Luskin pwned, again!

| 93 Comments

At the Loom, Carl Zimmer exposes yet another hilarious example of vacuity behind the statements of Casey Luskin.

What a way to end a great 2008

Casey Luskin Wrote:

“Bicycles have two wheels. Unicycles, having only one wheel, are missing an obvious component found on bicycles. Does this imply that you can remove one wheel from a bicycle and it will still function? Of course not. Try removing a wheel from a bike and you’ll quickly see that it requires two wheels to function. The fact that a unicycle lacks certain components of a bicycle does not mean that the bicycle is therefore not irreducibly complex.”

It took Zimmer a few seconds of searching on Google to find why we should not take Luskin’s ‘arguments’ too seriously (and why Intelligent Design is doomed to remain scientifically vacuous).

Enjoy reading yet another reason why we should all pray for continued employment of Casey Luskin

93 Comments

One-wheeled bicycles? It’s sheer loomacy!

Lost your Wheels? Wheels?

“..a great 2008”? You mean millions losing their jobs? Oh - I get it - svival of the fittest. If ya good enough, ya’ll find a job. If not…well…

novparl said:

“..a great 2008”? You mean millions losing their jobs? Oh - I get it - svival of the fittest. If ya good enough, ya’ll find a job. If not…well…

A toad like Luskin still has his job. How great is that?

It will be interesting to see how Luskin responds. Does anyone expect an honest response? Why is that?

I admire the way Zimmer wasted no verbiage in his response. “Nuff said, true believer!”

I tend to see Casey Luskin in terms of the old joke (customized a bit) that if he saw a video of Richard Dawkins walking on water, he’d write in EN&V: DAWKINS DOESN’T KNOW HOW TO SWIM!

I have to sigh at Luskin’s single-minded determination to churn out propaganda – but on the other side of the coin, it’s comforting to think he’s the best the other side’s got.

Cheers – MrG (www.vectorsite.net)

Regarding the title: “Again”? I thought the operative word was “Still”!

But the removal of one wheel will clearly be a big disadvantage. I mean you can’t drive 20 miles on mountained terrain with only one wheel.

Thanks for the link love. The post is now updated, with shocking VIDEO of bicycles breaking the law of irreducible complexity. http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/l[…]ble-my-eyes/

By the way, Nils–it’s true you can’t ride 20 miles on mountained terrain with only one wheel. But you couldn’t do it on a kid’s tricycle either. It’s not–dare I say it–adapted for that ecological niche. Besides, the “argument” in which the one-wheeled bicycle figures claims that you cannot ride a bicycle AT ALL with one wheel, just as the blood-clotting cascade cannot work AT ALL without all its proteins. So the mountain stuff is beside the point…

What do Luskin’s bosses at Teh Discovery Institute do when they fire up their inter-webs and view another big pile of Luskin on their monitors?

Top 10 Habits of Casey Luskin’s Bosses

10.) Drink heavily, early and often 9.) View Travel Posters longingly 8.) Update resume and send out on a regular basis 7.) Send out Casey’s resume to other employers every day 6.) Evolve from fervent ID Creationist to Type 1 Atheist (How could a good and loving God inflict a Luskin on me???!!!) 5.) Develop an unreasoning fear of caterpillars* 4.) Finally begin to realize what Shakespeare meant with his line about “the lawyers”. 3.) Start to re-read old legal cases with verdicts of “justifiable homicide”. 2.) Pressure HR to start hiring disgruntled Postal Workers 1.) Start writing fiction books as an escape from reality - first book called The Design Of Life

* For this of you that have not had the privilege of viewing Luskin in person, this is just a cheap shot about his unibrow.

I apologize for the formatting of my top ten list - when I hit send, it was a nice list. Oh well.

@Carl Zimmer:

Thx for the answer! What if I define the function of the bike as “being able to drive on the bike for 20 miles on mountained terrain”? In this case by removing a wheel the bike will cease to function.

In order for Luskin’s analogy to have any validity or relevance whatsoever, he must be claiming that the wheel was invented just for bicycles, that the wheel couldn’t possibly have any other uses and that a bicycle couldn’t possibly have any function whatsoever if even one part was removed. Now of course everyone knows that every one of these things is absolutely false. I guess Luskin was just hoping that no one would notice and that everyone would just play along wth his little proof for the existence of God.

Of course Luskin is perfectly free to believe in God whether he has any proof or not. He is also free to make nonsensical arguments trying to convince someone that they should also believe in God. And of course everyone else is perfectly free to believe in God whether they fall for Luskin’s nonsense or not. Kind of makes you wonder why he continually tries to make his faith look so foolish and weak doesn’t it? It is almost like he is trying to give people an excuse to not believe in God just so that they won’t appear to have fallen for his nonsensical crap. Nice going Casey.

Maybe we should teach this stuff in public schools as a weakness of evolution. Of course then we would have to teach a critical analysis of it as well.

Nils Ruhr said:

@Carl Zimmer:

Thx for the answer! What if I define the function of the bike as “being able to drive on the bike for 20 miles on mountained terrain”? In this case by removing a wheel the bike will cease to function.

Wow I wish I could define functions like that.

Ummmm… the function of my hat is for holding gold doubloons!

That’s the ticket. I’ll be rich…

Hey Carl,

Since I know you read PT occasionally, just wanted to say thanks for this great post of yours over at the Loom (And PvM, thanks for re-posting it.). You may recall that Ken Miller wanted to wear his mousetrap tie-clip while testifying as the first witness on behalf of the plaintiffs, but I believe Judge Jones had overruled him.

Anyway, your bicycle example is almost exactly akin to Ken’s mousetrap, since he demonstrates how one could make a crude, but still quite effective, mousetrap by removing a couple of parts.…. and still have something working that is NOT irreducibly complex.

Appreciatively yours,

John

@386sx:

The function of your hat is the intention of the designer. You can furthermore for example logically assume that the function of your hat is to be weared, since you bought it in a clothes shop. The bike is an analogy to a biological system. We don’t know what the intention of the designer is. In this case the function is defined arbitary.

Nils Ruhr said:

@Carl Zimmer:

Thx for the answer! What if I define the function of the bike as “being able to drive on the bike for 20 miles on mountained terrain”? In this case by removing a wheel the bike will cease to function.

Also, many people would not be able to use it for this function even with both wheels. Is that a defect of the bike?

What if I define the function of the bike as “being able to drive on the bike to the moon and back without a spacesuit in under 0.03 seconds”? In this case, it would be physically and biologically impossible for it to function under any circumstances!

What if I define the function of the bike as “being able to sit in a sealed vault at -40 degrees Celsius without spontaneously bursting into flame”? In this case it would still function no matter how many parts were removed!

Of course, the whole thing would be meaningless, much like your example, because you don’t get to just make shit up! You can’t just arbitrarily declare a function for something and then demand that whatever bullshit you spew is the only function allowed and is never allowed to change. It doesn’t work that way in the real world. But then, creationists don’t live in the real world, they live in their own little fantasy world and hide from reality at all costs.

Nils Ruhr said:

@Carl Zimmer:

Thx for the answer! What if I define the function of the bike as “being able to drive on the bike for 20 miles on mountained terrain”? In this case by removing a wheel the bike will cease to function.

Of course, you don’t honestly expect us to believe that this is the sole function for which the bike was invented for, right?

That, and there is a concept called “change of function”

Nils Ruhr said:

@386sx:

The function of your hat is the intention of the designer. You can furthermore for example logically assume that the function of your hat is to be weared, since you bought it in a clothes shop. The bike is an analogy to a biological system. We don’t know what the intention of the designer is. In this case the function is defined arbitary.

In this spirit, I define the function of Nils Ruhr as “showing off the undying stupidity and delusion of creationism while making a fool of himself.”

You are performing your function well. You are clearly a fool, and your posts show how stupid and delusional you and your fellow creationists are.

No, you are not allowed to choose a different function for yourself. Because I said so. Piss me off and I’ll add a requirement that you perform your function while wearing women’s underwear three sizes too small and eating hot peppers without anything to drink. :P

If you’re not willing to accept whatever arbitrary bullshit other people make up, why should anyone accept your arbitrary bullshit?

Meanwhile, I’ll define my own function as “whatever I damn well feel like”. If you have a problem with that, tough.

Nils Ruhr said:

@386sx:

The function of your hat is the intention of the designer. You can furthermore for example logically assume that the function of your hat is to be weared, since you bought it in a clothes shop. The bike is an analogy to a biological system. We don’t know what the intention of the designer is. In this case the function is defined arbitary.

Thanks. Very well, then I shall design my own hat, whose function shall be for the sole purpose of holding gold doubloons. :P

Nils Ruhr said:

The bike is an analogy to a biological system. We don’t know what the intention of the designer is. In this case the function is defined arbitary.

Bicycles, as well as virtually all other man-made devices, make for extremely poor analogies of biological systems, if one can even use them as analogies for biological systems to begin with.

Among other things, for man-made devices, people already know what the intentions of the designers are because the intentions of the designer are literally written into the packages the devices came in. To state that “we don’t know what the intention of the designer is” while also knowing that virtually every man-made device not only comes with a set of instructions, but with directions to how to put it together as well as a manufacturer’s warranty, is pure idiocy.

Furthermore, man-made devices can have change of functions through alterations: how do you think that people invent things in the first place, anyhow? Do you believe that people invent things through unknowable and indescribable processes?

Nils Ruhr said:

@386sx:

The function of your hat is the intention of the designer. You can furthermore for example logically assume that the function of your hat is to be weared, since you bought it in a clothes shop. The bike is an analogy to a biological system. We don’t know what the intention of the designer is. In this case the function is defined arbitary.

Also, if we allegedly do not know what the intention of the designer is, then how would we know that the hat the designer designed is supposed to be worn in the first place?

What if the designer of 386sx’s hat intended it to hold rabbits instead of doubloons?

The function of your hat is the intention of the designer. You can furthermore for example logically assume that the function of your hat is to be weared, since you bought it in a clothes shop. The bike is an analogy to a biological system. We don’t know what the intention of the designer is. In this case the function is defined arbitary.

Arbitrary indeed. In other words, IC is not an inherent property of a system. It is only a property of the system when the function and/or parts are defined a certain way.

What an utterly useless concept.

I agree. And yet, I can see that what Casey said, for the scientifically uneducated masses, would make sense. Without thinking about it, many would say, “Yes- of course! Intelligent Design must be correct!”

The problem of course is most of the masses don’t think about it. And that’s why we need places like PT.

I’m on dial up (really slow) so maybe one of those links covered this but here goes anyway. Casey Luskin said if you remove a wheel from a two wheeled bicycle it won’t function. B.S.! As every 7 year old boy has discovered two wheeled bikes can do “wheelies” Gee it does function as a bike with only one wheel and you don’t even have to be a scientist to figure it out. I knew the Discovery Institute had difficulty “discovering “ things I had no idea they couldn’t even replicate the discoveries of young children. Then again I did know they never try.

I’m sure the ever brilliant Casey Luskin - who has a M. S. degree in Geology - may conclude one day that Plate Tectonics is an elaborate hoax foisted upon the scientific community from some nasty “geologists” who think that the world’s crust is comprised of shifting plates:

Mary H said:

I’m on dial up (really slow) so maybe one of those links covered this but here goes anyway. Casey Luskin said if you remove a wheel from a two wheeled bicycle it won’t function. B.S.! As every 7 year old boy has discovered two wheeled bikes can do “wheelies” Gee it does function as a bike with only one wheel and you don’t even have to be a scientist to figure it out. I knew the Discovery Institute had difficulty “discovering “ things I had no idea they couldn’t even replicate the discoveries of young children. Then again I did know they never try.

As a loyal member of the Dishonesty Institute, Luskin would claim that Plate Tectonics doesn’t work because it isn’t irreducibly complex too. I am counting on him to make this stellar “observation” sometime in the new year.

The point is that not only is a bicycle still functional on one wheel, but that the rear wheel assembly can be used for other purposes. Powering a pump, for instance. Or as a pulley, with variable mechanical advantage. In that case, remove the tyres and front forks as well. And so on, down to the individual spokes on the wheels. They make excellent skewers, as I have seen, to my distress.

Luskin simply ignores - or denies, or has never heard of, or something - the well-known, frequently observed biological mechanism of exaption.

Nils Ruhr said:

But the removal of one wheel will clearly be a big disadvantage. I mean you can’t drive 20 miles on mountained terrain with only one wheel.

Not only is this not “clear” … it’s not even true. If storage space for bikes is at a premium, then the one-wheeled bike is at an advantage. If covering mountainous terrain is the objective, then the two-wheeled bike is at an advantage. If rubber is rare, then the one-wheeled bike is at an advantage. If someone pays you to take rubber off his hands, then the two-wheeled bike is at an advantage.

It’s a common misconception that evolution is “aiming” at some sort of “perfection”. No. What is an advantage in one circumstance can be a disadvantage in another circumstance.

Nils Ruhr said:

The function of your hat is the intention of the designer.

I have to admire the honesty of Nils Ruhr. Whereas Casey Luskin claims that “irreducible complexity” is evidence for intelligent design, Ruhr is honest enough to admit that the concept of “irreducible complexity” is meaningless unless there is a designer.

Because irreducible complexity assumes, by its very nature, that a designer exists, it can’t be used as evidence for intelligent design.

.… What if I define the function of the bike as “being able to drive on the bike for 20 miles on mountained terrain”? In this case by removing a wheel the bike will cease to function. …

Umm. No. Apparently people havn’t heard of mountain unicycling! ;-)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXGi6zrYBIg

PvM said:

Lost your Wheels? Wheels?

It’s heresy, I tell you! If wheelkind is made to believe that we are not specially created, two to a bicycle, that we can be removed from the bigger picture without much fuss, then what’s to stop wheels from committing wholesale slaughter, debaucher, or combining the two into deslauchery!?
Then we’d have gay wheels getting married, or one wheel having multiple wheelwives! Wheels within the same bicycle might plot to remove their partner at every turn, thinking this one-wheeled-bike nonsense had validity! Throw out the Special Wheeldom and anything goes! While some cynics may reduce this to a purely pragmatic stance (civilization, as we know it, depends on the Noble Lie of Special Wheeldom), it is clearly a natural Truth! I’ve never seen a bicycle become a unicycle! Take off the front wheel, and you still have the frame! The chain! Besides, we all know that a loss of information can’t possibly represent an improvement!

What does “pwned” mean? I keep seeing that term everywhere but it’s not in any dictionary.

Please use only real words, not made-up ones.

greg lorentz said:

What does “pwned” mean? I keep seeing that term everywhere but it’s not in any dictionary.

Try online slang directories. It means “perfectly owned” == “somebody’s well more than one step ahead of you”. It appears to have started in online gamer circles and is associated with the “leet / 1337” pidgin favored there.

Cheers – MrG / http://www.vectorsite.net

Silver Fox said:

Luskin is, of course, an easy target for atheists looking to feast on below average Christian apologetics. Maybe that’s all that need be done when the oppositional talent consists of clowns like Myers, blowhards like Dawkins and their like.

Luskin is a paid Liar For Jesus™. He makes his living at the Dishonesty Institute loudly babbling inane bullshit. Apologetics is his JOB. So why is he such a piss-poor apologist? Why can’t the DI manage to hire any of these “heavyweights” you speak of? If Luskin is underperfoming, why hasn’t he been fired and replaced by someone who knows what the fuck they’re doing? Is it simply that the frauds at the DI are too stupid to recognize competence if it bit them on the ass? And since every group doing apologetics (read: Lying For Jesus™) is clearly infested by idiots, why are you so shocked that they’re being called idiots? OH, yeah, the truth is anathema for an apologist.

Why is the landscape of christian apologetics so dominated by idiots, frauds, and nutcases? Why, in all these centuries, have christian apologists produced nothing worthy of notice? If there’s a better class of apologetics out there, why are idiots still babbling about ontological wordgames and renaming old debunked arguments with silly words like “kalam”?

You’re just pulling the old Courtier’s Reply out of your ass again. It doesn’t matter how sophisticated arguments for god are. What matters is if they’re TRUE. And they aren’t. Every argument for god that has ever been advanced has been shown as bullshit centuries ago. The apologists are just desperately trying to distract from their total lack of substance.

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This page contains a single entry by PvM published on December 31, 2008 12:11 AM.

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