St Petersburg Times: On evolution, case closed

| 57 Comments

In an Editorial piece, the St Petersburg Times explores the position of the Pinellas County School Board which insists that Intelligent Design should be taught.

Quoting extensively from Judge Jones’ ruling they observe that.

As the judge found, “every scientific association that has spoken on the matter” has rejected the challenge to evolution mounted by proponents of intelligent design. Darwin’s theory of natural selection has withstood the test of time because scientific testing has repeatedly affirmed its validity. Any science curriculum that doesn’t fully explore it, or puts it on a par with other claims of life’s origins, would be seriously flawed.

Pinellas School Board members and the state education commissioner might reflect on the judge’s comprehensive review and conclusions before they speak again about an accepted scientific theory they apparently know little about.

57 Comments

One commenter named “Larry” said:

“The Dover opinion’s ID-as-science section was virtually entirely ghostwritten by the ACLU and Jones said in a commencement speech that his decision was based on his notion that the Founders believed that organized religions are not “true” religions.”

Could this be our old friend? I thought he lived in CA. It certainly sounds like him.

Look out, the comments section of that paper is already “laced with creationism”.

“The Dover opinion’s ID-as-science section was virtually entirely ghostwritten by the ACLU and Jones said in a commencement speech that his decision was based on his notion that the Founders believed that organized religions are not “true” religions.”

No refutation, eh? Then it honestly looks like “Larry” is correct.

At any rate, Merry Christmas, ye devoted denizens of Darwinism!

FL

A bigoted commenter assuming facts not in evidence does not require a refutation, FL.

Judge Jones is a Republican and a church going Christian.

No refutation, eh? Then it honestly looks like “Larry” is correct.

I guess this is how lies “come true” in FL’s world. Tell enough of them, find some that people overlooked, and ASSUME they’re therefore correct! And then lie about it!

FL:

No refutation, eh? Then it honestly looks like “Larry” is correct.

At any rate, Merry Christmas, ye devoted denizens of Darwinism!

FL

So Judge Jones is a rubber stamp for ACLU. Then shouldn’t you be mad at Rick Santorum who recommended Judge Jones? And Bush for nominating him? And the Republican controlled committee for supporting the nomination? And the Republican senators for voting for him?

See how easily you theocons could be fooled? Have you ever thought how long you have been fooled? Would it be the 40 years of Gingrich revolution? 1600 years since Emperor Constantin?

Good food for thought. Goes well with red wine and turkey on the Christmas Eve. (A Christian exaption of the pagan winter solstice festival)

I wonder if FL is aware that Thomas Jefferson (a Founding Father) found the bible full of “rubbish” and rewrote it. One can buy the Jeffersonian Bible at Amazon.

“before they speak again about an accepted scientific theory they apparently know little about.”

But then all the theologians would be out of business.

And if a conservative judge can be a “rubber stamp” for the ACLU, could it be that the ACLU is correctly defending the Bill of Rights, as it says it does?

Darby M’Graw presents an exclusive review of the 1908 Intelligent Design book The evolution of the atmosphere as a proof of design and purpose in the creation, and of the existence of a personal God…

by John Phin

Most honest ID book I have read

“The Dover opinion’s ID-as-science section was virtually entirely ghostwritten by the ACLU..

What is wrong with the American Civil Liberties Union?

They exist and ably defend our civil liberties from those who want to take them away forever. I don’t have a problem with the ACLU or civil liberties. No one who wants to live in a free, constitutional democracy should either.

Quite clearly there are many people who do not. The history of the USA is one group or another trying to abolish one civil liberty or another for their own narrow reasons. Well, tough, we are keeping them. Hopefully.

Of course the Larry is Larry F.. He says the same confused things over and over and they didn’t make sense the first time. Other than that, he seems harmless.

The ACLU attracts some surprisingly vehement hatred. More than once, I’ve provided rabid Christian ACLU-haters with a long list of cases where the ACLU specifically defended the religious freedoms of Christians to BE Christians, and worship Christ because it’s their civil liberty to do so.

And this list is invariably met with rejection. When it turns out these are all real cases, they are simply tuned out. The ACLU is anti-Christian, so these cases can’t be noticed. So they aren’t noticed.

My speculation is that these Christians have a powerful social agenda consisting basically of denying the civil rights of others to do things their doctrine opposes. The ACLU defends our rights to abortions, to gay marriage, to holding non-Christian faiths, to having a government disinterested in religion. So while the ACLU often defends Christians themselves, they tend to fight against the Christian social agenda rather than attempt to impose it.

So good old Larry Fartfartman isn’t trying to make a factual claim here; he’s trying to poke a button guaranteed to provoke the desired response in his target audience. He reminds me of the CBS news reporter in 1972 who said “I can’t believe Nixon won; I don’t know a single person who voted for him!” I doubt Larry knows a single person who admires the ACLU.

FL, you lying coward, every time you slither in here and scrawl more anonymous graffiti vandalism, we rejoice because you prove the truth of evolution: Life can evolve from pond scum.

Here’s a couple of recent quotes you may have missed, from 150 actual biology professors in Texas - take them back to your masters at the Dishonesty Institute and get back to us with what Casey Luskin wants you to parrot:

“We wish to assure you that not a single so-called weakness promoted by anti-evolutionists has passed scientific muster. For example, the Discovery Institute’s recent publication Exploring Evolution: The Arguments for and against Neo-Darwinism, which was written to facilitate classroom discussions of “weaknesses,” is demonstrably full of factual errors and logical fallacies.”

and

“We look forward to working with the (State Board of Education)…to encourage critical thinking in all the sciences, without providing a backdoor for scientifically unsound “weaknesses” that are currently being promoted by the Discovery Institute and other creationist organizations.” (emphases added) - ­ ­­­ http://www.texscience.org/reviews/b[…]r-letter.htm

These are actual biologists, who know what they are talking about - not politial hacks like you.

You know, it’s occurred to me that people like FL just don’t have any curiosity. They never wonder “how does this work?” or “why is this like this and not some other way?”.

That piece of natural human tendencies is just absent. They don’t know, they don’t care that they don’t know, and they’re not even interested in learning.

Anything.

Ever.

Kinda sad, really.

Flint:

No refutation, eh? Then it honestly looks like “Larry” is correct.

I guess this is how lies “come true” in FL’s world. Tell enough of them, find some that people overlooked, and ASSUME they’re therefore correct! And then lie about it!

Didn’t Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi “Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda,” have a motto suspiciously similar to this?

FL:

Back again, eh? Well, I’m still waiting for you to provide one atom of evidence for any of your positions. You freely quote popular magazines and Dembski, but you have yet to provide a single shred of evidence, or even to answer a single question with a single coherent bit of data. You have however been free with mockery. Most pointedly, you accuse us of having closed minds. Yet when we provide evidence, you refuse to address it. My mind is still open. I’m waiting for evidence. Nothing. Just cut all the bullshit, and let’s sit down and discuss the facts, right here, right now. Facts, FL, not quotes from some ideological or political apologist.

As a “Christian,” you really need to sit down and do some soul searching. Many of us do, and work hard at reconciling our theology with the facts of nature. You do not. Instead, you have done nothing so far except serve as a rather obnoxious cheerleader for your “side”, without realizing that you are cheering for a lie. Christianity, or any other religion, cannot survive by living a lie. Church theologians since Augustine have known this. No matter how loudly you shout, no matter how insulting you are, you cannot change the facts. And when people find out that they have been lied to, they are inclined to throw out everything. I know, because I see it happen every semester: kids becoming atheists not because of what we teach, but because they were lied to all their lives by people just like you.

The ACLU didn’t have a gun to judge Jones’ head. He could have told them to shove it. But he realized, Bushite conservativism notwithstanding, that they were right. Duh.

And this list is invariably met with rejection. When it turns out these are all real cases, they are simply tuned out. The ACLU is anti-Christian, so these cases can’t be noticed. So they aren’t noticed.

One wingnut I know responded by claiming the ACLU only does cases like that to confuse people into thinking they are what they claim to be, while maliciously really working to fight Christians and the American Way.

No refutation, eh? Then it honestly looks like “Larry” is correct.

I hereby refute it.

Now it honestly looks like Larry is wrong, just like he always is.

Gee, FL is right! This science stuff really is easy when you do it his way.

I’m gonna retire all my test equipment right after the holidays and simply declare my results from now on.

Darby M’Graw: …an exclusive review of the 1908 Intelligent Design book The evolution of the atmosphere as a proof of design and purpose in the creation, and of the existence of a personal God… by John Phin

What a hoot! Thanks, Darby.

Professor John Phin, who invented the term “Intelligent Design” in 1908, died in 1913 - here is a link to his obituary: http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archiv[…];oref=slogin

I’m waiting for evidence.

Of course you are. And one particularly interesting item that you (and I) are continuing to wait for, is the evidence (repeat: “evidence”, k?) that material-based natural selection can in fact create the immaterial human mind.

This request for evidence, btw, remains entirely reasonable, given Discover magazine’s clear and honest statements four months ago that we just plain don’t know how NS could do so, which in turn lends visible support to the late secular humanist Kurt Vonnegut’s clear and honest (and open-minded, I might add) statements regarding the matter.

******

But despite the wait, try to have yourself a Merry Christmas, mmm? And let me know when Santa brings you the evidence!

FL

FL:

I’m waiting for evidence.

Of course you are. And one particularly interesting item that you (and I) are continuing to wait for, is the evidence (repeat: “evidence”, k?) that material-based natural selection can in fact create the immaterial human mind.

This request for evidence, btw, remains entirely reasonable, given Discover magazine’s clear and honest statements four months ago that we just plain don’t know how NS could do so, which in turn lends visible support to the late secular humanist Kurt Vonnegut’s clear and honest (and open-minded, I might add) statements regarding the matter.

******

But despite the wait, try to have yourself a Merry Christmas, mmm? And let me know when Santa brings you the evidence!

FL

You are a lying dimwit, FL. Evidence

Of course, you, on the other hand, have demonstrated time and time again that you are physically incapable of demonstrating the alleged scientific applications of Intelligent Design, even when asked repeatedly.

Intelligent design is not a scientific alternative to evolution. It is a metaphysical alternative to science where an overtly religious alternative is illegal. The conflation of science and metaphysics (correctly the branch of philosophy concerned with the basic nature of reality) is not a difficult task with an audience that knows not the meanings of the words “science” and “philosophy”, and tends to think of them as equal points of view. Unlike intelligent design which is not interested in “pathetic levels of detail”, evolutionary biology is up to its eyeballs in detail as are all sciences. Because science can only address questions of the natural universe amenable to repeatable, peer reviewable and publishable experiments and observations it is by definition limited in its scope. Since all comprehensive scientific theories (such as evolution) are the result of induction they can never really be proven as “THE TRUTH”. This is not a weakness but a recognition of our inability to come up with the most perfect of tests, and to gather all the possible data (much of it is lost forever). Scientists live with uncertainty all the time and are never in a position to believe that they have all the answers, they usually don’t have half the questions. Somewhere in basic science education this distinction has to be made to students and I don’t think it is. Expressing uncertainty is regarded as a weakness in American society (a kind of flip flopping or bet hedging) but it is a basic feature of scientific investigation where probability rules and the absolute is looked at suspiciously. People want determinism in their lives. Religious fundamentalism gives it to them and science does not. This will always be an uphill battle and it isn’t one between Christianity and a dead English male.

the pro from dover:

Intelligent design is not a scientific alternative to evolution. It is a metaphysical alternative to science…

Correction: Intelligent Design, as proposed by the Discovery Institute is a metaphysical alternative to thinking, not just science.

Take FL and his pronounced lack of brain power, for example.

1600 years since Emperor Constantin?

closer.

I’d say it goes right back to Paul for this particular religion.

Sad. I don’t remember this being such a big thing when I was a kid. I went to an American school overseas and we were taught that the earth is old, and life evolved. I felt no opposition from my church at all. Perhaps it has always been here, and thanks to the internet, I can hear about it. On the one hand, it’s depressing, but on the other, folks like all of you can confront it and stop theocrats from hijacking public education. I admire all of you for the work you do, and if the battle comes to my door, I hope I can find the strength and wisdom to join in.

Happy, healthy and safe holidays to all of you.

FL said: And one particularly interesting item that you (and I) are continuing to wait for, is the evidence (repeat: “evidence”, k?) that material-based natural selection can in fact create the immaterial human mind.

Do you have evidence that material-based reproduction can create the immaterial human mind?

That sounds like an argument against reproduction, the origins of the individual. Not against the evolution of populations.

Are you a Scientific Storkist? Or an advocate of the “Big Top Strategy” of “Intelligent Delivery” - “Scientific Storkism without specifying the Stork”?

OK FL, I give in. Last I checked, and reported here, a simple starting search yielded 10’s of thousands of articles dealing with the neurological basis of the mind. The plain fact is that you are just an ideological dimwit, and this grows tiresome. You are an intellectual turd, and there really is nothing to discuss with you because you have all the intellectual curiosity and integrity of a corpse. Copious evidence has been presented, but you just ignore it and keep repeating the same old drivel over and over and over again. If you were presenting at a conference, at first you would draw a crowd to argue. Then to see you make an ass of yourself. But eventually the room would be empty as people realized that you have no contribution to make other than mockery and self-satisfied ignorance masquerading as wisdom. You are completely uninterested in discussing anything. The only real question here is whether you believe the barf that you type, or whether it’s just a game that is the equivalent in mental masturbation. And if you do believe it, is it because you are delusional or just stupid?

Somehow I get this image of a smug asshole sitting at his computer feeling very sly because he can get a reaction from “those atheists” and smiling because he knows that he is right. Somebody whose mind is so closed, who is so committed to his ideology, that he can’t see what a complete ass he is making of himself. But that is all a sideshow, because the tragedy is that in all your arrogant, self-satisfied glory, you are completely clueless about how profoundly ignorant you are, and worse, the damage that you do to science and science education,.

When you have some evidence, I’ll be happy to discuss it. Otherwise, perhaps you should seek counseling, or maybe just try to get out of the house every now and then.

Hey mplavcan, You forgot to call him a poo-poo butt. Oh and yes a moron and an asshole, oh wait you called him an asshole.

Merry Christmas,

Sola Fide

Here’s the problem, Stanton. You’ve got an interesting article about the hippocampus there, dating from 2004, but.…

.…but in July of 2007, three years later, Discover magazine (which is as pro-evolution as you are, btw), said the following statements (which I previously quoted):

An explanation of consciousness is one of the major unsolved problems of modern science. It may not turn out to be a single phenomenon; nonetheless, by way of a preliminary target, let’s think of it as the thing that flickers on when you wake up in the morning that was not there, in the exact same brain hardware, moments before.

Neuroscientists believe that consciousness emerges from the material stuff of the brain primarily because even very small changes to your brain (say, by drugs or disease) can powerfully alter your subjective experiences.

The heart of the problem is that we do not yet know how to engineer pieces and parts such that the resulting machine has the kind of private subjective experience that you and I take for granted.

If I give you all the Tinkertoys in the world and tell you to hook them up so that they form a conscious machine, good luck. We don’t have a theory yet of how to do this; we don’t even know what the theory will look like.

Now, I’ve read every word of your 2004 hippocampus article and compared it with the Discover statements. As it turns out, your article does NOT provide a refutation of the quoted statements. There’s many interesting ideas and research there about some of the role(s) the hippocampus may serve, but honestly that’s as far as it goes.

Simply put, the article doesn’t even BEGIN to meet the specific challenge laid out in the 2007 Discover article, (and as a side note, nowhere does the hippocampus article say anything about natural selection, let alone natural selection actually producing consciousness and mind.)

In fact, there’s even a caveat or two that appears in the 2007 Discover article that seems relevant (to some extent) to the memory situations described in your 2004 article:

But looking only at associations—and strengthened connections between neurons—may not be enough to explain memory.

The great secret of memory is that it mostly encodes the relationships between things more than the details of the things themselves. When you memorize a melody, you encode the relationships between the notes, not the notes per se, which is why you can easily sing the song in a different key.

Memory retrieval is even more mysterious than storage. When I ask if you know Alex Ritchie, the answer is immediately obvious to you, and there is no good theory to explain how memory retrieval can happen so quickly.

******

In light of all this, I sincerely appreciate the article you provided (because I’m curious about such things anyway), but no Stanton, you have clearly NOT produced the requested evidence. And I’m not even sure that you took the time to read this article and compare it to the statements by Discover and Kurt Vonnegut before attempting to claim that your article provided the requested evidence.

******

Since the only other avenue available to you and Mplavcan is simple (and simplistic) name-calling, I think it’s best to stop there. I’m sorry that you feel upset about things, but your blowing a fuse and stooping to name-calling will not provide any of the requested evidence, nor will it generate any scientific refutations of the Discover magazine’s clear and honest 2007 statements.

Once again, I close with the words of Kurt Vonnegut, honorary president of the American Humanist Association. Lurkers, please judge for yourself, whether Vonnegut’s words as stated on National Public Radio, are clear, honest, and open-minded in light of the present situation.

They say, you know, about evolution, it surely happened because their fossil record shows that. But look, my body and your body are miracles of design. Scientists are pretending they have the answer as how we got this way when natural selection couldn’t possibly have produced such machines.

FL :)

PS.…Nobody was able to refute Larry’s paragraph in comment #138399. Merry Christmas, y’all!

Maybe the reason why you have not received any evidence that you have allegedly requested is because you summarily dismiss all of the evidence we have already provided you. Virtually all of the comments responding to Larry’s nonsensical quote made mention of various little tidbits, such as :

Ravilyn Sanders:

So Judge Jones is a rubber stamp for ACLU. Then shouldn’t you be mad at Rick Santorum who recommended Judge Jones? And Bush for nominating him? And the Republican controlled committee for supporting the nomination? And the Republican senators for voting for him?

Furthermore, you have never provided evidence that the mind is immaterial. If the mind is immaterial, then why was it when Phineas Gage had that railroad spike blasted through his head, his whole personality changed? If the mind is immaterial, then what is the scientific basis for electro-shock therapy? I brought up that paper about memory formation in the hippocampus because if memories can be formed through the formation of neuronal connections, then wouldn’t the mind, which requires the use of memories, involve neuronal connections, as well? But, we only insult you because you are dense, and you are arrogant in the fact that you allege to be all-knowing, and yet, refuse every single request we have made to you.

In fact, you have absolutely no legitimate right to request anything from us, especially evidence, given as how you have never deigned to provide evidence concerning anything you prattle on about.

In doubly fact, you have never answered my question about how Intelligent Design can explain why the heteromorph ammonite, Nipponites grew the way it did, and the only thing I have been able to wring out of you about demonstrating how Intelligent Design is a science is that your own “3-plank” hypothesis “is not religious,” even though it smacks of the Christian Trinity of God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

FL:

Once again, I close with the words of Kurt Vonnegut, honorary president of the American Humanist Association. Lurkers, please judge for yourself, whether Vonnegut’s words as stated on National Public Radio, are clear, honest, and open-minded in light of the present situation.

They say, you know, about evolution, it surely happened because their fossil record shows that. But look, my body and your body are miracles of design. Scientists are pretending they have the answer as how we got this way when natural selection couldn’t possibly have produced such machines.

FL, you have never explained why Kurt Vonnegut was in a position to disprove evolutionary biology in the first place, especially since the quote you’ve chosen makes it sound like he has no comprehension of “Comparative Anatomy.” That, and appealing to one’s incredulity is a very poor argument to make in the first place.

FL: PS….Nobody was able to refute Larry’s paragraph in comment #138399. Merry Christmas, y’all!

FL confuses the difference between being able and being willing to waste one’s time.

FL has no credibility.

I will refute what Larry said. Nothing better to do right now. Just went to the Dickinson college website and found the commencement speech in question. Judge Jones said “The Founders believed that “true religion was not something handed down by a church or contained in a Bible, but was to be found through free, rational inquiry.”” Which is a quote from The Founding Fathers and the Place of Religion in America by Frank Lambert. I read the whole paragraph containing the quote and from what I understand, Judge Jones made his decision from the idea that the Church and the State should be separate to guarantee the freedom of religion. Larry purposefully misinterpreted Judge Jones speech to make it look like the Judge is anti-organized religion. As far as the ACLU ghost writing the Dover decision, I could not find any information on that because its classified as top-secret. The ACLU doesn’t want anyone to find out its evil plans to wipe out organized religion. *sarcasm*

Source: http://www.dickinson.edu/commenceme[…]address.html

That’s what FL was referring to? That old canard has been more than once rebutted. Can ID proponents really not read?

Look I’ll give this ago but as they say when you ague with a fool you only end up looking one yourself.

What is it about creationist that they can read the what you posted from the Discovery article and the pull out the bit you did? Why not focus on “Neuroscientists believe that consciousness emerges from the material stuff of the brain primarily because even very small changes to your brain (say, by drugs or disease) can powerfully alter your subjective experiences.” After all this goes to the heart of what your talking about. That fact that how the mind makes consciousness is not resolved yet is really just the details. You keep coming up with the fall back position if scientist haven’t worked out how it happens yet then it must be supernatural. Answer me this where does this none material mind come from, Does God put in there? if that the case is there some instances where he wouldn’t do that. I mean he seems happy enough to do it in a test tube? He fiddles about in the womb with the various varieties of twins. Would he do it for a clone?. Back to reality now, why have this idea that until science fully accounts for how something happens naturally does it have to be supernatural.

PS….Nobody was able to refute Larry’s paragraph in comment #138399

What, exactly, would count as a refutation? Let’s say FL claims the moon is made of green cheese. Someone else refutes this by citing actual visits to the moon, bringing back rocks were are clearly not cheese. And what would FL do in this case? Why, he’d continue to repeat that nobody has refuted his claim!

What FL is actually saying, of course, is that nobody has refuted Larry’s lies to FL’s satisfaction. But since FL chooses to believe lies and ignore the reality, refutation to his satisfaction is not possible. It’s like demonstrating that IC structures don’t disprove evolution to Behe’s satisfaction. The goalposts recede at lightspeed.

Now, how do material blobs of paint on canvas produce “immaterial” meaningful images? Is the paint magic? Is the canvas magic? Is the viewer a magician? Or has FL assumed his conclusion? Does anyone doubt that even if the state of the art permitted the demonstration of consciousness from brain operation to any arbitrarily pathetic level of detail, it wouldn’t be good enough for FL? He has decided the operation of the brain is magical, because it’s not yet fully understood. But we have learned the Behe lesson - that no level of understanding will ever be sufficient to anyone committed to religious denial. They’ll just keep lying.

Question about the ACLU connection:

It was my understanding that the Dover plaintiffs had a legal team - something like 12 lawyers. I thought the bulk of those attorneys, including the two lead attorneys, were from the Pepper Hamilton law firm. There was at least one ACLU lawyer (Witold) on the team.

I also thought that Pepper Hamilton had primary responsibility for generating the findings of fact at the trial’s end that were used by Jones in constructing his decision.

Is this correct, or was the ACLU attorney responsible for the findings of fact?

Darby M’Graw: Darby M’Graw presents an exclusive review of the 1908 Intelligent Design book The evolution of the atmosphere as a proof of design and purpose in the creation, and of the existence of a personal God… by John Phin

Take a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Phin

I’m working on the notability thing…help appreciated.

… and why does anyone give a flying * what FL believes anyway? Troll.

One wingnut I know responded by claiming the ACLU only does cases like that to confuse people into thinking they are what they claim to be, while maliciously really working to fight Christians and the American Way.

This is a mainstream point of view among right-wing haters of the ACLU. They are fond of claiming that the ACLU occasionally takes on a case that conservatives agree with in order to camoflauge their true intentions.

mplavcan: I know, because I see it happen every semester: kids becoming atheists not because of what we teach, but because they were lied to all their lives by people just like you.

Just to clarify - you do mean that they return to atheism, which is the default birth position of no belief, right?

The problem here is that the theists basically want to have their cake and eat it too as far as having reach beyond the church goes. The other problem is the theists who willingly want to go and violate church and state separation and clearly and outright want to go and abolish the scientific way of thinking and of looking at the world. As an atheist this greatly concerns and at the same time disturbs me. This free country encourages secularism and downplays religion as something completely irrelevant these days. PS God is not real get over it right freaking now.

The problem is the theists want to have their cake and eat it too. The government rules this country and the school systems not God. PS God is not real.

Darwin’s theory of natural selection has withstood the test of time because scientific testing has repeatedly affirmed its validity. Any science curriculum that doesn’t fully explore it, or puts it on a par with other claims of life’s origins, would be seriously flawed.

Arrgh! Darwin’s theory of natural selection is not a claim of life’s origins!

P.S. Why oh why are people responding to the troll? He has already derailed other threads with the same garbage that has been refuted – refutations he ignored then and continues to ignore.

Popper’s Ghost:

P.S. Why oh why are people responding to the troll? He has already derailed other threads with the same garbage that has been refuted – refutations he ignored then and continues to ignore.

If we ignore the troll, then people will get the (highly mistaken) impression that we are unable to refute his (highly stupid) arguments, irregardless of whether he accepts or dismisses the refutations.

A vicious cycle that’s spawned from trying to prevent a perpetuation of the “argument from silence” fallacy.

Apparently FL lacks basic reading comprehension. The hippocampus article that Stanton referred to provided evidence that the mind is quite material and that there is nothing magical about its evolutionary development. FL’s appeal to the Discover piece is merely a fallacy of the general rule begetting a strawman - the article only points to the fact that “we don’t know how to build such a mind”, not that such a mind isn’t material or that such a mind didn’t arise through evolution.

Bull’s eye, Robin.

(Safire)

“Regardless”, not “irregardless”, Stanton. “Irregardless” is on a par with “unthaw”.

(/Safire)

If we ignore the troll, then people will get the (highly mistaken) impression that we are unable to refute his (highly stupid) arguments, irregardless of whether he accepts or dismisses the refutations.

A vicious cycle that’s spawned from trying to prevent a perpetuation of the “argument from silence” fallacy.

If you do respond, then often enough the plaint is that apparently these people are on to something, or why would anybody bother responding? There’s no actual sense in most of these people.

I do mostly agree, however, that some response must be given in many cases. It depends on the situation, naturally, and though one wishes that FL’s goading is something one can ignore, probably it could, or should, not be ignored in this case.

However stupid the charges, accusations, and outright lies are, then, some response usually is required. That, however, explains the first few responses. I do not think that FL deserves or requires long strings of responses, which often amount to feeding his self-important idiocy. I think that Popper’s… stated it well enough in his complaint, by bringing up the derailment of threads and the steadfast refusal of said idiot to back up virtually anything that he says. At some point such bad manners and intellectual dishonesty should no longer be rewarded.

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

fnxtr:

Bull’s eye, Robin.

(Safire)

“Regardless”, not “irregardless”, Stanton. “Irregardless” is on a par with “unthaw”.

(/Safire)

I know that, I just like using “irregardless” instead of “regardless” irregardless of the bad grammar. I just like how it sounds.

Robin:

FL’s appeal to the Discover piece is merely a fallacy of the general rule begetting a strawman - the article only points to the fact that “we don’t know how to build such a mind”, not that such a mind isn’t material or that such a mind didn’t arise through evolution.

FL is, of course, a buffoon, but this reminds me of what Jeff Hawkins said at this year’s Beyond Belief.

If we did know how to build such a mind, and they were produced for mass consumption like electronic gadgets, I wonder if this idiotic, gut-driven dualism would erode. I doubt it personally, but it would still be interesting to see. I imagine they’d insist that, despite its similarity to the human brain/mind, it still doesn’t have a soul, or some such nonsense.

If we ignore the troll, then people will get the (highly mistaken) impression that we are unable to refute his (highly stupid) arguments, irregardless of whether he accepts or dismisses the refutations.

Only incredibly stupid people – the sort who will get that impression even if you respond to him – will get that impression.

indeed, didn’t FL bust in here claiming we failed to respond to larry farfromsane’s posting on some other site, even though larry’s “argument” had been shredded countless times previous?

so, if those who respond to trolls are concerned about the likes of FL claiming “victory”, my only question is…

why?

FL is, of course, a buffoon, but this reminds me of what Jeff Hawkins said at this year’s Beyond Belief.

If we did know how to build such a mind, and they were produced for mass consumption like electronic gadgets, I wonder if this idiotic, gut-driven dualism would erode. I doubt it personally, but it would still be interesting to see. I imagine they’d insist that, despite its similarity to the human brain/mind, it still doesn’t have a soul, or some such nonsense.

If we did build such a mind, folks like FL and Dembski would merely point to it and shout, “SEE! THE PRODUCT OF INTELLIGENT DESIGN!” Such PR/political movements like ID are win-win strategies in a rhetorical sense since it matters little if any of the arguments are true since the only goal is to a) continue to draw attention to the issue and b) end up either forcing change or becoming a martyr for one’s cause.

If I may add something to the current important debate, Michael Quinion weighs in on “irregardless” here.

http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-irr1.htm

Short form: it’s usually best to avoid using it, particularly in formal writing, but doesn’t really deserve the level of condemnation it gets. Doubled negatives are often used in English (and other languages) as intensifiers, and don’t necessarily follow the “two negatives make a positive” axiom found in mathematics.

Short form: it’s usually best to avoid using it, particularly in formal writing, but doesn’t really deserve the level of condemnation it gets.

You left out the part where he notes that virtually anyone with “an informed opinion” disagrees with him.

You know… I think I have found it.

Creationists… FL on this board, or the random people on others, all the same thing really…

They won’t read the arguments, because their minds are decided. This is where we are so confused. I mean, they may skim over them, but their choice is made before they look.

At the source of it all, THIS is our difference. They have lost the desire to learn and change. This isn’t a matter of proof at this point, because no one can seriously say evolution isn’t a fact, this is a matter of trying to win thru attrition. Trying to hold onto their nonsense long enough that someone will find a way to save them. It’s a last stand.

I couldn’t understand this for so long… and I would be so confused. I would post a page long explination to a question, trying to help them understand what they had asked (since we view that as the reason for questions, trying to learn). After writing a detailed response, complete with links to research material and evidence, they would skip it all, beliving a typo or mispelling on my part disproved the whole argument.

I hadn’t understood… but I do now. And I’m disgusted.

Fact, knowlage, improvement of mankind… these mean nothing to them. How do you live with yourselves? Are you simply waiting to die, hoping only that you’ll be judged by your ability to do what you’re told above your actions?

I’m sorry if my comments seem a bit harsher then normal but I’m honestly a bit taken back right now… I don’t want to belive it but it all fits. They’re like a virus, only concerned with increasing their own numbers, mindless to the damage they are doing to the whole.

FL:

Here’s the problem, Stanton. You’ve got an interesting article about the hippocampus there, dating from 2004, but.…

.…but in July of 2007, three years later, Discover magazine (which is as pro-evolution as you are, btw), said the following statements (which I previously quoted):

An explanation of consciousness is one of the major unsolved problems of modern science. It may not turn out to be a single phenomenon; nonetheless, by way of a preliminary target, let’s think of it as the thing that flickers on when you wake up in the morning that was not there, in the exact same brain hardware, moments before.

Neuroscientists believe that consciousness emerges from the material stuff of the brain primarily because even very small changes to your brain (say, by drugs or disease) can powerfully alter your subjective experiences.

The heart of the problem is that we do not yet know how to engineer pieces and parts such that the resulting machine has the kind of private subjective experience that you and I take for granted.

If I give you all the Tinkertoys in the world and tell you to hook them up so that they form a conscious machine, good luck. We don’t have a theory yet of how to do this; we don’t even know what the theory will look like.

Now, I’ve read every word of your 2004 hippocampus article and compared it with the Discover statements. As it turns out, your article does NOT provide a refutation of the quoted statements. There’s many interesting ideas and research there about some of the role(s) the hippocampus may serve, but honestly that’s as far as it goes.

Simply put, the article doesn’t even BEGIN to meet the specific challenge laid out in the 2007 Discover article, (and as a side note, nowhere does the hippocampus article say anything about natural selection, let alone natural selection actually producing consciousness and mind.)

In fact, there’s even a caveat or two that appears in the 2007 Discover article that seems relevant (to some extent) to the memory situations described in your 2004 article:

But looking only at associations—and strengthened connections between neurons—may not be enough to explain memory.

The great secret of memory is that it mostly encodes the relationships between things more than the details of the things themselves. When you memorize a melody, you encode the relationships between the notes, not the notes per se, which is why you can easily sing the song in a different key.

Memory retrieval is even more mysterious than storage. When I ask if you know Alex Ritchie, the answer is immediately obvious to you, and there is no good theory to explain how memory retrieval can happen so quickly.

******

In light of all this, I sincerely appreciate the article you provided (because I’m curious about such things anyway), but no Stanton, you have clearly NOT produced the requested evidence. And I’m not even sure that you took the time to read this article and compare it to the statements by Discover and Kurt Vonnegut before attempting to claim that your article provided the requested evidence.

******

Since the only other avenue available to you and Mplavcan is simple (and simplistic) name-calling, I think it’s best to stop there. I’m sorry that you feel upset about things, but your blowing a fuse and stooping to name-calling will not provide any of the requested evidence, nor will it generate any scientific refutations of the Discover magazine’s clear and honest 2007 statements.

Once again, I close with the words of Kurt Vonnegut, honorary president of the American Humanist Association. Lurkers, please judge for yourself, whether Vonnegut’s words as stated on National Public Radio, are clear, honest, and open-minded in light of the present situation.

They say, you know, about evolution, it surely happened because their fossil record shows that. But look, my body and your body are miracles of design. Scientists are pretending they have the answer as how we got this way when natural selection couldn’t possibly have produced such machines.

FL :)

PS.…Nobody was able to refute Larry’s paragraph in comment #138399. Merry Christmas, y’all!

i hate quotes tell me what you know and not what you parrot.

p.s. this whole discussion is pointless anyway everyone has already made up their opinions anyway and they wont be swayed.

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This page contains a single entry by PvM published on December 23, 2007 11:24 PM.

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