Texas Op-Ed: Ain’t no religion here

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John Pieret calls attention to an Op-Ed piece in the San Antonio Express-News. It’s by a representative of the San Antonio Bible Based Sciences Association, and argues that teaching the “strengths and weaknesses” of evolution is perfectly appropriate.

The Op-Ed then lists some of the so-called “scientific weaknesses of evolution,” and they are a litany of the worst creationist arguments, including these old chestnuts:

We stand ready to go to any venue you invite us to, and can present several hours of scientific evidence which supports creation. Included in these will be the fact that evolution violates the 1st and 2nd Laws of Thermodynamics, as well as the Law of Biogenesis.

It goes on

We can show you creation evidence in the fields of microbiology, genetics, probability, biochemistry, biology, geology and physics which support creation and undermine evolution.

In simpler terms, all of modern science is bunkum.

Cruising to the linked website, one finds the statement of faith of SABBSA. The first paragraph is

SABBSA strives to be a Christian, evangelical, creation organization which believes the Bible from the very first verse. We facilitate the revealing of God’s creation in our world and provide creation science education to our community.

We further testify that Genesis is not allegorical.

But there’s no religious agenda. Nope, not at all.

The site also offers “colorful, hour-long Powerpoint presentations” (complete with presenter) on such topics as

Introduction to Creation Theories this presentation covers the full continuum of theories between evolution and creation. It includes capsules on the compromise theories of scientific creationism, gap theory, day/age theory, intelligent design, progressive creationism, and theistic evolution. It sets the stage for all further presentations.

No theological compromises for these guys: It’s six days or nothing. Another example:

Young Earth Evidences This striking presentation shows that there is far more scientific evidence for a relatively young Earth than for an exceedingly old one. These evidences fit well into the creation theory and coincide with a biblical timescale, but they are devastating to evolution which requires massive amounts of time.

Well, you get the idea. It’s a compendium of the Index to Creationist Claims offered as “weaknesses of evolution.” (Note that the TO URL is a temporary stopgap while a problem with the main TO server is being worked on.)

I can’t resist one more. In the SABBSA Events Calendar there’s a blurb about a visit from “Dr.” Carl Baugh earlier this year:

Dr. Carl Baugh visited San Antonio in a big way! His presentation, “Set in Stone.” showed the interpretation of the “rocks” as evolutionists see them and the evidence in the rocks of a “special creation.” There were more than 150 people in attendance at Castle Hills First Baptist Church. Dr. Baugh was introduced by SABBSA’s Dr. Carl Williams who explained the need for Creation Ministry and why Dr. Baugh’s message is so relevant today. The climax of the evening was the unveiling of two very special archaeological finds. These two fossils, the Willet and Alvis-Dalk footprints were on only their third public exhibition. These finds prove that man and dinosaurs coexisted in the not so distant past. Read our July newsletter for a complete summary of Dr. Baugh’s talk and these two pieces of very special creation evidence. We are putting together an educational video of this event and will make it available to the public at our cost in the near future.

Can’t wait to see that video!

As John Pieret remarked in his post, the kicker is this: The author of the Op-Ed and the contact person for SABBSA is a public school math and science teacher. This is the kind of “science” that is enabled by the “strengths and weaknesses” language. There’s a whole lot of Dover Traps out there waiting to be sprung.

200 Comments

Where do these people think all the oil came from? This question has always bugged me. Where does Sarah Palin think that all the oil in Alaska came from? Now there’s a question I wish they’d asked during the VP debates!

No, wait, maybe these people have the answer to all our problems here! If all the oil on Earth somehow formed in just a few hundred years, then obviously our entire approach to energy policy needs a radical overhaul. These people shouldn’t be wasting their time trying to change a few local school curricula–they should be petitioning our government for a major change in our energy policy! Since oil clearly doesn’t take hundreds of millions of years to form, then instead of trying to develop green technology and alternative energy, maybe we can figure out how to make oil ourselves. Or maybe we should all just be praying for the creation of more oil!

They’re brilliant! :)

The Law of Biogenesis?

Yeah, well the “Law of Biogenesis” is yet another term where the context has been - and this will really, really surprise you - completely butchered by creationists.

The origin of life in respect of how it may have started on the planet billions of years ago has little (if any) relation to what Pasteur, Redi, etc “proved” in respect of “life arising from life” and which gave rise to said “Law”.

On the “Law of Biogenesis,” which is simply the demonstration that spontaneous generation of complex life forms doesn’t occur, John Wilkins has a comprehensive article on what was actually demonstrated at Talk Origins. Here’s the Google cache of that pending the fix on the Archive:

http://64.233.169.132/search?q=cach[…]=1&gl=au

Young Earth Evidences This striking presentation shows that there is far more scientific evidence for a relatively young Earth than for an exceedingly old one.

I know these rubes have been living under rocks, but surely they must have heard the name “Michael Behe,” and that “something really bad” happened in Dover, PA a few years ago. But someone must tell them to run those Young Earth “evidences” by Behe and his buddies at the DI - at least the ones who showed up at Dover to defend their followers.

Another thing these rubes need to be reminded is that, during the high school years, most students spend less than 0.1% of their waking hours learning about evolution. That leaves them with ~99.9% of the students’ time to listen to their propaganda. And it’s all perfectly legal.

But maybe I’m being a bit unfair. A truly clueless rube who thinks that students should “critically analyze” evolution and learn Young Earth “evidences” would surely also demand that students “critically analyze” those “evidences” too, right? Even if they never heard of OECs and IDers, they would know that its only fair that students hear the weaknesses of the YE “evidences.”

Matt Wrote:

Where does Sarah Palin think that all the oil in Alaska came from?

Unfortunately I lost the link, but I read somewhere that she might have been at least partly straightened out since she made those “man walking with Dinosaurs” comments years ago. The question remains whether she converted to OEC, theistic evolution or found the strategic value of “don’t ask, don’t tell” ID.

Matt wrote:

Since oil clearly doesn’t take hundreds of millions of years to form, then instead of trying to develop green technology and alternative energy, maybe we can figure out how to make oil ourselves.

You might be amused to hear that some companies are doing exactly this – and having some success, too. But not based on any fundy nonsense. They use genuine chemistry. Creating natural crude oil may take millions of years, but turning organic material into complex hydrocarbons that can be refined into fuel can be done in days or hours. And, funnily enough, most such processes typically work by applying intensified versions of the same “heat and pressure” that geologists think led to the formation of natural crude oil.

Changing subjects almost completely…

In the original post, Richard quoted the SABBSA website regarding “two fossils, the Willet and Alvis-Dalk footprints” which “prove that man and dinosaurs coexisted in the not so distant past.” I’ve never heard of these two alleged fossils, and a web search found nothing about them. What are they and what’s their history?

After ingesting that article it was refreshing to wash out its residual bad taste by reading the six response letters to the editor…all, in their own way, holding up the article to well deserved ridicule.

– Martin

wolfwalker wrote:

“In the original post, Richard quoted the SABBSA website regarding “two fossils, the Willet and Alvis-Dalk footprints” which “prove that man and dinosaurs coexisted in the not so distant past.” I’ve never heard of these two alleged fossils, and a web search found nothing about them. What are they and what’s their history?”

I’m sure that they published something in the peer reviewed literature first before taking the fossils out on public display. I’m sure they didn’t just make some plaster casts in their basement and try to fool everybody. I’m sure they realize that even their dimwitted audience would see right through that since they are taught to critically analize everything. I’m sure a good database search will turn up the publication. Yea right.

These guys have a simple case of science envy. Their faith apparently just isn’t good enough for them. For some reason they feel compelled to make up “scientific evidence” for things that haven’t been controversial for hundreds of years. They will get exactly what they deserve. What’s next, letting snakes bite them?

wolfwalker said: In the original post, Richard quoted the SABBSA website regarding “two fossils, the Willet and Alvis-Dalk footprints” which “prove that man and dinosaurs coexisted in the not so distant past.” I’ve never heard of these two alleged fossils, and a web search found nothing about them. What are they and what’s their history?

I think they mean Alvis Delk. I don’t know who “Willet” is though.

For a good review of this fakeprint:

http://paleo.cc/paluxy/delk.htm

Dear Frank J:

You should find yourself a copy of her interview with journalist Katie Couric, which aired during an evening newscast earlier this fall:

Frank J said:

Matt Wrote:

Where does Sarah Palin think that all the oil in Alaska came from?

Unfortunately I lost the link, but I read somewhere that she might have been at least partly straightened out since she made those “man walking with Dinosaurs” comments years ago. The question remains whether she converted to OEC, theistic evolution or found the strategic value of “don’t ask, don’t tell” ID.

In that interview she accepted the scientific validity of evolution, but also stressed her belief that a Creator was involved. If I take that literally, then it means that she’s become a supporter of theistic evolution.

Regards,

“Kohn” Kwok

These ignoramuses are almost too good to be true - are we sure they’re not a parody?

In any case, they are doing a wonderful job of proving the link between good old-fashioned Genesis creationism and the bogus claims that intelligent design has nothing to do with creationism or religion. For that, more power to them.

Hi all,

I wish to bring to your attention this rather absurd, quite inane, misrepresentation of the theory of punctuated equilibrium as noted in the newspaper Op-Ed piece:

“However, there is a large body of evolutionary scientists which do not subscribe to the traditional gradualist’s theory of mutation and want to shift evolutionary research and theory to the hybrid theory of punctuated equilibrium (the theory that evolution happens in huge jumps of mass mutations which would explain why we find so few transitions in the fossil record).”

Initially American Museum of Natural History invertebrate paleobiologist Niles Eldredge developed the theory of punctuated equilibrium (which his friend Stephen Jay Gould coined as “punctuated equilibrium”, so noted in their classic 1972 paper) as a means of applying Ernst Mayr’s theory of allopatric speciation to the marine invertebrate fossil record. It was only later in subsequent papers that Eldredge and Gould expressed the hope that their recognition of long-term morphological stasis might suggest that contemporary evolutionary theory was incomplete in addressing this and other relevant issues as seen from the fossil record. To say that punctuated equilibrium is somehow “…the theory that evolution happens in huge jumps of mass mutations” is a gross distortion and substantially ignorant misinterpretation as to what Eldredge and Gould have said about it (Indeed this characterization is far more consistent with Goldschmidt’s “hopeful monster” hypothesis - which has been rejected - than with any of the concepts associated with punctuated equilibrium.).

Regards,

John

a complete summary of Dr. Baugh’s talk and these two pieces of very special creation evidence

A sane audience would surmise that two purported fossils doesn’t stand up against the thousands of fossils that shows that humans and dinosaurs weren’t coexisting, or in the larger scheme of things that evolution is valid. But likely the fakes will work well as “fossileidolia” in a crowd oversensitive for “design” detection.

I’m sure that old timers among creationist tomfoolery knows this, but the reference to Paluxy website that DS so helpfully provided contains a lot of background on fake tracks for us newbies.

The history of the tracks seems to indicate that they started out as a local industry, but were adopted by creationists despite (or rather, thanks to) them being informed about how the fakes were made.

In fact it seems that AIG denounces Carl Baugh:

[…] The Creation Science Foundation (CSF) has had many calls from people who have seen the shows and suspect that some things are not quite right about Baugh’s teaching.

It is with heavy heart that we criticise others who are presenting themselves as spokesman for creationism, but who are doing damage to the cause of Christ through ill-founded claims. […]

Finally, the information on Baugh’s academic credentials is both comical and damning for the SABBSA science teacher:

A copy of Baugh’s CAE “diploma” (furnished by Baugh) indicates that CAE is the “Graduate Division” of International Baptist College (IBC).[21] IBC is incorporated in Missouri (where Baugh lived before coming to Texas); however, the school is not accredited, nor certified to grant degrees in any subject.[22] In fact, IBC appears to be as lacking in science facilities and courses as CAE. When I called IBC in 1986, the man answering the phone stated that IBC is a correspondence school for Bible studies based on cassette tapes by Jerry Falwell.[23] Further, the letterhead of IBC listed Baugh himself as “President.”[24] Thus, it appears that Baugh essentially granted himself a science degree from a branch of his own unaccredited Bible school.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Baugh’s doctoral “dissertation” is largely a compilation of anti-evolutionary arguments on the origin of man, and includes an extensive section on missions that consists of literature by others which was photocopied and inserted.[25] [Emphasis added.]

Perhaps we should discuss “strength and weaknesses” in the science teacher’s recognition of what exactly constitutes science and scientists.

After ingesting that article it was refreshing to wash out its residual bad taste by reading the six response letters to the editor…all, in their own way, holding up the article to well deserved ridicule.

There are now seven responses, mine just provided. As an ID advocate, the ‘directed’ premise is neither ‘faith based’, nor even accepted without question, nor does it specify the degree of intervention. While not positing a means of intervention, it would follow as a second hypothesis that it would be coding alterations to the genome.

If ID is accepted as valid science, and not religion, it must remain objective and open. I am open to all of the tentative causative mechanisms that have been posited, and open to more as scientific evidence may provide. It would logically follow, that as a modification to current evolutionary theory, that both are competing hypotheses.

That said, I firmly hold that ID be allowed as an investigative hypothesis, since it cannot be shown at this time that intervention is falsified, OR that it need involve supernaturality. That is a ‘supposition’, based on a concept that has been passed on based on the religious presupposition that God, god or gods are supernatural (outside the natural universe). Design as a concept does not depend on that premise, nor does it presume an overseeing entity (God) as the designer(s).

the Law of Biogenesis

I’ve never heard of such a “law”, but the immediate reaction is that

1) It constitutes a test that evolution biology passes - i.e. the theory predicts that life comes from life, both genetically (individuals) and evolutionary (species).
2) It constitutes a test that falsifies creationism - it claims that species was somehow created, not coming from life.
3) If this is a suggestion of an old school science “law”, then equivalently evolution is a law for life as we know it.
4) As a “law” it only applies for established and naturally propagated genetic lineages. Exceptions abound, such as abiogenesis and artificial viruses, and are expected, such as artificial cells. Hmm, one can possibly argue that evolution is the more general law, as it applies everywhere where the theory applies, including artificial selection, while biogenesis in a modern form is at most an observation on natural inheritance/genetics.

Lee Bowman said:

That said, I firmly hold that ID be allowed as an investigative hypothesis, since it cannot be shown at this time that intervention is falsified, OR that it need involve supernaturality.

It easily follows from your own description that ID isn’t, and never intends to be, a hypothesis or even less a theory, since it isn’t falsifiable. To be testable you need to specify the terms “intervention” and “supernaturality” and exactly what these mechanisms do in nature.

But describing and investigating creationism is something the IDiots of the inappropriately named “Discovery” Institute famously been entirely, willingly, and obediently incompetent at during the 20 years or so it took for the ID political movement to evolve from advocating “intelligent design” to “strength and weaknesses of basic biology, and biology alone” under the selection pressure provided by the US constitution and law. (Which is one reason we call them IDiots.)

Would consider creationism and ID the same thing?

Torbjörn Larsson, OM said:

Lee Bowman said:

That said, I firmly hold that ID be allowed as an investigative hypothesis, since it cannot be shown at this time that intervention is falsified, OR that it need involve supernaturality.

It easily follows from your own description that ID isn’t, and never intends to be, a hypothesis or even less a theory, since it isn’t falsifiable. To be testable you need to specify the terms “intervention” and “supernaturality” and exactly what these mechanisms do in nature.

But describing and investigating creationism is something the IDiots of the inappropriately named “Discovery” Institute famously been entirely, willingly, and obediently incompetent at during the 20 years or so it took for the ID political movement to evolve from advocating “intelligent design” to “strength and weaknesses of basic biology, and biology alone” under the selection pressure provided by the US constitution and law. (Which is one reason we call them IDiots.)

Would consider creationism and ID the same thing?

John Kwok Wrote:

If I take that literally, then it means that she’s become a supporter of theistic evolution.

I can believe that she believes TE, but I need more evidence to be convinced that she supports it. Raving about Francis Collins and/or stating that ID/creationism is misguided would do it. Of course there would still be the matter of her still thinking that it should be taught in public schools. That seems to be common among TE nonscientists who haven’t figured out what a scam ID/creationism is. Like John McCain.

Lee Bowman Wrote:

There are now seven responses, mine just provided. As an ID advocate, the ‘directed’ premise is neither ‘faith based’, nor even accepted without question, nor does it specify the degree of intervention.

Unfortunately, ID promoters do not want “directed” as a premise, but a conclusion. That way they can stop there, and not state, let alone test, the “whats happened, when, and how” that could make it real science. Maybe you can be the first.

There’s a whole lot of Dover Traps out there waiting to be sprung.

How? Just as a practical matter, how? There is a whole lot of the crap out there, more than most participants on this blog seem to realize, or wish to believe, but I’m skeptical that hauling them all into court is the solution. Where’s the money for this going to come from? Just what family in Texas is going to sacrifice themselves to their hostile community in order to bring Mr. Everyone Loves Him Science Teacher into court?

Lee’s faith in ID is well established but in order for it to be scientifically relevant it needs to contribute in a positive manner to science. Since Lee is clear that ID is not in the business of specifying much if anything about the ‘intervention’ it cannot compete with real science in any meaningful manner. Ask yourself, how does ID explain anything? Just claiming that it is about ‘coding alterations’ is no explanation when a mechanism is lacking and predictions can be made. Unlike regular design inferences, ID is all about an unnamed supernatural ‘force’ which somehow, somewhere, sometimes did something to something. And why? Because science may lack a detailed enough explanation.

If ID were really scientifically relevant how come that it has failed to show any scientific relevance? Surely it could not be lack of ‘trying’?

If ID wants to play in the scientific arena, it cannot continue to hide. As Nichols and others have exposed so clearly that for ID to become scientifically relevant, it has to constrain its designer but then it has to expose itself as a religious concept.

Either way, ID is doomed to remain without scientific content.

Lee Bowman said:

After ingesting that article it was refreshing to wash out its residual bad taste by reading the six response letters to the editor…all, in their own way, holding up the article to well deserved ridicule.

There are now seven responses, mine just provided. As an ID advocate, the ‘directed’ premise is neither ‘faith based’, nor even accepted without question, nor does it specify the degree of intervention. While not positing a means of intervention, it would follow as a second hypothesis that it would be coding alterations to the genome.

If ID is accepted as valid science, and not religion, it must remain objective and open. I am open to all of the tentative causative mechanisms that have been posited, and open to more as scientific evidence may provide. It would logically follow, that as a modification to current evolutionary theory, that both are competing hypotheses.

That said, I firmly hold that ID be allowed as an investigative hypothesis, since it cannot be shown at this time that intervention is falsified, OR that it need involve supernaturality. That is a ‘supposition’, based on a concept that has been passed on based on the religious presupposition that God, god or gods are supernatural (outside the natural universe). Design as a concept does not depend on that premise, nor does it presume an overseeing entity (God) as the designer(s).

The problem with Lee’s argument is that we should consider ‘design’ as plausible, and yet, ‘design’ will always remain plausible even when it can be fully explained in scientific terms. But the plausibility of ‘design’ does not necessarily make it a scientifically relevant concept.

Simple really

Mike said:

There’s a whole lot of Dover Traps out there waiting to be sprung.

How? Just as a practical matter, how? There is a whole lot of the crap out there, more than most participants on this blog seem to realize, or wish to believe, but I’m skeptical that hauling them all into court is the solution. Where’s the money for this going to come from? Just what family in Texas is going to sacrifice themselves to their hostile community in order to bring Mr. Everyone Loves Him Science Teacher into court?

The “how” is this: A state BOE adopts some weasel-worded standard or benchmark that refers to “critical analysis of evolution” or “teach the strengths and weaknesses of evolution.” In some local school district a science teacher begins (or continues) using material from the kinds of sources in the SABBSA site – YEC material whose sectarian roots and purposes are transparent – and when called on it pleads that the state BOE sanctioned it. But, of course, that plea is not a defense.

This isn’t a hypothetical – that very claim was made by John Freshwater’s spokesman in Ohio. The district and Freshwater are now defendants in a suit in federal court on that and other grounds. It hasn’t come to trial yet – an administrative hearing to terminate Freshwater is in (slow) progress, and if the end of it is termination of Freshwater the suit will likely be withdrawn. If not, it will almost certainly continue to trial.

Sure, it takes parents and others to bring the suits, but they can be found for egregious cases. As for the money, recall that the Dover Area School District paid $1 million in legal fees for those who brought the suit.

And sure there’s hostility. But as I’ve learned in the Freshwater case, even in a conservative community with a Nazarene college and the district headquarters of the 7th Day Adventists and where there used to be a seminary of the Church of the Four-Square Gospel, there’s also a lot of support for stopping the creationist nonsense, support that has grown as the facts have come to light in the administrative hearing. Freshwater’s support has been pruned away to the core fundamentalists, and even here it turns out that they’re far from a majority.

Lee Bowman wrote

That said, I firmly hold that ID be allowed as an investigative hypothesis, since it cannot be shown at this time that intervention is falsified, OR that it need involve supernaturality.

Go right ahead. No one is stopping you. Feel free to do the research necessary to validate it as a fruitful and verifiable hypothesis. No one’s stopping you. Strange, though, that the main ID proponents – people like Dembski and Behe – seem to spend their time on polemics rather than constructive research.

Meanwhile, though, keep it the hell out of secondary schools, since at this point it’s demonstrably a religiously-purposed movement. Recall the Wedge’s Governing Goals:

* To defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies.

* To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God.

Nothing supernatural there. Nope. Not at all.

Go right ahead. No one is stopping you. Feel free to do the research necessary to validate it as a fruitful and verifiable hypothesis. No one’s stopping you. Strange, though, that the main ID proponents – people like Dembski and Behe – seem to spend their time on polemics rather than constructive research.

Lee is also on the record that he believes in a promissory note and that ID has lacked sufficient scientific interests as the excuse as to why it remains scientifically without content.

Of course, a more likely explanation is that the reason why ID has remained scientifically vacuous is because it lacks scientific content by design.

Lee Bowman said:

If ID is accepted as valid science, and not religion, it must remain objective and open.

Dear Lee,

Since you hold that ID is science, why has it failed to produce a single piece of data in peer-reviewed scientific research papers? Do you also hold that there is a global conspiracy by scientists, journal editors, and the media to suppress data supporting ID? Or are the ID proponents just incompetent at performing research? It’s certainly not due to lack of funds, as the Discovery Institute has millions at its disposal from wealthy donors. I would honestly like to know your answer.

Hi Paul. I posted my response 25 min ago at SA but it didn’t post, so here ‘tis, in case it was grabbed by a spam filter, or failed moderation.

My take on the Wedge document is that is was, in fact, somewhat telling. But as a ten year old internal document, I feel that it lacks relevance today. One position was that it provided evidence of a conspiracy to invoke religious orthodoxy within the halls of science. That may well have been a dream of Phillip Johnson, but I would rather posit that it was more the depicting of an ideological hope that the institute, through their work, could work to reduce that overreaching materialist bent (at least in his/their view) that pervaded science, and to encourage more temperate position. The tone and tenor of it was more to diminish the position of materialism as being dominant, than to impose theocracy as a requirement. And if you think about it, the latter would be an abject impossibility. Their rebuttal could be debated, but I feel it has some merit.

http://www.discovery.org/scripts/vi[…]d.php?id=349

I cannot speak for them, but I would say that their position today, at least regarding ID, is more balanced and secular, as they themselves have stated.

What is there to show? Not much in the way of funded, published studies, but is that so strange, since it is the stated policy of NSF, AAAS, NAAS, NIH, et al is to disallow ID. Moreover, even if valid, most within science regard ID as additional unneeded baggage, and as a means for religious doctrine to wheedle it way in.

There is evidence of design in nature, but due to biases, fears, and cultural inertia, it is widely opposed. Lately, to try to take some of the heat off, there is a movement to get church leaders to agree to evolution as stated, and to some extent, it’s working. The ones who agree to it, mostly liberal churches, tacitly fall back on a kind of ‘theistic evolution’ to ease the pain of agreement.

I’ve written extensively regarding Judge Jones’ two-part decision, agreeing on the first, and rejecting the second. It’s also been questioned by legal groups, the Montana Law Review being one:

http://www.umt.edu/mlr/Discovery%20[…]0Article.pdf

Finally, it’s OK for you to use the term ‘Intelligent Design Creationism’ if you choose, but there is no validity in that conflation. Barbara Forrest (NCSE) and her co-author Paul R. Gross coined the term, and while some employ it, it hasn’t really taken off. Not only the school board members borrowing the term, and with the Thomas Moore Law Center’s endorsement dishonest, I’d even go so far as to call them ‘squirreling dervishes’, albeit unsuccesful ones at that!

As a summary statement of the two being one, it may have been *somewhat* true at one time, Creationists coopting the ID designation, it was never, nor is it now, a true liaison. ID is a scientific hypothesis.

First, he did not do his homework and read any of the literature on the possible naturalistic development of ethics or morality. At least as important, however, is that he will - by his own admission - not be influenced if the argument fails. Thus, his appeal to the moral law (a phrase which does not Deserve Capitalization) is the intellectual equivalent of data dredging

exactly so.

At the risk being accused of hyperbole, I found that portion of his book to be almost on the level of a Gerald Schroeder or a Hugh Ross, and certainly unbecoming of a scientist of Collins’s stature.

that you might even remotely be accused of hyperbole for stating such is one of the reasons I no longer spend much time around PT any more.

yours said:

They have a worse problem, because archaeologists and forensic pathologists (and the like) know somethings about the beings that make the artifacts. We know what kind of tools that paleolithic man made, so we can tell a rock from a tool by certain marks, etc. We know what human crimes are like, so the pathologist can look for the evidence of murder, we know how humans can commit crimes, so investigators know what to look for. There was a great takedown of the archaeology/SETI crap that Dembski (IIRC) likes to spew forth, but I can’t think of where at the present time (too many blogs and magazines). The ID crowd wants us to believe that they can detect design without any knowledge whatsoever of the designer, or indeed what the “tool marks” would look like?

——– do you think humans will ever be able to design life?

… hi bobby

——– do you think humans will ever be able to design life?

The question reveals a big part of the problem with ID: what exactly do they mean by “design”. Sometimes they mean “construct”, others they mean “conceptualize”. Either way the next obvious question is “to what degree?”. I can draw a diagram of life right now, sloppily, on a piece of paper. Am I now a designer? If I take a sperm and an egg and put them together, resulting in a child, am I a designer? What if I take something that was alive, but is now dead (say, a cell chopped in two), and reconstruct it so it is alive again? Now? If I took all the component parts of a cell and assembled them into a working one, do I get the Big D now? Or do I have to create the parts from the molecules up?

In science, the devil is in the details, and ID doesn’t have any.

Still not detailed enough. Expected? Or observed? What, objectively, is meant by “large change” and “species” here?

Hi Bobby,

Don’t worry about your inane assertions of yours:

yours said:

They have a worse problem, because archaeologists and forensic pathologists (and the like) know somethings about the beings that make the artifacts. We know what kind of tools that paleolithic man made, so we can tell a rock from a tool by certain marks, etc. We know what human crimes are like, so the pathologist can look for the evidence of murder, we know how humans can commit crimes, so investigators know what to look for. There was a great takedown of the archaeology/SETI crap that Dembski (IIRC) likes to spew forth, but I can’t think of where at the present time (too many blogs and magazines). The ID crowd wants us to believe that they can detect design without any knowledge whatsoever of the designer, or indeed what the “tool marks” would look like?

——– do you think humans will ever be able to design life?

Although my “pal” Bill Dembski would strongly disagree, the Klingons were “able to design life”. That’s why - due to the Origins Myth that I call Klingon Cosmology - you and I are able to converse here at PT. Indeed there’s a lot more truth to Klingon Cosmology than there ever will be for that risible, quite vacouous, assemblage of mendacious intellectual pornography known as Intelligent Design creationism.

Live Long and Prosper (as a DI IDiot Borg drone),

John Kwok

My dear Bobby:

Please stop wasting our time and yours by being such an incessant ignorant troll:

yours said:

Science Avenger said:

——– do you think humans will ever be able to design life?

The question reveals a big part of the problem with ID: what exactly do they mean by “design”. Sometimes they mean “construct”, others they mean “conceptualize”. Either way the next obvious question is “to what degree?”. I can draw a diagram of life right now, sloppily, on a piece of paper. Am I now a designer? If I take a sperm and an egg and put them together, resulting in a child, am I a designer? What if I take something that was alive, but is now dead (say, a cell chopped in two), and reconstruct it so it is alive again? Now? If I took all the component parts of a cell and assembled them into a working one, do I get the Big D now? Or do I have to create the parts from the molecules up?

In science, the devil is in the details, and ID doesn’t have any.

Design Life: Chemically alter the DNA so that an organism has a large change in body structure. Something more that is expected within the species.

As for the “Intelligent Designer” you don’t have to worry about his identity. It was a Klingon.

Peace and Long Life (as a DI IDiot Borg drone),

John Kwok

Quite the opposite, I’m making sure you don’t move them by requiring you to specifically tell me where they are before I attempt to answer your question. If you can’t be more specific, I have no idea whether creating a great dane from a chihuahua qualifies or not, which means trying to answer is pointless.

You haven’t defined “species” yet, so your insults only reveal, as expected, that you have no substance. Thanks for playing “ID is Vacuous”.

yours said:

——– do you think humans will ever be able to design life?

It may not be too far off, if you’re up on your science news:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synthetic_life

My dear yours (or Bobby or maybe… my favorite mendacious intellectual pornographer Bill Dembski):

I do recall a similar response from my “friend” Bill Dembski, when I told him I believe in the existence of Klingon Cosmology:

yours said:

As for the “Intelligent Designer” you don’t have to worry about his identity. It was a Klingon.

Peace and Long Life (as a DI IDiot Borg drone),

——— what an adolescent response!

That “genius” had the chutzpah to accuse me of being “childish”.

Hmm. Let me see. If I’m childish.… or capable of an “adolescent response”.… then can you explain the psychological makeup of those like yourself and my “buddy” Bill Dembski who whine and moan about ID not getting its proper due in mainstream science (or have the unmitigated gall of accusing it of being responsible somehow for Hitler’s murderous deeds, especially the Shoah (Holocaust)) while not doing anything that even remotely resembles science with regards to ID in the nearly twenty years that you and your fellow intellectually-challenged IDiot Borg drones have tried to “promote” it as a scientifically valid alternative to contemporary evolutionary theory.

So yours (or “Bobby” or “Bill Dembski), could you tell me who is the one(s) most capable of an adolescent response? Take a good, hard look at yourself the next time you stare at your bathroom mirror.

Live Long and Prosper (as a Dishonesty Institute IDiot Borg drone),

John Kwok

67

ignore it

Design life?

How about RoundUp ready corn?

Genetically modified corn plants that are RoundUp resistant. Brilliant! Spray the field with RoundUp and kill all the plants except the corn.

What’s wrong with that?

Life is chemistry. Understanding the chemistry will enable us to understand life.

Ichthyic said:

Why do I see some hyperbole here and it may not be from Collins?

Pim, why don’t YOU try and defend Collins’ Moral Law argument, scientifically, or just admit you haven’t the slightest clue what’s really wrong with it?

I am more interested in seeing how you defend your portrayal of Collins and the Moral Law Argument

He is not familiar with the recent work on morality and biology

grossly ignorant, and it was pointed out to him long before this.

why you continue to defend him on this is beyond my comprehension.

Perhaps you can present us with some supporting evidence as I fail to see much of any content in your claims. Hence the ‘hyperbole’.

And assume that he is grossly ignorant then your earlier statement seems to be not in line with this.

Remember what you claimed and now your deflection

and Francis Collins IGNORES the obvious conflicts he does see between his religion and and science with his “moral law” arguments.

Ichthyic said:

to comment on what I just said:

grossly ignorant, and it was pointed out to him long before this.

…which, btw, is exactly why I stated he doesn’t see the conflicts.

being ignorant of the science he intended to critique IS the problem here.

You aren’t ignorant of the entire body of psychological and behavior literature though, right?

so why bother to defend him on it?

it’s not rational, Pim.

Ichthyic said:

that you might even remotely be accused of hyperbole for stating such is one of the reasons I no longer spend much time around PT any more.

Funny, some can use the word to describe others but not really accept it when it seems to apply to themselves.

Perhaps you can present us with some supporting evidence as I fail to see much of any content in your claims. Hence the ‘hyperbole’.

I already did, Pim, many times before this, in several different threads.

you must have a very short memory, but you could always go back to reading Gert’s review on talk for a refresher if you so choose:

http://home.planet.nl/~gkorthof/korthof83.htm

he hit the nail pretty much on the head there.

you remember Gert, right? you seemed to like his review of Behe, which you might want to refresh yourself with as well:

http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives[…]thof-re.html

besides which, burden shifting does not become you.

Pim, I’ve seen you go from discussing the actual science of evolution to instead becoming a religious apologist over the last 3 years, and it’s not been pretty.

Funny, some can use the word to describe others but not really accept it when it seems to apply to themselves.

you obviously don’t even know what the word means, Pim.

Funny, some can use the word to describe others but not really accept it when it seems to apply to themselves.

btw, goof, he was referring to YOU ridiculously accusing him of hyperbole, just like you accused me.

the “i’m rubber you’re glue” argument tactic you appear to be trying to employ was, IIRC, typically dismissed as ineffective sometime around the 3rd grade for most of us.

Remember what you claimed and now your deflection

there is no deflection, no hyperbole, no contradictions.

you’re entirely projecting, Pim.

it’s rather pathetic.

OK, this thread is degenerating past what I want to clean up. Thanks for playing, folks.

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This page contains a single entry by Richard B. Hoppe published on December 13, 2008 11:15 PM.

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