Dave Thomas posted Entry 2015 on February 13, 2006 08:20 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/2010

Herbert Kroemer, the winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics for 2000, was quite moved when he read physicist Marshall Berman’s essay “Intelligent Design: The New Creationism Threatens All of Science and Society” on the Back Page of the American Physical Society’s October 2005 issue of APS News.

He was so moved, he decided to “get engaged” with the issue, and sent a Letter to the Editor of the local Santa Barbara newspaper. This letter was printed, not as a simple Letter to the Editor, but rather as a Sunday guest commentary, in January 2006.

Dr. Kroemer has given his permission to have his complete article, not just the edited version printed in the Santa Barbara News-Press, reproduced here on the Thumb for posterity.

“Intelligent Design”: An Attack on All of Science
by Professor Herbert Kroemer (UCSB)

The Theory of Intelligent Design, and other attacks on the science of biological evolution, are not merely attacks on the concept of evolution, but attacks on science itself — all of science. They are not the healthy clarifying debates within the scientific community by which science arrives at its understanding, where different scientists may initially interpret the evolving evidence differently, until new evidence settles the issue. They are religiously motivated attacks by outside groups who are simply in denial of the evidence, because it conflicts with their literal acceptance of biblical traditions that reflect the attempts of a great ancient civilization trying to understand the world in pre-scientific terms in the language of several thousand years ago.

Biological evolution is not the only concept in conflict with such a literal interpretation of the bible; other areas of science, like geophysics and astrophysics, come right behind. Indeed, many of the attackers of biological evolution attack those scientific disciplines as well. But these disciplines do not exist in isolation; they are areas where the recognized laws of physics are rigorously applied to the specific problems of the field. To attack them is an attack on physics itself, and with it an attack on the Galilean idea that the laws of science must be based on actual observation of the facts rather than on scriptural traditions: We are literally back to the spirit of the early-17th century attacks on Galileo.

Attacks on science are of concern not just to scientists; they threaten the continued prosperity and security of our entire nation in a world where we increasingly have to compete with other nations that have developed strong science-based technologies in areas that were once unchallenged domains of the United States. If we wish to continue to prosper in this environment we need, first and foremost, a work force that is highly educated in science, and capable of mastering advancing technologies based on continuing advances in science. The United States public education system below the university level has never put a sufficiently high value on science to permit filling this need with US-born individuals alone, but we were always able to fill the shortfall with immigrants. Attacks on science, if not rejected by the American public, will further reduce the already-too-low percentage of US citizens who opt for a science-oriented education, and at the same time they will reduce the attractiveness to foreign citizens of coming to the United States for an education or a career in science and in technologies based on continuing advances in science.

—————————————————-
Comments are invited, provided they are relevant. My advice to ID proponents: don’t mess with Kroemer. He’s got his very own asteroid.

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 #79581

Posted by David Heddle on February 13, 2006 9:14 PM (e)

That’s it? How awful. This article offers no original insight, thought, or point of view. It could had been drawn from any of a hundred posts or a thousand comments on PT. I would expect more from a Nobel Laureate than just parroting tiresome arguments. It’s almost an embarrassment. When I read something from a Nobel Laureate, I’m looking for substance, regardless of whether or not I agree. This mush reads as if it were generated from an anti-ID Perl script crawling through dusty PT archives.

Dr. Kroemer, it would appear, is just another Dr. Chicken Little.

He’s also wrong, but that’s beside the point.

C’mon–even though most of you agree with him, did you actually learn anything from his article? PZ is much more interesting.

Comment #79582

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on February 13, 2006 9:19 PM (e)

That’s it? How awful. This article offers no original insight, thought, or point of view.

Just like ID, huh.

What does ID offer that wasn’t heard forty years ago from YEC nutballs?

Comment #79584

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on February 13, 2006 9:22 PM (e)

It should be pointed out, though, that Kroemer is wrong; ID isn’t simply an attack on “science” – that is just a means to a much larger end. ID is a theocratic political movement, with theocratic political goals. It has almost nothing to do with “science”.

Comment #79587

Posted by FastEddie on February 13, 2006 9:31 PM (e)

While agree entirely with Kroemer, this was a pretty lame essay.

Comment #79593

Posted by steve s on February 13, 2006 10:15 PM (e)

I wish i still got APS news, but it’s just not worth it for me. But they do have a good article like this every other issue.

Comment #79594

Posted by Norman Doering on February 13, 2006 10:15 PM (e)

FastEddie (and others in their own way) wrote:

While agree entirely with Kroemer, this was a pretty lame essay.

Give the guy a break. Now you know why professional writers write and scientists – ah, er – science. Two very different skills.

Comment #79597

Posted by steve s on February 13, 2006 10:27 PM (e)

If the essay helps rally scientists to participate in policy discussions, it’s a good thing.

Comment #79602

Posted by Sir_Toejam on February 13, 2006 10:39 PM (e)

scientists have to be invited to participate in policy discussion.

under the current administration, we have not only seen scientists not invited, but actively discouraged from participating.

remember the NASA brouhaha?

same thing in Australia:

http://www.physorg.com/news10801.html

only one way to solve that; make sure the folks you vote for actually care about science to begin with.

Comment #79603

Posted by brian elliot on February 13, 2006 10:51 PM (e)

Dr. Kromer’s article was written as an editorial for a NEWSPAPER! Not a scientific journal. Yes, it was mundane and repetitive to those who are involved on both sides. However, his name and reputation speaking to average citizens as well as scientists and id proponents was important. I think it was a good and positive attempt to explain the real situation.

Comment #79604

Posted by KiwiInOz on February 13, 2006 10:52 PM (e)

It was a letter to the editor - not an essay, David. You know - 200 words max.

Comment #79610

Posted by BlastfromthePast on February 13, 2006 11:53 PM (e)

Dr. Kroemer wrote:

We are literally back to the spirit of the early-17th century attacks on Galileo.

I agree. Except the roles have been reversed. Now the high priests of science refuse to have their dogma questioned, and if any professional scientist dares to do so, he/she will be burned at the stake.

Comment #79612

Posted by whoever on February 13, 2006 11:59 PM (e)

“attacks on science itself — all of science”

http://tinyurl.com/8d3vw
http://tinyurl.com/ccjzq
http://tinyurl.com/8tn7k

Comment #79613

Posted by PvM on February 13, 2006 11:59 PM (e)

Blast wrote:

I agree. Except the roles have been reversed. Now the high priests of science refuse to have their dogma questioned, and if any professional scientist dares to do so, he/she will be burned at the stake.

Beautify rethoric but somewhat at odds with reality. Btw ID does not question ‘dogma’, it embraces ignorance.
Any particular examples you want to ‘discuss’? Sternberg perhaps… or other ‘martyrs of the cause’.
Anyone familiar with science should be well aware that questioning science is what science is all about.

Comment #79619

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 14, 2006 12:31 AM (e)

PvM wrote:

Anyone familiar with science should be well aware that questioning science is what science is all about.

I think this is an important point: with a vanishingly small number of exceptions the folks pushing ID are not working scientists. They are, at best, theistic apologists who have acquired the vocabulary of science in order to make theological points. They are completely unfamiliar with how scientists actually treat each other (I just had prelims, and frankly, I’d rather argue with the entirety of the Discovery Institute).

If ID contained any actual substance, scientists in pursuit of fame, glory, and the next Nobel Prize would be all over it. The fact that anyone doing actual research ignores it completely is quite telling.

Comment #79624

Posted by Chiefley on February 14, 2006 1:04 AM (e)

Blastfromthepast wrote: “I agree. Except the roles have been reversed. Now the high priests of science refuse to have their dogma questioned, and if any professional scientist dares to do so, he/she will be burned at the stake.”

Actually, dogma is a very useful thing in science. Ultimately Popper and Kuhn arrived pretty much at the same place about scientific dogma. The idea is that a highly corroborated (by evidence) theory should always be defended somewhat dogmatically until a sufficient quantity of observations conflict with the theory’s predictions.

And even at that point, the old theory continues to be the one of choice until a better one comes along that has enough predictive power to assume the role of the old theory and explain the outlying contradictory results.

As such, the scientific community is being perfectly consistent with their support of ToE as they are with all other foundational theories. They are acting no differently to challenges to evolution as they did with challenges to classical physics, for example. Only when the theory of relativity demonstrated superior predictive power over Newtonian Mechanics did it become the theory of choice for the laws of motion.

The problem with ID is that it has no predictive powers, so it disqualifies itself as a scientific theory. As such, it is not any more powerful than the Flying Spaghetti Monster theory. (If you disagree with me, kindly supply an example of ID’s predictive power.) So scientists dogmatically defend evolution from ID in the same way they would defend it from Flying Spaghetti Monsterism.

It has been said by ID proponents that ID is a very new theory that has not yet been fully developed so my characterization would be considered by them to be unfair. I say that is baloney, because the Argument for Design is just as old as the notion of Natural Selection. It has had 150 years to develop predictive power and so far it has developed exactly none.

Scientific theories are judged by their predictive powers. The one with the most predictive power wins. Scientists are correct to defend the winners as dogma, until a stronger contender arrives.

In the case of TOE vs ID, it is not the scientists that are behaving differently, its the challengers who are. They have replaced 300 years of scientific method with institutionalized whining.

So in that light, the Nobel Laureate is absolutely correct. And the reviewers here are also correct when they say that he didn’t go far enough. This is not a scientific battle, its a cultural one. And the battle plans can be found in the Wedge document.

Comment #79626

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on February 14, 2006 1:15 AM (e)

It could had been drawn from any of a hundred posts or a thousand comments on PT.

A veritable commendation for the PT community.

Comment #79628

Posted by whoever on February 14, 2006 1:43 AM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'kwickxml'

Comment #79629

Posted by whoever on February 14, 2006 1:56 AM (e)

This editor sucks. Who’s the clown responsible for choosing something that dumps a comment into the bit bucket for a markup error?

As I was saying…

“supply an example of ID’s predictive power”

Sure.

ID predicts that no matter how many generations of bacteria you culture you’ll never get one with a nucleus. They will remain bacteria forever. Testing has been underway for quite some time now with no bacteria observed acquiring a nucleus.

Now be kind enough to tell me what neoDarwinian theory predicts will happen. How many generations should it take before bacteria evolves into a eukaryote?

I’ll understand if you can’t give me an answer because, as anyone with a pulse knows, neoDarwinian theory is as useless as teats on a tomcat when it comes to prediction of the things it claims to explain.

Comment #79631

Posted by AR on February 14, 2006 2:01 AM (e)

David Heddle, there is little doubt, when you win the Nobel prize, you’ll write a better essay (or rather a letter to a newspaper). Until then you are entitled to post here your usual piffle, utilizing PT team’s tolerance.

Comment #79632

Posted by gwangung on February 14, 2006 2:01 AM (e)

I’ll understand if you can’t give me an answer because, as anyone with a pulse knows, neoDarwinian theory is as useless as teats on a tomcat when it comes to prediction of the things it claims to explain.

This is, of course, dead wrong.

Comment #79633

Posted by gwangung on February 14, 2006 2:03 AM (e)

Anybody who’s aware of the research knows precisely what the predictions neoDarwinism makes.

Anyone who’s been READING the website knows the predictions.

This lets out creationists, however, because no matter what predictions are cited, they’ll keep ignoring it and go on with their same broken record.

Comment #79634

Posted by Sir_Toejam on February 14, 2006 2:04 AM (e)

How many generations should it take before bacteria evolves into a eukaryote?

how many licks does it take to get to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie pop?

it’s about as useful a question as the one you posed.

Comment #79635

Posted by PvM on February 14, 2006 2:10 AM (e)

ID predicts that no matter how many generations of bacteria you culture you’ll never get one with a nucleus.

Why? Based on what foundation does ID make such a prediction? There is no scientific foundation for this statement relevant to ID.

You may as well have stated that ID predicts that no pink fairies will be found.

Comment #79636

Posted by AD on February 14, 2006 2:11 AM (e)

I’m not even sure that’s worth a coherent response. You know what? No, it’s really not.

Try taking a basic biology class, whoever. Your staggeringly inane and immature view of “evolution” (I think that’s what you are hoping to represent?) did make me laugh though, so kudos for that.

Comment #79638

Posted by Anton Mates on February 14, 2006 2:30 AM (e)

Posted by whoever wrote:

ID predicts that no matter how many generations of bacteria you culture you’ll never get one with a nucleus. They will remain bacteria forever. Testing has been underway for quite some time now with no bacteria observed acquiring a nucleus.

Oops! Haven’t kept up with the evolution of ID, have you? Some IDers like common descent now. That means they agree that prokaryotes gave rise to eukaryotes. They just think Go–*cough*–the Designer helped out a bit. How do you know It won’t do the same in your culture?

Comment #79639

Posted by whoever on February 14, 2006 2:33 AM (e)

So much for the predictive power of neoDarwinian theory.

ID predicted you’d have no predictions when it comes to the major stepping stones in the evolution of life.

ROFLMAO! This is like shooting fish in barrel.

By the way, how many generations does neoDarwinian theory predict it will take fish in a barrel to grow lungs and legs and leave the barrel?

Or how many generations should it take a reptile to evolve warm blood and feathers?

Surely there’s SOME predictive power in neoDarwinian theory here somewhere, right? It can’t possibly be as wanting for predictive power as I’m saying is it?

C’mon girls, speak right up!

Comment #79640

Posted by William Luis (Louie) Kincade on February 14, 2006 2:35 AM (e)

Having followed this assault upon science and the freedom of religion as approved by the founders of this nation, I am pleased that those who, until now, have quietly upheld the ideals of the Enlightenment have finally begun to speak in its defense.
The overly simplistic and ultimatly blastphemeous version of so-called Christianity preached by the enemies of science is equivalent to the overly simplistic and ultimately blastphemous version of so-called Islam that kills children.
Science has saved billions of people from death (see Norman Blalock for one example). Having the gall of speak-for-God fanaticism has failed to exterminate the human race as rapidly as science has saved their lives.

“Thou shalt not lie” is a commandment. Why do the ID/Creationist people consistently lie about their credentials, about obviously forged evidence (Paluxy River Tracts, etc.), about their true intentions? I guess if they consider the commandment against lying negotiable then their self-proclaimed version of Christianity must be the work of false prophets.

Comment #79641

Posted by vandalhooch on February 14, 2006 2:43 AM (e)

Referring to ‘whoever’:

The clear prediction for your so called problems is that none of the events you list will happen. Your so called test is not how speciation happens. Branches on a tree, not tributaries on a river.

Go Away You Stupid Troll!

Comment #79642

Posted by whoever on February 14, 2006 2:44 AM (e)

Sure Mate, I have no problem with descent with modification from one or more common ancestors.

A fertilized human egg cell diversifies through descent with modification into hundreds of specialized cell types, tissue types, and organs in with trillions of individual members in a highly organized interdependent array.

If one cell can be pre-programmed do all that in 9-months I’m sure a cell can be pre-programmed to evolve from a single cell into all the different forms of life we see today over a course of billions of years.

But it didn’t happen by serendipitous accidental mutations. That’s patently absurd. Nothing in evolution makes sense except in the light of phylogenesis, like ontogenesis, being a front-loaded, self-limiting, self-terminating planned process where the environment plays little if any role outside of providing triggers to proceed to the next stage of diversification. Once you girls get that through your thick skulls everything in evolution will fall neatly into place and I will no longer be able to make fools of you by asking for predictions of how long it takes for random mutation and natural selection to do things it’s never been observed doing and never will be observed doing because of the simple fact that it never was and never will have the capacity to accomplish these things.

Write that down.

Comment #79643

Posted by Anton Mates on February 14, 2006 2:59 AM (e)

whoever wrote:

Sure Mate, I have no problem with descent with modification from one or more common ancestors.

A fertilized human egg cell diversifies through descent with modification into hundreds of specialized cell types, tissue types, and organs in with trillions of individual members in a highly organized interdependent array.

If one cell can be pre-programmed do all that in 9-months I’m sure a cell can be pre-programmed to evolve from a single cell into all the different forms of life we see today over a course of billions of years.

Great! So you didn’t actually mean any of that stuff you said about ID predicting bacteria won’t develop nuclei. What with that being completely contradictory to what you just said and all.

Comment #79644

Posted by Sir_Toejam on February 14, 2006 3:10 AM (e)

Write that down.

figures.

somebody with such little sanity could only be JAD.

did you ever figure out how to get in touch with a local mental therapist in your area, John?

Comment #79647

Posted by whoever on February 14, 2006 4:00 AM (e)

sir_jumptoconclusions

Check this out.

http://www.cafepress.com/nationallampoon/622746

Duh.

You girls got Davison phobia. See your mental health care provider. In this day and age there’s no reason for you to suffer with this paranoia that John A. Davision lurks behind every hostile pseudonym. God knows there’s no dearth of people hostile to you dogmatic Darwinian chance worshippers.

Comment #79649

Posted by whoever on February 14, 2006 4:01 AM (e)

p.s.

Write that down.

Comment #79651

Posted by whoever on February 14, 2006 4:14 AM (e)

Mate

“So you didn’t actually mean any of that stuff you said about ID predicting bacteria won’t develop nuclei. What with that being completely contradictory to what you just said and all.”

Who said the last universal common ancestor was identical to modern bacteria? Not me, that’s for sure. The LUCA had a much more complex genome. Modern bacteria are incapable of acquring a nucleus. If you think they can, I’m willing to watch you demonstrate it. Let me know the time & place of the demonstration. In the meantime STFU.

Comment #79657

Posted by Renier on February 14, 2006 5:23 AM (e)

Jip, it must be JAD (whoever). Front-loading the thread with his usual outstanding, gentle nature.

somebody with such little sanity could only be JAD

Little??? You are being generous!

JAD wrote:
Modern bacteria are incapable of acquiring a nucleus. If you think they can, I’m willing to watch you demonstrate it. Let me know the time & place of the demonstration. In the meantime STFU.

How about you do a demonstration of ID? Set up a lab, get a prayer group together and create (eh, ask the ID god) a Pink Rhino with a monkey tail and manners like JAD, out of nothing. Let me know the time and place of the demo. Thanks.

Comment #79661

Posted by Stephen Elliott on February 14, 2006 6:00 AM (e)

I thought the letter was pretty good.

Criticism of it for not saying anything new is irrelevant. What new things can you say? Not everyone has heard of the ID debate, and that letter points out how vacuous ID is, to somebody new to the topic.

Comment #79662

Posted by Paul Flocken on February 14, 2006 6:20 AM (e)

Comment #79629 Posted by whoever on February 14, 2006 01:56 AM

This editor sucks. Who’s the clown responsible for choosing something that dumps a comment into the bit bucket for a markup error?

Comment #79642 Posted by whoever on February 14, 2006 02:44 AM

Sure Mate, I have no problem with descent with modification from one or more common ancestors.

A fertilized human egg cell diversifies through descent with modification into hundreds of specialized cell types, tissue types, and organs in with trillions of individual members in a highly organized interdependent array.
[italics mine]

Does anyone remember JAD demonstrating even a smidge of computer savvy as that first phrase shows. I think that is DaveScot. The second phrase is trademark DS. I think he would have an easier time adopting JAD’s shtick than the other way around.

Comment #79663

Posted by Paul Flocken on February 14, 2006 6:30 AM (e)

Comment #79612 Posted by whoever on February 13, 2006 11:59 PM

“attacks on science itself — all of science”

http://tinyurl.com/8d3vw
http://tinyurl.com/ccjzq
http://tinyurl.com/8tn7k

I don’t think that’s JAD.

Comment #79664

Posted by Paul Flocken on February 14, 2006 6:31 AM (e)

Comment #79629 Posted by whoever on February 14, 2006 01:56 AM

ID predicts that no matter how many generations of bacteria you culture you’ll never get one with a nucleus. They will remain bacteria forever.

So if bacteria ever did demonstrably evolve a nucleus while being observed but without human intervention, would that disprove ID?

Comment #79665

Posted by Andy H. on February 14, 2006 6:42 AM (e)

We keep hearing that students must be taught not to question evolution theory because it has important applications in many areas of science. However, scientists can still use evolution theory even while believing that all or part of it is untrue.

Comment #79666

Posted by Savagemutt on February 14, 2006 6:49 AM (e)

I’m leaning toward evopeach. But its possible that its a previously unidentified specimen.

Comment #79667

Posted by Stephen Elliott on February 14, 2006 6:54 AM (e)

Posted by Andy H. on February 14, 2006 06:42 AM (e)

We keep hearing that students must be taught not to question evolution theory because it has important applications in many areas of science. However, scientists can still use evolution theory even while believing that all or part of it is untrue.

You sir, talk nonsense.
Scientists question evolution constantly.

How should science be taught? I would say you introduce students to scientific theories by teaching them as fact. Only if a student progresses to the point where they have a deep understanding of a theory can they meaningfully question it.

For example, look at Newtons physics. It is wrong. But still taught. For good reason. It (Newtonian gravity for example) works in most cases. So students are initially told it is correct and only get to learn why it is wrong when they understand it.

But you know all this. Yet continue to post as a troll.

Comment #79668

Posted by limpidense on February 14, 2006 6:57 AM (e)

That’s it, right? With AndLarryFafermannyH.’s comment, has every utterly dishonest, puffed-up fool of a troll on this site now pissed their territorial blatherings on this thread?

And in record time?

Comment #79673

Posted by k.e. on February 14, 2006 7:43 AM (e)

Andy H previously known as Larry Fart-man a Creationism Identity politics Designer

We keep hearing that students must be taught not to question evolution theory because it has important applications in many areas of science. However, scientists can still use evolution theory even while believing that all or part of it is untrue.

Well, well, well

Larry/Andy Whatever Creationism Identity politics Designer
go back and re-read what the NOBEL LAUREATE wrote at least HE knows what his OWN NAME IS and he is not ASHAMED of it and he doesn’t go around LYING about what is science, and what is not.

Larry/Andy Whatever Creationism Identity politics Designer you are YOU DO NOT KNOW YOUR OWN IDENTITY let alone what exists as true reality or what does not exist and is false.

On top of that Mr No-name Creationism Identity politics Designer the NOBLE LAUREATE is acting in GOOD FAITH whereas you MR Anonymous Creationism Identity politics Designer have been acting in BAD FAITH since you came on here.

Comment #79676

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on February 14, 2006 7:57 AM (e)

Blast, old buddy, back already?

Ready to tell us yet about this “frontloading”of yours?

Comment #79677

Posted by Russell on February 14, 2006 7:57 AM (e)

whoIQ153ever wrote:

ID predicts that no matter how many generations of bacteria you culture you’ll never get one with a nucleus. They will remain bacteria forever. Testing has been underway for quite some time now with no bacteria observed acquiring a nucleus.

Brilliant! Surely federal funding agencies will be rushing to fund that experiment.

Couple of quick questions though:

How will the culture incorporate the range of environments necessary to cultivate the range of organisms presumably available for the endosymbiotic events thought to have been involved in the generation of the first eukaryote?

About how many cell generations, and how large a culture, would be necessary to simulate “forever”?

Does ID make any other, maybe actually testable predictions?

Comment #79678

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on February 14, 2006 8:01 AM (e)

Wow, looks like all the nutters are finally crawling out of their foxholes.

I guess they’ve finally gotten over their post-Dover gun-shy-ness.

Comment #79683

Posted by GT(N)T on February 14, 2006 8:24 AM (e)

Discussion of Dr. Kroemer’s letter has certainly brought out the science deniers in all their incarnations.

I would like to hear FL’s reaction to Dr. Kroemer’s assertion that ID is an attack on all science not just Biological evolution.

“They are not the healthy clarifying debates within the scientific community by which science arrives at its understanding, where different scientists may initially interpret the evolving evidence differently, until new evidence settles the issue. They are religiously motivated attacks by outside groups who are simply in denial of the evidence, because it conflicts with their literal acceptance of biblical traditions…”

This seems to contradict FL’s thesis that only evolution is a threat to the Faith. For FL, and for many other True Beleivers, evolution is just the tip of the ice berg. It’s all of science, indeed all the gifts of the Enlightenment, that they fear.

Comment #79684

Posted by Caledonian on February 14, 2006 8:31 AM (e)

Evolutionary theory is useful whether you believe it’s true or not. Meanwhile, the hypothesis of Intelligent Design is useless whether you believe it’s true or not. Therefore, Intelligent Design represents a serious challenge to the theory of evolution.

[Daily Show] Bwuuuh?! [/Daily Show]

Comment #79685

Posted by AD on February 14, 2006 8:36 AM (e)

I do find it highly ironic that whoever and the larry hive mind have gone out of their way to prove Kroemer’s point for them, and to do so in the same thread with a letter where he makes the point.

I did not figure the ID folks would be so obliging. But, seriously, whoever’s “predictions” are nuts. His ID predictions are untestable garbage, and his supposed predictions “evolution” (or whatever the hell he’s thinking of, because it’s sure not evolution as I was taught in a biology class) would make are, in fact, nothing of the sort. Highly misleading to a casual reader without knowledge of the debate, but intellectually vacuous. Maybe that’s why they keep getting splinters of public support and then smashed in court?

More of the same, more of the the same. Perhaps we should develop an official “no feeding trolls” policy? If only we had a bit T icon to go next to their names…

Comment #79686

Posted by k.e. on February 14, 2006 8:39 AM (e)

Yeah Lenny ….Blast must have bored the other inmates stupid.

Of course true to form he transparently projects

I agree. Except the roles have been reversed. Now the high priests of science Creationism Identity politics Designo-tologists
refuse to have their dogma questioned, and if any professional scientist who is a Creationism Identity politics Designo-tologists or even an atheist, Rastafarian or an FSMer dares to do so, he/she will be burned at the stake rightly questioned on his/her motives, possible tainting of evidence, results or conclusion by personal influences and their proposals as accurately reflecting external reality in a manner that can be repeatably tested by unbiased independent observers.

The SHAH (Blast)…he don’t like it.
A plus for Blast is he is consistently, repeatably and genuinely over the edge and set in ignorance concrete and realizes it, so can claim an honor tick ..there may be hope for him.
However no-name Larry does not know he is a fool and on some sort of moral crusade but in truth is behaving in a completely faithless, narcissistic, unethical manner, a complete no hope-er.

Now let’s just run a little test Blast and Larry what are your options on the huge dangers of Global Warming or should that be Global Meltdown ?

Comment #79697

Posted by Chiefley on February 14, 2006 9:29 AM (e)

Whoever wrote… “ID predicts that no matter how many generations of bacteria you culture you’ll never get one with a nucleus. They will remain bacteria forever. Testing has been underway for quite some time now with no bacteria observed acquiring a nucleus.”

Ok, thats an excellent answer and an excellent counter challenge. I would like to take these one at a time, if its ok with you. First, I am interested in your example of ID prediction. Exactly how does ID predict that after many generations of culturing bacteria that none would have a nucleus?

Comment #79703

Posted by William E Emba on February 14, 2006 9:45 AM (e)

whoever wrote:

ID predicts that no matter how many generations of bacteria you culture you’ll never get one with a nucleus. They will remain bacteria forever. Testing has been underway for quite some time now with no bacteria observed acquiring a nucleus.

This is exactly backwards. ID predicts that poof happens, and a nucleus shows up! Science at its simplest!!!

Are you saying the experiment has been done? Are you saying the conclusions are in? What … no Designer whatsoever? Got it. You sign on as “whoever” because you don’t want your fellow churchgoers to discover that you’re now an atheist….ooooooooooooh.

Comment #79711

Posted by mark on February 14, 2006 10:17 AM (e)

For whatever and creationist friends:

Kroemer’s letter does cover material previously covered at PT and elsewhere, many times. But it’s necessary to repeat that information, because some folks have not heard it before and others, whoever, have heard it but continue to deny it. In their denials they raise false and misleading arguments, repeat contentions that have long been refuted, and raise strawmen. Some even (sit down for it…) tell lies to support their creationist position. “whoever” would like us to believe that a cell is programmed for billions of years of “designed” evolution, but can produce no evidence for this fanciful claim, and yet denies published evidence of evolutionary change and speciation.

It’s also possible that folks like whoever are unfamiliar with creationists outside of their own creationist puptent–the followers of anti-evolutionists such as James Dobson, Focus on the Family, Phyllis Schlafly, D. James Kennedy, Pat Robertson, and the Chalcedon Institute for a few examples. Whoever must be ignorant of related anti-science activities, such as pushing Creationist yarns at the Grand Canyon, denigrating the Big Bang theory on a NASA webpage, denials of the physics of radiometric decay, and “conspiracy theories” regarding global climate change. It’s not a question of if anti-scientific ideologues will attack other sciences (with the consequences mentioned by Kroemer), but of how long they will continue and how much attention they will receive.

Comment #79714

Posted by PaulC on February 14, 2006 10:22 AM (e)

Biological evolution is not the only concept in conflict with such a literal interpretation of the bible; other areas of science, like geophysics and astrophysics, come right behind.

I’ve often thought that ID must also conflict with artificial intelligence research, though ID proponents never confront the issue directly. ID accepts the notion that humans are capable of coming up with novel “designs” (probably to the point of ignoring the extent to which we plagiarize nature’s designs) and attempts to refute the idea that evolutionary processes have this capacity. But the arguments of IDers (notably Dembski) are generally so broad that if true they would have to apply to any naturalistic process. The only logical conclusion would be that human intelligence cannot be explained as a naturalistic process. No doubt, IDers prefer it that way, but they rarely say so.

I think some scientists may consider AI as something closer to softare engineering than pure science. But questions about the capacity of the mind to use language, interpret visual information, or engage in creative thinking are clearly valid scientifically. AI is one way to construct models of how they might occur. Granted, the techniques in AI may look nothing like the ones that our brains actually use.

The particular question of creativity gets at the real threat of AI to religion. We often hold up creativity as an “inspired” activity whether or not that inspiration is religious in nature. But how much of creativity is really just the question of generating lots of possibilities and selecting the ones that best match an objective? I personally think that all invention may come down to a combination of variability and fitness, much like evolution. Granted, a rational mind can restrict initial variability in a way more focused on potentially good designs and can apply logic to rule out entire categories rather than just individual examples.

I suspect that this viewpoint is anathema to creationists of all stripes whether they say it or not, and I expect that if AI were ever to become a mainstream science taught at a pre-college level, that they would attack it as vehemently as they attack evolution.

Comment #79715

Posted by Chiefley on February 14, 2006 10:28 AM (e)

Andy H wrote… “We keep hearing that students must be taught not to question evolution theory because it has important applications in many areas of science.”

Your first statement doesn’t characterize the real objection to questioning evolution theory. The scientific and educational community is objecting to an arbitrary “singling out” of ToE from all the other well established theories and labeling it as especially flawed, or incomplete. Doing so sends a false message to students, which compromises the quality of their education.

If one were to put stickers on science textbooks it would be more accurate for them to say something like:

“All scientific theories are provisional and are evaluated only as to their usefulness in explaining historic evidence and predicting the results of future events. Scientific theories must make highly specific and falsifiable claims in an open and notorious manner, so as to promote vigorous and continuous experimentation towards corroborating or falsifying the theory. Throughout the history of science, all scientific theories have been replaced, but only by new theories that demonstrated a more comprehensive ability to predict past and future natural events, while making the fewest assumptions.”

Andy H wrote… “However, scientists can still use evolution theory even while believing that all or part of it is untrue.”

Yes, andy, this is definitely true about all theories. For example, the wave theory and particulate theory of light are not completely reconciled to each other in all areas of E&M. As such, (and like all theories) we know that because of their incompatibilities in some areas, neither of them must be the actual cosmic truth. However, since both of them are astonishingly useful in predicting the events from the subatomic to the galactic level, we use one or both of them where appropriate. At the same time, we do fundamental research and theoretical speculation in hopes of coming up with a more comprehensive theory that can provide the predictive power of both of these with fewer contradictions. This is why String Theory has gotten so much press lately. It shows great promise in reconciling the apparent wavelike and particulate-like behavior of light.

The same goes for Newtonian Mechanics. I am quite sure that classical physics is used routinely in most of NASA’s calculations in orbital mechanics. They do this knowing full well that Newton’s laws of motion are a subset of a more comprehensive set of theories from “modern physics” (i.e. special and general relativity). At speeds much less than the speed of light, classical physics is extremely powerful and therefore still in use today and taught to every high school and college student of science.

Real scientists know this kind of stuff. This is the reason why arbitrarily singling out one theory foundational theory from all the others and implying that it has a reduced status because it is incomplete is nonsense when it comes to instructing our young future scientists. It sends a completely false message to students about the status of scientific theories in general. This is why the only challenge to the scientific status of ToE is coming from non-scientific circles, such as DI, delusional Republican Senators and local insurance salesmen turned school board members.

In summary, since all scientific theories enjoy the same provisional status based on their predictive powers, singling out as special in this regard is obviously a cultural challenge, not a scientific one.

Andy, thanks for your interest in science.

Comment #79717

Posted by Chiefley on February 14, 2006 10:37 AM (e)

I wrote… “In summary, since all scientific theories enjoy the same provisional status based on their predictive powers, singling out as special in this regard is obviously a cultural challenge, not a scientific one.”

I meant to say, “In summary, since all scientific theories enjoy the same provisional status based on their predictive powers, singling out *one* as special in this regard is obviously a cultural challenge, not a scientific one.”

Comment #79720

Posted by Ed Darrell on February 14, 2006 10:43 AM (e)

“Whoever,” it takes one generation. The problem is, no one knows which one.

The further problem is that eukaryotes already exist. So if the original leap is made again, how could we know it was done again? If a different leap is made, the new one must compete with eukaryotes billions of years old, honed for sharp competition in the current environment. A new eukaryote would be unlikely to survive long enough to be found and described.

But, tell us, whoever: What evidence have you that eukaryotes did not evolve? When, where and how did the Wilber Force intervene to make bacteria in eukaryotes, and what data support any of your answers?

[sound of cricket chirping from Whoever]

Comment #79721

Posted by Ed Darrell on February 14, 2006 10:45 AM (e)

Heddle said:

That’s it? How awful.

For IDists, yes, quite awful.

It’s a true argument from a true authority – ID keeps using that argument, and when real authorities come along and point out that ID’s so-called authorities are wrong, it’s quite awful for you.

More awful: IDists claiming that there is science behind ID, or that ID has an original thought, or that ID has something that calls any part of evolution into question.

Truth hurts most those who are unaccustomed to it.

Comment #79723

Posted by Anton Mates on February 14, 2006 10:54 AM (e)

whoever wrote:

Who said the last universal common ancestor was identical to modern bacteria? Not me, that’s for sure. The LUCA had a much more complex genome. Modern bacteria are incapable of acquring a nucleus.

Unless of course the Designer intends for them to do so. Or is it somehow deducible from the existence of an Intelligent Designer that he’s finished making bacteria evolve? You should explain this to Behe and Dembski! Clearly you’re much farther along in Designer Psychology than they are.

Comment #79726

Posted by jeffw on February 14, 2006 11:28 AM (e)

The particular question of creativity gets at the real threat of AI to religion. We often hold up creativity as an “inspired” activity whether or not that inspiration is religious in nature. But how much of creativity is really just the question of generating lots of possibilities and selecting the ones that best match an objective? I personally think that all invention may come down to a combination of variability and fitness, much like evolution.

Well said. I have believed this myself for a long time. There must be something happening similar to darwinian evolution at higher levels of cognition, away from the more primitive midbrain or sensory levels. One clue is perhaps the observed behavior of some accident victims who lose substantial portions of their cortex. Some seem to suffer no observable memory loss or ill effects, perhaps implying that cognition is distributed as a “population” of nearly homologous neural mechanisms, not just one. And that population would be subject to the natural selection of the current mental environment of the individual. This gets close to the concept of “memes”.

I suspect that this viewpoint is anathema to creationists of all stripes whether they say it or not, and I expect that if AI were ever to become a mainstream science taught at a pre-college level, that they would attack it as vehemently as they attack evolution.

I’m not sure they would attack traditional static AI (rules, expert systems, etc) or even primitive neural nets, but rather the whole area of genetic algorithms, genetic programming, and artificial life. These algorithms truly have the power to create & innovate.

Comment #79730

Posted by steve s on February 14, 2006 11:43 AM (e)

I’m not sure they would attack traditional static AI (rules, expert systems, etc) or even primitive neural nets, but rather the whole area of genetic algorithms, genetic programming, and artificial life. These algorithms truly have the power to create & innovate.

They already attack these things all the time. On Uncommon Descent right now, in the comments sections, you can find DaveScat and GilDodgy doing so.

Comment #79733

Posted by Moses on February 14, 2006 11:51 AM (e)

Comment #79582

Posted by ‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank on February 13, 2006 09:19 PM (e)

That’s it? How awful. This article offers no original insight, thought, or point of view.

Just like ID, huh.

:lol: I was thinking the same thing. How can people who support evolution be any more creative in their rebuttals as the charges and arguments are always the same.

I had a dollar for every stupid “fine tuned universe,” “Cambrian explosion,” or SLOT argument I’ve read on this board the last year, I’d have thousands of dollars.

Comment #79734

Posted by steve s on February 14, 2006 11:57 AM (e)

If I had 16 cents for every time Carol started babbling about how “the bee’s knees” in original Hebrew really meant “the cat’s pajama’s”, I’d be lighting Dunhills with Benjamins.

Comment #79737

Posted by Moses on February 14, 2006 12:01 PM (e)

Comment #79639

Posted by whoever on February 14, 2006 02:33 AM (e)

So much for the predictive power of neoDarwinian theory.

ID predicted you’d have no predictions when it comes to the major stepping stones in the evolution of life.

ROFLMAO! This is like shooting fish in barrel.

By the way, how many generations does neoDarwinian theory predict it will take fish in a barrel to grow lungs and legs and leave the barrel?

Or how many generations should it take a reptile to evolve warm blood and feathers?

Surely there’s SOME predictive power in neoDarwinian theory here somewhere, right? It can’t possibly be as wanting for predictive power as I’m saying is it?

C’mon girls, speak right up!

I always find this kind of poster amusing. He/She is clearly ignorant. And is so stunningly ignorant that he/she is ignorant of his/her ignorance. Add in a major case of delusional-self-worth, immaturity and grandiosity and BOOM! You have the above quoted post.

Comment #79738

Posted by Apesnake on February 14, 2006 12:04 PM (e)

ID predicts that no matter how many generations of bacteria you culture you’ll never get one with a nucleus. They will remain bacteria forever. Testing has been underway for quite some time now with no bacteria observed acquiring a nucleus.

In order for the testing of this “ID prediction” to be a credible problem for evolution you would need to recreate the circumstances of the early, pre-eukaryotic earth. So the discovery institute has a planet (ideally several) somewhere with an ocean of bacteria and has been watching it for about a billion years. Where is this planet where testing has been underway? Can you get there by clicking your heels together or does the discovery institute have a UFO?

PS. Carol, if you’re reading, organic chemistry is taking precedence over “In the Beginning of”. Sorry for the delay.

Comment #79739

Posted by Richard Simons on February 14, 2006 12:05 PM (e)

Several times whoever refers to PTers as ‘girls’, apparently intended as the ultimate insult. That tells me all I need to know about his attitudes and intellectual abilities.

Comment #79740

Posted by gregonomic on February 14, 2006 12:05 PM (e)

So, let me know if I’ve got the score wrong:

Nobel laureates who are pro-evolution: 39
Nobel laureates who are pro-ID: 0

I guess the Nobel Foundation is part of the evil atheist evolution conspiracy too, huh?

Comment #79742

Posted by Moses on February 14, 2006 12:07 PM (e)

Comment #79644

Posted by Sir_Toejam on February 14, 2006 03:10 AM (e)

Write that down.

figures.

somebody with such little sanity could only be JAD.

did you ever figure out how to get in touch with a local mental therapist in your area, John?

Comment #79647

Posted by whoever on February 14, 2006 04:00 AM (e)

sir_jumptoconclusions

Check this out.

http://www.cafepress.com/nationallampoon/622746

Duh.

You girls got Davison phobia. See your mental health care provider. In this day and age there’s no reason for you to suffer with this paranoia that John A. Davision lurks behind every hostile pseudonym. God knows there’s no dearth of people hostile to you dogmatic Darwinian chance worshippers.

But he didn’t say John A. Davison. He just said JAD & John. And if you’re using a catch-phrase from JAD and his mannerisms…

So, I may no longer be a policeman, but if I were, I’d be elevating you to the top of my suspects list.

Comment #79744

Posted by ben on February 14, 2006 12:09 PM (e)

ID predicts that no matter how many generations of bacteria you culture you’ll never get one with a nucleus

Does it also predict that pigs will not fly? All you have to do is wait forever and your negative assertion will be conclusively proven. Divide by zero error, does not compute…

Comment #79745

Posted by tiredofit on February 14, 2006 12:10 PM (e)

C’mon girls, speak right up!

And it hates women, too.

Comment #79747

Posted by Ebonmuse on February 14, 2006 12:18 PM (e)

In addition to “whatever’s” juvenile ad hominem attacks and his total ignorance of what sorts of things evolution actually predicts, no one yet has pointed out that he seems to think it’s an insult to call people “girls”. Nothing like a hefty dose of misogyny to go along with your anti-science paranoia, eh?

Personally, I can think of a great many “girls” who know more science than I ever will, and whom I’d be flattered to be compared to. Some of them post right here on PT. Perhaps if “whatever” ever manages to get out of the 17th century, he could read them sometime and learn something.

Comment #79748

Posted by Glen Davidson on February 14, 2006 12:20 PM (e)

Kroemer has the task in his letter to encapsulate the issues at stake for those who don’t know much about ID. Showing off for David Heddle or the returned moronic troll (JAD, DaveScot, or another second-rate person who substitutes attack for his lack of substance–it hardly matters) is not the point. Naturally, Heddle and others will try to make it the point, only it is not for us to take directions from the various IDists and trolls who oppose science.

About this:

ID predicts that no matter how many generations of bacteria you culture you’ll never get one with a nucleus.

First off, it predicts nothing of the sort, or of any other sort. Or to take the flip side, it can retroactively be said to predict anything and everything, including the evolution of the nucleus. I think that a number of IDists really do see ID as being superior to the problems existing in real science, precisely because it can “predict” anything at all by invoking the infinite and/or completely unknown capabilities of the “designer”.

Secondly, I wish that ID really did predict that prokaryotes will never give rise to eukaryotes, because we have the nuclear genes, mitochondrial genes, and chloroplast genes, to demonstrate that evolution of eukaryotes did take place. ID is in various stages of denial of this, acceptance of this, and attempts to make ID predict this, all simultaneously. ID is a dogma, all right, but it is a dogma sans consequence–or with any consequence whatsoever (we never know which from IDist to IDist), which in fact amounts to no consequence.

What we often have to do is to return to the ID of relatively sane individuals, like Paley, to evaluate the sort of ID that was intended to have real meaning, and not merely created to avoid every last reasonable test of the idea. Paley would almost certainly predict that eukaryotes could not evolve.

Behe, on the other hand, might be expected to “predict” that any evolution of eukaryotes would have to be due to “the designer”, and he would totally ignore the “nondesign-like” reliance of said “designer” upon prokaryote genes to “design” the eukaryote. IOW, Behe tends to “predict” what scientific evolutionary theory predicts, only his predictions are not in the least bit entailed by ID (or by JAD’s nonsense–at least we know that the anonymous coward and heckler “thinks” in the JAD vein).

One more thing, though. I started this post defending Kroemer’s article, and I think on the whole it is quite good for its purpose. However, the IDists are not always or essentially Biblical literalists. They are overwhelmingly theistic (and if DaveScot really is an agnostic, who in the world thinks that he has a coherent conception of science and/or religion?), they are dedicated to the apologetics of Xianity (by and large, though a few other “monotheists” chime in) and they desperately want to find the actions of God in the world. But clearly they are not necessarily Biblical literalists, and it helps nothing to suggest that they are.

This is not a big criticism of Kroemer’s piece, since the consequences are pretty much the same either way. Nevertheless, it may mislead some to do battle against the wrong foes, and it leaves an opening for a PR attack upon his otherwise quite accurate editorial. If he writes another it would be better were he to forgo characterizing all IDists as Biblical literalists.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

Comment #79749

Posted by Ebonmuse on February 14, 2006 12:20 PM (e)

Well, no one had yet pointed out whatever’s woman-hating at the time I started writing my post, anyway. But I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who noticed it.

Comment #79750

Posted by PaulC on February 14, 2006 12:24 PM (e)

jeffw:

I’m not sure they would attack traditional static AI (rules, expert systems, etc) or even primitive neural nets, but rather the whole area of genetic algorithms, genetic programming, and artificial life. These algorithms truly have the power to create & innovate.

They just play the “micro/macro” evolution card. Every time something is established beyond a shadow of a doubt they just have to say “Yes, that works, but that’s not what we meant by” intelligence or evolution.

Of course, they’re not the only ones playing this game with AI. When an area that started as AI is sufficiently well established it is often considered to be something else. Combinatorial search (e.g. to find game strategies) is a good example because it lends itself well to theoretical analysis. But the fact remains that people once thought you had to be very smart to play chess at, say, expert level. Now we know that there are algorithms that do this. It’s reasonable as researchers to set our sights higher on intelligence, but it’s a bit revisionist to say that the problem we solved had nothing to do with intelligence. The skeptics were calling it intelligence all the way to the point that we showed a computer could do it.

I take some comfort in the thought that the goal posts cannot be moved forever. Notice how even an area with as many open questions as embryo development is no longer hit with vitalist objections. This isn’t because we’ve explained every process that might suggest an “elan vital.” It’s just that the vitalists have given up. Nobody can muster the energy to play god of the gaps in this domain. They know they’ll be laughed out of any serious discussion. The creationists will likewise give up. The current political battle is important to keep science progressing, but it is the progress of science that will eventually win the war.

Comment #79751

Posted by David Heddle on February 14, 2006 12:24 PM (e)

gregonomic,

So, let me know if I’ve got the score wrong:

Nobel laureates who are pro-evolution: 39
Nobel laureates who are pro-ID: 0

Yes, you have the score wrong.

For example, we have from Penzias:

The best data we have are exactly what I would have predicted, had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, and the Bible as a whole.

And from Townes:

Intelligent design, as one sees it from a scientific point of view, seems to be quite real. This is a very special universe: it’s remarkable that it came out just this way. If the laws of physics weren’t just the way they are, we couldn’t be here at all.

Let me guess: according to PT logic, they don’t count, right?

Ed Darrel,

and when real authorities come along and point out that ID’s so-called authorities are wrong, it’s quite awful for you.

Are Nobel Laureates Penzias and Townes authorities?

Comment #79753

Posted by whoever on February 14, 2006 12:32 PM (e)

Sorry girls, but as usual when I stir the pot here a million of you come out of the woodwork at me.

I tell you what - choose your champion and we’ll have a debate in a moderated forum. The topic will be the evolution of the nucleus. You may present all the evidence you have to support the neoDarwinian position that random mutation + natural selection was the mechanism behind it.

I’ll ask my good friends at Uncommon Descent to set up a page where I “whoever” will take on your designated champion.

Let me get them to set that up right now. Look for the page in the right margin of Uncommon Descent and give me your response there.

Comment #79757

Posted by gregonomic on February 14, 2006 12:40 PM (e)

David Heddle wrote:

For example, we have from Penzias:

The best data we have are exactly what I would have predicted, had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, and the Bible as a whole.

Hmmm, aren’t those religious texts? I’m failing to see the connection with ID (which isn’t religiously motivated, right? wink, wink).

I’ll give us 0.5 each for Townes, since he believes in evolution too. So:

Evolution: 39.5
ID: 0.5

Comment #79758

Posted by Jonathan Nickles on February 14, 2006 12:42 PM (e)

“The best data we have are exactly what I would have predicted, had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, and the Bible as a whole.”

Penzias was talking about the Big Bang. Nothing about evolution or ID here…

“Intelligent design, as one sees it from a scientific point of view, seems to be quite real. This is a very special universe: it’s remarkable that it came out just this way. If the laws of physics weren’t just the way they are, we couldn’t be here at all.”

You might want to look at the whole quote. He was using a slightly different defintion of ID, as in god’s work was everywhere. He also said in the same statement:

“People are misusing the term intelligent design to think that everything is frozen by that one act of creation and that there’s no evolution, no changes. It’s totally illogical in my view… It’s very clear that there is evolution, and it’s important. Evolution is here, and intelligent design is here, and they’re both consistent.”

Not exactly “Pro ID” in my book.

Comment #79759

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 14, 2006 12:43 PM (e)

Several times whoever refers to PTers as ‘girls’, apparently intended as the ultimate insult. That tells me all I need to know about his attitudes and intellectual abilities.

I took it as a compliment.

Comment #79760

Posted by Amdy H. on February 14, 2006 12:43 PM (e)

Comment #79667
Posted by Stephen Elliott on February 14, 2006 06:54 AM

Posted by Andy H. on February 14, 2006 06:42 AM

We keep hearing that students must be taught not to question evolution theory because it has important applications in many areas of science. However, scientists can still use evolution theory even while believing that all or part of it is untrue.

You sir, talk nonsense.
Scientists question evolution constantly.

Obviously, I don’t mean questioning the little details. I mean questioning the whole idea of evolution.

How should science be taught? I would say you introduce students to scientific theories by teaching them as fact.

Only scientific laws should be taught as facts.

For example, look at Newtons physics. It is wrong.

It is correct for what it is used for.

Comment #79761

Posted by Dave Thomas on February 14, 2006 12:45 PM (e)

I’ll see your 38, and raise it to 72.

Cheers, Dave

Comment #79762

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 14, 2006 12:45 PM (e)

Gee, Andy (Larry, whatever), I see you continue your unethical behavior of violating Posting rule six.

Aren’t you embarrassed by the facts that no one takes you seriously and everyone realizes how dishonest you are?

Fascinating.

Comment #79763

Posted by Chiefley on February 14, 2006 12:45 PM (e)

Whoever wrote…. “I tell you what - choose your champion and we’ll have a debate in a moderated forum. The topic will be the evolution of the nucleus. You may present all the evidence you have to support the neoDarwinian position that random mutation + natural selection was the mechanism behind it.”

Wait, before you run off, I am still curious where ID predicts that a bacteria will not develop a nucleus after a long period of culturing. I haven’t heard that before. How is that conclusion obtained from the notion of a Designer?

Comment #79764

Posted by Glen Davidson on February 14, 2006 12:45 PM (e)

Btw, JAD or whoever it is enjoys the reactions to his “girls” remarks. It’s attack, attack, attack for this troll, and it’s really not best to play his games.

He’ll “challenge” anyone to “debate”, only he has absolutely no sense of fair play or of what is proper in science. JAD’s blog got about as much traffic as you’d expect of such a dishonest crank, and now he, or some idiot like him, is trying yank some chains. Looks like he did it, though of course his boasts about drawing people out of the woodwork (certainly the words and phrases expected of JAD) are about as correct as his claims regarding evolution. That is to say, he mixes a bit of truth (certainly the “girls” remark drew people to his bait) with a whole lot of bluster and nonsense, and pretends to be the alpha male in these parts (why do you think he used “girls” like a football coach might?).

I’d say it’s best to attack him, if he isn’t banned first. He’s a stupid old loser who hasn’t said anything intelligent in years. If I were moderating this thread (and had the time, anyway) I’d demand evidence that he isn’t the vile old turd known as JAD, or I’d killfile him. JAD and his ilk haven’t done anything but troll in all of the time that I have observed them.

Glen D

http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

Comment #79765

Posted by Ebonmuse on February 14, 2006 12:48 PM (e)

Now hold on just a minute there. David Heddle is doing what many IDers do - conflating two very different meanings of a word to sow confusion. The topic was intelligent design as a hypothesis specifically opposed to evolution - not just the mere belief in the existence of a higher power that created the universe. There’s a world of difference between the two. A person can believe in intelligent design in the latter sense and still agree that evolution is completely adequate to explain the diversity of life.

For example, here’s what Nobel winner Charles Townes actually had to say about evolution:

People who want to exclude evolution on the basis of intelligent design, I guess they’re saying, “Everything is made at once and then nothing can change.” But there’s no reason the universe can’t allow for changes and plan for them, too. People who are anti-evolution are working very hard for some excuse to be against it. I think that whole argument is a stupid one. Maybe that’s a bad word to use in public, but it’s just a shame that the argument is coming up that way, because it’s very misleading.

(from http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2005…, which David seems to have taken his quote from as well, but he didn’t provide the URL - I wonder why not?)

I’ve not found any evidence of Arno Penzias’ beliefs on the matter, but I’ll be sure to post it if I do.

Comment #79766

Posted by gwangung on February 14, 2006 12:49 PM (e)

Only scientific laws should be taught as facts.

Given that there ain’t no such thing, Larry, then you want NOTHING to be taught as science.

Massively ignorant.

Comment #79767

Posted by steve s on February 14, 2006 12:53 PM (e)

Only scientific laws should be taught as facts.

If we instituted this idiotic rule, Newton’s mechanics would be permissible, while Einstein’s more accurate mechanics would not. Really world-class thinking.

Comment #79770

Posted by AC on February 14, 2006 12:57 PM (e)

I found Kroemer’s letter to be very comprehensive despite its necessary brevity. It also strikes me as more lucid than usual for a Letter to the Editor. Clearly he understands the issues well and composed his letter carefully.

For contrast, read this thread’s comments.

Comment #79772

Posted by David Heddle on February 14, 2006 1:10 PM (e)

Townes’s entire quote changes nothing: virtually all pro Iders (except perhaps the most lunatic fringe YECs, who are on PT’s side of the cosmological ID debate) acknowledge that there is some evolution—do you know some who say that nothing has ever evolved, ever? I don’t. Townes’s statement is definitely pro-ID. Unless you are now arguing that “This is a very special universe: it’s remarkable that it came out just this way. If the laws of physics weren’t just the way they are, we couldn’t be here at all” does not reveal a pro-ID sentiment.

All you are really saying, and I’d agree, is that Townes is not an AiG-er.

As for Penzias, he is certainly pro cosmological ID. I have no idea what his views on evolution are. However, it’s not my fault that gregonomic used non-mutually-exclusive categories in his scorecard. You in fact can be both pro-Id and pro evolution.

If you ask Penzias: was the universe designed by an intelligent agent, and is that design reflected by discoveries of science, then I would bet the farm, based on his statements, that his answer would be yes. The fact that Penzias sees the data as revealing design (even more than that–he sees it as consistent with the bible) separates him from the garden variety “mere belief in a higher power” theist that Ebonmuse discussed in #79765.

Of course, I expected you to move the goalposts—that is, after all, a PT specialty.

Comment #79775

Posted by whoever on February 14, 2006 1:21 PM (e)

http://www.uncommondescent.com/index.php/nuclear…

There it is. Put up or shut up!

Comment #79776

Posted by Dave Thomas on February 14, 2006 1:22 PM (e)

FWIW, “Andy” and “Whoever” are posting from different IP addresses, and are most likely not one and the same troll.

And, their IP addresses are different from the now-banned sock puppet who used numerous identities, “Joey Abline,” “anti-darwinist,” “I CAN’T MAKE SENSE OF THE EVIDENCE,” “Mark Copen,” “Dan Wintell” and many, many more.

But I can see why PT readers are wondering. Do these guys all listen to the same creationist subliminal tapes every night?

Dave

Comment #79778

Posted by CJ O'Brien on February 14, 2006 1:29 PM (e)

Unless you are now arguing that “This is a very special universe: it’s remarkable that it came out just this way. If the laws of physics weren’t just the way they are, we couldn’t be here at all” does not reveal a pro-ID sentiment.

C’mon. If every astrophysicist who mused publicly about matters Anthropic, or took a view of the mystery of existence that happened not to sound like the sterile calculations of a robot has to be considered “pro-ID” then we need a different term.

Llike “nutter creationist” or “fundie whacko.”

Comment #79779

Posted by Moses on February 14, 2006 1:29 PM (e)

Comment #79751

Posted by David Heddle on February 14, 2006 12:24 PM (e)

gregonomic,

So, let me know if I’ve got the score wrong:

Nobel laureates who are pro-evolution: 39
Nobel laureates who are pro-ID: 0

Yes, you have the score wrong.

For example, we have from Penzias:

Who’s wrong? Your quote mined conclusion or the fact-of-the-matter of Penzias’ stand on evolution? Amici Curiae scientists in EDWARDS vs. AGUILLARD

Amici curiae are individual scientists, state academies of science, and other scientific organizations. Each of the 72 individual amici has received the Nobel Prize in Physics[1], in Chemistry[2], or in Physiology or Medicine[3].

COMPLETE LIST OF REPRESENTED AMICI

Nobel Laureates: Luis W. Alvarez, Carl D. Anderson, Christian B. Anfinsen, Julius Axelrod, David Baltimore, John Bardeen, Paul Berg, Hans A. Bethe, Konrad Bloch, Nicolaas Bloembergen, Michael S. Brown, Herbert C. Brown, Melvin Calvin, S. Chandrasekhar, Leon N. Cooper, Allan Cormack, Andre Cournand, Francis Crick, Renato Dulbecco, Leo Esaki, Val L. Fitch, William A. Fowler, Murray Gell-Mann, Ivar Giaever, Walter Gilbert, Donald A. Glaser, Sheldon Lee Glashow, Joseph L. Goldstein, Roger Guillemin, Roald Hoffmann, Robert Hofstadter, Robert W. Holley, David H. Hubel, Charles B. Huggins, H. Gobind Khorana, Arthur Kornberg, Polykarp Kusch, Willis E. Lamb, Jr., William Lipscomb, Salvador E. Luria, Barbara McClintock, Bruce Merrifield, Robert S. Mulliken, Daniel Nathans, Marshall Nirenberg, John H. Northrop, Severo Ochoa, George E. Palade, Linus Pauling, Arno A. Penzias, Edward M. Purcell, Isidor I. Rabi, Burton Richter, Frederick Robbins, J. Robert Schrieffer, Glenn T. Seaborg, Emilio Segre, Hamilton O. Smith, George D. Snell, Roger Sperry, Henry Taube, Howard M. Temin, Samuel C. C. Ting, Charles H. Townes, James D. Watson, Steven Weinberg, Thomas H. Weller, Eugene P. Wigner, Kenneth G. Wilson, Robert W. Wilson, Rosalyn Yalow, Chen Ning Yang.

State Academies of Science: The California Academy of Sciences, The Florida Academy of Sciences, The Idaho Academy of Science, The Indiana Academy of Science, The Iowa Academy of Science, The Kentucky Academy of Science, The Mississippi Academy of Sciences, The Nebraska Academy of Sciences, The New Mexico Academy of Science, The New York Academy of Sciences, The North Dakota Academy of Science, The Ohio Academy of Science, The South Carolina Academy of Science, The Tennessee Academy of Science, the Vermont Academy of Arts and Sciences, The West Virginia Academy of Sciences, The Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters.

Other Scientific Organizations: The American Anthropological Association, The American Institute of Biological Sciences, The Association of American Medical Colleges, The Astronomical Society of the Pacific, The Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, The Southern California Skeptics, The Southern California Academy of Sciences.

This case is crucial to the future of scientific education in this nation. As researchers in many different branches of advanced science, amici share a concern for the basic scientific education of this nation’s public-school students. Scientific education should accurately portray the current state of substantive scientific knowledge. Even more importantly, scientific education should accurately portray the premises and processes of science. Teaching religious ideas mislabeled as science is detrimental to scientific education: It sets up a false conflict between science and religion, misleads our youth about the nature of scientific inquiry, and thereby compromises our ability to respond to the problems of an increasingly technological world. Our capacity to cope with problems of food production, health care, and even national defense will be jeopardized if we deliberately strip our citizens of the power to distinguish between the phenomena of nature and supernatural articles of faith. “Creation-science” simply has no place in the public-school science classroom. Amici urge this Court to affirm the Court of Appeals’ judgment that the Louisiana statute is unconstitutional.

Comment #79780

Posted by Stephen Elliott on February 14, 2006 1:29 PM (e)

Posted by Dave Thomas on February 14, 2006 01:22 PM (e)

FWIW, “Andy” and “Whoever” are posting from different IP

Andy is Larry Fman.

Whoever is either or both, Dave Scot/JAD

Comment #79782

Posted by Arden Chatfield on February 14, 2006 1:30 PM (e)

FWIW, “Andy” and “Whoever” are posting from different IP addresses, and are most likely not one and the same troll.

They’re nothing alike. My hunch is that ‘whoever’ (AKA ‘Phishyphred’) is probably John Davison with too much free time on his hands, as usual.

Comment #79784

Posted by j-dog on February 14, 2006 1:34 PM (e)

I nominate Dr. Lenny to take on the IDiot “whoever”.

Comment #79786

Posted by Glen Davidson on February 14, 2006 1:35 PM (e)

There it is. Put up or shut up!

Thanks for Dembski’s lies. No one argues with the old bit of bird dropping JAD, as we know what an egregious and dishonest debater he is. Much like Dembski’s tactics.

ID must really be desperate to turn to an old fool like JAD (in the off chance it is not JAD, he’s certainly like him). I’ll give him this: he knows more about biology than the vacuous Dembski.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

Comment #79787

Posted by Corkscrew on February 14, 2006 1:35 PM (e)

Is it worth myself, or someone else who’s more qualified, taking Whoever up on his offer of a debate? Or would that be idiotic?

If people think that it’s a good idea, but no-one better qualified wants to waste their time on it, I’d be happy to give it a go - I could use the debating practice.

Comment #79788

Posted by Moses on February 14, 2006 1:36 PM (e)

And from Townes:

Intelligent design, as one sees it from a scientific point of view, seems to be quite real. This is a very special universe: it’s remarkable that it came out just this way. If the laws of physics weren’t just the way they are, we couldn’t be here at all.

Isn’t that one of those “God doesn’t play dice with universe things?” Or one of those quote mined-rhetorical statements that the author himself later goes on to show is vacuous, but out-of-context, looks damming?

Because Townes, like Penzias, was one of the 72 Nobel laureate Amici in Edwards vs. Aguillard and is included in my post (#79779).

Comment #79789

Posted by Corkscrew on February 14, 2006 1:38 PM (e)

Ah, sorry, just realised that the challenge is specifically talking about the idea that eukaryotes evolved from prokaryotes. I don’t know enough about that to put up a decent showing, not without doing an implausible amount of research anyway.

Comment #79790

Posted by whoever on February 14, 2006 1:38 PM (e)

Posted by Chiefley on February 14, 2006 12:45 PM (e)

Whoever wrote…. “I tell you what - choose your champion and we’ll have a debate in a moderated forum. The topic will be the evolution of the nucleus. You may present all the evidence you have to support the neoDarwinian position that random mutation + natural selection was the mechanism behind it.”

Wait, before you run off, I am still curious where ID predicts that a bacteria will not develop a nucleus after a long period of culturing. I haven’t heard that before. How is that conclusion obtained from the notion of a Designer?

—————————-

ID is the theory that certain patterns in nature are best explained by intelligent agency.

I have merely identified the eukaryote nucleus as one of those patterns and predict it will not evolve from a modern bacteria lacking a nucleus because the transition involves the generation of complex specified information and there is no mechanism in a modern bacteria capable of generating that information. The neoDarwinian theory proposes that the mechanism of random mutation and natural selection can create a nucleus in a prokaryote.

If you are the one to represent the NDE side please direct further responses to:

http://www.uncommondescent.com/index.php/nuclear…

Comment #79793

Posted by Stephen Elliott on February 14, 2006 1:41 PM (e)

Posted by Corkscrew on February 14, 2006 01:35 PM (e)

Is it worth myself, or someone else who’s more qualified, taking Whoever up on his offer of a debate? Or would that be idiotic?

If people think that it’s a good idea, but no-one better qualified wants to waste their time on it, I’d be happy to give it a go - I could use the debating practice.

It would be a complete waste of time.
Most of us are already banned there.

You can argue only as long as you either agree with them or use stupid and easily defeated points against them.
They really are despicable.

I got banned for claiming Dave Scott was “out of order” for posting something and challenging a person to refute it, who he had already banned from posting.

Comment #79794

Posted by Arden Chatfield on February 14, 2006 1:45 PM (e)

Well, it’s nice to see that Whoever/PhishyPhred/JAD has overcome the bizarre speech disorder from which he suffers at AtBC.

Comment #79797

Posted by AD on February 14, 2006 1:49 PM (e)

Is it worth myself, or someone else who’s more qualified, taking Whoever up on his offer of a debate? Or would that be idiotic?

If people think that it’s a good idea, but no-one better qualified wants to waste their time on it, I’d be happy to give it a go - I could use the debating practice.

Depends. Would you debate your auto mechanic about astrophysics?

For there to be a debate, there is the implication that both sides are informed and using reason (in at least some way) to make an argument. That’s clearly not the case here. Empty rhetorical garbage is not a debate - and when you bring it to court, it leads to an unmitigated beating.

To respond with something a football coach would say, so whoever understands my language:

“Look at the scoreboard.”

You lose every time in court. There is a reason for that.

Comment #79800

Posted by Wislu Plethora, FCD on February 14, 2006 1:53 PM (e)

whoever wrote:

I have merely identified the eukaryote nucleus as one of those patterns and predict it will not evolve from a modern bacteria lacking a nucleus because the transition involves the generation of complex specified information and there is no mechanism in a modern bacteria capable of generating that information.

Leaving aside for the moment your apparent ignorance of the fact that “bacteria” is a plural form, perhaps you’ll share with us your proposed method of testing your bold prediction. If you have no viable test method, your prediction is no more valuable than predicting that “a modern bacteria” will, at some unspecified time in the future, turn into JAD, thus your “challenge” has no nucleus.

Comment #79802

Posted by David Heddle on February 14, 2006 1:55 PM (e)

Moses (#79779),

You do realize that what you posted is meaningless?

I also do not think that ID should be taught–in fact I have stated repeatedly that ID should not be in the science curriculum and evolution should be. I completely agree with the statement you posted. Ergo, it says nothing about whether I am or am not pro ID. Ditto for others. You are guilty of another PT methodology: painting all opponents with the same brush. You assume we all want ID in the classroom, and therefore if someone doesn’t, then he must be anti-ID. Sorry, that dog don’t bark.

And if you think Townes was quote-mined, then explain why PZ views him as a “pious fraud”. (A post, by the way, that resulted in me getting tossed from Pharyngula.)

Comment #79803

Posted by Andy H. on February 14, 2006 1:57 PM (e)

Comment #79715
Posted by Chiefley on February 14, 2006 10:28 AM

This is the reason why arbitrarily singling out one theory foundational theory from all the others and implying that it has a reduced status because it is incomplete is nonsense when it comes to instructing our young future scientists. It sends a completely false message to students about the status of scientific theories in general ….……

In summary, since all scientific theories enjoy the same provisional status based on their predictive powers, singling out as special in this regard is obviously a cultural challenge, not a scientific one.

OK, but my point was that dire warnings – such as the following one from Kroemer’s article – that the attacks on evolution theory threaten to hurt the USA’s technological competitiveness are unfounded —

“Attacks on science are of concern not just to scientists; they threaten the continued prosperity and security of our entire nation in a world where we increasingly have to compete with other nations that have developed strong science-based technologies in areas that were once unchallenged domains of the United States.”

Also, the predictive powers of evolution theory are very limited in regard to macroevolution. In regard to macroevolution, the “changes with time” part of evolution theory can be used only to predict likely future finds of more circumstantial evidence of macroevolution – e.g., the fossil record is used to predict likely future finds of “missing link” fossils. The “Darwinist” part of evolution theory – i.e., the notion that evolution was driven solely by random mutation and natural selection — cannot be used to predict anything. Furthermore, Darwinism is counter-intuitive and contrary to reason. So there are good reasons for singling out evolution theory as “special.” It is about time that people learned the truth about evolution theory.

Comment #79804

Posted by Grey Wolf on February 14, 2006 1:58 PM (e)

quote from whoever (I’m leaning more towards DaveScot, who claimed to know things about computers):

“ID is the theory that certain patterns in nature are best explained by intelligent agency.

I have merely identified the eukaryote nucleus as one of those patterns and predict it will not evolve from a modern bacteria lacking a nucleus because the transition involves the generation of complex specified information and there is no mechanism in a modern bacteria capable of generating that information. The neoDarwinian theory proposes that the mechanism of random mutation and natural selection can create a nucleus in a prokaryote.”

Mutation introduces information - it is a trivial fact that all IDers conveniently ignore. But ignoring that, I have a few questions - everyone knows the position of scientists, but each and every ID troll has different views on ID, so please answer the following:

1) Where did you get the definition “ID is the theory that certain patterns in nature are best explained by intelligent agency.” from? Reference, please. Or did you invent it as you wrote it down to accommodate for your argument?

2) According to you, when did evolution stop? I.e. you say that the modern bacteria no longer can evolve - this implies that old bacteria could. This makes you part of the ID camp of loss of information pseudoscience - when do you predict that information ran/will run out? (see, that is what we call a *positive* prediction)

3) Would you mind fleshing out the ID theory? “Evolution can’t happen” which is what you said in the first paragraph contradicts the “modern bacteria can’t evolve” (i.e. old bacteria could). Exactly what bits of evolution are impossible? How does the Intelligent Designer make things change? How does he add the information? Please give the example of how the prokaryotes were created. Don’t forget to include the mechanism.

If you want to have a discussion about ID, you need to define this. Else, it is a simple God of the gaps fallacy combined with argument from incredulity (i.e. God did it because I can’t see it happening). Remember that Evolution is top of the hill - if ID is to supplant it, we have to discuss ID, not evolution.

Hope that helps,

Grey Wolf

Comment #79806

Posted by Grey Wolf on February 14, 2006 2:11 PM (e)

Andy H, aka the troll formerly known as Fafarman:
“Furthermore, Darwinism is counter-intuitive and contrary to reason. So there are good reasons for singling out evolution theory as “special.” It is about time that people learned the truth about evolution theory.”

See, just because you say that it is counter intuitive it doesn’t make it true. There is no reason - not a one - that I have ever seen except personal incredulity that limits changes in evolution. You accept that “micro”evolution happen - and state that “macro”evolution doesn’t - but you cannot draw a line at where it stops.

Then there are those that say that evolution has happened, but the first life was front loaded (for example, the nameless troll). And others that say that evolution happened naturally, but that the universe was front loaded (Heddle). Would it be too much to ask for a coherent version of ID?

Also, Quantum Mechanics is far more counter intuitive and contrary to reason than evolution could ever hope to be, and it doesn’t stop it from being correct.

Finally, I agree with your last statement. People should learn the truths about evolution theory. I suggest you as a prime example of someone needing urgent education in the subject. Indeed, I suspect that you would flunk any exam on evolution theory put before you right now (where you got asked what evolution theory says, not whether you think it is correct or not - i.e. the facts of evolution theory).

Heddle:
“I have stated repeatedly that ID should not be in the science curriculum and evolution should be. I completely agree with the statement you posted. Ergo, it says nothing about whether I am or am not pro ID. Ditto for others. You are guilty of another PT methodology: painting all opponents with the same brush. You assume we all want ID in the classroom, and therefore if someone doesn’t, then he must be anti-ID. Sorry, that dog don’t bark”

Given that each IDer has its own private version of ID of their own, I’m hardly surprised. You call your argument of ignorance (on probabilities) “ID”. It has nothing to do with the DI’s four or five versions of ID. I don’t even understand why you come to a biology forum to propose your cosmological ID crank ideas.

Hope that helps,

Grey Wolf

Comment #79808

Posted by whoever on February 14, 2006 2:17 PM (e)

My my…

Look at all the reasons why no one can enter this debate.

“arguing astrophysics with an auto-mechanic”

Rest assured I will be consulting appropriate credentialed experts as part of the formulation of my replies. Whoever is representing NDE may do the same.

“already banned”

I am assured your designated champion will be allowed to comment. The point is that it will not be a free-for-all like it is here.

The real reason you are dodging this debate is no one here is capable of presenting a convincing defense of the hypothesis that random mutation plus natural selection can add a nucleus to a prokaryote, a clear step delineated in the fossil record that any evolutionary hypothesis must account for.

C’mon girls, don’t let me sit here calling you a bunch of yellow-bellied blowhards trumpeting a vacuous mechanism underlying modification with descent from a common ancestor. This is shameful.

Comment #79810

Posted by gregonomic on February 14, 2006 2:21 PM (e)

whoever wrote:

Whoever is representing NDE…

Wait, I thought you were representing ID. Make up your addled mind, dude.

Comment #79811

Posted by jeffw on February 14, 2006 2:22 PM (e)

PaulC,

I take some comfort in the thought that the goal posts cannot be moved forever…..
The current political battle is important to keep science progressing, but it is the progress of science that will eventually win the war.

I think so too, but even if AI eventually succeeds in building something that passes the “turing test”, they’ll probably still say, “But it doesn’t have a soul!” Not sure how science could answer that one, or if it’s even worth anwering. The concept has been explored ad nauseum in scifi (star trek’s “data” character, etc).

Viewing it from a larger perspective, AI may be just one facet of a much broader evolution just now beginning to occur in earth’s history - the emergence of artificial life in whatever forms it takes (software, carbon, silicon, etc). An evolution that will outpace current biological evolution by several orders of magnitude. We are only the enzymes catalyzing the formation of this new life. That concept probably scares the hell out of most creationists/ID’ers.

Comment #79813

Posted by Grey Wolf on February 14, 2006 2:27 PM (e)

Whoever:
“The real reason you are dodging this debate is no one here is capable of presenting a convincing defense of the hypothesis that random mutation plus natural selection can add a nucleus to a prokaryote, a clear step delineated in the fossil record that any evolutionary hypothesis must account for.”

On the contrary, I personally am dodging it for three reasons:

a) I do not try to argue that of which I have no knowledge, unlike you. I am not an expert in molecular biology.

b)In my experience, the moment anyone ask difficult questions that show ID to be empty in uncommon descent, the poster is immediately deleted and his posts removed from uncommon descent. I certainly don’t trust the word of a nameless troll that things are about to change.

c) There is no need to defend evolution, no matter how flawed, until there is a rival. There is no ID - just a mishmash of conflicting ideas under a big tent (see my posts above). How does ID explain better than the step evolution the formation of a nucleus?

“The point is that it will not be a free-for-all like it is here”

What’s wrong with a free-for-all? Have you got something against freedom of expression? Can’t admit that you cannot answers the basic, easy questions I and others put before you? I mean, Lenny hasn’t even dropped by with his list of questions that he would like answered, so there aren’t that many yet.

Indeed, I can confidently claim that you cannot even answer the following question:

What is the theory of Intelligent Design?

Of course, when, what, how, and so on need to be included in the answer - not just “The intelligent designer did it because I think it is a better answer”

Hope that helps,

Grey Wolf

Comment #79814

Posted by PaulC on February 14, 2006 2:27 PM (e)

Andy H.:

Furthermore, Darwinism is counter-intuitive and contrary to reason.

Eh? Most scientifically significant findings are counterintuitive. The intuitive parts of our understanding of the world are part of human intuition (amazingly enough) and are well known in pre-scientific cultures.

Occasionally, science is just a matter of putting quantities on our existing intuition, but the most interesting science consists of experimental evidence that surprises us. A huge amount of Newtonian physics is surprising. We don’t expect a feather to fall as fast as a lead weight, and it is counterintuitive to ascribe differential acceleration to the effect of air resistance rather than what we imagine to be a “lesser pull.” It’s counterintuitive that a rocket can travel through space where it “has nothing to push against.” That it pushes against its own propellant is a subtle point that requires science, not intuition to explicate. The common “intuitive” understanding of why shuttle astronauts are weightless is likewise counter to science. If you could stand atop a tower the height of the shuttle, you’d have almost the same weight as you have at ground level. Weightless is a function of freefall, not distance from the earth.

And what about Maxwell’s equations? Are you going to claim with a straight face that there is anything intuitive about electromagnetic induction?

Intuition is insufficient to get us very far in science. Careful study may help us build a new intuition about many things, but the intuition before such study is no guide at all and often an obstacle.

In short, evolution is counterintuitive, like most interesting science. It is backed up by empirical evidence, which is the reason we accept other counterintuitive scientific findings as well. While biology is more complicated than physics and therefore not treated very fruitfully by a set of equations, there is nothing particularly counterintuitive about evolution as compared to other areas of science.

Comment #79815

Posted by Reed A. Cartwright on February 14, 2006 2:27 PM (e)

Do not feed the trolls.

If “whoever” wants to learn about eukaryotic origin and evolution, she can do a literature search.

Some of us are too busy doing science to spend time answering a silly challenge from an arm-chair individual who doesn’t know enough biology to even offer a relevant challenge.

Comment #79816

Posted by Glen Davidson on February 14, 2006 2:28 PM (e)

DaveScot probably is a good guess. JAD at least knows the singular for “bacteria”. I didn’t remember DaveScot being quite as harsh as the language from “whoever” is, although he was at least as obnoxious as JAD in his way (maybe DaveScot has been seething over remarks about him for a long time). Could be some other idiot as well, though, or even a combination of several IDiots who find themselves to be clever.

Of course the biggest reasons no one should debate the troll are two. First, the “challenge” is that modern bacteria won’t give rise to eukaryotes, which is virtually certain for a number of reasons (especially that eukaryotes already exist, and because any eukaryote-like evolutionary event(s) would almost certainly give rise to something rather different from today’s eukaryotes if it did take place). The second is that it is the usual ID tactic of pretending that we don’t have sufficient reason to know that eukaryotes did evolve from prokaryotic precursors.

The misdirection of this useless and untestable “prediction” is used to obscure the evolutionary evidence of eukaryote evolution. Plus, the “challenge to debate” has only one main motivation, which is to call into question the evolution of eukaryotes without having to even provide any evidence against it (not that they wouldn’t come up with some BS if anyone were foolish enough to take the “challenge”). Debates from IDists exist primarily to undermine science by bringing up “questions” that would not be produced in the normal course of science, and thus to win in the minds of many by merely calling into question the conclusions of science.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

Comment #79817

Posted by David Heddle on February 14, 2006 2:28 PM (e)

Grey Wolf,

In case you didn’t notice, the subject of this thread is an article, from a physicist, alleging an “attack on all science.” That would seem to indicate, at least to me, that this particular thread is about all science, not just biology.

Comment #79818

Posted by KP on February 14, 2006 2:30 PM (e)

Isn’t the current thinking on the prokaryote-eukaryote evolution that inner membranes were rearranged to form the nuclear membrane? Prokaryotes had invaginations of the cell memrane analogous to the endoplasmic reticulum of eukaryotes. I believe that is thought to be the origin of the nuclear membrane with subsequent endosymbiosis of other prokaryotes for the important organelles such as mitochondria. Why would rearranging of membranes and endocytosis even require mutations?

And by the way, I don’t think anybody on PT is saying that mutation-selection is the only way to have evolution.

Please talk to Ken Miller to get the details on the status of the prokaryote argument. I’m a frickin’ ecologist, here.

Comment #79821

Posted by Arden Chatfield on February 14, 2006 2:34 PM (e)

Larry wrote:

Furthermore, Darwinism is counter-intuitive and contrary to reason.

There you have it, folks. The long-sought silver bullet vanquishing Darwinism. Larry Fafarman finds it ‘counter-intuitive and contrary to reason’.

That’s it. We should all just pack our backs and go home now.

God, I’m embarrassed!

Comment #79822

Posted by Grey Wolf on February 14, 2006 2:34 PM (e)

Heddle:

“In case you didn’t notice, the subject of this thread is an article, from a physicist, alleging an “attack on all science.” That would seem to indicate, at least to me, that this particular thread is about all science, not just biology.”

Which is a nice way of not answering my question about why you are in a biology forum, Heddle. Or why you have participated in many other threads just to push your brand of ID ideas when it was out of place.

Just for once, really, I would like for someone to answer the core questions I pose, instead of answering the fringe ones or their own versions.

Hope that helps,

Grey Wolf

Comment #79826

Posted by David Heddle on February 14, 2006 2:40 PM (e)

PaulC,

We don’t expect a feather to fall as fast as a lead weight, and it is counterintuitive to ascribe differential acceleration to the effect of air resistance rather than what we imagine to be a “lesser pull”

just a nitpick:

The earth does in fact have a “lesser pull” on a feather than on a (more massive) lead weight. We do not imagine that.

Grey Wolf,

I come to this “biology” forum because not all of the posts (by a long shot) are about research biology. Most are sort-of political. Likewise, some people come to my blog for the ID posts, even though it is a theology blog. When they do, I don’t ask them “why are you coming to a theology blog?”

Comment #79827

Posted by Mike Elzinga on February 14, 2006 2:44 PM (e)

Anyone interested in Marshall Berman’s Back Page APS News article can find it at http://www.aps.org/apsnews/1005/100518.cfm

Comment #79828

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 14, 2006 2:45 PM (e)

Interesting. It would appear that the Panda’s Thumb is producing some acute anxiety in the folks who run Uncommon Descent - they are inventing faux debates to lure people over. I admit that the continual (and at this point almost sole) presence of individuals who make ID a laughing-stock through scientific ignorance and patently religious motivation might be somewhat dull, but still! Something more imaginative would be nice.

Comment #79830

Posted by AD on February 14, 2006 2:47 PM (e)

Just curious, whoever…

Why, if that’s such a good argument, didn’t you bring it up at Dover?

You see, the problem is that we’ve already HAD this debate, and you lost. You didn’t just lose, in fact. You lost smashingly and were humiliated in the process, as well as stuck an otherwise innocent school district with a massive bill for legal fees.

By the by, this debate has always been open and ongoing. If you want to participate, all you have to do is start performing experiments and publish in journals. You’re welcome to join whenever you want.

Comment #79831

Posted by Stephen Elliott on February 14, 2006 2:57 PM (e)

Posted by AD on February 14, 2006 02:47 PM (e)

Just curious, whoever…

Why, if that’s such a good argument, didn’t you bring it up at Dover?

You see, the problem is that we’ve already HAD this debate, and you lost. You didn’t just lose, in fact. You lost smashingly and were humiliated in the process, as well as stuck an otherwise innocent school district with a massive bill for legal fees.

By the by, this debate has always been open and ongoing. If you want to participate, all you have to do is start performing experiments and publish in journals. You’re welcome to join whenever you want.

Awwwww! You are being mean.

It is not easy for the Disco institute to argue their case under oath. They might get into serious trouble.

Lying is somewhat discouraged in a court room IIRC.

Comment #79832

Posted by PvM on February 14, 2006 2:57 PM (e)

Interesting. It would appear that the Panda’s Thumb is producing some acute anxiety in the folks who run Uncommon Descent - they are inventing faux debates to lure people over. I admit that the continual (and at this point almost sole) presence of individuals who make ID a laughing-stock through scientific ignorance and patently religious motivation might be somewhat dull, but still! Something more imaginative would be nice.

Not only that, the challenge cannot be seen from the homepage of UD. Is Dembski once again overruling DaveScot? Funny, first the common descent debacle, now his using Dembski’s blog for personal disagreements.

Has whoever/davescot not heard of endosymbiosis?

Comment #79833

Posted by whoever on February 14, 2006 2:59 PM (e)

greywolf
1) Where did you get the definition “ID is the theory that certain patterns in nature are best explained by intelligent agency.” from? Reference, please. Or did you invent it as you wrote it down to accommodate for your argument?

http://www.intelligentdesignnetwork.org/

“The theory of intelligent design (ID) holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process such as natural selection.”

“2) According to you, when did evolution stop? I.e. you say that the modern bacteria no longer can evolve - this implies that old bacteria could.”

I didn’t say it stopped and I did not imply the LUCA was a bacterium. We may never know what the LUCA was as it is surely lost to the ravages of time. But perhaps not. Maybe we’ll find, if I may coin a phrase, a “phylogentic stem cell” among the many extant organisms yet to be investigated. However, I see little evidence to believe that the fecundity of the past which produced the diversity of life we see today is still going on. When did it stop? Well, I believe the last genus to emerge was about 10 million years ago. It’s not a matter of screeching to a halt but rather a gradual slowdown. Today there appears to be nothing going on but massive extinction of existing species and minor varietal changes happening within existing genera and maybe some speciation as defined by inability to produce fertile hybrids.

“This makes you part of the ID camp of loss of information pseudoscience - when do you predict that information ran/will run out? (see, that is what we call a *positive* prediction)”

I predict it may have already run out for the production of genera and broader taxonomic categories but that may not be true. The fecundity of past evolution might restart but I’ve no idea what could trigger it. The question - is evolution over begs further investigation. There’s a nice paper published in Rivista di Biologia in 1998 reproduced here

http://www.uncommondescent.com/index.php/davison…

“3) Would you mind fleshing out the ID theory? “Evolution can’t happen” which is what you said in the first paragraph contradicts the “modern bacteria can’t evolve” (i.e. old bacteria could). Exactly what bits of evolution are impossible?”

We don’t know exactly. A better question is which bits of evolution can demonstrated as possible today. The answer seems to be the generation of varieties within extant genera. Antibiotic resistance, finch beaks, moth pigments, you know the spiel.

“How does the Intelligent Designer make things change? How does he add the information?”

Perhaps the information was there from the start in a LUCA just waiting to be expressed when the conditions were right. How does a stem cell get the information needed to differentiate through descent with modification into a neuron? Answer: that information was already present in the stem cell just waiting to be expressed at the proper time in a predetermined sequence.

“Please give the example of how the prokaryotes were created. Don’t forget to include the mechanism.”

This is getting WAY outside the scope of ID which is the theory that certain patterns in nature are best explained by intelligent cause. I can give you mechanisms compatible with ID but those mechanisms are not part of ID. I would say the same or similar mechanism that differentiates stem cells differentiated an arbitrarily complex LUCA. Since we don’t yet know exactly how stem cells differentiate it’s premature to say the least to demand an explanation about how a LUCA differentiated.

“If you want to have a discussion about ID, you need to define this.”

I did and I gave you a source for the definition.

“Else, it is a simple God of the gaps fallacy combined with argument from incredulity (i.e. God did it because I can’t see it happening). Remember that Evolution is top of the hill - if ID is to supplant it, we have to discuss ID, not evolution.”

ID doesn’t dispute evolution if evolution is defined as descent with modification from one or more common ancestors. ID argues that unintelligent causes are insufficient by themselves to explain evolution.

“Hope that helps,”

Ditto.

Please find me at

http://www.uncommondescent.com/index.php/nuclear…

if you can find consensus here to be the NDE representative and we’ll focus on a single evolutinary event - the eukaryote nucleus - and the evidence supporting its orgination from a prokaryote ancestor similar to modern species of bacteria through the mechanism of random mutation + natural selection.

Comment #79834

Posted by Bill Gascoyne on February 14, 2006 3:04 PM (e)

whoever wrote:

Whoever is representing NDE…

Wait, I thought you were representing ID. Make up your addled mind, dude.

“I don’t know.” “Third base!”

Comment #79835

Posted by PvM on February 14, 2006 3:11 PM (e)

Note that whoever/davescot requires detailed pathways for evolution while when asked how ID explains it, he resorts to much handwaving. This shows once again why ID is scientifically vacuous: Even wohever/davescot’s prediction for ID is a negative one. Nothing much there I am afraid. Remember that when Dembski was asked for similar details for his ID explanation he ‘responded’ that he need to give such pathetic details.

As I said I raise endosymbiosis and call whoever’s bluff. Since anyone posting or commenting on PT has been de-facto banned by Davescot, I see no reason to feed the troll at UD.

Comment #79837

Posted by PaulC on February 14, 2006 3:12 PM (e)

Heddle:

The earth does in fact have a “lesser pull” on a feather than on a (more massive) lead weight. We do not imagine that.

I’m not sure that the concept of “pull” is sufficiently well defined to make that statement. The gravitational force on a feather is less, but the gravitational acceleration is the same. My point was that human intuition by itself does a terrible job of distinguishing between these concepts: force and acceleration or even identifying that they exist. It is the job of science to do so, and the result is often counterintuitive.

Comment #79838

Posted by JohnK on February 14, 2006 3:13 PM (e)

Those curious about the endosymbiotic origins of the nucleus (including other hypotheses like chronocytes) can begin with papers like:
http://www.socgenmicrobiol.org.uk/pubs/micro_tod…
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/305/5…
http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/full/032658599v1…
http://www.astrobio.net/news/article243.html
http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/full/97/13/6954
http://paleobiol.geoscienceworld.org/cgi/content…
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cm…
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cm…

Other candidates come from the recent discovery of family of “nucleocytoplasmic” colossal DNA viruses (~1000 genes!), which replicate and form a membrane in the cytoplasm and has “linear” rather than circular chromosomes.
http://www-micro.msb.le.ac.uk/3035/Mimivirus.htm…
http://www.livescience.com/animalworld/041111_gi…

The earliest descendant of this merger might be recognized as similar to an amitochondriate protist.

Comment #79843

Posted by Mark Duigon on February 14, 2006 3:19 PM (e)

C’mon girls, don’t let me sit here calling you a bunch of yellow-bellied blowhards trumpeting a vacuous mechanism underlying modification with descent from a common ancestor. This is shameful.

I have a better idea, based on the practice of science: Let’s compare papers presented in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Whoever (the guy with the wee willy) can cite not only the scientific papers he has published, but those of other ID proponents that support his views. Based on bibliographic searches, we can check to see how many ID research papers have been cited by other scientists and determine how much of a contribution ID has made to the increase in knowledge.

Comment #79844

Posted by Grey Wolf on February 14, 2006 3:24 PM (e)

RE: Whoever:

1) I see that, as I suspected, you changed a key word in the definition from “features” to “patterns” which are vastly different in their usual meanings to better serve your point. Ah, ID, endlessly plastic and capable of meaning everything and, of course, nothing all at the same time.

2) “I did not imply the LUCA was a bacterium”

No, you “only” said that we must demonstrate that bacteria evolved nucleus, which sort of needs it to have evolved, while at the same time explaining how modern ones cannot do it. Mind you, your position is easy, since you only need to say “that is impossible” to defend your “position”. Easy way indeed to have a discussion.

Genus do not emerge - we get all animals and divide them into groups. When the last “genus” emerged, it was a speciation event. For two species to become genus millions of years need to pass until they differentiate enough for scientists to classify them as different genus. You have provided no evidence that evolution has stopped or even that it is slowing down.

“ID doesn’t dispute evolution if evolution is defined as descent with modification from one or more common ancestors. ID argues that unintelligent causes are insufficient by themselves to explain evolution.”

On the contrary, I am sure we can find plenty of declarations of top ID thinkers that state that ID and evolution is incompatible (I’d start looking in their talks in churches). Why shouldn’t we believe them? Why should we believe you, nameless one? We’re back to “what version of ID should we believe, anyway?”.

Have more nits to pick, but gotta run.

Hope that helps,

Grey Wolf

Comment #79845

Posted by AD on February 14, 2006 3:25 PM (e)

C’mon girls, don’t let me sit here calling you a bunch of yellow-bellied blowhards trumpeting a vacuous mechanism underlying modification with descent from a common ancestor. This is shameful.

So are you advocating we ban you?

Just curious. I mean, you are certainly contributing nothing to the debate, as you neither understand science nor how to argue, so what, precisely, are you contributing?

I mean, other than some laughter. I’ve had a few people look at me oddly for laughing out loud at the computer screen today, to be fair.

Comment #79847

Posted by CJ O'Brien on February 14, 2006 3:29 PM (e)

When did it stop? Well, I believe the last genus to emerge was about 10 million years ago. It’s not a matter of screeching to a halt but rather a gradual slowdown. Today there appears to be nothing going on but massive extinction of existing species and minor varietal changes happening within existing genera and maybe some speciation as defined by inability to produce fertile hybrids.

And this is all you’d ever see if you took a “tour” of the history of life, dropping in every 10 million years or so for the duration of serious human investigation of biology (charitably c.200 years). I know, Deep Time is pretty hard to get a grasp on, but has anyone seen an IDiot even try?

Comment #79848

Posted by Pvm on February 14, 2006 3:29 PM (e)

As to the question of endosymbiosis still occurring?

Can Secondary Symbiosis Still Occur?

Probably so.
Two Japanese scientists have discovered a heterotrophic flagellate that engulfs a unicellular green alga that lives freely in the surrounding water. Once inside,

* the alga loses its flagella and cytoskeleton;
* the host loses its feeding apparatus;
* the host switches from heterotrophic to autotrophic nutrition (photosynthesis);
* the host becomes capable of phototaxis.

When the host divides by mitosis, only one daughter cell gets the plastid. The other cell regrows the feeding apparatus and is ready to engulf another alga.

You can read the details in Okamoto, N. & Inouye, I., Science, 310:287, 14 October 2005

Link

Cool stuff indeed

Comment #79849

Posted by Steve Reuland on February 14, 2006 3:29 PM (e)

Reed Carwright wrote:

Some of us are too busy doing science to spend time answering a silly challenge from an arm-chair individual who doesn’t know enough biology to even offer a relevant challenge.

Not only that, but when the challenger has decided that the answer will be “entirely vacuous” before having even seen it, that indicates a level of close-mindedness that is not worth wasting effort on.

Comment #79850

Posted by Savagemutt on February 14, 2006 3:29 PM (e)

David Heddle wrote:

Townes’s entire quote changes nothing: virtually all pro Iders (except perhaps the most lunatic fringe YECs, who are on PT’s side of the cosmological ID debate)

Damnit, have you no shame, Heddle? You know this web site and this thread are about biological evolution and the sham of “Intelligent Design” as pushed by the Disco Institute. You have known this for some time. Yet you constantly conflate that, more well known version of ID, with your own cosmological beliefs. Then when others who don’t know (or care) about the Heddle version make an assault on ID, you cry foul. You know better. Your disingenuousness fools no one. You have no class, sir.

Comment #79851

Posted by steve s on February 14, 2006 3:30 PM (e)

this thread is supposed to be about the Kroemer article, not the evolution of prokaryotes being discussed on Uncommon Pissant. For that, see After the Bar Closes, where I point out that Creationists have made this argument years ago. But you IDiots aren’t Creationists, are you, no. Perish the thought.

http://www.antievolution.org/cgi-bin/ikonboard/i…

Comment #79853

Posted by Chiefley on February 14, 2006 3:36 PM (e)

Paul C wrote…. “My point was that human intuition by itself does a terrible job of distinguishing between these concepts: force and acceleration or even identifying that they exist. It is the job of science to do so, and the result is often counterintuitive.”

Yes, absolutely. History has shown that common sense, intuition, and incredulity are extremely unreliable scientific tools. Most of the modern successful theories are outrageously counterintuitive and downright incredible. Who would believe that mass is not constant but a function of velocity, or that continents move around and smash into each other, or that light is made up of particles. Or that a light particle will interfere with itself as if it were a wave, while passing through one slit in a double slit intereferometer.

As Kenneth Miller says, the argument from “Personal Incredulity” is not a scientific one. Its a subjective opinion and it is almost always wrong.

Comment #79855

Posted by k.e. on February 14, 2006 3:39 PM (e)

Glenn
Don’t let the IDers get away with claiming they are not reading Genesis literally. Larry is the perfect example. His very first comments several weeks ago chastised the Dover IDiots for bringing up de LORd every time they opened their mouths and he has been scrupulously following his own ‘rule’.

He gave it all away in a fit of pique when he ticked off Dr. Miller for first being a religious nut THEN for not being religious ENOUGH by not reading the good BoOk literally. The rubes who continue to push this have been counseled by the DI behind closed doors on how NOT to say goddidit every 5 seconds. For the fellow travelers like DS …..look and learn.

DS is a closet atheist having a real big Pascals Wager and is having a gay old time stirring up the Theists (So is Dembski, but he actually realizes it ….as he takes all their lovely money ……with scrupulous discretion)

Now note: DS will scream that the DEAR LEADER is a real honest to god, god botherer but have a look at his own response ;

Hey DaveScott or Whoever, your knickers are showing BTW, thanks for the invite to your little clubhouse, or is it a Quixotic Windmill, ….anyway to your er ….debate.

DaveScott or Whoever you’re dreaming, probably of electric sheep, but I am afraid yourself and Duh duh Dembski and it would seem all of the Creationist Industrial Deceit ID Deus Ex Machina (look it up) crowd do not know how it is done.

TO DEPOSE THE ID GODDIDIT, DECONSTRUCT THE MACHINE

BTW DS you should get out more you know and expand your mind.
You seem trapped playing the
Enchanted Dulchina del Toboso to ‘Count’ Don Dembski’s little comedy of manners …the fools quest

Now since it would seem that you have a thing about ‘girls’ try The Laughing Gnostic: David Bowie and the Occult.

Comment #79859

Posted by whoever on February 14, 2006 3:49 PM (e)

“So are you advocating we ban you?”

If you think you can ban all the anonymous proxies in the world go right ahead.

But first I’m going to take a snapshot of this page (done) and all the comments in case my comments are deleted and I want to refer to them in future.

Thanks for playing.

Comment #79860

Posted by Moses on February 14, 2006 3:52 PM (e)

Comment #79802

Posted by David Heddle on February 14, 2006 01:55 PM (e)

Moses (#79779),

You do realize that what you posted is meaningless?

Why, because you don’t like that that they supported Evolution over Creation Science before Creation Science was renamed ID? The only meaningless post in the little quote-mining drama you set up was your initial salvo which was shown to have the ear-marks of quote mining and suspect for putting positions in the mouths of others. The only official position I’ve seen is their endorsement of science over religion through Edwards Vs Aguillard which I fairly read as these gentlemen don’t seem believe in your neo-creationist (ID) clap-trap.

And if you think Townes was quote-mined, then explain why PZ views him as a “pious fraud”. (A post, by the way, that resulted in me getting tossed from Pharyngula.)

What’s with the red herring? I didn’t address Mr. Myers’ beliefs, did I? Mr. Myers didn’t post this thread did he? In fact, I don’t recollect Mr. Myers even posting on this thread.

Also, I don’t care if you’ve been banned from Pharyngula or not. [Insert worlds smallest violin playing hearts and flowers for you.] That’s between you and Mr. Myers. Though I’ll note that I haven’t been banned by Mr. Myers, even when I have necessarily. by reason of my political social beliefs, etc., not kept in line with his political beliefs and those of other thread participants.

Comment #79863

Posted by k.e. on February 14, 2006 4:01 PM (e)

DaveScott /Whoever

hahahahahahahaha

runaway runaway …brave Sir ….debater Knight.

Maybe you could plead with Dembski to try and have your own posts put back up on Uncommon whatever…. he might do it for a little kiss …but probably not.

Comment #79864

Posted by David Heddle on February 14, 2006 4:04 PM (e)

Savagemutt,

Yet you constantly conflate that, more well known version of ID, with your own cosmological beliefs. Then when others who don’t know (or care) about the Heddle version make an assault on ID, you cry foul. You know better. Your disingenuousness fools no one. You have no class, sir.

A “Heddle” version of ID? That fine-tuning is evidence of design? Gee, it was kind of Susskind to publish a best selling book just to try to address this minor, nay personal variant of ID: The Cosmic Landscape: String Theory and the Illusion of Intelligent Design. And for Publisher’s Weekly, in its review of Susskind’s book, to write: “While the subtitle is a bit misleading (this isn’t about intelligent design in the Kansas Board of Education sense, but actually a controversy at once bigger and less prominent)”. I guess I should feel privileged. Of course, if Susskind had checked with you, Savagemutt, he might have subtitled it the Illusion of Heddle’s Intelligent Design, which would have been kinda cool.

Finally, SavageMutt–when Mark Perakh posts on PT about non-biological ID, do you remind him: the only ID we discuss here is biological ID? Nobody here cares about this, so why you are writing about it?

BTW, and w/o comment, I have been told via private email that there are at least two-other ID-leaning Nobel Laureates:

1. William Phillips - 1999 - Physics

2. Sir John Eccles - 1963 - Physiology & Med.

Moses, Moses, Moses–the point is that you have not demonstrated that they (Townes and Penzias) are anti-ID. Agreeing with that statement is a possibly necessary but certainly not sufficient condition to be anti-ID. Once again, I agree with it, and I am not anti-ID. Your post was indeed meaningless.

Comment #79865

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 14, 2006 4:06 PM (e)

Whoever wrote:

“So are you advocating we ban you?”

If you think you can ban all the anonymous proxies in the world go right ahead.

But first I’m going to take a snapshot of this page (done) and all the comments in case my comments are deleted and I want to refer to them in future.

Thanks for playing.

Interesting. Where do you think you’re posting, Uncommon Descent? People encourage actual debate here - and history of silliness (e.g. your comments) doesn’t get deleted. Inappropriate comments get moved to the Bathroom Wall, that’s all.

Some people are so paranoid.

Comment #79866

Posted by Jean on February 14, 2006 4:07 PM (e)

Mr Whoever,

I’m confused. You keep talking about LUCA. Yet, I thought that according to ID, it never existed.
Are you a supporter of evolution?

Comment #79868

Posted by PvM on February 14, 2006 4:16 PM (e)

David

William Phillips, who won the 1997 Nobel Prize in physics for his work in cooling and trapping atoms with lasers, said the perception that religion and science are in intractable conflict is fading.

Increasing is the view that both religion and science have “important things to tell us about life and the universe” and that “sometimes you need to consult both in order to get the best answers,” said Phillips, a University of Maryland professor who sometimes teaches Sunday school at his United Methodist church.

Most religious people lean towards ‘intelligent design’ but let’s not conflate this with “Intelligent Design”

As for the age of the earth and the universe, within the usual limits of any scientific conclusions, I believe that the present calculations of about 4 billion years for the earth and 14 billion years for the universe are not far wrong, and I see no conflict with that understanding and my understanding of the Bible.
Source: E-mail response to the direct question by the author of this paper May 24, 2004

And his Nobel Prize acceptance speech

Finally, I thank God for providing such a wonderful and intriguing world for us to explore, for allowing me the plearure of learning something new things about it, and for allowing me to do so in the company of such good friends and colleagues.

Comment #79869

Posted by whoever on February 14, 2006 4:16 PM (e)

granddaughter

Are you saying no one ever gets banned here or their comments deleted or disemvoweled?

Wesley Elsberry even threatened DaveScot with criminal prosecution if he continued to comment here. If you don’t believe me just ask him if he did. I’m curious to see if he’ll deny it. There’s plenty of people that witnessed it as he posted the threat on the bathroom wall. He may have subsequently deleted it.

Comment #79872

Posted by k.e. on February 14, 2006 4:23 PM (e)

Will the real DaveScott please standup

Comment #79874

Posted by Savagemutt on February 14, 2006 4:24 PM (e)

David Heddle wrote:

A “Heddle” version of ID? That fine-tuning is evidence of design? Gee, it was kind of Susskind to publish a best selling book just to try to address this minor, nay personal variant of ID: The Cosmic Landscape: String Theory and the Illusion of Intelligent Design. And for Publisher’s Weekly, in its review of Susskind’s book, to write: “While the subtitle is a bit misleading (this isn’t about intelligent design in the Kansas Board of Education sense, but actually a controversy at once bigger and less prominent)”. I guess I should feel privileged. Of course, if Susskind had checked with you, Savagemutt, he might have subtitled it the Illusion of Heddle’s Intelligent Design, which would have been kinda cool.

Here’s the deal. You present yourself as an ID advocate (but don’t bother mentioning that its in the cosmological non-scientific sense) then when someone on PT lumps you in with the biological IDers (which is what this site is specifically geared toward) you cry foul. Do you not see what an asshat of a move that is? Am I taking crazy pills?

Finally, SavageMutt—when Mark Perakh posts on PT about non-biological ID, do you remind him: the only ID we discuss here is biological ID? Nobody here cares about this, so why you are writing about it?

You’ve complained in the past about people putting words in your mouth that didn’t come from you. I’d appreciate it if you’d extend the same courtesy that you expect.

Comment #79875

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 14, 2006 4:25 PM (e)

It must be another one of those interesting paranoias that lead you to change the wording, but I notice that you have been doing that.

granddaughter

Are you saying no one ever gets banned here or their comments deleted or disemvoweled?

Wesley Elsberry even threatened DaveScot with criminal prosecution if he continued to comment here. If you don’t believe me just ask him if he did. I’m curious to see if he’ll deny it. There’s plenty of people that witnessed it as he posted the threat on the bathroom wall. He may have subsequently deleted it.

Note that I did NOT claim that people are not banned for grossly offensive behavior, nor did I claim that comments were not ‘disemvowled’.

We’re here for meaningful discuss (as much as is possible on a forum). Inappropriate comments by trolls need to be dealt with in some fashion in order for actual discussion to take place.

And Dave - your behavior was both abusive and content free. Certainly had you contributed actual ideas and concepts related to evolution and ID, you could still post as yourself.

Don’t you find it rather embarrassing that you’re forced to conceal your identity? As you might say, rather “girly.”

Comment #79877

Posted by sonofblast on February 14, 2006 4:32 PM (e)

Isn’t this just precious?

http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2005/05/davi…

Date: 2005-05-19 17:04:39, Link
Author: Wesley R. Elsberry
Message to David Scott Springer aka “DaveScot” aka “Sad Covet” aka “jordan” and etc.:

Your use of this computer system is unauthorized. You do not have consent to use this system.

There exists a computer security system in place to restrict your access to this system.

This is not a “game of hide and seek”. Any further attempts to access this system by you will be treated as a violation of Section 1. Title 7, Chapter 33, Section 33.02 of the Texas Penal Code.

This includes usage of alternate ISPs to evade the security system.

Goodbye.

Comment #79880

Posted by H. Humbert on February 14, 2006 4:34 PM (e)

Here’s what any “debate” with an IDer looks like.

IDer: “Prove to me every step of evolution is possible right before my eyes in a lab. Can’t do it? I win by default.”

Of course, a properly moderated debate would say that arguments cannot be won by employing a single logical fallacy, but hey, they are always victors in their own minds.

Comment #79881

Posted by sonofblast on February 14, 2006 4:35 PM (e)

oops…wrong url…mibad

http://www.pandasthumb.org/pt-archives/001050.ht…

Date: 2005-05-19 17:04:39, Link
Author: Wesley R. Elsberry
Message to David Scott Springer aka “DaveScot” aka “Sad Covet” aka “jordan” and etc.:

Your use of this computer system is unauthorized. You do not have consent to use this system.

There exists a computer security system in place to restrict your access to this system.

This is not a “game of hide and seek”. Any further attempts to access this system by you will be treated as a violation of Section 1. Title 7, Chapter 33, Section 33.02 of the Texas Penal Code.

This includes usage of alternate ISPs to evade the security system.

Goodbye.

Comment #79882

Posted by k.e. on February 14, 2006 4:35 PM (e)

Jean said:

Mr Whoever,

I’m confused. You keep talking about LUCA. Yet, I thought that according to ID, it never existed.
Are you a supporter of evolution?

Well actually DaveScott is a supporter of evolution and almost pulled down the curtain neh ..ripped apart the cosmic dharma at UCD when he tried to have PURE evidenciary science implemented by booting off all the god talkers …he almost succeeded with his little scheme until the ‘Count’ took him behind the barracks and whacked the living daylights out of him THEN …..get this he sheepishly announces that he censored HIMSELF ……one of the funniest incidents at the circus in ages the elephantsh*t shoveler being chased by the clown …granddaughter indeed.

Comment #79883

Posted by PvM on February 14, 2006 4:35 PM (e)

Sir John Eccles

The appearance of conflict [between religion and science] is a result of ignorance. We come to exist through a divine act. That divine guidance is a theme throughout our life; at our death the brain goes, but that divine guidance and love continues. Each of us is a unique conscious being, a divine creation.”

Sir John Eccles, Nobel Laureate, neurobiologist

Comment #79884

Posted by steve s on February 14, 2006 4:36 PM (e)

It’s worth remembering that DaveScot has banned more people in one day (Jan 20, 2006, IIRC), than PT has banned in its 23 month history.

Comment #79889

Posted by Steviepinhead on February 14, 2006 4:43 PM (e)

whoever‘s useless comment:

I’ll understand if you can’t give me an answer because, as anyone with a pulse knows, neoDarwinian theory is as useless as teats on a tomcat when it comes to prediction of the things it claims to explain.

The problem is that “teats on a tomcat” are not “useless.”

They are, first, useful in the sense that–absent male mammary tissue–we would have no female mammary tissue. You do understand the “uses” of the latter, I trust, as this is a family blog and I’m not going to get too graphic here.

Second, when sufficiently distressed by the wails of a hungry infant, males and non-lactating females have on rare occasions been stimulated to produce a modicum of milk. Which can be highly useful to the infant in question, not to mention a great relief to the temporary caretaker.

Third, mammaries on a human male, at least, have a classic evolutionary “side” benefit–they are secondary erogenous zones. This is the counterpart of the most recent hypothesis regarding the clitoris and female orgasm, which are now said to be a “side effect” of the development of the penis in the male.

Thus, one might as well say, “As useless as a clitoral orgasm to a woman.” You might think you are being clever, but you would just be wrong.

Comment #79890

Posted by David Heddle on February 14, 2006 4:44 PM (e)

From another private email, again w/o comment:

This quote from Arber should qualify him:

Werner Arber, Nobel Laureate molecular biologist has summarized the extent of the problem:

Although a biologist, I must confess I do not understand how life came about…. I consider that life only starts at the level of a functional cell. The most primitive cell may require at least several hundred different specific biological macro-molecules. How such already quite complex structures may have come together, remains a mystery to me. The possibility of the existence of a Creator, of God, represents to me a satisfactory solution to this problem.

Of course, I am not sure if design in abiogenesis fits in the tight confines of how ID is defined on this site, which seems to be limited to “whatever Behe and Dembski talk about, nothing more, nothing less.”

Comment #79896

Posted by Flint on February 14, 2006 5:02 PM (e)

Abiogenesis seems to be a locus where the religious and scientific views become semantically entangled.

Science says “not known at this time”. Religion says “Goddidit”. These are, in practice, *almost* the same statement. The only possible difference is, the former phrasing does not discourage active research to find out, while the latter does.

I’m baffled that a biologist would find magic a “satisfactory solution” when it is in fact neither one. It’s equivalent to saying “I don’t know and I don’t think finding out is worth the bother.” And how anyone can think “I don’t want to be bothered” represents a solution is beyond me.

Comment #79900

Posted by k.e. on February 14, 2006 5:09 PM (e)

Stevepinhead

Reading your post I have to have a little laugh.
I have had an extra bit of pink tissue located about 1.5 inches below my right nipple for as long I can remember and now that I have reached 1/2 a century the damn thing now looks like the tip of my other nipples. Makes for an interesting conversation piece, although my daughters find it a bit passe. I can claim that I am related to Scaramanga in the “Man with the Golden Gun”. Having 6 rather than 4 wisdom teeth was a bit of surprise as well.

From Mythology in the Hermetic Greek tradition which has its roots in the Egyptian Trinity and probably influenced the early christian church, partly emphasized the male breasts as a connection to all of nature and the ‘feminity of Divine power ‘.

Comment #79903

Posted by k.e. on February 14, 2006 5:13 PM (e)

Flint it’s not for you it’s for him, live and let live.

Comment #79905

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 14, 2006 5:21 PM (e)

I note, in reference to ‘whoever’s comment on the deletion of comments, that his challenge has indeed vanished from the front page of Uncommon Descent. Why? Too embarrassing?

It remains a classic example of the very thinking that Kroemer decrys in his brief statement: a lack of healthy debate.

Comment #79912

Posted by Steviepinhead on February 14, 2006 5:40 PM (e)

Yeah, k.e., my ex also had an extra set of nipples located an inch or so below the under-crease of her breasts. Her parents had required their surgical removal before I ever met her, leaving her with weird little scars. I don’t know what their motivation was, precisely, but I suspect it had something to do with the suggested “unnatural” “animal”-ness of the extra nips.

Of course, I thought it was cool that she had had these nifty left-overs, a visible demonstration of our relatedness to our multi-papped ancestors.

I sometimes wonder if a good deal of suppressed anti-“animal,” anti-“nature” emotion isn’t behind some of this anti-evolutionary foment, which so largely overlaps on the politico-religious spectrums, with anti-environmental foment.

Comment #79914

Posted by KP on February 14, 2006 5:49 PM (e)

Thanks to JohnK and Pvm for recent references on endosymbiotic processes. Some of us ecologists are interested in this stuff y’know.

I find it very telling that whoever, Andy H. and the IDM seem to offer no counter-hypothesis.

Sorry to have raised something way off the original topic of the post/comment string.

Comment #79915

Posted by Henry J on February 14, 2006 5:56 PM (e)

Re “History has shown that common sense, intuition, and incredulity are extremely unreliable scientific tools. Most of the modern successful theories are outrageously counter-intuitive and downright incredible.”

Though imo evolution comes closer to being common sense than relativity or quantum mechanics ever could. After all, for whole critters (or major parts of them) to suddenly poof into existence would seem to me to be highly contrary to common sense.

Henry

Comment #79920

Posted by brightmoon on February 14, 2006 6:03 PM (e)

that was one of the most concise and accurate comments on ID I’ve ever seen …thank you for re-printing it

Comment #79922

Posted by brightmoon on February 14, 2006 6:07 PM (e)

that was one of the most concise and accurate comments on ID I’ve ever seen …thank you for re-printing it

Comment #79927

Posted by Moses on February 14, 2006 6:17 PM (e)

Moses, Moses, Moses—the point is that you have not demonstrated that they (Townes and Penzias) are anti-ID. Agreeing with that statement is a possibly necessary but certainly not sufficient condition to be anti-ID. Once again, I agree with it, and I am not anti-ID. Your post was indeed meaningless.

Right…

Since you missed the Kitzenmiller memo, here’s the scoop: ID is creation science in a new dress. Nothing more nothing less, and has been established as such in a fair trial, despite your (and other denialist) claims otherwise.

Therefore as creation science = intelligent design, there is no reason for YOU to assert Townes and Penzias may be ID friendly in light of their behavior in Aguillard. This isn’t rocket science and doesn’t take a great deal of intellect, despite your apparent inability to “get it.”

Now, let’s back-track:

(Post 79751) You made the assertion of favorable ID leanings in claiming that someones “score” was wrong (i.e. the trotted out the 39-0 score of Nobel Laureates were pro-evolution). You backed up your assertion with what certainly looks like quote mining and projection to two out-of-context quotes. Now, this was YOUR POSITIVE ASSERTION.

(Post 79779) I provided an Amici Curiae citation that they were both anti-“creation science” and pro-evolution/science in Aguillard. This was my rebuttle.

(Post 79802) You assert my rebuttle was “meaningless” by asserting that you don’t want ID taught in schools. I did not cite Aguillard with respect to the counter-strawman you proposed. In fact, I simply pointed out that both are on record supporting evolution against creation science. That the support happened to come in a trial about teaching CS/ID is not relevant. The position of the Amici Curiae is that science is science and that religion (CS & ID) is religion. Are you trying to say that Townes and Penzias were against religion before they were for it? ;) Because your quote mines (one of which was demonstrated to be a true quote mining by someone else) doesn’t establish your assertion that Townes & Penzias are pro-ID as a science.

Then you throw in some red herring about your relationship with PZ Myers. Whatever.

(Post 79860) I said much of what I said in this post.

Now, in this little drama, you’ve replied in a manner that is, at best, bewildering. Unless I interpret your response as mendacious or incompetent. Cutting to the chase, your tactic seems to deny all error and responds with some combination of personal attacks, distractions, authority and/or denials.

Now, in light of their strong support of evolution and dismissal of creation science (aka intelligent design) in the public record (and as important a record as an Amici Curiae filing) where do you get off trying to reset the score and put intentions in the actions and words of these men? Two weak-sauce quotes and a lot of denial when called out doesn’t cut it. Now, what I’ve been saying all along is that your assertion is weak (at best) in light of the evidence and that you have failed to come up with a weight of honest opinion to over-come the known opinion I presented in the rebuttle.

Anyway, I’m pretty much done with argument as you keep sidestepping and I’ve got too much personal stuff to do as my wife is going out of town. So I need to deal with real life and help her get ready for her trip and I’ll let you just continue to believe you’ve actually accomplished something.

Comment #79931

Posted by Moses on February 14, 2006 6:26 PM (e)

Comment #79900

Posted by k.e. on February 14, 2006 05:09 PM (e)

Stevepinhead

Reading your post I have to have a little laugh.
I have had an extra bit of pink tissue located about 1.5 inches below my right nipple for as long I can remember and now that I have reached 1/2 a century the damn thing now looks like the tip of my other nipples. Makes for an interesting conversation piece, although my daughters find it a bit passe. I can claim that I am related to Scaramanga in the “Man with the Golden Gun”. Having 6 rather than 4 wisdom teeth was a bit of surprise as well.

It’s a small world. I have a 3rd nipple too. And, being a hairy man, it’s surrounded by it’s own patch of hair, just like nipples frequently are on less-hairy men and teenage boys.

You got me on the wisdom teeth though. I just had the usual complement and had to have them all cut out as there wasn’t enough room on the top to get them all the way out of the gums and one of them was starting to rot and cause bone loss.

Comment #79940

Posted by KiwiInOz on February 14, 2006 6:54 PM (e)

Let’s give Whoever a little credit. He isn’t trying to debate how many generations it will take for NS + mutation to turn a cat into a dog!

KP - its good to see another ecologist on board here.

Comment #79949

Posted by Jon Nickles on February 14, 2006 7:14 PM (e)

Although a biologist, I must confess I do not understand how life came about…. I consider that life only starts at the level of a functional cell. The most primitive cell may require at least several hundred different specific biological macro-molecules. How such already quite complex structures may have come together, remains a mystery to me. The possibility of the existence of a Creator, of God, represents to me a satisfactory solution to this problem.

Once again this does not mention evolution specifically. He says that god may have been involved, which many theistic evolution supporters would agree with. He does not deny common ancestry, whle most IDers conveiently avoid talking about. He does also not deny random mutation and natural selection. I’m not sure what you are talkng about when you say ID, but it is not the same ID that people like Behe and Dembski et al at the Discovery Institute support.

Comment #79952

Posted by Russell on February 14, 2006 7:20 PM (e)

Moses, Moses, Moses

[chuckle]

Once again, David succeeds in making me smile. I wonder what fraction of the readership catches the Cecil B. DeMille reference. Or is that sufficiently timeless that it doesn’t date me.

Comment #79955

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on February 14, 2006 7:30 PM (e)

Wow, looks like all the nutters are finally crawling out of their foxholes.

I guess they’ve finally gotten over their post-Dover gun-shy-ness.

But alas, now the thingie in Ohio will have them all running for their foxholes again.

(snicker) (giggle)

Comment #79984

Posted by shiva on February 14, 2006 9:03 PM (e)

Brave Dave That’s it? How awful. This article offers no original insight, thought, or point of view.

Been very active here today haven’t you? Wonder what they thought of your (non)-presentation at this conference http://www.phys.cwru.edu/events/cosmol03.php

Comment #79999

Posted by Ebonmuse on February 14, 2006 9:33 PM (e)

What is your source for that quote from Werner Arber, David? I’ve found it scattered over the internet, but always unattributed.

Again, Arber seems to have no sympathies with IDers:

In the last four decades, scientists have learned how to unravel the secrets of the genetic control of life processes. Interestingly, and as far as is known at the present time, the genetic information of all forms of cellular life is contained in the linear sequence of building blocks, called nucleotides - of long filamentous molecules of DNA, a nucleic acid. In addition, all living beings seem to ‘speak’ the same genetic language, i.e. they use essentially the same genetic code. These observations are in accordance with the Darwinian theory of biological evolution postulating a steady development of life processes from a common origin. The basis for this diversification is, on the one hand, the spontaneous generation of genetic variants and, on the other, the forces of natural selection acting on mixed populations of genetic variants and different species of organisms.

http://www.unesco.org/opi2/lettres/TextAnglais/A…

Comment #80057

Posted by Sara on February 15, 2006 6:57 AM (e)

I find this article shallow as I do Mr. Kroemer’s opinion, both are an affront to science and to logic. Yes, we do see decent with modification. Yes, we see a physical world that has expanded and progressed. I would say virtually every ID proponent recognises that he is different from his parents, that new bodies are formed and destroyed in the universe. Where both these authors offend science an logic is where they fail to recognise they do not know the origin of life itself, nor the origin of the universe. Life is a delicate balance, there is not one study that shows what set this balance in motion. There is not one study that shows what set in motion the BB, the supposed creation of the universe. If one claims that life began through a non intelligent process, what evidence can they supply other than opinion or anecdotal incidents? What can they show that the universe was either created or eternal? Only anecdotal incidents and opinion.
With this said, why would these authors deny that any search for these origins is not valid? And if it is valid and unknown, how can they honestly eliminate ANY possibility? Looking for design in a physical object is recognised. We do it all the time.
Regarding evolution, without the knowledge of the CAUSE, how do you differentiate what you see in this world and determine what is a non intelligent creation and what is an intelligent creation? To claim either way takes reason, evidence, thought.

Comment #80066

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on February 15, 2006 8:19 AM (e)

(sigh)

Is it some sort of requirement that all ID/creationist supporters must be functional illiterates?

Comment #80067

Posted by PvM on February 15, 2006 8:24 AM (e)

Sara wrote:

Looking for design in a physical object is recognised. We do it all the time.

Yes, and we do not use the flawed method proposed by ID activists but rather we determine such issues as motives, means, opportunities and establish likely candidates.
A super natural power can explain anything and thus explains nothing. It may be comforting to suggest that there were intelligent powers involved but scientifically speaking such issues are unaddressable. ID conflates the various forms of design and misunderstands how in sciences, and in the real world design is detected.
Are you interested in exploring the many flaws of ID, Sara? Just let me know and we can discuss.

Comment #80076

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 15, 2006 9:01 AM (e)

Sara wrote:

I find this article shallow as I do Mr. Kroemer’s opinion, both are an affront to science and to logic.

It would be best if you would point out where the article offends, rather than making general statements like this. It’s hard to determine whether your concerns are valid.

Yes, we do see decent with modification. Yes, we see a physical world that has expanded and progressed. I would say virtually every ID proponent recognises that he is different from his parents, that new bodies are formed and destroyed in the universe.

I wouldn’t say ‘virtually’. I’d say every ID advocate recognizes those things.

Where both these authors offend science an logic is where they fail to recognise they do not know the origin of life itself, nor the origin of the universe.

I am assuming that it’s your grammar that is challenged, rather than your understanding: the authors do acknowledge that the origin of life and the universe are currently not known. Why this is an offense against science and logic I cannot determine from your post.

Life is a delicate balance, there is not one study that shows what set this balance in motion.

Frankly, this reflects your ignorance of the work being done in abiogenesis. Google is your friend. Try Pub Med. Try Google Scholar. Abiogenesis is a rich and exciting field right now.

There is not one study that shows what set in motion the BB, the supposed creation of the universe.

So what? No one is arguing that the initiator of the BB cannot be God, merely that no evidence exists for such a claim.

If one claims that life began through a non intelligent process, what evidence can they supply other than opinion or anecdotal incidents?

There is no evidence of any other origin mechanism, and those who are researching abiogenesis are supporting their case with observation and logic - the same kind of support that is given for all scientific conjectures.

What can they show that the universe was either created or eternal? Only anecdotal incidents and opinion.

This is, of course, completely false, and is based on your misunderstanding (apparently) of how science works. Not to mention that it’s redundant.

With this said, why would these authors deny that any search for these origins is not valid? And if it is valid and unknown, how can they honestly eliminate ANY possibility?

They don’t. It’s the ID advocates and the creationists who deny possibilities. What the authors demand is the same thing demanded of any scientific hypothesis: evidence and logic.

Looking for design in a physical object is recognised. We do it all the time.

Pim does an admirable job of pointing out that ID ‘looking for design’ is a sham and NOT like the way we identify design in archaeology or forensics, for example.

Regarding evolution, without the knowledge of the CAUSE, how do you differentiate what you see in this world and determine what is a non intelligent creation and what is an intelligent creation?

Evidence and logic. ID has none.

To claim either way takes reason, evidence, thought.

And as soon as either ID or creationism produces fomr of this reason, evidence, and thought, we will continue to regard it as a vapid, emotionally-driven theology.

Comment #80077

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 15, 2006 9:03 AM (e)

Dr. Lenny wrote:

Is it some sort of requirement that all ID/creationist supporters must be functional illiterates?

I will admit that the correlation between bad grammar, bad spelling, and ‘creationist-type logic’ is surprisingly strong. It might be worth investigating.

Comment #80091

Posted by Raging Bee on February 15, 2006 10:15 AM (e)

The Intellectual Dysfunction Theorist formerly Known As Larry Farfalarfadingdangdung wrote:

…However, scientists can still use evolution theory even while believing that all or part of it is untrue.

Thus announcing the retreat of creationists into the last refuge of con-artists, piss-artists, loonies, and rigid losers: crybaby subjectivism. Now is the time for all sore losers to stamp their feet in perfect sync and chant: “They use it, they cure diseases with it, they get results with it, but they don’t really believe it! How can they? It’s NOT REAL!! It’s NOT REAL!! It’s NOT REAL!!”

Comment #80092

Posted by Raging Bee on February 15, 2006 10:17 AM (e)

Dr. Lenny wrote:

Is it some sort of requirement that all ID/creationist supporters must be functional illiterates?

And I believe we can answer with confidence:

Yes.

Comment #80093

Posted by AD on February 15, 2006 10:18 AM (e)

So what? No one is arguing that the initiator of the BB cannot be God, merely that no evidence exists for such a claim.

A small bone to pick. There is no empirically observable evidence for God. Science merely accepts that one cannot test a supernatural creator being in any reliable method (currently, at least), and so responsibly declines to comment. Science, you see, doesn’t suffer from the need to have ultimate authority over all subjects, unlike some others we know.

Science is not saying that the BB could not have been the work of God. In fact, many theistic scientists use the BB as evidence for the existence of God.

Comment #80094

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 15, 2006 10:27 AM (e)

AD wrote:

A small bone to pick. There is no empirically observable evidence for God. Science merely accepts that one cannot test a supernatural creator being in any reliable method (currently, at least), and so responsibly declines to comment.

The trouble here, as so often, is with the term ‘supernatural’. If God were testable then God could enter into scientific explanation. I think we should abandon the term completely and stick with ‘testable’ or ‘not-testable’.

Comment #80107

Posted by Raging Bee on February 15, 2006 11:21 AM (e)

The trouble here, as so often, is with the term ‘supernatural’. If God were testable then God could enter into scientific explanation. I think we should abandon the term completely and stick with ‘testable’ or ‘not-testable’.

The problem with that approach is that there could be many hypotheses or assertions about the natural world that have nothing to do with the “supernatural,” but which are currently not testable due to limitations in knowledge or technology (such as whether mass, energy, space or time existed in any form before the Big Bang).

Comment #80110

Posted by Raging Bee on February 15, 2006 11:30 AM (e)

That’s it? How awful. This article offers no original insight, thought, or point of view.

This has become the standard – sometomes the only – response of the far right to any form of criticism: if they can’t refute or disprove a critical statement, they call it “predictable” or “unoriginal,” with the sneering tone of the insecure bully. (And, of course, they’re right, to the extent that one can’t be “original” while stating well-known facts and using real logic.)

These are the words of people who know they’re in the wrong, don’t have the guts to admit it, and are desperate for any means to make themselves feel like they’re still superior to the rest of us no matter what. It’s all getting rather…predictable.

Comment #80111

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 15, 2006 11:32 AM (e)

The problem with that approach is that there could be many hypotheses or assertions about the natural world that have nothing to do with the “supernatural,” but which are currently not testable due to limitations in knowledge or technology (such as whether mass, energy, space or time existed in any form before the Big Bang).

Now that is a very interesting point. You contend that there exists a difference between ‘theoretically untestable’ and ‘practically untestable.’

Comment #80112

Posted by AD on February 15, 2006 11:35 AM (e)

I was going to make the same point. If we clarify what we mean, we’d want to divide things into three categories:

Currently Testable

Theroetically Testable

Theroetically Untestable

The things in the last category would be the ones we could call “supernatural”, or whatever other name might be appropriate to the idea. But only the first two categories would be things that could scientifically be investigated (though possibly not yet).

Comment #80118

Posted by PaulC on February 15, 2006 12:18 PM (e)

“whoever” wrote:

If you think you can ban all the anonymous proxies in the world go right ahead.

All you have to do is eliminate anonymous comments and require commenters to register first as users with verifiable identities (a functioning email address is a start, but you could make it a lot more secure). It would be a headache and would probably discourage some newcomers, so I don’t recommend it. But your suggestion that we’re powerless to stop your trolling is pretty laughable. It’s just simpler to ignore for now.

Comment #80124

Posted by AD on February 15, 2006 12:39 PM (e)

All you have to do is eliminate anonymous comments and require commenters to register first as users with verifiable identities (a functioning email address is a start, but you could make it a lot more secure). It would be a headache and would probably discourage some newcomers, so I don’t recommend it. But your suggestion that we’re powerless to stop your trolling is pretty laughable. It’s just simpler to ignore for now.

How dare you confuse the issue with facts!

Ahem.

There are many methods around the trolling issue. One of the others I’ve seen used (this was in a setting where controlling release of confidential information was a necessity) is that all posts are held in a queue until reviewd by a moderator and released only after that.

So you could troll all you wanted, but nobody would ever see it. It was also used to prevent off topic issues that were of dubious value to any individual thread, because they could be killed/censored before they started.

However, I think there is a good reason to allow the trolling to continue. For all we pretend to be affronted by it, let’s face it: some of the best evidence against ID supporters are the insane things they say. Banning them irrevocably would cut off that avenue.

Comment #80127

Posted by AC on February 15, 2006 12:56 PM (e)

Sara wrote:

With this said, why would these authors deny that any search for these origins is not valid?

Fondling the pleasure centers of one’s brain does not constitute a useful search. Believing - on faith - that a god “caused” the Big Bang may satisfy you, but otherwise it is useless.

Raging Bee wrote:

The problem with that approach is that there could be many hypotheses or assertions about the natural world that have nothing to do with the “supernatural,” but which are currently not testable due to limitations in knowledge or technology (such as whether mass, energy, space or time existed in any form before the Big Bang).

Very true. String theory is perhaps the most extreme example, but we are nowhere near technologically capable of probing at Planck-scale resolutions, so it remains theoretical - for now. I like to be optimistic and consider that the idea of atoms developed over many centuries before we could build microscopes capable of “seeing” them. But even if we can never “see” a string, it’s better to reach that limit by striving for it with experiments.

Comment #80128

Posted by Stephen Elliott on February 15, 2006 1:02 PM (e)

Posted by AD on February 15, 2006 12:39 PM (e)

However, I think there is a good reason to allow the trolling to continue. For all we pretend to be affronted by it, let’s face it: some of the best evidence against ID supporters are the insane things they say. Banning them irrevocably would cut off that avenue.

Very true.

Comment #80135

Posted by David Heddle on February 15, 2006 1:38 PM (e)

However, I think there is a good reason to allow the trolling to continue. For all we pretend to be affronted by it, let’s face it: some of the best evidence against ID supporters are the insane things they say. Banning them irrevocably would cut off that avenue.

Funny, that’s one of the reasons I come here, so I guess it’s a two-way street. When PT commenters tell me things like rearing my children as Christians is a form of child abuse–well that is simply invaluable fodder.

Comment #80136

Posted by Glen Davidson on February 15, 2006 1:40 PM (e)

We’re not going to lose the terms “natural” and “supernatural”, due to our history, and to the convenience of just saying “that’s natural”. However, it does introduce a useless step in discussing what is science, and it provides an opening for the IDist rhetoric denouncing some supposed “faith in naturalism”.

“Supernatural” cannot fail to be ambiguous, since it has no actual human reference (at least not at this time). Is Jesus walking on the water supernatural? If he’s said to do it regularly, across an accessible lake, it appears as if it is theoretically testable (prior to some proviso like ‘he never walks on water when skeptics are in the vicinity’). On the other hand, an unknown designer with unknown design criteria and unknown capabilities might very well be defined as “natural”, but when characterized like this we don’t even know if it is “theoretically testable”. We certainly know that it is not practically testable and we have little reason to differentiate the IDist’s “natural designer” from God, based upon the lack of any obvious means to make this “designer” testable.

Btw, I should note here that Phillip Johnson likes to attack science for “naturalistic bias”, while Behe takes pains to suggest that the designer could very well be “natural”, only he describes a “designer” that is as untestable at the present time as God would be. That’s the height of “naturalistic bias”, this claim that the “designer” who is beyond the reach of science and, for all we know, may remain beyond reach forever, could in fact be “natural”. Why would anyone even guess that the unknown and practically unknowable “designer” might be natural? We have no data to suggest that it would be (in addition, any difference between “theoretically testable” and “practically testable” is not apparent in this case).

Back to the heart of the problem of the term “natural”. We often “define” the supernatural as that which is not testable even in theory. I think I brought up examples that make even that definition problematic, but let’s let that go for now. We gain nothing in conciseness or explanatory value if we interpose the “natural” into the consideration of what “science is”, since the issue of what science is rests on testability regardless of whether or not we call “the testable” the same thing as “the natural”. For convenience, yes, we might call what is testable “the natural world”, but science has gained nothing through that term.

Using the definition of “natural” as that which is “testable” only means that both “natural” and “science” rest upon testability, and we’re only going to lose scientific definition when we write as if science depends upon what is “natural” when in fact all it depends upon is what is testable.

Practically, of course, who cares if we typically call what is testable the “natural world”? This is fine as long as we know that “natural” is only a word we use for convencience, and just so long as pseudoscientists like IDists don’t try to make “naturalism” out to be some kind of religion or ideology. The term “natural” becomes grist for the IDist PR mills when science is depicted as committed to this “natural realm”, as if this “natural realm” were not simply considered to be the study of what is observable and testable. Because of prior beliefs and false dichotomies, IDists think that “natural” stands in contrast to “supernatural”, when in fact the latter is empirically an empty set against which no contrasts are possible.

I wouldn’t especially wish to try to expunge science of the term “natural”, then. However, I would prefer to minimize it in our battles against ID. In fact I do believe that the anti-ID side has been increasingly speaking of what is testable and what is observable as being within the proper purview of science, and less about how science studies what is “natural”. Nevertheless, we could still do with fewer mentions of “natural”, and of “methodological naturalism”, on our side, since neither term directly refers to the epistemological issues that are important in science.

We may say that we aren’t committed only to the study of what is “natural”, except when what is “natural” is already defined to be what is observable and testable (which would include an observable Jesus walking on the water–yet this inclusion of Jesus’ deeds into the “natural” conflicts with typical beliefs about hypothetically observable “supernatural events”). Cut out the step of calling “natural” that which is “observable”, and you’ve cut out one of the rhetorical devices that IDists use to muddy science (not that they wouldn’t still use it, but presumably to lesser effect). For us, using the terms “natural” and “naturalism” works against the bystanders’ understanding the real issues existing between science and pseudoscience, which are actually the use of empirical evidence to come to scientific conclusions having measurable confidence levels. Any level of confidence is unattainable when using the pseudosciences such as ID, except where they overlap with real science.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

Comment #80143

Posted by PaulC on February 15, 2006 2:03 PM (e)

Heddle:

Funny, that’s one of the reasons I come here, so I guess it’s a two-way street. When PT commenters tell me things like rearing my children as Christians is a form of child abuse—well that is simply invaluable fodder.

There’s a difference between making statements that reflect an unpopular ideological stance and making statements that are illogical or factually wrong. E.g., would you consider it abusive if I forbade my kids from engaging in Christian religious practices? I don’t know if you would, but I suspect a number of Christians would–and with backing straight from the gospel http://bible.cc/matthew/18-6.htm At least, I figure that if “it were better for [me] that a millstone were hanged about [my] neck” (even metaphorically) then I can reasonably conclude that I did something abusive to merit such harsh imagery.

If a Christian said it’s abusive not to tell your kids about Jesus because they might go to hell as a result, I could disagree but I would find it logically consistent with their beliefs. On the other hand, if they told me that evolution is wrong because if violates the 2nd law of thermodynamics, and insisted on this absurd statement even after I pointed out that that’s one of the arguments even “Answers in Genesis” says not to use, then I would have strong evidence that they were in fact liars or idiots, and not merely individuals with an opposing ideological stance.

Comment #80146

Posted by AD on February 15, 2006 2:17 PM (e)

Funny, that’s one of the reasons I come here, so I guess it’s a two-way street. When PT commenters tell me things like rearing my children as Christians is a form of child abuse—well that is simply invaluable fodder.

Which shows that a particular individual has a bias against religion, of course. Which is their opinion.

There are two problems with this “analogy”, however:

1) In my experience, I do not see a concerted push from the scientific community to teach this in public school.

2) This is an opinion statement about a non-scientific subject. Declaring christianity / dogmatic religion is a form of child abuse is an opinion statement, and very different than someone loudly and repeatedly claiming that 1 + 2 = 93, or something similarly idiotic.

The statements I’m referencing by ID supporters are not the opinion-driven personal feelings, but rather when they blatantly fail to understand scientific principles, demonstrate either a profound lack of education (or incredibly dishonesty), and repeatedly produce logically ridiculous and fallible arguments to support their tripe.

I don’t give a flying fig if they hate evolution. That’s fine, you don’t have to like it. However, when they try to claim it is wrong and can scientifically prove it, despite having no evidence, no tests, no experiments, no viable countering data, and no theory of their own, that’s just completely and totally idiotic.

Also, I think you knew that when you posted your comment. So tell me - did you not realize what a poor analogy that was, or are you deliberately obfuscating the truth?

Comment #80151

Posted by David Heddle on February 15, 2006 2:34 PM (e)

AD,

Why, I never said it was an analogy! I simply took your comment

some of the best evidence against ID supporters are the insane things they say. Banning them irrevocably would cut off that avenue.

this way, if I may paraphrase (noting you wrote that it was not against ID, but against ID supporters): We shouldn’t ban our opponents because when they say stupid things it’s good for the home team.

All I said was, effectively, ditto.

PaulC,

If a Christian said it’s abusive not to tell your kids about Jesus because they might go to hell as a result, I could disagree but I would find it logically consistent with their beliefs.

It would not be logically consistent with their beliefs and such a parent is not guilty of child abuse. Self-abuse perhaps, but not child abuse. A parent, you see, cannot affect a child’s salvation.

Comment #80155

Posted by PaulC on February 15, 2006 2:50 PM (e)

Heddle:

A parent, you see, cannot affect a child’s salvation.

I’ll accept that for the sake of argument, but it strikes me that a large part of the evangelical community behaves as if they thought public school teachers could affect the “salvation” of their pupils.

Finally, upbringing clearly does affect behavior, and a child not brought up Christian has a measurably lower probability of accepting Jesus as savior, so your statement would require some form of predestination to make any sense theologically.

Comment #80156

Posted by Lynn Fancher on February 15, 2006 2:58 PM (e)

I’m always bemused by silliness like whoever’s challenge re. prokaryotic cells evolving nuclei. This challenge is equivalent to the old cannard, “If evolution is real, why aren’t chimps evolving into humans?”

The answer to both is, why? What conceivable reason is there to expect either of these changes?

These fallacious challenges are rooted in the naive assumption that evolution is somehow all about progress (and of course, the accompanying assumption that whatever *we* are is the most progressive). That’s nonsense. Evolution is about finding a way to “make a living” not being used by anyone else. Evolution doesn’t produce “progress” in any objective sense; what it produces is *diversity*. The illusion of progress in the history of Earth’s life forms comes from the reality that life began at the simplest edge of the spectrum of its possibility, and some of the growing diversity has inevitably moved into the more complex areas of that spectrum of diversity. But the older forms don’t go away, and new forms aren’t at all inevitably more complex than older ones.

Chimps don’t evolve into humans because they are very good chimps, thank you. At one time, our shared ancestral species splintered, probably due to diverging ecological advantages, and one splinter eventually produced humans, the other chimps. Just as I never expected my sister to turn into me, I have no reason to expect chimps to become human beings.

In the case of the prokaryotic cell, one who understands anything at all about the scope of life on Earth has to realize that there are more ecological opportunities on this planet for prokaryotic forms than for any other kind of life. It’s estimated that there are more bacterial species, more bacterial individuals, more bacterial biomass on this planet than all other life forms combined. We shouldn’t fool ourselves into thinking that this is a world dominated by mammals–the bacteria are in charge, as they have been from the earliest days of life on Earth.

So… why expect prokaryotic cells to spontaneously produce nuclei? Why would they? Earth’s life has been there and done that. There’s plenty of opportunity for good ol’ bacteria, now and into the future.

Comment #80160

Posted by Stephen Elliott on February 15, 2006 3:03 PM (e)

Posted by David Heddle on February 15, 2006 01:38 PM (e)

Funny, that’s one of the reasons I come here, so I guess it’s a two-way street. When PT commenters tell me things like rearing my children as Christians is a form of child abuse—well that is simply invaluable fodder.

Not all PT commenters would say that though.

Whereas ID supporters (and I am talking about the evolution denying ones here), would encourage you to teach your children to deny evidence; To tell them that nearly every single biologist was a dishonest charlatan involved in an evil, anti-God conspiracy.

It is true that some PT commenters are very anti-religious, but not all.

However the ID crowd are almost entirely dishonest. Isn’t lying considered to be non-Christian?

Comment #80161

Posted by David B. Benson on February 15, 2006 3:05 PM (e)

Chiefley —

In fact NASA, at JPL, uses the General Theory of Relativity for mission planning (and, one supposes, mid-flight corrections).

There is enough computer power available to do this, and the fuel savings suffice to make this effort worthwhile.

Comment #80164

Posted by Stephen Elliott on February 15, 2006 3:17 PM (e)

Posted by David B. Benson on February 15, 2006 03:05 PM (e)

Chiefley —-

In fact NASA, at JPL, uses the General Theory of Relativity for mission planning (and, one supposes, mid-flight corrections).

There is enough computer power available to do this, and the fuel savings suffice to make this effort worthwhile.

Do you have a link for that information?
I would be interested in reading it. I was under the impression that they still used Newtonian physics.

Comment #80165

Posted by Lynn on February 15, 2006 3:18 PM (e)

guangung said, “‘Only scientific laws should be taught as facts.’ (quoting Larry)

“Given that there ain’t no such thing, Larry, then you want NOTHING to be taught as science.

“Massively ignorant.”

Not precisely correct :^) There certainly are things which scientists refer to as “laws,” but the problem here is that Larry clearly doesn’t understand just what a scientific law is.

It’s a common misconception that these laws are “proven,” as in known to be absolutely correct. Not at all so. Scientific laws are no more “proven” than scientific theories are–there are no proven concepts in all of science. The difference between a scientific law and a scientific theory is that a law is a description of observed behavior–which is why so many of the “laws of physics” are best stated as mathematical equations. Theories are explanations. This makes theories on the whole considerably more complex, with a lot more “moving parts.” But it doesn’t make laws any closer to “truth” than theories.

A fact, on the other hand, is basically pretty trivial. Facts are just single repeatable observations. They are the raw material out of which we devise the generalizations which can, with enough evidential support, eventually become laws and theories.

“Evolution is not a fact!” is not an insult; it’s a compliment ;^)

“Evolution is a theory” is the nicest thing one could possibly say about any complex idea. Go, evolution! Theories rule!

Lynn, who wishes she could still claim “girl” status, but will have to settle for the realization that, even back when she was a mere girl, she could have though circles around the whoever’s of the world LOL!

Comment #80167

Posted by Lynn on February 15, 2006 3:31 PM (e)

Andy H. said: “Furthermore, Darwinism is counter-intuitive and contrary to reason.”

Try this, Andy. Take your right hand and grasp your left hand. Feel that left hand thoroughly, squeezing and kneading. Feels pretty solid, right?

How much sense does it make that your nice, solid, substantial hand is composed overwhelmingly of … empty space?

Yet that’s what our understanding of atomic structure tells us.

Oh! My mistake! I forgot that our understanding of atomic structure is only a theory!

Comment #80168

Posted by Lynn on February 15, 2006 3:40 PM (e)

The amazing whowever said: When did it stop? Well, I believe the last genus to emerge was about 10 million years ago. It’s not a matter of screeching to a halt but rather a gradual slowdown. Today there appears to be nothing going on but massive extinction of existing species and minor varietal changes happening within existing genera and maybe some speciation as defined by inability to produce fertile hybrids.

Hmm. Sorry to tell you this, but our own genus is far younger than 10 MYO.

Comment #80175

Posted by AD on February 15, 2006 4:05 PM (e)

this way, if I may paraphrase (noting you wrote that it was not against ID, but against ID supporters): We shouldn’t ban our opponents because when they say stupid things it’s good for the home team.

I see the misconception. I’m not talking about generally stupid things here. We all say those.

I’m talking about specifically factually refutable stupid things posing as scientific “evidence”, and logically bankrupt argumentation based upon those horribly flawed “facts”. More so, the issue that people keep coming here from the ID side with scientifically very bogus arguments and then staunchly defending them in the face of all reason. Basically, people trying to claim to do science and then failing miserably at it.

That’s not in the same category as the statement you made, which is an opinion and non-scientific conjecture. The rest of the behavior is an added bonus, true, but that’s all it is.

Comment #80180

Posted by JONBOY on February 15, 2006 4:21 PM (e)

David Heddle said” When PT commenters tell me things like rearing my children as Christians is a form of child abuse—well that is simply invaluable fodder”
I agree,and we should show our children just what a fountain from which truth, goodness and purity springs, the Bible really is.Lets awakening our children on Sunday morning to participate in Biblical readings such as these
Gen. 38:9 “…and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground.”
Ezek. 23:20 “..Yet she increased her harlotry, and doted upon her (RSV) paramours there, whose members were like those of asses, and whose issue was like that of horses. Thus you longed for the lewdness of your youth, when the Egyptians handled your bosom and pressed your young breasts.” Song 5:4 “My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him.” I don’t think many people need to be told what “it,” “went unto,” “members,” and “issue,” and “by the hole of the door,” are referring to
…” 2Kgs. 18:27 “… that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you.”
Perhaps we could show what wonderfull role models the patriarchs were
ABSALOM–ordered killings (2 Sam. 13:28-29 RSV) and had sex in the open (2 Sam. 16:22 RSV);
AMON–raped his sister, Tamar (2 Sam. 13:11-14 RSV);
GIDEON–killed (Jud. 8:16:17 the Living Bible), murdered prisoners (Jud. 8:21 RSV), engaged in polygamy (Jud. 8:30);
JOSHUA–killed and slaughtered without letup (Joshua 6:21, 8:25-28, 10:1, 20, 26-28, 30, 32-33, 35, 37, 39-41, 17-18, 21, 12:7), murdered prisoners (Josh. 8:29), and hamstrung horses, (Josh. 11:9 RSV);
JEPHTHAH–slaughtered people (Jud. 11:33), and killed his own daughter (Jud. 11:39 RSV);
Maybe not child abuse,BUT HOW AWFUL

Comment #80188

Posted by David B. Benson on February 15, 2006 4:49 PM (e)

Stephen Elliott –

Unfortunately I don’t have a url regarding JPL’s use of the General Theory of Relativity. You could try web trawling on the recently returned cargo of space dust – the mission’s name escapes me. This mission poked around an unstable Lagrange point for many years. It is one of the missions in which general relativity was used.

The article I read in a book, a proceedings of a conference on chaos theory and the like, made it quite clear that general relativity was required for so sensitive a flight path.

Another article described a proposed mission to the sun (not the ulysses mission) in order to check general relativity. The reason given by the author was that NASA (meaning JPL) uses general relativity for mission flight planning.

Comment #80198

Posted by Glen Davidson on February 15, 2006 5:10 PM (e)

GPS definitely uses relativity in order to remain accurate in timing and in space. There is no way that accurate space-time coordinates could be maintained without taking into account the relativistic effects of velocity and of gravity on the GPS satellites and their clocks, which are used to fix the coordinates of the receivers on the ground.

And no, I don’t have references for this. Anybody can look it up on a search engine, plus it should be obvious that any really accurate space-time measurements, which are unavoidably necessary in GPS technology, require the use of relativity theory.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

Comment #80199

Posted by AC on February 15, 2006 5:15 PM (e)

David Heddle wrote:

A parent, you see, cannot affect a child’s salvation.

But that’s Calvinism. I assure you that other sects of Christianity strongly disagree, leading to people opposing evolution education with such brilliance as “I don’t want my child being taught anything that might keep him/her from getting into heaven”.

Comment #80200

Posted by William E Emba on February 15, 2006 5:18 PM (e)

David B. Benson wrote:

Unfortunately I don’t have a url regarding JPL’s use of the General Theory of Relativity. You could try web trawling on the recently returned cargo of space dust — the mission’s name escapes me. This mission poked around an unstable Lagrange point for many years. It is one of the missions in which general relativity was used.

You are referring to the Genesis mission. GR was not used for the orbit, rather advanced celestial mechanics of a kind never used before. Previous missions have always been simple two-body problem orbit calculations: conic to conic with fuel corrections here and there. Genesis was the first to use three-body mechanics to find and exploit a no delta-V trajectory. No fuel corrections whatsoever!

Another article described a proposed mission to the sun (not the ulysses mission) in order to check general relativity. The reason given by the author was that NASA (meaning JPL) uses general relativity for mission flight planning.

I believe you are describing SOHO. GR is not part of its mission or its flight planning, although again, three-body mechanics is to be exploited.

Comment #80202

Posted by Stephen Elliott on February 15, 2006 5:26 PM (e)

Posted by Glen Davidson on February 15, 2006 05:10 PM (e)

GPS definitely uses relativity in order to remain accurate in timing and in space. There is no way that accurate space-time coordinates could be maintained without taking into account the relativistic effects of velocity and of gravity on the GPS satellites and their clocks, which are used to fix the coordinates of the receivers on the ground.

And no, I don’t have references for this. Anybody can look it up on a search engine, plus it should be obvious that any really accurate space-time measurements, which are unavoidably necessary in GPS technology, require the use of relativity theory.

Glen D

Now that one I do know.

If GPS did not take into account the effects of relativity, then it would have your position wrong by a significant amount.

I was not doubting relativity to be more accurate. I just thought it was too difficult to use in rocket flight, for a very small difference in trajectory.

The reason I asked for a link was so I could be certain I was reading the same article.

Comment #80205

Posted by gregonomic on February 15, 2006 5:37 PM (e)

AC wrote:

David Heddle wrote:

A parent, you see, cannot affect a child’s salvation.

But that’s Calvinism.

Yeah dude. Did you miss that discussion over at AtBC? Heddle is “totally depraved” and “predestined”.

Comment #80209

Posted by shenda on February 15, 2006 5:41 PM (e)

“Isn’t lying considered to be non-Christian?”

According to some Christian sects, lying is a sin, but because they are saved by faith and not by works, Christians who have Faith are forgiven their sins. Even if they knowingly and continually repeat them. This is one of the reasons you will often find very Faithful Christians whose behavior is unashamedly unethical.

Comment #80214

Posted by Glen Davidson on February 15, 2006 5:53 PM (e)

Now that one I do know.

If GPS did not take into account the effects of relativity, then it would have your position wrong by a significant amount.

I was not doubting relativity to be more accurate. I just thought it was too difficult to use in rocket flight, for a very small difference in trajectory.

The reason I asked for a link was so I could be certain I was reading the same article.

Ah, sorry for pointing out the already known.

The only thing I can think to add is that, for instance, when a probe like Cassini is sling-shotted (is that a word?) past Jupiter it seems to me that every little effect of gravitational and translational relativity would need to be accounted for as much as possible in order not to have to make any large corrections in the flight path after the encounter with Jupiter.

It has been my understanding in the past that relativity is generally used in space missions, if only to keep the timing of the mission right in simple trajectories (let’s say that the mission takes off from earth and goes directly to an asteroid). Newtonian physics would probably work okay in the more simple missions, it’s just that the timing would drift noticeably, though not disastrously (IMO). I would guess that moon shots could work fairly well without using relativity’s calculations, though again the timing and efficiency would suffer somewhat.

Well, this isn’t all that helpful, I know. But I wouldn’t know how to access the particular article in question, I don’t know the physics well enough to fill in the technical details of what I have said, and I thought I’d just write what I think I know about it and leave it at that.

I hope that you get the reference(s) that you desire.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

Comment #80218

Posted by Stephen Elliott on February 15, 2006 5:57 PM (e)

Posted by shenda on February 15, 2006 05:41 PM (e)

“Isn’t lying considered to be non-Christian?”

According to some Christian sects, lying is a sin, but because they are saved by faith and not by works, Christians who have Faith are forgiven their sins. Even if they knowingly and continually repeat them. This is one of the reasons you will often find very Faithful Christians whose behavior is unashamedly unethical.

This is where I get a tad pigged off.

Jesus (and I know this means nothing to you) said honesty was what believers should do.

I am under the impression that knowingly lying is wrong. Following the evidence and not believing in God is more likely to be approved than deliberate lying.

Comment #80229

Posted by shenda on February 15, 2006 6:32 PM (e)

“Jesus (and I know this means nothing to you) said honesty was what believers should do.”

How do you know that this means nothing to me? Do you know what my faith is or is not? Or are you jumping to conclusions without evidence?

Are you disputing my claim that *some* Christians sects believe as I stated? Or are you offended by *their* beliefs? Please clarify.

“Following the evidence and not believing in God is more likely to be approved than deliberate lying.”

Most Christians that I know would disagree with this statement. How many do you know that would?

Comment #80234

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on February 15, 2006 6:59 PM (e)

But that’s Calvinism. I assure you that other sects of Christianity strongly disagree

Every once in a while, poor Davey seems to forget that he’s just a man, and seems to fall into the delusion that he speaks on behalf of God or something.

And when he does, I am always happy to remind him and everyone else) that Davey’s religious opinions are just that, his opinions. They are no more holy or divine or infallible or authoritative than anyone else’s religious opinions. No one is obligated in any way, shape, or form to follow his religious opinions, to accept them, or even to pay any attention at all to them.

Right, Davey?

Comment #80268

Posted by Grover Gardner on February 15, 2006 10:23 PM (e)

Mr. Heddle, you have managed to steer yourself into a *most* unpleasant position–that of having to defend your sectarian beliefs.

But more to the point–shall we contact the people you’ve quote-mined and ask them what they think of the Ohio Lesson Plan, or the revised Kansas science standards? I’d be very interested in their responses.

Comment #80300

Posted by Rkootknir on February 16, 2006 5:35 AM (e)

Glen Davidson wrote:

It has been my understanding in the past that relativity is generally used in space missions, if only to keep the timing of the mission right in simple trajectories (let’s say that the mission takes off from earth and goes directly to an asteroid). Newtonian physics would probably work okay in the more simple missions, it’s just that the timing would drift noticeably, though not disastrously (IMO). I would guess that moon shots could work fairly well without using relativity’s calculations, though again the timing and efficiency would suffer somewhat.

AFAIK the JPL’s ephemeris generator: JPL’s HORIZONS System does use GR. This is especially important in predicting the orbits \ trajectories of objects under the gravitational influence of large masses (The Sun and the gas giants) ie. Mercury or the New Horizons probe.

Comment #80301

Posted by David Heddle on February 16, 2006 5:55 AM (e)

Grover Gardner,

Mr. Heddle, you have managed to steer yourself into a *most* unpleasant position—that of having to defend your sectarian beliefs.

That’s not unpleasant at all! I’d love doing it! Out of respect for the author of this thread I’ve refrained. However, if he gives me the green light I would be most vigorous in my defense.

shall we contact the people you’ve quote-mined and ask them what they think of the Ohio Lesson Plan, or the revised Kansas science standards? I’d be very interested in their responses.

If you are interested, then why are you asking me? Go for it! Of course, it’s irrelevant—since they may be just like me: ID-friendly yet opposed to teaching ID and putting ID in the science curriculum.

Comment #80304

Posted by Renier on February 16, 2006 7:07 AM (e)

Heddle wrote: it’s irrelevant—since they may be just like me: ID-friendly yet opposed to teaching ID and putting ID in the science curriculum.

Good to hear you are on our side to keep ID out of the schools and keep it out of science. I also recall you said in a previous thread that “ID is not science”. That’s all very good, and we all agree with you.

Now, I cannot understand why you are always arguing with all the people here that “should” agree with you. I find it strange. Should you not be arguing with Blast, Gop or Larry? Help them see the light, that ID is not science. Let the truth set them free!

Funny, I never saw you telling the UD crowd that ID is not science. Why say it here, we all know it already! As for your religious views, nobody here really gives a rats ass.

Comment #80328

Posted by Grover Gardner on February 16, 2006 10:12 AM (e)

“However, if he gives me the green light I would be most vigorous in my defense.”

Let’s hope he’ll take a pass on that.

“Of course, it’s irrelevant—since they may be just like me: ID-friendly yet opposed to teaching ID and putting ID in the science curriculum.”

Somehow I think they’d find more to object to than that.

Comment #80333

Posted by JONBOY on February 16, 2006 10:29 AM (e)

From Uncommon Descent Pray tell, Herb. Exactly what repeatable test demonstrated that all of evolution over the course of some 3 billion years showed it was unplanned and unguided? I’m all ears, man. Speak right up.

Well Pray tell,Bill. Exactly what repeatable test demonstrated that all of creation over the last 6 thousand years showed it was planned and guided ?I’m all ears, man. Speak right up.

Comment #80344

Posted by Dave Thomas on February 16, 2006 11:30 AM (e)

However, if he gives me the green light I would be most vigorous in my defense.

Red Light please. This thread is about an assault upon science, not the merits of Calvinism or other sectarian worldviews.

Dave

Comment #80351

Posted by AD on February 16, 2006 12:20 PM (e)

After reading this thread, I’ve come upon something that I think is very valuable. Ironically, it came from a lecture I heard by Phillip Johnson at Cal-State Chico.

The issue is defining the argument. Johnson wanted to define it on his terms, which was an excellent point. The problem is that later on, he kept changing what his terms meant.

In court, you can pin down a witness on definitions, and then apply those definitions to their testimony. Equivocation is rarely an effective tool when a judge is presiding over a case. I think this is part of why the ID strategy fails so blatantly, and they are caught in a true catch-22 with it. Eliminate the equivocation, and suddenly the immense misrepresentation and vacuity of their claims is clear. Keep the equivocation, and while they can engender uneducated popular support, they get annihilated in court.

So maybe the first step of the counter-attack on the attack on science, as evidenced by the “unguided” discussion, would be to begin every discussion with the ID folks by making them agree to definitions of key terms beforehand, and when they equivocate, pinning them down on definitions again.

Thus, with many of their claims, the answer becomes simple: “That’s not what we are saying at all. You are objecting to something that does not exist.”

Comment #80359

Posted by PaulC on February 16, 2006 12:53 PM (e)

From Uncommon Descent trackback:

If there’s a Nobel Prize for alarmist nincompoopery

Well, if they do establish such a prize, they have to spend decades awarding it to all the rightwing doomsayers predicting the decline of Western civilization as an inevitable consequence of teaching kids about the obvious and irrefutable relationship between human beings and other primates.

Comment #80370

Posted by Raging Bee on February 16, 2006 1:31 PM (e)

On-topic for once: this article was lame because it did not touch on the real underlying motivation of the science-deniers: by undermining science and science-education, they are hoping to undermine everyone’s ability to think, reason, and process information for themselves, and to judge for themselves the accuracy and honesty of their leaders’ statements.

Science exposes error and BS and keeps people honest, from medicine to criminal justice; and that is why dishonest people of all stripes want to destroy it.

Comment #80455

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on February 16, 2006 8:14 PM (e)

However, if he gives me the green light I would be most vigorous in my defense.

Gee, Davey, there’s no need for you to demonstrate that you are a self-righteous prideful arrogant prick who thinks (quite literally) that he is holier than everyone else.

We already knew that.

But I do thank you for making it so clear to everyone that (1) ID is religious apologetics, (2) IDers are just lying to us when they claim it’s not, and (3) Judge Jones was perfectly correct when he ruled it was.

Comment #81184

Posted by W. Kevin Vicklund on February 21, 2006 12:16 AM (e)

Interesting. Check out the March issue of Discover, the article on Mimivirus. It speculates that an ancestor of the Mimivirus may have undergone endosymbiosis with an ancient prokaryote and formed what became the eukaryotic nucleus. For those that don’t know, Mimivirus is a virus so large it is bigger than some bacteria - and contains more genetic material than some bacteria. Even if it wasn’t endosymbiosis, the possibility sparks some other ideas, such as an insertion event. Wonder where science, real science, will take us…

Comment #104789

Posted by justasking7 on June 9, 2006 7:30 PM (e)

I just saw Kroemer’s piece entitled “Intelligent Design”: An Attack on All of Science.

You know – I’m starting to think that Prof. John Lynch (ASU) may be right. Prof. Lynch frequently attacks the credentials of a writer before, or instead of, dealing with the writer’s argument’s merits. Well, I examined the background info on Prof. Kroemer and found no mention of his advanced study in the same disciplines as Prof. William Dembski. Thus, using Prof. Lynch’s words, “I don’t care” what Prof. Kroemer thinks about ID, because in Lynch’s logic, Prof. Kroemer has no standing to critique ID.

In addition, I found no mention of Prof. Kroemer’s advanced study of the methods of verbal logic or argumentation. (I do have an advanced degree in this area). So, Prof. Kroemer’s background in electrical engineering, and his lack of training in argumentation, are two Lynch-strikes against him.

Mr. Doering, on this blog, wrote in “defense” of Prof. Kroemer:

“Give the guy a break. Now you know why professional writers write and scientists — ah, er — science. Two very different skills.”

Using Prof. Lynch’s logic, then Prof. Kroemer should have kept to his EE areas of excellence, and avoided tarnishing his Nobel Prizewinner status with this public display of arrogant incompetence.

Finally, if you do understand reasoning, you see that Prof. Kroemer’s piece is terribly non-substantive (as Mr. Heddle observed here). No arguments are presented, only a call, in so many words, to “stop these ID people before again think for themselves! Don’t let the kids anywhere near them, their ideas are poisonous.”

Click on: http://nobelprize.org/physics/laureates/2000/kro…

and

http://almaz.com/nobel/physics/2000b.html

to learn more about Prof. Kroemer. He’s a great scientist in his field. His argument against ID, is worthless on its merits.

Comment #104796

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on June 9, 2006 8:48 PM (e)

His argument against ID, is worthless on its merits.

Says you. (shrug)

By the way, what, again, is the scientific theory of ID ….? I am, ya know, just asking …. .