Are Tsunamis Intelligently Designed?

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In the wake of a deadly earthquake-triggered tsunami that has killed at least 77,000 people in southern Asia, brave scientific dissenters are standing up to the Wegenerian Orthoxody that has for so long censored and belittled anyone who dares to question the validity of Naturalistic Seismology. For decades, scientists have told us that they understood the processes that cause earthquakes. In high school science textbooks, they dazzle unsuspecting students with tales of tectonic plates shifting and so-called “continental drift”. But new evidence shows that these processes are infinitely more complex than the guardians of science would have you believe, and a growing number of scientists are dissenting from this dogmatic Wegenerism.

Continue Reading Are Tsunamis Intelligently Designed at Dispatches from the Culture Wars

29 Comments

good post about the response to the tsunami at Everybody is Crazy.

http://www.everybodyiscrazy.com/index.php?p=11

Can’t help but think its a little early for an essay like this. The death toll is up to 114,000 and still rising, I think we should probably wait to make points that are tangentially related.

On ARN Mike Gene is whining about how unfairly ID is treated and creates some of his favorite strawmen.

Sure, it’s the standard stereotypes at play. It effectively breaks down like this:

Since no one has 1) caught and interviewed the designer(s) and 2) no one has successfully proven that evolution is impossible …

Then anyone who does not agree ID = Nonsense is

a) stupid b) ignorant c) deceptive d) a religious yahoo

From here, the mind cherry picks data to validate a) through d).

Of course what Mike is trying to hide is the very valid criticisms to intelligent design that without constraining the design(er), an approach based on an argument from ignorance (which is what the eliminative approach is all about), is inherently unreliable. Since ID refuses to formulate positive hypotheses which are relevant to the concept of ID, ID thus becomes a meaningless concept scientifically. In other words, anyone who insists that ID is scientific may want to reconsider their viewpoints. Since ID is also based on disproving evolution through natural and chance pathways, it is ID who has chosen to make itself irrelevant. Mike has done little to further the concept of ID scientifically and even less in showing a comprehension of the arguments raised against it, beyond his strawmen. What happened to the old Mike Gene I wonder…

Of course what Mike is trying to hide is the very valid criticisms to intelligent design that without constraining the design(er), an approach based on an argument from ignorance (which is what the eliminative approach is all about), is inherently unreliable.

It is remarkable how many ID peddlers and script-reciters fail to recognize that just because they insist that “ID theory” says nothing about the designers, that does not make it so.

Obviously, for “ID theory” to have any meaning, the designers must possess extraordinary physical and intellectual powers that vastly exceed anything humans have encountered. There is no evidence that any such beings exist now or existed in the past. And assuming the existence of awesomely powerful “intelligent” beings to explain a phenomenon is not science. It’s either religion (if you choose to worship the beings) or fantasy (if you like role-playing games and smoking pot).

Thus, “ID theory” as science fails to stand up to the most facile of arguments, arguments easily understood by an average literate 8th grader.

In contrast, figuring out whether Mike Gene fits into category (a) or (b) above is substantially more challenging.

Mike is neither stupid nor ignorant. Just frustrated by the (strength of the) arguments against ID. This seems one of the reasons why Mike is moving more and more towards front loading, basically protecting ID from gap arguments but making ID indistinguishable from how science is done today.

Mike is moving more and more towards front loading, basically protecting ID from gap arguments but making ID indistinguishable from how science is done today.

Come again? I don’t follow.

Are you saying that some guy is doing science and pretending that he is generating evidence that life on earth must have been created by awesomely powerful intelligent beings?

Or is he just doing science that has nothing to do with the creationists’ “ID theory” but he’s calling it “ID theory” because he’s dishonest (but not stupid or ignorant)?

Now how could anyone ever associate with ID advocates with religious yahoos? What has the ID movement ever done to invite such comparisons? Aside from being stacked with YECs, funded by Christian Reconstructionists, and having a manifesto proclaiming the need to “renew” our culture in the name of Christianity, I can see little evidence that religious extremists have had any influence.

Is is this some pseudoscience flowing from the tsunami disaster?

Did animals’ ‘sixth sense’ save them from tsunami? Thursday, December 30, 2004 Posted: 4:49 PM EST (2149 GMT)

Wild life officials found no evidence of large-scale animal deaths from the massive tsunami at Yala Safari Game Lodge close to Yala Reserve Wildlife Park, southeast of Colombo, Sri Lanka. JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (Reuters) – Wild animals seem to have escaped the Indian Ocean tsunami, adding weight to notions they possess a “sixth sense” for disasters, experts said on Thursday.

Sri Lankan wildlife officials have said the giant waves that killed over 24,000 people along the Indian Ocean island’s coast seemingly missed wild beasts, with no dead animals found.

“No elephants are dead, not even a dead hare or rabbit. I think animals can sense disaster. They have a sixth sense. They know when things are happening,” H.D. Ratnayake, deputy director of Sri Lanka’s Wildlife Department, said on Wednesday.

I’m with Steve F. It does seem a bit early for something like this… I know it’s not intentional, but it does seem a tad on the insensitive side to drag up a horrific disaster to demonstrate the weakness of a proportionally insignificant topic (using cost to human life as my scale).

And, yes, I’m sure I will be flamed for this comment.

I think it’s horribly insensitive to advocate sterile, anti-science stuff like “intelligent design.” It hampers the fight for cures for cancer. It damages our attempts to control the diseases.

And if calling the bluff seems insensitive, blame the bluffers.

Intelligent design occupies the state education agencies of four states. It’s the subject of litigation in at least one other state. It sidetracks teachers and kids.

Insensitive? The only real danger is some nut will think the tsunami thing accurate. Considering how many have been suckered in by intelligent design, even people of otherwise commendable discernment, I think that is a real danger. So we balance that against the need to sound the alarm.

I agree with what you say Ed, I’m just of the opnion that we should wait until the final death count comes in and the relief effort is well underway before discussion of issues surrounding the tsunami commence.

I have my opinions on the tsunami and the associated philosophical (and other) issues, however I don’t think its appropriate to air them whilst we are still having to dump thousands of bodies in mass graves.

I agree with what you say Ed, I’m just of the opnion that we should wait until the final death count comes in and the relief effort is well underway before discussion of issues surrounding the tsunami commence.

I have my opinions on the tsunami and the associated philosophical (and other) issues, however I don’t think its appropriate to air them whilst we are still having to dump thousands of bodies in mass graves.

The great Lisbon earthquake of 1 November 1755 gave rise to a host of sermons that ascribed the disaster to God’s wrath at the sinfulness of the city’s inhabitants. Voltaire replied with a poem that included these lines:

Will you say: ‘This is result of eternal laws Directing the acts of a free and good God!’ … Did Lisbon, which is no more, have more vices Than London and Paris immersed in their pleasures? Lisbon is destroyed, and they dance in Paris!”

The earthquake also figures in Voltaire’s much more famous book Candide. Indeed, it may have inspired this satirical attack on philosophical optimism. Ed is in good company. Meanwhile, whatever the role of the Lisbon disaster in the history of the Enlightenment, it’s a good bet that more people were driven to religion by the tragedy than led to question their faith. Fear put the gods in heaven, as the ancients used to put it.

If anyone wants to see a truly inappropriate response, just check out Fred Phleps’ gloating over the intelligently designed quake, and the 2000 Swedes it killed, some of whom were apparently “fags and dykes” who were asking for it. (Everyone else, I guess, was collateral damage).

http://tinyurl.com/43a2u

I’m sure the denizens of ARN have already risen up in outrage over this one…

wow. The American Taliban speaks.

I still find it hard to believe that Phelps isn’t an ingenious satarist.

Steve F Wrote:

I still find it hard to believe that Phelps isn’t an ingenious satarist.

Okay, the gig is up. I’ve been doing this Fred Phelphs thing for years, but now it’s getting old and I think I’ll hang my hat up. Everyone’s had a good laugh, especially the Sheppard family who really needed it in their time of grief.

Actually, I’m not Fred Phelps. The real Fred Phelps is gay and lives in Sweden.

Be it known that Ed Brayton banned me from commenting at “Dispatches from the Culture Wars” two days ago after a mere half dozen comments critical of his views.

I wasn’t surprised. Anyone that’s as willing to censor discussion of evolution in a public school classroom certainly isn’t going to tolerate me for long when he can push a button to make me go away.

If only there were a button Ed could push to make the people in school boards go away…

Be it known that Ed Brayton banned me from commenting at “Dispatches from the Culture Wars” two days ago after a mere half dozen comments critical of his views.

LOL. Your lies are amusing, Mr. Springer. I banned you after you admitted that you were just playing games and “messing with me”, and after you then left no fewer than 9 comments in the space of a half hour.

I wasn’t surprised. Anyone that’s as willing to censor discussion of evolution in a public school classroom certainly isn’t going to tolerate me for long when he can push a button to make me go away.

Entirely false. I am not the least bit interested in censoring “discussion of evolution”. What I am against is schools teaching ID along with evolution when there simply is no ID to teach. As Paul Nelson and others have admitted, there just isn’t a full-fledged theory to test, much less one that had withstood testing and therefore could justifiably be taught as valid. To place that alongside one of the most thoroughly tested and accepted theories in all of science, in a science classroom, would be fraudulent and unjustified. It certainly is not equivalent to “censoring discussion of evolution”. One really has to wonder how you managed to become an assistant dean of a department at a major university while displaying such a penchant for dishonesty and irrational thinking.

Dave Scot whines

If only there were a button Ed could push to make the people in school boards go away …

Buttons are for deleting trolls from privately maintained blogs.

Legal briefs are for deleting ignorant recovering oxycontin abusers from public school boards.

Ed noted that

One really has to wonder how you managed to become an assistant dean of a department at a major university while displaying such a penchant for dishonesty and irrational thinking.

Dave Scot is an assistant dean where??????? Please tell me you’re pulling my leg, Ed.

Dave Scot is an assistant dean where??????? Please tell me you’re pulling my leg, Ed.

Afraid not. According to the email he sent me, his real name is Dave Springer and according to his email address, he is the “vnasecretary”. I googled it and turns out that this is a neighborhood association in Texas, just outside of Austin. And there is a Dave Springer who is the assistant dean of the school of social work at Texas. I presume they are the same person.

Mike has done little to further the concept of ID scientifically and even less in showing a comprehension of the arguments raised against it, beyond his strawmen. What happened to the old Mike Gene I wonder …

There was another Mike Gene?

Admittedly, his attempt to use ID to design fruitful hypotheses seems to be a barren one; does anyone know if any of his ideas have actually turned into real experiments?

One really has to wonder how you managed to become an assistant dean of a department at a major university while displaying such a penchant for dishonesty and irrational thinking.

Perhaps because you’re comparing him with assistant deans you’ve known in science departments?

Perhaps because you’re comparing him with assistant deans you’ve known in science departments?

Perhaps. Or I could just be presuming incorrectly. Texas is a big state and there may well be more than one Dave Springer there. The fact that he is on the board of a neighborhood association is enough to make me shudder. Neighborhood associations are my idea of hell. You couldn’t pay me to live in a neighborhood that had one, and I’d rather be coated in honey and tied down naked on an anthill than endure the meetings of one.

Using the tsunami to bash ID is insensitive. You could have waited. And it’s such a lame point at that. You see, the difference with predicting earthquakes and neo-darwinism is that seismology is science, neo-darwinism is faith. You believe so strongly that life isn’t special. Why it’s just like rocks in the riverbed to you. Why aren’t there any square rocks in the riverbed? Why do giraffes have such long necks? Same thing. And as a result, you can’t recognize an insensitive post.

As convincing a demonstration of ‘incoherent’ as anyone could hope to see.

Hey Ed,

Did I hit a nerve or what?

Your knowledge of neighborhood associations is as narrow and preconceived as the rest of your thinking. No surprise there.

Your conclusion that the similarity in morphology between my name and a dean’s name at UT combined with geospatial proximity means we are the same person is a good example of how shallow your thinking is. That’s the kind of inference that underpins the evolutionary dogma you worship, by the way.

All I want to do is get you thinking outside the box and the thanks I get is an inept attempt at cyber stalking. Lovely.

Try this link if you want to learn a little more about what I did for a living (I retired 5 years ago):

http://tinyurl.com/69fqp

Did I hit a nerve or what?

The moment you admitted that you were just “messing with me” is the moment at which you no longer deserved to have a forum on which to spew your nonsense. When you then proceeded to leave nearly a dozen comments in less than 15 minutes, the ban was more than justified.

Your conclusion that the similarity in morphology between my name and a dean’s name at UT combined with geospatial proximity means we are the same person is a good example of how shallow your thinking is. That’s the kind of inference that underpins the evolutionary dogma you worship, by the way.

It wasn’t a conclusion, it was a presumption. I said it was a presumption and I said it might very well be wrong. And the moment someone begins to blather on about the “worship” of “evolutionary dogma”, you can pretty much dismiss them as an ignorant hack. Of course, I dismissed you as that quite some time ago, but thanks for proving me right yet again.

What is it about retirees and creationism??

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This page contains a single entry by Ed Brayton published on December 30, 2004 11:45 AM.

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