Nick Matzke posted Entry 2592 on September 15, 2006 03:04 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/2586

In my very unusual line of work, I read silly stuff all the time. Some weeks, it is difficult to tell what is most silly: most creationist arguments are not new and you stop being surprised by them after awhile.

For example, just this week on the blog of the Discovery Institute Media Complaints Judge Jones Complaints Division, Logan Gage gave us some revisionist history of the now-famous demolition of Michael Behe during cross-examination of the Kitzmiller trial. In that post, as Ed Brayton points out, the DI rep complains about the immune system cross, asserting that the articles didn’t prove anything, but completely ignoring Ken Miller’s testimony about some of the key articles, let alone the Nature Immunology article that three of us PT posters wrote just in case any doubts remained about the science that Behe said didn’t exist. We’re still waiting for the DI to acknowledge the existence of the NI article, let alone produce a rebuttal. So that was pretty silly.

On the other hand, this week we saw one of DIMCJJCD operative Casey Luskin’s famous insta-mega-rebuttals posted in response to Chris Mooney‘s widely acclaimed book The Republican War on Science. (The book just came out in a revised paperback edition with substantial new post-Kitzmiller material, so now is the time to pick up a copy). The rebuttal is essentially a rehash of all of the desperate propaganda the DI has been putting out since Kitzmiller. This bit is particularly precious: “The early drafts of Pandas actually rejected ‘creationism’ as defined by the courts.” Hmm, that’s funny. As Ed Brayton posted months ago, the earliest draft of Pandas, the 1983 draft entitled Creation Biology, (Plaintiffs’ exhibit P-563 from the Kitzmiller case) in fact used the word “creationism” repeatedly.

Luskin also writes, “Yet pre-publication drafts of Pandas juxtaposed the word “creation” with statements to the exact opposite effect, noting that science cannot scientifically detect a supernatural creator.” Hmm. Have a look at page 1-28 from Creation Biology:

V. Scientific Evidence for Creation

Recall the possible ways in which life might have originated. If we eliminate the chemical evolution theory, we are left with only two viable options: extraterrestrial origin, or creation. For the purposes of this chapter we define the latter as the bringing into being of living matter by an intelligent agency outside of nature (that is, outside of matter, energy, and time).

(Chapter 1, p. 28 of Creation Biology, 1983 draft of Of Pandas and People. Plaintiffs’ exhibit P-563 from the Kitzmiller case. Bold added.)

Pretty clear what “creation” means there, I would say.

But even with the above, the claims of the DI bloggers are not the silliest that I have read this week. They are fairly silly, oft-repeated, and prosaic forms of ID silliness. The claims are wrong, badly wrong, but one can sort of see how hardcore ID fans would think such things – if they didn’t, they wouldn’t be ID fans.

Now for some really remarkable and highly unnecessary silliness.

I was recently perusing a review copy of the new DI book, A Meaningful World: How the Arts and Sciences Reveal the Genius of Nature, by Jonathan Witt (an English PhD who is a senior fellow at the DI) and Benjamin Wiker (a DI senior fellow who not only doesn’t like evolution, but is still fighting the evil materialists about atomism as well). Most of the book is taken up with blaming “Darwinism” for a “loss of meaning” in all areas of life, particularly literature, but also chemistry, mathematics, etc. All in all it conforms remarkably well to the longer-term goals of the Wedge Strategy, which was all about defeating “Darwinism” and then moving on to convert all other fields of academia to the fundamentalist view of the world.

Not too surprising, really, but then I came across this remarkable passage. Witt and Wiker are discussing Darwin’s views on the term “species” and in what sense “species” are, or are not, “real” (an aside: someone call Wilkins to see if they even got Darwin’s view on species right). Their conclusion about the implication of Darwin’s views is somewhat surprising, especially since it comes near the end of the book and appears to be the heart of the argument tying evolution to all of the aforementioned evils. Read it carefully:

Strange though it may seem to neo-Darwinists, Darwin’s assumption that the terms species and variety are merely given for convenience’s sake is part of a larger materialist and reductionist program that undercuts the natural foundation of counting and distorts the natural origin of mathematics. To put it more bluntly, in assuming that “species” are not real, Darwinism and the larger reductionist program burn away the original ties that bound the meaning of mathematics to the world and instead leave it stranded on a solipsistic island of the human imagination.

(Wiker and Witt, 2006, A Meaningful World: How the Arts and Sciences Reveal the Genius of Nature, Intervarsity Press, Downer’s Grove, IL, pp. 236-237. Bolds added.)

You heard that right – Darwin spent a lifetime studying organisms in captivity and in the wild, and came to the view that “species” are not absolute, unchanging categories – and in doing so, he undermined counting and mathematics.

There is not much more for me to say here because every time I read this passage, I just splutter at the absurdity of what is on the page, and my brain, in an effort to protect its overloaded logic circuits, automatically assumes that Douglas Adams returned from the dead to ghost-write this part of the book in an highly successful effort to make ID look even sillier than it already looks.

Thus, this is the silliest thing I have read this week.

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Comment #130288

Posted by GSLamb on September 15, 2006 6:53 PM (e)

I have to agree, and I just finished Scalzi’s “bacon on my cat” blog entry.

Comment #130289

Posted by steve s on September 15, 2006 6:53 PM (e)

Benjamin Wiker (a DI senior fellow who not only doesn’t like evolution, but is still fighting the evil materialists about atomism as well).

WTF!?!?!?!?! I know creationists often have a ‘second denial’, but that takes the cake.

Comment #130292

Posted by GuyeFaux on September 15, 2006 7:00 PM (e)

Wait, so are they saying that Peano arithmetic was “undercut” by Darwin? That by making the species uncountable he moved closer to real numbers? And real numbers are for some reason more divorced from reality than whole numbers?

That’s a serious case of cake taking.

How Platonic; natural numbers are more real than real numbers.

Comment #130302

Posted by Steviepinhead on September 15, 2006 7:19 PM (e)

It will probably come as no surprise to most of you, but InterVarsity Press (also the publishers of Johnson, Dembski, and other ID “luminaries”) has this to say about itself:

InterVarsity Press is a Christian publishing company dedicated to serving the university, the church and the world.

Or, as the Rev might say, ID isn’t about that good old religious belief,it’s all about da scienz. Right.

Comment #130307

Posted by HvP on September 15, 2006 7:31 PM (e)

One would expect Monty Python’s Graham Chapman to burst into the meetings at the DI in military officer’s garb saying, “Alright, what’s all this then? Stop, that, stop it! This has all gone very silly - much too silly indeed. Put that away. Move along now and turn that camera off…”

Comment #130311

Posted by Joe McFaul on September 15, 2006 7:43 PM (e)

“Thus, this is the silliest thing I have read this week.”

Alas, the week is not over. You need to go over to Evolution News and Views and read how Darwin hates women.

That’s the stupidest thing I’ve read in months.

Comment #130328

Posted by mplavcan on September 15, 2006 8:18 PM (e)

Thank you. After reading that passage, I am now dumber, and my brain feels like it is beginning to curdle. I had a hard day – got three abstracts submitted. Now instead of relaxing and reading about ACC basketball tonight with a couple of beers, I will have to read something requiring thought to re-tune my synapses.

Comment #130343

Posted by Steviepinhead on September 15, 2006 8:37 PM (e)

Like the fairy tale sisters, “each more beautiful than the others,” the series of articles currently posted is each more neuron-curdlingly moronic than the next…

(Puts neurons through rinse cycle, heavy on the bleach)

Comment #130344

Posted by mark on September 15, 2006 8:37 PM (e)

I guess D.James Kennedy will have to host another circus to include this item. If I change my diet to Cap’n Crunch washed down by gallons of beer three times a day, how long will it be before I can write like those guys?

Comment #130355

Posted by Doc Bill on September 15, 2006 9:20 PM (e)

If that’s the silliest thing you’ve read all week, then you haven’t read Casey Luskin’s most recent excrement. Casey, as you recall, is the Jonathan Witt chair of Science advisor to the Disco Institute. That and two bucks will get you a Grande Coffee of the Day at Starbucks in Seattle.

Comment #130371

Posted by Henry J on September 15, 2006 10:08 PM (e)

Re “[…] “species” are not absolute, […] he undermined counting and mathematics.”

Darwin undermined mathematics! Tsk! He should be ashamed of himself. Wasn’t formal mathematics undergoing its own paradigm shift around that same time (introduction of transfinite set theory)? and Darwin tried to mess that up?

Re “but is still fighting the evil materialists about atomism as well”

So the 116 elements on the periodic table are just materialistic propaganda too? Who’da thunked it.

Re “And real numbers are for some reason more divorced from reality than whole numbers?”

Well, keep in mind that most real number are irrational, after all. ;) (Even the ones that are also transcendental!)
(And let’s not get into the imaginary number system…)

Henry

Comment #130373

Posted by Nick (Matzke) on September 15, 2006 10:32 PM (e)

To clarify, Wiker does not really deny atomic theory (the scientific assembly of the periodic table of the elements is one of the major examples used in the book), but he does seem to always be engaging in a running argument with atomism (which has metaphysical as well as physical versions historically) in some form or other. I think this part of his thesis that evolution (“Darwinism”) is derived from Epicurus, which is unconvincingly argued in his previous book Moral Darwinism.

Comment #130374

Posted by Zeno on September 15, 2006 10:33 PM (e)

As a math teacher, I am most distressed to learn that Darwin was attacking mathematics as well as God and the Bible and stuff like that. How dare you, Chuck! I’ve always been devoted to the natural foundation of counting and it’s so very clever of Wiker and Witt to discover after all these decades that “Darwinism” sabotages that foundation.

This is good stuff, clearly breaking the parody barrier. Could someone please refer Wiker and Witt to a competent brain care specialist?

Comment #130378

Posted by Fross on September 15, 2006 10:54 PM (e)

well, we do count using the 10 base system which was probably derived from counting the fingers on our hands. Now Darwin showed that the human species and any species with ten digits is just a temporary form (much like a shifting cloud,which is 99 percent watermelon BTW) So our ten based system is not real, and counting should be thrown out the window.

We should append this to the creationist claims FAQ, I’m not sure what number it would be. I stopped counting ages ago.

Comment #130388

Posted by Nick (Matzke) on September 16, 2006 12:04 AM (e)

Somebody did call the mighty Wilkins, and he hath spoken:

Just because I can - let it be noted that Darwin did *not* say that species were not real. Agassiz tried that one on him, and Darwin responded to Gray

I am surprised that Agassiz did not succeed in writing something better. How absurd that logical quibble “if species do not exist how can they vary”? As if anyone doubted their temporary existence?

What Darwin did deny as real, and what he attached the convenience tag to, was the *rank* of species. The difference between variety and species was arbitrary. But the things themselves, the taxa, were real enough, albeit temporary.

Posted by: John Wilkins | September 15, 2006 10:14 PM

(I knew it! Chalk another one up to the old maxim, if a creationist says the sky is blue, go outside and check!)

Comment #130393

Posted by Bob O'H on September 16, 2006 12:22 AM (e)

What Darwin did deny as real, and what he attached the convenience tag to, was the *rank* of species. The difference between variety and species was arbitrary. But the things themselves, the taxa, were real enough, albeit temporary.

Posted by: John Wilkins | September 15, 2006 10:14 PM

Ah, so if you can’t rank species, then there can be an uncountably infinite number of them. Hence, you can’t use “the natural foundation of counting” on them.

Now it all makes perfect, um, sense.

Bob

Comment #130398

Posted by ScottN on September 16, 2006 12:46 AM (e)

Doc Bill wrote:

If that’s the silliest thing you’ve read all week, then you haven’t read Casey Luskin’s most recent excrement. Casey, as you recall, is the Jonathan Witt chair of Science advisor to the Disco Institute. That and two bucks will get you a Grande Coffee of the Day at Starbucks in Seattle.

Sadly, I’m not sure that’s true anymore. Two bucks may only get you a “tall”.

Comment #130439

Posted by Anton Mates on September 16, 2006 5:39 AM (e)

Joe McFaul wrote:

Alas, the week is not over. You need to go over to Evolution News and Views and read how Darwin hates women.

After reading that, I gotta agree. Anika Smith’s claim that modern sexism owes its existence to Darwin–as opposed to, say, the 99% of his contemporaries who also believed in male intellectual superiority–is silly, but not epically silly.

However, she achieves world-champion silliness when she tries to refute Darwin’s argument that male braininess is due to sexual selection. You’d think the easiest way to do this would be to point out that women aren’t on average mentally inferior to men, so far as modern psychology can determine. But no, that would be far too easy. Instead, Smith chooses to deny the existence of sex-linked traits:

For Darwin, it was a mistaken view of genetics which lead him to claim in The Descent of Man that “the characters thus gained will have been transmitted more fully to the male than to the female offspring.” It’s an interesting story, but one without any scientific credence. Darwin never understood how genetic traits are inherited. We still don’t understand fully, but we do know that children receive genetic traits from both parents, refuting any sexual selection theory that assumes otherwise.

Aces!

Comment #130447

Posted by Corkscrew on September 16, 2006 6:51 AM (e)

WHAT???????

OK, that’s just bizarre. You might as well blame married couples for occasionally turning two people into three or more by having kids.

Comment #130453

Posted by Andrew Lee on September 16, 2006 7:29 AM (e)

I’d say this one definitely needs to go into the Index of Creationist Claims. Has the T.O. archive been made aware of this? It’s so rare to see an actual new argument from these people.

Comment #130469

Posted by David Stanton on September 16, 2006 8:20 AM (e)

“And let’s not get into the imaginary number system …”

Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the Kansas School Board want to delete any mention of pi in schools because it is an imaginary number?

Comment #130484

Posted by Corkscrew on September 16, 2006 9:19 AM (e)

“Alright, what’s all this then? Stop, that, stop it! This has all gone very silly - much too silly indeed. Put that away. Move along now and turn that camera off…”

Rather suspect, too.

We still don’t understand fully, but we do know that children receive genetic traits from both parents, refuting any sexual selection theory that assumes otherwise.

Yeah, since women and men both have X and Y chromosomes, of course there can’t really be any diff.

Comment #130487

Posted by shiva on September 16, 2006 9:24 AM (e)

W&W may want to check out some very early theories of atomism in http://tinyurl.com/kfjnq - more for the pot out here. Nick say that you are writing about this silliness only because it is the weekend? Right?

Comment #130489

Posted by Andrea Bottaro on September 16, 2006 9:30 AM (e)

Anton Mates, quoting Anika Smith:
“We still don’t understand fully, but we do know that children receive genetic traits from both parents, refuting any sexual selection theory that assumes otherwise.”

LOL. Now I got coffee up my nose.

Comment #130493

Posted by Corkscrew on September 16, 2006 9:35 AM (e)

Incidentally, does anyone else suspect that the DI is working on the basis that the more rationality they discard the more they can wrong-foot us? It’s like trying to argue with Hovind - you can’t plan ahead because there’s no way to come up with ideas as bizarre as his.

Comment #130507

Posted by Robert O'Brien on September 16, 2006 10:20 AM (e)

Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the Kansas School Board want to delete any mention of pi in schools because it is an imaginary number?

1. Pi is not an imaginary number; it is a real (transcendental) number.
2. There was an April Fool’s joke about legislating the value of pi to 3 some years ago that far too many people actually believed.

Comment #130515

Posted by Stuart Weinstein on September 16, 2006 10:33 AM (e)

So is that what a couple of monkeys typing at random came up with?

Golly? Undercuts “counting”?

Now, that is some heavy stuff dude.

Perhaps they should call themselves Cheech and Chong.

Comment #130520

Posted by Tony Whitson on September 16, 2006 10:57 AM (e)

I see that the Wiker & Witt book has ***** 5 stars out of five from readers on amazon.com.

Comment #130530

Posted by Bob O'H on September 16, 2006 11:11 AM (e)

1. Pi is not an imaginary number; it is a real (transcendental) number.

It is imaginary if P is real. :-)

Bob

Comment #130531

Posted by Lynn on September 16, 2006 11:13 AM (e)

Anton Mates said: “However, she achieves world-champion silliness when she tries to refute Darwin’s argument that male braininess is due to sexual selection. You’d think the easiest way to do this would be to point out that women aren’t on average mentally inferior to men, so far as modern psychology can determine. But no, that would be far too easy. Instead, Smith chooses to deny the existence of sex-linked traits:”

Well, this is picking nits a bit, but it merits pointing out that the vast majority of sex-linked traits appear in *both* genders, not exclusively in males. X-linked recessive traits appear much more frequently in males, but that’s a statistical phenomenon, not a cased of gender exclusivity. Only the very, very few Y-linked traits are exclusive to males.

However, of course, there *are* sex-limited traits, which express in only one gender, and sex-influenced traits which express differently in males than in females. Those she’s clearly denying ;^) But most of these traits are, genetically speaking, autosomal, not sex linked.

Lynn

Comment #130534

Posted by Todd on September 16, 2006 11:18 AM (e)

Robert O'Brien wrote:

2. There was an April Fool’s joke about legislating the value of pi to 3 some years ago that far too many people actually believed.

Yes, it was Alabama that tried to do that in 1897. It passed unanimously in the house, according to Snopes.

Anybody have a link to this article about Darwin’s responsibility for sexism?

Comment #130537

Posted by Tony Whitson on September 16, 2006 11:37 AM (e)

about pi: according to Petr Beckmann (History of Pi) it was in Indiana. It did pass the lower house. A Purdue prof who came to see Purdue’s budget get funded heard about the pi legislation & helped got it stopped in the state senate. The promised payoff for Indiana was that the author promised to let their schools use the new value forever without paying him the royalties that schools in other states would have to pay.

While looking at the ratings on amazon.com, I also see that that Wells’ Promiscuously Incorrect Guide (see http://tonywhitson.edublogs.org/2006/09/15/promicuously-incorrect/) has 3 stars out of five, based on 32 customer reviews. I think it gets 4 stars from 3 reviewers, with all other reviewers giving it either 5 or 1 (I don’t think there’s a zero option).

Comment #130541

Posted by Robert O'Brien on September 16, 2006 11:39 AM (e)

Bob wrote:

It is imaginary if P is real. :-)

Very good. :-)

Comment #130546

Posted by Adam Ierymenko on September 16, 2006 11:48 AM (e)

“Alas, the week is not over. You need to go over to Evolution News and Views and read how Darwin hates women.

That’s the stupidest thing I’ve read in months.”

Trying to make fundamentalism look like real bona-fide book lernin always results in something ridiculous. Just stick with the tent revivals… at least they have a charming local color aspect.

Comment #130594

Posted by GvlGeologist, FCD on September 16, 2006 2:38 PM (e)

Posted by Corkscrew on September 16, 2006 09:19 AM (e)
….
Yeah, since women and men both have X and Y chromosomes, of course there can’t really be any diff.

Ahem. You mean to tell me that in a blog dominated by biologists, the first person to note that in fact women only have X chromosomes is a geologist?

Comment #130595

Posted by Coin on September 16, 2006 2:46 PM (e)

I am pretty sure Corkscrew was being sarcastic.

Anyway my understanding was that almost all important sex-linked traits are in fact genetically present in both genders, but those genes have coded themselves to activate or not activate or do different things dependending on what hormones are present. I was under the impression that the genes on the gimpy Y chromosome don’t do much except produce lots of testosterone so that the other genes know it’s time to be male.

Comment #130596

Posted by jeffw on September 16, 2006 2:47 PM (e)

that undercuts the natural foundation of counting

Strange. By reading that, you might come to the conclusion that Darwin discovered a new integer between say, 4 and 5, that no one ever noticed before.

Comment #130601

Posted by GvlGeologist, FCD on September 16, 2006 3:17 PM (e)

I am pretty sure Corkscrew was being sarcastic.

In that case, Corkscrew, please accept my apologies. I guess I’ve got to reset my sarcasm detector.

Of course, the larger point, that

We still don’t understand fully, but we do know that children receive genetic traits from both parents, refuting any sexual selection theory that assumes otherwise.

is still breathtaking in its inanity, is still true.

Comment #130624

Posted by Coin on September 16, 2006 5:08 PM (e)

Of course, the larger point, that

We still don’t understand fully, but we do know that children receive genetic traits from both parents, refuting any sexual selection theory that assumes otherwise.

is still breathtaking in its inanity, is still true.

Okay, but if that one sentence in isolation statement is true, then the remainder of the block becomes false for insinuating that Darwin’s theory is a “sexual selection theory that assumes otherwise” than that “children receive genetic traits from both parents”. Here, I’m going to just go ahead and grab the in-context quote from the Descent of Man:

These latter faculties, as well as the former, will have
been developed in man, partly through sexual selection,- that is,
through the contest of rival males, and partly through natural
selection, that is, from success in the general struggle for life; and
as in both cases the struggle will have been during maturity, the
characters gained will have been transmitted more fully to the male
than to the female offspring. It accords in a striking manner with
this view of the modification and re-inforcement of many of our mental
faculties by sexual selection, that, firstly, they notoriously undergo
a considerable change at puberty,*(2) and, secondly, that eunuchs
remain throughout life inferior in these same qualities. Thus, man has
ultimately become superior to woman. It is, indeed, fortunate that the
law of the equal transmission of characters to both sexes prevails
with mammals; otherwise, it is probable that man would have become
as superior in mental endowment to woman, as the peacock is in
ornamental plumage to the peahen.

One can instantly see here, of course, 19th century thinking based on naught but prejudice. (One finds such thinking throughout The Descent of Man; I’ve not read most of the book, but I do note that Darwin’s introduction explicitly states that he did very little or no original research in that book, but rather was trying to re-interpret existing human biology and anthropology within the framework of the theory of evolution. One should thus hardly expect the facts of human biology and anthropology in this book to be any more accurate than the state of the art for the time, which in the 19th century was not in a good shape).

However among the flaws in thinking and fact one finds here is not the flaw that the Discovery Institute attempts to imagine there. Darwin in his “transmitted more fully” bit clearly is not talking about a trait which fails to be transmitted from both parents, but a trait which fails to activate in offspring of one sex at some point in maturation– as is made crystal clear by the assertation that men are not “transmitted” this trait either if maturation is halted by castration. Sex-linked traits of this sort, which develop differentially due to sexual selection, is something we do see in biology. It’s just that modern evidence does not show that intelligence is one such trait.

In another part of The Descent of Man Darwin makes actually explicit the idea of traits which are “inherited by” both genders in the sense of both genders having the ability to pass that trait on, but are “inherited by” only one gender in the sense of only one gender actually expressing that trait:

The very same character,
such as deficient or super-numerary digits, colour-blindness, &c., may
with mankind be inherited by the males alone of one family, and in
another family by the females alone, though in both cases
transmitted through the opposite as well as through the same sex.*

(The bolding is mine. Humorously, here he unknowingly gives an example of a sex-linked trait which actually is inherited differently by males and females, since probably unbeknowst to Darwin, men can only inherit red-green color blindness from their mother’s side.)

So basically, given a blatantly sexist and factually invalid comment by Darwin, the author of this evolutionnews article manages to somehow focus on attacking the one part of Darwin’s comment (the idea of sex-linked traits reinforced by sexual selection) which actually does stand up under modern biology. Whoever wrote this article was thrown a very slow pitch and whiffed.

Comment #130627

Posted by Keith Douglas on September 16, 2006 5:17 PM (e)

What the? What is the argument to that conclusion?

Nick (Matzke): There are some sort of evolutionary views in Epicurus, but Empedocles actually postulated a version of evolution by natural selcection in c.450 BCE. Problem was he had next to no positive evidence in its favour.

Comment #130632

Posted by Shaffer on September 16, 2006 5:57 PM (e)

“Undercuts the natural foundation of counting“?!?!?!?!?!?!

Wowza.

Head. Still. Reeling. From. Reading. Extreme. Stupidity… Must. Consume. Alcohol.

Are we certain that that that article isn’t some kind of mad lib?

Comment #130643

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on September 16, 2006 6:52 PM (e)

I wonder if Darwin is also responsible for that Biblical passage by Paul forbidding women to speak in church.

Comment #130678

Posted by Joe Shelby on September 16, 2006 8:13 PM (e)

After 2 beers in the hotel bar here outside Baltimore, in a very public lobby terminal, I’ve got a number of people looking at me funny ‘cause of how loudly I had to laugh at the “natural foundation of counting” bit.

Comment #130747

Posted by Philip Bruce Heywood on September 16, 2006 9:40 PM (e)

Tut, tut, Lenny, an old seminary salt like yourself should know, Darwin didn’t tell women to hush up. Darwin contributed, for example, in David’s response to Saul: “You are pursuing a dead dog; a flea.”

Comment #130749

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on September 16, 2006 9:45 PM (e)

Hey Heywood, you are, uh, blithering again.

Comment #130774

Posted by Philip Bruce Heywood on September 16, 2006 10:26 PM (e)

The universe is certainly mathematical as Galileo and indeed just about every respected man of science understood. Sure, Newton and whoever-it-was had to dig up calculus to meet the advancing technology of their time; Einstein, Stephen Hawking or whatever-his-name-is went close to reducing eveything to numbers (with the notable exception of gravity, for reasons we shall not here pursue): the simple facts are, DNA probably is re-programmable by quantum “computer”. The ultimate mathematical base of all physical things, organic and inorganic, is a foundational principle of Science. The mathematics of quantum computation, needless to say, will be a true quantum leap beyond calculus or any of these other more simple sorceries and incantations. However anyone can understand them, beats me.
At WWW.CREATIONTHEORY.COM we have now posted a “playing with blocks” setup to try to more easily enable students to comprehend genetics/heredity. The basis of species origin is heavily involved with mathematical concepts. I don’t know how some of the comments on this page align with Mendel’s discoveries, but critical evaluation of the Genetics Lesson in the Education Segment at CREATIONTHEORY.COM would be appreciated. You get to play with blocks! Darwin must have had something in common with Mendel, because he wrote a book titled ‘ON THE ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES …. “, implying that species exist, over against being ephemeral.
As Kelvin implied - get it down to numbers, and controversy ceases.

Comment #130781

Posted by JohnK on September 16, 2006 11:04 PM (e)

…part of a larger materialist and reductionist program that undercuts the natural foundation of counting and distorts the natural origin of mathematics….burn away the original ties that bound the meaning of mathematics to the world and instead leave it stranded on a solipsistic island of the human imagination.

Mr. Historian and Mr. English PhD may be alluding to all the ensuing post-Darwin math evils like Heyting algebras, Kripke sematics, etc. that they read about in some fundagelical’s screed against the math/logic developments of the late 19th and 20th century, acquired in turn from garbled reading of Morris Kline.

Comment #130815

Posted by Nick (Matzke) on September 17, 2006 1:58 AM (e)

I don’t think they are thinking of any weird math. They think that if evolution is true then species aren’t real, and then reality is just a continuous muck where you can’t count anything. To give some more context I quote the paragraph preceding the one I quoted above.

(They use counting sheep as their example.)

To state it somewhat whimsically but quite accurately, the ability to count depends on the existence of sheep, that is, the existence of individuals belonging to obvious, natural kinds or species. The interesting thing is that humans abstract from the variations that occur among individual sheep and concentrate on each sheep as a representative of what is common to the species. From this commonness rooted in the species, we abstract the notion of unity: one sheep, or if we might bend grammar to make a point, one of sheep, one of this kind of thing we call sheep. And so, in all such instances, the reality of the counting depends on the reality of the species.

From this, we note that in learning mathematics, humans naturally go against the grain of Darwin’s argument. Strange though it may seem to neo-Darwinists, Darwin’s assumption that the terms species and variety are merely given for convenience’s sake is part of a larger materialist and reductionist program that undercuts the natural foundation of counting and distorts the natural origin of mathematics. To put it more bluntly, in assuming that “species” are not real, Darwinism and the larger reductionist program burn away the original ties that bound the meaning of mathematics to the world and instead leave it stranded on a solipsistic island of the human imagination.

(Wiker and Witt, 2006, A Meaningful World: How the Arts and Sciences Reveal the Genius of Nature, Intervarsity Press, Downer’s Grove, IL, pp. 236-237.)

The only way this makes any sense at all is if the authors are special creationists who think that “real” species = the unevolvable “kinds” of Genesis, and the thought of evolution causes them so much psychic discomfort they have generalized angst against anything that is not strictly typological. (They complain similarly about the “materialists” blurring the life/nonlife, and they complain about many other examples where science has made everyday distinctions more complex. Reading it is almost like watching a Stephen Colbert skit where he defies reality based on what’s in his “gut.”)

However the authors, following the Discovery Institute line, never come out and say “special creation is what we are arguing for.” So I bet most reviewers will miss what is really going on.

Comment #130923

Posted by GvlGeologist, FCD on September 17, 2006 11:39 AM (e)

Hi Coin,
I just logged on again. I think you misunderstood me. I wasn’t suggesting that

We still don’t understand fully, but we do know that children receive genetic traits from both parents, refuting any sexual selection theory that assumes otherwise.

is true. Far from it, I was saying that it’s true that the statement was breathtakingly inane. (love that quote!).

Were you insinuating that I agreed with that tripe? ((shudder))

PS, I misquoted and misspelled Judge Jones in my previous comment. The proper quote was “The breathtaking inanity of the Board’s decision…”, not what I said.

Comment #130925

Posted by MrKAT on September 17, 2006 11:42 AM (e)

Those who accept the message of the book are possibly eager to accept also a view that theory of relativity etc are foolness and spoil simply easy mathematics..
(I’ve seen believers to fight against quantum mechanics and einsteinien theories because they are against common sense).

Comment #130943

Posted by Duncan Harris on September 17, 2006 12:57 PM (e)

Well here’s a quote that shows Darwin didn’t like maths:

Charles Darwin wrote:

I attempted mathematics, and even went during the summer of 1828 with a private tutor (a very dull man) to Barmouth, but I got on very slowly. The work was repugnant to me, chiefly from my not being able to see any meaning in the early steps in algebra. This impatience was very foolish, and in after years I have deeply regretted that I did not proceed far enough at least to understand something of the great leading principles of mathematics; for men thus endowed seem to have an extra sense.

Comment #130957

Posted by Robert O'Brien on September 17, 2006 2:11 PM (e)

Why, if it isn’t Duncan Harris, one of the people who is trying to suppress Peezee’s “unspectacular” publication record from his wikipedia article. What a surprise!

Comment #130966

Posted by rob on September 17, 2006 3:26 PM (e)

I am reminded of the scene in Cryptonomicon where Turing and Von Hackelheber explain to Waterhouse that mathematics has nothing to do with counting bottlecaps, but that this doesn’t make mathematics useless, as others might contend. It is my understanding that divorcing mathematics from counting has actually led to miraculous advances in the usefulness of mathematics, so if darwin is repsonsible for this as well as formalizing evolution, wouldn’t that make him not just a great scientist and thinker, but also a great mathematician?

Comment #130975

Posted by Gary Hurd on September 17, 2006 4:10 PM (e)

Wow! Just Wow!

Counting and mathamhamatics? Gee, Mission Accomplished!

Does the solipsistic island of the human imagination have a resort?

Comment #130979

Posted by Gary Hurd on September 17, 2006 4:29 PM (e)

From this commonness rooted in the species, we abstract the notion of unity: one sheep, or if we might bend grammar to make a point, one of sheep, one of this kind of thing we call sheep. And so, in all such instances, the reality of the counting depends on the reality of the species.

Yes Nick, I think that you have nailed it; how can the “kinds” have boarded the Ark if there are no true kinds? The elimination of “2” by 2, and of the pure “7” makes all of math impossible.

1,…,3,4,5,6,…,8, lacks something.

Damn that Darwin! No wonder English majors have failed math all these years.

Comment #130980

Posted by JohnK on September 17, 2006 4:43 PM (e)

Nick:
I don’t think they are thinking of any weird math….The only way this makes any sense at all is if the authors are special creationists who think that “real” species = the unevolvable “kinds” of Genesis, and the thought of evolution causes them so much psychic discomfort they have generalized angst against anything that is not strictly typological.

Yes, I understand, but I think their reference to the destruction of counting itself (and with it math) means their thinking was motivated by something more than just just defending essentialism. They could have just said the abandonment of essentialism undercuts the potential for human uniqueness & soul, teaching children becomes confusing, etc.
Why drag counting into it? A second’s thought would reveal that we have no precise definition of “chairness”, - all furniture (and more) grades into each other and the ability to count isn’t affected. What was their motivation for their sweeping “the larger reductionist program burn(s) away the original ties that bound the meaning of mathematics to the world and instead leave it stranded on a solipsistic island of the human imagination”?

Recall Witt’s earlier embarrassing crusade against Einstein. He certainly didn’t come up with that line of thought himself – he was no doubt impelled by some crackpottery he read, bobbing around in their closed fundagelical subculture.
Although nowhere near to extent as you are a connoisseur of creationism proper, I’ve read some wild fundagelical stuff (Bob Jones, Moody Inst., etc.) crusading against the collapse of unquestioned axiomatic, consistent/complete math - going back to the slippery-slope heresy of non-euclidian geometry! “Solipsistic island of human imagination” is a kind of flashing light. Here is an example of a much higher quality version of the argument from that (Intervarsity) subculture. Of course, since this very abstract math-philosophy has little motivation to their target creationist audience, it rarely if ever makes it into wider circulation.

I was just using Heyting algebras, etc. as examples of areas that came out of the mathematical philosophy of constructivism which was seen as a sort of threat to “real math” a century ago. Imagine all the old articles from the mathematical equivalents of the likes of creationist physicist Thomas Barnes.

Comment #131000

Posted by steve s on September 17, 2006 5:35 PM (e)

You might be thinking of Jay Richards’s embarrassing crusade against einstein. It appears the post by Richards has been disappeared, but here are some commentaries on it:

http://evolutionblog.blogspot.com/2005/04/richards-on-relativity_05.html
http://preposterousuniverse.blogspot.com/2005_04_01_preposterousuniverse_archive.html#111267441192632973
http://evolutionblog.blogspot.com/2005/04/richards-revisits-relativity.html

Comment #131003

Posted by Andrew McClure on September 17, 2006 5:56 PM (e)

There’s a comment I’ve trying to make here since yesterday, related to Russell and Whitehead and the idea of founding the ideas of counting, addition, multiplication, “successor to one” etc by defining them as operations on classes and sets, and how this paradigm relates to the question of “species” as an objective entity versus a subjective human classification.

But every time I try I just start laughing too hard to finish.

Comment #131006

Posted by Popper's ghost on September 17, 2006 6:23 PM (e)

Pretty clear what “creation” means there, I would say.

I wouldn’t. Creating something, as normally conceived, involves a causal connection between the creator and the created. Suppose that I think very hard about a Maserati materializing out of nothing in my driveway; I wish it would happen. And then I find a Maserati in my driveway – in what sense can it be said that I created it, versus it arriving independent of my thoughts? How could those be distinguished? Suppose it doesn’t show up until a week after I “willed” it into being; did I create it? Suppose the Maserati is rigged with a bomb that kills me when I start the engine. Did I create the bomb? Does it depend upon whether I thought of a bomb when I thought of the Maserati? If I did, does it mean I committed suicide, even though I never physically placed a bomb there or even verified that there was a bomb?

The notion of “an intelligent agency outside of nature (that is, outside of matter, energy, and time)” “creating” anything is literally nonsense, just as “colorless green ideas sleep furiously” is literally nonsense; they are grammatically correct, but the semantics of the words don’t support their juxtaposition. A creator of the universe, or of anything else, can only be meaningfully conceived as operating causally, creating through time- and space- wise connections conforming to physical law. Otherwise, we’re in the absurd position of not being able to distinguish between actual causal creation and “creation” by simply thinking about something that happens to occur. In other words, “supernatural” notions of creation validate astrology, “synchronicity”, and every other unsupported claim of cause and effect. And we’re also in the absurd position of not being able to settle whether there are angels dancing on the heads of pins and, if so, how many, because the angels could be “outside of nature”. But “nature” is what there is, so existing “outside of nature” is meaningless unless we take abstractions and fictions to “exist” in some sense – but it can’t a sense in which abstractions and fictions can create nature or anything in nature.

Of course, such analysis is considered verboten, because it attacks the sacred cow of all sacred cows.

Comment #131008

Posted by bob@bob.com on September 17, 2006 6:25 PM (e)

It makes prefect sense. The reason while modern biology and all other sciences make mathatical sence and Id doesn’t is because evolution perverted the mathatical system. If humans were counting today as God had orginally intended, evolution wouldn’t make mathatical sense and ID would. I just don’t understand how you evilutionist can’t see that. 1,2,3,7,4,8,4,2,7…….

(P.S. My spelling is the correct. Evolution has pervert English and letters too.)

Comment #131012

Posted by Popper's ghost on September 17, 2006 6:30 PM (e)

There’s a comment I’ve trying to make here since yesterday, related to Russell and Whitehead and the idea of founding the ideas of counting, addition, multiplication, “successor to one” etc by defining them as operations on classes and sets, and how this paradigm relates to the question of “species” as an objective entity versus a subjective human classification.

It seems that Wiker and Witt have confused Darwin with Peano. Of course, if this is pointed out to them, they would simply blame Peano on Darwin, without any evidence that he was influenced by him.

Comment #131014

Posted by Popper's ghost on September 17, 2006 6:39 PM (e)

(P.S. My spelling is the correct. Evolution has pervert English and letters too.)

i.e., ID is true and evolution is false in Bizarro World.

Comment #131018

Posted by Popper's ghost on September 17, 2006 6:46 PM (e)

However anyone can understand them, beats me.

Mr. Heywood apparently considers ability to understand to be a weakness and inability to understand to be a strength.

Comment #131020

Posted by Popper's ghost on September 17, 2006 6:52 PM (e)

There was an April Fool’s joke about legislating the value of pi to 3 some years ago that far too many people actually believed.

There’s an April Fool’s joke that O’Brien once got something right.

Comment #131021

Posted by Popper's ghost on September 17, 2006 7:01 PM (e)

Ahem. You mean to tell me that in a blog dominated by biologists, the first person to note that in fact women only have X chromosomes is a geologist?

You’ve forgotten the 2nd law of sarcodynamics: Responding to P with “Yeah, Q.” where Q is implied by P but is obviously false is meant to point out the absurdity of P.

Comment #131023

Posted by Popper's ghost on September 17, 2006 7:43 PM (e)

well, we do count using the 10 base system which was probably derived from counting the fingers on our hands.

So people say, having heard it elsewhere and not giving it much thought, but … base ten has 10 symbols, including 0. We can count (from either 0 or 1) to 10, not 9, with our fingers, so that gives us base 11, but we only have one set of hands, so the notion of “base” doesn’t really apply. The first positional number system, developed by the Babylonians, was base 60. Our base 10 positional system with the digits 0 … 9 is a relatively recent development, and it’s not at all clear how those digits can be historically traced to having ten digits that count 1 … 10 on our hands.

Comment #131024

Posted by Robert O'Brien on September 17, 2006 7:49 PM (e)

There’s an April Fool’s joke that O’Brien once got something right.

Pill Popper! What rock have you been hiding under?

Comment #131025

Posted by Andrew McClure on September 17, 2006 7:53 PM (e)

Popper's Ghost wrote:

It seems that Wiker and Witt have confused Darwin with Peano. Of course, if this is pointed out to them, they would simply blame Peano on Darwin, without any evidence that he was influenced by him.

Peano arithmetic is a tautology!

Comment #131027

Posted by waldteufel on September 17, 2006 8:04 PM (e)

Is there no end to the inanity spewing from the Discovery Institute? How can
one possibly decide who is most inane, vacuous, and plumped up with self importance among
that group of intellectual cripples.

I’m trying to decide if the looniest is Casey Luskin or Anika Smith. Both exhibit
many of the symptoms of being in possession of pneumatic brains.

Comment #131034

Posted by GvlGeologist, FCD on September 17, 2006 8:33 PM (e)

“You’ve forgotten the 2nd law of sarcodynamics: Responding to P with “Yeah, Q.” where Q is implied by P but is obviously false is meant to point out the absurdity of P.”

I’m a little slow, but OK, I get it ;-}

Comment #131058

Posted by Popper's ghost on September 17, 2006 9:44 PM (e)

Peano arithmetic is a tautology!

I know you’re joking but … no, it’s not. However, any theorem in Peano Arithmetic is an example of petitio principii, and we all know that’s a fallacy …

Comment #131120

Posted by Lars Karlsson on September 18, 2006 3:41 AM (e)

I’m sitting here trying to count the fingers on my right hand, and I can’t come up to a conclusive result. 5.26? 4.73?
Damn you, Charles Darwin, for burning away the original ties that bound the meaning of mathematics to the world!

Comment #131138

Posted by Lars Karlsson on September 18, 2006 4:35 AM (e)

I’m sitting here trying to count the fingers on my right hand, and I can’t come up to a conclusive result. 5.26? 4.73?
Curse you, Charles Darwin, for burning away the original ties that bound the meaning of mathematics to the world!

Comment #131211

Posted by Tyrannosaurus on September 18, 2006 9:49 AM (e)

Quote from a silly brain dead writer;
Darwin never understood how genetic traits are inherited. We still don’t understand fully, but we do know that children receive genetic traits from both parents, refuting any sexual selection theory that assumes otherwise.

Firstly, of course Darwin never understood how genetic traits are inherited, it wasn’t until Mendell that people began to simple conceive to the idea of the “units of inheritance” as real physical transmissible entities rather than some “ethereal” elixir. Please God stop me!!!!!!!!!
Second, of course there is no sexual selection theory involved since children receive traits from both parents…. WTF?????? What on the name of all that is good and gracious in this universe is that b—h talking about???????
Brain needs to reset….…. low on neural capacity…… mental shot down in 3,2,1….….….….…..

Comment #131228

Posted by Bob O'H on September 18, 2006 10:47 AM (e)

Lars Karlsson - you shouldn’t have hit Post 3.52 times.

Aaagh! It’s happening to me too…

*whimper*

Bob

Comment #131309

Posted by Gav on September 18, 2006 1:52 PM (e)

It’s pretty silly.

Reminds me when the children were very very small we’d tease them by counting their fingers; this hand 10, 9, 8, 7, 6 plus 5 on that hand = 11. Or tapping each finger lightly and counting slightly out of synch. 1, 2, 3 4! or 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6!

No no they’d scream that’s wrong you are being SILLY

Comment #131405

Posted by Anton Mates on September 18, 2006 8:46 PM (e)

Lynn wrote:

Anton Mates said: “However, she achieves world-champion silliness when she tries to refute Darwin’s argument that male braininess is due to sexual selection. You’d think the easiest way to do this would be to point out that women aren’t on average mentally inferior to men, so far as modern psychology can determine. But no, that would be far too easy. Instead, Smith chooses to deny the existence of sex-linked traits:”

Well, this is picking nits a bit, but it merits pointing out that the vast majority of sex-linked traits appear in *both* genders, not exclusively in males. X-linked recessive traits appear much more frequently in males, but that’s a statistical phenomenon, not a cased of gender exclusivity. Only the very, very few Y-linked traits are exclusive to males.

However, of course, there *are* sex-limited traits, which express in only one gender, and sex-influenced traits which express differently in males than in females. Those she’s clearly denying ;^) But most of these traits are, genetically speaking, autosomal, not sex linked.

Actually, I think you’re reading Smith over-charitably. True, she should be denying the existence of sex-limited or sex-influenced traits, because that’s what Darwin’s talking about in the passage in question. She’d still be wrong, but at least she’d be making a claim which bears on his argument. But what she actually does deny is the existence of sex-linked traits: her claim is not that all traits are inherited or expressed equally by offspring of both sexes, but that they’re passed on equally by parents of both sexes.

So her attempted refutation is not only false, it would (as Coin said) be irrelevant even if it were true.

Comment #131410

Posted by Anton Mates on September 18, 2006 9:11 PM (e)

Coin wrote:

Here, I’m going to just go ahead and grab the in-context quote from the Descent of Man:

These latter faculties, as well as the former, will have been developed in man, partly through sexual selection,- that is, through the contest of rival males, and partly through natural selection, that is, from success in the general struggle for life; and as in both cases the struggle will have been during maturity, the characters gained will have been transmitted more fully to the male than to the female offspring. It accords in a striking manner with this view of the modification and re-inforcement of many of our mental faculties by sexual selection, that, firstly, they notoriously undergo a considerable change at puberty,*(2) and, secondly, that eunuchs remain throughout life inferior in these same qualities. Thus, man has ultimately become superior to woman. It is, indeed, fortunate that the law of the equal transmission of characters to both sexes prevails with mammals; otherwise, it is probable that man would have become as superior in mental endowment to woman, as the peacock is in ornamental plumage to the peahen.

One can instantly see here, of course, 19th century thinking based on naught but prejudice. (One finds such thinking throughout The Descent of Man; I’ve not read most of the book, but I do note that Darwin’s introduction explicitly states that he did very little or no original research in that book, but rather was trying to re-interpret existing human biology and anthropology within the framework of the theory of evolution. One should thus hardly expect the facts of human biology and anthropology in this book to be any more accurate than the state of the art for the time, which in the 19th century was not in a good shape).

I’d also note that Darwin cites many highly respected scientists and intellectuals of the time for support, and so it’s rather unfair to attribute his argument here to personal misogyny. As you say, he’s trying to explain the “facts” about human psychology as they were accepted in his time, and the mental inferiority of women was one such fact. Actually, I think Darwin was considerably more egalitarian than average among his peer group, repeatedly stressing the similarities in mind between the sexes (as in the above quote) and different races, and advocating higher education for women.

I’d strongly recommend reading the Descent. Aside from being a sort of proto-introductory anthropology textbook, it contains strong views on sociality and intelligence in nonhuman animals which so far as I know were pretty controversial at the time, but have been largely vindicated since. And Darwin’s arguments for voluntary mate choice in female birds and mammals–humans included–always seemed to me like something of a milestone in feminism.

On the downside, it invokes Lamarckian inheritance far more commonly than the Origin, and there’s all that business about gemmules. But Darwin tends to be touchingly embarrassed about bringing up the latter sans evidence.

Oh, and so far as primary research goes, Darwin does mention trying to bite the claws of a kitten, to support an anecdote about a foster mother baboon doing the same! (He didn’t actually bite them off, though. Only Bill Frist would do that.)

Comment #131466

Posted by Alan Fox on September 19, 2006 2:54 AM (e)

@ Popper’s ghost

I am really curious to know if you are related to ts and Morbius. Your wit and lightness of touch seem so similar.

Comment #131523

Posted by Christophe Thill on September 19, 2006 9:45 AM (e)

Here’s, I think, the silliest thing I‘ve ever read. Get ready.

“There’s a lot of questions right now that I can’t answer. What holds the clouds up? If we throw a whole bucket of water in the air, the whole bucket is going to come right back down, but when it rains, all these little raindrops fall,” Wilbanks said. “There are still many unanswered things out there. Cell differentiation in human reproduction is something we don’t understand. Back when we are just a small cluster of cells, how do some of our cells know to become blood, brains, muscles, bones or something else. We don’t have an answer for that.”

Who’s this Wilbanks? Oh, sorry. He’s “Professor Billy Wilbanks, chair of the Science Department at Jacksonville College”. That’s a Baptist college. And of course, Pr. Wilbanks is anti-evolution and teaches the 6 days creation.

Apparently he’s just as knowledgeable about meteorology as he is about biology.

In “The Jacksonville Progress”:
http://www.jacksonvilleprogress.com/religion/local_story_258154638.html?keyword=topstory

Comment #131548

Posted by Anton Mates on September 19, 2006 12:29 PM (e)

Christophe Thill wrote:

“There’s a lot of questions right now that I can’t answer. What holds the clouds up? If we throw a whole bucket of water in the air, the whole bucket is going to come right back down, but when it rains, all these little raindrops fall,” Wilbanks said.

Who’s this Wilbanks? Oh, sorry. He’s “Professor Billy Wilbanks, chair of the Science Department at Jacksonville College”. That’s a Baptist college. And of course, Pr. Wilbanks is anti-evolution and teaches the 6 days creation.

Good lord, you’ve managed to find a science professor whose education stopped somewhere before the steam engine.

From its website, Jacksonville College apparently has all of seven faculty members. Wilbanks is in charge of…biology and chemistry. I guess he chose “What holds the clouds up?” as a good example of a cutting-edge research question in his field.

Someone else teaches anatomy and physiology, since of course they have nothing to do with biology. Still another faculty member teaches history, government and (for some reason) theater.

Comment #131604

Posted by Stevaroni on September 19, 2006 4:16 PM (e)

Professor Billy Wilbanks, chair of the Science Department at Jacksonville College

Initially, I was confused, since I would have assumed that anybody who lived in Florida would certainly understand clouds, or at the very least, rain, an omnipresent local force if ever there were one.

Then I realized that this school was in Jacksonville Texas, a well-known hotbed for cutting edge science.

Now I understand.

Comment #131612

Posted by GvlGeologist, FCD on September 19, 2006 4:33 PM (e)

Don’t be too certain about Jax, FL. It’s a very politically conservative city, and the major newspaper once ran a point-counterpoint on whether creationism should be taught in schools. I wrote a strongly worded rebuttal to the creationist viewpoint, which didn’t run until I complained to the editor (after several pro-creationist but no pro-evolution letters appeared).

Having said that, it is pretty horrifying that a “college professor” would be that deluded, and also be willing to delude others with such childish arguments. Makes one wonder if the school is accredited (actually, I’m pretty sure of the answer).

Comment #131617

Posted by GvlGeologist, FCD on September 19, 2006 4:37 PM (e)

By the way, to head off any complaints that political conservatism is not necessarily tied to creationism, I realize that, but also acknowledge that the two do often coexist in the same individual far more often than political liberalism and creationism.

Comment #131633

Posted by Nick ((Matzke)) on September 19, 2006 5:39 PM (e)

Here’s an interesting post from David Heddle:
http://helives.blogspot.com/2006/09/color-me-id-cynical.html

Comment #131645

Posted by steve s on September 19, 2006 6:30 PM (e)

check out Salvador’s comment. Priceless.

Comment #131766

Posted by Eric on September 20, 2006 3:31 AM (e)

“… and instead leave it stranded on a solipsistic island of the human imagination.”

Huh?

I recently came across a postmodernism generator on the internet. You strike a key and out comes reams and reams of postmodern twaddle.

An ID/creationism generator would be a great addition to this site. The only foreseeable problem is that much of the bumf might find its way into the publications of the ID/creationist brigade.

Comment #131908

Posted by Henry J on September 20, 2006 4:42 PM (e)

Re “The only foreseeable problem is that much of the bumf might find its way into the publications of the ID/creationist brigade.”

Are you sure it hasn’t already?

(Did I say that?)

Comment #132067

Posted by Alan Fox on September 21, 2006 2:31 AM (e)

Everyone should read David Heddle’s post and the comments. Great link, Nick.

Comment #132331

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on September 21, 2006 5:53 PM (e)

Everyone should read David Heddle’s post

Reading it, the thought that enters my mind is an old Italian proverb:

“After the ship has sunk, everyone knows how it might have been saved.”

Where was Heddle pre-Dover …. . ?