Nick Matzke posted Entry 1304 on August 6, 2005 08:40 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/1302

http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/images/2005_04_SciAm_fake_cover_small.pngJust as the storm was breaking over Bush’s “teach both sides” comments last week, I found myself in the airport.  While there, I picked up the latest issues of Scientific American and Discover. SciAm evidently is still getting letters from its widely-blogged, April 1 prank, “OK, We give up: We feel so ashamed.” 

In the letters section, they reprinted the fake cover they included in the print version of the April issue. Since the fake cover graphic never made it to the web, I figured it would be apropos to upload a scan of it (left) to remind everyone where the “teach both sides” logic naturally leads.

Here is one comment Scientific American got:

From Susan Suver came admiration and an extra measure of encouragement — “I am so hot for all of you. If it’s wrong to want to marry you en masse and have your smart, snarky little babies, I don’t want to be right. Thanks for saying what so desperately needed to be said.”

Here is another:

http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/images/2005_04_SciAm_Ryan_Thomas_comment.png

I thought the positioning of the latter letter was interesting:

http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/images/2005_04_SciAm_Ryan_Thomas_comment_cover.png

Also in this month’s SciAm, a well-illustrated article on “The Early Evolution of Animals,” by Dan Bottjer, one of the discoverers of Vernanimalcula guizhouena, a microscopic bilaterian worm fossil from 40+ million years before the beginning of the Cambrian.  This discovery was reported in Science in 2004, and must have really annoyed Stephen Meyer and crew, who only in 2003 boldly wrote, in “The Cambrian Explosion: Biology’s Big Bang,”

Others have explained the absence of transitional organisms as the result of their putatively tiny size. Some have even suggested that transitionals only existed in the larval stage. While possible perhaps, it should be noted that cells of filamentous microorganisms (interpreted as cyanobacteria) have been discovered and documented in the Warrawoona Group strata of western Australia. These microfossils, found in bedded carbonaceous cherts, are estimated to be between 3.3 billion to 3.5 billion years old. Species of single-celled algae and the appearance of cells with a nucleus about 2.7 billion years ago have been well documented in the fossil record. If paleontologists can find minuscule single cells in formations that are far older (and therefore far more rare due to the greater likelihood of tectonic destruction), it would seem that the allegedly tiny fossil precursors of the Cambrian animals should have been found somewhere in the over 500 million years of sedimentary strata below the Cambrian. Moreover, as already noted, the Precambrian rocks in China beneath the Chengjiang Cambrian biota reveal the presence of tiny sponge embryos at the very earliest stages of cell division. If the fossil record has preserved such tiny organisms in Precambrian strata, why has it not preserved any of the allegedly miniature or soft-bodied ancestral forms of the animals that first appear in the Cambrian? If these strata can preserve embryos, then they should be able to preserve the ancestral animals to the new forms that arise in the Cambrian. But they do not.

Drat, foiled again! You’d think those ID folks would learn to stop making empirically-testable claims about gaps in the fossil record, after the recent debacles with feathered dinosaurs and walking whales.

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Comment #41715

Posted by steve on August 6, 2005 9:36 PM (e)

That is awesome.

Thank you, IDers. Without you, my comedy intake would go way down.

Comment #41716

Posted by steve on August 6, 2005 9:37 PM (e)

And radiocarbon dating? Sure, if it weren’t just based on ridiculous assumptions.

I know. Basic a scientific technique on nuclear physics. How absurd.

Comment #41717

Posted by I. P. Daley on August 6, 2005 9:41 PM (e)

Too bad Steve Meyer kicked your ass on Tony Snow today. Holding up the “Pandas and People” book was really a good move, NOT!

Comment #41718

Posted by steve on August 6, 2005 9:44 PM (e)

I shouldn’t mock that guy. Liberty University is a powerhouse of biology research. They’re without peer.

Comment #41719

Posted by steve on August 6, 2005 9:46 PM (e)

Comment #41717

Posted by I. P. Daley on August 6, 2005 09:41 PM (e) (s)

Too bad Steve Meyer kicked your ass on Tony Snow today. Holding up the “Pandas and People” book was really a good move, NOT!

30 seconds to curtain, Mr. Flank.

Comment #41720

Posted by Nick (Matzke) on August 6, 2005 10:12 PM (e)

I.P.,

(assuming, probably foolishly, that you weren’t trolling)

I will continue to happily hold up Pandas until the ID movement accepts the now-proven fact that “intelligent design” was quite literally just a new name for creationism.

As for who “won” on the Tony Snow show today, I’ll wait for the video, and take into consideration the restricted amount that can be said in 180 seconds, particularly when Tony Snow himself apparently thought that evolution was just missing links and randomness.

Be sure to keep your eye on the real game in all of this: Kitzmiller v. Dover. Pandas is pretty important for that.

Comment #41730

Posted by LilMarkie on August 6, 2005 11:15 PM (e)

Nick,

Obviously “I.P. Daley” is a troll. Otherwise, he’d be here right now explaining why he thinks you lost. I’m betting he can’t do it. (And in case he’s still around: why “I.P. Daley?” Did you figure “Heywood Jablowme” was too lowbrow for this crowd?)

Incidentally, I happened to hear you on The Diane Rehm Show the other day; I thought you “kicked ass” given the limited time allotment. I still can’t figure out why the IDers chose that Land guy to represent their, um, position, though. I thought they’d at least send a pretend scientist to read from their list of talking points. After all, having a theologian put forward the claim that “ID’s not religious!” tends to undercut their position….

For those of you who haven’t heard it yet, listen here: http://wamu.org/programs/dr/05/08/04.php – for extra bonus points, count the number of times Mr. Land repeats the terms “Behe” and “irreducible complexity.”

Comment #41733

Posted by steve on August 6, 2005 11:38 PM (e)

After all, having a theologian put forward the claim that “ID’s not religious!” tends to undercut their position….

Well, last year, a reverend named Casey Luskin, who started an ID club, asked me how in the world I could think that his ID club was religiously motivated…

Comment #41734

Posted by Nick (Matzke) on August 6, 2005 11:43 PM (e)

I’m confused on the definition of troll. If a creationist posts a stupid hit-and-run creationist comment to get a response, is that a troll? Or is it only a troll if a non-creationist spoofs a creationist hit-and-run comment?

(In the first case, a vaguely serious response might be warranted, if only to annoy them further, which was my rough idea.)

Comment #41741

Posted by Schmitt. on August 7, 2005 1:24 AM (e)

A troll is anyone who posts purely to ellicit an emotional response from other posters. Any further posting by trolls won’t try to further discussion so much as to further inflame the posters they’ve hooked. The cleverer and more malicious spoofs by non creationists and jerky creationist hit-and-runs would probably qualify, though any troll worth their salt would hang around to see the havoc wraught.

Such as a calm and patient response, in this case.

-Schmitt.

Comment #41746

Posted by Schmitt. on August 7, 2005 2:39 AM (e)

I hate to double post but having just listened to the Diane Rehm audio posted by LilMarkie, that was brilliant Nick. You debunked many of the ID canards Dr Leshner missed and provided a neat overview and explanation of what IDers were up to. And you were positively spritely!

Intelligent Design high points were the small obsession Mr Land had with Sir Hoyle and William Dembski being listed as a scientist.

I found it bizarre that the callers and writers in were all reasonable and intelligent. Ms Rehm seemed to get right to the heart of the matter repeatedly, too.

-Schmitt.

Comment #41755

Posted by mark duigon on August 7, 2005 8:01 AM (e)

Just a minor correction–it’s Dave Bottjer who wrote the other SciAm article.

Also, if radiocarbon dating is flawed, why do some Creationists (e.g. Kurt Wise) suggest using it on the Tyrannosaurus rex “soft tissues” described in a recent issue of Science?

Comment #41980

Posted by Charles Yeager on August 10, 2005 8:08 AM (e)

The faith that the pro-evolution posts extol is truly remarkable. You never seem to question for one moment that you have been duped or mislead. A true scientist would not have his/her mind made up until there was empirical evidence. It amazes me that people can actually believe that it rained on the earth a long time and the chemicals mixed in the water and something came to life and before it died, found something to eat and some way to procreate. There is no evidence at all in this super unlikely scenario, yet it has millions of followers. This first organism must have been truly remarkable. What are the chances? The faith of the IDers, “God did it”, is miniscule in comparison. The struggles that must go on in the hearts of true believers. I bet it is tough to be a scientist and yet never question what has no evidence.

I am curious, do they teach in government schools that Darwin wrote that men are more evolved than women and that White people are more evolved than black people? Do they teach how the Aborigines in Australia were sometimes slaughtered for to study their skulls. The Vatican, I mean the Smithsonian still has their skulls. They are not quite human right? I know that Karl Marx, for example, stated that Darwin provided the natural-historical foundation for his views. Pol Pot also worshiped at the same altar. Darwin’s books had a profound effect on their lives. Hitler was another “doer” in the evolutionary religion. He did not sit around on his laurels but carried out his beliefs and was a man of great conviction and took action. He felt the need to help out evolution and the nature of things by eliminating the weaker and less evolved so humanity could improve. I am sure he is one of the most praiseworthy in the evolutionary religion. Below is an excerpt from a review on a book “From Darwin to Hitler”.

Germany-Austria was especially fascinated with the ethical connotations of Darwin’s ideas, and its intelligentsia quickly integrated them. The result was that twenty years after its debut, The Origin of Species was the force behind a burgeoning eugenics movement. In an 1880 essay, German zoologist Robby Kossman laid down its ethos, proclaiming

“that the Darwinian world view must look upon the present sentimental conception of the value of the life of a human individual as an overestimate completely hindering the progress of humanity. The human state also, like every animal community of individuals, must reach an even higher level of perfection, if the possibility exists in it, through the destruction of the less well-endowed individual, for the more excellently endowed to win space for the expansion of its progeny…. The state only has an interest in preserving the more excellent life at the expense of the less excellent.”

Truly brings a tear to the eye doesn’t it. I am surprised that there are no institutions of higher learning named after him. Maybe it was his fault of having a ridgid moral code. I guess no one is perfect….yet.

I always thought that the science community generally did not want religion taught in government schools. What happened? I guess you figured the price you would have to pay in being hypocritical would be far out weighed if you could create another clear committed thinker like Stalin, Hitler or Pol Pot. The world needs more of these benchmarks of the evolved human race. Right?

Comment #41989

Posted by steve on August 10, 2005 12:15 PM (e)

Charles, you should begin by reading a biology textbook, then a book specifically explaining evolution (I recommend What Evolution is by Ernest Mayr http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0465044255/103-4247849-7498260?v=glance ), then perhaps read the scientific responses to whatever creationist claims you still favor at this point here http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html

Because your comment was really ignorant.

Comment #41991

Posted by rdog29 on August 10, 2005 1:08 PM (e)

Charles -

Are you just a troll looking to get a rise, or are you as ignorant as your the comments in your post?

At the risk of swallowing a troll’s bait, I’ll only comment briefly on one of your claims.

The Nazi eugenics movement was motivated by a quasi-religious desire to return to an imaginary time when a pure “Aryan” race was the zenith of human culture and “breeding.” Their quack notions of “superiority” had nothing to do with Darwin, but everything to do with quasi-religious fantasy (there’s that word again) and power politics.

Sorry, you’ll have to look elsewhere besides Darwin to place the blame for Hitler and the Nazis.

Comment #42035

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on August 10, 2005 6:31 PM (e)

Hitler was another “doer” in the evolutionary religion.

(yawn) Here we go again.

From my website:

Creationists, Hitler and Evolution

by Lenny Flank

© 1999

A common charge made by creationists is that evolutionary theory is “evil” and is the source of racism in general, and of dictatorial killers in particular. The most often-heard assertion is that Hitler and his racist genocide were the product of “evolutionary philosophy”. Henry Morris, for instance, flatly declares, “However one may react morally against Hitler, he was certainly a consistent evolutionst.” (Morris, “Evolution and Modern racism”, ICR Impact, October 1973) Morris adds: “The philosophies of Karl Marx and Friedrich Nietzsche–the forerunners of Stalin and Hitler–have been particularly baleful in their effect: both were dedicated evolutionists.” (Morris, Troubled Waters of Evolution, 1974 p. 33)

How accurate is this creationist finger-pointing? Not very. The creationists are apparently unaware of the fact that Stalinist Russia rejected Darwinian evolution as “bourgeois” and instead embraced the non-Darwinian “proletarian biology” of Lysenko and Michurin (a disaster from which Russian genetics and biological sciences has still not completely recovered). As for Hitler, even a cursory reading of his book Mein Kampf reveals that the true source of Hitler’s inspiration and exhortations came from a source that creationists, understandably, would rather not talk about.

Hitler’s goal was the “purification” of the “Aryan race” through the elimination of “subhumans”, which included Jews, gypsies, Asians, black Africans, and everyone else who was not a white Aryan. Despite the creationists claims that this was based on Darwinain evolutionary theory, Hitler’s own writings give quite a different story. The ICR claims that “Hitler used the German word for evolution (Entwicklung) over and over again in his book.” (ICR Impact, “The Ascent of Racism”, Paul Humber Feb 1987) Like so many of ICR’s claims, this one is simply not true—a quick scan of several online English translations of Mein Kampf shows only ONE use of the word “evolution”, in a context which does not refer at all to biological evolution, but instead to the development of political ideas in Germany: “This evolution has not yet taken the shape of a conscious intention and movement to restore the political power and independence of our nation.”

Had ICR made even a cursory reading of Mein Kampf, they would have seen a quite different source for Hitler’s racist inspiration than the one they would have us believe. White Aryans, Hitler writes, are the special creations of God, the “highest image of the Lord”, put here specifically to rule over the “subhuman” races: “Human culture and civilization on this continent are inseparably bound up with the presence of the Aryan. If he dies out or declines, the dark veils of an age without culture will again descend on this globe. The undermining of the existence of human culture by the destruction of its bearer seems in the eyes of a folkish philosophy the most execrable crime. Anyone who dares to lay hands on the highest image of the Lord commits sacrilege against the benevolent Creator of this miracle and contributes to the expulsion from paradise.” (all quotes from Hitler, Mein Kampf, online version) Actions which aid the “subhumans” at the expense of the Aryan master race, Hitler declared, were an offense against God: “ It is a sin against the will of the Eternal Creator if His most gifted beings by the hundreds and hundreds of thousands are allowed to degenerate in the present proletarian morass, while Hottentots and Zulu Kaffirs are trained for intellectual professions.”

Rather than basing his racism on any evolutionary theory, Hitler based it squarely on his view of white Aryans as the favored people of God. In fact, Hitler solemnly declares that his program of removing Jews and other “subhumans” from the earth is a divine task forced upon him by the Lord Almighty: “What we must fight for is to safeguard the existence and reproductionof our race and our people, the sustenance of our children and the purityof our blood, the freedom and independence of the fatherland, so that ourpeople may mature for the fulfillment of the mission allotted it by the Creator of the universe.”

Hitler concludes: “Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord,” adding “Compared to the absurd catchword about safeguarding law and order, thus laying a peaceable groundwork for mutual swindles, the task of preserving and advancing the highest humanity, given to this earth by the benevolence of the Almighty, seems a truly high mission.” For Hitler, removing the subhumans from earth was not a matter of biology or evolution—it was a divine mandate from God Himself, the “work of the Lord”, a “truly high mission”.

Even in discussing racial purity and “race-mixing”, Hitler chooses not the words of evolutionary biology or eugenics, but points instead to his divinely holy mission: “Historical experience offers countless proofs of this. It shows with terrifying clarity that in every mingling of Aryan blood with that of lower peoples the result was the end of the cultured people. North America, whose population consists in by far the largest part of Germanic elements who mixed but little with the lower colored peoples, shows a different humanity and culture from Central and South America, where the predominantly Latin immigrants often mixed with the aborigines on a large scale. By this one example, we can clearly and distinctly recognize the effect of racial mixture. The Germanic inhabitant of the American continent, who has remained racially pure and unmixed, rose to be master of the continent; he will remain the master as long as he does not fall a victim to defilement of the blood. The result of all racial crossing is therefore in brief always the following: To bring about such a development is, then, nothing else but to sin against the will of the Eternal Creator.”

The goal of the “folkish government”, then, Hitler declares is to “finally to put an end to the constant and continuous original sin of racial poisoning, and to give the Almighty Creator beings such as He Himself created.”

“The folkish-minded man, in particular,” Hitler concludes, “has the sacred duty, each in his own denomination, of making people stop just talking superficially of God’s will, and actually fulfill God’s will, and not let God’s word be desecrated. For God’s will gave men their form, their essence and their abilities. Anyone who destroys His work is declaring war on the Lord’s creation, the divine will.”

In Mein Kampf, Hitler makes an emotional appeal to God to aid him and his Nazis in their divine task: “Then, from the child’s story-book to the last newspaper in the country, and every theatre and cinema, every pillar where placards are posted and every free space on the hoardings should be utilized in the service of this one great mission, until the faint-hearted cry, “Lord, deliver us,” which our patriotic associations send up to Heaven to-day would be transformed into an ardent prayer: ‘Almighty God, bless our arms when the hour comes. ‘ “ Later, when Nazi troops swarmed over Europe, each of them wore an army-issue belt buckle inscribed with the words “God is With Us”.

The invocation of God and the Bible in support of racism continues with modern hate groups in the US. Aryan Nations, which also calls itself the Church of Jesus Christ Christian, begins its web site by proclaiming “Praise Yahweh” and its intention to “serve the Lord of Glory and His Holy Race”. The American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan note that only those of “Christian faith” can be members, and asks every new recruit “Do you believe in Jesus Christ?” The White Camelia Knights of the Ku Klux Klan declare that “at some point God’s people must take action in the defense of our Christian, racial and political beliefs”. The Camelia KKK website also explicitly states “We base our beliefs on our Biblical interpretations, not ignorance, superstition or blind hatred.” How does the Camelia KKK justify its opposition to “race-mixing”? “White Christian Israelites are under God�s law and covenant. The other peoples of the earth are under nature�s law, which God also created… Nature�s law, which is a creation of YAHWEH, dictates that kind reproduce after kind. The different people of the world were never supposed to mix.” The Imperial Klans of America declares, “We are a gathering of White Christian men and women.” The National Knights of the Ku Klux Klan website declares that they “reverently acknowledge the majesty and supremacy of Almighty God and recognize his goodness and providence through his Son Jesus Christ. We avow the distinction between the races of mankind as decreed by the Lord our God, and we shall ever be true to the maintenance of His Supremacy.”

None of these racist websites mentions “Darwin” or “evolution” as a justification for any of their beliefs. All of them talk about “God” and “The Creator” instead.

Comment #42149

Posted by Charles Yeager on August 11, 2005 11:21 AM (e)

Thank you for the responses.
I will try to address them all and I will try to be less sarcastic in my response. I checked out the site to buy the book that was suggested but did not check the one about Creationist claims that I supposedly favor. I hope I do not have to buy a book to get the low down on how someone thinks there is a creation without a creator. I hope you can point out my error summarizing the evolution origin of life belief.
I think I may be having trouble getting my point across. I read some of the comments on the thread that were criticizing the ID argument. Some of the comments seemed to want to make the point that it was all religious rhetoric and for that it has no basis for being taught in a government school. (I really would like to see the government get out of education and let the private sector handle it, but that is another argument). If I understand the arguments on the thread correctly, if something has religious connotations to it, or if it cannot be disproved, it is not viable and should not be taught. (If I misunderstood, please let me know where I am off track). Steve please correct me (briefly if you can) but a godless origin would mean that “it rained on the earth a long time and the chemicals mixed in the water and something came to life and before it died, found something to eat and some way to procreate.” This new life would have to be able to eat chemicals since there is nothing biological to eat. Please let me know if you have a better explanation as to how a “designer less” life form comes into being. If this is it, how do you test, recreate and prove this theory? I think you cannot but you guys may have heard of something I have not. To me it sounds much more like a fairy tale than anything else I have heard in my life. If I came to pick you up in a car and you said “Hey nice car. Where did you get it?” and I went into a tale of how it just happened over time without any intervention, you would laugh or tell me I was crazy. If you are honest and know how complex a single cell is you know that it is preposterous to say that it can happen with no intervention. It is not science because there is no evidence, it cannot be proven, tested or recreated so it must be faith. Religion is the practice of your faith. So why are you slamming someone that wants to teach something that is really more common sense in school? The government protects freedom FOR religion and not freedom FROM religion. I am definitely against school led prayer or anything else that will legally endorse a specific denomination or religion. That would be a disaster. What I am saying is that if you can call the belief that there was a designer religion, you have to point the finger back at yourselves if you want to teach something improvable as a “designer less” origin.
I don’t think I was acting as a troll looking to get a rise and I don’t know of anyone I have met that thinks I am ignorant. Everyone has a right to think whatever they want though. I was not blaming Darwin for what Hitler did. By bringing up Hitler, Pol Pot and Karl Marx I was trying to say that you cannot teach people that they are nothing but a cosmic accident and that nature works by eliminating the weak to continue onward and upward, and that feelings and individualism is just a by product of a cellular mutation and not expect to cultivate a devaluation of life. I think it is on the decline. If we are just animals and meat there is no place for morality, it is all about survival. You still see it in the comments Lenny Frank quoted from Mein Kampf. Hitler uses over and over the term sub-human. This would not line up at all with western religion (yeah there are crackpot racists that will try to justify their hate, but if it is a godless universe, why shouldn’t they). The closest correlation in religion I can think of is the caste system but there is no belief of exterminating sub-humans that I know of.
Your response did not quite deal with Darwinism teaching that men are more evolved than women and whites more than blacks and that aborigines are not quite human. If evolution is true, would you agree that the genders have progressed in their evolution at different rates and that due to isolation and limited gene pools that some races are more evolved than others?
I have to admit I would have trouble making enough sense of the KKK and their belief system to successfully come up with a cogent argument. I mean your argument uses a group that has a Jew for their God and yet hates Jews. If I understand the teachings of the Bible correctly, there were dealings with races, separation of the Jews from Idolatrous nations and what not but I don’t think it ever said one was superior or more evolved.
I would like to end by reiterating the point I was trying to drive at. Why is the designer less origin of life considered fact and teachable and the designer origin of life not and unreachable?

Comment #42161

Posted by Charles Yeager on August 11, 2005 12:13 PM (e)

Please excuse me. The last word above should be unteachable.

Comment #42163

Posted by ts on August 11, 2005 12:24 PM (e)

I think you cannot but you guys may have heard of something I have not.

Gee, y’think? Go to the library and read a book, any book, on biology and you too will have heard of something that you haven’t yet.

Comment #42165

Posted by steve on August 11, 2005 12:32 PM (e)

Steve please correct me (briefly if you can) but a godless origin would mean that “it rained on the earth a long time and the chemicals mixed in the water and something came to life and before it died, found something to eat and some way to procreate.” This new life would have to be able to eat chemicals since there is nothing biological to eat. Please let me know if you have a better explanation as to how a “designer less” life form comes into being. If this is it, how do you test, recreate and prove this theory?

Eat chemicals? Your explanation of the ‘godless origin’ is at about the level of Blues Clues. You’re never going to understand any of this stuff if you don’t learn about it first. The topics you are talking about cannot be understood with the level of learning you’ve got. If you really want to understand evolution and origin of life science and where it stands, you’re going to need to learn a lot of biology, some chemistry, and finally geochemistry. And also, abiogenesis is not yet a theory, in the sense that evolution is a theory.

Comment #42166

Posted by geogeek on August 11, 2005 12:41 PM (e)

I may need help, people. I’m on the pointy end of the spear, teaching college-level geology in a community college with a heavy creationist population. One of my students has just handed in the geologic time lab with the following:
1) How old is Earth?
6,000 - 10,000 years. I am supported by many scientist [sic] and geochronometers
Dr Steve Austin, Geologists [sic], Penn State; Dr John Baumgardner, Geophysics, UCLA; Dr Donald Deyoung, Astrophysics, Iowa State; Dr Henry Morris, Hydrogeology, U of Minn; Dr Particia Nason, Science Ed, Texas A&M; Dr Latty Vardimann, Colo State + about 5,000 more

This question leads to making a 1 m = 1 Ga years time line, which of course he didn’t do. This means he will loose half the points for the lab (the other half is reltive dating, which I guess he doesn’t have a problem with). I have contacted my department chair, but have heard nothing back from him. Has anyone out there had experience with administration on this? Do you think they’ll back me up in not giving him the points? And if they don’t, what do I do?

I’m probably getting het up prematurely, but I NEED to be ready for this, the quarter is over in 1 week…

Comment #42167

Posted by ts on August 11, 2005 1:06 PM (e)

Charles, see if you can make sense of this article; note that nothing there resembles your statement:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_of_life

Comment #42170

Posted by qetzal on August 11, 2005 1:11 PM (e)

geogeek,

I’m not a teacher, so I don’t have the ideal perspective. That said, I think you are perfectly justified in taking a hard line with this student. You could simply tell him that the evidence overwhelmingly rejects his position, and that his answer indicates he did not learn the material as required.

I can also suggest a fall-back approach. You could tell him that, to your knowledge, essentially all evidence disproves his claim. But, in the true spirit of science, you will happily give him full credit if he can provide convincing evidence to support his position.

It could even be a real learning experience for him. Assuming he actually tries to offer such evidence, you can show him why and how it’s wrong (and probably maliciously false, in many cases). Maybe it would open his eyes a bit.

Of course, one drawback is that it’s more work for you to specifically refute whatever he comes up with.

Comment #42175

Posted by steve on August 11, 2005 1:19 PM (e)

Geogeek, my opinion won’t matter as much as the professors here who will no doubt be answering, but myself, I would deduct the points. A tiny number of scientists can be found to support any ridiculous notion, from Geocentrism to the Quantum powers of Transcendental Meditation. The existence of a fringe does not authorize a student to give hocus-pocus answers.

Comment #42176

Posted by Charles Yeager on August 11, 2005 1:23 PM (e)

“The level of learning you’ve GOT”. I am struggling not to sling the insults back at you, however insults will not serve the purpose at hand.

“And also, abiogenesis is not yet a theory, in the sense that evolution is a theory.” I agree and “abiogensis” would be germane to the argument of ID being taught would it not? Is this not the crux of the argument? Origin by design or by happenstance.

I am trying to reduce the designerless origin theory to it’s most basic elements for the point of argument. If you cannot explain the basics of your belief in a clear concise manner, we can go no further and you have educated no one. Just because I am trying to keep things simple does not mean I am not well read or that I am not capable of critical thinking. I am trying to avoid getting bogged down in the minutia of super technical arguments. If you believe in a creation without a creator just say you do and give me a paragraph on how you think it happened. I don’t want to accuse you of deflecting but just state how the first life form came about and then let me know if it has been proven. If not, it is just a belief and has no more right to be taught than a belief that there was a designer.

If this is a blog for nothing but close minded folks that like to look down their noses at others and do not like the free exchange of ideas, let me know and I will move on and let you get back to having a big laugh about the earth being flat and how a priest could not have a group that was not religious in nature and other important topics for ridicule.

If you would like to continue the discussion…tell me if you honestly believe that life started from simple chemicals to polymers to replicating polymers to hypercycle to protobiont to bacteria? If so, say so and tell me if it is an indisputable fact or a belief you share with others. If it is a provable fact, please give me a site address where I can educate myself. If it is a belief, please tell me why it should be respected and taught and the designer belief should be mocked and not taught even though the majority of people in the country hold to be their belief.

Comment #42185

Posted by Charles Yeager on August 11, 2005 1:39 PM (e)

ts,
Thank you. I checked the site you suggest and it would support my statement that abiogenesis is not a fact.

“A few facts give insight into the conditions in which life may have emerged, but the mechanisms by which non-life became life are elusive.” The words “may” and “elusive” immediately jump off the page. (They also sound like they are saying that the Stanley Miller experiment proved something or supported their argument. Not very sound support in my opinion.)

OK so according to the site ts politely provided, abiogenesis is a belief. Now if someone could tell me why it should be taught and ID ridiculed.

Comment #42186

Posted by Miah on August 11, 2005 1:40 PM (e)

Charles Yeager wrote:

Steve please correct me (briefly if you can) but a godless origin would mean that “it rained on the earth a long time and the chemicals mixed in the water and something came to life and before it died, found something to eat and some way to procreate.” This new life would have to be able to eat chemicals since there is nothing biological to eat. Please let me know if you have a better explanation as to how a “designer less” life form comes into being. If this is it, how do you test, recreate and prove this theory?

I apologize for butting in, and I know I’m not Steve, however I would like to address this issue as I was once asking the same questions. It wasn’t until I researched what evolution is that I found out that I was led to believe there are other theories in which I was told was evolution which it isn’t. For instance you wouldn’t ask a baker to rebuild your transmission would you? So why ask a member of the clergy, or a layman, or anybody other than a scientist what evolution really is?

Please understand that evolution is NOT an explaination as to the Origin of Life. Hence the reason the title of Darwin’s book is Origin of the Species.

A simple inquiry at http://www.dictionary.com as to the biological definiton of evolution states, “Change in the genetic composition of a population during successive generations, as a result of natural selection acting on the genetic variation among individuals, and resulting in the development of new species.” Evolution is specifically an explaination as to the diversity of life on earth as well as provides mechanisms for this explaination.

Where did you get the rain mixing with chemicals bit? Are you referring to the primodial soup? Which is a collection of amino acids (which are commonly found in some asteroids).

Michael Wong of creationtheory.org wrote:

In 1953, Stanley Miller synthesized amino acids by zapping a mixture of hydrogen, methane, ammonia, and water with electricity, thus simulating the conditions that led to the appearance of the so-called “primordial soup”. The theory of evolution does not apply until long after the primordial soup forms.

From what I understand the first “life form” agreed to by evolutionist would be a self replicating organic molecule. Which I praise you for NOT assuming the first life form was a single cell organism as is usually parroted by YEC’s and ID’ers abound. There are many, many theories on this, and I would suggest you start with a simple query on google regarding these matters. If you are indeed serious about the answers to your question.

You can begin with Spontaneous Generation, Abiogenesis, biogenesis, RNA World and I’m sure there is many others.

Comment #42188

Posted by Charles Yeager on August 11, 2005 1:48 PM (e)

According to Astobiology Magazine, that Aminos are found on meteorites is up to debate and not proven. But you had a nice way of presenting your point without making assumptions on my education and I thank you.

Comment #42189

Posted by Miah on August 11, 2005 1:49 PM (e)

Oh my, looks like it took me a little longer to get my comments posted.

I was trying to post before Steve did.

Comment #42197

Posted by Miah on August 11, 2005 2:15 PM (e)

Charles Yeager wrote:

According to Astobiology Magazine, that Aminos are found on meteorites is up to debate and not proven. But you had a nice way of presenting your point without making assumptions on my education and I thank you.

I tend to believe that assumptions are the Mother of all F&^#k-Ups! from Under Seige 2:Dark Territory.

If you are referring to this article

http://www.astrobio.net/news/article375.html

I understand. I guess I should have reworded to have indicated that meteorites are “thought” to carry amino acids. But doesn’t this only talk about this specific asteroid in question, and not all asteroids? You will have to forgive me because I am being wildly speculative on what article you are referring to. If you would be so kind as to provide a link or a reference.

But also consider this information:

http://www.space.com/searchforlife/seti_shostak_020404.html

This information makes it plausable that some asteroids and/or comets, as well as galaxies could harbor the basic building blocks of life without the existance of liquid water!

With regard to abiogenesis:

definition from http://www.dictionary.com : a hypothetical organic phenomenon by which living organisms are created from nonliving matter. Think about this…a perfect example of abiogenesis is found in the Old Testament. Whereas Adam (living organism) was made out of dust (nonliving matter).

Comment #42200

Posted by ts on August 11, 2005 2:20 PM (e)

OK so according to the site ts politely provided, abiogenesis is a belief.

No, that’s not what the site says. There are a number of hypotheses, with varying degrees of factual support, as to how life might have arisen. “belief” is a ridiculously broad term; I believe that the sun will rise tomorrow, that George Bush is the President of the U.S., that men landed on the moon, that black holes exist, that there was a Big Bang, and so on. “belief” and “fact” aren’t mutually exclusive.

Now if someone could tell me why it should be taught and ID ridiculed.

Abiogenesis isn’t evolution – perhaps you have them confused? – and isn’t taught as a fact. ID is ridiculed because it is a theological claim being passed off as a scientific theory, and because the claims made by IDists, such as that various mechanisms are “irreducibly complex” and cannot have evolved, are wrong in very basic ways and have repeatedly been refuted yet IDists continue to present them as if they hadn’t been refuted. The ridicule comes from the repeated bad faith displayed by the IDists, from the fact that they talk about ID amongst themselves as a theological movement and then turn around and claim that it isn’t, that it’s science. There are good reasons to consider ID to be ridiculous in ways that abiogenesis isn’t ridiculous, but it takes some detailed investigation to fully understand those reasons.

Comment #42201

Posted by ts on August 11, 2005 2:27 PM (e)

From what I understand the first “life form” agreed to by evolutionist would be a self replicating organic molecule.

This simply isn’t a concern for an evolutionist qua evolutionist. Of course evolutionists are interested in abiogenesis, but it isn’t a part of the theory of evolution. And among abiogenetic theorists, that is not agreed to; see the wikipedia article I cited.

Comment #42202

Posted by qetzal on August 11, 2005 2:29 PM (e)

Charles Yeager wrote:

If I came to pick you up in a car and you said “Hey nice car. Where did you get it?” and I went into a tale of how it just happened over time without any intervention, you would laugh or tell me I was crazy.

Cars don’t reproduce. They don’t have sex. They don’t generate descendents that differ from themselves and from one another. They don’t have to survive on their own, avoid predators, find food, etc. In short, they make a terrible analogy for understanding evolution.

If you are honest and know how complex a single cell is you know that it is preposterous to say that it can happen with no intervention.

Whether something seems preposterous to you or me is irrelevant. What matters is evidence.

It is not science because there is no evidence, it cannot be proven, tested or recreated so it must be faith.

Does “It” refer to the idea of spontaneous abiogenesis? If so, I disagree that there is no evidence, but I agree that it is far from proven, or even reasonably well established. I’ll repeat what others have already pointed out: the theory of evolution does not cover the events that led to the first cell. If the very first cell was put on Earth by God or an alien or a grain of cosmic dust, it wouldn’t change the theory of evolution in the slightest.

If your objection is that high school kids shouldn’t be taught that science proves life arose spontaneously, I agree. Again, as others have pointed out, there is no accepted theory of abiogenesis. Just some ideas that people are trying to test.

The government protects freedom FOR religion and not freedom FROM religion.

The latter is essential for the former.

Your response did not quite deal with Darwinism teaching that men are more evolved than women and whites more than blacks and that aborigines are not quite human.

‘Darwinism’ doesn’t teach any of that. ‘Anti-Darwinists’ say false things like that on purpose in order to discredit by smear what they can’t discredit scientifically.

If evolution is true, would you agree that the genders have progressed in their evolution at different rates and that due to isolation and limited gene pools that some races are more evolved than others?

Absolutely not. In fact, with regard to races, I believe genetics and evolutionary theory show the opposite. IIRC, the commonly accepted ‘races’ are not genetically distinct from one another. There is much more genetic variation between individual caucasians than there is between the ‘average’ caucasian and the ‘average’ black.

In any case, it’s meaningless to ask if A is ‘more evolved’ than B. There’s no such thing as ‘more evolved’ in the sense you’re suggesting.

Why is the designer less origin of life considered fact and teachable and the designer origin of life not and unteachable?

Once again, if you mean abiogenesis, that’s not taught as fact. It’s not an accepted scientific theory. I assure you that no reputable high school science book claims that abiogenesis is a fact.

Evolution is different. It’s an extremely well-supported theory that explains how the descendents of that first cell gave rise to all subsequent life forms. There are immense amounts of data supporting the theory of evolution. And even then, religious sensibilities mean that many high school textbooks take a ‘watered-down’ approach when discussing evolution.

Comment #42205

Posted by ts on August 11, 2005 2:40 PM (e)

I agree and “abiogensis” would be germane to the argument of ID being taught would it not? Is this not the crux of the argument? Origin by design or by happenstance.

No, absolutely not. ID is a denial of the theory of evolution as the explanation of biodiversity and the apparent relationships among organisms. The origin of life is a different matter entirely.

I am trying to reduce the designerless origin theory to it’s most basic elements for the point of argument.

No, you are trying to reduce it to an inaccurate strawman so you can dismiss it. Be honest, that’s your goal – to dismiss it.

If you cannot explain the basics of your belief in a clear concise manner,

Can you explain the basics of the theory of relativity, quantum ,mechanics, number theory, group theory, in a clear concise manner? These are fields of knowledge, they aren’t reduceable to sound bites.

If this is a blog for nothing but close minded folks

“close minded” is almost always synonymous with “doesn’t agree with me”. Thousands and thousands of highly educated and informed biologists consider evolution to be a proven fact and the theory of evolution to be a robust and well supported explanatory framework for how evolution occurs. Are you open to the possibility that you, given your lack of knowledge about the subject, are almost certainly wrong in your disagreements with these people?

Comment #42206

Posted by Sean D on August 11, 2005 2:51 PM (e)

Qetzal - thank you for taking the time to make such a detailed response to the statements from Charles. I like the format, showing your response to each of his points.

I am not as studied as you, or Charles, or Steve on this matter, but am getting an education through all of these posts. With that said, I’m sure that the “immense amounts of data supporting the theory of evolution” focus on microscopic organisms, but what about larger organisms? Are they evolving? Is evolution still happening? Yeah, I know that it is a long drawn out process, but has anything evolved recently?

In your response to Charles, I see the emphasis that evolution tries to explain events that occur after the initial generation of an organism. Are you saying that there is evidence of one entity morphing into another entity? I’m not talking about white moths evolving into black moths. Is there evidence that a white moth changed into a lizard?

Comment #42207

Posted by ts on August 11, 2005 2:51 PM (e)

If you are honest and know how complex a single cell is you know that it is preposterous to say that it can happen with no intervention.

So much for being open minded. Yours is shut tight as a drum. Your statement is classic argumentum ad ignorantiam, a well known fallacy, and a hallmark of arrogance.

The government protects freedom FOR religion and not freedom FROM religion.

The founding fathers and the Supreme Court disagree. And even if they didn’t, this is a vile and oppressive view.

the designer belief should be mocked and not taught even though the majority of people in the country hold to be their belief

You’re free to teach it in your home or church, but it has nothing to do with science and should not be taught in science classes.

Comment #42208

Posted by Miah on August 11, 2005 2:57 PM (e)

ts wrote:

This simply isn’t a concern for an evolutionist qua evolutionist. Of course evolutionists are interested in abiogenesis, but it isn’t a part of the theory of evolution. And among abiogenetic theorists, that is not agreed to; see the wikipedia article I cited.

I never said it [abiogenesis] was a part of the theory of evolution. My post clearly indicated that it was a seperate hypothetical possibility as to the origins of life as per Charles’ question, which is NOT a theory of evolution.

Michael Wong of creationtheory.org wrote:

The occurrence of the first naturally self-replicating organic molecule, on the other hand, is NOT the spontaneous generation of a modern life form. It is nothing more than a fortuitous chemical reaction, which is all we need for evolution.

If you look up the word abiogenesis at http://www.dictionary.com you will clearly see that spontaneous generation is synonymous with abiogenesis.

And your last sentence, I also concluded that there were MORE hypothetical explainations of the Origins of Life. From that you may deduce that there are differences of opinions as indicated.

Oh, by the way Charles, you are very welcome.

Comment #42209

Posted by ts on August 11, 2005 3:03 PM (e)

Yeah, I know that it is a long drawn out process, but has anything evolved recently?

Evolution is a process that happens constantly; all organisms evolve as they reproduce. But you probably mean speciation. Yes, the development of new species has been observed.

I’m not talking about white moths evolving into black moths. Is there evidence that a white moth changed into a lizard?

The fossil record provides extensive evidence of “morphing”, for instance of early reptiles into birds and mammals, but not of moths into lizards – they’re on different branches of the evolutionary tree (or bush). Insects and lizards have a common ancestor, but no insect is the ancestor of any lizard.

Comment #42212

Posted by Sean D on August 11, 2005 3:09 PM (e)

TS - what is the new species, and from which species did it come?

Also, can you recommend a website that details some of the fossil record findings for “morhping” so that I can read more of the details?

By the way, thank you for interpreting the essence of my question.

Comment #42213

Posted by ts on August 11, 2005 3:10 PM (e)

I never said it [abiogenesis] was a part of the theory of evolution.

You referred to an agreement among evolutionists concerning abiogenesis. My point, which I thought was clear, is that what evolutionists agree to about anything other than the theory of evolution is neither here nor there; that’s why I stressed that abiogenesis isn’t part of the theory of evolution. I did not claim that you had said it is.

Comment #42214

Posted by Miah on August 11, 2005 3:12 PM (e)

Sean D wrote:

I’m not talking about white moths evolving into black moths.

I believe you are mistaken Sean. The context you are referring to as to what happend in England a few centuries ago is incorrect. White moths did not evolve into black moths. It was two seperate species of moths. One Black and One White. Before the Industrial Revolution it was noticed that the white species was more populous than the black. It was then reasoned that since the bark of the “birch” tree, which was their habitat, was white that the black moths were easily spotted by predetors (birds…etc) and therefore eaten. After the Industrial Revolution, alot of soot from steam engines covered the trees thereby causing the bark to become dark. Now the white moths are easily seen and thereby the black moths weren’t. In turn the black moths became more populous.

This is evidence of one of the mechanism of evolution - namely Natural Selection. Whereas conclusive visual evidence is found.

If a species cannot adapt (evolve) to their eviroment or adapt the environment to them, they run the risk of becoming extinct.

Comment #42217

Posted by Miah on August 11, 2005 3:26 PM (e)

ts wrote:

You referred to an agreement among evolutionists concerning abiogenesis.

No sir, I referred to an agreement among evolutionist as to what the first life form may be.

I explicitly indicated that the first life form as discribed was NOT explained by abiogenesis as per Michael Wong’s post on his website.

I apologize for my miscommunication. I proably should have said that of the evolutionist I have talked to, read about…etc that the first life form may be…

ts wrote:

I did not claim that you had said it is.

Again I apologize if I midread your post. Your reply that I quoted was a direct reply to my post (see Comment #42201) by itself. Authough you didn’t write the words, it was my own irrationality that assumed your reply was indicating as such.

See Charles, I do not like to assume, but I have done so anyway. *sigh*

Comment #42218

Posted by ts on August 11, 2005 3:26 PM (e)

TS - what is the new species, and from which species did it come?

See http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html
which goes into considerable detail about what counts as a species and as speciation. It gives examples such as
Oenothera gigas (a species of primrose) from Oenothera lamarckiana (another species of primrose)
and an extensive discussion of speciation of fruit flies in the lab

Also, can you recommend a website that details some of the fossil record findings for “morhping” so that I can read more of the details?

Here’s one pictorial:

http://www.gcssepm.org/special/cuffey_05.htm

There are many many others. Here’s a discussion of the development of whales from “a wolf-sized … primitive ungulate”.
http://www.talkorigins.org/features/whales/

By the way, thank you for interpreting the essence of my question.

You’re welcome. It’s nice to be appreciated. :-)

Comment #42219

Posted by Sean D on August 11, 2005 3:28 PM (e)

Miah - thanks. Clearly I have a sketchy memory, at best, of what I was taught in high school regarding the moth explanation.
I can accept the existance of adaptation, which I agree can be termed “evolving”. However, I’m not convinced that one species can evolve into another. I see that as a separate definition for evolution. It seems to me that adaptation and speciation are individual entities. My thought was, if evolution is a process that happens constantly, then I would expect that somebody has been documenting the speciation that must have been happening for the last several thousand years. Again, I’d be interested to learn more about the new species to which TS referred.
(Please don’t laugh too hard at the ignorance that must seem to abound in my questions.)

Comment #42222

Posted by ts on August 11, 2005 3:39 PM (e)

You referred to an agreement among evolutionists concerning abiogenesis.

No sir, I referred to an agreement among evolutionist as to what the first life form may be.

The question of what the first life form was is a question about abiogenesis: “The supposed development of living organisms from nonliving matter.” (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=abiogenesis)

I explicitly indicated that the first life form as discribed was NOT explained by abiogenesis as per Michael Wong’s post on his website.

Wong refers to “modern life form”. I find his statement confused, or confusing, or a quibble; in any case this discussion has reached the point of being pointless, methinks.

Again I apologize if I midread your post

S’ok.

Comment #42223

Posted by Charles Yeager on August 11, 2005 3:47 PM (e)

I will try to offer a response for some of these tomorrow but I do want to address a comment from TS.

“The founding fathers and the Supreme Court disagree. And even if they didn’t, this is a vile and oppressive view.”

There is much historical record on what the founding fathers believed about religion. Thomas Jefferson, not a Christian, wrote a letter about the separation of church to allay the fears of a small congregation that thought the government was going to endorse one of the large congregations. He wrote that they had nothing to fear because the government would not get into the churches business to put it crudely. If you want a shocker, check our the Delaware State constitution. You had to swear an oath that you believed in the inerrant scriptures and in God, Son and the Holy Ghost before you could serve in the Delaware government. I am curious as to what is so vile for people to have freedom for religion and how that oppresses anyone. The constitution was based on these beliefs and this fact can be checked on much more readily than much of what we have been talking about so far.

Comment #42224

Posted by Miah on August 11, 2005 3:51 PM (e)

Sean D wrote:

Miah - thanks. Clearly I have a sketchy memory, at best, of what I was taught in high school regarding the moth explanation.

You sir, are very welcome. Of course I am going off of memory as well so all of the exact details may not be 100% accurate. But the general info is otherwise reliable.

Sean D wrote:

I can accept the existance of adaptation, which I agree can be termed “evolving”. However, I’m not convinced that one species can evolve into another. I see that as a separate definition for evolution. It seems to me that adaptation and speciation are individual entities.

Let me reiderate here. Natural Selection is a Mechanism that describes observations but is not to be confused as evolution by itself. Specation is another Mechanism of evolution that simply put is that if you have 2000 Pure breed Boxers (the dogs) and you take 1000 of them and put them on Island “A” and the other thousand on Island “B”, seperated by 10,000 miles of water that in 1,000,000 years they will become two seperate species and will no longer be able to breed. This is possibly an oversimplification of the process, but I think I hit the main idea of it.

In the context of your question you are referring to a question of Common Ancestry; which is another Mechanism of evolution. Now using my Boxer analogy. Say fossils are dug up from Island “A” and Island “B”. Comparative DNA testing is done. Authough they are not the same species, and therefore they may look totally different and they may acquire two different names, say “Boxerisa and Boxerisb”. DNA Testing will PROVE that they shared a common ancestor known as the Boxer.

Now this has been verified many times in the fossil record.

Comment #42226

Posted by Miah on August 11, 2005 3:57 PM (e)

ts wrote:

Wong refers to “modern life form”.

Where? I didn’t see that one.

…in any case this discussion has reached the point of being pointless, methinks.

Yeah, your right.

It was fun though while it lasted…haha

No hard feelings???

Comment #42229

Posted by ts on August 11, 2005 4:00 PM (e)

Clearly I have a sketchy memory, at best, of what I was taught in high school regarding the moth explanation.

Here’s an extensive refresher. :-)

http://wiki.cotch.net/index.php/Peppered_moth

However, I’m not convinced that one species can evolve into another.

What stands in the way? Speciation simply means that two varieties can no longer interbreed, a likely consequence of geographical isolation. Once the two populations can’t interbreed, their genotypes will necessarily grow apart over time. Long, long, long time. Time for beaks to lengthen, bones to fuse into hooves, limbs to shift and become more flipperlike, all sorts of changes that allow an organism to function a little bit better in a changing environment or an unoccupied niche.

My thought was, if evolution is a process that happens constantly, then I would expect that somebody has been documenting the speciation that must have been happening for the last several thousand years.

But we’ve only known about evolution for 150 years, so how could anyone document changes as they happened for several thousand years? All we have is a fossil record that doesn’t preserve soft tissues, and comparisons of similar organisms in isolated geographical environments – this was a major part of Darwin’s studies. And even several thousand years is a teensy tiny blip in geological time, so the changes in that period will tend to be subtle.

Comment #42233

Posted by ts on August 11, 2005 4:05 PM (e)

Where? I didn’t see that one.

I’m just referring to the quote you provided in #42208: “The occurrence of the first naturally self-replicating organic molecule, on the other hand, is NOT the spontaneous generation of a modern life form.”

No hard feelings???

Not at all. This medium is frustrating because it’s so impersonal and lacking in nuance, tone, gestures, facial expressions, etc., and I find that mine are often wrongly imagined.

Comment #42235

Posted by Miah on August 11, 2005 4:12 PM (e)

Charles Yeager wrote:

I am curious as to what is so vile for people to have freedom for religion and how that oppresses anyone.

Look at your wording of that sentence. Do you see what I see…”freedom for religion”…

The indication that it has to be for anything is in and of itself oppressive. The general gist is and why people see “religion” oppressive is that it demands total respect to a GOD without that God deserving that respect, AND the fear that if you don’t do what God says, you will suffer for eternity in a “Lake of Fire”.

This is no different than when England was basically telling us the same thing. And the message is “Do what I say, or I will kill you”. Remember our forefathers would have been hung (killed) for TREASON if we’d lost the Revolutionary War. The premise that our country was founded on faith in God is a bold face lie. By our ACTIONS this country was founded on REBELLION…to say the least. I urge you to read the Declaration of Independence.

Except God’s ultimatum is a fate worse than death.

How can you honestly NOT see that this is oppresive behavior at the very least, and at the very worst sadistic psycopathic homicidal behavior!

Sounds like a REAL winner to me, this God you talk about.

Comment #42236

Posted by ts on August 11, 2005 4:15 PM (e)

Common Ancestry; which is another Mechanism of evolution

I would say that common ancestry is a feature of evolution; I don’t think it’s correct to call it a mechanism – it doesn’t cause anything, or explain the consequences of evolution. Here’s a URL that discusses mechanisms of evolution such as natural selection, genetic drift, and sexual recombination:

http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIIMechanisms.shtml

Comment #42241

Posted by ts on August 11, 2005 4:23 PM (e)

Charles Yeager wrote:

I am curious as to what is so vile for people to have freedom for religion and how that oppresses anyone.

What is vile and oppressive is the statement you wrote that I responded to, not this totally different statement. It was your statement that the government does not protect my freedom from religion – my freedom not to have religion imposed upon me.

Miah wrote:

The general gist is and why people see “religion” oppressive is that it demands total respect to a GOD without that God deserving that respect, AND the fear that if you don’t do what God says, you will suffer for eternity in a “Lake of Fire”.

Well, this isn’t what I meant at all. It’s true that some religious institutions are oppressive, but the discussion was specifically about government guaranteed rights.

Comment #42244

Posted by Flint on August 11, 2005 4:40 PM (e)

ts:

Speciation simply means that two varieties can no longer interbreed, a likely consequence of geographical isolation. Once the two populations can’t interbreed…

My reading (I’m not a biologist) is that two varieties no longer interbreed (except perhaps very rarely) for any reason, whether or not the effort would be fertile. Geographic isolation is one common way this is initially enforced, until genetic divergence precludes mutual fertility, but isolation happens in other ways as well: minor differences in various mating/sexual attraction characteristics (song, coloration, display behavior, etc.) separate varieties which continue to largely overlap in geographic territory.

I read recently (perhaps here?) of two variations of something visibly (in real time, within a human lifetime) developing coloration-based isolation, and there seems to be a snowball effect: the greater the color difference, the more the isolation. The more the isolation, the faster this difference increases. The diverging variations do not appear to occupy different niches in any way.

Speciation strikes me as an interesting phenomenon. But anyway, back to telling Yeager what the Constitution has come to mean. My interpretation is that it has come to mean governmental disinterest and neutrality: freedom both of and from religion, enforced by a state that not only favors no particular religion, but realizes that endorsing none is very different from endorsing all. Government neutrality does not mean equal time in class to pray to every god, but rather no time in class to pray to any god.

Comment #42254

Posted by ts on August 11, 2005 5:10 PM (e)

but isolation happens in other ways as well

I didn’t mean to imply otherwise. I was too lazy to write that geographical isolation is a likely cause of speciation and speciation is a likely consequence of geographical isolation. But it seems I’ve ended up saying it anyway. :-) But whatever we write, it’s shorthand. There’s a much more extensive discussion at the faq-speciation page I cited above. BTW, I’m not a biologist either. I hope I’ve never slipped in an inappropriate “we” or “us” when referring to evolutionary biologists.

I agree with your statement about the current Constitutional view of religion – it’s determined by the Supreme Court, and as I noted the court has found that we do have freedom from religion – except for “no time in class to pray to any god”. I understand your meaning, which is that the state must display neutrality and thus teachers cannot lead prayers, but I’d like to emphasize that students are free to silently pray – as free as with any other private thoughts. Also, I think moments of silence out of respect or mourning, such as the death of a student or student’s parent, national catastrophe, etc. are allowed and students can choose to pray if that’s their preference; again the rule is neutrality. Finally, following the decision on Newdow and “under God”, this neutrality is not strictly adhered to but that’s hardly surprising in the current climate; we’re lucky to have as much neutrality as we do.

Comment #42277

Posted by steve on August 11, 2005 7:01 PM (e)

Comment #42176

Posted by Charles Yeager on August 11, 2005 01:23 PM (e) (s)

“The level of learning you’ve GOT”. I am struggling not to sling the insults back at you, however insults will not serve the purpose at hand.

You can take it as an insult, but it’s not. Some things just can not be made as simple as you’re asking for. There exist ideas which rest on a large body of evidence and theory, and cannot be adequately explained without getting ‘supertechnical’ as you put it. You just can’t productively argue about origin-of-life theory without knowing some biology, chemistry, radiochemistry, etc. You can’t avoid all those technical things because you’re talking about cutting edge science. If it was possible to evaluate scientific evidence with no training, we wouldn’t have to go to college for 10 years. By not knowing anything about these subjects, what you’re asking people to do for you, is condense years of science and math classes down to a nontechnical paragraph or so, which you’ll then decide is correct or not. That’s a waste of time, so I gave you some suggestions about what to do to learn the basics of these topics. I was giving you the benefit of the doubt, actually–I told you what to do if you actually want to learn, instead of just attack science. If you don’t do these things, you’re just going to hang around repeating the most worthless antievolution arguments, probably none of which haven’t been refuted in this list http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html

Comment #42290

Posted by KiwiInOz on August 11, 2005 8:41 PM (e)

Hmm. A number of authors, e.g. ts, have stated here that different species cannot interbreed. Others, e.g. Flint suggest that, if they do, they are infertile. This is not quite so. Hybridisation is the outcome of species interbreeding, and is relatively common, particularly where related species have been translocated internationally or intranationally. I’m not talking about ligers or even mules though.

Some NZ examples spring to mind. 1) The native grey duck (Anas superciliosa) is hybridising quite readily with the introduced mallard (A. platyrhynchus) (e.g. Haddon 1998. Introgressive hybrisation, ducks, and ecological character displacement. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 25: 245-248). The offspring are fertile, and overtime may form a distinct species. 2) North Island kowhai (Sophora tetraptera) planted in South Island sites are hybridising with the SI species (S. microphylla). I’m not sure whether they are fertile, but I suspect that they are. 3) Hybridisation appears to be common in NZ ferns. Most are infertile, with the exception of those in the genera Blechnum (ref Brownsey 1985. Biosystematics of the cryptogamic flora of New Zealand: pteridophytes. New Zealand Journal of Botany 23: 681-685).

Cheers

Comment #42315

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on August 11, 2005 10:13 PM (e)

I may need help, people. I’m on the pointy end of the spear, teaching college-level geology in a community college with a heavy creationist population. One of my students has just handed in the geologic time lab with the following:
1) How old is Earth?
6,000 - 10,000 years. I am supported by many scientist [sic] and geochronometers
Dr Steve Austin, Geologists [sic], Penn State; Dr John Baumgardner, Geophysics, UCLA; Dr Donald Deyoung, Astrophysics, Iowa State; Dr Henry Morris, Hydrogeology, U of Minn; Dr Particia Nason, Science Ed, Texas A&M; Dr Latty Vardimann, Colo State + about 5,000 more

This question leads to making a 1 m = 1 Ga years time line, which of course he didn’t do. This means he will loose half the points for the lab (the other half is reltive dating, which I guess he doesn’t have a problem with). I have contacted my department chair, but have heard nothing back from him. Has anyone out there had experience with administration on this? Do you think they’ll back me up in not giving him the points? And if they don’t, what do I do?

I’m probably getting het up prematurely, but I NEED to be ready for this, the quarter is over in 1 week…

Flunk him.

And if the administrators don’t like it, hand them the complete text of the Edwards v Aguillard, Maclean v Arkansas, and Webster v New Lennox decisions.

Comment #42368

Posted by Miah on August 12, 2005 8:36 AM (e)

ts wrote:

Well, this isn’t what I meant at all. It’s true that some religious institutions are oppressive, but the discussion was specifically about government guaranteed rights.

I didn’t indicate that you meant anything at all. My comment was specifically directed at Charles post (hence the quote box). I wasn’t trying to reiderate any point you made. I was stating my opinion. May have been off topic I agree, or slighly skewed to a degree because I missed the purpose of the discussion as it relates directly to government guaranteed rights.

ts wrote:

But anyway, back to telling Yeager what the Constitution has come to mean. My interpretation is that it has come to mean governmental disinterest and neutrality: freedom both of and from religion, enforced by a state that not only favors no particular religion, but realizes that endorsing none is very different from endorsing all. Government neutrality does not mean equal time in class to pray to every god, but rather no time in class to pray to any god.

Wow ts, this is possibly the best explination that I have heard in a clear, consice and easy to understand paragraph ever. I wholeheartedly agree with your interpretation.

ts wrote:

I would say that common ancestry is a feature of evolution; I don’t think it’s correct to call it a mechanism — it doesn’t cause anything, or explain the consequences of evolution.

Ahhhh, is see your point here. I apologize for my mistake. Would it be ok to say that Common Ancestry and/or Descent would be a result or product of the mechanisms of evolution? Thank you for that info. I am reading it now.

Comment #42369

Posted by rdog29 on August 12, 2005 8:53 AM (e)

Charles -

Consider the implications if you accept the notion of that a Designer brought about life.

In my view, you really only have two choices as to the nature of the Designer:

1. A corporal species, i.e., an Alien. Highly intelligent and possessing techology of unimaginable sophistication, but corporal nonetheless. Now think about this: if the meager life forms on Earth require a Designer, surely the ultra-advanced Alien requires Design even more than we do. So who Designed the Designer? And so on, and so on…… How do you solve THAT situation???

2. A non-corporal being, i.e., a “God” or “Spirit” of some kind. Call this being what you wish (God, Allah, Yaweh, Flying Spaghetti Monster), but you have now crossed into the realm of religion, which is OUTSIDE the realm of science.

So if you accept Design you must either accept the notion that you have been created either by Aliens (in which case you are likely to be labeled a crackpot) or by a God (in which case you have endorsed a religious view).

Do you really want to tell people they are an Alien biology lab experiment? No? Didn’t think so.

Fine, then tell them they were created by God…that’s OK for Sunday school, but not for science classrooms.

Comment #42371

Posted by Charles Yeager on August 12, 2005 9:17 AM (e)

So many interesting thoughts being exchnaged I wish I had more time to respond. I do have a question for Miah. You wrote
“Sounds like a REAL winner to me, this God you talk about.” Please refresh my memory. What “God” have I spoken about and what did I say about him/her/it? I don’t remember expressing a personal opinion about any god/God. And about why this country was founded, there is much on the historical record that does not support your stance.

Oh yeah, before I forget. Someone earlier tried to debunk my statment that Darwin wrote about how some races were more evolved. Darwinism at it’s origin was racist. Here is a quote;
“At some future period (Darwin writes), not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes … will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest Allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilized state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as the baboon, instead of as now between the Negro or Australian and the gorilla.” (Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man 2nd ed (New York: A. L. Burt Co., I 874), p. 178).

You may also be interested in the original title of the Origin of Species. Check out the title that was changed after the first edition. The full title of Darwin’s book, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, includes The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life?

And finally to Steve. I was pointing out the irony that you were speaking about my level of education and you used poor grammer to do it. “The level of learning you’ve GOT”. Try “The level of learning you have” next time you feel like you have successfully gaged my education by my few brief comments.

Have a nice day everyone.

Comment #42372

Posted by Flint on August 12, 2005 9:19 AM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'quote'

Comment #42373

Posted by Flint on August 12, 2005 9:20 AM (e)

Miah:

Wow ts, this is possibly the best explination that I have heard in a clear, consice and easy to understand paragraph ever. I wholeheartedly agree with your interpretation.

Thank you.

Comment #42376

Posted by SEF on August 12, 2005 9:45 AM (e)

Charles Yeager, your quote is incomplete as is your context for it and consequently your comprehension of it is faulty. It’s one of the mistakes which pops up every so often, eg addressed here:

http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/feedback/mar04.html

Did you read the real book yourself or did you merely get that selective quote from another creationist?

Comment #42377

Posted by SEF on August 12, 2005 9:46 AM (e)

Flint = ts ?

Comment #42382

Posted by Flint on August 12, 2005 10:05 AM (e)

SEF:

No, but Miah quoted what I wrote, attributed it to ts, and then gave it a nice compliment. Although ts and I tend to agree except occasionally when the conversation wanders into an area far more my specialty than his.

Comment #42391

Posted by frank schmidt on August 12, 2005 10:31 AM (e)

Yeager conveniently ignores the fact that the second edition of Descent of Man does not contain this passage. So he’s arguing from outdated information. The only surprising thing is that his information is 120 years out of date, instead of the usual 50 or so that is typical of creationists. But if he wants to stay in the 19th century, he should at least look up what the term “races” meant at that time.

Comment #42395

Posted by qetzal on August 12, 2005 10:43 AM (e)

Charles Yeager,

I was one who objected to this statement of yours:

…Darwinism teaching that men are more evolved than women and whites more than blacks and that aborigines are not quite human. If evolution is true, would you agree that the genders have progressed in their evolution at different rates and that due to isolation and limited gene pools that some races are more evolved than others?

Perhaps I misinterpreted what you meant by “Darwinism.” I wasn’t attempting to debunk a claim that Darwin believed some or all of this. I admit I don’t know whether he did or did not (but see SEF’s & frank schmidt’s comments above).

I assumed that you meant ‘Darwinism’ as short hand for ‘the modern theory of biological evolution’ (henceforth the MToBE). My point was that the MToBE does not ‘teach’ any of what you describe in the above qoute.

And that’s what really matters, isn’t it? No-one teaches literal ‘Darwinism’ straight out of The Origin of Species. (Except maybe in some history of science class.) If Darwin got some things wrong, so what? His errors have since been corrected, and students are taught the MToBE as best we currently understand it. Correcting errors is part of the scientific process. In the end, science is ruled by evidence and empiricism, not personalities.

Do you care to clarify your point? Were you genuinely interested to know whether the MToBE makes those claims? Is there a reason that you think some alleged racisim on Darwin’s part is relevant?

Or were you really just trying to discredit the MToBE by making it seem racist and bigoted? Plenty of ‘anti-evolutionists’ have taken that approach, and your most recent comment gives the distinct impression that was your goal as well.

Comment #42398

Posted by Miah on August 12, 2005 10:58 AM (e)

Charles Yeager wrote:

Please refresh my memory. What “God” have I spoken about and what did I say about him/her/it? I don’t remember expressing a personal opinion about any god/God.

Sorry. I was under the impression that you were a Christian due to your references to ID and religion. And some of your arguments regarding Hitler and racism, Darwinism and racism sounds like the same arguments pulled from creationist websites hosted by fundamentalist Christians. I sincerely apologize that I didn’t ask first. So now I will. What is your opinion regarding God?

Charles Yeager wrote:

And about why this country was founded, there is much on the historical record that does not support your stance.

Ok, my stance is that this nation was founded on rebellion.

www.dictionary.com wrote:

rebellion -

1.Open, armed, and organized resistance to a constituted government.

2.An act or a show of defiance toward an authority or established convention.

Wasn’t the Revolutionary War a historicle event WELL documented that is the essence of both the definitions for rebellion?

Have you read the ORIGINAL rough draft of Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence?

I invite you to read it in HTML version here:

http://www.constitution.org/tj/doi_rough.htm

From said document:

he has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating it’s most sacred rights of life & liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. this piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the CHRISTIAN king of Great Britain.

Sounds like he was pretty upset that all these acts were the result of a Christian king!

“No man [should] be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor [should he] be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor … otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief … All men [should] be free to profess and by argument to maintain their opinions in matters of religion, and … the same [should] in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.”- Thomas Jefferson, Statute for Religious Freedom, 1779.

So one of the founding fathers supported freedom from religion as well as freedom of religion. Amazing isn’t it?

Flint wrote:

No, but Miah quoted what I wrote, attributed it to ts, and then gave it a nice compliment.

OOPS, Sorry about that. My glasses must have been fogged up.

Comment #42405

Posted by Ed Darrell on August 12, 2005 11:28 AM (e)

Geogeek, you need to explain to the student that, especially at the college level, students need to get the material down before they disagree with it.

You’re not there to change beliefs. But geology is not a belief, it’s science. If your student is to be conversant and be able to defend his/her beliefs, your student needs to know both what scientist think is the best explanation, and why they think that.

For extra credit, have your student check the science literature for the impact of the work of Austin, and the other people named. Follow up on the ideas. Have the student report on what others said, and why they said it. Have your student concentrate on the evidence and how it is used.

Make it clear to the student that you’re not asking for a change in belief, but you are insisting on mastery of the material of the course. You’re not bound at the college level by the Edwards v. Aguillard or other decisions. But religious objection cannot be a reason to blow off the entire course with an expectation of anything less than a failing grade.

Comment #42428

Posted by Steviepinhead on August 12, 2005 1:48 PM (e)

Overlooking his various inaccuracies, mining of outdated quotes, and other atrocious manglings, Charles Yeager makes an even more fundamental mistake, that of attributing the end effect of a trend to the trend’s observer, as if that effect were intended by the observer.

Let’s suppose, Mr. Yeager, that Darwin did observe that the encroachment of “civilization” on humanity’s nearest ape relatives was having impacts which were less than felicitous. Let’s also suppose that Darwin observed this same infelicitous impact of European civilization upon non-European human cultures. Let’s further suppose that, in projecting these observed trends into the future, Darwin foresaw the possibilities of extinction and what we would now call cultural genocide. Does any of this somehow convert Darwin himself into a racist or perpetrator of genocide?

In case the light has not yet dawned, let’s now suppose that I’m a TV reporter standing on the New Jersey shore on the morn of 9/11 watching aghast as the first tower falls. Let’s suppose that–along with voicing my horror–I then “project” that the second tower may also be at risk, and that I express my concern for the survival of the office workers and emergency personnel still struggling to escape from that second tower. Does my “projection,” however horrible, make ME a terrorist, tower-toppler, and mass murderer?

And, um, Charles, you might lift your sights from cliched evolution-bashing JUST long enough to recognize what is, in fact, STILL happening to chimpanzee, gorilla, and orangutang populations as their habitat is destroyed by farmers and their bodies are butchered by poachers and sold as “bush meat.”

You might also look up what, in fact, did happen to the aboriginal population of Tasmania. Or study the interaction of the dominant Euro-Australians with that continent’s native peoples (et al, et nauseum).

I assume, of course, that you don’t REALLY need to look any of these things up to realize that Darwin’s observations and projections were imbued with a tragic degree of accuracy (just as you perhaps might have assumed that we didn’t really need YOUR assistance to become acquainted with these developments).

The point, perhaps now made clear enough even for you, is simple: observing and reporting on an unfortunate trend does NOT mean that the observer/reporter intends, encourages, or applauds the trend. Were it otherwise, of course, then–since YOU have yourself come here to report to us your astonishing observation that European colonialism and expansion led to “racist” and “genocidal” results–would we not be forced to apply those same labels to YOU?

What’s not at all clear to me is why you would need to come here to be informed of the rather obvious and long-known adage that the messenger is not the message.

And, as long as you’re furrowing your brow, you might also consider whether some of Darwin’s other observations and projections were not just as accurate as the ones you have parodied.

Comment #42429

Posted by Miah on August 12, 2005 1:55 PM (e)

dayum, Steviepinhead, You GO!!!

Excellent replies.

Comment #42486

Posted by steve on August 12, 2005 6:11 PM (e)

And finally to Steve. I was pointing out the irony that you were speaking about my level of education and you used poor grammer to do it. “The level of learning you’ve GOT”. Try “The level of learning you have” next time you feel like you have successfully gaged my education by my few brief comments.

Have a nice day everyone.

I often speak in a southern accent/dialect. (Usually the very pretty Valdosta one) “you’ve got” is pretty common here. You bet my english is imperfect. And so I don’t go to english websites and try to tell the experts how to talk. You however, with a pretty low level of science education–looks to me like middle-school or high-school biology was all you had, if that–will come here and hold forth on abiogenesis and evolution to an audience of people with science degrees. Like I said, if you really want to understand these topics, you have to study them first.

Comment #42488

Posted by steve on August 12, 2005 6:14 PM (e)

By the way, Chuck, if you want to criticise my english, at least spell grammar correctly.

Comment #42496

Posted by Lenny's Pizza Boy on August 12, 2005 6:25 PM (e)

And, Chuck, I deliberately went to high school as little as I possibly could. You think I drive this little car with the big sign on top because I like it?

But, uh, even I can spell “gauged.”

Or were you going for “gagged”?

Yeah, yeah, Lenny, I’m comin’! Cool your dang jets!

Comment #42499

Posted by steve on August 12, 2005 6:27 PM (e)

By the way #2, chuck, you continue to hammer on the racism you believe is in “Darwinism”. If you bothered to check the link I provided the first time, you would see that your objections have been dealt with there.

CA005. Evolution is racist.

* CA005.1. Darwin himself was racist.
* CA005.2. Darwin’s work refers to “preservation of favoured races”.
* CA005.3. T. H. Huxley was racist.

How could that be? How could some biologists have anticipated your objections? Because nothing you creationists say is new. Creationists have tried several hundred arguments against evolution, as you can see from my link. Whenever a creationist like yourself shows up, we know we’re in for a dozen or so old uninformed objections, we just hope that the creationist knows a little something and can make it interesting.

Comment #42508

Posted by Steviepinhead on August 12, 2005 6:48 PM (e)

Miah:

scuffs toe in dirt. blushes: “Aw shucks, ma’am.”

Comment #42519

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on August 12, 2005 7:33 PM (e)

Charles Yeager Wrote:

Please refresh my memory. What “God” have I spoken about and what did I say about him/her/it? I don’t remember expressing a personal opinion about any god/God.

Sorry.

Don’t be sorry. Yeager is bullshitting you. The “I didn’t say anything about God” is pure unadulterated standard Discovery Institute boilerplate.

Ask Yeager if it wasn’t God that designed humans, then what was it. Little green men?

Comment #42520

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on August 12, 2005 7:35 PM (e)

Yeah, yeah, Lenny, I’m comin’! Cool your dang jets!

Don’t forget the beer.

And don’t DRINK any of it this time, dammit.

Comment #42539

Posted by ts on August 12, 2005 8:40 PM (e)

KiwiInOz wrote:

A number of authors, e.g. ts, have stated here that different species cannot interbreed.

I noted that “whatever we write, it’s shorthand. There’s a much more extensive discussion at the faq-speciation page”.

Charles Yeager wrote:

Darwinism at it’s origin was racist.

That’s a bit like saying that American law was racist at its origin. Regardless of whether Darwin expressed racist views of his time, they are no part of modern evolutionary theory.

next time you feel like you have successfully gaged my education by my few brief comments.

It’s about “gaging” (sic) your level of education in biology and evolution, not “grammer” (sic).
And “The level of learning you have” doesn’t become ungrammatical by appending “got”, even if it violates Strunk and White.

Flint wrote:

Although ts and I tend to agree except occasionally when the conversation wanders into an area far more my specialty than his.

The difference between us is that I would have put a smiley on that.

Comment #42640

Posted by Miah on August 13, 2005 2:13 PM (e)

Steviepinhead wrote:

“Aw shucks, ma’am.”

Miah is not a ma’am, Miah is short for Jeremiah. So to clarify…I am a Sir.

But no harm done, I am not offended or anything like that. No apologies needed.

Was rather funny though…LOL

'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank wrote:

Don’t be sorry. Yeager is bullshitting you.

Yes sir, I am well aware of that. Still it is not correct of me to assume anything based on his implications…No matter how explicit those implications may be. Otherwise one runs into putting words in people’s mouths.

This is a question way off topic for this thread, but I still haven’t figured out when you use (sic); what does that mean?

Another question to all who care to answer: Has anyone of the authors here in support of evolution went to a creastionist blog or forum to post arguments in favor of evolution?

It seems to me that if these people REALLY wanted to understand the truth of what they are criticising, then they would go to “the horses mouth” persay to ask. However, maybe my logic is flawed.

Comment #42658

Posted by SEF on August 13, 2005 2:54 PM (e)

(sic) is something you add to point out that you are faithfully copying an error in the original you are quoting rather than introducing one (Latin = “so” as in English “just so”). It’s a warning which may also be viewed as a “don’t blame me” or “look at the idiot” depending.

Comment #42668

Posted by ts on August 13, 2005 3:30 PM (e)

(sic) is something you add to point out that you are faithfully copying an error in the original you are quoting rather than introducing one

It means “this is intentional” or “this may look like me making a mistake, but it’s not” – not necessarily an intentional repetition of an error, but it can also be applied, say, to a pun.

Comment #42670

Posted by SEF on August 13, 2005 3:37 PM (e)

I’ve only rarely used it myself for puns and found that people tend not to understand what it means. It’s kind of hopeless sign-posting a tiny inline joke and then having to explain that you’ve sign-posted a joke (in a way which is larger than the joke). The poor little joke has been a bit squashed flat by the end of it. :-(

Comment #42673

Posted by Miah on August 13, 2005 3:53 PM (e)

Thank you ts and SEF for clearing that up. I was really scratching my head on that one.

Now those post from above make A LOT more sense.

Comment #42700

Posted by steve on August 13, 2005 5:23 PM (e)

Somewhere I remember seeing a list of statements which indicate the writer is a crank. I suggest we add the following abiogenesis-related statement to that list.

This new life would have to be able to eat chemicals since there is nothing biological to eat.

Comment #43121

Posted by Miah on August 15, 2005 2:17 PM (e)

I agree, this person doesn’t obviously understand the basic function of digestion or “eating”.

To get started:

http://home.howstuffworks.com/food.htm

http://science.howstuffworks.com/venus-flytrap.htm

http://kidshealth.org/kid/body/digest_noSW.html