. That is the essence of the Darwinian mystery religion.

      It's a hard pill to swallow for individuals who would rather see themselves as level-headed men of empiricism.

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    3. CH: Evolution is a religious theory...

      And why do you think it's a religious theory? If you believe Apocalyptic theodicy, then we all take the side of either good or evil, *even if we do not realize it*. The Bible claims there is no middle ground. So, despite our explicit denials, Evolution must be a religious theory.

      No?

      So, you deny the dichotomy of Apocalyptic theodicy? Have you not explicitly said that evolution represents a class of thought that reflects evil influence?

      CH: ... and then, as in this example, I get the blame for it

      I think you are to blame for Evolution being a religious theory which, in my case, at a minimum, isn't religious in nature? Huh?

      If you believe (i) the Bible gives you the inside track to truth, (iI) this inside track reveals I take a side between good and evil, even if I do not know it and (iii) that evolution is on the side of evil, then it would come as no surprise you would ignore explicit denials regarding "Worship[ing[ creation" or other theological assumptions about Darwinism.

      You have the inside track when you claim Darwinism is a religious theory. I'm just ignoring it, right?

      No? If not, where did I get it wrong? Where do your views differ, in detail? What part do you deny?

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    4. lifepsy: You believe that blind material forces created the universe and everything in it, that life and consciousness stem from the mysterious vortex of time and chance. You believe millions of years of culled genetic accidents led to the creation of You.

      Please see my second post, which addresses this same misconception.

      lifepsy: Whether openly worshipful or not, you recognize these superstitious forces as your creator. That is the ultimate view of reality that you bow down to. That is the essence of the Darwinian mystery religion.

      Your conclusion is parochial as it fails to take into account the field of epistemology. To quote Karl Popper…

      "[Darwin's] theory of adaptation was the first nontheistic one that was convincing; and theism was worse than an open admission of failure, for it created the impression that an ultimate explanation had been reached." [Popper 1976, p. 172]

      As a Popperan, I do not think there is such a thing as an ultimate explanation. Nor is one needed to make progress, which is what Darwinism represents in regards to the biological complexity we observe. So, you're assuming that I'm a justificationist, in that everything needs to be justified by some lower explanation. However, this is not the only epistemological view. Nor is it even necessary for us to actually make progress.

      So, your claim that I "bow down to" Darwinism assumes I think some other ultimate justification must take God's place. But this isn't necessarily the case. Nor is it accurate in my case, as I'm not a justificationist.

      lifepsy: It's a hard pill to swallow for individuals who would rather see themselves as level-headed men of empiricism.

      Except, I "see myself" as a Critical Rationalist, not an empiricist, which flips empiricism on it's head. Theories are tested by observations, not derived from them.

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    5. CH: Evolution is a religious theory...

      Since you claim it is a religion, why don't you point out the corresponding role divine revelation plays in evolutionary theory.

      Please be specific.

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    6. Scott:

      Since you claim it is a religion, why don't you point out the corresponding role divine revelation plays in evolutionary theory.

      Please be specific.


      Good question Scott. When Leibniz (and other evolutionists) argued divine creation must be via natural laws, he was drawing on the revelation about secondary causes (eg, Psalm 148). When Wallace (and other evolutionists) argued God would not get involved in, or create, the details of nature, he was drawing on the transcendence of God (eg, Isaiah 55). When Gould (and other evolutionists) argued God would never create such a flawed world, he was drawing on the wisdom of God (eg, Proverbs 8). I could go further, but you get the idea. Evolution must be true, our religion demands it, in spite of the obvious scientific problems.

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    7. Cornelius Hunter

      Good question Scott. When Leibniz (and other evolutionists) argued divine creation must be via natural laws, he was drawing on the revelation about secondary causes (eg, Psalm 148). When Wallace (and other evolutionists) argued God would not get involved in, or create, the details of nature, he was drawing on the transcendence of God (eg, Isaiah 55). When Gould (and other evolutionists) argued God would never create such a flawed world, he was drawing on the wisdom of God (eg, Proverbs 8). I could go further, but you get the idea. Evolution must be true, our religion demands it, in spite of the obvious scientific problems.


      So in reality evolutionary theory has nothing to do with religion. It's just your personal projections of Biblical passages onto scientists that you've mistaken for evolutionary "religion".

      You make the same error an awful lot. Most intelligent people learn from their mistakes, but I suppose there are always outliers.

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    8. As far as Cornelius is concerned, the idea that certain aspects of human knowledge comes from an authoritative, supernatural source isn't a mistake. As such, he cannot conceive of evolution as being a theory that can exist independent of theological assumptions and influences.

      For example, the bible tells us everyone knows that God exists, we're just denying it. And it tells us that everyone takes sides, whether we realize it or not.

      As such, the religious nature of Darwinism is dictated by specific aspects of Christian dogma, which represent a particular conception of human knowledge.

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    9. In case it is not clear, the claim that human beings know that God exists is a claim about human knowledge. And how do we supposedly know this? Because the Bible says God created us with this knowledge. And what is God? A supernatural authorative source.

      So, Christianity, and theism in general represents a particular conception and theory of human knowledge. Theories of knowledge are ideas that are subject to criticism, just like any other idea.

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    10. Scott

      "So, Christianity, and theism in general represents a particular conception and theory of human knowledge. Theories of knowledge are ideas that are subject to criticism, just like any other idea."

      True, and if you subject to criticism your thoerie of knoledge probably would not post her anymore.

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    11. CH: When Leibniz ... Wallace

      Except, Lebniz and Wallace's views stand in stark contrast to Darwinism. Both thought God was using evolution as a means to reach some form of perfectionism. Lamarck thought that a continuous stream of less complex organisms was being generated spontaneously and evolved due to law of nature that caused things to constantly improve.

      But Darwinism suggests that knowledge is genuinely created though a process of conjecture, in the form of mutations that are random to any problem to be solved, and refutation, in the form of natural selection. It does not include any such goal or see evolution as a solution to a particular problem. So, this argument is a non-starter.

      Furthermore, even if that were the case, you are conflating taking someone's claims seriously for the purpose of criticism and actually believing those claims actually represent divine revelation.

      For example, imagine a scenario where a robbery is taking place. A woman enters the bank wearing a yellow costume with a blue "Z" on her chest and a green cape and subdues the robbers, but not before being shot in the arm. The man is taken to the hospital where a 9mm slug is removed from his arm.

      Now imagine someone claims that the person in the hospital bed is Superman.

      Do I have to believe that Superman actually exists or that the series of canonical Superman comics depict reality to make the criticism that Superman is supposedly a man who wears a blue suit with a red "S" on his chest and a red cape and would be impervious to 9mm bullets? No, I do not.

      In the case of evolutionary theory, taking someone else's claims regarding divine revelation seriously for the purpose of criticism does not necessary require the belief that claims based on divine revelation were actually divinely revealed. And the idea that we all believe that God actually exists, but ignore it, is just that - an idea.

      Nor does Darwinism actually incorporate divine revelation in the theory itself. In fact, it is in direct conflict with the idea that some designer "just was" complete with the knowledge of how to build biological adaptations, already present.

      So, you have yet to present a role for divine revelation in evolutionary theory that corresponds to the same role divine revelation plays in other religions, such as Christianity.

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  9. Didymos: I'm wondering why you continually insist that "evolutionists" think it's all down to "random chance".

    CH: Because that is what they think. They can’t have it both ways. They can’t rule out teleology, final causes and design, but then to avoid the absurdity claim that the creation of the world actually was directed.

    This response is an epistemological false dilemma.

    I think knowledge is genuinely created over time via a form of conjecture and refutation. The result is non-explanatory knowledge, not a random process. Furthermore this process explains the sort of concrete biological adaptations we observe.

    CH thinks that some designer "just was" complete with the knowledge of how to perform biological adaptations, already present. Apparently, specific concrete biological adaptations are observed in nature because "that's just what the designer must have wanted".*

    But this explains nothing. It merely pushes the problem into some unexplainable realm. So, ID does not actually solve the problem is claims to solve. It fact, it does the opposite. It claims we cannot explain the concrete complexity we observe.

    Furthermore, it ignores what we do know about human designers. Specifically, we can explain our concrete design choices as a reflection of trade-offs made due to our incremental growth of knowledge. We use conjecture to create theories about how the world work, criticize them and discard errors we find. And our preferences as to what specific trade-offs we prefer is based on the ideas about how the world works. When we change our preferences, we change what ideas we accept.

    So, we can explain human concrete designs based on what knowledge humans have and have not yet to create, and therefore do not yet posses, and choices based on our preferences, which is in turn based on ideas we are exposed to and adopt.

    This is in stark contrast to Biblical conceptions of knowledge and choice.

    For example, the Bible explains our preferences in terms of good and evil. As such, our preferences are based on supernatural wills, which are unexplainable.

    And God, who does not change, cannot become greater and was not created, would have always known to adapt raw materials into any kind of organism logically possible - even those he apparently decided not to create. As such, he would have always knew how to create the most complex and least complex organisms. So, despite knowing how to create them in the order of most complex to least complex, all at once, etc, God just happened to have created organisms in the order of least to most complex. And this choice is simply something we cannot explain. Again, "That's just what the designer must have wanted."

    So, adding God to the mix explains nothing about why we observe some concrete biological adaptations, rather than others - which is the question that Darwinism addresses. Everything else is an unfortunate intersection with theological imperatives and epistemological assumptions regarding human knowledge.

    *As always, If I've got something in the above wrong then, by all means, point out how your view differs, in detail.

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    1. Scott, I don't think that the fossil pattern consistently shows "least to most complex". That's a very broad generalization. Yes, bacteria is first. People are last, but if you get past the generations that pattern is really not consistent. Cambrian life was as complex, perhaps more so, than many life forms today. I think the pattern is based more on utility and function. Life was complex from the beginning. Some of those, such as blue-green algae, nautilus, Comb Jelly, etc have not changed. Many are extinct.

      Blue-green algae is very complex. Different than mammals, but complex. My Dell laptop is more complex than my iPhone in the sense that it has more parts and more functions, but it's a function and utility emphasis more than a complexity issue. In some ways the iPhone is more high tech. I can't perform photosynthesis, but blue-green algae can in an elegant and nearly 100% efficient manner. I'm not more complex than blue-green algae because I can perform photosynthesis more efficient (it was a good as it gets from the beginning). I'm more complex in other ways.

      Darwinism has given culture and biology a flawed paradyme. It's rotten at its core and misleading. It is an archaic idea from the 19th century that has infected our thinking in false ways with a false superstitious view of life.

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    2. Neal,

      Darwinism is the theory that that knowledge of how to build biological adaptations from raw materials, as found in DNA, was genuinely created over time via a form of conjecture and refutation. It's a part of our best, current explanation for the universal creation of knowledge.

      From the following link.…

      "What Popper calls the historical sciences do not make predictions about long past unique events (postdictions), which obviously would not be testable. (Several recent authors—including Stephen Jay Gould in Discover, July 1982—make this mistake.) These sciences make hypotheses involving past events which must predict (that is, have logical consequences) for the present state of the system in question. Here the testing procedure takes for granted the general laws and theories and is testing the specific conditions (or initial conditions, as Popper usually calls them) that held for the system."

      In the case of evolution, we're looking for a specific explanation (theory) about the origin of this knowledge that must have consequences for the present state of the system, which includes the fossil record, current organisms, concrete adaptions, etc. We can then test this theory using empirical observations

      Specifically, we can ask, what would be the necessary consequences of this knowledge being created though this error correcting process? Must it continually transition between least to most complex? Would there be no less complex organisms in the present? Must they all change over time? No. None of these things are necessary.

      However, one necessary consequence would be that the most complex forms of life must not appear before or at the same time as the least complex. This is because that knowledge wouldn't have been created yet. Could there be less complex forms of life? We think there were. However, it might not be possible to find examples of these forms of life as fossils. But, given the forms of life we do know if, multicellular life is more complex that unicellular life.

      This error correcting process is the underlying explanation for the concrete biological adaptations we observe.

      Note that the theory of biological Darwinism doesn't say anything about what particular organisms were first because, unless we have a time machine, we cannot make observations in the past. The best we can do is conjecture theories about what happened in the past, then look for observations that conflict with the necessary consequences of that theory in the current state of the system. As such, evolution isn't falsified when we think that fossil Q is an ancestor of R, but find some intermediate fossil later because it doesn't make that sort of claim.

      Rather, what we're looking are organisms that conflict with the theory that knowledge was created using this error correcting process. And when we expand this theory to include new methods of mutation genes, such as HGT, this makes Darwinism more accurate, instead of falsifying it, as it explains more phenomena today.

      This is how we make progress.

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    3. "We can then test this theory using empirical observations"

      I use to hear a similar construct of words when I debated evolutionists years ago and know what they were using it in regard to?

      The "emperical observation" of Junk DNA

      Its a myth to believe as you do that "empirical observations" are free of subjectiveness and bias.

      "This is how we make progress"

      NO this is how you stifle it. With every unexpected discovery you fudge things along the same theory where in almost any other scientific field it would be legitimate to question the whole apparatus. You did it with a level of convergence that Darwinism would have never predicted. You did it with the Cambrian explosion which Darwinism would have never predicted and you do it with each new discovery of functions of DNA that only a few years ago you swore going and coming was junk and the knock out argument for Darwinism. I' have sat in debates and had laughter aimed at me for claiming Junk DNA would be found to not be junk and when proven right instead of conceding a deep error made watched Evolutionist spin on a dime and even imply it was expected all along

      This isn't about unbiasedly using the scientific process its about your side trying to desperately hide behind it each time you are found to be wrong.

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    4. Elijah2012, you are confusing empiricism, the theory that all knowledge comes to us through the senses, with empirical observations.

      I'm not an empiricist. No finite number of singular empirical observations can prove a universal is true. So we cannot *positively* prove anything is true using observations. Furthermore, all observations are themselves based on other explanatory theories, etc.

      However, this does not represent an insurmountable problem as we can use deduction to make progress.

      As for debating empiricists, see the following video on debating a creationist, which would be applicable to debating ID proponents as well. This is because adding an a designer to the mix merely pushes the problem of how the knowledge found in genes was created into some unexplainable realm. As such, ID doesn't actually solve the problem it claims to solve.

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    5. Scott I am not confusing anything. Spare me the standard canard that all Idist or creationists lack understanding. Good Lord at least 60% of the "evidence" your side leans on is the proclamation that all opponents are dim. Whatever would you do without that ego boost?

      I related how a term you used was employed in my past experience and how there are similarities in how you use them . I am not terribly concerned with your status of being or not being an empiricist or with BELIEF SYSTEMS such as

      "No finite number of singular empirical observations can prove a universal is true. So we cannot *positively* prove anything is true using observations."

      Which is itself based on assumptions. I am more interested in how your side uses the arguments you employed as a dodge and weave. The supremacy of empirical observations has been used for many years even in cases where the so called "Empirical observations" were nothing more than the deductions to which you refer and conflated to appear as one. Then subsequently danced around when said deductions were false.

      " This is because adding an a designer to the mix merely pushes the problem of how the knowledge found in genes was created into some unexplainable realm. As such, ID doesn't actually solve the problem it claims to solve."

      Totally illogical claim against ID. I will wait with bated breath on how any materialistic approach does not lend itself into pushing problems into "unexplainable realms". Like it or not there is no escape from
      "unexplainable realms". Even infinite regress is an unexplained realm.

      Plus I am afraid you are now guilty of either great confusion or disingenuity. ID NOWHERE claims to solve any more "problem" than is the universe presently designed. The design can even be totally explainable. You've create a strawman ID in your mind. NO? I we found that this universe was a simulation of a more advanced civilization would it be unexplainable?

      Adding a designer to the mix is no different than adding a "law of nature" totally unexplained into the mix. materialist appeal to the unexplained all the time. They have no issue with it and just proclaim "that is how reality is" with no explanation. SO lets us not be coy. It is not the thesis of the unexplained realm that is the issue. Its the issue of whether there is intelligence in the unexplained realm that gets materialists in a tizzy. How dare we believe that in a universe whose laws create intelligence and whose laws can all be order even predicted by logical maths there could very well be intelligence and we are not its first expression.

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    6. Elijha2012,

      If you're not confused about your quote from my previous comment, then apparently you know what I "believe" and I don't. Specifically, you wrote…

      Elijha2012: Its a myth to believe as you do that "empirical observations" are free of subjectiveness and bias.

      Where we disagree is that I don't think this prevents us from making progress in the field of biological complexity, in practice. Saying "That's just what a designer must have wanted" isn't progress.

      Scott: "No finite number of singular empirical observations can prove a universal is true. So we cannot *positively* prove anything is true using observations."

      Elijha2012: Which is itself based on assumptions.

      Theories are tested via observations, not derived from them. Induction doesn't work because we get out more than we put in. Nor are there "theories" out there that we can induce from observations. But, by all means, feel free to explain, in detail how inductivism actually works, in practice. Fame and fortune await!

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    7. Scott: " This is because adding an a designer to the mix merely pushes the problem of how the knowledge found in genes was created into some unexplainable realm. As such, ID doesn't actually solve the problem it claims to solve."

      Elijha2012: Totally illogical claim against ID

      Ok, then what is the origin of the knowledge used to transform water and other raw materials into the genes of biological organisms? How do you explain it? Merely saying a designer "put it there" doesn't explain it's origin.

      Furthermore, being an entity that would be well adapted to put knowledge in the genomes of biological organisms, wouldn't this designer need to be designed as well? And wouldn't this designer's designer be well adapted to adapting designers to design organisms, etc?

      Some designer "just was", compete with the knowledge of how to adapt raw materials into the specific biological adaptations we observe, already present, doesn't serve an explanatory purpose. This is because one could more efficiently state that biological organisms, "just appeared" compete with the knowledge of how to adapt raw materials, already present in their genome. So adding a designer to the mix merely pushes the problem into a incomprehensible realm.

      Elijha2012: Even infinite regress is an unexplained realm.

      No, an infinite regress is a problem for justificationism.

      When I use the phrase, "unexplainable realm", I'm referring to something we cannot know anything about, in principle, because it is supposedly incomprehensible or that no progress can be made about it. For example, how did the designer know how to encode this knowledge into the genes of organisms? What means and method did the designer use? When did he intervene and how often? We can know none of these things because ID designer is abstract and has no defined limitations. This is by design.

      Elijha2012: Adding a designer to the mix is no different than adding a "law of nature" totally unexplained into the mix.

      See above. Furthermore, we have good explanations for how this knowledge is created, which is part of our current, best explanation for the universal growth of knowledge. While no explanation is exhaustively complete, It explains significantly more phenomena, such as why we observe some adaptations, rather than others, why organisms do not appear in the order or most to least complex or simultaneously, etc.

      The best that ID can do is say "that's just what the designer must have wanted"

      Elijha2012: SO lets us not be coy. It is not the thesis of the unexplained realm that is the issue. Its the issue of whether there is intelligence in the unexplained realm that gets materialists in a tizzy.

      First, what exactly is a materialist anyway? To say phenomena emerges from material arrangements of mater does not require any sort of supernatural realm. You might want to update your vocabulary.

      Second, If we do exist in a finite bubble of explicably, which is an island in a sea of of inexplicability, the inside of this bubble cannot be explicable either. This is because the inside is supposedly dependent what occurs in this inexplicable realm.

      Any assumption that the world is inexplicable leads to bad explanations. That is, no theory about what exists beyond this bubble can be any better than "Zeus rules" there. And, given the dependency above, this also means there can be no better expiation that "Zeus rules" inside this bubble as well.

      In other words, what's inside this bubble would only appear to explicable if one carefully avoids asking specific questions. Otherwise, you'd follow your own claims to the conclusion that "That's just what God must have wanted" was the best explanation for everything, rendering everything just as inexplicable as everything else.

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    8. "If you're not confused about your quote from my previous comment, then apparently you know what I "believe" and I don't. "

      and you think I would be surprised at that occurence ;)
      you do love your games though don't you?

      I specifically referred to this

      "you are confusing empiricism, the theory that all knowledge comes to us through the senses, with empirical observations."

      now step down from your sophistry and tell me "confused" is not a mental state that YOU were claiming to know about me.

      "Saying "That's just what a designer must have wanted" isn't progress."

      tired, weak, old and decrepit strawman. Go read a history book and show me where the many theist scientists some of which even founded science in their field said "thats just what a designer wanted" and called it a day. This is standard empty anti ID rehtoric not evidence of constructive criticism.

      "Theories are tested via observations, not derived from them. "

      lol you think your proclamation make them fact because you type them even when they are silly? The truth is they are both at different times in the cycle of Humans doing science. Under what mental gymnastics would you claim Darwin did not derive his theory at least in part from observations at Galapagos? and don't try and play more games as to the definition of "derived". Again read a history of science book and come back. You will make better points.

      "What means and method did the designer use? When did he intervene and how often? We can know none of these things because ID designer is abstract and has no defined limitations. This is by design."

      Your strawmen are by design. Theist scientist asked questions similar to these and got many answers. seriously third time - go read a history of science books. Your points are dreadfully poor. Its not all your fault. Modern materialists are all by creed deniers of science history. To hear your side tell it its as if until Darwin no Theist scientists ever did science.

      "First, what exactly is a materialist anyway? To say phenomena emerges from material arrangements of mater does not require any sort of supernatural realm. You might want to update your vocabulary."

      YOu might want to buy some logic. How do you escape the "unexplained realm" which you claim that only ID leads us to? Invoke infinite regress? What I wrote flew straight over your head and you are floundering around in a vain attempt to sidestep the issue.

      "Any assumption that the world is inexplicable leads to bad explanations'

      You poor soul. The issue is not with the world its with ultimate truth or beginning that leads to the world. On that you are without choice. It is not an assumption it is an inescapable fact for any person who sits down and thinks it through for five minutes. You can observe all day long the causes and reasons for the dominos falling in a domino train. Along with the physics and discoveries you make along the way there is also the certainty that the first domino fell for entirely different reasons or for no reason at all. When you take it as a metaphor for the entire universe it means that any chain of process leading to our universe ultimately finds itself at a brute truth point where nothing more can be explained.

      So your point against ID is nonsense. We all end up if we think far enough in the "unexplained realm". The only indictment you can make is that you ahve not thought far enough.

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    9. "Ok, then what is the origin of the knowledge used to transform water and other raw materials into the genes of biological organisms? How do you explain it? Merely saying a designer "put it there" doesn't explain it's origin."

      let me use an analogy that illustrates how silly this objection is. When I observe a fine automobile, get into it and drive it, hear the purr of the engine, feel the nice leather seats.

      Under what illogical rationalization does the fact that the car is designed stop me from being interested in opening the hood and take a look at the engine and how it is setup?

      You and other materialists point on this is just garbage.

      I can identify it is designed and that identification drives me ( just as it did many famous scientists in the past who were theists) to want to know how it was put together, what the Designer was thinking and how I can best utilize it according to its design.

      The whole nonsense scope of your claims is that ID stops progress on those fronts. So No Scott. Identifying design in Life does not end all answers to its origin. It gives us a rich frame work to continue looking under the hood and expecting to see more details of the design under the hood. That frame work gives us far more constructive guidelines to move forward than "oops abiogenesis just happened"

      Its your side that slows down progress. There is little doubt had we not been thinking "oh all of this is just Junk DNA with no present function" we would have been motivated to finding its function and the many revolutions in Medicine that will result earlier than we did.

      in that case the ID inference predicted its function and if it were adhered to would have pushed us forward. You will deny it no doubt but your point iS DOA logically.

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    10. Elijah2012: now step down from your sophistry and tell me "confused" is not a mental state that YOU were claiming to know about me.

      Suggesting you are confusing empiricism with empirical evidence playing a role in science does not equate to not knowing what you believe.

      Elijah2012: Go read a history book and show me where the many theist scientists some of which even founded science in their field said "thats just what a designer wanted" and called it a day. This is standard empty anti ID rehtoric not evidence of constructive criticism.

      ID's designer is abstract and has no defined limitations. Yet you referred me to theistic scientists regarding the answers to when, how , etc. Are you saying that ID's designer is indeed God?

      Elijah2012: Under what mental gymnastics would you claim Darwin did not derive his theory at least in part from observations at Galapagos?

      Expect, nowhere in those observations was the actual theory of Darwinism itself. So, where else did it come from? We start out with a problem, conjecture theories about the world works that solves those problems, criticize them and discard errors we find. When new observations indicate an error exists somewhere in our ideas or they are insufficient, they doesn't indicate what the solution is.

      Do observations constrain a solution? Yes. But theories are not derived from observations. They are educated guesses.

      Of course, feel free to explain how induction works, in practice. Please be specific.

      Elijah2012: Again read a history of science book and come back. You will make better points.

      How do you explain the history of science is the question I'm asking. You're merely pointing me to it as if it's obvious.

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    11. Elijah2012: Your strawmen are by design. Theist scientist asked questions similar to these and got many answers. seriously third time - go read a history of science books.

      the specific references you're referring to do not actually *explain* anything in a sense that actually solves problem or is testable from other scenarios. To quote a comment from the above video...

      "(1) God made the world the way he did because he just wanted to, in which case the creationism explains nothing. (2) God had to make the world a certain for some reason X, in which case X explains why the world works the way it does, not God. Either way, creationism explains nothing. Creationists are still looking around for evidence because, like Shermer, they don't understand that the evidence is irrelevant.

      For example, it doesn't explain where the knowledge came from that God supposedly put in the genes of biological organisms, why that knowledge, rather than some other knowledge, etc. It fails as an explanation. On the other hand, biological Darwinism does.

      Elijah2012: How do you escape the "unexplained realm" which you claim that only ID leads us to? Invoke infinite regress? What I wrote flew straight over your head and you are floundering around in a vain attempt to sidestep the issue.

      Elijah2012: You poor soul. The issue is not with the world its with ultimate truth or beginning that leads to the world. On that you are without choice.

      Except I do have choice. This is addressed in later comments on this thread

      Scott: "Ok, then what is the origin of the knowledge used to transform water and other raw materials into the genes of biological organisms? How do you explain it? Merely saying a designer "put it there" doesn't explain it's origin."

      Elijah2012: Under what illogical rationalization does the fact that the car is designed stop me from being interested in opening the hood and take a look at the engine and how it is setup?

      How designed things eventually ended up is not question I asked. Rather, I asked about the knowledge of how to bring about those adaptations from raw materials, as found in an organism's genome. How did the designer know those instructions would result in those biological adaptations? What is the origin of that knowledge?

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  10. Scott, the bottom line is that evolution is a failed hypothesis on scientific grounds alone. A mountain of cherry picked evidence does not make for good support, but brutal honesty and critical analysis of its predictions and test results.

    You're simply supporting superstition. If one is prejudiced against believing in a Creator, then the most they can say is that they do not know how or why life exists on earth. Spare us the foolishness of evolutionary superstition and stop trying to prop up a failed hypothesis. Surely your intelligent enough to see a canard. Get real.

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    1. Darwin doesn't answer the question, why are we here?

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    2. Why do you expect it to?

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    3. Neal, see the above link and quote.

      It would come as no suppress that you think Evolution is a failed hypothesis as you do not seem to actually understand Darwinism or how historical sciences actually works.

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    4. Neal Tedford May 10, 2013 at 7:34 AM

      Scott, the bottom line is that evolution is a failed hypothesis on scientific grounds alone. A mountain of cherry picked evidence does not make for good support, but brutal honesty and critical analysis of its predictions and test results.


      The overwhelming majority of biologists disagree. They find it to be the best available theory in the field. I wonder who we should believe?

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    5. "I wonder who we should believe?"

      Funny I thought it was about facts and following them where they lead? How often have a majority believed in a consensus view in sicenc e and it turned out to be wrong? Science by consensus is crap science.

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    6. Scott, No, I don't think Darwin has much to say about anything that reflects reality.

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    7. Elijah2012: Funny I thought it was about facts and following them where they lead?

      You thought it was about inductivism rather than science by consensus? No wonder why you are confused.

      As Popper pointed out, no one has explained how induction actually works, in practice. But, by all means, feel free to explain how it works, in detail.

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    8. "You thought it was about inductivism rather than science by consensus? No wonder why you are confused."

      Are you always given to such silly intellectual games? Do you know another word besides "confused"? Could you widen your vocabulary so as not be so repetitive and at least be more entertaining if persuasive? What I "thought" was that Sped was appealing to consensus BECAUSE HE MOST OBVIOUSLY WAS. If it is your opinion that good science is about consensus and not evidence (no matter how you wish to philosophize and pontificate its meaning) then you are the one -may I borrow a word you might grasp easier? - confused.

      "As Popper pointed out, no one has explained how induction actually works, in practice. But, by all means, feel free to explain how it works, in detail."

      I'm gathering from reading you (having not done so much before) the distinct impression that you are perhaps greatly impressed with yourself but I can't think whatever for. Your proposition that I must explain in detail how induction works to you in order to claim that relying on consensus is fallacious is supremely silly.

      In order to "in detail" explain how induction works would require an "in detail" explanation of the mind. So its akin to demanding that people thoroughly understand mind and brain before they use their intellect.

      If you wish to ponder the practical rather than pontificate the philosophical our legal system is a fine example. At the conclusion of a trial we do not walk into the jury room ask for a show of hands in the first five minutes and convict on consensus alone. Our jurors are required to ponder the evidence and even after they come to a consensus if there is new evidence in a case the entire verdict can be overturned. Even if there is no new evidence if a juror is shown not to have followed the evidence the case will be overturned

      Why?
      A) we are aware that consensus can be maintained non-rationally and without basis in evidence. It can be created by bias, swayed by emotion and coerced by peer pressure or peer assumption.

      B) Because evidence trumps consensus and anything else is an abandonment of reason - in your case under the pretense of being rational.

      Dance on the end of a pin with that thesis but I am not required to waste my time on it.

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  11. Quote of the Day:

    "At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races. At the same time the anthropomorphous [i.e., most human-looking] apes -- will no doubt be exterminated. The break will then be rendered wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilized state, as we may hope, than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as at present between the negro or Australian and the gorilla."

    Who said this:

    A. Attla the Hun
    B. Adolf Hitler
    C. Charles Darwin
    D. Charles Manson

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    1. C. Charles Darwin!

      What's my prize?

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    2. Wow, Neal. Three fallacies in one comment.

      [1] Naturalistic fallacy (is–ought fallacy, naturalistic fallacy) – claims about what ought to be on the basis of statements about what is.

      [2] Ad hominem – attacking the arguer instead of the argument.

      [3] Reductio ad Hitlerum (playing the Nazi card) – comparing an opponent or their argument to Hitler or Nazism in an attempt to associate a position with one that is universally reviled (See also – Godwin's law)

      The thing is, even if Darwin tortured puppies for fun, this wouldn't change the fact that Darwin's theory has withstood an overwhelming amount of significant criticism; which makes it our best explanation for the concrete biological adaptations we observe.

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    3. Darwin also wrote:

      The aid which we feel impelled to give to the helpless is mainly an incidental result of the instinct of sympathy, which was originally acquired as part of the social instincts, but subsequently rendered, in the manner previously indicated, more tender and more widely diffused. Nor could we check our sympathy, if so urged by hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature. The surgeon may harden himself whilst performing an operation, for he knows that he is acting for the good of his patient; but if we were intentionally to neglect the weak and helpless, it could only be for a contingent benefit, with a certain and great present evil. Hence we must bear without complaining the undoubtedly bad effects of the weak surviving and propagating their kind; but there appears to be at least one check in steady action, namely the weaker and inferior members of society not marrying so freely as the sound; and this check might be indefinitely increased, though this is more to be hoped for than expected, by the weak in body or mind refraining from marriage.”

      In other words, although Darwin believed that the human race would be weakened by caring for its least fit members, rather than allowing natural selection to winnow them out, we could not abandon them without sacrificing "the noblest part of our nature".

      Scott's point stands, however. None of this has any bearing on the scientific merits of Darwin's theory.

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    4. "[3] Reductio ad Hitlerum (playing the Nazi card) – comparing an opponent or their argument to Hitler or Nazism in an attempt to associate a position with one that is universally reviled (See also – Godwin's law)"

      Pure Grade A crapola and proof you do not have the first clue what the Reductio ad Hitlerum fallacy or Godwin's law is. It does not forbid the comparison when the comparison can be made on rational grounds of the argument itself and it most definitely does not apply when the subject matter is in reference to the known and established stance of Nazis. Even wikipedia gets it right

      "The law and its corollaries would not apply to discussions covering known mainstays of Nazi Germany such as genocide, eugenics or racial superiority, nor, more debatably, to a discussion of other totalitarian regimes or ideologies, if that was the explicit topic of conversation, since a Nazi comparison in those circumstances may be appropriate"

      The quote from Darwin is entirely appropriate precisely because of the similar racial superiority positions taken and how one ideology can logically lead to the other.

      You are throwing up a whole lot of philosophical references without proper understandings of their application.

      "Darwin's theory has withstood an overwhelming amount of significant criticism;"

      withstood to who? If materialistic Darwinism "withstood" it would not be a minority belief system in the world ;)

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    5. Darwin's quotes may not discount macroevolution in any way, but they are more than sufficient to prevent us from naming any more cities after him or creating any more holidays in his honor.

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  12. "Scott's point stands, however. None of this has any bearing on the scientific merits of Darwin's theory."

    Scott's post is a strawman and therefore has nothing to stand on. The post makes no such claim. However to say it has no bearing in the discussion is duplicitous since materialists on many many occasions attempt to draw lines between theism and social immoralities. As they say "whats good for the goose....."

    There will always be something to it in terms of the rationalism of belief consequences

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