Dave Thomas posted Entry 1915 on January 16, 2006 07:41 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/1910

Recent work has illuminated the evolution of the very anatomical feature that this site is named after.

TheJanuary 10, 2006 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS, vol. 103 | no. 2 | 379-382)
includes a paper titled “Evidence of a false thumb in a fossil carnivore clarifies the evolution of pandas” by Manuel J.Salesa,Mauricio Antón, Stéphane Peigné and Jorge Morales.

It seems that the Panda’s Thumb has evolved, not once, but twice!

The article says

The “false thumb” of pandas is a carpal bone, the radial sesamoid, which has been enlarged and functions as an opposable thumb. If the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) and the red panda (Ailurus fulgens) are not closely related, their sharing of this adaptation implies a remarkable convergence. The discovery of previously unknown postcranial remains of a Miocene red panda relative, Simocyon batalleri, from the Spanish site of Batallones-1 (Madrid), now shows that this animal had a false thumb. The radial sesamoid of S. batalleri shows similarities with that of the red panda, which supports a sister-group relationship and indicates independent evolution in both pandas. The fossils from Batallones-1 reveal S. batalleri as a puma-sized, semiarboreal carnivore with a moderately hypercarnivore diet. These data suggest that the false thumbs of S. batalleri and Ailurus fulgens were probably inherited from a primitive member of the red panda family (Ailuridae), which lacked the red panda’s specializations for herbivory but shared its arboreal adaptations. Thus, it seems that, whereas the false thumb of the giant panda probably evolved for manipulating bamboo, the false thumbs of the red panda and of S. batalleri more likely evolved as an aid for arboreal locomotion, with the red panda secondarily developing its ability for item manipulation and thus producing one of the most dramatic cases of convergence among vertebrates.

The PDF version is here (requires a subscription to Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Online).

Is it a mere “coincidence” that one of the authors is a Stéphane ?

Friends of Steve Steve, thou mayest now discuss.

Commenters are responsible for the content of comments. The opinions expressed in articles, linked materials, and comments are not necessarily those of PandasThumb.org. See our full disclaimer.

Comment #72556

Posted by Michael Hopkins on January 16, 2006 8:20 PM (e)

Carl Zimmer: The Other Panda’s Thumb covered this story late last year.

Comment #72558

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 16, 2006 8:25 PM (e)

Hey, the more thumbs, the merrier.

Though Carl certainly deserves a hearty thumbs-up for his prior post.

Comment #72560

Posted by steva not shiva on January 16, 2006 8:36 PM (e)

Bah! Humbug. Yet another case of int(er)ra-specific microevolution. How are you going to explain the ‘evolution’ of a bear kind into a panda kind?

Comment #72565

Posted by Larry Fafarman on January 16, 2006 9:16 PM (e)

There are lots of things that supposedly have “evolved” not just twice, but many times. This is called “convergent evolution.”

And you seem to be really hung up on this “Steve” thing.

Comment #72567

Posted by the pro from dover on January 16, 2006 9:42 PM (e)

Steva: Giant pandas are bears and red pandas are raccoons. “Panda” refers to eating bamboo, not to any evolutionary lineage. There is no “panda kind” any more than there is a “horse kind” which includes sea horses as well.

Comment #72571

Posted by caerbannog on January 16, 2006 9:54 PM (e)

Larry Fafarman said:

And you seem to be really hung up on this “Steve” thing.

That’s because we have lots more – hundreds more – Steves than you guys have…

http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/articles/meter.html

Comment #72619

Posted by Dave Thomas on January 17, 2006 1:15 AM (e)

Thanks for linking to the Loom piece. I’d missed it, as I was on travel in Texas at that time, and my ‘net access was limited to 60 minutes at the Cleburne Library.

Re

And you seem to be really hung up on this “Steve” thing.

Yes, we are Steveomaniacs here at the Thumb, and proud of it!

Cheers, Dave

Comment #72641

Posted by djlactin on January 17, 2006 2:30 AM (e)

gaaaak! i HATE this crypto-teleological phraseology:

…the false thumb of the giant panda probably evolved for manipulating bamboo, the false thumbs of the red panda and of S. batalleri more likely evolved as an aid for arboreal locomotion…

(emphasis mine)

using “for” in an evolutionary argument implies some sort of genetic foresight. traits don’t evolve “for” anything…. they evolve as a response to selection on available variation.

my graduate supervisor had me flogged for writing things like this!

it’s the kind of statement that confuses laypeople and fuels the ID movement.

try: …the false thumb of the giant panda probably evolved as a consequence of its utility in manipulating bamboo, the false thumbs of the red panda and of S. batalleri more likely evolved as consequence of its value in arboreal locomotion…

Comment #72647

Posted by Odd Digit on January 17, 2006 2:56 AM (e)

djlactin:

You are quite correct of course. It’s just typing out all that long hand does get a bit wearing after a while.

Scientists, like everybody else, tend to use anthroporphisms to make their work easier, which is why you often see natural selection ‘directing’ or ‘guiding’ or ‘choosing’ when of course it does no such things.

I agree that on this blog in particular everyone should be taking extra care to avoid possible confusion.

Comment #72714

Posted by Larry Fafarman on January 17, 2006 6:27 AM (e)

The Panda’s Thumb has Evolved … Twice!
Dave Thomas posted Entry 1915 on January 16, 2006 07:41 PM
(opening comment on this thread)

Is it a mere “coincidence” that one of the authors is a Stéphane ?
Friends of Steve Steve, thou mayest now discuss.

How about “enemies” of Steve Steve? Mayest we now discuss too? I hope we get equal time. LOL

You invited comments about Steve Steve, so I presume that he is on-topic.

Why just Steves ? Why not let any scientist sign the “Project Steve” statement?

I can’t believe that “Project Steve” is named for Stephen Jay Gould. He is controversial even among evolutionists. His “punctuated equilibrium” idea is one of the most harebrained ideas that I have ever encountered, and an evolution critic who proposed such an idea would probably be laughed out of town.

“Project Steve” sounds like something from the homophobic slogan, “it was Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.” Maybe Steve was the missing link in a menage a trois consisting of Adam, Eve, and Steve.

One reason why there are more pro-evolution “Steves” than anti-evolution “Steves” is that the latter Steves risk their careers by signing the Discover Institute’s anti-evolution statement – particularly if they are biologists.

Considering the great weight that is given to scientists’ – particularly biologists’ – opinions about the evolution v. ID controversy, why aren’t there more scientifically-conducted polls of scientists on this issue ? When I searched the Internet, all I could find was one outdated (2002) poll of scientists on this issue – a

" rel="external nofollow">poll of 460 Ohio scientists (all scientists, presumably including life and physical scientists). A small but significant percentage – 7 percent – of the scientists in this poll thought that intelligent design was “strongly”or “partly” supported by scientific evidence, 3 percent were not sure, and 90 percent thought that there was no scientific evidence at all for ID. Roughly 3 percent said that they had used the ID concept in their research. In contrast, it seems that the general public is polled several times a year about this issue, even though a lot of people – particularly many of the commenters on this website – do not give a flying fig what the general public thinks about this issue (after all, the general public is mostly just a bunch of nincompoops who can’t understand evolution theory). Conducting frequent polls of scientists would also show trends in what scientists think about this issue. Also, an anonymous poll would show what scientists really think, without any of them feeling under any pressure to conform. Furthermore, poll results showing a significant number of scientists opposing or doubting evolution theory might encourage some pro-evolution scientists to rethink their positions on this issue.

Also, I take issue with the following data concerning the number of scientists who support ID/creationism –

“Of the scientists and engineers in the United States, only about 5% are creationists, according to a 1991 Gallup poll (Robinson 1995, Witham 1997). However, this number includes those working in fields not related to life origins (such as computer scientists, mechanical engineers, etc.). Taking into account only those working in the relevant fields of earth and life sciences, there are about 480,000 scientists, but only about 700 believe in “creation-science” or consider it a valid theory (Robinson 1995). This means that less than 0.15 percent of relevant scientists believe in creationism. And that is just in the United States, which has more creationists than any other industrialized country. In other countries, the number of relevant scientists who accept creationism drops to less than one tenth of 1 percent.” — from http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA111.html

The Gallup poll, taken in 1991, is grossly outdated. Also, how was the 0.15 percent figure arrived at for the percentage of earth and life scientists who supported creation science ? No poll was cited, and many polls are based on small samples – most of the ones I have seen have about 1000 respondents. With a small sample size it would be impossible to arrive at the 0.15 percent figure. And how was the figure of less than one tenth of one percent for foreign countries arrived at ? Completely ridiculous – these numbers have no credibility.

Significantly, in the 2002 Ohio poll cited above, roughly 3 percent said that they had used the ID concept in their research. That is especially significant in view of the fact that many of the respondents presumably had never conducted research related to evolution.

Also, I take issue with the claim that the Discovery Institute’s statement that was signed by 400+ scientists and technologists was misleading –

“The statement which the signatories agreed to is not anti-evolution. It says,

‘We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.’ (Discovery Institute 2004)

Since scientists are trained to examine evidence and to be skeptical of everything, even ardent evolutionists could sign such a statement. Indeed, it is well known that random mutation and natural selection are not the only mechanisms contributing to the complexity of life; other mechanisms such as genetic drift and symbiosis are important, too.” (emphasis added) From – http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA111_1.html

“Genetic drift” is just a slow random mutation and symbiotic relationships are supposedly created by mutations and chosen by natural selection, so the DI statement did not leave these two mechanisms out. The 400+ people who signed the DI statement knew exactly what they were signing.

Scary Larry

=============================================

Ken Miller (testifying at Dover trial) – “ There is no debate among scientists about evolution.”

Judge Jones – “ So, how much time would you like for giving your side of the story ? “

Ken Miller – “ How about a week ? “

Comment #72721

Posted by Renier on January 17, 2006 6:46 AM (e)

Larry wrote : Roughly 3 percent said that they had used the ID concept in their research.

and yet there was no yields, else the DI would have marketed it very well. How do you propose they used the ID concept? I would have thought “oh geeze, this is too complex, so goddidit.” (funny, the spell checker wanted to change the goddidit to goddammit)

Goddammit Larry, I mean, goddidit Larry!

Comment #72725

Posted by Corkscrew on January 17, 2006 6:52 AM (e)

Larry: the point of Project Steve is to throw into sharp relief the claims of various creationist/IDist “Institutes” to have lotsa scientists on their side. The counterargument is “you’ve got lots of scientists? Hah! We have more scientists called Steve supporting evolution than you have scientists!”

Regards the 7% or so who said they thought ID was strongly supported: how many were actual life scientists? If I recall correctly, the proportion of scientists who support ID gets smaller and smaller the closer you get to actual evolutionary biology - lots of physicists, a fair number of chemists, not so many palaeontologists, only a few zoologists and hardly any evolutionary biologists. Compare this to, say, cold fusion, where (from personal observation) the proportion of scientists who think there might have been something in it seems to rise slightly the closer you get to the relevant fields*.

Basically, scientists are no better than educated laymen outside their field of expertise. Now, if ID had a decent chunk of evolutionary biologists on its side, then I might think there was something interesting in there. Of course, it would have to be a fairly large number to overcome the stigma of having tried to force the subject into schools without peer review.

Good Ken Miller quote by the way. Took me a moment to get the joke.

* Levelling out with my dad, who actually worked for Dr Fleischman at one point and is convinced that something interesting was happening that we have yet to figure out

Comment #72726

Posted by Edin Najetovic on January 17, 2006 6:54 AM (e)

Oh dear, there Larry goes again.

It’s a good thing I’m not feeling inclined in any way to enumerate his many factual errors. Any takers today?

Comment #72730

Posted by outeast on January 17, 2006 7:07 AM (e)

In a comment (http://www.corante.com/loom/archives/2005/12/26/the_other_pandas_thumb.php#53693) to the Zimmer post, I asked whether ankle bones mght be coopted toe bones. Can anyone here answer that? Are the same genes expressed in the growth of ankle bones and toe bones, perhaps?

Comment #72731

Posted by Stephen Elliott on January 17, 2006 7:08 AM (e)

Larry,
The steves list is a joke to make a point. So is the FSM. The steves list makes a mockery of the DI list. You obviously don’t get it as you are still using silly lists.

As for censorship, again:

1)Who are the most famous scientists you know?
2)What did they do?
3)How did they make their point?
4)What was the result to their career?

I would submit that the scientists who gained the most fame are those that proved previous scientific thinking wrong.
They argued their hypothesis with evidence.
When accepted it resulted in fame and prizes.

Hardly evidence of scientific conspiracy to preserve a status quo.

But we have had all these discussions before and you refuse to listen Larry.

Why can’t you see that trying to get a hypothesis accepted by PR, public polls and popular writing is not scientific endeavour?

I challenge you to name one useful scientific theory that became accepted by:
Holding press conferences
Demanding it be taught in high school
Selling T-Shirts etc.

All the while not bothering to do scientific experiments and publishing evidence to other scientists.

Comment #72733

Posted by k.e. on January 17, 2006 7:15 AM (e)

Hey Larry why don’t see how many of those 400+ are still on board after Dover ?

And What’s this ?
“Maybe Larry was the missing link in a menage a trois consisting of Adam, Eve, and Larry.”
and homophobia ? huh ?

Comment #72742

Posted by Paul Flocken on January 17, 2006 7:48 AM (e)

Why just Steves ? Why not let any scientist sign the “Project Steve” statement?

I can’t believe that “Project Steve” is named for Stephen Jay Gould. He is controversial even among evolutionists.

Larry you are just too clueless. Why can’t you complete the investigations(I use that word advisedly) you start on the internet. If you wouldn’t just stop when you find something you think you can mouth off about you might learn better than you are now. Remember you already admitted you couldn’t bother to finish reading a simple 300 word summary of Galileo’s work. Show a little more integrity.

Comment #72745

Posted by GT(N)T on January 17, 2006 7:51 AM (e)

Larry, here’s an interesting poll for you: what percentage of federal judges who have heard cases on intelligent design/creationism in the science classroom come to the conclusion that ID/C is, in fact religion?

Corkscrew, while I agree with your assertion that biologists are less likely to entertain ID than chemists or physicists, I disagree with your division of biologists into evolutionary and non-evolutionary disciplenes. All biology is evolutionary. “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution” (TD). ‘Biologists’ who reject the theory of evolution are like chemists who reject molecular theory or physicists who reject gravity, they have placed themselves outside their field.

Comment #72747

Posted by steve s on January 17, 2006 7:59 AM (e)

What are you people doing? Read that comment

Comment #72565

Posted by Larry Fafarman on January 16, 2006 09:16 PM (e) (s)

There are lots of things that supposedly have “evolved” not just twice, but many times. This is called “convergent evolution.”

He’s not a creationist, people. He’s just trying to get attention. Why are you giving it to him?

Comment #72749

Posted by Corkscrew on January 17, 2006 8:00 AM (e)

All biology is evolutionary.

Yeah, but some biology is more evolutionary than others. Depending on the field, it can be easier or harder for a biologist to maintain cognitive dissonance.

Comment #72753

Posted by djlactin on January 17, 2006 8:28 AM (e)

maybe we need a ‘project larry’.

a list of uninformed people who spout off about things they don’t realize that they don’t understand, and who don’t have the attention span to even notice th…

(you gonna eat the rest of that hot dog?)

Comment #72759

Posted by raj on January 17, 2006 8:42 AM (e)

Larry Fafarman on January 17, 2006 06:27 AM (e) (s)

From your quotation

Of the scientists and engineers in the United States, only about 5% are creationists, according to a 1991 Gallup poll (Robinson 1995, Witham 1997).

My emphasis will be on the “engineers” part. From my experience (I do have an engineering background) engineers are pretty good within their respective disciplines, but can fall woefully short when going outside of their respective disiplines.

Actually, so can scientists. I’ll merely bring up the example of William Shockley, who was one of the winners of the Nobel Prize in Physics for the descovery and description of the transistor effect. I actually met him at a science fair when I was in high school in the mid 1960s. In his later life, he expounded various racist views on intelligence. He was wrong, of course, and it was embarrassing.

Comment #72760

Posted by djlactin on January 17, 2006 8:44 AM (e)

On a more serious note:

there are a couple of statements in the abstract that should be examined more closely.

If the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) and the red panda (Ailurus fulgens) are not closely related, their sharing of this adaptation implies a remarkable convergence.

(my emphasis)

IIRC, the taxonomic position of the greater panda is a matter of some debate: Procyonid or Ursid?

IMO, the most parsimonious interpretation of this result is that the lesser and greater pandas share a common ancestor which had the false thumb (or at least a precursor). Prediction of my hypothesis: homologous genetic programs control development of the pseudo-thumb in both species… [note to IDists: does your ‘hypothesis’ generate falsifiable predictions?]

…with the red panda secondarily developing its ability for item manipulation and thus producing one of the most dramatic cases of convergence among vertebrates.

Until my prediction is invalidated, this statement should be considered preliminary.

Comment #72763

Posted by Larry Fafarman on January 17, 2006 8:50 AM (e)

Comment #72725 posted by Corkscrew on January 17, 2006 06:52 AM

Larry: the point of Project Steve is to throw into sharp relief the claims of various creationist/IDist “Institutes” to have lotsa scientists on their side. The counterargument is “you’ve got lots of scientists? Hah! We have more scientists called Steve supporting evolution than you have scientists!”

Sorry, folks, the link to that website on the poll of Ohio scientists did not go through in my Comment #72714 — here it is again – http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/articles/733_ohio_scientists39_intellige_10_15_2002.asp

I am not interested here in seeing nothing but jokes about “Steves” — I want the facts. I want to know the current percentage of scientists – particularly biologists – who support ID. A poll conducted in 2002 is antediluvian so far as intelligent design is concerned. A lot of people have been learning and thinking more about ID lately because it has been so much in the news. I didn’t even hear about intelligent design myself until just a few months ago. Probably most or many of the scientists who were outside areas dealing with evolution had not heard about intelligent design or irreducible complexity in 2002 – and if they had heard about it, they did not give much serious thought to it. The above webpage also reported a 2002 poll of the general public in Ohio, and that poll reported that only 28% of the responding college graduates said that they knew something about ID. The poll of scientists did not even presume that the respondents had even heard of ID, and gave the following definition for them –

“ The concept of ‘Intelligent Design’ is that life and the universe are too complex to have developed without the intervention of a purposeful being or force to guide the development of life. Which of the following do you think best describes ‘Intelligent Design’? “

A lot of definitions of ID leave out the part about “intervention of a purposeful being or force,” and simply say that life is too complex to have evolved. Also, definitions generally leave out the part about the “universe.”

Everything in your comment is sheer conjecture. We could debate your points from now until doomsday, and nothing would be proved. The only way to answer the questions is to conduct a poll now.

By the way, I made an error in reporting the poll results in Comment #72714. I said that 3 percent of the scientists reported using the concept of ID in their research. Actually, the poll results show that 2 percent reported using the concept and 1 percent said that they were not sure.

Also, you made an error in stating the poll results. You said that 7 percent thought that scientific evidence “strongly” supported ID – it was “strongly” or “partly.”

=====================================

“I’m from Missouri. You’ll have to show me.” —- Willard Duncan Vandiver

Comment #72765

Posted by Renier on January 17, 2006 8:55 AM (e)


Dembski blog

It would appear as if DaveScot is the most unpopular person over at uncommon dissent. Ironic, is it not?

I think the problem was that Bill might have tasked dear old Dave to try and split religion from ID (impossible task). In doing so, one major cat fight broke out, leaving all the ID people teaming up against Dave. Go and read it, it’s REALLY funny.

Comment #72766

Posted by raj on January 17, 2006 8:59 AM (e)

From the post

Recent work has illuminated the evolution of the very anatomical feature that this site is named after.

This is very interesting, even though I am not a biologist. The most interesting thing I have run across is Kenneth Miller’s description of the evolutions of the eyes of various species. According to his article Life’s Grand Design, there is evidence that the eyes of various species evolved independently traversing at least 65 different evolutionary paths. And that the human eye is not as efficient as the eyes of other species, such as mollusks. If there is to be an ID section in public schools, require them to teach that.

Life’s Grand Design: http://www.millerandlevine.com/km/evol/lgd/index.html

Comment #72768

Posted by Grey Wolf on January 17, 2006 9:02 AM (e)

Larry wrote:

The only way to answer the questions is to conduct a poll now.

And there is Larry’s ignorance in a nutshell. Science is not about polls and opinions, Larry - it is about facts. You get facts in peer-reviewed journals, tied to theories that explain why the facts are as they are, and tied to predictions about future facts, so they can be looked at and determined whether they fit the theory (if they don’t, the theory must be changed).

You want a poll? What percentage of peer-reviewed articles support ID and do not support the Theory of Evolution? Easy - 0%. Larry, all your hand waving is useless. Until ID has a theory, and peer-reviewed articles, the “opinions” in a poll of “scientists” is utterly useless. And if you continue down this line of “reasoning” you will continue to look ignorant.

Hope that helps,

Grey Wolf

Comment #72772

Posted by Flint on January 17, 2006 9:06 AM (e)

Actually, the poll results show that 2 percent reported using the concept

I’d be very curious to know how the concept was used. Considering that Larry’s claims about things I DO know about are uniformly mendacious or uninformed, I can’t take this claim at face value. Details matter.

I can picture a scientist expressing puzzlement at his research results. I simply can’t picture a research scientist saying it must have been magic.

Comment #72776

Posted by Raging Bee on January 17, 2006 9:17 AM (e)

I think we should all realize there’s nothing more to be accomplished by responding to Larry. Calling himself “Scary Larry” pretty clearly implies he’s here to get attention and pretend that means he’s “winning” something. And his latest fallback position – that ID is valid because it supposedly caused so much research and public dialogue – is further proof that his agenda is to hog attention and drag all dialogue down to his level, which is the only “victory” he’ll ever hope to achieve.

The trouble with arguing with a five-year-old is that you begin to sound like one.

Comment #72779

Posted by RavenT on January 17, 2006 9:22 AM (e)

djlactin wrote:

IIRC, the taxonomic position of the greater panda is a matter of some debate: Procyonid or Ursid?

While the red panda is considered a procyonid, the mainstream view now is that the giant panda is indeed a bear, although it diverged from the main ursid line long enough ago to exhibit some striking differences (in addition to the enlarged radial sesamoid), such as chromosome number, skull anatomy, and other traits. “Panda” is a folk taxonomy term derived from a Nepalese language (probably one of the minority languages, rather than Nepali proper), and it was probably functional similarities (eating bamboo with the modified “hand”) that triggered the associations between the two species.

The spectacled bear is thought to be the next split off the main ursid line, and it too has some interesting differences–number of chromosomes and placental structure, just to name a couple. The rest of the bears are much closer to each other, than to either the spectacled bear or the giant panda. But it is widely accepted that the panda is indeed a bear; there is not nearly so much debate on that point since the molecular studies of the early 80s.

Comment #72783

Posted by k.e. on January 17, 2006 9:37 AM (e)

Larry how did you go with my questions
here are some more
1. What is Dispensationalist Dementia

2. Who said “Knowing things that are not so is the worst kind of ignorance.”

3. What is Fundamentalist Psychosis

4. What is Fundamentalist Shcizophrenia

5 Who wrote. “But,” she adds (and I quote), “even the most peaceful and law abiding are perplexing, because they seem so adamantly opposed to many of the most positive values of modern society. Fundamentalists have no time for democracy, pluralism, religious toleration, peacekeeping, free speech, or the separation of church and state. Christian fundamentalists,” she notes, “… insist that the Book of Genesis is scientifically sound in every detail.”

Comment #72784

Posted by Larry Fafarman on January 17, 2006 9:46 AM (e)

Comment #72745 posted by GT(N)T on January 17, 2006 07:51 AM

Larry, here’s an interesting poll for you: what percentage of federal judges who have heard cases on intelligent design/creationism in the science classroom come to the conclusion that ID/C is, in fact religion?

And here is an interesting question for you: when before in American history has a judge ruled on the scientific merits of a proposed scientific idea? Even in Edwards v. Aguillard, the courts sidestepped the issue of the scientific merits of creation science.

The Dover opinion says on page 79, “We therefore find that Professor Behe’s claim for irreducible complexity has been refuted in peer-reviewed research papers and has been rejected by the scientific community at large.”

We just have separation of church and state. We don’t have separation of scientific error and state or separation of pseudoscience and state. Are we going to have judges decide whether other controversial scientific ideas – like punctuated equilibrium and the big bang theory – may be taught in public-school science classes?

Corkscrew, while I agree with your assertion that biologists are less likely to entertain ID than chemists or physicists, I disagree with your division of biologists into evolutionary and non-evolutionary disciplenes. All biology is evolutionary. “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution” (TD). ‘Biologists’ who reject the theory of evolution are like chemists who reject molecular theory or physicists who reject gravity, they have placed themselves outside their field.

Yes, but biologists can use evolution theory without believing it to be true. They can just pretend that it is true, in the same way that imaginary numbers are used in the analysis of alternating current circuits. The imaginary numbers of course have no physical meaning, but the math of complex numbers mimics the behavior of AC circuits.

Comment #72786

Posted by Moses on January 17, 2006 9:48 AM (e)

I want the facts. I want to know the current percentage of scientists — particularly biologists — who support ID.

Wow. I can see someone didn’t learn something at a young age. No one here is your dog, Larry. Do the work yourself and stop acting like you’re the king of the universe. And, from your definition of scientist, exclude engineers, mathematicians, accountants and other individuals that my have “science” degrees(like an MS - Accountancy, MS - Engineering, MS - Economics) but are not actually scientists.

Comment #72793

Posted by caerbannog on January 17, 2006 10:00 AM (e)


Yes, but biologists can use evolution theory without believing it to be true. They can just pretend that it is true, in the same way that imaginary numbers are used in the analysis of alternating current circuits. The imaginary numbers of course have no physical meaning, but the math of complex numbers mimics the behavior of AC circuits.

But how can biologists, or other scientists, for that matter, *use* intelligent design theory (whether or not they believe it to be true)?

The problem with intelligent design “theory” isn’t so much that it’s wrong; the major problem is that it’s useless! (Cue Wolfgang Pauli here – “it’s not right; it’s not even wrong!”).

Comment #72794

Posted by k.e. on January 17, 2006 10:09 AM (e)

Larry are you that stupid?
You said

The imaginary numbers of course have no physical meaning, but the math of complex numbers mimics the behavior of AC circuits.”

You do know the difference between your butt and a hole in the ground don’t you?

The numbers ARE NOT IMAGINARY THEY ACTUALLY EXIST THEY ARE “REAL” REALLY AND TRULY GOD’s HONOR.

The math is a descriptive language just like Latin and Urdu they describe actual things whether you can see them or not their existence can be measured and thus are proved unlike your your LIES like ID.

Hey Larry Missouri just called they want their fool back.

Comment #72797

Posted by Ed Darrell on January 17, 2006 10:15 AM (e)

I am not interested here in seeing nothing but jokes about “Steves” —- I want the facts. I want to know the current percentage of scientists — particularly biologists — who support ID.

There are between 75,000 and 80,000 practicing biologists with advanced degrees in the U.S. To skew this for creationists, let’s say 75,000.

There are 400 people who have signed a statement for the Discovery Institute that can be twisted to mild support of intelligent design. Of that 400, about 10% are biologists, but about 40% total might be said to be in biology-related fields. Let’s skew this for the creationists, too, and say 160 are biologists. 160/75,000=0.00213 (the 3 repeats).

What percentage of biologists support ID? About 0.213%, or 2 out of every thousand.

How many scientists are there in the U.S.? You can do the math.

There is a vanishingly minuscule percentage of biologists who support ID, and an infinitesimally small percentage of all scientists. Of the ID supporters, exactly zero have done any research to verify ID.

Einstein in 1905 published more papers by himself, all of them Earthshaking, than all ID scientists have published in two decades, and both ID papers were problematic.

Comment #72798

Posted by rdog29 on January 17, 2006 10:17 AM (e)

Larry -

What’s with the continuing insistence on polls?

Who gives a damn about personal opinions? What matters is what scientists DO - as exemplified by data, evidence, publications and peer review.

And just what has ID DONE - apart from engaging in deceitful PR campaigns and soliciting local schoolboards only to let them twist on the wind? Where is the research? Where is the peer review? Where is the paradigm shift? Why does ID have to rely on marketing rather than evidence to get noticed?

If you polled enough “scientists”, you could probably find some support for any goofy idea. SO WHAT?

Again, what matters is what the professionals do. And they’re NOT doing ID. Science is not conducted by popularity poll. Your continuing references to polls reveal nothing but your own weak position.

Comment #72799

Posted by Moses on January 17, 2006 10:22 AM (e)

Now, on to more interesting things:

Wow! This “carpal thumb” convergent evolution is so cool and is predicted by evolutionary theory. I know the intellectual ostrich’s will deny/discount/explain-it-away. But then, they explain everything away that doesn’t fit their worldview, so no matter.

Also, thanks (to whomever) for the posting the bit about eyes. My old man yaps about stuff like eyes and trees dropping their leaves to prove ID. I’ll get to look it up and show him 65 eyes, including many, many mammalian species that are superior.

Thanks to k.e. regarding “fundamentalist schizophrenia.” I’d recognized the concept as a layman, but I didn’t know the exactly terminology and symptomology.

Comment #72800

Posted by Odd Digit on January 17, 2006 10:25 AM (e)

Ignore the troll

Comment #72806

Posted by Greg H on January 17, 2006 10:37 AM (e)

I’m just trying to figure out what imaginary numbers and “believing evolution is true” have to do with each other? It seems like a nonsensical argument. Actually, it sounds like a philosophical argument - something on the lines of “I can use my car without believing that it actually exists.”

Imaginary numbers aren’t called imaginary because they aren’t believed in, Larry.

I encourage you, as others have, to actually read on the topics you are espousing. Here, I’ll get you started:

http://staff.jccc.edu/swilson/complex/imagnumbers.htm
http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Number#Imaginary_numbers

Comment #72807

Posted by Russell on January 17, 2006 10:38 AM (e)

There are 400 people who have signed a statement for the Discovery Institute that can be twisted to mild support of intelligent design.

Not really. As has been pointed out by several folks here and elsewhere, there’s nothing in that statement that a modern-day “Darwinist” would object to. What distinguishes the signatories is that they are willing to let the Disco Institute use them for their religious right neo-creationist agenda.

Comment #72808

Posted by Corkscrew on January 17, 2006 10:40 AM (e)

Larry wrote:

Yes, but biologists can use evolution theory without believing it to be true. They can just pretend that it is true, in the same way that imaginary numbers are used in the analysis of alternating current circuits. The imaginary numbers of course have no physical meaning, but the math of complex numbers mimics the behavior of AC circuits.

Speak for yourself. I’m just starting a course in General Relativity, whereby space is effectively defined as being imaginary time. Go figure…

Comment #72813

Posted by AlanW on January 17, 2006 10:58 AM (e)

Larry,

You asked on this, and previous threads, when in history has an American court ruled on the validity of a scientific idea. Federal courts routinely make such rulings to determine whether or not such scientific ideas/evidence are admissable as evidence (following the Supreme Court holding in Daubert v. Merrill Dow Pharm., 509 U.S. 579 (1993)). Quoting the Supremes:

“…© Faced with a proffer of expert scientific testimony under Rule 702, the trial judge, pursuant to Rule 104(a), must make a preliminary assessment of whether the testimony’s underlying reasoning or methodology is scientifically valid and properly can be applied to the facts at issue. Many considerations will bear on the inquiry, including whether the theory or technique in question can be (and has been) tested, whether it has been subjected to peer review and publication, its known or potential error rate, and the existence and maintenance of standards controlling its operation, and whether it has attracted widespread acceptance within a relevant scientific community. The inquiry is a flexible one, and its focus must be solely on principles and methodology, not on the conclusions that they generate. Throughout, the judge should also be mindful of other applicable Rules. Pp. 12-15.”

IMHO, ID fails on all 5 factors.

Comment #72814

Posted by Moses on January 17, 2006 11:04 AM (e)

So, besides Panda’s, what other relatively-unrelated species share such dramatic indicators of convergent evolution? And I don’t mean the mundane “65 kinds of eyes” thing. Or hands that became flippers.

I’m looking for unusual instances of convergent evolution, not the common place instances?

Comment #72816

Posted by Julie on January 17, 2006 11:10 AM (e)

Edin wrote:

It’s a good thing I’m not feeling inclined in any way to enumerate his many factual errors. Any takers today?

Well, how about this one?

“Genetic drift” is just a slow random mutation….

Genetic drift isn’t mutation, nor is it the consequence of mutation. Rather, it occurs when alleles are lost from a population, or their frequency changed in a population, by a chance event that doesn’t involve either mutation or selection.

The bottleneck effect is a classic example of genetic drift. Hypothetical example: In a forest habitat supporting a population of 1000 animals (one species, by the ecological definition of a population), a sudden fire wipes out all but 40. Some alleles of some genes occurred only in the animals that died in the fire, so when the population was “bottlenecked” down to 40 survivors, those alleles disappeared from the population by chance.

I wouldn’t normally be feeding into this, but I needed something to do while my insect DNA preps were incubating. Besides, it would be unfortunate if someone new to the field believed the misstatement.

Comment #72823

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 17, 2006 11:39 AM (e)

For those who haven’t run into him before, please be assured that LaLaLarry is not even auburn, he’s a maroon. A munchkin. A mental midget who would need to evolve towards big-brainedness for many eons to even begin to consider qualifying as a pinhead.

He has, for just one of many examples, had the sheer necessity and commonplace practice of federal courts ruling on the quality of science explained to him 40 times already. Please don’t bother to play with him–such one-sided contests are painful to watch.

Comment #72826

Posted by KL on January 17, 2006 11:49 AM (e)

“So, besides Panda’s, what other relatively-unrelated species share such dramatic indicators of convergent evolution? And I don’t mean the mundane “65 kinds of eyes” thing. Or hands that became flippers.

I’m looking for unusual instances of convergent evolution, not the common place instances?”

Would filling a niche by different means be called convergent evolution? I am thinking of the ability to find and extract grubs from under tree bark. In most habitats this is done by woodpeckers, but a primate, the Aye-aye, fills this niche in Madagascar (no woodpeckers there) using a long, skeletal middle finger and acute hearing.

If this phenomenon has another name, my apologies.

Comment #72832

Posted by evopeach on January 17, 2006 12:06 PM (e)

It is this sort of preposterous interpretation of fossil evidence that makes the case for critics of evolution. Not only was it rediculous to suppose that the false thumb was somehow flawed design in the Panda ( they have obviously managed to survive quite well with it for a very long time) but to suppose the independent evolution of the same mechanism borders on the intellectually absurd.

AS the world of science becomes more integrated as its informational content, systems aspects and transactional scecialization at the molecular level dominate the evolutionist and its biology cult become more and more marginalized and embarrassingly obsolete.

“Math is not a science” undoubtedly made by a biologist whose training in math stopped at a quite elementary level.

When evos make light of SLOT, failing to identify the various aspects of entropy as classical and informational they display a level of hubris and ignorance unparalled since the days of flogiston.

They cannot even properly define open , closed, isolated and flowthrough systems that sophmores in engineering understand.

I suppose they are unfamiliar with relativity and the EPR paradox etc. thus maintaining that entropy can spontaneously decrease locally so long as somewhere in the universe a simultaneous increase occurs to mailtain SLOT. Instantaneous entangled messaging between physically unrelated phenomena … how very interesting.. LOL.

Of course not one iota of scientific experience supports any concept of SLOT other than all locally occuring processes without exception in consideration of the immediate boundary conditions and interactions so associated result in a net increase in entropy.

Certainly in living systems where they are properly constituted energy flowthrough systems with well defined energy conversion mechanisms in place we see reactions running away from equibrium so long as the flowthrough conditions prevail.

This is of course quite apart from the organization, separation, ordering and informational in toto entropy considerations now very well identified, calculable and recognized universally as a part of the SLOT generally treated.

The very idea that the latter is the result of spontaneous, purely evolutionary processes is ludicrous and unsubstantiated by any believable scientist or group.

Biology in the classical sense is becoming less and less important in the progress of science as the engineering, physical, informational and mathmatical become ever more critical to progress.

Soon the fairy tales of evolution will be relegated to the room storing Aesops fables,Priestley’s phlogiston and luminiferous ether.

A lie cannot live forever,

Comment #72836

Posted by k.e. on January 17, 2006 12:19 PM (e)

Evo spurted:

AS the world of science Creationists becomes more integrated as its informational content, systems aspects and transactional scecialization at the molecular level dominate Pseudoscience the evolutionist Creationists and its biology Fundamentalist literal readers of Genesis cult become more and more marginalized and embarrassingly obsolete.

Comment #72840

Posted by jim on January 17, 2006 12:22 PM (e)

evopeach,

I’m ignoring most of your post…

However, regarding a sophomore in engineering being able to define the various constrained environments for “open, closed, flow-through, etc.”.

You do realize that in engineering we ASSUME these constraints in order to solve the problem more easily, don’t you? I mean, you realize that these solutions are just good approximations, right? You realize that assumed conditions like adiabatic, iso-thermal, reflective (boundaries), freestream (boundaries), downstream (boundaries), inviscid, incompressible, frozen, equilibrium, etc. don’t really exist, right?

NO system matches these assumed conditions, they’re merely useful for posing the problem in a form that’s easy to solve and gives an answer close enough to reality to be meaningful. These things don’t actually exist in nature!

Comment #72841

Posted by W. Kevin Vicklund on January 17, 2006 12:25 PM (e)

Larry wrote:

Yes, but biologists can use evolution theory without believing it to be true. They can just pretend that it is true, in the same way that imaginary numbers are used in the analysis of alternating current circuits. The imaginary numbers of course have no physical meaning, but the math of complex numbers mimics the behavior of AC circuits.

This is incorrect. The imaginary numbers used in electrical circuits have a direct, physical meaning (insofar as any number has a direct, physical meaning) that relates to oscillations in current that result from change within the circuit (not merely AC circuits, btw). Once again, Larry chimes in on something he doesn’t understand.

Comment #72842

Posted by Corkscrew on January 17, 2006 12:33 PM (e)

evopeach wrote:

“Math is not a science” undoubtedly made by a biologist whose training in math stopped at a quite elementary level.

I am a mathematician (in training) and I’d agree with this. Maths is IMO slightly closer to philosophy than science.

Of course, there are lots of uses for mathematical ideas and approaches in the natural sciences, just like there are lots of uses for mathematical ideas and approaches in computing, or in formal debate, or accounting, or economics, or…

When evos make light of SLOT, failing to identify the various aspects of entropy as classical and informational they display a level of hubris and ignorance unparalled since the days of flogiston.

As someone who’s actually studied information theory, I’m well placed to state that you’re speaking complete bollocks here. Also, you can’t spell phlogiston. Oh the irony…

Regards the Second Law of Thermodynamics: if you think it’s a problem for evolutionary theory, I’d like to hear your explanation of why it isn’t a problem when, for example, considering how an oak tree grows from an acorn. All that disordered dirt spontaneously turning into a massive, ordered structure? That can’t be right!

Comment #72846

Posted by Laser on January 17, 2006 12:51 PM (e)

evopeach wrote:

I suppose they are unfamiliar with relativity and the EPR paradox etc. thus maintaining that entropy can spontaneously decrease locally so long as somewhere in the universe a simultaneous increase occurs to mailtain SLOT. Instantaneous entangled messaging between physically unrelated phenomena … how very interesting.. LOL.

Perhaps you are familiar with Bell’s Theorem? And that experimental evidence to date shows that some “spooky action at a distance” does seem to occur, contrary to EPR? Perhaps you think that quantum computing work being done nowadays is all just “myth?”

I can’t really tell what your point is about the SLOT. You seem to be saying that evolutionary biologists need to invoke instantaneous entropy changes across light years to account for a local decrease in entropy. They of course make no such claim. You only put those ridiculous words in their mouths. The entropy change of a system (the chemicals involved in a reaction for a chemical process) can be negative if the surroundings (the matter immediately surrounding the system) have a positive entropy change. No spooky action at a distance required. An example of such a process is rusting. The entropy of the system decreases when iron rusts. That is countered by an increase in entropy of the surroundings. No violation of the SLOT.

Since rusting, in the logic of ID proponents, violates the SLOT, I expect them to push their “Intelligent Rusting” theory and demand that it be taught in high school chemistry.

Comment #72849

Posted by Stephen Elliott on January 17, 2006 12:56 PM (e)

evopeach,
Do you remember the bets you made about the Dover decision?
Have you paid up?

Remeber this?

evopeach

Posts: 248
Joined: July 2005
Posted: Oct. 19 2005,16:13

——————————————————————————–
Captain Midnight … still putting a little crank in your ovaltine I see. Lets take that unbiased NYT article as purely objective. LOL

Oh! And if you’d like a small wager on the outcome of this trial… I’m game.

Are you guys going to be the pall bearers for Lenny after he takes the pipe when your cult loses?

Its the least you could do after egging him on over such a hopeless cause.

——————————————————————————–
Report this post to a moderator

cogzoid

Posts: 94
Joined: Sep. 2005
Posted: Oct. 19 2005,17:45

——————————————————————————–
Oooh, a friendly wager.

I’m definitely in. What are the terms and stakes?

-Dan

——————————————————————————–
Report this post to a moderator

TheMissingLink

Posts: 13
Joined: Oct. 2005
Posted: Oct. 19 2005,19:53

——————————————————————————–
Don’t trust the NYT? Here’s another account of the testimony from the local paper:

Quote

Eric Rothschild, attorney for the plaintiffs, asked Behe about whether astrology was science. And Behe, after hemming and hawing and launching into an abbreviated history of astrology and science, said, under his definition, it is.

http://ydr.com/story/doverbiology/90330/

And, oh god, I wish there was a reliable way to bet on this trial. Anyone who thinks the judge is going to do anything other than rip the school board to shreds.. is seriously delusional. This ruling will not be pretty.

——————————————————————————–
Report this post to a moderator

sir_toejam

Posts: 107
Joined: April 2005
Posted: Oct. 19 2005,20:31

——————————————————————————–
will evopeach take odds in his favor? or has he already decided on even odds *snicker*

——————————————————————————–
Report this post to a moderator

evopeach

Posts: 248
Joined: July 2005
Posted: Oct. 20 2005,09:08

——————————————————————————–
Here’s the bet,

Anyone who replies and accepts, regardless of any appeal, has to write a post admitting they lost the bet.

Then they have to honestly resign from this forum under any and all names for a period of thirty calendar days.

I will be lonely posting to no one.

——————————————————————————–

Now how did that Judge rule?

Comment #72851

Posted by Tice with a J on January 17, 2006 12:59 PM (e)

evopeach wrote:

Soon the fairy tales of evolution will be relegated to the room storing Aesop’s fables, Priestley’s phlogiston and luminiferous ether.

Aesop’s fables will never go out of style. As for phlogiston and ether, it is quite easy to find people who truly believe that those theories are more valid than current ones. Just go to http://www.crank.net/ and look around. The stupidity might even amaze some of the most experienced PT readers.

Comment #72852

Posted by Ubernatural on January 17, 2006 1:02 PM (e)

Heh, Phlogiston wasn’t even really wrong. It just wasn’t known at the time that (+)Phlogiston = (-)Oxygen

Comment #72853

Posted by ben on January 17, 2006 1:12 PM (e)

Are we going to have judges decide whether other controversial scientific ideas — like punctuated equilibrium and the big bang theory — may be taught in public-school science classes?

Yes we are, if it happens that cynical religious fundamentalists concoct pseudscientific competing “theories” that exist only to attack the theories you mention, then maneuver to have them taught in public schools. ID is not about science, it’s about The Wedge.

Comment #72854

Posted by Larry Fafarman on January 17, 2006 1:17 PM (e)

Comment #72841 posted by W. Kevin Vicklund on January 17, 2006 12:25 PM

Larry wrote:
****Yes, but biologists can use evolution theory without believing it to be true. They can just pretend that it is true, in the same way that imaginary numbers are used in the analysis of alternating current circuits. The imaginary numbers of course have no physical meaning, but the math of complex numbers mimics the behavior of AC circuits.*****

This is incorrect. The imaginary numbers used in electrical circuits have a direct, physical meaning (insofar as any number has a direct, physical meaning) that relates to oscillations in current that result from change within the circuit (not merely AC circuits, btw). Once again, Larry chimes in on something he doesn’t understand.

Do you know what an imaginary number is? It is the square-root of minus one. It has no physical meaning. It is called “imaginary” because it is imaginary. In a complex number, one part is real and one part is imaginary. The real part is called “real” because it is real. In electrical engineering, the mathematics of complex numbers is used mainly in the analysis of AC circuits that have capacitance and/or inductance. Anyway, my point is that here is something that is not real but has practical applications, so evolution theory can be treated as something that might not be real but that has practical applications. Raising doubts about the truth of evolution theory in biologists’ minds is not going to mean the end of biology, as some alarmists are suggesting.

Comment #72859

Posted by Mr Christopher on January 17, 2006 1:29 PM (e)

A peachy creationist wrote:

Soon the fairy tales of evolution will be relegated to the room storing Aesops fables

Yeah and they’ll be teaching intelligent design creationism in public science class any day now.

Somewhere in outer space the time travelling space alien intelligent designer (aka God) is smiling.

Comment #72860

Posted by BWE on January 17, 2006 1:30 PM (e)

Entropy? The devil makes you say things like that. When the antichrist finally leaves las vegas, you’ll be sorry.

Comment #72865

Posted by Dave Thomas on January 17, 2006 1:44 PM (e)

Larry wrote

Do you know what an imaginary number is? It is the square-root of minus one. It has no physical meaning. It is called “imaginary” because it is imaginary. In a complex number, one part is real and one part is imaginary. The real part is called “real” because it is real. In electrical engineering, the mathematics of complex numbers is used mainly in the analysis of AC circuits that have capacitance and/or inductance. Anyway, my point is that here is something that is not real but has practical applications, so evolution theory can be treated as something that might not be real but that has practical applications. Raising doubts about the truth of evolution theory in biologists’ minds is not going to mean the end of biology, as some alarmists are suggesting.

I have a master’s degree in math, Larry, and I can assure you that so-called “imaginary” numbers are as real (and as useful) as any other mathematical construct, including matrices, trig functions, and dot and cross-products.

Larry, when you say things like

The imaginary numbers of course have no physical meaning

you are making our job (that of exposing creationists as the pseudoscientific charlatans they are) much, much easier.

Thanks!

Dave

Comment #72866

Posted by Greg H on January 17, 2006 1:47 PM (e)

Actually Larry, what you wrote was:

Larry wrote:

Yes, but biologists can use evolution theory without believing it to be true[emphasis added]. They can just pretend that it is true, in the same way that imaginary numbers are used in the analysis of alternating current circuits. The imaginary numbers of course have no physical meaning, but the math of complex numbers mimics the behavior of AC circuits.

You were questioning the beleif that evolution was true, not whether or not it’s useful. There’s no doubt that imaginary numbers, despite the fact that there’s no place on the number line for them, are “true” numbers, in the sense that they are a representation of a valid mathematical concept.

See, this is where Creationists (and their less forthcoming ID brethren) get tripped over their own rhetoric. They assume that since what they rant on about is based on a belief (re, Chrstianity, or what have you), then so must what they oppose (re, evolution), when in fact nothing could be farther from the truth. Belief has no place in serious science. You are free to believe whatever you want, from energy from the sun is transmitted by the aether to friction is caused by little demons, but it is evidence - empirical, verified, repeatable, tested, evidence that decides what is and is not true in science. And incidentally, in math as well. So while i may be an imaginary number, it is still a true number, and that is what makes it useful, not whether people believe or disbelieve in the truth of it.

Comment #72871

Posted by Tyrannosaurus on January 17, 2006 1:57 PM (e)

Commenting on comment # 72641,
djlacting without sounding too much of a snob, in rearranging the Panda article, even the use of “try: …the false thumb of the giant panda probably evolved as a consequence of its utility in manipulating bamboo, the false thumbs of the red panda and of S. batalleri more likely evolved as consequence of its value in arboreal locomotion…” brings to mind a tinge of Lamarckian evolution to the context. At the moment I have no better way to rephrase the sentence but that is to show how careful we must thread the waters of communicating results.
My two cents to the debate.

Comment #72872

Posted by Larry Fafarman on January 17, 2006 1:59 PM (e)

Comment #72797 posted by Ed Darrell on January 17, 2006 10:15 AM

****I am not interested here in seeing nothing but jokes about “Steves” —- I want the facts. I want to know the current percentage of scientists — particularly biologists — who support ID.****

There are between 75,000 and 80,000 practicing biologists with advanced degrees in the U.S. To skew this for creationists, let’s say 75,000.

There are 400 people who have signed a statement for the Discovery Institute that can be twisted to mild support of intelligent design.

Your analysis is utterly meaningless. The number of people who signed the statement provides no basis for drawing any conclusions about what all US biologists think. The number who signed the statement is a minimum, not a maximum of the number of scientists who agree with the statement. Furthermore, many scientists are reluctant to sign the statement because of pressure to conform.

Furthermore, the statement expressly states skepticism of evolution theory. There is nothing ambiguous about that.

Comment #72876

Posted by Corkscrew on January 17, 2006 2:06 PM (e)

Larry wrote:

Furthermore, the statement expressly states skepticism of evolution theory. There is nothing ambiguous about that.

Except that any practicing biologist could also sign up to that statement with a clear conscience - skepticism is an intrinsic part of science, and I can’t think of any theory that’s perfect enough to not merit any. So using that to claim that lots of people support ID is misleading at best.

Comment #72879

Posted by Mr Christopher on January 17, 2006 2:08 PM (e)

Hey Larry, guess what? Intelligent design is recycled creationism. Unless the definition of science is changed it does not belong there. If the definition of science is changed to accomodate intelligent design creationism, we would have to include astrology, witchcraft, numerology and palm reading.

The sunday school teaching theologian Dembski has admitted this, Micheal “it could be a time traveler or space alien” Behe has admitted this and Steven Fuller admitted this. Without Dembski and Behe IDC becomes a theory proposed by a second rate Moonie.

Your side lost because intelligent design creationism is not science, it is creationism with an improved vocabulary. Sorry to burst your bubble. I know the truth can hurt sometimes.

Just because you cannot learn about intelligent design in scicne class does not mean you cannot learn about it at all. Most every church in American has a sunday school class each weekend where they discuss intelligent design/creationism. They are no supported by tax dollars and their classes are free.

Have you met the evo peachy creationists who posts here? You two have lots on common and lots to talk about.

Comment #72880

Posted by Tyrannosaurus on January 17, 2006 2:10 PM (e)

At the end of Comment #72784 Larry stated that Yes, but biologists can use evolution theory without believing it to be true. They can just pretend that it is true…
This has been addressed before but anyway,
Larry your comment implies explicitly that biologist can believe evolution to be true or not. However, the truth is that biologist do not believe in the veracity of evolution or any other theory for that matter. Biologists believe in experimentation and analysis of the results (facts). If you believe you are placing a personal value in proving the truth of the theory and consequently will bias your experimental design and your interpretation of results. That is bad science and one reason the ID has shown to be a totally flawed proposal.

Comment #72884

Posted by Raging Bee on January 17, 2006 2:15 PM (e)

Yeah, sure, Larry, more biologists would be “Cdesign Proponentists” if only the guys in the black helicopters would stop threatening their careers, right? Every clueless crank who can’t understand why people don’t take him/her seriously makes exactly the same excuse: it’s always someone else’s fault.

Given that the IDers are sounding like every other clueless crank who thought he had all the answers, perhaps you should try to explain why you should be taken more seriously than, say, the flat-earthers, or the LaRouchies.

Comment #72886

Posted by W. Kevin Vicklund on January 17, 2006 2:22 PM (e)

Larry, no number has any physical meaning unless it is associated with some sort of physical concept (thus the qualification in my original post). 3, by itself, is meaningless. j3 is equally meaningless by itself, no more, no less. It is true that there are more physical concepts that 3 can be associated with than j3 is, but there are physical concepts in which j3 is meaningful.

In electrical engineering, an imaginary number is the physical concept of an oscillation at a specified frequency with respect to a reference (which may itself be changing). A real number is the physical concept of a constant value or amplitude with respect to a reference. A complex number combines the two concepts. That oscillation is a measurable quantity, which makes it just as real as a “real” number.

(This is not to say that this is the only concept in my field of expertise that imaginary numbers have a physical meaning)

Comment #72887

Posted by Larry Fafarman on January 17, 2006 2:23 PM (e)

Comment #72866 posted by Greg H on January 17, 2006 01:47 PM

You were questioning the beleif that evolution was true, not whether or not it’s useful.

I am not placing any restrictions on my views about evolution theory. It could be wrong and still be useful.

There’s no doubt that imaginary numbers, despite the fact that there’s no place on the number line for them, are “true” numbers, in the sense that they are a representation of a valid mathematical concept.

Whatever. They can be “true” numbers and a “valid mathematical concept” and still have no physical meaning. That was my point.

Comment #72890

Posted by Stephen Elliott on January 17, 2006 2:29 PM (e)

Posted by Larry Fafarman on January 17, 2006 02:23 PM (e) (s)


Whatever. They can be “true” numbers and a “valid mathematical concept” and still have no physical meaning. That was my point.

They are named imaginary numbers. But they do have meaning in the physical world.

Not just AC either Larry. They are also relevant in DC at “switch on and switch off” at least.

Comment #72893

Posted by Raging Bee on January 17, 2006 2:32 PM (e)

I am not placing any restrictions on my views about evolution theory. It could be wrong and still be useful.

As opposed to ID, which is wrong and useless.

So now LaLaLarry is totally in retreat from reality: he still reserves the right to say a theory is “wrong” regardless of all the real-world evidence proving it both right and useful.

Does LaLaLarry even WANT to be taken seriously? Or is modern-day creationism going postmodern?

Comment #72899

Posted by Mr Christopher on January 17, 2006 2:45 PM (e)

Off topic but as far as intelligent design creation being taught in Frazier California, CLASS DISMISSED!

Sorry to break the news to you like this, Larry.

And speaking of accuracy in reporting at least one media outlet is not falling for the intelligent design creationism distortions:

A group of parents sued the school district last week, saying the class taught by a minister’s wife violated the separation of church and state. The course taught that life is so complex it must have been created by God.

Yep, the media is seeing through the “intelligent designer” nonsense and calling it like it is. I am howling over here I tell you!

Comment #72902

Posted by Raging Bee on January 17, 2006 2:52 PM (e)

As Jerry Springer would say, “That’s gotta hurt!”

I’d speculate on how the creationists will spin this latest public bitch-slap, but their responses have become so predictable as to become an old joke.

Comment #72903

Posted by Dean Morrison on January 17, 2006 2:56 PM (e)

What is Larry doing here?

Talking about Panda’s thumbs? Thought not.

He derailed this thread the moment he appeared. (What have project ‘Steve’ and imaginary numbers got to do with Panda’s thumbs?)

Come on Larry - back to the ‘1000-post’ thread - we can continue over there

Please everyone - post any off-thread replies to Larry at:

http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2006/01/intelligent_des_19.html

and let him look there to find them.

Please use the same protocol when he pops up to derail the next thread.

Comment #72904

Posted by Larry Fafarman on January 17, 2006 2:58 PM (e)

Comment #72886 posted by W. Kevin Vicklund on January 17, 2006 02:22 PM

In electrical engineering, an imaginary number is the physical concept of an oscillation at a specified frequency with respect to a reference (which may itself be changing). A real number is the physical concept of a constant value or amplitude with respect to a reference. A complex number combines the two concepts. That oscillation is a measurable quantity, which makes it just as real as a “real” number.

This is off-topic, so this will be my last comment on this matter.

An alternating-current circuit may have pure resistance, inductance (as in coils), and/or capacitance. The mathematics of complex numbers is used to determine (1) the amplitude of the AC current in response to the exciting sinusoidal voltage of a given amplitude and frequency and (2) the phase angle by which the current oscillations leads or follows the voltage oscillations. The magnitudes of the imaginary numbers are related to the physical quantities of the circuit and the exciting voltage, but the imaginary number i itself – the square-root of minus one – has no physical relation to any of the physical quantities of the circuit or the exciting voltage.

Anyway, my analogy here was not necessary to prove my point. My point was that biologists can use evolution theory even if they do not believe it to be true.

Comment #72909

Posted by Greg H on January 17, 2006 3:05 PM (e)

Larry, comment 72887 wrote:

Whatever. They can be “true” numbers and a “valid mathematical concept” and still have no physical meaning. That was my point.

So now we have Larry in full retreat, starting with the battle cry of my six year old when she’s heard something she doesn’t want to accept - “whatever.” I was fully expecting a “Talk to the hand” to follow that.

It’s not a whatever moment Larry. No number has a physical meaning, unless it’s associated with a unit of measure. If I say “3” all by itself and with no context, what the hell does it mean? Absolutely nothing. Most folks would immediately respond “3 what?” 3 is no more or less “real” than i. Now if I say 3 apples, or three fingers, or the three little pigs, suddenly it has a physical representation - a unit of measure that we can associate the number with. I mean if you want to get down to it, 0 is the most imaginary number of all, given your criteria. Point at something physical and say “There’s zero of that right there”. 0 is imaginary! It’s also complex! And real!

0 = 0i = 0 + 0i.

Odd, huh. But they are all valid representations of 0.

My point, Larry, since you seem to be so bad at making your own, is that your orginal analogy, you know the one where you compared using imaginary numbers to using evolution, whether or not you believe it to be true, was inane. And wrong.

And wow on the El Cajon ruling. That didn’t take nearly as long as I expected. My grandfather always had an expression:

“Just because it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, doesn’t mean it isn’t bullshit covered with feathers.”

Maybe the American community is finally starting to use their nose along with their eyes and ears.

Comment #72910

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 17, 2006 3:11 PM (e)

My point was that biologists can use evolution theory even if they do not believe it to be true.

i doubt you actually understand what point you are trying to make, or even if there is one in all of your posts, larry, but subconsciously here, you actually managed to say something that has substantive value.

science never values the “truth” of an issue, only the value of theory in explanatory and predictive power.

Evolutionary theory has proven over 150 years of testing to not only have excellent explanatory power, but also damn near 100% predictive power as well.

that’s why scientists value it, and utilize it daily to make all of our lives better, in many different ways.

PEOPLE value “truth” and use “morals” in order to incorporate and filter the data that comes to them.

got nothin to do with science.

In fact, it’s your apparent inability to incorporate the very success of this theory into your worldview that leads to your classic psychological schism.

denial and projection in spades, larry. Your ego must be under tremendous pressure.

you need to see someone about that before you pop.

Comment #72912

Posted by Raging Bee on January 17, 2006 3:13 PM (e)

Yeah sure, LaLaBoy, just like a crew of astronauts can fly a space-shuttle into Earth orbit, take pictures of the Earth as they orbit it for several days, intercept and fix a satellite or two, and return safely to Earth, without actually believing for one second that the Earth is round?

Philosophical question: if you find a theory “useful” in your everyday life and/or work, and actually make use of it, does that not in itself constitute “belief” in the theory, whether or not you admit it?

Comment #72915

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 17, 2006 3:17 PM (e)

Philosophical question: if you find a theory “useful” in your everyday life and/or work, and actually make use of it, does that not in itself constitute “belief” in the theory, whether or not you admit it?

that is entirely dependent on how you define belief.

In larry’s world, belief implies faith, in which case the answer to your question would be no.

however, this is so far off topic and of little interest as to be worthy of the bathroom wall:

http://www.antievolution.org/cgi-bin/ikonboard/ikonboard.cgi?s=43cd0499240a91f2;act=ST;f=14;t=155;st=0

Comment #72917

Posted by Arden Chatfield on January 17, 2006 3:24 PM (e)

Is Larry going to be allowed to trash another thread? This ceased being fun long ago.

So, what’s the consensus? Do people think Larry means all this nonsense, or is he in fact a cunning agent provocateur, purposely spouting ignorant gibberish just to get a rise out of us? I had assumed the former, but some people are evidently leaning toward the latter.

Comment #72918

Posted by Larry Fafarman on January 17, 2006 3:28 PM (e)

Comment #72903 posted by Dean Morrison on January 17, 2006 02:56 PM

What is Larry doing here?

Talking about Panda’s thumbs? Thought not.

He derailed this thread the moment he appeared. (What have project ‘Steve’ and imaginary numbers got to do with Panda’s thumbs?)

The problem here is obviously that many commenters are badgering me with questions about off-topics that I incidentally happen to mention – like holocaust revisionism, Galileo’s alleged Leaning Tower experiment, albatross flight, and imaginary numbers. You are blaming the victim.

In this case, I said that biologists can use evolution theory even if they do not believe it to be true, and I compared that to the use of imaginary numbers in the analysis of AC circuits, and then several commenters started jumping all over me by saying that I am wrong about imaginary numbers. I think that a lot of the commenters here are frustrated by their inability to counter my arguments concerning the thread topic, so they try to show that I am wrong about off-topic issues.

As for “Project Steve,” the opening comment on this thread invited comments about Steve.

Believe me, I would like nothing better than to stay on-topic – but I should not be expected to ignore comments that call me ignorant or stupid about off-topic issues.

Comment #72920

Posted by Stephen Elliott on January 17, 2006 3:29 PM (e)

I think Larry should have his own thread.
He will not willingly go to a thread dedicated to him, so I vote force him.

I do not want Larry banned, he does provide amusement, but too many threads have been derailed because of him.

Comment #72922

Posted by KL on January 17, 2006 3:32 PM (e)

Indeed. I want to know where Larry’s degrees are from (add math to sciences and law).

Anyhoo, if we return to the topic, would someone assess my much earlier post regarding convergent evolution? I am curious if it is an example of said, or something else entirely.

Comment #72924

Posted by Kevin from NYC on January 17, 2006 3:33 PM (e)

“I think that a lot of the commenters here are frustrated by their inability to counter my arguments concerning the thread topic”

LA LA LA LA LA LA Larry……

but you didn’t make any arguments concerning pandas’ thumbs….

Comment #72925

Posted by Arden Chatfield on January 17, 2006 3:36 PM (e)

Seems to me PT has handled people like Larry that way before, by throwing them into the Bathroom Wall and locking the door, where they can essentially wallow in the mud with everyone all they want without wrecking other threads. I think the time has come to seriously consider this. Larry’s been at this for close to 4 weeks.

Comment #72926

Posted by Raging Bee on January 17, 2006 3:36 PM (e)

Larry’s “response” is a typical creationist whinge: make childish and idiotic comments, then call yourself a “victim” when every one of your allegations is refuted and your stupidity is exposed in no uncertain terms.

I just reread your first responses here (yes, we can do that!), and guess what – YOU went off-topic on your first post.

Comment #72934

Posted by W. Kevin Vicklund on January 17, 2006 3:42 PM (e)

Larry wrote:

An alternating-current circuit may have pure resistance, inductance (as in coils), and/or capacitance. The mathematics of complex numbers is used to determine (1) the amplitude of the AC current in response to the exciting sinusoidal voltage of a given amplitude and frequency and (2) the phase angle by which the current oscillations leads or follows the voltage oscillations. The magnitudes of the imaginary numbers are related to the physical quantities of the circuit and the exciting voltage, but the imaginary number i itself — the square-root of minus one — has no physical relation to any of the physical quantities of the circuit or the exciting voltage.

Restricting the discussion solely to constant frequency AC, j is phase angle = 90 degrees (the sign indicates leading or lagging). Phase angle is a physical quantity.

BTW, I note that you use i instead of j. We (electrical engineers) use j to avoid confusion because i is reserved for current in the discipline.

I’m willing to end this discussion if you are Larry. I will not, however, permit you to malign my profession.

Comment #72943

Posted by Raging Bee on January 17, 2006 3:52 PM (e)

Sir_Toejam: even in Larry’s world, the (honest) answer to my question would be “yes:” if a biologist accepts the usefulness of the theory of evolution, and counts on it in his/her work, then, by definition, he/she has no real faith in ID or any other criticism of evolution.

In international law, this sort of thing is called “de-facto recognition.”

Comment #72950

Posted by Michael Rathbun, FCD, FARW on January 17, 2006 4:14 PM (e)

Isn’t Flogistan one of those newly-independent Central Asian republics?

Comment #72952

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 17, 2006 4:31 PM (e)

KL, I doubt I know enough to provide the kind of convergence examples you are looking for, but–for the possible benefit of those who may know enough–I’d like to tease out the distinction you seem (to me) to be making between really cool unique convergence and regular old humdrum convergence, like multiple innovations of eyes and vertebrate extremities ==> fins/flippers.

Is it that a specific or unique homologous structure (sesamoid bone) has been adapted for the same very specific function (bamboo-stripping “thumb”) in (arguably, at least) different lineages (Giant Panda, red panda-precursor)?

I guess I can see that this is different from somewhat different structures being adapted for a closely-similar function (bat sonar; whale sonar)–actually I’m not sure how different the underlying structures are, but let’s assume that there are some important differences.

I’m not as sure how this is different from, say, the limb homologies–aren’t tetrapod forelimbs being similarly adapted for watery locomotion (some mesosaurs, turtles, whales, seals, penguins, etc.) the same structure being adapted for the same function, even if arguably different in niggly details (which particular “arm,” “wrist,” and “finger”-bones are “distorted” to what degree? which muscle-homologs are attached precisely where? what form the hydrodynamic wrapping of the limb takes–scale, fur, feather, skin?).

There’s some debate even about the eyes being true innovations in independent lineages: though eyes as complete visual organ-systems apparently were not shared in the common ancestor, there’s a school of thought that the underlying visual circuitry of neuro-receptors and photodetectors–or at least the signalling genes promoting the development of these–may have been (I think PZ had a post on this on the “old” Pharyngula).

So, how unique and in what specific respects, are you seeking?

I’m a chapter or two into The Evolution of the Insects (worth the price of admission for the fantastic photos on prit-near every page), so I expect I’ll eventually come across some good examples!

Comment #72958

Posted by Popper's ghost on January 17, 2006 4:42 PM (e)

It’s just typing out all that long hand does get a bit wearing after a while.

It’s not wearying to write what is correct rather than what is incorrect (and such incorrect writing probably reflects incorrect conceptualization). E.g., “whereas the false thumb of the giant panda probably evolved initially due to advantage in manipulating bamboo, the false thumbs of the red panda and of S. batalleri more likely evolved initially due to advantage in aiding arboreal locomotion, with the red panda secondarily developing its ability for item manipulation and thus producing one of the most dramatic cases of convergence among vertebrates.”

Scientists, like everybody else, tend to use anthroporphisms to make their work easier, which is why you often see natural selection ‘directing’ or ‘guiding’ or ‘choosing’ when of course it does no such things.

This is more than anthropomorphism. Daniel Dennett refers to it as “the intentional stance”. It is, for instance, much easier to make predictions about the behavior of a chess playing computer by viewing it as having plans and desires and making choices. It is not , however, easier to predict the results of evolution by applying the intentional stance to it – rather, it tends to lead to error. OTOH, it is appropriate to apply Dennett’s “design stance” to the results of evolution. It is, for instance, much easier to predict the behavior of a certain assemblage of cells by treating them as being designed for some specific function. What we have is design without intent, and therefore without intelligence.

Comment #72968

Posted by KL on January 17, 2006 5:02 PM (e)

I guess I am in part looking for a classification or label to place on examples that show different organisms filling the same niche in different habitats. In a way it is behavioral adaptation, but in the case of the Aye-aye a specialized digit evolved to allow it (the Aye-aye is the only lemur that has this digit and uses it this way-would it have evolved at all had there been woodpeckers in Madagascar?)It seems more complicated than bat wing/bird wing sort of thing, since it crosses into behavior.

Comment #72969

Posted by Larry Fafarman on January 17, 2006 5:02 PM (e)

Comment #72934 posted by W. Kevin Vicklund on January 17, 2006 03:42 PM

Restricting the discussion solely to constant frequency AC, j is phase angle = 90 degrees (the sign indicates leading or lagging). Phase angle is a physical quantity.

BTW, I note that you use i instead of j. We (electrical engineers) use j to avoid confusion because i is reserved for current in the discipline.

I said I would not continue discussing this off-topic subject, and I will keep my promise. However, I still disagree with you. For those who want further information on this subject, I suggest searching the Internet under the subjects “AC circuit analysis” and “phasors.”

Comment #72971

Posted by Popper's ghost on January 17, 2006 5:04 PM (e)

Since Larry seems to lean heavily on Wikipedia, I would think http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imaginary_number would be the final word:

Despite their name, imaginary numbers are just as “real” as real numbers.

Trolly Larry wrote:

The problem here is obviously that many commenters are badgering me with questions about off-topics that I incidentally happen to mention — like holocaust revisionism, Galileo’s alleged Leaning Tower experiment, albatross flight, and imaginary numbers. You are blaming the victim.

No, Larry, the problem is that you “incidentally” make stupid, ignorant, inane comments about such subjects in support of your bogus arguments, and others then point out your many errors, which you then repeat, and so on, leading to “badgering” in your mind.

I think that a lot of the commenters here are frustrated by their inability to counter my arguments concerning the thread topic, so they try to show that I am wrong about off-topic issues.

Uh, no Larry, commenters do counter your arguments, at which point you say “this is off-topic; let’s stop talking about it”. But you seem to assume that everyone else is as stupid and ignorant as you are, and that therefore this won’t look like a transparent ploy to them. Which might explain why you mention that this article is about convergent evolution, or that i is the square root of -1, as if everyone else would have to go look them up on Wikipedia because they had never heard of them before, as seems to be the case with you.

Comment #72974

Posted by Arden Chatfield on January 17, 2006 5:07 PM (e)

Isn’t Flogistan one of those newly-independent Central Asian republics?

Thank you, thank you, ladies and gentlemen! I’m here all week!

Comment #72976

Posted by Popper's ghost on January 17, 2006 5:18 PM (e)

More on the existence of imaginary numbers:

http://www.math.toronto.edu/mathnet/answers/imaginary.html

Do “Imaginary Numbers” Really Exist?
An “imaginary number” is a multiple of a quantity called “i” which is defined by the property that i squared equals -1. This is puzzling to most people, because it is hard to imagine any number having a negative square. The result: it is tempting to believe that i doesn’t really exist, but is just a convenient mathematical fiction.

This isn’t the case. Imaginary numbers do exist. Despite their name, they are not really imaginary at all. (The name dates back to when they were first introduced, before their existence was really understood. At that point in time, people were imagining what it would be like to have a number system that contained square roots of negative numbers, hence the name “imaginary”. Eventually it was realized that such a number system does in fact exist, but by then the name had stuck.)

Before discussing why imaginary numbers exist, it’s helpful to think about why we’re even asking the question. Why is it so hard to accept that there could be numbers with negative squares? One has to come to terms with the things that seem so puzzling and confusing about this concept and see that they are not really so unreasonable after all, before one can move on to accept the existence of imaginary numbers. Having done that, we can move on to seeing why they exist, and what relevance they have.

And

http://www.math.toronto.edu/mathnet/answers/imagexist.html

How can one show that imaginary numbers really do exist?

One does it in exactly the same way one would show that fractions exist….

Comment #72982

Posted by ben on January 17, 2006 5:33 PM (e)

The problem here is obviously that many commenters are badgering me with questions about off-topics that I incidentally happen to mention — like holocaust revisionism, Galileo’s alleged Leaning Tower experiment, albatross flight, and imaginary numbers. You are blaming the victim.

Don’t forget the real story behind meteor showers and my personal favorite…

I see no reason why Jurassic Park would have deviated from paleontology

I think the real “real problem here” is that Fafafooey exhibits an aggressive and energetic combination of ignorance, arrogance, humorlessness and credulousness that he is unable to reflect upon in any way.

I’ve observed that talking about Fafafooey and not with or to him seems to result in far fewer responses from him (personally I think this is because he is narcissistic and craves attention, and is more satisfied by the illusion that he is effectively arguing his “points” as opposed to just being observed and laughed at). Which I think we can all agree would be a big step forward at this point.

Larry, you might be getting blamed, and you are certainly a victim (though I suspect you never realize of what), but we are not blaming the victim, we are just laughing at you.

Comment #72983

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 17, 2006 5:34 PM (e)

KL, I completely blocked your later Aye-Aye example when responding to your earlier post.

So, we’re not really talking structural convergence at all, more like different structural solutions converging on the same eco-niche opportunity.

Perhaps like the chimps making the perfect-shaped long’n’narrow tool to exploit termite tunnels, instead of having to evolve long’n’sticky tongues, like the anteaters do?

Then there are the pangolins, who have evolved the anteater-type long tongue, but are not in the anteater lineage.

Lacking the (true) woodpecker’s hammer-drill adaptations, woodpecker finches use cactus spines to probe for insects…

I suspect a little venturesome googling, with a given resource-exploitation scheme as a starting point, will lead you to many similar cases. I love your Aye-Aye example, though, and again apologize for managing to forget it long enough to divert down a sidetrack.

Comment #72993

Posted by Dean Morrison on January 17, 2006 5:50 PM (e)

Okay .. as I said before - the place to continue to engage ‘Larry’ or even just to laugh at him is here:

http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2006/01/intelligent_des_19.html

where all his favourite theories have been fully developed and are open to examination:

or here at the bathroom wall:

The Bathroom wall

Please let’s make a team effort not to let him demolish another thread. When he pops up on the next new one please could you help by directing him to either of these places. He’s great fun I know - but there are some people who want to discuss serious science - and Larry shouldn’t get away with crapping all over the furniture in a thread like this.

Pretty please?

Comment #72998

Posted by KL on January 17, 2006 6:01 PM (e)

No sweat, Steviepinhead! You’ve given me a lot to go on. This thread got a little bogged down with other stuff.

Comment #73001

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 17, 2006 6:06 PM (e)

Dang, Dean, I was just going to come over here and help Larry find his way home to his long-lost “Unca” Dembski, when what do I find but that you’ve provided the little feller with a great big neon sign-post.

One that even LaLa couldn’t miss.

So, maroon, when you get tired of folks ignoring you over here, just let your mouse do the clicking on Dean’s link up above.

Um, in this case, though, there is a difference between real and imaginary, so please click the real mouse to follow the virtual link back to your imaginary uncle.

Comment #73005

Posted by Moses on January 17, 2006 6:13 PM (e)

Comment #72851

Posted by Tice with a J on January 17, 2006 12:59 PM (e)

… Just go to http://www.crank.net/ and look around. The stupidity might even amaze some of the most experienced PT readers.

I LOVE crank.net! I just wish it was updated more often.

Comment #73008

Posted by Moses on January 17, 2006 6:22 PM (e)

KL,

Thank you for the Aye-Aye example. I think it is really cool how life evolves to fill a gap. Cactus-thorn using birds. Woodpeckers. The Aye-Aye.

Too bad Captain thread-hijacker got it buried.

Comment #73013

Posted by KL on January 17, 2006 6:39 PM (e)

If you ever get the supreme privilege of seeing an Aye-aye up close, take it. They are WAAAAAAAY cool.

Comment #73014

Posted by Dean Morrison on January 17, 2006 6:40 PM (e)

.. don’t forget chimps with sticks - or all sorts of animals with really long tongues - like Numbats for example….

Comment #73015

Posted by Tice with a J on January 17, 2006 6:41 PM (e)

Feed the troll,
Tuppence a bag,
Tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag,
Feed the troll,
Tuppence a bag,
Tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag!

Enough of that, back to this issue of pandas and convergent evolution. How did the giant panda and the red panda pick up the same name, anyway? And Steviepinhead, you raise a fine point. As I recall, there are quite a lot of anteater-shaped creatures that aren’t actually anteaters.

Comment #73017

Posted by KL on January 17, 2006 6:43 PM (e)

How did the giant panda and the red panda pick up the same name, anyway?

Sounds like a question for Professor Steve Steve!

Comment #73024

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 17, 2006 7:02 PM (e)

I think there have already been suggestions on the thread that “panda” is a native Nepalese term applied to both animals because of the bamboo-exploiting similarity.

And maybe that panda-coon coloration thing. Or is that the British cop cars?

Wikipedia has this, under the red panda entry:

Its Western name is taken from a Himalayan language, possibly Nepalese, but its meaning is uncertain. One theory is that “panda” is an anglicisation of “poonya”, which means “eater of bamboo”.

Comment #73025

Posted by Dean Morrison on January 17, 2006 7:19 PM (e)

Do you think that the fundies will evolve from worrying about ‘Reds under the bed’ to ‘Red Pandas under the bed’?

Comment #73029

Posted by Stephen Elliott on January 17, 2006 7:25 PM (e)

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 17, 2006 07:02 PM (e)

I think there have already been suggestions on the thread that “panda” is a native Nepalese term applied to both animals because of the bamboo-exploiting similarity.

Nameste,
Yo mere kasi ho

Comment #73030

Posted by The Ghost of Paley on January 17, 2006 7:27 PM (e)

The Yenta wrote:

Please let’s make a team effort not to let him demolish another thread. When he pops up on the next new one please could you help by directing him to either of these places. He’s great fun I know - but there are some people who want to discuss serious science - and Larry shouldn’t get away with crapping all over the furniture in a thread like this.

Pretty please?

Isn’t it bad enough that people of your political persuasion use Big Bra to silence people like Larry, without you trying to silence him on the internet as well? Last time I checked, the denizens of Thumb are capable of deciding who to talk to. By the way, Dean, you’re mixing up your authors again. McWhorter is an African-American linguist who has never expressed an opinion on the BNP as far as I know. You’re thinking of Derbyshire. And you misquoted him.
Anyway, to get back to the point of the thread, I’ve always found those multiple and spooky “convergences” a problem for evo-theory as well, especially since it renders large chunks of phylogeny untestable. I believe that Stephen Meyer brought this problem up in his peer-reviewed paper.

Comment #73031

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 17, 2006 7:28 PM (e)

I think we should all realize there’s nothing more to be accomplished by responding to Larry. Calling himself “Scary Larry” pretty clearly implies he’s here to get attention and pretend that means he’s “winning” something.

Larry is just a crank. (shrug)

But, as I’ve pointed out before, having everyone gang up on HIM, does ta leats accomplish the desirable goal of preventing us all from starting et another fruitless and pointles civil war amongst ourselves.

Shooting at Larry may not HELP us, but at least it doesn’t HURT us.

Comment #73033

Posted by Dean Morrison on January 17, 2006 7:29 PM (e)

Glad to see we’ve stopped ‘Panda’-ing to Larry……okay you can shoot me now.

Mas beyekny zadek

Pivo!

Comment #73034

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 17, 2006 7:30 PM (e)

I believe that Stephen Meyer brought this problem up in his peer-reviewed paper.

What “peer-reviewed paper”?

Ohhhhhh, you mean the one that did nothing but re-hash some thirty-year-old ICR arguments, snuck into a journal by a dishonest editor, and then withdrawn by the publication because it was a pile of crap?

THAT “peer-reviewed paper”?

Comment #73035

Posted by Arden Chatfield on January 17, 2006 7:30 PM (e)

But, as I’ve pointed out before, having everyone gang up on HIM, does ta leats accomplish the desirable goal of preventing us all from starting et another fruitless and pointles civil war amongst ourselves.

Lenny, start using the spellcheck!!!

Comment #73036

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 17, 2006 7:33 PM (e)

silence people like Larry

That’s pretty funny, considering that Larry has posted several HUNDRED messages here, and that “his” threads have consistently been some ofthe longest ever in the history of PT.

“HELP, I’M BEING SILENCED !!!!”, he shouted aloud in front of everybody.

Comment #73037

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 17, 2006 7:34 PM (e)

Lenny, start using the spellcheck!!!

I cn splle, I jst cannt tipe.

Sorry, too much Viking Piss.

:)

Comment #73038

Posted by KL on January 17, 2006 7:35 PM (e)

GoP
“…especially since it renders large chunks of phylogeny untestable.”
Can you explain what you mean by this? I’m not sure I understand.

Comment #73039

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 17, 2006 7:36 PM (e)

Do you think that the fundies will evolve from worrying about ‘Reds under the bed’ to ‘Red Pandas under the bed’?

Red gays ON the bed.

Comment #73043

Posted by AC on January 17, 2006 7:45 PM (e)

This is very annoying.

Imaginary numbers represent an additional number line with real coefficients, orthogonal to the real numbers. By this, I mean that the imaginary numbers represent a 90-degree rotation of the real numbers. The unit imaginary number, i, is also defined as the square root of -1. The oscillatory properties of this number become clear when one looks at the powers of i:

i^0 = 1
i^1 = i
i^2 = -1
i^3 = -i
i^4 = 1

and

i^-1 = 1/i = 1*(1/i)
i^-2 = -1 = -i*(1/i)
i^-3 = -1/i = -1*(1/i)
i^-4 = 1 = i*(1/i)
i^-5 = 1/i = 1*(1/i)

And so forth (pun intended).

Imagine a unit circle, with a radial line spinning around. The horizontal axis is real numbers (1, -1). The vertical axis is imaginary numbers (i, -i). Increasing powers of i indicate counterclockwise rotation. Decreasing powers of i indicate clockwise rotation. The angle of the radial line is described by a complex number combining real and imaginary: x + yi, where x=cosθ and y=sinθ. Put another way, i relates the exponential and trigonometric as: e^θi=cosθ+isinθ (Euler’s formula). This is the basis of phasors seen in electrical engineering, with the radius of the circle being the amplitude of the signal and the angle as its phase.

So, i isn’t something you can fill a bucket with, true. But it’s exaggeration to the point of inaccuracy to say that it has no physical meaning. There is more to the world (and math) than enumerating lumps of stuff. Larry’s mention of capacitance and inductance (which are involved in oscillating circuits) proves he knows better.

What this has to do with evolution is truly imaginary.

Comment #73044

Posted by KL on January 17, 2006 7:47 PM (e)

Oh, and also:

“Last time I checked, the denizens of Thumb are capable of deciding who to talk to.”

That may be true, but it took several hours for this thread to return to topic and for me to get the information I was seeking, primarily because Larry wanted to challenge things outside of the thread. I get the impression Larry feels that he has nothing to learn from other posters, so I don’t understand why he entered the thread in the first place. I have asked for him to tell us what his background is (therefore lending at least some validity to the strong and unyielding opinions on science, law, secondary education and mathematics he presents), but he won’t.

So, if the powers that be here at PT decide he needs to be diverted, I’m all for it. From my perspective, at least in the areas I have any education, training and experience in, he is full of hooey and has little to contribute.

Comment #73050

Posted by Larry Fafarman on January 17, 2006 8:02 PM (e)

Comment #72813 posted by AlanW on January 17, 2006 10:58 AM

Larry,
You asked on this, and previous threads, when in history has an American court ruled on the validity of a scientific idea. Federal courts routinely make such rulings to determine whether or not such scientific ideas/evidence are admissable as evidence (following the Supreme Court holding in Daubert v. Merrill Dow Pharm., 509 U.S. 579 (1993)).

Thanks for the info. I am glad to see that there is at least one other commenter here besides me who is willing to discuss the relevant issues.

Please note that I am not the only one raising many of the issues that I have raised on this website. 85 scientists submitted an amicus brief in the Dover case asking the judge not to rule on the scientific merits of irreducible complexity. Unfortunately, I could not bring up a pdf copy of that brief (I often have trouble with pdf files), but it could contain good reasons why the judge should not have ruled on ID’s scientific merits, despite the precedent you cited.

Anyway, Judge Jones did not cite the precedent you cited (Daubert), nor did he cite the pertinent rule (Rule 702), nor did he cite anything else giving him the authority or the judicial standards for ruling on the scientific merits of irreducible complexity. I computer-searched the Dover opinion for the name “Daubert” and for Rule 702, and found nothing. The judge was just lucky that by coincidence a basis for his ruling exists, the one you cited.

I remember that some judges of the federal 9th circuit court of appeals once observed that the principle of deference to administrative discretion did not go so far as to allow judges to supply a valid reason for an administrative decision when the administrator failed to do so. The same principle should be applied to the Dover decision: where a judge failed to state a valid basis for a particular ruling, any valid basis should be treated as if it does not exist. So much for your “Monday morning quarterbacking.”

The Dover opinion said on page 79,
“We therefore find that Professor Behe’s claim for irreducible complexity has been refuted in peer-reviewed research papers and has been rejected by the scientific community at large.”

For one thing, there was no basis for determining whether IC had been “rejected by the scientific community at large” because there has been no recent poll of scientists about IC – and there is no standard as to what poll percentages constitute “rejection.”

Also, this ruling on irreducible complexity opens the door to other lawsuits attempting to get certain scientific ideas banned from public-school science classrooms or from the public schools altogether. For example, some opponent of punctuated equilibrium – or even evolution theory in general (LOL) – might sue on the basis that the flaws in that idea are so bad that they can be explained only by assuming divine intervention.

Another basic principle is that judges should try to avoid, whenever possible, making controversial rulings or rulings on matters outside their areas of expertise. Judge Jones did not have to rule on the scientific merits of ID – he could have made an airtight decision based solely on the religious motivations of the school board members. He should have scheduled the expert witnesses to testify last and then shortened the trial by ruling that their testimony was not necessary. Ruling on scientific merits was essential for reaching a decision in the the Daubert case, the precedent you cited, but was not essential for reaching a decision in Dover. Also, in Edwards v. Aguillard, the courts sidestepped the issue of the scientific merits of creation science –

“The Louisiana Legislature did hear and rely on scientific experts in passing the bill, but none of the persons making the affidavits produced by the appellants participated in or contributed to the enactment of the law or its implementation. The District Court, in its discretion, properly concluded that a Monday-morning ‘battle of the experts’ over possible technical meanings of terms in the statute would not illuminate the contemporaneous purpose of the Louisiana Legislature when it made the law.” (emphasis added)

In fact, this “Monday-morning ‘battle of the experts’ “ is precisely what was heard in the Dover case!!

=====================================================
“The world must construe according to its wits. This court must construe according to the law.” — words of Thomas More from the play, “A Man for All Seasons.”

Comment #73054

Posted by Dean Morrison on January 17, 2006 8:11 PM (e)

No need to wait for the ‘Powers that be’ to be to divert Larry - don’t get entangled with him on inappropriate threads and divert him here yourself:

http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2006/01/intelligent_des_19.html

..and you’re even further off-topic than Larry was ‘Whiter Shade of Paley’.

- so I’ll not indulge you here either

- if you want to find me we’ll make a welcome for you as well as Larry - some of us don’t wish to silence you at all - we’re just bored with you’re thread - jumping. Come and settle down for a nice talk at:

http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2006/01/intelligent_des_19.html

Comment #73056

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 17, 2006 8:12 PM (e)

The latest from LaLaLand:

I often have trouble with pdf files

Are you any better at tying your shoes?

Didn’t think so.

Maroon.

Comment #73058

Posted by Dean Morrison on January 17, 2006 8:15 PM (e)

Thanks for the info. I am glad to see that there is at least one other commenter here besides me who is willing to discuss the relevant issues.

not relevant to this thread Larry. Since you started conversation on that topic on

this thread

please don’t confuse everyone, and especially yourself by posting here.

Comment #73063

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 17, 2006 8:25 PM (e)

Pardon. I should have said:

I often have trouble with pdf files

Are you any better at following links?

Comment #73065

Posted by The Ghost of Paley on January 17, 2006 8:29 PM (e)

KL wrote:

GoP
“…especially since it renders large chunks of phylogeny untestable.”
Can you explain what you mean by this? I’m not sure I understand.

Sure. The whole concept of phylogeny lies in identifying shared derived traits, and using them to build a tree of ancestry. Common descent predicts that certain organisms that share a recent ancestor will also share unique, independent morphological characters that identify this relationship. In addition, trees built on morphological characters will substantially agree with trees based on molecules, especially when several genes are combined (this reduces the chance of tracing the gene’s, rather than the critter’s, ancestry). But if widespread morphological and molecular convergence is possible, it becomes possible to “weed out” any discrepancy by invoking that convergence. Evos can then choose whatever characters “work” without worrying about the falsification produced by independent evidence.

Comment #73068

Posted by Larry Fafarman on January 17, 2006 8:38 PM (e)

Comment #73044 posted by KL on January 17, 2006 07:47 PM
Oh, and also:

“Last time I checked, the denizens of Thumb are capable of deciding who to talk to.”

That may be true, but it took several hours for this thread to return to topic and for me to get the information I was seeking, primarily because Larry wanted to challenge things outside of the thread.

What about the ones who continued to discuss the topic of imaginary numbers long after I dropped the subject because it is off-topic ? Why aren’t you complaining about them?

I just used imaginary numbers in an analogy for my statement that biologists do not have to believe that evolution theory is true – they can just pretend that evolution theory is true. The analogy was not even necessary for making my point.

And who were the ones who decided to clutter up one of these threads with totally off-topic comments just to set a record for the number of comments?

Comment #73070

Posted by Dave Thomas on January 17, 2006 8:39 PM (e)

GoP, you should learn more about how phylogenies are actually calculated.

From this page,

ON CLASSIFICATIONS
Some general comments by Dave Thomas

Many classifications can be made of living species. When different features are chosen randomly, different classifications result. For example, if species were classified by, say, locomotion, we would lump birds, bees, bats and pteranodons in one class (flyers), fish, whales, and icthyosaurs in another (swimmers), humans, lizards, and ants in another (walkers), and snakes and worms in yet another (slitherers). Anyone can select a set of features and classify organisms by those features. But how do we know this pattern has any significance? Why should it be any better than another’s different pattern?

Evolutionary classification is a detailed and demanding science. Comparison features should be chosen carefully. Homologous features (related by descent) are better than analogous features (related by appearance only). Shared, derived characters are preferred over ancestral features (Ridley 1986). Backbones are useless for classifying within the vertebrates; but, they are excellent for classifying vertebrates within larger groups like multi-celled animals.

When the methods of classification and phylogeny are properly applied, the concordance of the results is compelling. Lines of descent discerned from, say, comparative anatomy or paleontology, are confirmed and clarified by studies of genes and DNA. Studying evolution reveals the history of the Tree of Life itself; while there is quibbling about some of the Tree’s branches, few scientists doubt its existence.

A MOST EXCELLENT RECOMMENDATION
Be sure to check out Mark Ridley’s Evolution and Classification: The Reformation of Cladism, Longman Group Ltd. London, 1986. This book is an excellent overview of evolutionary classifications, cladism, transformed cladism, and so forth. Ridley clearly lays out the rules for proper classification, and demolishes so-called “transformed cladism” in the process. In one discussion, Ridley notes that if we used an ancestral feature, such as number of toes, to compare an alligator, a cow, and a baboon, we would incorrectly group alligators and baboons in one group (five-toed), and cows in another (two-toed). If you can only read one book on evolution and classification, this should be the One.

Dave

Comment #73073

Posted by Larry Fafarman on January 17, 2006 8:58 PM (e)

Comment #73065
Posted by The Ghost of Paley on January 17, 2006 08:29 PM (e)

KL wrote:

GoP
“…especially since it renders large chunks of phylogeny untestable.”
Can you explain what you mean by this? I’m not sure I understand.

Sure. The whole concept of phylogeny lies in identifying shared derived traits, and using them to build a tree of ancestry. Common descent predicts that certain organisms that share a recent ancestor will also share unique, independent morphological characters that identify this relationship. In addition, trees built on morphological characters will substantially agree with trees based on molecules, especially when several genes are combined (this reduces the chance of tracing the gene’s, rather than the critter’s, ancestry). But if widespread morphological and molecular convergence is possible, it becomes possible to “weed out” any discrepancy by invoking that convergence. Evos can then choose whatever characters “work” without worrying about the falsification produced by independent evidence.

Now could you please say that again in plain English ?

Also, commenters, when quoting or otherwise responding to previous comments, please give the comment number and/or time of posting. This would be a great help in following these discussions. Thank you.

Comment #73075

Posted by Dean Morrison on January 17, 2006 9:15 PM (e)

Also, commenters, when quoting or otherwise responding to previous comments, please give the comment number and/or time of posting. This would be a great help in following these discussions. Thank you.

http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2006/01/intelligent_des_19.html#comment-73067

..any help Larry?

Comment #73077

Posted by Dean Morrison on January 17, 2006 9:22 PM (e)

Oh .. and someones talking about you Paley …(not me this time)..

http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2006/01/intelligent_des_19.html#comment-73066

Comment #73078

Posted by Popper's ghost on January 17, 2006 9:39 PM (e)

What about the ones who continued to discuss the topic of imaginary numbers long after I dropped the subject because it is off-topic ? Why aren’t you complaining about them?

He didn’t say anything about imaginary numbers, you moronic jackass, he said “primarily because Larry wanted to challenge things outside of the thread” – as in all your stupid off-topic BS about polls, of which your stupid and ignorant comments about imaginary numbers were an offshoot. He’s not complaining about others because they do not disrupt one thread after another with demonstrations of a being clueless jerk too morally chickens–t to even take responsibility for his blatant trolling.

Comment #73086

Posted by Randy on January 17, 2006 10:21 PM (e)

Dean Morrison wrote:

.. don’t forget chimps with sticks - or all sorts of animals with really long tongues - like Numbats for example….

How about several species of Crows/Ravens… I have to tell this story; I actually saw it happen with mine own two peepers!
Crow on a perch. Piece of something simply irresistable to said crow tied to the end of a string, the other end of the string tied to the crow’s perch. The food and string are dangling down inside a clear plastic tube, tormenting the crow… for all of about thirty seconds. Y’all know how a crow (sorry, I don’t remember if it was a crow or a raven) will look a thing with one eye, head tilted to the side, then look with the other eye, head tilted the other way? This crow looked at that piece of bait, at the string, at the perch, grabbed the string with her (I do remember it was a her) beak, stepped on the slack, took another beak full of string, stepped on the slack, repeated as necessary until she had the food. This crow had been free as a, um, bird two weeks earlier and this was her first trial.
Maybe I’m just a geek but I thought I’d just witnessed something that truly deserved the adjective “awsome!”

Comment #73090

Posted by Randy on January 17, 2006 10:28 PM (e)

To Arden, Dean & Co.
For whatever my opinion is worth, all outbreaks of L.fafarman should be immediately quarantined. The disease has impaired far too many fascinating PT threads. The organism should, of course, remain available for study (is bio-hazard 4 called for?), of course, by those specializing or interested in such things. Personally, however, I find pandas’ thumbs and flamingos’ smiles (and hens’ teeth and horses toes, for that matter) far more to my liking.

$0.02

Randy

Comment #73117

Posted by Popper's ghost on January 18, 2006 1:09 AM (e)

More crow awesomeness – tool making:

http://www.sciencemag.org/feature/data/crow/

Comment #73119

Posted by Bob O'H on January 18, 2006 1:48 AM (e)

The Ghost of Paley wrote:

By the way, Dean, you’re mixing up your authors again. McWhorter is an African-American linguist who has never expressed an opinion on the BNP as far as I know. You’re thinking of Derbyshire. And you misquoted him.

I didn’t see Dean’s original post, but I know he’s British (and therefore a Good Chap), so he was undoubtedly thinking about Norris McWhirter, of Record Breakers fame (BBC, kiddies TV, same era as John Craven. Nope, you won’t know who he is either).

To get back on thread, it would be interesting to see what the evo-devo folks could come up with. Under the convergent evolution hypothesis, we would expect differences in the genetic control of panda thumb development.

Bugger, I try a quick google, and keep on getting PT hits. I think I’ll go for a shower instead…

Bob

Comment #73121

Posted by outeast on January 18, 2006 3:03 AM (e)

Bob OH

“To get back on thread, it would be interesting to see what the evo-devo folks could come up with. Under the convergent evolution hypothesis, we would expect differences in the genetic control of panda thumb development.”

Not necessarily - if ankle bones originated through the cooption of toe bones (in turn originally bones in fleshy fins) then we might find that it’s simply a question of similar expressions of equivalent genes in both species. I posited this hypothesis upthread and in the comments to Zimmer’s post on The Loom (http://www.corante.com/loom/archives/2005/12/26/the_other_pandas_thumb.php#53693) with an appeal for someone to confirm or refute it if possible. Unfortunately it got kind of buried in the flame wars…

Does anyone know if there is anything to my guess?

Comment #73130

Posted by Larry Fafarman on January 18, 2006 6:29 AM (e)

Comment #73078 posted by Popper’s ghost on January 17, 2006 09:39 PM

****What about the ones who continued to discuss the topic of imaginary numbers long after I dropped the subject because it is off-topic ? Why aren’t you complaining about them?****

He didn’t say anything about imaginary numbers, you moronic jackass, he said “primarily because Larry wanted to challenge things outside of the thread” — as in all your stupid off-topic BS about polls, of which your stupid and ignorant comments about imaginary numbers were an offshoot.

You mentally-challenged person, the general subject was off-topic posts — and I pointed out that the worst offenders here were those who continued to discuss imaginary numbers long after I dropped the subject. My discussion of polls was not really off-topic. The opening post of this thread invited comments on “Project Steve,” so I took the bait. I said that rather than just collecting scientists’ signatures on pro-evolution and anti-evolution statements, why not just conduct organized polls of scientists on the subject ? Maybe that is off-topic to you, but it is not off-topic to anyone with at least half a brain.

Comment #73175

Posted by Tice with a J on January 18, 2006 10:51 AM (e)

'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank wrote:

“HELP, I’M BEING SILENCED !!!!”, he shouted aloud in front of everybody.

Monty Python wrote:

Dennis: Come and see the violence inherent in the system. Help! Help! I’m being repressed!
King Arthur: Bloody peasant!
Dennis: Oh, what a giveaway! Did you hear that? Did you hear that, eh? That’s what I’m on about! Did you see him repressing me? You saw him, Didn’t you?

And crows are very cool, ravens even more so. They’re probably the most intelligent birds in the world. And they really like shiny objects. Apparently, liking shiny objects is an integral part of intelligence.

Comment #73186

Posted by Greg H on January 18, 2006 11:15 AM (e)

But it is truly that they like shiny objects, or that they (like humans, mind you) like things that catch their attention? I ask this in all seriousness. I mean, how shiny is food? But I bet it catches their attention.

I know it catches mine.

Comment #73265

Posted by evopeach on January 18, 2006 4:12 PM (e)

For Jim,

As one who has modeled refineries, chemical plants and such I am well aware that constructs are models of the real world and that assuming reversibility etc. gives us design ideals which are approached by efforts to better design, knowing that the effieiencies are bound by the SLOT.. we persist for improivement.

Corkscrew,

The concept of information entropy of which I speak is not Shannon based rather it is the undisputed ordering, separation, configurational work exemplified in the DNA molecule, the left hand right hand separation in amino acids and a host of information based processes seen in life at every level.

You might read Thaxton amond the many who have developed the subject.

An acorn has its genetic code or dna etc in place complete with the totality of instructions required to make an oak tree, there is no added information necessary just an energy supply to enable the coded instructions to be chemically implemented.

The key is how did the information get coded onto the molecules since it is long since known it is not inherent there.

Comment #73268

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 18, 2006 4:14 PM (e)

evo-

did you ever settle up on your Dover wager?

if so, what are you still doing here?

Comment #73277

Posted by Russell on January 18, 2006 4:38 PM (e)

The concept of information entropy …
You might read Thaxton amond the many who have developed the subject.

References? Has Thaxton published any of his thoughts in peer-reviewed academic journals, so we know we’re not wasting our time on some crackpot?

Comment #73286

Posted by steve s on January 18, 2006 4:53 PM (e)

Sir Terriblename, what is this bet Evo was in? Did he promise to leave or something?

Comment #73287

Posted by steve s on January 18, 2006 4:56 PM (e)

The key is how did the information get coded onto the molecules since it is long since known it is not inherent there.

Ah, evolution can’t add information. Snooze. However, that is the subject of a great line from talk origins:

It is hard to understand how anyone could make this claim,…

Comment #73288

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 18, 2006 4:57 PM (e)

yup. he was so sure that the plaintiffs in Kitzmiller would lose, that he did in fact make the bet that whoever the loser was should leave PT.

It was in the ATBC area, about 3 weeks before the ruling actually came out. I don’t know if they archive ATBC that far back, but you can certainly take a look.

I think evo even originated that post himself, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find if it exists at all.

Comment #73290

Posted by evopeach on January 18, 2006 5:07 PM (e)

The scientific credentials of the authors are impeccable. Charles B. Thaxton received a Ph.D. in Chemistry form Iowa State University. He was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard.

Comment #73292

Posted by Flint on January 18, 2006 5:16 PM (e)

Thaxton

Comment #73293

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 18, 2006 5:19 PM (e)

Oh, peachy-cheeks, don’t you first need to address the outcome of your lost bet, and thus the question of whether you should even be posting here, before you go inanely on driveling out arguments from (questionable) authority?

(And no, lurkers, no one is talking about banning ol’ Evil-Peach. It’s more of a self-constraint, um, posting integrity issue that Peachy is refusing to face up to.)

Comment #73295

Posted by Russell on January 18, 2006 5:19 PM (e)

I didn’t ask about Thaxton’s credentials. There are plenty of crackpots with similar. I asked about the works you are presumably referring us to. What are they? Were they vetted by anyone other than Thaxton? Anyone with a reputation outside of creationism?

Comment #73297

Posted by steve s on January 18, 2006 5:28 PM (e)

so, Evo, what do you have to say for yourself? Did you make that bet?

Comment #73301

Posted by Dave Thomas on January 18, 2006 5:32 PM (e)

Re this comment,

The key is how did the information get coded onto the molecules since it is long since known it is not inherent there.

Oooh. Oooh. Did I hear someboday say “Evolution and Information“?

Cheers, Dave

Comment #73302

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 18, 2006 5:36 PM (e)

Sir Terriblename

hey! i resemble that remark!

seriously tho, what have you got against barefoot soccer?

;)

Comment #73314

Posted by Gav on January 18, 2006 6:12 PM (e)

Greg H asked “ I mean, how shiny is food? “

[sings] “Take a pair of sparkling eyes … “

Comment #73315

Posted by steve s on January 18, 2006 6:16 PM (e)

Were they vetted by anyone other than Thaxton?

If you call a Nancy Pearcey coathorship vetting.

http://www.pandasthumb.org/pt-archives/000393.html

http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2005/09/why_didnt_they.html

Comment #73317

Posted by steve s on January 18, 2006 6:18 PM (e)

“Sir Toejam” is just a juvenile name. It doesn’t convey credibility.

Comment #73318

Posted by steve s on January 18, 2006 6:24 PM (e)

Re Dave Thomas’s link, the ability to digest nylon is the result of a simple frame shift? That’s stunning. Another example of Orgel’s Second Law.

Comment #73321

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 18, 2006 6:32 PM (e)

Yeah, STJ. You really ought to come up with a more mature monicker.

With all the good examples on this site, it shouldn’t be overly difficult.

Comment #73327

Posted by Anton Mates on January 18, 2006 6:50 PM (e)

The concept of information entropy of which I speak is not Shannon based rather it is the undisputed ordering, separation, configurational work exemplified in the DNA molecule, the left hand right hand separation in amino acids and a host of information based processes seen in life at every level.

That’s nice. What does it have to do with the definitions of entropy to which the SLOT actually applies? I’m not recalling a “Second Law of Undisputed Ordering, Separation and Configurational Work.”

Comment #73329

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 18, 2006 7:00 PM (e)

You might read Thaxton amond the many who have developed the subject.

Yep. Then you might read the Dover decision to see why Thaxtobn’s crap is, well, crap.

(shrug)

Comment #73330

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 18, 2006 7:02 PM (e)

The key is how did the information get coded onto the molecules since it is long since known it is not inherent there.

And once again, we see that ID has nothing to offer, other than re-written versions of standard ICR boilerplate that was first put out over thirty years ago. (yawn)

Comment #73331

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 18, 2006 7:04 PM (e)

“Sir Toejam” is just a juvenile name. It doesn’t convey credibility.

We, uh, don’t have anything better to argue about …. .?

Comment #73332

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 18, 2006 7:04 PM (e)

Yeah, STJ. You really ought to come up with a more mature monicker.

while i submit i have been using my handle as long or longer than anybody that posts to this site (since 1991), hell I’ll give it a shot…

With all the good examples on this site, it shouldn’t be overly difficult.

Sir_Steve it is then.

Comment #73340

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 18, 2006 7:16 PM (e)

Sheesh, Lenny, first you don’t want us arguing among yourselves, then you want us to argue among ourselves more entertainingly. No wonder your poor pizza guy gets so cranky!

However, as far as STJ goes, I was thinking more along the lines of, oh, Sir_FaFaFarOut. Like counting coup by swiping your opponent’s “crest,” that kind of thing…

Comment #73564

Posted by evopeach on January 19, 2006 12:39 PM (e)

No one took me up on the bet as I recall so now that its decided why should I pay any attention to your rants.

Lenny,

Is the judge qualified as a scientist in any sense of the word to describe the merits of scientist’s work?

I think Thaxton’s degrees and credentials speak for themselves as well as his co-authors. People hardly need the stamp of approval from the evos herein to authenticate their writings.

Still working on your new translation of the Communist Manifesto Lenny.

Evopeach

Comment #73569

Posted by Arden Chatfield on January 19, 2006 12:47 PM (e)

Still working on your new translation of the Communist Manifesto Lenny.

Brilliant, evopeach. You’re incapable of responding to the scientific arguments, so you call Lenny a ‘commie’. Way to go. Is he a Nazi, too?

I can’t imagine how any of us got the idea that IDC was a political movement. Nope. But with penetrating intellects like yours on the IDC side, we ‘evos’ are certainly living in terror.

Comment #73575

Posted by evopeach on January 19, 2006 12:52 PM (e)

Anton,

You might try reading any number of Thermo texts in which at least three perfectly consistent formulations of same are derived and shown to be internally consistent, including SLOT and entropy.

KUO’s text and treatment come to mind among others.

1) Minimum energy

2) Maximum entropy

3) Statistical mechanics/Configurational entropy status

Comment #73599

Posted by evopeach on January 19, 2006 1:41 PM (e)

Evolutionary theory requires that life came from non-life by a process which is undefined, unproven, undemonstrated and to this point conjecture.

The origin of life is sometimes judged or defined as being unimportant or peripheral at best to evolution.

Yet if life did not evolve from non-life by the purely undirected, chaotic chance manipulation of matter, then it must have been created by purposeful thought and that thinkers functional action.

Certainly biological evolution has no meaning unless and until there was life or biological organisms however simple to evolve from.

If evolution cannot account for, demonstrate and make plausible the origin of life scientifically then evolution cannot be taken for anything more than a fanciful construct designed to empirically curve fit observations to preconceived opinion.

Since there has never been the slightest success in producing by experiment in supposed primoidal states any life from non-life by the purely random, chaotic, undirected interaction of non-living matter… and that is undisputed … evolution is firmly entrenched upon nothing.. scientific sky-hooks if you please.

Logic must compel us to conclude that until the origin of the life mechanism producing first life upon which evolution can act is demonstrated and confirmed by peer review, independent duplication, etc. there is no reason to consider evolution in general as anything more than a working hypothesis.

After a hundred years of total and abject failure to demonstrate same, it is intellectually untenable to continue to reject the completely consistent and reasonable claims that life is the result of a planned, directed, purposeful design from the unimaginably intelligent Creator.

When all the possibilities have been throughly exhausted and only one explanation remains.. that my Dear Watson must surely be the truth. - S.Holmes

Comment #73615

Posted by Wislu Plethora on January 19, 2006 2:00 PM (e)

evopeach wrote:

Evolutionary theory requires that life came from non-life by a process which is undefined, unproven, undemonstrated and to this point conjecture.

Wow. Try as I might, I couldn’t think of a good reason to read the remainder of your post after reading that pitifully ignorant–or intentionally deceptive–statement. Thanks for saving me the trouble by putting it at the top.

Comment #73618

Posted by Russell on January 19, 2006 2:02 PM (e)

I think Thaxton’s degrees and credentials speak for themselves as well as his co-authors. People hardly need the stamp of approval from the evos herein to authenticate their writings.

Oh, I see. Now that Thaxton has acquired these credentials (no more impressive, incidentally, than any number of PT regulars), peer-review is superfluous. I believe Timothy Leary’s credentials were more impressive. Are we being unduly nitpicky if we don’t take all of his pronouncements as revealed truth?

Comment #73622

Posted by Dave Thomas on January 19, 2006 2:10 PM (e)

Evopeach, this thread is about Panda Evolution, not the Origin of life itself.

See this page for the relevant response:

Claiming that evolution does not apply without a theory of abiogenesis makes as much sense as saying that umbrellas do not work without a theory of meteorology.

Be advised that your next off-topic post will be sent to the newly-revived Bathroom Wall.

Dave

Comment #73638

Posted by Arden Chatfield on January 19, 2006 2:39 PM (e)

Be advised that your next off-topic post will be sent to the newly-revived Bathroom Wall.

I’d also suggest that the next time he calls anyone here a communist that he either get bounced there, or at least get disemvowelled.

Comment #73650

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 19, 2006 3:02 PM (e)

No one took me up on the bet as I recall so now that its decided why should I pay any attention to your rants.

????
there were several, including myself, that did so quite enthusiastically, and we don’t even have to recall, we can refer you to the exact thread.

no only are you a poor thinker, but now a liar as well?

I supposed you also conveniently forgot that you were banned from PT shortly thereafter for your poor behavior?

do you really feel that much of a need to post on PT that you would be willing to show yourself to be both inane AND a liar?

wow, what a pathetic human being.

Do you mind then, if we ignore your rants and simply post links to the two threads where you made your bet, and the one where you were banned for abusive behavior, whenever you post your drivel here?

Comment #73654

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 19, 2006 3:07 PM (e)

How did you get back here anyway?

did you make an impassioned plea to be reinstated?

and now, after your first day back, you ALREADY are slinging inappropriate political insults about.

I guess we should just go ahead and ask that your probation be revoked, eh?

Comment #73665

Posted by Arden Chatfield on January 19, 2006 3:25 PM (e)

did you make an impassioned plea to be reinstated?

I missed something, was Evopeach officially banned from PT?

Comment #73668

Posted by W. Kevin Vicklund on January 19, 2006 3:36 PM (e)

Evopeach was banned from After the Bar Closes (PT’s forum where anyone can start a thread) for truly outrageous posting behavior. It was there that he made the bet, but he got banned before I could take him up on it, though some people did get that chance. I don’t recall him showing up in the main PT site until after his banning from AtBC.

Comment #73672

Posted by Arden Chatfield on January 19, 2006 3:42 PM (e)

Evopeach was banned from After the Bar Closes (PT’s forum where anyone can start a thread) for truly outrageous posting behavior.

Anyone have a link to the straw that broke the camel’s back?

I don’t recall him showing up in the main PT site until after his banning from AtBC.

Not so sure, seems to me I remember him being around here the middle of last year.

Comment #73677

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 19, 2006 3:53 PM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'quote'

Comment #73678

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 19, 2006 3:54 PM (e)

I missed something, was Evopeach officially banned from PT?

yup.

here is the thread where he was banned from PT:

http://www.antievolution.org/cgi-bin….2;st=10

Moderator

Posts: 23
Joined: May 2002
Posted: Oct. 22 2005,12:54

——————————————————————————–
Read the board rules

Warnings were issued, and ignored. Say goodbye, “evopeach”. Others who want to continue to use this BB for playground antics will follow. Is that clear?

somewhere about a week before that, evo made all of PT a bet that the plaintiffs would lose dover, with the stakes being that the loser would leave PT.

here is the link to that thread:

http://www.antievolution.org/cgi-bin/ikonboard/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST;f=14;t=39

evopeach

Posts: 248
Joined: July 2005
Posted: Oct. 20 2005,09:08

——————————————————————————–
Here’s the bet,

Anyone who replies and accepts, regardless of any appeal, has to write a post admitting they lost the bet.

Then they have to honestly resign from this forum under any and all names for a period of thirty calendar days.

I will be lonely posting to no one.

again, several of us, including myself, accepted the terms of his wager, which he now seems all to ready to conveniently forget.

to Dave:

sorry, but evo is a particularly beligerant troll who has already been banned from PT once.

He hasn’t appeared to mend his ways, hence the reason for derailing your thread.

I apologize for the inconvenience.

Comment #73683

Posted by Ubernatural on January 19, 2006 4:02 PM (e)

Note I am not posting on the main forum, but on the “Bathroom Wall”.

Clearly you are posting in the main forum!

Toejam, to clarify, that was when he was banned from After the Bar Closes. I don’t remember a banning on the main page, but I’m almost positive he was here for a while…

Comment #73687

Posted by Arden Chatfield on January 19, 2006 4:11 PM (e)

here is the thread where he was banned from PT:

http://www.antievolution.org/cgi-bin….2;st=10

Sorry, that link doesn’t work!

But was he panned from PT proper?

Note I am not posting on the main forum, but on the “Bathroom Wall”.

I checked, the Bathroom Wall has not been reopened. The last post there is August, 2005.

Comment #73694

Posted by Stephen Elliott on January 19, 2006 4:26 PM (e)

Posted by evopeach on January 19, 2006 12:39 PM (e)

No one took me up on the bet as I recall so now that its decided why should I pay any attention to your rants.

Lenny,

Is the judge qualified as a scientist in any sense of the word to describe the merits of scientist’s work?

I think Thaxton’s degrees and credentials speak for themselves as well as his co-authors. People hardly need the stamp of approval from the evos herein to authenticate their writings.

Still working on your new translation of the Communist Manifesto Lenny.

Evopeach

I beg to differ.
Remember this? I pasted it in comment 72849.

evopeach

Posts: 248
Joined: July 2005
Posted: Oct. 19 2005,16:13

————————————————————————————————————————
Captain Midnight … still putting a little crank in your ovaltine I see. Lets take that unbiased NYT article as purely objective. LOL

Oh! And if you’d like a small wager on the outcome of this trial… I’m game.

Are you guys going to be the pall bearers for Lenny after he takes the pipe when your cult loses?

Its the least you could do after egging him on over such a hopeless cause.

————————————————————————————————————————
Report this post to a moderator

cogzoid

Posts: 94
Joined: Sep. 2005
Posted: Oct. 19 2005,17:45

————————————————————————————————————————
Oooh, a friendly wager.

I’m definitely in. What are the terms and stakes?

-Dan

————————————————————————————————————————
Report this post to a moderator

TheMissingLink

Posts: 13
Joined: Oct. 2005
Posted: Oct. 19 2005,19:53

————————————————————————————————————————
Don’t trust the NYT? Here’s another account of the testimony from the local paper:

Quote

Eric Rothschild, attorney for the plaintiffs, asked Behe about whether astrology was science. And Behe, after hemming and hawing and launching into an abbreviated history of astrology and science, said, under his definition, it is.

http://ydr.com/story/doverbiology/90330/

And, oh god, I wish there was a reliable way to bet on this trial. Anyone who thinks the judge is going to do anything other than rip the school board to shreds.. is seriously delusional. This ruling will not be pretty.

————————————————————————————————————————
Report this post to a moderator

sir_toejam

Posts: 107
Joined: April 2005
Posted: Oct. 19 2005,20:31

————————————————————————————————————————
will evopeach take odds in his favor? or has he already decided on even odds *snicker*

————————————————————————————————————————
Report this post to a moderator

evopeach

Posts: 248
Joined: July 2005
Posted: Oct. 20 2005,09:08

————————————————————————————————————————
Here’s the bet,

Anyone who replies and accepts, regardless of any appeal, has to write a post admitting they lost the bet.

Then they have to honestly resign from this forum under any and all names for a period of thirty calendar days.

I will be lonely posting to no one.

————————————————————————————————————————

There is the whole shenanigans in the thread over at ATBC, titled “Michael Behe thinks Astrology is science as well!!”

Evopeach, you are either a liar or someone whose memory is so bad they can’t be trusted anyway.

Comment #73695

Posted by steve s on January 19, 2006 4:35 PM (e)

Steve Elliot wins “Creationist Smackdown of the Week”, a new prize I just made up.

Comment #73699

Posted by Stephen Elliott on January 19, 2006 4:46 PM (e)

Posted by steve s on January 19, 2006 04:35 PM (e)

Steve Elliot wins “Creationist Smackdown of the Week”, a new prize I just made up.

Surely that should read “Smackdown of the weak.”
Weak in the mental strength league anyway.

Comment #73701

Posted by Arden Chatfield on January 19, 2006 4:48 PM (e)

Steve Elliot wins “Creationist Smackdown of the Week”, a new prize I just made up.

Nah, he’s good – very good – but I’m afraid he gets second place this time. It was his misfortune to be competing in the same week as almost-Dr. Brazeau’s smackdown of GoP. :-)

Comment #73704

Posted by Dave Thomas on January 19, 2006 4:54 PM (e)

Ahem.

I said quite plainly to evopeach that “Origin of Life” is off-topic in a post on recent Panda evolution.

His response, since flushed to the NEW, IMPROVED Bathroom Wall (go to page 5 or so), showed he just doesn’t “get it” re off-topic coments:

We know that life is extant. Either it was created de novo, it was eternally existant or it evolved from non-life.

If this post doesn’t get back to panda systematics, I’ll just close comments. I don’t have time to babysit evopeach or LaLaLaLand.

Dave

Comment #73710

Posted by steve s on January 19, 2006 5:02 PM (e)

Oh, I didn’t see that. I generally stay away from anything to do with Paley, because he (like most creationists) contributes nothing but ignorance and misunderstanding. I generally find out what creationists say when the good bits are excerpted by others. The particularly ridiculous ones I’ll go back and read. Sometimes I’ll scan them anyway just to see what flavor of creationist we’re dealing with. But as a habit I don’t recommend reading too much creationist typing. It’s not very insightful. But if your read a lot of creationist typing, you will learn a few things. You get optimistic about Artificial Intelligence. I’m pretty sure a computer with 15 more IQ points than my Dell will be able to come up with ideas like “Evolution is only a theory”.

Comment #73713

Posted by Arden Chatfield on January 19, 2006 5:14 PM (e)

Ah! I see that evopeach and redbaiting go WAY back:

Now I see you and lenny and most of the others are just another band of socialist pinko anarchists who have no compunction about lying, cheating, BSing, etc. and are  antithetical to the truth and every value except me first and right now.. well it just clears things up considerably.

By the way I just read the cross on Dr. Miller and he needs a blood transfusion… wirerheads are so helpless in the hands of a true intellect like yours truly or in that case the defense lawyer.

What office do you hold over at the CPUSA anyway?

(boldfacing mine)

Kind of like GoP with his ‘white separatist’ sources, and Larry with his confederate apologetics and holocaust ‘revisionism’.

Sorry, I know this has nothing to do with Panda evolution, but this repeatedly-seen connection between IDC and rather slimy political leanings never ceases to appall me…

Comment #73716

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 19, 2006 5:20 PM (e)

I hope the newly-remoddelled Bathroom Wall has a, um, flushing waste-disposal device. If so, evil-peach may not last too long there either…!

Now, how to tie this into Panda systematics? Oh, evo, it might be a good idea to evolve a second thumb from a sesamoid bone really quickly–it might help in hanging on to the rim of the, um, swirling chasm.

(And I still can’t believe that I didn’t award Carl Zimmer two thumbs up way back near the top of this thread.)

Comment #73721

Posted by W. Kevin Vicklund on January 19, 2006 5:59 PM (e)

How similar are the “thumbs” of giant pandas and red pandas, anyway?

Comment #73740

Posted by Dave Thomas on January 19, 2006 6:43 PM (e)

Missing comments? Looking for Woody Allen?

The New Bathroom Wall.

Dave

Comment #73744

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 19, 2006 6:49 PM (e)

i would certainly not be offended if you move all of my off topic comments about evo over there as well, Dave.

they accomplished their purpose already.

cheers

Comment #73774

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 19, 2006 7:57 PM (e)

so you call Lenny a ‘commie’

I’m an anarcho-syndicalist. Which I am quite sure that Evopeach can’t even pronounce correctly, much less understand what it means.

He can call me whatever he wants. I don’t bother myself with the yapping of pit yorkies like him. (shrug)

Comment #73781

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 19, 2006 8:02 PM (e)

Evopeach, this thread is about Panda Evolution, not the Origin of life itself.

As an aside, I have noticed several contributors now who have made remarks to the effect that comments not directly related to the topic of the thread will be squished. Let me register here my humble opposition to any such policy. Many many many threads at PT go off on tangents that are suggested by this or that comment — and I have found many of those tangents to be fascinating and informative. While certainly the nutjobs like Evopeach and Larry the Crank should be confined to their cages and prevented from crapping all over the carpet, I see no need to leash the sane commenters or to fence them in.

Just my two ducats.

Comment #73785

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 19, 2006 8:07 PM (e)

If this post doesn’t get back to panda systematics, I’ll just close comments. I don’t have time to babysit evopeach or LaLaLaLand.

Then why not just kick out the nutters? Why give them the ability to shut down any thread they wish, simply by posting there? They don’t deserve that sort of power over everyone else. Why give it to them?

Comment #73787

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 19, 2006 8:08 PM (e)

on a more topical note,

there was a brief (very) discussion of convergent evolution of heat-exchange systems over at the ATBC area.

Anybody want to further discuss the role of convergent evolution in pand-thumbery or other traits like heat exchangers?

pretty broad tangent, but hey, at least it’s interesting and somewhat on topic.

Comment #73791

Posted by Lenny's Pizza Guy on January 19, 2006 8:10 PM (e)

Yeah, and what about me? How can any of my comments ever be “on topic”? I’m just a pizza delivery guy, fer crying out loud (though, as we all know by now, my religious opinions are just as good as anybody else’s)?

Oops, gotta run, the phone is ringing off the hook! Lenny’s home, and obviously all this evo-talk is making him hungry!

Comment #73798

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 19, 2006 8:17 PM (e)

Lenny, it was pointed out to me that some species of sea turtles have heat exchangers.

in looking further, i note that the way these work is very similar to the way that heat exchangers work in pelagic sharks and many species of pelagic bony fishes as well.

Do you know if ALL sea turtles share this trait, or is it limited to ones that spend a great deal of time in the open ocean, or have large-scale migratory routes?

Comment #73801

Posted by jeffw on January 19, 2006 8:21 PM (e)

Larry the Crank

Speaking of cranks, has anyone noticed that Bathroom Wall alumnus John Davison is now apparently a contributor on Dembski’s blog:
(http://www.uncommondescent.com/index.php/archives/675)

Can’t we send Larry and Evopeach there too?

Comment #73805

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 19, 2006 8:26 PM (e)

Can’t we send Larry and Evopeach there too?

we tried; even told them there was free beer there.

they like it here better, evidently.

Comment #73817

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 19, 2006 8:50 PM (e)

Well, and squishy-peach wouldn’t last for more than a comment or two up against that real ID he-man, DaveScott.

And I think Larry actually enjoys all the new words he’s learning hanging around here.

Comment #73818

Posted by Arden Chatfield on January 19, 2006 8:53 PM (e)

we tried; even told them there was free beer there.

they like it here better, evidently.

I suspect they get a lot more attention here.

At UD, they’d just a couple more faces in the crowd of sycophants.

Comment #73819

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 19, 2006 8:54 PM (e)

Lenny, it was pointed out to me that some species of sea turtles have heat exchangers.

in looking further, i note that the way these work is very similar to the way that heat exchangers work in pelagic sharks and many species of pelagic bony fishes as well.

Do you know if ALL sea turtles share this trait, or is it limited to ones that spend a great deal of time in the open ocean, or have large-scale migratory routes?

Sea turtles aren’t really my bag, I’m more a snakey kind of guy. ;) But the only specific species I recall hearing about this in is the leatherback turtle. They have a heat exchange system in their flippers to keep their body core warm in cold water, sort of the same way penguins keep their bodies warm while standing on ice using heat exchangers in their feet.

That may have something to do with the fact that leatherbacks habitually enter high-latitude waters that are much colder than those usually inhabited by the other sea turtle species.

Leatherbacks are also the largest of the sea turtles, and thus are able to retain more heat than other turtles simply because they have less surface area relative to their volume.

Comment #73824

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 19, 2006 9:07 PM (e)

IIRC, loggerheads show this too; after hearing about it, i did find a quick and dirty reference. check out the thread i posted about shark evolution over in ATBC.

what’s notable is that the way the heat exchangers work is via a counter-current exchange system, based on modifying blood flow through specially arranged capillaries.

this is the exact same way it works in sharks, tunas, and billfishes as well.

hence my curiosity about whether all three unrelated organisms show this as an example of convergent evolution.

the most common reason proposed for a need to maintain higher muscle temperature is to increase its efficiency, which is extremely important in animals that have patchy food sources they must swim long distances to find.

I’m curious about leatherback diets and migratory habits to see if a similar pattern holds here.

Comment #74054

Posted by Henry J on January 20, 2006 11:23 AM (e)

Is this heat exchange stuff related to the (recent?) conclusion that ancestors of crocodiles may have been warm blooded? (That was in an article a few months ago, I think it was mentioned on this blog.)

Henry

Comment #74098

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 20, 2006 1:54 PM (e)

no. IIRC, those studies were based on bone structures that appear homologous to mammalian ones in some ways.

the heat exchangers I’m talking about here are based on capillary constructions that wouldn’t likely have been preserved in the fossil record.

here’s a sample that diagrams what i mean, and also touches on the sea turtle heat exchange system mentioned above:

http://www.bio.davidson.edu/people/midorcas/animalphysiology/websites/2005/Fitzpatrick/Regional%20Blood%20Flow.htm

also, typically when an animal is refered to as “warm blooded” that means a different thing that an animal that is ectothermic but might retain muscle heat via various mechanisms. Again, even though sea turtles have heat exchangers, they are still refered to as ectotherms. There are a whole series of adaptations that are related to what is normally termed “warm blooded”.

However, the media often confuse these issues, and i never read that specific article.

do you have a reference i could verify?

Comment #74165

Posted by Henry J on January 20, 2006 4:39 PM (e)

A netscape web search for “are crocodiles warm blooded” item #2 is probably what I read before; I think it had an associated thread here (late April 2005).
Hot-blooded crocodiles?

Comment #74221

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 20, 2006 8:35 PM (e)

thanks for the link.

ahh yeah, i remember that one now.

“devolution” in action, if you’ll pardon the pun.

yeah, this article examines the oddities inherent in modern croc biology where you see some aspects common to warm blooded animals like mammals, while other traits and the croc’s general physiology are more consistent with ectotherms.

different issue, but interesting nonetheless.

Comment #74223

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 20, 2006 8:39 PM (e)

yeah, this article examines the oddities inherent in modern croc biology where you see some aspects common to warm blooded animals like mammals, while other traits and the croc’s general physiology are more consistent with ectotherms.

Crocs are very birdlike, much more than most people realize.

Comment #74228

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 20, 2006 9:15 PM (e)

IIRC, the reason PZ brought up the croc reference was to show that there is evidence that ectothermic physiology is FAVORED in the crocodile, dispelling the very common mistaken notion that evolution somehow favors a mammalian body plan over others; the idea that invevitably leads to the anthropmorhization of “directed evolution” producing ever “higher” forms of life, leading to the “pinnacle” in humans.

but, that’s all quite a bit tangential to the topic of convergent evolution.

Comment #74231

Posted by Henry J on January 20, 2006 9:43 PM (e)

Here’s a link to the Panda’s Thumb thread that went with the article:
971 - Hot-blooded crocodiles? - PZ Myers (49) 20050422 20050419 http://www.pandasthumb.org/pt-archives/000971.html

Henry

Comment #75740

Posted by Bill Parker on January 25, 2006 3:43 PM (e)

I’ve just spent alot of time reading these posts. All of the amusing responses to the unpopular creationists were, well just amusing. I didn’t see any real responses to the questions raised. Just an attacking of their itelligence and character of their sources. Come on guys, you’ll have to do better than that.

Comment #75750

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 25, 2006 4:45 PM (e)

Unfortunately, Bill, if you’re talking about Larry and Evopeach, then you’ll need to sample a few other threads recent and older.

And maybe visit the Bathroom Wall and After the Bar Closes.

Everybody here has addressed their “questions” ad nauseum and is utterly disinterested in futher discussion with them, beyond the occasional irresistable chance to make a joke at their expense.

As you know, those willing to do a little research, to provide their best evidence, or who are just genuinely clueless, tend to be handled respectfully–within limits–and those who won’t read, provide evidence, or who just get stuck in the ruts of whatever fixation they arrive with (in the face of argument backed up with evidence, which is routinely ignored) tend to get treated a little less respectfully.

And are ultimately dismissed.

If you think there was a genuinely meritorious question posed up there somewhere, please cull it out and give us your take on it, and I’m fairly sure someone will respond as appropriate.

Comment #75769

Posted by Bill Parker on January 25, 2006 5:27 PM (e)

I’m not really interested in getting involved in hearing the same old tired answers that each side has been using. It all comes down to the basic question that only you can answer for yourself. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? And I’m not a scientist, and I don’t have to be to know that whatever the lifeform on Earth, the offspring are the exact same species as the parents. And until you can show the “missing links” then you are using a great deal of “faith” to believe in evolution the way it has been presented. Any evidence that has so far been presented, here and elsewhere, has only proved that life can adapt to it’s environment. This is not the same as one species evolving into another species.

I know this is going to open up the proverbial can of worms, and that both sides of the issue already have their minds made up on the subject, so I’m going to really try not to get involved in further discussion about it. A forum of this type can’t really provide the right platform that would tolerate such a debate. When so many people can anonomously leave comment with out proper polemic regulation, then it degenerates very quickly into name-calling and vengeful tirades.

Comment #75780

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 25, 2006 5:58 PM (e)

Rather than argue with you, Bill, since you apparently have already decided that my mind has been made up (by something other than the evidence), why don’t you go back to the main page of Panda’s Thumb, scroll down the right side until you get to Evolutionary Resouces, look for the link to TalkOrigins, click on that, and then search for the topic of “missing links.”

I suggest this because, assuming that you are yourself open-minded, you need to acquaint yourself with the evidence regarding “missing links” (which we in fact have in plenty–not just for the “inflammatory” topic of apes => humans–but for a host of organisms, from fish => land animals, land animals => whales, dinosaurs => birds, little multi-toed critturs => horses, and on and on).

You also need to acquaint yourself with the evidence from genetic studies (DNA comparisons of plant, animal, and bacterial genomes) and with the findings of “evo-devo” workers, going back to the classic fruit fly mutation experimenters and on up through the elucidation of the HOX gene family and a host of well-conserved signalling and promoter genes.

Or you might treat yourself to a “short course” by reading Judge Jones’s opinion in Kitzmiller.

Frankly, until you have done the work of figuring out the treasure troves of evidence for evolution amassed by 150 years of post-Darwin scientific investigation–and have equally educated yourself to the utter lack of evidence gathered by the IDists, no one here is going to care very much about your opinion that “both sides” have their minds made up based on anything like equivalent evidence.

After you’ve done some homework, come back with your questions. Meanwhile, you might think about your own family tree, and ask yourself if the offspring of each generation are really exactly like their parents. And if you believe that this kind of variation can be selected for to allow adaptation to changing environments, what process or mechanism would prevent still greater adaptations if the environment continued to change radically (like, you know, Ice Ages, breakup of continents, uplift of mountain ranges?)…

Catch you later, Bill. But only when you come back with some questions prompted by a good-faith examination of the facts.

Comment #75787

Posted by Bill Parker on January 25, 2006 6:45 PM (e)

Can you be a little more specific as to which of the links in the archives reflect the evidence you are standing on? So far all I read have said the actual links are not really evident. As for the evidence you alluded to, there’s no real link. Only similarities.

Regarding the DNA question. In living creatures, it just proves we are made of similar substance. In fossil evidence, only mico-DNA has been examined and it shows something entirely different than what you expect.You can form other conclusions if you want. That is the beauty of freedom.

As to the statement, “utter lack of evidence gathered by the IDists”, you have not done your homework. One place I suggest you start is www.reasons.org. Don’t just dismiss any research because they believe in God. Actually read the volumes scientific research that has been done. With every new scientific discovery, the theory of evolution gets weaker and the Bible is found to be true, in my opinion. You are getting hung up on the things you don’t understand. I think you will probably say the same about me. But at least I know that both sides have amassed much research. The funny thing about scientific research like this is, that it depends on interpretation. If it didn’t then everyone who studies enough would end up believing the same thing.

I know I said I wasn’t going to get involved in discussion. Like I said both sides minds are made up. But if you think you are the only side doing any scientific research, or has the cutting edge facts, then you are behind the times. The evidence is there, if you want it.

Comment #75793

Posted by Stephen Elliott on January 25, 2006 7:03 PM (e)

Bill,
At the talk origins site: you will find that inside the short explanations from the scientific side there are links. Follow them and you end up getting to the original evidence.

I am under the impression though that you are not really interested in actually finding out though. I suspect you just want a discussion.

Are you aware of the wedge document?

BTW. I first came here as a convinced ID supporter. Do you think that there is scientific evidence for God?

Do you think that evolution is about the origin of life?

Comment #75795

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 25, 2006 7:15 PM (e)

Bleh. Well, I tried.

Bill, if you think that what accumulates at reasons.org is anything like the evidence that has been discovered, tested, and replicated by scientists, then your definition of science needs some serious shop-time.

As to “similiarities” not constituting “links,” this is like showing someone the seven of spades between the six and the eight and being told that cards are still missing because there’s no six-and-a-half of spades or eight-and-a-quarter.

Seriously, if any link can be explained away as a “similarity” resulting from our being made of “similar substance,” we have left science behind and entered the realm of psuedo-science (cue Twilight Zone theme music). In common descent, science and evolution have an explanation of why we are made of similar substance, and why similar-but-not-identical forms are found as transitionals (“missing links”) between other forms.

Waving your hands and uttering “similar substance” is simply not an equivalent “scientific” explanation, because it explains way too much and yet nothing at all. Why would an omnipotent creator need to confine or constrain His (or Her or Its or Their) self(ves) to working with “similar substance”? Why would an OC bother to leave traces of transitionals, simply to confound later generations of paleontologists? If these limitations on the powers of the OC are explicated in (one or another of the various versions or translations) of the Bible (as touted by one or anther of a myriad of hopelessly-conflicting sects of Bible-believers), please share those Biblical citations with us (but, if they are not explained in the Bible, why would you believe some charlatans “add-on” claim about the creator’s limitations?).

Otherwise, I’m simply struck by the fact that you are seem to be substituting a shaky brand of psuedoscience that some huckster has sold you (bearing the false advertising: “Genuine 100% Science”) for the pure faith that you ought to have in your creator. Is your faith in your Good Book and your creator truly so weak that you feel the need for such phony props?

Comment #75799

Posted by Dave Thomas on January 25, 2006 7:25 PM (e)

Bill, here’s a direct link to some very specific information on missing links, macro-evolution, and all that.

It’s 29+ Evidences for Macroevolution - The Scientific Case for Common Descent.

This article consists of 8 web pages (Introduction, Phylogenetics Primer, Part 1:The Unique Universal Phylogenetic Tree, Part 2:Past History, Part 3: Opportunism and Evolutionary Constraint, Part 4: The Molecular Sequence Evidence, Part 5: Change and Mutability, and Closing remarks).

Each of these pages has numerous other links. The Contents page (hotlink above) also has a search button that allows you to search for, say, “missing link” in the entire article. Look for the button that says “Search the 29+ Evidences.”

Bill, why don’t you take a week or two and peruse the vast amounts of cold, hard data presented therein? Then, if you still want to argue there are no “missing links,” be prepared to get into specifics.

Dave

Comment #75813

Posted by vandalhooch on January 25, 2006 7:54 PM (e)

What is going on with PT lately? It seems that the nearby creationist/post-modern/anti-intellectual school must have let out very early for spring break. Can’t these intellectual kids just go to Mexico and party their brains out like everyone else?

Comment #75821

Posted by Bill Parker on January 25, 2006 8:43 PM (e)

I knew it would go on and on and on….

Thank you Dave for the direct answer to my question. As to the others, especially vandalhooch, I’m disappointed, but not surprised.
I’m not impressed by the attempts to make me sound stupid. What else can you do?

I stand by the statements I’ve already made. Research is being done in both camps. To say anything else is not only an insult to my intelligence, but is very ignorant. You are not going to enlighten anyone by insulting them and then totally ignore the other sides research.

But research is not the real issue. The question is how do you intepret the research? Please don’t try to tell me that you don’t filter the research through your own personal befief system. Many people start out by saying, whether consciously or not, that any conclusions that point to an intelligent creator is not scientific. I say if it points to an intelligent creator and you refuse to allow it, then your not practicing real science.

Steve pinhead,I can tell that you have never read or refuse to read any of the research at reasons.org or any other camp that does not agree with you. That is not very scientific now is it?

Here is something that is being thrown around by both camps. As I stated before, this will be interpreted differently by both sides.

We now have the technology which can see into the sub-microscopic complexities of organisms. It has been discovered that cells are so complex that they are like small factories, complete with sub-microscopic machines and many chemical conveyers and other sub-systems.

In his book, The Origin of Species, Charles Darwin states, “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.”

In Darwin’s day the cell was thought to be just a blob of jelly, with no actual inner workings. The scientific evidence now shows that cells are composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal or change of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning. Such complexity can not just happen and then slowly evolve. It does not match any logical scientific facts or tests.

How can the “Theory of Evolution” remain the guideline we must use at all costs? Absolutely no one–not one scientist–has published any detailed proposal or explanation of the possible evolution of any such complex biochemical system. Now don’t get me wrong. There are many scientific evidences of a species adapting to it’s environment, but science has not yet produced one shred of evidence, not even one fossil, of one species evolving into another species.

You might say, “Disproving one theory does not automatically make a competing theory true.” This is true, however when all of the theories are lined up together, I will believe the one which makes the most logical sense to me. To believe in evolution is like saying a complex machine, like a computer, just formed out of nothing, with absolutely no intelligent creator.

The fossil record is incomplete, the reasoning flawed; the current theory of evolution is not fit to survive.

Comment #75823

Posted by Stephen Elliott on January 25, 2006 8:49 PM (e)

Wow Bill,
Are you seriously going to rely on logic? That would be daft when it comes to science.

Oh, BTW. Are you aware of the scientific method?
It is important to understand this (scientific method) if you wish to comment on science.

Comment #75826

Posted by Bill Parker on January 25, 2006 9:07 PM (e)

Absolutely:
1.Make observations.
2.Form a testable, unifying hypothesis to explain these observations.
3.Deduce predictions from the hypothesis.
4.Search for confirmations of the predictions;
if the predictions are contradicted by empirical observation, go back to step (2).

Are you familiar with these quotes?

“… in science there is no ‘knowledge’, in the sense in which Plato and Aristotle understood the word, in the sense which implies finality; in science, we never have sufficient reason for the belief that we have attained the truth…. This view means, furthermore, that we have no proofs in science (excepting, of course, pure mathematics and logic). In the empirical sciences, which alone can furnish us with information about the world we live in, proofs do not occur, if we mean by ‘proof’ an argument which establishes once and for ever the truth of a theory.”

Sir Karl Popper, The Problem of Induction, 1953

“If you thought that science was certain — well, that is just an error on your part.”

Richard Feynman (1918-1988).

“A religious creed differs from a scientific theory in claiming to embody eternal and absolutely certain truth, whereas science is always tentative, expecting that modification in its present theories will sooner or later be found necessary, and aware that its method is one which is logically incapable of arriving at a complete and final demonstration.”

Bertrand Russell, Grounds of Conflict, Religion and Science, 1953.

“It is the aim of science to establish general rules which determine the reciprocal connection of objects and events in time and space. For these rules, or laws of nature, absolutely general validity is required — not proven.”

Albert Einstein, in Science, Philosophy and Religion, A Symposium, 1941.

Comment #75830

Posted by Stephen Elliott on January 25, 2006 9:17 PM (e)

OK Bill,
If you are familiar with the scientific method. How can ID be considered science ATM?

Yes I am familiar with such quotes. They are correct. What was your point?

Comment #75833

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 25, 2006 9:30 PM (e)

Gosh, Bill, no wonder you already know how our little discussion is going to turn out: in order to do your week’s worth of reading in evolution science, you used your Time Machine–the one that all those ignorant “real” scientists haven’t cottoned on to yet!–to jump ahead of us poor evolutionists. And while you were in the future, you cheated–but, hey, I probably couldn’t have resisted either!–and looked ahead at how this thread is going to “evolve.”

Hey, Bill, don’t kid yourself–most of us here have been to resources.org and all the other psuedoscience sites (didn’t you notice that we have a pile of them listed down that same right side of the main page). Sorry, but there’s no real “research” there, and what you find there wasn’t generated by real “scientists.”

You probably don’t know this, but the irreducibly-complex-cellular-machinery malarkey that you are recycling at third or fourth remove is based on a “concept” by Dr. Behe, one of the Discovery Institute’s few actual scientists. He came up with this latest wrinkle on the argument-from-design over ten years ago.

At the Kitzmiller trial, the one that was so eagerly sought by the intielligent design hucksters, until all the wheels fell off of their tricycle, Dr. Behe was given the best possible opportunity, in front of the most receptive possible audience–a conservative church-going Republican Bush-appointed, Ridge-protege judge–to defend the “irreducibly complex” concept.

Unfortunately, it turned out that the well-funded Discovery Institute had not spent any of its millions on lab research or fieldwork or replicable, testible, publishable scientific results of any kind, but had instead spent its big bucks on P.R. and lawsuits.

And Dr. Behe had also not performed any actual scientific work to support his IC concept in the decade-plus since he came up with it (why do you suppose that is, Bill, if it’s such an awsome concept?). Also, unfortunately, Dr. Behe did not seem to have kept up at all well with the dozens of papers produced by the real working scientists who had been busily performing research that, unfortunately, dramatically undermined Dr. Behe’s claims (Dr. Behe seems not to be nearly as fast a reader as you are, Bill!). I’m sorry to be the one to break the sad news to you, but this performance by ID’s scientist-in-chief was not real impressive to the judge.

Dr. Behe instead wound up looking like a cheesy, fourth-rate psuedoscientist, and what shreds were left of his scientific credibility were entirely vaporized.

This seems to be the company you wish to keep, Bill, and far be it from me to stand in your way. Before you leave reality behind entirely, though, I’d sure appreciate it if you could leave the plans for that time machine with a responsible individual…

Comment #75837

Posted by Bill Parker on January 25, 2006 9:54 PM (e)

I’ll elaborate my point by again using this quote.

“If you thought that science was certain — well, that is just an error on your part.”

Richard Feynman (1918-1988).

How can scientists refuse to alter the current theory that all life evolved from a common ancestor, when there are no real links between species, in my opinion and also the opinion of some renowned scientists, I might add? The current theory is not Law. Yet you would think it was by the way some are desparately holding on to it.

I say that by using the scientific method, and making observations about the complexity of life, and the fact of entropy, you can point to an intelligent creator easier than to whatever origin of life you believe.

1. Observation: Life is way too complex to just have happened. The current theory of evolution sounds like finding a computer, and trying to prove it just evolved by itself, out of nothing. Can’t happen.

2. Fact: Without intelligent intervention, it has been proven that things do not get better, they get worse.

By this one observation and this one fact alone, the whole of evolution is unraveled.

Please re-study your scientific evidence and if the conclusions you draw counterdict what has already been proven and observed, then go back to Step #2 in the Scientific Method.

BTW, I don’t mean to sound angry or agitated. The fact is that I’m glad that you would take the time to talk about these things with me, even if we don’t agree. Most of you, you know who you are, sound like you are earnestly trying to educate instead of insult. I say this to your credit. This is how new ideas are revealed.

Comment #75839

Posted by Dave Thomas on January 25, 2006 10:06 PM (e)

You must be a fast reader, Bill. Are you really done with Dr. Theobald’s tome so soon?

I can’t let this one go with no response:

Absolutely no one—not one scientist—has published any detailed proposal or explanation of the possible evolution of any such complex biochemical system.

Not true. Please read New Work Documents the Evolution of Irreducibly Complex Structures for a detailed explanation of the possible evolution of one such complex biochemical system.

Cheers, Dave

Comment #75841

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 25, 2006 10:06 PM (e)

Bill Parker:

BTW, I don’t mean to sound angry or agitated. The fact is that I’m glad that you would take the time to talk about these things with me, even if we don’t agree.

That’s okay, Bill. Go ahead and embrace your crank self. You’ll feel better and, gosh, so will we!

(Excuse me for just a moment, please. I just get, well, a little emotional when those of us on opposite sides of this reality-lunacy divide can get along so beautifully! And all it takes is a little mutaul respect and empathy–and just having the courage to just let go of one’s objective grip on the world!)

Comment #75842

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 25, 2006 10:09 PM (e)

I’ve just spent alot of time reading these posts. All of the amusing responses to the unpopular creationists were, well just amusing. I didn’t see any real responses to the questions raised. Just an attacking of their itelligence and character of their sources. Come on guys, you’ll have to do better than that.

Read the Dover decision.

Read it twice.

Have an educated person explain all the big words to you.

Comment #75843

Posted by Stephen Elliott on January 25, 2006 10:09 PM (e)

Bill,
Your comment 75837.
You might be surprised to know that every single argument you made has been done before. Most of them over a decade ago. At least one, over a century ago. All have been refuted. Had you have done the research you would have known that.

It is blatantly obvious to all regulars here, that you are a convert to either ID or creationism and actually think those arguments are new.

BTW. I made the exact same arguments when I first came here. For the same reasons. I believed what the ID people had told me. I took it on face value as well.

You are a stooge, just as I was. We have both been conned by the creationist/ID people. The difference is, I know I was.

You know the scientific method. You are not stupid. Think. How can the scientific method apply to God?

Science and religion are different subjects. Do not make the mistake of thinking “everything is the same”.

Comment #75844

Posted by Bill Parker on January 25, 2006 10:11 PM (e)

I am familiar with Dr. Behe, and the trial. Since when does a Judge ever do what’s right? Im being sarcastic, but Judges and trials don’t really change my mind much. How about the fact that if you have enough money and hire the right “huckster”/lawyer you can get away with murder?

And by the way, it’s reason.org not resources.org. And yes, they have real scientists, just not ones you agree with.

As to my time machine, it’s not near as impressive as your clairvoiant abilities which told you I only have a weeks worth of study. Oh, I forgot, your imense grasp of a Theory that counterdicts known and proven Laws told you this, right?

So it always comes down to this. If you don’t agree with me, you try to insult me? Sorry, but I don’t wish to discuss anything with someone whose facts aren’t enough for him, and he must result in the immature acts of a grade-schooler to desperately try to make his case. You’re going to have to do better than this if you are ever going to un-learn centuries of error. I’m done.

Comment #75847

Posted by Stephen Elliott on January 25, 2006 10:18 PM (e)

Posted by Bill Parker on January 25, 2006 10:11 PM (e)
….
I’m done.

Seriously?

Comment #75848

Posted by Bill Parker on January 25, 2006 10:20 PM (e)

I am familiar with Dr. Behe, and the trial. Since when does a Judge ever do what’s right? Im being sarcastic, but Judges and trials don’t really change my mind much. How about the fact that if you have enough money and hire the right “huckster”/lawyer you can get away with murder?

And by the way, it’s reasons.org not resources.org. And yes, they have real scientists, just not ones you agree with.

As to my time machine, it’s not near as impressive as your clairvoiant abilities which told you I only have a weeks worth of study. Oh, I forgot, your imense grasp of a Theory that counterdicts known and proven Laws told you this, right?

So it always comes down to this. If you don’t agree with me, you try to insult me? Sorry, but I don’t wish to discuss anything with someone whose facts aren’t enough for him, and he must result in the immature acts of a grade-schooler to desperately try to make his case. You’re going to have to do better than this if you are ever going to un-learn centuries of error. I’m done.

Comment #75850

Posted by Stephen Elliott on January 25, 2006 10:26 PM (e)

Posted by Bill Parker on January 25, 2006 10:20 PM (e)

I am familiar with Dr. Behe, and the trial….….

Obviously not serious about the statement “I’m done”.

Comment #75851

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 25, 2006 10:34 PM (e)

Bill “I’m Done” Parker:

How about the fact that if you have enough money and hire the right “huckster”/lawyer you can get away with murder?

Why didn’t all your real scientists have the smarts to hire the “right” lawyers, then? Are they too stupid to figure out what you could have told them if only they had asked?
Sure sounds like the whining of a poor loser to me…

“Picky Picky: Bill:

And by the way, it’s reason.org not resources.org.

Gosh, Bill, excuse my typo. I was wrong, you were right (on this eensy point–enjoy it while it lasts!). But, again, you have not just discovered a nifty new super-top-secret scientific organization that we’ve never heard of. If you’ll click on “Reasons to Believe,” down the right side of the main page in the “Psuedoscience” box, it will take you right there. Amazing, huh, how we stay on top of this complex stuff?

Big Bad Bill:

You’re going to have to do better than this if you are ever going to un-learn centuries of error. I’m done.

That was quick. None of the staying power of Larry. None of the woozy wing-nuttiness of ThorDaddy. Just hear and gone, like a breath of stale air.

Ta Ta. It’s been real.

Comment #75854

Posted by Bill Parker on January 25, 2006 11:13 PM (e)

Well, I thought I was done. Excuse me while I swat a pest. I should have used my time machine and seen the outcome of this. You have proven again to me not to try to have an intelligent discussion with people whose minds are like concrete, all mixed up and thoroughly set. At least I tried.

And to Stephen Elliott, you actually used to be a believer? This one bit of info. to me, is probably the most disturbing. If you were a true believer then you should have known, you can’t prove the existance of God in a test tube. You can only try to get people to realize that there are more things around them then they might have the ability to see right now. You know, knock ‘em off their self-imposed “high-horses”. I love to see how they try to scramble and desparately defend a worn out theory.

And you have to do more than just list a wbesite and make unfounded claims about their research to refute it. But, when you don’t have facts, what else can you do?

I think I’m done again. That is unless I have to swat another laughable pest. Some people’s kids. Sheesh!

Comment #75857

Posted by gwangung@u.washington.edu on January 26, 2006 12:17 AM (e)

You have proven again to me not to try to have an intelligent discussion with people whose minds are like concrete, all mixed up and thoroughly set.

Yeah, yeah, yeah….we hear that kind of projection all the time.

But when people like you actually sit down and READ what is referred to on web site; i.e., the primary scientific literature, I think it’s clear who’s making unfounded claims and who isn’t.

It’d help if you’d stop trying to do God’s job and be a little more humble and realize that perhaps you DON’T know what you’re talking about, and that you might learn something from the referrences people are giving you.

Sheesh. Some people’s kids THINK they know something.

Comment #75867

Posted by Stephen Elliott on January 26, 2006 5:39 AM (e)

Posted by Bill Parker on January 25, 2006 11:13 PM (e)

And to Stephen Elliott, you actually used to be a believer? This one bit of info. to me, is probably the most disturbing. If you were a true believer then you should have known, you can’t prove the existance…

Bil,
I am still a believer. In God anyway. The ID movement however is full of liars.

The thing is Bill, I am no longer trying to mix science and religion. As far as I can see, they are two completely different subjects.

If you consider that accepting the evidence of science will destroy belief in God, then maybe it is your faith that is weak.

Comment #75871

Posted by Bill Parker on January 26, 2006 7:02 AM (e)

I’ll bet you hear that kind of projection all the time. No big surprise there.

As for the reading of your refered scientific literature. I have and still do try to read what is being presented as facts, and quite frankly, it’s the same old tired arguments that have been used for a long time. I’m not the only one who uses old research.

Example; “Please read New Work Documents the Evolution of Irreducibly Complex Structures for a detailed explanation of the possible evolution of one such complex biochemical system.”

I tried to read it with a open mind, but quickly learned that it is just more of the same old, same old. So they induced coral to change color. It still just proves that organisms adapt at thier environments, whether by manipulation or by naturally occuring stimuli. It’s still coral. Now if you can induce the coral to change into a carp, then you have me interested. Michael Jackson has has some success in changing his color. Guess what? He’s still a human. regardless of what he looks like. Maybe using him as an example was not a good idea. How about African Americans as a whole? Are you trying to tell me that because they are a different color that they are starting to mutate into a new species? Come on. These types of examples are not what is being refered to. Irreducibly complex in the terms of life sustaining biochemical processes is what is important. Change these processes slightly and you have killed the organism.

And to Steve the pinhead, maybe our side should have gave the judge more money than your side did. Ha, ha, ha. A trial. What a joke.

I know this will draw more of the same venom from you guys. I’m not even going to attempt to try and persuade you to keep the insults and personal remarks to yourself and have a real discussion, so here’s something for you to think about.
Hey Jethro, hold my beer. I got me a great ider. Why don’t we make fun of anyone who disagrees with us? I think that’ll make us sound like honest-to-gosh scientists, don’t you? Ha, ha,ha!! You morons travel in packs.

Comment #75875

Posted by Stephen Elliott on January 26, 2006 7:34 AM (e)

Posted by Bill Parker on January 26, 2006 07:02 AM (e)

I tried to read it with a open mind, but quickly learned that it is just more of the same old, same old. So they induced coral to change color. It still just proves that organisms adapt at thier environments, whether by manipulation or by naturally occuring stimuli. It’s still coral. Now if you can induce the coral to change into a carp,….

coral–>carp. Do you think that would be convincing? How about a caterpillar changing into a pupa then a butterfly?

Do you not consider everyday things in the natural world almost beyond belief? Take the acorn analogy. A little nut drops on the soil, then starts rearranging the basic chemicals around it to grow into a massive oak tree. Surely that would seem more unlikely than evolution, if you actually thought about it.

Comment #75880

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 26, 2006 8:15 AM (e)

I tried to read it with a open mind

But you just don’t have one.

Comment #75881

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 26, 2006 8:19 AM (e)

Obviously not serious about the statement “I’m done”.

I call this the “Columbo Maneuver”. Like Peter Falk, the fundies will drone on and on, make for the door, get your hopes all up, and then turn around and say “Oh, one more thing”. Again and again and again.

But I thank Bill for making it so clear to everyone that ID is just a religious crusade, IDers are just lying to us when they claim otherwise, and Judge Jones was absolutely correct when he so concluded.

Comment #75923

Posted by Dave Thomas on January 26, 2006 12:40 PM (e)

In comment 75821, Bill wrote

In Darwin’s day the cell was thought to be just a blob of jelly, with no actual inner workings. The scientific evidence now shows that cells are composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal or change of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning. Such complexity can not just happen and then slowly evolve. It does not match any logical scientific facts or tests.

Later, in comment 75871, Bill wrote

Example;

Please read New Work Documents the Evolution of Irreducibly Complex Structures for a detailed explanation of the possible evolution of one such complex biochemical system.

I tried to read it with a open mind, but quickly learned that it is just more of the same old, same old. So they induced coral to change color. It still just proves that organisms adapt at thier environments, whether by manipulation or by naturally occuring stimuli. It’s still coral. Now if you can induce the coral to change into a carp, then you have me interested. Michael Jackson has has some success in changing his color. Guess what? He’s still a human.

Thanks, Bill, for demonstrating the “bait and switch” tactic of creationism and Intelligent Design. First, you say that science can’t explain biological systems “wherein the removal or change of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning.”

The coral protein is just such a system. There are three cascading reactions required to produce the red pigment. Take any of these three away, and you lose Red. But, the authors showed how this complex protein indeed evolved from a simple, two-stage, green-pigment variety.

So, now that the claim of “Irreducible Complexity” (that’s the bait) as an argument against evolution has been disproved, you switch to a different argument, “Now if you can induce the coral to change into a carp.”

Sorry - we’ve seen this many times before. You won’t find this swindle will catch many marks here on the Thumb.

Dave

IMPORTANT NOTE
The Comment Entry Form is now found just below the initial post, and not at the bottom of the page. Yeah, I was confused at first too. We’ll get used to it.