Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Naturalism as alchemy


Yep, it's another comparison post, this time with G-man.

Tell you what, G-man - We need to take an example and examine the role/bounds of science based on it.
Example: The resurrection of Jesus Christ.
I don't know what you think about the various counterexplanations of that event, but IMHO they are all worse than lame. But they all have one thing in common - they strive to provide a naturalistic explanation for an event that is supernatural.


Science and God:

If science just concerns itself with physical phenomena, then seeking any explanations other than naturalistic ones would be overstepping boundaries.

Agreed.
Here's the deal - science should concern itself with physical phenomena AND NOTHING ELSE. But the problem we have is not scientific, it's philosophical.
Scientists can't run a lab experiment on the question of science's limits. It's a metaphysical question.
So I don't have a problem if science seeks naturalistic explanations, since that's all it can do! But I reject scientism, where science is seen as the only way to discover truth, or even the best way. It may be the best way to discover SOME truths, but in other arenas it's worse than worthless.

A theist might approach a particularly puzzling case and trumpet the folly of "assuming" a naturalistic explanation exists.

You wouldn't catch me doing that.
The exception is when God has said He did something. Like the resurrection, or the creation of the universe and life on earth in its fully-developed form. Try to apply pitifully limited naturalistic methodologies and instrumentation in order to "find the truth" (translation - prove God wrong), then we have a problem.

Trusting science: (slightly out of order)

Rhology seems to think this is childlike faith. It strikes me as a solid foundation.

What I'm saying is that I'd describe my own faith the same way.

In the past, murder mysteries have had natural explanations.

Of course, nobody's disputing that murders are performed by people or by rare bizarre (natural) accidents.
This is a terrible example since it's not under dispute.
Let's talk in terms of the Resurrection. Bring forward your best naturalistic explanation for it and let's see how well it does.

Alchemy has been shown to be not-valid.

Agreed, but you refuse to make the application, which is amazing.
A naturalistic theory of origins is alchemy, yet you don't think it's been proven invalid. Given enough time and the mix of the right chemicals, non-life becomes life. Medieval alchemists thought that, given enough time and the right mix of chemicals, tin becomes gold. What's the difference? Naturalism requires MUCH more complicated accomplishments, but at least there's several billion yrs to work with.


Life arising from non-life is not a case of values turning "into their opposites,

Ah, so "life" and "non-life" are not opposites? Come on.


Abiogenesis:

He will find many answers to abiogenesis-related questions

Looked over your link. Pathetic. You're still ASSUMING it can happen; you've never observed it.
There's "complex organic molecules" and there's life. This is what I mean when I say promissory materialism.

A connect-the-dots puzzle begins to form if a link is hypothesized from amino acids to RNA to DNA etc

That's a huge assumption. And another example of alchemy - here you posit that randomness can become complex, specified order, just given enough time. You're cracking me up here.

"Lab science is also unqualified to make judgments on things that happened in the past, but that fact hasn't stopped it from doing so."
Direct your attention, please, to the Talk Origins response to this (apparently typical) claim.


Yes, read it. It doesn't even address my question. Maybe G-man linked to the wrong article.

The single biggest problem for "intelligent design," I would argue, is its vagueness.

ID makes no statement on the identity of the Designer.
To say it does is an egregious strawman. It is a methodology to detect the marks of design.

A hypothesis that is supported by every potential evidence does not help us narrow down what the real explanation might be.

Blow up ID's ideas about irreducible complexity and provide detailed Darwinian pathways for the formations of some of their prime examples and you're there - you've falsified it! Won't happen, but have fun trying. Many already have; I'm not impressed by what I've seen thus far.
And natural selection is much better described as a hypothesis that is supported by every potential evidence.


Occam's Razor:

Consider two theories of planet movement: Rhology proposes that God moves the planets

God is the fundamental cause, but He uses natural means, forces, momentum, centripetal force, etc, to accomplish this.
But He is the "uniter" of all of those forces. Your worldview has to believe in these massively unlikely coincidences - and all agree that they are unlikely, as opposed to trying to assign likelihood to the statement "God exists", which is bogus.

I side with Isaac Newton.

Who was a theist.

The problem with proposing the supernatural is that it is separate from the natural.

Begging the question in favor of naturalism. Occam's Razor proposes nothing of the sort.

Evolution and mutation:

A more commonly accepted theory is that dinosaur-like animals evolved into birds.

Fine. Dinosaur-like animals, lizards, close enough. Dinosaur = "terrible lizard". Can we please just continue the conversation?

I pointed out that the process of microevolution is an accumulatory process.

And it's never been observed to turn one kind of organism into another kind.
Oh, but it will!!!! I'm sure of it. Otherwise the Darwinian Bible would be wrong, but we all know that's impossible!

No mechanism exists to halt or reverse the changes

None that you know of. But you can't prove such a negative statement. And it's far more reasonable to assume one is since such changes have never been observed.

Until such a mechanism is proposed, we must believe the changes accumulate over time and result in new species.

Yes, I know you must believe it. It's just sad to see such blind faith. But I'll give you this - at least you don't blow up buildings for your faith. OTOH, you naturalists generally give the all-clear for murdering babies, and alot of them at that! Come to think of it, you don't get any credit for that.

Mutations occur each generation. Most mutations are neutral; some are harmful. The harmful mutations kill off those with the mutations.

Great, that's just wonderful. Now provide some evidence that they cease being MICE at some point.

New species eventually become new families; "lizards" become birds.

I love the absolutely tremendous leap performed here. I hope you stretched out and warmed up before you attempted that!
Let me attempt a similar one - I've observed that my bosom burns from time to time while I'm thinking spiritual thoughts. Joseph Smith must be a prophet!!!!!!

I wish I knew what exactly he was referring to, because this is such a big issue.

DNA is a volume of information on how to build an organism that is not just a mass of useless tissue. You assume that this developed from unordered randomness. Alchemy.

His stance in the comment I'm responding to suggests he thinks of fossils as mere dusty bones. However, fossils have growth rings.

Henry Gee's In Search of Deep Time disagrees with you. I'd commend it to you. I believe the sr editor of Nature mag before I believe an anonymous blogger.


In closing, G-man would have us believe that naturalism will one day find all these answers. He would have us hold to patently absurd ideas and alchemy. Order comes out of non-order, given enough time. Life comes out of non-life, given enough time. Birds come out of lizards, given enough time. His naturalist compatriots like to have laughs at the expense of blind foolish fundies. I'll go ahead and enjoy a few of my own at the bizarre doctrine that is modern naturalism.

27 comments:

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Great post. Just thought i'd let you know i'm still reading!

dm

Rhology said...

Thanks D-Mc!

And I'd like to point out also that my pastor wrote a similar post a few days ago on the same topic. I did not look at it until today.
Just for those interested.

I will not respond to any comment made about his post, just b/c his words are his and mine are mine.

And any comment I deem negative or insulting towards my pastor will be summarily deleted regardless of the content of the rest of your comment. If in doubt, be waaaaaayyyy nicer. Beat up on me all you want, but I will not permit attacks on him.

Rhology said...

And one more interesting set of links on naturalism.

NAL said...

rhology:
... He uses natural means, forces, momentum, centripetal force, etc, to accomplish this.

He uses natural means to control planet movement, but does not use natural means to create species? You accept naturalism as an explanation of planetary motion but reject it as an explanation of speciation.

rhology:
OTOH, you naturalists generally give the all-clear for murdering babies, and alot of them at that! Come to think of it, you don't get any credit for that.

You want to talk about murdering babies? Don't forget to mention miscarriages - God's abortions.

rhology:
And it's never been observed to turn one kind of organism into another kind.

The evidence for evolution does not depend, even a little, on observing macroevolution directly. The evidence is extensive and consistent, and it points unambiguously to evolution, including common descent, change over time, and adaptation influenced by natural selection. It would be preposterous to refer to these as anything other than facts.

Rhology said...

Hey NAL,

Accepting natural forces as a secondary cause is not the same as accepting naturalISM.
And I reject Darwinian stuff b/c they don't fit the facts and fail to account for a great deal of data, and are tautological so don't explain anythg.


You want to talk about murdering babies? Don't forget to mention miscarriages - God's abortions.

You're golden, NAL.
You know, I don't know if I could have illustrated any more clearly the moral lostness that you exemplify.
God can take any life He wants - He is the Potter. Every breath we take we owe to Him. And He knows when it's best for each life to end.
Yet you want to take that and make it equal to a 'doctor' reaching inside a woman and snapping her baby limb from limb, sucking out the baby's brain, burning the baby to death with salt. You can have that worldview, my friend. May God have mercy on you.

The evidence for evolution does not depend, even a little, on observing macroevolution directly

So it's not scientific. Cool, I'm glad we're clear on that.
The rest of those assertions are unargued-for. And if we don't observe it, what, do we just assume it? Believe in it? You're one of the faithful, man. It's a shame you were taught how to use a computer.

Peace,
Rhology

Rhology said...

NAL,

I decided to expand on your highly embarrassing admission here.

Matt said...

Rhology,

Nice post, though I would say a couple of things. First, with respect to examples like the Resurrection, I would contend that it would be hard to, apart from Biblical presuppositions, determine that any event is supernatural, until all natural events/causes are observed and understood. Of course, this condition can never be met, so no one can ever say conclusively, on the basis of observation and experience alone, that a certain event is supernatural or not. However, given what we have seen, and the regularity present within nature in the things we have observed, it is more reasonable to state that certain events have a supernatural explanation, though this is not a certainty from the basis of observation and experience. Thus, even if a naturalist accepts the historical validity of the Resurrection, he is not obliged to accept it as a supernatural event, on the basis of his own presuppositions, since not all natural events/causes have yet been observed. For all we know, Christ may have been an advanced scientist, who discovered how to die and revive himself three days later, with superhuman capabilities. For all we know, we may yet discover this secret in the future, leading to a new age of humanity...

Of course, this is preposterous, but it illustrates that one cannot properly interpret miracles as such, without first accepting the propositional revelation that provides an explanatory context for those miracles. In the early days of the Church, the power of the resurrection in apologetics was not just that it was a supernatural event, but that it was foretold by prophecy. Thus, evangelism was especially easy among the Jews, in theory (but not in practice - cf. Acts), as all one needed to do was read from the OT, and explain how Christ fulfilled the Scriptures. Thus, any apologetic that doesn't emphasize the interpretation of miracles according to propositional revelation in my opinion cheats those miracles out of their full meaning, and is doomed to some amount of frustration.

Now, with respect to science, I think it is important to note that we do not ground the physical world, and thus we do not naturally or innately understand it. Because we do not ground the world with our own minds, we must try to learn about the world through observation and inference. While these methods may be sound in and of themselves, the fact that they are applied to a world, whose size is beyond our observational and mental capacity and which we do not innately understand, renders them to produce theories that are never fully certain. Thus, science produces working theories, in which we gain more confidence as more and more experiments confirm them, in local environments. We can also take these working theories, and apply them in innovational ways, producing new technologies, which help us to perform our God-given task of subduing the earth (Gen. 1:28). It should be noted, though, that because we do not fully comprehend the universe, that no scientific theory can be held with complete certainty, though in many cases, such as various theories that are supported by our daily experience, the certainty is at such a high level as to be practically complete from our perspective. It should be also noted that if we could fully comprehend the universe, that science would be otiose.

Finally, I think it bears mentioning that whenever one speaks of science, one also presumes an underlying philosophy of science. Furthermore, since we do not ground the world, the philosophies and methods by which we attempt to understand the world must be axiomatic in nature. Since we do not ground these axioms, we must choose which ones we will accept. Since this choice is not based on innate comprehension of those things to which the axioms pertain, such a choice is made in faith. Since all our thinking is based on such axioms, all thinking is ultimately based on faith. Since axioms are axioms, they cannot be directly proven or disproven, but the things that they logically entail can be analyzed. If a set of axioms produces problems and contradictions, then one is not wise to hold to it. If, on the other hand, what it entails is consistent and provides consistent explanations, then such axioms can be judged in high esteem. From what I have read, Rhology has put forth a valiant effort in demonstrating the logical contradictions and problems inherent in the naturalistic system, and the consistency present in the Biblical system.

Thus, science has a proper scope, but it cannot found any grounds for total certainty. Furthermore, as all that what we assert is ultimately dependent upon our axioms, our axioms and their implicit systems should be the object of our analysis, and the things that our axioms entail the ultimate certainty for us in our assertions.

G-man said...

Remarkable. It's difficult to think of how to reply to such a jumble. I guess a jumble is what happens when people try to discuss so many topics at once.

I think your example is a flawed idea. You have agreed with me on more than one occasion that science does/should only concern itself with natural phenomena - even that it must assume that a natural explanation exists in order to function properly.

In that case, this is the role/bound of science concerning the "resurrection" of Jesus: The topic doesn't exist. "Resurrection" + "Human being" = "Nonsense." I'm not making a claim about the resurrection here - just pointing out that it's another example of where science has nothing to say about the supernatural, except that it fails if it assumes a supernatural explanation for phenomena exists.

However, many people believe a phenomenon occurred: a human being rose from the dead. It is definitely within the realm of science to investigate what really happened and why gullible human brains have accepted it as truth - just as gullible human brains now believe there is a mile long, half-mile wide UFO flying over Texas.
[http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/01/14/
ufo.sightings.ap/index.html?iref=newssearch]

If people assume a natural (a reasonable natural, even) explanation exists in both these cases, science can at least aid in figuring it out.

Science and God

Perhaps we agree that this "scientism" is incorrect. However, the question is not some *percentage* of truths science can uncover. It is the question of which truths science is best equipped to uncover, and that is what makes it so important.

Now - it seems to me you have admitted that a scientific approach to phenomena (including the existence of the universe, life on earth etc) demands investigating natural explanations. Superstition - sorry, I mean Biblical accounts - is necessarily ruled out.

Trusting science

Ok, I can move on. You seem to be saying that your trust in the Bible has a parallel to my trust in the findings of people using the scientific method. That's interesting, considering the time-tested tradition where superstitious, Bible-based theories (like that classic exegesis where Earth is the center of the universe) are replaced by scientific explanations that we discover were, in fact, the correct ones.

Bear in mind, Rhology, that at any point, any one of those (correct) naturalistic explanations discovered by science (like germ theory, atomic theory etc) could be argued against with the same success Creationists and ID'ers have had in taking their stances.

That's why I trust science more than religion. Scientific discoveries and conclusions can actually be falsified. Nothing can falsify somebody sitting on a Bible.

I must digress: Murders are sometimes performed by rare bizarre natural accidents? You've lost me here, Rho.

"This is a terrible example since it's not under dispute."

...No, the reason it is a good example is precisely because it is not under dispute. I want to use a non-disputed topic (something on which we agree) to make a point about its similarity to something we disagree on.

To reiterate my point: We have always found, in the past, that seeking a natural explanation for a murder mystery - by using the scientific method - routinely aids us in finding a real human cause.

For anyone to disrupt the forensics team by upbraiding them for ignoring supernatural explanations... well, that would severely hinder the very good work the team could be doing. In the same way, the persistent nagging of a motley group of people who produce negative work (rather than positing helpful hypotheses that can be tested) to try to discredit real scientists... well, these ID'ers and Creationists aren't doing anybody any good.

Re: Alchemy. The amazing part is that you didn't grasp the difference, Rho. We have, currently, the tools it takes to show alchemy to be invalid. We do not have enough knowledge about the early earth to be able to invalidate abiogenesis.

"A naturalistic theory of origins is alchemy"

Look Rho, to get gold from tin one would have to fundamentally alter the elements - in effect, removing the tin and replacing it with gold (which is not the same of actually making the tin *become* gold).

Abiogenesis is not the same. With abiogenesis we are talking about a process - following a trail of breadcrumbs, in a sense - which shows that under certain conditions, certain chemicals produce certain amino acids, which can become RNA, DNA and eventually a hugely simple version of what we might call "life."

Remember that a thing and its converse are not necessarily opposite. "Blue" and "not-blue" are not opposite values.

"Life" is a word used to describe a lot. Life describes everything from single-celled organisms to elephants to viruses. What qualifies something as "life" has a short duration - such things die eventually. Life and non-life are not opposite values as much as they are, perhaps, shades on a gradient.

"Looked over your link. Pathetic."

Really? How many of the entries did you read? All 17? And yes of course this site assumes it can happen: abiogenesis is a scientific theory backed by evidence, and is currently the best naturalistic theory we have for the origins of life.

"here you posit that randomness can become complex, specified order, just given enough time."

Umm, duh. Pour a bunch of water randomly into a trough, and then open up a little hole in the bottom. You'll find that a very orderly whirlpool emerges. Energy, time, and conditions can certainly cause specified order to emerge from randomness.

"Intelligent" Design

The problem is not with identifying the designer or not. The problem is with identifying the marks of design. Since a designer could, theoretically, have the personality of a small child smearing paint on a canvas, or MC Escher trying to create paradoxes, or Picasso creating something or other... what possible wild assumption is it that "complexity" or any such trait would be the sign of an intelligent designer?

Any and all facts - each.and.every.fact. - can be said to be "evidence" for a designer. Nothing can falsify these claims (just like today's ID'ers could argue 'no, the designer could have made things that look like germs, sickness is certainly caused by something else' to reject germ theory).

Its vagueness is its weakness.

As I said, "A hypothesis that is supported by every potential evidence does not help us narrow down what the real explanation might be."

PS irreducible complexity is a bunk idea and was already disproved/discredited before it even made the writings of famous Creationists. So yes, that particular claim is falsifiable (and has been falsified), but that does not make the overall hypothesis of ID falsifiable. Please recall that applying a trait of a subset and assuming it applies to the whole thing is a logical fallacy.

"And natural selection is much better described as a hypothesis that is supported by every potential evidence."

The Triablogue author seems to have trouble grasping concepts. If someone were to explain to him why natural selection is a deterministic process AND YET chance plays a role in environmental factors (earthquakes, floods etc) ...and that these are not contradictory ideas, he'd sound a lot smarter.

Occam's Razor:

Very well - there are a few coincidences required for my worldview. Maybe 1 or 2, if I had to guess. Otherwise, everything is virtually inevitable.

However, the "God" explanation is STILL more complex. Not only are you proposing that an entire level of reality exists, in order to support your claim, and that this reality is invisible and untestable (starting to sound like Scientology's Thetans already)...

...you must also account for how an intelligence exists without a brain, for example. How does that work? How, also, does this spiritual reality interact with matter? There is an entire level of complexity that one or two coincidences does not even begin to approach.

Evolution and mutation:

I'm really glad to continue this part of the conversation, because you were so demonstrably wrong and I can actually feel like I'm making progress :)

"And it's never been observed to turn one kind of organism into another kind."

If you'd bothered to read the link that said that speciation has been observed, you'd have found that you're wrong.
[http://www.talkorigins.org/
indexcc/CB/CB910.html]

I'd like to draw a new analogy, which is quite simple: a person taking steps in sand. Right now, we observe a person taking small steps forward. Despite strict and constant observation, we have come to the conclusion that it is impossible for him to reverse his steps or to come to a stop. He is traveling from A to B, and Rhology says he will not arrive at B. Why? Because the Bible says so.

Truth is, Rho, we can observe his footprints. Even if he took those steps before we were observing him, the footprints are still there, showing us that he has progressed from a different A to a different B before.

In case you're much more dull than I think you are, I'll elaborate. An accumulation of genetic changes, which cannot, to our knowledge, be stopped or reversed, lends credibility to our theory that given enough time, a species can go from A to B.

We've seen that it can in modern examples (check out that link), and we've seen through footprints (fossils) that it has happened in the past.

So the current theory - the one that best explains observable phenomena through observable evidence - is the theory of evolution. Macro-evolution, even.

Until somebody comes up with a theory for how the symbolic man can be stopped from traveling from A to B, especially when we know he has traveled from different A's to different B's before, it's a pretty dumb stance to deny evolution.

"you naturalists generally give the all-clear for murdering babies"

Harsh, Rho, that's just harsh. Should I prepare to give you the statistics on the personal faith of the people who get the highest percent of abortions by far? I won't name any names (*cough* Christians).

And by the way, there is a word for baby, and a word for fetus. Of course, you probably think that means the two are opposite values from the way you've tried to link alchemy with abiogenesis, but they're really just different things. The key distinctions between a baby and a fetus are what makes abortion NOT murder of babies. But I digress.

"Great, that's just wonderful. Now provide some evidence that they cease being MICE at some point."

I don't need to! It simply follows from the premises.

Look, take a bag of blue marbles and replace one blue with one yellow. Keep going. Every now and then, use a green instead of a yellow (to represent a bad mutation), but then remove it. Eventually, unless you can propose a mechanism to reverse the process and replace the blue marbles, you will end up with a bag of yellow marbles.

Now, what exactly makes that such a leap? It seems pretty intuitive.

"DNA is a volume of information on how to build an organism that is not just a mass of useless tissue. You assume that this developed from unordered randomness."

Ah, thanks for the explanation. I think the analogy people have drawn between DNA and information has gotten to your head. DNA is just matter. It is matter that works in a particular way, determining the genetic makeup of... whatever.

Information generally implies meaning. If I read an instruction manual in Japanese, I am not being informed. DNA is just matter doing what matter does when it's DNA. The water cycle works in a particular manner, but it is - again - just matter doing what matter does.

Alright, I don't need to read Gee's book to know that you're either coming to false conclusions about what he wrote, or that he's wrong. There is a lot that can be learned from fossils, including when the animal lived, how old it was (juvenile fossils exhibit the same traits today as they did back then - proximity to nests, smaller bones etc) and a long list of other things. Since his book has received positive comments from what seem to be good sources, my conclusion is that you've misread.

For my own conclusion: Science looks for natural explanations for physical phenomena. The existence of life, the development of life and the existence of the universe are physical phenomena. Given the track record of the scientific method - discovering a true explanation for phenomena that has replaced superstitious phenomena, even though superstitious phenomena can always be supported by its proponents with just as much strength as modern IDers and Creationists do - Yes, I believe science is our best bet for learning the true explanations of even the more mysterious phenomena.

The overall alchemy analogy is silly. With energy, order can easily come from non-order; life from non-life. Since we know an unobstructed line from A to B will, with enough time, inevitably arrive at B, we know birds could theoretically develop from dinosaur-like animals (not lizards).

The same sort of propaganda machine that forced Galileo to recant is more than powerful enough to convince Rhology that naturalism is a "bizarre doctrine."

Time will tell if the repeated success of science at explaining the world is repeated once more. Time will tell if A progresses to B or if the world is willing to sink into scripture-fed intellectual darkness because the Bible says A does not progress to B.

Rhology said...

Matt,

Point taken, but the resurrection is still a far better example than a murder.

Chris Severn said...

ID makes no statement on the identity of the Designer.
To say it does is an egregious strawman. It is a methodology to detect the marks of design.


Rhology, the only reason ID doesn't state who the designer is, is because the proponents think they are being stealthy when they introduce the concept to school boards.

I am however very interested in your opinion on what ID is. "A methodology to detect the marks of design" you say. Can you tell me where to find a description of this methodology.

I'm glad you didn't claim it was a proper theory.

Blow up ID's ideas about irreducible complexity and provide detailed Darwinian pathways for the formations of some of their prime examples and you're there - you've falsified it!

Really ? You think that ? There are a couple of problems with this. The first is that detailed Darwinian pathways have been provided for many of ID's prime examples. The response of IDists is to ignore it, or go on to find something else. I refuse to believe that if every one of the "leading" examples were shot down to your satisfaction, that you would agree ID is rubbish.

And for good reason.

Because I think that although you misrepresent falsifiability here, that you do really have an idea of what it is.

In this case, to falsify ID, what is required is to show that non-darwinian pathways are impossible. Not just the "leading" examples, but every possible example, including those that haven't been thought of yet.

I'm surprised at you.

The theory of common ancestory based on natural selection only requires a single example of fossil rabbits in the precambrian to falsify it...

ID is the definition of "God of the gaps".

Rhology said...

"Resurrection" + "Human being" = "Nonsense."

Wow. How will I ever stand up to this onslaught, this veritable cascade of rationality and well-reasoned argumentation?!??! Woe, woe to us.

G-man said...

"Resurrection" + "Human being" = "Nonsense."

"Wow. How will I ever stand up to this onslaught, this veritable cascade of rationality and well-reasoned argumentation?!??! Woe, woe to us.

You sound sarcastic here. That's confusing, Rhology, because I am putting things as YOU view them. From a scientific perspective - in which "supernatural" is a word describing a complete fantasy - there is no such thing as a resurrection. Since we have agreed in the past that science deals with natural explanations and is not equipped to discuss the supernatural (this is something you have complained about on my blog)...

... then that statement is obvious. You should agree with it, not treat it sarcastically. Oh wait - the real problem is that you should take the time to read what I write, I think. You have a brain, man. Kick it into gear.

Rintintin said...

ID makes no statement on the identity of the Designer.
To say it does is an egregious strawman. It is a methodology to detect the marks of design.


yet all the members of the DI (or at least the overwhelming majority) claim it is the Christian God - some of Philip Johnson's comments, as well as his many supporters in certain mainstream media outlets, make it abundantly clear who the designer is:

"Our strategy has been to change the subject a bit so that we can get the issue of intelligent design, which really means the reality of God, before the academic world and into the schools."

"This isn't really, and never has been a debate about science. It's about religion and philosophy."

The objective [of the Wedge Strategy] is to convince people that Darwinism is inherently atheistic, thus shifting the debate from creationism vs. evolution to the existence of God vs. the non-existence of God. From there people are introduced to 'the truth' of the Bible and then 'the question of sin' and finally 'introduced to Jesus.'

Read the transcripts of the Dover trial and some of Mike Behe's absolutely staggering statements, then the wedge document authored by the DI (available online) mentioned above, plus remember the cdesign proponentsists (hybrid of creationists and design proponents that someone didn't edit correctly) mess up in the Pandas textbook on 'alternative' theories regarding diversity of life. then couple in the fact that the ID movement started the exact same year that biblical creationism was banned from being taught in public schools. You could even point out the fact that a lot of the DI members deny descent from a common ancestor, not just evolutionary mechanisms - Behe's view on this tends to change on whether he's speaking to a 'scientific' kind of audience (where he states it is beyond question) or a conservative Christian audience - I wonder why that could be. You could then factor in the fact that a lot of their arguments (eg sudden appearance of life in the Cambrian explosion) are right out of the YEC playbook. if you were feeling really cynical you could point out that book tours, public speeches and appearing as 'expert' witnesses generates a lot more personal income than working as a researcher does - Behe has 9 kids, demski is on ecord as saying he gets more money than trying to publish in the peer reviewed literature - this also leads on to the fact that independent researchers in both maths and biology consider their ideas without merit - one field you might have a case for discrimination, but 2?

There is no method to detect design in ID, because all they rely on is a negative argument v evolution - Behe is on record as saying that he considers testing his ideas to be a waste of time. there are several DI members, philip Johnson included, that state there is no theory of ID. Their claim is absolutely indistinguishable in every regard from 'we don't know how that happened'. There is no attempt to investigate times, places, mechanisms or the designer itself. Therefore design is a cover all for any gap in scientific knowledge.


So to summarise - all available evidence points to the idea that ID is just 'Goddidit' with a fancier name.

Secondly ID has no theory and provides us with no useful knowledge, and in fact its main proponents don't even seem to want to do experiments (further backed up by the fact that they dont even bother publishing their own journal any more and even when they did, didn't generate a single piece of data).


A hypothesis that is supported by every potential evidence does not help us narrow down what the real explanation might be.

Blow up ID's ideas about irreducible complexity and provide detailed Darwinian pathways for the formations of some of their prime examples and you're there - you've falsified it! Won't happen, but have fun trying. Many already have; I'm not impressed by what I've seen thus far.
And natural selection is much better described as a hypothesis that is supported by every potential evidence.



I gave you examples on the genome post as to why their examples of IC are not in fact IC, and why the ideas they are proposing are nothing new. Mike Behe knows full well that he's lying as does any half capable scientific researcher. I also gave you an example where he had (almost certainly deliberately given that it took me about 15 minutes to find and its not like Behe has any research to do taking up his time) ignored data regarding mutations and malaria resistance.

The Krebs cycle is an example of a complex IC pathway that falls under Behe's definition (well depending on whichever one he chooses to use on any given day), the evolution of which is well understood. There are more that i'll happily root out for you when I have some time. Again Mike Behe knows these exist, but all he does is just continue lying or shift the goalposts yet again.

As for demanding full stepwise explanations as demanded by Dembski - if something happened in steps, then is it always necessary to know every single step to have a plausible idea of how something came together? i mean do you need to know every member of your family tree to know how you got here, or could you piece together a fairly plausible one from the data available?

And just to highlight the hypocrisy of Dembski, when asked how he would explain how the designer would put something like a flagellum together:

As for your example, I'm not going to take the bait. You're asking me to play a game: "Provide as much detail in terms of possible causal mechanisms for your ID position as I do for my Darwinian position." ID is not a mechanistic theory, and it's not ID's task to match your pathetic level of detail in telling mechanistic stories. If ID is correct and an intelligence is responsible and indispensable for certain structures, then it makes no sense to try to ape your method of connecting the dots. True, there may be dots to be connected. But there may also be fundamental discontinuities, and with IC systems that is what ID is discovering.

So the conclusion of design is thus simply because Dr. WAD says so. Must be tough having to work that hard to come up with those conclusions.

Rintintin said...

Actually one other thing i wanted to ask Rhology, was how on earth do you find the time to do this blog? i find it time consuming enough just making the occasional post never mind replying to all of them like you do!

Rintintin said...

"Tell you what, G-man - We need to take an example and examine the role/bounds of science based on it.
Example: The resurrection of Jesus Christ.
I don't know what you think about the various counterexplanations of that event, but IMHO they are all worse than lame. But they all have one thing in common - they strive to provide a naturalistic explanation for an event that is supernatural."

I'll give the easiest natural explanation to that - mythology. There are any number of near identical stories to the jesus one from similar areas of the world such as persia and egypt(and further afield), but predating the proposed time of jesus life by several centuries eg Horus and Mithra.

Both these particular stories involve the protagonists resurrection/surviving own death as well as all the other major hallmarks of Jesus' life (visitation at birth by men bearing gifts, mother with a variant on the name Mary etc etc).

even without this, the story bears all the hallmarks of human fantasy novels.

Rhology said...

Howdy all,


G-man,

Yes, I was being sarcastic. I loved how you just dismissed the resurrection as a priori impossible. If we play that game, I just rule out naturalism a priori as impossible. Dang, that was easy. Unfortunately, all rational inquiry is now dead and buried.
You say "from a scientific perspective" and beg the question - science can't explain it, so you conclude that it COULDN'T have happened. But science cannot find all truth, cannot explain everythg. You give lip service to that fact but ignore it in real practice when it makes you uncomfy.
And you say *I* need to kick my brain in gear...OK...


a scientific approach to phenomena (including the existence of the universe, life on earth etc) demands investigating natural explanations.

You're mistaken.
The origin of the universe can't be OBSERVED. OBSERVATION, REPEATABILITY are the bases for scientific testability. Why am *I* the one explaining what science is here?

classic exegesis where Earth is the center of the universe

It's not proper exegesis to say that Earth is the center of the universe. Offer an exegetical argument for it.
The Bible doesn't make an explicit statement one way or the other.

are replaced by scientific explanations that we discover were, in fact, the correct ones.

That hasn't been the case for Darwinism. Creationist ideas have been replaced by ideas that are fundamentally logically flawed, but the power of propaganda and edjamakashun have ingrained in many people's heads.

any one of those (correct) naturalistic explanations discovered by science (like germ theory, atomic theory etc) could be argued against with the same success Creationists and ID'ers have had in taking their stances.

I'm afraid I don't follow what you mean here.

Scientific discoveries and conclusions can actually be falsified.

Which doesn't mean that the proof of falsification will be persuasive to those whose minds are made up, as in the case of Darwinism.
And of course, as we've recently been discussing, the principle of falsification is not the end-all, be-all.

Murders are sometimes performed by rare bizarre natural accidents?

You had said murder MYSTERIES. Some of those are no doubt due to an accident. It's no big deal either way.

I want to use a non-disputed topic (something on which we agree) to make a point about its similarity to something we disagree on.

Then you'll only have agreement from my side. Nobody is claiming that these murders are due to supernatural causes as opposed to, say, the Resurrection of Jesus. So why would I object to anythg you've been saying on that count?

For anyone to disrupt the forensics team by upbraiding them for ignoring supernatural explanations

Which nobody is doing.

well, these ID'ers and Creationists aren't doing anybody any good.

You're making an unwarranted leap from murders to life's origins, which ARE under dispute, and so are begging the question.
You'd have to make an argument that naturalism is necessarily the case, for one thing.

We have, currently, the tools it takes to show alchemy to be invalid. We do not have enough knowledge about the early earth to be able to invalidate abiogenesis.

You're talking out of both sides of your mouth then.

Abiogenesis is not the same

Right, you don't have to mix around elements, you just have to get life out of dirt. Makes a lot of sense.

With abiogenesis we are talking about a process

Which begs the question.
And why couldn't I argue that my alchemic processes that alter a metal slightly WILL EVENTUALLY get me some gold? Hey, I put iron into water and it gets oxidised! If I leave it in there a while longer, you never know...

"Blue" and "not-blue" are not opposite values.

OK, how about "life" and "non-life"?


Life and non-life are not opposite values as much as they are, perhaps, shades on a gradient.

That's a metaphysical question, untouchable by science.
And can you point to some things that are kind of alive, kind of dirt? "Transitional forms", if you will?

How many of the entries did you read? All 17?

The 1st 2. I didn't have a lot of time to waste if the articles weren't giving any useful info.

abiogenesis is a scientific theory backed by evidence

Haha, what evidence?
You do love your naked assertions!

You'll find that a very orderly whirlpool emerges.

A whirlpool is not particularly orderly. And a whirlpool contains no complex, specified information. The fact that you're appealing to this says a lot.

Since a designer could, theoretically, have the personality of a small child smearing paint on a canvas

Undirected processes could also acct for that. The question is whether they can acct for complex specified info, not sloppy random stuff. Keep on target.

Any and all facts - each.and.every.fact. - can be said to be "evidence" for a designer.

Fine, but I'm not appealing to any and all facts. Burn your strawman, burn away!
And natsel is the same.


irreducible complexity is a bunk idea and was already disproved/discredited before it even made the writings of famous Creationists.

that must be why the refutations put fwd by the biggest Darwinian voices have been so impressive!
[/sarcasm]

The Triablogue author seems to have trouble grasping concepts. If someone were to explain to him why natural selection is a deterministic process AND YET chance plays a role in environmental factors

He addressed that very point! Try to keep up.
Start reading at or around the phrase "just 22 pages later".

there are a few coincidences required for my worldview. Maybe 1 or 2, if I had to guess.

A few?!?!?! You're kidding, right?
The balance of gases in the earth's atmosphere was just right, apparently. And that's just ONE coincidence? No, more like several dozen, at least as much as every element that is present (even in trace amounts) in the atmosphere. And then more for those that AREN'T present but are in existence in the universe.
And then the composition of the clouds. Of the rain. Of the rocks. Of what it takes to form proteins. Of what proteins it takes to form amino acids. Of what AA it takes to form complex organic molecules (rather, how many hundreds), etc.
I don't see how this kind of childish thinking merits any respect.


the "God" explanation is STILL more complex.

Right, that God accomplished all this. That's HIGHLY complex. It certainly can't be expressed in one sentence.
Oh wait, maybe it can. Never mind...

this reality is invisible and untestable

By scientific means, that's true. So what? You yourself have granted that.

you must also account for how an intelligence exists without a brain, for example.

Not a complex CAUSE, that. You're just making stuff up now.
And such is well-documented.

How does that work? How, also, does this spiritual reality interact with matter?

If I can't fully explain it, that makes it complex? What's your argument for that?
All this is to show the bankruptcy of using Occam's Razor with respect to how likely it is that God exists.

speciation has been observed

Whoopiee. Read what I said again - did I say "species"? Nope, I said "kind".
And there is no agreement over what constitutes a species, so how can there be agreement that speciation has occurred?

He is traveling from A to B, and Rhology says he will not arrive at B. Why? Because the Bible says so.

Strawman. Again.
My primary argument has been that it's NOT BEEN OBSERVED. Again, trying to keep science pure of your religious interpolations.

An accumulation of genetic changes, which cannot, to our knowledge, be stopped or reversed

Assumption that it can't be stopped or reversed.
Part of my argument is that the change mechanisms you posit have limited power to make the changes you must have for your worldview to work.

we've seen through footprints (fossils) that it has happened in the past.

As much more knowledgeable people than you have said, whose books you HAVEN'T read, the fossil record can't tell you that.

Harsh, Rho, that's just harsh.

Not as harsh as killing a baby.
If your moral sense were really offended so badly, one might expect you to answer thusly: "Rhology, I don't support that barbaric practice!" But no - you boo-hoo b/c someone called you on supporting the genocide of the young and voiceless.
And handwaving about who gets more abortions is the tu quoque fallacy. Yet another fallacy - they sure pile up when talking to you!


there is a word for baby, and a word for fetus.

Fetus means baby in its etymology.
But of more concern is WHAT A FETUS IS. He's a human being. Virtually all the objections I've seen to that statement have to do not with ontology but with ACTIVITY - what the very young baby can DO. DOING does not a human being make!

DNA is just matter.

Quite a simplistic view you have there. I'm happy to let that assertion stand for your side.

Information generally implies meaning.

Correct. In the case of DNA, the "meaning" is an organism that survives, that works. Rather than a big blob of protoplasm.

I don't need to read Gee's book to know that you're either coming to false conclusions about what he wrote, or that he's wrong.

Right. Anyone who contradicts your view is automatically wrong, even if you haven't read their reasoning. Much like your a priori "resurrection = nonsense" comment, this says an awful lot. You're welcome to this kind of thinking!

With energy, order can easily come from non-order; life from non-life

Another naked assertion. What's the argument for that?

The same sort of propaganda machine that forced Galileo to recant is more than powerful enough to convince Rhology

Galileo was forced to recant
1) by the scientific establishment of his day
2) b/c his writings meandered into religious topics.
Much like a Christopher Hitchens of today. Better history = a better blogger, my friend.




Chris Severn said:
Can you tell me where to find a description of this methodology.

Probably Dembski's book _The Design Revolution_ is a good place to start.

The first is that detailed Darwinian pathways have been provided for many of ID's prime examples.

Where has the bacterial flagellum (since that's the one I'm most familiar with) pathway been mapped out?

Not just the "leading" examples, but every possible example

That would be like proving a universal negative. I don't know if that would be necessary. Just pick out the strong points of the opposition and bulldoze them. If you have so much evidence on your side, I don't see how that's too much to ask.

ID is the definition of "God of the gaps".

Darwinism is naturalism of the gaps. Name-calling gets us approximately nowhere.



RTT said:
Dover trial

I put virtually no stock in anythg said in the Dover trial b/c of the obvious bias of the judge and his ridiculous statements in his decision.
I prefer to deal in ideas, not politics.
And I dig the wedge document and ideas. It's very possibly a fine strategy for dealing with the biased establishment of today's irrational academia.

You could then factor in the fact that a lot of their arguments (eg sudden appearance of life in the Cambrian explosion) are right out of the YEC playbook.

The genetic fallacy. Your score is still below G-man's, but you're catching up!

if you were feeling really cynical you could point out that book tours, public speeches and appearing as 'expert' witnesses generates a lot more personal income than working as a researcher does

Speculation and ad hominem.

ID has no theory and provides us with no useful knowledge

Just naked assertions here. ID DOES have a theory.
And Darwinism hardly provides any useful nollij, especially since it's logically inconsistent.

I gave you examples on the genome post as to why their examples of IC are not in fact IC

Let the reader judge.
But given that you appear to know more about ID than I do (and I don't care to nor have time to delve a lot deeper into those arguments at this time in my life), I should maybe just let you have this arena of argument. I might have little else to say.

I'll give the easiest natural explanation to that - mythology.

There are many rebuttals to it being mythology.
The existence of the Christian church. The number of early witnesses and the existence of their writings. The historical evidence of their persecutions, even within the lifetimes of those who could have been eyewitnesses - why would they die (horrible deaths, often) for something they KNEW was a lie?
This is one example of what I mean when I say naturalistic explanations don't work and thus illustrate the bias of the naturalist.

how on earth do you find the time to do this blog?

Clean livin'. :-D
And I type fast. But I certainly can't match the output of some, like the Self-Debunkers and the Triablogue among others.
But one thing I've appreciated about all the commenters around here these days is that nobody screams nor hollers when I have to leave a thread un'molested' for days or even more than a week or 2. When I do so, it's b/c of time constraints. The understanding you all have displayed is much appreciated.

Peace,
Rhology

Rintintin said...

I put virtually no stock in anythg said in the Dover trial b/c of the obvious bias of the judge and his ridiculous statements in his decision.
I prefer to deal in ideas, not politics.
And I dig the wedge document and ideas. It's very possibly a fine strategy for dealing with the biased establishment of today's irrational academia.


I'm not talking about the judge, I'm talking about the actual statements and admissions made by the likes of Buckingham, Bonsell and Behe - these are their own words, not the judges and are as clear as day in the transcripts.

As I've said before, can you explain where Philip Johnson has failed (or not even attempted)to do so, how a theistic alternative to science would work instead of methodological naturalism?

The genetic fallacy. Your score is still below G-man's, but you're catching up!

So you don't think given the other points I made prior to and after that one that there might just be a reason ID and YEC/OEC make such similar points?

if you were feeling really cynical you could point out that book tours, public speeches and appearing as 'expert' witnesses generates a lot more personal income than working as a researcher does

Speculation and ad hominem.


I believe Dembski got $10K for an appearance at OU a while back, and a couple of $100K for his work prior to the Dover trial. He also openly admits he prefers getting the royalties as opposed to spending time publishing in the scientific lietrature. Behe got $25K for a recent appearance as an expert witness in. Add in book royalties etc (Behe's 'Black Box' book topped the amazon bestseller list for a while when it came out) and I can guarantee that their respective incomes are considerably higher than what they would earn doing day to day science work (I can vouch first hand that the pay in academic science is not great :( )


Just naked assertions here. ID DOES have a theory.
And Darwinism hardly provides any useful nollij, especially since it's logically inconsistent.


it doesn't have a theory. Even at least 3 ID proponents including Philip Johnson state there is no theory of ID. A theory in science implies a framework of evidence that can both explain a series of phenomena in the natural world, as well as the fact that it can generate testable predictions.

Any testable prediction thus far from ID is actually an evolutionary theory testable prediction - all they do is take a result supporting the evolutionary null hypothesis and conclude design a) without supporting this assertion by providing evidence for times, places, mechanisms, designer(s) and b) making no attempt to find alternative natural explanations and rule them out. As I posted re Dembski - it is design if Dr D says so. Thats about as much as they've got.

If you feel they have a theory - what is that theory that would provide us with a different answer than 'we don't know how that was made'?

Again I gave examples of various industries and research areas that apply evolutionary theory. AI and aerospace engineering make use of evolutionary algorithms for their design processes for example. The cancer drug taxol was produced off the back of evolution research, the polymerase enzyme used in mol. biol research was discovered using evolutionary theory.

Let the reader judge.
But given that you appear to know more about ID than I do (and I don't care to nor have time to delve a lot deeper into those arguments at this time in my life), I should maybe just let you have this arena of argument. I might have little else to say.


Ok no problem - I guess if people are interested enough, there are no shortage of pro- and anti-ID sites on the web to look up. I find it fascinating, as on the surface their arguments look compelling, but once you start to delve a little deeper you notice the big flaws with their ideas.

There are many rebuttals to it being mythology.
The existence of the Christian church. The number of early witnesses and the existence of their writings. The historical evidence of their persecutions, even within the lifetimes of those who could have been eyewitnesses - why would they die (horrible deaths, often) for something they KNEW was a lie?
This is one example of what I mean when I say naturalistic explanations don't work and thus illustrate the bias of the naturalist.


Would you consider that Islamic suicide bombers in Israel are dying for the truth - they are completely convinced of what they believe. Both Christianity and Islam cannot be correct, therefore it would suggest that simply being convinced of something is enough for someone to be willing to die for a cause (or kill other people). Plus rulers then and now will happily persecute people for just about anything - if it hadn't been for being Christian it could just as easily have been something else. Another good example you can see with modern day cults that people are willing to die for misguided beliefs that go against the society they live in.

Clean livin'. :-D
And I type fast. But I certainly can't match the output of some, like the Self-Debunkers and the Triablogue among others.
But one thing I've appreciated about all the commenters around here these days is that nobody screams nor hollers when I have to leave a thread un'molested' for days or even more than a week or 2. When I do so, it's b/c of time constraints. The understanding you all have displayed is much appreciated.


Likewise, its a topic of interest to me, so thank you for taking the effort to construct replies.

Peace,
Rhology

Rintintin said...

Haha, i keep forgetting to delete your sign-off every time I copy and paste :)

Chris Severn said...

Hi Rhology,

Where has the bacterial flagellum (since that's the one I'm most familiar with) pathway been mapped out?

There's plenty that I found on google. Here's one :
http://www.talkdesign.org/faqs/flagellum.html

That would be like proving a universal negative.
That's exactly my point. Showing the bacterial flagellum to have a possible pathway will not prove ID false. Bulldozing all of the "strong points" of Behe is no good, since it is shown that he ignores the research, and buries his head in the sand while claiming to be an authority.

Darwinism is naturalism of the gaps.
Ours are getting bigger. Yours are getting smaller.

Probably Dembski's book _The Design Revolution_ is a good place to start.
I don't wish to give that guy money. Is there a web link which explains the methodology. Does it also explain why he thinks that his methodology gives rise to results which are likely to be true.

And Rhology, on your reply to g-man, where you state the co-incidences required for life on earth. You realise the difference between looking backwards at events, and forward, right ? You're missing a very important point. You think that humans were "meant" to be here, that everything before this point was directed so that we are here. You need to rid yourself of that notion before you can understand the nature of the world.

Rhology, shuffle a deck of cards. Now, lay out each card face up, in a row. The chances of that exact sequence occuring is amazingly low. But it happened. Are you going to claim divine intervention that out of all the possible sequences, that particular sequence occurred ?

Cheers,
Chris

NAL said...

rhoblogy:
Galileo was forced to recant
1) by the scientific establishment of his day


Galileo was forced to recant because he was shown the instruments of torture and condemned to life imprisonment (later commuted to house arrest).

G-man said...

This is the last comment I'll make here on this topic. The reason for that is simply that I feel like I'm banging my head against a wall. There doesn't seem to be any point in directing my comments at Rhology - he doesn't seem to read for comprehension.

The trouble is, I think, that he keeps too many conversations running at once. When I respond to a topic, Rhology approaches it like our prior conversation had never happened; as if he'd forgotten what had been said before. Thus, although he is probably an intelligent person, his quips (and this entire post) sound stupid.

One example has to do with how science would approach the resurrection of Jesus. My point, which Rhology's comments all demonstrate he should agree with, was that from a scientific perspective which must necessarily rule out the supernatural in order to function , resurrection claims are nonsense.

Rhology's response treated my comment like I was making an argument against the resurrection, so he said that I assume "science can't explain it, so you conclude that it COULDN'T have happened.".

I wasn't arguing against the resurrection. It's simply that science cannot consider the supernatural. It is beyond the scope of scientific inquiry. If Rhology were keeping track of our conversation, he would have understood. I hope.

2. "The origin of the universe can't be OBSERVED."

As has been made abundantly clear on the post after this one, direct observation is by no means required for something to be scientific. So no, Rhology is not explaining science. He is explaining his understanding of science, which is disagreed with by the other contributers to this blog right now.

3. Regarding intelligent design:

I made the point that science has been constantly obstructed by the religious establishment because any mythology can be advocated with just as much strength as "Intelligent" Design.

I used the example of the easily-defendable claim that the Earth is at the center of the universe. The argument tactics of ID proponents could be used to defend Earth-centrism just as easily as ID is defended today.

The uncertainty of scientific conclusions and the slippery nature of Bible interpretation make this true.

Rhology's reply is to say that the Earth being at the center of the universe is not proper exegesis of scripture.

I don't care, Rho! The point is not whether it's a correct interpretation of the Bible (I doubt it is), but that it can be effectively argued for. Just like ID.

There is an overarching point to most of this, and it has once again soared miles above Rhology's head. It wouldn't have to if he just paid attention to the conversation.

4. I made further comments about the legacy of science. This method has consistently served to replace superstitious myth with true knowledge about the earth.

I say we can apply this to the future - with that kind of success, we can at least be optimistic that science will provide even more knowledge.

Rhology's response: Evolution (the very topic in question) is an example of science being wrong. Now, I provided examples of when science was certainly right, and used it to propose that science is also right about evolution. Rhology takes the hotly debated topic and says it's wrong.

This is completely tangential (not to mention ultimately question-begging) and shows my points are being blunted against a thick wall of mental defense.

5. I made what I thought was an excellent analogy between forensics and evolutionary science. In order for forensics to operate properly, there is an a priori assumption that a natural cause exists. The same is true of science.

Now, a supernatural cause may exist, but we must investigate and exhaust all natural possibilities before considering the supernatural. If a theist walks by a crime scene and berates the forensics team for *ruling out* miraculous options, the theist is being a hindrance.

Rhology seemed to agree with me about the forensics scenario (yes, the interfering theist is not helpful - also yes, a forensics team is safe to assume a natural cause exists, because natural causes have consistently been found in the past).

However, he does not seem to follow the point of the analogy. I wanted to take a subject on which we both agree, and apply it to a similar one on which we disagree, so Rhology can see why the cases are similar.

Rhology's response: He doesn't dispute the murder example, so it's a poor analogy. No, no, no, Rho! I intended to choose an example you would agree with! Why would I take a random topic which we ALSO disagreed on and try to use it to make sense of a topic we disagree on?!?!

This is where I want to clap my hands loudly and say "HEY" just to get his attention, then intently say "Rhology, follow me here:" If I used monosyllabic words and held his attention for long enough, it just might help.

Rhology even went on to say that nobody is disrupting the hypothetical forensics team. Yes, Intelligent Design proponents are doing just that, metaphorically speaking!

They are intentionally trying to undermine a process that seeks naturalistic explanations for phenomena, for the greater good of everybody - the real murderer won't get caught if the disruptive IDers force the government to make the forensics team divert time and resources to considering supernatural options.

6. The difference between abiogenesis and alchemy

I explained to Rho that enough information exists about alchemy for us to know that it is invalid. The same is not true of abiogenesis - this should be hugely obvious.

Rhology's response: "You're talking out of both sides of your mouth then."

Look, abiogenesis is the best scientific theory out there for the origins of life. That doesn't even begin to suggest that we have enough information about the early earth to invalidate abiogenesis.

This is why I have the feeling I'm beating my head against a wall.

Alchemy: we know it is invalid.
Abiogenesis: We can't know that it is invalid yet. See? Drop the analogy.

About life and non-life as "opposite values," Rhology said this about the definition of life: "That's a metaphysical question, untouchable by science."

LOL! I beg to differ. It is more of a semantic question. 'Life' is just a word humans use to communicate. The subject we are trying to describe is what is in question. As we (and scientists are best equipped to ponder this) consider life and non-life, we are not faced with a black/white set of "opposite values."

A good example would be viruses. There is an ongoing and lively discussion over whether they are technically alive or not. To say metaphysics - rather than science - has the answer is incorrect.

Occam's Razor:

Chris put down a very straightforward explanation for why coincidences are pretty much absent from a naturalistic worldview.

A coincidence or two - really now - is much less complex than, to stress the examples I used, the difficult questions of "how can a non-corporeal entity have a brain/be alive?"

"How are we expected to believe you when, in order to justify your explanation, you must propose an entire realm of reality that cannot be observed or tested?"

"How does this spiritual world interact with the material world?"

Yes, it is more complex to say "God did it" than to believe a naturalistic explanation exists. Rhology's inability to explain the answer is NOT what makes it complex (as his response suggests). It is simply that the question is there.

"Read what I said again - did I say "species"? Nope, I said "kind"."

So? We were discussing species. If he kept track of our conversation better, he'd remember.

Rhology asserted on my blog that macro-evolution is something other than what it is. I corrected him by saying that macro-evolution is speciation. So, we were talking about species. His bringing in some vague, Creationist term like "kind" is completely tangential.

And what defines "species" does not matter in the slightest! It's really incredibly simple: We see genetic changes in populations through beneficial mutations. They make different variants of the animal - fine. Then, those animals become so different, they cannot even interbreed. The fossil record shows us (and don't even think about quote-mining Gees again) that the changes are even bigger given time.

So, controversy over what defines a species is irrelevant. Evolution still occurs.

"Again, trying to keep science pure of your religious interpolations."

Rhology doesn't even know what science is. Clearly, he's also confused on what religion is.

About abortion: Rhology is often a broken record of "begging the question. begging the question. begging the question." Then he goes ahead and says "Not as harsh as killing a baby" in our discussion about whether or not an unborn fetus is a baby human. Textbook examples of both begging the question and hypocrisy.

"And handwaving about who gets more abortions is the tu quoque fallacy."

I was responding to your "you naturalists generally give the all-clear for murdering babies" comment. It's not a tu quoque, because I'm not using it in support of abortion. I'm just using it to brush aside your bigotry.

"Right. Anyone who contradicts your view is automatically wrong, even if you haven't read their reasoning."

Dude, if you're going to write something like this, don't even bother criticizing me for what you perceive to be logical fallacies. For all the strawmen you accuse others of attacking, you churn them out like a factory.

"Another naked assertion. What's the argument for that?"

Hmm, how do I argue for the fact that with energy order can come from disorder... ever heard any good theories of planet formation? Getting a sphere from a dust cloud is one simple example.

"ID DOES have a theory."

Har har.

Ok, I've had my say. I'll finish by marveling at the things a person can make him/herself believe if he/she tries hard enough, to heave a deep sigh at the misplaced confidence a sprinkling of learning about logical fallacies can do to someone, and to say that while I've withheld judgment for a while, Rhology's blog has officially joined my "blogs of infamy" list on my own blog.

The list is usually reserved for the mind-bogglingly inconsiderate and blathering, the bigoted and the frustratingly dim-witted, or any combination.

Under better circumstances - ideally, a moderated debate on a clearly defined and limited topic - I would probably have a better experience chatting with Rho. Until then, cheers.

Rhology said...

For the comments on abiogenesis, see here.


Hi all,

Thanks for your patience.

RTT,

As far as I'm concerned, the Dover thing was a hostile atmosphere and I'd be fearful too of being held in contempt of court if I didn't say what the judge wanted me to say. Given the pitiful reasoning he displayed in his decision, it looks like such fears would have been justified.
And I'm not suggesting science should be converted to a "test-the-supernatural" thing. Such is impossible. What I am saying is that science should realise its bounds and not step beyond, not act like it's the only way to truth or even the most reliable way to truth in all things. It's not. It is in some things. It's not in others.
Going back to Christ's resurrection, when all naturalistic explanations fail and fail miserably, that's when it's time for science to say "OK, we're done here and have little to say about it, but we sure haven't found any naturalistic explanation" rather than continue stubbornly to put fwd already-refuted ideas.

Would you consider that Islamic suicide bombers in Israel are dying for the truth - they are completely convinced of what they believe.

Big difference - they are in no position to KNOW WITHOUT DOUBT that their thing is a lie. The 12 disciples were unquestionably in a position to know that. They died horrible deaths anyway. According to you, they died for something they knew was a lie. Makes no sense.




So you don't think given the other points I made prior to and after that one that there might just be a reason ID and YEC/OEC make such similar points?

I hope everyone will notice who is stubbornly holding to a fallacious argument here. I'd give it up were I you and hope no one notices.

I believe Dembski got $10K for an appearance at OU

Yes, 'twas my church that brought him in. That was an interesting time! I ran into some Flying Spaghetti Monster people there, and they were very funny. "Pastafarians", "ramen!", "his noodly appendage", etc. I'd never heard that stuff before and laughed a lot! It was quite clever.
And you continue your ad hominem. Genetic fallacy again.
And since these ID guys are unjustifiably denied tenure and univ jobs and the like for the sake of their ideas (ie, encountering gross censorship and silencings), I don't begrudge them a way to make some coin. They're right to point out that their Darwinian rivals have a LOT more money at their disposal.

without supporting this assertion by providing evidence for times, places, mechanisms, designer(s)

Which are irrelevant anyway.

b) making no attempt to find alternative natural explanations and rule them out.

Um, that would be YOUR job.

As I posted re Dembski - it is design if Dr D says so.

That's just a dumb thing to say. Dr D backs up what he says with arguments. If they don't persuade you, well, that's not my problem. Proof is diff than persuasion.

what is that theory that would provide us with a different answer than 'we don't know how that was made'?

You're remarkably patient with promissory materialism, but won't extend half that patience to a young movement? Unfair double standards abound.

AI and aerospace engineering make use of evolutionary algorithms for their design processes for example.

Those are INTELLIGENT systems, DIRECTED evolution. I'm asking for where blind, undirected Darwinian mechanisms are useful.

The cancer drug taxol was produced off the back of evolution research, the polymerase enzyme used in mol. biol research was discovered using evolutionary theory.

But were those produced using mechanisms that are IN DISPUTE? Nobody's arguing microevolution doesn't happen or that mutations can't be manipulated.



Chris Severn said:
talkorigins flagellum

Oy that's long.
I'll try to read it but I don't know how much I'll understand. I'm doing well just to be able to respond to this thread!


Showing the bacterial flagellum to have a possible pathway will not prove ID false.

Persuading Behe is not the same as proving such a pathway.
And it would seriously discredit ID to prove it.


Ours are getting bigger. Yours are getting smaller.

Your gaps are getting bigger? I heartily agree.

Is there a web link which explains the methodology.

Probably Dembski's website.
And his book might be at the library. That's where I got The Selfish Gene (I'm 2/3 of the way thru it).


You realise the difference between looking backwards at events, and forward, right ?

Yes, but that's a useful reminder.
Doesn't change the a priori probabilities.


You think that humans were "meant" to be here, that everything before this point was directed so that we are here. You need to rid yourself of that notion before you can understand the nature of the world.

Ridding myself of such would beg the question against my position absent an argument to do so.


shuffle a deck of cards. Now, lay out each card face up, in a row. The chances of that exact sequence occuring is amazingly low. But it happened. Are you going to claim divine intervention that out of all the possible sequences, that particular sequence occurred ?

The difference is key - the sequence of cards is FAR more complex AND is specified to produce a walking, talking human being, not a puddle of goo, a miscarried zygote every time. There are only a few ways for DNA to produce a viable organism, a few sequences of information. There are infinite ways to produce a chaotic useless mess.




NAL said:
Galileo was forced to recant because he was shown the instruments of torture and condemned to life imprisonment (later commuted to house arrest).

Yes, BY WHOM?
This doesn't respond to what I said in the slightest.



G-man said:
banging my head against a wall.

The feeling is mutual.
My favorite parts of the convo so far have come from you - your naked assertions that alchemy is somehow difference b/c it's been "proven" wrong, ignoring the correlations I've pointed out. And of course the "nonsense" comment.

was that from a scientific perspective which must necessarily rule out the supernatural in order to function , resurrection claims are nonsense.

Responded to above. You're not following me.


It's simply that science cannot consider the supernatural.

Which doesn't stop naturalists from claiming it didn't happen because it's not explainable naturalistically. That's the point!

direct observation is by no means required for something to be scientific.

OK. I'll keep that in mind for the future.
The resurrection is scientific, by the way. I didn't directly observe it, but I can just tell!


The argument tactics of ID proponents could be used to defend Earth-centrism just as easily as ID is defended today.

Here's a spot where I honestly don't follow you. Maybe you could write a post on that sometime.

The point is not whether it's a correct interpretation of the Bible (I doubt it is), but that it can be effectively argued for

If it's improper exegesis of the Bible, what would you be going on to argue it? Your gut feeling? How would that be "effective"?


a supernatural cause may exist, but we must investigate and exhaust all natural possibilities before considering the supernatural.

Agreed.
But when a claim to supernatural activity exists and all naturalistic explanations fail miserably, as I said above...

He doesn't dispute the murder example, so it's a poor analogy.

B/c no claim to supernatural activity exists in that case. Wake up.








So? We were discussing species.

Given that you can't define species with certainty, that's one thing.
But I never agreed to limit myself to a vague definition of "species". He says I can't keep track. I say he's imagining things that aren't there. Perhaps he could quote me accepting the parameters of "species" as the bounds for that question.

I corrected him by saying that macro-evolution is speciation.

Since you don't know what speciation is, since you can't define species, any appeal to it is special-pleading.


We see genetic changes in populations through beneficial mutations.

But nobody disputes that!

The fossil record shows us (and don't even think about quote-mining Gees again) that the changes are even bigger given time.

I've read the book; you haven't. That's just pitiful handwaving.





Then he goes ahead and says "Not as harsh as killing a baby" in our discussion about whether or not an unborn fetus is a baby human.

Haha, anyone can go back and see the sequence of that exchange.
The "not as harsh" was my FIRST comment on that and in response to a different statement.
Strawman.


For all the strawmen you accuse others of attacking, you churn them out like a factory.

Let the reader judge.


how do I argue for the fact that with energy order can come from disorder... ever heard any good theories of planet formation?

That's not just "energy" causing that. It's FORCES, which is not the same thing. Gravity and other forces are DIRECTED. They have specific measurable effects. "Energy" doesn't tell anyone anythg.
And of course I dispute that it just happened on its own.

Rintintin said...

As far as I'm concerned, the Dover thing was a hostile atmosphere and I'd be fearful too of being held in contempt of court if I didn't say what the judge wanted me to say. Given the pitiful reasoning he displayed in his decision, it looks like such fears would have been justified.

The judge was a Bush appointed church going republican - about as good a choice as the ID crowd could have asked for. The ID crowd cut their own throats as their arguments simply don't stand up under scrutiny. Seriously, the transcripts are online, or even just google some of Behe's quotes - the nonsense he spouts is absolutely unbelievable for a guy who is obviously reasonably intelligent. Then look at some of the outright lies told by Bonsell and Buckingham - they were fairly lucky not to be charged with perjury as they obviously knew full well they were lying.


And I'm not suggesting science should be converted to a "test-the-supernatural" thing. Such is impossible. What I am saying is that science should realise its bounds and not step beyond, not act like it's the only way to truth or even the most reliable way to truth in all things. It's not. It is in some things. It's not in others.

Behe for one advocates allowing supernatural explanations in science. It may well not have all the answers and it certainly can't tell us if there is or is not a God. However, there has been no better method for examining how the natural world works - Ive said 2 or 3 times now that Philip Johnson wants to replace this with some kind of theistic methodology. How is this going to work exactly, and why has he singularly failed to come up with anything in 20 years?


Going back to Christ's resurrection, when all naturalistic explanations fail and fail miserably, that's when it's time for science to say "OK, we're done here and have little to say about it, but we sure haven't found any naturalistic explanation" rather than continue stubbornly to put fwd already-refuted ideas.


Big difference - they are in no position to KNOW WITHOUT DOUBT that their thing is a lie. The 12 disciples were unquestionably in a position to know that. They died horrible deaths anyway. According to you, they died for something they knew was a lie. Makes no sense.


Both of these rely on the assumption that the stories in the bible must of course be true, that all naturalistic explanations have been falsified beyond reasonable doubt, that the writers telling the stories were in fact inspired or commanded by God, that the numerous similar stories predating these are all false and/or had no influence on the writers of the bible, and that all stories of miracles and the supernatural not in line with biblical revelation are also false (otherwise its just a case of special pleading, no different from the guy who insists he can lift a pen with mind powers alone) - how exactly do you make these differentiations? I don't really see how you have refuted the idea of mythology at all, or how you accept one given set of supernatural explanations or stories whilst disregarding another other than the circular logic of 'the bible is true therefore its stories are indisputably true while all others are false'.


I hope everyone will notice who is stubbornly holding to a fallacious argument here. I'd give it up were I you and hope no one notices.

It isn't just one or two - the arguments are usually identical, and large in number (see my point below about Geoffrey Simmons comments). Many ID followers incuding DI members are YECs or OECs. The pandas textbook clearly highlighted that 'design proponent' was simply a replacement for creationist. Creationism - relies on an intelligent creator that we cannot detect or know how he works; how is this any different from 'intelligent design' that says things in the natural world are created by a designer who's presence we cannot detect. It's the same thing just with explicit religious refernce removed to try and get by the US consitution. Anyone denying the connection is frankly deluding themselves.


Yes, 'twas my church that brought him in. That was an interesting time! I ran into some Flying Spaghetti Monster people there, and they were very funny. "Pastafarians", "ramen!", "his noodly appendage", etc. I'd never heard that stuff before and laughed a lot! It was quite clever.
And you continue your ad hominem. Genetic fallacy again.
And since these ID guys are unjustifiably denied tenure and univ jobs and the like for the sake of their ideas (ie, encountering gross censorship and silencings), I don't begrudge them a way to make some coin. They're right to point out that their Darwinian rivals have a LOT more money at their disposal.


I don't begrudge them making money either, even if it is with ID. But people have a tendency to be willing to peddle any old nonsense if a large amount of cash is waved in front of their nose. Researchers themsleves don't earn much, even at the professor level. 'Darwinism' as you call it receives funding for research as it has explanatory power, can make testable predictions and has practical application in a wide variety of industries. Once/if ID does the same thing, they'll get lots of money from funding bodies too. There are also inummerable academic scientists that could make a lot more money doing other things.

There is no censorship of ID - Dembski doesnt want to submit to journals, Behe was allowed to publish a pretty shoddy article in Protein science that he claims as support for ID, if they have rejected manuscripts lets see them, they have their own journal that they don't publish any more due to lack of stuff to go in it (!). Are flat-earthers or astrologers being oppressed in science too? They have equally as much evidence as ID.

without supporting this assertion by providing evidence for times, places, mechanisms, designer(s)

Which are irrelevant anyway.

Science aims to find out when things happened, how they happened, which forces were involved etc yet this becomes an irrelevance for ID, which claims to be scientific? This is absolutely the most important point in the whole argument - until they investigate these things they don't have anything, literally nothing. Saying 'I don't know how this happened' has as much explanatory power as what ID has done in 20 years until they attempt to find some way of investigating this! I'll say it again a negative argument against evolution does not equal a positive conclusion for ID without their doing any investigation!



b) making no attempt to find alternative natural explanations and rule them out.

Um, that would be YOUR job.


Yes and no - scientists will try and find alternative explanations. If they can't find one they just have to say we don't know yet. I've seen numerous biology talks where the speaker has said we don't have data for that, we haven't tested that or we couldn't get an experiment to run for that etc - what they don't do is then say 'so it must have been an unknown designer working at an unknown time by unknown mechanisms in unknown places'. Apply that style of thinking to something other than evolution - can you not see how futile, ineffective and ridiculous it is? As Ive pointed out, various ID proponents have stated they consider testing their ideas a waste of time, so clearly they have no interest in doing science. So that being the case, why should anyone in science take them seriously?


That's just a dumb thing to say. Dr D backs up what he says with arguments. If they don't persuade you, well, that's not my problem. Proof is diff than persuasion.

Read my post on the genome information post you made - IC systems are examples of SC as stated by Dembski. But, these systems clearly aren't IC for several reasons I've explained. As people have pointed out to both Behe and Dembski numerous times - their response is simply to ignore them and keep peddling the same lies. There is a reason that people aren't persuaded - because the arguments are nothing new or original, and are clearly very flawed. Also did you read my quote from Dembski where he states essentially he doesn't have to provide any answers? So it clearly does come down to 'if Dr D says so, it is'. Actually if you want a good idea of the poor quality of the ID arguments, download the debate between PZ Myers and the DI's Geoffrey Simmons - Simmons clearly came across as knowing absolutely nothing about what he was talking about, and made several standard nonsensical YEC-style comments:

'just a theory'
'descended from monkeys'
'darwin was a bad man, ergo evolution is also bad'
'no transitional fossils' (he showed himself up badly here, as he was clearly ignorant of paleontology despite having written a book on the fossil record!)

blah blah blah - nothing that isn't 100% rubbish and hasn't been heard a million times before

he also chose a topic very late on that changed the title of the debate to allow him to simply attempt to poke holes in evolution rather than defend ID 'science' - I wonder why that was?


what is that theory that would provide us with a different answer than 'we don't know how that was made'?

You're remarkably patient with promissory materialism, but won't extend half that patience to a young movement? Unfair double standards abound.


'meterialistic' answers have a remarkable track record of filling in gaps (whether in evolution or other fields) and showing practical application. 50 years ago we didn't know much about the genome. 100 years ago antibiotics didn't exist, 150 years ago we didn't know DNA even existed for example - science has made discoveries and improved our knowledge in all these areas. ID has not produced any data in 20 years (unless you call selective picking of papers and quote mining to complain about evolution data gathering). Literally nothing in 20 years - your average scientist will produce more data on his own in one afternoon than the whole of ID has in 20 years!

AI and aerospace engineering make use of evolutionary algorithms for their design processes for example.

Those are INTELLIGENT systems, DIRECTED evolution. I'm asking for where blind, undirected Darwinian mechanisms are useful.


I know they are intelligently designed, but the design process takes advantage of algorithms for undirected evolutionary processes ie takes a naturalistic process and transfers it over to another discipline.

The cancer drug taxol was produced off the back of evolution research, the polymerase enzyme used in mol. biol research was discovered using evolutionary theory.

But were those produced using mechanisms that are IN DISPUTE? Nobody's arguing microevolution doesn't happen or that mutations can't be manipulated.


They weren't designed in the original instance - polymerase enzymes are present in cells and taxol is based on a compound taken from the bark of trees in the taxus genus (yew trees) - evolutionary theory was used to predict other natural sources that could serve as a source to make the compound as taxus brevifola couldnt provide enough of it. Its not the design of the drugs and so on, its how they were discovered that was the test of the ToE.

There are huge numbers of predictions made regarding macroevolution that are also supported with findings in nature. You can't state that because it is indirect observation it doesn't count as you have to rule out anything as being true in life that you havent seen firsthand or that is older than yourself if that is the criteria being set out. Even Behe states in one of his books that descent with modification from a common ancestor is definite (although he changes his tune when on Christian radio for example). Not all the mechanisms of evolution are known, you are correct, but many are - NS, sexual selection, random genetic drift/neutral evolution, endosymbiosis, recombination, mutations of all sorts, gene fusion/fission etc etc.


There are only a few ways for DNA to produce a viable organism, a few sequences of information.

So why do so many processes have multiple pathways for carrying them out? why are there so many variants of eyes, flagella etc (possibly into the millions for types of flagella)? Why do so many individual proteins and genes do so many different functions? Why do a variety of different mutations result in acquisition of the same functional property? Why do certain genes and proteins with very different sequences in different organisms carry out the same function? Why does the genetic code have so much redundancy (often 2 or 3 triplet sequences will code for the same amino acid)?

Rintintin said...

You're remarkably patient with promissory materialism, but won't extend half that patience to a young movement? Unfair double standards abound.

Oh i forgot to address this - I'm perfectly willing to give ID time to come up with something, but -

On this point you said ID already had a scientific theory - are you now claiming they don't have one but should be allowed time to come up with one?

If the former, then what is that theory (remember, negative arguments against evolution are not positive arguments for ID)?

Rhology said...

Howdy,

Behe may advocate supernatural in science, but ID as a whole doesn't necessarily. They don't guess at the identity of the designer. To continue to say it as Darwinians do is so dishonest it's amazing.

theistic methodology

I've explained that already.
Where claims to the supernatural exist, esp for a non-irrational worldview (ie, not a polytheistic/pagan one), don't assume that the natural explanation is definitely the right one, though it's certainly cool to seek natural causes. But sometimes the natural explanations are totally insufficient, like in the case of Christ's resurrection.

that the writers telling the stories were in fact inspired or commanded by God

Wrong, doesn't assume that at all. Just assumes that they are reasonably accurate textual transmissions, which itself is provable.

that the numerous similar stories predating these are all false

Like which ones?


how exactly do you make these differentiations?

Internal critiques. It's not that hard. The same method I use to critique the internal inconsistencies of naturalism. And to find there aren't any in Christianity.
I don't use science, b/c science is useless in such questions. But unlike you, I actually come out and say "science is useless here", whereas I can't figure out if you think science is useful everywhere or not.


I don't really see how you have refuted the idea of mythology at all

Make your point. What is the alternative explanation? Your best one? Make sure it's your best, b/c it's going to get bludgeoned, and then I'd like to see where you end up.


how is this any different from 'intelligent design' that says things in the natural world are created by a designer who's presence we cannot detect.

Who says ID thinks the designer can't be detected? Maybe he/it can't be right now, but that doesn't mean he/it can't ever be.
It's diff b/c Creationism identifies the designer and a great deal of HOW it all went down, in terms of history. ID doesn't go nearly that far.


But people have a tendency to be willing to peddle any old nonsense if a large amount of cash is waved in front of their nose.

Maybe that's also why Dawkins wrote his "Delusion", Hitchens his "not great", and Harris his "Letter". N'est-ce pas?


Dembski doesnt want to submit to journals

Given the welcome they've received, I don't frankly care much. I care about the arguments.
THe scientific establishment has disabused me of the trust I had in them before.


Are flat-earthers or astrologers being oppressed in science too? They have equally as much evidence as ID.

A load of crock. Fine, go ahead and believe that; I hope you don't go blind in your pink-sky world.


Science aims to find out when things happened, how they happened, which forces were involved etc yet this becomes an irrelevance for ID, which claims to be scientific?

1) Science also aims to OBSERVE stuff happening, but your inability to OBSERVE it doesn't seem to bother you when it comes to Darwinian evol.
2) That's not all that science aims to do.
3) That said, your point is interesting. The previous 2 pts blow up any force it has, but I'll have to think about this part some more.


a negative argument against evolution does not equal a positive conclusion for ID without their doing any investigation!

I agree 100%.
They are points of the spectrum; I do know for sure that naturalistic evol is wrong, on its own grounds as well as on biblical ones. But I hold to YEC not on naturalistic bases exactly, more on philosophical bases.

If they can't find one they just have to say we don't know yet.

Science aims to find out when things happened, how they happened, which forces were involved etc yet this becomes an irrelevance for this question for Darwinism, which claims to be scientific?
Your excuse is the same as ID, only you have far less excuse since you've had far more time and far more money and univ resources at your disposal.
Why not have a bit of the patience taht you have with Darwinians with ID-ers? Can your glands stand it? I know the hatred is at a visceral level, but maybe you could go with the brain this time!

There is a reason that people aren't persuaded - because the arguments are nothing new or original, and are clearly very flawed.

Or they're enormously biased and really really don't want to believe they might be accountable to a Creator.
Which lines up a great deal with Romans 1.


So it clearly does come down to 'if Dr D says so, it is'.

Maybe, but I don't care for the man, but for his arguments. There are still some people in the world who can divorce personality from argument.
Besides, how many times have I seen the exact same thing on the other side? The just-so stories of this adn that pathway. Like for the flagellum, these 'explanations' strike me as ad hoc and contrived in t he extreme, but oh no, they're all good b/c the Darwinians say so, and they have the university posts!


'descended from monkeys'

I don't see what's wrong with that one, though the others aren't very good.


'no transitional fossils'

Yeah, it should have been "we don't know if the fossils are transitional or not, and probably can't ever know".
But I'll see if I can find that debate.

'meterialistic' answers have a remarkable track record of filling in gaps (whether in evolution or other fields) and showing practical application.

To quote you: "If they can't find one they just have to say we don't know yet."
But no seriously, you PROMISE you'll find the answers! ANd they'll be good, just like the ones you've been feeding us. Suuuuurrreee.


50 years ago we didn't know much about the genome. 100 years ago antibiotics didn't exist, 150 years ago we didn't know DNA even existed for example - science has made discoveries and improved our knowledge in all these areas

I don't see how much of that is thanks to Darwinism, so so what?


I know they are intelligently designed, but the design process takes advantage of algorithms for undirected evolutionary processes ie takes a naturalistic process and transfers it over to another discipline.

that's just bunk. Building hi-tech aircraft and such is accomplished by blind, undirected processes. You're getting weirder as we progress here.


evolutionary theory was used to predict other natural sources that could serve as a source to make

How? Thru taxonomy? That discipline is in a tremendous state of flux; I don't see the connection to evolutionary stuff.


There are huge numbers of predictions made regarding macroevolution that are also supported with findings in nature.

Like what?
And so what?

You can't state that because it is indirect observation it doesn't count as you have to rule out anything as being true in life that you havent seen firsthand or that is older than yourself if that is the criteria being set out.

No, I just want SOMEONE to have observed it. That's science.


Even Behe states in one of his books that descent with modification from a common ancestor is definite

He's also Roman Catholic; wrong on two counts. Big deal; I don't throw around the genetic fallacy like some people do.


So why do so many processes have multiple pathways for carrying them out? why are there so many variants of eyes, flagella etc (possibly into the millions for types of flagella)?

As I went on to explain, "few" is relative to the infinity of ways to create a puddle of goo, a non-organism.


are you now claiming they don't have one but should be allowed time to come up with one?

I'm calling your long patience with Darwinians who have so many resources and a long history but short patience with ID-ers hypocritical in the extreme.

Peace,
Rhology

Rintintin said...

Behe may advocate supernatural in science, but ID as a whole doesn't necessarily. They don't guess at the identity of the designer. To continue to say it as Darwinians do is so dishonest it's amazing.

Actually, a lot of them do - in fact several ID proponents have referred to the identity of the designer as being the Christian God. Refer back to the Philip Johnson quotes Ive put up before. It is transparently obvious exactly who they think the designer is. Demsbki in fact states that ID is 'the logos of the gospel of John restated in the idiom of information theory' (or words to that effect).

Its hardly dishonest to simply repeat what various ID proponents themselves are saying!


I've explained that already.
Where claims to the supernatural exist, esp for a non-irrational worldview (ie, not a polytheistic/pagan one), don't assume that the natural explanation is definitely the right one, though it's certainly cool to seek natural causes. But sometimes the natural explanations are totally insufficient, like in the case of Christ's resurrection.


But that's not a methodology - I could make supernatural claims for why my dishwasher breaks, but it doesnt serve to investigate or solve the problem. Much like say the germ theory of disease is more useful than the claim that disease is caused by demons, or that gravitational forces is a better explanation than angels pulling planets around.


Wrong, doesn't assume that at all. Just assumes that they are reasonably accurate textual transmissions, which itself is provable.

I can accept that the translations of the scrolls and so on are likely to be fairly accurate, but this doesn't mean the claims they make are any more realistic. How would you prove for example that a snake or burning bush had talked, or that a man could live for 3 days underwater inside a whale's belly?



Like which ones?

just a small selection to get started with

Efik creation myth (African) - the created female brings about the fall of mankind, dates to a few thousand years before Christianity

Some variants of Hinduism, which also predates Christianity, have a triurne God exactly like Christianity

Buddha, Horus, Mithra, Dionysus all predate Jesus, yet have many identical abilities and share many of the details of Jesus' life story (eg resurrection from the dead, mother with the name Mary or a variant thereof, visitation by wise men bearing gifts at birth for example. Again this is just a small selection of the similarities)


the ideas in the bible were obviously not new ones.


Internal critiques. It's not that hard. The same method I use to critique the internal inconsistencies of naturalism. And to find there aren't any in Christianity.
I don't use science, b/c science is useless in such questions. But unlike you, I actually come out and say "science is useless here", whereas I can't figure out if you think science is useful everywhere or not.


scientific thinking is the same process of investigation everyone uses every day, even to figure out simple things. How is this process inconsistent? people only drop this way of thinking when it suits them to do so. A naturalistic methodology is the reason you dont walk out in front of a bus, or leave a building by the 20th floor window. For working out the existence of God, yes science is useless. However, the bible does make testable claims about the natural world - for example all life was created and then killed at the same time pre flood - it should therefore be possible to find fossils of any and all organisms in any and all strata. Unfortunately for the bible, this isn't the case.



Make your point. What is the alternative explanation? Your best one? Make sure it's your best, b/c it's going to get bludgeoned, and then I'd like to see where you end up.

For the majority of biblical stories? Simply traditional myths and stories passed on over centuries and through cultures via oral and written transmission.

I listed a few examples of similar ones in other religions and cultures - people have been making up wild stories since people were able to make up stories.

Why would a rational person accept a story involving a talking snake as being true for example?


Who says ID thinks the designer can't be detected? Maybe he/it can't be right now, but that doesn't mean he/it can't ever be.
It's diff b/c Creationism identifies the designer and a great deal of HOW it all went down, in terms of history. ID doesn't go nearly that far.


And as Ive given ample evidence for, this is purely to avoid implicit reference to the biblical God to get around the US constitution. it is not a coincidence that ID popped up the exact time that creationism was banned from being taught in schools.

ID 'theory' in fact explicitly states that one can know nothing of how the designer works, who he is, and why he does what he does (Behe goes to great lengths about this when people ask - why does he make both immune systems and parasites, or eyes that aren't optimally designed - so ID by their own admission has no interest in answering these questions).



Maybe that's also why Dawkins wrote his "Delusion", Hitchens his "not great", and Harris his "Letter". N'est-ce pas?

they may well have done, but that isn't the debate here since as far as I know, they arent claiming to have made a groundbreaking new discovery that should be adopted as the dominant scientific paradigm despite having no evidence to support what they are saying.


Dembski doesnt want to submit to journals

Given the welcome they've received, I don't frankly care much. I care about the arguments.
THe scientific establishment has disabused me of the trust I had in them before.


Or it could be, as Ive shown in several posts, that they simply don't have anything to present to support their own arguments. Behe and Dembski are both smart enough to know this. Science is done in the journals - Behe submitted a paper that Protein Science accepted in the interests of giving him a fair hearing. The paper was absolutely awful and had serious fundamental mistakes. If their work isn't up to scratch, why should they be given equal time? And again - they no longer publish their own journal and even when they did, didn't publish any data. Does this not make you think they might not have anything?


Are flat-earthers or astrologers being oppressed in science too? They have equally as much evidence as ID.

A load of crock. Fine, go ahead and believe that; I hope you don't go blind in your pink-sky world.


I showed why the examples given that Behe uses as IC are in fact not IC. As this is the basis for ID, and ID has no interest in finding out anything about the designer or its methods, ID in fact has no evidence. So it ranks exactly alongside the likes of astrology.


Science aims to find out when things happened, how they happened, which forces were involved etc yet this becomes an irrelevance for ID, which claims to be scientific?

1) Science also aims to OBSERVE stuff happening, but your inability to OBSERVE it doesn't seem to bother you when it comes to Darwinian evol.
2) That's not all that science aims to do.
3) That said, your point is interesting. The previous 2 pts blow up any force it has, but I'll have to think about this part some more.


For the millionth time, why is indirect observation and exrapolation a problem? And why do you single out evolution and not numerous other fields of study on this basis? I'd imagine there are lots of things about the world you accept as correct that are as directly observable as macroevolution - for example the earth's core has never been directly observed, but I bet you don't doubt what science tells us about it. Murder investigations are a good example too - maybe we should let them all go free if indirect observation is not valid science?


a negative argument against evolution does not equal a positive conclusion for ID without their doing any investigation!

I agree 100%.
They are points of the spectrum; I do know for sure that naturalistic evol is wrong, on its own grounds as well as on biblical ones. But I hold to YEC not on naturalistic bases exactly, more on philosophical bases.


And can you elaborate on how ToE is wrong on naturalistic grounds?


Your excuse is the same as ID, only you have far less excuse since you've had far more time and far more money and univ resources at your disposal.
Why not have a bit of the patience taht you have with Darwinians with ID-ers? Can your glands stand it? I know the hatred is at a visceral level, but maybe you could go with the brain this time!


The difference being with a natural approach, even if an answer is not yet known we can still generate testable hypotheses. ID cannot do this.

And once again, ToE is productive and useful - why wouldnt it get research funding?

I don't hate YECs/IDers. I simply think that what they believe has no supporting evidence.


Or they're enormously biased and really really don't want to believe they might be accountable to a Creator.
Which lines up a great deal with Romans 1.


But ID 'theory' states that we cant know anything about the designer, his motives, when and how he works. So it sheds no light on the designer or whether we will be accountable to him/her/it.

Maybe, but I don't care for the man, but for his arguments. There are still some people in the world who can divorce personality from argument.
Besides, how many times have I seen the exact same thing on the other side? The just-so stories of this adn that pathway. Like for the flagellum, these 'explanations' strike me as ad hoc and contrived in t he extreme, but oh no, they're all good b/c the Darwinians say so, and they have the university posts!


Why is it a problem if it sounds like a 'just so story'? The discovery of penicillin reads like a just so story as well, but i dont see anyone complaining about antibiotics.

It also had to be constructed somehow, and much about the flagellum bears the hallmarks of known evolutionary mechanisms such as gene duplication, cooption etc (eg homologous proteins in different parts of the system, homology of subparts with other biological systems, homology with proteins involved in other non flagellar processes, numerous variants on the same idea etc)

It seems strange that you complain about science not having an answer, then when someone offers one you complain about that too! Make up your mind!

when asked if not by evolution, then how?, Dembski ducks the question and goes back to complaining about evolution. Again not the hallmark of a scientific approach.


'descended from monkeys'

I don't see what's wrong with that one, though the others aren't very good.


Because we aren't descended from monkeys, we have a common ancestor with them. A subtle but important difference - I have doubts about the validity of anyone's opinions on evolution that doesn't know this.


'no transitional fossils'

Yeah, it should have been "we don't know if the fossils are transitional or not, and probably can't ever know".
But I'll see if I can find that debate.


The point is that for the ToE to be correct, fossils with certain features intermediate between two taxa should be found in certain rock beds in certain geographical locations. Whether a direct ancestor or a side branch is irrelevant - if there are no fossils with these properties then the ToE is wrong.


To quote you: "If they can't find one they just have to say we don't know yet."
But no seriously, you PROMISE you'll find the answers! ANd they'll be good, just like the ones you've been feeding us. Suuuuurrreee.


I listed a few examples of where naturalistic science has shown gradual progress. I'm sure you can think of many others too. If people want to believe that supernatural causation is the answer, be my guest. There is however a reason that research and technology industries use a naturalistic approach - it produces results and has practical application. Over time, supernatural claims (eg demons causing disease) get replaced by naturalistic ones, for the former reason. The same reason as antibiotics are used in healthcare instead of exorcism for example.

Sometimes people wont find an answer straight away - but you seem to think it is somehow shameful to try and find an explanation for phenomena for some reason. I'd say that the IDesque approach of 'we don't know, we won't ever know, so why bother trying, let's just say God/designer did it' is far more worthy of ridicule.


50 years ago we didn't know much about the genome. 100 years ago antibiotics didn't exist, 150 years ago we didn't know DNA even existed for example - science has made discoveries and improved our knowledge in all these areas

I don't see how much of that is thanks to Darwinism, so so what?


I never said it was - but you complain about the failings of naturalism when, as the 3 examples above illustrate, it has a history of success and progress (and the existence of a universal heritable material/genetic code (ie DNA) was actually predicted prior to its discovery on the basis of the ToE being correct).

that's just bunk. Building hi-tech aircraft and such is accomplished by blind, undirected processes. You're getting weirder as we progress here.

http://www.aaai.org/aitopics/html/genalg.html

here ^^^ are some examples of evolutionary/genetic algorithms used in computational design processes

a few selected quotes:

Antenna design, [Jason] Lohn believes, is one of many engineering problems that could best be solved by evolutionary algorithms, an emerging class of software that produces lots of different designs, rejecting the less fit in order to select the most functional.

From David Eck, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Hobart and William Smith Colleges. "'GA' is a little applet that demonstrates the genetic algorithm, in which methods analogous to the process of natural evolution are applied to solve problems on a computer. This 'artificial evolution' uses reproduction, mutation, and genetic recombination to 'evolve' a solution to a problem."

Moshe Sipper, Department of Computer Science, Ben-Gurion University. "The idea of applying the biological principle of natural evolution to artificial systems, introduced more than three decades ago, has seen impressive growth in the past few years. Usually grouped under the term evolutionary algorithms or evolutionary computation, we find the domains of genetic algorithms, evolution strategies, evolutionary programming, and genetic programming."



evolutionary theory was used to predict other natural sources that could serve as a source to make

How? Thru taxonomy? That discipline is in a tremendous state of flux; I don't see the connection to evolutionary stuff.


because evolutionary theory can predict the properties of organisms based on the relationships between them. Taxonomy/systematics undergoes changes as does anything in science, this doesn't mean it suddenly all gets thrown out or becomes useless.


There are huge numbers of predictions made regarding macroevolution that are also supported with findings in nature.

Like what?
And so what?


A few examples of predictions made on the basis of descent from a single celled common ancestor being correct, which were supported by the research findings:

There should never be human fossils found in the pre cambrian strata - none have been found to date.

evidence of a chromosome fusion (not only the fusion, but that the genetic material contained in the fused chromosomes would be analagous between humans and other primates). this was found

http://tiktaalik.uchicago.edu/

This ^^^ gives a good overview of predictions for a fossil find

I can list more if you want.

No, I just want SOMEONE to have observed it. That's science.

Firstly, purely because someone has written something down or claimed to have seen it happen does not make it fact, otherwise tales of UFOs, alien abduction and so on would be considered true.

Secondly, most science whether in a lab or in nature relies on indirect physical evidence - noone has ever observed a bristlecone pine grow for 4000 years, or observed Pluto make a complete rotation around the sun - does this mean they dont happen?

Even if something someone else has observed is true, you are still taking indirect evidence to support your assessment that it is indeed true as you personally have not observed it. Noone alive today has any way of directly observing the civil war - so they have to rely on assessment of physical evidences to ascertain what happened and when.



So why do so many processes have multiple pathways for carrying them out? why are there so many variants of eyes, flagella etc (possibly into the millions for types of flagella)?

As I went on to explain, "few" is relative to the infinity of ways to create a puddle of goo, a non-organism.


most likely, but you said biological organisms display great specificity - obviously from the examples Ive given, they don't. And again, how would you know what we see now is the only way life could arise - this is just the hand that got dealt out, there could be many different ways life could have turned out.

Bear in mind also that there are reckoned to be 5 million+ species - so there are obviously quite a few ways to produce a viable organism.


are you now claiming they don't have one but should be allowed time to come up with one?

I'm calling your long patience with Darwinians who have so many resources and a long history but short patience with ID-ers hypocritical in the extreme.



You're evading the question here - people have patience with 'darwinism' as it is useful and testable. I will have the same patience with ID if it can do the same. So again, you said ID has a scientific theory. If so, What is that theory? If it doesn't have any testable ideas, or any data other than a negative argument against evolution, why consider it in its current form as a valid scientific proposal, or advocate its teaching in schools and so on?

Ojalanpoika said...

Ever saw these figures of Dinoglyfs & Dinolits documented by man in the historical era:
http://www.helsinki.fi/~pjojala/Dinosaurs-in-history.htm
?

More exactly:
Here's one's critique against the current dating convention:
http://www.helsinki.fi/~pjojala/Mryr.htm
http://www.helsinki.fi/~pjojala/Molecular_Clock.htm
http://www.helsinki.fi/~pjojala/Cambrian_Explosion.html

pauli.ojala@gmail.com
Biochemist, drop-out (M.Sci. Master of Sciing)
http://www.helsinki.fi/~pjojala/Expelled-ID.htm