More Luskin head-faking about human descent

| 119 Comments

As we all know, the new book from the Disco ‘Tute, Science and Human Origins, has taken a considerable amount of flak for various and sundry flaws. Paul McBride has a chapter-by-chapter review starting here. Amusing among the critiques was Carl Zimmer’s quest to get a reference from the authors for a specific claim, summarized here. Nick Matzke posted an equally amusing account of a Facebook exchange with (presumably) the authors in a thumb comment. The Disco Tute authors ended that exchange by closing comments on the thread, running for a venue that doesn’t allow comments.

Now Afarensis has dissected another claim made in an excerpt from the paleo chapter by Luskin (who is a lawyer writing on paleo) about what Luskin calls Later Hominins: The Australopithecine Gap, I strongly recommend Afarensis’ takedown to our readers. I particularly call attention to Afarensis’ analysis of Luskin’s quote-mining and misrepresentations about Lucy. Is anyone surprised?

119 Comments

Got to love liars for jesus. Compartmentalizing the strictures of their religion so as to lie out their asses without the moral limits normal people have. Their god is not going to be pleased at all.

ID advocates -

What explanation of human descent do Casey Luskin, Axe, and Gauger propose? Or do you propose?

All the book does is desperately try to explain away some of the evidence for the mainstream view.

But arguing against the evidence for human evolution is not the same thing as providing evidence for ID/creationism.

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?

9) 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?

10) Is there any possible way to get any creationists to answer these question? Are there creationist forums I could post them at, without having my comment deleted and my account banned?

Recall Martin Luther’s “What harm would it do, if a man told a good strong lie for the sake of the good and for the Christian church…a lie out of necessity, a useful lie, a helpful lie, such lies would not be against God, he would accept them.”

@Paul Burnett, Of course Luther was lying when he said that :)

This topic and its Opening Post is highly critical of the Discovery Institute, which is referred to as the “Disco Tute.”

For the Record: It is relevant and important to point out that the Fellows at the Discovery Institute, like the Fellows here at PandasThumb, accept the concepts of natural selection, microevolution, macroevolution to exist in nature. In fact, some fellows at the Discovery Institute go as far as accepting the concepts of common descent and human evolution as well.

Ray (Old Earth, Paleyan IDist-species immutabilist)

@Ray Martinez, What? Where do I find evidence of this amazing escape toward reality at the Tute?

Some interesting items from a new book out: “Denying Science” by John Grant:

Mano Singham in God vs. Darwin (2009, p. 101):

“Intelligent Design” (ID) can best be understood as a carefully crafted theory designed to eliminate those features that had led to the defeat (because of the Establishment Clause) of piror efforts to combat the teaching of evolution in public schools.

And Phillip Johnson has stated: “I realized,” he says, “that if the pure Darwinist account was accurate and life is all about an undirected material process, then Christian metaphysics and religious belief are fantasy.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dy[…]1401222.html

Even if evolutionists make a few accurate corrections on a whole book its just nitpicking to define the book by a few errors. If they are errors. In short poor sampling is going on here.

Again its pressed about Luskin being a lawyer and not this or that. Does this mean all of mankind must not study the facts about these matters but only a few and the rest of us trust them in their conclusions? I note evolutionists do try to persuade the people by making a case. So if the people can and should be persuaded by a case based on evidence then the people can contend against evolution based on studying the evidence. This book helps introduce and direct people to higher criticism of old time evolution.

By the way its still all about bits and pieces of bones and drawing connections. There is no biological investigation ever going on in studying fossils where the intent is figuring out the origins of those present fossils or their destiny. Its been a grand flaw of logic to ever have seen fossils as part of biological investigation for conclusions other then seen in the fossil. Fossils tell no tale without geological sequence and so its not the fossils but only the geology that is the evidence for conclusions about the creatures fossilized. If the sequences were weeks apart and the creatures just from upriver then the error would be from the geology and not biology. so the sum is that fossils can’t be biological evidence for evolution. 150 years of error in this matter.

Ray Martinez the delusional clueless Liar for Jesus barfed:

This topic and its Opening Post is highly critical of the Discovery Institute, which is referred to as the “Disco Tute.”

For the Record: It is relevant and important to point out that the Fellows at the Discovery Institute, like the Fellows here at PandasThumb, accept the concepts of natural selection, microevolution, macroevolution to exist in nature. In fact, some fellows at the Discovery Institute go as far as accepting the concepts of common descent and human evolution as well.

Ray (Old Earth, Paleyan IDist-species immutabilist)

For the Record, Ray, the Disco Tute is comprised of a pathetic band of mendacious intellectual pornographers of whom two of the most vile are David Klinghoffer and Casey Luskin. Neither Klinghoffer or Luskin accept natural selection, microevolution or macroevolution.

Robert Byers lied:

By the way its still all about bits and pieces of bones and drawing connections.

lying snipped for brevity and nausea

so the sum is that fossils can’t be biological evidence for evolution. 150 years of error in this matter.

You keep repeating this lie, Robert Byers. What makes you think you can convince us that it’s true?

Paul Burnett said:

Recall Martin Luther’s “What harm would it do, if a man told a good strong lie for the sake of the good and for the Christian church…a lie out of necessity, a useful lie, a helpful lie, such lies would not be against God, he would accept them.”

Like what moronic Robert Byers the Liar For Jesus does on every single thread he infests?

John said:

Ray Martinez the delusional clueless Liar for Jesus barfed:

This topic and its Opening Post is highly critical of the Discovery Institute, which is referred to as the “Disco Tute.”

For the Record: It is relevant and important to point out that the Fellows at the Discovery Institute, like the Fellows here at PandasThumb, accept the concepts of natural selection, microevolution, macroevolution to exist in nature. In fact, some fellows at the Discovery Institute go as far as accepting the concepts of common descent and human evolution as well.

Ray (Old Earth, Paleyan IDist-species immutabilist)

For the Record, Ray, the Disco Tute is comprised of a pathetic band of mendacious intellectual pornographers of whom two of the most vile are David Klinghoffer and Casey Luskin. Neither Klinghoffer or Luskin accept natural selection, microevolution or macroevolution.

So Klinghoffer and Luskin are species immutabilists, like myself?

On one occasion I had a conversation with Luskin. I did not come away with the impression that he was a fixist—just the opposite.

Can you support your claim?

Thanks.

Johnson, Dembski and Behe accept natural selection and microevolution. Dembski goes to great lengths to avoid stating his position on how species come to be in the wild. If anyone produces quotes another could produce other quotes that “contradict”—that’s the web of deceit he has created. In short, he desparately desires not to be viewed or perceived as a Creationist—but, at the same time, he has produced quotes that “say” just that.

That said, Dembski, the intellectual big gun at the D.I., is an Evolutionist (species are mutable). He justifies his position by asserting Darwinian evolution “agnostic.” Then, in the same writing, he makes two grand statements—(1) “My thesis is that all disciplines find their completion in Christ and cannot be properly understood apart from Christ” and “Christ is indispensable to any scientific theory.”

Note that he says “Christ” and not God the Creator.

RIght, bones are not biological! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA Try again dipstick.

DS said:

RIght, bones are not biological! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA Try again dipstick.

Robert Byers the Liar For Jesus always tries again. Unfortunately, his mental illness causes him to do and say the exact same thing over and over again.

Ray Martinez said:

So Klinghoffer and Luskin are species immutabilists, like myself?

No, of course not, because no sane person is such as you.

On one occasion I had a conversation with Luskin. I did not come away with the impression that he was a fixist—just the opposite.

Can you support your claim?

How come you have never supported your claims about species being fixed?

Thanks.

Johnson, Dembski and Behe accept natural selection and microevolution. Dembski goes to great lengths to avoid stating his position on how species come to be in the wild. If anyone produces quotes another could produce other quotes that “contradict”—that’s the web of deceit he has created. In short, he desparately desires not to be viewed or perceived as a Creationist—but, at the same time, he has produced quotes that “say” just that.

So most Creationists are pathological liars. Trouble is, you are even worse.

That said, Dembski, the intellectual big gun at the D.I., is an Evolutionist (species are mutable). He justifies his position by asserting Darwinian evolution “agnostic.” Then, in the same writing, he makes two grand statements—(1) “My thesis is that all disciplines find their completion in Christ and cannot be properly understood apart from Christ” and “Christ is indispensable to any scientific theory.”

Note that he says “Christ” and not God the Creator.

Theology should not be an issue in science.

Ray Martinez said: …some fellows at the Discovery Institute go as far as accepting the concepts of common descent and human evolution as well.

Some Senior Fellows at the Dishonesty Institute also believe in Bigfoot.

ID does attempt to solve the problem with teaching sectarian religious doctrine in US state-supported schools. But we should also note that traditional creationism ran into problems whenever they attempted to give a description of their alternative. Whenever they attempted to specify what happened and when, it turned out to have major problems. (Unless they retreat to some sort of “omphalism” - that the world was created with all the appearances of evolution, for example.) So ID carefully avoids describing a positive, substantive alternative.

Ray Martinez said:

John said:

Ray Martinez the delusional clueless Liar for Jesus barfed:

This topic and its Opening Post is highly critical of the Discovery Institute, which is referred to as the “Disco Tute.”

For the Record: It is relevant and important to point out that the Fellows at the Discovery Institute, like the Fellows here at PandasThumb, accept the concepts of natural selection, microevolution, macroevolution to exist in nature. In fact, some fellows at the Discovery Institute go as far as accepting the concepts of common descent and human evolution as well.

Ray (Old Earth, Paleyan IDist-species immutabilist)

For the Record, Ray, the Disco Tute is comprised of a pathetic band of mendacious intellectual pornographers of whom two of the most vile are David Klinghoffer and Casey Luskin. Neither Klinghoffer or Luskin accept natural selection, microevolution or macroevolution.

So Klinghoffer and Luskin are species immutabilists, like myself?

On one occasion I had a conversation with Luskin. I did not come away with the impression that he was a fixist—just the opposite.

Can you support your claim?

Thanks.

Johnson, Dembski and Behe accept natural selection and microevolution. Dembski goes to great lengths to avoid stating his position on how species come to be in the wild. If anyone produces quotes another could produce other quotes that “contradict”—that’s the web of deceit he has created. In short, he desparately desires not to be viewed or perceived as a Creationist—but, at the same time, he has produced quotes that “say” just that.

That said, Dembski, the intellectual big gun at the D.I., is an Evolutionist (species are mutable). He justifies his position by asserting Darwinian evolution “agnostic.” Then, in the same writing, he makes two grand statements—(1) “My thesis is that all disciplines find their completion in Christ and cannot be properly understood apart from Christ” and “Christ is indispensable to any scientific theory.”

Note that he says “Christ” and not God the Creator.

Ray Martinez is basically correct - about the Discovery Institute, that is. Not that they necessarily accept what he thinks they accept, but that they are weasel-worded and evade stating their specific views, beyond asserting that they are against “Darwinism”, “materialism”, and so on. Dembski’s famous dissembling to keep his employers at a fundamentalist Bible college are a classic example.

Ray Martinez, question for you.

If you are a species immutablist, how do you define species? Can you give a specific example of a case where superficially very similar organisms are actually members of different species, and a case where there is a lot of diversity within the same species, to illustrate how your definition deals with such cases?

Actually the DI guys have said a lot of things. The big problem (one of many) is that they change what they say depending on who they are talking to. When quoted by religious magazines and churches, the DI fellows say that “any science that isn’t directly from Jesus, is automatically wrong” (paraphrase, but I can provide the quote if anyone is interested).

Yet, when talking to courts of law, it’s all, “well, ID doesn’t talk about mechanisms, well it does, but we don’t have any, but that’s not what ID is about anyway”.

I had an online debate with JoeG (turns, opening, rebuttals, etc) on this very subject.

There are two possible conclusions. The first is that the DI doesn’t have a clue what they actually think… and by extension, there is no consistent notion of ID or creationism. The second is that they are all liars.

Since the claims of quotemining by most DI fellows and ID supporters has been extensively supported; since there have been multiple instances where these people have been corrected (in science, quotes, concepts, law, etc) and they still promote the same mistakes they were corrected on; then the only conclusion possible is that they are a bunch of liars for Jesus.

And Ray, why do you keep running when people start asking you questions? You can believe whatever you like, no one cares. But you can’t claim to have support for your notions.

Would you like to talk about species immutability and the Scottish Fold cat? You know, the one where we know when the mutation happened, we even know which animal it happened in. Now, there is an entire breed based on that single mutation. If you say, “but it’s still a cat”, then I suggest you look up the word ‘immutable’ and change your description of your notions.

Ray Martinez the delusional clueless Liar for Jesus barfed:

John said:

Ray Martinez the delusional clueless Liar for Jesus barfed:

This topic and its Opening Post is highly critical of the Discovery Institute, which is referred to as the “Disco Tute.”

For the Record: It is relevant and important to point out that the Fellows at the Discovery Institute, like the Fellows here at PandasThumb, accept the concepts of natural selection, microevolution, macroevolution to exist in nature. In fact, some fellows at the Discovery Institute go as far as accepting the concepts of common descent and human evolution as well.

Ray (Old Earth, Paleyan IDist-species immutabilist)

For the Record, Ray, the Disco Tute is comprised of a pathetic band of mendacious intellectual pornographers of whom two of the most vile are David Klinghoffer and Casey Luskin. Neither Klinghoffer or Luskin accept natural selection, microevolution or macroevolution.

So Klinghoffer and Luskin are species immutabilists, like myself?

On one occasion I had a conversation with Luskin. I did not come away with the impression that he was a fixist—just the opposite.

Can you support your claim?

Thanks.

Johnson, Dembski and Behe accept natural selection and microevolution. Dembski goes to great lengths to avoid stating his position on how species come to be in the wild. If anyone produces quotes another could produce other quotes that “contradict”—that’s the web of deceit he has created. In short, he desparately desires not to be viewed or perceived as a Creationist—but, at the same time, he has produced quotes that “say” just that.

That said, Dembski, the intellectual big gun at the D.I., is an Evolutionist (species are mutable). He justifies his position by asserting Darwinian evolution “agnostic.” Then, in the same writing, he makes two grand statements—(1) “My thesis is that all disciplines find their completion in Christ and cannot be properly understood apart from Christ” and “Christ is indispensable to any scientific theory.”

Note that he says “Christ” and not God the Creator.

No, Dembski doesn’t endorse Natural Selection. (Maybe Behe does, though it is hard for me to discern what EXACTLY he believes in, nor frankly, do I wish to care since he still insists on disseminating his absurd mendacious intellectual pornography with regards to “irreducible complexity”.

As always, Dale Husband has you pegged exactly right, moron. I also endorse harold’s latest comments addressed to you. I can’t wait to read your answers,

John said: I can’t wait to read your answers,

I can.

There are two possible conclusions. The first is that the DI doesn’t have a clue what they actually think… and by extension, there is no consistent notion of ID or creationism. The second is that they are all liars.

With a caveat about the word “liar”, these are not mutually exclusive and are both true.

They are authoritarian, apologist pre-suppostionalists who advocate for a fixed ideological position. It is impossible to know whether they privately care about the position - some of them probably care passionately and others probably don’t - but they are paid to advocate for that position.

They are like attorneys with a rich but incompetent client who has told them he will pay them to do anything except settle his losing case, and who are able to get an infinite number of appeals.

But the fixed ideological position they advocate for is “the theory of biological evolution must be constantly contradicted, and the teaching of biological evolution in schools must be interfered with in any way possible”.

That’s all it is. “Just about anything that denies evolution” is good.

Replacement of the theory of evolution with sectarian dogma would be the ideal outcome for those who fund the DI, but the existence of the DI is already an admission of compromise, as the very point of ID was to get evolution denial into schools, even if literal Adam and Eve, Noah’s Ark, and Jonah and the Whale, etc, had to be left out of science class.

They understand, consciously or unconsciously, that they CAN’T allow themselves to defend a specific positive claim. That would interfere with their mission, which is simply to do everything possible to mislead the public, and hamper science education in any way possible, by using any and every conceivable strategy to deny evolution.

Furthermore, since the goal of ID is and always will be to “court proof” plain old fashioned creationism, since their funding comes from YEC sources, they can’t endorse YEC (that’s the whole point of being cdesignproponentsists), but they can’t take a stance that seriously contradicts YEC in any way, either. That doesn’t leave a lot of room for specific, testable statements.

BUT they probably don’t conceive of this behavior as lying.

Many of them project the same mentality onto science supporters. I would, of course, accept Genesis as a highly accurate scientific source - IF the evidence supported that. But they don’t know that. They can’t conceive that. They think that you choose a side, create your own reality, and do everything possible to attack the other guy. They ignore the evidence we present because they interpret it as simply being similar to the “evidence” we present. In their minds, I must have chosen a side in the “culture war”, for self-serving reasons, and must now be saying anything to advance my side, with no capacity to change my claims about anything, regardless of any evidence. That’s how they operate and that’s how they think others operate.

harold,

I agree with you in all particulars. I’d just add that I think that how religion is practiced has an important influence here. I’ll try to describe what I mean without causing offense.

Religious leaders are authoritarian. They talk big, they talk confidently, the rebuke questions instead of answering them and they have no problem making up stories to support their positions. The believers are used to this. They are used to not asking questions and blind acceptance.

I think many of the creationist crowd (FL, Ray, and some others) honestly can’t understand why we don’t just accept their word that things are a certain way. They are speaking confidently. They are rebuking questions. They are making up stories to support their ideas. They are probably honestly confused why we keep asking questions and why we don’t accept answers.

They have never had to deal with evidence. They don’t have any evidence, they’ve never had it, they don’t understand the concept of evidence.

And because we don’t speak as confidently, we don’t talk with 100% certainty, we hedge, they see this as ‘weakness’ on our part. So, they see that we have lost. Every time we can’t answer a question with 100%, that’s more ‘evidence’ that we are wrong.

ogremk5 said:

harold,

I agree with you in all particulars. I’d just add that I think that how religion is practiced has an important influence here. I’ll try to describe what I mean without causing offense.

Religious leaders are authoritarian. They talk big, they talk confidently, the rebuke questions instead of answering them and they have no problem making up stories to support their positions. The believers are used to this. They are used to not asking questions and blind acceptance.

I think many of the creationist crowd (FL, Ray, and some others) honestly can’t understand why we don’t just accept their word that things are a certain way. They are speaking confidently. They are rebuking questions. They are making up stories to support their ideas. They are probably honestly confused why we keep asking questions and why we don’t accept answers.

They have never had to deal with evidence. They don’t have any evidence, they’ve never had it, they don’t understand the concept of evidence.

And because we don’t speak as confidently, we don’t talk with 100% certainty, we hedge, they see this as ‘weakness’ on our part. So, they see that we have lost. Every time we can’t answer a question with 100%, that’s more ‘evidence’ that we are wrong.

That is a great description.

I usually prefer to use words like “rigid ideology” or “authoritarian dogma” rather than “religion”.

The reasons for this are 1) hypothetically some religious leaders don’t behave that way, but more to the point, 2) rigid authoritarian ideologues are not confined to the world of religion.

Whether they are all inspired by religious leaders, or whether many religious sects are simply the most common example of a more generalized authoritarian tendency, I could not say.

Your description of how authoritarians operate is dead on.

It’s about imposing one’s will rather than persuading with reason.

Robert Byers said:

Even if evolutionists make a few accurate corrections on a whole book its just nitpicking to define the book by a few errors.

You need to read Paul McBride’s chapter by chapter review of the book, linked above. He takes it apart entirely, demonstrating that there is no value in it.

harold said:

ogremk5 said:

harold,

I agree with you in all particulars. I’d just add that I think that how religion is practiced has an important influence here. I’ll try to describe what I mean without causing offense.

Religious leaders are authoritarian. They talk big, they talk confidently, the rebuke questions instead of answering them and they have no problem making up stories to support their positions. The believers are used to this. They are used to not asking questions and blind acceptance.

I think many of the creationist crowd (FL, Ray, and some others) honestly can’t understand why we don’t just accept their word that things are a certain way. They are speaking confidently. They are rebuking questions. They are making up stories to support their ideas. They are probably honestly confused why we keep asking questions and why we don’t accept answers.

They have never had to deal with evidence. They don’t have any evidence, they’ve never had it, they don’t understand the concept of evidence.

And because we don’t speak as confidently, we don’t talk with 100% certainty, we hedge, they see this as ‘weakness’ on our part. So, they see that we have lost. Every time we can’t answer a question with 100%, that’s more ‘evidence’ that we are wrong.

That is a great description.

I usually prefer to use words like “rigid ideology” or “authoritarian dogma” rather than “religion”.

The reasons for this are 1) hypothetically some religious leaders don’t behave that way, but more to the point, 2) rigid authoritarian ideologues are not confined to the world of religion.

Whether they are all inspired by religious leaders, or whether many religious sects are simply the most common example of a more generalized authoritarian tendency, I could not say.

Your description of how authoritarians operate is dead on.

It’s about imposing one’s will rather than persuading with reason.

I agree. Theoretically, some religious leaders don’t act this way. But it truly seems like whenever I see this behavior, the root cause is religion. This covers everything from politics to the benefits of organic vegetables… OK, maybe not organic veggies.

Also, there is some confusion about whether certain leaders truly are religious or just using religion to become accepted by a power-base. The people I have described are a ready, easily accessible source of political power, if they can be motivated to follow a leader.

I would further suggest that religion is being used as a tool to support their disgust at the idea of being physically related to the rest of the world of life. Rather than religion being the source for their rejection of evolutionary biology.

TomS said:

I would further suggest that religion is being used as a tool to support their disgust at the idea of being physically related to the rest of the world of life. Rather than religion being the source for their rejection of evolutionary biology.

I don’t know how to test that hypothesis, but I will note this about authoritarian ideologues -

1) They aggressively cling to a position that seems arbitrary, obsessive, and yet often inconsistent to the neutral observer, even if it means denying reality.

2) Their position is often implicitly defined in terms of what it denies or opposes, rather than in terms of clear positive claims. Weasel words that sound like positive claims, but that are actually ambiguous slogans, are often employed to disguise this fact. This is somewhat more true of creationism than of even other authoritarian dogmas, but is typically true. This is how they manipulate their followers. If you look at the article here about a visit to the Creation Museum, Ken Ham doesn’t work them up with a lot of talk about how much he loves Jesus and can’t wait to sing in the heavenly choir. He works them up with fear-mongering about how despicable and terrifying the secular world is. He brings up some of the most obvious targets.

3) However, here’s the funny thing - their claims are always self-serving, both in the sense that their fantasy system is self-serving, and sometimes, in the sense that advancing their claims right now is self-serving. A good way to distinguish the “leaders” from the “followers” is that the leaders are the ones who benefit from the “movement” right now. The followers are the ones who think they will benefit when the magical day comes when their impossible fantasy system is imposed, but who actually gain nothing or lose by supporting the ideology in the present. The leaders are accurately self-serving, and the followers are deludedly self-serving (they are “deluded” not “delusional”, in the way I prefer to use those terms). They think that they are working to harm those they resent and to benefit themselves, but are at best achieving the former.

A lot of isolated crackpots are people who want to be the leader of their own ideology, but who can’t click with the followers (but to be fair, a lot of isolated crackpots are also just people who suffer from untreated mental disorders, such as OCD, smoldering descent into schizophrenia, emerging dementia, etc).

fnxtr said:

John said: I can’t wait to read your answers,

I can.

Me too. I was being sarcastic. Am certain Ray would cite some obscure Biblical quote as “scientific” justification for his reply.

fnxtr said:

John said: I can’t wait to read your answers,

I can.

In contrast, I would love to see a creationist answer any of my questions.

I know I won’t, for reasons discussed in my other comments in this thread.

Stanton, you are obstinate with this repetitive, strawmanishy prose. There is plenty to study if we consider the notion of information as real and independent of matter. It would actually expand science, not stop it.

But you (pl) simply want to punt the ball by calling information ‘just’ an emergent property of matter, nothing consequential to the study of biology. Now THAT is a science stopper.

Your gimmicky turn-about rhetoric is getting.…..oh, just a wee, wee stale.

apokryltaros said:

harold said:

So we come in a full circle. WHAT IS the evidence of “intelligence being the driving force behind life?”

Other than the fact that biological phenomena confuse, be-awe and anger Creationists Intelligent Design proponents, there is no evidence for “intelligence being the driving force behind life,” we’re supposed to just shut up, stop doing and studying science forever, and simply bob our heads up and down in rhythm to IDiots’ feel-good sophistry.

SteveP. said:

Isn’t that the holy grail, the million dollar question???

We would all like to know what is behind it? But surely darwinian evolution is not the answer. We know it isn’t. We have to look elsewhere.

Information as an independent entity is a place to start, as the driving force that underlies quantum activity, which drives atomic activity, which in turns drives bio-chemical reactions.

What is unscientific about such a proposal? Difficult yes, but what is not difficult about science? You’ve all said so ad nauseum. If information can be mapped out as having definite structure and characteristics, then we can move on from there. But if we say information is just an emergent property of matter, then we simply cut off a potentially productive avenue of inquiry.

Because non-intelligent sources have been observed to make exceedingly complex systems and structures without intelligence.

That simple fact negates the entire premise of ID notions.

I know you don’t get it, or want to get it, because ID is important to you personally. It’s called accepting reality. Information, whatever that is (you don’t define it, you don’t state how to measure it, and you don’t state any values that indicate design or non-design), IS an emergent property of matter. We’re not cutting off a line of inquiry.

We’re saying that your ‘line of inquiry’ (for which no actual ‘inquiry’ has ever been done), is based on 100% incorrect premises. Therefore, your ‘line of inquiry’ is utterly wasted. Trying to determine the compounds that dragons use to breathe fire is a cool intellectual exercise, but it is based on a fundamentally incorrect premise… that dragons exist.

Again, say what you like, but you and your ID cohorts have absolutely no evidence, no support, no ‘line of inquiry’. You guys, 15 years after Behe’s “Darwin’s Black Box” have the exact same thing you started with… a lot of talk and nothing else. But keep babbling. Between non-existent lines of inquiry and inferences, you’ll eventually get to the point where science was 400 years ago.

SteveP demonstrates that he has no idea what the term “quote mining” means. It means taking words out of context to change or reverse their meaning. I did no such thing. I quoted what SteveP said, thus:

By way of example, Darwinian evolution relies upon the notion that life spontaneously arose.

That is a simple declarative statement, and it is a complete transcription of the words, and of the intent of the words. SteveP did not make this statement so as to argue against it, or to demonstrate its falsity, as with the so-often quotemined words of Darwin about the eye. This quote is an accurate representation of his thought.

And it is a lie, as is easily demonstrated. Biological evolution by natural selection on Darwin’s principles necessarily relates to existant reproducing organisms, that is, living things. It cannot possibly relate to non-living things. Therefore, not only does it not rely on any notion of how life arose, it cannot possibly relate to that question. Evolution can only relate to how life diversified - how the species arose.

The blatant obviousness of this is so apparent that it is impossible to believe that the statement was made in simple ignorance. SteveP’s statement can only have been made in willing falsehood, possibly because of animosity towards evolution so bone-deep and unthinking as to amount to blind hatred, but still it is a willing falsehood: a lie.

“Hard evidence” and “evidence” are the same. The attempted distinction is risible. I suspect that what SteveP means by “hard” evidence is eyewitness testimony, but his attempts to define it are miserably confused. As to what he calls “evidence” for intelligent design, all of it is non-factual, let alone non-hard. Either it doesn’t exist, like “directed mutation”, or else it doesn’t imply what he seems to imagine it implies.

A list of entities covered by the acronym “IC” yields interesting results: integrated circuit; ion chromatography; interstitial cystitis; interface control; and, tellingly, “I’m confused”.

SteveP was the one who used it. Let him say what it is, what it means, and why it is evidence, but not hard evidence, for intelligent design.

If you don’t like it when I harp about the painful truth of the situation, instead of tone-trolling about how terrible it is that I don’t kiss your glorious ass for being a bigoted, science-hating bobblehead, why don’t you try demonstrating and explaining to us exactly how Intelligent Design is supposed to be scientific, and how Intelligent Design is supposed to be magically superior to Evolutionary Biology and all other sciences?

Oh, wait, no, you can’t. You’re always making up excuses about how you can never/will never do that because you’re far, far, far too busy making an asshole of yourself trolling here allegedly making money hand over fist, and that you would sooner commit suicide than do any sort of actual research more intensive than navel contemplation.

SteveP. tone-trolled:

Stanton, you are obstinate with this repetitive, strawmanishy prose. There is plenty to study if we consider the notion of information as real and independent of matter. It would actually expand science, not stop it.

But you (pl) simply want to punt the ball by calling information ‘just’ an emergent property of matter, nothing consequential to the study of biology. Now THAT is a science stopper.

Your gimmicky turn-about rhetoric is getting.…..oh, just a wee, wee stale.

apokryltaros said:

harold said:

So we come in a full circle. WHAT IS the evidence of “intelligence being the driving force behind life?”

Other than the fact that biological phenomena confuse, be-awe and anger Creationists Intelligent Design proponents, there is no evidence for “intelligence being the driving force behind life,” we’re supposed to just shut up, stop doing and studying science forever, and simply bob our heads up and down in rhythm to IDiots’ feel-good sophistry.

Argument from utility. Science is not about utility.

Anyway, Darwinian evolution is not the ‘root’ cause of much, except maybe for oscillating variance to stay in step with environmental change. once again maintenence rather than building.

Too bad that’s not enough to do anything useful with. Let me know when ID is the root cause of the development of a new product, process or system that successfully predicts the future state of anything and/or is a valuable product that is used by lots of people.

Don’t try to tell me you wanna chock up anti-biotic resistance to evolution? Come on, now. People ‘design’ anti-biotics to get around bacterial defenses. Bacteria mutate their genomes to fend off anti-biotics. There’s absolutely nothing Darwinian about it. Bacteria don’t just happen to mutate by chance when confronted with a threat. And when that threat comes, they don’t mutate in a random fashion. There is furious activity to combat the threat. Isn’t that something, coming from an organism that has no brains to speak of. Just how is it that they direct mutations to fight a threat?

Again, nothing Darwinian here. Rather, its an epic battle of design; man against bacteria. may the better designer win.

:)

Tell me, do you take all the antibiotics like your doctor tells you to? Do you know why?

SteveP. lied:

I won’t call your reply a lie, just bullshit is all. Evidence for ID is IC, multiple hierarchical levels of command/control, epigenics, directed mutations, etc. etc. Its not hard evidence mind you but evidence in the same vein as evolution’s ‘mountains’ of evidence.

Then how come you refuse to explain or even show us this alleged evidence for Intelligent Design? Or explain how Irreducible Complexity is supposed to be evidence for Intelligent Design when IDiots have done no research, have no evidence, AND have done nothing in response to the fact that actual biologists have already demonstrated and explained how allegedly Irreducible Complex structure have evolved from preexisting structures?

Oh, wait, you’re just calling us “liars” in the futile hope that it will somehow shut us up and force us to kiss your ass for being a bigoted, science-hating bobblehead.

More bullshit from Luckett.

He quote mined since he copied only the first line of a several line comment. That’s called quote mining. Copying the whole comment would show the train of thought and make it clear I was not conflating abio-genesis with evolution. He could have copied the whole comment without exerting more energy than copying just the first line. But he purposefully copied only the first line.

Quote-mining.

Re yr comments on hard evidence and evidence, pure pedantry. In a court of law circumstantial evidence is indicative of a difference in types of evidence presented. You have hard evidence and you have circumstantial evidence. ‘nuff said.

By the way, Luckett, how do you know the difference between life and non-life? From what I understand from you colleagues here at PT, there is no fundamental difference between life and non-life. Just ask Elzinga. Its all just a difference in the level of complexity.

Really need to watch the contortions. Complex knots are hard to undo.

SteveP. said:

Argument from utility. Science is not about utility.

Anyway, Darwinian evolution is not the ‘root’ cause of much, except maybe for oscillating variance to stay in step with environmental change. once again maintenence rather than building.

Done any research to prove this, or do you honestly think we’ll be satisfied with this feeble ass-pull dismissal?

Too bad that’s not enough to do anything useful with. Let me know when ID is the root cause of the development of a new product, process or system that successfully predicts the future state of anything and/or is a valuable product that is used by lots of people.

Don’t try to tell me you wanna chock up anti-biotic resistance to evolution? Come on, now. People ‘design’ anti-biotics to get around bacterial defenses. Bacteria mutate their genomes to fend off anti-biotics. There’s absolutely nothing Darwinian about it. Bacteria don’t just happen to mutate by chance when confronted with a threat. And when that threat comes, they don’t mutate in a random fashion. There is furious activity to combat the threat. Isn’t that something, coming from an organism that has no brains to speak of. Just how is it that they direct mutations to fight a threat?

So you invalidate evolution by invoking microevolution? Have you done any research to prove what you’re saying?

Again, nothing Darwinian here. Rather, its an epic battle of design; man against bacteria. may the better designer win.

Isn’t the alleged Intelligent Designer who designed humans the same one who designed bacteria? So, you’re okay with the allegedly omni-beneficent Intelligent Designer you keep harping about showing favor to bacteria at the direct expense of humans? Or, are you implying that the Intelligent Designer who designed humans is distinct from the Intelligent Designer who designs bacteria?

SteveP. said:

Re yr comments on hard evidence and evidence, pure pedantry.

Pure projection.

By the way, Luckett, how do you know the difference between life and non-life? From what I understand from you colleagues here at PT, there is no fundamental difference between life and non-life. Just ask Elzinga. Its all just a difference in the level of complexity.

Do you know the difference between life and non-life?

Better yet, why should we bow down to your authority when you demonstrate yourself to be dishonest, deliberately ignorant, and contemptuous of anyone who does not kiss your ass?

SteveP. said:

You are quote mining, like Luckett. My full comment IMO shows I have not conflated abiogenesis with evolution.

Yes you have. If you say “Darwinian evolution relies upon the notion that life spontaneously arose.” (which you do), then you are saying that conflated abiogenesis with evolution. As has been pointed out thousands of times, evolution is not dependent on how life arose, just that it did.

Anyway, doesn’t matter. The takeaway here is that to be logically consistent, abio-genesis has to be of a random, spontaneous nature to agree with evolution, which has those same characteristics. Abio-genesis could not be directed and agree with evolution now, could it?

Wrong. Say it with me “IT DOESN’T MATTER HOW LIFE GOT HERE”, at least when talking about evolution.

The simple fact is that life evolves. If you deny this, then you only look like a complete idiot. And BTW: evolution is only partially ‘random’. I’ve been having this discussion with JoeG and he doesn’t understand the difference between random and non-random either.

A mutation is random. Selection, by definition, is not random.

So my comment is correct and still stands.

Nope. You are still wrong… and still conflating evolution and abiogenesis.

But I know that word…LIE…rolls of the tongue soooo easily.…and has that hard edge to it that is soooo irresistable. Ever though of starting up an LA chapter in your area? I like the sound of LIES Anyonymous. It’ll take off like wildfire. Just imagine telling the wife “Hey babe, Im going to LA tonight. Be back late, really late’.

So, if you have been told that you are not making correct statements and you continue to make those incorrect statements, then you are either lying or an idiot. Which is it?

Have you ever actually studied the ideas and concepts that we’re talking about? Can you correctly define evolution? (Very few creationists I’ve talked to can.)

In the last 60 years, there have been thousands of peer-reviewed research papers on abiogenesis. All it would take is one of them to show that there is a chemical barrier of some kind that prevents a single compound from forming.

Not only has such a barrier ever been discovered, there are multiple pathways for almost every compound so far. That means that it’s not only possible, but it’s almost easy for such compounds to develop. Indeed, it’s so easy these compounds appear in deep space. There are RNAs that act as enzymes and their own templates. There are proteins that are capable of copying themselves. There’s so much to this, that the experts can’t keep up with all the new information in the field.

I could drop 200+ papers on you just from one abiogenesis symposium.

So, unless you actually learn about the topics you are trying to discuss, when you make broad statements and are correct, then you make those same statements… you are lying. It’s a stupid form of lying. As in “I’m too lazy to actually learn anything so I’ll just keep saying what I think, even when I know it’s wrong.” But it’s still lying, because you have been told it’s wrong and instead of figuring out what is right, you keep saying the same thing over and over.

Let’s take a well known puzzle in science. Let’s say, for example, the puzzle of dark matter.

I propose a “scientific theory” of dark matter:

Intelligence is behind it.

Should I be expecting a phone call from Sweden in a couple of months?

Actually they do mutate by chance. We know the mutation rate and the distribution. We have measured the selection coefficients and their effect on fitness. We have observed that the mutations are random both in the laboratory and in nature. We have used this information to predict the mutations that will occur both in the lab and in nature and we have used this information to design antibiotic treatments and plan for the future. So far, random chance and selection seems to be winning, partly because people like you remain ignorant and do lots of stupid things that give the bacteria the edge. To deny this is to deny over one hundred years of research that your life literally depends on. Get a clue Poindexter. Your ignorance is has no excuse

SteveP. said:

Argument from utility. Science is not about utility.

Science isn’t about utility. OK, I could give you that one. Except for one thing. Every single thing that we have, with the exception of babies (and many of those) is a direct result of science.

I’m stating the truth, whether you like it or not. Utility doesn’t define science, but is a result of it.

ID is still utterly vacuous and without merit.

Anyway, Darwinian evolution is not the ‘root’ cause of much, except maybe for oscillating variance to stay in step with environmental change. once again maintenence rather than building.

And your evidence for this is? Please be specific and detailed with links to the appropriate references.

BTW: I can name several products, services, and processes that are the DIRECT result of evolutionary principles used in the real world. But you’re right, it’s not about utility. It’s about knowledge and the ability to use that knowledge to manipulate our environment. ID doesn’t do that. “Poof” doesn’t do that.

Too bad that’s not enough to do anything useful with. Let me know when ID is the root cause of the development of a new product, process or system that successfully predicts the future state of anything and/or is a valuable product that is used by lots of people.

Don’t try to tell me you wanna chock up anti-biotic resistance to evolution?

Umm… yeah, that’s what antibiotic resistance is. Evolution in action. Bacteria that are different from other bacteria in their population may have a character that allows them to survive certain environmental changes more effectively than other bacteria. Differential survival based on differences in the genome. Evolution.

The fact you don’t understand this is astounding to me. This is like 5th grade stuff.

Come on, now. People ‘design’ anti-biotics to get around bacterial defenses. Bacteria mutate their genomes to fend off anti-biotics.

So, you’re telling me that bacteria have the ability mutate their genomes so that they can survive an antibiotic. Seriously?

This is even dumber than the statement before.

It’s populations man, not individuals. Out of the hundreds of billions of bacteria, some are slightly different. An antibiotic (and not all are ‘designed by man’) kills the bacteria. Some bacteria are more resistant to the antibiotic, for whatever reason. Those survive and reproduce. Some of those daughter bacteria will be different. Some will be different in a way that is more vulnerable to antibiotics, some will be different in a way that is more resistant to antibiotics.

The ones that are most resistant survive. [Note that survival isn’t random, but deterministic.]

This process is called evolution.

There’s absolutely nothing Darwinian about it.

hmmm… differences in offspring from parent, many more offspring than could survive, fitness measure, selection by the environment…

no. It is 100% Darwinian.

Bacteria don’t just happen to mutate by chance when confronted with a threat.

Of course they don’t. And no one (except creationists and other people who don’t understand evolution) have ever said that. The differences in the genomes are already present in the population. Just like that tiny subset of Northern European descendants who, for the last 400 years, have been immune to HIV… except that HIV only appeared about 50 years ago. The defense is already in part of the population, but since there’s no selection, there’s no real chance for it to be fixed in the population.

And when that threat comes, they don’t mutate in a random fashion.

And your evidence for this is? Do they mutate in a non-random fashion? Or is their intelligent design? What’s your evidence for that?

There is furious activity to combat the threat. Isn’t that something, coming from an organism that has no brains to speak of. Just how is it that they direct mutations to fight a threat?

You’re really anthropomorphizing these bacteria aren’t you. Again, the mutations are already present.

You really don’t understand how this works do you?

Again, nothing Darwinian here. Rather, its an epic battle of design; man against bacteria. may the better designer win.

You do realize that most anti-biotics aren’t ‘designed’ right? Tell me, who is the designer for the bacterial mutations? How does he make the mutations? How does he know what mutations to make?

So, you’re saying that ‘the designer’ is presently active, right now?

Excellent, then the evidence ought to be easy to find. Tell us, how would you tell the difference between a random mutation and a mutation caused by your intelligent designer? In detail please.

:)

Tell me, do you take all the antibiotics like your doctor tells you to? Do you know why?

Shockingly, you don’t know why. That’s crazy. You’re on a science blog, arguing with scientists, and you don’t even understand this basic, grade-school level of science.

Just wow.

From Carl Zimmer http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/l[…]-york-times/

Two years ago, I wrote in the New York Times about scientists exploring evolution to discover the function of our genes. We share a 1.2 billion-year-old common ancestor with fungi, for example, and it turns out that fungi (yeast in particular) have networks of genes remarkably similar to our own.

Back in 2010, the scientists I interviewed told me they hoped to use this method to find new drugs. In today’s New York Times, I write about how they’ve delivered on that promise. It turns out that a drug that doctors have used for over 40 years to kill fungi can slow the growth of tumors. It’s a striking illustration of how evolution provides a map that allows medical research to find their way to promising new treatments. Check it out.

Tell us Steve, how would ID approach this? After all, there aren’t any ID researchers… much less those pursuing medical research.

Do you honestly think that design can best evolution? That’s already been proven to be wrong.

TomS said: What would evidence for (or against) that statement be like? Does anybody have an example of intelligence being a driving force behind life (or behind anything els)?

Well, sure, with human invention. Here are some examples of the sort of evidence we might expect:

1. Humans regularly take one good idea and apply it to multiple situations. If a human-like intelligence were the driving force behind life, we would expect ‘best model” eyes to be put in all relevant species. Even if resources limited our ability to go back and fix prior organisms, we would still expect that once a good solution is developed at time t, all organisms developed by human-like intelligence after time t would contain it. When Microsoft does an update, you are seeing this sort of cross-application behavior.

2. Human inventors regularly ‘mark’ their invention; they want to be known as the inventor. They sign their artwork; Monsanto puts a genetic copyright in their GM organism; some of Rome’s longest-lasting historical text is its graffiti. If a human-like intelligence were the driving force behind life, we would reasonably expect some sort of “Kilroy was here.”

3. Humans tend not to perfectly clean up after themselves, because doing that is very very expensive. Instead, we clean up the stuff which is easy/cheap to do and leave the remaining tools and pollutants of our creative processes lying around. If a human-like intelligence were the driving force behind life, we would reasonably expect to find leftover tools and detritus from that intelligence’s creative processes.

An IDer can dodge all this by saying life was not created by a human-like intelligence. But that obviously has theological ramifications they will want to deny later on, when they try and tell you they know exactly what God is like because he wrote in hebrew about his motivations, which are very human-like.

Of course Steve doesn’t want us to think that science is about “utility”. Then it would become painfully obvious that there are thousands of dedicated researchers all over the world who are using evolutionary principles to combat bacterial infections. All of them use the random mutation and natural selection approach, none of them use the magic intelligent designer or the magic intelligent bacteria approach. That isn’t a matter of “utility”. That is a matter of understanding how the world really works and then being able to use that knowledge to help humanity. The impotent ID nonsense is completely wrong and thus completely worthless in the fight against infectious diseases. We actually do understand the molecular mechanisms behind the evolution of antibiotic resistance, lives depend on it. Stevie wants us to go back to the days of praying to the intelligent bacterial designer and hoping for the best.

Oh well, at least everyone can see that Stevie could’t even answer the most simple question about taking antibiotics. Why would anyone pay any attention to him if he doesn’t even understand the most basic concepts? If he did have the balls to actually try to answer the question, then everyone would see why he is completely and totally wrong. The sad thing is that he probably really does think that no one understands this stuff, just because he refuses to.

What is SteveP talking about? More ooga booga information theory. It sounds scientifistical, but it’s garbage and shows how ignorant he is about quantum mechanics, but he bullshits about it to make himself sound smart.

SteveP wrote:

Information as an independent entity is a place to start, as the driving force that underlies quantum activity

No moron, information is not a “force” driving quantum activity. There are only four forces in physics: electromagnetic, strong nuclear, weak nuclear, and gravity. Information is not a “force.”

Information is the RESULT of quantum activity. In Quantum mechanics, information increase results from ALL particle interactions and is irreversible. Quantum information cannot be destroyed. It does not “drive” quantum activity.

Information…which drives atomic activity, which in turns drives bio-chemical reactions.

Gobbledygook. This is just a form of vitalism– the early 20th century belief that an invisible, intangible “vital force”, the elan vital, drives living things. The only evidence for a mysterious force is all negative: what’s bad for science is good for your mysterious force.

If information can be mapped out as having definite structure and characteristics, then we can move on from there.

Bullshit. Claude Shannon developed information theory in 1948 and you creationist morons don’t use his equations. You just bad-mouth Shannon and diss his equations, but you have no other equations to use to describe your mystic ooga booga information. Why do you diss Shannon’s equations? Because by his equation for mutual information, all natural processes create information.

What is unscientific about such a proposal?

Just the beginning, middle and end. You have no idea what “scientific” means, so you have no idea what “unscientific” means either.

“Scientific” does not mean bullshitting your listeners with jargon. It means having a well-defined theory that makes specific, testable predictions about observable phenomenon.

SteveP is assuming that he’s talking to Muggles who don’t know quantum physics, so he’s betting he can bullshit and impress people with jargon, and his audience won’t call bullshit on him.

But if we say information is just an emergent property of matter, then we simply cut off a potentially productive avenue of inquiry.

The rape of information theory that SteveP peddles was invented by A. E. Wilder-Smith in “Creation of Life: A Cybernetic Approach to Evolution” in 1970. That was 42 years ago. The rape of information theory in 42 years has not produced a single discovery about any form of biological complexity in any species.

Phillip Johnson wrote “Darwin on Trial” 20 years ago and the Intelligent Design movement has not made even a single discovery about any form of biological complexity in any species.

Bioinformatics researchers don’t use ID ooga booga “information” because it has no definition that is applicable to biological processes. Bioinformatics researchers use Shannon’s equations, Bayesian inference and other real, mathematical methods. Not hand-waving and bullshit.

Is there a single base pair, just one nucleotide, of non-coding DNA in the genome of humans or of any species with a novel function that was discovered by ID proponents? I always ask you lying IDiots this, and you lying IDiots always weasel out and change the subject.

You have never had a “productive avenue of inquiry”. I call bullshit on your idiot jargon. Using jargon incorrectly and ignorantly is not a “productive avenue of inquiry.”

ogremk5 said:

From Carl Zimmer http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/l[…]-york-times/

Two years ago, I wrote in the New York Times about scientists exploring evolution to discover the function of our genes. We share a 1.2 billion-year-old common ancestor with fungi, for example, and it turns out that fungi (yeast in particular) have networks of genes remarkably similar to our own.

Back in 2010, the scientists I interviewed told me they hoped to use this method to find new drugs. In today’s New York Times, I write about how they’ve delivered on that promise. It turns out that a drug that doctors have used for over 40 years to kill fungi can slow the growth of tumors. It’s a striking illustration of how evolution provides a map that allows medical research to find their way to promising new treatments. Check it out.

Tell us Steve, how would ID approach this? After all, there aren’t any ID researchers… much less those pursuing medical research.

Do you honestly think that design can best evolution? That’s already been proven to be wrong.

That research was done by Ed Marcotte at UT Austin, an old friend and colleague of mine. He’s been studying “deep homology” for years– networks of interacting pathways that are conserved between distantly related species. Very smart guy.

That is an evolutionary, and productive, field of inquiry. Unlike SteveP’s ignorant misuse of jargon that he calls science.

Come on, now. People ‘design’ anti-biotics to get around bacterial defenses. Bacteria mutate their genomes to fend off anti-biotics.

So, you’re telling me that bacteria have the ability mutate their genomes so that they can survive an antibiotic. Seriously?

This is even dumber than the statement before.

Since pathogens that prey on humans are among the most incredibly well documented obvious examples of evolution, creationists often end up arguing that their “designer” is magically reaching in providing those malaria parasites, pathogenic bacteria, viruses, etc, “deliberately” mutate in ways that will help them to cause more human suffering.

After all, they only have three choices -

1) Admit that pathogen populations evolving to evade the immune system or drugs is evolution, which basically leaves them conceding all evolution.

2) Deny germ theory and claim that no microbes cause disease - some do this (although.

3) Or admit that microbes cause disease and become resistant to drugs, but insist that it happens by miracles. They often do this, too, as Steve P. is doing here.

Here is the SteveP paragraph in full, tedious, confused and mendacious as it is:

By way of example, Darwinian evolution relies upon the notion that life spontaneously arose. Once that spontaneity occurred, then somehow imperfect replication gave rise to complexity (sophisticated guesswork at play here). Yet there is no independent evidence (i.e. hard evidence) that this survival via slight and slow advantageous changes occurred. What they have is what they deem to be a comprehensive set of circumstantial evidence that points in one direction. But this is what ID is doing as well; collecting a comprehensive set of circumstantial evidence that points in one direction; that of intelligence being the driving force behind life.

The first sentence of this is a falsehood. It also doesn’t have anything to do with the rest - there is no logical connection at all. The last sentence is also a falsehood, but the first sentence is blatantly and palpably false. Nothing in the rest of the statement negates its falsity or changes its meaning. Quoting it is perfectly legitimate, however uncomfortable it makes SteveP.

SteveP admits now that it is false, and that he knew it was false. He does it by saying that he was not “conflating abio-genesis with evolution”. This is a desperate obfuscation. He said in plain words that “evolution relies on the notion that life spontaneously arose”, knowing that to be false. It’s a lie.

He now wants to resile from this without actually acknowledging that it was a lie. This compounds his dishonesty yet further. It’s wretched, squalid and transparent.

If Intelligent Design Theory really is so much more better than Evolutionary Biology, then, why do Intelligent Design proponents go out of their way to avoid doing any research, make blatant lies like conflating biological evolution with abiogenesis, or claiming that Lucy is really a baboon, and verbally abuse and slander those who do not bow down and worship IDiot proclamations?

SteveP. said:

Argument from utility. Science is not about utility.

Anyway, Darwinian evolution is not the ‘root’ cause of much, except maybe for oscillating variance to stay in step with environmental change. once again maintenence rather than building.…

Don’t try to tell me you wanna chock up anti-biotic resistance to evolution? Come on, now. People ‘design’ anti-biotics to get around bacterial defenses. Bacteria mutate their genomes to fend off anti-biotics. There’s absolutely nothing Darwinian about it. Bacteria don’t just happen to mutate by chance when confronted with a threat. And when that threat comes, they don’t mutate in a random fashion. There is furious activity to combat the threat. Isn’t that something, coming from an organism that has no brains to speak of. Just how is it that they direct mutations to fight a threat?

Again, nothing Darwinian here. Rather, its an epic battle of design; man against bacteria. may the better designer win.

Wow, so much fail, so little time. There are so many ridiculous comments in this post that I conclude he’s just trolling. Pushing our buttons.

ogremk5 said: Do you honestly think that design can best evolution? That’s already been proven to be wrong.

Consider malaria. The best efforts of human intelligent design to combat malaria is defeated by the evolution of the malaria parasite. On the other hand, compare the temporary effectiveness of intelligently designed measures against malaria with the lasting effects (although there are also bad consequences of it) of the evolved sickle-cell anemia.

Evolution bests design.

TomS said:

ogremk5 said: Do you honestly think that design can best evolution? That’s already been proven to be wrong.

Consider malaria. The best efforts of human intelligent design to combat malaria is defeated by the evolution of the malaria parasite. On the other hand, compare the temporary effectiveness of intelligently designed measures against malaria with the lasting effects (although there are also bad consequences of it) of the evolved sickle-cell anemia.

Evolution bests design.

And the HbC mutation also combats malaria without the side effects of HbS (sickle-cell). Having found an imperfect solution, evolution comes up with a less imperfect solution.

Evolution bests design and evolution.

I don’t have the link, but Steve P has in the recent past claimed that bacteria do in fact have the ability to recognize an external threat (such as antibiotics). In response, they have the ability to intentionally cause “designed” mutations in their own individual genomes to counter that threat. He has explicitly said that it is not the “Intelligent Designer” doing the meddling. It is the bacteria themselves, intentionally changing themselves. Moreover, he has claimed that this “intention” comes from a source outside the mere physical properties of the bacteria itself, so that this source cannot be identified by simply cataloging the contents a particular cell. IIRC, he has avoided the term “vitalism”, but I don’t recall the phrase that he used.

This is a paraphrasing of his previous posts, so I may not have all the details right, but that is the gist that I remember. As crazy as it sounds.

Steve P may use the phrase “Intelligent Design”, but when he uses the term he means something very different than what we “normally” think of as the “modern” “Intelligent Design” movement. For example, IIRC he does not believe in a single “Intelligent Designer”. Attributing the notions of “modern” ID to him is a mistake.

Scott F said:

I don’t have the link, but Steve P has in the recent past claimed that bacteria do in fact have the ability to recognize an external threat (such as antibiotics). In response, they have the ability to intentionally cause “designed” mutations in their own individual genomes to counter that threat. He has explicitly said that it is not the “Intelligent Designer” doing the meddling. It is the bacteria themselves, intentionally changing themselves. Moreover, he has claimed that this “intention” comes from a source outside the mere physical properties of the bacteria itself, so that this source cannot be identified by simply cataloging the contents a particular cell. IIRC, he has avoided the term “vitalism”, but I don’t recall the phrase that he used.

This is a paraphrasing of his previous posts, so I may not have all the details right, but that is the gist that I remember. As crazy as it sounds.

Steve P may use the phrase “Intelligent Design”, but when he uses the term he means something very different than what we “normally” think of as the “modern” “Intelligent Design” movement. For example, IIRC he does not believe in a single “Intelligent Designer”. Attributing the notions of “modern” ID to him is a mistake.

I don’t have that ability… why do organisms with no neurons have it? Does wheat have it?

Steve’s essentially a lone nutbar. The idea of bacteria directing their own mutations by a form of shared morphic field that exhibits immaterial intelligence is too goofy even for the DI. They might bob their heads along with the crazy, but they’re not going to utter a single word that might offend their real backers, the Christian reconstructionists and dominionists, the guys who are so far to the religious right that they make Pat Robertson look like Barack Obama. Immaterial intelligent morphic fields, my eye. The word you’re looking for is “God”.

That first person plural that Steve’s in the habit of using? There is no “we”. Steve is one of those guys who get to disarm the minefield by stomping all over it, and the DI is perfectly happy to see him made into flying hamburger, because it will make them look less like a bunch of fruitloops. Not looking like a bunch of fruitloops is item #1 on the DI checklist.

So Steve only thinks he’s supporting the DI, and vice-versa. Steve thinks a lot of weird stuff.

Dave Luckett said:

Steve thinks a lot of weird stuff.

Like that he is qualified to tell biologists that they don’t know what they’re talking about–in BIOLOGY!

Scott F said:

I don’t have the link, but Steve P has in the recent past claimed that bacteria do in fact have the ability to recognize an external threat (such as antibiotics). In response, they have the ability to intentionally cause “designed” mutations in their own individual genomes to counter that threat. He has explicitly said that it is not the “Intelligent Designer” doing the meddling. It is the bacteria themselves, intentionally changing themselves. Moreover, he has claimed that this “intention” comes from a source outside the mere physical properties of the bacteria itself, so that this source cannot be identified by simply cataloging the contents a particular cell. IIRC, he has avoided the term “vitalism”, but I don’t recall the phrase that he used.

This is a paraphrasing of his previous posts, so I may not have all the details right, but that is the gist that I remember. As crazy as it sounds.

Steve P may use the phrase “Intelligent Design”, but when he uses the term he means something very different than what we “normally” think of as the “modern” “Intelligent Design” movement. For example, IIRC he does not believe in a single “Intelligent Designer”. Attributing the notions of “modern” ID to him is a mistake.

While I agree that this paraphrase accurately summarizes some of what Steve P. sometimes says, he has also defended YEC stuff, claimed to be a Catholic, and in general refused to commit to a single coherent position long enough to discuss it rationally, and he evades questions.

In all of this, he is not unusual. In fact, we should attribute the notion of “modern ID” to him, because he exemplifies its traits quite well.

ID/creationism is ultimately about saying whatever it takes to deny whatever evidence of evolution, or obvious critique of creationism, is directly in front of the ID/creationist at a given point in time.

In this, ID/creationism is also not unique. People who advocate against the position supported by the evidence are prone to get caught up in inconsistencies and contradictions.

Within the realm of science denial, climate change denialists are famous for shifting from one mutually contradictory argument to another within the same thread (it isn’t happening, it’s happening but it’s good, it’s happening and it’s bad but we can’t do anything about it, no, wait, it isn’t happening…). Vaccine denialists are similar. It is not unusual to see one denialist falsely claiming that vaccines are dangerous because they contain live virus which could conceivably produce infections (*false when the topic is not a live virus vaccine*), while another falsely argues against germ theory and submits that vaccines are useless because microbes don’t cause disease; yet the denialists will high-five each other and cheer each other on, however contradictory their short term science contradiction strategies seem to us.

Since Edwards v. Aguillard, “plausible deniability” has been a major feature of the ID side of the ID/creationism movement. But other type of denialists also evade making coherent, testable claims. In addition to being consciously or unconsciously terrified of the idea of their claims being tested, doing this allows them to ally with and support one another more easily.

Another thing about people who deny reality is that, unless they are in the throes of an acute, diagnosable mental illness, there is usually an ulterior motive. The ulterior motives for vaccine denialists are usually either to blame a child’s condition on someone (there may be conscious or unconscious fantasies of tort implications, based on the example of cerebral palsy), and/or to promote themselves as potentially well-paid “health experts”, or both (I don’t want to seem harshly judgmental toward those who care for differently abled children here, I am being a bit terse to make a point). Almost all climate change denialists are either from the petroleum industry, or adhere to a social/political ideology that fetishizes the petroleum industry. The underlying ulterior motive for creationists, which overlaps with the motives of these other two groups, is tacit desire for an authoritarian and harshly unequal society, with religious justification for unpopular social conditions, and themselves as the beneficiaries of such a society.

It is probably the hidden ulterior motives which are consistent, not the superficial, defensive arguments against scientific reality.

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This page contains a single entry by Richard B. Hoppe published on August 14, 2012 1:42 PM.

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