Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Miracles are a Glaring Problem for Evolution, and Here’s Why

Begging the Question

A commenter recently reminded me of one of the many fundamental fallacies of evolutionary thought. When I point out problems with evolution, and make arguments against evolutionary thought, it is not because I am against the idea or want it to be false. Life would be much easier if the evidence simply supported evolution, if evolutionary thought was a stellar example of intellectual progress, if—to put it simply—evolution was an undeniable scientific fact, just as evolutionists insist. But it’s not. Evolution is not any of those. Evolution is not supported by the empirical evidence, it is not a rational, intellectual movement, and it is not a scientific fact, undeniable or otherwise. I’m not grinding a personal ax here, I’m simply pointing out the obvious. It makes no difference to me if evolution is true, false, or somewhere in between. But it does make a difference when we lie to ourselves.

One of the lies we tell ourselves is about miracles and how they relate to evolution. Specifically, evolutionists have been making arguments against miracles for centuries. A convenient starting place is seventeenth century church history, when Roman Catholic and Protestant elements of the church argued with each other, and between themselves, about miracles. It is a long story, but the upshot was that miracles were increasingly viewed with disdain for several reasons.

By the time David Hume arrived in the mid eighteenth century, the dust was settling. Hume is well known for his arguments against miracles, but he was largely repackaging sentiment that had long since been expressed.

Some arguments were epistemological. Others were theological, philosophical or ontological. But the short version is that evolutionary thought emerged in a milieu in which miracles were on the way out, both as explanatory mechanisms and as historical reality. Darwin contemporary David Friedrich Strauss, and his Life of Jesus, is but one of many examples of this broad, robust movement.

The movement against miracles was, not surprisingly, influential in the natural sciences. Simply put, if we’re not to appeal to miracles, then the world must have arisen naturalistically. This had a profound effect on the critical thinking, or lack thereof, of the time. Speculative hypotheses, with little basis in fact, enjoyed serious consideration and triumphant acceptance.

The bar was placed exceedingly low for such theories as pure conjecture became acceptable and celebrated science. Monumental scientific problems with the notion of spontaneous origins went ignored and evolutionary theories (from cosmological to biological) soon became “fact.”

Today strictly naturalistic, evolutionary, theories are a given. They simply are accepted as true, or as true as anything in science can be. And it also is a given that miracles are false. But what evolutionists prefer to overlook is that there is a causal relationship here. The latter made way for, and mandated, the former.

What an incredible coincidence it would be if, on the one hand, miracles were known to be false and, on the other hand, the empirical evidence turned out to prove a naturalistic origins. Theology, philosophy and science would have converged on the same truth.

But there is no such convergence.

The “convergence” that occurred is artificial. It is artificial because the empirical scientific evidence was interpreted according to the cultural mandate. Science was told what to do.

Indeed, from an objective, theory neutral, perspective, evolution is unlikely. It is not good science. In fact it is an outstanding example of bad science, breaking all the rules of what the textbooks tell us about how science is supposed to work. The idea that the multitude of species, the cosmos, consciousness and, well, everything, arose spontaneously by the interplay of chance contingencies of history and natural laws is silly. And that is being kind.

The problem of miracles is another example of the failure of evolutionary thought. Religion drives science, and it matters.

311 comments:

  1. "Indeed, from an objective, theory neutral, perspective, evolution is unlikely. It is not good science. In fact it is an outstanding example of bad science, breaking all the rules of what the textbooks tell us about how science is supposed to work."

    Then you obviously know very little about how science is supposed to work.

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    1. I wasn't the one who made the unsupported assertion. You were.

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    2. Acartia, your assertion: "you obviously know very little about how science is supposed to work."

      Dr. Hunter's quali "Cornelius G. Hunter is a graduate of the University of Illinois where he earned a Ph.D. in Biophysics and Computational Biology."

      As far as his assertion being "unsupported" -- he has been spending years on this site providing copious amounts of support. I know, I've been following and learning.

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    3. Acartia,

      "I wasn't the one who made the unsupported assertion."

      However, you were the one who made the unsupported assertion Dr. Hunter 'obviously knew very little about how science is supposed to work.'

      So, if you wish to have any credibility I would suggest you answer Dr. Hunter and explain in what way it is obvious he knows very little about how science is supposed to work.

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    4. Admittedly, this is the first time I have visited Mr. Hunter's blog so I plead guilty to not being familiar with his backlog of proof that evolutionary theory is an "outstanding example of bad science" maybe he could humour me with an example.

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    5. But of course. Here is one example. Evolution claims to be a fact, beyond all reasonable doubt. And yet it fails to explain how the species evolved and it has generated a long list of false predictions. For example:

      https://sites.google.com/site/darwinspredictions/home

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    6. "But of course. Here is one example. Evolution claims to be a fact, beyond all reasonable doubt."

      The fossil record shows that evolution is a fact. Darwin didn't invent evolution. All he did was to propose a very high level mechanism by which it might work. And, in doing so, he went way out on a limb because nobody knew how inheritance worked.

      The mechanisms of evolution are not accepted as fact by any scientist. There is disagreement as to the importance of natural selection vs drift; the importance of horizontal gene flow; the importance of epigenetics; how sex cams about and it's importance.

      So, please, explain to me how this is accepted as fact.

      With regard to the link, please select one of the numerous "problems" that you see with evolution so that I can respond. You might find that I agree with you, because there is still much to learn. But not knowing something is not the same as saying that god did it.

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    7. The fossil record shows that evolution is a fact.

      No, that is not true. It shows *what* species lived in the past, not *how* they arose. That is where theory comes in. There is a difference between the data and the theory.

      So, please, explain to me how this is accepted as fact.

      http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/05/evolution-is-scientific-fact.html

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    8. Acartia,

      "The fossil record shows that evolution is a fact."

      Really, how?

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    9. But not knowing something is not the same as saying that god did it.

      Well we're not talking about either one. This is not cases of "not knowing." These are cases of false predictions. Do you understand the role and importance of predictions in science? Earlier you said that I "obviously know very little about how science is supposed to work." So far you're not making your point very well.

      As for selecting a particular false prediction. How about you select the one you know the most about, so you can critically examine it?

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    10. CH: "No, that is not true. It shows *what* species lived in the past, not *how* they arose. That is where theory comes in. There is a difference between the data and the theory"

      No, there was an evolution (change) of forms over time. That is a fact. Darwin proposed a theory to explain this (natural selection). It would seem pretty silly for him to propose a theory to explain a non fact.

      Yes, I know that science doesn't deal with facts. But you have to be honest and let your readers know that a theory is as close as science can ever get to fact.

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    11. No, there was an evolution (change) of forms over time.

      You are equivocating on "evolution." It means a naturalistic origins, usually entailing common descent.

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    12. Darwin didn't propose a theory. He had some ideas but no theory. To this day there isn't any theory of evolution

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    13. Joe, keep repeating this. Maybe you will convince a few gullible people that what you are saying is true.

      By the way, why were you banned from UD?

      Delete
    14. It is true. The fact that no one can reference a theory of evolution proves my claim is true.

      Also there are biologists who say it. Go figure...

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    15. Joe, I don't want to derail Dr. Hunter's thread so why don't we take this discussion over to UD. The next time you ask this question at UD I will respond to you.

      Delete
    16. Yes, we all understand that you have nothing, not even a theory of evolution. And the sock puppet "William Spearshake" has been banned from UD and never could answer anything anyway.

      So you are just a loser all the way down...

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    17. Joe, yes, William Spearshake has been banned, but I have a couple other sockpuppets that have not been. I will respond to you the next time you make this farcical statement at UD.

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    18. What farcical statement? I made a factual statement.

      And again, it doesn't matter how many puppets you have, not one of them will ever answer anything about the alleged theory of evolution. But perhaps I can cox one of my socks to ask the question.

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    19. Why would you need a sock? Have you been banned at UD?

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    20. LoL! Why do YOU need many socks? Do you really suck so bad that you need to be bailed out multiple times?

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    21. Hmmm. Sounds like someone avoiding the question. Have you been banned from UD? Don't worry, it is nothing to be ashamed of. It happens to the best of us. Some of us more frequently than others.

      Delete
    22. Well maybe Darwin's God can be a place for UD refugees .

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    23. Cornelius, as long as you don't behave like Barry in your moderation (which is deplorable) I am willing to participate. So far, I haven't seen anything that I would object to with regard to your moderation.

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    24. Wow, all of that just to try to distract from the fact there isn't any theory of evolution.

      Very telling

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    25. I told you Joe, I would respond to you at UD. But we both know that Barry has abandoned you. What did you do?

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    26. Yes, we all know that you are a bluffing coward.

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    27. Joe, thank you for the well thought out and articulate response to a simple question.

      Have you been banned from UD? And why?

      Delete
    28. Stop trying to derail the thread with irrelevant cowardice.

      Ask Barry. He knows if I am banned or not and he would know the reason(s).

      Delete
    29. How do you define "banned"? For me it means "never being able to post there again".

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    30. How do you spell equivocation? Let me try: J. O. E.

      Yes, I think that captures it.

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    31. How do you spell cowardice? A-c-a-r-t-i-a T-o-n-s-a

      That definitely captures it.

      Delete
    32. And still no theory of evolution. Go figure...

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    33. My comprehension is fine. For example, you have made the following statement repeatedly at UD:

      "Your position doesn’t have a mechanism capable of explaining the diversity of life. Given starting populations of prokaryotes you can’t get beyond more populations of prokaryotes."

      But I just saw the same statement at UD by a Virgil Cain. I think that you should charge him with plagiarism.

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    34. Your comprehension is crap. Virgil Cain just speaks the truth.

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    35. Also, if you were really able to comprehend, you would have posted your "comprehension" response here, were it belongs.

      Just sayin'... ;)

      Delete
  2. Dr. Hunter, thanks for the post. I think you did a better job of hitting the nails on the head with this post than with any other.

    "Life would be much easier if the evidence simply supported evolution, if evolutionary thought was a stellar example of intellectual progress, if—to put it simply—evolution was an undeniable scientific fact, just as evolutionists insist. But it’s not." Yes! Yes!

    "Simply put, if we’re not to appeal to miracles, then the world must have arisen naturalistically." Yes!

    But I live in a world of miracles! I have personally experienced dozens. I know of others who have each experiended their dozens, or hundreds. Miracles are abundant! Why the scientific community can't find them is beyond puzzling to me. It is all philosophical, not evidentiary, as far as I can tell.

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    1. bFast, maybe we should examine one of the "miracles" that you say you have personally experienced. Please describe one of them.

      And please don't say the "miracle" of child birth. Something that occurs thousands of times each day is not a miracle.

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    2. Ok, at the risk of you dissing God's work.

      I was usher at a friend's wedding. I and another usher worked very hard to make some decoration for the back of the wedding car. (The groom was very concerned that we were going to do something dastardly to the getaway car, so he was being very secretive.) We made a scroll of colorful ribbons, that could be attached quickly.

      As the couple exited the church, the getaway car became obvious. The other usher and I began putting our ribbon contraption on the car. To make sure that they wouldn't escape, I wrapped my legs around the rear tire of the car.

      The best man jumped into the drivers seat, the bride and groom into the back. The best man did not realize that my legs were wrapped around the back wheel of the car as he rushed to start the car to make a quick getaway.

      ...

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    3. Acartia,

      "Something that occurs thousands of times each day is not a miracle."

      Thanks, for the useful insight. I was not aware there was a daily quantity limit on miracles. This is really good to know. I guess I will have to be much more cynical from now on.

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    4. " I was not aware there was a daily quantity limit on miracles."

      If "miracles" occurred with unending frequency, wouldn't they cease to be miracles?

      When i first saw the bay of Fundy tides, i thought that they were a miracle. When I first saw the northern lights, I thought they were a miracle. And I thought that it was a miracle when the first girl I asked on a date (45 years ago) accepted.

      I have since learned that they can all be rationally explained (OK, my first date is still a mystery).

      My point is that miracles are nothing more than things we do not understand yet. Classifying them as miracles is just lazy.

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    5. Acartia,

      "If "miracles" occurred with unending frequency, wouldn't they cease to be miracles?"

      No.

      "When i first saw the bay of Fundy tides, i thought that they were a miracle. When I first saw the northern lights, I thought they were a miracle."

      As these events never were miraculous the fact we now understand how they occur hardly qualifies as an argument against miracles.

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    6. Acartia, are you totally uninterested in hearing the rest of the story? You ask to be shown a miracle, but you look away when you are about to be shown one?

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    7. Nic, science is not capable of proving that miracles do not occur. And it is not capable of proving that god does not exist. But it is also not capable of proving that leprechauns, Santa Clause and the tooth fairy do not exist.

      If something can't be falsified, how can it be a problem for anything?

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    8. bFast:: "Acartia, are you totally uninterested in hearing the rest of the story? You ask to be shown a miracle, but you look away when you are about to be shown one?"

      No, I would love to hear the end of your story. Please tell.

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    9. The best man had been instructed to go nowhere because the groom had arranged for another car to come up beside the first. They entered the passenger rear door of the car we were decorating and exited the driver's rear, and into another car.

      However, the best man was a hothead who hadn't been listening. He did not understand what was happening, and he was driving away ...

      Only, this late model reliable car refused to start! Had it started, my leg would have been toast! As soon as the couple drove away in the second car, and the best man figured out what was happening, suddenly the car started just fine. A half-dozen would-be experts poked their noses under the hood, turned the car off and on a few times, and came out baffled that the car didn't start.

      Why didn't it start? Oh I know, cars don't start all of the time. Well, modern cars start pretty much all of the time -- unless they are broken. When they are broken they don't start until fixed.

      But more importantly, two situations merged -- my need for the car to not start right then, and the car refusing to start right then. Of the thousands of times that the car started just fine, the one time that mattered, it didn't.

      You will probably respond with your worship of dumb luck, I thank my God.

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    10. bFast, I am glad that the car did not start. But to call it a miracle is a stretch. Throughout my life, I have had numerous "close calls" that could have resulted in serious injury or death. But I wouldn't have called any of them miracles.

      Why would god grant you a miracle and not grant one to a child dying of cancer? Because you are purer that the child? Because the child didn't "believe" enough? Because god wanted the child by his side? Sorry, but I can't buy that.

      Acartia

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    11. Ah the puzzle of why God does not grant the miracle to the dying child. Do I find it puzzling? I very much do.

      However, another puzzle for you. When my father was 86, he was diagnosed with stomach cancer. It was June when I talked with the doctor about it. He said that there was a 50% chance he would be dead by the end of summer. He said that, barring a miracle, he would be dead by Christmas. (The doctor then amplified by saying that he believes in miracles.) The doctor informed me that Dad would not eat solid food again, and that the last week of his life would be "excruciating." Dad was "claiming a miracle" which none of his children expected -- after all, why would God waste a miracle on someone so old. Well, by Christmas Dad was back eating solid food. He lived on until his first two great-grandchildren were born and he had another birthday. The day that he passed quietly in his sleep, he was eating solid food. His death certificate says that he died of stomach cancer. His death, however, was absolutely inconsistent with a stomach cancer death. God healed him. He died of old age. Why the heck would God heal an old man of cancer, and let the child die? I really don't know.

      "Throughout my life, I have had numerous "close calls" that could have resulted in serious injury or death."
      I have two comments, first I believe that we all experience miracles -- some of us have eyes to see what they are. After all, Matthew 5:45 says "He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous."

      Second, when was the last time that you had a "close call" where you were saved by the temporary failing of a machine?

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    12. bFast,I am glad to hear about your grandfather, but relapses of cancer are rare but not uncommon. It is also well demonstrated that mental attitude can have a significant impact on health outcomes. That is why drug tests are performed using double blind controlled tests.

      I suspect that we will never agree on the concept of miracles. And that is fine. Life would be boring if everyone agreed on everything.

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    13. bFast, you're blessed. I like your scripture reference. Indeed, we all benefit from God's benevolent good will.

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    14. Acartia,

      "If something can't be falsified, how can it be a problem for anything?"

      If miracles could be shown to be false then they would not be a problem for evolution. It's the fact they cannot which creates headaches for evolutionists.

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  4. Origin of life in a materialistic scenario is a miracle. The transition from prokaryotes to eukaryotes was also a miracle. The invention of meiosis was another miracle.

    With evolutionism it's miracles all the way down.

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  5. Joe, improbability is not a miracle. It is just improbable. The probability of the two sets of DNA getting together to eventually develop into the individual that is you is astronomically improbable. But it happened. Was that a miracle? No, it was biology.

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    1. It isn't that it is improbable. You don't have a mechanism capable. And you don't have any way of testing the claims of evolutionism.

      Biology? No. Your position is all miracles.

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  6. Miracles never went away, they were just replaced. Creation of life by god was replaced with an untestable, miraculous evolutionary force; and creation of the universe by God was replaced by an infinite multiverse just so that we could exist. You tell me which is more miraculous.

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  7. So, Joe,

    Has Barry banninated you or not?

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    1. He is too gutless to be honest.

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    2. No one has said anything to me. I have been in UD purgatory before only to return.

      It isn't really an issue, Alan. It isn't as if ID's critics have anything valid to offer in the way of criticism nor a viable alternative to explain the evidence. And now all that is there is the Zachriel a known insipid troll and a few sock puppets who just waste bandwidth.

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    3. "No one has said anything to me. I have been in UD purgatory before only to return."

      Barry doesn't say thing to anyone when he bans them. Are you seriously trying to tell us that you don't know if you are banned? Forgive me if I call you a liar.

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    4. So you are unable to comprehend what I post. Typical.

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    5. Joe: "And now all that is there is the Zachriel a known insipid troll and a few sock puppets who just waste bandwidth."

      Would Virgil Cain be one of those insipid trolls?

      If you don't know whether or not you have been banned at UD, why are you posting there as Virgil Cain? Or would you like to return to your claim that frequency = wavelength?

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    6. If I have the wavelength then I have the frequency. They are different representations of the same thing.

      And what would be the reason to say that Virgil Cain is an insipid troll?

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    7. OK. The wavelength is ten meters. What is the frequency?

      A troll is someone who refuses to admit a mistake even when it is clearly pointed out to them. And, since Virgil is you, the conclusion stands.

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    8. If I have the wavelength then I have the frequency.

      The wavelength is ten meters. What is the frequency?

      You are an imbecile. I don't have the wavelength. If you have the wavelength then use 1/T and you have the frequency. Moron.

      A troll is someone who refuses to admit a mistake even when it is clearly pointed out to them.

      Or someone who just makes up definitions as it goes. And you fit your definition. Nice own goal.

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    9. Joe; If I have the wavelength then I have the frequency.

      Me: The wavelength is ten meters. What is the frequency?

      Joe: You are an imbecile. I don't have the wavelength. If you have the wavelength then use 1/T and you have the frequency. Moron.

      I gave you the wavelength. Ten meters. Now, tell me what the frequency is, as promised by your statement above. Here, let me repeat your statement because I know you have a short attention span:

      If I have the wavelength then I have the frequency.

      Or you could do the mature thing and finally admit that you were in error when you stated that frequency = wavelength. But I won't hold my breath.

      William Spearshake (aka Acartia tonsa

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    10. Again, I do NOT have the wavelength. I do not believe you as you are proven to be nothing but an imbecile on an agenda. When I have the wavelength it will appear on my 'scope.

      If you have the wavelength then just do the calculation. 1/T where T is the time it takes for the completion of one cycle.

      Anyone can do it.

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  8. Re the title of the OP:

    Miracles are a Glaring Problem for Evolution, and Here’s Why

    I'm not seeing any explanation for "why" in the text of the OP. And the personification of "Evolution" is quite amusing. Dr Hunter should try recasting that in E-prime to see the absurdity.

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    1. The "why" is because of evolutionism's total lack of a testable mechanism to explain what we observe.

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    2. I assume the implication from Dr. Hunter is that since he regards supernatural miracles are anathema to evolution, they are an essential part of the alternative that he advocates. Of course he rarely talks about this, but it is of course clear that he believes the Christian God is responsible for the creation of the world (whatever from that could be, whether it was creationism or intelligent design). In other words, his religion drives his science. And since he is a faculty member of Biola, then we can reasonably assume he adheres to their doctrinal statement, which in part "The existence and nature of the creation is due to the direct miraculous power of God."

      And furthermore it is a HR requirement at Biola that employees must affirm that their own theological views align with this doctrinal statement.

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    3. JDRick, "In other words, his religion drives his science." Not proven. Just because a person has a religious perspective (by the way, we all do) doesn't mean that we let our religion do the driving of our science. In fact, if we are clear about what our religious perspective is, it is easier for us to keep it separate from our science. (This is a primary teaching of Freudian psychology.) The problem with the atheist community is that they are blind to the fact that they have a religious perspective. The result is that their denial causes unexpected influence on their position.

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    4. bFast " Not proven. Just because a person has a religious perspective (by the way, we all do) doesn't mean that we let our religion do the driving of our science."

      Well, I think I could be forgiven for thinking the opposite. The title and content of this OP is all about miracles; it's a little obscure what Dr. Hunter is getting out, but certainly there is a very clear implication that miracles should be considered. Last I checked miracles are very much a religious idea.

      And look at that excerpt from the Biola doctrinal statement - "The existence and nature of the creation is due to the direct miraculous power of God." In fact Biola employees are EXPECTED to let their religion drive science!

      But why not just be honest about it. Why not just say what this doctrinal statement says - "we believe God is responsible for life on earth". What is there to be ashamed of?

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    5. it's a little obscure

      How is it obscure?

      but certainly there is a very clear implication that miracles should be considered

      How is that "very clear"?

      I'm asking these questions because it doesn't seem you read the OP.

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    6. Maybe Dr Hunter you can help me understand it now. SInce evolution has ruled out miracles, I'm going to assume you think miracles should be considered, as part of the science of origins? Yes or no?

      Would you agree that to expect miracles as real is a religious position? Yes or no?

      If you answered yes to the above two questions, then would you agree that there is a religious position behind your understanding of science? Yes or no?

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    7. JD:

      Since evolution has ruled out miracles, I'm going to assume you think miracles should be considered, as part of the science of origins? Yes or no?

      No, that doesn’t follow.


      Would you agree that to expect miracles as real is a religious position? Yes or no?

      It may be, it may not be. The evolutionary position on miracles is religious, as it derives from beliefs about special divine action, for example. An empirically-based position, on the other hand, which derives from what we observe, is not religious.


      … would you agree that there is a religious position behind your understanding of science? Yes or no?

      No, unlike evolutionists, I follow the data.

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    8. Don't you agree though with the Biola Doctrinal Statement:

      "The existence and nature of the creation is due to the direct miraculous power of God"?

      Isn't it clear that this statement is saying that an understanding of the origins comes directly from God?

      How can this not affect how you approach and practice science? And if it does, what's so wrong with that? Why be ashamed of admitting that your core religious beliefs do in fact influence your worldviews in every way, including science?

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    9. JD:


      Don't you agree though with the Biola Doctrinal Statement: "The existence and nature of the creation is due to the direct miraculous power of God"?

      That’s not the Biola Doctrinal Statement.


      Isn't it clear that this statement is saying that an understanding of the origins comes directly from God?

      No.


      And if it does, what's so wrong with that? Why be ashamed of admitting that your core religious beliefs do in fact influence your worldviews in every way, including science?

      Funny, that is precisely the question for evolutionists.

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    10. Cornelius Hunter

      No, unlike evolutionists, I follow the data.


      What data do you follow on miracles? Can you please provide an example?

      It would be a huge help if you could provide your definition of miracle. bFast and several others below have defined it as "any highly improbable event". How improbable does an event have to be to be considered a miracle?

      What is your recommendation as how science should handle miracles?

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    12. CH: "That’s not the Biola Doctrinal Statement."

      Yes, it is. Go here: https://www.biola.edu/about/doctrinal-statement/

      Scroll down to the Theological Distinctives section. Here's a fuller extract:

      "The existence and nature of the creation is due to the direct miraculous power of God. The origin of the universe, the origin of life, the origin of kinds of living things, and the origin of humans cannot be explained adequately apart from reference to that intelligent exercise of power. A proper understanding of science does not require that all phenomena in nature must be explained solely by reference to physical events, laws and chance."

      If that isn't a theological statement that is designed to influence a scientific worldview I don't know what is.

      Do you not agree with this Dr. Hunter?

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    13. There isn't any data that supports evolutionism, hence the call for miracles. And that is why evolutionism is not science.

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    14. From Biola's web site: https://www.biola.edu/hr/university_employment/

      " Biola's position from its inception has been and remains Christian, Protestant and theologically conservative. Prospective and existing employees must affirm that their personal theological beliefs are in agreement with the Biola Doctrinal Statement."

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    15. JDRick, "Last I checked miracles are very much a religious idea."

      JD, you are dumb as a rock and blind as one too. First I encountered a miracle, then I became a Christian. Miracles are. I know that. I have witnessed it. As miracles are very much a religious idea, it is only sane of me to be religious.

      You begin with denial. You poopoo all miracles because of your religious commitment. Your religious position drives your science -- and it matters.

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    16. bFast: "JD, you are dumb as a rock and blind as one too. "

      Oh nice, is the name-calling really necessary? I think I'm being civil and polite. And actually I don't think I did poopoo miracles at all and haven't even commented on your accounts. All I'm doing is trying to ascertain whether Dr. Hunter considers miracles an a priori requisite for his scientific worldview (whatever that is, be or ID or something else - we never know!)

      I didn't comment on your story at all or any other story of miracles on this site.

      You are completely missing my point. Dr. Hunter claims that "religion drives science'. Maybe it does, but it's very clear that his religion (probably the same as yours I'm guessing) clearly influences and directs the way he views science. The issue is that nobody seemingly wants to own up to this, that's all.

      I think if people in the ID movement were all a bit more honest and more transparent about their motivations and intentions, they might find your audience a little more receptive. But to pretend that somehow faith does not influence a scientific worldview is very disingenuous.


      Delete
    17. JDRick, "Oh nice, is the name-calling really necessary? ... and haven't even commented on your accounts." Sorry for the insult, I was hoping to jar you into listening. You did reference my dialog thread, you quoted me when you made the miracles = religion comment. Miracles are. Your options: denial or respect that this "religious" phenomenon exists.

      JDRick, "I think if people in the ID movement were all a bit more honest and more transparent about their motivations and intentions, they might find your audience a little more receptive. But to pretend that somehow faith does not influence a scientific worldview is very disingenuous."

      On this I totally agree with you. This knife cuts both ways. It certainly cuts true that materialists are biased because of their philosophical position.

      In Dr. Hunter's defense, however, you may find yourself to be a little more receptive of audience with him, but very many wouldn't if he confirmed his philosophical position. (I'm actually not that convinced that you would.) Mostly, we get "you are a Christian -- no wonder, write your perspective off."

      The science speaks clearly, it speaks clearly of miracles. The greatest of these clear-spoken miracles is the big bang. Yet the deniers (you) busily kling to musings about some alternative explanation because the obvious explanation is anathema.

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    18. Adapa:

      What is your recommendation as how science should handle miracles?

      Well a scientist has some options. One can disallow miracles (following the so-called methodological naturalism principle), but as a consequence must forfeit either completeness (Bacon) or realism (Descartes). Or allow for miracles, but then have both completeness and realism (several 17th c. Royal Society members). You can see the details here:

      http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2012/04/what-evolutionists-dont-understand.html

      What's funny is that evolutionists insist on the methodological naturalism principle and on having both completeness and realism, to boot. They are ignorant of both the history and philosophy of science, illustrating again that evolution is not about the science.

      Delete
    19. JD:

      Yes, it is. Go here: https://www.biola.edu/about/doctrinal-statement/

      No, it isn’t. It is one of the teaching positions on topics subject to interpretation. Again, you need to read it.

      Delete
    20. Thanks, Dr. Hunter, for the link to your earlier post. It was very clear and helpful. It also does a great job of explaining why miracles are a glaring problem for evolution. (Some have suggested that you didn't make that point clear in this post. I reiterate for them that the link you just provided does a great job of it!)

      If any miracle, if anything is outside the zone of naturalism, then the green circle is not completely enclosed in the orange circle -- true solutions are not fully contained by naturalistic solutions. One miracle, and poof, methodological naturalism is incomplete as an explanation.

      Delete
    21. CH: "No, it isn’t. It is one of the teaching positions on topics subject to interpretation. Again, you need to read it."

      It's on the page that at the top is entitled "Biola Doctrinal Statement", There is nothing on this page that says it is subject to interpretation. There is nothing that talks about teaching positions. The entire page is called Doctrinal Statement.

      But do you agree with it or not?

      Delete
    22. JD:

      It's on the page that at the top is entitled "Biola Doctrinal Statement", There is nothing on this page that says it is subject to interpretation. There is nothing that talks about teaching positions.

      I tried. You’re obviously not reading it. I’m correcting you and you’re simply making false claims in response.

      Delete
    23. Adapa, "How improbable does an event have to be to be considered a miracle?"

      William Dembski has sought to provide a scientifically valid threshold. He calls it the universal probability bound. He defines it as 1 in 10 ^ 150. This value is chosen because 10 ^ 150 is greater than the number of atoms in the known universe. (In truth, with information such as DNA contains, meeting the UPB is, like, real easy.)

      I think that personal thresholds of probability must be factored in. If one person experiences a dozen "one in a million" life-benefiting events, he may factor these together and see that he has experienced one 1 in 1,000,000 ^ 12 highly unlikely life effecting events -- far exceeding the universal probability bound. Um, consider how much more interesting it is when someone wins their second $1M lottery. What if someone won the $1M 12 times!? Would you presume that they are cheating?

      Delete
    24. JDRick, I have been reading the thread dialog between you and Dr. Hunter. In my opinion you are being mean and vicious. You believe that you have Dr. Hunter between a rock and a hard place, and you are attempting to beat the career out of him.

      If Dr. Hunter disagrees with one small aspect of the doctrinal statement, you envision getting him fired. If he agrees, you want to pick at him because you think he has taken a scientifically untenable position. (I actually do to, as I can find no scientific support for a literal Adam and Eve.)

      JDRick, quit being a donkey's behind! Call off your vicious dogs. Let Dr. Hunter peacefully have his career and have the freedom to explore the evidence wherever it leads.

      Delete
    25. I know, Dr. Hunter probably has tenure, and isn't fireable -- but you still seek to put tension between him and his workplace.

      I often do Bible teaching. I teach within the context of a church that is very "young earth". There is a line that all free-thinkers must walk when working in groups. The line between an "I can work within this philosophical context" and "I truly and completely agree". The "I can work within this philosophical context" position is reasonable. Outing me within my Church community as one who has a difference of opinion would just make trouble for all -- it would benefit noone.

      Delete
    26. I'm not trying to get anybody fired. I just pointed out that Biola has a doctrinal statement that provides a theological perspective on origins science. Was just wondering what Dr. Hunter thought about it, that's all.

      Delete
    27. And if Dr. Hunter is not fully in line with Biola's perspective, if he is sufficiently in line that he can work within that philosophical context, what do you gain by outing him? You only gain tension and strife within his work environment. No outing! Its mean and vicious.

      Delete
    28. Well a scientist has some options. One can disallow miracles (following the so-called methodological naturalism principle), but as a consequence must forfeit either completeness (Bacon) or realism (Descartes). Or allow for miracles, but then have both completeness and realism (several 17th c. Royal Society members). You can see the details here:

      That's nice Dr. Hunter but it's meaningless unless you define "miracle".

      May we have your definition please, and your method for determining when an event qualifies as a "miracle"?

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    29. bFast

      William Dembski has sought to provide a scientifically valid threshold. He calls it the universal probability bound. He defines it as 1 in 10 ^ 150.


      That's not Dembski's probability for a miracle. It's his probability for detecting when something is intelligently designed.

      Are you now claiming intelligent design and miracles are the same thing??

      Delete
    30. Adapa:

      That's nice Dr. Hunter but it's meaningless unless you define "miracle".

      Hmm, why is that true? Did you read the post? Descartes' position (forfeit realism) obviously does not hinge on a definition of miracles. Nor does the forfeit method position. Only Bacon's position (forfeit completeness) would be concerned with such a definition, but even then there is no reason why any specific definition would be required. It could be used with any or all of several such definitions. Why are you so concerned with nailing down such a definition?

      Delete
    31. OK, you don't have a definition of miracle you're willing to share. All the OP rhetoric about how science ignores miracles is thereby rendered meaningless too.

      Thanks for clearing that up.

      Delete
    32. Adapa, that's Dembski's definition of when "chance" is no longer a reasonably conceivable explanation.

      Delete
    33. bFast

      Adapa, that's Dembski's definition of when "chance" is no longer a reasonably conceivable explanation.


      Again that means there's no difference between intelligent design and a miracle. How do you tell those two different options (designed or miracle) apart?

      Delete
    34. So designing a car requires a miracle? Really?

      Delete
    35. Adapa, "How do you tell those two different options (designed or miracle) apart?" Good question.

      First, I think that a design is a strategy, a miracle is an implementation of the strategy. Obviously a strategy implemented by a person is not considered a miracle, but a strategy (design) implemented without man or his machines, ie by God, is a miracle.

      I like that.

      Delete
    36. bFast

      Adapa, "How do you tell those two different options (designed or miracle) apart?" Good question.

      First, I think that a design is a strategy, a miracle is an implementation of the strategy. Obviously a strategy implemented by a person is not considered a miracle, but a strategy (design) implemented without man or his machines, ie by God, is a miracle.

      I like that.
      ?

      Great but you didn't answer the question. How do you tell an intelligent design and a miracle apart?

      Delete
    37. Actually I did answer your question. The design and the miracle are two aspects of the same thing (at least when implemented outside of man's control.) Consider the obviously strategised event of the HAR1F gene. If you recall, this gene is rock stable in all mammals -- except humans. It took on 18 non-contiguous mutations one day. Now "design" had to conceive of an improved HAR1F to put into the human -- a miracle mutation (probably 1 but maybe a few more) implemented that design, that strategy.

      Design -- figuring out what to do, miracle -- doing it.

      Delete
    38. That's still not an answer. "Miracle" isn't a mechanism any more that saying "magic" is a mechanism.

      Come to think of it; ID, miracle and magic all have the identical explanatory power - none.

      Delete
    39. And yet design explains quite a bit in forensics, archaeology and SETI. You must be ignorant.

      Delete
    40. Adapa, ""Miracle" isn't a mechanism any more that saying "magic" is a mechanism."

      You know this because you have a philosophical commitment to naturalism. Your philosophy is driving your science. Earlier I sited examples of miracles that I have personally experienced.

      If miracles happen, they happen. If your philosophy can't address that, your philosophy is wrong! Its time to get a new philosophy then, isn't it.

      Delete
    41. OK, you don't have a definition of miracle you're willing to share. All the OP rhetoric about how science ignores miracles is thereby rendered meaningless too.

      Thanks for clearing that up.


      This is what you get from evolutionists.

      Delete
    42. Cornelius Hunter

      This is what you get from evolutionists.


      Yes, scientists do have this nasty habit of pointing out when Creationist apologists use vague undefined terms and empty rhetoric to attack science that contradicts their religious beliefs.

      Tell us Dr. Hunter, why did you single out evolution as having a problem with miracles when there is no scientific field that accepts miracles as an explanation? Not geology, not chemistry, not physics, not botany, not paleontology, not genetics.

      I can't wait for your post on how leprechauns are a glaring problem for evolution. :)

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    43. Evolutionism requires many miracles.

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    44. Adapa:

      Yes, scientists do have this nasty habit of pointing out when Creationist apologists use vague undefined terms and empty rhetoric to attack science that contradicts their religious beliefs.

      Your troll is showing again.

      Tell us Dr. Hunter, why did you single out evolution as having a problem with miracles when there is no scientific field that accepts miracles as an explanation?

      For the answer to that question, you would actually have to read the post Thorton. Now, you asked about the definition of a miracle, and I gave you the explanation, including a link to a post explaining the issue in more detail. You skipped the whole thing and went full troll on us. You also ignored my question to you (“Why are you so concerned with nailing down such a definition?”), because answering it would have required you actually to engage the issue. And you know what happens when trolls don’t engage the issue.

      Delete
    45. Cornelius Hunter

      [crickets] ...

      The threat of censorship and banning does tend to rapidly end all discussion of dissenting opinions. That's why so many creationist sites like UD rely so heavily on it. Look at how well it's worked to bolster their credibility.

      Delete
  9. Can anyone here define "miracle" and give a way to objectively tell when one occurred?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Google's top answer, "A miracle is an event not explicable by natural or scientific laws."

      I would expand that an event that is fortuitous beyond reasonable expectation is a miracle. Understand that it may feel like a miracle to the person who wins the lottery. However, the lottery is rigged so that someone will win. However, if the winning of the lottery strikingly coincides with a particular need for the winnings, it becomes more miraclesque (how's that for a word.)

      Delete
    2. Google's top answer, "A miracle is an event not explicable by natural or scientific laws."

      So as soon as a scientific explanation is found the event stops being a miracle. A "miracle of the gaps" in other words.

      I would expand that an event that is fortuitous beyond reasonable expectation is a miracle.

      What is the objective way to determine "beyond reasonable expectations"? A probability of 1 in 100? 1 in 1000?

      Looks like miracles are in the eye of the beholder. That's not very scientific now is it?

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    3. That is what I was trying to say earlier. A miracle, by bFast's definition, is nothing more than a highly improbable event..

      By his definition, an unexpected remission from cancer would be a miracle. But by the same definition, an unexpected occurrence of cancer (eg., breast cancer in a man) would also be a miracle.

      I will start believing in miracles when Joe can start commenting without name calling

      Delete
    4. "A miracle, by bFast's definition, is nothing more than a highly improbable event." A miracle by William Dembski's definition is a highly improbable event.

      By the materialist's definition, the highly improbable event of a bunch of atoms jumping together in one fell swoop and becoming a living cell is just a highly improbable event -- so what.

      Delete
    5. Acartia:
      I will start believing in miracles when Joe can start commenting without name calling

      I call them as I see them. You're a sock puppet who always lies, misrepresents and equivocates. I will start believing in miracles when evos can start commenting without lying, misrepresenting and equivocating.

      Delete
    6. Adapa,

      "So as soon as a scientific explanation is found the event stops being a miracle."

      It does? Why would that be the case?

      Delete
    7. bFast, I apologize for drawing you into the middle of a Joe crapfest. You do not deserve it.

      Can you direct me to any materialist/naturalist/Darwinist who suggested that life originated by:

      "... a bunch of atoms jumping together in one fell swoop and becoming a living cell..."

      I am not aware of anyone who is suggesting this. Are you?

      Delete
    8. Nic

      Adapa,

      "So as soon as a scientific explanation is found the event stops being a miracle."

      It does? Why would that be the case?


      That's the first definition of miracle bFast offered. "A miracle is an event not explicable by natural or scientific laws." To me that means when it is investigated and a natural, scientific explanation is found it stops being a miracle.

      How else can you read it?

      BTW kudos to bFast for being the only one brave enough to provide a definition of "miracle".

      Delete
    9. Adapa,

      Perhaps a reading of C.S. Lewis' classic work Miracles would be of great value.

      By the way, because an event can be explained naturally does not mean it was not miraculous.

      Delete
    10. Acartia Tonsa, "I am not aware of anyone who is suggesting this. Are you?"

      Real scientists aren't suggesting this, but layfolk do all of the time. There is clearly a point, however, which you acknowledge by asking this question, where an event is so improbable that it must be considered miraculous. Dembski has attempted to define that point. The scientific community has not -- the scientific community doesn't have the cajones (in my opinion) to define "impossible by natural means".

      Delete
  10. Joe, thank you for always being predictable. I just won $20 on your comment. I am now enjoying a beer because of it.

    Have a nice weekend. Unless, of course, there is a toaster needing repair.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LoL! You have a brain the size of an Acartia tonsa! I have won so much money on evoTARD predictability I no longer have to work.

      Thank you.

      Delete
    2. I've tried posting to this blog before but they always seem to disappear into the eather much like socks in the laundry. This is a particularly interesting post so I'll try agian.

      As I understand it a miracle is an event that cannot be explained by natural or scientific laws. (thanks Google)

      It seems to me that that this definition of miracle is always in flux with what we know about the laws of nature.

      Laws are only effective within their domain. Traffic laws are specific to locations and even then there are provisions for them to be abandoned through the power of blue light.

      Why is it unscientific to consider the possibility of transcendent laws that are quite natural but beyond our ability to observe? What is natural other than what happens as part of the natural order?

      I can understand the argument that miracles imply an intelligent intervention and therefore not "natural", but given the testimonial evidence of miraculous happenings I would think it more scientific to pursue an understanding of these events rather than simply deny their existence. Science is quite satisfied with I don't know" when it comes to origins but only with the caveat of "I don't know... but definitely not that!" I'm not a scientist but is it really scientific to say "I can't see it so it's not real"?

      Delete
  11. ohandy1

    I can understand the argument that miracles imply an intelligent intervention and therefore not "natural", but given the testimonial evidence of miraculous happenings I would think it more scientific to pursue an understanding of these events rather than simply deny their existence. Science is quite satisfied with I don't know" when it comes to origins but only with the caveat of "I don't know... but definitely not that!" I'm not a scientist but is it really scientific to say "I can't see it so it's not real"?


    The God of the Gaps has been a mainstay Creationist argument for hundreds of years. No one expects they'd abandon it in favor of intellectual honesty now.

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    Replies
    1. And archaeology uses the designer of the gaps- forensics is the criminal of the gaps

      Delete
    2. And archaeology uses the designer of the gaps- forensics is the criminal of the gaps

      Archaeology proposes a mechanism, a timeline, the identity of the designer(s), provides testable and falsifiable hypotheses.

      Forensics proposes a mechanism, a timeline, the identity of the perpetrator, provides testable and falsifiable hypotheses.

      ID offers no mechanism, no timeline, no identity for the Designer (wink wink), no testable hypotheses, and no way to be falsified. ID sits impotently by and screams "YOUR SIDE HAS NO EVIDENCE!! as its only output. ID is very popular with scientifically illiterate toaster repairmen however because it doesn't require them to think or do any work.

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    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    4. Archaeology proposes a mechanism, a timeline, the identity of the designer(s), provides testable and falsifiable hypotheses.

      They don't know the mechanism beyond "someone didit"

      ID provides falsifiable hypotheses. Your ignorance, while amusing, means nothing.

      Archaeology and forensics first identify design before trying to figure out how, who and when.

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    5. Adapa

      I don't think God of the Gaps is a good representation of the creationist position. As a creationist I believe creation is completely in line with all of nature. I don't think all of what's natural can be squeezed into the paradigm as it's currently defined.

      I completely disagree with your comparison. Forensic evidence can point to a murderer without identifying that person or even explaining how that person arrived, motives for the crime, or where the person went afterwards. When the forensic evidence says a death is inconsistent with accidental or natural causes it is assumed there was another person involved. ID simply states that the evidence of origin and biodiversity is inconsistent with naturalistic mechanisms. But instead of allowing for an as yet undefinable mechanism like a designer evolutionists presume to know better.

      I could go on. Dark matter is presumed to exist because it's necessary to make the math work. The evidence says there is something else at work so that something is presumed to exist and assigned an identity.

      Yet when the math doesn't work for origin of life there is no search for another input.

      curious

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    6. Ohandy1

      Forensic evidence can point to a murderer without identifying that person or even explaining how that person arrived, motives for the crime, or where the person went afterwards.


      But forensics hypothesizes that a human purposely committed the crime, a hypothesis that can be falsified by evidence. What falsifiable hypotheses does ID make?

      D simply states that the evidence of origin and biodiversity is inconsistent with naturalistic mechanisms.

      That's ID's claim but it has zero supporting evidence.

      But instead of allowing for an as yet undefinable mechanism like a designer evolutionists presume to know better.

      Science doesn't says ID is impossible. Science only says there's no positive evidence of such a Designer. Science requires all hypotheses be supported with positive evidence. ID doesn't "win by default" if science hasn't explained something yet.

      Yet when the math doesn't work for origin of life there is no search for another input.

      No one has ever shown through math that abiogenesis is impossible. Also no one is stopping any other investigations into origin of life. The natural origin hypothesis has amassed quite a body of evidence - not conclusive but many of the required steps in the process have been demonstrated. What has ID offered besides "poof!"?

      Delete
    7. But forensics hypothesizes that a human purposely committed the crime, a hypothesis that can be falsified by evidence. What falsifiable hypotheses does ID make?

      Pretty much the same as forensics and archaeology and SETI.

      And if your position had some supporting evidence we wouldn't even be discussing ID.

      Delete
    8. Adapa

      I agree that this comment format is going to be hard to master.

      I disagree with most of the rest.

      ToE stands alone in academia strictly due to its monopoly on the subject among academic institutions. Like any monopoly it exerts politically coercive force to remain a monopoly. (Documented more than once on this blog)

      But back to the evidence and sticking to the forensic analogy. If a death is investigated and the full weight of the medical forensic evidence suggests a murder, but there is no further evidence with regards to the perpetrator, is it reasonable to simply assume death by natural causes and spend all further efforts to figure out how this person stabbed themselves in the back?

      No analogy is perfect so lets consider the actual case in point.

      You say there is no evidence for design. Is evidence exclusive to a conclusion? A fact is a fact is a fact. Does evolution have exclusive rights to empirical evidence? Point to a single piece of empirical evidence that can't be used to support ID.

      ToE is a conclusion and a premise at the same time. Creation is a conclusion and a premise as well. The evidence is without prejudice, it's the conclusions that reveal prejudice.

      As for abiogenesis. How bad would the probability have to be for you to look elsewhere? What is the threshold? At what point does the realized improbability become "poof!"?

      Delete
    9. ohandy1

      ToE stands alone in academia strictly due to its monopoly on the subject among academic institutions. Like any monopoly it exerts politically coercive force to remain a monopoly.


      Don't be ridiculous, of course it doesn't. Last time I looked there was only one theory of gravity, one germ theory of disease. If a scientific theory like ToE holds sway it's due to the huge amount of positive supporting evidence and the lack of any serious alternatives. It has nothing to do with politics no matter how much the IDists squawk.

      But back to the evidence and sticking to the forensic analogy. If a death is investigated and the full weight of the medical forensic evidence suggests a murder, but there is no further evidence with regards to the perpetrator, is it reasonable to simply assume death by natural causes and spend all further efforts to figure out how this person stabbed themselves in the back?

      More silliness. The murderer is assumed to be human even if we don't know the specific human.

      Point to a single piece of empirical evidence that can't be used to support ID.

      That's exactly the problem. You can claim anything is designed and is therefore evidence for ID. Any sufficiently advanced Designer could make his 'design" look exactly like naturally occurring evolution. That's why ID as proposed now isn't falsifiable and isn't science.

      A designer has zero constraints on what he can produce. Evolution has very narrow constraints. It's limited to modifying what came before, a process which produces distinct patterns of common descent. Those patterns of common descent are exactly what we see and in the absence of any external design or manufacture we conclude natural evolution.

      If you wish to claim an object is designed you have to provide some external evidence of the design/manufacture/designer. It's logically impossible to do just with information from the object.

      As for abiogenesis. How bad would the probability have to be for you to look elsewhere?

      That's a meaningless question because no one anywhere has near enough information to calculate any sort of probability.

      Delete
    10. If you wish to claim an object is designed you have to provide some external evidence of the design/manufacture/designer.

      That is incorrect and proves you are ignorant of science. We can determine design from not by just an object. Archaeologists do it. All we need is knowledge of cause and effect relationships.

      Newton's four rules of scientific investigation apply. That means anytime someone says something is designed all one has to do is show that chance and necessity are all that is required and the design inference falls. Science 101

      Delete
    11. Adapa

      As I said, all analogies break down. Still, I'm not seeing how your criticism works. Of course I can claim anything is designed, but I can also claim anything evolved. There is no hurdle for ToE that cannot be fixed by some incredibly fortuitous process.

      I'm not a mathematician and always wondered how the probabilities were dealt with. Everyone I ever spoke with pretty much ignored them and changed the subject. I guess you also simply dismiss calculations of probability as irrelevant. I'll leave disputing that to mathematicians but forgive me if I prefer theirs to your position.

      If you wish to claim an object is designed you have to provide some external evidence of the design/manufacture/designer. It's logically impossible to do just with information from the object.

      I'm sorry I'm not trying to be argumentative for arguments sake, but this doesn't seem to make sense. Even Evolutionary Theory uses inference to make predictions of things that have no empirical evidence, for that matter had never before been conceived. Wouldn't a postulating a designer be akin to an evolutionary prediction?

      Perhaps my questions are meaningless. After all, questions only have meaning if they provoke inquiry or return understanding.

      Delete
    12. ohandy1

      Of course I can claim anything is designed, but I can also claim anything evolved.


      The "anything evolved" claim can be falsified. I already gave one example of what would falsify evolution. Another thing would be finding groups of animals ("kinds" :) ) that each had unique and incompatible forms of DNA. There's absolutely no find that can be made which will falsify the Intelligent Design of life.

      I'm not a mathematician and always wondered how the probabilities were dealt with.

      They don't enter into serious scientific discussions (except for certain narrow fields like population genetics) because science knows such probabilities are not computable. It's only ID/Creationists who fuss about probabilities to gull ignorant laymen.

      I'm sorry I'm not trying to be argumentative for arguments sake,

      No worries, same here. We're just two guys chatting. :)

      but this doesn't seem to make sense. Even Evolutionary Theory uses inference to make predictions of things that have no empirical evidence, for that matter had never before been conceived. Wouldn't a postulating a designer be akin to an evolutionary prediction?

      You can postulate as many designers as you want. The problem is to test what you postulate you have to hypothesize about the Designer's capabilities and limitations. Only then can you do some falsifiable hypothesis testing. ID refuses to do so because the ID Designer is the omnipotent Christian God. Admitting so would surely keep ID out of secular science classes. That's why we have to play the childish game "the Designer could be a space alien!" or equally stupid hand waves.

      Perhaps my questions are meaningless. After all, questions only have meaning if they provoke inquiry or return understanding.

      Much of what you ask is not entirely meaningless but is certainly based on some pretty large misconceptions.

      Delete
    13. Adapa,

      "The God of the Gaps has been a mainstay Creationist argument for hundreds of years. No one expects they'd abandon it in favor of intellectual honesty now."

      There is no God of the Gaps, there is only God. The gaps exist only in our knowledge. However, it is our arrogance which makes us believe once we figure something out we no longer need believe God is responsible or necessary. We foolishly believe because we now understand a particular phenomenon that also means we know how this phenomenon originated. That is simply untrue. We essentially understand photosynthesis but that understanding does not explain how photosynthesis came to be.

      As for intellectually honesty that certainly is not a hallmark of evolutionary thought.

      Delete
    14. Nic

      As for intellectually honesty that certainly is not a hallmark of evolutionary thought.


      (shrug) Evolution wasn't the side that got caught taking a Creationist propaganda book, substituting "Intelligent Design" for "Creationism", and trying to sneak it into public schools as science.

      Just ask the cdesignproponetists. :)

      Delete
    15. The reason for probabilities is solely due to your position's total lack of testability. You hide behind father time as if that can save you.

      Lensi has had over 50,000 generations of E. coli and not one new protein. No new machinery. Nothing that supports evolutionism.

      Also that book you are talking about- it was for the school's LIBRARY. And compared to evolutionism ID is advanced science.

      Delete
  12. Can evolution be falsified? Can it make predictions? Can you point to an experiment that show eukaryotes evolving from prokaryotes? Gives us all the mechanisms you want, if they cannot be shown fruitful from experiment, they are only assumptions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Can evolution be falsified?". Yes. Find a human fossil in the Cambrian, and millions of other examples, would falsify our current understanding of evolution. But even if this were shown to be true, it would not be evidence for ID.

      "Can evolution make predictions?" It does all the time. If environmental conditions change we predict changes in populations if the genetic variation is sufficient, or extinction if it is not. And we have observed both in real time.

      Your prokaryote to eukaryote question is pointless. If it occurred naturally, which the evidence suggests, it took a couple billion years. Only a fool would demand a scientist to repeat the process in a laboratory.

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    2. I didn't say anything about evolution cannot do it, therefore ID. I do wonder why you demand identity of the designer yet you allow the eukaryotes/prokaryote explanation as "it occurred naturally". That is just an assumption. That's all I'm saying.

      Delete
    3. Scott Hallisey

      Can evolution be falsified?


      Yes. For example having the DNA phylogenetic tree be vastly different that the fossil phylogenetic tree would falsify the current ToE.

      Can it make predictions?

      Yes. See Tiktaalik roseae

      Can you point to an experiment that show eukaryotes evolving from prokaryotes?

      No. Historical one-time events aren't always duplicatable. There is considerable evidence the event did happen though.

      Gives us all the mechanisms you want, if they cannot be shown fruitful from experiment, they are only assumptions

      Every mechanism proposed by ToE - genetic variation, genetic drift, selection, etc. - has been shown in experiments. They are not assumptions but empirically verified facts.

      Delete
    4. I'm quite aware of tiktaalik. I'm quite aware we understand drift, selection, etc. are mechanisms. However, combining them to explain the appearance of something is not the same as having empirical evidence that these were actually the mechanisms for which it is trying to explain. Maybe Evo can explain them. I reserve declaring it so until then.

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    5. Yes. For example having the DNA phylogenetic tree be vastly different that the fossil phylogenetic tree would falsify the current ToE.

      There isn't any ToE to falsify. Also yours can't get beyond the given prokaryotes- you don't have a mechanism capable..

      Also evolutionism did not predict Tiktaalik. The alleged ToE didn't predict it either.

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    6. There isn't any poster named Joe G whose IDiocy requires wasting time on a response

      Delete
    7. There is a poster named Adapa who couldn't respond, anyway.

      Delete
    8. Joe,

      The fact someone brings up Tiktaalik as evidence for evolution should be a clue you'll be wasting your time and your breath.

      Delete
    9. Nic

      The fact someone brings up Tiktaalik as evidence for evolution should be a clue you'll be wasting your time and your breath.


      The discovery of Tiktaalik exactly where predicted is but one of the millions of pieces of consilient evidence that support the ToE.

      But I' m sure some moron will claim ID predicted it. :)

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    10. LoL! Had the tetrapod tracks from Poland been found before Shubin found Tiktaalik, Shubin never would have went where he did to look for it. Now we have fish-> tetrapods -> fishapods.

      Not to mention the fact that evolutionism can't even account for fish.

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    11. Adapa,

      "The discovery of Tiktaalik exactly where predicted is but one of the millions of pieces of consilient evidence that support the ToE."

      Yep, that was quite the successful prediction. They found the creature that would lead to tetrapods. Except for one small problem, tetrapods had been around for 20 million years before this supposed ancestor.

      So, Adapa, what else you got in your bag of 'millions of pieces of evidence' for evolution? Something better I hope. However, I rather doubt that.

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    12. Nic

      Yep, that was quite the successful prediction. They found the creature that would lead to tetrapods. Except for one small problem, tetrapods had been around for 20 million years before this supposed ancestor.


      (eye roll) It wasn't predicted to be the only tetrapod species of that era or even the first. But it fell right into a gap where one should have existed and it did.

      I'd love to hear ID-Creation's explanation for the find but we all know ID-Creationists don't do any science.

      Delete
    13. BTW Nic, science has recently made several new discoveries (2015) in the early tetrapod era. The empty space in the fossil record known as "Romer's gap" has been filled quite nicely

      A Diverse Tetrapod Fauna at the Base of 'Romer's Gap'

      What did ID predict about any of this?

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  13. Scott Hallisey

    I'm quite aware of tiktaalik. I'm quite aware we understand drift, selection, etc. are mechanisms. However, combining them to explain the appearance of something is not the same as having empirical evidence that these were actually the mechanisms for which it is trying to explain. Maybe Evo can explain them. I reserve declaring it so until then.


    The observed mechanisms of evolution explain the historical record of life to the satisfaction of 99.9% of the science professionals who study and work on the topic. You of course are free to believe in ID "poofing" or magic pixies or any other woo that suits your fancy. Your beliefs won't affect scientifically verified reality one iota.

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    1. Can you point me to where you got the 99.9% from? I didn't mention my thoughts on this. I didn't mention ID, or magic. I tried to have a reasonable conversation with you, but those comments show me you are defensive and want to put words in my mouth. I never mentioned anything about my beliefs, though you do not seem to think ToE has any deficits. Leading Evo biologists debate these topics everyday, it does not seem that you feel there are any issues, therefore your faith derived from your worldview is prompting these views.

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    2. The observed mechanisms of evolution explain the historical record of life to the satisfaction of 99.9% of the science professionals who study and work on the topic.

      That is false. Not one biologist has posited a mechanism that can account for any multi-protein system- not one that can be actually tested anyway.

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    3. Scott Hallisey

      Can you point me to where you got the 99.9% from?


      There are publishes polls on the acceptance of ToE by life science professionals.

      I didn't mention my thoughts on this. I didn't mention ID, or magic.

      Then what are you offering as an alternative since you don't like what science has concluded?

      I tried to have a reasonable conversation with you, but those comments show me you are defensive and want to put words in my mouth. I never mentioned anything about my beliefs, though you do not seem to think ToE has any deficits.

      You came in talking trash but when pressed can offer no alternatives. Typical Creationist mindless carping.

      Leading Evo biologists debate these topics everyday, it does not seem that you feel there are any issues, therefore your faith derived from your worldview is prompting these view

      No, evolutionary biologists don't debate the fact that evolution has occurred or the major mechanisms behind it. They debate specific details but that is not the same thing. You seem to have very little understanding of the subject of evolution at all.

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    4. There isn't any ToE. Even biologists say that.

      Delete
    5. i didn't say that evolution hasn't occurred. "Typical Creationist mindless carping". "You seem to have very little understanding of the subject of evolution at all". Awesome. Typical Ad hominem. Good bye Adapa.

      Delete
    6. Adapa,

      "The observed mechanisms of evolution explain the historical record of life to the satisfaction of 99.9% of the science professionals who study and work on the topic."

      The observed mechanisms of astronomy once explained our solar system as geocentric to the satisfaction 99.9% of the science professionals who studied and worked on the topic. How did that work out in the long run?

      The truth or falsehood of a question is not determined by a majority opinion. Why do evolutionists insist on using such a fallacious and childish argument?

      It would be completely irrelevant if 110% of scientists who studied the subject believed in evolution. If it is not true no amount of support is going to make it true. You must rely on the evidence alone. At this point the evidence is not in evolutions favour and it is not likely to be any better in the future. In fact, the ultimate destination for evolutionary thought appears to be the dust bin.

      Joe G is right when he says there is no theory of evolution to falsify as the concept of evolution does not even rise to the status of hypothesis let alone theory.

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    7. Nic

      The truth or falsehood of a question is not determined by a majority opinion. Why do evolutionists insist on using such a fallacious and childish argument?


      ToE isn't correct because it's the majority opinion of scientists. ToE is accepted as the best explanation for the data by the huge majority of scientists because of the overwhelming amount on consilient positive evidence it has amassed.

      If you can't understand the difference there's no sense trying to explain it to you.

      In fact, the ultimate destination for evolutionary thought appears to be the dust bin.

      LOL! Yeah, we know. ToE is on its death bed, it will be gone in 5 years, blah blah blah. . Creationists have only been making that idiotic claim for over 150 years now.

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    8. Adapa,

      "If you can't understand the difference there's no sense trying to explain it to you."

      Don't concern yourself, I understand the difference. I also understand the difference makes no difference. You're still trying to equate the correctness of evolutionary thought with the popular support it enjoys. Either way your argument is palpable nonsense and if you can't understand that there is no sense in trying to explain it to you.

      "LOL! Yeah, we know. ToE is on its death bed, it will be gone in 5 years, blah blah blah."

      Evolutionary thought will not die for a very, very long time. There will be a large supply of intellectually stunted minds who will stubbornly adhere to its nonsense and ensure that. But in the long run it will end up in the dust bin. That is inevitable.

      Delete
  14. Adapa

    Does it matter that common decent is the only concept taught in academia? When considering how ToE (I'll have to start using this abbreviation) permeates the scientific community, isn't it a good idea to calculate in the affects of academic indoctrination?

    I might add that arguments break down when you appeal to popularity and then fall back on the pixie dust analogy.

    The argument here isn't whether beliefs affect reality but whether reality is reflected in our beliefs. The argument of ID is that the reality of biodiversity isn't reflected in ToE. You ignore that elephant in the ToE faculty lounge.

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    1. ohandy1

      Does it matter that common decent is the only concept taught in academia? When considering how ToE (I'll have to start using this abbreviation) permeates the scientific community, isn't it a good idea to calculate in the affects of academic indoctrination?


      Offer an alternative that is better supported by the scientific evidence and we'll teach it.

      The argument of ID is that the reality of biodiversity isn't reflected in ToE.

      When the argument is supported by some scientific evidence it will be considered seriously. Right now ID is still nothing but religious apologetics, same as it's always been.

      Aside: the nested format of this board isn't the best as it's easy for posts to end up in the wrong place and there's no edit function

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    2. ID has the scientific support. OTOH evolutionism can't even be tested. Also ID doesn't have anything to do with religion.

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    3. The rejection of the miraculous amounts to the rejection of teleological explanation. But this amounts to either naturalistic determinism (which rules out QT indeterminism) or the rejection of the principle of causality. The latter amounts to the rejection of inductive relative plausibility criteria for explanations, since there is no plausibility criteria that applies to whether an event is caused or not. In short the rejection of teleological causality is the rejection of any foundationalism that grounds an intelligible distinction between discursively derived beliefs and intuition.

      As always, the naturalists prove way more than they're willing to live/talk consistently with.

      Delete
  15. Adapa, "Offer an alternative that is better supported by the scientific evidence and we'll teach it."

    Adapa, I know that this is the standard position, but it is REALLY STUPID! Either naturalistic evolution explains the data, or it doesn't. If it does, well, we IDers need to shut up. However, if it doesn't, it doesn't. You may reject ID as an alternative explanation for whatever reason -- but if naturalistic evolution isn't adequate to explain the evidence (and it isn't) then teaching it is stupid!

    The third possibility, a perfectly respectable possibility, is to do what the physicists do with dark matter, dark energy, the cause of the big bang, unification of quantum physics and Einsteinian physics -- "we don't know".

    "We don't know" is a very acceptable scientific position. "This is the answer" when the answer does not fit the data is not!

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    1. bFast

      "We don't know" is a very acceptable scientific position. "This is the answer" when the answer does not fit the data is not!


      That's exactly what all science does for questions it hasn't solved yet. It says "we don't know so we'll keep researching". What science doesn't say is "we don't know so we'll assume a supernatural God / pixie / Designer / woo of your choice did it until that idea is disproven".

      Science also doesn't throw out the large body of facts it does know because it still has unknowns to consider.

      Like I said, if you have an alternative to ToE that explains all the data we have in a better, more consilient manner then publish it and pick up your Nobel Prize. Otherwise you're just blowing smoke.

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    2. "Science also doesn't throw out the large body of facts it does know because it still has unknowns to consider."

      No it doesn't. Science throws out the large body of theory when facts come along that can't fit the theory. Consider that there is a 43 arcsecond per century discrepancy between the Newtonian calculation of gravity and the observed precession of Mercury. 43 arcseconds! Yet the physics community had to reference this discrepancy! That's how real scientists do science.

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    4. Oh yea, and the result was that Newtonian gravity was superseded by Einsteinian gravity.

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    5. bFast

      "Science also doesn't throw out the large body of facts it does know because it still has unknowns to consider."

      No it doesn't. Science throws out the large body of theory when facts come along that can't fit the theory.


      It's incredibly rare that science will discard an entire theory due to some new revelation. The only instance I can recall off the top of my head (besides geocentrism) is science learning the true cause of stomach ulcers. What happens in 99% of the cases in the old theory gets modified and improved upon.

      You'd have to come up with a real doozy for science to toss out all of evolutionary theory with its 150+ years of consilient positive evidence. ID's unsupported woo hasn't come within a parsec of that.

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    6. What evolutionary theory? Natural selection has proven to be impotent with respect to biological creativity. Drift doesn't help you.

      Unguided evolution can't be modeled and doesn't have any predictive power.

      Delete
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  17. Adapa,

    "all of evolutionary theory with its 150+ years of consilient positive evidence."

    I'd really appreciate it if you would share with us just a couple of years of all that positive evidence. But please, only that evidence which is not open to interpretation, and only the evidence which is observable, demonstrable and repeatable.

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    1. Nic

      "all of evolutionary theory with its 150+ years of consilient positive evidence."

      I'd really appreciate it if you would share with us just a couple of years of all that positive evidence


      I've sure you've seen this summary

      29+ Evidences for Macroevolution

      Most Creationists run screaming from it. If there's anything specific in there you want to go over I'll provide the cites to dozens of papers.

      Here's another good summary

      Why Evolution Is True

      150+ years' of evidence is an awful lot to try and summarize in just a few hundred pages let alone this wimpy single thread.

      But please, only that evidence which is not open to interpretation, and only the evidence which is observable, demonstrable and repeatable.

      All evidence is open to some Creationist knucklehead claiming it's interpreted wrongly. Science weighs and accepts interpretations based on their consilience with all the rest of the data. That's what Creationists just can't grasp.

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    2. Adapa,

      "150+ years' of evidence is an awful lot to try and summarize in just a few hundred pages let alone this wimpy single thread."

      I'm not asking for an exhaustive list, just a couple of examples. But somehow I sense nothing will be forthcoming. Experience has taught me evolutionists are quick to make claims and very slow to provide support for their claims.

      Delete
    3. Umm that 29+ evidences is total pap. There isn't any evidence that natural selection can do anything but eliminate the unfit. You can't even get beyond populations of prokaryotes and that is given starting populations of prokaryotes.

      And BTW the 29 evidences is silent on a mechanism.

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    4. 'Read "Why evolution is true." 'Didn't answer the challenges. Haven't read all of 29 evidences, but I bet it doesn't explain the bacterial flagellum, even though this challenge has been on the table for more than a decade.

      Bunches of white swans does not prove that black swans don't exist. One black swan proves that not all swans are white. Every specific challenge to the theory needs to be met. I know that it gets monotonous after a while to answer every specific challenge, but answering a few of them would be nice.

      Please explain the bacterial flagellum.

      Please explain how redundant genes can persist.

      Please explain how the HAR1F took on 18 mutations when a gazillion of genetic experiments proved it to be unevolvable.

      Please explain how ultra-conserved DNA regions that don't seem to do anything.

      Please explain the histone H1 which is ultra-conserved even though it seems to permit mutations.

      Please provide even a plausible model for metamorphosis.

      You have a general structure that seems kinda sensible, but when you look at the details your theory keeps running into trouble. Your defense? The other theory is anathema because it posits the supernatural -- na na. Well, your theory doesn't hold water. Your theory collapses upon careful examination of the data.

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    5. Adapa,

      "Most Creationists run screaming from it."

      Are you serious? Legs on whales, human tales, vestigial organs? When was the last time you read anything written within the last 50 years?

      I might die laughing at this, but I certainly would not run from it in fear. You simply have to be joking. Please, tell me you're joking.

      Delete
    6. Nic

      "150+ years' of evidence is an awful lot to try and summarize in just a few hundred pages let alone this wimpy single thread."

      I'm not asking for an exhaustive list, just a couple of examples.


      There are plenty of examples on the 29+ evidences site. Why don't they count?

      It's silly to ask for *the* piece (or even several pieces) of evidence that demonstrate the theory evolution. ToE isn't based on just one or a few pieces. As I already explained it's based on millions of pieces that form one consilient and coherent mosaic.

      I can certainly post dozens of recent papers showing these snippets. Science for example just had a good paper on the genetics of neolithic Europeans. There are papers showing that cetaceans still possess the unexpressed genes for hind limbs. There are papers showing the change in Sauropod dinosaur lineages over millions of years. There are papers showing the connection between theropod dinosaurs and extant birds. But I know you'll just hand wave each individual paper away.

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    7. bFast

      You have a general structure that seems kinda sensible, but when you look at the details your theory keeps running into trouble.


      bFast when ID provides its next detail it will be the very first.

      I'm sure you can make a big laundry list of the things science doesn't know but it won't erase one bit the things science does know.

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    8. Nic

      Are you serious? Legs on whales, human tales, vestigial organs? When was the last time you read anything written within the last 50 years


      Oh well. All I can do is show you the evidence. I can't force you to read it or understand it.

      Delete
    9. Adapa, "bFast when ID provides its next detail it will be the very first."

      My position, sir, is that your theory cannot stand on its own! It needs no alternative theory to prove that it is inadequate to explain the data. Whether ID is right, wrong, or illegal is beside the point -- no variant of the modern synthesis gets anywhere close to addressing any of the issues I listed. (And I didn't list all of them by any means.)

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    10. bFast

      Adapa, "bFast when ID provides its next detail it will be the very first."

      My position, sir, is that your theory cannot stand on its own!


      It does stand on its own, quite nicely thank you. Nitpicking at details while ignoring the large majority of the evidence-backed explanatory power will only convince the worst Dunning-Kruger cases.

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    11. Adapa, real scientific theories must be able to withstand nitpicking.

      I remind: Consider that there is a 43 arcsecond per century discrepancy between the Newtonian calculation of gravity and the observed precession of Mercury. 43 arcseconds! Yet the physics community had to reference this discrepancy!

      Do you know how little of a nit 43 arcseconds per century is? That's what real science looks like.

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    12. Adapa:

      Here's another good summary
      Why Evolution Is True


      http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2009/07/sermon-by-jerry-coyne-on-biogeography.html
      http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2009/07/is-jerry-coyne-liar-or-just-in-denial.html
      http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2009/12/jerry-coynes-why-evolution-is-true-part.html
      http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/01/reverend-jerry-coyne-thus-saith.html
      http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/01/oracle-of-reverend-jerry-coyne.html
      http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/02/reverend-jerry-coyne-lanugo-and.html
      http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/02/coyne-evolutionary-arguments-not.html
      http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/02/jerry-coyne-why-embryology-proves.html
      http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/06/jerry-coyne-human-embryo-has-gill-slits.html
      http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/06/why-coyne-is-false.html
      http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/12/evolutionists-and-giraffes-recurrent.html

      It's silly to ask for *the* piece (or even several pieces) of evidence that demonstrate the theory evolution.

      Given the above posts, I have no idea what you are thinking when you say Coyne's book is a "good summary." Can you give a single example that would serve, not as a proof of evolution or anything like that, but is an exemplar of good solid scientific research providing a piece of compelling evidence that the species arose spontaneously?

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    13. Adapa,

      "It's silly to ask for *the* piece (or even several pieces) of evidence that demonstrate the theory evolution. ToE isn't based on just one or a few pieces. As I already explained it's based on millions of pieces that form one consilient and coherent mosaic."

      I never asked for 'the' piece of evidence, I asked for a few examples of the supposedly overwhelming evidence. So far all you've done is dodge the question in true evolutionist fashion. No surprise there.

      "There are papers showing the change in Sauropod dinosaur lineages over millions of years."

      You might have evidence for evolution if you could demonstrate a Sauropod dinosaur becoming a non-Sauropod dinosaur. Without such evidence all you can demonstrate is adaptation. That's not evolution.

      "Oh well. All I can do is show you the evidence."

      So that's what you call evidence? And you wonder why people laugh at the claims of evolution.

      Humans did not possess tales, whales did not have legs and the appendix is not left over from our earliest ancestors. This is nothing more than junk science and you actually expect people to take this type of argument seriously?

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    14. Nic

      I never asked for 'the' piece of evidence, I asked for a few examples of the supposedly overwhelming evidence.


      You won't read them but here are a few recent examples.

      2014: Theropod dinosaur to bird transition

      Gradual Assembly of Avian Body Plan Culminated in Rapid Rates of Evolution across the Dinosaur-Bird Transition

      2014: Genetic evidence for the evolution of whales

      Molecular evolution tracks macroevolutionary transitions in Cetacea

      2013: Molecular evidence for the evolution of bat wings from non-flying mammal front limbs

      How to Grow a Bat Wing

      You'll be perfectly happy staying willfully ignorant.

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    15. bFast

      Adapa, real scientific theories must be able to withstand nitpicking.


      It can and does. I'm just pointing out that nitpicking current unknowns is not a refutation.

      I remind: Consider that there is a 43 arcsecond per century discrepancy between the Newtonian calculation of gravity and the observed precession of Mercury. 43 arcseconds! Yet the physics community had to reference this discrepancy!

      I remind. Einstein's Relativity did not falsify or replace Newtonian mechanics. It augmented NM by providing an explanation for certain boundary conditions. NM is still here, still taught, and and still works perfectly well for 99% of the cases we encounter.

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    16. Adapa, finally your first attempt at putting real data on the table. However, you have a theory with the solid falsification claim:

      "If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down."

      Yet when asked about specific data found in the DNA you claim that your theory need not defend itself. Defend it! Why is the DNA data inconsistent with the expectations of the theory?

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    17. bFast

      Adapa, finally your first attempt at putting real data on the table. However, you have a theory with the solid falsification claim:

      "If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down."


      Such a demonstration has never been made. "We don't know all the details" doesn't equal "it's impossible".

      Yet when asked about specific data found in the DNA you claim that your theory need not defend itself. Defend it! Why is the DNA data inconsistent with the expectations of the theory?

      ToE doesn't need to defend itself from such idiotic demands.

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    18. The details we don't know is not the problem. The details that we do know is the problem.

      Consider the redundancy problem. You knock gene A out -- no effect on the organism. You knock gene B out -- no effect on the organism. You knock gene A and B out and the organism dies.

      No problem, gene B is a duplicate of gene A, happens all the time -- right?


      Delete