Another Stealth Creationist Bill in Florida

Science • Views: 2,198

The success of the stealth creationist bill promoted and signed into law by Governor Bobby Jindal in Louisiana is encouraging creationists across the country to launch similar efforts. The latest Republican legislator to try to pull this stuff is Sen. Stephen Wise, who has introduced another Orwellian “academic freedom” bill in Florida: Wise to introduce bill on intelligent design. Warning: reading Wise’s “explanations” may cause a drop in IQ level. And notice that Wise doesn’t just want to allow the teaching of pseudo-science—he wants to require it.

State Sen. Stephen Wise, a Jacksonville Republican, said he plans to introduce a bill to require teachers who teach evolution to also discuss the idea of intelligent design. …

Wise, the chief sponsor of the bill, expects the Senate to take it up when it meets in March. He said its intent is simple: “If you’re going to teach evolution, then you have to teach the other side so you can have critical thinking.”

Wise said that if the Legislature passes the bill, he wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a legal challenge.

“You just never know. They use the courts all the time. I guess if they have enough money they can get it in the courts,” he said. “Someplace along the line you’ve got to be able to make a value judgment of what it is you think is the appropriate thing.” …

Wise acknowledges it’s a controversial subject. “I got a lot of hate mail last year,” he said. “You’d think I’d never gone to school, that I was Cro-Magnon man, that I just got out of a cave or something.”

Notice that Wise is well aware his bill is likely to end up costing the state of Florida millions for legal defenses if they pass this bill, and it will almost certainly be struck down as unconstitutional. But that doesn’t even faze him.

Also see

And it’s not just in Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida. Another “academic freedom” stealth creationist bill was introduced this week in Iowa.

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211 comments

1 Jetpilot1101  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 1:49:10pm

This insanity has got to end.

2 MJ  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 1:49:49pm

Introduction to the Establishment Clause

[Link: www.law.umkc.edu…]

3 Sharmuta  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 1:49:59pm
Rep. Alan Hays, a Republican from Umatilla, sponsored the “critical analysis” bill in the House last year and said he would support a similar effort this session. He thinks it’s likely to pass this time in a close vote.

“The thing we learned last year is that, No. 1, we must keep the discussion scientific. I don’t know of anyone who is in favor of teaching religion in public,” he said. “We want the students to know that the theory of evolution is only a theory, it has never ever been scientifically proven, and it should be accepted as that.”

The ignorance is simply astounding.

4 gmsc  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 1:50:31pm

Well, since churches are effectively getting a huge gift from the government by being allowed to remain tax-exempt, I suggest that this academic freedom bill require that evolution is taught in Sunday Schools.

5 MJ  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 1:51:36pm

re: #2 MJ

Introduction to the Establishment Clause

[Link: www.law.umkc.edu…]

Better link:

[Link: caselaw.lp.findlaw.com…]

6 Sharmuta  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 1:51:38pm
Wise, the chief sponsor of the bill, expects the Senate to take it up when it meets in March. He said its intent is simple: “If you’re going to teach evolution, then you have to teach the other side so you can have critical thinking.”

Amazing, since it’s the adults who show the lack of critical thinking skills.

And apparently “critical thinking” is the new code word.

7 [deleted]  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 1:51:54pm
8 HelloDare  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 1:52:14pm

The democrats are loving this.

9 pre-Boomer Marine brat  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 1:53:37pm

I’m glad to be a member of the “they” which they rant against.

10 Sharmuta  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 1:54:10pm

I like the message the Florida Citizens for Science have:

What’s important here is that you DO SOMETHING. Don’t sit on the sideline and think that there are plenty of other people to take on this fight. There are never enough people. So something NOW.

These attacks on science are going to continue, and our best bet is to confront it head on by getting involved in the fight.

11 Big Steve  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 1:54:38pm

well why we are at it, why not a law that we have to teach the other side of gravity. You know the one where there is no gravity, just God constantly post-it sticking us to the Earth.

12 Jetpilot1101  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 1:55:06pm

re: #4 gmsc

I firmly believe that evolution is compatible with the Bible. I won’t repost the entire comments (too long) but my previous comments on the last thread are how I reconcile my Christian faith with my belief in evolution. Here are the links if anyone cares to read.

Part 1

Part 2

13 Guanxi88  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 1:55:20pm

Come on, ID ain’t a stealth creationist deal, is it?

ICR equips believers with evidence of the Bible’s accuracy and authority through scientific research, educational programs, and media presentations, all conducted within a thoroughly biblical framework.

Oh, wait, guess it is: [Link: www.icr.org…]

Click the link on “ministry to angels” if you dare.

14 Slumbering Behemoth Stinks  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 1:55:43pm

re: #4 gmsc

Well, since churches are effectively getting a huge gift from the government by being allowed to remain tax-exempt, I suggest that this academic freedom bill require that evolution is taught in Sunday Schools.

Don’t forget mandatory “disclaimer stickers” in every bible.

15 [deleted]  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 1:55:55pm
16 pre-Boomer Marine brat  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 1:56:37pm

re: #4 gmsc

Well, since churches are effectively getting a huge gift from the government by being allowed to remain tax-exempt, I suggest that this academic freedom bill require that evolution is taught in Sunday Schools.

No Religion No one’s faith should be afraid of critical thinking.
How about it, Senator Wise?

17 monkeytime  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 1:57:18pm

re: #7 buzzsawmonkey

Sounds like a “Fairness Doctrine” of sorts.

That’s a good way to put it. It is not even fair at all though since antiquated notions have no business in any science class. There is no evidence on scientific evaluation for creationism. Maybe we should also teach “luck” -you know - how you should never step on a crack because it really could break your mothers back. Good grief. Once again - I still can’t believe that we even have to fight this in this day and age. don’t get it don’t get it don’t get it

18 Guanxi88  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 1:58:38pm

All the fossils are from the Flood, it seems:

[Link: www.icr.org…]

“These fossil types (and other subcategories could be mentioned) require extraordinary circumstances of a rapid and catastrophic nature. The great Flood of Noah’s day which destroyed a world full of life is the best explanation.”

This article was originally published November, 2004. “Are Fossils the Result of Noah’s Flood?”, Institute for Creation Research, [Link: www.icr.org…] (accessed February 08, 2009).

19 solomonpanting  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 1:58:53pm
“You’d think I’d never gone to school, that I was Cro-Magnon man, that I just got out of a cave or something.”

Nope. Cro-Magnon man was obviously not your ancestor.

20 Big Steve  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 1:59:18pm

I swear the Republican party is just committing suicide!

21 jester6  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 1:59:35pm

Please don’t read anything into this comment about the creation/darwin debate. And I am not passing judgment on Charles in anyway, it’s his blog and he can do what he damn well wants with it.

But, does Charles posting more about this issue than he did 2 years ago mean Islamofacism is less of a threat today than in 2007?

22 Shay4l  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:00:00pm

re: #4 gmsc

Well, since churches are effectively getting a huge gift from the government by being allowed to remain tax-exempt, I suggest that this academic freedom bill require that evolution is taught in Sunday Schools.

Oh that’s just what we need. Government controlling what is said in churches.

I know you weren’t serious.

23 Guanxi88  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:00:24pm

Has Any Progress Been Made in Getting Creation in the Public Schools?
by John D. Morris, Ph.D.

[Link: www.icr.org…]

Several state school boards have, in recent years, inserted an innocuous “sticker” in the front of school biology textbooks which briefly calls attention to the variety of opinions regarding origins, and the theoretical nature of the subject. It neither discusses data nor identifies perspectives. Most recently, the state of Georgia inserted such a sticker which read:

This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered.

Advocates of creation admit this sticker is a dubious victory. It obviously doesn’t teach creation, nor claim that evolution is wrong, and certainly doesn’t introduce the Bible, yet it too has been vigorously opposed by the same teachers unions, professional evolutionists, and civil liberties groups. In January, the federal courts ordered it removed.

If evolutionists deny even this minimal hint that there might be more to the story, is this not a sign of insecurity? Are they afraid of open discussion of the data? What tactic can creationists adopt which will expose their position as the religious intolerance that it is?

Former President Reagan was often barraged by an adversarial press corps. Sometimes he would respond by cocking his head, flashing a wry smile, and saying simply, “There you go again.” Everyone got his point. The supposedly neutral press was pushing their own agenda. I suggest following his lead might be useful here.

“There they go again” censoring any thought which doesn’t support evolution we could say. “There they go again” admitting that evolution can’t stand the test of science. “There they go again” letting their insecurities show. Maybe then the media and the public at large will recognize this as a religious issue, with the evolution side hiding behind dogma and authority, and unwilling to engage in an open dialogue.

24 Dianna  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:00:34pm

re: #4 gmsc

Well, since churches are effectively getting a huge gift from the government by being allowed to remain tax-exempt, I suggest that this academic freedom bill require that evolution is taught in Sunday Schools.

Truly, that’s unconstitutional.

I’m damned if I know what the solution is, but that, even sarcastically, isn’t it.

25 monkeytime  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:00:55pm

re: #21 jester6

Please don’t read anything into this comment about the creation/darwin debate. And I am not passing judgment on Charles in anyway, it’s his blog and he can do what he damn well wants with it.

But, does Charles posting more about this issue than he did 2 years ago mean Islamofacism is less of a threat today than in 2007?

No. I think it means that the threat of creationist overtaking our science classes has grown.

26 Sharmuta  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:01:09pm

re: #21 jester6

The islamofascists would like creationism in America’s public schools too so they can bring islamic creationism through the door demanding equal time.

27 Jetpilot1101  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:01:13pm

re: #20 Big Steve

I swear the Republican party is just committing suicide!

There are some extreme republicans who want to turn this country in to a theocracy under a Christian government. I don’t think I need to tell you all tat this a very bad idea. I wish these folks would break off and form their own party; maybe they could call it the Christian Fundamentalist Party or the Christian Anti-Science Party.

28 Dianna  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:01:24pm

re: #23 Guanxi88

What the heck is a “professional evolutionist”?

29 pre-Boomer Marine brat  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:01:33pm

re: #19 solomonpanting

Nope. Cro-Magnon man was obviously not your ancestor.

Subtle.
Nice.
Up-ding!

30 Guanxi88  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:01:50pm

re: #26 Sharmuta

The islamofascists would like creationism in America’s public schools too so they can bring islamic creationism through the door demanding equal time.

Now, don’t let SpaceJeebus hear you talking like that. He’s bound to get mad and hve to go to class or something.

31 Guanxi88  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:02:19pm

re: #28 Dianna

What the heck is a “professional evolutionist”?

I don’t know, but I wanna be one if the alternative is to be a professional “creationist.”

32 Big Steve  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:02:47pm

re: #21 jester6

Please don’t read anything into this comment about the creation/darwin debate. And I am not passing judgment on Charles in anyway, it’s his blog and he can do what he damn well wants with it.

But, does Charles posting more about this issue than he did 2 years ago mean Islamofacism is less of a threat today than in 2007?

man o man…….there ought to be a test or something to comment on this blog. Over and over again, Charles has run the statistics on what he tees up on this blog. The numbers are and continue to be overwhelming news regarding Islamic coordinated efforts.

33 solomonpanting  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:03:24pm

re: #29 pre-Boomer Marine brat

Thank you

34 Sharmuta  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:03:38pm

BTW Lizards- most state legislatures have a search function for legislation currently offered by the members. Feel free to search your state and see if tey aren’t pushing similar bills.

/My state’s clean…. so far.

35 MJ  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:03:40pm

re: #28 Dianna

What the heck is a “professional evolutionist”?

Maybe something like a “professional ghost-hunter”.

36 pink freud  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:03:46pm

re: #21 jester6


But, does Charles posting more about this issue than he did 2 years ago mean Islamofacism is less of a threat today than in 2007?

Critical thinkers (or those not comatose) would say no.

37 Dianna  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:03:57pm

re: #31 Guanxi88

I don’t know, but I wanna be one if the alternative is to be a professional “creationist.”

Remind me - when I’m not punch-drunk - to “profess” something idiotic, in a humorous tone. I can feel a good joke, but it won’t rise above the fog.

38 Guanxi88  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:04:00pm

re: #35 MJ

Maybe something like a “professional ghost-hunter”.

Unicorn wrangler?

39 Syrah  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:04:11pm

Stealth Creationism is metastasizing

40 [deleted]  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:04:36pm
41 Guanxi88  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:04:55pm

re: #28 Dianna

What the heck is a “professional evolutionist”?

Professional gravitationist?

42 Dianna  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:05:19pm

re: #35 MJ

Maybe something like a “professional ghost-hunter”.

Is there money in it? There’d be more “professional evolutionists” if it made a silly TV series.

43 Dianna  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:06:06pm

re: #40 taxfreekiller

Big Government is not the answer.

Amen.

/the choir.

44 jester6  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:06:44pm

re: #25 monkeytime

No. I think it means that the threat of creationist overtaking our science classes has grown.

Maybe in your neck of the woods. But these folks have been righting this battle since the 80s and the days of the Moral Majority near me. Maybe that’s why I don’t worry too much about them. This country becoming a Theocracy is about as likely as it becoming a Libertarian Uptopia, where I can walk down the street naked with my machine gun and a 50 lbs bag of coke on my shoulder.

I don’t think they will be selling 50 lbs bags of Columbia’s finest anytime soon.

45 monkeytime  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:06:55pm

re: #27 Jetpilot1101

There are some extreme republicans who want to turn this country in to a theocracy under a Christian government. I don’t think I need to tell you all tat this a very bad idea. I wish these folks would break off and form their own party; maybe they could call it the Christian Fundamentalist Party or the Christian Anti-Science Party.

I feel your pain JetPilot. I am a devout Christian and I posted a wonderful article on the prior thread written by a friend of Carl Sagan. He denounces creationism but writes beautifully on how Christians/Jews have no moral delima about evolution. How they most certainly can go hand in hand. He is not a believer himself but is a wonderful person to have written such a great piece. Most Christians are not the loud mouth fundy’s who are trying to hijack the southern school system but they make all of us look bad. :>(

46 Jetpilot1101  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:06:58pm

re: #40 taxfreekiller

Big Government is not the answer.

Never has been and never will be. Big Religion isn’t the answer either.

47 Guanxi88  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:07:28pm

re: #40 taxfreekiller

Big Government is not the answer.

Don’t Worry About Big Government:

48 Jetpilot1101  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:07:36pm

re: #45 monkeytime

AMEN!

49 pre-Boomer Marine brat  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:08:40pm

re: #21 jester6

Please don’t read anything into this comment about the creation/darwin debate. And I am not passing judgment on Charles in anyway, it’s his blog and he can do what he damn well wants with it.

But, does Charles posting more about this issue than he did 2 years ago mean Islamofacism is less of a threat today than in 2007?

Attempted establishment of a theocracy — Wedge Document.
Different only in a matter of degree.
Not different in general mindset.

Yes, I damned well AM saying that politicized “Wedge Document” Creationists have the same mindset as the politicized Salafiist Jihadis.

/down-ding away, assholes

50 jester6  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:08:56pm

re: #32 Big Steve

man o man…….there ought to be a test or something to comment on this blog. Over and over again, Charles has run the statistics on what he tees up on this blog. The numbers are and continue to be overwhelming news regarding Islamic coordinated efforts.

I know the overwhelming number of articles are Islamic related. But I cannot remember a creationist post 2 years ago. Obviously, Charles sees something that concerns him that he did not see a few years ago. Makes sense to me.

51 Shay4l  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:09:01pm

You know, taxing churches might not be as wacky as it first sounds. ALl the fake cults and organizations who call themselves churches lose their free ride. like Sharpton and Jackson, and real churches deduct their charitable costs and end up getting money back from the government.

\\Really dreaming, not really serious

52 Randall Gross  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:09:04pm

Guanxi, what’s with all the ICR links? That’s not ID, that’s not Discovery institute. Are you trying to muddy the waters here? Please aim near the target if you are going to shoot, Discovery Institute and the actual ID crowd have thrown both ICR and AIG under the bus because they had to.

Once again the current professed (but not actual) beliefs of Discovery institute and the ID crowd are old earth creationist. They deny macro evolution and descendancy from primates, but not microevolution.

53 quickjustice  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:09:25pm

It’s a total power play. Politicians, both in the fundamentalist churches and in the legislatures, are increasingly their power by manipulating religious faith. For that, they’ll fry in hell.

54 MJ  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:09:29pm

re: #42 Dianna

Is there money in it? There’d be more “professional evolutionists” if it made a silly TV series.

Door to the Dead follows psychic medium John Oliver as he investigates a Virginia family beset by ghosts and on the verge of leaving their property for good. John is joined in his mission by Chris Moon, an expert in all things paranormal and possessor of Thomas Edison’s mysterious ‘telephone to the dead’, and Alison Smith, a one-time private investigator and professional skeptic.

[Link: www.trutv.com…]

55 Jimmah  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:09:48pm

re: #15 buzzsawmonkey

It’s disgustingly dishonest, and extremely depressing that they seem to be getting away with it at the moment.

56 Guanxi88  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:10:37pm

re: #52 Thanos

Guanxi, what’s with all the ICR links? That’s not ID, that’s not Discovery institute. Are you trying to muddy the waters here? Please aim near the target if you are going to shoot, Discovery Institute and the actual ID crowd have thrown both ICR and AIG under the bus because they had to.

Once again the current professed (but not actual) beliefs of Discovery institute and the ID crowd are old earth creationist. They deny macro evolution and descendancy from primates, but not microevolution.

What muddying of waters? ICR is the same disease, only more honestly presented, than the version for public consumption. You wanna see where it’s coming from, you go and look at these guys.

57 goddessoftheclassroom  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:10:51pm

True Christianity (I can’t speak for Judaism) is NOT about power, and this drive to control the curriculum seems to be just that.

I will say, however, that I would not want a science teacher to tell my children that evolutions proves that there is not God—that’s teaching religion as much as YEC is.

58 Sharmuta  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:12:45pm

re: #15 buzzsawmonkey

It’s intellectual hypocrisy, frankly, but what it’s really doing in my mind is establishing that the GOP is the party for limited government EXCEPT when certain social issues can only be remedied by tossing limited government principles under the bus.

59 Randall Gross  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:13:06pm

re: #56 Guanxi88

While it’s the genesis, it’s not what we have to defeat now - and they love it when people get them confused now since it allows them to adopt a cloak of martyrdom and portray opponents as not knowing what they are talking about. Many people read this and we need to be specific and clear.

60 Jetpilot1101  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:13:53pm

re: #57 goddessoftheclassroom

True Christianity (I can’t speak for Judaism) is NOT about power, and this drive to control the curriculum seems to be just that.

I will say, however, that I would not want a science teacher to tell my children that evolutions proves that there is not God—that’s teaching religion as much as YEC is.

I don’t want a professor teaching that to my kids either. The thing is, you can teach evolution as a purely scientifically proven fact and never bring God into it at all. Evolution doesn’t prove that there is no God, it simply seeks to explain how things happened. I have no problem with my kids learning about evolution. I want God OUT of the public school system. He doesn’t belong there, he belongs in church and in your heart but not force-fed to people who don’t want Him.

61 Racer X  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:14:18pm

re: #15 buzzsawmonkey

I am tired of the “let the children decide” argument.

They are children; they are not supposed to “decide.” They are supposed to be taught.

Arguing that “the children should decide” is, ironically, one more instance in which legislators are mandating that the state—in the form of the schools—stand in for the supposed failures of parents. Yet it is likely that the same people who are all in favor of having the state stand in for parents in the teaching of science, and in favor of “letting the children decide” where scientific matters are concerned, are by no means in favor of having the state stand in for parents with regards to sex education, or that children be taught all manner of sexual behaviors so that they “can decide” for themselves.


Excellent point.

Additionally -
Once ID is allowed mandated to be taught in public schools, GUESS WHO ELSE WILL COME BARGING THRUGH THE DOOR?

Can someone please pass the clue-by-four to the ID proponents?

62 Achilles Tang  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:14:29pm

re: #21 jester6


But, does Charles posting more about this issue than he did 2 years ago mean Islamofacism is less of a threat today than in 2007?

No.

63 Randall Gross  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:14:52pm

re: #57 goddessoftheclassroom

I have to agree with you there. Absence of evidence is not proof of absence.

64 Sharmuta  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:14:54pm

re: #57 goddessoftheclassroom

I will say, however, that I would not want a science teacher to tell my children that evolutions proves that there is not God—that’s teaching religion as much as YEC is.

And any public school science teacher that is doing that would be violating teaching ethics and conduct rules because it’s a lie. Science cannot speak to the existence of the supernatural.

65 Shay4l  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:15:45pm

re: #21 jester6

Please don’t read anything into this comment about the creation/darwin debate. And I am not passing judgment on Charles in anyway, it’s his blog and he can do what he damn well wants with it.

But, does Charles posting more about this issue than he did 2 years ago mean Islamofacism is less of a threat today than in 2007?

Well, in retrospect, they were the main active threads Friday and Saturday night, and evolved into a Sunday afternoon thread, too. So, they do have a lot of prominence.

66 quickjustice  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:16:19pm

re: #21 jester6

And why is one thing not like the other thing?

/

67 pre-Boomer Marine brat  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:16:46pm

re: #56 Guanxi88

re: #59 Thanos

Interruptig with my two cents
You both have excellent points.
In this specific context, Thanos has the better of it.

68 nyc redneck  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:16:50pm

he is cro-magnon man.
he has no idea what evolution is all abt.
cro-magnon man was modern man.

he should have described himself as neanderthal man.
much more appropriate.

69 Dianna  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:17:33pm

re: #54 MJ

Door to the Dead follows psychic medium John Oliver as he investigates a Virginia family beset by ghosts and on the verge of leaving their property for good. John is joined in his mission by Chris Moon, an expert in all things paranormal and possessor of Thomas Edison’s mysterious ‘telephone to the dead’, and Alison Smith, a one-time private investigator and professional skeptic.

[Link: www.trutv.com…]

You’re kidding me, right?

70 Randall Gross  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:17:44pm

When is this guy up for re-election?… Nvrmnd… I’ll go look brb…

71 Big Steve  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:17:52pm

re: #50 jester6

I know the overwhelming number of articles are Islamic related. But I cannot remember a creationist post 2 years ago. Obviously, Charles sees something that concerns him that he did not see a few years ago. Makes sense to me.

Assuming you are genuinely just curious, please understand that nearly every time Charles posts an evolution thread someone crawls out and whines that he is losing his focus on the Islamic threat. It is tiresome and always is the classic deflect argument. People, in our own country, using evolution because they can garner some sympathy from religious groups, are using this issue to institutionalize their religious beliefs. It is a wedge issue and it is serious.

72 goddessoftheclassroom  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:18:28pm

re: #60 Jetpilot1101

I don’t want a professor teaching that to my kids either. The thing is, you can teach evolution as a purely scientifically proven fact and never bring God into it at all. Evolution doesn’t prove that there is no God, it simply seeks to explain how things happened. I have no problem with my kids learning about evolution. I want God OUT of the public school system. He doesn’t belong there, he belongs in church and in your heart but not force-fed to people who don’t want Him.

I agree that proselytizing MUST be kept out of pubic schools, but I argue that the idea of God can’t be kept out because such a ban would adversely affect the teaching of the humanities. I handle it in my English classes by stressing that my explanations were what the people at the time believed, NOT what my students had to believe..

73 Bob Dillon  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:18:30pm

re: #1 Jetpilot1101

This insanity has got to end.

This is the Never Frikkin’ Ending Story?

74 Dianna  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:18:34pm

re: #58 Sharmuta

It’s intellectual hypocrisy, frankly, but what it’s really doing in my mind is establishing that the GOP is the party for limited government EXCEPT when certain social issues can only be remedied by tossing limited government principles under the bus.

Or, “why I am not a social conservative.”

75 VioletTiger  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:18:46pm

re: #21 jester6
Our competition (think China for example) is getting ahead of us in math and scinece. That does not bode well for the future for our country as technology will make us or break us. We can’t afford to have our schools bogged down by this nonsense. It defies just about every branch of science, as we established in the last thread. So it is important, and from my point of view, incredible. I had no idea this was going on.

76 [deleted]  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:19:40pm
77 pre-Boomer Marine brat  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:20:13pm

re: #70 Thanos

When is this guy up for re-election?… Nvrmnd… I’ll go look brb…

There are a lot of people with the same mindset as my paternal grandmother had. He’ll win re-election if he wraps it around himself.

78 Jetpilot1101  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:20:44pm

re: #72 goddessoftheclassroom

I agree that proselytizing MUST be kept out of pubic schools, but I argue that the idea of God can’t be kept out because such a ban would adversely affect the teaching of the humanities. I handle it in my English classes by stressing that my explanations were what the people at the time believed, NOT what my students had to believe..

I should have been more clear. Yes, God needs to be addressed in the humanities but you are 100% correct, proselytizing should NOT be allowed and God should not be brought up in the science classroom.

79 Nevergiveup  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:21:21pm

Has Mandy been here?

80 pre-Boomer Marine brat  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:21:53pm

re: #72 goddessoftheclassroom

I agree that proselytizing MUST be kept out of pubic schools, but I argue that the idea of God can’t be kept out because such a ban would adversely affect the teaching of the humanities. I handle it in my English classes by stressing that my explanations were what the people at the time believed, NOT what my students had to believe..

That’s the way to go about it. The study of human history loses much if religion is religiously ignored.

81 Jimmah  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:22:08pm

re: #21 jester6

“Pay no attention to any of this. Look over there folks - terrorists!”

82 Charles Johnson  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:22:46pm

I’ve been posting articles about evolution almost from the beginning of LGF, by the way.

[Link: littlegreenfootballs.com…]

[Link: littlegreenfootballs.com…]

83 Jetpilot1101  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:24:31pm

re: #82 Charles

I wish I had know about LGF back then; it would have helped my education. Better late for me then never.

84 Timbre  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:24:49pm

Steve Grohman, founder of Creation Seminar Ministries, will be here in Midland February 15-18 to spread his “message.” I’m pretty sure I won’t be in attendance.

85 Slumbering Behemoth Stinks  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:24:59pm
86 Big Steve  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:25:39pm

re: #76 buzzsawmonkey

I updinged you and liked your reasoning. However, I really can’t buy the “rampant secularization” in a country where upward of 90% of the population professes a belief in God. The problem with this issue is it has equal chance of driving out those of similar beliefs as it does of banking the left. It is not an issue that defines Republicans.

87 VioletTiger  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:25:56pm

re: #76 buzzsawmonkey
You make very good points and I agree completely. I wonder how we can get the Republican party to hear this.

88 Jimmah  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:26:13pm

re: #72 goddessoftheclassroom

I agree that proselytizing MUST be kept out of pubic schools, but I argue that the idea of God can’t be kept out because such a ban would adversely affect the teaching of the humanities. I handle it in my English classes by stressing that my explanations were what the people at the time believed, NOT what my students had to believe..

Not an issue at all. It’s only when some people seek to have their beliefs taught as facts that a problem arises.

89 goddessoftheclassroom  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:27:47pm

re: #88 Jimmah

Not an issue at all. It’s only when some people seek to have their beliefs taught as facts that a problem arises.

It’s a problem when “zero tolerance” trumps common sense. If a district is more afraid of “offending” someone than it is about education, restrictions can be put in place.

90 pre-Boomer Marine brat  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:27:59pm

re: #82 Charles

I’ve been posting articles about evolution almost from the beginning of LGF, by the way.

re: #83 Jetpilot1101

I wish I had know about LGF back then; it would have helped my education. Better late for me then never.

Where was LGF in the Fifties!
I was ripped off!

91 Randall Gross  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:29:19pm

Wise is up for re-election in 2010, this latest news isn’t in his wikipedia entry

[Link: en.wikipedia.org…]

92 pre-Boomer Marine brat  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:29:49pm

re: #86 Big Steve

I updinged you and liked your reasoning. However, I really can’t buy the “rampant secularization” in a country where upward of 90% of the population professes a belief in God. The problem with this issue is it has equal chance of driving out those of similar beliefs as it does of banking the left. It is not an issue that defines Republicans.

Rightly or wrongly, I took “rampant secularization” as a reference to the Popular Culture (over-simplified, “anything goes”.)

93 Vinnie  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:30:15pm

I’m an “I Don’t Knowist.”

I don’t know how all this was created.

I don’t care how all this was created.

I’m happy to wait until I’m dead to find out.

But these threads do provide high entertainment on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

94 Big Steve  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:30:16pm

re: #90 pre-Boomer Marine brat

Where was LGF in the Fifties!
I was ripped off!

I’m guessing the big lizard was merely gestating back then…..possibly only being in his haploid state.

95 Randall Gross  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:30:29pm

re: #77 pre-Boomer Marine brat

There are a lot of people with the same mindset as my paternal grandmother had. He’ll win re-election if he wraps it around himself.

It wouldn’t hurt to have someone take a run at him in the primary, I know there are a lot of Military folks in Jvl. who are not of his mindset.

96 Jimmah  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:30:35pm

re: #89 goddessoftheclassroom

I see. Any examples?

97 Sharmuta  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:30:53pm

From the bill in Iowa:

“Scientific information” means germane, current facts, data, and peer=reviewed research specific to the topic of chemical and biological evolution as prescribed in the state’s core curriculum for science.

I think what’s going on here is the DI and their lackeys in state legislatures are setting the stage for a scientific showdown in the courts. It’s what the DI wants, and didn’t get in Dover because the school board there messed up and didn’t stick to the DI script. These new laws are designed to find a judge they can BS, or establish a path to the SCOTUS where they hope to reverse all the previous rulings barring creationism from the classrooms.

I think there biggest problem is the precedent set by Judge Jones in Kitzmiller that ID is just not science. I’m hopeful that other judges, including the Justices, will see Judge Jones was quite thorough and the DI will be sent back to the drawing board once again.

98 MJ  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:31:30pm

re: #69 Dianna

You’re kidding me, right?

I think it’s close to a fact that TV has made us all dumber.

99 pre-Boomer Marine brat  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:32:01pm

re: #94 Big Steve

I’m guessing the big lizard was merely gestating back then…..possibly only being in his haploid state.

*sob*
And Denver International Airport wasn’t even built!
I WAS RIPPED OFF!

100 Jimmah  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:32:56pm

Dinner time.

101 pre-Boomer Marine brat  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:33:30pm

re: #95 Thanos

It wouldn’t hurt to have someone take a run at him in the primary, I know there are a lot of Military folks in Jvl. who are not of his mindset.

Yeah. The military hadn’t occured to me. They may not be registered locally, but a large base does tend to make a community more cosmopolitan.

102 Randall Gross  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:35:11pm

re: #97 Sharmuta

From the bill in Iowa:


I think what’s going on here is the DI and their lackeys in state legislatures are setting the stage for a scientific showdown in the courts. It’s what the DI wants, and didn’t get in Dover because the school board there messed up and didn’t stick to the DI script. These new laws are designed to find a judge they can BS, or establish a path to the SCOTUS where they hope to reverse all the previous rulings barring creationism from the classrooms.

I think there biggest problem is the precedent set by Judge Jones in Kitzmiller that ID is just not science. I’m hopeful that other judges, including the Justices, will see Judge Jones was quite thorough and the DI will be sent back to the drawing board once again.

The peer reviewed part is the worrisome pt. They do have two papers out that a very long stretch could bogusly be claimed as “peer reviewed” under legal ltr of law.

103 Achilles Tang  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:35:30pm

re: #28 Dianna

What the heck is a “professional evolutionist”?

Someone who actually knows what they are talking about?

Beats me, but it does make me wonder about a statement made yesterday, I think, by Cato (Jr) I think, that referenced theistic and naturalistic evolution. I asked what the hell that meant and if nature could be either, but never received a reply.

104 Randall Gross  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:36:21pm

re: #101 pre-Boomer Marine brat

Yeah. The military hadn’t occured to me. They may not be registered locally, but a large base does tend to make a community more cosmopolitan.

Lots of retirees there as well, and you know that the average military person has a more open mind than the average lefty because they’ve see more reality up close and personal.

105 pre-Boomer Marine brat  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:36:28pm

bbiab

106 pre-Boomer Marine brat  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:36:57pm

re: #104 Thanos

Lots of retirees there as well, and you know that the average military person has a more open mind than the average lefty because they’ve see more reality up close and personal.

Yes, good point.

107 goddessoftheclassroom  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:37:59pm

re: #96 Jimmah

I see. Any examples?


Some districts do not allow their music departments to teach sacred music.

108 [deleted]  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:40:42pm
109 Randall Gross  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:42:34pm

These are tough times for a state to be inviting millions of dollars in court costs, people in FL need to think on that.

110 mardukhai  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:42:44pm

I have an idea — call it the Mardukhai Amendment:

Require legislatures who introduce and support Creationism Statutes pay for all ensuing legal costs.

That will get them!

111 monkeytime  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:43:38pm

re: #108 buzzsawmonkey

up DING DING DING DING!

112 Charles Johnson  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:50:30pm

Discovery Institute “intelligent design” creationists and Answers in Genesis young earth creationists meet at Liberty University in Virginia.

They just can’t seem to keep their ID separate from their creationism.

113 Achilles Tang  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:51:25pm

re: #109 Thanos

These are tough times for a state to be inviting millions of dollars in court costs, people in FL need to think on that.

I haven’t checked them out, but I signed up for my $20 basic membership (link in the OP), even though my kids are out of school. Hopefully other Florida Lizards (Anoles?) will also.

114 hazzyday  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:52:21pm

Suffering from thread bouncing.

The First Baptist Church in central Florida writes in support of this effort.

Florida Baptists publish an article advocating a young earth. Noting the success of the creationist Museum.

Really, this needs to become a media debate to get it out in the open. Rather than sneakily walk through the courts, this should be confronted in a media debate than emphasizes the cost of this line of thinking. Non evolving religions should give way to evolving ones.

115 sirrobert  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:52:51pm

They are getting close to science. They have a hypothesis anyway. The next thing they have to do is test it. For example, ID folks like to think that the grand canyon in AZ was carved by the receding waters from Noah’s Ark. Good, that’s a theory, now lets get some supporting data.

1. Get a piece of limestone, sandstone, granite and other mineral formations in the area. Dry and get accurate mass measurements.

2. Pour some water on these objects. Include a variety of volumes, speeds, pressures, and times. Velocity of water should not exceed gravitational speeds (using water jets is cheating). Receding water typically has much slower velocities, but good science covers the entire range.

3. Dry the stones and measure mass again at various time points.

4. You now have enough data to start back-calculating the time it would take to remove x numbers of square miles of each of these minerals.

I suppose it is possible that the grand canyon could be carved out from a single flood and would be willing to give it a look if some DATA was presented. I might give it more merit if I could then reproduce the data myself.

But until then, the Flying Spaghetti Monster has just as much relevance in a science classroom.

—the DBC (DATA based conservative)—

116 Achilles Tang  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 2:55:02pm

We had a local school board election here not long ago. Of our two candidates, one was wishy washy about “teaching controversy”, the other was not. The latter won, and I see is speaking soon at a local AU (Americans United) meeting.

117 hazzyday  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 3:00:15pm

I think if young earth creationism is to appear anywhere in a curriculum as a competing viewpoint it would be in Cosmology Opposing it to biology is a form of ignorance. Stephen Wise from Florida is either ignorant or under handed. Could be both.

118 Achilles Tang  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 3:02:39pm

re: #114 hazzyday

Suffering from thread bouncing.

The First Baptist Church in central Florida writes in support of this effort.

Florida Baptists publish an article advocating a young earth. Noting the success of the creationist Museum.

Really, this needs to become a media debate to get it out in the open. Rather than sneakily walk through the courts, this should be confronted in a media debate than emphasizes the cost of this line of thinking. Non evolving religions should give way to evolving ones.

No surprise there.

This gives an overview of different religious groups on the subject. Baptists don’t rate well, from my perspective anyway.
Religious Groups’ Views on Evolution

Of course this is not meant to say there are not uneducated people in all groups.

119 Achilles Tang  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 3:04:16pm

Going out to see Slumdog something or other.

Later gators.

120 Sharmuta  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 3:04:17pm

re: #102 Thanos

The peer reviewed part is the worrisome pt. They do have two papers out that a very long stretch could bogusly be claimed as “peer reviewed” under legal ltr of law.

I agree- that worries me too, but in court, an scientific expert would be able to rebut those papers and show why it’s not legitimately peer-reviewed. Better yet- perhaps these papers should be peer-reviewed by a legitimate source so that they can be properly, scientifically refuted.

121 funky chicken  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 3:06:25pm

re: #15 buzzsawmonkey

I am tired of the “let the children decide” argument.

They are children; they are not supposed to “decide.” They are supposed to be taught.

Arguing that “the children should decide” is, ironically, one more instance in which legislators are mandating that the state—in the form of the schools—stand in for the supposed failures of parents. Yet it is likely that the same people who are all in favor of having the state stand in for parents in the teaching of science, and in favor of “letting the children decide” where scientific matters are concerned, are by no means in favor of having the state stand in for parents with regards to sex education, or that children be taught all manner of sexual behaviors so that they “can decide” for themselves.

outstanding

122 funky chicken  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 3:09:02pm

re: #118 Naso Tang

No surprise there.

This gives an overview of different religious groups on the subject. Baptists don’t rate well, from my perspective anyway.
Religious Groups’ Views on Evolution

Of course this is not meant to say there are not uneducated people in all groups.

It’s really damned hard to find a church that doesn’t bash Israel (PCUSA and United Methodist) or support Creationism (Southern Baptist and most evangelical megachurches). Maybe it’s time to try the Messianic Jews for a while.

123 Dianna  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 3:09:36pm

re: #103 Naso Tang

Someone who actually knows what they are talking about?

Beats me, but it does make me wonder about a statement made yesterday, I think, by Cato (Jr) I think, that referenced theistic and naturalistic evolution. I asked what the hell that meant and if nature could be either, but never received a reply.

I hope this isn’t an hour too late or something, but…Cato Jr. isn’t clear on either his terms, or his definitions. He certainly got all excited about human sexual and cultural behaviors not being “evolutionarily” oriented.

124 funky chicken  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 3:13:34pm

I think it’s high time that we let the children decide about grammar, spelling, math, and history too.

/

125 funky chicken  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 3:17:14pm

re: #115 sirrobert

Nah, it was God using his “angry eyes.”

126 sirrobert  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 3:18:10pm

ID arguments are very similar to Global Warming arguments. It is all legalese and no data. No raw data anyway. Partisans bring out ‘computer modeling data’ and treat it as fact. That is cheating. ‘Experts’ are brought in for their acting skills, not scientific merit. Arguments are based upon feelings, not fact.

Nope. Doesn’t fly in my world. Show me the data, the raw numbers. Let me see a pattern. No data, no pattern, no trend, no theory. Period. Life is so much simpler this way.

Even though it is a tiny percentage (I hope) of republicans that fall for this ID BS, it stains the whole party and gives the opposition an insane amount of ammunition to lump good fiscal conservatism with faith based bull shit and toss the whole mess out. I cant blame voters for voting for D when this is the crap coming from the R party.

Either the republicans need to dump this vocal lot into the abyss, or start the long treck of starting a new ‘data based conservative’ party.

127 Sharmuta  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 3:19:13pm

re: #124 funky chicken

I think it’s high time that we let the children decide about grammar, spelling, math, and history too.

/

Let’s go all out, and let the kids decide if they want to go to school at all.

Here’s some critical thinking- why have standards if you’re going to allow those standards to be undermined by special interest groups?

128 Sharmuta  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 3:20:08pm

re: #126 sirrobert

Even though it is a tiny percentage (I hope) of republicans that fall for this ID BS

It’s not. It’s a big percentage.

129 sirrobert  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 3:27:38pm

Angry Eyes? I am at a complete loss as to measure that theory. Heh.

130 freetoken  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 3:36:21pm

Just as a reminder to some…

Creationism has its own “peer reviewed” journals!

I’ve posted the link before:
CRS Quarterly
where one can find such luminous papers as:

Deposits Remaining from the Genesis Flood: Rim Gravels in Arizona

Beyond Scientific Creationism
:

Scientific creationism’s surprise attack rocked the late Twentieth Century intellectual establishment-acolytes of the worldview of Naturalism. Who could possibly imagine that religion would mount an empirical attack on evolution and its handmaiden, uniformitarian history? But that was decades ago, the shock has worn off, and surprise alone will not finish the job. Empirical arguments developed by an unfunded, outcast minority cannot penetrate the hidebound armor of modern Naturalism despite its many empirical flaws, because at its core Naturalism is not an empirical construct but an integrated worldview. To finish the job started by the scientific creationists, that worldview must be shown to be contrary to truth and thus destroyed. […]

An Old Age for the Earth Is the Heart of Evolution
:

An accommodationist claim about chronology runs something like this: “Even if it could be shown that the earth is young (which it is not), that would be irrelevant to the chronology of the universe, because there are independent evidences that the universe is as old as evolution says it is. Furthermore, the age issue is not really important.” Such statements are not true. The centrality of long ages to evolutionary thought has long been emphasized. Further, the supposed evidences of the vast antiquity of planets, stars, galaxies, and the universe ultimately rest on the belief in the evolutionary age of the earth. The long chronologies for the universe and its parts are therefore not independent of the alleged old age of the earth. If the earth is shown to be young, the evidence for an old universe crumbles.

etc…. all in a “peer reviewed jounal.”

Plus, remember that there exists plenty of literature in the general domain from various theistic scientists that a skilled lawyer ought to be able to mount a credible argument that creationism (of some sort) is acceptable to a non-trivial number of scientists.

There, all of you who think that these state legislatures are shooting themselves in the foot by including language requiring the use of only scientific or peer-reviewed documents…. ought to be a bit more concerned.

131 freetoken  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 3:37:14pm

re: #126 sirrobert

ID arguments are very similar to Global Warming arguments.

That is just false, and you’re confusing the issue at hand.

132 Basho  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 3:45:44pm

re: #131 freetoken

That is just false, and you’re confusing the issue at hand.

In fairness, the IDers do use computer models to test their theory. One such program is called SimCity.

133 docjay  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 3:45:56pm

Some years ago I also accepted Darwin’s “Theory.” A colleague of mine (who cannot be remotely classified as being a believer of any religion) got to me thinking about the assumptions of the Darwinist model. After much reading (and thinking) I found that the Darwinist model fails Popper’s test of falsifiability. Secondly, after looking at the interior of a cell, I find it very difficult to “believe” that everything in it got there accidentally. (For a fascinating look at a bacterial flagellum, go to the video at [Link: www.uncommondescent.com;…]
explain how that intricate dance happened by accident.) Of course, just because we do not currently have a naturalistic explanation for how everything came about, that does not to say that, at some future time, a naturalistic explanation will not be discovered. It may very well be. Right now, though, that remains a metaphysical speculation. Consequently, intelligent design should be a viable alternative hypothesis. But please do not confuse intelligent design with creationism. One is potentially scientific and one is not.

An alternative to either the Darwinist model or to intelligent design is to say we do not know. I think that is a perfectly legitimate scientific approach. Knowing that we do not know may impel us to look for a scientific alternative to what is being passed off for now as science. I may add, that one of the early commenters here compared the global warming hypothesis to the intelligent design hypothesis. I think quite the opposite: the global warming hypothesis is much closer to the Darwinist model than it is to the intelligent design model.

Docjay

134 Basho  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 3:49:54pm

re: #133 docjay

So… what will it take to prove to you that “Darwin’s Model” is correct? Since you were convinced it was wrong because you believed it lacked falsifiability, if I were to debunk that, would you admit that you were wrong?

135 Syrah  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 3:50:55pm

re: #133 docjay

Klinghoffer, is that you?

136 Charles Johnson  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 3:51:28pm

Here we go again. “Irreducible complexity,” “ID isn’t creationism,” “evolution is only a theory,” “global warming.”

Topped off with a link to Dembski’s site.

137 freetoken  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 3:51:54pm

re: #132 Basho

In fairness, the IDers do use computer models to test their theory. One such program is called SimCity.

Would that be SimCityCreator?

138 Basho  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 3:52:47pm

re: #137 freetoken

That’s the one ;)

139 Lynn B.  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 3:54:37pm

re: #133 docjay

Great first comment.

Not.

You appear to think you’re bringing something to the table that hasn’t been thoroughly debunked several dozen times here. Perhaps you should read through some of the previous ID threads. You might learn something. Actually, you will learn a lot unless your mind is closed on the subject.

140 Charles Johnson  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 3:56:36pm

The bacterial flagellum argument has been completely destroyed, of course, along with the rest of the irreducible complexity argument. Here’s a page with lots of links to reviews of Behe’s and Dembski’s laughable, illogical, and deceptive arguments:

[Link: www.talkorigins.org…]

141 Spiny Norman  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 4:04:41pm

re: #133 docjay

Of course, just because we do not currently have a naturalistic explanation for how everything came about, that does not to say that, at some future time, a naturalistic explanation will not be discovered. It may very well be. Right now, though, that remains a metaphysical speculation. Consequently, intelligent design magic should be a viable alternative hypothesis. But please do not confuse intelligent design with creationism. One is potentially scientific and one is not.

FTFY.

Potentially scientific? What on earth is that supposed to mean? A line of reasoning is scientific or it’s not.

Sheesh.

142 Basho  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 4:08:29pm

Evolution applied:
New research on bedbug insecticide resistance
[Link: membracid.wordpress.com…]

Florida bed bugs were killed in 19 minutes; the New York bedbugs took 5,048 minutes, or over 3.5 days, to die. Uh Oh.


“This evidence suggests that the two mutations are likely the major resistance-causing mutations in the deltamethrin-resistant NY-BB through a knockdown-type nerve insensitivity mechanism.”
143 Charles Johnson  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 4:08:34pm

‘docjay’ just dropped that wonderful pile and split.

144 Spiny Norman  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 4:09:52pm

re: #143 Charles

Looks like a cut-n-paste job, anyway.

145 lostlakehiker  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 4:13:51pm

re: #23 Guanxi88

Has Any Progress Been Made in Getting Creation in the Public Schools?
by John D. Morris, Ph.D.

[Link: www.icr.org…]

Several state school boards have, in recent years, inserted an innocuous “sticker” in the front of school biology textbooks which briefly calls attention to the variety of opinions regarding origins, and the theoretical nature of the subject. It neither discusses data nor identifies perspectives. Most recently, the state of Georgia inserted such a sticker which read:

This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered.

Advocates of creation admit this sticker is a dubious victory. It obviously doesn’t teach creation, nor claim that evolution is wrong, and certainly doesn’t introduce the Bible, yet it too has been vigorously opposed by the same teachers unions, professional evolutionists, and civil liberties groups. In January, the federal courts ordered it removed.

If evolutionists deny even this minimal hint that there might be more to the story, is this not a sign of insecurity? Are they afraid of open discussion of the data? What tactic can creationists adopt which will expose their position as the religious intolerance that it is?

Former President Reagan was often barraged by an adversarial press corps. Sometimes he would respond by cocking his head, flashing a wry smile, and saying simply, “There you go again.” Everyone got his point. The supposedly neutral press was pushing their own agenda. I suggest following his lead might be useful here.

“There they go again” censoring any thought which doesn’t support evolution we could say. “There they go again” admitting that evolution can’t stand the test of science. “There they go again” letting their insecurities show. Maybe then the media and the public at large will recognize this as a religious issue, with the evolution side hiding behind dogma and authority, and unwilling to engage in an open dialogue.


What insecurity? I won’t debate whether 2+2 makes 4. I know it. I’m an authority in the field, I am I am, and it’s beneath my dignity to “debate” this. And I have no patience with those who want the controversy about how much 2 and 2 makes taught, and want me to explain that it’s just a theory that the answer is 4, that reputable mathematicians have reached other answers.

(With some quote mining from, say, a textbook example of arithmetic mod 3, you could find a mathematician saying 2 and 2 makes 1).

But that’s not the same as saying I won’t explain it, and that I hide behind authority.

Here we go again.

1 and another 1, that’s 2.

Another 1 and another 1, that’s 2 more.

Now let’s count those 1’s. 1 2 3 4. Ta-dah.

The case for evolution is not quite so straightforward, but it’s made, patiently and carefully, in any number of books. And it’s just about as solid. First they’re coming for the professional evolutionists. Eventually they’ll come for the professional 2and2is4ists. The Big Bang, plate tectonics, radioactive decay, the age of the earth, the way elements other than hydrogen and helium were formed, all this is on the agenda of these guys.

146 Salamantis  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 4:41:12pm

re: #21 jester6

Please don’t read anything into this comment about the creation/darwin debate. And I am not passing judgment on Charles in anyway, it’s his blog and he can do what he damn well wants with it.

But, does Charles posting more about this issue than he did 2 years ago mean Islamofacism is less of a threat today than in 2007?

No, but it DOES mean that smarmy, snake-oil-selling Disco Institute shills are getting more active in their attempts to subvert the science education of America’s children by demanding that religious dogmas be forcibly shoehorned in. These people are a danger to our nation’s future, too, and, apparently, increasingly so as time goes on. They are connected with Christian Dominionist Reconstructionists, who are working to replace the US Constitution with the Bible, morphing our constitutional democracy into a Fundamentalist Biblical Literalist version of Iran or Saudi Arabia. And they have also linked up with Islamocreationists. So we should be paying attention.

147 Lynn B.  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 4:43:26pm

re: #97 Sharmuta

From the bill in Iowa:

I think what’s going on here is the DI and their lackeys in state legislatures are setting the stage for a scientific showdown in the courts. It’s what the DI wants, and didn’t get in Dover because the school board there messed up and didn’t stick to the DI script. These new laws are designed to find a judge they can BS, or establish a path to the SCOTUS where they hope to reverse all the previous rulings barring creationism from the classrooms.

I think there biggest problem is the precedent set by Judge Jones in Kitzmiller that ID is just not science. I’m hopeful that other judges, including the Justices, will see Judge Jones was quite thorough and the DI will be sent back to the drawing board once again.

They’re all too aware that Justice Scalia was one of the two dissenting votes in Edwards v. Aguillard. (The other was Rehnquist.) Of the other seven, only Stevens is still on the Court.

From Scalia’s dissent (I haven’t read the whole thing):

It is, in short, far from an inevitable reading of the Establishment Clause that it forbids all governmental action intended to advance religion; and if not inevitable, any reading with such untoward consequences must be wrong.

: (

148 Salamantis  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 4:45:52pm

re: #44 jester6

Maybe in your neck of the woods. But these folks have been righting this battle since the 80s and the days of the Moral Majority near me. Maybe that’s why I don’t worry too much about them. This country becoming a Theocracy is about as likely as it becoming a Libertarian Uptopia, where I can walk down the street naked with my machine gun and a 50 lbs bag of coke on my shoulder.

I don’t think they will be selling 50 lbs bags of Columbia’s finest anytime soon.

At one time in Europe, the danger from a bunch of brown-shirted rabble-rousers was ridiculed, too.

149 [deleted]  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 4:54:17pm
150 freetoken  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 5:02:00pm

re: #142 Basho

Evolution applied:
New research on bedbug insecticide resistance
[Link: membracid.wordpress.com…]

From which we can conclude that the Florida legislature has been successful in holding back evolution in Florida, but the NY legislature in its materialistic ways has succumbed to allowing in evolution into the state of NY.

/no?

151 Salamantis  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 5:03:53pm

re: #118 Naso Tang

No surprise there.

This gives an overview of different religious groups on the subject. Baptists don’t rate well, from my perspective anyway.
Religious Groups’ Views on Evolution

Of course this is not meant to say there are not uneducated people in all groups.

The Assembly of God-ers are in the same creationist boat as are the Southern Baptists:

[Link: www.ag.org…]

152 Salamantis  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 5:22:03pm

re: #133 docjay

Some years ago I also accepted Darwin’s “Theory.” A colleague of mine (who cannot be remotely classified as being a believer of any religion) got to me thinking about the assumptions of the Darwinist model. After much reading (and thinking) I found that the Darwinist model fails Popper’s test of falsifiability.

Evolutionary theory would be falsified if we:
1) found rabbit fossils in Precambrian geological strata, or more generally, the fossils of any organisms in strata far before they evolutionarily could have appeared
2) found two members of the same species with widely divergent genomes
3) found two members of widely divergent species with practically identical genomes
4) found living organisms lacking any genetic material whatsoever

None of these has happened. Evolutionary theory is clearly falsifiable; it simply has not been falsified And that is almost certainly due to its not being false.

Secondly, after looking at the interior of a cell, I find it very difficult to “believe” that everything in it got there accidentally. (For a fascinating look at a bacterial flagellum, go to the video at [Link: www.uncommondescent.com;…]
explain how that intricate dance happened by accident.) Of course, just because we do not currently have a naturalistic explanation for how everything came about, that does not to say that, at some future time, a naturalistic explanation will not be discovered. It may very well be. Right now, though, that remains a metaphysical speculation.

Evolution doesn’t proceed simply by accident or chance. The genetic mutations are random, but the environmental selection is nonrandom. And a lot can evolve in 3 1/2 billion years under environmental selection pressures - and has.

Consequently, intelligent design should be a viable alternative hypothesis. But please do not confuse intelligent design with creationism. One is potentially scientific and one is not.

The term ID was invented by the Disco Institute to circumvent court decisions forbidding the teaching of creationism as science. It is not scientific, as there is not a single shred of credible empirical evidence that supports it.

An alternative to either the Darwinist model or to intelligent design is to say we do not know. I think that is a perfectly legitimate scientific approach. Knowing that we do not know may impel us to look for a scientific alternative to what is being passed off for now as science. I may add, that one of the early commenters here compared the global warming hypothesis to the intelligent design hypothesis. I think quite the opposite: the global warming hypothesis is much closer to the Darwinist model than it is to the intelligent design model.

Docjay

Your argument from ignorance fails. Just because we do not know everything does not mean that we do not know some things, and one of the things we do know is that evolution via genetic mutation and environmental selection happens. It can be repeated under controlled laboratory conditions with Richard Lenski’s e coli, artifactual retroviral DNA sequences conclusively demonstrate common ancestry between humans and great apes (and common ancestry between many other currently distinct species as well), and the fossil record is unmistakeably clear on the issue. It is ID that some people are trying to pass off as science, and they are miserably failing at that endeavor, as they empirically should. And trying to impugn evolution by slagging AGW is like trying to discredit Abraham Lincoln by criticizing Ron Paul.

153 Salamantis  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 5:37:21pm

re: #133 docjay

continued…

explain how that intricate dance happened by accident.) Of course, just because we do not currently have a naturalistic explanation for how everything came about, that does not to say that, at some future time, a naturalistic explanation will not be discovered. It may very well be. Right now, though, that remains a metaphysical speculation. Consequently, intelligent design should be a viable alternative hypothesis. But please do not confuse intelligent design with creationism. One is potentially scientific and one is not.

Evolution doesn’t happen merely by accident or chance. While genetic mutations are indeed random, environmental selection is nonrandom. And it has had 3 1/2 billion years to sculpt terrestrial organisms. But ID is a term that was invented by the Disco Institute in order to circumvent court decisions forbidding the teaching of creationism, a religious dogma, as science in public schools. ID is NOT science; not a single shred of credible empirical evidence has been produced that supports it.

An alternative to either the Darwinist model or to intelligent design is to say we do not know. I think that is a perfectly legitimate scientific approach. Knowing that we do not know may impel us to look for a scientific alternative to what is being passed off for now as science. I may add, that one of the early commenters here compared the global warming hypothesis to the intelligent design hypothesis. I think quite the opposite: the global warming hypothesis is much closer to the Darwinist model than it is to the intelligent design model.

Docjay

Your argument from ignorance fails. Just because we don’t know everything doesn’tmean that we don’t know some things, and one of the things we know is that evolution via random genetic mutatiopn and nonrandom environmental selection happens. It can be observed repeatedly under controlled laboratory conditions in Richard Lenski’s e. coli, artifactual retroviral DNA sequences demonstrate to a statistically prohibitive degree that not only do humans and great apes share common ancestors, but so do other distinct species, and the fossil record evidence is irretrievably clear on the issue. It is ID that some people are trying to pass off as science, and the effort is failing miserably, due to a blatant, abject and utter lack of any credible supporting empirical evidence whatsoever.

And trying to attack evolutionary theory by criticizing AGW is like trying to discredit Abraham Lincoln by slagging Ron Paul.

154 theheat  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 5:48:46pm

If the outcome wasn’t so shocking, I could find humor in these socons clawing and scratching their way back into the dark ages, while their supporters beat me over the head with that a real conservative is. I’d be laughing, like so hard I couldn’t catch my breath kind of laughing. Laughing and pointing.

Unfortunately, these wackos are in positions where they can bull through legislation like this, and there’s nothing funny at all about it. And what’s even stranger, is when people you didn’t know supported such notions pop their heads up, and you think, “Geez, I never knew so-and-so was batshit crazy. Well, mark their name off the list.”

I have a feeling before the next election, there will be a list as long as my arm of people who consider themselves model conservatives, all getting behind this. (In the herd mentality, they feel safer in numbers.)

It’s really very creepy, when you stop to think about it. In this day and age, this is the poop they want people to swallow.

155 Basho  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 6:02:42pm

re: #150 freetoken

LMAO!
Didn’t even think of that. That’s hilarious =)

156 Jimmah  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 6:22:44pm

re: #145 lostlakehiker


What insecurity? I won’t debate whether 2+2 makes 4. I know it. I’m an authority in the field, I am I am, and it’s beneath my dignity to “debate” this.

What are you so scared of? If you are so sure that 2+2=4, why not also teach that 2+2=1 and then let the kids decide? re: #154 theheat

I think a schism between conservatives(who just want to conserve a bunch of old fashioned attitudes and beliefs) and republicans (who have proper enlightenment based values/outlook) is in order.

157 Jimmah  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 6:24:41pm

Sorry, I ran two posts together there, and managed to lose the sarc tag that should have been appended to the reply to lostlakehiker.

158 abolitionist  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 6:25:25pm

re: #82 Charles

I’ve been posting articles about evolution almost from the beginning of LGF, by the way.

[Link: littlegreenfootballs.com…]

[Link: littlegreenfootballs.com…]

From that first old link,

NEW WEBSITE FORMAT ANNOUNCED
February 1, 2009

BecomingHuman is proud to announce we will launch an updated and revised website during the second half of this month; in two to three weeks’ time we will launch an updated version of BecomingHuman. Our target date is February 21 but we may be “on the air” sooner.

HOW SCIENCE IS DONE (2)
January 25, 2009

In our occasional series, How Science Is Done, we attempt to show how real scientists, working on real questions, find answers [snip]

159 abolitionist  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 6:32:13pm

re: #158 abolitionist

Becoming Human - direct link for what I excerpted

160 jaunte  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 6:37:41pm

re: #133 docjay

Some years ago I also accepted Darwin’s “Theory.” A colleague of mine (who cannot be remotely classified as being a believer of any religion) got to me thinking about the assumptions of the Darwinist model. After much reading (and thinking) I found that the Darwinist model fails Popper’s test of falsifiability.

Creationists love talking about Popper, in the hope that referring to authority will buttress their claims. What did he really say about evolution?


The fact that the theory of natural selection is difficult to test has led some people, anti-Darwinists and even some great Darwinists, to claim that it is a tautology… . I mention this problem because I too belong among the culprits. Influenced by what these authorities say, I have in the past described the theory as “almost tautological,” and I have tried to explain how the theory of natural selection could be untestable (as is a tautology) and yet of great scientific interest. My solution was that the doctrine of natural selection is a most successful metaphysical research programme… . [Popper, 1978, p. 344]

I have changed my mind about the testability and logical status of the theory of natural selection; and I am glad to have an opportunity to make a recantation… . [p. 345]

The theory of natural selection may be so formulated that it is far from tautological. In this case it is not only testable, but it turns out to be not strictly universally true. There seem to be exceptions, as with so many biological theories; and considering the random character of the variations on which natural selection operates, the occurrence of exceptions is not surprising. [p. 346]”

More detail here:
[Link: ncseweb.org…]

161 Sharmuta  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 6:48:57pm

re: #133 docjay

Mr Behe?

162 Achilles Tang  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 6:58:15pm

re: #123 Dianna

I hope this isn’t an hour too late or something, but…Cato Jr. isn’t clear on either his terms, or his definitions. He certainly got all excited about human sexual and cultural behaviors not being “evolutionarily” oriented.

That’s anal retentive in brief.

163 Jimmah  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 7:04:23pm

re: #160 jaunte

Another talking point bites the dust.

164 lostlakehiker  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 7:26:44pm

re: #157 Jimmah

Sorry, I ran two posts together there, and managed to lose the sarc tag that should have been appended to the reply to lostlakehiker.

It’s understood. There was a regular casm between straight prose, and what you wrote, sar.

165 abolitionist  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 7:52:40pm

re: #82 Charles

Thanks, I enjoyed watching the four-part online flash documentary at BecomingHuman.org that was linked in your May 2001 post. It included a segment on ‘Lucy’ (as in prev thread).

Journey through the story of Human evolution in an interactive documentary experience.

Documentary is also downloadable as an exe file (choose MAC or PC).

166 Salamantis  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 8:11:34pm

When I posted #152, it only showed the part before the link had posted. So I redid the part after the link and posted it as #153, only to find, when I left the thread and returned, that the whole thing had posted the first time; it just hadn’t shown up on my screen then.

167 BartB  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 10:44:25pm

I am very mildly curious as to whether the concern for the cost of legal defense would be as great if the conditions were reversed.
If one feels that a closely held position is being attacked, for whatever reason, should one defend it or not? The old saying,
“All that is needed for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing” comes to mind.

If I found a restaurant that I thought was especially good, would I not tell my friends? Why, then, would someone become enraged if it were not their
favorite restaurant?

Just reading the comments here, it seems about 3:1 in favor of Darwin’s version of evolution. That is not surprising, as,
“Birds of a feather flock together.”
However, comma, what surprises me is the venom in the denunciation of the one by the three. It seems that any disagreement to the proper position
is aggressively attacked, while the attitude of the one to the three is much more mildly stated. Perhaps I am being too sensitive.

One of my granddaughter’s teachers has announced on more than one occasion that he is an atheist. I don’t know why he felt it necessary to
point that out. Similarly, a new person on the Daily Cageliner staff thought we should all know she is a lesbian. I suppose she is waiting for some
disagreeable word so she can cry discrimination. I can think of no other
reason to bring it up.

Anyway, it would be nice, if unrealistic, to think that we could discuss the topics, without excessive self-aggrandizement delivered by pointing out
the total idiocy of some of the posters.

168 Salamantis  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 11:22:17pm

re: #167 BartB

I am very mildly curious as to whether the concern for the cost of legal defense would be as great if the conditions were reversed.
If one feels that a closely held position is being attacked, for whatever reason, should one defend it or not? The old saying,
“All that is needed for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing” comes to mind.

If I found a restaurant that I thought was especially good, would I not tell my friends? Why, then, would someone become enraged if it were not their
favorite restaurant?

Just reading the comments here, it seems about 3:1 in favor of Darwin’s version of evolution. That is not surprising, as,
“Birds of a feather flock together.”
However, comma, what surprises me is the venom in the denunciation of the one by the three. It seems that any disagreement to the proper position
is aggressively attacked, while the attitude of the one to the three is much more mildly stated. Perhaps I am being too sensitive.

One of my granddaughter’s teachers has announced on more than one occasion that he is an atheist. I don’t know why he felt it necessary to
point that out. Similarly, a new person on the Daily Cageliner staff thought we should all know she is a lesbian. I suppose she is waiting for some
disagreeable word so she can cry discrimination. I can think of no other
reason to bring it up.

Anyway, it would be nice, if unrealistic, to think that we could discuss the topics, without excessive self-aggrandizement delivered by pointing out
the total idiocy of some of the posters.

You obviously haven’t witnessed the many creationist meltdowns on threads on this topic.

169 Sharmuta  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 11:46:34pm

re: #167 BartB

I am very mildly curious as to whether the concern for the cost of legal defense would be as great if the conditions were reversed.

Do you mean tax payer money being spent to defend the Constitution? That’s what tax payer money in a lwsuit should be used for, not to defend un-Constitutional agendas like creationism.

If one feels that a closely held position is being attacked, for whatever reason, should one defend it or not? The old saying,
“All that is needed for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing” comes to mind.

Sure, they should defend it if they wish, but when it’s brought to their attention that all the empirical evidence found over 150 years says their position isn’t scientific, they may want to reconsider their position. Nor does their devotion to their beliefs justify foisting it upon the children of others via public school science classrooms.

If I found a restaurant that I thought was especially good, would I not tell my friends? Why, then, would someone become enraged if it were not their favorite restaurant?

This is a very, very poor analogy and not worth debunking. Weak.

Just reading the comments here, it seems about 3:1 in favor of Darwin’s version of evolution. That is not surprising, as,
“Birds of a feather flock together.”

That because those of us who have looked at the empirical evidence have found it to be accurate. If agreeing 1 + 1 = 2, is that “group think”?

However, comma, what surprises me is the venom in the denunciation of the one by the three. It seems that any disagreement to the proper position
is aggressively attacked, while the attitude of the one to the three is much more mildly stated. Perhaps I am being too sensitive.

No- you are being blind. Not a single person supporting evolutionary teachings on this blog has damned anyone to hell. The creationists, on the other hand, have damned quite a few of us, our host not the least.

One of my granddaughter’s teachers has announced on more than one occasion that he is an atheist. I don’t know why he felt it necessary to point that out.

Maybe you should ask him, or have your granddaughter’s parents or guardians talk to the school administrators about it. Complaining about it on a blog doesn’t accomplish much.

Similarly, a new person on the Daily Cageliner staff thought we should all know she is a lesbian. I suppose she is waiting for some
disagreeable word so she can cry discrimination. I can think of no other
reason to bring it up.

What does this have to do with anything we’re discussing?

Anyway, it would be nice, if unrealistic, to think that we could discuss the topics, without excessive self-aggrandizement delivered by pointing out the total idiocy of some of the posters.

Look- when these threads first started, I didn’t know much about science, or evolution, though I never doubted it. On my own, I was able to educate myself. There is no reason whatsoever that these politicians or commenters on LGF can’t do the same. To say they’re ignorant of science isn’t an insult per se, it’s the truth. They lack knowledge, and they could correct that if they wanted to. I was called ignorant about science. I didn’t like that, so I took the time to correct it. If people don’t want to know, that’s the consequences- they get called what they are: ignorant. Unless, of course, republicans no longer stand for the principle of personal responsibility.

170 freetoken  Sun, Feb 8, 2009 11:56:08pm

re: #167 BartB

Perhaps I am being too sensitive.


Yes.

/How aggressively venomous of me.

171 Annar  Mon, Feb 9, 2009 3:50:20am

re: #26 Sharmuta

The islamofascists would like creationism in America’s public schools too so they can bring islamic creationism through the door demanding equal time.

No need to worry since by the time Harun Yahua’s works get published in the U.S. the New Dark Ages will have completely covered Europe and be descending on the U.S. The kids will skip this stuff altogether and go directly to qur’anic memorization.

Kids will come bome from school bragging that they can name Muhammad’s 11 wives and correctly dress Aisha’s wedding night dolls.

172 Yashmak  Mon, Feb 9, 2009 7:08:49am
However, comma, what surprises me is the venom in the denunciation of the one by the three. It seems that any disagreement to the proper position
is aggressively attacked, while the attitude of the one to the three is much more mildly stated. Perhaps I am being too sensitive.


-BartB

You obviously haven’t read many of the related posts on this weblog. Usually, it’s the other way around.

It’s not really hard to understand the ire of those defending Darwin either, as the creationist arguments (or those of folks who claim NOT to be creationists but are just ‘questioning Darwinisim’) seem to come almost verbatim from creationism websites, and are the same ones seen here and debunked dozens of times already, frequently re-iterated by the same people who have already posted these same things over and over. It gets old having to re-post the context of the same mis-represented quotes over and over again.

173 Land Shark  Mon, Feb 9, 2009 7:57:07am

re: #4 gmsc

Well, since churches are effectively getting a huge gift from the government by being allowed to remain tax-exempt, I suggest that this academic freedom bill require that evolution is taught in Sunday Schools.

I hear you. It’s time these creationists leave science class to science. I’m a creationist (but I don’t buy the literal God created the universe in 6 days bit, I believe he created the evolutionary process) but I believe science works best when left to be science. Evolution has been around for well over a century and I still see strong belief in God and religion. Those who see evolution as a threat to belief don’t have a leg to stand on., in my opinion.

Many of these creationists are as arrogant as they claim the evolutionists are. They are essentially making God conform to their beliefs, they arrogantly believe THEY know what’s on God’s mind. What hubris!

174 Yashmak  Mon, Feb 9, 2009 8:42:51am

re: #173 Land Shark

They are essentially making God conform to their beliefs, they arrogantly believe THEY know what’s on God’s mind. What hubris!

What bothers me, is that some of these people are willing to repeatedly lie or mis-represent/mis-quote others to push their agenda. There’s some sort of serious logical disconnect in their minds, as if they feel they’re somehow doing his will by breaking his commandments…and you’re right, I think there is a strong element of hubris there driving that sort of behavior.

175 Sharmuta  Mon, Feb 9, 2009 8:53:34am

re: #173 Land Shark

Creationists reject evolution, so if you’re defining yourself as a creationist simply because you have a belief in God and that He created the universe, you’re not really a creationist in the sense we’re discussing on this blog.

176 Charles Johnson  Mon, Feb 9, 2009 8:53:54am

re: #167 BartB

I am very mildly curious as to whether the concern for the cost of legal defense would be as great if the conditions were reversed.

Well, the problem with that idea is that anyone who sued a school district in order to try to force the teaching of religious dogma into science classes would have their case thrown out of court long before it reached the point of a trial. The idea is ridiculous.

Just reading the comments here, it seems about 3:1 in favor of Darwin’s version of evolution. That is not surprising, as,
“Birds of a feather flock together.”

If by “birds of a feather” you mean “people who don’t deny reality and most of modern science,” you’re right on the money.

However, comma, what surprises me is the venom in the denunciation of the one by the three. It seems that any disagreement to the proper position is aggressively attacked, while the attitude of the one to the three is much more mildly stated. Perhaps I am being too sensitive.

The amount of “venom” coming from creationists toward people who refuse to deny science VASTLY outweighs the reverse, and it’s pretty easy to prove. For example, I don’t think anyone on the side of evolution has ever told an opponent to “rot in hell.”

177 Land Shark  Mon, Feb 9, 2009 9:47:48am

re: #175 Sharmuta

I’m a creationist in the sense I believe God created the universe, but I’m obviously not opposed to evolution since I believe it to be God’s work. I’m definitely not one of those Biblical creationists who believe God made the universe in 6 days, resting on the 7th.

Maybe I’m an “Evolutionary Creationist?” ;-)

178 Basho  Mon, Feb 9, 2009 10:07:53am

re: #177 Land Shark

Well, creationist is a term to describe those who believe in a creation myth. Believing that God created the universe without any attachment to a particular story isn’t creationism, that’s just religion ;)

179 Basho  Mon, Feb 9, 2009 10:11:41am

re: #178 Basho

Meh… dictionary.com defines it better than me:
[Link: dictionary.reference.com…]

the doctrine that matter and all things were created, substantially as they now exist, by an omnipotent Creator, and not gradually evolved or developed.

The bolded part is the important distinction.

180 docjay  Mon, Feb 9, 2009 7:42:20pm

Hi everyone - I was quite interested to read your replies, and tonight I will reply in part to some of the points to which I am able to reply directly. Others I will try to get to later this week.

First to Basho at #134. Please provide debunking.

Charles at #136. The link to uncommon descent was so that you could view the video about the flagellum. The video says nothing about Darwin, ID, evolution, irreducible complexity etc. My point about the video was simply in regard to the general complexity of what is going on in the production of a bacterial flagellum. To me such complexity cannot come about from the Darwinian model. Also, I am well aware of the popular usage of the term “theory” as well as the scientific usage. So, I would say the Darwinian model is not a theory in the scientific sense of the word.

Lynn B. at #139. My mind is not closed to a naturalistic explanation if you can come up with one. I just think the Darwinian model is not the right one.

Charles at #140. I will get back to you later this week after I peruse the articles on the link you sent me. Thanks for the link.

Spiny Norman at #141. What I meant was that if there were an alternative naturalistic explanation, then ID would not be scientific. Creationism is not scientific (unless and until God makes an appearance).

Basho at #142. You’re confusing micro-evolution with macro-evolution. At the end of the day, it’s still a bed bug.

Charles at #143. I didn’t realize I would get all those replies. I actually went to sleep after I posted my comment. I have a day job and I have to get to sleep at a decent hour.

Salamantis at #152. None of what you mentioned about rabbits and genetic material supports the Darwinian model. I can hypothesize an intelligent designer who did all in that a particular step-wise procedure and you cannot contradict me. By the same token, the nanotechnology inside the cell is so unbelievably futuristic that it is hard to believe that it happened according to the Darwinian model. Also, Salamantis, a lot can happen in 3 1/2 billion years, but the Cambrian explosion happened only 530 million years ago, and so there is precious little time after then for everything to have happened the way it did by way of the Darwinian model. Moreover, a lot of what happened goes back to the earliest cell. Why would that earliest of cells have just about everything in place for things to turn out the way they did? As for the fossil record, it clearly does not support the Darwinian model, and that was the reason early paleontologists dissented from it, and it was the reason Jay Gould had to invent punctuated equilibrium to explain away the contradiction posed by the fossil record. Finally, your statement about common ancestry between humans and great apes in no way supports that model. (You should know that we are also have 25% of the same genes as a banana; that proves nothing.) You have to show how it happened, not that there is some kind of relationship, and you cannot show how it happened. As for your statement about “impugning evolution by slagging AGW” is to miss my point. I do not reject evolution per se, rather I reject the Darwinian model, and I reject it for the same reason I reject AGW. They fail as scientific theories.

jaunte at #160. Thank you for the information on Popper. I will look further into that.

Sharmuta at #161. Before Behe and before Dembski, there was Michael Denton. His book, “Evolution: A Theory in Crisis” is an amazing work. Indeed, according to Professor Behe, it was that book which impelled him ultimately to reject the Darwinian model. That book, even though it was written some 24 years ago, is still relevant today.

Docjay

181 Sharmuta  Mon, Feb 9, 2009 7:44:57pm

re: #180 docjay

Irreducible complexity has been utterly debunked. There is no working hypothesis to support ID. Only rhetoric, which doesn’t make for scientific data.

182 Salamantis  Mon, Feb 9, 2009 9:44:16pm

re: #180 docjay

Salamantis at #152. None of what you mentioned about rabbits and genetic material supports the Darwinian model. I can hypothesize an intelligent designer who did all in that a particular step-wise procedure and you cannot contradict me.

The point is that if you found any of the things I listed (rabbit fossils in Precambrian geological strata, or more generally, the fossils of any organisms in strata far before they evolutionarily could have appeared, two members of the same species with widely divergent genomes, two members of widely divergent species with practically identical genomes, or living organisms lacking any genetic material whatsoever), it would falsify evolutionary theory, which belies your assertion in #133 that the theory is unfalsifiable. You are free to maintain that evolution is a mechanism by means of which God has worked the deific will in the world, but evolution would remain, whether God did it or not. Evolution doesn’t render God impossible, and in fact does not address the presence or absence of a deity at all, but a God is not a necessary explanatory device for terrestrial species to have evolutionary proliferated as they have.

By the same token, the nanotechnology inside the cell is so unbelievably futuristic that it is hard to believe that it happened according to the Darwinian model.

It’s not a matter of believing in it; it’s a matter of accepting empirical explanations.

Also, Salamantis, a lot can happen in 3 1/2 billion years, but the Cambrian explosion happened only 530 million years ago, and so there is precious little time after then for everything to have happened the way it did by way of the Darwinian model.

Plenty of time. And the Cambrain explosion itself lasted 70-80 million years - longer than the time between the extinction of dinosaurs and now. Some aquatic organisms evolved guidable motility. They could swim where they pleased and feast on all the immobile life forms, and had no natural enemies, so a lot more mutations could thrive; then mobile predators of mobile organisms evolved, and the evolutionary predator-prey arms race was on.

Moreover, a lot of what happened goes back to the earliest cell. Why would that earliest of cells have just about everything in place for things to turn out the way they did?

You are not discussing evolutionary theory, here but origins of life theory. Charles has posted an article on it here before; here it is:

[Link: pandasthumb.org…]

The basic idea is that optimum copying fidelity rates evolved. Too low, and distinguishable species aren’t even established; too high, and species cannot produce genetic mutations, so when the selecting environment changes characteristics, they are completely wiped out.

to be continued…

183 Salamantis  Mon, Feb 9, 2009 10:08:35pm

re: #180 docjay

continued…

As for the fossil record, it clearly does not support the Darwinian model, and that was the reason early paleontologists dissented from it, and it was the reason Jay Gould had to invent punctuated equilibrium to explain away the contradiction posed by the fossil record.

Gradualism and punctuated equilibrium are not mutually exclusive; rather, they are poles on a continuum. They do not constitute an either/or dilemma; both happen. For instance, for millions of years, hominids gradually elaborated a highly refined cortical module controlling hand-eye coordination, that allowed highly articulated finger control. Then, a few hundred thousand years ago, a metamutation rendered that cortical module accessible to the mouth-ear nexus, and this mutation permitted the oral production and auditory parsing of complex speech. And there are loads of transitional fossils in the record:

[Link: en.wikipedia.org…]

Finally, your statement about common ancestry between humans and great apes in no way supports that model. (You should know that we are also have 25% of the same genes as a banana; that proves nothing.) You have to show how it happened, not that there is some kind of relationship, and you cannot show how it happened.

But we share nearly 99% of our DNA with chimpanzees (and we should, because they are much more closely related to us than are bananas - even though the genetic code - the way that genetic sequences translate into molecular production - is the same for genomes across the board). And you miss the whole point of artifactual retroviral DNA, which indicates to me that you have not read the paper on it.

[Link: www.newyorker.com…]

The point is that artifactual retoviral DNA sequences did not originate within their present genomes, but were spliced into it during retroviral infections. Their original source, then, is external. Humans and chimpanzees share thousands of these sequences, at the same stage of genetic degradation (indicating how long ago they were embedded), occuring at precisely isomorphic sites in the respective genomes of humans and great apes. If great apes and humans share common ancestors, there’s no problem; the retroviruses in question infected our common ancestor, and they were passed on to all the branches that evolutionarily diverged from it. But in the absence of a common ancestor, not only would thousands of the same viral infections have had to infect humans and great apes at the same time, but they weould have all had to serendipitously splice themselves into the precise isomorphically equivalent sites in the different species’ 3 billion base pair genomes. The statistical probability of such a thing happening is vanishingly smaller than the chance that you could win every lottery on the planet by buying a single ticket in each, while hitting the jackpot on every one-armed bandit in Vegas by sticking a single coin in each slot. In other words, the chance is so statistically prohibitively small as to lie quantums beyond rational consideration.

As for your statement about “impugning evolution by slagging AGW” is to miss my point. I do not reject evolution per se, rather I reject the Darwinian model, and I reject it for the same reason I reject AGW. They fail as scientific theories.

But evolutionary theory has expressly NOT failed as a scientific theory; it is indeed one of the most empirically verified theories on the planet, and not a single shred of credible empirical evidence has been found that contradicts it.

184 Charles Johnson  Mon, Feb 9, 2009 10:09:53pm

re: #180 docjay

You are spouting one debunked creationist talking point after another. None of the sources you’re quoting (Behe, Dembski, Denton, etc.) have ANY credibility at all. And you have absolutely no understanding of the meaning of a scientific theory, or what it means to falsify one.

But of course, that never stops creationists from exhibiting their willful ignorance.

185 docjay  Tue, Feb 10, 2009 7:38:08pm

Hi everyone - There were a couple of loose ends last night that I have looked into. Based on the reception (or lack thereof) I got the first two times out, I assume there will be little agreement as well on what I have to say tonight.

First with the most recent, tomorrow night for the loose ends.

Sharmuta at #181. I read further some of the debate about ID, and I think we’re going to have to agree to disagree on this (without I hope being disagreeable). After Behe’s “Darwin’s Black Box” was published there were a number of Darwinists who disagreed with his conclusions. I read Behe’s responses to them and I think he quite ably defended his thesis. At least some of Behe’s responses can be found at [Link: www.discovery.org…] and [Link: www.trueorigin.org…] As for there being (or not being a working hypothesis supporting intelligent design, I would point you to the following site:
[Link: www.ideacenter.org…]

Salamantis at #182 & 183. Found out where you the rabbit example - it’s from population geneticist Robert Haldane (and later picked up by Richard Dawkins). In any event, if you actually found a rabbit in pre-Cambrian strata, would you really reject Darwinism, or would you try to figure out how the rabbit got there?
But coming back to falsifiability, there are two parts to the Darwinian model. The first is random variation, or as Ernst Mayr rephrased it, random mutation. (Correct me if I am wrong on that.) The second is survival of the fittest.
When we look at the first part, we actually never observe a favorable random mutation. Indeed, Lynn Margulis, a Darwinist (of sorts) said as much. Then we have Marc Kirschner’s book, The Plausibility of Life. and it too rejects random mutation (see pp. 13-14). Instead, it recasts the Darwinian model as being plausible based on the first cell’s having everything needed for future development (and that itself raises all kinds of questions). Yet Darwinists continue to view random mutation as the engine for evolution. That is what I mean by not being falsifiable. Secondly, when we come to natural selection, we find Darwinists using it to explain everything. When you do that, you are positing something that is not falsifiable. Also, if natural selection worked, it would just select away the weakest of the current crop of species; how would it add information to the gene pool?

Next you imply that 530 million years is plenty of time for all the variations to occur to take us from the creatures then to forms today. There are simply too many variations between the Cambrian period and the present to account for the changes that have occurred to have occurred randomly. When you start doing the probabilities, you quickly run out of time. Also, note my earlier comment about random changes. As a rule, order does not arise from disorder.

Your next statement about punctuated equilibrium and gradualism not being mutually exclusive I find quite contradictory. For the most part what we observe in the fossil record is punctuated equilibrium. Even the transitional forms you pointed me to at wiki are not persuasive. As Denton has pointed out, the gaps between the first form and the subsequent one are quite large. In any event, I don’t find the fossil persuasive. What the fossil record has is forensic evidence. We see fossil A become (kinda) fossil A’ (or A”). We don’t know how that happened which is what you must explain. I would say the same thing is true for the close relationship between chimps and humans. Again it is forensic evidence which must be explained.

Let me close with an example from Kant (who also had a watchmaker example predating Paley). If you were to discover a perfect hexagon carved in the ground in a wilderness, what would you conclude? Similarly, when I look at the nanotechnology of the cell, I am lead to the same conclusion.

I have some other things to say, but I gotta get to sleep.

Docjay

186 Sharmuta  Tue, Feb 10, 2009 7:43:19pm

re: #185 docjay

Behe has been utterly discredited, as has Dembski and his mathematical theory that there isn’t enough time. There is.

The men you’re supporting have been utterly debunked over and over again.

Irreducible Complexity Demystified

If you want to actually hang out some time and debate this in real time instead of dropping your turds and leaving, I, and I’m sure Sala and others, will gladly continue to debunk your nonsense.

187 Sharmuta  Tue, Feb 10, 2009 10:21:00pm

Perhaps Salamantis will have the patience to deal with you, docjay, but I think you’re hopeless. Your fundamental understanding of evolution is so flawed and skewed, it would take a miracle to set you straight.

Instead of reading just the ID side of the theory, why don’t you try reading an actual scientist’s work? Or is your faith so weak it can’t bear up under the strain? Just modern genetics and the mapping of the various genomes should be enough to put this issue to bed. But not for folks like you- you’re nuts.

188 Sharmuta  Tue, Feb 10, 2009 11:54:49pm

I don’t know what part of a genetic mutation being new genetic material these creationists can’t seem to grasp.

I don’t know what part of a beneficial genetic mutation giving a creature an advantage at survival and thus passing it’s genes on to the next generation these creationists can’t seem to grasp.

I don’t know what part of a negative genetic mutation causing harm to the creature’s survival and thus preventing it from passing it’s genes on to the next generation these creationists can’t seem to grasp.

The environment the creature finds itself in determines which mutations are beneficial for survival. Increased chances of survival means increased chances for reproduction. Is this really that difficult to grasp?

The only thing I can think of as to why these creationists can’t grasp this fairly simple notion is they don’t want to.

189 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 11, 2009 1:00:32am

re: #185 docjay

Salamantis at #182 & 183. Found out where you the rabbit example - it’s from population geneticist Robert Haldane (and later picked up by Richard Dawkins). In any event, if you actually found a rabbit in pre-Cambrian strata, would you really reject Darwinism, or would you try to figure out how the rabbit got there?

I could not see some advanced race time-traveling a rabbit back into ancient strata, so I would have to view a rabbit fossil in the PreCambrian as counterfactual empirical evidence falsifying the theory; then it would be a matter of seeing what could and could not be salvaged from it in light of the new evidence, and where new investigations were warranted in order to develop novel understandings that the theory evidently lacked. I’m no dogmatist; I follow where the empirical evidence leads.

But coming back to falsifiability, there are two parts to the Darwinian model. The first is random variation, or as Ernst Mayr rephrased it, random mutation. (Correct me if I am wrong on that.) The second is survival of the fittest.

There is no such thing as ‘fittest’ in the general sense in evolutionary theory, any more than there is ‘progress’. The genetic mutations (they are changes but not progress) that allow the organisms in question to more efficiently exploit their particular ecological niches, with their particular sets of predators, parasites, food sources, and climate parameters, are the ones that are environmentally selected.

When we look at the first part, we actually never observe a favorable random mutation. Indeed, Lynn Margulis, a Darwinist (of sorts) said as much.

Richard Lenski’s e coli spontaneously evolved an ability to metabolize citric acid that other e coli do not share. The addition of a food source to an organism’s repertoire must be considered to be favorable. And since Lenski preserfed some of those e. coli in cold storage pre-mutation, he can run and re-run that mutation at will in the laboratory uder controlled conditions.

[Link: myxo.css.msu.edu…]

So you are wrong about favorable random mutations having never been observed, as are all others who assert it. Of course, what they’re looking for are such mutations in sizeable animals, not microorganisms, but here, too, a population of lizards has recently evolved a digestive structure better suited to digest available food than the one they had before.

[Link: www.sciencedaily.com…]

Then we have Marc Kirschner’s book, The Plausibility of Life. and it too rejects random mutation (see pp. 13-14). Instead, it recasts the Darwinian model as being plausible based on the first cell’s having everything needed for future development (and that itself raises all kinds of questions).

They did indeed have all that was required for future development; a high but imperfect genetic copying fidelity that allowed stable species to be established, yet also allowed for evolutionary change in response to changes in their selecting environments. But to claim that the template for human beings already resided in the genomes of single celled organisms is utter insanity. The genes just aren’t there in contemporary examples. And to think that ancient single-celled organisms possessed not just the template contained in the 3 billion base pair human genome, but also the templates of all of the other organisms that evolved from them, is utterly irrational - as utterly irrational as it would be to think that all the present species sharing the artifactual retroviral DNA sequences that they do were created separately and lack common ancestors.

to be continued…

190 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 11, 2009 1:22:17am

re: #185 docjay

continued…

Yet Darwinists continue to view random mutation as the engine for evolution. That is what I mean by not being falsifiable. Secondly, when we come to natural selection, we find Darwinists using it to explain everything. When you do that, you are positing something that is not falsifiable. Also, if natural selection worked, it would just select away the weakest of the current crop of species; how would it add information to the gene pool?

But I gave you several ways in which evolutionary theory is falsifiable. But being falsifiable doesn’t entail that a theory will be falsified. Evolutionary theory doesn’t explain everything; I have yet to see it applied to physics, for instance. And externally sourced and spliced in artifactual retroviral DA sequences, which comprise, for instance, fully 8% of the human genome, add genetic information to the species in which they are embedded. Selection doesn’t just select against those mutations that poorly exploit their ecological niche, it also selects FOR those mutations that nore efficiently exploit the selfsame niches. And those mutations are informational changes that add to what existed before.

I hope you’re not leaning towards some sort of 2nd law of thermodynamics entropy argument, because that only applies to closed systems, and the terrestrial biosphere is an open system, receiving energy from outside (from the sun).

Next you imply that 530 million years is plenty of time for all the variations to occur to take us from the creatures then to forms today. There are simply too many variations between the Cambrian period and the present to account for the changes that have occurred to have occurred randomly. When you start doing the probabilities, you quickly run out of time. Also, note my earlier comment about random changes. As a rule, order does not arise from disorder.

No you don’t run out of time; successful mutations become the baselines from which new mutations issue, and mutations thus aggregate. Plus, we are not talking about a purely random process, as the environmental selection that acts upon genetic mutations is itself a nonrandom process. Also, the sexual shuffling and reshuffling of genetic material provides another source of variations to be selected - pre-existent genes in novel combinations. To put your mind at ease regarding the time issue, I suggest you go to this link:

[Link: www.talkorigins.org…]

then scroll down to the section titled: [1.2.3 Statistical impossibility of proteins?]. You will find how Dawkins designed an iterative computer model that removes all reasonable doubt as to time constraints.

And your ‘order does not arise from disorder’ remark only applies to a closed system, which, as I pointed out above, the terrestrial biosphere is NOT.

to be continued…

191 Sharmuta  Wed, Feb 11, 2009 1:40:20am

re: #189 Salamantis

Richard Lenski’s e coli spontaneously evolved an ability to metabolize citric acid that other e coli do not share. The addition of a food source to an organism’s repertoire must be considered to be favorable. And since Lenski preserfed some of those e. coli in cold storage pre-mutation, he can run and re-run that mutation at will in the laboratory uder controlled conditions.

Don’t forget Nylonase- a bacteria developing the ability to digest a new, man-made synthetic material.

192 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 11, 2009 1:42:35am

re: #185 docjay

Your next statement about punctuated equilibrium and gradualism not being mutually exclusive I find quite contradictory. For the most part what we observe in the fossil record is punctuated equilibrium. Even the transitional forms you pointed me to at wiki are not persuasive. As Denton has pointed out, the gaps between the first form and the subsequent one are quite large. In any event, I don’t find the fossil persuasive. What the fossil record has is forensic evidence. We see fossil A become (kinda) fossil A’ (or A”). We don’t know how that happened which is what you must explain. I would say the same thing is true for the close relationship between chimps and humans. Again it is forensic evidence which must be explained.

We observe both gradualism and punctuated equilibrium in the fossil record, and, as I pointed out before, in our own evolutionary history. And the gaps are getting narrower and narrower as time goes on and recently unearthed transitional forms progressively fill them in. The fact that you do not find the fossil record to be persuasive does not entail that it does not accurately document evolutionary changes. And how did A become A’? The same way that Lenski’s e coli did, the same way those lizards changed, the same way that Figure, the progenitor of all Morgan Horses first appeared in 1789, and the same way that ancient protohominids diverged into orangutans and gorillas and bonobos and chimpanzees and humans: random genetic mutation acted upon by nonrandom environmental selection.

Let me close with an example from Kant (who also had a watchmaker example predating Paley). If you were to discover a perfect hexagon carved in the ground in a wilderness, what would you conclude? Similarly, when I look at the nanotechnology of the cell, I am lead to the same conclusion.

I will answer that since, in a universe such as you describe, there would be nothing UNdesigned, there would be an utter lack of any examples by means of which designed vs. undesigned could be compared and contrasted:

“Consider the idea that nature itself is the product of design. How could this be demonstrated? Nature, as we have seen, provides the basis of comparison by which we distinguish between designed objects and natural objects. We are able to infer the presence of design only to the extent that the characteristics of an object differ from natural characteristics. Therefore, to claim that nature as a whole was designed is to destroy the basis by which we differentiate between artifacts and natural objects. Evidences of design are those characteristics not found in nature, so it is impossible to produce evidence of design within the context of nature itself. Only if we first step beyond nature, and establish the existence of a supernatural designer, can we conclude that nature is the result of conscious planning.” - George H. Smith

In other words, you canot logically begin with possible organism design candidates as premises and reach an untainted designer conclusion; you can only begin with the assumption of design, then hold out this or that organism as an alleged example (and all proffered examples of organism design so far have been conclusively debunked). To begin with your conclusion and proceed to your premises is the exact opposite of how both logic and empirical science work, but it is precisely how dogma proceeds.

BTW: I notice that you utterly failed to address the artifactual retroviral DNA sequence evidence with which I presented you. I strongly suspect that it is because you cannot refute it, so you are trying to ignore it. But I will not let you do that. Furnish another explanation besides evolutionary divergence and speciation from ancient common protohominid ancestors, if you can. I say you can’t. And I also say that the evolutionary explanation works like a charm; it fits the vast plethora of genetic evidence like a greased glove.

193 Sharmuta  Wed, Feb 11, 2009 1:44:52am

re: #190 Salamantis

He’s getting the so-called statistical improbability from Dembski without realizing that even Dembski’s mathematics professors have called his mathematics flawed.

194 Sharmuta  Wed, Feb 11, 2009 1:47:24am

Bravo, Sala.

195 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 11, 2009 1:52:13am

re: #194 Sharmuta

Bravo, Sala.

Easy meat…;~)

196 Sharmuta  Wed, Feb 11, 2009 1:55:30am

re: #195 Salamantis

I was trying to find the Dawkins computer model earlier, so thanks for linking it so I’ll have it for future reference now.

197 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 11, 2009 2:07:28am

re: #196 Sharmuta

I was trying to find the Dawkins computer model earlier, so thanks for linking it so I’ll have it for future reference now.

No Problemo!

198 docjay  Wed, Feb 11, 2009 7:09:49pm

Hi everyone - First let me apologize for what looks like commenting and running. While my latest comment is clocked at 7:38, I actually posted it at around 10:30. As I said earlier, I have a day job and I need my rest. I also would like to note that while we can disagree, we should avoid being disagreeable.
Also, let me state for the record, though I doubt you will believe me, I am NOT a creationist or a crypto-Creationist. While Creationism is compatible with intelligent design, the reverse is not necessarily true. So please stop identifying me as a creationist. (Remember that in my first comment, I said, I originally accepted the Darwinian model.)

A couple of other things before getting to my responses. One is Jaunte’s comment at #160 on Popper. Apparently sometime in the mid-1970s Popper did change his mind about natural selection. Nevertheless, I continue to view natural selection as not falsifiable and hence, by Popper’s own standard, not science. Also with regard to Charles at 140, I essentially answered you in my response to Sharmuta at 181. Finally, in response to Salamantis at #192, I was not intentionally ignoring your statement about Lenski’s experiments. (Lame excuse - I ran out of characters.) I have said, and I will say again, common ancestry, like the fossil record, does not verify the Darwinian model. While common ancestry may indicate that A’ came from A, it in no way verifies that the change from A to A’ happened by random variation and natural selection.

Sharmuta at #186: I am still looking into the link you sent me; I’ll get back to you on that. At #187 - Faith (or lack thereof) has nothing to do with my rejecting the Darwinist model, and I do read Darwinists, as for example, Dawkins’ The Blind Watchmaker, Kirschner and Perach (Unintelligent Design). Frankly, if that’s the best Dawkins can do, I am not impressed. (If you really want something to shake up your faith, read Bart Ehrmans’, God’s Problem. It describes one man’s journey from being a true believer to being a true disbeliever. The counter is Anthony Flew’s, There is a God.) At #188: With regard to mutation, attempts at causing mutations are almost always, if not always, damaging to the organism with the mutation. (See Dr. J. Sanford, Genetic Entropy, pp. 1-43.) Let me say again, at least within finite time, you do not get order from disorder. Also, small mutations (on one nucleotide) will generally disappear. (See again Lynn Margulis, a Darwinist who is dismissive of the importance of mutation.) When a macro change does occur to an organism, a slew of nucleotides must change, and they have to do so in a way that allows the organism to live and thrive. The probability of that occurring through a favorable mutation is vanishingly small; so it becomes a “miracle of nature,” with nature replacing the theist’s God or the non-theist’s intelligent designer or undiscovered naturalistic explanation. (BTW - sorry you’re loosing patience with me.)

Salamantis at #189: About the rabbit — just curious to see the reaction if that actually happened. As for the Lenski experiment, two things strike me about it. First, if I am not mistaken, it took 20,000 generations to get the mutation (in human time, 400,000 to 500,000 years) and it was under selective pressure of changing the food source (forced on the e. coli by an outside intelligence). Yet, after all that, you get one mutation, and it’s still e. coli. (I do not know if Lenski went backwards — maybe you can tell me — by returning the mutated e. coli to its original food source. Would it have devolved back? If it would, I would have to conclude that the mutation was not a favorable one.) Finally, all Lenski showed is that micro-evolution is possible, and on that I do not think there is much disagreement. It is like the finch’s beak. The beak will change under different environmental conditions, but the finch is still a finch and the beak continues to vary in size. Where the disagreement arise is with regard to macro-mutation.

To be continued

199 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 11, 2009 7:20:52pm

re: #198 docjay

Salamantis at #189: About the rabbit — just curious to see the reaction if that actually happened. As for the Lenski experiment, two things strike me about it. First, if I am not mistaken, it took 20,000 generations to get the mutation (in human time, 400,000 to 500,000 years) and it was under selective pressure of changing the food source (forced on the e. coli by an outside intelligence). Yet, after all that, you get one mutation, and it’s still e. coli. (I do not know if Lenski went backwards — maybe you can tell me — by returning the mutated e. coli to its original food source. Would it have devolved back? If it would, I would have to conclude that the mutation was not a favorable one.) Finally, all Lenski showed is that micro-evolution is possible, and on that I do not think there is much disagreement. It is like the finch’s beak. The beak will change under different environmental conditions, but the finch is still a finch and the beak continues to vary in size. Where the disagreement arise is with regard to macro-mutation.

How can you call the ability to metabolize a previously unusable food source a micromutation? It is the bacterial equivalent of some humans suddenly being born with blue scaly skin (the protein sheath of the e coli in question was drastically altered), and possessing to ability to drink strychnine and piss arsenic, while running a marathon on the energy thus derived. And you didn’t address the digestive tract changes in those island lizards at all.

You still have not replied to the artifactual retroviral evidence embedded in our genomes. You still insist that evolution is not falsifiable, even though Popper himself, who created the Falsification Principle, begs to disagree, and I have provided you with several fossil and genetic ways in which it could indeed be fossilized. And you continue to bring up arguments from entropy, even though they do not apply to open systems like the terrestrial biosphere, which receives energy from an external source (the sun), and continue to assert that there was not time for evolution to have happened, even though Dawkins’ computer model, which I referenced above puts the lie to such a contention.

In other words, you continue to recycle reguted contentions.

200 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 11, 2009 7:28:52pm

Oh, and we not only know that the genome is the source of physiological traits, but we have actually used this fact, by genetically engineering beneficial organisms. A genetic sequence from the daffodil was spliced into the rice genome, producing a Vitamin A rich grain that prevents poor Southeast Asian children from contracting rickets, and a bioluminescence sequence from jellyfish was inserted into the mouse genome, creating glowing animals that aid in our study and understanding of the fine grained structure and function of induced tumors within them.

All sorts of plants have been genetically engineered to help them to flourish in otherwise inhospitable climes (too hot, too dry, poor soil), and to resist parasitic infections. These changes would appear to be quite beneficial to the plant species concerned.

201 docjay  Wed, Feb 11, 2009 8:26:29pm

Continuing with Salamantis at #189.
As to Kirschner and the original cell, I did not say the cell was a template. What I meant was that it had all the necessary hardware. It used the same 20 proteins, it had the same G, C, A, T structures, etc. In modern term, the cell has been conserved. That came as a big surprise to Darwinists. To quote Kirschner (p. 34): “A big surprise of modern biology has been conservation-that even distantly related organisms use similar processes for cellular function.” The reason that finding is important is that it explains parallel evolution. That’s because just about the same genetic structure from the cell is used over and over again. For example, takes eyes in vertebrates, arthropods and squid. Nearly the same set of genes is use for each of those. Yet that flies in the face of the Darwinian model which posits random mutation as the starting point that should lead to eyes. But conservation puts the Darwinian cart before the Darwinian horse. The genes are already there to be used later. A comparable puzzle - Why do sharks have genes for fingers?
At #190: You gave me four examples that you think would falsify the Darwinian model. I don’t see how 2, 3 and 4 (especially 4) would falsify it. The definition of a species makes 2 an impossibility, and similarly it would suggest that in 3 they are nearly the same. (We do, however, have example of the same genome sequentially producing two entirely different phenotypes: butterflies and moths.) That only leaves 1, and I’ll have to think about that. When we turn to the issue of time, I’ll use Lenski’s experiment. One mutation (that might or might not be favorable) in 20,000 generations. In human terms, say about 400 thousand years. That means 12 favorable mutations in 5 million years; and can 12 mutations takes you from money to man? (I am ignoring the population difference between the gazillion bacteria Lenski was using and the few million hominids that became man.) Lee Spetner, in chapter 4 of Not By Chance, goes through the probabilities regarding the changes that have to occur to go from hyracotherium to horse. He concludes it is simply not possible for it to have happened randomly in the 65 million years that elapsed between the two. Put another way, it should have taken a lot longer. Note, 65 million is more than 10% of the time from the Cambrian explosion to the present. So, it really was Spetner’s calculations I had in mind, and not Dembski’s, when I said 530 million years is to short.

Two final thoughts. One I notice some questions about Dawkins’ computer model. Before you even bring it up, just remember how it was constructed: a program made by intelligent agent, run on a machine made by intelligent agents. That doesn’t cut the mustard.

Second, the hexagon example is from Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Judgment (CJ). In the second half of that he discusses teleology (which is sort of like intelligent design). The book was a response to Spinoza’s Ethics in which Spinoza had constructed a paralytic God who could do nothing. That allowed him to reject teleology. Kant’s CJ was a partial resurrection of teleology. In it, Kant did not see the non-living aspects of nature as showing a purposeful intelligence, and that was because they were explicable by fixed laws of nature. Where he did see intelligence was in living organisms and in the exquisite coordination of all the parts. He then went on to say that while you cannot conclude there is a God from that (although one might subjectively be inferred), you can conclude there was an intelligence at work. To provide and example of what he meant, he used the hexagon (and the watch). Similarly, when I look at a cell with all its intricacies and the exquisite coordination of all its parts, I conclude that it could not have happened by chance based on current knowledge. Hence, by default, I see an intelligence as having made the cell. Maybe I’m wrong and someday we may have a naturalistic explanation, but so far there isn’t one.

202 docjay  Wed, Feb 11, 2009 8:29:06pm

Salamantis at #200 (before I gotta go): Genetic engineering is done by an intelligent agent do something purposeful. It is not random variation by natural selection.

203 Charles Johnson  Wed, Feb 11, 2009 8:31:13pm

Two words to describe creationists: shameless and relentless.

204 justadot  Wed, Feb 11, 2009 10:23:21pm

re: #198 docjay

You don’t know what you’re talking about, do you? You say:

First, if I am not mistaken, it took 20,000 generations to get the mutation (in human time, 400,000 to 500,000 years) and it was under selective pressure of changing the food source (forced on the e. coli by an outside intelligence).

Wrong. It took about 31500 generations. And there’s no requirement for an outside intelligence to change an organism’s environment or source of nutrition.

Then you say:

Yet, after all that, you get one mutation, and it’s still e. coli.

Wrong again. There were at least 3 mutations according to Lenski (see p.7904):

The replay experiments indicate an even more complex picture that must involve, at a minimum, three important genetic events. At least one mutation in the LTEE was necessary to produce a genetic background with the potential to generate Cit+ variants, while the distribution and dynamics of Cit+ mutants in fluctuation tests indicate at least two additional mutations are involved.

If you read the paper and look at the results of the replay experiments, you’ll see it was much more complicated than a single rare mutation. Lenski specifically designed the experiments to check for that possibility (see pp. 7902-3).

Again you say:

(I do not know if Lenski went backwards — maybe you can tell me — by returning the mutated e. coli to its original food source. Would it have devolved back? If it would, I would have to conclude that the mutation was not a favorable one.)

If you mean to say if Lenski were to place members of the Cit+ E. coli (those that metabolize citrate under aerobic conditions) in citrate-poor medium, what would happen, then I don’t know (yet). You should know that the Cit+ subpopulation continued to coexist with a smaller subpopulation of Cit- E. coli. As Lenski says:

Although the Cit+ cells continued to use glucose, they did not drive the Cit- subpopulation extinct because the Cit- cells were superior competitors for glucose. Thus, the overall diversity increased as one population gave rise evolutionarily to an ecological community with two members, one a resource specialist and the other a generalist.

We’ll have to wait and see how the experiment continues and see what happens with this minority group. As for the effect of acquiring a citrate transporter under aerobic conditions:

The new Cit+ function has been the most profound adaptation observed during the LTEE and has had major consequences. As we will show, the population achieved a severalfold increase in size.

So it was a favorable series of mutations for one group.

205 justadot  Wed, Feb 11, 2009 10:24:52pm

re: #198 docjay

Then you also say:

Finally, all Lenski showed is that micro-evolution is possible, and on that I do not think there is much disagreement.

Wrong. If you’ll take the time to read Historical contingency and the evolution of a key innovation in an experimental population of Escherichia coli, you’ll find that’s only a small part. The first two words in the title show you the main focus (a favorite of Gould’s): historical contingency. As Lenski says:

We demonstrated that the evolution of this new function was contingent on the history of the population in which it arose. In particular, we showed that one or more earlier mutations potentiated the evolution of this function by increasing the mutation rate to Cit+, although even the elevated rate is much lower than a typical mutation rate.

That’s why he ran the “replay the tape of evolution” experiments.

Now go read the paper and stop wasting these Lizards’ time.

206 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 11, 2009 11:04:45pm

re: #201 docjay

Since justadot has already thoroughly debunked your Lenski contentions, I shall restrict my replies to your other ones.

As to Kirschner and the original cell, I did not say the cell was a template. What I meant was that it had all the necessary hardware. It used the same 20 proteins, it had the same G, C, A, T structures, etc. In modern term, the cell has been conserved. That came as a big surprise to Darwinists. To quote Kirschner (p. 34): “A big surprise of modern biology has been conservation-that even distantly related organisms use similar processes for cellular function.” The reason that finding is important is that it explains parallel evolution. That’s because just about the same genetic structure from the cell is used over and over again. For example, takes eyes in vertebrates, arthropods and squid. Nearly the same set of genes is use for each of those. Yet that flies in the face of the Darwinian model which posits random mutation as the starting point that should lead to eyes. But conservation puts the Darwinian cart before the Darwinian horse. The genes are already there to be used later. A comparable puzzle - Why do sharks have genes for fingers?

The original cells most likely translated genetic instructions into proteins using the selfsame language that is common to all contemportary terrestrial life. This fact further demonstrates the common ancestry of all terrestrial life. What they DIDN’T do is contain anywhere near all of the different genes that the sum of all terrestrial species contain; they have to mutate into serendipitously amenable selecting environments. We do NOT, for instance, find the entire genetic sequences for constructing a human-like eye present in flatworms, which possess only light-sensitive spots. It is not surprising that genetic convergence happens, as similar environments could be expected to select for and against similar genetic mutations. As for sharks possessing ‘finger’ genes, I’ll bet that they really possess genes for structures that would support their fins. And certainly not fingers in any recognizeable sense, because fingers are calcified bone and sharks are cartilagenous.

At #190: You gave me four examples that you think would falsify the Darwinian model. I don’t see how 2, 3 and 4 (especially 4) would falsify it. The definition of a species makes 2 an impossibility, and similarly it would suggest that in 3 they are nearly the same. (We do, however, have example of the same genome sequentially producing two entirely different phenotypes: butterflies and moths.) That only leaves 1, and I’ll have to think about that.

They are: 1) rabbit fossils in Precambrian geological strata, or more generally, the fossils of any organisms in strata far before they evolutionarily could have appeared, 2) two members of the same species with widely divergent genomes, 3) two members of widely divergent species with practically identical genomes, or 4) living organisms lacking any genetic material whatsoever.

2,3 and 4 would falsify evolution because 2 and 3 would demonstrate that the configuration of the genome did not dictate an organism’s configuration, and 4 would be a configuration in the absence of any genetic material whatsoever. As it is in genomes that the mutations which are selected for or against by abient environments happens, proof of their irrelevance to organism traits would deal evolutionary theory a lethal blow. But I’m not holding my breath. BTW: butterflies and moths are genetically closely related, yet distinguishable. And some have been misidentified; which is which turns out not to be in the eye of the beholder, but in the gene of the beholded.

to be continued…

207 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 11, 2009 11:20:59pm

re: #201 docjay

continued…

When we turn to the issue of time, I’ll use Lenski’s experiment. One mutation (that might or might not be favorable) in 20,000 generations. In human terms, say about 400 thousand years. That means 12 favorable mutations in 5 million years; and can 12 mutations takes you from money to man? (I am ignoring the population difference between the gazillion bacteria Lenski was using and the few million hominids that became man.) Lee Spetner, in chapter 4 of Not By Chance, goes through the probabilities regarding the changes that have to occur to go from hyracotherium to horse. He concludes it is simply not possible for it to have happened randomly in the 65 million years that elapsed between the two. Put another way, it should have taken a lot longer. Note, 65 million is more than 10% of the time from the Cambrian explosion to the present. So, it really was Spetner’s calculations I had in mind, and not Dembski’s, when I said 530 million years is to short.

You are not only ignoring Dawkins’ computer model showing that beneficial mutations may accumulate at a much faster rate than admitted by either of the people you reference, you are also implicitly presupposing a single human line, when there are, and have been, literally many tens of billions of humans born past and present, and far more hominids and protohominids born, any of which could have had, and passed on, a beneficial mutation; certainly many more than a dozen successful mutations occured in that time. Hell, we have fossil evidence of more different types of protohominids than that. And as the genome code difference between humans and their closest relatives, chimpanzees, is less than 1.5 %, it appears that a little genetic difference can go a long way, depending upon what it controls. The same points can be applied to horses, or any other contemporary species, as can be applied to humans.

Two final thoughts. One I notice some questions about Dawkins’ computer model. Before you even bring it up, just remember how it was constructed: a program made by intelligent agent, run on a machine made by intelligent agents. That doesn’t cut the mustard.

But it is also stated in the article in question that the experimental design was specifically engineered to mimic random genetic mutation and environmental selection as closely as possible. This is the selfsame argument that creationists will use when scientists actually manage to recreate life from scratch - that it was designed - and they will even proffer this argument if the only design in the experiment is to recreate the environmental conditions obtaining when terrestrial life first appeared.

to be continued…

208 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 11, 2009 11:29:16pm

re: #201 docjay

Second, the hexagon example is from Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Judgment (CJ). In the second half of that he discusses teleology (which is sort of like intelligent design). The book was a response to Spinoza’s Ethics in which Spinoza had constructed a paralytic God who could do nothing. That allowed him to reject teleology. Kant’s CJ was a partial resurrection of teleology. In it, Kant did not see the non-living aspects of nature as showing a purposeful intelligence, and that was because they were explicable by fixed laws of nature. Where he did see intelligence was in living organisms and in the exquisite coordination of all the parts. He then went on to say that while you cannot conclude there is a God from that (although one might subjectively be inferred), you can conclude there was an intelligence at work. To provide and example of what he meant, he used the hexagon (and the watch). Similarly, when I look at a cell with all its intricacies and the exquisite coordination of all its parts, I conclude that it could not have happened by chance based on current knowledge. Hence, by default, I see an intelligence as having made the cell. Maybe I’m wrong and someday we may have a naturalistic explanation, but so far there isn’t one.

So you and Paley and Kant all suffer or suffered under the same illusion of design. All you’re doing is a diaphanous precursor to what Behe tried to do when he contended that some biological structures were irreduceably complex. And every alleged example of this irreduceable complexity that Behe has proffered has been thouroughly and comprehensively debunked, by showing how it was comprised of a combination of both simpler and evolutionarily selectable components.

Here’s what Richard Dawkins has to say about the illusion of design:

[Link: www.naturalhistorymag.com…]

209 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 11, 2009 11:32:26pm

re: #202 docjay

Salamantis at #200 (before I gotta go): Genetic engineering is done by an intelligent agent do something purposeful. It is not random variation by natural selection.

The point is that genetic engineering is accomplished by purposefully modifying the selfsame genetic codes the random mutation of which, when confronted by nonrandomly selecting enviroments, result in evolution and species divergence. In other words, if evolution wasn’t true and the genome was not its mechanism, genetic engineering wouldn’t work.

210 docjay  Thu, Feb 12, 2009 6:49:51pm

It appears that civil discourse is in not a trait I can expect here. In my last two comments, I have repeatedly requested that if you disagree with me, do not be disagreeable. Alas, no seems to read or heed those requests. Without answering anyone in particular: genetic modification by humans is intelligent design; designing a program is intelligent design; explaining away the fossil record is denial; the presence of a fossil record is not supportive; the presence of a genome is not supportive; common descent is not supportive; and 3 seemingly beneficial mutations in 31500 generations that leave e. coli as e. coli should raise major issues about macro-evolution and should not be considered supportive; and they should raise questions about the length of time necessary for fortuitous accidents to occur to non-bacteria before time runs out; finally, the original cell’s having all the necessary hardware which has remained unchanged poses major problems, etc.

One correction - I said 20 proteins. I meant 20 amino acids.

211 Sharmuta  Thu, Feb 12, 2009 6:51:09pm

re: #210 docjay

I’m glad you’re here. I wanted to ask you- can you explain hiccups, hernias, and the human infant grasp reflex in the foot? Thanks.


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