PvM posted Entry 1433 on September 1, 2005 11:13 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/1429

On Telic Thoughts, Salvador makes the following (self defeating) comment, in response to the statement by David Schweingruber that:

David Schweingruber wrote:

So Iowa State has one thing in common with unaccredited Bible colleges and medieval heresy tribunals – our Bible scholars think they can tell our astronomers how to do their jobs.

And now Sal

Salvador wrote:

Ouch! That’s about good a slam down as I’ve ever seen!

I guess this means we can safely reject the comments and objections from ID creationists like Meyer on for instance the Cambrian. After all Meyer has degrees in physics, geology and the History and Philosophy of Science. Should we now let physicists or geologists decide how biologists do their job?

Or what about Dembski, who holds degrees in philosophy, psychology, theology and mathematics? Why should we take him serious on issues of human evolution for instance? You get the point I hope.

Of course [the reality is that science did not reject their comments because of their background] their arguments were rejected on scientific terms and shown to be mostly scientifically vacuous, irrelevant or plain out wrong.
At least David Schweingruber got one thing right namely that contrary to the claims by Gonzalez, Gonzalez was not the target of the petition.

Schweingruber wrote:

I suggest discerning followers of the Iowa State Intelligent Design controversy actually read the anti-Intelligent Design petition in question. The petition doesn’t even mention Guillermo Gonzalez, who, according to many media accounts, is the target.

Strangely enough Sal seems to forget about the rebuttals by Patterson of the work by Gonzalez.

Patterson, who has written a review of the book and will present a scientific critique of it and intelligent design on Thursday, said he enjoyed “The Privileged Planet.”

“The book is rich with good science in it,” he said.

But, he said, the intentions of many intelligent design theorists were clear.

“It is a religious apologetic disguised as science,” he said.

Not to mention the in depth rebuttals presented here on Panda’s Thumb.

Or the arguments presented by Del Ratzsch. One does not have to be an astrophysicist to recognize the fundamental flaws in the “logic”.

What he and Richards argue in the book and Ratzsch will say Tuesday is that categorically eliminating those explanations is a mistake.

Let me point out that David Schweingruber’s ‘argument’ is missing the point as Avalos is not telling astronomers how to do their jobs. Avalos is merely pointing out that Gonzalez et al’s thesis conclusions are based on flawed logic although the science may be overall quite enjoyable.

Thus when Schweingruber comments

“What is Avalos’ objection to Gonzalez’s work? He told The Des Moines Register that knows Intelligent Design is religion and not science because, “I’m a biblical scholar”.

he fails to represent Avalos’s argument accurately. But Schweingruber also undermines his own argument, namely that sociologists should not be telling theologists how to do their job either.

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Comment #46166

Posted by Stuart Weinstein on September 2, 2005 6:17 AM (e)

Doesn’t IOWA stand for idiots out wandering about?

:-)

Comment #46170

Posted by Edin Najetovic on September 2, 2005 7:30 AM (e)

Not wanting to sound like a spoilsport, but what do Salvador’s comments and their implications have to do with a general refutation of the ‘theories’ of ID in whatever form? I know ID is vacuous, as has been reasonably exposited here multiple times now, but arguments such as these do not really help the general cause of trying to eradicate them from underneath the science label. These arguments reek heavily of ad hominem to me… Discrediting scientists does not help in discrediting theories.

Comment #46178

Posted by minimalist on September 2, 2005 7:59 AM (e)

I have to agree with Edin. I’d much rather see PT entries dealing with actual news and substantive debates, rather than ‘gotcha’ moments like this. It just looks petty, and that’s not necessary when we’ve got the science on our side. Leave the sniping to Dembski.

Comment #46181

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on September 2, 2005 8:27 AM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'kwickxml'

Comment #46182

Posted by Ricardo Azevedo on September 2, 2005 8:43 AM (e)

I have to add to the spoilsporting, but I feel quite strongly about this. In science, the validity of an argument has nothing to do with the background or credentials of its proponent. For example, biology benefited immensely from an influx of researchers from the physical sciences in the early days of molecular biology.

Comment #46185

Posted by Salvador T. Cordova on September 2, 2005 10:11 AM (e)

minimalist wrote:

I have to agree with Edin. I’d much rather see PT entries dealing with actual news and substantive debates, rather than ‘gotcha’ moments like this. It just looks petty, and that’s not necessary when we’ve got the science on our side. Leave the sniping to Dembski.

Us lowly YECs have the worst reputation in the world, and I was simply amused that the atheist professor of religion, Avalos, was being equated with a YEC. That was just too funny. I mean, that’s as big a put down as it gets for someone like him.

In regard to the content of PandasThumb, I would like to see more vitriol and anti-Christian ad hominem rants like what we see at Pharyngula and infidels.org. The last thing I want to see here is a civilized discourse.

Given the population demographics of roughly

50% creationists
38% theistic evolutionists
12% atheistic darwinists

the anti-religious, anti-Christian ad hominems at PT are a valuable marketing tool for the wedge.

The vitriolic ad-hominem attack on creationists alone is highly valuable in as much as these are targeted to the rising number of creationist in the scientific disciplines like biology. Such Pharygula/style rhetoric has been they source of inspiration on the campuses. So keep up the good work at PT, and keep fanning the flames of the wedge….

You guys don’t realize how easy you make my job. Here is the equivalent of what I might say (exaggerated to get my point across.

Dear freshman chemistry/biology major who is aspiring to become a doctor, physical therapist, or bio tecnologist. I commend the fact you came from a nice protestant family with a protestant medical doctor/first class heart surgeon for a dad (over 50% of protestant physcians reject Darwinism).

Do you see what those Darwinists are saying about people like your daddy, the godly heart surgeon who saves peoples lives? Do you see what hard core Darwinists really are like and what they say about you and your dad on the internet.

Atheistic Darwinists are out to destroy your Christian beliefs, they call your daddy an idiot and lunatic, they say they want to beat your daddy with brass knuckles and steel-toed boots. Just go over to Pharyngula and see for yourself. They want your school teacher mommy to be fired and publicly humiliated. Visit PandasThumb to hear more of the same……

I commend the fact you got a scholarship to James Madison University where the acceptance rate from chem/bio majors to medical school is 98%. I expect you’ll graduate with honors and follow in your daddy’s footsteps.

Will you consider helping me get the message out that biology speaks of a great Designing Intelligence and show the world your daddy was right about the fact God created life?

PS
hey PvM, thanks for linking to my writings here at PT, I appreciate it bud

Comment #46187

Posted by Alan on September 2, 2005 10:37 AM (e)

Salvador T. Cordova wrote:

Given the population demographics of roughly

50% creationists
38% theistic evolutionists
12% atheistic darwinists

the anti-religious, anti-Christian ad hominems at PT are a valuable marketing tool for the wedge.

Should you not qualify this with “in the USA”? The Southern Baptist Creationist/ID worldview does not seem to export well.

Comment #46188

Posted by 'Rev Dr" Lenny Flank on September 2, 2005 10:48 AM (e)

In regard to the content of PandasThumb, I would like to see more vitriol and anti-Christian ad hominem rants like what we see at Pharyngula and infidels.org. The last thing I want to see here is a civilized discourse.

Me, I’d like to see creationists and IDers answer questions that are put to them.

But, alas, they don’t seem to have the ping-pongs for it.

Comment #46189

Posted by 'Rev Dr" Lenny Flank on September 2, 2005 10:50 AM (e)

the anti-religious, anti-Christian ad hominems at PT are a valuable marketing tool for the wedge.

Remember, everyone, ID doesn’t have anything to do with religion or apologetics. Anything AT ALL. (wink wink)

Anyone still wonder why we think IDers are nothing but dishonest evasive liars?

Sal, any chance we could get you to testify for our side in Dover?

Comment #46190

Posted by PvM on September 2, 2005 10:53 AM (e)

Sal wrote:

hey PvM, thanks for linking to my writings here at PT, I appreciate it bud

No problem Sal, your contributions always rank high on my list. After all how better to fight ID :-)

Edin Najetovic wrote:

Not wanting to sound like a spoilsport, but what do Salvador’s comments and their implications have to do with a general refutation of the ‘theories’ of ID in whatever form?

It doesn’t but it shows the shallowness of thought amongst some of the more vocal ID proponents. The more ID is exposed, the worse it will do. The recent comments by Bush, the overselling of ID by many of its proponents, it’s all coming back to bite them as they have failed to overlook a simple aspect:

A scientific theory of ID.

And among the people who come to realize this are an increasing number of creationists. As a Christian myself who has no problems reconciling faith and science, I find this comforting.

Comment #46193

Posted by PvM on September 2, 2005 11:02 AM (e)

Ricardo Azevedo wrote:

I have to add to the spoilsporting, but I feel quite strongly about this. In science, the validity of an argument has nothing to do with the background or credentials of its proponent. For example, biology benefited immensely from an influx of researchers from the physical sciences in the early days of molecular biology.

Then we agree? The quote I was responding to “So Iowa State has one thing in common with unaccredited Bible colleges and medieval heresy tribunals – our Bible scholars think they can tell our astronomers how to do their jobs.” is wrong for many reasons.

Lenny Flank wrote:

Me, I’d like to see creationists and IDers answer questions that are put to them.

That would be the day… ID proponents have ignored such questions long enough to be stuck in this situation of ID being scientifically vacuous, and for various reasons often theologically risky. I can understand why a YEC-er would be attracted to such a position though. But at what cost to science and faith…

The recent surge of op-eds, letters to the editors, by everyday people, rejecting intelligent design as scientifically vacuous (and often theologically poorly developed), is something which as a Christian and as a scientist gives me the strength needed to continue the work here at PT. While some may prefer “actual news and substantive debates”, it’s hard to get ID proponents to debate their faith. The news aspect of this posting is to address both a response by an ISU sociology professor to the letter signed by over 120 people as well as the common response of some vocal ID proponents to the news. And the news has not been that good lately…

Having seen the ‘depth of arguments’ at telic thoughts, has led me to conclude that providing links to its content can only serve the scientific cause. ;-)

Comment #46201

Posted by steve on September 2, 2005 11:17 AM (e)

Ah, salvador mentions the wedge. Let’s take a look at the Wedge Document:

GOALS

Governing Goals

* To defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies.
* To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and hurnan beings are created by God….
To see intelligent design theory as the dominant perspective in science.

So materialistic sciences like meteorology need to shed their vile materialistic explanations and get some theistic understanding, eh? I’m game, Sal. Fill us in. What’s the theologically enhanced understanding of, say, Hurricane Katrina. Those deficient, methodological scientists merely talk about winds and levees, water temperature, and feet below sea level. Give us some of the good stuff Salvador. What’s the theistic insights about the disaster you’d like to add? What does your soon-to-be-dominant perspective contribute?

Comment #46202

Posted by Steverino on September 2, 2005 11:32 AM (e)

Since Sal’s big on numbers and percentages…

Creation/ID:
99% BS
1% Scientific Data

You have managed to convince everyone in the trailor parks but, I think you will find the rest of the world may be more difficult.

Comment #46203

Posted by drtomaso on September 2, 2005 11:49 AM (e)

Stuart Weinstein wrote:

Doesn’t IOWA stand for idiots out wandering about?

Actually, I had always heard it stood for I Owe the World an Apology.

Comment #46204

Posted by Bing on September 2, 2005 11:53 AM (e)

quote Salvador T. =”Given the population demographics of roughly

50% creationists
38% theistic evolutionists
12% atheistic darwinists

the anti-religious, anti-Christian ad hominems at PT are a valuable marketing tool for the wedge.”>

And again with the demographics and marketing strategies. This is not the newest Tide Detergent - Now with active Stain Lifter Sal, or is it? Should we be informing school boards that despite protestations that ID is a legitimate science and not religion, it’s really a socio-political and religious product?

Comment #46206

Posted by Miah on September 2, 2005 12:05 PM (e)

Steverino:

I think you are being too generous on the Scientific Data for Creation/ID.

I however don’t appreciate the hasty generalization fallacy where you attribute everyone in the trailor parks as buying in to Creation/ID. It is rude, dishonest, and unwelcomed. I would kindly request an apology.

Not everyone that lives in trailer parks is stupid…as your statement implies.

Ricardo Azevedo wrote:

I have to add to the spoilsporting, but I feel quite strongly about this. In science, the validity of an argument has nothing to do with the background or credentials of its proponent.

I am not sure I agree 100% with you on this. Authough the logical fallacy of Appeal to Authority would disagree with your statement, I believe that the fallcy of an ad hominem attack would agree.

I don’t think it is wrong of a person unrelated in education to the field of biology to have a theory in biology, as long as this theory can hold up to biological scientific scruitiny. However I do think it is wrong of a person unrealted in education to the field of biology to keep insisting their theory is valid, when it has been shown by those specialist that they are misinformed, or just plain wrong.

Comment #46207

Posted by Mythos on September 2, 2005 12:09 PM (e)

One of the difficulties I have with ID is that it (unwittingly?) attempts to ride the fence between intelligent cause(s) and materialism.

In the first book of the Metaphysics Aristotle writes:

For Anaxagoras uses intelligence as a deus ex machina for the making of the world, and when he is at a loss to tell from what cause something necessarily is, then he drags intelligence in, but in all other cases ascribes events to anything rather than to intelligence.

Anaxagoras, it seems, was the first God-of-the-gaps proponent. And to that extent, he and Behe, for example, are cut from the same cloth.

Comment #46208

Posted by Ricardo Azevedo on September 2, 2005 12:13 PM (e)

PvM wrote:

Then we agree? The quote I was responding to “So Iowa State has one thing in common with unaccredited Bible colleges and medieval heresy tribunals – our Bible scholars think they can tell our astronomers how to do their jobs.” is wrong for many reasons.

Yes, we agree – I should have read your post carefully to the end. I did not spot the sarcasm in the portion I read…

Comment #46209

Posted by qetzal on September 2, 2005 12:18 PM (e)

Salvador T. Cordova wrote:

The vitriolic ad-hominem attack on creationists alone is highly valuable in as much as these are targeted to the rising number of creationist in the scientific disciplines like biology. [emphasis added]

I’ve seen the italicized claim made repeatedly by creationists & IDers around here. My guess is it’s bogus. Possibly the numbers are increasing simply as the total number of biologists increases, but I doubt there’s any fractional increase. (If anything, I’d like to think there’s been a fractional decrease, but maybe that’s too optimistic.)

How about it, STC? Any data to back this up?

Comment #46210

Posted by Salvador T. Cordova on September 2, 2005 12:25 PM (e)

For example, biology benefited immensely from an influx of researchers from the physical sciences in the early days of molecular biology.

Here, here. And biology will benefit as more ID leaning engineers get involved in helping elucidate biology from a systems and software perspective.

And biology will have more and more researchers available as the formerly marginalized creationists join the ranks. Why, have you seen the skyrocketing enrollments in biology since the advent of the ID in the 90’s? This is correlated with the de-emphais of Darwinian evolution.

Where the USA is struggling is in the ranks of Engineers, Physicists, Chemists, etc., not biologists. These are areas where Darwinism is nothing but a useless impediment anyway.

Why last night I was talking to some sophomores in computer engineering. I said, “did you know that biological systems are rich in software. You all know how hard it is to write software. Do you think the software in biology, like the 3 giga base-pairs of DNA in humans was just an accident. Do you think Darwinian evolution could do that?”

They said, “No way!”

Heartwarming to see that these young science students can think logically.

Salvador

Comment #46212

Posted by Ricardo Azevedo on September 2, 2005 12:25 PM (e)

Miah wrote:

I am not sure I agree 100% with you on this. Authough the logical fallacy of Appeal to Authority would disagree with your statement, I believe that the fallcy of an ad hominem attack would agree.

(I don’t know if I agree 100% with anything I say…) I’m not sure how you came to your first conclusion. I was actually spelling out the “Appeal to Authority” fallacy.

Miah wrote:

I don’t think it is wrong of a person unrelated in education to the field of biology to have a theory in biology, as long as this theory can hold up to biological scientific scruitiny.

Sure. I’m just warning against arguments which emphasize Meyer’s or Dembski’s lack of training in biology. Their ideas are rubbish, but it’s not (only) because of their training. Note that Dembski routinely challenges his critics’ mathematical credentials, when they raise perfectly reasonable objections to his arguments. It’s that kind of behavior we should avoid.

Comment #46213

Posted by Steverino on September 2, 2005 12:34 PM (e)

Posted by Miah on September 2, 2005 12:05 PM (e) (s)

“Steverino:

I think you are being too generous on the Scientific Data for Creation/ID.

I however don’t appreciate the hasty generalization fallacy where you attribute everyone in the trailor parks as buying in to Creation/ID. It is rude, dishonest, and unwelcomed. I would kindly request an apology.

Not everyone that lives in trailer parks is stupid…as your statement implies.”

My deepest apologies….How can I make it up to all those wonderfully mobile homesteaders….Perhaps a weekend pass to Kent Hovind’s Dino Land!, Home of the Fire Breathing Dino!???

Comment #46214

Posted by Salvador T. Cordova on September 2, 2005 12:38 PM (e)

the rising number of creationist in the scientific disciplines like biology.

General enrollments had been up in 1997. Any on is welcome to post more recent numbers.

http://biowww.clemson.edu/biolab/enrollNSF.html

Unless the enrollment rise is due only to Darwinists enrolling, then there has been a rise in the number of creationists enrolling. That makes demographic sense. It is an inference. I guess we’ll see where we are a decade from now.

I do know in a poll that many biology majors at James Madison might be interested in learning about intelligent design. It does not mean they are creationists nor IDists, but I would consider them as potential for becoming ID sympathizers. Our sample size was too small to make a good reading on the bio majors, so a further poll would be a good idea.

However, the fact 37% of physcians reject Darwinian evolution, many who are bio majors, it’s hard to make the case that there are only small numbers of bio majors who reject Darwinian evolution.

Heartwarming to see so many physicians (like Senate Majority Leader Frist of Harvard Medical School) survived the attempted brainwashing and indoctrination. The intelligent design in nature will not be held captive to stacked peer-reviewed committees bent on perpetuating Darwin’s unscientific and failed theories.

Comment #46215

Posted by Ricardo Azevedo on September 2, 2005 12:43 PM (e)

Salvador wrote:

And biology will benefit as more ID leaning engineers get involved in helping elucidate biology from a systems and software perspective.

And biology will have more and more researchers available as the formerly marginalized creationists join the ranks. Why, have you seen the skyrocketing enrollments in biology since the advent of the ID in the 90’s? This is correlated with the de-emphais of Darwinian evolution.

This is wishful thinking at best. Biology has been on the rise for decades, and the “de-emphasis of Darwinian evolution” has got nothing to do with it. Anyone who can argue that the explosion of molecular data (to name one of the main developments) since the early 80s has weakened evolutionary biology must be living in an alternative reality. Real biologists, know better…

Salvador wrote:

Where the USA is struggling is in the ranks of Engineers, Physicists, Chemists, etc., not biologists. These are areas where Darwinism is nothing but a useless impediment anyway.

Nonsense. The physical sciences are struggling to recruit people in Europe as well…

Salvador wrote:

Why last night I was talking to some sophomores in computer engineering. I said, “did you know that biological systems are rich in software. You all know how hard it is to write software. Do you think the software in biology, like the 3 giga base-pairs of DNA in humans was just an accident. Do you think Darwinian evolution could do that?”

They said, “No way!”

Heartwarming to see that these young science students can think logically.

You’re deluding yourself. Wait until they learn about genetic algorithms. In my experience, computer scientists are actually some of the best equipped to get evolutionary ideas – and I have had several computer science graduates working in my lab on computational evolutionary biology. Many more are helping fuel the bioinformatics explosion – one where evolutionary biology has had a strong influence. Show me a single example of ID-inspired bioinformatics!

Comment #46217

Posted by Ric Frost on September 2, 2005 12:46 PM (e)

steve wrote:

So materialistic sciences like meteorology need to shed their vile materialistic explanations and get some theistic understanding, eh? I’m game, Sal. Fill us in. What’s the theologically enhanced understanding of, say, Hurricane Katrina.

Legalized prostitution
Mardi Gras

The Big Easy is just a 21st Century Sodom, although God’s aim seems to have deteriorated since Old Testament times. And don’t concern yourself with the collateral damage; that’s never been high on God’s list of concerns (see Noah’s Flood).

Simple.

And we know good Christian folk like it simple….

Comment #46218

Posted by Paul Flocken on September 2, 2005 12:46 PM (e)

Salvador wrote:

Atheistic Darwinists are out to destroy your Christian beliefs

Salvador, atheists are not roaming the world trying to burn down churches every chance they get. Christianity on the other hand has a notable penchant, in its history, for torches at dusk. The loss to the world, and archaeology in particular, of our collective history has been immense. I’d be willing to trade your beliefs for that history.

insincerely,

Comment #46219

Posted by Jim Harrison on September 2, 2005 12:47 PM (e)

In his comments on Anaxagoras and Aristotle, Mythos actually engages in a bit of quote mining. (Just kidding.) Aristotle’s objection to Anaxagoras was that he only brought in intelligence to explain the making of the world instead of being consistent and seeing it at work in everything as Aristotle himself did. Indeed, a page before the quote about God on the Machine, Aristotle wrote “When one man said that reason was present–as in animals, so throughtout nature–as the cause of the world and of all its order, he seemed like a sober man in contrast with the random talk of his predecessors. We know that Anaxagoras certainly adopted these views…”[trans. W.D. Ross]

We’re always bitching about the absence of a theory of ID. Aristotle’s biology shows what such a theory might be like, consistent, perceptive, but obviously wrong. On the other hand, Darwin once commented, “We’re all schoolboys to old Aristotle” so he at least found something useful in the master of those who know.

Comment #46221

Posted by Alan on September 2, 2005 12:49 PM (e)

I do know in a poll that many biology majors at James Madison might be interested in learning about intelligent design.

As would we all, Dr Cordova. Would you like to enlighten us as to the theory of intelligent design and what it can contribute to the better undestanding of Biology. Please feel free to expound.

Comment #46222

Posted by steve on September 2, 2005 12:52 PM (e)

* To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and hurnan beings are created by God….
To see intelligent design theory as the dominant perspective in science.

Come on, Salvador. Materialistic explanations have been given for Hurricane Katrina. What’s your ‘theistic understanding’ have to add to the cause of the hurricane?

Comment #46224

Posted by Steverino on September 2, 2005 12:54 PM (e)

Sal baby, if I might call you Sal… many years ago, it was a widely held belief that anyone suffering seizures was thought to be possessed or suffering the wrath of God. Today, however, we know by not giving into the “God of the Gaps” type thinking that those seizures are not the wrath of God or Deamons, but actually something medical.
Pretty cool, huh? Don’t you love it when we are able to learn the truth about something…figure something out???

Now imagine if we had all given into that desire to just write if off as “God”…where would we be?

Comment #46225

Posted by GT(N)T on September 2, 2005 12:54 PM (e)

“And biology will have more and more researchers available as the formerly marginalized creationists join the ranks.”

Salvador, are you saying there are actual researchers among creationists? That’s good news! Maybe one of them will be kind enough to respond to Lenny’s questions concering the ‘theory’ of intelligent design and to detail the hypotheses IDers are testing.

Comment #46226

Posted by Salvador T. Cordova on September 2, 2005 12:55 PM (e)

Here is a more recent survey. Look at the “The recent sharp, decade-long rise in biology majors”

Science Magazine

That survey was 2003, the decade rise is thus statistically correlated with the rise of ID. I think the rise of ID is the symptom of a greater knowledge of the complexity of biology. Darwinism is being run over by the Complexity Steamroller.

Of course, you all are free to believe ID’s rise is because of Wedge Marketing, or you can face it, the facts are running over Darwinist peer-review comittees. They better get their act together because they are losing credebility in the public’s eye and in the eyes of aspiring science students.

Salvador

Comment #46227

Posted by steve on September 2, 2005 12:58 PM (e)

(Ric: I know that’s what the wackos say. http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=46076 . I just want to see Salvador pretend that’s science. And for more amusing wacko nonsense, read this: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=46090 )

Comment #46228

Posted by Salvador T. Cordova on September 2, 2005 1:05 PM (e)

You’re deluding yourself. Wait until they learn about genetic algorithms.

Yes, and are those algorithims implemented through a sofware engineer (a designer) where the selection forces are carefully and intelligently design to create appropreate feed back or are the selection forces the product of random undirected forces.

Comment #46229

Posted by Salvador T. Cordova on September 2, 2005 1:12 PM (e)

Anyone who can argue that the explosion of molecular data (to name one of the main developments) since the early 80s has weakened evolutionary biology must be living in an alternative reality.

And we’re beginning to see in addition to morphological convergence, molecular convergence, and hence were seeing the absolute circularity of reasoning that “similarity of molecules” means common ancestry.

Even on the assumption of common ancestry, it does not account for the complexity seen in biotic reality. We are seeing convergent complexities not attributable to common ancestry.

Comment #46230

Posted by Steviepinhead on September 2, 2005 1:13 PM (e)

I notice you still haven’t gotten around to answering Lenny’s questions, Sal.

Is that because you’re still sucking on that shoot of, um, bamboo?

Comment #46231

Posted by Steverino on September 2, 2005 1:21 PM (e)

“And biology will have more and more researchers available as the formerly marginalized creationists join the ranks. Why, have you seen the skyrocketing enrollments in biology since the advent of the ID in the 90’s? This is correlated with the de-emphais of Darwinian evolution.”

Isn’t this a same type of correlation expressed in the “Global Warming / Lack of Pirates” chart used to support the Flying Spaghetti Monster???

Comment #46233

Posted by Evil Monkey on September 2, 2005 1:41 PM (e)

Salvador Cordova wrote:

the anti-religious, anti-Christian ad hominems at PT are a valuable marketing tool for the wedge.

The vitriolic ad-hominem attack on creationists alone is highly valuable in as much as these are targeted to the rising number of creationist in the scientific disciplines like biology. Such Pharygula/style rhetoric has been they source of inspiration on the campuses. So keep up the good work at PT, and keep fanning the flames of the wedge….

You guys don’t realize how easy you make my job.

Yeah, sure beats the hell out of doing any actual lab work, doesn’t it?

Comment #46235

Posted by Evil Monkey on September 2, 2005 1:46 PM (e)

Salvador Cordova wrote:

That survey was 2003, the decade rise is thus statistically correlated with the rise of ID.

Herein lies the fallacy of the entire Intelligent Design movement.

Comment #46237

Posted by C.J.O'Brien on September 2, 2005 1:49 PM (e)

And biology will have more and more researchers available as the formerly marginalized creationists join the ranks. Why, have you seen the skyrocketing enrollments in biology since the advent of the ID in the 90’s? This is correlated with the de-emphais of Darwinian evolution.

Good ol’ Sal.
What, no skyrocketing of enrollments in Information Theory? No eager young Jesus-freaks desperate to join The Isaac Newton of that field in his triumphant Waterloo?
What does ID have to do with biology, Sal? What are all these new researchers going to do without a theoretical framework? Does Bible study count as “research”?
Hey, I know! Maybe the rise in biology enrollments has something to do with the sequencing of the genome, or the advent of stem-cell research?
Naahhh.

Comment #46238

Posted by Hyperion on September 2, 2005 1:53 PM (e)

Salvador Cordova wrote:

And biology will have more and more researchers available as the formerly marginalized creationists join the ranks. Why, have you seen the skyrocketing enrollments in biology since the advent of the ID in the 90’s? This is correlated with the de-emphais of Darwinian evolution.

This is a parody, right? You’re using socratic irony to make fun of creationists, right? This reminds me of Dave Barry’s sardonic comment a decade ago that the hole in the ozone layer had become progressively bigger as rap became more popular. Could the skyrocketing enrollments possibly have anything to do with the massive profit potential in biotechnology?

Why last night I was talking to some sophomores in computer engineering. I said, “did you know that biological systems are rich in software. You all know how hard it is to write software. Do you think the software in biology, like the 3 giga base-pairs of DNA in humans was just an accident. Do you think Darwinian evolution could do that?”

They said, “No way!”

Heartwarming to see that these young science students can think logically.

Yes, computer engineers train to observe, design, and repair human-engineered systems. They are not biologists, and their opinion on a biological theory is purely personal, not professional. Unless you think that we should have microbiologists working on mainframes and computer engineers monitoring microbial threats at CDC?

Unless the enrollment rise is due only to Darwinists enrolling, then there has been a rise in the number of creationists enrolling. That makes demographic sense. It is an inference. I guess we’ll see where we are a decade from now.

Wow. If I’d written this in a paper for Empirical Political Behavior, I’d have been told to find another major. You do understand how demographics work, right? A rise in absolute numbers without a demographic change is meaningless. What you are describing is a rise in overall numbers, not demographic change.

I’m 99.9% sure that you’re just being sarcastic, trying to get a good laugh, and that you don’t actually believe any of this.

Comment #46239

Posted by Miah on September 2, 2005 2:01 PM (e)

Ricardo Azevedo wrote:

(I don’t know if I agree 100% with anything I say…) I’m not sure how you came to your first conclusion. I was actually spelling out the “Appeal to Authority” fallacy.

Gotcha, I must admit that I am in the same boat. Hmmm…so it appears you were. Ok then, just chalk up what I said as a statement to the obvious then.

Ricardo Azevedo wrote:

(Note that Dembski routinely challenges his critics’ mathematical credentials, when they raise perfectly reasonable objections to his arguments. It’s that kind of behavior we should avoid.

I agree.

Steverino wrote:

My deepest apologies….How can I make it up to all those wonderfully mobile homesteaders….Perhaps a weekend pass to Kent Hovind’s Dino Land!, Home of the Fire Breathing Dino!???

No, you can stop with the hasty generalizations of attributing all “mobile homesteaders” as accepting the Creation/ID theory and thus implying that they are stupid, as you are still doing.

A simple and sincere apology would have been in order and thus accepted. But, you preferr to keep up this unwelcomed (I sincerely hope I’m not the only one here) behaviour, and I object to it. It serves no purpose to PT other than to sow discord and contempt.

Salvador:

There was a parallel discussion with regards to the genetic algorithims and apparent design features.

Please refer to the following:

http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2005/08/daniel_dennett.html#c46081

Then read on from there. It is actually quite interresting.

Comment #46241

Posted by Miah on September 2, 2005 2:10 PM (e)

Better Yet Salvador, here is the reader’s digest version of it:

It’s all affirmation of the consequent: We intentionally design artifacts best understood as information processing systems, many biological systems are best understood as information processing systems, therefore (fallaciously) biological systems are intentionally designed.

Comment #46242

Posted by qetzal on September 2, 2005 2:14 PM (e)

Salvador wrote:

Heartwarming to see that these young science students can think logically.

Which students were these? Certainly not the CE sophomores you described. If they could think logically, they would have spotted all the logical errors in your statements.

Biological systems are not equivalent to software. Any conclusions that assume they are are fallacious. Difficulties that humans may confront in writing computer software have no bearing on biological systems. DNA was not “just an accident;” that is a willful mischaracterization of what evolutionary theory claims.

And yes, current evolutionary theory is quite capable of explaining the 3 Gbp in humans. Not only can evolution do that, empirical evidence overwhelmingly indicates that it did do that.

P.S. Would you mind telling me where these sophomores go to school? If that’s a fair indication of their logical thinking skills, I’d like to be sure we never hire any of them.

P.P.S Re: “the rising number of creationists in the scientific disciplines like biology,” I figured you wouldn’t have any more basis than that. Sure, if biology enrollments are going up, then no doubt biology enrollments by creationists are also going up. As are, presumably, biology enrollments by Buddhists, Wiccans, Scientologists, Rastafarians, Pastafarians, Raelians, etc. Are we fanning the flames of their wedge strategies as well? Maybe their wedges will push yours aside. After all, their numbers are rising, right?

Comment #46243

Posted by DMA on September 2, 2005 2:25 PM (e)

Salvador T. Cordova wrote:

That survey was 2003, the decade rise is thus statistically correlated with the rise of ID. I think the rise of ID is the symptom of a greater knowledge of the complexity of biology.”

I can think of another, equally relevant statistical correlation. Namely the correlation between the declining number of pirates and global warming, with something about a Flying Spaghetti Monster thrown in for good measure. Seriously, that link you gave didn’t even mention Intelligent Design…although according to it there’s been a decline in Ph.D.’s: “The number of Ph.D.s in the physical sciences–astronomy, chemistry, and physics–has dropped by 14% since 1993.” Shall we call that statistically correlated with Intelligent Design as well? If not why not?

Comment #46245

Posted by roger tang on September 2, 2005 3:06 PM (e)

Yes, and are those algorithims implemented through a sofware engineer (a designer) where the selection forces are carefully and intelligently design to create appropreate feed back or are the selection forces the product of random undirected forces.

Are you still peddling this sloppy thinking? Because it’s irrelevant to the process.

Comment #46246

Posted by Adam Marczyk on September 2, 2005 3:07 PM (e)

Salvador Cordova wrote:

Yes, and are those algorithims implemented through a sofware engineer (a designer) where the selection forces are carefully and intelligently design to create appropreate feed back or are the selection forces the product of random undirected forces.

So you’re saying that God intelligently designed the physical laws that would make it possible for evolution to occur?

Comment #46247

Posted by Ed Darrell on September 2, 2005 3:12 PM (e)

I do know in a poll that many biology majors at James Madison might be interested in learning about intelligent design. It does not mean they are creationists nor IDists, but I would consider them as potential for becoming ID sympathizers. Our sample size was too small to make a good reading on the bio majors, so a further poll would be a good idea.

And yet ID advocates refuse to teach them. (See, for example, Guillermo Gonzalez’s statement earlier this week that he won’t teach ID at his school.)

Talk about censorship! And self-censorship, at that.

Of course, there is the very real danger that, as people become more acquainted with the fact that any page of an ID treatise has much more white space than gray space, they will understand ID is the intellectual and science equivalent of vapor ware. Is that why you guys won’t teach it?

Heck, Sal, I would love to learn more about intelligent design. But once Behe told me the test for design is “I know it when I see it,” the well of stuff from which to draw learning seemed to dry up.

So among the more effective challenges we can make to intelligent design is this: “I teach biology, Your Schoolboardship, and I have one question before you vote to require intelligent design be taught in our high schools: Where in the world can I get training to teach intelligent design, and will you guys please make sure we can all get that training before we teach it?”

Under such a standard, intelligent design will never be taught.

Comment #46248

Posted by Adam Marczyk on September 2, 2005 3:17 PM (e)

The vitriolic ad-hominem attack on creationists alone is highly valuable in as much as these are targeted to the rising number of creationist in the scientific disciplines like biology. Such Pharygula/style rhetoric has been they source of inspiration on the campuses. So keep up the good work at PT, and keep fanning the flames of the wedge…

You know the creationists’ persecution complex is out of control when the most damning evidence of oppression they can find are some uncomplimentary comments about them on a weblog.

To tell the truth, I don’t think the people who insult creationists are doing science’s cause any good, either, though I understand their frustration. However, I’ll take the freedom of speech on blogs like the Panda’s Thumb any day over creationist blogs that regularly censor comments, ban posters, and in general attempt to block out any remarks about them that are in any way less than sycophantic. Truth, some creationists even anonymously moderate debates in which they themselves are taking part.

Comment #46250

Posted by Steve LaBonne on September 2, 2005 3:19 PM (e)

Here, here. And biology will benefit as more ID leaning engineers get involved in helping elucidate biology from a systems and software perspective.

Yeah, like all those fancy Turing-type gradient theories in developmental biology. That panned out real well, snicker.

Comment #46252

Posted by 'Rev Dr" Lenny Flank on September 2, 2005 3:34 PM (e)

And biology will benefit as more ID leaning engineers get involved in helping elucidate biology from a systems and software perspective.

“Godly engineering”, Sal?

Hey Sal, the last dozen or so times you were here, you ran away without answering four simple questions I’ve asked of you. So I’ll ask again. And again and again and again and again, every time you show up here, until you either answer or run away. I want every lurker who comes in here to see that you are nothing but an evasive dishonest coward.

(1) what is the scientific theory of creation (or intelligent design) and how can we test it using the scientific method?

I do *NOT* want you to respond with a long laundry list of (mostly
inaccurate) criticisms of evolutionary biology. They are completely
irrelevant to a scientific theory of creation or intelligent design.
I want to see the scientific alternative that you are proposing—-
the one you want taught in public school science classes, the one
that creationists and intelligent design “theorists” testified under
oath in Arkansas, Louisiana, Kansas and elsewhere is SCIENCE and is
NOT based on religious doctrine. Let’s assume for the purposes of
this discussion that evolutionary biology is indeed absolutely
completely totally irretrievable unalterably irrevocably 100% dead
wrong. Fine. Show me your scientific alternative. Show me how your
scientific theory explains things better than evolutionary biology
does. Let’s see this superior “science” of yours.

Any testible scientific theory of creation should be able to provide
answers to several questions: (1) how did life begin, (3) how did the
current diversity of life appear, and (3) what mechanisms were used
in these processes and where can we see these mechanisms today.

Any testible scientific theory of intelligent design should be able
to give testible answers to other questions: (1) what exactly did
the Intelligent Designer(s) do, (2) what mechanisms did the
Designer(s) use to do whatever it is you think it did, (3) where can
we see these mechanisms in action today, and (4) what objective
criteria can we use to determine what entities are “intelligently
designed” and what entities aren’t (please illustrate this by
pointing to something that you think IS designed, something you think
is NOT designed, and explain how to tell the difference).

If your, uh, “scientific theory” isn’t able to answer any of these
questions yet, then please feel free to tell me how you propose to
scientifically answer them. What experiments or tests can we
perform, in principle, to answer these questions.

Also, since one of the criteria of “science” is falsifiability, I’d
like you to tell me how your scientific theory, whatever it is, can
be falsified. What experimental results or observations would
conclusively prove that creation/intelligent design did not happen.

Another part of the scientific method is direct testing. One does
not establish “B” simply by demonstrating that “A” did not happen. I
want you to demonstrate “B” directly. So don’t give me any “there
are only two choices, evolution or creation, and evolution is worng
so creation must be right” baloney. I will repeat that I do NOT want
a big long laundry list of “why evolution is wrong”. I don’t care
why evolution is wrong. I want to know what your alternative is, and
how it explains data better than evolution does.

I’d also like to know two specific things about this “alternative
scientific theory”: How old does “intelligent design/creationism theory” determine the universe to be. Is it millions of years old, or
thousands of years old. And does ‘intelligent design/creationism theory’ determine that humans have descended from apelike primates, or
does it determine that they have not.

I look forward to seeing your “scientific theories”. Unless of course you don’t HAVE any and are just lying to us when you claim to.

(2) According to this scientific theory of intelligent design, how old is the earth, and did humans descend from apelike primates or did they not?

(3) What, precisely, about “evolution” is any more “materialistic” than, say, weather forecasting or accident investigation or medicine. Please be as specific as possible.

I have never, in all my life, ever heard any weather forecaster mention “god” or “divine will” or any “supernatural” anything, at all. Ever. Does this mean, in your view, that weather forecasting is atheistic (oops, I mean, “materialistic” and “naturalistic” —- we don’t want any judges to think ID’s railing against “materialism” has any RELIGIOUS purpose, do we)?

I have yet, in all my 44 years of living, to ever hear any accifdent investigator declare solemnly at the scene of an airplane crash, “We can’t explain how it happened, so an Unknown Intelligent Being must have dunnit.” I have never yet heard an accident investigator say that “this crash has no materialistic causes — it must have been the Will of Allah”. Does this mean, in your view, that accident investigation is atheistic (oops, sorry, I meant to say “materialistic” and “naturalistic” — we don’t want any judges to know that it is “atheism” we are actually waging a religious crusade against, do we)?

How about medicine. When you get sick, do you ask your doctor to abandon his “materialistic biases” and to investigate possible “supernatural” or “non-materialistic” causes for your disease? Or do you ask your doctor to cure your naturalistic materialistic diseases by using naturalistic materialistic antibiotics to kill your naturalistic materialistic germs?

Since it seems to me as if weather forecasting, accident investigation, and medicine are every bit, in every sense,just as utterly completely totally absolutely one-thousand-percent “materialistic” as evolutionary biology is, why, specifically, is it just evolutionary biology that gets your panties all in a bunch? Why aren’t you and your fellow Wedge-ites out there fighting the good fight against godless materialistic naturalistic weather forecasting, or medicine, or accident investigation?

Or does that all come LATER, as part of, uh, “renewing our culture” … . . ?

(4) The most militant of the Ayatollah-wanna-be’s are the members of the “Reconstructionist” movement. The Reconstructionists were founded by Rouas J. Rushdoony, a militant fundamentalist who was instrumental in getting Henry Morris’s book The Genesis Flood published in 1961. According to Rushdoony’s view, the United States should be directly transformed into a theocracy in which the fundamentalists would rule directly according to the will of God. “There can be no separation of Church and State,” Rushdoony declares. (cited in Marty and Appleby 1991, p. 51) “Christians,” a Reconstructionist pamphlet declares, “are called upon by God to exercise dominion.” (cited in Marty and Appleby 1991, p. 50) The Reconstructionists propose doing away with the US Constitution and laws, and instead ruling directly according to the laws of God as set out in the Bible—they advocate a return to judicial punishment for religious crimes such as blasphemy or violating the Sabbath, as well as a return to such Biblically-approved punishments as stoning.

According to Rushdoony, the Second Coming of Christ can only happen after the “Godly” have taken over the earth and constructed the Kingdom of Heaven here: “The dominion that Adam first received and then lost by his Fall will be restored to redeemed Man. God’s People will then have a long reign over the entire earth, after which, when all enemies have been put under Christ’s feet, the end shall come.” (cited in Diamond, 1989, p. 139) “Christian Reconstructionism,” another pamphlet says, “is a call to the Church to awaken to its Biblical responsibility to subdue the earth for the glory of God … Christian Reconstructionism therefore looks for and works for the rebuilding of the institutions of society according to a Biblical blueprint.” (cited in Diamond 1989, p. 136) In the Reconstructionist view, evolution is one of the “enemies” which must be “put under Christ’s feet” if the godly are to subdue the earth for the glory of God.

In effect, the Reconstructionists are the “Christian” equivilent of the Taliban.

While some members of both the fundamentalist and creationist movements view the Reconstructionists as somewhat kooky, many of them have had nice things to say about Rushdoony and his followers. ICR has had close ties with Reconstructionists. Rushdoony was one of the financial backers for Henry Morris’s first book, “The Genesis Flood”, and Morris’s son John was a co-signer of several documents produced by the Coalition On Revival, a reconstructionist coalition founded in 1984. ICR star debater Duane Gish was a member of COR’s Steering Committee, as was Richard Bliss, who served as ICR’s “curriculum director” until his death. Gish and Bliss were both co-signers of the COR documents “A Manifesto for the Christian Church” (COR, July 1986), and the “Forty-Two Articles of the Essentials of a Christian Worldview” (COR,1989), which declares, “We affirm that the laws of man must be based upon the laws of God. We deny that the laws of man have any inherent authority of their own or that their ultimate authority is rightly derived from or created by man.” (“Forty-Two Essentials, 1989, p. 8). P>The Discovery Institute, the chief cheerleader for “intelligent design theory”, is particularly cozy with the Reconstructionists. The single biggest source of money for the Discovery Institute is Howard Ahmanson, a California savings-and-loan bigwig. Ahmanson’s gift of $1.5 million was the original seed money to organize the Center for Renewal of Science and Culture, the arm of the Discovery Institute which focuses on promoting “intelligent design theory” (other branches of Discovery Institute are focused on areas like urban transportation, Social Security “reform”, and (anti) environmentalist organizing).

Ahmanson is a Christian Reconstructionist who was long associated with Rushdooney, and who sat with him on the board of directors of the Chalcedon Foundation – a major Reconstructionist think-tank – for over 20 years, and donated over $700,000 to the Reconstructionists. Just as Rushdooney was a prime moving force behind Morris’s first book, “The Genesis Flood”, intelligent design “theorist” Phillip Johnson dedicated his book “Defeating Darwinism” to “Howard and Roberta” – Ahmanson and his wife. Ahmanson was quoted in newspaper accounts as saying, “My purpose is total integration of Biblical law into our lives.”

Ahmanson has given several million dollars over the past few years to anti-evolution groups (including Discovery Institute), as well as anti-gay groups, “Christian” political candidates, and funding efforts to split the Episcopalian Church over its willingness to ordain gay ministers and to other groups which oppose the minimum wage. He was also a major funder of the recent “recall” effort in California which led to the election of Terminator Arnie. Ahmanson is also a major funder of the effort for computerized voting, and he and several other prominent Reconstructionists have close ties with Diebold, the company that manufactures the computerized voting machines used. There has been some criticism of Diebold because it refuses to make the source code of its voting machine software available for scrutiny, and its software does not allow anyone to track voting after it is done (no way to confirm accuracy of the machine).

Some of Ahmanson’s donations are channeled through the Fieldstead Foundation, which is a subspecies of the Ahmanson foundation “Fieldstead” is Ahmanson’s middle name). The Fieldstead Foundation funds many of the travelling and speaking expenses of the DI’s shining stars.

Ahmanson’s gift of $1.5 million was the original seed money to organize the Center for Science and Culture, the arm of the Discovery Institute which focuses on promoting “intelligent design theory”. By his own reckoning, Ahmanson gives more of his money to the DI than to any other poilitically active group – only a museum trust in his wife’s hometown in Iowa and a Bible college in New Jersey get more. In 2004, he reportedly gave the Center another $2.8 million. Howard Ahamnson, Jr sits on the Board Directors of Discovery Institute.

Since then, as his views have become more widely known, Ahmanson has tried to backpeddle and present a kinder, gentler image of himself. However, his views are still so extremist that politicians have returned campaign contributions from Ahmanson once they learned who he was.

So it’s no wonder that the Discovery Institute is reluctant to talk about the funding source for its Intelligent Design campaign. Apparently, they are not very anxious to have the public know that most of its money comes from just one whacko billionnaire who has long advocated a political program that is very similar to that of the Islamic fundamentalists in Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran.

Do you repudiate the extremist views of the primary funder of the Center for (the Renewal of) Science and Culture, Howard Ahmanson, and if so, why do you keep taking his money anyway? And if you, unlike most other IDers, are not sucking at Ahmanson’s teats, I’d still like to know if you repudiate his extremist views.

Oh, and your latest round of blithering about “anti-God” and “anti-religion” prompts yet another question, Sal (which, of course, you also will not answer).

(5) Sal, you must KNOW that your ID heroes are in court right now
trying to argue that creationism/ID is SCIENCE and has NO RELIGIOUS
PURPOSE OR AIM. You must KNOW that if the courts rule that
creationism/ID is NOT science and IS nothing but religious doctrine,
then your ID crap will never see the inside of a science classroom. So
you must KNOW that every time you blither to us that creationism/ID
is all about God and faith and the Bible and all that, you are
UNDERMINING YOUR OWN HEROES by demonstrating, right here in public,
that your heroes are just lying under oath when they claim that
creationism/ID has NO religious purpose or aims.

So why the heck do you do it ANYWAY? Why the heck are you in here
yammering about religion when your own leaders are trying so
desperately to argue that ID/creationism is NOT about religion? Are
you really THAT stupid? Really and truly?

Why are you in here arguing that ID/creationism is all about God and the Bible, while Discovery Institute and other creationists are currently in Kansas and Dover arguing that ID/creationism is NOT all about God and the Bible?

Why are you **undercutting your own side**????????

I really truly want to know.

Comment #46258

Posted by darwinfinch on September 2, 2005 4:03 PM (e)

Sal said, “You guys don’t realize how easy you make my job.”

I sure I would like to see you do your job, once you get out of this evil-intended swindle calling itself “creationism” and find a REAL job, and I’m simply a teacher who would like not to be angry and worried about the machinations of twisted-till-evil, fear-filled, unprincipled, utterly dishonest, conniving, backstabbing, nutcase Xian fascists (and, be honest with yourself, your vision of the USA would be fascist, viewed by any outsider) like yourself.
I’m sure scientists would very much also like to get back to their jobs, which have proven interesting and useful to all, without your interference, feeble as it is, since being slapped with the shoestring of idiocy and misrepresentation does get annoying.

Five years back, I had assumed that the great majority of Creationists were people like myself: honest people with honest reasons for their beliefs, even when wrong. You and your mental (in both senses) mafia Brotherhood have shown me that the fundamentalist movement that Creationism spearheads is not “misguided” but consciously evil, with goals as un-human and insane as any that now exist on Earth.
Dear Sal, would you and your associates (I don’t believe liars or fanatics capable of friendship) please find HONEST work to do, and put that damned Bible down and do it.

Comment #46259

Posted by Paul Flocken on September 2, 2005 4:05 PM (e)

Salvador wrote:

That survey was 2003, the decade rise is thus statistically correlated with the rise of ID.

Hyperion beat me to it, but I wanted to say it a little differently, so what the hay:

The rise also correlates well with the explosive growth of the biotech industry and its consequent profitability. I’m sure you could find some students were motivated by a pious desire to find holy influence in evolution, but I’ll bet a whole lot more of them had their eye on their wallet. Like Lenny says, in any battle between god and mammon, bet on mammon.
Paul

Comment #46260

Posted by Salvador T. Cordova on September 2, 2005 4:13 PM (e)

qetzal said:

Which students were these? Certainly not the CE sophomores you described. If they could think logically, they would have spotted all the logical errors in your statements.

Biological systems are not equivalent to software. Any conclusions that assume they are are fallacious.

Hiya qetzal,

I take it you’re another member of of my anti-fan club at PT.

You misrepresented what I said. I said in Post 45210

Salvador’s insightful comment:

biological systems are rich in software.

Being rich in software is not the same as “being equivalent to software” any more than a man being rich with money is the same as a man being money!

Thus you simply put up a strawman argument.

Oh, by the way, what was the point of this thread? I want to get back on topic if we’re derailed here….

PS
Do any of you have any atheistic/Darwinistic rants that I can share with the reporter I’m seeing next Tuesday? You know, it’s all part of our well-oiled public relations campaign that got a presidential endorsement recently…

I’m trying to portray you guys in the most rephrensible light possible before those who are part of the 88% majority. Of course if you rant, you might offend the theists on this weblog as well as the very lurkers you might be trying to persuade. But that doesn’t seem to bother the management here too much…..

In lieu of that, can you point me to some links, preferably where a Darwinist/professor of biology who posts under his real name is absolutely foaming at the mouth so I can honestly quote-mine his pleadings for an inquisition? I’d really appreciate the help guys.

Comment #46261

Posted by Paul Flocken on September 2, 2005 4:16 PM (e)

PS Sal, I got NFL last night, started reading immediately, and already have lots of questions. Are you willing to give real answers to real questions. The first one being a question I already asked you. Is NFL complete, in-and-of itself, or should I have read another book first?
Paul

Comment #46262

Posted by natural cynic on September 2, 2005 4:28 PM (e)

Sal: “Why, have you seen the skyrocketing enrollments in biology since the advent of the ID in the 90’s? This is correlated with the de-emphais of Darwinian evolution.”

Maybe because they see a rich future in biotechnology, but that would be a materialistic explanation.

Sal: “However, the fact 37% of physcians reject Darwinian evolution…”

…because they haven’t bothered to pay attention to it because they have 60 hour work weeks.

Comment #46263

Posted by Salvador T. Cordova on September 2, 2005 4:33 PM (e)

Steve LaBonne:

Here, here. And biology will benefit as more ID leaning engineers get involved in helping elucidate biology from a systems and software perspective.

Yeah, like all those fancy Turing-type gradient theories in developmental biology. That panned out real well, snicker.

No, more like Convergence of Engineering and Biology

Systems biology has intellectual roots in ideas that developed in the first half of the 20th century. It draws on the concepts of homeostasis, the tendency of organisms to maintain stability by constantly adjusting to their environment, and of cybernetics, which stresses the similarity between manmade and natural information-based control and feedback systems. As a practical research endeavor, it is much newer…..
the time is right for systems biology. “Biologists need engineers and engineers need biologists,” he says.

Or how about this from the IEEE:
Two Operative Concepts for the Post Genomic Era

or how about
Basi Gene Grammars

Darwinism is superflous and/or irrelevant to understanding the computational qualities found inside of biology.

Comment #46264

Posted by Salvador T. Cordova on September 2, 2005 4:36 PM (e)

PS Sal, I got NFL last night, started reading immediately, and already have lots of questions. Are you willing to give real answers to real questions. The first one being a question I already asked you. Is NFL complete, in-and-of itself, or should I have read another book first?
Paul

Yes, I’m willing as of today. If you’re sincere I will try to answer.

I think you can read NFL by itself, but having Dembski’s Design Inference would help, however that book is pricey. Thus, if you’re willing to let me quote from Design Inference when I feel appropriate, I can save you some dough….

Sal

Comment #46266

Posted by Paul Flocken on September 2, 2005 4:52 PM (e)

Pricey. Your not kidding. NFL is about 50% more expensive than other books of its class and binding type. Fortunately, I work in a book store and don’t actually have to buy it. Unfortunately, I have to work tonight, as in 20 mintutes from now. I’ll catch you later.

Comment #46268

Posted by Esteban Escalera on September 2, 2005 4:55 PM (e)

Salvador T. Cordoba wrote:

Do any of you have any atheistic/Darwinistic rants that I can share with the reporter I’m seeing next Tuesday? You know, it’s all part of our well-oiled public relations campaign that got a presidential endorsement recently…

I don’t live in the U.S.A, mind you, however I’m concerned about this wholle bussiness of teaching “I.D.” in the schools. This guy, Salvador T. Cordoba knows their battle is not about developing a scientific theory backing up I.D.

No, they fight for getting media’s attention; they don’t try to understand the world surrounding us, but try to implant an idea in people’s mind.

If they believe in God, how not to try to understand God’s creation? They look themselves reading a book, and while staring at the book they claim “oh, God’s creation is great, praise the lord”. I live in a catolic country, where the people look trough the window, get outside and see all the marvelous things this world have, and they say “praise the lord’s creation!”

Science is not about telling people that God doesn’t exist. Is about telling us HOW THINGS WORK. Science doesn’t matter about if God exist or not. It can exist, and it doesn’t change the way the world works. If God don’t exist, it doesn’t matter either.

Evolution theory is not about disproving the existence of God. Is about explaining how live came to be in the diversity as we know it.

I.D. don’t explain nothing. “Intelligent Design?” How? Who? When can we see it? How can we test it?

Comment #46269

Posted by Salvador T. Cordova on September 2, 2005 4:56 PM (e)

Lenny Flank wrote:

Why are you in here arguing that ID/creationism is all about God and the Bible, while Discovery Institute and other creationists are currently in Kansas and Dover arguing that ID/creationism is NOT all about God and the Bible?

Why are you **undercutting your own side**????????

I really truly want to know.

Stephen Meyer wrote here: Nightline Interview (unaired)

I think the designer is God,

And from the IDEA website:
IDEA Religious Affiliations

The leadership of the IDEA Center are Christians, who believe that the identity of the designer is the God of the Bible. While the IDEA Center as an organization promotes intelligent design as a scientific theory, our leaders also have their own religious view that the identity of the designer is the God of the Bible. The claim that life was designed by an intelligence is a scientific claim, while the claim that the designer is the Christian God is a religious one.

I think the anti-IDist have painted IDist as pretending that we’ve never personally identified who we feel the designer is.

So there are a lot of misconception floating around about what we’ve actually said.

ID theory does not identify the designer, anymore the Gravitational theory identifies the name of the planet generating the gravitational field. We look to other sources outside of gravitational theory to identify the gravitational source. Same with the identity of the Designer.

Comment #46271

Posted by James Taylor on September 2, 2005 4:57 PM (e)

Hey Sal, I’m really more interested in the actual science of ID and not the public relations spin you are focusing on i.e. “Do any of you have any atheistic/Darwinistic rants that I can share with the reporter I’m seeing next Tuesday?”. Lenny has asked some very significant questions, and you don’t have any answers. In fact, you and all other IDists on PT have dodged his questions for months. These are very important scientific questions and you could care less. You want to spin off into other arguments and start your discourse again in other threads to duck and hide from the scientific challenge. Where’s the ID science, or are you just a religion and anti-science in schools proponent?

Comment #46272

Posted by Bing on September 2, 2005 5:12 PM (e)

Salvador wrote:

I’m trying to portray you guys in the most rephrensible light possible before those who are part of the 88% majority.

Again with the majority. It’s not an election. Unless you’re admitting that this ID thing is not about science at all. Are you saying that this is a socio-cultural religious thing divorced from scientific knowledge?

Just as Joe Sixpack doesn’t get votes at the Wal-Mart Corporate AGM, he doesn’t get to vote on what should constitute scientific reality. If Mr. Sixpack has any interaction with science it’s merely as the consumer of scientific applications at the end of the chain.

Now take 150 years of scholarship, thousands of actual working scientists, and 10’s of thousands of articles vs. 400 399 crackpots, 1 dubiously peer reviewed article with a disclaimer and the alleged giants of the ID field (which you can count on one hand with fingers left over) working at bible colleges instead of in the lab. Where do the “votes” fall there Sal?

Or to take it back to my Wal-Mart analogy, the hundreds of thousands of votes held by the Sam Walton clan vs. you and your 10 shares?

Comment #46273

Posted by Salvador T. Cordova on September 2, 2005 5:17 PM (e)

Hey Sal, I’m really more interested in the actual science of ID and not the public relations spin you are focusing on i.e. “Do any of you have any atheistic/Darwinistic rants that I can share with the reporter I’m seeing next Tuesday?”.

I’m just poking a little fun at how much foaming at the mouth I see at this weblog by some here. That kind of behavior offends a significant minority of young science students, some of whom are children of doctors, university professors, scientists, engineers, and lawyers. How do I know their background? They come to my IDEA meetings. They go to the schools where Jason Rosenhouse and Paul Gross teach. They can tell you these students exist! If you all want to have any chance of persuading them, the rhetoric you guys are pouring out here at PandasThumb might be better to be toned down!

These students are ID leaning Christians, and come from well-educated families. The kind of rants that go on here are counter-productive to your cause. I’m only glad to have a little fun pointing that out to the management here at PT.

Lenny has asked some very significant questions, and you don’t have any answers. In fact, you and all other IDists on PT have dodged his questions for months.

I have ignored Lenny for the most part, that’s true. I apologize (cough) that it seems he’s so unimportant to me…

These are very important scientific questions and you could care less. You want to spin off into other arguments and start your discourse again in other threads to duck and hide from the scientific challenge. Where’s the ID science, or are you just a religion and anti-science in schools proponent?

ID science can be formulated as an interpretation of existing, accepted physical law, especially quantum mechanics. It can also be formulated in terms of forensic science (as the Discovery Institute has).

Visit my website www.smartaxes.com and see what I have to say.

If you don’t view it as science, fine, that’s your choice. It would be unfair to say from now on that I dodged an attempt to state or defend ID theory. What I have to say is on the website. If you like I can cut and paste it here at PT and we’ll make some more ID converts!

Comment #46274

Posted by Steverino on September 2, 2005 5:18 PM (e)

Why can’t science be left to scientists?

Perhaps we are going about this the wrong way…How about we start debunking the Bible using hard scientific data in public forum. Pointing out the inconsistencies and the gaps. Pointing out the there seems to be a “controversy” ravaging the country between the Faithful…”ID or Creation….how do you get two variations from the same Book?”

Make them explain the numbers:

40% Creationist
30% ID
30% NASCAR

YEAH!…That’s the ticket!

Comment #46276

Posted by darwinfinch on September 2, 2005 5:21 PM (e)

Sal, you are a stupid person who desires others to bow before your pigheadedness, not a Chrisiamn God.

You also, on this forum, are ONLY a troll, with no value, even as a foil given your passion for evasion and lies. You, as you present yourself here, are an intellectual and moral coward: a person trying to, and clearly delighting in, deceiving others by any means necessary.

Until you find the courage at least to argue your position forthrightly I will allow you to connive and lie outside my field of vision, though may your God save you if you ever somehow interfere with anyone I myself know.
You are a disgrace to every honest Christian or conservative with whom I have ever disagreed.

In hopes you will pull the beam imbedded by both your eye and your conscience.

Comment #46277

Posted by Andy Groves on September 2, 2005 5:26 PM (e)

Sal sez:

Us lowly YECs have the worst reputation in the world

Do any of you have any atheistic/Darwinistic rants that I can share with the reporter I’m seeing next Tuesday?

Why don’t you start off by telling the reporter you’re a young Earth creationist? That will help put the whole ID thing into perspective at the start of your interview.

Comment #46279

Posted by dr.d. on September 2, 2005 5:33 PM (e)

no, no, no… Sal is here for the comedy. As a general health advisory I must recommend that you swallow your beer and perhaps set it down before reading from Sal’s comically minded “smartaxes” website. I nearly choked on mine when I read the bits on “Laws of Physics and Intelligent Design”. Where to start… try reading the physics book first. Any physics book. Keep up the howlers, Sal, I’ll leave the Comedy Channel off for the night! Thanks.

Comment #46281

Posted by James Taylor on September 2, 2005 5:45 PM (e)

“ID science can be formulated as an interpretation of existing, accepted physical law, especially quantum mechanics. It can also be formulated in terms of forensic science (as the Discovery Institute has).”

Accepted ‘physical law’ is based on observation which ID serves to undermine. I don’t think ID can work off of physical sciences because it is not constrained by the physical world. We would never have enough information in an experiment to fully justify an experimental conclusion; because, we cannot quantify the supernatural nature of a test environment. We can certainly determine the physical nature, but that is only an insignificant environmental factor compared to omniscience and omnipotence occupying every cubic nanometer of the universe. So, how can we trust any information ID proposes without accounting for the supernatural variable. The supernatural would be weighted infinitely against the meager portion of space time we are observing. I think ID will have to incorporate some form of supernatural constant or something to all ‘physical laws’ or actually rewrite all of the current ‘physical laws’ before it can comandeer anything we pitiful humans have concluded from our meager observations.

Comment #46285

Posted by 'Rev Dr" Lenny Flank on September 2, 2005 6:16 PM (e)

I have ignored Lenny for the most part, that’s true.

I don’t blame you, Sal. If someone were isistently asking ME to defend what cannot be defended, I’d do my best to pretedn they’re not there, either.

Fortunately for me, though, Sal, my questions make their point whether you answer them or not. I don’t need your cooperation. (shrug) Though your explicit efforts to avoid answering, do indeed help me make my point ever more clearly.

So once again, I thank you for helping me demonstrate to everyone here that ID not only has nothing scientific to say, but it KNOWS it has nothing scientific to say, and therefore has no choice but to avoid saying ANYTHING.

Comment #46286

Posted by 'Rev Dr" Lenny Flank on September 2, 2005 6:19 PM (e)

PS
Do any of you have any atheistic/Darwinistic rants that I can share with the reporter I’m seeing next Tuesday?

Please tell the reporter all about ID’s campaign against “atheistic darwinism”, Sal. That way, the reporter will know, upfront, that all those IDers who claim to be “scientists” are just lying to us.

Oh, and make sure you tell the reporter all about young-earth creationism. That way the reporter will also know, upfront, that Iders are simply lying to us when they clain to be somethign different from creation “science”.

And if you REALLY want to be helpful, Sal, you’ll tell the reporter that all those ID witnesses in Dover are about to commit perjury when they testify that ID is science and has no religious aims or purpose.

Comment #46287

Posted by 'Rev Dr" Lenny Flank on September 2, 2005 6:22 PM (e)

ID theory does not identify the designer, anymore the Gravitational theory identifies the name of the planet generating the gravitational field. We look to other sources outside of gravitational theory to identify the gravitational source. Same with the identity of the Designer.

Are you willing to come to Dover and testify to that, Sal?

Comment #46291

Posted by Dene Bebbington on September 2, 2005 6:47 PM (e)

Salvador continues the ID argument from analogy:

‘Why last night I was talking to some sophomores in computer engineering. I said, “did you know that biological systems are rich in software. You all know how hard it is to write software. Do you think the software in biology, like the 3 giga base-pairs of DNA in humans was just an accident. Do you think Darwinian evolution could do that?”’

Do you know how hard it is to manipulate history so that Salvador is one of the results? History must have been designed so that he came along.

Now we’re told that because things in nature are even harder to create than designed things that they must also be designed. Gosh, maybe the problem here is that intelligence is not as creative as natural processes.

Walks away shaking head and wonders if IDers realise just how limited intelligence can be.

Comment #46292

Posted by Patrick on September 2, 2005 6:59 PM (e)

Dene Bebbington wrote:

Walks away shaking head and wonders if IDers realise just how limited intelligence can be.

The people who watch IDers certainly do.

Comment #46295

Posted by Andy Groves on September 2, 2005 7:05 PM (e)

I tried discussing specified complexity with Sal on ISCID a month or two back. In the end, his position was that for something to be labelled as having specified complexity, one needed elusive “conceptual information”. Where does that come from? Why, from the Designer making his object look designed, of course!. People like Sal talking about biological systems being rich in software shows that tose systems are designed! Ta-daaa!.

That whirring sound you hear is KArl Popper spinning in his grave.

Comment #46296

Posted by Salvador T. Cordova on September 2, 2005 7:09 PM (e)

James commented:

Accepted ‘physical law’ is based on observation which ID serves to undermine. I don’t think ID can work off of physical sciences because it is not constrained by the physical world.

Well, that on the surface seems correct. But let’s take another look from an angle which you might not have considered.

Short of seeing a non-material entity in person, one way then we can establish that a non-material reality exists is to use a Proof by Contradiction. We first assume that all of nature is attributable to natural law alone. If this leads to a contradiction somewhere, then we know the assumption is wrong!!! We thus infer non-physical causation.

Origin of Life researcher of 50 years, Harold Morowitz, who testified in McLean vs. Arkansas against the creationists comments on Wigner’s conclusion:

The views of a large number of contemporary physcal scientists are summed up in the essay “remarks on the Mind-Body Question” written by Nobel laureate Eugene Wigner. Wigner begins by pointing out that most physical scientists have returned to the recognition that thought–meaning the mind–is primary. he goes on to state: “It was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent way without reference to the consciousness.” And he concludes by noting how remarkable it is that the scientific study of the world led to the content of consciousness as the ultimate reality.

A further development in yet another field of physics reinforces Wigner’s viewpoint. The introduction of information theory and its application to thermodynamics has led to the conclusion that entropy, a basic concept of that science, is a measure of the observer’s ignorance of the atomic details of the system. When we measure the pressure, volume, and temperature of an object, we have a residual lack of knowledge of the exact position and velocity of the component atoms and molecules. The numerical value of the amount of information we are missing is proportional to the entropy. In earlier thermodynamics, entorpy had represented, in an engineering sense, the energy of the system unavailable to perform external work. In the modern view, the human mind enters once again, and entropy relates not just to the state of the system but to our knowledge of that state.

The founders of modern atomic theory did not start out to impose a “mentalist” picture of the world. Rather, they began with the opposite point of view and were forced to the present-day position in order to explain experimental results.

We are now in a position to integrate the perspectives of three large fields: psychology, biology, physics…..

First the human mind, including consciousness and reflective thought, can be explained by activities of the central nervous system, which in turn, can be reduced to the biological structure and function of that physiological system. Second, biological phenomena at all levels can be totally understood in terms of atomic physics, that is, through the action and interaction of the component atoms of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and so forth. Third and last, atomic physics, which is now understood most fully by means of quantum mechanics, must be formulated with the mind as a primitive component of the system.

From the book compiled by Ultra Darwinist Daniel Dennett and mathematician Douglas Hofstadter, The Mind’s I.

Morowitz is a former Yale professor of physics/bio-chemistry and teaches now at George Mason University.

Comment #46299

Posted by Salvador T. Cordova on September 2, 2005 7:16 PM (e)

Salvador continues the ID argument from analogy

Mathematics is the ultimate analogy. Science would come to a screeching halt if we were not able to argue from analogy!

Software and formal grammers (computer languages) are mathematical constructs (the ultimate analogies). We are able to successfully elucidate biology because we use analogies to man-made systems and the abstract analogies:

To grasp the reality of life as it has been revealed by molecular biology, we must magnify a cell a thousand million times until it is twenty kilometers in diameter and resembles a giant airship large enough to cover a great city like London or New York. What we would then see would be an object of unparalleled complexity and adaptive design. On the surface of the cell we would see millions of openings, like port holes of a vast space ship, opening and closing to allow a continual stream of materials to flow in and out. If we were to enter one these openings we would find ourselves in a world of supreme technology and bewildering complexity.

We would see endless highly organized corridors and conduits branching in every direction away from the perimeter of the cell

The nucleus itself would be a vast spherical chamber more than a kilometer in diameter, resembling a geodesic dome inside of which we would see, all neatly stacked together in ordered arrays, the miles of coiled chains of the DNA molecules.

We would see all around us in every direction we looked all sorts of robot-like machines. We would wonder even more as we watch the strangely purposeful activities of the weird molecular machines, particularly when we realized that, despite all our accumulated knowledge of physics and chemistry, the task of designing one such molecular machine would be completely beyond our capacity.

We would see that nearly every feature of our own advanced machines had its analogue in the cell: artificial languages and the decoding systems, memory banks for information storage and retrieval, elegant control systems regulating the automated assembly of parts and components, error fail-safe and proof-reading devices utilized for quality control, assembly process involving the principle of prefabrication and modular construction.

In fact so deep would be the feeling of deja-vu, so persuasive the analogy, that much of the terminology we would use to describe this fascinating molecular reality would be borrowed from the world of late twentieth-century technology.

Comment #46301

Posted by Ved Rocke on September 2, 2005 7:24 PM (e)

Adam Marczyk wrote:

Salvador Cordova wrote:

Yes, and are those algorithims implemented through a sofware engineer (a designer) where the selection forces are carefully and intelligently design to create appropreate feed back or are the selection forces the product of random undirected forces.

So you’re saying that God intelligently designed the physical laws that would make it possible for evolution to occur?

But if the designer only created the physical laws of the universe then that wouldn’t be a very valuable thing to discover. Man would be far too distantly removed from the Grand designer. It would make it even more difficult to be able to believe something as self serving and arrogant as; that man was created in the image of the designer, that the designer would be aware of any individual, or that “It” would even so much as care about such a tiny cog in the vastness of information machine.

No, there’s got to be more than that, right? Keep looking for that Holy Grail… nothing to see here at PT. Oh, and as for ad hominem quotations you could use, I would say “Your mother was a hamster and your father smells of elderberries!”

Comment #46304

Posted by Andy Groves on September 2, 2005 7:39 PM (e)

Sal, you never got round to asnwering this question on ISCID, so I’ll ask it again. Why is your argument (and your presentation of Dembski’s ideas) any different from Paley’s?

Comment #46305

Posted by Adam Marczyk on September 2, 2005 8:01 PM (e)

That was precisely my point, Ved. Salvator is a young-earth creationist, and yet his sole argument against genetic algorithms establishes, at best, theistic evolution. Probably not the conclusion he wanted to reach.

It’s little surprise that he’s assiduously avoiding answering me, just as he avoids answering anyone who asks a genuine scientific question or poses a criticism. Instead, he capers about taunting people, egging them on to insult him, and then acts shocked, just shocked, when that happens. Then he promises to go tell the whole world about how those nasty ol’ Darwinists are picking on him. (Reminds me of the peasant from Monty Python and the Holy Grail: “Help help, I’m being repressed!”)

The one thing we can safely say is that his tactics offer an insight into the workings of ID and creationism in general. His comments have made it abundantly obvious that he views science not as a study of the evidence to determine what the truth is, but as a kind of public-relations game where you win if you can make the other guy look bad. This sort of all-spin-no-substance approach is typical among advocates of pseudoscience.

Comment #46307

Posted by Salvador T. Cordova on September 2, 2005 8:02 PM (e)

Sal, you never got round to asnwering this question on ISCID, so I’ll ask it again. Why is your argument (and your presentation of Dembski’s ideas) any different from Paley’s?

I’m not that familiar with Paley, so I can’t answer fully, but I suppose there are similarities. Dembski has said ID has roots in Payley, so I’ll go with that.

The one thing we have going for ID is Quantum Theory. It’s easier, but not an absolute necessity, to believe biology is designed if the laws of physics predict God’s existence.

ID proper does not require that we know the Designer exists independent of the designed object, but Quantum Theory has established this as a real possibility.

Thus the question is, is the evidence that the Designer of the Universe, specifically made life. I think there is a good chance from a purely scientific perspective.

So my argument is different than Paley’s in that respect. Also, I think it’s not that relevant to our present discussion what Paley thought. It’s more important whether:

1. The Designer Exists
2. The Designer Designed Life

Many Theistic Evolutionist believe #1 but not for scientific reasons (Ken Miller). I believe in #1 partly because of scientific reasons (Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics lead directly to that inference).

#2 is easier to believe if #1 is established. The Discovery Institute emphasizes #2, Barrow and Tipler emphasize #1. I think both are complimentary. Hence you see me argue from both angles.

Comment #46308

Posted by Andy Groves on September 2, 2005 8:06 PM (e)

Paley’s argument is very simple: Life is designed because it looks designed to him.

Comment #46311

Posted by 'Rev Dr" Lenny Flank on September 2, 2005 8:23 PM (e)

It’s little surprise that he’s assiduously avoiding answering me, just as he avoids answering anyone who asks a genuine scientific question or poses a criticism.

Indeed, it’s not surprising at all. He HAS no answers. None. Not a one. Zip. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

I thank him for demonstrating that so clearly. ANd I once again repeat my offer to pay for all his travel expenses if he would come to Dover and testify on our behalf that (1) there is no scientific theory of ID that he can present, and IDers are just lying when they claim there is, and (2) ID is nothing but religious apologetics, and IDers are just lying when they claim it isn’t.

Comment #46312

Posted by PvM on September 2, 2005 8:24 PM (e)

Sal is a fascinating topic to me. You mention his name and he shows up, taunting and making some ill-informed assertions. When people ask Sal to support his assertions or ask him questions, his next step usually involves how he converts people to become ID creationists. Not based on the evidence, which of course is mostly lacking, but based on emotional arguments. One can immediately understand Sal’s history as a YEC’er.
What surprises me is that Sal seems to not understand how his actions may be hurting fellow Christians as he indoctrinate them into the faith of ID which is scientifically vacuous and theologically risky.
When people point this out, his typical response is to confuse information theoretic concepts and then start repeating such non-sequitors as “Quantum Theory”.

And more unsupportable assertions such as

ID science can be formulated as an interpretation of existing, accepted physical law, especially quantum mechanics. It can also be formulated in terms of forensic science (as the Discovery Institute has).

So many assertions such little science. That sums up Sal’s contribution in a few words. No surprisingly his actions and words make for excellent evidence of the scientific vacuity and theological riskiness of ID.

For that I can only praise the Lord.

Comment #46313

Posted by Hyperion on September 2, 2005 8:27 PM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'quote'

Comment #46314

Posted by 'Rev Dr" Lenny Flank on September 2, 2005 8:29 PM (e)

If you’re sincere I will try to answer.

I’m sincere, Sal.

Answer my questions.

Or CAN’T you.

Comment #46316

Posted by shiva on September 2, 2005 8:44 PM (e)

Sal please continue posting. Is this the kookiest you can get or are there any there sites on the www where you have gone completely - you know. I am conducting a camp for kids next week about quacks and cranks. I have plenty of Bill D’s material - that would help explain how figures of authority like Bill D can bluff fluently. The other type of quack/crank I want to showcase is the authority figure’s apprentice who bleats in resonance. So far you have been outdoing yourself with every post; but I think your best is yet to come. And BTW Lenny’s questions remain unanswered as they will be till the cows come home. As for the blather about QM and consciousness where’s the paper you are referring to? You know Sal this is not some tent revival where you can get away thumping the table. Here you are tangling with scientists not some quack or crank who is going to be taken in easily. If you want to argue about QM you are most welcome. Knowing the way you guys work we can expect the discussion to be conducted without any reference whatsoever to the scientific literature. Go ahead it’s a long weekend and with gas prices being what they are we are going to stuck at home and we need laughs by the tonne.

Comment #46318

Posted by PvM on September 2, 2005 9:28 PM (e)

It occurred to me that Sal may actually believe in what he is saying. Of course, he may also be the best troll ever. Think about it.

Comment #46320

Posted by 'Rev Dr" Lenny Flank on September 2, 2005 9:44 PM (e)

It occurred to me that Sal may actually believe in what he is saying. Of course, he may also be the best troll ever. Think about it.

Either way, he helps us, and deserves our thanks. He is oen of the best I have ever seen at demonstrating that ID is utterly vacuous.

Comment #46321

Posted by Moses on September 2, 2005 9:47 PM (e)

Comment #46210

Posted by Salvador T. Cordova on September 2, 2005 12:25 PM (e) (s)

Here, here. And biology will benefit as more ID leaning engineers get involved in helping elucidate biology from a systems and software perspective.

Poor Sal, even *I* know that’s a fallacy. In the early days it was easier because there was so little knowledge that it was far, far easier to cross-over. Heck at one time it was so easy that there weren’t even disciplines, it was all just “philosophy.” Today, the complexity is so great that research biologists frequently are not competent to peer-review other biologists. Funny how things evolve into greater complexity over time…

And biology will have more and more researchers available as the formerly marginalized creationists join the ranks.

Shamanism and “God did it” isn’t good research. And if they join the ranks and try to do it your way, they will fail.

Why, have you seen the skyrocketing enrollments in biology since the advent of the ID in the 90’s? This is correlated with the de-emphais of Darwinian evolution.

Actually, Sal, it’s because of the ever increasing enrollment of women in graduate school, who, for whatever reasons, tend to prefer biological sciences to physical sciences. As a proportion of the population, women went from 39%(1986) to 45%(1995) in biology graduate schools. Source: 1997 report by the Council of Graduate Schools. And this was done, in my understanding, without actually pushing men out.

And that doesn’t even include some of the new, sexy avenues that captured the imagination of science students. Like all the possibilities of cloning and genetic engineering. The fact is, biology, Sal, which was a poorly taught dry and dusty science when I was deciding on a possible career in science, has become much more sexy…

You should be embarrassed to be so easily caught in a delusion, lie or error. However it came about.

Where the USA is struggling is in the ranks of Engineers, Physicists, Chemists, etc., not biologists. These are areas where Darwinism is nothing but a useless impediment anyway.

Once again, Sal, you’re not understanding what’s driving the population growth in biological sciences. Women, for whatever reason, prefer biological sciences. Women, as graduate students have doubled in number since 1975. But they, for whatever reason, tend stay away from the physical sciences and go to the biological. (Like my wife.)

Why last night I was talking to some sophomores in computer engineering. I said, “did you know that biological systems are rich in software. You all know how hard it is to write software. Do you think the software in biology, like the 3 giga base-pairs of DNA in humans was just an accident. Do you think Darwinian evolution could do that?”

It’s not software. And if DNA was software, considering how often in crashes, fails at the simplest tasks and is bloated to twice its necessary size with pointless code, “God” writes worse software than Microsoft so I shouldn’t be bragging if I were you. :)

They said, “No way!”

Ah, yes, college sophmores in a computer science lab. Half of whom probably won’t make it through college. Most of whom will never be capable of critical, skepitical thought or able to discern a con-man.

But, FWIW, don’t be too sure they weren’t laughing at you later. We had cranks like you in my discipline. We did the “oh, ah, you’re so clever” thing when they were around, then mocked the **** out them later.

Comment #46323

Posted by ts (not Tim) on September 2, 2005 10:22 PM (e)

It’s not software.

As someone who has been writing and studying software for 38 years, I would say that DNA does look a lot like software, a type of microcode. And yes, I do know how hard it is to write software, but even I don’t take billions of years to write my programs. And there are lots of things that are difficult to do, like manually digging the Grand Canyon, but that doesn’t mean that the Grand Canyon was intentionally designed – nor is it “just an accident”. Do I think Darwinian evolution could have produced DNA? Yes, because unlike Sal I’m not an ignorant moron who thinks that such dependence on incredulity is a substitute for knowledge and rational thought.

Comment #46332

Posted by James Taylor on September 3, 2005 1:36 AM (e)

ts wrote:

As someone who has been writing and studying software for 38 years, I would say that DNA does look a lot like software, a type of microcode. And yes, I do know how hard it is to write software, but even I don’t take billions of years to write my programs. And there are lots of things that are difficult to do, like manually digging the Grand Canyon, but that doesn’t mean that the Grand Canyon was intentionally designed — nor is it “just an accident”. Do I think Darwinian evolution could have produced DNA? Yes, because unlike Sal I’m not an ignorant moron who thinks that such dependence on incredulity is a substitute for knowledge and rational thought.

As someone who has been writing and studying software for 20 years, I would completely agree. In case you didn’t know Sal, software is designed(sometimes), written, proven to have flaws in the application, redesigned, rewritten, proven to have flaws in its system, rinse and repeat…. Application development is much more of an analog to evolution(The initial design is by no means perfect, acts as a template for future design and eventually evolves after significant work sorting out good code from bad.), natural selection (Efficiency is prized over waste. This is called optimization and it is highly desirable for various intellectual, psychological and economic reasons for any algorithm) and to the scientific method (Hypothesis, test, sort out failure, modify hypothesis, test, rinse and repeat…) than ID (Every program works perfect the first time every time any program is compiled on any platform). Come on Sal, this is the real world. Your assertion is not true.

Comment #46333

Posted by ts (not Tim) on September 3, 2005 2:21 AM (e)

Your assertion is not true.

To be clear, Sal said DNA is software and Moses said it isn’t. I agree with Sal on this point, but not with his IDiotic inference from incredulity and inductive inference from a single data point that it’s the output of an intentional programmer.

Comment #46335

Posted by Louis on September 3, 2005 2:41 AM (e)

Way back in #46210 Salvador said:

Salvador wrote:

Where the USA is struggling is in the ranks of Engineers, Physicists, Chemists, etc., not biologists. These are areas where Darwinism is nothing but a useless impediment anyway.

The stats used in evolutionary biology are of vast importance to engineers and physicists, but since I am neither that isn’t what I wish to to discuss.

I am however a chemist, a synthetic organic chemist to be precise, and Darwinism (which I assume is your twisted attack name for evolutionary biology, things have moved on a tad since 1859) is actually seriously relevant. Especially to my field of natural products chemistry. Far from being an impediment, a proper understanding of evolutionary biology allows us to explain why certain secondary metabolites are prevalent in nature, their origins, and why they have the biological functions they do.

Not only that, if that area of study is too esoteric for you, but an understanding of evolutionary biology is vital in elucidating how to manipulate the biological activity of molecules by engineering organisms to produce different secondary metabolites. Nature has already had millions of years honing secondary metabolite biological activity, we can piggy back on this result anddevelop more effective drugs. Should you whine that this is a matter for the future I suggest you look up drugs derived from the secondary metabolites like taxol, epothilone, discodermolide, penicillin…the list is vast. Just for a quick reference, roughly 61% of the 877 new chemical entities produced in the pharmaceutical industry world wide from 1981 to 2002 can be traced to natural products. 78% of antibacterials and 74% of anticancer compounds from that set of chemical entities are either natural products themselves or inspired by a natural product. (M. S. Lesney. Nature’s Pharmaceuticals. Today’s Chemists at Work July, 26-32. 2004). These compounds cure your diseases, and their origins, understanding how to manipulate them and their source organisms to increase their potency, and mechanisms of action are absolutely founded in evolutionary biology.

Oh and the USA is certainly not struggling in chemistry (or the other disciplines as it happens). I sggest you actually try to understand what it is you are claiming(and deriding) before you do so. Otherwise you come off looking at least mildly silly.

Comment #46340

Posted by Dene Bebbington on September 3, 2005 3:38 AM (e)

Salvador quotes an un-named source:

“In fact so deep would be the feeling of deja-vu, so persuasive the analogy, that much of the terminology we would use to describe this fascinating molecular reality would be borrowed from the world of late twentieth-century technology.”

Gee, let’s use analogies for something else in nature and dmonstrate that it must have been designed. Imagine the moon shrunk to a couple of meters in diameter. It’s a rough sphere and we know that humans make spheres, just look at those globes of the world in some people’s homes. Those craters look like the result of firing various sized projectiles into it, and we know that humans are good at making projectiles. And all the moon dust, well isn’t that like sprinkling icing on a cake. And the hills on the moon, that’s just artistic sculpturing.

All Salvador’s claims about analogies show is that humans are good at creating analogies. And as nature came first it would make more sense to argue that intelligence sometimes comes up with analogous solutions to natural processes, not that there must be design in nature.

Comment #46345

Posted by Salvador T. Cordova on September 3, 2005 6:09 AM (e)

Ts wrote:

As someone who has been writing and studying software for 38 years, I would say that DNA does look a lot like software, a type of microcode.

Why thank you, and so does Bill Gates, one of the contributors to the Discovery Institute, God bless him.

And yes, I do know how hard it is to write software, but even I don’t take billions of years to write my programs.

That’s because you’re an intelligent being, it doesn’t take billions of years for you. Do the forces of natural selection exist that can to generate large amounts of software?

It is very doubtful based on population genetics alone, and add to that the problem of searching large spaces for grammatically correct software, and proposed evolutionary mechanisms simply do not have enough time.

It’s only fantasy that says natural selection can make large amounts of software from priomordial goo.

Further more since you study computer software, there are operating systems, compilers, encoders, decoders, Turing Machines, and software in biotic reality. There is no theoretical reason to believe natural selection can build such constructs from primordial goo, and further there is not a shred of empirical evidence for it, and in actually quite a bit against it.

Comment #46349

Posted by 'Rev Dr" Lenny Flank on September 3, 2005 6:33 AM (e)

Sal, have you forgotten my simple questions already?

No problem, I’m happy to repeat them for you. After all, we wouldn’t want all the lurkers here to think that you CAN’T answer them, right?

*ahem*

1. What is the scientific theory of intelligent design, and how do we test it using the scientific method?

2. According to this scientific theory of intelligent design, how old is the earth, and did humans descend from apelike primates or did they not?

3. what, precisely, about “evolution” is any more “materialistic” than weather forecasting, accident investigation, or medicine?

4. do you repudiate the extremist views of the primary funder of the Center for (the Renewal of) Science and Culture, Howard Ahmanson, and if so, why do you keep taking his money anyway? And if you, unlike most other IDers, are not sucking at Ahmanson’s teats, I’d still like to know if you repudiate his extremist views.

5. Why are you undermining your own side by proclaiming here that ID is all about defeating “atheism” and “anti-religion”, while your side is desperately trying to argue in court that ID has nothing at all whatsoever to do with religion or religious apologetics? Are your fellow IDers just lying under oath when they testify to that, Sal?

Comment #46351

Posted by Salvador T. Cordova on September 3, 2005 6:47 AM (e)

Louis wrote:
I am however a chemist, a synthetic organic chemist to be precise,

Here is an essay by an American Chemist who is the program manager in the Medical Sciences Division of the Office of Biological and Environmental Research at the US Department of Energy. Darwinian Evolutionary Theory and the Life Sciences in the 21st Century

He does not share your view of how essential Darwinism is for Chemistry.

Louis wrote:

Far from being an impediment, a proper understanding of evolutionary biology allows us to explain why certain secondary metabolites are prevalent in nature, their origins, and why they have the biological functions they do.

Darwinism does nothing to explain secondary metabolism, unless of course “just so” post-dictive speculations are as acceptable to you as empirical facts.

It is pure fantasy that selective forces existed which in the past created features of life including secondary metabolites. The fact that secondary metabolites exist in nature is no proof that Darwinian evolution was the mechanism that created it. Such an assertion is based circular reasoning where the assumption of Darwinian evolution is essentially used as proof of Darwinian evolution. It is a circular “proof” and is thus invalid.

Louis wrote:

Not only that, if that area of study is too esoteric for you, but an understanding of evolutionary biology is vital in elucidating how to manipulate the biological activity of molecules by engineering organisms to produce different secondary metabolites.

Re-engineering is not natural selection by blind purposeless forces, engineering is an intelligent activity as is writing software. Your argument is self-defeating if you are trying to argue re-engineering of biotic reality is an un-intelligent activity. It only shows that even on the generous assumpution that evolution happened, intelligence is still a necessary component.

Louis wrote:

Should you whine that this is a matter for the future I suggest you look up drugs derived from the secondary metabolites like taxol, epothilone, discodermolide, penicillin…the list is vast. Just for a quick reference, roughly 61% of the 877 new chemical entities produced in the pharmaceutical industry world wide from 1981 to 2002 can be traced to natural products. 78% of antibacterials and 74% of anticancer compounds from that set of chemical entities are either natural products themselves or inspired by a natural product.

What you call “natural products” may well be designed products. Your use of the term “natural product” prejudices the reader to think they are products of blind purposeless forces, yet that is the very point you are wishing to prove. You have thus invoked, in a subtle way, yet another form of circular reasoning. In regard to synthesis of pharmaceutical products, a pioneer in antibiotic reasearch, a chemist and member of the prestigious National Academy of Science, had this to say:

Despite this and other difficulties, the modern form of Darwin’s theory has been raised to its present high status because it’s said to be the cornerstone of modern experimental biology. But is that correct? “While the great majority of biologists would probably agree with Theodosius Dobzhansky’s dictum that ‘nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution,’ most can conduct their work quite happily without particular reference to evolutionary ideas,” A.S. Wilkins, editor of the journal BioEssays, wrote in 2000.1 “Evolution would appear to be the indispensable unifying idea and, at the same time, a highly superfluous one.”

I would tend to agree. Certainly, my own research with antibiotics during World War II received no guidance from insights provided by Darwinian evolution. Nor did Alexander Fleming’s discovery of bacterial inhibition by penicillin. I recently asked more than 70 eminent researchers if they would have done their work differently if they had thought Darwin’s theory was wrong. The responses were all the same: No.

I also examined the outstanding biodiscoveries of the past century: the discovery of the double helix; the characterization of the ribosome; the mapping of genomes; research on medications and drug reactions; improvements in food production and sanitation; the development of new surgeries; and others. I even queried biologists working in areas where one would expect the Darwinian paradigm to have most benefited research, such as the emergence of resistance to antibiotics and pesticides. Here, as elsewhere, I found that Darwin’s theory had provided no discernible guidance, but was brought in, after the breakthroughs, as an interesting narrative gloss.

In the peer-reviewed literature, the word “evolution” often occurs as a sort of coda to academic papers in experimental biology. Is the term integral or superfluous to the substance of these papers? To find out, I substituted for “evolution” some other word - “Buddhism,” “Aztec cosmology,” or even “creationism.” I found that the substitution never touched the paper’s core. This did not surprise me. From my conversations with leading researchers it had became clear that modern experimental biology gains its strength from the availability of new instruments and methodologies, not from an immersion in historical biology.

You mentioned penicillin. The Nobel Laureate who was associated with the dicovery of penicillin:

To postulate that the development and survival of the fittest is entirely a consequence of chance mutations seems to me a hypothesis based on no evidence and irreconcilable with the facts. These classical evolutionary theories are a gross over-simplification of an immensely complex and intricate mass of facts, and it amazes me that they are swallowed so uncritically and so readily, by so many scientist without a murmur of protest.

Sir Ernest Chain

Comment #46354

Posted by Steverino on September 3, 2005 7:53 AM (e)

Sal, the overwhelming body of scientific evidence points to Evolution. Even what gaps may exist in no way point to a creator.

It’s fun, however, to watch you try to patch tiny ideas together. I believe the actual term is “Grapsing at straws”>

Comment #46356

Posted by Moses on September 3, 2005 8:41 AM (e)

Comment #46273

Posted by Salvador T. Cordova on September 2, 2005 05:17 PM (e) (s)

I have ignored Lenny for the most part, that’s true. I apologize (cough) that it seems he’s so unimportant to me…

Ah yes, the behavior of the elementary school yard. Pick a fight with your betters, then run away from them while making faces at them from behind the teacher’s skirts while they can do nothing.

Comment #46362

Posted by 'Rev Dr" Lenny Flank on September 3, 2005 9:30 AM (e)

Here is an essay by an American Chemist who is the program manager in the Medical Sciences Division of the Office of Biological and Environmental Research at the US Department of Energy.

Does he have a scientific theory of ID that can be tested using the scientific method?

Why not?

Comment #46363

Posted by 'Rev Dr" Lenny Flank on September 3, 2005 9:32 AM (e)

(snip more of Sal’s hand-waving)

That’s nice, Sal.

Are you gonna answer my questions, or aren’t you. Forget thema lready? No problem:

*ahem*

1. What is the scientific theory of intelligent design, and how do we test it using the scientific method?

2. According to this scientific theory of intelligent design, how old is the earth, and did humans descend from apelike primates or did they not?

3. what, precisely, about “evolution” is any more “materialistic” than weather forecasting, accident investigation, or medicine?

4. do you repudiate the extremist views of the primary funder of the Center for (the Renewal of) Science and Culture, Howard Ahmanson, and if so, why do you keep taking his money anyway? And if you, unlike most other IDers, are not sucking at Ahmanson’s teats, I’d still like to know if you repudiate his extremist views.

5. Why are you undermining your own side by proclaiming here that ID is all about defeating “atheism” and “anti-religion”, while your side is desperately trying to argue in court that ID has nothing at all whatsoever to do with religion or religious apologetics? Are your fellow IDers just lying under oath when they testify to that, Sal?

Take your time, Sal. It’s not like anyone is watching you avoid ansswering them, or anything.

Comment #46365

Posted by Moses on September 3, 2005 9:40 AM (e)

ts wrote:

As someone who has been writing and studying software for 38 years, I would say that DNA does look a lot like software, a type of microcode.

Which gave my wife, the research biologist, a laugh. She knows where the information theory = program stuff comes from. Even talked about it. But it’s an analogy. Not software.

Unless, of course, you think stretched analogies are useful. In which case I can torture these analogies as well as any and assert that “conditioning through torture” is software. After all, you’re “programming” the victim. They’re receiving “information” (frequently some sort of physical or emotional assult) and “programed” to certain, new behaviors; frequently called “mental illnesses.” And, then, they need therapy, which is to “re-program” them.

I could stretch this “software” analogy as far any one. But, as Dick Feynman once said to a philosopher making similar analogies to those Salvador and the IDers make: “I don’t find such analogies useful.”

I’m a pragmatist and don’t see much use in tortured navel gazing analogies. This is software:

Software is a generic term for organized collections of computer data and instructions, often broken into two major categories: system software that provides the basic non-task-specific functions of the computer, and application software which is used by users to accomplish specific tasks.

The rest is philosophy being bandied about by navel gazers trying to “keep up with the academic Joneses.” Something that academicians are frequently (in my experience) guilty of and, typically, falls by the wayside when the new philisophical paradigm takes hold.

Comment #46366

Posted by shiva on September 3, 2005 10:06 AM (e)

Sal,

The essay you link to is predictably to be found on the website of the disclaimery institute and has also been published in that wad of raddi edited by Bill D. You and your dear leader can bleat and blare as much as you want. Unless there is a theory that is available to be examined (which isn’t ever going to be available) and questioned your writings are just so much trash. You know that and so do your dear leaders. Now be good and keep the laughs coming!

Comment #46368

Posted by ag on September 3, 2005 10:37 AM (e)

Watching the discussion in this thread I have noticed that it is filled with numerous pieces of self-parodizing escapades posted regularly by some malfunctioning entity pretending to be a real person and using the name of Salvador, while the site maintained by the brave Great information theorist Bill D. of the barbecue fame contains not a single comment that is short on admiration of its owner. Why is that?

Comment #46374

Posted by Ved Rocke on September 3, 2005 11:14 AM (e)

One day back when I was a surveyor I was working in the back of a property that bordered on a small creek. My crew chief was admonishing the land owners (to me) for disturbing the creek bed and the wetlands by digging themselves a nice swimming hole directly adjacent to the water. I was totally surprised that he had never heard of an “oxbow” and the orderly patterns that water can leave on the landscape. I wasn’t able to convince him that what we were looking at was natural.

Comment #46375

Posted by Russell on September 3, 2005 11:16 AM (e)

…pretending to be a real person and using the name of Salvador

Recently Dave Cerutti (the Phil Hendrie of evo/creo) admitted that “Salvador” was another of his personae.

Comment #46378

Posted by Ed Darrell on September 3, 2005 11:56 AM (e)

Mr. Cordova said:

Being rich in software is not the same as “being equivalent to software” any more than a man being rich with money is the same as a man being money!

Either way, the ID claim that living things are software is mostly analogy, and usually an analogy taken way too far.

The “software” living things are rich with are themselves parts of the living things, Sal.

Why didn’t you just answer the issue? The issue is that your claim analogizing living things or their parts to software takes th analogy too far.

Comment #46381

Posted by Ed Darrell on September 3, 2005 12:14 PM (e)

Who could make this sort of stuff up? Sal (no, really) said:

It is pure fantasy that selective forces existed which in the past created features of life including secondary metabolites. The fact that secondary metabolites exist in nature is no proof that Darwinian evolution was the mechanism that created it. Such an assertion is based circular reasoning where the assumption of Darwinian evolution is essentially used as proof of Darwinian evolution. It is a circular “proof” and is thus invalid.

You’re getting closer to testable claims, Sal.

1. Here you argue that selective forces did not exist in the past that could produce secondary metabolites. You propose to demonstrate this exactly how? You could demonstrate that all living things have secondary metabolites, and then you could try to find some paleontological evidence to bear that out. Bet you won’t.

2. Absent your showing that secondary metabolites have always existed, you could propose some mechanism by which the ID force – let’s call it the “Wilber Force” – created the secondary metabolites. Got any candidates? Show us your work.

3. Absent either 1. or 2., you could propose to show a barrier to evolution’s having created secondary metabolites. Is that a no-go for you, too?

Do you guys ever do any research, Sal, or is your grant just for library sitting and grousing about the progress biologists make against disease and hunger?

Comment #46383

Posted by PvM on September 3, 2005 12:43 PM (e)

Sal wrote:

There is no theoretical reason to believe natural selection can build such constructs from primordial goo, and further there is not a shred of empirical evidence for it, and in actually quite a bit against it.

Note how Sal is first using his usual appeal to ignorance and then makes unsupported assertions that ‘there is evidence against it’?
Somehow the irony must have escaped him that his comments apply much better to YECism :-)

As far as real scientists are concerned, they are slowly unraveling how these regulators, feedback loops, etc have evolved. So far, they have yet to run into an intelligent designer.
But it’s too much to expect I guess that a YECer, IDist and engineer is familiar with the state of the art research in these areas.

Well Sal, here is your chance, present your evidence…

And while you’re at it, perhaps you can stop avoiding the excellent questions raised by Lenny Flank?

Comment #46385

Posted by PvM on September 3, 2005 12:53 PM (e)

Moses wrote:

Ah yes, the behavior of the elementary school yard. Pick a fight with your betters, then run away from them while making faces at them from behind the teacher’s skirts while they can do nothing.

Moses, you understand Sal all to well. Other than the childish taunts, he has little to offer in the form of logic or science. Which is why he seems to rely on quote mining to make his converts.
Scientifically and theologically speaking, such an approach is likely going to be disastrous.

Comment #46388

Posted by steve on September 3, 2005 1:17 PM (e)

Comment #46345

Posted by Salvador T. Cordova on September 3, 2005 06:09 AM (e) (s)

Ts wrote:

As someone who has been writing and studying software for 38 years, I would say that DNA does look a lot like software, a type of microcode.

Why thank you, and so does Bill Gates, one of the contributors to the Discovery Institute, God bless him.

Are you implying that Bill Gates supports ID? Honestly, Sal, we can’t tell if you’re a liar or an idiot.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is getting flak as a conservative Seattle-based think tank that received a $10 million from the philanthropy organization appears to have promoted the “intelligent design” theory of evolution backed by some conservative Christians.

The hullabaloo, mostly confined to the blogosphere, stems from a 10-year grant the foundation awarded the Discovery Institute in August 2003 to develop transportation systems among the states of Washington, Oregon, and Canada’s British Columbia province….

The foundation essentially refuted The Times report and denied any support for the idea of intelligent design. Instead, foundation officials said they have only supported some of the institute’s ideas such as improving transportation.

Greg Shaw, director of the foundation’s Pacific Northwest program, said its funding was exclusively for the long-term initiative to develop better transportation that the institute has been working on.

“We did not offer funding for any other purposes but the transportation system called Cascadia that the Institute has been working on,” said Mr. Shaw, adding that the foundation did not take a stand on the theory of intelligent design.

http://www.redherring.com/Article.aspx?a=13361&hed=Gates+Charity+Grant+Under+Fire&sector=Industries&subsector=Computing

Comment #46398

Posted by 'Rev Dr" Lenny Flank on September 3, 2005 2:50 PM (e)

adding that the foundation did not take a stand on the theory of intelligent design.

Cowards.

Comment #46400

Posted by Louis on September 3, 2005 3:33 PM (e)

Salvador,

Nice attempt at argument from authority. Sadly your poorly referenced, partially contexted quote mining means nothing. Which is amusing. I actually read your reply expecting a serious effort, more fool me. Sadly what I got was a reply from someone with simply no clue about secondary metabolism or natural products chemistry. Let me clarify things for you:

First of all, evolutionary biology does explain secondary metabolism. Here are a few lead references for you:

1 S. D. Bentley, K. F. Chater, A. M. Cerdeno-Tarraga, G. L. Challis, N. R. Thomson, K. D. James, D. E. Harris, M. A. Quail, H. Kieser, D. Harper, A. Bateman, S. Brown, G. Chandra, C. W. Chen, M. Collins, A. Cronin, A. Fraser, A. Goble, J. Hidalgo, T. Hornsby, S. Howarth, C. H. Huang, T. Kieser, L. Larke, L. Murphy, K. Oliver, S. O’Neil, E. Rabbinowitsch, M. A. Rajandream, K. Rutherford, S. Rutter, K. Seeger, D. Saunders, S. Sharp, R. Squares, S. Squares, K. Taylor, T. Warren, A. Wietzorrek, J. Woodward, B. G. Barrell, J. Parkhill, and D. A. Hopwood, Nature, 2002, 417, 141-147.

2 G. L. Challis and D. A. Hopwood, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2003, 100, 14555-14561.

3 G. Cimono and Ghiselin M.T., Marine Natural Products As and Evolutionary Narrative, in Marine Chemical Ecology, CRC, 2001, pp. 115-155.

4 L. H. Du, C. Sanchez, and B. Shen, Metabolic Engineering, 2001, 3, 78-95.

5 R. D. Firn and C. G. Jones, Molecular Microbiology, 2000, 37, 989-994.

6 R. D. Firn and C. G. Jones, Natural Product Reports, 2003, 20, 382-391.

7 B. B. Jarvis, The Role of Natural Products in Evolution, in Evolution of Metabolic Pathways, ed. J. T. e. a. Romeo, Elsevier, 2000, pp. 1-24.

8 B. B. Jarvis and J. D. Miller, Natural Products, Complexity and Evolution, in Phytochemical Diversity and Redundancy in Ecological Interactions, ed. Romeo et al, Plenum Press, New York, 1996, pp. 265-293.

9 C. G. Jones and R. D. Firn, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B-Biological Sciences, 1991, 333, 273-280.

10 R. A. Maplestone, M. J. Stone, and D. H. Williams, Gene, 1992, 115, 151-157.

11 B. S. Moore and C. Hertweck, Natural Product Reports, 2002, 19, 70-99.

12 J. Staunton and K. J. Weissman, Natural Product Reports, 2001, 18, 380-416.

13 M. J. Stone and D. H. Williams, Molecular Microbiology, 1992, 6, 29-34.

14 C. J. Thompson, D. Fink, and L. D. Nguyen, Genome Biol., 2002, 3, REVIEWS1020.
15 L. C. Vining, Annual Review of Microbiology, 1990, 44, 395-427.

16 J. P. Waltho, J. Cavanagh, and D. H. Williams, Journal of the Chemical Society-Chemical Communications, 1988, 707-709.

17 J. P. Waltho, D. H. Williams, D. J. M. Stone, and N. J. Skelton, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 1988, 110, 5638-5643.

18 D. H. Williams, M. J. Stone, P. R. Hauck, and S. K. Rahman, Journal of Natural Products, 1989, 52, 1189-1208.

19 D. H. Williams and J. P. Waltho, Biochemical Pharmacology, 1988, 37, 133-141.

Forgive me for focusing primarily on Streptomyces derived natural products, but these are what I am most familiar with. I can provide more references on chemical ecology, phytochemistry and pheromone chemistry if required.

Of course there are literally thousands more refernces, but I suggest you start there. The papers will illustrate just some of the wide diversity of chemical structures and biological activities associated with natural products. Pay particular attention to several key facts, for example, the jobs that these natural products do and for which organisms, the structural homologies and structure activity relationships of the natural products in question, the redundancy of function and biogenesis in the case of certain natural products, the precise biosyntheses of the natural product and which part of primary metabolism has been coopted for its biosynthesis, the level of biological activity shown as compared to designed drug molecules….oh the list of actual facts which show the evolution of natural products from a chemical perspective is huge, I could continue.

If chemistry is not your thing then please feel free to examine the enzyme homologies and biochemistry of secondary metabolism. A few books I recommend as a starting place:

The Organic Chemistry of Biological Pathways, T P Begley and J McMurray
Secondary Metabolism , J Mann
Biochemistry, Stryer

They are all suitably basic, intended for the graduate student, or advanced undergraduate. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

If it is fantasy that selective forces acted in the past then you have an awful lot of data to explain! Mind you, since you have thoroughly failed to answer Lenny’s very easy and thoroughly sensible questions, forgive me if I doubt you will be capable of answering the more technical challenge by explaining away the entirity of biological chemistry with a hand wave. Since we have a simply vast amount of observations which confirm that selective pressures do produce the kinds of changes required for natural product biosynthesis (again demonstrated by the study of natural product producing organisms and the biosyntheses of natrual products). Please feel free to actaully show me how these things don’t work, that is instead of quoting Discovery Institute shills and scientists who were productive decades prior to the advent of molecular biology.

You seem to be under the illusion that Darwinian evolution was assumed as the explanation of certain phenomena and thus, as those phenomena are observed this confirms darwinian evolution. Far from it my sadly deluded chum. The best explanation of the diversity and biological activity of natural products is Darwinian because simply claiming them to be accidental ougrowths of primary metabolism fails to explain their prevalence, activity and use in nature. Of course there is vastly more to it that just that, but it is a simple beginning. It has been demonstrated,for example, that the genes that are responsible for generating resistance to antibiotics in Streptomyces species are closely linked to genes that produce antibiotic natural products in the same organism. In the soil environment for example there are examples of resistance to antibiotic natural products that are produced by organisms which share the same soil environment, in both organisms with and without the ability to produce such natural products themselves.

As for the development of more potent natural products by altering the organism producing them, I wasn’t intending to use that as a demonstration of evolution you silly goose. What I said was that to accomplish this type of thing one needs to be aware of the evolutionary origins and consequences of the natural product one is trying to improve. Tut tut Salvador, what a poor attempt at a strawman. I need sya no more on that egregious piece of falsity and misdirection.

Next we come to your most illuminating howler, your complaint at my use of the term “natural product”. Your whine about this is truly laughable and shows you up for being as vacuous as you really are. The term natural product is exaclty what it says on the tin, a chemical product derived from a natural rather than human synthetic source. It is what is know as a “term of art” and is the standard term for referring to biologically active secondary metabolites isolated from nature. It is in no way intended to imply an evolutionary origin or subtext,in fact the term was in use before(key word there bucko) BEFORE darwin published “On the Origin of Species”, so I am afraid you are wrong again. Not only does your complaint show a total lack of honesty and intellectual ability, but it also demonstrates a profound lack of knowledge regarding the actual subject.

Last,and by every possible means least, your quote mines. You are quoting people who did not have the benefit of the last 40 odd years of research on the evolution of natural products. The work on antibiotics in WWII was BEFORE the molecular biology revolution, whence that majority of this evdience comes, as indeed was the work on penicillin. Not only that but the diversity and types of natural products known up to the 1950s was VASTLY less than it now because of the advent of new analytical techniques (particularly NMR), screening techniques, and THE ENTIRITY OF MOLECULAR BIOLOGY. The last part is in caps because it really does illustrate just how fucking dishonest you are being. Sorry for the profanity, but there simply is not excuse for being as scurrilously vile as you are being. Ignorance is an insufficent excuse.

Honestly, to even come out with the “they might be designed products” guff shows your woeful ignorance of chemistry. Don’t you know that the biosynthesis of these molecules is well known and has been for decades? Don’t you know that labelling studies have proven the co-option of primary metabolism in the biosynthesis of natural products? Don;t you in fact, know anything?

If I was as ignorant as you, I’d open a book.

Luckily for me, I open them anyway, and read ‘em too!

Comment #46407

Posted by liberal on September 3, 2005 6:18 PM (e)

Salvador T. Cordova wrote:

And biology will have more and more researchers available as the formerly marginalized creationists join the ranks. Why, have you seen the skyrocketing enrollments in biology since the advent of the ID in the 90’s? This is correlated with the de-emphais of Darwinian evolution.

Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

Comment #46408

Posted by liberal on September 3, 2005 6:22 PM (e)

Salvador T. Cordova wrote:

Heartwarming to see so many physicians (like Senate Majority Leader Frist of Harvard Medical School) survived the attempted brainwashing and indoctrination.

Would that be the same Frist who diagnosed from afar a certain patient as being able to track objects with her eyes, when (as confirmed by post mortem examination) it turns out the visual system of her brain had been destroyed?

Comment #46411

Posted by Red Mann on September 3, 2005 7:52 PM (e)

Yeah, DNA is not really software, I mean it’s not a series of binary words that causes AND and OR gates to fire, but it’s a pretty handy analogy. I’ve often though that Object Oriented Programming is a good analogy for evolution. In OOP we have parent classes that have properties and functions that its child classes inherit. The children have these properties and functions as soon as they are instantiated (born so to speak.) plus any new features the programmer has added. Of course, mutations in programming are often caused by fat fingering or fuzzy thinking. Sometimes the complier catches them because they’re fatal, sometimes they slip through to runtime and sometimes they’re an improvement. That’s about as far as I would care to stretch the analogy because programming is an activity of intelligent (we hope) design. It doesn’t follow that the DNA “software” was designed by anything but natural forces. Of course all of these analogies are used by humans to understand nature, nature itself is totally unconnected with them and functions just the same whether we analogize or not.

Lenny - PvM has discovered the force behind TD - Wilber Force - dnncha love it!

But it really seems to me that everyone here is really preaching to the choir. The rational people who come here already know that that the theories and evidence for evolution are sound. With those trolls who come here like Sal, neurode, BlastFromThePast, Creationist Troll, etc its like shoveling s**t against the tide trying to introduce reason to them. Their willful disregard for reality and the blatant lies are virtually criminal. I have yet to hear any sensible explanation from any of them to back up any of what they say, and I doubt we ever will. If this is an ad hominem attack, sorry, but they are the ones that are always coming here insulting the intelligence and integrity of all of those concerned with real science and real education

Comment #46412

Posted by Red Mann on September 3, 2005 7:55 PM (e)

Opps, that’s the force behind ID not TD. Fat fingers, bad eyes and bad light.

Comment #46414

Posted by natural cynic on September 3, 2005 8:09 PM (e)

Sal’s Proof By Contradiction: “We first assume that all of nature is attributable to natural law alone. If this leads to a contradiction somewhere, then we know the assumption is wrong”

What kind of dum-dum proof is this, other than the lack of an understanding of what an argument from ignorance is. Unless, of course, you really do know all of nature.

Sal, again: “ID science can be formulated as an interpretation of existing, accepted physical law, especially quantum mechanics.”

Ahhh, invoking the scary demon QM. All those evil evos are quaking like characters confronted with [ta-da “ not the Spanish Inquisition”]. And speaking of the formulation of ID science, it seems a bit like a mildly toxic, but annoying, natural product from a parasite on the scientific body. ID produces nothing other than annoyance, occupying too much of the consciousness of the host. Gee, analogies do work!

Comment #46420

Posted by steve on September 3, 2005 8:51 PM (e)

It’s easy to tell that software, and not animals, are intelligently designed. Nature doesn’t do entire code rewrites, it builds on what came before. Intelligent Designers of software occasionally do complete rewrites. For instance, Linux. On the surface, it may behave 99% identically to Unix. It can look the same, run the same programs, work the same hardware. But if you examine the underlying code, it’s a complete rewrite from the ground up. It’s not just a modified version of the Unix code. By comparison, pick two species which look and act 99% alike, for instance, the American red squirrel, and the Douglas squirrel. If you examine their underlying code, it’s 99% alike.

If the IDers ever want to convince me that they have anything, all they have to do is find a Code Rewrite animal. Just find an elephant, shark, ostrich, fruit fly, whatever, anything, which looks and acts like its buddies, but has a completely different genetic code. Since nothing in ID theory prohibits an animal rewrite, and since the code engineers we know about occasionally do total rewrites, and since evolution implies that you won’t find such rewrites, this seems like a fine experiment for the IDers.

This armchair nonsense where they incorrectly assume an arbitrarily small target and then brilliantly conclude it’s hard to find, is horsesh*t, and that’s why they have lousy reputations.

Comment #46423

Posted by 'Rev Dr" Lenny Flank on September 3, 2005 9:13 PM (e)

If I was as ignorant as you, I’d open a book.

Alas, the basic problem with Sal is that he *has* only ever opened one Book in his entire life.

Comment #46430

Posted by Henry J on September 3, 2005 10:22 PM (e)

I’d think that [i]recipe[/i] would be a better analogy than software code, given what genes are typically used for.

Henry

Comment #46432

Posted by Henry J on September 3, 2005 10:32 PM (e)

(Repost with format code correction)

I’d think that recipe would be a better analogy than software code, given what genes are typically used for.

Henry

Comment #46436

Posted by Stuart Weinstein on September 3, 2005 11:30 PM (e)

Sal bloviates “Yes, and are those algorithims implemented through a sofware engineer (a designer) where the selection forces are carefully and intelligently design to create appropreate feed back or are the selection forces the product of random undirected forces.”

Can you repat that in English this time?

Comment #46437

Posted by Stuart Weinstein on September 3, 2005 11:33 PM (e)

Sal bloviates “Yes, and are those algorithims implemented through a sofware engineer (a designer) where the selection forces are carefully and intelligently design to create appropreate feed back or are the selection forces the product of random undirected forces.”

Can you repeat that in English this time?

Moreover, please explain how one designs something when they don’t understand how the results of the genetic Algorithm work?

Here’s an example. I hope the rest of youa ren’t getting sick of my repeating it; but I’d like Sal to address the problem of designing something whose workings you don’t understand.

No armwaves, Sal.

Stochastic hill climbing methods are a class of mathematical methods which harness randomness to find solutions to equations. It’s called hill climbing in an analogy with Sewall Wrights concept of fitness landscapes. Such landscapes have peaks, where organisms have much greater fitness than organisms in the plains and valleys below. The trick is getting up the peak. Darwin discovered the first such algorithm. Its called Natural Selection or descent via modification. As Dan Dennett distilled it, its quite simple, move up the hill when you can, don’t move back down it. THe simplest method is the Monte Carlo method. In the monte carlo method (5pts for anyone who can figure out why its called that, -25 pts for anyone who can’t) solutions are chosen at random, inserted into the equations and we compute a “cost”; a measure of how well it satisfies the equations. You keep trying randomly derived solutions (guesses) until you have a population of solutions that satisfies your criteria for goodness of fit. Usually this is a value of the cost which is chosen as a threshold. Below such a value you keep the solutions, above you reject. Once you have a population of *good* solutions you can then perform other sorts of statistical analyses to learn more about the properties that the hypothetical *ideal* solution has.

Genetic algorithms are more complex than the Monte-Carlo method. Indeed, they are quite analogous to NS. You have a population of solutions (sans organisms), you breed a new generation via x-fertilization and then see how well these new solutions actually satisy the equations. THose solutions which exceed your cost criteria are *killed* off. With each generation you can lower your cost threshold. This is quite like *selection*. Indeed these terms, pepper the stochastic hill climbing method literature.

In February’s Scientific American (2003), there is an article written by engineers and computer scientists who used GA’s to create novel electronic circuit deisgns. They were able to duplicate or better 15 previously patented designs using GA’s.

In the case of the most complicated task, designing a “cubic signal generator”, the GA evolved a design which out perfoms a recently patented design that performs the same task. GA’s don’t think. They have no cognitive ability. Yet this GA *designed* such a good circuit. Its even more interesting than that. TO quote the authors, “The evolved circuit performs with better accuracy than the designed one, but how it functions is not understood. The evolved circuit is clearly more complicated, but also contains redundant parts, such as the purple transistor that contrbutes nothing to the functioning.” (You’ll have to see the article). (Page 58, Feb 2003 issue of Sci-Am)

So here is a mindless computer algorithm besting intelligent designers with designs that contain sub-optimal or unneeded parts. How scary is that?

How will the creationists and ID *theorists* respond?

1. Well the algorithm was designed by humans, therefore by the transitive property of whatever, anything resulting from a GA is also designed by humans.

Of course the fact that the authors still have no idea how the circuit works will not deter creationists from using the above. How one designs something while not knowing how it works, even after it is *designed* is a contradiction that will not bother creationists or ID theorists.

2. Well so what if the circuit has an unneeded part. Perhaps in the future they will find it does have a function.

While not stated in the article, it would be a simple matter for them to remove that transistor and verify that the cost value and the performance of the circuit remains unchanged.

3. Perhaps the SOL or some dieletric constants will change in the future, at which point, unneeded parts will have a function.

LOL. But no doubt Bill Dembski and others will take that route.

4. Well its not irreducibly complex.

Sorry, Dr. Behe, you remove something besides the unneeded transistor, and you no longer have a cubic signal generator. Of course, it is likely that transitor was used in a past generation, and is fixed in the *design* as a result of an historical contingency (RIP, SJG).

5. The circuit was originally perfect, but it was ruined after the Fall.

Umm.. not unless the fall occurred a few months ago.

6. This project was rooted in naturalist assumptions. Therefore its not valid. Neener-Neener

No Comment.

7. All of the above.

Comment #46439

Posted by RBH on September 4, 2005 12:04 AM (e)

Salvador wrote

That survey was 2003, the decade rise [in biology majors] is thus statistically correlated with the rise of ID. I think the rise of ID is the symptom of a greater knowledge of the complexity of biology. Darwinism is being run over by the Complexity Steamroller.

That perfectly exemplifies the fallacious reasing characteristic of ID creationists. The decade rise in biology majors is also positively statistically correlated with the year number (it increased monotonically during the period under analysis), with my weight (it unfortunately also increased more or less steadily over that period), and negatively correlated with smoking venues. All due, no doubt, to ID.

Henry J wrote

I’d think that recipe would be a better analogy than software code, given what genes are typically used for.

Somewhere I have an old book titled The Sachertorte Algorithm, an introduction to computers and programs that explicitly treats programs as recipes. Unfortunately, I can’t now find the book or I’d write more.

RBH

Comment #46450

Posted by A Rat on September 4, 2005 9:25 AM (e)

Didn’t Dembski calculate the universal probability bound by taking into account an old universe? So why do YECs like this guy defend it?

Comment #46472

Posted by Andy Groves on September 4, 2005 3:23 PM (e)

Didn’t Dembski calculate the universal probability bound by taking into account an old universe? So why do YECs like this guy defend it?

Hey, Paul Nelson is apparently a YEC and writes about the Cambrian Explosion. Cognitive dissonance affects people differently…….

Comment #46480

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on September 4, 2005 3:47 PM (e)

Hey, Paul Nelson is apparently a YEC and writes about the Cambrian Explosion. Cognitive dissonance affects people differently…….

Snelling, IIRC, uses standard earth chronology when writing his geology papers, but uses YEC garbage when writing religious tratcs for the gullible.

“Cognitive dissonance”? Puh-leeze. Call it what it *is* —- intellectual dishonesty. Also known as “lying”.

Comment #46501

Posted by Salvador T. Cordova on September 4, 2005 6:24 PM (e)

First of all, evolutionary biology does explain secondary metabolism. Here are a few lead references for you:

Verbose peer-reviewed speculations are not the same as empirical facts. If the aerospace industry used the same kind of handwaving as found in those papers, there would be no aerospace industry.

The community of evolutionary biologists are not held to the same high standards of the empirical method that those of us in the technology industry are held to. Evolutionary biologists are free to pass their peer-reviewed speculations off as fact, and further their peer-reviewed journals have an inherent conflict of interest to self-perpetuate their bad science.

In the United States, the general public and a siginficant minority of those in the applied sciences of medicine, engineering, bio-technology, information technology have a substantial disdain for evolutionary biologists calling their work “science”.

The papers you cite are nothing more than post-dictive circularly reasoned “just so stories”. If they had substance to them, NAS scientists like Skell, or chemist like Roland Hirsh would have felt them worthy.

There are several science professors at my university, most will not come forward of their rejection of Darwinism, several are in the chemistry department. The one scientist who did come forward, a professor of cellular biology of 20 years and 60 peer-reviewed papers was let go by the a school administration bent on intellectual totalitariansm.

You can read about her here: Caroline Crocker

Crocker believed in Darwinism all her life until she began to review the evidence (or lack thereof) 5 years ago. She paid the price for having an open mind and encouraging her students to do the same. Same with Rick Sternberg who has 2 PhD’s in evolutionary biology: Victim of Darwinist Inquisition.

In addition to her, 2 other ID leaning PhD biologists thankfully managed to elude the inquisition at GMU by keeping quiet until they graduated.

Darwinism is divisive, useless philosophy being passed off as empirical fact.

Evolution has just been dealt its death blow. After reading Origins of Life with my background in chemistry and physics, it is clear that biological evolution could not have occurred….
Genesis was right, and there was creation

Richard Smalley, 1996 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry

Comment #46504

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on September 4, 2005 6:44 PM (e)

(snip more of Sal’s arm-waving)

Hey Sal, if you’re THAT much in love with “empirical facts”, then why do you run away from my simple empirical questions? I bet it’s looking to the lurkers as if you don’t HAVE any answers to my simple questions, Sal. Heck, Sal, they may even begin to think that IDers like you are just LYING to us when you make unsupported claims like “ID isn’t religion” and “Id has a scientific theory”.

As promised, I’ll repeat them again. And again and again and again. As many times as I need to, until you either answer them or run away (again).

*ahem*

1. What is the scientific theory of intelligent design, and how do we test it using the scientific method?

2. According to this scientific theory of intelligent design, how old is the earth, and did humans descend from apelike primates or did they not?

3. what, precisely, about “evolution” is any more “materialistic” than weather forecasting, accident investigation, or medicine?

4. do you repudiate the extremist views of the primary funder of the Center for (the Renewal of) Science and Culture, Howard Ahmanson, and if so, why do you keep taking his money anyway? And if you, unlike most other IDers, are not sucking at Ahmanson’s teats, I’d still like to know if you repudiate his extremist views.

5. Why are you undermining your own side by proclaiming here that ID is all about defeating “atheism” and “anti-religion”, while your side is desperately trying to argue in court that ID has nothing at all whatsoever to do with religion or religious apologetics? Are your fellow IDers just lying under oath when they testify to that, Sal?

Comment #46506

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on September 4, 2005 6:51 PM (e)

Crocker believed in Darwinism all her life until she began to review the evidence (or lack thereof) 5 years ago. She paid the price for having an open mind and encouraging her students to do the same. Same with Rick Sternberg who has 2 PhD’s in evolutionary biology: Victim of Darwinist Inquisition.

In addition to her, 2 other ID leaning PhD biologists thankfully managed to elude the inquisition at GMU by keeping quiet until they graduated.

That’s nice.

Do any of them have a scientific theory of ID to offer?

Why not?

Comment #46523

Posted by Red Mann on September 4, 2005 7:49 PM (e)

Sal wrote:
Verbose peer-reviewed speculations are not the same as empirical facts. If the aerospace industry used the same kind of handwaving as found in those papers, there would be no aerospace industry.
.

Like all of the peer-reviewed ID facts, right?.
Please, oh please, where are the empirical facts for ID you keep talking about? Please produce some so Lenny will shut up.
Are you talkin’ about handwavin’?
And what exactly does the state of the aerospace industry have to do with biology?

Sal wrote:
Crocker believed in Darwinism all her life until she began to review the evidence (or lack thereof) 5 years ago. She paid the price for having an open mind and encouraging her students to do the same. Same with Rick Sternberg who has 2 PhD’s in evolutionary biology: Victim of Darwinist Inquisition.

Anyone who thinks that ID has more evidence than the theory of evolution has an obvious problem with reality or is letting their religion override their sense. And what is this “Darwinism” you keep referring to? ToE is based on a whole lot more than what Charles Darwin wrote 150 years ago. Time has moved on, Sal, we have learned a lot since then, and regardless of what you Creationists and IDers keep saying, ToE is not some dogma, but a dynamic, continuous, re-evaluation of new evidence as it occurs.

Sal, you know the whole Sternberg thing is one hugh, stinky crock caused by a less than honest attempt to bring an appearance of respectability to ID. Meyer’s paper has been raked over the coals by real scientists on numbers of occasions and you know it.

Comment #46524

Posted by PvM on September 4, 2005 7:54 PM (e)

Sal, your ignorance of evolutionary biology does not seem to stop you from making silly comments. Keep up the good work my friend, continue your efforts to show us why ID is truly scientifically vacuous.

Comment #46526

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on September 4, 2005 8:05 PM (e)

Please, oh please, where are the empirical facts for ID you keep talking about? Please produce some so Lenny will shut up.

Yes, Sal, shut me up. Right here in front of the whole world.

Know what I think, Sal? I think ID is utterly vacuous and has nothing scientific to say — it’s nothing but fundamentalist Christian apologetics, and lies to cover up that simple fact.

Here’s your chance to show me wrong, Sal. Right here in public. Come on, Sal. Come and get me. Rip me up.

(sound of crickets chirping)

Yep, that’s what I thought.

(shrug)

Comment #46543

Posted by Stuart Weinstein on September 4, 2005 10:31 PM (e)

First of all, evolutionary biology does explain secondary metabolism. Here are a few lead references for you:

To which Sal replied:

Verbose peer-reviewed speculations are not the same as empirical facts.

Translation: I am not going to read the references.

If the aerospace industry used the same kind of handwaving as found in those papers, there would be no aerospace industry.

Sal, would you be willing to give us a few isntances of handwaving in those papers?

Comment #46554

Posted by natural cynic on September 5, 2005 12:58 AM (e)

Well, Sal did have 27 hours to check out all the references Louis gave him. And, of course he did look up all the terms in the texts reccommended. But then he might not be prepared for his big interview. And what kind of mining technology did he say he was employed in?

Comment #46565

Posted by Louis on September 5, 2005 5:34 AM (e)

Salvador,

Once more for the hell of it, I am finding your gross lack of scholarship and dishonesty extremely tiresome, amazingly I have much better things to do. Forgive me this might be long. Here we go:

1.These people are (mostly) not evolutionary biologists, they are (mostly) chemists and biochemists. Although what field they are in has no bearing on the actual facts.

2. Indeed some few of those papers DO include speculations, speculations which are based on the available evidence. You will also note that the authors have explicitly stated where they have made speculations and why. You will also note which items in the papers are not speculations and are empirical facts. Again, I am sure we would agree that someone’s speculations have no bearing on the facts, but then since a few of the facts are presented in those papers, we don’t have to rely on speculation. I’ve even given you the reference to the recently sequenced genome of Streptomyces coelicolor so you can actually see for yourself the hard, plain facts about the locations of the genes responsible for natural product biosynthesis and antibiotic resistance. This might involve some work on your part however.

3.You will also note that, as I mentioned, these are LEAD REFERENCES. I cannot stress that enough. I hope you are aware that this term means that they are a very brief introductory series of references which you are meant to read in order to get a brief understanding of a topic. You are then meant to read the references section of the papers, pull out the primary literature, and work backwards to more data. This is part of what we call DOING ACTUAL RESEARCH, something I realise you ID creationists are unfamiliar with. The purpose of following the literature trail back from a lead reference is to get a greater understanding of the topic being studied. For example from those lead references you can work your way back in a few simple staps to topics as diverse as molecular biology, chemical ecology, population genetics, synthetic chemistry, dammit even the quantum mechanics of NMR if you had a mind to do so! The purpose of those papers is to provide an interested party with a STARTING POINT for their research.

4. Since, based on your clearly demonstrated lack of understanding of the relevant chemistry in your previous post (you have what would appear to be a woeful and enormous gulf in your knowledge of these matters) it would behoove you to actually read those papers, and perhaps the few more basic texts I suggested besides. This way you could actually understand the points being made. Instead of this I fear that you have utterly failed to do even the most basic research. Forgive me if I note your unmitigated and unwarranted arrogance at attempting to handwave away an entire field of VERY empirical science because you wish to cover your ears and sing “LALALALA” every time some one brings up evidence contrary to your ridiculous relgious dogma (ID).

5. Your attempts to avoid the actual discussion are noted. You are STILL trying to argue from authority, which astounds me. If you are so averse to “speculations”, why then do you crow about “speculations” from a tiny minority component of the scientific community that agree with your religious dogma (ID) whilst at the same time decry “speculations” of the vast majority of the scientific community that don’t agree with your religious dogma (ID)? If, and I am sure we will agree on this, it is the facts, the data, the evidence that matters (and it is you know), then the “speculations” of individuals no matter how lofty are irrelevant in the face of the evidence. If you had the facts to support your speculations, and you don’t, then you might be correct in dismissing the rest of the scientific community as a tiresome irrelevance. Sadly you aren’t in that position. Remember, they laughed a Galileo, they laughed at Einstein, but the also laughed at Bozo the clown.

I could provide you with hundreds of Nobel Laureates (all from chemistry, physics and medicine in fact) who have accepted that evolutionary biology is the best explanation science has developed to date for the phenomena we observe. They accept this in exactly the same manner they accept the theory of gravity or quantum electrodynamics etc etc. But I simply don’t need to do so. Why? Because argument from authority is a logical fallacy, authorities can be wrong as well as right. What matters is the data. Data you don’t have and won’t provide, but data that I have in spades and can provide at will.

This is I think the fundamental issue at stake here. You have no data, you know you have no data, you know you don’t have a leg to stand on, so you present the issue as one of equally supported conflicting dogmas. This is fundamentally disingenuous because it does not represent two key things at all honestly. First, there is no reproducible reliable evidence to support your religious dogma (ID). Evolutionary biology on the other hand is a branch of science with a simply staggeringly vast wealth of supporting data. Second, you present the conflict as a clash of dogmas because it suits your public relations needs to do so. Evolutionary biology is not a dogma, it is a science, and as such is completely open to being overurned on the basis of evidence. In fact I would have no problem at all if this occured. However, the key problem for you is that to do this you have to come up with new relevant facts that are inexplicable by evolutionary biology and you then have to come up with a new relevant theory that not only explains all these new facts, but also explains all the old ones. This is the crux of the matter.

It may be that evolutionary biology IS wrong (forgive me if I doubt it) but it certainly isn’t wrong based on your unsupported say so. Appeals to authority don’t suffice. Hand waving doesn’t suffice. Appeals to common prejudice don’t suffice. Rehashes of poorly obscure and well refuted religious ideologies like Paley’s work, teleological “proofs” of god and appeals to ignorance don’t suffice.

This is why I think you are behaving as you are. You view this as a conflict, “your team versus my team”, and so you feel justified in lying, dismissing, obfuscating and hand waving. I am afraid this could not be further from the truth. Science is in part about finding the best possible, reliable, reproducible explantion for observed phenomena. You are attempting to avoid and subvert the process to fit in with your religious ideology, which is a shame, because you are cheapening your religion, attemtping to pervert science and being scurrillously dishonest in the process.

As an aside, I have to say I am disappointed in Prof Smalley, I’ve met him, and had no idea he harboured such foolish ideas. Perhaps he should have a chat to one of the other chaps he shared that prize with, Prof Harry Kroto, who I can assure you does not share his opinion. Mind you I am assuming that this quote of yours is honestly reported. I couldn’t find any reliable source with a brief Google. I admit that might be due to the briefness of the search, I only found an article about an honorary doctorate from Tuskegee, which didn’t have the quote in it, and various referrals to Dembski’s blog. Not the best providence. Anyway, why on earth do you think that Prof Smalley would be an apporpriate expert? I very much doubt he has any interest in biological chemistry and the origins of natural products, he is after all a physical chemist. Perhaps you fail to appreciate how staggeringly huge a subject chemistry is. Don’t worry, the poorly educated often do.

6. I have made a gross mistake. I assumed, wrongly, that you are actually interested in understanding the topic at hand. I also assumed, apparently wrongly, that you were a serious and honest scholar genuinely attempting to provide a coherent theoretical picture of the operation of the universe. You are clearly neither attempting to understand this topic, nor a serious and honest scholar. I am sorry that I have wasted my time.

Since I am in a Cromwellian mood, and you are fond of quotes, here is one for you:

“A few honest men are better than numbers.”
Oliver Cromwell. Letter to Sir William Spring (September 1643)

If overturning a well established scientific theory is your aim then the only way to do it to have the data on the honesty on your side. We know you don’t have the data (you relentlessly fail to show it), and you have demonstrated you don’t have the honesty. Thus you are naught but a distraction, an annoyance. Go away.

Comment #46568

Posted by Louis on September 5, 2005 6:05 AM (e)

P.S. This line inetersted me greatly:

Salvador wrote:

If they had substance to them, NAS scientists like Skell, or chemist like Roland Hirsh would have felt them worthy.

Just how much of the NAS and just how many chemists do you think do “feel them worthy”?

After all Salvador, if argument from authority is valid (and it isn’t) the evolutionary biology is supported by more and more accomplished authorities than you are claiming support you. Seems like you’ve made a rod (and an irrelevant rod at that) for your own back.

Oh wait, thos evil Darwinists are suppressing the truth and persecuting the real scientists. Yeah. Right. Nice tin foil hat. Does it protect you from the mind control devices of the Martians? Thought so.

Have you noticed how poor your arguments are? Here’s an example:

Monty Python and the Holy ID Creationsts

(Plagiarised lovingly from Monty Python and the Holy Grail)

SCENE 1 , a muddy field:

Salvador (playing a peasant toiling in a dirty field): This important scientist says ID is right/evolutionary biology is wrong, therefore ID is right!

Other Person (playing a knight on horseback): Arguments from authority establish little at best, and this authority of yours is broderline relevant at best, also it appears that you are curiously avoiding the facts. Add to that that just because one idea is wrong (not that it necessarily is, you haven’t shown it yet) it doesn’t count as proof that any other old idea is right.

Salvador: Don’t you oppress me!

Other Person: Erm I wasn;t, you’ve just failed to establish the claim you were making.

Salvador: HELP HELP I’M BEING OPPRESSED

SCENE 2, a forest:

Other Person: Here is some actual data…..

Salvador (playing Brave Sir Salvador): RUN AWAY!

Minstrels: Brave Sir Sally ran away,
Bravely ran away away,
When data reared it’s ugly head,
He bravely waved his hands and fled,
Bravely he ignored the facts,
He bravely lied, and bravely lacked
The intellectual gifts to note
That his ideas were sorely smote,
Oh Brave Sir Sally!

END (Exuent Omnes)

Honestly Salvador, do try harder. If you don’t get data, you whine that it’s all speculation, when you do get data, you whine that it’s all oppression.

Comment #46582

Posted by slpage on September 5, 2005 10:12 AM (e)

I’m still waiting to hear Sal explian why molecular hierarchies would be erased over time:

http://www.kcfs.org/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=3;t=000303;p=6

He keeps relying on kiddie analogies and ‘toy’ examples, but he won’t provide any real data or legitimate rationale…

I’m so …. surprised…

Comment #46583

Posted by slpage on September 5, 2005 10:21 AM (e)

“…or chemist like Roland Hirsh would have felt them worthy.”

Hirsch got intellectually smacked down at ARN a while back when he yammered on about phylogenetics, and in classic creationist style, he simply refused to acknowledge error.

What a hero…

http://www.arn.org/ubb/ultimatebb.php/ubb/get_topic/f/1/t/001915.html#000016

Comment #46651

Posted by Henry J on September 5, 2005 5:43 PM (e)

It’s been mentioned on here before that “appeal to authority” is shorthand for “appeal to inappropriate authority”.

Appeal to Inappropriate Authority

In summary, an appeal to authority is a valid method of argument and of making decisions. It recognizes the obvious fact that we cannot all be experts in everything. It would be a mistake to have your neurosurgeon change the brakes on your car and your car mechanic to operate on your brain tumor. If you see a neurosurgeon for your brain tumors and a car mechanic for your disc brake adjustments and you don’t know much about either, you are essentially betting your life on an appeal to authority. We all reasonably do that every day.

Henry

Comment #46722

Posted by Louis on September 6, 2005 9:08 AM (e)

I would like to add that not only is “appeal to authority” definitely short for “appeal to inappropriate authority” in many cases, but it also pays us to bear in mind that appeals to authority are logical fallacies when they are used instead of data, as Salvador is attempting. I would also disagree that appeals to authority, while certainly practically sound on a decision making basis, still constitute a logical fallacy, and are thus poor argumentation. However, one cannot know everything, so at some point one has to defer to an authority to some degree. Again, this is a practical point, and does not alter that such appeals are fallacious. The crux being to realise and be honest about their possibly fallacious nature and thus treat conclusions based on them accordingly.

This is a recognition of the simple observable fact that authorities can and frequently in the past have been wrong. This does not mean that they are wrong, or even often wrong, nor is it an excuse for the seriously deluded (waves at Brave Sir Sally) to baselessly question the informed, evidence based, opinion of relevant authorities.

The standard fallacy runs often thus: “Albert Einstein was very smart. Albert Einstein said claim X. Therefore claim X is demonstrated”. Even though old Einstein was no slouch in the brain dept, and a genuine authority on many things, his unsupported (in the framework of the fallacy described) is insufficient to demonstrate claim X. What is needed is some form of evidence which corroborates Einstein’s claim X.

Basically we have a hierarchy of appeals:

Piss Poor: appeal to irrelevant or relevant authority in ignorance or contradiction to the evidence.

Poor: appeal to irrelevant authority with little evidence.

Pretty Poor: appeal to relevant authority with littrle evidence.

Mediocre: appeal to irrelevant authority with some evidence.

Warm: appeal to relevant authority with some evidence.

Warmer: appeal to relevant authority with good evidence.

Hot: appeal to relevant authorities with stupendous evidence.

G’mornin’!: Sod appealing to authorities, go and get the sodding evidence your self you slacker, then you become the authority!

Comment #46723

Posted by Louis on September 6, 2005 9:17 AM (e)

ARGH Teach me not to preview, third forth and fifth lines should read:

“I would also state that appeals to authority, while certainly practically sound on a decision making basis, still constitute a logical fallacy, and are thus poor argumentation.”

Comment #46741

Posted by Salvador T. Cordova on September 6, 2005 11:30 AM (e)

Dear Paul Flocken,

I recall you said you had questions about NFL. I’ve dropped by a few times on this thread, but it’s about time the thread will go to the back pages.

So, if you have any more questions about NFL please feel free to visit ARN where I can help you further. Though Andy Groves and I have different views, he’ll tell you that I do make an effort to treat sincere inquirers respectfully. I will make an effort to do so with you if you’re interested in at least understand Dembski’s claims.

The questions you ask will be of value to others, so I’m happy to entertain them.

regards,
Salvador

Comment #46747

Posted by Andy Groves on September 6, 2005 12:18 PM (e)

Though Andy Groves and I have different views, he’ll tell you that I do make an effort to treat sincere inquirers respectfully.

Salvador certainly treated me politely on ISCID. However, he could have saved me a great deal of time if instead of going through a series of thought experiments involving dice, he had simply cut to the chase and said that Dembski’s concept of specified complexity can be shorn of all its mathematical ten guinea words and simply be replaced with warmed over Paleyism.

BTW Sal, are you really a YEC? What is your evidence for the earth being “young”?

Comment #46748

Posted by Chris Lawson on September 6, 2005 12:21 PM (e)

I agree with Louis. The Appeal to Authority is a logical fallacy, even if the Authority is an appropriate authority. What is being confused here is practical decision-making (where appeal to authority is very useful) and logical argumentation (where it is a fallacy). You can mention the authority figures who agree with you to add weight to your argument, but as soon as you insert those authority figures as part of the chain of logic, then you’ve committed a fallacy regardless of how appropriate they are.

Let’s not water down a perfectly good fallacy. “Appropriateness” is a value judgement, and besides, it would have been a very good way of excluding the work of a certain unknown Swiss patent clerk.

As for Sal, it is worth pointing out that the real scientific literature (with which he is clearly unfamiliar), arguments from authority are not acceptable in papers. When authoritative opinions are mentioned, they are balanced with the views of authority figures of different opinions and their arguments are described. For example, “Bernard Bloggs has argued that the red-eyed octopus’s feeding habits coincide with the phases of the moon. Herman Hoo, however, has postulated that this is an artefact of the way the data were collected. This paper examines both arguments in the light of new evidence…”

If Sal’s mental universe applied to the scientific literature, we would see papers like this: “Bernard Bloggs is the Isaac Newton of Lunarian Feeding Habits. He has 13 diplomas in fields as diverse as catering and gambling policy, so naturally when he states that the red-eyed octopus feeds according to moon phase, he is correct. Herman Hoo is a biologist who has studied the red-eyed octopus for 30 years, but because he insists on naturalistic explanations, he is a materialist atheist by inference, and this throws doubt upon anything he says on any subject whatsoever. This paper examines the intellectual brilliance of Bloggs while rightfully ignoring Hoo and his petty objections. This paper will also state many times that there is empirical evidence for Bloggs Lunarianism without providing references, while the hundreds of papers in support of Hoo will be excluded from analysis by a series of inventively spurious objections.”

Comment #46793

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on September 6, 2005 6:16 PM (e)

The questions you ask will be of value to others, so I’m happy to entertain them.

Glad to see that you are FINALLY answering questions, Sal. After all, I’ve been asking you the same simple questions for MONTHS now, and never got any answer.

Forget them already? No problem:

*ahem*

1. What is the scientific theory of intelligent design, and how do we test it using the scientific method?

2. According to this scientific theory of intelligent design, how old is the earth, and did humans descend from apelike primates or did they not?

3. what, precisely, about “evolution” is any more “materialistic” than weather forecasting, accident investigation, or medicine?

4. do you repudiate the extremist views of the primary funder of the Center for (the Renewal of) Science and Culture, Howard Ahmanson, and if so, why do you keep taking his money anyway? And if you, unlike most other IDers, are not sucking at Ahmanson’s teats, I’d still like to know if you repudiate his extremist views.

5. Why are you undermining your own side by proclaiming here that ID is all about defeating “atheism” and “anti-religion”, while your side is desperately trying to argue in court that ID has nothing at all whatsoever to do with religion or religious apologetics? Are your fellow IDers just lying under oath when they testify to that, Sal?

Comment #46794

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on September 6, 2005 6:18 PM (e)

I will make an effort to do so with you if you’re interested in at least understand Dembski’s claims.

What are you, Sal – his spokesman or something?

Comment #46803

Posted by Henry J on September 6, 2005 8:55 PM (e)

Re “I would also state that appeals to authority, while certainly practically sound on a decision making basis, still constitute a logical fallacy, and are thus poor argumentation.”

Yeah, I reckon that in a deductive argument an appeal to authority is like adding an assumption.

Henry

Comment #46805

Posted by ag on September 6, 2005 9:00 PM (e)

Salvador has his function on this blog as any court jester has. However, when a thread has too much of him, it ceases to be funny and becomes nauseating. Please, do not engage him that much in exchange of comments. The impudent ignoramus has many other sites to show his mettle and lack of shame.