The Bathroom Wall

| 446 Comments

With any tavern, one can expect that certain things that get said are out-of-place. But there is one place where almost any saying or scribble can find a home: the bathroom wall. This is where random thoughts and oddments that don’t follow the other entries at the Panda’s Thumb wind up. As with most bathroom walls, expect to sort through a lot of oyster guts before you locate any pearls of wisdom.

The previous wall got a little cluttered, so we’ve splashed a coat of paint on it.

446 Comments

Emanuele Wrote:

Therefore, the probability of at least one universe generating sentient life is, unsurprisingly, one.

By your (incorrect) use of “probability,” if a coin is tossed a single time and comes up heads, the probability of the result was one. Take the value of gravity (whatever it is). Even if the present universe is the only universe to have existed, it is possible that the value of gravity could have been different than it is.

Now, it’s up to the supporters of a “designed universe” to show that any other universe was/is possible. As long as they don’t do so, they can only grasp at straws and imagine that somehow this universe was/is “unlikely” (a completely meaningless term, used this way).

Thus, meaningful talk of possible universes does not depend on the existence of previous universes.

DaveScot Wrote:

Any theory of everything leads to an infinite logical regress. If God created the universe then where did God come from?

Agreed (though I was specifically interested in the chain of temporal causes; temporal causes are within the realm of science, while logical causes are the pervue of metaphysics). And the only way to avoid the logical regress is to posit a first cause that justifies itself. Aquinas does just that be defining God as a being whose essence is existence. Without such a being, you’re left with an unexplained first principle.

I can’t resist a digression: don’t you find the notion of 11-dimensional space incoherent. Whatever string theorists are talking about, it isn’t space. When they try to interpret the math, they end up using everyday spatial metaphors that break down when pushed. At first glance, it seems like a textbook case of language run amok at the frontiers of science (akin to “unconscious thought”).

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NOTE TO ALL: I am pledging polite conversation regardless of insults, and will avoid theology unless it is relevant. If you want to discuss theology with me, come over to my site.

Emanuele,

Could the universe appear anything but designed

I would say yes. If the universe were such that any old value of the expansion rate would lead to galaxies, and any old nuclear chemistry would result in supernovae, and any old value of planck’s constant would result in the necessary amount of quantum tunneling, etc,–then that universe would not have an appearance of design.

By the way, the inifinite number of universes that was discussed earlier–I think it was moved, is not possible–at least not in the expand-collapse scenario, because of thermodynamics. (Not to mention that the expansion of the present universe is accelerating instead of decelerating.)

Emanuele,

The way you are using “probability” makes the notion of an unrealized possibility meaningless.

One determines a physical possibility, not by the observation of different outcomes, but by whether or not the considered event contradicts a law of nature.

Since we are here discussing possibilities of natural laws, the measure cannot be natural laws. It must be logical contradiction. And as a different value for gravity does not involve a logical contradiction, it is “possible.”

If the universe were such that any old value of the expansion rate would lead to galaxies, and any old nuclear chemistry would result in supernovae, and any old value of planck’s constant would result in the necessary amount of quantum tunneling, etc,—then that universe would not have an appearance of design.

As a mental exercise, try to imagine a universe where any of these postulates would actually work. I mean, a single, definable universe. I doubt even The Great Designer Himself could produce such a thing. Objects are defined by parameters. If any parameter whatsoever is as good as any other, you don’t have an object at all. You don’t have anything.

Michael,

Please distinguish before the fact and after the fact. If I haven’t tossed a coin, the probability of each face coming up is 1/2. If I have tossed that coin, there is no more uncertainty: it either came up heads or it came up tails. No more 50-50; 0-100 or 100-0.

Now, if we are to discuss how “likely” or “unlikely” this universe is, we must admit up front that we have only this universe to observe, so any declaration of “likelihood” or “unlikelihood” is meaningless.

This universe is, and that’s all we know. We don’t know whether it is one in a gazillion universes, each with imperceptibly different physical constants, or it came out this way simply because there was no other possible way, or it came out this way because, well, it had to come out one way or another and this happened to be the way the chips fell.

Since we don’t know this, we don’t know how likely or unlikely it really is.

Is this difficult to admit?

We don’t even know whether the theoretical universe mentioned by Mr. Heddle, i.e. one that would not appear designed, is possible. Sure, finding one such universe would be powerful evidence for our own being designed… otherwise, it remains a quaint mind experiment with no evidential value whatsoever.

Emanuelle,

While it is true we cannot say anything about the probability of this universe, would you agree or disagree that the appearance of fine-tuning motivates some scientists to look for cosmologies to replace the current big-bang model?

Flint:

Try not to just jump on imprecise language. What I meant was, much looser constraints on those things than presently exists.

And on the “appearance of fine-tuning” (or design, or whatever…).

On faced with such an “appearance” (or even the “feeling of an appearance”), it’s perfectly rational to look not for the thing “in the world” that caused the appearance (the “Designer” or the “fine-tuner”), but to look instead for the things internal to ourselves that give rise to the feeling in the first place.

When we see the face on Mars, it’s one strategy to go looking for the folks that built it. It’s another to start wondering why we tend to see faces in rock formations, clouds, and whatnot. That latter strategy is far superior, given the ontological implications of the former: it’s too indulgent, postulating monument-building martians, or eternal designers, as it does. Given the success of the less “fanciful” theory (ie; that we’re just prone to see faces in things, due to some – usually handy – neural wiring, or here; that we tend to see the universe as “fine-tuned”, when we’re really more like the puddle of water marvelling how the depression in the ground fits it so snugly), the former shouldn’t earn much respect.

(And yes, I’m using a lot of scare quotes; but these are some instances of pretty unseemly mental hygiene – I’d rather keep my gloves on, so to speak.)

creationists, they do suck.

Mr. Heddle:

While it is true we cannot say anything about the probability of this universe, would you agree or disagree that the appearance of fine-tuning motivates some scientists to look for cosmologies to replace the current big-bang model?

I can’t read minds, and frankly, as long as scientists do science, I couldn’t care less about their motivations.

If the big-bang model can accurately account for the data we have available, there is no particular need to replace it; if it doesn’t, every cosmologist worth his/her PhD should feel the need for a better model.

Here is where we part ways: you say “appearance of fine-tuning” and I say “appearance of fine-tuning”, but we don’t seem to be saying the same thing.

You seem to mean (correct me if I’m wrong) that our universe appears “fine-tuned” and therefore there must have been some kind of entity or agent that did an actual “tuning” of some sort; I see this “appearance” as the inevitable by-product of our anthropocentric point of view; we cannot but perceive an appearance of design.

If the universe were any other way and still supported some kind of sentient life, there would probably be a super-intelligent shade of the color purple named “Davidheddle” who would argue with a fellow shade “Emanueleoriano” using trivial variations of your arguments.

If the universe were any other way and, alas, could not support any form of sentient life, there would be no discussion.

The appearance of design cannot be avoided, except in your entirely hypothetical “flexible” universe. I already said that, if we found out that such a universe existed, that would be very strong evidence that our own was indeed “fine-tuned”.

Barring such evidence, however, I provisionally accept this universe as the only one we know for sure exists… and the appearance of “fine-tuning” as little different from the appearance of being at the centre of the universe.

Wayne,

Re “Filtering is great…” What’ve you got there, a program that takes a downloaded html file and removes selected parts of it? I have a program that takes the html and makes a text file out of it, to make it easy to keep posts I want (and discard what I don’t want). Since that leaves me reading the stuff in a text editor, it’s fairly easy to delete posts I don’t want to bother with, so I haven’t bothered to automatically delete based on user id (though it’d be easy enough to do).

Scott Davidson,

Re “[his] logic is a little flawed here. Just a tiny bit” He had logic? And I missed it? (Did I say that?)

Re “The genetics of the individual don’t change during it’s life time,” Excluding some parts of the immune system, as I understand it. ;)

Michael Finley, Re “As an aside, one can believe that natural processes might account for all (or nearly all, depending on the extension of “all”) we see, and still believe that the universe has a purpose.” Yep. That agrees with my current viewpoint.

Re “I’ve read (though I forget the reference) that the design inference in cosmogony is a fairly strong one.” I’d call it a speculation rather than an inference.

Re “you will immediately face an infinite temporal regress which is a physical impossibility.” Why would an infinity be impossible? It’d be impossible for us (or any finite being) to measure it, or even be sure it’s there, but that by itself wouldn’t make it impossible.

luminous, Re “I can tolerate the idea of intelligent design, if the intelligent designer is not too bright and has no clue what it’s doing.” Which sort of describes what a gene pool does when it’s experimenting produces a new species.

Henry

Well I would like to start off this wall with a bit o’ science. On the previous wall, I had a message, #20343.

In response David Heddle wrote: (#20351)

jeff parado wrote, “They have a probability of being a wave or a probility of being a particle.”

This is not correct. A photon does not have a wavefunction that is a*(wave) + b*(particle) with a and b as probability amplitudes. The correct statement (complimentarity principle) is that on any given experiment you measure either wavelike or particle like properties.

DaveScot ignored my post and replied in message #20360:

Wrong. Light exhibits properties of both waves and particles.

Please read

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wave-p[…]icle_duality

While I’ll let them duke it out as to which of them is right and which is wrong. Here are the facts. Photons, while travelling (before detection/observation) exhibit a duality nature of particles and waves. Once they interract/observed, their probability function collapses into either one or the other, but before it is a 50/50 probability.

So in response to Heddle, I would say that a coin once flipped and in midair has a probability of being heads and a probability of being tails. Once it lands it is either heads or tails.

To DaveScot, I would say this, read that wikipedia article, it states just what I said, and clarified here. Then reread what I wrote. So, to summarize: in transit that photon has a “dual” nature of being both a particle and wave at the same time. Once it interracts/is observed, it exhibits only one or the other. Thus my original argument stands.

uh, no Jeff, let this one go. The probability amplitudes don’t give wave vs particle likelihood.

A couple of simple concepts for the evolutionists.

An uneducated person from 1000AD hearing your voice behind a locked door would swear in court that you were there inside that room. An educated person today would allow the possibility that it could have been a phone attached to a loud speaker or you on TV etc.

Likewise the evolutionist who tells you that there is no possibility for someone to control evolution because it appears random and there is no evidence of outside intervention may be wrong. And just as the person unaware of phones and TVs would be reasonable in discounting that possibility so to the evolutionist is reasonable for discounting that notion.

But that has no bearing on wether they are right.

So if you ever hear an evolutionist telling you that evolution in any form proves there is no God, smile and back away for you are talking to reasonable yet very ignorant or very stupid person.

Amazing! You even refuse to acknowledge that military chaplains are religious clerics paid for by U.S. taxpayers to explicitely provide religious services to military members, in time or war or peace, at home or abroad.

Chaplains provide a service to citizens, allowing the free exercise of religion while citizens are away from their homes. Now, how that is failing to acknowledge that they exist, I don’t know. Read what I wrote – pay attention to what the laws are.

You know what else Ed, the taxpayers build CHAPELS on military bases.

Absolutely. And swimming pools, and housing, and grocery stores. And theatres and bowling alleys. Yes, when we require military people to be away from home, we provide them and their families with benefits that other citizens have by dint of their being home.

Come on down here sometime and I’ll get you a tour of the Army-Air Force Exchange Service world headquarters. And over lunch I can get you started on a First Amendment reading program.

Your theory of that impenetrable wall of separation between church and state is blown all to hell by the egregious breach of said wall made in the military.

I did not propose any “impenetrable” wall. I merely noted what the government has the right to do (which does not include religion in any guise) and what rights are reserved to citizens. The government making arrangements to protect citizens’ free exercise rights is not a violation of the establishment clause; the government instructing in a religious view that is not backed by science and has no valid, secular purpose, is an illegal establishment.

There are two parts to the religious clauses of the First Amendment. And just to confuse you further, Dave, those religious rights for citizens existed prior to the First Amendment, too. All the First did is enumerate them.

Nothing allows the government to espouse anti-science views that are based wholly in religion.

In actuality, gov’t isn’t prohibited from promoting religion. It’s prohibited from promoting a state religion. This is evidenced in the military by the chaplain’s requirement to fulfill the religious needs of any servicemember regardless of what particular religion he practices. Gov’t is neutral with regard to religion, not hands off with regard to religion. Any greater separation is, as I said and as I proved, a tortured latter 20th interpretation of the establishment clause by an activist, liberal federal judiciary.

You’ve “proven” nothing with your torturing of history. The 20th century interpretation fo the establishment clause is based on an 1802 presidential declaration, which was based on a solid understanding of the intention of the author of the First Amendment and the Congress and states who ratified it, which was based on a solid understanding of the views of the people who asked for the Bill of Rights and the authors of the Constitution. No state, no governmental entity, has any religious right, duty or privilege, nor have they had any at any time under the Constitution (nor for some time prior to the Constitution).

The government makes broad tolerances for religious expression, which is not the same thing as promoting religion generally. Your statement is exactly the opposite of the view of the law; Justice Robert Jackson noted in 1943:

If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. If there are any circumstances which permit an exception, they do not now occur to us.

(Justice Robert Jackson, writing for the Court, in WEST VIRGINIA STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION et al. v. BARNETTE et al. (319 U.S. 624) 1943)

Neutrality requires “hands off” when it comes to science curricula. Military chaplains don’t change that.

Comment # 20420

Henry J Wrote:

Comment #20420 Posted by Henry J on March 15, 2005 11:08 PM Wayne, Re “Filtering is great … “ What’ve you got there, a program that takes a downloaded html file and removes selected parts of it?…

I’ve just wrote a quick program to help me keep track of the PT posts. I found, since I live in Australia, most posts where happening when I was asleep. So I wrote a program to track Posts and the comments. It does a few things for me. It breaks up all the comments and stores them in a local database, now 127meg large. It lets me scan articles for new comments, by default I scan any article that has any activity in the last 7 days, saving the new comments to the database. It shows me how many new comments and total comments articles have. It allows me to search comments based on author, date range, words in the comments. It uses Microsoft’s text to speech engine to read the post & comments back to me. Best of all I’m building in a filtering mechanism to allow the reader to skip comments from individuals

I get both a HTML view and a textual view of posts and comments. It also has a few other features like a simple double click in my article explorer lets me get a formatted Quote like I’ve used above. Honestly there would be no way I could keep up with this site with out this tool. Took me about 5 hours to write and another 1-2 hours putting in small features like the filtering. Well worth the time and I’m glad. I’ve been swamped at work over the past month. Just at a quick glance there are about a 100 new comments on the site that I need to listen to. Granted if the numbers hold out ~20 of those will be from JAD, DS or DK which I will be automatically skipped.

When I get the time I want to rewrite it in .NET and do some Java work for Cartwright to make the site a bit friendlier to visitors. Like allowing them to quickly find the new comments since their last visit to an article. Its just that the day only has 24 hours and there is work and my social life is very important to me.

I don’t know what my neighbours think of me. My morning ritual is wake up and do a scan then have it read comments back to me while I’m in the shower and eating. Multitasking (human that is) is great. I have to admit that the final straw on putting in the filter was DK’s posts. It is painful to listen to. The fact that JAD and DS posts are now skipped is just an added bonus. I do like some of the comments back to them. They make me laugh as its like listening to someone on the phone. You only get one side of the conversation but with these 3 its easy to guess theirs. I also like being able to go back through older articles. I strongly recommend using text to speech. Either alone or working while you read. I find absorption of the material is so much better.

Another simple question for you: Do you or do you not believe that evolutionists largely use the argument that “evolution in any form proves there is no God”?

donkeykong Wrote:

An uneducated person from 1000AD hearing your voice behind a locked door would swear in court that you were there inside that room. An educated person today would allow the possibility that it could have been a phone attached to a loud speaker or you on TV etc.

Question: You hear voices behind a closed door. Is somebody inside that room? Answer from ID: Yes, I hear voices, there must be somebody. Case closed. Answer from Scientist: Let’s take a look…

I wouldn’t want anyone “guessing” what my convictions are concerning the great mystery of organic evolution so here is a capsule summary.

1. It is a phenomenon of the past and is no longer operating beyond the formation of subspecies and varieties. 2. The role of obligatory sexual reproduction is anti-evolutionary and serves only to stabilize the species. 3. Allelic substitution never played a role in either the emergence of new life forms or their susbsequent evolutionary history. 4. All evolutionary (genetic) changes originated in individual organisms and, as far as can be experimentally and observationally ascertained, involved no input from the environment. 5. The most reasonable conclusion is that life was created many many times, the exact number being of course unknown. 6. The vast majority of all contemporary creatures are the terminal immutable products of what were orthogenetic, goal-directed sequences in which chance played no role whatsoever. 7. Evolution was an irreversible, predetermined, preprogrammed sequence which is now finished. 8. The primary role for allelic substitution was to ensure ultimate extinction without which progressive evolution could never have occurred. 9. None of the following have ever played any significant role in creative evolution. a. Allelic mutation. b. Natural or artificial selection. c. Genetic drift. d. Population genetics. e. Competition f. Isolation

In other words, the entire Darwinian fairy tale is exactly that, without a scintilla of validity, nothing more than the compulsive invention of a genetically predisposed atheist mentality.

How do you like them apples?

John A. Davison

Wayne, is that a program you feel like sharing? Out of curioisity, what did you write it in?

Ironically, the only people I ever heard claiming that “evolution proves that there is no god” were anti-evolutionists like FL, venting their own fantasies about what the theory of evolution does and does not imply.

John A. Davison Wrote:

8. The primary role for allelic substitution was to ensure ultimate extinction without which progressive evolution could never have occurred.

Poor Johnny, the fantasy world you have gone lost in is truly horrific.

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Could the universe appear anything but designed

I would say yes. If the universe were such that any old value of the expansion rate would lead to galaxies, and any old nuclear chemistry would result in supernovae, and any old value of planck’s constant would result in the necessary amount of quantum tunneling, etc,—then that universe would not have an appearance of design.

Uh, in such a universe, who exactly would be here to observe it’s lack of design. … ?

NOTE TO ALL: I am pledging polite conversation regardless of insults, and will avoid theology unless it is relevant.

Glad to hear it.

I have just one scientific question for you:

*ahem*

All I want to know is this: what is the scientific theory of creation (or intelligent design) and how can we test it using the scientific method?

I do *NOT* want you to respond with a long laundry list of (mostly inaccurate) criticisms of evolutionary biology. They are completely irrelevant to a scientific theory of creation or intelligent design. I want to see the scientific alternative that you are proposing—- the one you want taught in public school science classes, the one that creationists and intelligent design “theorists” testified under oath in Arkansas, Louisiana, Kansas and elsewhere is SCIENCE and is NOT based on religious doctrine. Let’s assume for the purposes of this discussion that evolutionary biology is indeed absolutely completely totally irretrievable unalterably irrevocably 100% dead wrong. Fine. Show me your scientific alternative. Show me how your scientific theory explains things better than evolutionary biology does. Let’s see this superior “science” of yours.

Any testible scientific theory of creation should be able to provide answers to several questions: (1) how did life begin, (3) how did the current diversity of life appear, and (3) what mechanisms were used in these processes and where can we see these mechanisms today.

Any testible scientific theory of intelligent design should be able to give testible answers to other questions: (1) what exactly did the Intelligent Designer(s) do, (2) what mechanisms did the Designer(s) use to do whatever it is you think it did, (3) where can we see these mechanisms in action today, and (4) what objective criteria can we use to determine what entities are “intelligently designed” and what entities aren’t (please illustrate this by pointing to something that you think IS designed by the designer, something you think is NOT designed by the designer, and explain how to tell the difference).

If your, uh, “scientific theory” isn’t able to answer any of these questions yet, then please feel free to tell me how you propose to scientifically answer them. What experiments or tests can we perform, in principle, to answer these questions.

Also, since one of the criteria of “science” is falsifiability, I’d like you to tell me how your scientific theory, whatever it is, can be falsified. What experimental results or observations would conclusively prove that creation/intelligent design did not happen.

Another part of the scientific method is direct testing. One does not establish “B” simply by demonstrating that “A” did not happen. I want you to demonstrate “B” directly. So don’t give me any “there are only two choices, evolution or creation, and evolution is worng so creation must be right” baloney. I will repeat that I do NOT want a big long laundry list of “why evolution is wrong”. I don’t care why evolution is wrong. I want to know what your alternative is, and how it explains data better than evolution does.

I’d also like to know two specific things about this “alternative scientific theory”: How old does “intelligent design/creationism theory” determine the universe to be. Is it millions of years old, or thousands of years old. And does ‘intelligent design/creationism theory’ determine that humans have descended from apelike primates, or does it determine that they have not.

I look forward to seeing your “scientific theories”.

Unless, of course, you don’t HAVE any . … …

While it is true we cannot say anything about the probability of this universe, would you agree or disagree that the appearance of fine-tuning motivates some scientists to look for cosmologies to replace the current big-bang model?

Would you mind pointing to some of these “cosmologies to replace the current Big Bang model”? Show me how they work?

Or is “POOF!!! God –er, I mean, The Unknown Intelligent Designer – dunnit !!!!!!” the, uh, scientific alternative tat you have in mind . …?

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Rev,

Would you mind pointing to some of these “cosmologies to replace the current Big Bang model”? Show me how they work?

Or is “POOF!!! God —er, I mean, The Unknown Intelligent Designer — dunnit !!!!!!” the, uh, scientific alternative tat you have in mind . …?

A puzzling comment given that the current big-bang model, with its apparent fine tuning, is the friend of ID. Personally I would not like to see it overthrown. The alternatives, which would in effect falsify ID, include a number of multiverse cosmologies and unbounded geometries.

Sorry Paredo,

You can probabilize all day long but at the end of the day light creating an interference pattern is a wave and light causing a photoelectric effect is a particle.

If you don’t understand something just say so.

Granted if the numbers hold out ~20 of those will be from JAD, DS or DK which I will be automatically skipped.

Cool! An artificially closed mind. Good job!

Just to be kind of pedantic about it, any real theory would necessarily make at least some predictions which differed from the predictions of evolution. IDiots don’t really understand how science models work, and say, well, ours just makes all your predictions, but additionally, it differs in certain untestable ways. Usually science-oriented people reject this, and say, that’s not good enough. But I think it’s better to say wait a minute, that’s not just inadequate, it’s not true. ID doesn’t make any predictions. Dembski can say their predictions comport with evoluton’s all day long, but they don’t have any to comport. It doesn’t make any predictions whatsoever. There’s no theory. IC was an attempt to make a theory, but they could never get the thing to stand on its own feet. CSI died during birth too. Recognising design is an imperfect set of heuristics which generally has survival value. It goes wrong all the time. Look at that old Martian photo of what appears to be a monument in the form of a human face. The entirety of ID ‘research’ has been to try to turn an imperfect heuristic into a reliable algorithm. If they could ever do this, they’d have a real scientific theory on their hands, but they can’t.

A titillating few paragraphs from Somberby’s www.dailyhowler.com today, regarding the Christian Right and their strange relationship with the mainstream press:

Novak notes that congressional voting on the Schiavo matter moved outside normal partisan lines. But not since Vietnam, he says, have his colleagues in the mainstream press staged such a heated debate at such a fine dinner party. At THE HOWLER, we don’t doubt Novak’s account, and we think you should ponder what it means. According to Novak, the Schiavo matter has his mainstream press colleagues more upset than anything since Vietnam! Translation: They didn’t care this much about Iraq. They didn’t care this much about Bush’s tax cuts. They don’t care this much about Social Security. They didn’t care this much about the Bush-Gore election—the election which totally changed our politics—or about that crackpot book by those Swift Boat Veterans. No—more than all else, they care about this. It’s a confession we find most illustrative.

Who are the opinion leaders of your mainstream Washington “press corps?” As we’ve told you for years and years, they’re a gang of perfumed millionaires, and no, they don’t give a good goldarn about Bush’s budget follies. Indeed, because they’re multimillionaires, they gain from everything Bush has done in that area, and no, they don’t care if you don’t. But there’s one thing these people still aren’t—they still aren’t a group of Christian conservatives. They get upset when the Christian right takes the stage. They don’t care much about anything else.

Not since the days of Vietnam has your powered press corps been so upset! They were willing to roll with Iraq—and with Bush’s endless gifts to the rich. This is the one thing that gets them upset. We think you should ponder that deeply.

Our reliably wise steve writes

IDiots don’t really understand how science models work, and say, well, ours just makes all your predictions, but additionally, it differs in certain untestable ways. Usually science-oriented people reject this, and say, that’s not good enough. But I think it’s better to say wait a minute, that’s not just inadequate, it’s not true.

I cannot agree more with the strategery suggested in the last sentence.

According to John Davision:

1. Both ontogney and phylogeny were front loaded and still are.

John, what do you mean by that?

2. Chance had very little and perhaps nothing to do with evolution.

How are you using the word “chance?”

3. Allelic mutations are anti-evolutionary.

Could you elaborate on that?

4. Natural selection, serving only to maintain the status quo, is also anti-evolutionary.

Could elaborate on that? Some organisms reproduce more times than others, which contributed significantly to the existence of every organism to live on earth subsequent to the first self-replicating molecules.

Could your provide a link to one of your papers and/or give a brief summary of your hypothesis?

Katarina, OOTOS==On the Origin of Species

OOPS. Katarina, OTOOS==On the Origin of Species

Someone quoted Mayr from his book “What Evolution Is.”

You notice that this is a declaration which assumes that evolution is in progress. For starters that is wrong as evolution is finished. Now he could have said “What Evolution Was,” but that’s no good either because nobody knows for sure what evolution was except that it happened. His title could have been “What is Evolution?,” but that too is no good as I and others have pointed out that it isn’t going on any more. Actually the only rational title for his book would have been “What Was Evolution?, and that book would have been filled with blank pages.

You see phylogeny is a huge mystery except to men like Ernst Mayr who, in another of his many books, defined himself as “a dyed-in-the-wool Darwinian.”

The very title of Mayr’s book discloses that he never had a clue about evolution. Neither did Gould or Provine or Dawkins. Everything on which their many books are based is fictional, without any verification either in observation or experiment or the undeniable testimony of the fossil record, the final arbiter of reality.

Our certain knowledge about evolution is represented almost entirely by what we know was NOT involved. It is all negative but negative information is very important in serving as a guide to the truth. I won’t bother again to list all the things that we know had absolutely nothing to do with evolution as I have already done that too many times right here on Panda’s Thumb and elsewhere.

I discovered a long time ago that there is a surefire way to identify a real scientist. Scientists ask questions. Pierre Grasse asked three of them in a single paragraph as I posted some time ago. Otto Schindewolf even included the word question in the title of his last and most important book, “Basic Questions in Paleontology.” I can’t recall Mayr ever asking a question unless it was one that he had a ready made answer for. So much for Ernst Mayr and neo-Darwinism generally.

John A. Davison, demonstrably unfair, clinically unbalanced and still unafraid of anything including the unvarnished demonstrable truth that Darwinism, in all its manifestations, is an illusion, a scandal and a hoax.

John Davison posted:

You notice that this is a declaration which assumes that evolution is in progress. For starters that is wrong as evolution is finished.

What do you mean by “evolution is finished?” And why do you say that? Organisms are coming into being that have genomes that are different than those of their parents.

I’m definitely open to the idea that if ancestors to today’s humans are alive 10 million years from now, they won’t be significantly different anatomically from you and I.

Davidson, when you’ve got a second, could you refresh me memory? Did That’s Incredible precede Real People or did you, Fran and Kathy just rip Real People off? I think the statute of limitations has run out so you’ve nothing to worry about if you admit it.

And do you remember the episode of That’s Incredible where that guy caught a bullet between his teeth? Awesome. Were you involved in any of the frauds that were aired?

Does anybody have an idea about what % of creatures have colour vision? Also do all apes have colour vision? If not, which ones do?

Wayne, Yeah, they do get monotonous. Plus I don’t really have a knack for communicating with somebody who thinks the validity of an argument can be judged by whether they like or dislike the conclusion.

steve, “Just to be kind of pedantic about it, any real theory would necessarily make at least some predictions which differed from the predictions of evolution.” Yep. If it doesn’t add to understanding of stuff, then it’s just adding assumptions that aren’t needed or used for anything. Not to mention that if ID is assumed, then ad-hoc assumptions have to be added to explain why standard evolution theory works at all. And that kind of negates the alleged purpose of the thing.

Henry

“A Fermilab press release reports that the expansion of the universe may be explainable without the need for dark energy or a cosmological constant. Apparently, ripples from inflation in the early universe may account for the observed expansion rate of the universe.”

http://www.fnal.gov/pub/presspass/archive.html

(it’s under “March 16”. The Panda’s Thumb software is not capable of posting the actual link to the press release.)

I’ll have a huge laugh if the ‘exquisitely-tuned cosmological constant’, which some zealots say implies god, doesn’t exist. And then I’ll be sad, when those zealots immediately announce that they’ve found a new Gap, and they’re certain god’s in it this time.

I found the discussion of the probability of a coin flip, before and after the fact, to be quite humorous. I only dabble in probability theory, but let me point out that there is “probability”, and “conditional probability”.

Consider this question: what is the probability that a family with two children has two girls? If all you know is that the number of children in the family is 2, and all possibilities are equally likely, then the probability the two children are both girls is 25%.

Note that we already started with a condition: the number children in the family is 2.

Now, consider this question: given that a family with two children has 1 girl, what is the probability that it has 2 girls? The answer now is 50%.

Finally, consider the last question: given that a familly with two children has two girls, what is the probability that it has two girls? Wow, by amazing coincidence, the “probability” is 100%!

Exactly my point, Jim.

Posted by Longhorm on March 23, 2005 08:34 PM

[…] There probably have been billions of days in which there has been golf-ball sized hail somewhere on planet earth. […]

Wouldn’t it be lovely if all creation/ID proponents from this day onward should be pummeled by golfball-sized hailstones, perpetually precipitating from their private hailstoneclouds hovering above their patheticly hollow skulls? :P

Longhorn’s definition of evolution is children having genetic differences from their parents. I really don’t know what more to add, so I won’t.

The only prediction that can be made about a process which is finished is that it is extremely unlikely to start up again.

“This is one of those cases in which the imagination is baffled by the facts.” Winston Churchill

How do you like them apples?

Who’s next?

John A. Davison, unfair to the point of total intolerance, unbalanced by any reasonable criterion and still unafraid of all who are so transparently deluded as to see evolution going on all around them in a kind of Darwimpian delirium tremens.

Get some help.

Posted by John A. Davison on March 25, 2005 05:52 AM […] The only prediction that can be made about a process which is finished is that it is extremely unlikely to start up again. […]

I don’t understand what you are trying to say here; Is your definition of a “process” here to be understood as some kind of entity with a finite lifespan? I always thought that processes were not entities, but descriptions of sequences of events. Something is “in the process off”. This is really confusing me; can someone help me out with this?

I can’t help you. It is not what I am trying to say. It is what I have said that seems to be the problem. I have said that evolution is finished, a conclusion which I, like others, have reached because of the absence of facts to the contrary. If you or anyone else chooses to ignore that conclusion there is nothing that I can or will do to dissuade you. You have that right.

It is my considered opinion that evolution is finished except for minor changes which will never lead to new life forms. I intend to remain of that opinion until undisputed facts force me to abandon it.

John A. Davison

Posted by John A. Davison on March 25, 2005 06:36 AM

[…] evolution is finished except for minor changes which will never lead to new life forms. I intend to remain of that opinion until undisputed facts force me to abandon it.

John A. Davison

This begs the question: What criteria would you apply to decide if something is a new life form?

Comment #21578

Posted by Katarina on March 23, 2005 07:38 AM

This sweet guy is trying to save your souls, and all you can do is point to his spelling errors. C’mon.

Katarina, I am a troll similar to you so please don’t take the PT crew to task for something I wrote.

As far as soul saving goes, churches are real easy to find anywhere in the world, whereas a good science education is damned difficult to find. The PT crew put this forum together to help people find the education, if they want it. Yet the first thing this young man did was comment and question on subjects he couldn’t yet know anything about (judging from questions about a spinning big bang, backward rotating planets, or out-evolving illness he was rehashing tired canards he had heard others spew). And he started proselytizing. When he stopped all that, started talking and listening, the contributors (Marek14, Ian Musgrave, Wayne Francis, Flint, Frank Schmidt, Descent & Dissent, Neo-Anti-Luddite) jumped at the chance to congenially present information that would help him learn, like the great people they are. Much better than any little ole troll like myself or the DS,DK,JAD crowd would have done. He may even make some friends out of the deal. I’m impressed I didn’t get jumped on for screwing up Pascal with Fermat. It was Pascal’s Wager I referred to, not Fermat. Congrats on getting your library to pay attention to the shelving issue. It’s great you could make a difference.

Sincerely,

Paul

For the curious who may not already know. Pascal’s Wager

Paul

Paul,

You are right, of course. Thanks for making the point.

Comment #21846

Posted by Jim on March 24, 2005 11:13 PM

… Now, consider this question: given that a family with two children has 1 girl, what is the probability that it has 2 girls? The answer now is 50%.

Have you been taking statistics from David Heddle or William Dembski? ;-)

It’s 1/3.

I never begged a question in my life. I never heard of such a thing. I am a physiologist not a beggar. Physiologist are scientists that are concerned with how things work which is why I rejected Darwimpianism years ago. It simply doesn’t work and never did.

Jim, I’m afraid Steve is right but it doesn’t really matter because probability and chance never had anything to do with evolution anyhow. Get used to it. Darwimpianism is a cruel hoax.

John A. Davison, etc. etc. etc.

I beg your pardon? So, the other child has 66.6% chances of being male? Could you explain the rationale behind this assertion?

Oh, I see… a matter of definitions. OK, ignore my previous comment.

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This page contains a single entry by Prof. Steve Steve published on March 15, 2005 10:08 PM.

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