Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Luis, he of assumptions and fallacies! - 2

I should add "and of very insulting comments" too.
I have no idea whether Blogger will produce my comments in their correct order over at the Jolly Nihilist's blog, but here are the comments I left in response to Luis' dissertation there.

Hi Luis,

Wow, that's a lot to respond to. In the interests of time, I'll do my best to cut out repetitions of the same subject matter. I'll also overlook the numerous insulting and rude comments, which will alone shorten my comments by about half.

You served up an avalanche of crimes against logic on a scale that truly beggars belief.

OK, big boast noted. Now let's see if you can back it up.

You should really desist from equivocating "the" Christian worldview with a fundamentalist take. A lot of Christians would take exception to it, you know.

1) As if atheism, naturalism, or Darwinism are monolithic.
2) You have my permission to take my meaning as "my position", and let's leave arguing about what the biblical position is up to those who are actually qualified. You're not.

Right, the premise of natural processes goes against the premise of natural processes.

Uh oh, you're ignorant of this, aren't you? But that didn't stop you from making a naked assertion. That should give everyone a clue about your position's credibility. Reflexive defense mechanism.
Here you go.

Please prove that ANY organism found in the fossil record had children.

A disingenuous request, because that’s not what anyone has to prove. The criterion is to prove whether or not what evolution PREDICTS can actually be found is found.

So you're saying that you don't care about proving what happenED in the past? Sorry, THAT'S disingenuous. Why talk about common ancestry all the time if what you're saying were true?

I thought the whole point was for me to show how it IS relevant to Darwinism, but now I’m not even allowed to do that?

?? You're allowed to do it, of course. In fact, I insist! With an argument, not an assumption.

You have to explain why it is that God should have required that these monkeys all bunch together geographically in a manner utterly indicative of the predictions of evolutionary theory.

1) He didn't REQUIRE it. You're playing fast and loose with language.
2) That's how it happened. The question is how to explain it. You say your position can explain it. Let's say I grant it, fine. But YEC can too. Just b/c you don't know why God might've "allowed" it (ie, why it happened) doesn't change that YEC accts for it just fine. You need to prove why it can't acct for it, not question how I know why, etc.

On evolution, this is easy to explain

It's easy to IMAGINE and tell us a just-so story. That's not the same.
I'm not saying that YEC has a better answer, but it's just as good - just-so. Point is, YEC can acct for it.

that more similar animals tend to be closer to one another geographically, because they have had less time to diverge and fan out.

And YEC's answer is yet simpler. Hello Occam's Razor.
YEC answer - that more similar animals tend to be closer to one another geographically, because they have had less time to fan out.
(What, did you think YEC has no concept of MICROevolution?)

You’ve not explained why God would require this pattern to be the case.

Wrong question.

What about monkeys being catarrhines should make you expect, in a creationist framework, for them to be confined outside of Latin America?

Good question, and if I were a scientist, I might be interested in it. But since I'm interested in TRUTH about what happenED, I'm looking for which framework can acct for a given datum.

How is yours any better?

Because it’s predictive, that’s why.

I guess it comes down to this - you're solely interested in predictive power, which is keenly subject to the problem of induction, for one thing (of which you show no recognition, which is a sign of intellectual arrogance), whereas I'm interested in truth. Very, very interesting.

The predictions of my hypothesis have been confirmed.

You mean, you THINK they have. Problem of induction. Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism. Start working.

We don’t find this. We find the opposite.

2) In a framework that you simply made up. I don't accept your just-so story. Prove your fossils are correctly in order.
2) See, NOW you're interested in what happenED. It's disingenuous to talk like "predictive power only" one moment, then change a little later.
3) You haven't made an argument why this would be inconsistent with YEC. You just ask a dumb question and then trumpet your victory.

Ah, b/c you found what you think is a fossil there?

I didn’t; palaeontologists did, and they presented their results in reputable scientific journal.

Argument from authority, as if that takes away the sting of my question. Answer the question.

I said that the pattern of biogeography we see even in the fossil record is one that exactly fits the expectations of evolution.

And it fits YEC too. What's your point, then?
Why bring up stuff that fits perfectly within YEC as if it helps you?

2) God made them that way to make them look as though there is such affinity (even though this serves absolutely no design criteria

Assumption; argument from ignorance. This is Darwinism of the gaps. You have no idea whether it serves no design criterion. You're not the Designer, and as a naturalist have no idea of an overriding telos. You deny it, in fact. Your bias is showing.

See, molecular markers prove...that these molecular markers exist.

Everything that exists does exist (awesome insight). Not much of an argument there, though.

Do try to keep up. The point is that the PRESENCE Of such markers means nothing unless you throw your Darwinist assumptions on top. But I can do the same with YEC and it makes perfect sense too. But you cited them as evidence for your position. I'm showing you it's not evidence for your position.

W/o your assumptions in place, they tell you nothing in particular.

Except I don’t bring assumptions into this

You're amazing blind. Your assumptions shine thru clearly.

Testing for genealogical affinity can provide a signal for relatedness if it’s actually there

Fine, and relatedness proves nothing for you! That's the point! You keep agreeing with me and then expecting that to go somewhere!

Be sure never to trust the technology if you’re ever in doubt about the paternity of a love child.


God used the same code for multiple species.

even though there was no REASON for him to do so, since these codes – the ones I’m talking about, which are redundant, not codons that make a difference to phenotypic expression – don’t have fitness consequences.

Assumption; argument from ignorance. This is Darwinism of the gaps. You have no idea whether it serves no design criterion. You're not the Designer, and as a naturalist have no idea of an overriding telos. You deny it, in fact. Your bias is showing.

You’ve simply and mindlessly assumed that God would do something in such a manner to exactly replicate a pattern predicted by evolution.

Simply, yes, b/c it IS simple. You choose mockery to try to overturn it. How about an argument instead of ignorant questions?

2) Who among YEC-ers thinks DNA doesn't degrade over time?

Secondly, I’m talking about the very particular pattern of change, not the FACT that change can take place.

God likes patterns. Once again, you assume YEC is wrong and go from there. How about an argument?

Exhibit C: failing to acknowledge the importance of falsification criteria:

That's not a great test for truth, you know. The principle of falsification is itself unfalsifiable. So's logic. Try a logical argument.

Most creationists are at least rational enough to say that such-and-such is what one should expect to find if the Genesis narrative is true.

Yawn. I'm more interested in which framework is consistent with its own presuppositions.
But bully for "most creationists". If you want to talk to them, go to AiG or sthg.

You, on the other hand, don't provide any criteria by which to test Genesis

How about you make a good argument against it, one that's logical, and then show why atheistic naturalism is more consistent and thus to be preferred? Start by solving the problems of induction and solipsism, then dealing with the EAAN.

the Invisible Overlord Unicorn

Old, tired joke. Try again.
Is that really your best shot?

I'd love for you to show me Darwinian mechanisms in action

You mean like natural selection, sexual selection, and drift?

Specifically, I'd like you to show me where those work to the extent that Darwinists say they DID IN THE PAST. Prove it.

Again, you can verify that by picking up any reputable scientific biology journal

I already asked this, but let me ask you again to provide your favorites. LEt's go 2 this time. Show me where these processes produce what Darwinians say they can, in an observable manner. Don't appeal to fossils, either, since you've conceded that the question of whether fossils had children is unimportant.

By the way, what would count as “not a beetle”, anyway? What’s the delineation criteria?

How about you produce your best example and we'll examine it?

Platonic essentialist way

Um, covering up your philosophical ignorance by throwing out misused big words doesn't help you.

2) Please prove that rocks tell time.

Geology textbook.

Hahahahahahahahhahhaa! Thanks.

3) If you appeal to radioactive dating, please prove that you can know with certainty how much decay was present at the starting point.

Interlocking parsimony of geology with astronomy and stellar formation, the facts of biology, thermodynamics, plate tectonics, continental drift, and so and on. Makes a lot more sense than assuming that the whole shebang was put together in the space of six days.

Hahahahahahahahhahhaa! Thanks.
Riiiiiiighhht, all that is WAY more parsimonious than God's creating it. Hhahahaha, whooof, I haven't laughed that hard in quite some time.

Absent any evidence that the laws of physics have changed in a massive way throughout time...less question-begging framewor

Assumption. Darwinism of the gaps. It all rests on this unprovable axiom of yours. On the contrary, it's VERY question-begging.

Chixculub crater off the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, even though it released as much energy – in order to have produced a crater that large – as 100 million Hiroshima bombs.

Prove it. See, this is precisely what I mean by begging the question. Neither you nor anyone else were there.

only if you assume that God did things in order to make them look EXACLTY as predicted by evolution.

ID does a very capable job of showing that this assertion is garbage.
Besides, man is very adept at taking God's creation and twisting it to his own purposes. This too is predicted in the Bible. Yawn.

Especially since the challenge wasn’t for me to prove creation wrong, it was for me to show evidence for evolution.

Yes, and it's quite ironic how you keep not doing so, but instead introducing data that are just as easily accted for under YEC. When are you going to start?

He’s presumably not retarded, so he’s not expected, on the creation model, to design things as though he’s on an acid trip.

Uh oh! A BEAR!

How do we compare observed and non-observed evolution if the former can’t be observed in the first place?

GREAT question. Yet such is the strength of your assumptions that you don't allow it to faze you! You tell me you can provide evidence for evolution, and then admit you can't, but then steamroll on and forget that you ever conceded it! It's amazing.

Which is why I'm saying that animals AREN’T designed, slow-poke, otherwise the analogy used by creationists would be a far more fitting one; hence my differentiation from human technology to show how the two are utterly different

1) Assumption that you know what the signs of design are. As if there's some sort of telos to which to appeal, as I've said.
2) Other Darwinians feel very free in comparing organisms to "motorcycles" and "computers". Maybe you should clean your own house.

Prove that Tiktaalike had any children. Go ahead.

>You really are one disgusting charlatan. Here’s the prediction, moron: things like Tiktaalik should exist.<

Haha, fail. No argument given, just mockery. Now, why would that not be "invoking Mammy Nature and Papa Darwin" on your part?

Red herring; failure to acknowledge confirmation of basic tenet of evolution

Haha, fail AGAIN. Um, of COURSE I "fail to acknowledge 'confirmation'" of it. Where is the confirmation? Don't assume it, prove it.
I'm going to have to conclude that, given 2 chances and 2 failures, you can't. Thanks.

The fossil record also provides the following rather inconvenient fact: mass extinctions.

And that's a problem for YEC how?

Kinda funny that these weren't documented in the Bible, all except the Great Flood

1) So what?
2) How do you know that a huge global flood couldn't acct for most of them? Evidence, please? Or at least an argument?

Minds all exist in brains.

Relevance? Prove that minds ONLY exist in brains and we'll get somewhere.

You’ve not shown how they can possibly exist outside of brains.

Ideas, concepts, colors, numbers, logic, and many other things exist immaterially.
If minds don't exist outside of brains, your "mind" is nothing more than chemical reactions, the same as a soda can shaken up and fizzing. Why trust a fizzing soda can? What would make me think that brain-fizz would be a reliable producer of true beliefs? Help me out here.

Next you’ll be telling us that computer programs don’t necessarily need to be ultimately grounded in computers.

Um, don't programs come from OUTSIDE the computer?
And don't the INFORMATION and IDEAS they express come from outside? Nice.

they don’t exist “immaterially” at all, except in a specially defined sense: as high-level abstract views of evolving physical systems.

Oh, where can one find "The Number 4"? What is it made of? What does it smell like? What is its molarity? How do you know?

All these things are ultimately grounded in physical processes in the brain and body,

So in what part of the brain is The Number 4 produced? Can a hard blow change it to The Number 5?
What does it mean that all people have the same concept of The Number 4?

Take away the physical universe, and they become meaningless

Argument from ignorance. How could you possibly know that?

Why not just have small, more “primitive” brains for basic bodily hormonal and chemical chores and leave the consciousness stuff to the immaterial ghost

1) It's not a "ghost".
2) B/c God likes physical stuff too. This is the same dumb question as you've been asking above, but it's irrelevant.

If thinking doesn’t require the brain, then here’s a challenge: shoot yourself in the head, and use your soul to tell your body to walk around.

1) Why would that respond to my position? My position states that the souls of the dead don't have control or even all that much interest in the physical world for a time until the Eschaton.
2) Hmm, seems like God did just that when Jesus rose from the dead. But no, you don't accept that b/c you assume it's false.
3) This WILL happen in the resurrection. 1 Cor 15.
4) You'll whine "Evidence?" but that will simply illustrate my point - you're selective on what evidence you'll accept.

Holy Trinities aren’t compatible with God being “simple”

1) Assertion in search of an argument.
2) When compared to the untold trillions of coincidences that against all probability conspired to produce a planet like Earth in a pretty brief amount of time and to produce life on Earth, um, yeah, not that that complex.

Note that YOU added “immaterial”! : ), thus making it even less worthy as a proposition that one should imagine can explain anything.

So please explain the existence of ideas, colors, information, numbers, laws of logic, laws of mathematics, thoughts, dreams, desires, evil and good, forces, humor.

So big, in fact, that he doesn’t require any explanation or accounting

Anyone can see that I've spent more than my share of time discussing just that, in fact. Luis is a windbag.

How would pointing out that there's sthg I don't understand about Him be an argument against His existence?

Because you’re not actually talking about anything.

Watch this.
Luis doesn't understand how everything in evolution occurred, much less explain how each organism (or, ahem, any organism) evolved from its lowly predecessors, but that doesn't stop him from arguing for evolution.
Thing is, he's not actually talking about anything. See how easy it is to dismiss naked assertions like that? Where does that get anyone? Why did Luis "argue" that way?

I think I’ll stay where I am, thank you: with the mundane choice, as I would when considering the Koran.

1) Luis has apparently never studied the Qur'an with any depth.
2) Luis begs the question about what is mundane, as I've already pointed out. No response to that.

Funny how fundies deride the sin they sare so adept in seeing in others, when they themselves are so often the biggest violators)

Is that supposed to mean sthg to me? Where have I denied that I am a great sinner?
1 Timothy 1:15It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.
It's a tu quoque fallacy to point to someone else's sin in order to distract from one's own guilt.

Firstly, there are plenty of other reference points one could choose: the Koran, the Hindu texts, etc.

So, you know, we analyse those critically, too. Luis acts like he's never met a Christian before. But I know he has, so our most probable conclusion has to be that he is unteachable and doesn't care to learn. He just likes to lob insults and first-level shallow retorts, as if they haven't been dealt with over and over.

So the presence of liars and the fact that some, or even many, ppl fall for them is a reason not to think that a population conducted science

“A population doing science”. Yeah, that’s what they were doing. Science.

Note the bias toward modernity. Only modern people are smart. All ancient people were idiots.

the population always lags far, far behind in their understanding of science than do the scientific community

While a great deal of the scientific community is also religious. Funny he should open himself up like that.

I asked you to state why these miracles can’t have been explained by more mundane things

1) Why prefer more mundane things? Luis can't give us a reason apparently. The explanation of miracles from God give me a good reason to think that mundanity is not exactly what He was after.
2) How would one explain Christ's resurrection in mundane terms? Witness the many many failures of alternative explanations, the way they founder against, say, William Lane Craig's apologetic for the resurrection.

You're a philosophical naïf.

This coming from someone who thinks that disembodied minds and a 6,000 year old Earth are serious scientific propositions.

How does that respond to what I said?
Do I claim that those things are "serious scientific propositions"? Or did Luis just commit aNOTHER philosophical gaffe, that of strawmaning me? Yep, it's that.

Again you beg the question that the naturalistic explanation is "mundane",

No I don’t. I simply state what’s uncontroversial: that the physical universe is what we experience everyday

Don't be so disingenuous - that's far from what you're doing. You've been making mundanity a measure of preference for truth claims.
Who denies that the "physical universe is what we experience everyday"? What is this supposed to prove?

What I'm pointing out to you is that you claim a superior level of knowledge but you weren't even there; you have zero access to how it went down.

Except via recourse to the evidence left behind. You know, like a detective at a crime scene.

1) Note that he concedes that my characterisation of his position is correct.
2) So he can't repeatedly observe things, can't test them. But he has faith that his way-after-the-fact examination can reach truth. But he can never confirm it. Whereas we have recourse to an infallible eyewitness.

Surely you’re not saying that the police should never be allowed to arrest people unless eyewitness testimony is found? Because you kinda seem to be

No, I'm not. Again, Luis appears just to be a bit of a buffoon and a novice when it comes to engaging Christians.
Where did God speak with respect to this or that crime that occurred last week?
How does a crime last week compare with the millions of yrs that have transpired since the events in question?

1) I don't know and neither do you know whether they were like that before the Flood.

Yes we do, since the equivalent strata on both continents show the same fossil fauna and the rock types are the same, and the Mid-Atlantic ridge has magnetic patterns that fan out from the ridge on both sides like a mirror to each other (thus confirming a prediction of old-Earth geology

1) More question-begging. How does Luis know they weren't created like that? He doesn't. He assumes it.
2) Did I rule out that the Flood split the two apart? Nope. That would also explain what happenED.
So how is this evidence for old-earth geology against YEC?

But boy, aren’t we lucky that a sentient, incorporeal entity with spiritual power exists?!

That's stretching "lucky" far beyond its meaning. God is a necessary being, not a coincidentally-existing one. He didn't pop into existence.

Please indicate how you get past the gross improbability of that occurring.

A vast universe with hundreds of billions of planets.

100,000,000,000 = 1X10^11 does not compare to the much higher improbability along the lines of 1X10^60 or so of life arising. But does that stop Luis? Nope.

1) Yeah? Please point out sthg that would embarrass me.

The recurrent laryngeal nerve.


1) Oh, OK. So you didn't make a moral claim about burning witches. So, why do you seem upset about it?

Do I? Well, I suppose I am. But I’ve no interest in “justifying” my moral system to someone like you, who will simply discount it.

So Luis won't defend his moral claim. OK, then I'll simply dismiss it.
From experience I'm pretty sure that any defense he could make of his moral framework would be silly, but if he doesn't care enough about it to take it seriously, who am I to argue?

No, what I actually was centrally concerned about in that statement was the stupidity

1) Naturalistic fallacy.
2) What precisely is stupid about removing people from the gene pool who were stupid/inept enough to allow themselves to be burned to death by religious zealot idiots?

In some moral frameworks (like the Christian one of the Middle Ages), cruelty was seen as a moral obligation in many situations. Hence, systems of morality and the use of cruelty aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. Under some systems of morality, cruelty is in fact a prerequisite.

Still no answer to the question. Luis doesn't tire of throwing out buzzwords and working the emotions. Like a politician who is stalling for time and reelection.

those burnings were facilitated by the Rhologies of the time, who never questioned their presuppositions

Ah, now Luis is reading my mind. He has no idea what struggles I've experienced, both intellectual and emotional, in my journey. But why would that stop a nasty antitheist like him from insulting and unfounded speculations about someone with whom he disagrees? Demonisation is part of the plan, after all.

2) Speaking of dodges... want to answer the question?

No one knows for sure yet. But it’s almost certainly something like the RNA world hypothesis.

But Luis has faith.
Luis could do worse than to check out Stephen Meyer's discussion of the RNA world in "Signature In the Cell".

information, in the DNA was here long before minds were around.

How is information information when no one is around to understand it?

And crucially, it doesn’t require minds to interpret it,

Haha - I'd like to see just one example of that.

Information isn’t material? Hmmmm. Then show me a software program that doesn’t ultimately reside as some pattern on a physical medium.

Umm, RESIDING and EXISTING are two different things. Patterns aren't material - they can be EXPRESSED materially, sure, but that's not their essence.
So if I destroy all CD copies of a software program, is that program now non-existent? Can it be reproduced from memory?

Thanks for all that, Luis!



NAL said...


Why talk about common ancestry all the time if what you're saying were true?

Because common ancestry is about the generations before the fossil, not after the fossil.

Rhology said...


1) So, again, the fossil record finds no defense.

2) How do you have any idea about a line, or a bush, or a cladogram, or any sort of structural descendance thru time?

NAL said...

How does the fact that a fossil may or may not have procreated have any bearing on its ancestry?

bossmanham said...

Because if the animal a fossil used to be doesn't procreate, then nothing could have descended from it.

NAL said...


Duh! What has that got to do with the fossil's ancestry?

Evolution's claim is in regard to common ancestry.

Rhology said...

But when we ask for SUBSTANTIATION of that claim, what we get is an appeal to the fossil record. That's why it matters.

As for common anc, anyone can make crap up. We're asking for EVIDENCE.