The gift that keeps on giving: Steve Fuller

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Regular readers on this group may remember Steve Fuller whose contributions as an “expert witness” for the defense in the Kitzmiller law suit were quoted by the plaintiffs as well as the judge to show that ID was not science?

Last year, Steve Fuller released a book titled “Science v. Religion? Intelligent Design and the Problem of Evolution” which was recently reviewed by Sahotra Sarkar in “Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews”. Sarkar’s scathing review exposes the vacuity of Fuller’s arguments, a vacuity we have come to expect from ‘Intelligent Design’.

Not wanting to be left out, Denyse O’leary, validates the quality of the work by Sarkar by referring to him as a “third-rate Darwin hack”. Furthermore, Denyse, in her continued display of ignorance, responds to Sarkar’s observation that Fuller predicts that Darwinism (by which he means the entire framework of evolutionary theory) will be dead by the end of the twenty-first century and will be replaced by something more akin to ID creationism with “What about the Altenberg 16? “.

Indeed, Denyse, what about the Altenberg 16? Contrary to common ID myth, these people are neither displacing Darwinism and certainly are not intent on replacing it with something more akin to ID creationism. But somehow, Denyse, contrary to common journalistic practices, refuses to do the customary research which would led her to the statements released by the “Altenberg 16”. In addition, Massimo Pigliucci explains the reasons behind this workshop.

Now ask yourself, what has ID contributed to our understanding of evolution and evolutionary theory? Nothing, exactly nothing.

Various bloggers, well known to PT readers, have commented on Sarkar’s review, such as John Wilkins at “Evolving Thoughts” and John Lynch at “Stranger Fruit.

Sarkar’s review is full of funny quotes, I personally like the following

The third chapter turns to complexity, the emphasis on which is supposed to distinguish ID from “other versions of creationism” (p. 69). (I will happily follow Fuller in explicitly construing ID as a form of creationism but I doubt that most ID proponents will be quite as accommodating on this point.)

Always willing to read such statements in full context, I decided to check out the quote for myself.

On p. 69 we read:

Fuller Wrote:

Intelligent Design theory (sic) differs most markedly from other versions of creationism by the emphasis it places on complexity.

Of course, the well informed reader should know by now that complexity as defined by Intelligent Design is merely the negative base-2 logarithm of the probability that a particular feature can be explained by a particular scientific hypothesis. Once a hypothesis explains a particular “complex” feature, the feature ceases to be “complex”.

And somewhat surprisingly, Fuller testified, under oath, during the Kitzmiller trial as follows

Q. Thank you. Do you have an opinion concerning whether intelligent design is creationism?

A (Fuller). I do, and it is not.

You can read Fuller’s full testimony at Talkorigins: Steve Fuller: Morning session and Steve Fuller: Afternoon session

Fuller responds

Despite, or perhaps because, the several hard hitting reviews of his book, Fuller has decided to ‘respond’. And what a better place than the bastion of ID ‘research’, Uncommon Descent. Somewhat disappointingly, Fuller does little to address the critiques. He responds that Sarkar missed the point and all his other errors, and mistakes are at best nothing more than editorial flaws, and distract from the real issues.

The real issue is that:

Steve Fuller Wrote:

Non-teleological accounts of the world do not inspire the sustained pursuit of scientific inquiry – and so not surprisingly there are no good Darwinian accounts of science’s own significance for Homo sapiens.

In other words, Fuller’s argument is nothing more than that the role of ID is mostly limited to inspiring a sustained pursuit of scientific inquiry because in the early days, scientists were often motivated by their religious beliefs in pursuing a scientific exploration of the world around them. While historically true, I find the argument that religious faith is a requirement for a sustained pursuit of scientific inquiry somewhat lacking in logic and reason. In fact, it is not clear to me that the correlation between faith and science is not spurious since most scientists of those days all were men of faith. In fact, I could easily list some examples which seem to undermine the claimed correlation, such as the appeal to the supernatural to explain the unknown (something even Fuller’s best example, Newton, did not shy away from). Furthermore, I fail to see why Darwinian accounts should exist for the significant of science for Homo Sapiens. The suggestion that Darwinism is somehow the single explanatory factor seems rather simple minded. And yet, Fuller suggest, in what has become a common confusion amongst ID proponents, that there could not exist non religious motivations to pursue science or that Darwinian explanations could never exist. Not only do religious foundations not necessarily lead to good science, especially when religious foundations cause one to reject scientific evidence, it also seems a dubious claim that religion is somehow necessary as a stimulus for scientific inquiry. For instance, we have recent examples from the Young Earth Creationists who insist, based on their religious faith, that science needs to be ignored when it disagrees with their Biblical faith.

Other reviewers

On TalkReason we have an article by Norman Levitt helping us understand why Steve Fuller and ID are a “match made in heaven”. Norm Levitt also reviewed Fuller’s book

Merely out of mathematical whimsy, I want to consider Fuller’s very extensive discussion of “complexity” and “randomness.” This, as mathematicians and computer scientists are well aware, is a subject that has been thoroughly studied and analyzed for decades, generating a slew of deep results and fertile conjectures. Fuller, however, shows no awareness of the actual mathematical literature (even though much of it is accessible, at the basic level, to anyone with minimal mathematical skill). Instead, he seems content to take ID-theorist William Dembski as his guide.

In a wonderful paragraph, Levitt exposes, like Sarkar, many of Fuller’s flawed arguments such as:

None of this is backed up by serious analysis of the working methods and logical structure of biology itself. Fuller complacently views the ascendancy of evolutionary thought as a “rhetorical” rather than a “scientific” development. His principal evidence? The paucity of Nobel Prizes awarded for work on evolution! Of course, he never pauses to consider that under the idiosyncratic organization of the Nobel awards, there is no prize for biology as such. Biologists are smuggled in under the “Medicine and Physiology” category, which is just expansive enough to accommodate ethologists like Lorenz or Tinbergen, but not hard-core evolutionary theorists. In all of these pronouncements, Fuller is hard-pressed to hide his scorn for actual scientists who, it is obvious to him, know much less about what they think and how and why than a social theorist like himself who is enormously content to cite his own work endlessly.

In a debate between Fuller and Wolpert, Fuller argued that

Steve Fuller: Well, I don’t know what that means. Sorry, that is mysterious. That is a science stopper. A designer without, design without a designer is a science stopper, as far as I am concerned.

which is why Fuller is quick to identify the designer as God, so why can other ID proponents not be forthcoming about this, especially if “design without a designer” is a science stopper?

Fuller and Kitzmiller

Fuller’s contributions to the ruling include:

Third, Professor Steven William Fuller testified that it is ID’s project to change the ground rules of science to include the supernatural. (Trial Tr. vol. 28, Fuller Test., 20-24, Oct. 24, 2005).

Moreover and as previously stated, there is hardly better evidence of ID’s relationship with creationism than an explicit statement by defense expert Fuller that ID is a form of creationism. (Fuller Dep. at 67, June 21, 2005) (indicated that ID is a modern view of creationism).

In fact, as Matt Brauer pointed out, Fuller was cited 11 times in the final ruling.

See also Fuller’s expert witness report which helps understand Fuller’s position, however whimsical.

Religious motivation and science

Arguing that since historically people have done excellent science coming from a religious motivation that

It’s on those grounds that I believe Intelligent Design should be supported

Source

In the same video clip, Fuller also admits that the textbook used in the Dover trial (Of Pandas and People) was a very poor textbook and that he said nothing good about it.

Fuller’s fascinations with ID seem to not be because he necessarily believes that ID has much relevance per se but rather because historically a belief in a Creator has been a foundation for doing science. In addition, Fuller seems rather impressed by (or should it be “under the impression that”) ID’s claims that it provides a ‘worthy alternative’ to evolutionary theory. As such Intelligent Design together with evolutionary theory would benefit the science education. Fuller’s position is that sociologists like him are in a better position to judge the nature of science than the scientists themselves, and that one need not understand the scientific arguments involved to judge the quality of said science. In fact, like so many ID proponents, Fuller seems to lack much of an understanding of either the science behind evolutionary theory but also Intelligent Design, taking Dembski and Behe’s word as the ‘Gospel’, while largely ignoring the many well qualified critics of their positions. It does not matter, Fuller envisions a science where anyone can ‘contribute’ and quality is less important than ‘participation’.

As one reviewer observes:

For Fuller, religion and science are compatible. He complains that evolutionary theory is being taught as dogma. It needs a “critical foil” and ID satisfies that function as well as anything else.

Source: Steve Fuller : Designer trouble by # Zoë Corbyn The Guardian, January 31 2006

In this context I also encourage the readers to listen to a discussion between Cohen and Fuller exploring the issues involved in the debate between intelligent design and evolutionary theory. It runs for slightly over an hour but it helps understand Fuller’s position and why Fuller’s interest is not so much in the details of scientific accuracy, something to be left best to scientists, but rather the argument that ID can contribute to science education through questioning science and providing a foundation on which scientific interest can be explained. Neither one seems particularly relevant nor convincing to me.

The point at the end of the day is that since scientists have done good science when they, based on their religious faith, decided to propose scientific mechanisms to explain how God created, Fuller believes that ID is worth to be considered in the science curriculum, even if it is wrong. From a perspective of a non-scientist, Fuller is quick to define the extent of science even though his own comments show that he is not very well versed in the scientific arguments.

Of course, other than as an audience for his claims and his books, I doubt that Fuller has much sympathy for the Intelligent Design position. He clearly defines ID’s designer to be “God”, is not concerned about the continued scientific vacuity of Intelligent Design and is even less worried about his sometimes heretical theological claims. Fuller and Intelligent Design are in many aspects, a “match made in Heaven”. In fact, ID’s ‘loving’ embrace of Fuller seems to have extended the Big Tent to include some interesting theological concepts.

Newton, God and science

In a recent paper, Fuller apparently argues that “[it] traces the roots of intelligent design theory to the aspiration of Newton and other scientific revolutionaries to regard the mechanical world-view as enabling humans to approximate the mind of God.”

Of course, I doubt that much of any attempt is made to validate the necessity of such an position, and in fact, Fuller may have forgotten how this world view caused Newton to argue that God was actively involved in correcting the orbits of planets, since according to his understanding of mathematics, such orbits could not be stable. Indeed, the roots of ID can clearly be traced back to Newton as he confused, just like the modern day ID proponent, the concept of ignorance with the concept of God.

As so many have so clearly and convincingly argued, such a position not only dooms ID to remain scientifically without content but also theologically risky. Perhaps by promulgating a theologically risky proposition, Fuller may very well be hastening ID’s demise amongst the faithful. As far as the scientific vacuity of ID is concerned, little hope exists that Fuller will challenge this either, as Levitt observes:

It is almost superfluous to add that Fuller has done little to come to terms with Dembski’s most trenchant critics, actual experts in complexity and information theory, such as Mark Perakh and Jeffrey Shallit, the latter of whom has justifiably damned Dembski’s work as “pseudo-mathematics.” Nor has Fuller been very accurate in describing Dembski’s intended program, which is to demonstrate “mathematically” that the evolution of complex life via natural selection is literally impossible. But to acquaint himself with this now-voluminous literature would violate one of his favorite axioms, viz., that a “social epistemologist” needn’t actually understand science in order to belittle it.

Mike Dunford, states it clearly and succinctly, catching Fuller in yet another scientific inaccuracy:

‘Anything new in science comes when scientific work comes up with something new, and this is unpredictable. At the time that Linus Pauling gambled that the genetic material would be a protein, he knew that it was a gamble and that experimental work would decide it.’ But your own example shows that Pauling DID predict correctly…

(Steve Fuller, comment 60)

As has been pointed out already, Pauling bet wrong. DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is a nucleic acid. Proteins are polypeptides. The two are very different kinds of chemical. That is really very basic biology - high school level, in fact. (I suspect that Bob Weimann would be somewhat disappointed in you for forgetting that.)

The Pauling situation illustrates a number of the problems both with teaching intelligent design and with Steve’s participation in this issue.

To begin with, let’s look at what the Intelligent Design people are demanding. They are not demanding equal funding for empirical research. They are not demanding access to the scientific literature. They are not demanding to be allowed to participate in the scientific process. They are demanding to be allowed to bypass research and publication and to place their material in the high school classroom. In the Pauling example, it would be like immediately demanding, prior to the expected experimental confirmation, to teach that protein is the genetic material.

When it comes to moving new research into the classroom, science moves very slowly and very, very conservatively. This is done for good reason. The sciences are very complex fields. Conducting and critically evaluating new research requires an enormous knowledge base - if it is to be done competently. Putting brand new, controversial material into the classroom might sound like a good way to stimulate critical inquiry in the students, but critical inquiry in this case requires a knowledge base that students simply don’t have at that level.

It’s also a knowledge base that Steve apparently doesn’t have. He speculates in comment 38 that “some design-based paradigm will overtake evolution in about 100 years,” but he doesn’t appear to have the basic knowledge of biology to actually make that an educated guess. He might be basing his opinion on the way that other major scientific revolutions have progressed, but that’s hardly a safe (or particularly relevant) basis for speculating on the outcome of specific cases.

Carl Sagan summed that up well, I think:

But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright Brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.

By Steve’s own admission, ID has not progressed to the point of formulating or testing hypotheses. How, then, do we know that they aren’t Bozo. If it is possible that they are, why put them in the schools?

Similarly, Ben Alpers argues in the same comments

But, in fact, Fuller’s analysis of ID involves more than the boring old job of testing its knowledge claims. It involves speculating on the possibility that in the future, in some inscrutible way, ID might generate knowledge claims that are testable. And because we can speculate that it might generate future testible knowledge claims, we must ignore its current lack of such claims and teach it as science in high school classes.

Which raises a relevant issue namely, is something worth teaching just because it speculates that science may be wrong, especially when it fails to contribute to science in any positive manner, and failing to be ‘testable’? Even if one were to accept the (slight) possibility that ID may stumble onto something of scientific interest, why should we accept its premises when ID refuses by its own nature to engage in scientific inquiry? Sure, people have the right to formulate hypotheses based on their religious faith, but the right to speak does not extend to a right to be heard, especially when history has shown them to be unable to listen. In several of his comments, Fuller suggests that the main reason science rejects Intelligent Design is because of its strong roots in Christian theology, ignoring cause and effect. Intelligent Design is ignored by scientists because scientists have looked at its claims and found it to be lacking in content, relevance and accuracy. That in addition, this scientific lack of content can be explained by its roots in theology is just ‘icing on the cake’.

In the end it all comes down to, what Mike Dunford describes as

“How can you possibly hope to formulate an informed, independent opinion if you don’t know the underlying science?”

And yet, this is something which seems to be of little concern to both ID proponents as well as Steve Fuller. In fact, this appears to be a great tradition amongst ID defenders such as Phillip ‘Godfather of ID’ Johnson and Francis Beckwith. Although, I believe that Beckwith’s ‘love affair’ with Intelligent Design has come to a predictable ending.

And finally, in 2008, Fuller released yet another book on the topic of intelligent design, titled “Dissent Over Descent: Intelligent Design’s Challenge to Darwinism” which got a short review in the Guardian:

Once upon a time, Fuller points out, most science was inspired by the possibility of understanding God’s creation. That is true, but it does not mean, as Fuller pretends, that contemporary “ID” is an alternative method of doing science: its remit is strictly anti-science, cynically positing a “God of the gaps” for political reasons. For his part, Fuller happily adopts ID’s rhetorical tactics: speaking of biologists’ “faith”; forgetting to mention (or merely being ignorant of) the wealth of evidence for evolution in modern biology that wasn’t available to Darwin himself; and even muttering about the “vicissitudes” of fossil-dating, thus generously holding the door open for young-Earth creationists, too. The book is an epoch-hopping parade of straw men, incompetent reasoning and outright gibberish, as when evolution is argued to share with astrology a commitment to “action at a distance”, except that the distance is in time rather than space. It’s intellectual quackery like this that gives philosophy of science a bad name.

Another, slightly more positive review in the “Times Higher Education” points out that

Upholders of theistic evolution usually espouse “methodological naturalism”, which Fuller characterises as a “pseudo-philosophy” fuelled by bigotry. I have always understood it to be the view that properly scientific explanations refer only to “natural” (spatio-temporal) data, without denying that other data (like God) may exist, and have some form of causal influence, not falling within the purview of observational and experimental science. Fuller claims it is a conflation of logical positivism (all factual statements must be verifiable) and metaphysical naturalism (only natural causes exist). This claim is puzzling, as methodological naturalism is a term invented precisely to contrast with metaphysical naturalism, and no naturalist is committed to a positivist doctrine of meaning and verification. I cannot see how it is “anti-religious bigotry” to say that God’s acts cannot be unambiguously verified by public observation, or repeated, or experimentally tested. Indeed, this seems to be a common religious view, and even to follow from the fact that God is not a material entity and that God’s acts obey no general causal laws.

So what to make of all this? I believe that Fuller has a sincere though mistaken beliefs about the impact nay necessity of religion (preferably monotheistic) on scientific inquiry and curiosity and while I believe the evidence clearly shows him to be wrong, I can appreciate his position. However, to argue that Intelligent Design deserves a place at the table of science because it sounds plausible and sincere to Fuller and because it serves to ‘keep evolutionists’ honest seems to be rather a high price to pay. Especially when the request comes from a sociologist who seems to consider actual knowledge about the science involved to be a hindrance to evaluating if something deserves to be treated as science. This is particularly troublesome since so many have shown ID to be scientifically vacuous. It is thus not surprising that Fuller neither explains why ID is scientifically relevant nor explains why evolutionary theory is in need of an ‘ID’ opponent, and worse, why Fuller relies on the strawman that science and scientists reject ID because of its theological roots.

150 Comments

Since Denyse O’Leary seems to have accepted another of Fuller’s claims as the gospel, I will quickly address her claim

Denyse O'Leary Wrote:

The idea that we can understand nature is daily retailed to science students in publicly funded schools. We want them to know that we can somehow acquire the ability to understand reality - but that requires explanation.

And the explanation cannot be Darwinian. The Darwinian view is, as I have noted before, that our minds are illusions created by our neurons - which are in turn under the control of our selfish genes. These systems did not originate in order to discover truth but to enable us to leave offspring.

So many problem with this statement. Let me start by stating that ID presents no solution to this problem, at best, as Fuller argues, ID can claim that a belief in a God can help one to pursue scientific inquiry but that is a far cry from a necessity of the existence of such a God. I believe that even Fuller would agree that the existence of such a God is not a necessity. Furthermore, I am not sure how Denyse has established the ‘Darwinian view’ on the mind. Has she read Darwin on this topic? Can she present to us how Darwin attempts to address the concept of mind? But of course, Darwinian theory can in fact help us understand why we are able to detect ‘truths’ although as usual Denyse seems to conflate knowledge with truth, the latter one is mostly a meaningless concept. What Darwinian theory can explain is our ability to accurately interpret our environment since our survival indeed depends on an accurate detector. However, as we also know, our mind is extremely sensitive to design, to such an extent that we often see ‘design’ where none exists. Such is the price to pay for survival. In other words, Darwinian theory can very well explain why it is important to understand reality. In fact, Darwinian theory may very well help us understand why so many people feel the need for a deity/deities. In fact, assume that Darwinian theory can explain our theological tendencies, in that case the veracity of the existence of a God is of no relevance to such a tendency being useful as a foundation for scientific exploration, as Fuller argues. However that’s a far cry of Intelligent Design explaining anything. In fact, as I have shown, evolutionary theory has far better explanations that ID ever will have.

And that my friends is why ID remains scientifically vacuous not just because it fails to present any relevant explanations but also because it is based on ignorance of scientific theories.

This case seems not much different from the usual nonsense we have come to expect from the ID groupies.

Darwin Wrote:

In the next chapter I shall make some few remarks on the probable steps and means by which the several mental and moral faculties of man have been gradually evolved. That such evolution is at least possible, ought not to be denied, for we daily see these faculties developing in every infant; and we may trace a perfect gradation from the mind of an utter idiot, lower than that of an animal low in the scale, to the mind of a Newton.

Charles Darwin The Descent of Man

Now ask yourself, what has ID contributed to our understanding of evolution and evolutionary theory? Nothing, exactly nothing.

If anything, Intelligent Design has eroded understanding of both Evolutionary Biology and the rest of Science, given as how the Discovery Institute promotes nothing but lies and distortions in order to stupefy their target audiences, and has its political allies further destroy the US’ already poor science education standards, in the alleged name of fairness.

PvM, would you admit that Michael Behe does posit testable hypothesis in The Edge of Evolution? For example, the number of protein binding sites possible due to evolution?

Do you agree that Intelligent design has at least some value as a sounding board for evolution, in the sense that you don’t need to run your own restaurant to be a restaurant critic?

Are they serious with this “Altenberg 16” stuff? That’s like bigfoot ufo conspiracy crap. Don’t they ever read anything? Good lord!

Behe proposes testable falsifications for evolutionary theory. He does little to support the concept of intelligent design. Now it seems obvious that Behe’s testable falsifications are flawed but that is of secondary interest. Does ID have any value as a sounding board? I see little evidence of such. Behe has done little to further our knowledge and mostly relies on poor data and logic to further his claims. In that aspect one may argue that flat earth has contributed to our understanding of geology and astronomy. In order to be a useful restaurant critic one should at least be able to attend a dinner session and not rely on the pretty pictures in the menu to judge the food.

Behe has done little to further science, in fact he has done more to undermine it.

SkepitcalBill said:

PvM, would you admit that Michael Behe does posit testable hypothesis in The Edge of Evolution? For example, the number of protein binding sites possible due to evolution?

Do you agree that Intelligent design has at least some value as a sounding board for evolution, in the sense that you don’t need to run your own restaurant to be a restaurant critic?

SkepitcalBill said:

PvM, would you admit that Michael Behe does posit testable hypothesis in The Edge of Evolution? For example, the number of protein binding sites possible due to evolution?

The only problem with this is that everything Behe has posited has been proven wrong wrong wrong, but, he refuses to acknowledge this. Essentially, he continues to insist that he is right, and his critics, along with the facts and reality, are wrong.

And this is compounded by the sad fact that Behe refuses to experimentally test any of his Intelligent Design whimsies, something that helps to solidify the image of him having entered an academic Sleep of Death.

Do you agree that Intelligent design has at least some value as a sounding board for evolution, in the sense that you don’t need to run your own restaurant to be a restaurant critic?

You fail to understand that criticizing science is not analogous to criticizing restaurant food.

The whole point of challenge and criticism in Science and Scientific Peer Review is to improve a particular facet of Science, or replace it with a new facet of science that is altogether superior.

Intelligent Design is a pseudoscience, and as pointed out by Mr Medved’s loose tongue, Intelligent Design was never intended to replace Evolutionary Biology as a legitimate science. And as such, you can not legitimately use Intelligent Design to challenge Evolutionary Biology ever.

Furthermore, in order to criticize science, you must understand science first. This sad fact is totally incomprehensible by the totality of the entire Intelligent Design movement, given as how all its members have demonstrated a complete unwillingness to make even a rudimentary effort to comprehend Evolutionary Biology. Many members demonstrate an unwillingness to comprehend even elementary school level science.

That horrid Coulter thing drew the same parallel about restaurant critics. The simple difference that seems to have escaped her is that facts are not a matter of taste.

there’s restaurant critics and restaurant critics. although there’s always an element of personal opinion, there’s a sliding scale of expertise that correlates with usefulness; at the very bottom there’s the critic who knows nothing about food and pompously scoffs at everything he’s ever served, and his opinion is completely useless. I think this case is where the restaurant critic analogy applies to ID perfectly.

completely OFF TOPIC - there’s a new report that cows have a (vestigial) sense of magnetic direction. Anybody know at which point in cows’ ancestry this feature would have the most significance?

It appears that Steve Fuller has a bad case of the post-modernist’s brain disease.

snaxalotl Wrote:

completely OFF TOPIC - there’s a new report that cows have a (vestigial) sense of magnetic direction. Anybody know at which point in cows’ ancestry this feature would have the most significance?

It would seem that a cow magnet could certainly screw up that “compass”. The minute they turned to align themselves with the largest magnetic field around, the magnet in their stomach would turn with them. Spinning cows. :-)

On the other hand, as I recall from when I was a kid growing up on a farm, the magnets we placed in the stomachs of our herd didn’t seem to disrupt their ability to find their way home from far out to pasture.

To SkepticalBill:

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think it counts as a testable hypothesis if no possible results will make you reject it.

I was at the Royal Holloway debate some two years back, where Fuller and Wolpert debated ID. (I also did most of te transcrip for the debate so know exactly what was said.)

Fuller started efended the young earth creationist Andy McIntioosh, Professor of Thermodyamics at Leeds University. McIntosh has been at the forefront of trying to get creationism taught in UK state schools and, more recently, has been promoting ID as a front to get it in.

That is through an organisation called truth in Science which consists entirely of YECers but uses Discovery Institute material. It is impossible to conclude that McIntosh and his pals believe that ID is anything but young earth creationism. That they are claiming it is not seems to be nothing more than systematic deception of the public.

MCntosh illustrates the dangers of ID. he is an aeronautical engineer with no qualifications whatsover n the key disiplines, biology and geology, whichhe is arguing are fundamentally wrong. He is actually less qualified than the average non-graduate in the street on the two subjects.

It’s worse than that, though, because he is trying to ue the second law of thermodyamnics to show evolutionary theory is wrong. In doing so he has had to twist 2LOT to the extent he has re-written it.

He must be the only professor of thermodynamics in the world who doesn’t understand 2LOT. See our blog at http://bcseweb.org.uk/blog/ to get the point. He has replaced 2LOT with what we call McIntosh’s Law.

Fuller also has a real problem of credibility when he argues that ID will produce good science. Where are the scientists proposing creationism and ID. The creationists argue that an increasing number dissent from evolutionary theory.

Well, as Fuller is resident in the UK, I have done the research on this. The number of practising scientists in the key ares of biology and geology in the UK that back creationism and/or ID is as follows:

1. Geology

None

2. Biology

One

Long isn’t it?

How many Nobel Prizes can we expect from those on this list?

Sorry, but I can’t help conclude that the whole shooing match creates nothing but very bad science. McIntosh is my evidence for today. All he has doe is to make the position of Professor of Thermodynamics at leeds University a byword in nonsense, bad physics and, whilst we are at it, bad engineering. He hs riwsted 2LOT to support a position in biology which he is unqualified about.

But then, that’s what creationism is. An ideology where all the facts, explanations or evidence have to be made to fit a religious opinion or be rejected and rubbished.

As well all know, science does not give a stuff about indivudals’ religious opinions - not mine, not yours and not McIntosh’s. What McIntosh is actually doing has nothig tio do with science t all. Truth in Science is in the business of saving souls, nothing more, nothing less. Same with the DI. It is systematic and deliberate lying and deception to claim otherwise.

Roger Stanyard, British Centre for Science education (www.bcseweb.org.uk)

snaxalotl said: completely OFF TOPIC - there’s a new report that cows have a (vestigial) sense of magnetic direction. Anybody know at which point in cows’ ancestry this feature would have the most significance?

Possibly when they were like free-range Bison with their herds migrating north and south with the seasons?

I was particularly amused by this item in Sarkar’s review:

Fuller predicts that Darwinism (by which he means the entire framework of evolutionary theory) will be dead by the end of the twenty-first century and will be replaced by something more akin to ID creationism. No particular reason is given for this pious hope other than that Marxism underwent a similar denouement during the twentieth century (though, obviously it was not replaced by ID).

Hmm:

Leon Trotsky: “You are pitiful isolated individuals; you are bankrupts; your role is played out. Go where you belong from now on – into the dustbin of history!”

Nikita Khruschev: “Whether you like it or not. history is on our side. We will bury you!” [This is sometimes interpreted as a threat, but it really means: We will outlive you.]

I am not comparing the Darwin-bashers to Marxists, of course, there is no real ideological connection between them. However, the two groups do seem to have comparable talents at prediction.

White Rabbit (Greg Goebel) http://www.vectorsite.net/tadarwin.html

Paul Burnett said:

snaxalotl said: completely OFF TOPIC - there’s a new report that cows have a (vestigial) sense of magnetic direction. Anybody know at which point in cows’ ancestry this feature would have the most significance?

Possibly when they were like free-range Bison with their herds migrating north and south with the seasons?

Correction: Domestic cattle were descended from auroch, not bison.

Also, virtually all mammals, and possibly other vertebrates (especially birds) have microscopic crystals of magnetite in the cells of their brain. Apparently, the greater amount of magnetite, the better an organism is able to sense the Earth’s magnetic field.

There is this one freshwater bacterium that has a comparatively huge crystal of magnetite in it that it uses to help it orient itself to the shady regions of the ponds it lives in.

Perhaps Fuller’s prediction of the future of “Darwinism” belongs in this compilation:

http://home.entouch.net/dmd/moreandmore.htm” The Imminent Demise of Evolution: The Longest Running Falsehood in Creationism” by G. R. Morton.

TomS said:

Perhaps Fuller’s prediction of the future of “Darwinism” belongs in this compilation:

http://home.entouch.net/dmd/moreandmore.htm” The Imminent Demise of Evolution: The Longest Running Falsehood in Creationism” by G. R. Morton.

It’s the perfect place for it, a veritable graveyard of hubris and nonsense.

TomS said:

Perhaps Fuller’s prediction of the future of “Darwinism” belongs in [Glenn Morton’s MORE & MORE].

My prediction is that by the end of the 21st century, the fall of Darwinism will be predicted by the end of the 22nd century.

White Rabbit (Greg Goebel) http://www.vectorsite.net/tadarwin.html

The Fuller quotes:

Intelligent Design theory (sic) differs most markedly from other versions of creationism by the emphasis it places on complexity.

and

Q. Thank you. Do you have an opinion concerning whether intelligent design is creationism?

A (Fuller). I do, and it is not.

…are technically non-contradictory. ID is not “the whole of creationism” but a “version” of it. Granted it is the only version that can accommodate all the others, as well as (per Dembski) all the results of “Darwinism.” Nevertheless Fuller is knowingly misleading his audience, and thus I would bet that the DI did not jump on the first quote as they undoubtedly would had a “Darwinist” said it.

If there’s one thing to remember about ID, is that it tries to have everything both ways.

This guy needs a serious lesson in history as well as biology. His argument is like claiming that since people once believed that lightning was a punishment from God that we should still use that as the first hypothesis in every scientific investigation. I guess this sort of nonsense is much easier to say with a straight face if you are completely ignorant of all of history and science. Fortunately, that is the only type of person who is likely to fall for this routine anyway.

Fuller?

Replies to critics via Demski Town?

Hahahahahahahahahahahaha

Questioner: “Rabbi, why do Rabbi’s always answer a question with a question?”

Rabbi: “What’s wrong with that?

Now to an American that might not seem strange since ‘begging the question’ as a logical fallacy does not = the question automatically follows.

In the real world it means God doesn’t logically exist because (any) Holy Scripture simply contains it in writing.

If the final proof that the champion of Eden’s dustbowl fingered or puffed some dust or organic soup into the forerunner of DNA when all science has to do is accept that as a fact, without …er actual proof. Proof merely by assertion by Team ID is scientific proof it seems.

Now not only is the question left unanswered, it need not be asked! Science abhors an unanswered question, believers pray it will go away before another pet myth is shattered….. again.

Fuller must be enjoying his time in England bringing his new logic to the land that made the mistake of putting Darwin in a church burial plot. Single handedly he’s fixing that…rolls eyes.

Good luck with the sheep’s bladder prevention method for earthquakes Mr. Fuller.

I can’t help thinking that Berlinski and Fuller are cut from the same trans Atlantic diasparic cloth. I may be wrong but keep a close ear to the ground Fuller sunshine if Jesus decides to go direct to Billings Montana and the Jellycats running the Pentagon and their suppliers get wind of it, I can’t see why they would need Jerusalem anymore ….do you?

P.S. Obviously for the Set of Humans not including Fuller my use of the words question and begging are ambiguous …you get it.….but he doesn’t.

For the record, here is a bit of the forecast for “Darwinism” from Fuller:

It is not too early to chart the intellectual course to the 22nd century. The 21st century may well mark a gradual disaffection with Darwinism, comparable to the 20th century’s loss of support for Marxism.

page 126, beginning of Chapter 5, “Life after Darwinism” Steve Fuller, “Science vs Religion? Intelligent Design and the Problem of Evolution” Cambridge: Polity Press, 2007

Frank J said:

If there’s one thing to remember about ID, is that it tries to have everything both ways.

HEADS I WIN TAILS YOU LOSE

White Rabbit (Greg Goebel) http://www.vectorsite.net/tadarwin.html

It is ludicrous to suggest that we somehow need the religious motivation provided by intelligent design to perform scientific R&D.

First, there’s the several billion non-Judeo-Christian people on the planet whose governments also perform R&D. How does Steve explain their motivation?

Second, there’s the U.S’s R&D expenditures themselves. Approx. 2/3 of funding for drug discovery now comes from private for-profit companies. And the largest single R&D funding agency in the US Government is the Department of Defense. Drug companies and the military - viagra and better tanks. Does anyone seriously believe any of this money is spent out of religious motivation? Does anyone seriously think we need a belief in an intelligent designer to want improved medicine or a strong military?

eric

Denyse is such a yappy little dog, isn’t she?

Bobby said:

Show me the experimental test to show that major body plan changes can be accomplished through NS and RM.

Show me the evidence that the Moon isn’t made of green cheese.

White Rabbit (Greg Goebel) http://www.vectorsite.net/tadarwin.html

there’s the several billion non-Judeo-Christian people on the planet whose governments also perform R&D. How does Steve explain their motivation?

I don’t know. Let’s see, could it be.….satan?

[/Church Lady]

“So what to make of all this? I believe that Fuller has a sincere though mistaken beliefs about the impact nay necessity of religion (preferably monotheistic) on scientific inquiry and curiosity and while I believe the evidence clearly shows him to be wrong, I can appreciate his position. However, to argue that Intelligent Design deserves a place at the table of science because it sounds plausible and sincere to Fuller and because it serves to ‘keep evolutionists’ honest seems to be rather a high price to pay.”

I suspect Fuller’s enthusiasm for ID is inspired partly by the sincere belief about the necessity of religion that you mention, but also by a philosophical aversion to evolution itself that clouds his judgement about the adequacy of ID to perform the role he wants it to perform. When questioned, he’s always very evasive when people ask exactly how ID, which explicitly shuts off research avenues, is supposed to promote inquiry. He has admitted as much himself - among other places, in comments on one of Michael Berube’s posts about him, he said that he didn’t like the way evolution (as he saw it) denied mankind a privileged position in the world. It seems a pretty poor reason to disapprove of a scientific theory, but then Fuller seems like a pretty poor thinker.

dnftt dnftt dnftt dnftt dnftt.…

Were I new to the situation, I would assume that this is just snarkiness.

However, remembering my experience with Salvador Cordova, and his incompetent debate skills, appallingly poor knowledge, and abominable manners, I’m inclined to accept such a suggestion.

It’s quite telling, sadly, about the pernicious effects of a pseudoscientific movement like Intelligent Design when it not only erodes what extremely little scientific understanding its proponents have, but, also obliterates their etiquette skills and basic good manners, as well.

On second thought, I’m tempted to borrow Mr Kwok’s phrase of “(pernicious) mendacious intellectual pornography.”

stevaroni said:

Are you implying that “bobby” is actually Casey Luskin?

Hmm… same M.O. …

- Argue. Just argue, Always argue.

- Always misrepresent any direct answer given you.

- Rapidly change the subject.

- Drop non-sequitors and ad-hominems constantly.

- And whatever you do, Never, Ever Ever answer a direct question.

Hmm. Think now, have we ever actually seen Luskin and bobby in the same room together…?

On direct questions, I just had a couple of JW’s at the door - they are biblical literalists, among other things - and I asked them why they thought that the scriptures were literal fact. I received a plateful of babble that didn’t even rise to the heights of saying that God wouldn’t write down stuff that wasn’t true. It wasn’t as coherent as that. They simply couldn’t think about such things. The question, and its answer, lay outside their mental world. Like Matthew Brady, they didn’t think about the things they didn’t think about.

Essentially, after some difficulty in even couching the question in terms that they could assimilate, I received the statement that the Bible is the inspired word of God, because it is, because we know it is, because it is.

Expecting someone to reply to a question implies that there’s actually information that they can impart - that there is some form of thought process that has led to their position. With biblical literalists - at least, the rank and file - I doubt that there is any such process. To anyone who thinks that ideas should be tested against evidence, their position is absurd to the highest degree - and so it is, tested in that way. But here is their secret strength, and the reason why they can never be moved: they don’t think like that. In the sense of ratiocination, they don’t think about their religion. They simply can’t.

It’s always tempting to think that 2 or more faceless names on the Internet are one and the same. It’s even a reasonable hypothesis, because sometimes they do turn out to be one and the same. For me it’s mind-boggling that so many people can hear so many refutations (unlike the millions of rank and file creationists who hear nothing but feel-good sound bites) and still be so dense. So it’s reasonable to suspect that they are actually fewer in number than they claim. OTOH, like many other counterintuitive ideas, they seem less so when one looks at the sheer numbers. With almost 7 billion people in the world, many more of which can string words together than can make sense of them, one can expect many who resort to such nonsense. So in the absence of evidence I guess the simpler hypothesis is that someone who can have a career as the DI’s funny man would not waste his time, and risk being caught, hijacking PT threads.

Dave Luckett said:

I received a plateful of babble that didn’t even rise to the heights of saying that God wouldn’t write down stuff that wasn’t true.

I tend to be neutral on religions but I don’t really conceal my distaste for JWs. Their religious ideology isn’t really the issue, since I neither know nor want to find out what it is, it’s just that their sales pitch is so incredibly bad. They couldn’t sell aspirin to someone with a splitting headache. However, in a sense it works. Since nobody who has two clues to rub together would take them seriously for a second, the pitch screens for those who DON’T have two clues to rub together as candidates for the ranks.

I do not care for being proselytized in general. The main reason is that if they signed me up, a week later they’d be trying to drive me out: “I REALLY do fit into your crowd and all I’m going to get out of this is a ration of abuse.” The deal they’re offering me is: I get burned.

I put up a NO SOLICITORS sign. If I look through the peephole on my front door and see missionaries – they’re easily identified, they operate in packs and dress neatly – I go back to what I was doing and figure they’ll go away in a minute or two. This is more ruthless at night, when I turn on the porch light to see who’s out there, then turn it off again after I get an ID.

I figure that the NO SOLICITORS sign gives them fair warning: “That’s for YOUR benefit, not mine.” Sort of like a mild version of WARNING: LETHAL FORCE USED BEYOND THIS POINT. Of course, that would be excessive, even for JWs.

White Rabbit (Greg Goebel) http://www.vectorsite.net/tadarwin.html

Dave Luckett Wrote:

On direct questions, I just had a couple of JW’s at the door - they are biblical literalists, among other things - and I asked them why they thought that the scriptures were literal fact.

Not that their reaction would have been any different, but I would have said something like: “Over the years creationists like you have tried to sell me on at least 4 mutually contradictory versions of Genesis, but not one has ever been able to tell me why theirs fits the evidence better than any of the others. So why don’t you go take your sales pitch to the supporters of the other versions and come back when you have a consensus?”

Henry J said:

Scott said:

Heres how falsification works:

Tell me what we would observe if (a theory) was false.

At the risk of being made a laughing stock, what’s wrong with this definition?

Falsification works by finding verifiable observations that contradict the hypothesis. There isn’t really a list of things that would all be observed if the hypothesis is wrong, since any one thing might happen to be consistent with the hypothesis simply because the real explanation produces a similar pattern.

Exactly! The problem with the way Jo-boo-bee presented falsification is that such a scenerio can be nothing but assumption on a large scale, and highly variable on a small scale. It’s completely bass-ackwards (as someone else noted).

For example, if I am testing the Theory of Gravity, what can I possibly know about the conditions if the Theory is false? The math might still be ok until one reaches certain proximities or densities for example, but I would have no reason to predict or expect such. In fact, there could (technically) be planets out in the universe somewhere that defy our understanding of gravity, but I wouldn’t necessarily expect to find any specifically even if the theory is wrong. Indeed, if the Theory of Gravity is wrong, there is absolutely no reason to assume that things would appear any different they they are. That’s why Jo-Boo-Bee’s statement made me laugh so hard I nearly wet myself.

In the case of evolution, incompatible nested hierarchies (from anatomy, DNA, fossils) would conflict with the common ancestry of the species being compared. (That’s assuming that enough data is available to construct those hierarchies.)

Absolutely! The thing is though (and here’s why I find Jo-Bo-Bee’s statement erroneous) one can’t say that they would expect to see no nested hierarchies in nature if the theory was false. Why? Because nested hierarchies could still exist regardless of whether the theory is true or false. That’s the problem that Jo-Boo-Bee doesn’t seem to get.

Will someone please explain how it is possible that we can send a rover to Mars, but we can’t keep an eternally puebescent moron off this board?

Some other folks have discussed the symbolic logic of falsification so I’m not going to bother repeating.

But to get away from symbolic logic, try to remember that scientists aren’t concerned with perfect theories so much as the best theory available. An “ideal” experiment for finding the best theory is a little different. You want a test where two (or more) theories make different strong predictions of an unknown variable (by strong I mean that if the prediction is wrong, a little tweak to the losing theory won’t help explain it). You then test the variable and see what it is.

So, for instance, Theory A says a rock should be 200,000 years old, theory B says the same rock should be 6,000 years old, you agree on a method for checking age, and you check the age.

Then you repeat with orthogonal measurements and orthogonal variables.

Now sure, if the measured age is 200,000 years, its always possible that some variant of B could still be correct in an “ultimate truth” sort of way. But what this test shows is that Theory A is better at predicting experimental results. Which is what operating scientists are concerned about. So now a scientist responding to a B-believer might be, “believe B all you want, but I’m going to use A in my future lab experiments…and I’m going to teach it to my grad students as the most useful theory out there…”

IMO Science is not about Ultimate Truth - that’s religion and philosophy. Science is far more concerned with useful truths (little-t).

Scott said:

Heres how falsification works:

Tell me what we would observe if (a theory) was false.

At the risk of being made a laughing stock, what’s wrong with this definition? It’s greatly simplified, sure, and probably stated bass ackwards, but wrong?

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falsif[…]ty#Evolution

Therefore if common descent is true, human DNA should be more similar to great apes than other mammals. If this is not the case, then common descent is falsified. DNA analysis has shown that humans and the great apes share a large percentage of their DNA, and hence human evolution has passed a falsifiable test.

Similarly paraphrasing from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modus_[…]modus_ponens “IF (X) THEN (Y)” has the same truth table as “IF (NOT Y) THEN (NOT X)”

Perhaps it might be more accurate to say, “Tell me what we would not observe if a theory was false.”???

Maybe the statement is not complete? Is it the fact that it is missing the assertion of “(NOT Y)” and the conclusion, “Therefore (NOT X)”??

I have no respect for Bobby. I don’t even know if he wrote this. But honestly, I don’t see how the above statement is wrong. Sorry to be so dense, but I think I’m missing something.

Thanks for your patience.

jobby said:

Therefore if common descent is true, human DNA should be more similar to great apes than other mammals. If this is not the case, then common descent is falsified. DNA analysis has shown that humans and the great apes share a large percentage of their DNA, and hence human evolution has passed a falsifiable test.

…again we can have common descent without Darwinism being true.

Another fine illustration that Jo-Boo-Bee is reversing the logic (and the original poster’s most accurate statement). He thinks (erroneously) that science is out to prove evolution is true. That’s incorrect. Rather, science can only test whether evolution is false. So, while common descent could certainly exist without Darwin’s Theory being true, Darwin’s Theory could not be true (or at least would have serious problems) if common descent was NOT true.

again we are trying to prove that John murdered Jane.

Jo-Boo-Bee is incorrect. Science CANNOT prove that John murdered Jane. Science can establish factual evidence that connects John to the murder, but that’s about it.

But this brings up a point that should be addressed concerning the difference between science and technological evidence. Through science we have developed tools that we can use to establish proof in a court of law. The most notable one of late would be DNA testing. The science behind DNA testing is so solid that we can now use tools to determine with amazing accuracy whether someone was specifically at the scene of a crime and, to some extent, the activities that individual has engaged in. Note, however, that we are NOT testing theories in forensic analysis used in criminal cases. So, whether DNA evidence proves John murdered Jane, such would not be analogous to proving a scientific theory.

of course Darwinism is a possible explanation but to say it si the ONLY POSSIBLE explanation takes much, much more that what the evidence has supplied

I’m curious, but have ANY of the scientists on the board ever heard that the Theory of Evolution is the only possible explanation? I’ve never heard that. It certainly is the only explanation available currently, but that’s a different story as far as I can tell.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>> show me the observation that we could see if major body plans did not evolve thru NS and RM. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

And here I nearly spit my coffee onto my keyboard. But I’ll play along:

If major body plans did not evolve through NS and RM I’d expect to see spiders with bat wings since there’d be nothing to prevent such from occuring in nature.

jobby said:

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> show me the observation that we could see if major body plans did not evolve thru NS and RM. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

You’ve already been given several, but here are some more:

1) a DNA structure completely different from ours, say with elements Q, E, and P instead of A, C, T, and G

2) A chimera, like a pegasus or a centaur, with a completely novel body plan composed of borrowed body parts from different animals. This is what we see with real life Intelligent Design, like cars and computers, and which we certainly do not see in the animal kingdom.

3) A pre-cambrian rabbit.

4) Unique hierarchies of animals, varying wildly depending on the measure used, instead of the nested ones we see. Humans would be more closely related to say, lizards, by one measure, apes by another, and ants by a third.

You of course, will claim that none of this proves evolution, and indeed it doesn’t. It also doesn’t prove gravity, or that the ancients built the pyramids. Science is limited. Deal.

Science Avenger said:

jobby said:

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> show me the observation that we could see if major body plans did not evolve thru NS and RM. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

You’ve already been given several, but here are some more…

Which will fall into the same bottomless intellectual black hole the previous ones did.

That was fast ;)

jobby said: Good luck finding a better explanation than common descent.

I’d be interested in hearing any alternative explanation, even if it isn’t a better explanation.

How, or why, or when, or where, or … did humans get bodies so similar to those of chimps and other apes?

Was that the result of some purpose of intelligent designer(s)? That humans and chimps both have rather similar places in the grand scheme of design?

Or were the intelligent designer(s) not interested enough in making humans to make them completely anew from scratch?

Or were the intelligent designer(s) so restricted by the materials and the laws of nature that they were unable to make humans different?

Or is it just a massive coincidence, that all of those bone structures, all of that biochemistry, all of those details of DNA, and the structure of the eye and other organs … is it just a matter of chance that all of that happens to be just about the same?

David Stanton Wrote:

Well, I wished you luck, got anything yet? Got a falsifiable hypothesis that accounts for all of the observable facts better than the theory of evolution? Thought not.

That’s why I don’t reply often to legitimate anti-evolutionists, much less trolls. If I do, it’s usually to ask questions like those TomS asked above. With few exceptions like FL, they know they can’t answer questions. Even when they do answer them, they try to change the subject to the usual long-refuted arguments against “Darwinism.”

again we are trying to prove that John murdered Jane. you are saying that we can falsify if we show he was 1000 miles away at the time, that he is in a wheel chair. remember a theory is scientific because it CAN be falsified. whether it is a viable, undeniable explanation takes a lot more.

Yes, falsification of John’s alibi cannot prove he murdered Jane. But it’s still significantly probative.

Assume a case where every bit of the physical evidence points to John doing the deed, but he has the ironclad alibi that he was 1000 miles away at the time. That’s a significant piece of evidence of his innocence.

Now assume that this alibi vanishes. Go ask OJ Simpson how that works out.

Now is a good time to point out that ID’s case is all intrinsically negative. It’s all about alibi’s, and inconveniently, they’ve all been punctured…

- Evolution never directly observed; proven false

- No de novo functions; proven false

- Missing links; proven false

- No model for single point mutations; proven false

- Thermodynamic arguments; proven false

- Irreducible Complexity; proven false

- Specified Complex Information; proven false

- Statistical arguments; proven false

- and my favorite, insufficient power of natural selection; proven false

If this were a court case, I wouldn’t even send it to the jury. I’d ask for summary judgment, on the basis that, not only have you stipulated to most of the prosecutions contentions, you have simply failed to provide any evidence, or any cogent rebuttal at all.

Dear Stanton,

‘Tis unfortunately an accurate assessment:

Stanton said:

Were I new to the situation, I would assume that this is just snarkiness.

However, remembering my experience with Salvador Cordova, and his incompetent debate skills, appallingly poor knowledge, and abominable manners, I’m inclined to accept such a suggestion.

It’s quite telling, sadly, about the pernicious effects of a pseudoscientific movement like Intelligent Design when it not only erodes what extremely little scientific understanding its proponents have, but, also obliterates their etiquette skills and basic good manners, as well.

On second thought, I’m tempted to borrow Mr Kwok’s phrase of “(pernicious) mendacious intellectual pornography.”

stevaroni said:

Are you implying that “bobby” is actually Casey Luskin?

Hmm… same M.O. …

- Argue. Just argue, Always argue.

- Always misrepresent any direct answer given you.

- Rapidly change the subject.

- Drop non-sequitors and ad-hominems constantly.

- And whatever you do, Never, Ever Ever answer a direct question.

Hmm. Think now, have we ever actually seen Luskin and bobby in the same room together…?

You have to understand that Dishonesty Institute IDiot Borg drones like Cordova, Luskin, Bobby and others of their ilk are truly intellectually-challenged. That’s why they are incapable of showing excellent “etiquette skills and basic good manners”, period. Therefore, I think you shouldn’t hesitate in recognizing that these “gentlemen” are mendacious intellectual pornographers who enjoy being purveyors of the pernicious mendacious intellectual pornography known as Intelligent Design.

Regards,

John

I have been waiting for some experimental from YOU for a very, very long time. Where is it.

Holy cow. This is mind-boggling stupid. Pick up ANY biological science journal, Roberto. Frick, even SA or Discover. Or use google. It’s everywhere, and you have also been handed links which you are either unwilling or unable to follow.

Meanwhile, bob, give it to us straight.

I dare you, you coward:

What do you think happened, when, how, and why?

I predict you will say I insulted you for accurately describing you as stupid and a coward and refuse to answer. Proving me right. Thank you.

iml8 writes…

I put up a NO SOLICITORS sign. If I look through the peephole on my front door and see missionaries – they’re easily identified, they operate in packs and dress neatly – I go back to what I was doing and figure they’ll go away in a minute or two.

No! Missionaries are great!

I have so much fun with missionaries!

I try to convert them to my religion - catches them totally off guard.

Usually, they’re young and earnest, so I’m not too hard on them, for Jehovah’s Witnesses, I try to convert them to Mormonism, and vice-versa. But for really irritating missionaries, my religion can range rather freely, from Headonism, to Pastafarianism, to Hindu, to full-blown Wiccan.

You should see their little eyes pop out when I start talking about Vishnu and Sky Gods.

(palm smacks forehead) Oh my Designer, he’s right! No-one has ever thought to do an experiment to test whether modern evolutionary theory is a reliable explanation for anything, ever!

Thanks, B! I guess someone better get on that pronto!

Booby,

The article I cited was a review article. It contains many references for the primary sources (over 60 of them). The other eight references I cited also have extensive reference sections. Let us know what you think of this experimental evidence. We’re all anxiously waiting for your reply. Unless of course you are a coward.

Or, maybe you could just show us your alternative hypothesis. Or, maybe you could give us a peer reviewed paper that demonstrates that mutation and selection could not produce changes in body plans. Or, how about just coming up with some reasons why you think that mutation and selection wouldn’t be able to change body plans?

See Booby, the thing is that nobody really cares what you think, so no one feels compelled to prove anything to you. Do your own homework grasshopper, or just piss off.

A good overview of body plans and natural selection is the work by Valentine called “On the origin of phyla” which outlines our best knowledge relevant to body plan (phyla) evolution. What is quite ironic is that ID proponents are still quoting Valentine’s work as showing how Darwinian processes cannot explain the origin and evolution of body plans. Sad how ID ‘science’ has to continue to misrepresent the work by scientists.

Dear PvM,

Thanks for reminding me of Valentine’s article:

PvM said:

A good overview of body plans and natural selection is the work by Valentine called “On the origin of phyla” which outlines our best knowledge relevant to body plan (phyla) evolution. What is quite ironic is that ID proponents are still quoting Valentine’s work as showing how Darwinian processes cannot explain the origin and evolution of body plans. Sad how ID ‘science’ has to continue to misrepresent the work by scientists.

Like Gould and Eldrege, Valentine is one of the most important American invertebrate paleontologists since 1960. Unfortunately, like them, he’s also become the victim of that ever popular creo pastime, “quote mining”.

Appreciatively yours,

John

PS: I meant Gould and Eldredge. Hopefully Niles Eldredge isn’t reading this.

John Kwok said:

Dear PvM,

Thanks for reminding me of Valentine’s article:

PvM said:

A good overview of body plans and natural selection is the work by Valentine called “On the origin of phyla” which outlines our best knowledge relevant to body plan (phyla) evolution. What is quite ironic is that ID proponents are still quoting Valentine’s work as showing how Darwinian processes cannot explain the origin and evolution of body plans. Sad how ID ‘science’ has to continue to misrepresent the work by scientists.

Like Gould and Eldrege, Valentine is one of the most important American invertebrate paleontologists since 1960. Unfortunately, like them, he’s also become the victim of that ever popular creo pastime, “quote mining”.

Appreciatively yours,

John

fnxtr said:

I have been waiting for some experimental from YOU for a very, very long time. Where is it.

Holy cow. This is mind-boggling stupid. Pick up ANY biological science journal, Roberto. Frick, even SA or Discover. Or use google. It’s everywhere, and you have also been handed links which you are either unwilling or unable to follow.

Meanwhile, bob, give it to us straight.

I dare you, you coward:

What do you think happened, when, how, and why?

I predict you will say I insulted you for accurately describing you as stupid and a coward and refuse to answer. Proving me right. Thank you.

How’s the phrase go? You can lead a crank to water…

stevaroni said:

iml8 writes…

I put up a NO SOLICITORS sign. If I look through the peephole on my front door and see missionaries – they’re easily identified, they operate in packs and dress neatly – I go back to what I was doing and figure they’ll go away in a minute or two.

No! Missionaries are great!

I have so much fun with missionaries!

I try to convert them to my religion - catches them totally off guard.

Usually, they’re young and earnest, so I’m not too hard on them, for Jehovah’s Witnesses, I try to convert them to Mormonism, and vice-versa. But for really irritating missionaries, my religion can range rather freely, from Headonism, to Pastafarianism, to Hindu, to full-blown Wiccan.

You should see their little eyes pop out when I start talking about Vishnu and Sky Gods.

Completely off topic, but several years ago I had some JW show up at my door. I was living in an apartment at the time and I did game reviews for some side money, nevermind that I was just big into computer games. I had a pretty good game computer at the time and it was right past the foyer/entry area of the apartment. Well, I happened to be playing a game called Diablo at the time that had a rather…how shall I put this…”satanic” pause screen (red demon head in the center of the screen overlayed on a pentagram with fire burning on the periphery) and some pretty ominous music. Plus, I had the lights turned off while played. So I answer the door and all the JWs can see is a room lit with the reflection of red fire, a demonic head and pentagram on my computer monitor, and the sounds of a droning, ominous baseline with an occasional women’s scream. They just turned and walked away before I could even say, “Yes?”

Well, that’s evilution for ya…

Robin said: How’s the phrase go? You can lead a crank to water…

Ah, “… but you shouldn’t throw them in, and hold them down for too long?”

Something like that.

Thanks, Team, for clearing up my confusion on the “falsification” question. It helps.

Cheers.

Quod erat demonstrandum.

I have to say that when I first read this,

I.M. Wong and So Su Mi

I thought it was the beginning or end of joke.

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This page contains a single entry by PvM published on August 25, 2008 10:39 AM.

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