Saturday, December 25, 2010

Post Synaptic Proteins Intolerant of Change

Proteins are very unlikely machines but post synaptic proteins are even more unlikely.

Background: Neurons and synapses

The human brain is, as one science writer put it, “truly awesome”:

A typical, healthy one houses some 200 billion nerve cells, which are connected to one another via hundreds of trillions of synapses. Each synapse functions like a microprocessor, and tens of thousands of them can connect a single neuron to other nerve cells. In the cerebral cortex alone, there are roughly 125 trillion synapses, which is about how many stars fill 1,500 Milky Way galaxies.

And as one researcher explains:

One synapse, by itself, is more like a microprocessor—with both memory-storage and information-processing elements—than a mere on/off switch. In fact, one synapse may contain on the order of 1,000 molecular-scale switches. A single human brain has more switches than all the computers and routers and Internet connections on Earth.

Neurons are the body’s wiring. They carry electrical signals called action potentials. When an action potential reaches the end of a neuron it is passed on to another neuron or to tissue, via the synapse. First, the action potential causes voltage-controlled calcium channels, located at the end of the neuron, to open. Positive calcium ions on the outside stream into the neuron throught the open channels. The calcium ions influence special proteins just inside the neuron, which in turn cause small bubbles to dock with the cell membrane. The bubbles contain a neurotransmitter chemical which is released to the outside of the cell.

The neurotransmitter chemical floats across the synaptic gap between the cells, and attaches to the other cell, setting off the desired action. It is here where thousands of different proteins work in tight coordination to handle the incoming signals. These proteins form visible blobs called post synaptic densities (PSDs).

New findings: PSD protein designs

New research now emphasizes PSD complexity and the tight tolerances of the PSD protein designs. In fact, a wide range of mutations in these proteins are known to cause a variety of neurological and psychiatric diseases. And the new research finds that these proteins are highly conserved across species, suggesting they are highly sensitive to mutations. Here is how the New York Times described the findings:

The work should help in understanding how the synapse works in laying down memories, as well as the basis of the many diseases that turn out to be caused by defects in the synapse’s delicate machinery.

The research team, led by Seth Grant of the Sanger Institute near Cambridge, England, compiled the first exact inventory of all the protein components of the synaptic information-processing machinery. No fewer than 1,461 proteins are involved in this biological machinery, they report in the current issue of Nature Neuroscience.

Each neuron in the human brain makes an average 1,000 or so connections with other neurons. There are 100 billion neurons, so the brain probably contains 100 trillion synapses, its most critical working part.

These receptors feed the signals they receive to a delicate complex of protein-based machines that process and store the information.

The complex of proteins involved in this information processing is known to neuroanatomists as the post-synaptic density, because the proteins stick together as a visible blob, but the name does scant justice to its critical function.

The 1,461 genes that specify these synaptic proteins constitute more than 7 percent of the human genome’s 20,000 protein-coding genes, an indication of the synapse’s complexity and importance.

Dr. Grant believes that the proteins are probably linked together to form several biological machines that process the information and change the physical properties of the neuron as a way of laying down a memory.

The tolerances of these machines seem to be very fine because almost any mutation in the underlying genes leads to a misshapen protein and, consequently, to disease. Looking through a standard list of Mendelian diseases, which are those caused by alterations in a single gene, the Sanger team found that mutations in 169 of the synaptic genes led to 269 different human diseases.

So the brain and its circuitry is phenomenally detailed and complex, the different parts are tightly integrated, and they have a low threshold to change. This adds yet more problems to the evolutionary narrative. The PSD proteins are even more sensitive to change than typical proteins (see here and here). Evolutionists must believe that these proteins underwent huge changes in their evolution. Not only is there scant evidence of intermediate designs leading to the known proteins, but the evidence we do have is that these proteins do not tolerate change.

So the evolutionary narrative, as usual, must believe that the biological world underwent radical, unheard of levels of change, though mysteriously today such change is not tolerated. All the while luckily creating an astonishing world of biological wonders.

137 comments:

  1. A Christmas gift to Dr Hunter, in reference to his OP:

    The backbone of the post-synaptic density originated in a unicellular ancestor of choanoflagellates and metazoans

    Alexandre Alié and Michaël Manuel

    BMC Evol Biol. 2010; 10: 34.

    From the abstract:

    “The time of origination of most post-synaptic proteins was not concomitant with the acquisition of synapses or neural-like cells. The backbone of the scaffold emerged in a unicellular context and was probably not involved in cell-cell communication. Based on the reconstructed protein composition and potential interactions, its ancestral function could have been to link calcium signalling and cytoskeleton regulation. The complex later became integrated into the evolving synapse through the addition of novel functionalities.”

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  2. Thanks for another insightful post Dr. Hunter. And Merry Christmas to you and all your bloggers.

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  3. Thanks again for another perspicuous post Dr. Hunter.

    Let's see: infinite designed complexity and rapid appearance. Sounds like an act of God to me. Learning when God creating these marvels is watching God's activity on earth. This is a truly inspiring religious and intellectual endeavor.

    I wish you and your family a merry Christmas.

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  4. Hey Janfeld,

    I think it is unwise to assume such a purpose on the part of Cornelius (same mistake he did by assuming that I posted in his blog to protect science). Unless, of course, he has said so. Then again, if he said so, that would be a lie, because most of his readers on the "evolution and science" camp (Cornelius's would be the pseudoscience camp), easily catch him in the fallacies, quote-mining and, frankly, amateurish rhetorical devices. Thus, he cannot be trying to convince anybody who truly understands the science.

    What he truly pretends only he knows. I can't even guess. Maybe he just enjoys the attention, or maybe he is trying some new tricks to see if they will work next time they pretend that their disguised creationism is science. If the latter, an idea he might be testing seems to be accusing "origins science" (they call any origins scientific issue "evolutionism") of being religiously-motivated. But the idea is not just one of accusing these sciences of being religions, but of being derived/inspired from Christian religion, thus trying to put them at par with their pseudoscience (I.D.).

    But I might be guessing all too early. Remember that the I.D. movement is one that starts in plain dishonesty: trying to disguise their religious belief as if it were science. That has to corrupt them to the core. After all, by doing so they are being unfaithful to their presumed beliefs. Don't expect them to be sincerely trying to save souls, helping, converting, or any such thing. Rather ask them, if you get an answer, compare it to what you can infer from their posts.

    Happy holidays to everybody.

    Misguided religion drives the I.D. pseudoscience, and it matters.

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  5. Negative Entropy:

    ===
    because most of his readers on the "evolution and science" camp (Cornelius's would be the pseudoscience camp), easily catch him in the fallacies, quote-mining and, frankly, amateurish rhetorical devices.
    ===

    Example?

    ===
    an idea he might be testing seems to be accusing "origins science" ... of being religiously-motivated.
    ===

    *I* might be testing? So evolution makes dogmatic religious assertions and then claims it is all just a conspiracy.


    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2009/12/jerry-coynes-why-evolution-is-true-part.html

    ===
    By my count Coyne affirms the consequent 21 times throughout *Why Evolution is True*. He begs the question 33 times and makes 35 theological claims. Coyne fails to mention important scientific problems that bear on his points 31 times.
    ===

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  7. Hey Cornelius,

    Example?

    :)

    You provided one example immediately (you can't help yourself):

    *I* might be testing? So evolution makes dogmatic religious assertions and then claims it is all just a conspiracy.

    That was quite the amateurish rhetoric. Only your admirers would be oblivious to it.

    As if not enough, you continue with:

    By my count Coyne affirms the consequent 21 times throughout *Why Evolution is True*. He begs the question 33 times and makes 35 theological claims. Coyne fails to mention important scientific problems that bear on his points 31 times.

    This may or may not be true, I don't know. I have not read this book, nor plan to do so. But your link leads to a post by yourself that repeats what you said here (with a bit more verbiage), yet you don't describe any of those items in your list. You are just pretending that you gave me an answer. Mere and amateurish rhetoric.

    Maybe, as I said, I guessed too soon. Maybe too, you have more than one purpose, maybe you are testing more than one thing. Maybe you are polishing your rhetoric to then go make a living a-la-Hovind, or a-la-Ham (if not already).

    Please just enjoy your holiday. I am off now to keep enjoying mine.

    Misguided religion drives your pseudoscience, and it matters.

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  8. Negative Entropy:

    ===
    [Negative Entropy wrote]: because most of his readers on the "evolution and science" camp (Cornelius's would be the pseudoscience camp), easily catch him in the fallacies, quote-mining and, frankly, amateurish rhetorical devices.

    [Cornelius wrote]:Example?

    [Negative Entropy wrote]: You provided one example immediately (you can't help yourself): ... "So evolution makes dogmatic religious assertions and then claims it is all just a conspiracy." That was quite the amateurish rhetoric. ... Please just enjoy your holiday. I am off now to keep enjoying mine.
    ===

    IOW, you make a criticism you can't defend. I ask for a single example and you come up with nothing. Before Darwin, to Darwin, and up to today, evolutionary thinking is motivated by theological and philosophical arguments. Such arguments underwrite the claim that evolution is a fact. As one example I point out Jerry Coyne's new book. Your response? "I have not read this book, nor plan to do so," have a nice day.

    So the professor makes the usual empty charges, can't back them up and then runs and hides.

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  9. Cornelius Hunter said...

    CH: Religion drives science, and it matters.

    Alan Fox: You keep saying this but it is a non-sequitur unless you have your own private definition of the word "religion". ... which religion (as there are many) are you referring to?

    CH: Well the short answer would be christianity.


    You still haven't explained how Christianity drives science. Are you ever going to explain this bizarre statement?

    CH makes the usual empty charges, can't back them up and then runs and hides.

    BTW, you have been caught dishonestly quote mining numerous times CH. a good (bad) example is right here.

    Looks like Santa didn't leave you any intellectual honesty under the tree. Maybe next Christmas.

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  10. Pedant:

    I don't think that saying that the synapse proteins evolving from precursers helsp much.If synapse proteins don't tolerate a great deal of deviation, then they hae to evovle in very specifc ways. That makes iut happening even more improbable.

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  11. Away from original sin and back to the original post. I assume what Cornelius is implying here is that, because these genes don't function as well when they're mutated, that it is difficult to imagine how they could have evolved from less-functional precursors. because obviously an organism with a poorly functioning neuron is at a selective disadvantage to one with no neuron at all. on a less sarcastic note, recent data suggest that many new genes that begin as unselected duplicates can quickly assume functional roles and become strongly selected. so assuming that selection pressure or tolerance to variation has been equal throughout a gene's history (as CH does here) is naive (or disingenuous).

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/330/6011/1682.full

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  12. CH: "But as a Christian I have the freedom to consider and accept origins theories across the wide spectrum, from miraculous to law-driven, and in between. Not surprisingly, this is exactly what you find: Christians are all over the map on this."

    I agree Christians are all over the map. And Christian based denominations, sects and the various associated cults (e.g., Jehovah Witnesses) are also all over the map in how they interpret the Bible, and what constitutes proper doctrine and theology. Some of the disagreements are minor (e.g., procedures for baptism) - others are not (e.g., the means to salvation, the nature of the Trinity). So, no, it does not surprise me at all that Christians can't agree on origins theories; of course the confusion is compounded even further because the Bible (supposedly God's authoritative revealed word) contains an origins story that for centuries was interpreted fairly literally, but of course even most evangelicals realize is not a literal account (unless you are Ken Ham of course). It's hard to imagine God making it more unclear and confusing....

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  13. Janfeld:

    "It's hard to imagine God making it more unclear and confusing.... "

    Yes, the perceived lack of clarity in revelation was one of the metaphysical arguments for naturalism in the early 18th c. made by the deists. As I wrote in *Science's Blind Spot*:

    $$$
    If Jesus's resurrection was crucial for our salvation, then it should be better documented:

    "Is it probable that an extraordinary action done for an extraordinary end, and highly necessary to be known to mankind, should be so secretly done, that no man saw it! That so great an action should be done in so improper a way! That Jesus should require the men to believe his Disciples, rather than their own sense, in an affair where reason can be of no assistance!" [Peter Annet]
    $$$

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  14. Thorton:

    ===
    You still haven't explained how Christianity drives science. Are you ever going to explain this bizarre statement?
    ===

    Well I've written three books on this, and about half this blog (but that would require reading past the first paragraph). You could start here:

    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/03/evolutionist-say-darndest-things-part.html

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  15. There is an undeniable evolution (at least, an evolution of scientific pronouncements) on the brain. Not too many years ago, it was flatly taught you could not grow any more brain cells, when you became an adult. Now, that is no longer held as an absolute. It used to said that "spot reduction in fat cells" was impossible, as in attempts at weight loss. Now, that claim also has been vacated. I remember a popular and very smug newspaper financial advisor who, for years, stated that "no one has ever lost a penny investing in mutual funds". Millions of folks wish that were still true. CDarwin solved one of the greatest initial hurdles (after abiogenesis) on the premises that the simple cell is basically an undifferentiated blob of protoplasm. We can all go to sleep resting comfortably in the assurance that this myriad, these continuing galaxies of hypercomplexity will all easily be reconciled within the purview of the genius of CDarwin and natural selection, evolution in action.

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  16. @Thorton

    I think CH has quite comprehensively explained his reasoning. According to a certain branch of Christian theology God would not interfere in nature on a regular basis. But this is exactly what Creationisms requires. Thus Creationisms must be false and the ToE must be true. The flaws in this reasoning have already been pointed out thus I will not repeat them.

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  17. December 25, 2010 7:33 PM:

    So this is not a case of a disagreement over the science. In fact there is broad agreement on the evidence itself. The disagreement is in the interpretation of the evidence. The evidence, on its own, makes evolution highly unlikely. But the evolutionary metaphysics converts the evidence into compelling proofs.

    December 25, 2010 1:01 PM:

    If you have a better explanation please let me know…

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  19. Dr Hunter, I wish you a belated very Merry Christmas and God's blessing to you and yours.

    Thank you for your blog.

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  20. Gary the yappy little puppy said...

    The Darwinian fundamentalists strive to cover up the embarrassing facts with their ubiquitous codswallop of chance and necessity creating all life.
    Well that's hilarious enough all by itself.


    Hey yappy little puppy, you forgot to show us those equations from statistical mechanics that disprove evolution. Again. But I will note your new-found fixation with scatological functions. Fits right in with the rest of your IDCer mindset.

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  21. Rhod: It used to said that "spot reduction in fat cells" was impossible, as in attempts at weight loss.

    "spot reduction in fat cells"

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  22. Rhod: CDarwin solved one of the greatest initial hurdles (after abiogenesis) on the premises that the simple cell is basically an undifferentiated blob of protoplasm.

    Clearly, Darwin was aware that there was more to the cell than protoplasmic goo.

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  25. metaphysical arguments for naturalism in the early 18th c. made by the deists. As I wrote in *Science's Blind Spot*:

    $$$
    If Jesus's resurrection was crucial for our salvation, then it should be better documented:

    "Is it probable that an extraordinary action done for an extraordinary end, and highly necessary to be known to mankind, should be so secretly done, that no man saw it! That so great an action should be done in so improper a way! That Jesus should require the men to believe his Disciples, rather than their own sense, in an affair where reason can be of no assistance!" [Peter Annet]
    $$$"

    I think Christians like to have it both ways. On the one hand they claim that the Bible is the complete "word of God" (which can't be added to, unless you're a Mormon of course where it seems anything goes). This Bible, according to Christians, reveals God's message of salvation to mankind and of course much about the character and personality of God (or is it God(s)?). Yet when deficiencies, omissions and contradictions are noted (and they are many), non-Christians are informed that we cannot and should not try to fathom the mind of God and that His morality and way of working is not the same as ours (e.g., God must have very good reasons for slaughtering babies - how dare we question this).

    On the one hand the Bible tells us that God anxiously wishes to reconcile with his fallen creation; yet on the other hand we observe that this same God has gone about this process in an incredibly inefficient and counter-productive way (e.g., making himself look for all intents and purpose indistinguishable from an imaginary being, and making the Bible look nothing more than man-made myths and legends from ancient pre-scientific peoples). That is not a metaphysical argument, that is simple observation, particularly when Christianity is regarded in a comparative way with other religions and without the cultural biases of Western civilizations.

    And now of course in the age of science, it doesn't get any better - what we know about the Universe and the Earth in particular seems to fully contradict the origins stories in the Bible. Here then is a God who wants to reveal Himself, but provides stories that we are increasingly finding contradict what we see in nature. You can claim these are allegorical, but unfortunately the Bible offers nothing in the way of clues as to which is allegorical and which is not (particularly since for 1800 years or thereabouts most people thought they were literal).

    People like CH can hand-wave these issues away of course and make muddled arguments about "metaphysics", but to skeptical people, these are genuine stumbling blocks. Of course the irony here is that if CH applied to same level of skepticism about evolution to his own faith, there would be a very different outcome.

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  26. From the OP (since nobody has mentioned it):

    So the evolutionary narrative, as usual, must believe that the biological world underwent radical, unheard of levels of change, though mysteriously today such change is not tolerated.

    This is a straw man fallacy of inapt comparison. The two events are not directly comparable, because they occurred in different time frames. It is reasonable to hypothesize that there was sufficient opportunity for change in the functions of the ancestral orthologs of PSD proteins, given the billions of years available to evolutionary processes. The sensitivity to change seen in the comparisons between mammalian species studied in the work cited by the OP encompasses a much shorter period of evolutionary history.

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  27. Hey Guys

    I want anybody here to kindly answer my question.

    In the Qur'an, the book that's believed by me and all Muslims to be the exact word of God, There is a verse which says:

    "Haven't the unbelievers seen that the Heavens and the Earth were joined together and we separated them"

    This clearly talks about the BigBang.

    An other one says

    "The day when We will ROLL UP HEAVEN AS WRITTEN SCROLLS ARE ROLLED UP. We will bring the creation back into existence as easily as We originated it in the FIRST INSTANCE. This is a binding promise on Us, and assuredly We fulfill whatever We promise"

    This clearly talks about the Big Crunch Theory... Guess what... all this was 1400 years ago...

    What do ya think?

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  28. Notice that the second verse is talking about the heavens being rolled up like scrolls. Have a look at this picture and at many scrolls being rolled up, and you will see that they are the same.

    The picture's URL

    http://www.euhou.net/docupload/files/Exercises/how_to_weight_a_galaxy/milky_way_galaxy_sun05.jpg

    Now that's one Galaxy being "rolled up", but remember that a Galaxy is just a small universe.

    Moreover, the verse talks about the Recreation, which exactly what will happen when the universe will be all be Rolled up or compressed in one singularity again; an other BigBang will happen, which means a new Creation.

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  29. Cornelius,

    We're still having difficulty making sense out of your supposed clarifications. This is because you seem to contradict yourself when it suits your agenda and appear to have private definitions of terms. You also make extremely vague and unqualified statements which appear intentionally ambiguous and regularly present false dilemmas.

    For example, you say your neutral in regards to evolution, yet continually claim it's an absurd religious belief which could represent thoughts corrupted by sin. How this represents an unbiased or neutral view is unclear.

    You continually present the ambiguous claim that science thinks evolution is "unlikely", which is a form of equivocation.

    You suggest you're an empiricist who is somehow free of bias yet, time after time, you present statistics which assume the complexity in question was formed all at once. Furthermore, you continue to present these statistics without qualifying this assumption as if they somehow represent unbiased scientific position. And you repeatedly do this despite having it pointed out to you again and again. This appears to be a naive or disingenuous interpretation of observations.

    How this continued omission and lack of acknowledgment doesn't represent metaphorical bias or "sin" under your own definition is unclear.

    In fact, it seems that you have your own private definition of science which varies depending on the domain. Furthermore, we can't help but notice this variation just so happens to correlate with God's supposed roles as defined in specific traditional theological views.

    You wrote:

    My belief that God loves you and that Jesus has died for your sins and *whomever* comes to him he will in no wise cast out, is not a solution for people getting evolution right, as you seem to have interpreted.

    So, then please enlighten us as to how it's relevant in the context of evolution, or even science, if relevant at all.

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  30. Christianity really killed the relation between science and Religion... Come on people ... Read the Qur'an. There, you will ind no Adam created 10000 years ago, no Creationism and no Jesus dying for your sins. Everything is explained.

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  31. omar -

    ""Haven't the unbelievers seen that the Heavens and the Earth were joined together and we separated them"

    This clearly talks about the BigBang."

    Does it? Then who are the unbelievers who saw it? No-one was around to witness the Big Bang.

    "The day when We will ROLL UP HEAVEN AS WRITTEN SCROLLS ARE ROLLED UP."

    The skies are not being rolled up as scrolls are rolled up. The image you have oddly chosen to back up this claim falls flat when you consider the third dimension.

    "We will bring the creation back into existence as easily as We originated it in the FIRST INSTANCE. This is a binding promise on Us, and assuredly We fulfill whatever We promise"

    This clearly talks about the Big Crunch Theory"

    This is not clear at all. Like your previous points, and in spite of the fact you label these as 'clear', you are simply attributing wild interpretations to obscure passages. Nothing very remarkable in that.

    "Read the Qur'an. There, you will ind no Adam created 10000 years ago, no Creationism and no Jesus dying for your sins. Everything is explained."

    Everything is explained? Is reletivity explained? Is gravity explained? Are black holes explained? Is time explained?

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  32. Hey Cornelius!

    You are making this all wrong. You should not keep giving me examples of your amateurish rhetoric. You should just give me something, like a question, let me increase in verbiage, then find some kind of contradiction and fire the distraction.

    So, as further examples of your amateurish rhetoric:

    IOW, you make a criticism you can't defend. I ask for a single example and you come up with nothing.

    See how obvious your game was here? I gave an answer, and you say I didn't. This is among the cheapest of tricks.

    Before Darwin, to Darwin, and up to today, evolutionary thinking is motivated by theological and philosophical arguments. Such arguments underwrite the claim that evolution is a fact.

    See again? Cheap amateurish empty rhetoric.

    As one example I point out Jerry Coyne's new book. Your response? "I have not read this book, nor plan to do so," have a nice day.

    See again? Why should I believe that Coyne committed any of the mistakes you point out if I see how easily you quote out of context here? If I see how you transparently straw-manise what I say and what others say? I have no time to go and read unless you can point to something specific that I could verify. Your empty assertions, given the "credibility" you have built, are mere, and amateurish, rhetoric. Doesn't your institution at least train you in the tricks of the trade?

    So the professor makes the usual empty charges, can't back them up and then runs and hides.

    Sure, "the professor" (thanks) makes well-based charges, shows you so, then, because he rather spends the holiday away from the computer, says good-bye, yet you shoot this amateurish rhetorical rant.

    Misguided religion drives your pseudoscience, and it matters.

    ---

    P.S. I found a couple of articles apparently by yourself and your thesis advisor. Seem like useful work. What happened? Why did you decide to rather dedicate your life to ... this?

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  34. omar,

    Sorry, we hear the very same claims about the bible describing big-bangs, and such. All by your very same method, interpreting the issues into the text (eisegesis), rather than understanding the texts by their proper context (exegesis). Also, seems that the big-crunch is unlikely to happen, because, if I remember correctly, there is not enough matter for the gravitational forces to stop the big-bang and reverse the trend. But I am no expert. You might want to verify before trying this argument again.

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  38. Read this verse

    "I swear by the knocker, and what will convey to you what the knocker is; it's the piercing star"

    Here God swears by a star that knocks!!! is there such thing?... Yes, it's called the Pulsar.

    Listen to the knocks:

    http://www.jb.man.ac.uk/~pulsar/Education/Sounds/B0329.au

    Did Muhammed hear those knocks 1400 years ago?

    Don't compare the Bible to the Qur'an man...
    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This is just one example...

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  39. In the Sura Al-kahf (The Cave) Allah speaks about people who stayed in the Cave for 309 years ... Now what's so special about that?... Let's see... Allah said they stayed 309 years, but they said they stayed a day or a part of a day... So, there is a time change here. The first thing we should think of is the relativity of time discovered by Einstein... The law of General Relativity states that Time can be slower on objects that have higher density (so, weight)... What does that have to do with this story?... Well, let's see... We have to prove that the cave they were in was Heavier than all earth... Here is the proof for that from the Qur’an:

    First, we have to know that Very Heavy things are indicated by two special things: Time is slower on them, and they have higher gravity force.

    There are two facts that prove this in the Sura:

    1- ) Time was not the same inside the cave, because they said they stayed a day or some of a day, but Allah says they stayed 309 years, and Allah is speaking to us, so he is speaking about time OUTSIDE THE CAVE, because we and all the people before us were OUT of the cave. So, time inside the cave is different than that out.
    2- ) This is an astonishing fact I saw about the Qur'an in this Chapter in particular... Allah says in the same Sura (Chapter):

    - Thou wouldst have seen the sun, when it rose, declining to the right from their Cave, and when it set, turning away from them to the left, while they lay in the open space in the midst of the Cave. Such are among the Signs of Allah. He whom Allah, guides is rightly guided; but he whom Allah leaves to stray,- for him wilt thou find no protector to lead him to the Right Way (Qur'an 18:17)

    Did you detect the astonishing fact?... Thou wouldst have seen the sun, when it rose, declining to the right from their Cave, and when it set, turning away from them to the left ... The verse means that the light of the sun gets affected by the Midst of the Cave, same like when Earth is affected by the Sun (Gravity), that’s why the observer sees the sun as if it moves away from the cave, which means that the Cave was HEAVIER than every part on earth, same as The Sun is Heavier than Earth, which is why the Sun affects the earth causing it to rotate on it... Why did Allah choose the sunrise and sunset?... It's because the Cave at those times is between the observer's eye and the Sun, so the observer will see the effect of the cave on the light coming from the sun (Gravity affects light too)...

    From these facts we conclude that the People of the Cave travelled to the future. They got in the cave, and they got out to find themselves in the future (309 years after the time they Got in the cave)... Science says that's possible and that all we need to do it is a very heavy place to put ourselves in, same as what we find in this story in the Holy Qur’an.... So, Allah made the Middle of the Cave so heavy that time changed in it.

    Conclusion: Did Muhammad (peace be upon him) know about that 1430 years ago?... There are two possibilities: Either Muhammad (peace be upon him) was a physicist and knew about the relativity of time, time-travel and what it requires, or The creator of this universe and of the relative time itself told him so...

    People back then needed to take those verses by faith, but now we no longer need to... Science shows that travel in time is possible... However, we have other things to take by faith, like Hell, for example... Who knows...? Maybe science will get to them in the future...

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  40. An other verse says:

    "I don't (need to) swear by the PLACES of the stars."

    Why the Places, not the stars themselves? It's because what we see in the sky are not the stars themselves, it's just their places.

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  41. How would a man 1430 years ago know that the heavens and the earth have the same Origin?

    "Havn't the unbelievers seen that the heavens and the earth were joined together and we separated them"

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  42. Intolerance to change? An answer to Cornelius Hunter's latest post.

    I recommend the interested readers to read the actual article. It is short and enjoyable:

    Let us change the highlighting in the text quoted by Cornelius from The New York Times (which is not precisely a scientific journal):

    The tolerances of these machines seem to be very fine because almost any mutation in the underlying genes leads to a misshapen protein and, consequently, to disease. Looking through a standard list of Mendelian diseases, which are those caused by alterations in a single gene, the Sanger team found that mutations in 169 of the synaptic genes led to 269 different human diseases.

    So, let me get this straight. If we look into a database of diseases, we find mutations that are related to diseases, and this means that almost any mutations in those genes cause diseases? The conclusion as presented in The N.Y.T. is clearly unwarranted as per how the conclusion is reached. You should know better, yet you decide to play by it because it is convenient to your diatribe?

    Then, if we read the actual article, it is clear that "intolerance to change" does not mean "100% absolute conservation required." For one, the dN/dS measurements, used to test for negative selection (a proxy for intolerance to amino-acid changes), can't be used unless there are enough changes for the test to run. The results show that these proteins are less tolerant to change than other proteins in the brain, and even less than the global tendencies of the proteins encoded by the genome. In other words, the "intolerance" is relative to other proteins, but it is far from the absolute you claim in your ending paragraph:

    So the evolutionary narrative, as usual, must believe that the biological world underwent radical, unheard of levels of change,

    "Must believe"? "Unheard of"? This is no religion Cornelius. I don't have to believe in radical unheard of levels of change. I can verify and see that the biological world has indeed underwent all kinds of changes, some rather conservative, some rather "radical" depending on how you define the latter. If I see such changes, then they are not unheard of.

    though mysteriously today such change is not tolerated.

    As we saw above, seems like you misunderstood the meaning of "intolerant."

    All the while luckily creating an astonishing world of biological wonders.

    Did I mention amateurish rhetoric on your part Cornelius? Did you want examples?

    Misguided religion drives your pseudoscience, and it matters.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Scott:

    ===
    We're still having difficulty making sense out of your supposed clarifications. This is because you seem to contradict yourself when it suits your agenda and appear to have private definitions of terms. You also make extremely vague and unqualified statements which appear intentionally ambiguous and regularly present false dilemmas.
    ===

    I'm glad to try to clarify, and discuss these matters, but you seem to be contriving problems.

    ===
    For example, you say your neutral in regards to evolution, yet continually claim it's an absurd religious belief which could represent thoughts corrupted by sin. How this represents an unbiased or neutral view is unclear.
    ===

    Here is an example. In fact, I do not "continually claim it's an absurd religious belief." What I have pointed out is that religion has driven evolutionists to absurd scientific conclusions. They now believe evolution is a fact, an undefendable conclusion. The religious beliefs that got them there is another matter. We could talk about those, but generally I acknowledge the legitimacy of their raising such issues, and that they make some good points. I think they also make some weak points in their religious assertions. But I don't say they are absurd.


    ===
    You continually present the ambiguous claim that science thinks evolution is "unlikely", which is a form of equivocation.
    ===

    I don't know how to put it in any kinder way. When you have all of biology just happening to arise on its own, with long shot after long shot constructions arising, it seems like "unlikely" is hardly an equivocation. If anything, it is an understatement.

    ===
    You suggest you're an empiricist who is somehow free of bias yet, time after time, you present statistics which assume the complexity in question was formed all at once. Furthermore, you continue to present these statistics without qualifying this assumption as if they somehow represent unbiased scientific position. And you repeatedly do this despite having it pointed out to you again and again. This appears to be a naive or disingenuous interpretation of observations.
    ===

    Again, no, what I actually do is present these statistics *with* explanations. For instance, for protein evolution I explain that intermediate proteins are needed, but that there scant evidence of such intermediates. And for ribosome assembly where you have at an early stage the rRNA folding into a conformation making assembly and function impossible, I explain that preadaptation is needed:

    ---
    The only way to resolve this problem is to have the spacer removal mechanism already in place, before the spacer sequence itself evolved. As usual, evolutionists would need to rely on the needed mechanism just happening to serve some other useful purpose, and when the spacer sequence happened to arise for no reason, the removal mechanism found new work for itself. In other words ...
    ---



    ===
    In fact, it seems that you have your own private definition of science which varies depending on the domain. Furthermore, we can't help but notice this variation just so happens to correlate with God's supposed roles as defined in specific traditional theological views.
    ===

    No, I don't have my own private definition of science, and nor does it vary as you suggest.



    ====
    You wrote:

    My belief that God loves you and that Jesus has died for your sins and *whomever* comes to him he will in no wise cast out, is not a solution for people getting evolution right, as you seem to have interpreted.

    So, then please enlighten us as to how it's relevant in the context of evolution, or even science, if relevant at all.
    ====

    It's not relevant in the context of evolution, or even science. The context was a question from Janfeld.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Negative Entropy:

    ===
    See again? Why should I believe that Coyne committed any of the mistakes you point out if I see how easily you quote out of context here? If I see how you transparently straw-manise what I say and what others say? I have no time to go and read unless you can point to something specific that I could verify. Your empty assertions, given the "credibility" you have built, are mere, and amateurish, rhetoric. Doesn't your institution at least train you in the tricks of the trade?
    ===

    Here are a few examples:

    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/11/abusing-science.html

    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/05/biting-hand-that-feeds-you.html

    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2009/06/evolutions-religion-revealed.html

    ReplyDelete
  45. Cornelius Hunter said...

    Negative Entropy:

    ===
    See again? Why should I believe that Coyne committed any of the mistakes you point out if I see how easily you quote out of context here? If I see how you transparently straw-manise what I say and what others say? I have no time to go and read unless you can point to something specific that I could verify. Your empty assertions, given the "credibility" you have built, are mere, and amateurish, rhetoric. Doesn't your institution at least train you in the tricks of the trade?
    ===

    Here are a few examples:

    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/11/abusing-science.html

    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/05/biting-hand-that-feeds-you.html

    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2009/06/evolutions-religion-revealed.html


    For once you're right Cornelius. Those are great examples of your ridiculous strawman claims, empty assertions, and amateurish rhetoric.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Cornelius Hunter said,

    Here is an example. In fact, I do not "continually claim it's an absurd religious belief." What I have pointed out is that religion has driven evolutionists to absurd scientific conclusions. They now believe evolution is a fact, an undefendable conclusion. The religious beliefs that got them there is another matter. We could talk about those, but generally I acknowledge the legitimacy of their raising such issues, and that they make some good points. I think they also make some weak points in their religious assertions. But I don't say they are absurd.

    Some items I have noticed in my brief time, here. This is apparently a "google-based" or google-tied-in Blog. That big red E (if that is an E?) when I log here. There seem to be only a few major "blog makers" or players, now, or what have you. Another blog maker apparently is Wordpress. When I go from your blog to another blog which happens to be google-based, it easily allows me in and allows (or forces me to use?) same nick name and password. But when I go to a Wordpress blog, it acts friendly but then gives me absurd "reporting errors": you can not come here, you are "anonymous", etc. Even after I logged in, etc. Makes me think that..there is stiff competition between the big blogmakers, that part of their competitive game is to try and force clients/visitors to stay with them, alone --with their "brand" of blog.

    Speaking of CHunter and his references to evolution and religion. Yes with many evolutionists it is a religion. As Michael Ruse well stated to begin with, several years ago. Before (like Karl Popper) he appeared to backtrack and paper-over what he had initially said. Steve Gould was very good at that sort of thing, too. He would make very understandable, and concessionary statements in one essay or column or book. Then, apparently, he would be bombarded with complaints from other evolutionists. Soon, he would come out with a book or column which all but retracted what he had plainly said. Finally, Gould became almost vacuous: anyone who didn't furnish book lengths quotes from him (and other evolutionists) was "quote mining". When CHunter speaks of religion driving evolution, I think he sometimes does not summarize that with good clarity. For instance, evolutionists "rule God out" in their very definition of "science". First, they tell us that god and the metaphysical can have no place in discussions of science. Then, they turn right around and smuggle god back into the discussion: telling us that such and such can not be so "because that is not how a god would have done it". I say that many evolutionists do this. Our worst evolutionists are not really evolutionists at all (CDawkins, JCoyne, etc). Instead they are activist atheists who make evolution look very lame, in their frantic attacks on Christians. CDarwin, SGould, now an unhinged CDawkins make the identical mistakes in first ruling out the metaphysical, then turning right around and telling us "see, a god would not have created like that". At least once a month, I think Hunter should drive home that point in summary of various articles. The very infrequent and casual visitor to your blog would grasp that (inserted religion) more quickly.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Good job there Rhod. You've gone from merely being clueless on evolutionary theory to being clueless on evolutionary theory and posting outright falsehoods.

    Like this one:

    Then, they turn right around and smuggle god back into the discussion: telling us that such and such can not be so "because that is not how a god would have done it".

    No one in the scientific community says that. The argument is that there's no logical reason for a claimed omnipotent God to make things that are such jerry-rigged barely functional kludges which look like they evolved. The two arguments are very different.

    Don't feel alone, Cornelius is fond of repeating the same lie too. Lots of IDCers are.

    Are you another of Dembski's students doing this for class credits?

    ReplyDelete
  48. Thorton:

    ===
    Good job there Rhod. You've gone from merely being clueless on evolutionary theory to being clueless on evolutionary theory and posting outright falsehoods.

    Like this one:

    Then, they turn right around and smuggle god back into the discussion: telling us that such and such can not be so "because that is not how a god would have done it".

    No one in the scientific community says that. The argument is that there's no logical reason for a claimed omnipotent God to make things that are such jerry-rigged barely functional kludges which look like they evolved. The two arguments are very different.

    Don't feel alone, Cornelius is fond of repeating the same lie too. Lots of IDCers are.

    Are you another of Dembski's students doing this for class credits?
    ===

    This sentiment is typical of evolutionists, and a good example of their confusion about metaphysics. While boldly making metaphysical pronouncements, they simultaneously insist theirs is nothing but pure, objective science. The juxtaposition is incredible. And in some cases the contradiction is right there in the same moment. Here's a good example from Thorton:

    ===
    [Rhod said]: Then, they turn right around and smuggle god back into the discussion: telling us that such and such can not be so "because that is not how a god would have done it".

    [Thorton replied]: No one in the scientific community says that. The argument is that there's no logical reason for a claimed omnipotent God to make things that are such jerry-rigged barely functional kludges which look like they evolved. The two arguments are very different.
    ===

    Very different? In fact they are identical. The evolutionist's claim that "there's no logical reason for a claimed omnipotent God to make things that are ..." is a metaphysical claim. And not only is it a metaphysical claim, it says "that is not how a god would have done it." How does the evolutionist know there is "no logical reason" for an "omnipotent God" to have done it that way? Such knowledge is, of course, metaphysical. It doesn't come from science. This is why evolution is not falsifiable.

    The evolutionist claims there is no logical reason for an omnipotent God to do it that way. Precisely what he just finished denying having ever said.

    If you didn't hear it straight from the evolutionists you wouldn't believe it. But this is what evolution is based on. They mandate their metaphysical truths while insisting their reasoning and conclusions are free of any such metaphysics. Your tax dollars at work.

    You would think the ACLU would be all over this, but in fact they advocate and promote this. The ACLU is not about liberties, civil or otherwise. They have an evolutionary agenda.

    ReplyDelete
  49. CH: "The evolutionist claims there is no logical reason for an omnipotent God to do it that way. Precisely what he just finished denying having ever said."

    I think if creationists and ID supporters make claims about supernatural agencies being involved in evolution and origins, it is a perfectly reasonable question to ask not only what evidence is there for this, but also are such claims consistent with what we know about supernatural agents? Since creationists (and some ID proponents) usually make claims about the Christian God, then it is a legitimate line of inquiry to ask whether what we observe in nature aligns with the character and methods of such a supernatural agency. My own view (which I've stated before) is that what we can empirically observe in fact flatly contradicts with the Christian God.

    But again as others have pointed out ad nauseum and CH is simply incapable of understanding (because of his own metaphysics, because for him evolution must not be true) evolution does not stand or fall on what God did or did not do.

    ReplyDelete
  50. omar -

    Firstly, I note you did not address my last questions. You are simply trying to pull the same trick again - pluck obscure verses from the Quran, attached wild interpretations to them and then claim divine insight. I don't think this is impressing anyone.

    "Here God swears by a star that knocks!!! is there such thing?... Yes, it's called the Pulsar."

    Does a Pulsar knock? No, it does not. It emits a beam of electromagnetic radiation which is only detected when the beam is pointed towards Earth. Think of it like a lighthouse light, which rotates and seems bright only as it shines directly at you. This creates the 'pulsing' illusion. But this is not, in any sense, 'knocking'.

    "Allah speaks about people who stayed in the Cave for 309 years ... Now what's so special about that?... Let's see... Allah said they stayed 309 years, but they said they stayed a day or a part of a day"

    I genuniely have no idea what you are taking about here. Who are these people? What cave were they meant to have stayed in for 309 years?

    "So, there is a time change here."

    No, there is a contradiction. The simplest explanation of which is that at least one account is simply wrong.

    "Thou wouldst have seen the sun, when it rose, declining to the right from their Cave, and when it set, turning away from them to the left"

    This just describes an event that might have been witnessed IN RELATION to the cave, not CAUSED BY the cave.

    "which means that the Cave was HEAVIER than every part on earth"

    Simply a ridiculous extrapolation.

    "Conclusion: Did Muhammad (peace be upon him) know about that 1430 years ago?... There are two possibilities: Either Muhammad (peace be upon him) was a physicist and knew about the relativity of time, time-travel and what it requires, or The creator of this universe and of the relative time itself told him so..."

    There are more possibilites. For one, you are simply interpreting far too much into fantastical stories. For another - these stories just AREN'T TRUE. They are not 'facts', they are stories - myths. You just happen to believe them.

    ""I don't (need to) swear by the PLACES of the stars." Why the Places, not the stars themselves? It's because what we see in the sky are not the stars themselves, it's just their places."

    Yet another wild interpretation. We do not, in fact, just see the places of the stars. We see light which eminated from stars themselves. So yes we ARE seeing the stars. If a star is a billion light-years away, we are seeing light which left the star a billion years ago. It is no more accurate to say we are seeing the 'place' of the star than it is to say we are seeing the star itself. In fact, probably less so.

    All you are doing is attaching fanciful interpretations to obscure passages. Christians do it too. It is a practice born out of blind (and I do mean BLIND) faith that their/your holy book is accurate. There is no genuine insight to be found in the Quran. It is as perceptively barren as the Bible.

    ReplyDelete
  51. "...evolution does not stand or fall on what God did or did not do."

    Damn right. And needs restating, since Cornelius seems incapable of accepting/understanding it.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Janfeld:

    ===
    My own view (which I've stated before) is that what we can empirically observe in fact flatly contradicts with the Christian God. ...

    (because of his own metaphysics, because for him evolution must not be true)
    ===

    This is another example of evolutionary thinking. Not only do evolutionists make metaphysical pronouncements and then deny ever having done so, but they then accuse you of metaphysical committments which you don't have.

    I guess one step begets the next.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Ritchie and Jenfeld:

    ===
    "...evolution does not stand or fall on what God did or did not do."

    Damn right. And needs restating, since Cornelius seems incapable of accepting/understanding it.
    ===

    What is important is that the evolutionary proofs for why evolution is a fact are metaphysical. You are correct that such metaphysics does not always entail assumptions about god, but it often does. In any case, evolution's metaphysics are not falsifiable.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Cornelius -

    "What is important is that the evolutionary proofs for why evolution is a fact are metaphysical."

    Why are you singling out ToE?!?!

    A more accurate phrasing is: 'What is important is that the SCIENTIFIC proofs for why ANY SCIENTIFIC THEORY is a fact are metaphysical.'

    ANY scientific thoery relies of the assumption of naturalism. And ToE does not rest on any 'metaphysical assumption' beyond this.

    Despite the fact that you keep singling out evolution, you actually have a problem with the way ALL SCIENCE works. For practical purposes you might just as well have dedicated your entire blog to the theory of gravity, relativity or germ theory. I cannot grasp whether you simply do not understand this or just ignore it.

    ReplyDelete
  55. In fact, following your logic, there is no such thing as a statement about the world which is NOT metaphysical, since ANY such statement will always be based on the assumption that the world around us is real and not a dream or some Matrix-induced false reality. Therefore, every statement about the world around us is metaphysical.

    This is the level of silliness you are plumbing with your notions.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Eugen -

    "Because more than any other supposed science, this one is specifically targeting and redirecting global worldview."

    No, it's because this is the one scientific theory which Cornelius objects to (due to his religious bias). He doesn't grasp that this theory functions just like every other scientific theory does - theories he is happy to accept.

    "Let's not confuse scientific facts with the truth of evolution!!!"

    If I can just wipe off the sarcasm there... oh no, there's nothing of substance underneath.

    " The whole purpose of this blog is to expose the unprovable story telling and myth creation being tauted as fact with zero physical/naturalistic observational evidence to back it beyond it's faith based statement making and conjecture."

    Then it is failing at its purpose. Probably because it is built on a false premise.

    "No absolutes(except evolution is an absolute FACT) and Truth is relative(with the ONLY acception being the truth of evolution)."

    Strawman argument. Who on Earth holds these views? Stop being silly and show people you debate with some respect but not clownishly misinterpreting their them.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Cornelius Hunter:

    "While boldly making metaphysical pronouncements, they simultaneously insist theirs is nothing but pure, objective science. And in some cases the contradiction is right there in the same moment."

    The evolutionist claims there is no logical reason for an omnipotent God to do it that way. Precisely what he just finished denying having ever said.
    They mandate their metaphysical truths while insisting their reasoning and conclusions are free of any such metaphysics."
    =====

    Clearly Thorton looks in the mirror and sees his own reflection and walks off and accuses you of being the person in the mirror with this statement:

    Thorton:
    "Those are great examples of your ridiculous strawman claims, empty assertions, and amateurish rhetoric."
    -----

    This reminds me of the account in the book of James of the forgetful hearer and lazy doer of the word/law. It's the ultimate description of a hypocrite. They refuse to acknowledge the very fatal flaw present in themselves that they accuse everyone around them as having.

    James 1:23-24 (Amplified Bible)

    23 "For if anyone only listens to the Word without obeying it and being a doer of it, he is like a man who looks carefully at his [own] natural face in a mirror;

    24 "For he thoughtfully observes himself, and then goes off and promptly forgets what he was like."

    ReplyDelete
  58. Eocene -

    That is exactly what Cornelius and his canned applause would think if Thorton's accusations were correct.

    IOW, you have shown nothing.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Ritchie:

    Despite the fact that you keep singling out evolution, you actually have a problem with the way ALL SCIENCE works. For practical purposes you might just as well have dedicated your entire blog to the theory of gravity, relativity or germ theory. I cannot grasp whether you simply do not understand this or just ignore it.

    It’s a matter of doctrine. If evolution is true, there was no special creation of Adam and Eve, no Garden of Eden, and no Original Sin. Without Original Sin, there is no cosmic debt to be paid by an Incarnation of Jesus, his death, resurrection, and the whole shooting match of Christian belief.

    Biblical Literalists have other issues, focusing on the words of Genesis, which contradict other branches of science. But Dr Hunter is not a Biblical Literalist, either in his self-identification or in his focus on evolution.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Cornelius Hunter:
    ===
    [Rhod said]: Then, they turn right around and smuggle god back into the discussion: telling us that such and such can not be so "because that is not how a god would have done it".

    [Thorton replied]: No one in the scientific community says that. The argument is that there's no logical reason for a claimed omnipotent God to make things that are such jerry-rigged barely functional kludges which look like they evolved. The two arguments are very different.
    ===

    Very different? In fact they are identical. The evolutionist's claim that "there's no logical reason for a claimed omnipotent God to make things that are ..." is a metaphysical claim.



    Not identical arguments, unless "omnipotent" is meaningless to you. A few extra qualifiers would help. An omnipotent god could do anything (we guess), but one who is omnipotent, serious, and thoughtful (at least as serious and thoughtful as an exemplary human) would not route wiring from giraffe's larynx around its aorta or forget to put gills on the sperm whale. Logical arguments of this type cannot rule out the existence of all gods, but it does rule out certain types of anthropomorphic gods that some people carry around in their brains.

    Yes, this argument is metaphysical. Outside of anthropological contexts, discussing the nature of gods is no more scientific than producing a monograph on the anatomy and phylogenetic relationships of Bigfoot. But these metaphysical arguments always come out in blog posts and trade books aimed at the nonscientists, to whom they probably hold more appeal than purely scientific arguments anyway. The theists in the crowd will want to know why their favorite deity isn't called on to save the day for humanity. God makes frequent appearances in these contexts, but doesn't seem to show up much in the primary literature these days.

    (continued below)

    ReplyDelete
  61. The scientific argument from kludges is one about mechanisms and the nature of evolution. If natural selection is at work, why don't we see perfect organisms? Much of the constraint on adaptation that we observe is well explained by ancestors having possessed a different mode of life from their descendants. From the phylogenetic hierarchy of genetic and skeletal traits, we can reconstruct ancestral states. Study of the genetics and fossil record of vertebrates tells us that whales had terrestrial ancestors for hundreds of millions of years, but that whale sharks did not. Thus, we get an explanation as to why sperm whales, which spend most of their life at great depths, possess lungs but lack gills and why whale sharks, which cruise the shallows to feed, possess gills but no lungs.

    The concordance between the tree of life and the particular examples of suboptimal construction we observe in nature is compelling evidence of evolution, assuming one's worldview is at least open to the possibility.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Ritchie:

    "Strawman argument."
    =====

    Funny, there must be a default button canned answer on every evolutionist keyboard since nothing new or creative ever rears it's ugly head. LOL
    -----

    Ritchie:

    Who on Earth holds these views?
    =====

    Hmmmmmmm, Larry Tanner over at uncommondescent admitting he doesn't believe in absolutes, Thorton is another over in the thread about no absolutes with regards morality, then denying any evolutionists ever say this and this response from Cornelius:

    "Believe me, when evolutionists reassure you that morality exists, they are not referring to right and wrong. They are redefining the word as a proxy for evolutionary outcomes. What they mean by morality is nothing more than molecular rearrangements."

    The list is endless and you will never correct any of your comrades here when they spew it up. But let a skeptical opposer of the correct worldview point it out and it's nonsense.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Pedant -

    "It’s a matter of doctrine."

    Got it in one. If Cornelius decided germ theory contradicted his religious views, then he could attack that theory too - ON EXACTLY THE SAME GROUNDS. He only takes issue with one his religious views conflict with.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Ritchie:

    "Those are MORAL absolutes. This is philosophy. That deals with what SHOULD BE."
    =====

    Yeah, right, Altruism is nothing more than a great evolutionary survival strategy and nothing more. A boy scout helping an elderly lady across the street is an evolutionary example of Altruism. So is the creep around the next block who rapes that same old lady which is also an example of evolutionary adaptation ???
    *Eyes Rolling*
    -----

    Ritchie:

    "Evolution is science. Science deals with what IS/WAS or MIGHT BE."
    =====

    No it's philosophical worldview masquerading as science to justify worldview. Before Charlie Darwin wrote his book OOS or visited Galapagos, he had a metaphysical revelation/vision which led to his pursuit of Evolution Theory, and not because he just stumbled across some scientific evidence without bias.

    In fact earlier this year during the anual Darwin Birthday celebration, both the History Channel, National Geographic and Discover Channel paid tribute to Lord Charles and mentioned his early in life influences which lead him to pursuing TOE. In Argentina he stumbled upon what he called warrior-like primitive savages and reasoned that if there was a God, surely he would not create such primitive animal-like savage humans and the civilizied superior white Europeans such as himself. Therefore there must be another factual explanation. Hence we get "Metaphysics" as a fathering mechanism for spawning TOE. It's not about the science. It's about the "Metaphysics"!!!

    ReplyDelete
  65. Ritchie:

    "If Cornelius decided germ theory contradicted his religious views, then he could attack that theory too - ON EXACTLY THE SAME GROUNDS. He only takes issue with one his religious views conflict with."
    =====

    He's only brought up the metaphysical subject because the majority of the scientific papers out there, rather than proving evolution as being responsible for various attributes, mechanisms, etc, we get nothing but STORIES without "Scientific Method" proofs that could easily be verified by independent unbiased outside sources. In most of these examples, they don't even remotely attempt to prove anything other than making bold statements and hanging evolutionary lables and signage to give Charlie credits.

    Never once to we ever get a satisfying explanation on how unplanned mistakes turn out lucky billions of times over or how blind undirected forces result in complicated sophisticated mechanisms. Instead we get hijacking of such machinery as evlutionary drivers with no explanation and we become skeptical and question. Only then are we labled heretics and then suddenly word/term games rear their ugly heads and the conversation usually ends up in the sewer.

    The entertaining thing here lately is that YOUR side has diliberately baited him into bringing up his personal Christian views(and I cannot claim to know specifics here of his personal views) because you've been frustrated to come up with any viable real world explanations minus the philosophy of how such brilliant complex mechanisms all came about in the first place. Then you turn full circle and deny you did anything of the kind. ROFL!!!

    ReplyDelete
  66. Cornelius Hunter: Janfeld:

    ===
    My own view (which I've stated before) is that what we can empirically observe in fact flatly contradicts with the Christian God. ...

    (because of his own metaphysics, because for him evolution must not be true)
    ===

    This is another example of evolutionary thinking. Not only do evolutionists make metaphysical pronouncements and then deny ever having done so, but they then accuse you of metaphysical committments which you don't have.


    The necessary metaphysics for evolution is the same as for all natural science currently operating: methodological naturalism and spatiotemporal actualism, that we inhabit a universe in which we can learn meaningfully. Not falsifiable, but neither is a metaphysical rejection of last Tuesdayism, and all the evidence we have suggests that the MN approach is working to help us understand nature. If you needed a particular surgical procedure, you would not want to go back in time to 1920s and have it performed under our past level of understanding and technology. MN science progresses and works. In contrast, the "accomplishments" of spiritualism are not impressive.

    (continued below)

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  67. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Eocene -

    "Yeah, right, Altruism is nothing more than a great evolutionary survival strategy and nothing more. A boy scout helping an elderly lady across the street is an evolutionary example of Altruism. So is the creep around the next block who rapes that same old lady which is also an example of evolutionary adaptation ???"

    You are doing exactly what I warned you against. You are confusing morality with science. In this case, you are pointing to the evolution OF morality. But even from that we can draw no moral conclusions. Even if we had an exact and intricate history of precisely how our moral sense came about, we would still not be able to draw any moral conclusions from it! We can try to determine whether life on Earth evolved via natural selection, and even if we prove it did, that does not say anything at all about whether evolution is good, bad, whether it is what SHOULD happen or what should NOT happen.

    You cannot draw moral conclusions from science. Science deals in facts, theories and evidence, not ethics and moralising.

    "No it's philosophical worldview masquerading as science to justify worldview"

    No it isn't. It's a scientific theory. And there are certain standards of evidence you need to pass before a theory becomes such. Like it or not (and you apparently don't), the Theory of Evolution is legitimate science.

    "Before Charlie Darwin wrote his book OOS or visited Galapagos, he had a metaphysical revelation/vision which led to his pursuit of Evolution Theory, and not because he just stumbled across some scientific evidence without bias."

    Ignoring your childish attempt to discredit 'Charlie' by patronising him, the motives of a scientist are pretty immaterial. That's what the peer-review process is all about. Many scientists have actively wanted their hypothesis to be true. That's why their work must be handed over for critical peer-review.

    "Hence we get "Metaphysics" as a fathering mechanism for spawning TOE."

    Whatever first sparked the idea in Darwin's head, he wouldn't have got anywhere without evidence. That's how science works. And the reason Darwin's idea is now the foundational theory of the whole of biology is that there IS evidence - mountains of it.

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  69. Eocene -

    "He's only brought up the metaphysical subject because the majority of the scientific papers out there, rather than proving evolution as being responsible for various attributes, mechanisms, etc, we get nothing but STORIES without "Scientific Method" proofs that could easily be verified by independent unbiased outside sources."

    No, evolutionists explain the evidence, and then all we get is "It's metaphysical because you're ASSUMING God didn't do it instead!" Which is clearly a nonsense - to everyone except Cornelius and his canned applause, apparently.

    The view that there IS a God is a metaphysical position. That does not make assuming there ISN'T a metaphysical position as well. Because without any REASON to think there IS a God, assuming there isn't is the reasonable, rational default position.

    Which is of course anathema to yourself and Cornelius, for whom assuming there IS a God is the default position.

    And why? BECAUSE YOU ARE RELIGIOUS!

    "The entertaining thing here lately is that YOUR side has diliberately baited him into bringing up his personal Christian views(and I cannot claim to know specifics here of his personal views) because you've been frustrated to come up with any viable real world explanations minus the philosophy of how such brilliant complex mechanisms all came about in the first place."

    No, it's because he claims to be such a paragon of dispassionate science - the cool rational scientist - and that everyone who disagrees with him is 'religious', when it is he himself who is religious and seems to shuffle his feet about addressing that fact. He knows it undermines his position - since he is using the claim of being religious to undermine the position of others!

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  70. Hunter:

    I don't know how to put it in any kinder way. When you have all of biology just happening to arise on its own, with long shot after long shot constructions arising, it seems like "unlikely" is hardly an equivocation. If anything, it is an understatement.

    Not knowing how to put it in any kinder way, Hunter begs the question. He can't imagine how life could have arisen and diversified by natural processes. That's so improbable in his mind that there simply has to be a Supernatural Engineer. Natural Theology 101.

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  71. Anthrax:

    "What level of evidence would it take for you to accept evolution (here meaning descent of life on Earth from common ancestry, not "God didn't do it," since that is off the table for you)?"
    =====

    I think this quote is key: "God didn't do it". God being with reference to anything intelligent when it comes to purpose, plans, directedness and guidance with goals in mind. The question that keeps being asked is just exactly how does blind pointless indifferent forces, with no guidance or directedness without purpose, intent or goals accomplish anything regarding things that ARE complex sophisticated molecular machines being informationally driven and directed which results in the natural world(which is presently failing BTW) we all relate to ??? There has never once been a satisfying answer to this other than definition shell games of what is and what isn't our position on evolution. The crybabying over this question by individuals who promote themselves as knowing better than thou is tiring.

    It's simple really. If intelligence is against the laws of evolutionary nature, then how do nothing(nonsense) but physics and chemcials do it(make sense) ???

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  72. Ritchie:

    "No, evolutionists explain the evidence,"
    ======

    Wrong, this is never done satisfactorily, especially when you consider that intelligence is forbidden at the beginning. Life is not about the material it uses, it's about the information that drives it.
    ------

    Ritchie:

    " and then all we get is "It's metaphysical because you're ASSUMING God didn't do it instead!"
    ======

    No, you inserted God in there. He's simply asking for a Scientific Method explanation for how blind indifferent forces accomplish anything intelligent and complex. Because in the real world we don't observe or relate to such nonsense. All we receive are faith-based statements of how they THINK it happens or takes place.
    ------

    Ritchie:

    "Which is of course anathema to yourself and Cornelius, for whom assuming there IS a God is the default position.

    And why? BECAUSE YOU ARE RELIGIOUS!"
    ======

    Again, WE don't want a religious answer, and that's the point. Show a strictly naturalistic proof of how non-sense begets sense, non-intelligence begets intelligence and how non-life begets life with nothing more than physics and chemicals. Thus far you avoid this like the plague. What's the scientific definition of the truth Ritchie ???

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  73. Captain Eo: how does blind pointless indifferent forces, with no guidance or directedness without purpose, intent or goals accomplish anything regarding things that ARE complex sophisticated molecular machines being informationally driven and directed which results in the natural world(which is presently failing BTW) we all relate to ??? There has never once been a satisfying answer to this other than definition shell games of what is and what isn't our position on evolution.

    Duplication mutations, chemical interactions, and multiple rounds of natural selection and genetic drift explain complexity. Though unguided, natural selection is not directionless; it drives population genetics towards adaptive combinations. If that means more complexity or less complexity, that's what natural selection does. If you need a god to explain the living world, you would likely just as well need it to explain chemistry as well. That's fine for you personally. Science doesn't do gods except as comparative anthropology.

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  74. Ritchie:

    "You cannot draw moral conclusions from science. Science deals in facts, theories and evidence, not ethics and moralising."
    =====

    Yes that is obvious. Science has nothing to do with ethics and morality. Of course this is shared in common with politics, LOL
    -----

    Ritchie:

    "Like it or not (and you apparently don't), the Theory of Evolution is legitimate science."
    ======

    So "The Final Solution" , "Eugenics" , "Apartheid" and the irresponsible use of GMOs (since there is no morality or ethics) are all given legimacy because they draw directly from Darwinian principles ???
    ------

    Ritchie:

    "Whatever first sparked the idea in Darwin's head, he wouldn't have got anywhere without evidence."
    =====

    Interesting, so you're saying there is now clear evidence that such darker raced human beings(South American Savages, Negroid, etc) are inferior to the obvious superior European races as Charlie philosophized at the beginning and it is now a clear scientific fact ??? I now James Watson thinks this way.
    ------

    Ritchie:

    "That's how science works. And the reason Darwin's idea is now the foundational theory of the whole of biology is that there IS evidence - mountains of it."
    ======

    Off hand I'd say that the name of that mountain is "Bandini".

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  75. Anthro:

    "Duplication mutations, chemical interactions, and multiple rounds of natural selection and genetic drift explain complexity. Though unguided, natural selection is not directionless; it drives population genetics towards adaptive combinations. If that means more complexity or less complexity, that's what natural selection does. If you need a god to explain the living world, you would likely just as well need it to explain chemistry as well. That's fine for you personally. Science doesn't do gods except as comparative anthropology."
    ======

    That canned answer didn't answer anything. It's just the usual default standard. So we're back to neutral again with nothing changed.

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  76. Captain Eo: That canned answer didn't answer anything. It's just the usual default standard. So we're back to neutral again with nothing changed.

    Except that it answered everything. But you would 1) need to be knowledgeable about the relevant aspects of the natural world, and 2) need to be open to new ideas that conflict with your preconceptions, before you could grasp that. But yes, you're back to where you started nonetheless. The creationist position is dependent upon a lack of advancing knowledge.

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  77. Eocene -

    "Wrong, this is never done satisfactorily, especially when you consider that intelligence is forbidden at the beginning. Life is not about the material it uses, it's about the information that drives it."

    You are confused. The theory of evolution explains how life diversified into the many forms we see around us, nothing more, nothing less.

    "No, you inserted God in there. He's simply asking for a Scientific Method explanation for how blind indifferent forces accomplish anything intelligent and complex. Because in the real world we don't observe or relate to such nonsense."

    Rubbish. We witness speciation taking place many times. We have many studies of microevolution in action - and macroevolution is just microevolution on a longer time scale. There are no differences in mechanisms. Evolution has indeed been observed, and calling it 'microevolution' does not diminish this.

    "Again, WE don't want a religious answer, and that's the point."

    Well that's just not true, is it? You want to hear 'God did it' and will jump on any other answer with both feet.

    "Show a strictly naturalistic proof of how non-sense begets sense, non-intelligence begets intelligence and how non-life begets life with nothing more than physics and chemicals."

    Wrong theory! That's Abiogenesis. Not ToE. Please, please try to stay awake. Don't you know the difference?

    "So "The Final Solution" , "Eugenics" , "Apartheid" and the irresponsible use of GMOs (since there is no morality or ethics) are all given legimacy because they draw directly from Darwinian principles ???"

    Again, you still cannot grasp this point. It is not that the position of ToE is that there are no morals. It is that we cannot draw moral conclusions from any scientific results.

    Greater understanding of metals and compounds have enabled us to create new materials such as steel. Does this make the periodic table morally good if we then use steel buildings? Does it make the periodic table morally bad because we make steel weapons?

    Of course not. Science just gives us facts about the world. As people we may then use this information to do good or bad things, but that does not reflect on the truth of those facts. Those facts still have no moral value.

    We use facts derived from the Theory of Evolution to do a vast deal of good too. We maximise crop yields, develop vaccines and medicines, and run conservation projects on facts derived from the Theory of Evolution. Doesn't mean those facts have any moral value here either. It just means they have been put to good use.

    "Interesting, so you're saying there is now clear evidence that such darker raced human beings(South American Savages, Negroid, etc) are inferior to the obvious superior European races as Charlie philosophized at the beginning and it is now a clear scientific fact ???"

    No, of course not. How dare you!! That is both insufferably childish and extremely offensive of you. Behave like an adult, can't you??

    Charles Darwin's theory of Evolution via Natural Selection is a scientific hypothesis and has survived 150 years of critical scientific disection. His views on racial superiority have not. Those are not science. The theory of evolution via natural selection is science.

    "Off hand I'd say that the name of that mountain is "Bandini"."

    Off hand, I'd say your scientific opinion doesn't count for very much, so never mind.

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  78. Ritchie:

    "You are confused. The theory of evolution explains how life diversified into the many forms we see around us, nothing more, nothing less."
    ======

    Wrong, this is the convenient cowards way out of no intelligence allowed science. The hard questions can never be satisfactorily answered and so observed guided directed mechanisms found in nature are simply hijacked and given attached evolutionary labling without any explanation other than we say it is so.
    -----

    Ritchie:

    Rubbish. We witness speciation taking place many times. We have many studies of microevolution in action - and macroevolution is just microevolution on a longer time scale. There are no differences in mechanisms. Evolution has indeed been observed, and calling it 'microevolution' does not diminish this.
    ======

    Again more untruths. Macroevolution is nothing more than faith-based statement making without proof or evidences to back up the assertions. If you had such you would have provided it. The word/term "speciation" is yet another one of those fuzzy terms where definitions can mean anything. Varieties of the same kind of living thing are clear and understandalbe to ALL. But when used to the alluding to the Macro side life is where fuzziness takes 1st prize in the Chameleon shapeshifting contest.
    ------

    Ritchie:

    "Wrong theory! That's Abiogenesis. Not ToE. Please, please try to stay awake. Don't you know the difference?"
    ======

    Well I know what you want it to be. But this whole mess has always been the same old tired arguement from the beginning. You don't come halfway into the football game, payoff the referees and change the rules to fit your side's game plan. Tho I appreciate you have no problem with that.

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  79. Ritchie:

    "We maximise crop yields, develop vaccines and medicines, and run conservation projects on facts derived from the Theory of Evolution."
    ======

    None of those examples given here have to do with evolution as espoused by the faithful. Those techniques/ideas are from scientific research done by observing how things in nature efficiently work in a purposed and directed manner and how we can replicate them for our own purpose and intent.

    The problem comes from Evolutionists who make assumptions they are evolutionary in nature without ever once providing proof other than fable fabrication of how they believe they came about. Anti-biotic resistance has nothing to do with evolution. Plants redirecting their budding mechanism/thermostat clocks for climate change has nothing to do with evolution. They do so intentionally with a purpose for adaptational survival or they simply fail to change and die off. You've got to establish a foundation that is based, not on gut felt emotionalism of belief, but HARD FACTS and we just don't get that from evolutionary biology. Proof of this is science's own inability to control what they originally put into motion with regards this run away train of global ruin. Had morality and ethics actually been a part of responsible science in the first place, then our natural world wouldn't have been put in this deplorable condition it is presently.

    So I agree with you Ritchie, science could care less about morality or ethics.

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  80. Captain Eo:Again, more assumptions but no substance. This is the problem, you assert blind forces drove life in the first place but refuse to provide an experimental example(one that can be very simply replicated by anyone else) of how life was lab created(morphed) from nothing more than raw chemcials and the blind forces of physics.

    You are confusing evolution and biogenesis. No one would state that our modern hypotheses of life's orgination are as well understand as post-LUCA evolution. But we are getting more information every year.

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  81. Didn't people learn how to maximise crop yields before the theory of evolution? And the forst vaccine against smallpox was developed by Jenner before the theory of evolution was developed.

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  82. Captain Eo:The real problem with your post before was that half way down you shoved the God issue into the paragraph and that is NOT what was asked of you.

    If you had followed the thread backward, you would have seen that God came out of Thorton's and Cornelius Hunter's conversation. I am perfectly amenable to letting sleeping gods lie.

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  83. A question for Eocene:

    Let's assume for the sake of argument that Eugenics, Apartheid, and The Final Solution are all, as you claim, necessary consequences of the ToE. Are you then claiming that because the ToE is morally wrong, it is necessarily factually wrong?

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  84. natschuster said...

    Didn't people learn how to maximise crop yields before the theory of evolution? And the forst vaccine against smallpox was developed by Jenner before the theory of evolution was developed.


    Yep. People through trial and error discovered solutions that worked. ToE then provided the framework to explain why the solutions worked.

    Do you have a point besides your usual inane trolling?

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  85. Eocene -

    "Wrong, this is the convenient cowards way out of no intelligence allowed science."

    Err, no it isn't. The theory of evolution explains the diversity of life. That is all. If you think otherwise (which you apparently do), then you don't know what the theory of evolution is - but that has been apparent for quite a while.

    "The hard questions can never be satisfactorily answered and so observed guided directed mechanisms found in nature are simply hijacked and given attached evolutionary labling without any explanation other than we say it is so."

    What mechanisms found in nature are guided and directed, exactly? Give me some examples. And tell me specifically who/what is doing the guiding and directing.

    "Macroevolution is nothing more than faith-based statement making without proof or evidences to back up the assertions."

    No it isn't. Your ignorance is no evidence. Microevolution has been directly observed many times, and macroevolution uses EXACTLY the same mechanisms - just a longer time-frame.

    "The word/term "speciation" is yet another one of those fuzzy terms where definitions can mean anything."

    No, you just don't know these definitions.

    Speciation occurs when two groups of THE SAME SPECIES become genetically different enough they they can no longer reliably reproduce to create fertile young.

    Watch this, you might learn something (ya know, if it's not against your religion to do so...)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEtnyx0Yo9I

    The fact is that you are simply totally ignorant on these topics but claim they are unclear, as if the fault lay with the science instead of you.

    "Well I know what you want it to be. But this whole mess has always been the same old tired arguement from the beginning. You don't come halfway into the football game, payoff the referees and change the rules to fit your side's game plan. Tho I appreciate you have no problem with that."

    Bluster and rhetoric. If you want to discredit the theory of evolution, then address the theory of evolution. The theory of evolution explains how life diversifies and changes over time. Abiogenesis explanis how life first came about. Learn the difference. It's not hard! How can you be so ignorant of these things which have been pointed out to you again and again?

    "None of those examples given here have to do with evolution as espoused by the faithful. Those techniques/ideas are from scientific research done by observing how things in nature efficiently work in a purposed and directed manner and how we can replicate them for our own purpose and intent."

    You have a totally insane version in your head of 'evolution as espoused by the faithful'. The scientific research you describe IS applied evolution in action.

    "Anti-biotic resistance has nothing to do with evolution."

    Yes it does - viruses evolve via natural selection to become immune to drugs. That's exactly how you get drug-resistant strains.

    "Plants redirecting their budding mechanism/thermostat clocks for climate change has nothing to do with evolution."

    Yes it does - the ones who do so most effieciently will be best placed to reproduce more successfully and therefore change the plant species' gene pool.

    "They do so intentionally with a purpose for adaptational survival or they simply fail to change and die off."

    Plants do things intentionally? And with purpose? Plants are sentient? What absolute rubbish are you talking now?

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  86. Eocene -

    "You've got to establish a foundation that is based, not on gut felt emotionalism of belief, but HARD FACTS and we just don't get that from evolutionary biology. Proof of this is science's own inability to control what they originally put into motion with regards this run away train of global ruin."

    How on Earth do you get from 'climate change' to 'evolutionary biology is unevidenced'? That's a totally obscure and illogical leap.

    "Had morality and ethics actually been a part of responsible science in the first place, then our natural world wouldn't have been put in this deplorable condition it is presently."

    You cannot draw moral conclusions from facts. And that does not undermine it's validity. Facts are facts whether you like them or not.

    Imagine for a moment, a man inventing a brand new machine - a gun. No-one has ever come up with anything like this before. He spends many years in his lab researching the properties of gunpower, suitable metals of withstanding pressure and heat, the physics which guides and controls a bullet once it has been shot out of a gun. The man then makes the gun, goes out and shoots someone. Just because he has done a bad thing, does not mean his work is wrong. Does not mean his calculations on gunpower, or bullet trajectory are wrong. Those are facts about the world, and they do not change or are undermined just because they have been put to bad use.

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  87. Eocene -

    "So I agree with you Ritchie, science could care less about morality or ethics."

    Could care less?? That means science DOES care about morality or ethics...

    ReplyDelete
  88. natschuster: Didn't people learn how to maximise crop yields before the theory of evolution? And the forst vaccine against smallpox was developed by Jenner before the theory of evolution was developed.

    Exactly. Evolution goes on around us whether or not we understand it in a conscious scientific sense. The former is an example of the power of selection (whether its artificial or natural, it proceeds through the same mathematics of fitness). The latter is an example of shared immunological response due to common ancestry (of smallpox and cow pox viruses). Jenner made the observation of cow pox-bearing dairy maids having resistance to smallpox. He didn't need evolution to be scientifically accepted anymore than he needed to see the antibodies directly at work. The dairy maids were just fortunate to contract a close relative of smallpox virus before exposure to the smallpox virus itself.

    Had evolution been just a human construct, we would see no influence of it on the natural world prior to its discovery. Instead, because it is part of nature, it has been going on around us before our understanding of the process (and before us).

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  89. Anthrax:

    "You are confusing evolution and biogenesis. No one would state that our modern hypotheses of life's orgination are as well understand as post-LUCA evolution." But we are getting more information every year."
    ======

    Let's be clear, I understand the game in all of this. However, until you get past the blind pointless pitiless indifference without purpose or intent, it's a cowards way out of responsibilty for not answering the hard questions. You don't get intelligence, purpose and drive later on by simply skipping over the inconvenient truths and failings of the "We don't know yet" beginnings. Without beginnings, you don't deserve the assumptions, assertions ans speculations and shoving them down the world of mankind's throat and calling them FACTS by nothing more than chanting repitions enough until everyone accepts the same faith you have.
    ------

    Anthrax:

    "But we are getting more information every year."
    ======

    That's not good enough. Nature can't afford religious speculations. Do you even remotely understand how our natural world is failing right before our very eyes and time is not an abundant commodity or resource ??? Things are disappearing at an alarming rate and it doesn't matter if we are speaking about a plant , an insect, a mammal , a bird or something aquatic. Ruination by humankind with science leading the way isn't choosy about the who or what. In these modern times Ammorality and lack of Ethics drives science and it shows.

    On a special note, has anyone noticed the Wiki-Leaks controversy with regards U.S. Government in bed with Monsanto and the political power push with GMO products to countries who refuse them and specifically punishing anyone who opposes them ??? Do ethics and morality really matter ??? Come on, where's all the Eco-Nuts when you need them ???

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  90. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  91. Janfeld: My own view (which I've stated before) is that what we can empirically observe in fact flatly contradicts with the Christian God. ...

    (because of his own metaphysics, because for him evolution must not be true)
    ===

    CH: This is another example of evolutionary thinking. Not only do evolutionists make metaphysical pronouncements and then deny ever having done so, but they then accuse you of metaphysical committments which you don't have.

    I guess one step begets the next.


    CH's response was rather predictable - and I do admit I did bait a little on my "metaphysics" statement just to demonstrate this. But I think it illustrates a point - rather than discuss how the evidence in the Bible matches what we observe in nature, CH just yells "metaphysics!". Now, I do appreciate that with all of us (including CH) that metaphysics do indeed influence and affect our worldview. CH seems to be unique in that he thinks he is somehow immune to his own metaphysics (when in fact we can clearly draw a line between his Christian views on "sin" and how he believes this has impacted people's thinking on evolution). Again I suppose he is preaching to the invisible grandstand of wavering theists who might be tempted to embrace evolution. After all when a professor talks about 18th century metaphysics, he must be right, no?

    But in the end the CH "metaphysics" playing card is really little more than a ruse, a diversion, an assertion to avoid discussing head-on the more difficult questions and issues.

    So CH, let's try again. I made the claim that I believe the Bible's teaching on science and origins contradicts that what we see in the natural world.


    Without invoking metaphysics, can you explain how it doesn't? Or is the Bible just allegorical (and if so where is the magic decoder ring and why didn't people discover it for 1800 years?). I believe we can conduct this exercise just with pure empiricism, no metaphysics needed. Here's a book of claims, here's a bunch of observations about the natural world- do they align or not? And if they don't align, what are some of the inferences might we draw?

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  92. Eocene -

    "Without beginnings, you don't deserve..."

    In other words, if we can't prove where something came from we can't prove it exists? What bizarre logic.

    Oh and you don't get to say what other people deserve. Don't know what power trip you're on, but you're not god. If something is valid, then it's valid whatever you say about it.

    "...assumptions, assertions ans speculations and shoving them down the world of mankind's throat and calling them FACTS by nothing more than chanting repitions enough until everyone accepts the same faith you have."

    Thats many, because we have mountains of empirical evidence accumulated over a century and a half.

    "Do you even remotely understand how our natural world is failing right before our very eyes and time is not an abundant commodity or resource??"

    While this is true, it is not at all relevant to your case.

    " Things are disappearing at an alarming rate and it doesn't matter if we are speaking about a plant , an insect, a mammal , a bird or something aquatic. Ruination by humankind with science leading the way isn't choosy about the who or what. In these modern times Ammorality and lack of Ethics drives science and it shows."

    How ironic then that is is science which is the planet's greatest hope!

    Developing green energy sources, recognising and preserving areas of great biodiversity, combatting the diseases overpopulation brings. These are things scientists are reaching for as we speak.

    Science is a tool. Using a tool for bad ends does not make the tool bad. Using it for good ends does not make the tool good. Why can't you grasp this?

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  93. McGee:

    "Let's assume for the sake of argument that Eugenics, Apartheid, and The Final Solution are all, as you claim, necessary consequences of the ToE. Are you then claiming that because the ToE is morally wrong, it is necessarily factually wrong?"
    =====

    Why do you wish me to provide proof for your belief. It's easy, if evolution is true, morality and ethics are mere opinions, especially where there are no absolutes - right Larry ??? If evolution is true then the boy helping the old lady across the street and the perverted creep a block away who rapes that old lady in the dark alley are on equal footing. Life in the universe would be Ammoral. As time goes on people are slipping further and further away from the black and white areas of right and wrong. Of course this was also foretold to happen and it's happening exactly on track.

    Psalm 10:3-4 (GOD’S WORD Translation)

    3 "The wicked person boasts about his selfish desires.
    He blesses robbers, but he curses the Lord.
    4 "He turns up his nose and says, “God doesn’t care.”
    His every thought concludes, “There is no God.”
    -------

    Then the change of attitude of modern mankind with regards universal standards of right and wrong, good or bad. Could there really be any question as to where we are in the stream of time ??? No absolutes, truth is relative and definitions are gray and fuzzy. What is truth ???

    "Isaiah 5:20-21 (Amplified Bible)

    20 "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

    21 "Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and prudent and shrewd in their own sight!

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  94. " if evolution is true, morality and ethics are mere opinions, especially where there are no absolutes"

    What absolute rubbish! Evolution says absolutely nothing at all about morality. There is no connection between evolution and morality, except in your deluded mind.

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  95. Ritchie:

    "How ironic then that is is science which is the planet's greatest hope!
    =====

    I understand why you seriously believe this, but there's something called history which shows they(Science) are not prone to always doing the responsible thing(GMO Example). Even now all they can speak about over here is the money that can possibly be made with all these ECO-GREEN SOLUTIONS and they haven't clue one that this is what got humans in trouble in the first place. Some things should simply be done because it's the right thing to do, not because we'll profit off others doing it.
    ------

    Ritchie:

    "Developing green energy sources, recognising and preserving areas of great biodiversity, combatting the diseases overpopulation brings. These are things scientists are reaching for as we speak."
    ======

    It's not a materialistic kind of "fix-it-pill" solution problem Ritchie. It's cause and effect. Cause is greed and selfishness, effect is global ruin. Remove the cause and the effect disappears. The idiotic ideas coming out of these climate summit meetings aren't even close when world leaders can only squabble over who's turn it is next to profit off the resources.

    "Science is a tool. Using a tool for bad ends does not make the tool bad. Using it for good ends does not make the tool good. Why can't you grasp this?"
    =====

    Let's see, how does that go ??? Oh yeah!

    "Guns don't kill people, people kill people"

    I understand a lot more than you can possibly imagine Ritchie.

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  96. Ritchie:

    "What absolute rubbish! Evolution says absolutely nothing at all about morality."
    =====

    Correct, evolution is incapable of reasoning intelligently on anything, especially such an emotional issue as morality. It's a different story on the other hand with EvolutionISTS who pride themselves on reasoning like an intellectual Greek Stoic on such matters. As Richard Dawkins put it, "there was no love no hate, no good no bad, just blind pointless indifference."
    -----

    Ritchie:

    "There is no connection between evolution and morality, . . . "
    =====

    Again you are ABSOLUTELY correct. That's why the bible makes the clear clean connection with morality(righteousness) as a spiritual aspect originating from God as opposed to any materialist concept or invention. Though it does acknowledge a built in feature called conscience, but this still has to be trained properly. As materialism makes further inroads into human society, you can expect more and more resistance to anything traditionally considered moral. Just keep an eye peeled to the nightly News 24/7 - 365.

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  97. Eocene:

    "It's easy, if evolution is true, morality and ethics are mere opinions"

    and since Eocene doesn't like that, evolution isn't true. Such a childish fallacy.

    It seems to me that Eocene is a member of that utterly deranged death-cult called the Jehovah's Witnesses, what with his blabbering about the imminent destruction of the earth (except for him and his crazy buddies), and his denial of the (admittedly lunatic concept of) holy trinity. If so, forget about talking sense into him.

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  98. Ritchie:

    "In other words, if we can't prove where something came from we can't prove it exists? What bizarre logic."
    =====

    Of course I didn't say that, but merely pointed out that evolutionists often tend to put the burden of proof of there own belief on someone who doesn't accept their worldview. Yes I find me having to prove your belief to YOU very bizzare.
    -----

    Ritchie:

    Oh and you don't get to say what other people deserve. Don't know what power trip you're on, but you're not god. If something is valid, then it's valid whatever you say about it."
    =====

    Nice spin again! If it's valid and a fact then by all means present it. But don't assert or assume and tell me it's a fact. If you don't do the homework, then you don't deserve credit for cheating.
    -----

    Ritchie:

    "Thats many, because we have mountains of empirical evidence accumulated over a century and a half."
    =====

    Yet none of it is ever presented here or anywhere else for that matter without the scrutiny of Peer Approval to make sure the story is politically correct for publishing and dispensing to Joe/Jane Q-Public who are usually too lazy to do their own homework. Get Hollywood to invent numerous mythological accounts of Science-Fictional entertainment and more than half your work is done for you.

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  99. In a word your answer is "Yes." Let me see if I can describe your reasoning.

    If evolution is true, then our sense of morality, like all things in biology, is an evolved trait. Since all evolved traits would be the result of a stochastic process, there was no guarantee that any sense of morality would evolve, let alone the sense of morality that we have as humans. Since we know that in fact morality does exist, and that our sense of morality as humans is the proper one, evolution must be considered wrong because it did not predict that we would have the sense of morality that we do.

    I'm sure that I must be bungling this terribly. Please correct me if I've totally misrepresented your position.

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  100. Eocene -

    "I understand why you seriously believe this, but there's something called history which shows they(Science) are not prone to always doing the responsible thing(GMO Example)."

    Scientists are people! Some are clever, some stupid, some nice, some not-so-nice. That's life. You can't just blanket an entire group of people (scientists) as evil and immoral. That's just a ridiculous bigotry.

    " Cause is greed and selfishness, effect is global ruin. Remove the cause and the effect disappears."

    Not seeing where evolution fits in there at all...

    "Let's see, how does that go ??? Oh yeah! 'Guns don't kill people, people kill people'"

    Well yes, that's about the size of it. A gun can be a useful tool for hunting or defending yourself. The gun itself has no moral property/value.

    "I understand a lot more than you can possibly imagine Ritchie."

    I highly doubt that. Your grasp on evolution is tenuous at best.

    "Correct, evolution is incapable of reasoning intelligently on anything, especially such an emotional issue as morality."

    That's not what I said. Evolution is not a thing which reasons out anything. Evolution is a process. Like continental drift. It's like you're saying 'Continental drift is incapable of reasoning intelligently...' Can you see how ridiculous that sounds?

    "Of course I didn't say that, but merely pointed out that evolutionists often tend to put the burden of proof of there own belief on someone who doesn't accept their worldview."

    Burden of proof is on he who makes the claim. If someone makes the claim that there is a God, he needs to prove it. The rational default position is healthy skepticism.

    "If it's valid and a fact then by all means present it."

    Speciation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEtnyx0Yo9I

    This is evidence! Observed evolution in action! Me presenting you with evidence!

    "Yet none of it is ever presented here or anywhere else for that matter without the scrutiny of Peer Approval to make sure the story is politically correct for publishing and dispensing to Joe/Jane Q-Public who are usually too lazy to do their own homework."

    The peer-review process is to test and retest the evidence to make sure it is as reliable, objective and accurate as possible.

    Without this, you get daft people coming out with daft ideas which cannot be proven and wildly cnoflict with known facts about the world, such as 'There is a God'.

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  101. natchuster:

    "Didn't people learn how to maximise crop yields before the theory of evolution? And the forst vaccine against smallpox was developed by Jenner before the theory of evolution was developed."
    =====

    They did. but it's a good PR propaganda campaign route to give Charlie the credit for saving anything. There have been many cultures who've used numerous herbal remedies over the centuries for which Big-Pharma tries to replicate by means of chemcial synthetics, because getting a patent on a plant that anyone can grow is much too difficult if not impossible. Though Monsanto's lawyers and big money have worked hard on that issue. It's all about the money and power and who owns it.

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  102. Ritchie:

    "You have a totally insane version in your head of 'evolution as espoused by the faithful'. The scientific research you describe IS applied evolution in action."
    =====

    Wrong, this is what Cornelius' examples have been about. Hijacking the observed cleverness with which brilliantly organized molecular machines accomplish goals by the complex sophisticated informational systems that drive them to do so. By definition, evolution has NO intelligent cause behind it or driving it. By the behavioral actions of the above mentioned mechanisms, they just don't seem to behave and follow the evolutionary dogma of no intelligence allowed, yet we are told that is not a problem. however, they never prove how blind pointless forces brought about the directedness in the first place so we all forced to accept the assumption game without proof(it's called FAITH).
    -----

    Ritchie:

    "Yes it does - viruses evolve via natural selection to become immune to drugs. That's exactly how you get drug-resistant strains."
    =====

    Wrong, they engineer thenselves. Look at your own immune system and how intelligently it operates and pursues things with massive amounts of purpose and intent. Read the book, "The Body Victorious". The immune system just doesn't behave the way the dogma dictates it should and neither do bacteria or viruses. They adapt to survive, often going out of balance in the first place ONLY because of the consequences of humans making incorrect moral choices with regard greed, selfishness and diliberately ignoring important hygenic laws.

    Water off a duck's back Ritchie ???

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  103. Eocene -

    "By definition, evolution has NO intelligent cause behind it or driving it. By the behavioral actions of the above mentioned mechanisms, they just don't seem to behave and follow the evolutionary dogma of no intelligence allowed, yet we are told that is not a problem. however, they never prove how blind pointless forces brought about the directedness in the first place so we all forced to accept the assumption game without proof(it's called FAITH)."

    Erosion has no intelligent cause driving it. Growth has no intelligent cause driving it. Decay has no intelligent cause driving it. Continental drift has no intelligent cause driving it. They are just natural processes. And they nevertheless achieve spectacular results. Just like evolution.

    And I have just presented you with evidence and you did not even address it. Don't complain there is no evidence when you simply ignore what is presented to you.

    "Wrong, they engineer thenselves."

    What? Consciously? Deliberately? You honestly think a virus is capable of conscious, rational thought?

    "Look at your own immune system and how intelligently it operates and pursues things with massive amounts of purpose and intent."

    It is not purpose and intent - my immune system behave reflexively. I appreciate it is easy to anthropomorphasize things, but individual cells are not independent, conscious agents which make informed choices. These things do not CHOOSE how to behave.

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  104. Ritchie quoting and answering me:

    ME: ""Plants redirecting their budding mechanism/thermostat clocks for climate change has nothing to do with evolution."

    RITCHIE: "Yes it does - the ones who do so most effieciently will be best placed to reproduce more successfully and therefore change the plant species' gene pool."
    =====

    There's no luck or chance involved with the way these internal mechanisms work. These plants are merely resetting their timing mechanism. These sophisticated organized mechanisms are assumed to be responsible for the eventual Macro-Evolutionary wonders and this is a lie that has ever yet to be proven where a living thing morphs beyond it's KIND to become something completely different. Any skepticism to this assertion is met with being called a stupid dumb*ss delusional by the leadership directing & promoting this fogma.
    =====

    Again:

    ME: "They do so intentionally with a purpose for adaptational survival or they simply fail to change and die off."

    RITCHIE: "Plants do things intentionally? And with purpose? Plants are sentient? What absolute rubbish are you talking now?"
    =====

    Incredible!!! The total tonage of what you and many others don't know about plants clearly illustrates why ecosystems are failing presently. Cornelius has presented several points on sophisticated mechanisms with regards plants, one of them being with regard plant hydraulics. Nothing about the behavior of what they do even remotely reflects blind pointless indifference. Science already know that plants have the ability to comminicate with each other as during insect attacks. They have sensors for detecting things and reacting. There are on and off switches for just the right symbiotic fungal connections, much like the right lock to the right key and all of this informationally dirven. It doesn't behave the way the dogma says Ritchie. Go back to school Ritchie and benefit yourself and others around you.

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  105. Ritchie:

    "Burden of proof is on he who makes the claim. If someone makes the claim that there is a God, he needs to prove it. The rational default position is healthy skepticism."

    Speciation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEtnyx0Yo9I

    This is evidence! Observed evolution in action! Me presenting you with evidence!"
    ======

    There has never been proof of Macro Evolution, even Daddy Dawkins says it's impossible to observe because it would take millions of years. For the most part that rediculousnword "speciation" is used to assume macro and observational evidence of a variety of an organism with in the same kind does not MACRO make.

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  106. Ritchie:

    "The peer-review process is to test and retest the evidence to make sure it is as reliable, objective and accurate as possible. "
    =======

    Unfortunately, the Scientific Method cannot be tested with regard Macro. Why ??? Because it doesn't meet the criteria demanded by the scientific method for being OBSERVABLE SCIENCE, TESTABLE and REPEATABLE by outside unbiased sources. I read an interesting logical illustration by someone else today from Michigan named Mike Summers(no idea who he is), but it fits perfectly in here.

    Mike Summers:
    "The FANTASY comes in, when people try and take what they observe and with a toss of their magic glitter wand say presto that's how Macro occurrs..."eventually". How is that even possible with the REAL process that I just described? It's NOT!

    You need ANOTHER process! Something that CANNOT prevent a species from progressing further into something else.

    Micro is a process of "Walking" from L.A. to N.Y. but WALKING isn't going to get you from L.A. to Paris. You need ANOTHER process called either BOAT or PLANE. Neither of these two processes can ever be confused with walking (or running for that matter). The point is this, ANOTHER process is REQUIRED to get you there.

    Macro has NEVER had ANY process shown to support it, except on the tired old crusty back of Micro as it wearily tries with it's feeble attempts to convince the masses that it's the same thing."
    ---------------

    Hence the laws of nature of according to kinds(species boundaries) prevents any observation of the religiously held assumptional faith-based belief of macro-evolution.

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  107. Eocene -

    "There's no luck or chance involved with the way these internal mechanisms work."

    I'm not saying there are. You fundamentally misunderstand evolution if you think it is a vital component of the theory that 'things just happen by chance' - as if things must therefore be uncaused, and it is a good demonstration of why spreading such falsehoods undermines scientific literacy.

    It is NOT part of evolutionary theory that any aspect of any process is somehow uncaused. 'Blind and undirected processes' just means the plant (or an outside agent acting on the plant) did not CHOOSE to do it. No-one or nothing made a DELIBERATE, INFORMED DECISION, any more than you make a conscious desicion to heal your skin when you cut yourself.

    "Nothing about the behavior of what they do even remotely reflects blind pointless indifference"

    What aspects of what they do reflects SENTIENCE?! AWARENESS! DECISION-MAKING?? That is the question.

    "Science already know that plants have the ability to comminicate with each other as during insect attacks."

    Still just reflex reactions. This no more suggests deliberate thought than a flower opening for the sun. The plants did not DECIDE to do it - it was just reacting to the presence of sunlight.

    "They have sensors for detecting things and reacting"

    But are they AWARE?! Sensors for detecting and reacting to such things do not necessarily suggest consciousness, awareness, intelligence. Security cameras can sense, detect and react to movement - that doesn't mean they have any awareness - any independent INTELLIGENCE of their own.

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  108. Eocene -

    "There has never been proof of Macro Evolution, even Daddy Dawkins says it's impossible to observe because it would take millions of years."

    Again with the patronising - uh!

    The thing about macroevolution is that it happens over a very long time! So lack of direct observation means nothing. We have only had the theory of evolution for 150 years - which is simply not long enough to directly observe macroevoloution in.

    Macroevolution on a small scale? That's microevolution. And yes we have observed that, thanks.

    "For the most part that rediculousnword "speciation" is used to assume macro and observational evidence of a variety of an organism with in the same kind does not MACRO make."

    Go to the linki I provided and explain precisely what you mean with regards to that. How is that not a blatant example of speciation. ADDRESS THE EVIDENCE I PROVIDE!!!

    "Unfortunately, the Scientific Method cannot be tested with regard Macro. Why ??? Because it doesn't meet the criteria demanded by the scientific method for being OBSERVABLE SCIENCE, TESTABLE and REPEATABLE by outside unbiased sources."

    Not even the slightest bit true - macroevolution runs on the same mechanisms which runs microevolution. Why? BECAUSE THEY ARE THE SAME PROCESS!!!!
    If you can test the mechanisms for microevolution (which we can) then you can test the mechanisms for macroevolution.

    "Micro is a process of "Walking" from L.A. to N.Y. but WALKING isn't going to get you from L.A. to Paris. You need ANOTHER process called either BOAT or PLANE. Neither of these two processes can ever be confused with walking (or running for that matter). The point is this, ANOTHER process is REQUIRED to get you there."

    That is because there is an obsticle in the way - the English Channel. And opponents of evolution have never actually been able to come up with any actual obsticle between microevolution and macroevolution. There is no channel to cross - no reason why 'walking' will not take us all the way.

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  109. Ooops - regarding my 'English Channel' comment...

    Sorry, speed-read that with an English bias. Obviously the barrier is the Atlantic Ocean. Slightly more substancial. But my point remains. There is no barrier preventing microevolution, left hundreds, thousands, even millions of years, from becoming macroevolution. Indeed, that's exactly what macroevolution is.

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  110. Eocene blithered...

    Micro is a process of "Walking" from L.A. to N.Y. but WALKING isn't going to get you from L.A. to Paris. You need ANOTHER process called either BOAT or PLANE. Neither of these two processes can ever be confused with walking (or running for that matter). The point is this, ANOTHER process is REQUIRED to get you there.


    Psst, hey dummy....walking can most certainly get you from L.A. to Paris if you take a route over the northern polar ice cap.

    What magic barrier can you demonstrate that would make it impossible (not just time consuming) for microevolutionary changes to accumulate into macro ones?

    And please, don't insult everyone's intelligent with your non-sequitur "Monsanto species barrier" BS again.

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  111. Ritchie:

    ===
    "What is important is that the evolutionary proofs for why evolution is a fact are metaphysical."

    Why are you singling out ToE?!?!
    ===

    Because it is bad science driven my religion.


    ===
    A more accurate phrasing is: 'What is important is that the SCIENTIFIC proofs for why ANY SCIENTIFIC THEORY is a fact are metaphysical.'
    ===

    No, solid scientific theories are not based on metaphysics (beyond the usual assumptions of uniformity and parsimony).


    ===
    ANY scientific thoery relies of the assumption of naturalism.
    ===

    No, scientific theories merely rely on the assumptions of uniformity and parsimony. Good theories enjoy strong empirical support. They don't need to fix the rules in their favor.


    ===
    And ToE does not rest on any 'metaphysical assumption' beyond this.
    ===

    Right. So evolution is a fact because we first assume naturalism. Beyond unfounded speculation we don't know how it could have happened, but it is a fact, after all, we assume naturalism at the outset. What is astonishing is that evolutionists think they are bringing some new truth to the world.


    ===
    Despite the fact that you keep singling out evolution, you actually have a problem with the way ALL SCIENCE works. For practical purposes you might just as well have dedicated your entire blog to the theory of gravity, relativity or germ theory. I cannot grasp whether you simply do not understand this or just ignore it.
    ===

    Unfortunately this confusion is typical amongst evolutionists.


    ===
    In fact, following your logic, there is no such thing as a statement about the world which is NOT metaphysical, since ANY such statement will always be based on the assumption that the world around us is real and not a dream or some Matrix-induced false reality. Therefore, every statement about the world around us is metaphysical.

    This is the level of silliness you are plumbing with your notions.
    ===

    So here is how it works. The fossils, genetics, comparative anatomy, and so forth, present all kinds of problems for evolution. So the theory is patched and twisted every which way to try to fit the data. All this because the theory was culturally mandated in the first place, and declared to be a fact for naturalism was assumed. Then, when you point this out, they accuse you of attacking science.

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  112. Hunter:

    So here is how it works. The fossils, genetics, comparative anatomy, and so forth, present all kinds of problems for evolution. So the theory is patched and twisted every which way to try to fit the data. All this because the theory was culturally mandated in the first place, and declared to be a fact for naturalism was assumed. Then, when you point this out, they accuse you of attacking science.

    Actually, here is how it works:

    The fossils, genetics, comparative anatomy, and so forth, [are evidence] for evolution. So the theory is [well supported by] the data. All this because the theory was [a landmark in scientific reasoning], and [the weight of accumulated evidence qualified the history of common descent as a fact]. Then, when [Hunter argues to the contrary], [he is] attacking science [ideologically].

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  113. Janfeld:

    ===
    Now, I do appreciate that with all of us (including CH) that metaphysics do indeed influence and affect our worldview. CH seems to be unique in that he thinks he is somehow immune to his own metaphysics
    ===

    You seem to be laboring at missing the point. I did not say I am immune to my metaphysics. I explained that my metaphysics are neutral on evolution. I realize you are a refugee from fundamentalism, so likely trapped in the warfare myth, but the fact is evolution is not atheism in disguise, it was not motivated by, or influenced by atheism. There are plenty of metaphysical arguments for evolution that Christians elaborated and developed in the 17th - 19th centuries. And some are reasonably good arguments. But while I acknowledge these premises and arguments, and their strengths, I do not hold to them anywhere near as strongly as do evolutionists. I allow other evidence, not the least of which is the evidence from nature, to sway my conclusions as well.


    ===
    (when in fact we can clearly draw a line between his Christian views on "sin" and how he believes this has impacted people's thinking on evolution).
    ===

    How else am I to explain your non sensical views on evolution?


    ===
    Again I suppose he is preaching to the invisible grandstand of wavering theists who might be tempted to embrace evolution.
    ===

    Actually I was hoping you might awaken.


    ===
    But in the end the CH "metaphysics" playing card is really little more than a ruse, a diversion, an assertion to avoid discussing head-on the more difficult questions and issues.
    ===

    No, I'm not the one avoiding difficult issues.


    ===
    So CH, let's try again. I made the claim that I believe the Bible's teaching on science and origins contradicts that what we see in the natural world. Without invoking metaphysics, can you explain how it doesn't?
    ===

    Usually when people claim that the Bible's teaching on science and origins contradicts what we see in the natural world, as you are here, they have cards they are not showing. For instance, they are interpreting some scientific observations according to some non scientific assumptions. Or the same with scripture. I'm just not motivated to do that. I'll take what the Bible says, but I don't want to add or subtract from it. Likewise with science. But that leaves one with a rather wide interpretive framework which for many is dissatisfying and unacceptable. Something your background probably would not tolerate.

    Without those additional assumptions added to the data, you're often left with a wide spectrum of possibilities. So you might accuse me of avoiding difficult issues, but I'm just not interested in making inference or conclusions that the data do not require.

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  114. Pedant:

    ==
    The fossils, genetics, comparative anatomy, and so forth, [are evidence] for evolution.
    ===

    How so?

    For instance, how are new forms appearing in the fossil record evidence for evolution?

    How are complex mechanisms that are lethal to the organism without additional parts, evidence for evolution?

    How are built-in adaptation mechanisms evidence for evolution?

    How are unique genes in similar species evidence for evolution?

    Oh, that's right, they aren't. Even evolutionists admit that in their honest moments. But for the most part, evolutionists such as here promote the obvious lie that all the evidence supports the theory.

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  116. CH: "No, I'm not the one avoiding difficult issues."

    Your inability to answer a question in a straightforward and understandable way without rhetorical tricks (do you think you're channeling Socrates or something?) is becoming quite legendary as many others here are noting also. It is in fact rather exasperating. I almost wonder if you realize this.

    CH: "Actually I was hoping you might awaken."

    I don't really know what you mean by that, other than you are expressing a hope that I might share a similar worldview to yourself. I have already been through that phase in my life and have moved on. My hope for you is that you will move on one day too. I know I am all the happier for it.

    CH: "Usually when people claim that the Bible's teaching on science and origins contradicts what we see in the natural world, as you are here, they have cards they are not showing. For instance, they are interpreting some scientific observations according to some non scientific assumptions. etc, etc"

    I guess I take a much more straightforward approach to things. For example, the Bible claims the Universe as we know it is a mere 6-7K years old. Observations from a number of different scientific disciplines tell us in is likely around 13-14 Billion years old. A big difference.

    So yes you take what the Bible says, but there's a discrepancy here. Do you just ignore it, pretend it doesn't matter, or allegorize it? Surely you have some thoughts on the matter even if you keep them to yourself - certainly as a former Christian myself, I pondered a lot over these things, as did many of my Christian friends.

    And besides you keep talking about a "wide range of possibilities"? So obviously you think about these things. But it almost sounds like you acknowledge a certain sense of incompleteness or something lacking from the Bible - as if what the Bible has does not provide sufficient information (although it seems more than adequate for others, such as Ken Ham and Kent Hovind?).

    I think it would be one thing if these things were omitted completely from the Bible - perhaps as a sign from God that we are not supposed to ask these kinds of questions - but instead we have a wholly contradictory set of facts/myths/allegories which in modern times seem at discord with recent science. To me that's an issue that needs to be discussed and tackled head-on, but judging again by your rather obfuscated answer (although very articulate and eloquent), it seems you always like to skirt around these things.

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  117. Hey Cornelius!

    Playing the rhetorics again, I see.

    For instance, how are new forms appearing in the fossil record evidence for evolution?

    Depends. Which forms are you thinking about? How much more do you know about the before and after such forms appeared? As you present it here, it is neither evidence for, nor against. As you present it, it looks a lot like a categorical mistake. If something is not evidence for evolution, it does not necessarily mean it is evidence against evolution.

    How are complex mechanisms that are lethal to the organism without additional parts, evidence for evolution?

    Same thing, what else do you know about them? That piece of data alone does not tell me whether it is evidence for, against, or neither.

    How are built-in adaptation mechanisms evidence for evolution?

    Same thing.

    How are unique genes in similar species evidence for evolution?

    Same thing. Though this one looks more in target, without more information it means little. A possibility against? Yup. But we have to know much more before reaching any conclusions, don't we?

    Oh, that's right, they aren't. Even evolutionists admit that in their honest moments. But for the most part, evolutionists such as here promote the obvious lie that all the evidence supports the theory.

    And the customary grand finale! Nothing but empty and amateurish rhetoric.

    Misguided religion drives your pseudoscience, and it matters.

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  118. Cornelius Hunter said...

    You seem to be laboring at missing the point. I did not say I am immune to my metaphysics. I explained that my metaphysics are neutral on evolution.


    What you "explain" and what you demonstrate are two different things CH. You can make all the hand-waving denials you want, but the evidence of your Fundy religious agenda is out there for all to see.

    ===
    Again I suppose he is preaching to the invisible grandstand of wavering theists who might be tempted to embrace evolution.
    ===

    Actually I was hoping you might awaken.


    We know CH. All the distortions and lies you tell about science and scientists are just your misguided attempts at "witnessing" for your religion. Jesus must be so proud of you.

    So here is how it works. The fossils, genetics, comparative anatomy, and so forth, present all kinds of problems for evolution.

    Sadly for you CH, the problems only exist inside your tightly closed Fundy mind. The real scientific community accepts that there are still unknowns to investigate but sees nothing even remotely close to being a show stopper. But keep whining and stomping your feet if it gives you a sense of self worth. Heaven knows you've done nothing of any scientific value in the last half dozen years.

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  119. Hunter:

    How are unique genes in similar species evidence for evolution?

    It's late in my day, and Negative Entropy has replied to some of your other rhetorical questions, so I'll just address this one, because I like it a lot. Please cite the evidence that you have claimed to exist for the more than 1000 unique genes in humans that are a problem for evolution.

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  120. Janfeld:

    ===
    do you think you're channeling Socrates or something?
    ===

    In what ways are different rivers alike? In what ways are they different?


    ===
    CH: "Actually I was hoping you might awaken."

    I don't really know what you mean by that,
    ===

    As I said earlier, awaken from the belief that evolution is a fact. Evolution may or may not be true, but it is *not* a fact. No one knows whether evolution it true or not, but we *do* know what is the state of our knowledge. The fact claim is a claim about the state of our knowledge. Of that there is no uncertainty. We all know what the state of our knowledge it, and sans metaphysical assumptions, we do *not* know evolution to be a no-brainer, compelling explanation of the data that can be denied only by taking an irrational approach. This simply is not the case. The evolutionary claim that it is a fact is an obvious misrepresentation of the science. But of course evolutionist's claims do not stem from science in the first place.


    ===
    I guess I take a much more straightforward approach to things. For example, the Bible claims the Universe as we know it is a mere 6-7K years old.
    ===

    I didn't know that. Are you channeling Bishop Ussher?


    ===
    And besides you keep talking about a "wide range of possibilities"? So obviously you think about these things. But it almost sounds like you acknowledge a certain sense of incompleteness or something lacking from the Bible
    ===

    Well sure the Bible is incomplete, from a "give me all the scientific details" perspective. It gives about a page and a half of science (compared to the thousands of pages we're used to in our texts), written in an ancient language to ancient peoples.


    ===
    but instead we have a wholly contradictory set of facts/myths/allegories which in modern times seem at discord with recent science. To me that's an issue that needs to be discussed and tackled head-on, but judging again by your rather obfuscated answer (although very articulate and eloquent), it seems you always like to skirt around these things.
    ===

    Yes, I agree that this is an issue worthy of consideration and discussion. I didn't mean to skirt your questions--in fact I could have simply ignored your question about my views altogether.

    But this blog is about evolution, not the Bible. Evolutionists are constantly bringing up the latter as their foil, so topics such as theology and the Bible do continually arise. But the purpose of this blog is not to engage in biblical exegesis or criticism. That would take it too far afield.

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  123. CH: "Well sure the Bible is incomplete, from a "give me all the scientific details" perspective. It gives about a page and a half of science (compared to the thousands of pages we're used to in our texts), written in an ancient language to ancient peoples."

    I would rephrase this to say the Bible is incomplete from a "give me any scientific details" perspective.

    As to evolution being a fact, others have addressed this. Like others here I would distinguish between the theory of evolution and the observation of species changing over time. Or do you not think the latter is a fact either? It's OK, I wouldn't expect a yes or no answer from you.

    But given the paucity of other theories (including ID), I think the theory of evolution is probably the best contender. If there is a supernatural alternative (and associated agent) I don't see any plausible evidence for that yet - although you and your ID cohorts may yet surprise us all, but so far ID seems more of a PR job rather than a respectable scientific endeavor worth considering. The real essence of the argument to me, is there a natural explanation or a supernatural one. I can see that evolution may not be a perfect theory (what theory is), but to propose that there is an alternative supernatural explanation would be an astounding discovery. Besides, assuming there is a highly intelligent agent responsible, that agent seems really rather reluctant to speak out doesn't it? (or has it chosen the Discovery Institute as it's chosen mouthpiece?)

    Again, the best way to usurp a scientific theory is replace it with another...and it's rather a shame that you don't focus your energies on this endeavor which would be well suited to your training. But you seem content to pull down rather than build up - each to their own I guess (but my understanding of history is that it is those that build up that make a difference).

    CH: "I didn't know that. Are you channeling Bishop Ussher?"

    Funny. But it is quite understandable that a more literal reading of the Bible does and has yield an understanding that the Universe and Earth is not terribly old. This belief was in place for many, many centuries - and some persist with it today. There's even a putative museum in Kentucky dedicated to this belief. Clearly the author(s) of the Bible weren't concerned with people being confused over this issue, and remaining so even today, even within Christendom (and perhaps especially so), to the point that it must inevitably dilute and distract from Christendom's main mission.

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  124. Thorton:

    "What magic barrier can you demonstrate that would make it impossible (not just time consuming) for microevolutionary changes to accumulate into macro ones?

    And please, don't insult everyone's intelligent with your non-sequitur "Monsanto species barrier" BS again."
    =====

    I believe this question can best be expained by your pet company Monsanto or by any of their former employees now appointed to a U.S. Government position of GMO propaganda push oversight.

    And as far as intelligence, there simply is nothing observable to insult. I know, it's tough being the love child of Penn Jillette and Rosie O'Donnel, but it's still no excuse for ignorance in this day and age. *wink*
    ------

    Thorton:

    "Psst, hey dummy....walking can most certainly get you from L.A. to Paris if you take a route over the northern polar ice cap."
    ======

    So let me get this straight. Global Warming and/or Climate Change is a proven psuedo-science Hoax after all and the Right-Wing Fundies got it correct ??? Incredible !!!

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  125. Cornelius:

    "How are unique genes in similar species evidence for evolution?"
    ----

    Pedant:

    "It's late in my day, and Negative Entropy has replied to some of your other rhetorical questions, so I'll just address this one, because I like it a lot. Please cite the evidence that you have claimed to exist for the more than 1000 unique genes in humans that are a problem for evolution."
    ======

    I believe he asked you FIRST!!! Besides, you wouldn't be interested anyway. When the "Please cite" or Please tell us" etc spin question pop up, it's usually nothing more than a ploy to avoid looking ignorant to the original question asked. Again, it's NOT about the science Petty, it's the Ideology(western uncivilization is at stake). LOL

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  126. Janfeld:

    "I would rephrase this to say the Bible is incomplete from a "give me any scientific details" perspective."
    =====

    Spoken like a true Ideo-blogger. Ever see that movie classic with Henry Fonda and Paul Newman called "Never Give An Inch" ???
    -----

    Janfeld:

    "But it is quite understandable that a more literal reading of the Bible does and has yield an understanding that the Universe and Earth is not terribly old. This belief was in place for many, many centuries - and some persist with it today."
    ======

    Remember the strategy boys and girls, keep it Fundie. Keep it Fundie at all costs. The Biblical account can ONLY have a Fundie slant to it. We can ONLY eat chew up and spit out Fundies all day long. Without them we have no purpose and our pointless blind indifferent existance has no meaning to life otherwise.

    Again ROFL!!!

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  127. McGee:

    "I'm sure that I must be bungling this terribly. Please correct me if I've totally misrepresented your position."
    =======

    Let's see now, there are no absolutes and truth is relative because evolution is true and everyone can decide morality for themselves ??? Hmmmmm!!!

    So when Pontius Pilate said, "What Is Truth?" he actually meant "Who can possibly know what the truth is for any certainty?" So in a nut shell he declares that no one can possibly know what the truth is, yet after washing his hands of the affair he then turns around and asks those onlookers who are listening to affirm the truth of his statement ??? At least it's apparent that old Pontius believed in the truth of his staement.

    The morality issue is also another attempt at game playing and wasting time. Pedant says what is at stake here is ideology. He is correct and I've pointed out that it's not about the science. It's about accountability and moral issues. "How dare you impose your version of morality on me" Yet the Evolutionist has no problem imposing their version of morality on someone else.

    Rev Richard Dawkins says, "Most educated, secular people (and this includes most scientists, academics, and journalists) seem to believe that there is no such thing as moral truth - only moral preference, moral opinion, and emotional reactions that we mistake for genuine knowledge of right and wrong, or good and evil."

    So is Richard Dawkin's bold statement right or wrong ??? Is it good or evil ??? Evidently everybody can believe and do whatever they want.
    "Truth is relative! There's no right and there's no wrong! We should be able to do whatever we want!"

    If that is a true statement and there is no right and there is no wrong, and everyone should be able to do whatever they want, then why do they become angry when someone robs their house ??? Mugs them in the streets or rapes their daughter ??? So there are absolutes!!!

    In reality they do believe in absolute truth, theirs. Common ground to an atheist is believe and accept whatever comes out of their mouth as absolute truth.

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  128. Cornelius Hunter, before we keep arguing about words, could you give an example where in any other branch of science an intelligent cause is invoked as the best explanation? (Except for animals building stuff.)

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  129. Second Opinion:

    "Cornelius Hunter, before we keep arguing about words, could you give an example where in any other branch of science an intelligent cause is invoked as the best explanation?
    ======

    This doesn't even make sense, there is no such branch of science that discusses intelligent God causes. Science is supposed to be neutral. Although they have no problem with Panspermian Alien causes or Parallel Universes. Maybe you should rethink your question, minus the Thortonianism quips.

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  130. Let's see now, there are no absolutes and truth is relative because evolution is true and everyone can decide morality for themselves ??? Hmmmmm!!!

    I guess I just don't see how "there are no absolutes and truth is relative" and "everyone can decide morality for themselves" follows from "evolution is true". Evolution is the gradual process by which the present diversity of plant and animal life arose from the earliest and most primitive organisms. More precisely it is the change in the frequency of alleles within a gene pool from one generation to the next. I'm not sure that I see how that equates to "There is no such thing as right or wrong?" Any chance that you could be a little bit more explicit in your logic?

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  133. Janfeld: "I would rephrase this to say the Bible is incomplete from a "give me any scientific details" perspective."
    =====

    Ecocene: Spoken like a true Ideo-blogger. Ever see that movie classic with Henry Fonda and Paul Newman called "Never Give An Inch" ???
    -----

    Merely a factual statement that the Bible (as CH notes also) is short on science. In fact sometimes it's just plain wrong (e.g., rabbits chewing the cud). Of course I daresay you can do what Omar does with the Koran and quote-mine something from Psalms to show how scientifically literate the Bible is, but I would hope you're above that sort of thing. Either way, we are left with the fact that the BIble - even though Christians regard it as God's revelation has very little to say on science (and in fact on many subjects that concern us in modern times). As Cornelius said it is a book written for ancient people in ancient language (although apparently many Christians believe it God's word and revelation for all the ages?)

    Janfeld: "But it is quite understandable that a more literal reading of the Bible does and has yield an understanding that the Universe and Earth is not terribly old. This belief was in place for many, many centuries - and some persist with it today."
    ======

    Ecocene: Remember the strategy boys and girls, keep it Fundie. Keep it Fundie at all costs. The Biblical account can ONLY have a Fundie slant to it. We can ONLY eat chew up and spit out Fundies all day long. Without them we have no purpose and our pointless blind indifferent existance has no meaning to life otherwise.


    I was just merely stating the fact that the majority of Bible believers have taken a literal view of the scriptures over the years, and some still do today - incongruous as that may be. It is probably only in the last two hundred years through advances in science (and especially knowledge of the real age of the earth) that Christians have had to approach the Bible in a less literal way. Which of course is interesting in itself.

    Yes, there are alternative ways of viewing the Bible - many in fact, but the Bible itself offers very few clues on how it should be interpreted (which probably explains the huge proliferation of denominations, sects, cults - some 30,000 or more in fact). If you can provide us with the proper way in which the Bible should be read and interpreted I'm sure many here would be interested in hearing it.

    Ecocene: "Again ROFL!!!"

    Only ROFL? Not ROFLMAO or ROFLABAOTP or ROFLLASF?

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  134. Cornelius wrote:

    What I have pointed out is that religion has driven evolutionists to absurd scientific conclusions. They now believe evolution is a fact, an undefendable conclusion. The religious beliefs that got them there is another matter.

    OK, let me rephrase.

    For example, you say your neutral in regards to evolution, yet continually claim it's an absurd, religiously driven, scientific conclusion which could represent thoughts corrupted by sin.

    Is that more accurate? If so, I don't see how this makes your position any more neutral.

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  136. I don't know how to put it in any kinder way. When you have all of biology just happening to arise on its own, with long shot after long shot constructions arising, it seems like "unlikely" is hardly an equivocation. If anything, it is an understatement.

    I'm asking for intellectually honesty, not kindness. The phrase "All of biology" represents concrete outcomes. However, the theory of evolution doesn't suggest evolution has goals or exhibits foresight. Nor does it suggest that the concrete path we observe was in any way pre-planned.

    The unqualified statement that "evolution is unlikely" is vague and appears disingenuous. It's similar to stating the lottery is highly unlikely, when one really means a specific person's odds of winning the lottery is highly unlikely.

    Again, no, what I actually do is present these statistics *with* explanations. For instance, for protein evolution I explain that intermediate proteins are needed, but that there scant evidence of such intermediates.

    You're making the assumption that the lack of discovered intermediates (an observation) indicates no such intermediates exist of will never be identified as such. Furthermore, you're assuming your readers will make the same assumption and that they will implicitly apply that assumption with the rest of your statistics.

    The only way to resolve this problem is to have the spacer removal mechanism already in place.

    You seem to have mistaken statistics with incredulity. You did not present statistics in the original post you quoted from or anywhere in it's comments.

    No, I don't have my own private definition of science, and nor does it vary as you suggest.

    Then you should have no problem explaining how gravity *is* valid science while evolution is not. I've asked this question several times and do not recall receiving a response.

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