Alternate view on teaching the alternative

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Wiley’s Non Sequitur cartoon for today, June 18, 2012, “very nicely captures the problem of the creation laws,” as my colleague Kim Johnson very nicely put it

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This reminds me of the old adage: be careful what you wish for.

As the cartoon illustrates, recent Bible-Belt states’ attempts to protect creationist teachers can easily backfire when someone decides to teach some off-the-wall personal “theory”. Remember what happened in Albemarle County, VA when Falwell and his gang forced the schools to allow a Baptist Bible Camp flyer to be added to the children’s take-home backpacks. A Unitarian-Universalist church soon demanded the same right and sent home flyers about its multicultural “winter solstice” celebration. The parents hit the roof … they only wanted their religion to have that privilege. I understand the school has now discontinued the backpack flyers entirely.

Majority rule when it’s my church; separation of church and state when it’s yours.

The “Non Sequitur” cartoon of a few years ago, about the “Preconceptual theory,” remains my all-time favorite. This one, however, screams for a perfect comeback: “You can teach any ‘alternative’ explanation you want, as long as you include all its ‘what happened when’ conclusions and mainstrem science’s critical analysis.”

Before anyone objects that that too would violate the Establishment Clause, my point is that the scam artists would never dare advocate that, even though it would be infinitely more fair than the censored, double-standard propaganda that they do demand.

For a perfect comeback, how about just saying that an explanation has to, uh, actually explain something!

(i.e., the conclusion has to be logically infer-able from the premise.)

No one should forget that the ID perps at the Discovery Institute have admitted that space aliens is their most scientific alternative for an intelligent designer. If you aren’t going to teach the most scientific, why teach the second, third or bottom of the barrel YEC alternative?

Are we laughing at Richard Dawkins? He seemed to be the one who suggested this theory after admitting that he had no idea where the coded information for the first “self-replicators” came from.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxkQNP2NkCk

I think you are missing the point of the cartoon. Faced with the task of explaining life without the benefit of God, (as is required in our secularized public schools) and recognizing the depravity of a theory that suggests that the coded information just “poofed” into being in the primordial sea, space aliens are all that’s left.

Sir Isaac Newton arrived at a different conclusion after his years of fruitful scientific study and thought:

“The most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.”

Unfortunately, for whatever reason, most of you here seem unwilling to accept this logical foundational paradigm which arguably girded humanity’s periods of greatest scientific discovery.

So, fittest meme, how does saying GODDIDIT enhance science?

Fattest meme wrote:

“…the depravity of a theory that suggests that the coded information just “poofed” into being …”

You can look high and you can look low, but a more apt description of creationism cannot be found.

DS said:

Fattest meme wrote:

“…the depravity of a theory that suggests that the coded information just “poofed” into being …”

You can look high and you can look low, but a more apt description of creationism cannot be found.

You are actually eating the bait and all the line too, DS.

“Coded information”?!? Really?

Might as well have asked where the “coded information” to build a quartz or garnet crystal came from…

fittest meme said:

Are we laughing at Richard Dawkins? He seemed to be the one who suggested this theory after admitting that he had no idea where the coded information for the first “self-replicators” came from.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxkQNP2NkCk

Where the first self-replicators came from is an interesting question, but other than providing the template through which evolution works, what does it have to do with evolution? Wouldn’t it be similar to saying we can’t really understand the heliocentric model of the solar system unless we first know where the sun and all the planets came from?

As far as Dawkin’s views on where the first replicators came from he is just being honest when he says he doesn’t know. I suspect that he believes that self-replicators can arise from natural causes as the base elements tend to have emergent properties that come about all on their own as they interact with eachother under a variety of conditions (or they appear to at the very least). There is no reason to believe that self-replicating molecules couldn’t arise on their own through perfectly natural means given the right initial conditions, conditions I dare say we are rather certain existed on earth around 4 bya.

I think you are missing the point of the cartoon. Faced with the task of explaining life without the benefit of God, (as is required in our secularized public schools) and recognizing the depravity of a theory that suggests that the coded information just “poofed” into being in the primordial sea, space aliens are all that’s left.

I think you are missing the point. We don’t have to know where the first life-form came from in order to demonstrate that life has evolved and continues to do so. Like I said, how the first self-replicator came about is an interesting question that many scientists are currently researching but at this point very speculative and probably inappropriate for the high-school level. Let’s leave it where it currently is and let students draw their own conclusions without trying to inject some sort of teleology into the subject as you are trying to do. What you are suggesting simply isn’t warranted.

Sir Isaac Newton arrived at a different conclusion after his years of fruitful scientific study and thought:

“The most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.”

Unfortunately, for whatever reason, most of you here seem unwilling to accept this logical foundational paradigm which arguably girded humanity’s periods of greatest scientific discovery.

I respect Isaac Newton a great deal, but this particular opinion of his is not based on the rigorous methodology he helped established in science. There are a great deal of things Newton believed with respect to religion that even you would probably consider cooky. For example Newton rejected the holy trinity, believed worshipping Christ as God was idolotry and believed the Bible contained code that could be used to accurately predict future events. Newton also put a fair amout of credence to the idea that base metals could be converted to gold. Newton isn’t remembered for these things nearly as much is he is remembered for developing empirical scientific methodology, classical mechanics and calculus (independantly of Leibniz).

fittest meme said:

…where the coded information for the first “self-replicators” came from…

“Coded information” is NOT inherent in self-replicators, or in any other physical system. “Coded information” is a property of the human DESCRIPTION of such a system, not of the system itself.

You might as well ask where the blue in blue paint comes from. Blueness is a subjective property imputed by some human beings to “blue” paint, and not an inherent physical property of the paint. Remember, some people see blue as green.

fittest meme said: I think you are missing the point of the cartoon. Faced with the task of explaining life without the benefit of God, (as is required in our secularized public schools) and recognizing the depravity of a theory that suggests that the coded information just “poofed” into being in the primordial sea, space aliens are all that’s left.

Given that Wiley Miller has written many many pro-science and anti-creationist cartoons over several decades of cartooning, I’m going to say: nope. If anyone’s missing the point of the cartoon here, its you.

Unfortunately, for whatever reason, most of you here seem unwilling to accept this logical foundational paradigm which arguably girded humanity’s periods of greatest scientific discovery.

You should really review some of his other cartoons before opining that he supports ID. Right now, you’re making yourself a prime example of Augustine’s idiotic christian.

phhht said:

fittest meme said:

…where the coded information for the first “self-replicators” came from…

“Coded information” is NOT inherent in self-replicators, or in any other physical system. “Coded information” is a property of the human DESCRIPTION of such a system, not of the system itself.

You might as well ask where the blue in blue paint comes from. Blueness is a subjective property imputed by some human beings to “blue” paint, and not an inherent physical property of the paint. Remember, some people see blue as green.

About the least anthropomorphic thing we can say about self-replicating molecules is that they have a unique molecular structure that we represent through analogy as “code” and that these self-replicators are able to create imperfect copies of this unique molecular structure which has been also been called through analogy “information”. It seems daft to me that some people can’t separate analogies used to describe phenomena from the physical observations they describe.

j. biggs said:

There is no reason to believe that self-replicating molecules couldn’t arise on their own through perfectly natural means given the right initial conditions,

No reason except that other than this one supposed time, such an event has never happened for us to actually observe. In fact, didn’t Pastuer discredit the previously held idea of spontaneous generation of life. It is a scientific fundamental that life comes from life. To suggest otherwise is speculation that is contradictory to one of the basics of biology.

conditions I dare say we are rather certain existed on earth around 4 bya.

Oh … and how are you so certain of the conditions of the earth 4 bya? This can’t be from empirical observation or first hand witness. Your theory is nothing but speculation … built upon assumptions … resting, I would suggest, upon a deep seated desire to deny God.

Let’s leave it where it currently is and let students draw their own conclusions without trying to inject some sort of teleology into the subject as you are trying to do.

Fine, lets let a variety of theories be presented and let the students determine which best fits the evidence. That would be the scientific way of doing it wouldn’t it?

I respect Isaac Newton a great deal, but this particular opinion of his is not based on the rigorous methodology he helped established in science.

I think you are wrong. The quote appears to be a conclusion that comes from his practice of rigorous methodology in an area that he is famous for, (laws of motion which govern the physical universe).

Apokryltaros asked: “how does saying GODDITIT enhance science?”

Well, Newton recognized that there is a great deal to be discovered about a designed and ordered system. The drive to understand more about the physical order of this system, while reconciling those understandings with bigger questions about life and purpose can be a great motivator for continued discovery and study.

Let’s turn your question around … how does it enhance science to say that God didn’t do it? If someone who had never seen or used a computer where to come across one at some point wouldn’t they still be able to experiment and test the device scientifically to understand the true nature of it’s components and function regardless of whether they understood it to be designed or not?

Newton’s thinking was apparently not hindered by holding the position that God created a beautifully ordered system. In fact it appears that his belief in God was fortified by his scientific work. Why are you so threatened by the possibility that “GODDIDIT” that you are dead set on limiting academic freedom in the classroom? Seems to me you and your kind are the ones protecting a belief.

fittest meme said:

j. biggs said:

There is no reason to believe that self-replicating molecules couldn’t arise on their own through perfectly natural means given the right initial conditions,

No reason except that other than this one supposed time, such an event has never happened for us to actually observe. In fact, didn’t Pastuer discredit the previously held idea of spontaneous generation of life. It is a scientific fundamental that life comes from life. To suggest otherwise is speculation that is contradictory to one of the basics of biology.

conditions I dare say we are rather certain existed on earth around 4 bya.

Oh … and how are you so certain of the conditions of the earth 4 bya? This can’t be from empirical observation or first hand witness. Your theory is nothing but speculation … built upon assumptions … resting, I would suggest, upon a deep seated desire to deny God.

Let’s leave it where it currently is and let students draw their own conclusions without trying to inject some sort of teleology into the subject as you are trying to do.

Fine, lets let a variety of theories be presented and let the students determine which best fits the evidence. That would be the scientific way of doing it wouldn’t it?

I respect Isaac Newton a great deal, but this particular opinion of his is not based on the rigorous methodology he helped established in science.

I think you are wrong. The quote appears to be a conclusion that comes from his practice of rigorous methodology in an area that he is famous for, (laws of motion which govern the physical universe).

Apokryltaros asked: “how does saying GODDITIT enhance science?”

Well, Newton recognized that there is a great deal to be discovered about a designed and ordered system. The drive to understand more about the physical order of this system, while reconciling those understandings with bigger questions about life and purpose can be a great motivator for continued discovery and study.

Let’s turn your question around … how does it enhance science to say that God didn’t do it? If someone who had never seen or used a computer where to come across one at some point wouldn’t they still be able to experiment and test the device scientifically to understand the true nature of it’s components and function regardless of whether they understood it to be designed or not?

Newton’s thinking was apparently not hindered by holding the position that God created a beautifully ordered system. In fact it appears that his belief in God was fortified by his scientific work. Why are you so threatened by the possibility that “GODDIDIT” that you are dead set on limiting academic freedom in the classroom? Seems to me you and your kind are the ones protecting a belief.

Were you there?

fittest meme said:

Fine, lets let a variety of theories be presented and let the students determine which best fits the evidence. That would be the scientific way of doing it wouldn’t it?

Well, ever since Henry Morris formalized his attack on science by founding the Institute for Creation “Research” back in 1970, sectarians arguing against evolution have denied the findings of science, misrepresented the processes of science, misrepresented even the concepts of basic physics, and concocted a contorted pseudoscience that fits sectarian dogma.

It is unethical to use fake science as a teaching methodology. Young students do not have the background and experience to vet pseudoscience; they have to learn real science first. However, you would have them totally confused with sectarian dogma dressed up in a phony lab coat. That is why Morris and Gish at the ICR along with those in the spin-offs at AiG and the Discovery Institution want children to be indoctrinated; children are helpless against pseudoscience pushers.

As a case in point, you yourself have never learned any science; and it shows.

Well, Newton recognized that there is a great deal to be discovered about a designed and ordered system. The drive to understand more about the physical order of this system, while reconciling those understandings with bigger questions about life and purpose can be a great motivator for continued discovery and study.

It is clear that you haven’t learned any history either. Western Civilization came out of a history of domination by various forms of the Christian Religion brutally enforced. Nearly everybody carried effects of those beliefs. These beliefs had various effects on various thinkers; you simply cannot cherry pick what you think makes your case.

Let’s turn your question around … how does it enhance science to say that God didn’t do it? If someone who had never seen or used a computer where to come across one at some point wouldn’t they still be able to experiment and test the device scientifically to understand the true nature of it’s components and function regardless of whether they understood it to be designed or not?

You make unwarranted assumptions of what such a person would come to understand about a computer. What would an ancient Greek or Roman learn? How would they even know to plug it into a power source? How would they even know what a plug is? What influence would the Greek and Roman gods have on their thinking? What would someone from the Middle Ages do with it?

These days - especially as a result of the rise of fundamentalist sectarianism such as yours – using beliefs in deities to understand science is a sure route to getting it wrong; as your education clearly demonstrates.

You are not allowed to throw your sectarian stumbling blocks into the learning paths of other peoples’ children. They should be allowed to explore the findings of science and aspire toward careers in science without the hindrance of endless word games over the meanings of the meanings of meanings.

The US Constitution does not permit the use of the powers of government to indoctrinate its citizens with sectarian dogma. The fact that you and your cohorts see secular science as a religion is another example of the mud wrestling that results from your avoidance of a proper education while immersing yourself in hermeneutics, exegesis, etymology, and generalized word gaming. You don’t get to saddle others with your self-induced handicaps.

Nearly all of us in science do our research without references to deities. It is a far more efficient process that doesn’t lead to being burned at the stake for heresy. We have only the crucible of peer review to endure; something no ID/creationist can withstand without whining and complaining about being persecuted.

You need to study the history of the ID/creationist movement. You don’t appear to have any idea where your bogus ideas are coming from. You just parrot them because they sound good to you.

fittest meme said:

Sir Isaac Newton arrived at a different conclusion after his years of fruitful scientific study and thought:

“The most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.”

As brilliant as Newton was, in reality he was less than fruitful in finding a scientific explanation as to why objects in the solar system remained in stable orbits. So, Newton invoked a theological answer (as reflected in the quote you gave) and he left it at that for the rest of his life.

Long after Newton’s death, science found an answer to Newton’s dilemma; this is explained here (you can skip ahead to about the four minute mark). Many science minded theists can argue that this example of Newton using an ultimate answer for a proximate (scientific) question not only results in pseudoscience, it’s poor theology as well.

fittest meme said:

Unfortunately, for whatever reason, most of you here seem unwilling to accept this logical foundational paradigm which arguably girded humanity’s periods of greatest scientific discovery.

fittest meme said:

Faced with the task of explaining life without the benefit of God, (as is required in our secularized public schools)

The theist posters here at PT that accept evolution do not conflate proximate (or scientific) causes with ultimate causes.

Even many Christian schools teach only evolution (in other words, only science) in their science classes and generally leave theology for classes outside the science classroom.

More to the point, science uses methodological naturalism which simply states that anything that might be supernatural is merely outside the realm of science. Methodological naturalism is used by scientists that are both theists and non-theists. Methodological naturalism does not say supernaturalism is inherently wrong, just untestable.

Methodological naturalism is unlike philosophical naturalism, which is the unscientific belief that there are no supernatural forces.

fittest meme said:

It is a scientific fundamental that life comes from life. To suggest otherwise is speculation that is contradictory to one of the basics of biology.

There is no such “scientific fundamental,” in biology or anywhere else.

Oh … and how are you so certain of the conditions at the putative Resurrection 2000 ya? This can’t be from empirical observation or first hand witness. Your theory is nothing but delusion … built upon mythology … resting, I would suggest, upon a deep seated incapacity to grasp reality.

Fine, lets let a variety of theories be presented and let the students determine which best fits the evidence. That would be the scientific way of doing it wouldn’t it?

No, it would not.

How does it enhance science to say that God didn’t do it?

Science is simplified when unnecessary hypotheses are discarded. The hypothesis that gods exist, in addition to being baseless, is unnecessary.

fittest meme -

Fine, lets let a variety of theories be presented and let the students determine which best fits the evidence. That would be the scientific way of doing it wouldn’t it?

Sounds fair to me. What is your theory?

1) Who is the designer? How can we test your answer?

2) What did that designer do? How can we test your answer?

3) How did the designer do it? How can we test your answer?

4) When did the designer do it? How can we test your answer?

5) What is an example of something that was not designed by the designer?

6) Some parts of the Bible suggest that pi equals exactly three, and that the earth is flat and has four corners. Do you accept these as facts of physical reality, and if not, why do you deny the theory of evolution on the grounds of Biblical literacy, if it can be symbolic about other scientific issues?

7) Could any evidence convince you of the theory of evolution, and if so, what type of observations are now lacking, that would convince you if present?

fittest meme said:

Sir Isaac Newton arrived at a different conclusion after his years of fruitful scientific study and thought:

“The most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.”

We now know that in this regard, Newton was wrong. The operation of the solar system does not require “the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.” No supernatural maintenance is needed.

And it’s a good thing too, since there is no such effect. There isn’t the slightest whisper of evidence for the influence of Newton’s supposed “powerful Being” on the operation of the solar system, much less evidence for its necessity.

fittest meme said:

Apokryltaros asked: “how does saying GODDITIT enhance science?”

Well, Newton recognized that there is a great deal to be discovered about a designed and ordered system. The drive to understand more about the physical order of this system, while reconciling those understandings with bigger questions about life and purpose can be a great motivator for continued discovery and study.

Then how come so many scientists today, both theist and atheist, do not need to say “GODDIDIT” to explain science?

Let’s turn your question around … how does it enhance science to say that God didn’t do it? If someone who had never seen or used a computer where to come across one at some point wouldn’t they still be able to experiment and test the device scientifically to understand the true nature of it’s components and function regardless of whether they understood it to be designed or not?

How come you have failed to explain how saying GODDIDIT will help a computer-ignorant person understand how to use a computer? Your analogy has failed miserably.

Newton’s thinking was apparently not hindered by holding the position that God created a beautifully ordered system. In fact it appears that his belief in God was fortified by his scientific work. Why are you so threatened by the possibility that “GODDIDIT” that you are dead set on limiting academic freedom in the classroom?

Then how come you refuse to demonstrate to us how saying GODDIDIT can be used to do or enhance science?

Seems to me you and your kind are the ones protecting a belief.

What belief? That science education should be free of politically motivated anti-science propaganda, or that you’re propagating the bigoted stereotype that all modern scientists are evil, stupid atheists who somehow hate and fear God?

fittest_meme’s gods strike me as being the opposite of Neils Bohr’s apocryphal horseshoe: whether you believe in them or not, they still don’t work.

As far as I can tell, fittest_meme’s gods have no effect whatsoever on the real world. They don’t answer prayers. They don’t send rain. They don’t cure disease. They don’t change bread and wine into flesh and blood. They don’t maintain the planets in their orbits. They don’t do anything.

No matter how clearly he himself may see them, fittest_meme can never show his gods to anyone else. He can’t take a picture with his iPhone. He may hear the voices of the gods inside his own head, but no one else will ever hear them, because the gods no longer speak from burning bushes, or from anywhere else in public. He can’t say what his gods smell like or taste like or feel like because you can’t smell them or taste them or feel them. It’s just as if they don’t really exist at all.

And increasingly, it’s only fittest_meme and his fellow sectarians who even want the notion of gods. We used to need them to explain things, but we don’t any more, because we have science. We used to call on them to smite our enemies, but now we have drones for that. There’s never been godly relief of pain like that from modern analgesics.

The only lingering real-world effect of gods is that they’re still all we have when we want to blaspheme. We still say Goddamnit! and Go to hell!, but those are living linguistic fossils, because nobody really cares. It’s a much reduced and humbled circumstance for those beings who used to part seas and raise the dead.

j. biggs said:

phhht said:

“Coded information” is NOT inherent in self-replicators, or in any other physical system. “Coded information” is a property of the human DESCRIPTION of such a system, not of the system itself.

You might as well ask where the blue in blue paint comes from. Blueness is a subjective property imputed by some human beings to “blue” paint, and not an inherent physical property of the paint. Remember, some people see blue as green.

About the least anthropomorphic thing we can say about self-replicating molecules is that they have a unique molecular structure that we represent through analogy as “code” and that these self-replicators are able to create imperfect copies of this unique molecular structure which has been also been called through analogy “information”. It seems daft to me that some people can’t separate analogies used to describe phenomena from the physical observations they describe.

Keep in mind you guys that these “self-replicating molecules” we are talking about are theoretical entities that, like the primordial sea of 4 bya, have not actually been observed by humankind. The simplest self-replicating entity we have observed of course is the cell. Cells have a variety of parts that are produced through a guided process that assembles amino acids into a specified order (at specified times) to produce proteins. These proteins (complex molecules) don’t come to be through replication themselves, they are assembled according to instructions coded into the DNA within the cell. Protein synthesis is a well orchestrated process that requires a variety of existing proteins that were produced using the same process they now contribute to, (that material observation phhht is itself logical proof that life must come from life). I don’t know how else to describe the physical observation of DNA but that it is coded information for how to make and direct the life of a cell, (neither does Wikipedia or any other description of DNA I could find).

By the way, blue is blue because of inherent physical characteristics of the molecules that make up the pigment. While some people may have a developmental retinal defect that inhibits their ability to discern blue from green, they still can identify the objective difference between the two through means that would make up for this defect. In other words, blue is blue, green is green … and information is information … even if one has a handicap that prevents them from being able to see it.

fittest meme said:

The simplest self-replicating entity we have observed of course is the cell…

…blue is blue because of inherent physical characteristics of the molecules that make up the pigment.

You’re awfully self-assured for a guy who makes a post with at least two glaring factual errors.

Aren’t viruses entities which self-replicate? Aren’t prions?

What color is a blue-painted surface when it’s illuminated with pure red light? Hint: it ain’t blue.

fittest meme said:

Keep in mind you guys that these “self-replicating molecules” we are talking about are theoretical entities that, like the primordial sea of 4 bya, have not actually been observed by humankind. The simplest self-replicating entity we have observed of course is the cell.

Are you SURE about that? (Hint: don’t be, because you’re WRONG)

Just google “self-replicating molecules”. Took me 15 seconds.

Now, how many other “scientific facts” that you’ve picked up from AIG or ICR are just simply, demonstrably, dead wrong?

Just Bob said:

Are you SURE about that? (Hint: don’t be, because you’re WRONG)

Just google “self-replicating molecules”. Took me 15 seconds.

Now, how many other “scientific facts” that you’ve picked up from AIG or ICR are just simply, demonstrably, dead wrong?

Whenever I see this kind of nonsense, I estimate that their science education stopped somewhere about the 8th grade. ID/creationists, even the leaders, all seem to have their major hang-ups starting at about that level.

They then proceed to reify the misconceptions acquired in those formative years; and if they get through any later science classes, it is by keeping their heads down and regurgitating what they think the instructor wants. But they never actually learn the material; they warp it to fit their sectarian preconceptions. One can even find study guides that tell them how to do this; and the staff at AiG, for example, give advice on how to slip through the educational process without being accountable.

I am quite sure that Ken Ham is aware of this; and it is the reason he got into the business of producing “educational” materials for the fundamentalist market. The market for this crap is better in the United States than it was in Australia.

fittest meme said:

j. biggs said:

phhht said:

“Coded information” is NOT inherent in self-replicators, or in any other physical system. “Coded information” is a property of the human DESCRIPTION of such a system, not of the system itself.

You might as well ask where the blue in blue paint comes from. Blueness is a subjective property imputed by some human beings to “blue” paint, and not an inherent physical property of the paint. Remember, some people see blue as green.

About the least anthropomorphic thing we can say about self-replicating molecules is that they have a unique molecular structure that we represent through analogy as “code” and that these self-replicators are able to create imperfect copies of this unique molecular structure which has been also been called through analogy “information”. It seems daft to me that some people can’t separate analogies used to describe phenomena from the physical observations they describe.

Keep in mind you guys that these “self-replicating molecules” we are talking about are theoretical entities that, like the primordial sea of 4 bya, have not actually been observed by humankind. The simplest self-replicating entity we have observed of course is the cell. Cells have a variety of parts that are produced through a guided process that assembles amino acids into a specified order (at specified times) to produce proteins. These proteins (complex molecules) don’t come to be through replication themselves, they are assembled according to instructions coded into the DNA within the cell. Protein synthesis is a well orchestrated process that requires a variety of existing proteins that were produced using the same process they now contribute to, (that material observation phhht is itself logical proof that life must come from life). I don’t know how else to describe the physical observation of DNA but that it is coded information for how to make and direct the life of a cell, (neither does Wikipedia or any other description of DNA I could find).

By the way, blue is blue because of inherent physical characteristics of the molecules that make up the pigment. While some people may have a developmental retinal defect that inhibits their ability to discern blue from green, they still can identify the objective difference between the two through means that would make up for this defect. In other words, blue is blue, green is green … and information is information … even if one has a handicap that prevents them from being able to see it.

Actually we have not only observed RNA molecules, we have actually selected them to have increased fidelity in replication. What we haven’t seen ever is any god of any kind.

What we haven’t seen ever is any god of any kind.

What, you never watched the Hercules or Xena TV shows? :p

fittest meme said:

j. biggs said:

phhht said:

“Coded information” is NOT inherent in self-replicators, or in any other physical system. “Coded information” is a property of the human DESCRIPTION of such a system, not of the system itself.

You might as well ask where the blue in blue paint comes from. Blueness is a subjective property imputed by some human beings to “blue” paint, and not an inherent physical property of the paint. Remember, some people see blue as green.

About the least anthropomorphic thing we can say about self-replicating molecules is that they have a unique molecular structure that we represent through analogy as “code” and that these self-replicators are able to create imperfect copies of this unique molecular structure which has been also been called through analogy “information”. It seems daft to me that some people can’t separate analogies used to describe phenomena from the physical observations they describe.

Keep in mind you guys that these “self-replicating molecules” we are talking about are theoretical entities that, like the primordial sea of 4 bya, have not actually been observed by humankind. The simplest self-replicating entity we have observed of course is the cell. Cells have a variety of parts that are produced through a guided process that assembles amino acids into a specified order (at specified times) to produce proteins. These proteins (complex molecules) don’t come to be through replication themselves, they are assembled according to instructions coded into the DNA within the cell. Protein synthesis is a well orchestrated process that requires a variety of existing proteins that were produced using the same process they now contribute to, (that material observation phhht is itself logical proof that life must come from life). I don’t know how else to describe the physical observation of DNA but that it is coded information for how to make and direct the life of a cell, (neither does Wikipedia or any other description of DNA I could find).

By the way, blue is blue because of inherent physical characteristics of the molecules that make up the pigment. While some people may have a developmental retinal defect that inhibits their ability to discern blue from green, they still can identify the objective difference between the two through means that would make up for this defect. In other words, blue is blue, green is green … and information is information … even if one has a handicap that prevents them from being able to see it.

So you argue against abiogenesis from personal incredulity. Who cares? That’s worthless and has nothing to do with the theory of evolution.

Do you actually have positive evidence for an alternative to the theory of evolution?

1) Who is the designer? How can we test your answer?

2) What did that designer do? How can we test your answer?

3) How did the designer do it? How can we test your answer?

4) When did the designer do it? How can we test your answer?

5) What is an example of something that was not designed by the designer?

6) Some parts of the Bible suggest that pi equals exactly three, and that the earth is flat and has four corners. Do you accept these as facts of physical reality, and if not, why do you deny the theory of evolution on the grounds of Biblical literacy, if it can be symbolic about other scientific issues?

7) Could any evidence convince you of the theory of evolution, and if so, what type of observations are now lacking, that would convince you if present?

Non Sequitur sometimes has some very stupid anti evolution strips, such as http://www.gocomics.com/nonsequitur/1992/09/06 .

John_S said:

SWT said: Check your diet, you seem to be irony-deficient.

??? I guess I am. Explain.

Then tell us why it’s necessary to bring up the Dakotan creation story when Intelligent Design proponents use only the King James’ translation of the Holy Bible as the source of their information for “design.”

That, and I ignored your challenge because you were missing the point of my sarcastic commentary completely.

1) If you follow apokryltaros’s comments, you’ll realize he is no friend of creationism, including ID.

2) “alleged signs of ‘intelligent design’”

3) scare quotes around “intelligent design”

4) snarky parenthetical reference to fundie preference for KJV

Meh. The quoted note below was in response to John_S. Some days I so need an edit key.

SWT said:

1) If you follow apokryltaros’s comments, you’ll realize he is no friend of creationism, including ID.

2) “alleged signs of ‘intelligent design’”

3) scare quotes around “intelligent design”

4) snarky parenthetical reference to fundie preference for KJV

https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/[…]R4rkKphzUAn0 said:

Harold

I think that we can go a bit further than just reducing creationists/ID proponents to silence when asking what it is that they want taught.

One of the things I don’t understand about ID is what, assuming anyone accepted their position, is their positive research programme in the life sciences going to be; maybe I’m really poorly informed, but I haven’t seen any ID work that is trying to parlay their “valuable insight” about extra-mural design into a productive programme on pathogen research or ecological management techniques, for example.

Maybe I’m erecting a caricature strawman here, but it’s trivially easy to prove that you can’t explain or demonstrate something when you’ve embraced the power of positive giving-up.

Your mention of ecological management techniques struck me. That, and a lot of subjects relative to environment, climate and Earth sciences in general are not accounted for in creation ‘science’ myths, (‘science’, giving more credit than deserved. myths, because ID/creationism has not risen above that stage yet) are very important factors in evolution and survival on the planet but the static scenarios required by creation myths are a far cry from what we know about the hirsoty of our planet! Even though we were not there, CSI has made possible recontruction of much of the planets history. If geology and earth sciences are anywhere near true, the case is settled once and for all. The debate within science on evolutionary mechanisms will continue for a long time yet, but nothing indicates that evolution is not a fact.

Whereas ID/creationism hasn’t laid anything edible on the plate yet.

That’s my layman’s take on status quo.

Yep, running your mouths is easy when you attack soft targets.

ID is getting harder and harder to attack successfully so creationism it is, right? Yep, Ken Ham, AiG, et al.

Shapiro, Axe, Gauger, nah. Best you can do there is turn rhetorical tricks.

Evolution is intellectual costume jewelry. Enjoy it while you can; before the glitter is gone.

apokryltaros said: That, and I ignored your challenge because you were missing the point of my sarcastic commentary completely.

If you were being sarcastic, I apologize. But please remember that sarcasm doesn’t consist of saying something prima facia dumb and expecting everyone to see your tongue in your cheek, snickering at the keyboard as you type.

SteveP. said:

Yep, running your mouths is easy when you attack soft targets.

ID is getting harder and harder to attack successfully so creationism it is, right? Yep, Ken Ham, AiG, et al.

Shapiro, Axe, Gauger, nah. Best you can do there is turn rhetorical tricks.

Evolution is intellectual costume jewelry. Enjoy it while you can; before the glitter is gone.

It’s always a pleasure to read your posts, SteveP. Your preemptive nastiness is completely unmitigated by any substance.

SteveP. said:

Yep, running your mouths is easy when you attack soft targets.

You’re one to talk. But, hypocrisy comes so easy for you.

ID is getting harder and harder to attack successfully so creationism it is, right? Yep, Ken Ham, AiG, et al.

Well, what has the Intelligent Design crowd been doing recently? One gets the impression that due to its inactivity, the Discovery Institute has just about given up on Intelligent Design altogether. So why shouldn’t we point out the current wrongdoings of Creationists? Because it hurts your thin skin? Maybe it hurts your empty head? Explain to us why it is wrong of us to point out that Creationists do dishonest things in order to force children to obey their religious dogma?

Shapiro, Axe, Gauger, nah. Best you can do there is turn rhetorical tricks.

So what have Intelligent Design proponents done? That is, besides whoring themselves to Creationists and other science-deniers for Jesus.

Evolution is intellectual costume jewelry.

Why? Because you don’t have the motivation or brainpower to understand it?

Enjoy it while you can; before the glitter is gone.

When will that be, SteveP? Are you aware that Evolutionary Biology has been glittering for the last century and a half? Are you aware that Creationists have been saying how Evolutionary Biology is done for for the last century and a half? And yet, why is it that Evolutionary Biology is not going to fade away any time soon, and that the alleged alternative of Creationism and its supporters keep looking more and more stupid and dishonest every day? Perhaps there is an evil conspiracy of evil scientists out to make you look like a hypocritical moron, SteveP?

Or, perhaps it’s because you’re a malicious idiot who says the exact same stupid lies here, and repeatedly returns to insult us about how we’re all so stupid and evil for not kissing your ass because you said some stupid lies For Jesus.

John_S said:

apokryltaros said: That, and I ignored your challenge because you were missing the point of my sarcastic commentary completely.

If you were being sarcastic, I apologize. But please remember that sarcasm doesn’t consist of saying something prima facia dumb and expecting everyone to see your tongue in your cheek, snickering at the keyboard as you type.

I don’t use sarcasm to be funny: I use sarcasm to point out stupid statements said by stupid people. Furthermore, I don’t see why I need to put signs for your personal convenience on my statements or allegiances that should otherwise be grotesquely obvious.

ID and creationism are exactly as easy to attack as each other. That’s because they are each other. Th only difference is that ID won’t say what or when or how, and is thus even more useless as a method of understanding life than straight fiat creation.

SteveP. said: Evolution is intellectual costume jewelry. Enjoy it while you can; before the glitter is gone.

Evolution has been “glittering” brighter and brighter for the last 150+ years, while the god-of-the-gaps of creationism has been getting smaller and smaller. Your plea in support of scientific illiteracy is pitiful.

Why do people suppose that the case for “intelligent design” can be made so pathetically unintelligently, and somehow be persuasive?

OK, I know that goddidit can’t really be made intelligent or explanatory, but you’d think that this fact would clue in even the dullards.

Apparently not.

Glen Davidson

Dave Luckett said:

ID and creationism are exactly as easy to attack as each other. That’s because they are each other. Th only difference is that ID won’t say what or when or how, and is thus even more useless as a method of understanding life than straight fiat creation.

At least creationism is wrong.

https://me.yahoo.com/a/JxVN0eQFqtmg[…]X_Zhn8#57cad said:

Why do people suppose that the case for “intelligent design” can be made so pathetically unintelligently, and somehow be persuasive?

OK, I know that goddidit can’t really be made intelligent or explanatory, but you’d think that this fact would clue in even the dullards.

Apparently not.

Glen Davidson

That’s why the Creationists and their political cronies are attacking education in order to make children stupid and distrustful of science, but blindly agree with whatever the party leaders tell them.

SteveP. said:

Yep, running your mouths is easy when you attack soft targets.

ID is getting harder and harder to attack successfully so creationism it is, right? Yep, Ken Ham, AiG, et al.

Shapiro, Axe, Gauger, nah. Best you can do there is turn rhetorical tricks.

Evolution is intellectual costume jewelry. Enjoy it while you can; before the glitter is gone.

Attacks on ID? Doesn’t need no attacking until there is something to attack. Can you please show some positive evidence for ID that we may attack? “Inference of design” or “teach the controversy” are somewhat, should I say vague? We sell evolution, what have you got to sell? Dembski, Behe, Luskin 2LOT? Where is the supernatural in Shapiro’s “Evolution”: “Living cells and organism are cognitive… they possess decicion-making capabilities”, or “cells are built to evolve”? His particular twist on interpretation hardly is an argument or evidence for a supernatural force, i.e. the God of Dembski or Behe as an active agent of evolution.

Reality is that evolution is as alive and kicking as ever while ID has proven sterile, infertile.

Rolf said: Attacks on ID? Doesn’t need no attacking until there is something to attack. Can you please show some positive evidence for ID that we may attack?

I would modify that last sentence by changing “evidence” to “statement”.

SteveP. said:

Yep, running your mouths is easy when you attack soft targets.

ID is getting harder and harder to attack successfully so creationism it is, right? Yep, Ken Ham, AiG, et al.

Shapiro, Axe, Gauger, nah. Best you can do there is turn rhetorical tricks.

Evolution is intellectual costume jewelry. Enjoy it while you can; before the glitter is gone.

1) Could any evidence convince you of the theory of evolution, and if so, what type of evidence is now lacking, that would convince you if present?

2) The Supreme Court ruled against the direct teaching of Biblical Young Earth Creationism as science in public schools; however, if that ruling were overturned, which would you support more, teaching of ID, or direct teaching of Bible-based YEC?

3) Do you think it is important for opponents of the theory of evolution to fully understand the theory of evolution? If so, can you explain it, and if not, can you explain why not?

4) Who is the designer? How can we test your answer?

5) What did that designer do? How can we test your answer?

6) How did the designer do it? How can we test your answer?

7) When did the designer do it? How can we test your answer?

8) What is an example of something that was not designed by the designer?

John_S said:

apokryltaros said: That, and I ignored your challenge because you were missing the point of my sarcastic commentary completely.

If you were being sarcastic, I apologize. But please remember that sarcasm doesn’t consist of saying something prima facia dumb and expecting everyone to see your tongue in your cheek, snickering at the keyboard as you type.

This would have been a higher quality comment without the second sentence.

I don’t know why people miss sarcasm. One otherwise highly intelligent person clarified to me that they cannot recognize sarcasm and irony unless in conversation, and even then only when an exaggeratedly sarcastic tone of voice is used. This was in the context of that person taking seriously some really, really obvious and broad sarcasm. It’s also true that on the internet, so-called “Poes” can be hard to distinguish from sincere advocates. Because of all this, when I use sarcasm on the internet, I always explain at the end that I was being sarcastic. However, this does not imply that those who miss satire due to reading comprehension issues are in the right. Sometimes they are; sometimes the original statement can’t reasonably be distinguished from a serious statement. Many other times they are not, the satire should be clear, and their ability to detect it is the problem. I can’t recall what the original sarcastic statement was here, but it seems like time to drop the issue.

harold said: 8) What is an example of something that was not designed by the designer?

The thought just occurred to me, and I’d like to hear from any of the creationists: Maybe miracles are not intelligently designed? After all, aren’t miracles exceptions to the rules, but if design means anything, it is following the rules, isn’t it?

(BTW, what became of your latest addition to the canonical list of questions: why creationists accept natural science overriding the plain statement of the Bible in cases like heliocentrism?)

harold said:

8) What is an example of something that was not designed by the designer?

Addendum:

9) How can we tell the difference between something that was not designed by the designer from something that was designed by the designer? How would we test this?

TomS said:

harold said: 8) What is an example of something that was not designed by the designer?

The thought just occurred to me, and I’d like to hear from any of the creationists: Maybe miracles are not intelligently designed? After all, aren’t miracles exceptions to the rules, but if design means anything, it is following the rules, isn’t it?

(BTW, what became of your latest addition to the canonical list of questions: why creationists accept natural science overriding the plain statement of the Bible in cases like heliocentrism?)

I left that one off deliberately since Steve P. is weaselish about YEC and has claimed at least once to be a Catholic. Not that it isn’t a highly valid question anyway.

Rolf said:

Reality is that evolution is as alive and kicking as ever while ID has proven sterile, infertile.

Intelligent Design has been proven to be more than merely sterile and infertile: it’s a stillborn corpse so foul even that scavengers won’t approach it. Sure, the pious followers, and some of the Hucksters For Jesus will still insist that Intelligent Design will obliterate Evolution and its evil, stupid followers, but, there’s something to be said when its own parents at the Discovery Institute have made statements giving up on it as a replacement for science.

TomS said:

Rolf said: Attacks on ID? Doesn’t need no attacking until there is something to attack. Can you please show some positive evidence for ID that we may attack?

I would modify that last sentence by changing “evidence” to “statement”.

Absolutely an improvement!

SteveP. said:

Yep, running your mouths is easy when you attack soft targets.

ID is getting harder and harder to attack successfully so creationism it is, right? Yep, Ken Ham, AiG, et al.

Shapiro, Axe, Gauger, nah. Best you can do there is turn rhetorical tricks.

Evolution is intellectual costume jewelry. Enjoy it while you can; before the glitter is gone.

Do you forget that it was proven as a fact in court that ID is just a cover for creationism?

Would you mind saying what it is that cdesign proponentsreations have done lately that makes it harder to attack their position, or which even supplies them with a coherent position? What is it that keeps you from seeing that saying ‘a god intervened to design this’ is the same as saying ‘I don’t understand this?’ Are you afraid that if you admit that your own moral identity will collapse? Have you tired psychoanalysis?

apokryltaros said:

John_S said:

apokryltaros said: That, and I ignored your challenge because you were missing the point of my sarcastic commentary completely.

If you were being sarcastic, I apologize. But please remember that sarcasm doesn’t consist of saying something prima facia dumb and expecting everyone to see your tongue in your cheek, snickering at the keyboard as you type.

I don’t use sarcasm to be funny: I use sarcasm to point out stupid statements said by stupid people. Furthermore, I don’t see why I need to put signs for your personal convenience on my statements or allegiances that should otherwise be grotesquely obvious.

I apologize - I confused you with someone else.

Steve P, maybe you can help. I’ve been trying to get answer on this, but no luck so far.

If all scientists accepted intelligent design as true, HOW WOULD IT HELP?

What problems could be better addressed that are now intractable? What new areas of PRODUCTIVE research would be opened up? What new technologies, or cures, or just useful understandings of biology would result? In short, what better results and PRODUCTIONS could we expect from intelligent design than we are currently realizing from methodological naturalism?

Just Bob said:

Steve P, maybe you can help. I’ve been trying to get answer on this, but no luck so far.

If all scientists accepted intelligent design as true, HOW WOULD IT HELP?

What problems could be better addressed that are now intractable? What new areas of PRODUCTIVE research would be opened up? What new technologies, or cures, or just useful understandings of biology would result? In short, what better results and PRODUCTIONS could we expect from intelligent design than we are currently realizing from methodological naturalism?

If scientists accepted ID as “true”, they wouldn’t be scientists. Science is about testing hypotheses in the real world (and not about “truth”). ID strenuously avoids any discussion of a hypothesis, and consists only of evolution-bashing and sciency proclamations which are (semi-intelligently) designed to be untestable. The promoters of ID cannot bear the ramifications of having their obviously-religious assertions falsified. If an idea cannot be falsified, it cannot be science.

Like virtually all IDiots, Steve knows this and doesn’t care because his interest in the integrity of science is entirely feigned. He only wishes to highjack science and use it as a means of promoting whatever set of silly religious superstitions he is obsessed with. Like the good little fundie he is, he hates real science because it fails to provide any support whatsoever for his corny belief system, and he knows it always will.

bbennett1968 said:

Just Bob said:

Steve P, maybe you can help. I’ve been trying to get answer on this, but no luck so far.

If all scientists accepted intelligent design as true, HOW WOULD IT HELP?

What problems could be better addressed that are now intractable? What new areas of PRODUCTIVE research would be opened up? What new technologies, or cures, or just useful understandings of biology would result? In short, what better results and PRODUCTIONS could we expect from intelligent design than we are currently realizing from methodological naturalism?

If scientists accepted ID as “true”, they wouldn’t be scientists. Science is about testing hypotheses in the real world (and not about “truth”). ID strenuously avoids any discussion of a hypothesis, and consists only of evolution-bashing and sciency proclamations which are (semi-intelligently) designed to be untestable. The promoters of ID cannot bear the ramifications of having their obviously-religious assertions falsified. If an idea cannot be falsified, it cannot be science.

Like virtually all IDiots, Steve knows this and doesn’t care because his interest in the integrity of science is entirely feigned. He only wishes to highjack science and use it as a means of promoting whatever set of silly religious superstitions he is obsessed with. Like the good little fundie he is, he hates real science because it fails to provide any support whatsoever for his corny belief system, and he knows it always will.

And apparently he doesn’t want to answer the question.

Just Bob said:

bbennett1968 said:

Just Bob said:

Steve P, maybe you can help. I’ve been trying to get answer on this, but no luck so far.

If all scientists accepted intelligent design as true, HOW WOULD IT HELP?

What problems could be better addressed that are now intractable? What new areas of PRODUCTIVE research would be opened up? What new technologies, or cures, or just useful understandings of biology would result? In short, what better results and PRODUCTIONS could we expect from intelligent design than we are currently realizing from methodological naturalism?

If scientists accepted ID as “true”, they wouldn’t be scientists. Science is about testing hypotheses in the real world (and not about “truth”). ID strenuously avoids any discussion of a hypothesis, and consists only of evolution-bashing and sciency proclamations which are (semi-intelligently) designed to be untestable. The promoters of ID cannot bear the ramifications of having their obviously-religious assertions falsified. If an idea cannot be falsified, it cannot be science.

Like virtually all IDiots, Steve knows this and doesn’t care because his interest in the integrity of science is entirely feigned. He only wishes to highjack science and use it as a means of promoting whatever set of silly religious superstitions he is obsessed with. Like the good little fundie he is, he hates real science because it fails to provide any support whatsoever for his corny belief system, and he knows it always will.

And apparently he doesn’t want to answer the question.

That’s because SteveP can’t. Well, sometimes he pretends he can answer it by making sarcastic insults that serve only to highlight his own willful stupidity and unthinking hatred of science and science education.

Other times, he won’t answer because he just can’t be bothered to get out of his mindless routine of lying and attention-whoring.

And then there’re times he can’t answer because he’s too busy boasting about how he’s too busy making money hand over fist in his fabric empire.

And then there’re times he can’t answer because he’s already fled, with his tail and ego tucked firmly between his legs, hiding in his favorite internet hideyhole, waiting for a new thread to hijack with his predictable script of sneers and anti-science lies.

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This page contains a single entry by Matt Young published on June 18, 2012 9:39 AM.

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