Monday, March 16, 2009

BEAR 2 - Assume it happened

(What is BEAR?)

Our next installment of bad evolutionary arguments comes courtesy of dang near half the commenters in the super-long debate thread in which I've been busily embarrassing the naturalist crowd.

I had asked what commenters' favorite lines of evidence for evolution was. A few responses showed that Hox genes were up there.
I asked neil, who has also done some commenting around here, to "explain how specifically this supports the idea that there *WAS* a common ancestor many billions of yrs ago". He answered:
Because of the pattern of those genes in living organisms. There is a clear predictable pattern of their distribution. Patterns of differences in sequence and duplications are perfectly consistent with what common ancestry predicts.

This is the same pattern repeated for other genes, ERVs, for pseudogenes (found out what they are yet?) etc.


So what's the big deal with Hox genes? They "(define) a region or position in the embryo", thus influencing more or less what parts grow where in the developing baby organism.
It's not my intention, nor is it very interesting to me, to re-summarise what Myers said in the linked article, but apparently evolutionists find it very significant that they can exercise their powers of assumption with Hox genes as their foil.

Just look at how Myers himself makes the running leap straight into midair:
There are also a few gaps; with duplication comes redundancy, and the possibility of deletion without detriment, and so we also see some examples of culling duplicates in our history.
Speaking of history, one of the things we can do with a phylogenetic analysis of the Hox cluster is see fascinating aspects of our ancient history...The anteriormost and posteriormost genes in the complex are the most different from one another, so we can surmise that they diverged earliest, and have had the most time to accumulate differences.

To repeat, the question at hand here is this: Is the data best explained by the hypothesis that a Designer DID all this, or the hypothesis that unguided natural selection working on random mutations DID all this? We're asking about what happenED. Notice that there is no argument given to take us from Point A to Point B in this.
The fact - Hox genes exist.
The interpretation - They diverged early on.

But what about...?
The interpretation - The Designer made them that way. To almost quote neil, but to go ahead and take him to the logical conclusion he so fears, "Patterns of differences in sequence and duplications are perfectly consistent with what a Designer hypothesis predicts."

Only two answers have been given so far, and I'll discuss the other one in my next BEAR post.

For now, today's answer is perhaps best revealed by neil.

No not with what a designer predicts. Only with what a designer mimicking common descent would predict.

That is precisely the point. Neil here concedes that the data is just as well explained by a Designer.
It looks like it could have evolved. Sure, whatever, fine. A Designer could also have done it. When I ask for proof for evolution in the context of a debate about ID, I'm expecting you to share some of your "mountains of evidence" with me that could not just as easily be evidence for ID. Get to work.

83 comments:

Dr Funkenstein said...

To repeat, the question at hand here is this: Is the data best explained by the hypothesis that a Designer DID all this,

Any dataset, in evolutionary biology or otherwise, can be 'explained' by 'the designer just did it' - it's consistent with any observation.

Just as 'because polar bears have white fur' is consistent with just about any observation you care to mention. It doesn't tell us anything though.

Do you have any concrete examples of individuals, groups of animals or biological structures that have arisen by the hand of a supernatural designer in the real world (ie ones that are not simply written claims, which anyone can make up and write down)?


or the hypothesis that unguided natural selection working on random mutations DID all this?

The hypothesis is that these observations are the result of common ancestry, the mechanism is a separate issue

We're asking about what happenED. Notice that there is no argument given to take us from Point A to Point B in this.
The fact - Hox genes exist.
The interpretation - They diverged early on.


Because the pattern they present is as would expected if they had

But what about...?
The interpretation - The Designer made them that way. To almost quote neil, but to go ahead and take him to the logical conclusion he so fears, "Patterns of differences in sequence and duplications are perfectly consistent with what a Designer hypothesis predicts."


The designer hypothesis doesn't predict anything - hence the reason ID has no research program

Since common ancestry can only support certain observations but not others it can make relatively specific hypotheses to test in many instances

Since 'Designer did it' is compatible not only with the appearance of common descent, but also any other hypothesis for the appearance of the diversity of life you should predict that pretty much any observation is possible - how are you going to decide on

a. which of your hypotheses is likely to be correct in order to test it?

b. explain why your hypothesis predicts thousands of wrong answers and virtually no correct ones in reference to any hypothesis you may wish to test?


That is precisely the point. Neil here concedes that the data is just as well explained by a Designer.

He doesn't - he says it would be explained by a designer mimicking common descent, which is quite an important caveat - can you provide anything to support that there is a designer actively mimicking common descent?

I don't think you can - since your view operates on a view of archetypal 'kinds' (since you've previously identified the designer of ID as TGotB), if the designer mimicked the appearance of common descent then there would be no hope of ever being able to define a kind, since it couldn't possibly exist (since the natural world would appear identical to that seen if common descent were true, which is not compatible with biblical kinds).

You can also as easily extend this hypothesis outside of evolutionary biology - why did protein expression go up in these cells when I applied a drug? Invisible designer just wanted it that way.

Why does the Earth go round the sun? Invisible designer just wants it that way. etc etc

Rhology said...

Seriously, now you're going to argue that you have greater capacity for meaning in your naturalistic world? Come on.
And your side does just the same thing - any dataset can be 'explained' by 'natural selection did it - it had to have'. Use some arguments that actually make your side look good.

Do you have any concrete examples of individuals

All of them. They're not just written claims that anyone made up, God informed us that's how it happened.
You who have no time machine and can't even look a few seconds into the past about all sorts of things, would presume to say that's inadequate? Pretty mouthy.


Because the pattern they present is as would expected if they had

But the pattern is just the same as if a Designer had made it that way.



The designer hypothesis doesn't predict anything

dealt with that in the last BEAR post. Try to keep up.


Since common ancestry can only support certain observations but not other

Haha, and when we point out the ones that it can't support, you argue against us. This is an empty qualification.



which of your hypotheses is likely to be correct in order to test it?

1) As a Christian, by the Biblical revelation and going therefrom. In many cases, it wouldn't differ much from how it goes now.
2) But for the sake of this internal critique argument, that's Step 2, as i've told you numerous times. Do you just forget or are you intentionally trying to obscure the issue? Step 1 is WHETHER the Designer is the best hypothesis.


explain why your hypothesis predicts thousands of wrong answers and virtually no correct ones

same goes for yours.


he says it would be explained by a designer mimicking common descent

Yes, A DESIGNER. Next?

zilch said...

Hmmm... if I had to choose between "God the Designer" or "Polar Bears have White Fur" as a statement consistent with the data, I'd go with the bears. Why? Because while both statements are consistent with the evidence, bears are simpler than God, and because I've seen polar bears.

Now, while it's true that the whiteness of polar bears doesn't do much explanatory work, the assumption of God's existence does no work at all, as far as I can see. So why introduce a Big Guy in the Sky if there's no evidence for Him? If the competing worldviews here are:

a) the perceptible Universe, without God
b) the perceptible Universe, with God (perceptible or not)

then until such time as evidence for God comes along, I'll go with a). Got any evidence?

neil said...

Well, well, well.

Not much need to comment really Dr F' has made the relevant points but just for the record.

I have not said that the evidence is consistent with common decent or a designer. I was very specific that only a rather fanciful stretch to the notion of a designer, one that has expressly set out to make it look just like common decent could 'fit'. Since this would be untestable and unfalsifiable it is a non-starter. It is just a flight of fancy. It is not in anyway evidence of a designer, any more than the ring of slightly darker grass in my garden is evidence for a fungi or for fairies with the magical ability to impersonate a fungi.

This is all a smoke screen anyway, the point I was trying to make all along is that it is not the similarities in genetic sequences that convince me of common decent. It is the nested hierarchy of those similarities and of the differences that does it.
One example I gave was the pattern shown by the gene for vitamin C synthesis (or in the case of primates like ourselves the no longer functioning psuedogene).
This pattern is a explained perfectly by common ancestry and not by any coherent designer argument.

One last thing to quote you Rho'

'And your side does just the same thing - any dataset can be 'explained' by 'natural selection did it - it had to have'.'

The difference is our 'side' (I don't really like that terminology but what the hey) provides a mechanism for how it happens we don't just say natural selection did it.

neil said...

Oops got got my plural/singulars all twisted, fungi/fungus my old mycology lecturer would have my guts for garters.

Rhology said...

Howdy zilch,

if I had to choose between "God the Designer" or "Polar Bears have White Fur" as a statement consistent with the data, I'd go with the bears.

1) Fine, but I didn't say "God is the designer" here. that's not the point of the post.
2) As if the question of whether polar bears have white fur is a) up for debate, or b) even close to as sweeping a question as whether there is a designer. Apples and orangutans, my friend.


beacuse I've seen polar bears.

And you've never seen a rock turn into a paramecium. I suppose you don't believe that either.
You've never seen lizards turn into birds. Never seen nonmoral matter become moral beings, or unintelligent matter become intelligent beings. I suppose you don't believe any of that either.
Have you ever heard of the Cosmonautical Argument? That's what this is.


the assumption of God's existence does no work at all, as far as I can see.

Staying on track here, the designer hypothesis works just as well for most of the questions related to ID/evolution, and far better in many cases.



neil said:
I was very specific that only a rather fanciful stretch to the notion of a designer

One man's "fanciful" is another man's realistic. For example, you believe that nothing spontaneously popped, uncaused, into something. That's the stuff of fairy tales, and fantastic beyond belief, yet you believe it to be realistic. Whatever.
And you keep forgetting that a fanciful designer is... a DESIGNER. That's the concession from which you're trying as hard as you can to backtrack, but I'm not gonnaletcha.


Since this would be untestable and unfalsifiable it is a non-starter.

1) If it fits the evidence, it's a starter.
2) the principle of falsification is not falsifiable, yet you don't regard THAT as a non-starter. Why the double standard when it's convenient for you?


the point I was trying to make all along is that it is not the similarities in genetic sequences that convince me of common decent.

Well and good, and my point is that a designer could just as easily account for it. So what separates the two? Your wishful thinking to hold to evolution b/c you really dislike the idea of a designer. Maybe b/c you're afraid he'll hold you responsible for the things you've done?


This pattern is a explained perfectly by common ancestry and not by any coherent designer argument.

Make the argument that it's not explained by a "coherent" designer argument. Why, specifically?
Make sure you define "coherent".


provides a mechanism for how it happens we don't just say natural selection did it.

Natsel IS the mechanism. It's shorthand. Let's not play sophist word games here.

NAL said...

It's nice to see you arguing in support of common descent.

zilch said...

You've never seen lizards turn into birds. Never seen nonmoral matter become moral beings, or unintelligent matter become intelligent beings. I suppose you don't believe any of that either.

As far as I know, no one claims that lizards "turned into" (I suppose you mean "evolved into") birds. Birds evolved from therapsid dinosaurs, not from lizards. If you are going to debate evolution, you should at least know the basics. In case you're wondering, I've read the Bible pretty thoroughly, but just in English and German.

And of course I haven't "seen" evolution at such large scale: it takes a long time for unintelligent matter to evolve into intelligent beings. But there's a lot of evidence that this happened, just as there's a lot of evidence that the Colorado River excavated the Grand Canyon, even if you can't "see" the whole process. I won't give you any links- I'm sure you're capable of googling "evolution" for yourself.

I'll just add that I'm not a scientist, but I took a lot of upper division paleo classes at UC Berkeley, and spent a whole lot of time in the lab and the field, and what I saw fit the ToE, or perhaps a God who was trying very hard to hide, and imitate the ToE. But as far as I know, not many people since Gosse subscribe to that kind of God.

There's no evidence of which I'm aware that God exists. I read the thread you linked to, but as far as I can see, you merely issue a challenge there for evidence for evolution, but don't demonstrate how the God hypothesis explains things. So I ask again: do you have any evidence for the existence of God? Sorry, the Bible doesn't count, unless you also count Gilgamesh.

cheers from rainy Vienna, zilch

P.S. Let me know if you're ever out this way, or in the SF Bay Area in the summer, and lunch is on me. And all the best with your new son.

NAL said...

Rho:
And you've never seen a rock turn into a paramecium. ... You've never seen lizards turn into birds.

Those arguments would also work against the common descent via a designer interpretation.

neil said...

Oh dear.

Now you are telling me what I believe about the origins of the universe, and not doing a very good job of it I might add.

I will always leave a door open in the back of my mind to other interpretations of the evidence, that doesn't mean treating all potential explanations as equal.
I consider the common ancestry explanation for the repeated (keyword that) nested hierarchies I referred to a better explanation as it is consistent with all the evidence (not just genetic but also the fossil record and observed instances of adaptation and speciation etc) and it is supported by a well studied and understood mechanism.
If I can be shown a similar body of evidence and a consistent mechanism for your designer I will of course consider it, as none of that exists I think 'fanciful' is the right term to use.

I have not backtracked, I don't feel you have been at all honest in how you represented my position.

I am quite happy that the reason every single piece of evidence fits with common ancestry is because of common ancestry. However I will not claim absolute certainty, that would be intellectual dishonesty.

I'll avoid being dragged into the word games, you know very well what I mean by 'coherent'.

"Natsel IS the mechanism. It's shorthand. Let's not play sophist word games here."

Maybe I was unclear, let me put it in more detail.
Yes saying natural selection did it is a bit of short hand, in reality biologists identify the selection pressures, look at allele frequencies, locate specific changes in D.N.A sequences, work out the phenotype consequences of those changes etc.
That is what I meant by providing mechanisms.

I don't think I can be any clearer than that if you still persist in acting as if you achieved some victory here with my 'concession' than go ahead nothing I can say will stop you. Just be carefully about the 'false witness' stuff, as I understand it, it's best avoided ;) .

Rhology said...

zilch,

Dinosaur = "terrible lizard". They're lizards. Sheesh - would you mind not wasting more of our time?
You believe dinosaurs evolved into birds. Is that better? Suddenly it's more likely and less bizarre and fantastic b/c more people say it?

of course I haven't "seen" evolution at such large scale:

So you haven't observed it. So it's not a scientific question.


it takes a long time for unintelligent matter to evolve into intelligent beings.

There you go - the title of my post. Assume it happened.
I want EVIDENCE it happened. What EVIDENCE do you have that that happenED?


just as there's a lot of evidence that the Colorado River excavated the Grand Canyon,

And maybe God made it that way, with all the materials in place.
What would be your evidence that it went down your way and not mine?


I'm sure you're capable of googling "evolution" for yourself.

Hahaha - you told me to "google" it. Why don't you start with your favorite piece of evidence for evolution? Just one, and we'll see how far we get with that.


what I saw fit the ToE, or perhaps a God who was trying very hard to hide, and imitate the ToE.

Once again, there you go - the title of my post. Assume it happened.


But as far as I know, not many people since Gosse subscribe to that kind of God.

You didn't even ask me if I do. And I do, properly defined. So could you please deal with MY argument?


There's no evidence of which I'm aware that God exists.

I'd be interested in your reactions to this and this.


I read the thread you linked to, but as far as I can see, you merely issue a challenge there for evidence for evolution

Correct, and that was what I was answering. What are your responses to that?


Sorry, the Bible doesn't count, unless you also count Gilgamesh

Give me a good reason why the Bible doesn't count.
Oh, and words don't count. You'll have to figure something else out.


P.S.

That's kind of you, and thank you. I hope to be in Marseilles a while this summer, but that's quite a ways from Vienna, unfortunately.



NAL said:
Those arguments would also work against the common descent via a designer interpretation.

True, as far as they go, but all I meant was that zilch had never OBSERVED these things. Rather, he assumes they happened.


neil said:
Now you are telling me what I believe about the origins of the universe, and not doing a very good job of it I might add.

You are always free to correct me on your beliefs. Please let me know when I mistake your position.
What is your position on the origin of the universe?


If I can be shown a similar body of evidence and a consistent mechanism for your designer I will of course consider it

Given that we have seen no argument that would rule out the designhyp for the body of facts that we have, you may consider all the facts that exist as evidence for it, much like you clearly do for ToE.
So if you were being intellectually honest, you would do one of two things:
1) Regard the IDhyp as equally valid, at least for now, or
2) Give an argument for why IDhyp doesn't fit some of these facts and why ToE does.


I don't feel you have been at all honest in how you represented my position.

Likewise, your inability to accept the fact that you have clearly conceded the point doesn't inspire much confidence in me.


you know very well what I mean by 'coherent'.

If I knew, I wouldn't have asked. I'll ask again.

neil said...

"You are always free to correct me on your beliefs. Please let me know when I mistake your position.
What is your position on the origin of the universe?"

Put simply I don't know.

"So if you were being intellectually honest, you would do one of two things:
1) Regard the IDhyp as equally valid, at least for now, or
2) Give an argument for why IDhyp doesn't fit some of these facts and why ToE does."

ToE fits the whole pattern of evidence, not just some.
ToE has clearly defined mechanisms.
Evolution has been observed, even if you only accept that 'microevolution' has been observed, not even 'microdesign' has been observed.
There is to much in biology that is contrary to the notion of designed e.g the path of the vagus nerve but is consistant with ToE
That'll do for now.

Now some questions for you, lets get back to what I have 'conceded'.
The only possible design hypothesis (it isn't really a hypothesis but I'll humour you) that could fit the evidence is a designer that purposefully made it look just like the ToE is correct, right down to some really imaginative details like that vagus nerve above, for an unspecified reason and by an unspecified mechanism.

Now please correct me if I'm wrong but that is not the designer implied by the I.D movement and/or Christianity.

Also you once referred to my position along the lines of it being the first step to accepting design, it isn't though is it, as it is very specific and there is no where else to go. The moment you try to move from my very hypothetical impressionist designer to the Christian God (which I'm assuming you believe in based on the rest of this blog but as you say, correct me if I'm wrong) the whole deck of cards comes down.

neil said...

Sorry I missed this earlier and it made me laugh.

"Dinosaur = "terrible lizard". They're lizards. Sheesh - would you mind not wasting more of our time?"

Hippopotamus = "river horse".

Orangutan = "forest person".

Gorilla = "belonging to a tribe of hairy women".

Sheesh indeed.

Dr Funkenstein said...

Seriously, now you're going to argue that you have greater capacity for meaning in your naturalistic world?

we're talking about methodological as opposed to ontological naturalism here. I've worked beside Muslims, Christians of various stripes, Hindus and probably many other viewpoints besides - they seemed to have no problems using met nat in their work rather than demanding that any dataset be explained by 'dunno, musta been the designer that did it'.

Come on.
And your side does just the same thing - any dataset can be 'explained' by 'natural selection did it - it had to have'. Use some arguments that actually make your side look good.


We're talking about common ancestry - the absence of a chromosome fusion isn't consistent with common ancestry.

Hominid fossils in the Precambrian is not consistent with common ancestry

Mutliple types of heritable material in different populations of organisms is not consistent with common ancestry.

Mutation, drift, selection, recombination are all demonstrated mechanisms in the real world that alter the properties of populations. You don't even dispute this.

But the pattern is just the same as if a Designer had made it that way.

So's a completely different pattern. So it tells you nothing about whether a designer did or didn't do it.

Curious also that the one that is does exist is consistent with common ancestry, when it could as easily have been consistent with something completely different.

Haha, and when we point out the ones that it can't support, you argue against us. This is an empty qualification.

I've many times listed observations it can't support, including 3 above. Google would find you many more. What real world observations have been made by any ID proponent that can't be explained by current evolutionary theory?

same goes for yours.

We then reject or modify theories, parts of theories or hypotheses that don't sit with the evidence.

However, there are numerous evolutionary hypotheses that have derived accurate predictions - like the chromosomal fusion post I went over at length with you. In fact, there are several hundred thousand papers that tested hypotheses to do with evolutionary theory. Why is ID not at the very least formulating and testing hypotheses?

designer did it covers literally any outcome, so it is irrelevant what the outcome is.

This is the difference between a scientific theory/hypothesis and what you have proposed:

A scientific theory may be compatible with observation A or maybe a range of observations in some cases, eg A and B) for a given problem. It cannot be compatible with observations A and not A; nor can it be compatible with A or B but also not A and not B as well.

As I went over at length, the theory of common ancestry is compatible with the observation (A) suggesting a fusion of a pair of chromosomes. It is incompatible with the absence of this observation (not A) ie the lack of homologous genetic info on the fused vs unfused chroms or the absence of telomere sequences in the middle of the human chroms.

It can't account for all populations of organisms having different heritable material - the same way standard paternity tests couldn't account for a baby that had completely different heritable material to any potential parents being tested.

Yes, A DESIGNER. Next?

I think his point was that up to now, it would have been consistent with a designer specifically mimicking common descent, not just any old designer doing any old thing - there's no reason to assume a designer that does whatever it feels like would mean this was the case this for any future observations we may make. Therefore, we should expect to observe anything under the design hypothesis, whether consistent with common descent or not. On the other hand, common descent will only predict the occurrence of observations consistent with common descent eg the patterns discussed on ERV's thread.

So you either have to concede the designer hypothesis

only explains things in an ad hoc fashion,

or

pick one of thousands of potential hypotheses at random and hope it gets lucky

or

admit that its absolutely useless, just as saying 'because a polar bear's fur is white' is consistent with the data but useless for generating hypotheses

or

concede that there's a real plausibility that common ancestry is the actual reason that there is the appearance of a pattern consistent with common ancestry.





1) As a Christian, by the Biblical revelation and going therefrom. In many cases, it wouldn't differ much from how it goes now.

Biblical revelation is not consistent with even just the appearance of common ancestry never mind actual common ancestry, since it becomes impossible to quantify a kind given that pattern. the biblical designer is said to have created specific kinds, that should therefore be able to be categorised by empirical means - there's a reason this has failed to happen (don't bother regurgitating the 'can't define a species' remark yet again, as you know full well there are perfectly good reasons why this is not possible - there are no good reasons why a kind cannot be defined other than the fact no such thing exists).


2) But for the sake of this internal critique argument, that's Step 2, as i've told you numerous times. Do you just forget or are you intentionally trying to obscure the issue?

But we've pointed out numerous flaws in your internal critique and what you've concluded from it - we've done an internal critique of your internal critique, if you will.

Since every experiment requires some kind of experimental manipulation or involvement of the human 'designer', [if we accept your criteria] all we can conclude is you DO NOT KNOW what natural processes can or can't do - this does not render them false, nor does it prove the ID hypothesis since there's no means for a human to do a study where no human is present. Ignorance is not proof of an alternative hypothesis. Furthermore, a human is not a supernatural designer, so it could not serve as proof of what a supernatural designer can or can't do - so why you think this is evidence for supernatural ID I have no idea.

It's the equivalent of saying 'prove to me you can swim, but without getting wet' - my inability to remove the essential criteria that I get wet as part of swimming would not justify you saying 'ah, that supports my premise that you can't swim (or the opposite)'. If the demands are self-refuting as yours are, the exercise tells you precisely nothing one way or the other.

Step 1 is WHETHER the Designer is the best hypothesis.

1.it would actually be at best an equal hypothesis since common ancestry would look exactly the same as mimicked common ancestry. Thus both would describe the data equally well, so the designer would not be a better hypothesis.
2. Second, the evolutionary version describes the same data without any extra and rather pointless assumptions that the mimic version requires.
3. The common ancestry version by definition would continue to predict the appearance of common ancestry and observations consistent with that. The design hypothesis has no reason to do that, and should expect just about any observation. Therefore, it's either a. useless or b. liable to be shown false very quickly unless it piggybacks on the evolutionary hypothesis, which it has no real reason to do.

So in summary, no, it's quite obviously not the best hypothesis.

Dr Funkenstein said...

So you haven't observed it. So it's not a scientific question.

This is the most persistently ridiculous thing you say - there are observed facts (fossils, genetic codes, pseudogenes etc). Theories explain those observed facts - in what way does the theory of common ancestry not utilise observations to draw its conclusions?

Observation in science refers to both the things you see right in front of your eyes (eg a ball falling to earth as a result of gravity), as well as the remnants of any events which occurred previously (eg the aforementioned fossils, genetic code etc) or other observations that would infer the existence of entities that you can't directly observe(eg expolanets). Watson and Crick did not directly observe the structure of DNA - because they couldn't. They instead used indirect observations from X Ray scattering to infer its structure. Surely you would not say the discovery of the structure of DNA was not scientific?

If you had to observe directly literally every event that you believed to be true you'd know virtually nothing about anything.

zilch said...

Z: of course I haven't "seen" evolution at such large scale:

R: So you haven't observed it. So it's not a scientific question.


Rho- you haven't observed all kinds of things, for instance the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883, or the apparition of Halley's Comet in 1910. Are these also not under the purview of science?

Z: it takes a long time for unintelligent matter to evolve into intelligent beings.

R: There you go - the title of my post. Assume it happened.
I want EVIDENCE it happened. What EVIDENCE do you have that that happenED?


Uh, that evolution has been demonstrated in the lab, in the field, and can be inferred from the fossil record and by many other independent lines of evidence based on morphology, genetics, and biochemistry? But I guess that all has no weight, when held up to a book written by people who thought that bats were birds...

True, abiogenesis has not (yet) been reproduced or observed. But we haven't been trying for billions of years, either.

Z: just as there's a lot of evidence that the Colorado River excavated the Grand Canyon,

R: And maybe God made it that way, with all the materials in place.
What would be your evidence that it went down your way and not mine?


What's your evidence that the entire universe is not a communication from a demiurge to a minor demon that was written last Tuesday, in such a way that it just seems to be old to us measly bits of letters? Your answer to this question is probably similar to my answer to yours, unless yours involves the Bible. Let's just say that I have "faith" that the universe is more or less the way it seems: old, and not created six thousand years ago, or last Tuesday. Just because we can entertain all kinds of scenarios along these lines which cannot be disproven (brains in vats, etc.), doesn't mean we should take them seriously. At some point, we must trust what seems to be the case. And guess what: this approach works pretty well- it enables us to make predictions and build computers and fly to the Moon- and tell us likely places to look for transitional fossils.

Z: There's no evidence of which I'm aware that God exists.

R: I'd be interested in your reactions to this and this.


Well, your second "this" is Circular Sye, who just demonstrates how fun it is to play with words. The first "this" by Bahnsen is more sophisticated, but basically the same presuppositional nonsense. They are both right up to a point: I cannot account for the laws of logic, and I cannot explain how the Universe came into being. However, they can't either; all they do is suppose the existence of God who does this stuff, but who Himself remains unexplained. This hypothesis does no more work than mine (the same mysteries remain), is a great deal more complex (by the factor of one superbeing), and most damning of all: there is not a scrap of evidence for it.

That's the trouble with a lot of philosophy, theological and otherwise, imho: if it's not grounded in observation, but just built of syllogisms, then it more often then not just ends up being words chasing their own tails, but has no necessary correspondence to the real world. But that's another topic...

Not only that, but if God is an intelligent living Being, all the evidence we have suggests that He must Himself have evolved: intelligent living beings don't just spring fully formed out of nothing, but are the result of a long period of mutation and natural selection. So we have an infinite regress.

Z: Sorry, the Bible doesn't count [as evidence for God's existence], unless you also count Gilgamesh

R: Give me a good reason why the Bible doesn't count.
Oh, and words don't count. You'll have to figure something else out.


Er, you, Rho, are the one with the burden of proof: you are the one claiming that something exists, not me. You will have to figure something out. And it seems pretty obvious why the Bible doesn't count, unless you have independent evidence that it is accurate in what it says about God, and that opposing accounts, say Gilgamesh, are inaccurate. As you know, people do make up stories all the time, and lots of them claim to be the truth.

You ask about my favorite piece of evidence for evolution. How about the giraffe's recurrent laryngeal nerve? Of course, asking for one single piece of evidence for evolution is a bit disingenuous, since it is the big picture that supports the ToE. But as you must know by now, the giraffe's recurrent laryngeal nerve is much longer than it need be, since it makes a detour all the way down the neck and back up again. The evolutionary explanation for this is simple: it is much easier for a nerve to evolve to be longer than for it to be rerouted or replaced, and the wasted nerve cells and time delay are not that great a burden. But it is undoubtedly a bizarre design.

So what's your explanation for this? Why did God the Designer do what any human engineer would have done, and rerouted the nerve? Note that the evolutionary explanation is not just an ex post facto just-so story, but can be used to make predictions. I will do so: I predict that the recurrent laryngeal nerve of the okapi is also quite a bit longer than necessary. Your explanation doesn't have this predictive power, unless it simply apes the evolutionary one. In that case, it's no explanation at all, but just an unnecessary complication that adds nothing.

So, I ask again: what evidence do you have that God exists?

cheers from rainy Vienna, zilch

neil said...

BTW Zilch,

If I'm not mistaken the bird linage is via theropod dinosaurs, not therapsids, therapsids are more recently ancestral to mammals.

I could be wrong dinosaurs both avian and otherwise are not really me thing.

zilch said...

neil- thanks, you are right. It's been a long time since the university, and some of those names rolling around in my brain need refreshing... In any case, the saurian ancestry of birds is not in any serious doubt.

neil said...

Actually I put it badly, saying therapsids are more recently ancestral to mammals is wrong as it implies they are ancestral to aves as well which I think is incorrect.

At risk of making Rho's head explode it would have been better to say birds are theropods and mammals are therapsids.

However as you say.

"In any case, the saurian ancestry of birds is not in any serious doubt."

Modusoperandi said...

Rhology "Have you ever heard of the Cosmonautical Argument? That's what this is."
Whether or not they disagree with each other, I hardly see what this has to do with Russians in space.

NAL said...

Rho:
But the pattern is just the same as if a Designer had made it that way.

So, the pattern is identical whether it was caused by natural selection or by a Designer. Therefore, if we assume the Designer interpretation, the Designer created a pattern that is indistinguishable from one that would have been created by natural selection. Hence, the theory of natural selection is consistent with the pattern that is observed.

zilch said...

Not that this point hasn't already been made abundantly by Dr Funk, neil, and NAL, but let me try again.

neil: No not with what a designer predicts. Only with what a designer mimicking common descent would predict.

Rho: That is precisely the point. Neil here concedes that the data is just as well explained by a Designer.
It looks like it could have evolved. Sure, whatever, fine. A Designer could also have done it. When I ask for proof for evolution in the context of a debate about ID, I'm expecting you to share some of your "mountains of evidence" with me that could not just as easily be evidence for ID.


The key word here is "explained". What exactly do you mean when you say that some hypothesis "explains" something? As Dr Funk pointed out, merely "being consistent with the evidence" is not the same as "explaining", because it does no work. Myriads of imaginable hypotheses are consistent with the evidence. How does positing a Designer "explain" what we see, if we can explain it just as well without positing a Designer? You have yet to show us any evidence that does not fit the ToE but does fit your "God the Designer" hypothesis. Of course, you're in good company here: this is precisely why ID cannot (yet) be considered science.

One last question. Over at your dedicated ERV thread you were asked, repeatedly, if any observation or evidence could ever change your mind about the truth of the Bible. So far, you have not answered. As several people pointed out, if your answer is "no", that's a discussion stopper. It is also a science stopper: if your belief in God is unfalsifiable, then that's fine with me- more power to you. But such a belief is not science.

In that case, you have no business trying to get your faith-inspired viewpoint into public school science classrooms.

zilch said...

Sorry, correction: when I said-

Why did God the Designer do what any human engineer would have done, and rerouted the nerve?

I of course meant:

Why did not God the Designer do what any human engineer would have done, and reroute the nerve?

I guess some minor demiurge was pulling my strings...

Rhology said...

...and just when I thought I was over it, I get worse today and it turns out I have strep throat.
Sorry, can't guarantee when I'll be back. Peace.

neil said...

Nasty.
Tinternet banter not withstanding get well soon.

NAL said...

Hope it's not an evolved strain of erythromycin-resistant Group A streptococci. Don't get into an argument about naturalism with your doctor.

Anonymous said...

As far as anybody can tell, the argument in this blog post is "Goddidit" wearing a fake moustache.

Modusoperandi said...

Anonymous: according to the ontological argument, as formulated by Aunt Selma (later improved Alvin Plantinga, of Chipmunks fame), that so-called "fake moustache" is really a moustache greater than any real moustache. Indeed, it's greater than any moustache that can be conceived. Now what do you have to say? Hmmm, smart guy?

zilch said...

Strep throat is not fun. Take care of yourself and get well soon. That's more important for you and your family than silly internet quibblings.

Sparrowhawk said...

Rhology, you are smarter than this. I know you are. What are you trying to prove? It seems like every time you engage people on this, all it is is a Matt Slick-style "gotcha" argument where you try to stump the "other side", setting up a false dichotomy whereby you feel you've "won" because you've stumped your opponent. This doesn't work on people of faith, of course, because you cannot be stumped. Sure, any gap in knowledge of evolution or the origins of the Universe is a perfect opportunity for you to chuckle and say there had to have been a designer. But, when further questioned about this designer, you have the option of retreating into saying the designer is mysterious...or outside the universe, or cannot be comprehended, etc etc. That's all well and good, but how can you have the nerve to laugh at better (albeit sometimes incomplete) explanations? "I don't know" is a perfectly fine answer if it is the truth...at least in my opinion it is much better than "designer did it". And I hate to seem like a snarky troll or anything, but I'm not going to read this comment page again. I gave up on trying to publicly engage you on your blog. Go ahead and pick a line from what I said, and argue against it and go off into some other tangent. Good luck.

captain howdy said...

Biologists tell us that one line of evidence for common ancestry is endogenous retroviruses.

Since you're a Christian, and all Christians--including Christian plumbers, Christian real estate agents and Christian mailmen--inherently understand biology better than mere biologists do, perhaps you could explain why all those stupid biologists are wrong when they claim that common ERV infection points in the genomes of humans and chimpanzees are evidence of common ancestry of those 2 species.

Anonymous said...

"Rhology, you are smarter than this."

You haven't been reading this blog very long, have you?

rotsaP loeJ said...

a point about scientific knowledge of things past. Whereas we could with perfect consistency use science in its old sense, scientia, as a synonym for knowledge, it seems that we are attempting to apply a stricter definition in the present argument, one which entails falsifiability, repeated testing, observation, and so on.

If that is to be our definition, then it seems plain that any past occurences, whether biological evolution, the eruption of Vesuvius, or the battle of Waterloo are, properly and strictly speaking, within the domain of history, and not of science. (Or at any rate, of science in the technical and positivist sense now current; for myself, I am all in favour of returning to a more generalised "scientia".)

Do I misunderstand the term? I would certainly say we have historical knowledge. But I would not call it scientifically grounded in the generally accepted sense of, say, the physical or chemical disciplines.

Anonymous said...

"If that is to be our definition, then it seems plain that any past occurences, whether biological evolution, the eruption of Vesuvius, or the battle of Waterloo are, properly and strictly speaking, within the domain of history, and not of science."

Any past occurrences would include the "physical or chemical" occurrences that you believe are on much firmer ground. So unless you can provide an argument for why these particular "historical occurrences" somehow don't count, you are making a meaningless distinction for the convenience of a specific argument against "biological evolution".

Science assumes consistency forwards and backwards in time for convenience, until such time as it is shown to be otherwise. This is non-controversial except for clowns like Rhology, who either can't or won't understand the basic terms used in the discussion. Watch him gibber and prance when he notices I've used the word "assumes", for example.

neil said...

Rho' hope the throat is gettin better. It seems we will just go round in circles on this evidence of design stuff so I thought I would chang tack.
Below I have listed what i see as ten basic principles in the modern synthesis of evolutionary theory, it is not an exhaustive list nor is it a progressive stepwise description of evolution (although in parts it does flow).
I am curious as to which of this principles/concepts you would 'agree' with and which you might 'reject'.

1)Variation, within a population there will be variations in anatomy, physiology, behaviour etc.
2)Genetics, much of this variation is due to differences in the D.N.A base pair sequences (different genes/alleles) of individuals within the population.
3)Heredity, organisms inherit genes from their parents, they tend to resemble their parents more closely than the rest of the population.
4)Competition, more offspring tend to be produced than the environment can support as a result individuals within a population compete for many resources.
5)Reproductive success, not all individuals within a population will successfully reproduce.
6)Selection, it is not a entirely random which individuals achieve reproductive success, the best adapted individuals tend to be more reproductively successful.
7)Evolution (in it’s biological definition ‘a change in allele frequency’), the particular alleles carried by the best adapted individuals (hence more reproductively successful) will become more abundant within the population.
8)Point mutation, D.N.A replication between generation is not perfect, new varieties of genetic sequences are generated by these errors e.g substitutions resulting in the change of an amino acid in the resulting protein.
9)Macromutations, during meiosis and mitosis changes can occur involving larger sections of a chromosome, such as deletions or duplications of whole genes.
10)Duplications, a duplicate of an existing gene can undergo further mutation without the organism loosing the original function of that gene as the other copy is still functional e.g opsin genes for colour vision.

zilch said...

Way to go, neil- jump on a guy when he's down. On second thought: since we atheists have no reason not to be nasty, why not? Let's get those kidney punches in while we can.

Rho- I hope you and yours are doing well. Take your time.

cheers from it's-about-time-for-some-real-Spring-weather Vienna, zilch

Anonymous said...

'Way to go, neil- jump on a guy when he's down.'

Maybe I just missed the point but come off it, hardly jumping on the fella, it's not like a big attack or something was it.
He doesn't have to answer if he's still too poorly does he? He might even like the distraction.
I wrote that list for something else and thought I'd post it here as I am genuinly curious as to what Rho's thoughts or those of other non-evilotionists would be.

neil said...

oops forget to put in my name it was of cousre I, neil

zilch said...

Neil- either your irony meter needs calibrating, or I was just too subtle: I was just kidding. Your list is pretty comprehensive, and I too wait with bated breath for Rho's reaction. All in good time.

neil said...

Doh, though you might be pulling my leg, but still wanted to be clear.

Rhology said...

OK, well hi everyone. I thank God for antibiotics, which have me around 80% from my strep throat that had me on the ropes for more than 10 days. And don't worry, NAL, I never talk about that kind of thing with the guy who's going to prescribe me medication (or not)! ;-)
I'm seeing some hysteria and lots of insulting remarks, but not too many actual responses. There are a few, thankfully, though.

OK, first off, neil said:
ToE fits the whole pattern of evidence, not just some.

1) So does the ID hypothesis. In fact, it fits it far better.
2) I'm going to remember you said that. Remember Dr Funk's earlier comment? He said:

So you either have to concede the designer hypothesis

only explains things in an ad hoc fashion,

or

pick one of thousands of potential hypotheses at random and hope it gets lucky

or

admit that its absolutely useless, just as saying 'because a polar bear's fur is white' is consistent with the data but useless for generating hypotheses

or

concede that there's a real plausibility that common ancestry is the actual reason that there is the appearance of a pattern consistent with common ancestry.



Read the context of his argument here and you'll see that you have a problem and a disagreement with him.
Oh great, whom to believe?


Evolution has been observed

Well, MICROevol has. But no one is arguing about that.
As far as things that you'd argue go beyond microevol, you have to show how those are not the result of intelligent design.


not even 'microdesign' has been observed.

1) Begging the question.
2) Microdesign has been observed in all sorts of things, FAR more often than anything related to this question. Microchips, computer parts, Micro Machines, nanotechnology. We have far more experience with this than with what you're speculating on.


There is to much in biology that is contrary to the notion of designed e.g the path of the vagus nerve but is consistant with ToE

Explain why exactly that is not consistent with ID. Make sure you actually respond to the original post, which you apparently forgot about already.


The only possible design hypothesis (it isn't really a hypothesis but I'll humour you) that could fit the evidence is a designer that purposefully made it look just like the ToE is correct,

Or maybe accidentally.
Or maybe you misinterpret what you observe. (That's my position, BTW.)
And again, you concede that the ID hyp is possible.


please correct me if I'm wrong but that is not the designer implied by the I.D movement and/or Christianity.

1) That is irrelevant - the identity of the Designer is not a question with which we concern ourselves before we decide WHETHER said Designer exists and is responsible for what we do observe.
2) You are wrong.
2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 (New American Standard Bible)

10and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.

11For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false,

12in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.



Dr Funk said:
rather than demanding that any dataset be explained by 'dunno, musta been the designer that did it'.

Which is a pretty bad strawman. See my 1st BEAR post.


We're talking about common ancestry - the absence of a chromosome fusion isn't consistent with common ancestry.

1) Whoa, wait a sec. Neil just a second ago said, and I quote: ToE fits the whole pattern of evidence, not just some.
Who's right and how can we know?
2) Do you, then, reject the typical ToE with common ancestry?
If not, what should it tell us about your intellectual honesty that you haven't done so, given all this contrary evidence?


So's a completely different pattern. So it tells you nothing about whether a designer did or didn't do it.

Far from it. If the pattern is reasonably attributable to a Designer but NOT attributable to an alternative hyp, like ToE, then the Designer hyp is confirmed.
THEN we get to work on the Designer's identity. You keep wanting to jump ahead to step 2.


What real world observations have been made by any ID proponent that can't be explained by current evolutionary theory?

You yourself listed 5 above, and I thank you for it.


Why is ID not at the very least formulating and testing hypotheses?

I would ask them. Maybe it's b/c they're not numerous. Maybe they don't have the $. Maybe they lack the talent. Maybe they don't care. Maybe their interests are elsewhere.
Also, maybe they have done some but you reject them out of hand b/c they're those --shudder-- ID people. Scott Minnichs comes to mind.
This is your scientific snobbery. Dembski debated Ruse a few weeks ago in my area. A horrible debate, putrid, waste of time. Dembski's opening statement was total crap, and I said to myself, "there is no way Ruse's could be any worse", and then it WAS! Ruse discarded the question of "is ID true?" b/c all he wanted to discuss was whether it was science. What the heck do I care whether it's science if it's not TRUE? Made no sense, and this is your attitude here. I don't share such a narrowminded Inquisitorial view as yours.


designer did it covers literally any outcome, so it is irrelevant what the outcome is.

And so... you don't accept it, why? It answers all the questions. But nnnnoooooooo, you wanna find something yourSELF. You are sinful man in full display.


his point was that up to now, it would have been consistent with a designer specifically mimicking common descent, not just any old designer doing any old thing

Actually, given the numerous examples you've given where common ancestry is NOT compatible with the evidence, it looks like the Designer has left you several clues. Why aren't you following those clues?


you either have to concede the designer hypothesis ... only explains things in an ad hoc fashion

This is a cute throwaway label, but it never holds water.
1 thing you might be saying is that it's a novel idea, introduced for convenience's sake. But IDH has been around for 1000s of yrs as the main idea of Judaism and then Christianity. Next?
Or you might be saying that it is invoked to explain ANYthing. A few responses:
1) Duh, it's the right answer, so it's not surprising it is invoked to explain stuff.
2) Conversely, what does it say about your hypothesis that it CAN'T explain some things?
3) And yet we see neil in all his fideistic glory saying that commonanc DOES explain everything, so your side does the same thing, only y'all apparently can't make up your mind which way you're going to go.



Biblical revelation is not consistent with even just the appearance of common ancestry

Wrong - see 2 Thess 2 above. The problem is with YOU, not with the actual state of affairs.


the biblical designer is said to have created specific kinds, that should therefore be able to be categorised by empirical means

1) Yes, He made kinds, but didn't specify in the Bible what "kinds" means exactly. A banana is one kind; a beetle is another.
2) And your side claims speciation occurs and you can't define species. How many times do you have to be corrected on this point? This has to be the 5th time I've corrected you on this, at least.


Since every experiment requires some kind of experimental manipulation or involvement of the human 'designer', [if we accept your criteria] all we can conclude is you DO NOT KNOW what natural processes can or can't do

That's EXACTLY right. YOU DON'T KNOW, and yet you think that any dissenting opinion isn't science, doesn't belong in the lab, or academia, or schools, etc. Your faith in what you can't even get close to proving is breathtaking.


this does not render them false,

How much respect would you have for Joe Christian who, after hearing your naturalist arguments and having no rebuttal, retorts, "But, but, but, you can't PROVE that God doesn't exist!"? That's what this is.


Ignorance is not proof of an alternative hypothesis.

Promissory evolutionary theory. You've crippled our hypothesis, but SOMEday we'll get it right!


a human is not a supernatural designer, so it could not serve as proof of what a supernatural designer can or can't do

I didn't bring up a supernatural Designer. Next?


Zilch: of course I haven't "seen" evolution at such large scale:
Rho: So you haven't observed it. So it's not a scientific question.
DrF: Theories explain those observed facts - in what way does the theory of common ancestry not utilise observations to draw its conclusions? ...as well as the remnants of any events which occurred previously (eg the aforementioned fossils, genetic code etc) or other observations that would infer the existence of entities that you can't directly observe(eg expolanets).

Fine, what I should have said was that it's not a question of repeatable science, not like most other questions of science today. It's FORENSIC science, like archaeology. Funny thing is that archaeology concerns itself almost exclusively with the isolation of patterns from nature.


Surely you would not say the discovery of the structure of DNA was not scientific?

No, b/c that kind of thing is REPEATABLE. Your so-called observations of so-called evolution are not.


If you had to observe directly literally every event that you believed to be true you'd know virtually nothing about anything.

...And that would be a swipe against the believer in scientism, who are well represented on the interwebz. Thanks for joining the cause against such irrational thinking.



Zilch said:
that evolution has been demonstrated in the lab, in the field, and can be inferred from the fossil record and by many other independent lines of evidence based on morphology, genetics, and biochemistry?

How, precisely? Give me your best example of how evolution has been "demonstrated in the field".
Not the lab, b/c the lab is ID, not unguided natsel, as I'm sure you realise, and is therefore actually evidence for MY position, not yours.
Morphology - begs the question against ID. Any Designer could acct for such.
Genetics - ditto. Designer can acct for it.
Biochemistry - ditto.
So, as it turns out, you don't actually have any evidence, do you?


You ask about my favorite piece of evidence for evolution. How about the giraffe's recurrent laryngeal nerve?

OK. Please explain exactly how you're 100% sure that evolution brought this about, and a Designer COULDN'T have. That would be called "evidence", and that's what I'm requesting.


it makes a detour all the way down the neck and back up again.

The Designer made it that way. Prove me wrong.
Your best evidence, you said it yourself. Down the drain.


The evolutionary explanation for this is simple: it is much easier for a nerve to evolve to be longer than for it to be rerouted or replaced, and the wasted nerve cells and time delay are not that great a burden. But it is undoubtedly a bizarre design.

You mean "it is undoubtedly not designed", don't you?
IDH's explanation is simple too. The ID made it that way. I'm less than impressed by your "best evidence".


Why did God the Designer do what any human engineer would have done, and rerouted the nerve?

I don't care, I just want to know whether ToE or IDH can better acct for it. Looks like IDH definitely can. ToE maybe can. IDH - winner.


I will do so: I predict that the recurrent laryngeal nerve of the okapi is also quite a bit longer than necessary.

Why couldn't an ID theorist make the exact same prediction? Maybe he enjoyed putting similar nerves in similar animals.


people who thought that bats were birds...

That's been addressed on this blog before. My friend ably answered it.
The rule around here is that you get 5 chances, if you are so foolish as to try, to demonstrate the Bible's inaccuracy or a contradiction. 5 and only 5.
If you want to, you can, but make sure they're your 5 best. After they're refuted, try to bring up another and I'll mock you for failing on your first 5. Sorry, them's the rules.


abiogenesis has not (yet) been reproduced or observed. But we haven't been trying for billions of years, either.

That's the spirit! SOMEday you'll get there!!!!!! Just BELIEVE hard enough!


What's your evidence that the entire universe is not a communication from a demiurge to a minor demon that was written last Tuesday

1) God is my fundamental presupposition, and He has assured me such is not the case.
2) You, however, have no way to prove this is not the case. this is why atheism is the grand, cosmic So What? On empirical naturalism, you can put fwd ZERO evidence that this is not the case. This knife cuts your own throat, not mine.


Let's just say that I have "faith" that the universe is more or less the way it seems: old

So you're a believer. Great, glad to see you can admit it.
Now, on what basis do you trust this faith? I trust Jesus b/c He changed my heart, b/c He rose from the dead, and b/c He is the presupposition w/o which nothing makes sense.
Why do you believe what you believe? Remember, no evidence, now.


And guess what: this approach works pretty well- it enables us to make predictions and build computers and fly to the Moon

You mean, you THINK it works well. But in fact, this is all fake and the demiurge set it all up last Tuesday to make you think science did this.
Prove me wrong.


your second "this" is Circular Sye,

We have just seen how you are yet more circular, only viciously.


I cannot account for the laws of logic,

Why should anyone, then, join you in believing a worldview that can't acct for sthg as obvious and fundamental as the laws of logic?


I cannot explain how the Universe came into being.

So you have nothing, is what you're telling me. You'd make a terrible salesman.


However, they can't either

Sure I can. In the beginning was God, and all that.


who Himself remains unexplained.

No, He has explained Himself plenty in the Bible.


there is not a scrap of evidence for it.

There is not a scrap of evidence for yours either, that you're not the product of the last Tuesday demiurge.


all the evidence we have suggests that He must Himself have evolved:

What a silly statement.


So we have an infinite regress.

You mean, if theism were like naturalism, then it would have all naturalism's inherent problems.
Duh. That's why I'm not a naturalist. Theism doesn't infinitely recede - it stops with God.




Modusoperandi said:
I hardly see what this has to do with Russians in space.

You're not in on the joke.
I'm making fun of atheists.



NAL said:
the pattern is identical whether it was caused by natural selection or by a Designer.

Not always. I find the run of the mill ID arguments quite convincing, so I wouldn't grant that at all.
But it's unimportant. Most of the evidence said to be for ToE is actually evidence for ID or is unhelpful to ToE, so this ends up a very minor point.


Zilch said:
What exactly do you mean when you say that some hypothesis "explains" something?

Same thing everyone else means. I mean "account for it". Identify a cause.


Myriads of imaginable hypotheses are consistent with the evidence.

Such as? Give me 5 others for a bare fact related to this question.


How does positing a Designer "explain" what we see, if we can explain it just as well without positing a Designer?

It would help if most of the evidence didn't point to ID. This is a dumb statement in that light.


You have yet to show us any evidence that does not fit the ToE

Respond to this, then.
Then prove that naturalism isn't a total disaster. Start by debunking Last Tuesday-ism.




Sparrowhawk said:
all it is is a Matt Slick-style "gotcha" argument where you try to stump the "other side"

You who engage in mostly mockery would stand in judgment of "smarter"? Please.
And when I "gotcha", it's b/c your argument is crap. Think of a better one, or change yours. My side is always welcoming.


when further questioned about this designer, you have the option of retreating into saying the designer is mysterious or outside the universe, or cannot be comprehended.

1) mysterious - Where have I done that?
2) outside the univ - Oh, so I should change my position just b/c you don't like it? No, thanks.
3) comprehended - Not at all. The Bible has a lot of info about God.


"I don't know" is a perfectly fine answer if it is the truth

Then I'll (rightly) call you out as a fundamentalist, believer, disciple, of your own naturalistic religion. Only that rankles you, b/c you atheists like to play Tough Mr. Intellectual and can't STAND to be called out for what you really are.



captain howdy said:
perhaps you could explain why all those stupid biologists are wrong when they claim that common ERV infection points in the genomes of humans and chimpanzees are evidence of common ancestry of those 2 species.

1) I never said "stupid", thanks.
2) Please explain precisely why that is evidence of that. Explain precisely why the answer "The Designer made their genes that way" is not equally good, or better.




neil said:
list

I disagree with none of that.

neil said...

Interesting, a few quickies.

"1) So does the ID hypothesis. In fact, it fits it far better."

For clarity can you be specific as to what you mean by ID hypothesis, there are different versions out there. Also I have yet to see a clear mechanistic and detailed example of how it fits any of the examples given better.

"2) Microdesign has been observed in all sorts of things, FAR more often than anything related to this question. Microchips, computer parts, Micro Machines, nanotechnology. We have far more experience with this than with what you're speculating on."

For everyone of those examples I would agree it's design, I meant design events in nature, noone has seen anything in the process of being intelligent designed in nature. Not of course that you would expect to even if ID where valid, I was kind of drawing attention to the 'weakness' of the macroevolution not being observed argument you often encounter in tinternetland.

"Explain why exactly that is not consistent with ID. Make sure you actually respond to the original post, which you apparently forgot about already."

Not sure the original post has much relevance. I meant not consistent with ID in that it is in some respects bad design, in that if you where starting from scratch there would be better designs, of course natural selection doesn't start from scratch.

"2) You are wrong.
2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 (New American Standard Bible)

10and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.

11For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false,

12in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness."

Interesting, I'm not that knowledgeable on theology, that is why I am much more circumspect when it comes to the God question (I don't believe but don't claim I'm right) than I am on biology where I feel I have sufficient knowledge to be far more definite.
That said my initial thoughts run along the lines of 'so it's a set up, what chance have I got' ( ;) to emphasis tongue slightly in cheek).

"We're talking about common ancestry - the absence of a chromosome fusion isn't consistent with common ancestry.

1) Whoa, wait a sec. Neil just a second ago said, and I quote: ToE fits the whole pattern of evidence, not just some.
Who's right and how can we know?
2) Do you, then, reject the typical ToE with common ancestry?
If not, what should it tell us about your intellectual honesty that you haven't done so, given all this contrary evidence?"

I think you missed the point here, the fused chromosome isn't absent in human is it.

" will do so: I predict that the recurrent laryngeal nerve of the okapi is also quite a bit longer than necessary.

Why couldn't an ID theorist make the exact same prediction? Maybe he enjoyed putting similar nerves in similar animals."

He was right in his prediction it is like that in the okapi, but know the ID theorist (wrong word but what the hey) couldn't predict with that accuracy as without common ancestry the nested hierarchy it fits would not be an absolute (it is). Don't worry I don't expect you to get that.

"perhaps you could explain why all those stupid biologists are wrong when they claim that common ERV infection points in the genomes of humans and chimpanzees are evidence of common ancestry of those 2 species.

1) I never said "stupid", thanks.
2) Please explain precisely why that is evidence of that. Explain precisely why the answer "The Designer made their genes that way" is not equally good, or better."

Go to
http://www.pnas.org/content/96/18/10254.full

It is a proper paper, so you may find it hard going. It doesn't attempt to answer your question, biology has gone beyond that (if you want to declare that mean you win as biologist assume common ancestry then feel free :) ) It does show how biologists have used ERV's to produce phylogenies, remember if common ancestry is false then it would not have worked.

"neil said:
list

I disagree with none of that."

Groovy. I would like to know in that case how evolution would be avoidable, is it the sufficient time issue?

TTFN

And remember plenty of fluids.

P.S I think I need to work out how to use those HTML tag thingamajigs, sry if my responses are hard to follow.

zilch said...

Rho- I'm glad you're feeling well enough to write such a long reply, but I'm afraid there's not much to say about it. Basically you are simply repeating what we have already pointed out to you: that your Designer seems to have simply mimicked evolution, including all of its gaffes such as the recurrent laryngeal nerve of giraffes. You have yet to show any evidence that is better explained by the IDH. You have not shown any predictions that can be made based on the IDH, or even any examples of research.

In short, your Designer God, as far as evolution is concerned, does no work. It's almost as though He just isn't there. And all the things I admit that I can't account for, you don't account for either- you merely pass the buck to your invisible undetectable God. I could simply say "that's just the way it is", and I have explained just as much as you have, and without any supernumerary entities.

So until such time as I see evidence for the existence of this mysterious big guy, I will (provisionally) stick with naturalism.

neil: yes. Common ancestry explains this stuff: ID only explains it if we assume the Designer to be mimicking evolution so devilishly cleverly that it looks as if He isn't there.

Links work like this:

<a href="url">text</a>

where url is your address (don't forget the quotes around it) and text is whatever you want the link to say.

Modusoperandi said...

Rhology "You're not in on the joke."
I'm not in on a joke from three years ago on a different site? The heck you say!

"I'm making fun of atheists."
Don't quit your day job. Heck, get a night job too.

Dr Funkenstein said...

Microdesign has been observed in all sorts of things, FAR more often than anything related to this question. Microchips, computer parts, Micro Machines, nanotechnology. We have far more experience with this than with what you're speculating on.

You'll notice that none of those are biological of course, nor do they resemeble living organisms in anything more than a superficial manner and they are all designed by known designers using known methods...

Well, MICROevol has. But no one is arguing about that.

As has macro - since macroev is defined as ev at the species level or above

As far as things that you'd argue go beyond microevol, you have to show how those are not the result of intelligent design.

That's shifting the burden of proof - the theory of common ancestry suffices with no designer. The ID thesis that you are promoting (ie the appearance of common anestry facilitated by a designer) requires something extra - demonstrating that a designer not only exists, but likes to specifically mimic common ancestry as opposed to any other pattern.

Explain why exactly that is not consistent with ID. Make sure you actually respond to the original post, which you apparently forgot about already.

Because ID claims that complex, specific, 'finely tuned', 'elegant' features are the mark of the designer. Therefore by comparison we can only assume that inefficient, problematic, inelegant features are a mark of incompetence or malice on the designer's part, or that the designer does not exist and sometimes evolution just has to make do with what is already there to work with whether it's the preferrable option or not.

And again, you concede that the ID hyp is possible.

There are lots of things we'll all concede may be possible in principle - I could flap my arms and fly round the room, there could be a designer of ID etc etc. We're just waiting for someone to demonstrate some support for this in reality as opposed to imagination.

1) Whoa, wait a sec. Neil just a second ago said, and I quote: ToE fits the whole pattern of evidence, not just some.
Who's right and how can we know?
2) Do you, then, reject the typical ToE with common ancestry?
If not, what should it tell us about your intellectual honesty that you haven't done so, given all this contrary evidence?


Erm, you are aware (and you should be given that I dedicated a blog post specifically to you going over it!) that all the hallmarks of a chromosome fusion were present in that particular instance? I'm merely pointing out that had that not been the case the theory of common ancestry could not have explained it.

You yourself listed 5 above, and I thank you for it.

I listed 5 things that would be inconsistent with CA, if anyone did/had found them. Except - minor problem - they didn't/haven't!

Far from it. If the pattern is reasonably attributable to a Designer but NOT attributable to an alternative hyp, like ToE, then the Designer hyp is confirmed.

And how do we reasonably attribute a pattern to a designer given that we

a. don't know what the designer is capable of or its preferences without first identifying him/her/it/them
b. don't know what supernatural design looks like since IC is the apparent measure of it, and all those examples have been shown to be faulty?
c. there's the slight problem that the pattern is attributable to common ancestry.

I'd also point out that it's a false dichotomy to simply assume ID is the answer in the event the ToE is not - ID doesn't get the credit without doing some work first.

I would ask them.

If you're going to give at least some backing to ID, should you not have an idea what hypotheses they have, if any?


Maybe it's b/c they're not numerous.

The number of people they employ is at least 3 or 4 times as many as in the biggest lab I've ever worked in, which was not huge but not small either (15-25 people).


Maybe they don't have the $.

Aside from the $5m a year tax free income for well over a decade of course


Maybe they lack the talent.

Despite Behe having 40+ publications to his name? And Gonzalez 60+?

Maybe they don't care.

I'd say numerous court cases, continual lobbying for teaching in schools, lobbying local and state govts, costing the Dover school board over $1m having more than 50 employees/fellows and numerous book releases as well as giving up productive science careers to go with ID says they care. A lot.

Maybe their interests are elsewhere.

See above.

Also, maybe they have done some but you reject them out of hand b/c they're those --shudder-- ID people.

Which they could then publish in their journal. Which hasn't had an outing in about 3 years now.

Scott Minnichs comes to mind.

Which he didn't test. And also is a fairly poor hypothesis, as flagellae are not the only potential solution to motility pressures for starters.

This is your scientific snobbery.

Or, it could be that I'm well aware they don't have any solid ground to stand on for many many reasons...

Dembski debated Ruse a few weeks ago in my area. A horrible debate, putrid, waste of time. Dembski's opening statement was total crap, and I said to myself, "there is no way Ruse's could be any worse", and then it WAS! Ruse discarded the question of "is ID true?" b/c all he wanted to discuss was whether it was science.

I've been to a couple of live debates on this, and I have to agree they are not really very good generally - Michael Shermer did one where he spent his intro outlining the evidence for evolution (which he did quite well to be fair). Then his opponent pointed out in his 1st rebuttal that he was a theistic evolutionist so agreed with everything Shermer had said (and Shermer is an agnostic as opposed to an atheist anyway). As a result Shermer then had virtually nothing to say during his rebuttal - beats me how you can agree to a live debate apparently without knowing roughly what views your opponent will promote.

The Q and A was bizarre, some guy started asking questions about whether fossils were actually angels - I had no clue what he was on about.

What the heck do I care whether it's science if it's not TRUE?

Pragmatism for a start - you don't think old earth geology is true, but you make use of its products on a daily basis.

And so... you don't accept it, why? It answers all the questions. But nnnnoooooooo, you wanna find something yourSELF. You are sinful man in full display.

Have you actually read any of the responses people have posted so far? To recap for about the 50th time:

a. "Polar bears' fur is white" theory - consistent with any and all evidence, zero explanatory power. Just like 'invisible gremlins' theory is consistent with any reason my sink is blocked, or 'magical evil demons' theory is consistent with any possible finding in the study of psychological illness. Supernaturalists are essentially exactly the same as naturalists in what they will accept as a valid explanation, except when it comes to purely arbitrary matters of their own choosing regarding nature.
b. An idea being possible in principle doesn't mean it is true in reality - I agree that it is possible in principle there is some biological designer that for some reason best known to itself likes to make things look like the product of common ancestry. However, I don't think said designer exists anywhere outside of people's imaginations, just like I think in principle I could flap my arms and fly. But I don't think that it is actually something that can ever happen in reality.
c. When it covers contradictory (ie A and not A) hypothetical observations, as well as predicting both real and non existent facts how am I supposed to employ the designer did it hypothesis to set up further investigations?
d. All evidence suggests the designer of ID is something creationists have made up to promote a religious agenda and nothing more.

Actually, given the numerous examples you've given where common ancestry is NOT compatible with the evidence, it looks like the Designer has left you several clues. Why aren't you following those clues?

Eh? This is just bizarre - I pointed out areas where in principle a finding could not have been consistent with CA eg finding a fossil hominid in the Precambrian. There's the small proble that noone has ever done this!. So how can CA be falsified by a finding that has never actually happened!?

Conversely, what does it say about your hypothesis that it CAN'T explain some things?

Because if those things had never happened or didn't exist, I wouldn't expect an accurate theory to explain them. Is this really that difficult to understand? Would you expect a scientific theory regarding planetary locations to predict an hypothetical undiscovered planet to be found absolutely everywhere? Of course not - you'd want it to give you a specific location to look at.

And yet we see neil in all his fideistic glory saying that commonanc DOES explain everything, so your side does the same thing, only y'all apparently can't make up your mind which way you're going to go.

Because if common ancestry is true and actually happened, then we'd expect by definition to only find things that are consistent with CA. If another theory was true, we'd expect to only find things consistent with that. Just like the idea that "Germany won WWII" would be somewhat at odds with all the evidence we possess... This is the point that has been repeatedly made - "designer did it" theory would be as applicable to a series of events that never actually happened in reality!

Wrong - see 2 Thess 2 above. The problem is with YOU, not with the actual state of affairs.

Several problems with this - you now have a deceptive God. Does deceptive God just deceive those he claims to deceive, or is he being deceptive when he says that?

Internal contradiction time! In fact, the bible repeatedly states God's truthfulness -

Deut 32:4He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

1 sam 15:29 He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a man, that he should change his mind."

Titus 1 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ for the faith of God's elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness— 2a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time,

Cults all say the same thing - if you don't agree with us, it's because you're suppressing The Truth!(also refutes your point that I'm suppressing the truth as your God is apparently the one deceiving me into believing lies, so I'm not doing it myself!)

1) Yes, He made kinds, but didn't specify in the Bible what "kinds" means exactly. A banana is one kind; a beetle is another.

So are cats a kind? How about birds? Or apes?

2) And your side claims speciation occurs and you can't define species. How many times do you have to be corrected on this point? This has to be the 5th time I've corrected you on this, at least.

For about the millionth time - there are defintions of species! But they are not all encompassing because

a. evolution is a dynamic process!
b. some organisms don't reproduce sexually!

Geez Rhology, this is excruciating having to repeat this point again and again and again!


I didn't bring up a supernatural Designer. Next?

You brought up supernatural design, which presumably requires a SDer? So how is human design evidence for either?

That's EXACTLY right. YOU DON'T KNOW,

No Rhology, I'm pointing out the best you can hope to achieve IF ANYONE ACCEPTS YOUR CRITERIA! (Which I don't, since I am aware of the wonders of things such as control experiments) - you undercut your OWN position by essentially admitting YOU would have no way to differentiate between supernatural and natural because humans are always present

Promissory evolutionary theory. You've crippled our hypothesis, but SOMEday we'll get it right!

Promissory swimming theory:

a. I want you to prove to me you can swim
b. But you can't get wet

can't do it? then my theory that you can't swim wins! I've refuted your hypothesis that you can swim, so don't be insisting that you can! ;-D

zilch said...

Dr Funk: word. One thing you said struck me as being particularly apposite to this thread:

Does deceptive God just deceive those he claims to deceive, or is he being deceptive when he says that?

This is of course directly applicable to Ex 4:21, the hardening of Pharoah's heart, but I find that it is eminently applicable to the current discussion too: does evolution appear to happen because God loves it, or did God love evolution because it appears to have happened? Rho, you seem to embrace the second horn of the dilemma- you at least put yourself in the position of representing your God in that way. You respond to any evidence for evolution with "yes, that's exactly how God did it, can you prove He didn't?"

In a way, this tactic is like the opposite of God creating Man in His own image: your argument is basically that Evolution constrains God by its own image. Of course, we can't prove that this is not the case. But it seems a rather weak characterization of God, if He can't even slip the surly bonds of what mudgrubbing atheist paleontologists dig up, and show us His Real Stuff. Or can you show us where the ID'ers or anyone else has demonstrated any Real Stuff?

One last question. You've been asked this before, and have yet to answer. Is there any evidence that would make you believe that the Bible is not true? If not, there's not much point in further discussion.

Rhology said...

Dr Funk said:

nor do they resemeble living organisms in anything more than a superficial manner

Um, why? Don't many prominent evolutionists use the terminology "machines" in regard to biological structures?
They all carry the appearance of design, as Dick Dawk said.
They're complex. They carry information. They function.
Not very dissimilar at all, actually.


As has macro - since macroev is defined as ev at the species level or above

Prove it.


The ID thesis that you are promoting (ie the appearance of common anestry facilitated by a designer)

Just to clarify, I'm promoting that IN THESE BEAR THREADS ONLY. It's an internal critique.
And no, I'm not too high on the appearance of common ancestry idea, actually. It might appear like that TO YOU, but that's b/c you're biased and only looking at part of the picture.


but likes to specifically mimic common ancestry as opposed to any other pattern.

And if the designer does, THERE'S STILL A DESIGNER. YOU STILL LOSE.


Because ID claims that complex, specific, 'finely tuned', 'elegant' features are the mark of the designer.

Go ask Dembski about that. I haven't defended that for a long time.
So your "therefore" is toothless.


There are lots of things we'll all concede may be possible in principle - I could flap my arms and fly round the room,

You could? Do it.
This is very different. the evidence points to ID. The evidence does not point to your ability to fly.


I'm merely pointing out that had that not been the case the theory of common ancestry could not have explained it...I listed 5 things that would be inconsistent with CA, if anyone did/had found them.

Oh, OK. So you agree with neil? My mistake, then.


And how do we reasonably attribute a pattern to a designer

It's not the case we don't know ANYTHING about him/it. The ID would be intelligent, obviously, and volitional, given that he designed life. He would be powerful. He would be creative. Etc.
You know, I'd be happy to proceed onto talking about the ID's identity if you'd stop being so thickheaded and concede the obvious - that ToE is dead and ID is much better attested by the evidence.


there's the slight problem that the pattern is attributable to common ancestry.

Far from it! Let's not forget that it is also at least equally attributable to IDH, so I don't see why even bringing this up is all that impressive.


I'd also point out that it's a false dichotomy to simply assume ID is the answer in the event the ToE is not

Since so much of the evidence points to IDH, the job is done.
But if you have a 3rd alternative, by all means, bring it fwd.


if you're going to give at least some backing to ID, should you not have an idea what hypotheses they have, if any?

Perhaps if it interested me, but it doesn't as much. this topic is sufficient.


Aside from the $5m a year tax free income for well over a decade of course

Against how many dozens of major world-class university labs? Whose experimenters are NOT in constant fear of losing their jobs?


Despite Behe having 40+ publications to his name? And Gonzalez 60+?

Oh, so now the ID theorists DO have significant publications? I thought it was an anti-ID talking point that the ID guys don't have any peer-reviewed stuff, or major published works, etc.
Plus, you're gonna cite TWO MEN? Against the 1000s of evolutionary scientists?


Michael Shermer did one where he spent his intro outlining the evidence for evolution

You know, I'd actually really like to see some major figure just going back to the basics and laying out his reasons for accepting ToE.
Do you happen to know whether that debate was recorded? YouTube, audio, sthg? Do you know his opponent? I'd appreciate it.


he was a theistic evolutionist so agreed with everything Shermer had said

Bummer - sounds like whoever set up the debate didn't do his homework, huh? That's too bad. I really felt like I'd been cheated after the latest Dembski-Ruse debate...
Probably plenty of blame to go around - Shermer, the guy who set it up, Shermer's opponent.


The Q and A was bizarre, some guy started asking questions about whether fossils were actually angels

I've long thought that live Q&A is a terrible idea. Far better to write down questions and hand 'em in to the moderator, don't you think? Live people at a hot mic just can't contain themselves, ask about all kinds of extraneous stuff.


Pragmatism for a start - you don't think old earth geology is true, but you make use of its products on a daily basis.

Well, that's a good point, as far as it goes.
It doesn't touch ToE, so it's not really on-topic here. But truth be told, I still don't have the whole old or young earth thing fully figured out. You might remember seth, a sometime commenter here, who's a friend. We've discussed the difficulties of young earth in the real world face to face, and it makes sense.


a. Just like 'invisible gremlins' theory is consistent with any reason my sink is blocked,

And what evidence is there for it?
You keep strawman-ing me. I don't know how many times I have to remind you that the evidence points to ID, not to ToE! I'm quite concerned here with evidence.


Supernaturalists are essentially exactly the same as naturalists in what they will accept as a valid explanation, except when it comes to purely arbitrary matters of their own choosing regarding nature.

And those matters are very few, aren't they?
And I would argue that naturalistic processes lack any good explanation, so I don't see why not to see if a supernatural one would apply.


b.

I already explained why this is a bad example, given your flapping your arms example. Maybe a better one would help.


c.

ToE is subject to the same thing.
Propose ANY bizarre animal, and it could have evolved that way. Indeed, you do that all the time in your fantasyland, made-up, ad hoc "evolutionary pathways" by which irreducibly complex structures could be arrived at by natsel. They OBVIOUSLY evolved that way! No other explanation could work!
And let's not even get into the fairy tale "explanations" of the origins of life. So no, don't get all uppity about your side's levelheadedness here.


d.

Who cares, if said religious agenda is true?
Naturalism is just as much (well, actually more, since there's no evidence for it) a faith-based position.


I pointed out areas where in principle a finding could not have been consistent with CA eg finding a fossil hominid in the Precambrian. There's the small proble that noone has ever done this!.

I misunderstood what you were saying, as I said above.
Anyway, I wasn't referring to fossils.


you now have a deceptive God.

A God who deceives FURTHER the already self-deceived. That's not the same as "a deceptive God".


In fact, the bible repeatedly states God's truthfulness -

Yes, and it also repeatedly iterates the idea found in the 2 Thess 2:10-12 psg, so there you go.


So are cats a kind? How about birds? Or apes?

Yes, those would be diff kinds.


there are defintions of species! But they are not all encompassing because

a. evolution is a dynamic process!
b. some organisms don't reproduce sexually!


Yes, there are definitionS. Not all of which agree.
Same thing for "kinds".


this is excruciating having to repeat this point again and again and again!

Um, and I haven't explained the "kinds" thing to you a few times as well? Maybe you could stop bringing it up unless you can overturn my rebuttal?


You brought up supernatural design, which presumably requires a SDer? So how is human design evidence for either?

Where did I do that here? This thread simply posits a designer.


Promissory swimming theory:

a. I want you to prove to me you can swim
b. But you can't get wet

can't do it?


It's a bad analogy. Don't worry, I have trouble thinking of good analogies all the time. Wish I were better at it.
It's bad b/c the point in question goes precisely to the heart of the question. You say you can prove that evol by UNGUIDED NAT SEL occurs TODAY. I ask you to prove it. You proceed to GUIDE an experiment and say, "See?" The disconnect is obvious.





zilch:
apposite

Is English your 1st language? If not, as a xenoglossophile, I'm extremely impressed.


does evolution appear to happen because God loves it, or did God love evolution because it appears to have happened?

Hmm, I'm not following you. Where does the idea of love come in?


if He can't even slip the surly bonds of what mudgrubbing atheist paleontologists dig up, and show us His Real Stuff.

If you to refuse to listen to what the infallible eyewitness and performer of the creation incident (ie, the God of the Bible) has said about it and instead trusted the limited instrumentation, limited knowledge, limited wisdom, and limited methodology (not to mention disregarding its total lack of ability to observe what happened) of humankind in order to construct an alternative hypothesis, that you would find exactly what you were looking for (ie, anything other than evidence for a divine creation) wouldn't be surprising.


Is there any evidence that would make you believe that the Bible is not true?

This is an existential question as well as an evidential one.
Several things would need to happen.
Producing an alternative system of epistemology and morality to the biblical one that is self-consistent and consistent with reality would be a good start, so there'd be somewhere to go. Naturalism is not somewhere to go; it'd have to be sthg else, and I've never seen one so far.
Said system would have to be able to acct for the origin of the universe and of life as well (since we're talking about me here - this question always bothered me as an atheist).
And probably a plausible alternative to the Resurrection of Jesus would have to be fwded. The alternatives I've so far seen are pathetic, so sthg else would have to be thought up.
Finally, Jesus would have to let go of my heart. And that's never going to happen.

In short, nothing I've ever seen would do the job, and given that Christianity is actually true, it is impossible. My will belongs to Jesus, not to me.

So, zilch... is there any evidence that would make you believe that naturalism (or, insert your current worldview, if not naturalism) is false?


If not, there's not much point in further discussion.

Suit yourself.

neil said...

"ToE is subject to the same thing.
Propose ANY bizarre animal, and it could have evolved that way. Indeed, you do that all the time in your fantasyland, made-up, ad hoc "evolutionary pathways" by which irreducibly complex structures could be arrived at by natsel. They OBVIOUSLY evolved that way! No other explanation could work!"

Er actually no.
ToE clearly predicts that certian 'bizarre animals' can not be the product of evolution.
For more information on that read 'Climbing Mount Improbable' by Dawkins.

Let me give you a quick example.

If someone finds a feathered mammal (feathers homologous with bird feathers not analogous feather like structures) the ToE (atleast the common ancestry part of it) would be falsified.
The reason being that feathers appear in the dinosaur line following the split from last common ancestor with the mammal line.
ToE means mammals can't have bird feathers.
A designer however would have no such constraint.
So ANY bizarre animal could not have evolved. However no such creature has been found.

captain howdy said...

@ Rhology--

captain howdy said:
perhaps you could explain why all those stupid biologists are wrong when they claim that common ERV infection points in the genomes of humans and chimpanzees are evidence of common ancestry of those 2 species.

1) I never said "stupid", thanks.
2) Please explain precisely why that is evidence of that. Explain precisely why the answer "The Designer made their genes that way" is not equally good, or better.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

1) No, you just meant it.

2) Oh, I don't think so.

You see, this line of evidence involves a bit of explanation, which I've undertaken to explain to born-agains before, only to have them completely ignore every bit of it. Not again, thanks just the same.

Go to:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section4.html#retroviruses



Read it for yourself.

Rhology said...

I have no intention of ignoring it, but I've seen this before. Multiple times. Precisely what about that article or about retroviruses in general forces one towards the conclusion of ToE and not towards IDH?

Modusoperandi said...

Parsimony. It doesn't guarantee the right answer, but ignoring it is a pretty good way to be wrong.

zilch said...

Rho: English is my first language, but I don't speak it much any more, except online. So you needn't be extremely impressed. You say:

If you to refuse to listen to what the infallible eyewitness and performer of the creation incident (ie, the God of the Bible) has said about it and instead trusted the limited instrumentation, limited knowledge, limited wisdom, and limited methodology (not to mention disregarding its total lack of ability to observe what happened) of humankind in order to construct an alternative hypothesis, that you would find exactly what you were looking for (ie, anything other than evidence for a divine creation) wouldn't be surprising.

I agree. And as I don't see any evidence that the Bible was written by infallible eyewitnesses, and as I don't see any evidence for the existence of God, much less for the God of the Bible, then I will stick with the limited knowledge of humankind, until such time as evidence for God or infallible eyewitnesses comes along. Not surprisingly.

neil said...

"I have no intention of ignoring it, but I've seen this before. Multiple times. Precisely what about that article or about retroviruses in general forces one towards the conclusion of ToE and not towards IDH?"

The answer is similar to the point I made earlier.

With ToE only a very specific distribution is possible out of the myriad of possible distributions. Also the distribution has to be consistent with all other pattens of distribution found in genetic sequences.

For ID any distribution is possible and that distribution does not have to be consistent with all other pattens of distribution found in genetic sequences.

So what do we find in reality?

The distribution of ERVs does fit with the specific distribution permitted by ToE.
This distribution is entirely consistent with all other pattens of distribution found in genetic sequences.

Given the vast number of potential patterns of distribution possible if ToE is false then why do we only see the specific distribution that is constant with it being true?

captain howdy said...

@Rhology--

I have no intention of ignoring it, but I've seen this before. Multiple times. Precisely what about that article or about retroviruses in general forces one towards the conclusion of ToE and not towards IDH?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If you've seen this before and you're still asking questions like that, then you've ignored it before, too.

Read it for yourself, Rho.

If you're this wrong about something that has been verified over and over again (like evolution), then why should I listen to anything you have to say about things that can't be verified, like the afterlife?

zilch said...

With ToE only a very specific distribution is possible out of the myriad of possible distributions. Also the distribution has to be consistent with all other pattens of distribution found in genetic sequences.

For ID any distribution is possible and that distribution does not have to be consistent with all other pattens of distribution found in genetic sequences.


Very nicely stated, neil. I've had this debate before with people who don't get evolution. They often claim that since we can't predict exactly how it will go, and since we are sometimes surprised by fossils of unexpected forms, that therefore evolutionary theory shows no patterns whatsoever and is thus unfalsifiable, and not a "real" science like physics. I guess no study of anything larger than molecules is "real" science, then.

Rhology said...

Hi all, sorry for the delay. Been busy.

MO said:
Parsimony. It doesn't guarantee the right answer, but ignoring it is a pretty good way to be wrong.

So, we have one ID. Or we have zillions of mutations and natsel events, to say nothing of an uncaused event where stuff pops into existence, spontaneously, out of total nothingness.
I agree. IDH is clearly more parsimonious. Glad to have a friend here!


zilch said:
So you needn't be extremely impressed.

Fair enough, but "apposite" is still worth a prop or two. ;-)


And as I don't see any evidence that the Bible was written by infallible eyewitnesses

You don't have any evidence for materialism either, and indeed you have evidence against it, but I don't see that stopping you from accepting it.
You're just doing special pleading here - you accept what you want. I just have clearer sight to see that materialism sucks way worse than Christianity, even if the former were true and the latter were false. there is no reason to believe materialism, true or not, and good reason not to.



neil said:
Also the distribution has to be consistent with all other pattens of distribution found in genetic sequences. For ID any distribution is possible and that distribution does not have to be consistent with all other pattens of distribution found in genetic sequences.

So what you're telling me is that IDH is consistent with the pattern you see. I thought you were going to tell me why ToE has more explanatory power for the facts than IDH? Once again you concede that they're at least equal.


Given the vast number of potential patterns of distribution possible if ToE is false then why do we only see the specific distribution that is constant with it being true?

Given the vast number of potential patterns of distribution possible if IDH is false then why do we only see the specific distribution that is constant (sic - what you meant to say is "consistent") with it being true?


Capt howdy:
If you're this wrong about something that has been verified over and over again (like evolution),

Prove it's been verified. Give me your 2 favorite lines of evidence for ToE.

captain howdy said...

@Rhology--

Capt howdy:

If you're this wrong about something that has been verified over and over again (like evolution),

Prove it's been verified. Give me your 2 favorite lines of evidence for ToE.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I already gave you one line of evidence at the genetic level, which you've completely ignored. You want to ignore even more evidence?

Rhology, you're an evolution denier. That means when presented with evidence for TOE you'll always just ignore it, because like most Christian fundies, it conflicts with your religious beliefs.


You reject all evidence for TOE as insufficient. But invisible monsters called demons? You have no problem believing in them, huh? Evolution is false, you insist; but the Biblical claim that the first woman came from a rib? Halleluja!

Since you set such high standards for any evidence that might support TOE, I wonder if your high standards extend to your religion as well?

Tell me: What was the evidence that convinced you in the literal existence of invisible monsters called demons? What was the scientific evidence that convinced you the first woman literally came from a rib?

Rhology said...

Genetics - please explain why a Designer couldn't have designed the genetics exactly like they appear. You call that evidence? When it just as easily go the other way?

The rest of it, ouch, you're hurting my feelings! :*-( I'm gonna cry now.
Here's the key - I believe in things for which there's evidence and, if true, don't lead to the conclusion that evidence is worthless. Chew on it. Think it over.

What was the evidence that convinced you in the literal existence of invisible monsters called demons? What was the scientific evidence that convinced you the first woman literally came from a rib?

1) You asked specifically what convinced ME. It wasn't evidence that convinced me, strictly speaking. Jesus did, b/c He changed my heart from one that was suppressing the truth I already knew that He is real and that He is Lord to one that would accept that truth. Jesus changed me.
2) Now, what I think you're really asking is why I still believe it, why I would commend it to others as worthy of belief. It's b/c God is the only possible foundation for reason and intelligibility and therefore evidence. He is wholly trustworthy and has proved it over and over. I've never observed a demon or a woman made from a rib, but empiricism is total bunk. Evidence is not king. Rather, it is the slave of God, a tool in His hand. He has said that there are demons and that a woman was made from a rib; that is sufficient rational warrant to believe it.

neil said...

"So what you're telling me is that IDH is consistent with the pattern you see. I thought you were going to tell me why ToE has more explanatory power for the facts than IDH? Once again you concede that they're at least equal."

I consider ToE to be superior because it is falsifiable and therefore science, you obviously disagree. That looks like an impasse.
Show me a violation in the evidence that falsifies ToE and I'll listen, otherwise I have no more to add on this issue.

Rhology said...

An impasse? Not at all.
Most of the evidence points ID's way, not ToE's way.
The rest of the facts, as we've been discussing here, could go ToE *OR* ID's way. So, we don't have an impasse at all.

zilch said...

Rho, I reread that post of yours, and I couldn't find the "evidence that points ID's way". Could you tell us exactly what evidence you are talking about here?

Rhology said...

What I mean is that ANYthing that occurs in a lab or a controlled environment, manipulated by intelligent agents (ie, scientists) is intelligent design.
The pieces of "evidence" pointing ToE's way outside of those constraints are precious few. That's what I mean.

zilch said...

But Rho, leaving aside the issue of whether or not what goes on in a lab is "intelligent design", I was under the impression that we were talking about the living (and fossil, and biochemical, etc.) world here, not what goes on in labs, and whether or not it is explained better by ID or by the ToE. Do you have any evidence that what we see in the natural world is better explained by ID than by the ToE? If so, I'd like to see that evidence.

If you're just claiming that any evidence that doesn't meet your criteria is not admissible, that's another issue. But discounting the ToE, or parts of it, is not the same as a positive argument for ID.

As far as I can see, there don't seem to be any positive arguments for ID. If you know of any, with evidence to back them up, please bring them forth.

Rhology said...

But hold your horses just a sec.
This post is not "evidence for ID", nor is that the point of the post to which I linked.
If Christianity is true, ID is self-evident and patently obvious.
If naturalism is true, ID is still by far the better choice since it matches up to much more of our experience. ToE, by contrast, is a wan, starving waif on the side of Evidence Road, begging for scraps. It has virtually no evidence in its favor, even if I grant naturalism is true. That's been the point of these BEAR posts, and I have many more ideas, so you'll see more. They're deconstructing bad evolutionary arguments, not constructing a case for ID. That's not my cup of tea anyway. For some reason such discussions bore me.

zilch said...

If naturalism is true, ID is still by far the better choice since it matches up to much more of our experience.

Any evidence to support this, Rho?

That's been the point of these BEAR posts, and I have many more ideas, so you'll see more. They're deconstructing bad evolutionary arguments, not constructing a case for ID. That's not my cup of tea anyway. For some reason such discussions bore me.

If you are not constructing a case for ID, why do you even mention it, then? It's easy to find holes in the ToE, because it's dauntingly complex and the data is incomplete and likely to remain so. But nonetheless, the correlation of several independent lines of evidence makes it compelling. And given the fact that there's no alternative that has any positive case at all, the ToE is the only serious contender for explaining life.

But thanks for admitting that you are not constructing a case for ID. We can drop it until such time as you do.

Rhology said...

the link I mentioned is evidence for ID. The intelligently-manipulated experiments and events that do this or that are themselves evidence for ID. And there's an awful lot of said experiments and events.

That alone is more than enough to construct a positive case for ID. Personally, I find the arguments of Dembski, Behe, et al to be convincing but like I said, they bore me for some reason. My own argument is more than enough, however, to dismiss ToE and provide a very strong basis for holding to ID.

zilch said...

I thought that might be your explanation, Rho, but I dismissed it as unworthy of you. Think about it: do you really want to defend an argument along the lines of "if something can be done in some particular way, that's evidence that it was done in that way"? I remember reading exactly this argument in a Watchtower about thirty years ago, and I couldn't believe it then: they pointed out that life had not been created in the lab, but went on to hedge their bets by saying "and even if scientists do create life, that's proof that intelligence is necessary for life to begin".

Following this line of arguing, I could just as well claim that since I can, say, water the plants on my balcony, that if I come home (after a rainy day) and the plants are wet, then someone must have watered them. Not a very compelling argument, and not something I would dignify by calling it "evidence".

Rhology said...

And yet you and your evolutionist cohorts dignify INTELLIGENTLY GUIDED processes as evidence for ToE all the time. I don't know if you're the most qualified to heap contempt upon arguments like that.

But perhaps I should make a qualification, in light of what you've said here. let's say that my above statement should be amended to:

"The intelligently-manipulated experiments and events that do this or that are themselves evidence for ID over and against ToE."

captain howdy said...

I see you've finally developed an effective counter to my arguments. Just delete my comments entirely!

Rhology said...

What are you talking about? I haven't deleted a comment on this blog for I don't know how long. At least 18 months.

zilch said...

Well, Rho, I guess it depends on what you mean by "intelligently designed" experiments, then. If someone takes genetic material apart, and reassembles it differently or alters it somehow, and then grows a new organism from it, then they would not be justified in claiming that as evidence for evolution by natural selection: that would be an "unintelligently designed" experiment, at least as far as explaining evolution by natural selection goes. Such experiments can of course tell us a great deal about how genes work, though, which does have a lot to do with evolution.

If, however, organisms are observed changing through generations in the wild or in the lab, in response to some altered environmental condition, natural or artificial, that can tell us something about how organisms evolve and have evolved. The results must naturally be interpreted carefully.

Of course, there is a great deal more evidence for evolution than just the observations of change in real time: there is the fossil record, comparative anatomy, vestigial organs... but you know all this. Here's just a sample for your delectation, a computer generated family tree based entirely upon degree of similarity between different organisms' cytochrome c, a molecule found in all aerobic eucaryotes. The fit of this tree with trees constructed by other means (morphology or the fossil record) is not perfect, but it's pretty damn close. Unless the Designer was deliberately trying to deceive us, it's good evidence for evolution, and there's lots more where that came from.

Unfortunately, ID has not given us any such data. That's why I feel justified in heaping contempt upon it: it's nothing but a slick ad campaign to bypass science altogether by appealing to popular pressure, in order to get religion into public school science classes.

captain howdy said...

What are you talking about? I haven't deleted a comment on this blog for I don't know how long. At least 18 months.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

No? Am I unfair?

Sorry then; my bad. Maybe I need to take screen shots every once in awhile. No harm done anyway, since I remember the general theme. Since you don't delete comments, it'll stay up this time. It went like this--




First you tell me:

Here's the key - I believe in things for which there's evidence and, if true, don't lead to the conclusion that evidence is worthless. Chew on it. Think it over.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

OK; you believe in evidence....




But then, when the subject switches to your religion, you tell me:

I've never observed a demon or a woman made from a rib, but empiricism is total bunk. Evidence is not king.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You believe in evidence...sometimes.



Like I said, you're an evolution denier. Similar to a holocaust denier; same inherent dishonesty.

Rhology said...

zilch,

If, however, organisms are observed changing through generations in the wild or in the lab, in response to some altered environmental condition, natural or artificial, that can tell us something about how organisms evolve and have evolved.

It can tell us sthg, sure, but not about how organisms have evolved thru UNGUIDED processes. GUIDED processes, sure. And that is, of course, ID.


there is the fossil record,

Geez, shotgun approach. No offense, but this really looks like smokescreening. Let's take these one at a time.
Fossil record - prove that any of the fossils we have today are descendants or ancestors of any other fossil we have today.
How many thousands do we have? how many trillions of organisms have lived (acc to ToE) on Earth throughout history? And you think we have a good representative sample? On what grounds?
No, you're assuming here what you need to prove.


comparative anatomy, vestigial organs

Both of which IDH can just as easily acct for.
So, as it turns out, ToE actually has nothing. And that's what I've been saying.


The fit of this tree with trees constructed by other means (morphology or the fossil record) is not perfect, but it's pretty damn close.

How does this support ToE while dealing a blow to ID?


Unless the Designer was deliberately trying to deceive us

1) Maybe the Designer was. How does this support ToE while dealing a blow to ID?
2) Or maybe you, in your willful ignorance, misinterpret the facts. B/c you want to.


ID has not given us any such data

This is just scientism and élitist snobbery. Feel free to whine that ID hasn't given you what you want to see; I'm more worried about whether it's TRUE.


Capt howdy,

I don't delete comments, but Blogger sometimes eats them. It stinks - it's happened to me enough times that I type my comments out in Notepad, offline, so that if it eats my comment, I still have it. Sorry it happened to you, but I'm glad you remember what you wrote.

Now, you said:
OK; you believe in evidence...sometimes.

Let's be careful here. Remember, evidence is not king; Jesus is. Evidence is good and useful because Jesus is Lord. Evidence is worthless if you try to make it king and/or if naturalism is true.
So, yes, I believe evidence is a very good way to discover truth on a wide variety of issues, b/c evidence is grounded in the reason that we all have b/c we are made in the image of God.

You appear to disagree that evidence is not king. Could you please give me some evidence that evidence is the best way to discover truth?

Anonymous said...

"...vestigial organs

Both of which IDH can just as easily acct for."

How?
Give one example of a vestigial organ and how ID accounts for it.

Rhology said...

The bones of the middle ear, for example, are vestiges of jaw bones of ancestral tetrapods.

The Designer made them that way.
Done and done.

zilch said...

Rho: you have pretty lax standards for what you call an "account" of something. By your standards, why should we not just say "Mary Poppins did it", or "The Architect of the Matrix programmed it"? There's no reason to prefer your "Goddidit" or "The Designer made them that way" over any other thing that might pop into our heads.

But the ToE does account for it, as we've said: because evolution always works by taking baby steps from existing organisms, there are constraints on how things can be made. For instance, the bones of the middle ear are made of parts of the jawbone of mammal-like reptiles that were close to the existing ear canal, and were thus in a position to be co-opted (through a long period of natural selection, of course) for their gradually evolving new functions in the mammalian ear.

In fact, this is one of the best documented transitions in the fossil record between two major groups, and the only way that it can be explained if no evolution occurred, is that a whole lot of special creation in just the right sequence occurred, and that God is a sneaky trickster.

I suppose that's possible: a God who works in such a way that it seems He isn't there. But why would God try to deceive us in this way?

Rhology said...

You deceive yourself, not God.
What is your argument that it is 100% certain that the fossils that document this chain of middle ear development are descendants and ancestors of each other? How do you know you're not just assuming it? Do you have some autobiography of the organisms? Video? Time machine to observe these organisms' lives? DNA paternity testing?

No, of course not. You don't have any of these. You assume what you need to prove, and then you turn around and use your assumption as evidence of ToE and then laugh at Christianity for making assumptions. It's actually pretty funny to watch.

zilch said...

Rho, as I said, if you want 100% certainty, you will have to look elsewhere. But take a look at what the fossil series shows for yourself. Sure, the record is not perfect. But the pattern is unmistakable: a gradual shift from the reptilian ear and jaw to the mammalian ear and jaw through time. What is your explanation for this pattern?

justfinethanks said...

You deceive yourself, not God.

The biggest problems with this "nonbeleivers believe" idea is that firstly it's just a patronizing falsehood and secondly its a testable hypothesis. That is, if Calvinists really believed this nonsense, they could hire a few experimental psychologists to see how people of various beliefs and backgrounds genuinely feel about the "triune God." Hypnosis can be a potent way overcoming the kind of repression that you speak about. Yet, I have never seen any kind of movement to do this kind of testing.

What is your argument that it is 100% certain that the fossils that document this chain of middle ear development are descendants and ancestors of each other?

I'm sorry, do you think that if we are only 99% certain, special creation wins by default? It's pretty sweet to watch arguments crumble into "but, how can you know FOR SURE." Because this is basically all creationists are left with: a miniscule,tiny sliver of uncertainty that they retreat into to make themselves feel more comfortable.

DNA paternity testing?

That's hilarious. So are you now admitting that genetic relatedness is clear evidence of ancestry? Hey, maybe the mother and son had the same genes because they had the same designer! They were both poofed into existence at the same time! There is no proof one came from the other.

Any creationist who is consistent should consider paternity testing bunk, since they deny that stark genetic similairty can indicate ancestry.

You assume what you need to prove, and then you turn around and use your assumption as evidence of ToE and then laugh at Christianity for making assumptions. It's actually pretty funny to watch.

Hogwash. There are an infinite number of ways that those jawbones could be arranged, and the only way that they HAPPEN to be arranged is the way that is compatible with evolution. You really don't appreciate how painfully easy it would be to falsify evolution if it were false. Something like a pre cambrian rabbit, a mammal with atavistic feathers, or even an animal that fits nowhere in the nested heirarcy of life would be more than sufficient. If all life were created instantly, all these things would be plausible (except maybe the atavism thing. Under special creation, there should be NO ATAVISMS). If we evolved, they are not.

And I doubt it's more funny than watching an educated laymen constnatly displaying his fundamental ignorance about the subject he claims to have inside, special knowledge of.

If you actually are going to trust your book over observations of the natural world, then just go all out. This guy did , and I bet he's happier for it. (And yes, he's totally serious.)

The conclusion that we evolved is inescapable for any intellectually honest person in face of the evidence. To say that "God just did it that way" means that you are arguing that science is impossible, since we have a God who desperately wants rational people to accept evolution, even if that isn't the case.

We evolved. It happend. Get over it.

Now either:
1) Actually bone up on why evolution is true so you can at least come up with some more cogent objections than "God did it that way" or "I dismiss the whole fossil record because I misunderstand Henry Gee."
2) Stop dipping your toes in science and stick to theology.

"Debating creationists on the topic of evolution is rather like trying to play chess with a pigeon; it knocks the pieces over, craps on the board, and flies back to its flock to claim victory."

- Scott D. Weitzenhoffer

captain howdy said...

@Rho--

I don't delete comments, but Blogger sometimes eats them. It stinks - it's happened to me enough times that I type my comments out in Notepad, offline, so that if it eats my comment, I still have it. Sorry it happened to you, but I'm glad you remember what you wrote.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I've had that happen to me, too. And I agree that's prob. what happened.




Let's be careful here. Remember, evidence is not king; Jesus is. Evidence is good and useful because Jesus is Lord. Evidence is worthless if you try to make it king and/or if naturalism is true.
So, yes, I believe evidence is a very good way to discover truth on a wide variety of issues, b/c evidence is grounded in the reason that we all have b/c we are made in the image of God.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

All I'm doing really is to point out that you demand evidence from everybody else to support their own worldviews while declaring your religion exempt from that same requirement.

In fact, when pressed to live up to the same standards of evidence you demand of others, you immediately retreat into presuppositional word games.

Rhology said...

In fact, this is one of the best documented transitions in the fossil record between two major groups

1) Yes, God could have done it that way. Give me a good reason beyond "Well, I prefer ToE b/c it (is more æsthetically pleasing) (is more comfortable) (is what I'm used to) (makes me more comfortable in my rebellion against God)" that such would have been beyond God's power or something. I don't even know what your point is.
2) Looks to me like you're assuming (again) that these fossils are related to each other. Prove it, don't assume it.
You can't prove it. You don't have a time machine, nor the animals' autobiographies. No DNA. I call assumption.
And if this is among your best evidence, I chuckle at how pitiful the rest of the "mountains of evidence" really is.


But why would God try to deceive us in this way?

I have an answer, but it's not ask-able right now, while we're trying to figure out WHETHER a designer is responsible or not. Worry about actually making an argument rather than throwing scads of assumptions at me, and later we can talk about all that stuff.



jft said:
hire a few experimental psychologists to see how people of various beliefs and backgrounds genuinely feel about the "triune God."

You forgot about the self-deceiving nature of sin and the way most people think (or steel themselves not to think) about God.


do you think that if we are only 99% certain, special creation wins by default?

No, special creation is indubitable. I'm merely pointing out that, even if I grant naturalism, ToE is a steaming pile of execrable assumptions.


It's pretty sweet to watch arguments crumble into "but, how can you know FOR SURE."

I had good teachers - atheists like to say the exact same thing about God all the time.


So are you now admitting that genetic relatedness is clear evidence of ancestry?

I don't know, it'd be merely a good step in the right direction.


maybe the mother and son had the same genes because they had the same designer!

Such a statement would be accounted-for on both ToE and ID.
You're acting a bit dense, seriously. try to keep up with what I'm saying.


There are an infinite number of ways that those jawbones could be arranged, and the only way that they HAPPEN to be arranged is the way that is compatible with evolution.

No, the way they are arranged is also compat with IDH. Tell me why not.


You really don't appreciate how painfully easy it would be to falsify evolution if it were false.

Done and done, but proof is not the same as persuasion.


This guy did , and I bet he's happier for it.

he's still better off than an evolutionary naturalist. But he's read the Bible badly and so misinterped the ideas in question.


We evolved. It happend.

Prove it.



capt howdy said:
All I'm doing really is to point out that you demand evidence from everybody else to support their own worldviews while declaring your religion exempt from that same requirement.

I? You're on. Provide evidence for naturalism!

zilch said...

Yes, God could have done it that way. Give me a good reason beyond "Well, I prefer ToE b/c it (is more æsthetically pleasing) (is more comfortable) (is what I'm used to) (makes me more comfortable in my rebellion against God)" that such would have been beyond God's power or something. I don't even know what your point is.

Rho, this is getting repetitious. As I've already said: in lack of any evidence for the existence of God, then I prefer the ToE because it's much simpler: just the natural world with no superbeings with superpowers. If the way that God did it is indistinguishable from what we would expect if there was no God but just naturalistic evolution, which you have not contested, then why invoke God? Given the choice, provisional to be sure, between naturalism, supernaturalism, or braininavatism as an explanation for what we see, I'll go with the simplest explanation that fits the evidence. And the simplest explanation is naturalism.

And this "rebellion against God" stuff is just silly. Are you rebelling against Santa or Voldemort?

Rhology said...

Simpler? You have to believe in the confluence of quadrillions of tiny events and fine-tuned-not-tunings to bring us to the state of where we are. Plus you have to take on faith that evidence is a good way to discover truth and that your thoughts are actually not equivalent to just fizzings of, say, your liver.
I don't. One single Being takes care of all of that.
Parsimony is in the eye of the beholder.

And the rebellion is a direct quote of several passages of Scripture. You're unwittingly making a category error when you ask your question.
Where did Santa, in a writing or communiqué or sthg purportedly from him, ever accuse anyone of rebellion and describe it? Voldemort? When did either ever communicate in such a way to make me think that they are making a claim to authority and you-better-listen-to-me-ness in the real world?

They didn't. TGOTB did, and that makes it totally different.