Now on ScienceBlogs: Neptune turns 1. Kind of.

ScienceBlogs Book Club: Inside the Outbreaks

Search

Profile

pzm_profile_pic.jpg
PZ Myers is a biologist and associate professor at the University of Minnesota, Morris.
zf_pharyngula.jpg …and this is a pharyngula stage embryo.
a longer profile of yours truly
my calendar
Nature Network
RichardDawkins Network
facebook
MySpace
Twitter
Atheist Nexus
the Pharyngula chat room
(#pharyngula on irc.synirc.net)

• Quick link to the endless thread.



I reserve the right to publicly post, with full identifying information about the source, any email sent to me that contains threats of violence.

scarlet_A.png
I support Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Random Quote

I am approached with the most opposite opinions and advice, and by religious men who are certain they represent the Divine will. … I hope it will not be irreverent in me to say, that if it be probable that God would reveal his will to others, on a point so connected with my duty, it might be supposed he would reveal it directly to me.

[Abraham Lincoln. Chapter 14 of Part 5 of Six Historic Americans by John Ramsburg]

Recent Posts


A Taste of Pharyngula

Recent Comments

Archives


Blogroll

Other Information

« A little too close to home | Main | Arkansas might let atheists run for office, at last »

How to respond to requests to debate creationists

Category: Creationism
Posted on: February 18, 2009 4:15 PM, by PZ Myers

A professor at the University of Vermont, Nicholas Gotelli, got an invitation to debate one of the clowns at the Discovery Institute. Here's what they wrote.

Dear Professor Gotelli,

I saw your op-ed in the Burlington Free Press and appreciated your support of free speech at UVM. In light of that, I wonder if you would be open to finding a way to provide a campus forum for a debate about evolutionary science and intelligent design. The Discovery Institute, where I work, has a local sponsor in Burlington who is enthusiastic to find a way to make this happen. But we need a partner on campus. If not the biology department, then perhaps you can suggest an alternative.

Ben Stein may not be the best person to single-handedly represent the ID side. As you're aware, he's known mainly as an entertainer. A more appropriate alternative or addition might be our senior fellows David Berlinski or Stephen Meyer, respectively a mathematician and a philosopher of science. I'll copy links to their bios below. Wherever one comes down in the Darwin debate, I think we can all agree that it is healthy for students to be exposed to different views--in precisely the spirit of inviting controversial speakers to campus, as you write in your op-ed.

I'm hoping that you would be willing to give a critique of ID at such an event, and participate in the debate in whatever role you feel comfortable with.

A good scientific backdrop to the discussion might be Dr. Meyer's book that comes out in June from HarperCollins, "Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design."

On the other hand, Dr. Belinski may be a good choice since he is a critic of both ID and Darwinian theory.

Would it be possible for us to talk more about this by phone sometime soon?

With best wishes,
David Klinghoffer
Discovery Institute

You'll enjoy Dr Gotelli's response.

Dear Dr. Klinghoffer:

Thank you for this interesting and courteous invitation to set up a debate about evolution and creationism (which includes its more recent relabeling as "intelligent design") with a speaker from the Discovery Institute. Your invitation is quite surprising, given the sneering coverage of my recent newspaper editorial that you yourself posted on the Discovery Institute's website:

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2009/02/

However, this kind of two-faced dishonesty is what the scientific community has come to expect from the creationists.

Academic debate on controversial topics is fine, but those topics need to have a basis in reality. I would not invite a creationist to a debate on campus for the same reason that I would not invite an alchemist, a flat-earther, an astrologer, a psychic, or a Holocaust revisionist. These ideas have no scientific support, and that is why they have all been discarded by credible scholars. Creationism is in the same category.

Instead of spending time on public debates, why aren't members of your institute publishing their ideas in prominent peer-reviewed journals such as Science, Nature, or the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences? If you want to be taken seriously by scientists and scholars, this is where you need to publish. Academic publishing is an intellectual free market, where ideas that have credible empirical support are carefully and thoroughly explored. Nothing could possibly be more exciting and electrifying to biology than scientific disproof of evolutionary theory or scientific proof of the existence of a god. That would be Nobel Prize winning work, and it would be eagerly published by any of the prominent mainstream journals.

"Conspiracy" is the predictable response by Ben Stein and the frustrated creationists. But conspiracy theories are a joke, because science places a high premium on intellectual honesty and on new empirical studies that overturn previously established principles. Creationism doesn't live up to these standards, so its proponents are relegated to the sidelines, publishing in books, blogs, websites, and obscure journals that don't maintain scientific standards.

Finally, isn't it sort of pathetic that your large, well-funded institute must scrape around, panhandling for a seminar invitation at a little university in northern New England? Practicing scientists receive frequent invitations to speak in science departments around the world, often on controversial and novel topics. If creationists actually published some legitimate science, they would receive such invitations as well.

So, I hope you understand why I am declining your offer. I will wait patiently to read about the work of creationists in the pages of Nature and Science. But until it appears there, it isn't science and doesn't merit an invitation.

In closing, I do want to thank you sincerely for this invitation and for your posting on the Discovery Institute Website. As an evolutionary biologist, I can't tell you what a badge of honor this is. My colleagues will be envious.

Sincerely yours,

Nick Gotelli

P.S. I hope you will forgive me if I do not respond to any further e-mails from you or from the Discovery Institute. This has been entertaining, but it interferes with my research and teaching.

Share on Facebook
Share on StumbleUpon
Share on Facebook

Jump to end

TrackBacks

TrackBack URL for this entry: http://scienceblogs.com/mt/pings/100182

Comments

#1

Posted by: Sven DiMilo | February 18, 2009 4:21 PM

Wherever one comes down in the Darwin debate, I think we can all agree that BERLINKSKI IS NOT A MATHEMATICIAN!!!

#2

Posted by: Kel | February 18, 2009 4:21 PM

Brutal

So, I hope you understand why I am declining your offer. I will wait patiently to read about the work of creationists in the pages of Nature and Science. But until it appears there, it isn't science and doesn't merit an invitation.
really brutal

#3

Posted by: Richard Wolford | February 18, 2009 4:22 PM

Fucking beautiful, nothing else quite describes it. This made my day.

#4

Posted by: Natalie | February 18, 2009 4:22 PM

Wow. Pwned.

#5

Posted by: yorktank | February 18, 2009 4:22 PM

What's that the kids say? PWND?

#6

Posted by: Rev. BigDumbChimp | February 18, 2009 4:22 PM

Alan, Leon and any other of the creationists who have been dropping by...

Instead of spending time on public debates, why aren't members of your institute publishing their ideas in prominent peer-reviewed journals such as Science, Nature, or the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences? If you want to be taken seriously by scientists and scholars, this is where you need to publish. Academic publishing is an intellectual free market, where ideas that have credible empirical support are carefully and thoroughly explored. Nothing could possibly be more exciting and electrifying to biology than scientific disproof of evolutionary theory or scientific proof of the existence of a god. That would be Nobel Prize winning work, and it would be eagerly published by any of the prominent mainstream journals.

"Conspiracy" is the predictable response by Ben Stein and the frustrated creationists. But conspiracy theories are a joke, because science places a high premium on intellectual honesty and on new empirical studies that overturn previously established principles. Creationism doesn't live up to these standards, so its proponents are relegated to the sidelines, publishing in books, blogs, websites, and obscure journals that don't maintain scientific standards.

I hope you read that because it is exactly what we've been telling you.

#7

Posted by: spudvol | February 18, 2009 4:22 PM

Brilliant!

#8

Posted by: Arnaud | February 18, 2009 4:23 PM

Wow... he really hit the nail on the head. :P

#9

Posted by: RM | February 18, 2009 4:23 PM

Perfect!

#10

Posted by: waldteufel | February 18, 2009 4:23 PM

Wonderful response to a Disco Toot intellectual transvestite.

#11

Posted by: Boomer | February 18, 2009 4:23 PM

Oh, SNAP!

#12

Posted by: NoAstronomer | February 18, 2009 4:24 PM

To paraphrase something a fellow student said to me once after I roundly criticized somebody else's suggestion for a project we were all working on :

Now, Now Nick it's okay to stick the knife in but you mustn't twist it.

#13

Posted by: Larry | February 18, 2009 4:24 PM

"Just another example of big science suppressing other theories in order to keep raking in the big bucks" in 3.. 2.. 1..

#14

Posted by: Timothy | February 18, 2009 4:25 PM

Wow. That was pretty damn awesome.

#15

Posted by: Robert | February 18, 2009 4:25 PM

That reply is quite simply exquisite!

#16

Posted by: Jeremy | February 18, 2009 4:25 PM

hehehe

#17

Posted by: Nerd of Redhead, OM Author Profile Page | February 18, 2009 4:27 PM

Clap, Clap, Clap. Right up there with Lenski's takedown of AS. Beautiful.

#18

Posted by: Steve_C | February 18, 2009 4:29 PM

Wow. That's what you call a smackdown.

#19

Posted by: Paul Johnson | February 18, 2009 4:30 PM

that was so completely sexy....

i need to change my pants

#20

Posted by: Matt Heath | February 18, 2009 4:31 PM

It's nice but I still prefer Dawkins' rather terser "That would look very good on your CV: not so much on mine"

#21

Posted by: James F | February 18, 2009 4:31 PM

*sniff, sniff* I smell something burning all the way from Seattle!

To be fair, though, it wouldn't absolutely have to be in Science, Nature, or PNAS. Their data could appear in, say...(Lewis Black mode) ANY PEER-REVIEWED SCIENTIFIC JOURNAL!!!

#22

Posted by: 'Tis Himself, Designated Economist Author Profile Page | February 18, 2009 4:31 PM

P.S. I hope you will forgive me if I do not respond to any further e-mails from you or from the Discovery Institute. This has been entertaining, but it interferes with my research and teaching.

Don't call us, we'll call you.

#23

Posted by: IceFarmer | February 18, 2009 4:31 PM

Bloody brilliant response. If I were to meet Dr. Gotelli I'd definitely have to buy him a beer.

It would be great to see the DI post his reply on their crapsite. As we all know, they lack the, um, testes to do so. Sadly, I fear that this will be a well written retort that will hit a number of great blogs but will soon be forgotten/ignored by creatards and the like all too quickly.

Is there anyway this could get out in a major publication somewhere? I'd send it to New Scientist so they could amends for their massive screw up but I still don't think it would go anywhere.

#24

Posted by: kpi | February 18, 2009 4:31 PM

Nonono people, you're getting the wrong impression.
See, the weak and feeble evilutionist is scared, he knows the almighty Truth(tm) of creationism will prevail... blablabla and so on.

Seriously, 'they' will present this as a victory.
But what am I telling you, you know that...

#25

Posted by: Donnie B. | February 18, 2009 4:32 PM

Shorter Dr. Gotelli:

"Do some science, then we'll talk."

Sweet.

#26

Posted by: vhutchison | February 18, 2009 4:32 PM

Way to go Nick! This is the sort of reply any real scientist should give to an invitation to debate creationist IDers. They profit from any acceptance to debate or appear with them - 'see how important we are, real scientists will debate with us, etc., etc.' Don't give them any credibility or waste your time folks.

#27

Posted by: Theodore | February 18, 2009 4:35 PM

"Nothing could possibly be more exciting and electrifying to biology than scientific disproof of evolutionary theory or scientific proof of the existence of a god. "

Exactly. This whole business as to scientists protecting evolution for fame is just an opposite. Any scientists that disproves evolution (or makes a major dent in it) would be instantly famous.

#28

Posted by: Sastra Author Profile Page | February 18, 2009 4:36 PM

""Conspiracy" is the predictable response by Ben Stein and the frustrated creationists. But conspiracy theories are a joke, because science places a high premium on intellectual honesty and on new empirical studies that overturn previously established principles. Creationism doesn't live up to these standards, so its proponents are relegated to the sidelines, publishing in books, blogs, websites, and obscure journals that don't maintain scientific standards."

Beautiful.

This is something the public really doesn't understand. Not all journals and studies "count." If some fringe "scientific" viewpoint can't make it into mainstream journals and its advocates instead have to form their own little special magazines and journals and institutes where they do their science -- because the standards are lower -- then it isn't part of science, and you can't call it 'scientific.'

I was frustrated this morning arguing this very point to a "Pet Energy Therapist" who insisted that "smoothing out the life energy" to cure health problems in humans and other animals was completely scientific, and there were lots and lots of studies supporting it all. At the same time she was arguing that it was mainstream, she talked about "different approaches of science." She had the rest of the room on her side (they love diversity!)

What made it harder of course is that, unlike creationism, alternative medicine has made big inroads into academic organizations and institutions -- driven not by sound science, but by politics, ideology, and money. This allowed her to claim that I was rejecting mainstream medicine (though she had no real answer for why physicists were not interested in this entirely new form of energy, other than the 'different approaches' argument.)

If Dr. Gottelli had allowed the debate, he's absolutely right. They'd point to the superficial fact that it was debated on campus as evidence that creationism was a real, significant alternative scientific viewpoint (one that, perhaps, would depend on your "approach.")

#29

Posted by: LikesEmerson | February 18, 2009 4:37 PM

Priceless! this is one for the 'keep' folder. I've only lurked until now (since crackergate) but had to say this 'in person' - Dr. Gotelli is a class act! Way to Go!

#30

Posted by: Bob L | February 18, 2009 4:38 PM

Well that is stating your position is a clear manner. How the Discovery Institute spins this out to be fun.

#31

Posted by: WRMartin | February 18, 2009 4:42 PM

<Nelson Muntz>
Hah-Ha!
</Nelson Muntz>

#32

Posted by: Brownian Author Profile Page | February 18, 2009 4:44 PM

If they're so stuck for venues to, um, verbally do their science or whatever the hell they think debates are, the IDiots are more than welcome to use my place. They can manage their own travel, room, and board, though. I won't be attending.

#33

Posted by: cicely | February 18, 2009 4:45 PM

Composed entirely of Awesome and Win.

#34

Posted by: CS | February 18, 2009 4:45 PM

Obviously Dr Gotelli doesn't read ALL "peer-reviewed" journals!

(like this one)


#35

Posted by: ctenotrish | February 18, 2009 4:46 PM

His entire reply is well written and an excellent example of an appropriate response to such requests, but this is far and away my favorite line:

"Your invitation is quite surprising, given the sneering coverage of my recent newspaper editorial that you yourself posted on the Discovery Institute's website"

*grin!* Love it!

#36

Posted by: Scott M | February 18, 2009 4:47 PM

*Applause*

That should be made into a form letter for every biologist that the DI and their fellow delusionals approach. Pure gold. I gotta save me a copy.

#37

Posted by: Pablo | February 18, 2009 4:48 PM

He forgot to mention that if they really felt a need to debate in person, they could also show up at any of the regularly occuring biology meetings. They would be allowed to ask any questions they want of the speakers, and the only "silencing" that would occur is if their question run astray of the topic of the lecture (as any good moderator should do). Scientists do this all the time.

Of course, they won't do that, because they know they don't stand a chance in a room full of experts.

We need to make it a lot more clear: don't give us crap about "public debates." Scientists hold them all the time. Just pay your registration fee and you are welcome to participate.

#38

Posted by: Angel | February 18, 2009 4:48 PM

Beautiful; exquisite. Monment of silence in appreciation.

#39

Posted by: Brownian Author Profile Page | February 18, 2009 4:48 PM

Oh, and all the furniture has been marked for police identification.

I've been to Latin America. I've seen what those who live by Jesus Christ do with other peoples' stuff.

#40

Posted by: HotSake | February 18, 2009 4:48 PM

Five bucks says the DI never mentions it again.

#41

Posted by: Deepsix | February 18, 2009 4:48 PM

Epic win.

#42

Posted by: J-Dog | February 18, 2009 4:49 PM

YES!!!! NICK GOTELLI WINS TEH INTERTUBES !!! That is indeed, going to leave a mark on Dr. Klinghoffer!

BWA Ha Ha!

#43

Posted by: Crudely Wrott | February 18, 2009 4:51 PM

Way cool. The response is honest and direct, only slightly stinging in tone, buoyed with good humor and includes bonus instructions to budding scientists. How could'ja ask for more?

On second thought, it's wicked cool.

#44

Posted by: black wolf | February 18, 2009 4:52 PM

Niiiiiice. I'm currently in a discussion about ID creotardism elsewhere, and I'm itching to use a few lines from this letter.
We've already had all the usual obfuscations ('we get no funding therefore can't do our research', 'science limits itself too narrowly to allow progressive ideas from outsiders' and the all-time classic 'waaaaaaahhhh').
At the moment, it seems all the ostensively reasonable IDers have been slapped around more than they liked, but the real deep-end nutters (bent and a bit soft - Cashews?) are still there to play with.

Quoting a current highlight of nuttiness (my translation - I vow that this is no worse than the original in German):
"As the blueprint of the future human is sunk deep into the material with the sowing, then strives upwards through the lives of blind plants up to the lower and then higher in the animal kingdom, ever one is virtually deserted by the other of the previous section and, finally, finding in its peak people gifted with rationality and finally reaches culmination of his development in the knowledge of himself and cognizance of God."

Help me please, what does that even mean?

And can you guess what question that was supposed to (partially) answer?
If you guessed "Why doesn't God heal amputees?", you were right. But nobody guessed that.

#45

Posted by: Pablo | February 18, 2009 4:54 PM

BTW, re: my comment above about public debates at conferences. I forgot to point out (not that you here need to be told) that the thing to remember is that this is not an evolution/ID issue, it is a science issue. The whole "public debate at conferences" approach is ubiquitous throughout all fields of science. Chemistry, physics, geology, meterology, biology, comp sci, doesn't matter - this is how science is done. So they can't claim we are setting up unfair rules - they are the rules we all abide by. In fact, their approach to public debate is, in fact, completely out of line for how science is done.

#46

Posted by: Rey Fox | February 18, 2009 4:54 PM

It's like I said to that clown in that other thread: debates are mostly good for determining who is the bigger bullshitter. It's a testament to the shallowness of the creationist/ID mind that they keep thinking that debates are the grand arena of ideas. Especially televised debates.

#47

Posted by: JBlilie | February 18, 2009 4:54 PM

F-ing A, that reply is brilliant! Go Dr. Gotelli, whoo-hoo!

#48

Posted by: Dennis | February 18, 2009 4:54 PM

That made my day.

#49

Posted by: Bosch's Poodle | February 18, 2009 4:55 PM

Totally sick pwn.

#50

Posted by: Brownian Author Profile Page | February 18, 2009 4:55 PM

He forgot to mention that if they really felt a need to debate in person, they could also show up at any of the regularly occuring biology meetings. They would be allowed to ask any questions they want of the speakers, and the only "silencing" that would occur is if their question run astray of the topic of the lecture (as any good moderator should do). Scientists do this all the time.

This is a great point, Pablo. Lots of science, including the hammering out of ideas prior to publishing, takes place in conferences and meetings, which are much more open than scientific journals. If they're really stuck for a place to talk, why aren't they attending those? They'll have whole audiences of biologists whose eyes they'll be able to open. I mean, why bother parading about in front of undergrad students, most of whom won't bother taking any further biology classes, when they can attack the disease of Darwinism at the source?

Oh yeah, because they're a bunch of lying fucks.

#51

Posted by: Desert Son | February 18, 2009 4:56 PM

Magnificent response. Three cheers for Dr. Gotelli!

No kings,

Robert

#52

Posted by: Alex | February 18, 2009 4:57 PM

Brah - fuckin' - voh

I love the way he called them out on their dishonesty. Even his point about trying to gain scientific credibility with debates instead of actual research is spot on.

#53

Posted by: Peter McKellar | February 18, 2009 4:59 PM

I think it is important that these people are exposed in public for their anti-science, anti-reason views (but not from a platform where they receive some token of legitimacy). That does not mean their crap should get special treatment though, the peer reviewed publication criteria (criteriON) is a good first start.

Professor Gotelli's response was brilliant. I agree, he must be the envy of many academics. We need PWND awards for this sort of take-down (skepchick's top 10 maybe?)

They are like some secret society, with their concern troll tactics. But this is NOT a secret society or conspiracy, if only because their goals are public and open (the overthrow of social democracy for a theocracy where their orthodox ridiculous views make them our leaders). PWND needs to be the rule of the day or we will be an idiocracy before we know it. Legislation and the hijacking of rule of law (with incarceration) is no more than modern day witch burning. "Defamation of Religion" is their call to arms. "Defamation of Stupid" more like it (oxymoronic).

idiocracy + violence/imprisonment = theocracy

The recent cedeing of the top of Pakistan to a militant taliban presence is a case in point. Someone allowed these thugs a voice and then someone gave them guns. They need tpo be stopped before they are given any legitimate voice. Their claims are fraudulent, not legitimate.

People like Ray Comfort should have bananas in their hands, not guns. Their stupidity needs to be displayed on youtube for all to see.

We need to move the debate on from their pathetic bleating of "everyone picks on me for being a stupid, dumb, loud-mouthed idiot" to (us) "These people are stupid, dumb, loud-mouthed idiots and need to be discredited and silenced until they can say something they can back up".

Tax subsidies and grants are just feeding the trolls.

#54

Posted by: Dave Wisker | February 18, 2009 5:00 PM

However, this kind of two-faced dishonesty is what the scientific community has come to expect from the creationists

Frakking awesome.

#55

Posted by: Catalin Sandu | February 18, 2009 5:01 PM

Wow! Just nice. Love this answer!

#56

Posted by: firemancarl | February 18, 2009 5:02 PM

KERPOW!!!! What an awesome response. I wonder if the good Dr. would mind if people used bits and pieces of his reply. I think that it would help sink the ID movement trying to make its' way into schools again this year.

#57

Posted by: nal | February 18, 2009 5:03 PM

David Klinghoffer doesn not have a PhD. He has a Bachelors Degree from Brown University.

#58

Posted by: Glen Davidson | February 18, 2009 5:05 PM

Well hey, Stein was good enough to pontificate in a movie, why can't he debate ID?

Is David tacitly admitting that Stein is an ignorant dishonest bastard?

Why did the Dishonesty Institute put up such a fuss when Stein was allowed to know that people at UVM were on to his deceit? Apparently because they know it's true.

Anyhow, I'm glad Gotelli put ID and the egregious Klinghoffer in the company he deserves, with Holocaust deniers and astrologers. Gotta sting.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/6mb592

#59

Posted by: Pablo | February 18, 2009 5:06 PM

This is a great point, Pablo. Lots of science, including the hammering out of ideas prior to publishing, takes place in conferences and meetings, which are much more open than scientific journals.

To say the least. Lots of weak-ass shit shows up at conferences (I've done my share), but it is a place where discussion occurs (which you don't get in the literature). And I've been on both ends of the stick in this regard, been the one in the audience pointing out the flaw, and been on the stage going, "Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa" and babbling like a duck.



If they're really stuck for a place to talk, why aren't they attending those? They'll have whole audiences of biologists whose eyes they'll be able to open.

I had a colleague in a prior location who had some fairly, um, controversial models of water and was upset that the mainstream folks weren't listening to him. I convinced him to get to the ACS conference and present his stuff there, and he did. They gave him a talk, and he stayed for the symposium. Unfortunately, he embarrassed himself massively throughout the week and it effectively killed his career (he was an old guy) but he couldn't complain he didn't have a chance.

I think of him on Thanksgiving. He wasn't vegetarian, but he felt sorry for the turkeys, so he always made tomato soup for Thanksgiving dinner. Homemade tomato soup, with tomatos from his garden, in fact.

#60

Posted by: revjimbob | February 18, 2009 5:06 PM

I think Gotelli comes across as a bit peevish. The piece on him wasn't particularly harsh. That superior manner of his irritates me, and I am no friend of creationists.

#61

Posted by: Dave The Drummer | February 18, 2009 5:07 PM

Nick Gotelli ROCKS !
\m/
What a dude.
Awesome.

#62

Posted by: hal | February 18, 2009 5:07 PM

Jeremy Irons in a lab coat.

Also... Dr.(??!?) Klinghoffer

#63

Posted by: talking snake | February 18, 2009 5:07 PM

Bravo, Nick Gottelli!

#64

Posted by: MerkinWeaver | February 18, 2009 5:10 PM

Can you say ID Creationism FAIL???

#65

Posted by: Skepticat | February 18, 2009 5:11 PM

I think Dr. Gotelli gave these guys exactly what they deserve. They are desperate to rub shoulders with "real" scientists so they can have an air of respectability and credibility. In this case, attempt denied!

#66

Posted by: James F | February 18, 2009 5:12 PM

nal #57

David Klinghoffer does not have a PhD.

I was gonna say.

He has a Bachelors Degree from Brown University.

Did he and Bobby Jindal hang out or something?

#67

Posted by: Steve_C | February 18, 2009 5:12 PM

revjim... whatever. he has a reason to be peevish.

#68

Posted by: Jaycubed | February 18, 2009 5:13 PM

BRAVO!

(standing ovation)

#69

Posted by: Bruce | February 18, 2009 5:14 PM

A local church is sponsoring Expelled at the local theater here in Cumberland, WI tonight. I wrote a letter to the editor that should be published in this weeks edition. When there are the obligatory fundie replies, this letter will give me some more ammo for my next letter.

#70

Posted by: www.10ch.org | February 18, 2009 5:15 PM

If creationists practiced science, then they would no longer be creationists.

#71

Posted by: James F | February 18, 2009 5:15 PM

#61

\mm/

(Too much rock for one hand)

#72

Posted by: fcaccin | February 18, 2009 5:16 PM

Donnie B. (#25):

Shorter Dr. Gotelli:
"Do some science, then we'll talk."

Shorterer:

-NO!-

#73

Posted by: Terry Shull | February 18, 2009 5:17 PM

I really do love to watch well-performed surgery and this was no exception.

#74

Posted by: Peter McKellar | February 18, 2009 5:17 PM

The CRS publication link provided by CS was interesting (not really). More fraudulent claims on legitimacy. One of their points:

"Fresh perspectives on science"

Cable TV has a similar term for when they are repeating a program after its been off the air for maybe a whole 2 months is:

"fresh episodes" (hey we just dusted off the copies, deodorised them and are giving them back to you as "reconditioned, not 2nd hand")

hahahaha

#75

Posted by: Ouchimoo | February 18, 2009 5:18 PM

That made my day! I should send that guy a card!

#76

Posted by: Stephen | February 18, 2009 5:19 PM

WOW. That post script was terribly to the point! Bravo! :)

#77

Posted by: Brownian Author Profile Page | February 18, 2009 5:20 PM

"Fresh perspectives on science"

Well, being closer to the truth than any hand-waving theologian does get a bit stale after awhile.

#78

Posted by: mas528 | February 18, 2009 5:20 PM

Posted by: Rey Fox | February 18, 2009 4:54 PM It's like I said to that clown in that other thread: debates are mostly good for determining who is the bigger bullshitter. It's a testament to the shallowness of the creationist/ID mind that they keep thinking that debates are the grand arena of ideas. Especially televised debates.
The real debates go on in the journals, some of them for years.

When "Big Name" schools like Harvard and Princeton stop encouraging these debates with these dreary debate teams, and stop pretending that a short-timed debate is worth anything at all, we just might see less of this behavior from everyone.

#79

Posted by: Sebastian | February 18, 2009 5:21 PM

Little nitpick:

given the sneering coverage of my recent newspaper editorial that you yourself posted on the Discovery Institute's website

It was actually posted by one Anika Smith, not by this Kris Klingel dude.

#80

Posted by: Jess T Author Profile Page | February 18, 2009 5:21 PM

"I would not invite a creationist to a debate on campus for the same reason that I would not invite an alchemist, a flat-earther, an astrologer, a psychic, or a Holocaust revisionist."

I think they're going to need some lotion or something to take care of that burn.

Someone buy this man a beer.

#81

Posted by: bobxxxx | February 18, 2009 5:22 PM

I wonder if you would be open to finding a way to provide a campus forum for a debate about evolutionary science and intelligent design. The Discovery Institute, where I work, has a local sponsor in Burlington who is enthusiastic to find a way to make this happen.

Translation:

I wonder if you would be open to finding a way to provide a campus forum for a debate about evolutionary science and MAGIC. The STUPIDITY Institute, where I work, has a local IDIOT in Burlington who is enthusiastic to find a way to make this happen.

#82

Posted by: Orac | February 18, 2009 5:24 PM

I will wait patiently to read about the work of creationists in the pages of Nature and Science. But until it appears there, it isn't science and doesn't merit an invitation.

I really don't like this part of the letter at all. In fact, these two sentences come close to ruining some excellent pwnage. Something doesn't have to be in Nature and Science to be science and merit an invitation to speak.

#83

Posted by: CalGeorge | February 18, 2009 5:24 PM

That's a keeper. A beautiful putdown.

#84

Posted by: St.B | February 18, 2009 5:25 PM

Dr. Gotelli was as gracious as could be warranted. Can anyone explain the validity of having a debate on the existence of the Tooth fairy? Good job Doc. It all comes down to the same thing , the onus is on “proofing the pudding” for the positive, not the negative. Once one could have more than, “because I say so”, as basis for a debate… those of sound mind would participate.

Gotelli’s response, beautiful.

#85

Posted by: Alex | February 18, 2009 5:25 PM

"Fresh perspectives on science"

Yeah, like let us claim magic for explaining the really hard stuff.

Even from the Dover trial, they have such a faulty understanding of the fundamental reasons science works that they don't see a problem allowing "supernatural" explanation. The level of hubris and stupidity is staggering.

#86

Posted by: Crudely Wrott | February 18, 2009 5:25 PM

. . . and now, more from the Pretty Good News Desk:

PZ, you've had a mammoth fossil named after you!

Massive deposits of fossils — from ancient algae to a mammoth named Zed — were recently excavated in the La Brea tar pits in California.

I just heard this on NPR.

At this rate, you'll be famous someday. Congratulations.

#87

Posted by: Slaughter | February 18, 2009 5:28 PM

P.Z. may have punded another nail into creationism's coffin but in doing so has proved he has psychic powers:
"You'll enjoy Dr Gotelli's response."

#88

Posted by: Rev. BigDumbChimp | February 18, 2009 5:29 PM

I really don't like this part of the letter at all. In fact, these two sentences come close to ruining some excellent pwnage. Something doesn't have to be in Nature and Science to be science and merit an invitation to speak.


True, I assume he was using them as prominent examples. He could have chosen his words a little better there to indicate they aren't the only places by far that would suffice.

#89

Posted by: Schroedinger's Dog | February 18, 2009 5:29 PM

Epic Win!

Kudos to you, Dr. Gotelli.

#90

Posted by: Spyderkl Author Profile Page | February 18, 2009 5:30 PM

Wow. It managed to be classy and scathing at the same time. Nicely done!

#91

Posted by: Menyambal | February 18, 2009 5:30 PM

"Where in the Darwin debate"?!? There is no debate! Not because of suppression, just because there's nothing to debate.

As I've said before, a debate is just two sermons, alternating. The scientist is going to lose to the experienced and dishonest preacher man. Science is done in a lab, or in the field, or in a conference. It is not done by debate.

As long as the ID people keep up the illusion that debates are useful for arriving at truth, they are going to keep asking. In this case, they got answered. And served.

#92

Posted by: dean | February 18, 2009 5:34 PM

I like the touch of his p.s. - a perfect coup de grâce.

#93

Posted by: Porco Dio Author Profile Page | February 18, 2009 5:36 PM

i like his retort but prefer the way PZ's economical reply, "NO," hits the nail squarely on the head.

#94

Posted by: cedgray Author Profile Page | February 18, 2009 5:39 PM

That is some EXQUISITE pwnage.

#95

Posted by: Doc Bill | February 18, 2009 5:45 PM

The mental image of Klinghoffer and Jindal "hanging out" at Brown is not pretty at all.

Multi-pwn letter.

The DI disowns Ben Stein. Do you think the UVM flap did it in for Stein, or the quote "Darwinism doesn't explain gravity?"

I don't think the DI will let this dog lie (or is it lay?) Attack Gerbil 2nd Class Luskin will respond to all of Gotelli's "inaccuracies and misrepresentations."

Film at 11.


#96

Posted by: garth | February 18, 2009 5:45 PM

*bowing in deference*

Well said, Prof. Gotelli.

#97

Posted by: Phil | February 18, 2009 5:48 PM

Whee! Boy that's gotta hurt getting kicked in the gut like that.

#98

Posted by: Moses | February 18, 2009 5:51 PM

What a great letter.

#99

Posted by: Richard Dawkins | February 18, 2009 5:53 PM

It's nice but I still prefer Dawkins' rather terser "That would look very good on your CV: not so much on mine".
Much as it amuses me, I can't claim authorship for that witticism. It belongs to my colleague Bob May, but I admit that I often quote it, usually saying that I don't have the chutzpah to use it myself. The exact words, as I recall them were, "That would look great on your CV, not so good on mine" (best spoken with an Australian accent).
#100

Posted by: Wowbagger | February 18, 2009 5:58 PM

Richard Dawkins wrote:

...(best spoken with an Australian accent).

Most things are :)

#101

Posted by: Calladus | February 18, 2009 6:00 PM

I ran into something similar with a local preacher who wanted to debate me on Darwin Day.

In my email reply, I stated that since neither of us were biologists, we really had little to say.

I then told him if he could get a tenured professor with a PhD in biology, who was well grounded in the modern foundations of biology to speak on the behalf of his church, then I could probably find a similar person to speak in opposition.

Apparently, I was being "unreasonable".

#102

Posted by: Sherry Author Profile Page | February 18, 2009 6:01 PM

My 19yo just read this story, and exclaimed:

"Gotelli's SICK!" (That's a good thing)

#103

Posted by: Wowbagger | February 18, 2009 6:07 PM

Calladus wrote:

Apparently, I was being "unreasonable".

Heck, you're lucky they didn't describe you as 'militant'.

#104

Posted by: Winawer | February 18, 2009 6:08 PM

Orac,

I think you need to read that passage in the context of this one:

Nothing could possibly be more exciting and electrifying to biology than scientific disproof of evolutionary theory or scientific proof of the existence of a god. That would be Nobel Prize winning work, and it would be eagerly published by any of the prominent mainstream journals.

I think he's saying that if creationists actually had something to disprove evolution or prove God, you would certainly see it in Nature or Science, but until that happens they're wasting his time.

#105

Posted by: DavidONE | February 18, 2009 6:10 PM

Bravo, Nicholas, bravo!

#106

Posted by: Quotidian Torture | February 18, 2009 6:17 PM

FLAWLESS VICTORY!

#107

Posted by: Frank | February 18, 2009 6:19 PM

You're right; I am jealous.

#108

Posted by: bob | February 18, 2009 6:19 PM

That was fantastic. Instant cure for a crappy mood.

Orac and revjimbob: Chill. Orac in particular, I have to say that you're reaching ... that passage only sounds bad if you quote-mine. He used such high-caliber journals as examples because he (rightly) credited any research that would prove their "theories" as Nobel-quality.

#109

Posted by: Stardrake | February 18, 2009 6:25 PM

Dr. Gotelli's display of verbal-chainsaw-fu is a thing of beauty.

#110

Posted by: Vronvron | February 18, 2009 6:29 PM

Dr Gotelli's response to Klinghoffer is the perfect antidote to reading painful messages from creationists.

I have a few questions:

Klinghoffer writes
"The Discovery Institute, where I work, has a local sponsor in Burlington who is enthusiastic to find a way to make this happen."
Does this mean that the sponsor will pay for the debate and why does the Discovery Institute need someone to sponsor the debate?

Why does Dr Gotelli put Dr. before Klinghoffer's name? Klinghoffer is a doctor of what? I notice Klinghoffer addressed his letter "Professor Gotelli.

#111

Posted by: Ric | February 18, 2009 6:31 PM

Holy shit. That is what I call owned.

#112

Posted by: Alyson Miers Author Profile Page | February 18, 2009 6:33 PM

Your invitation is quite surprising, given the sneering coverage of my recent newspaper editorial that you yourself posted on the Discovery Institute's website:

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2009/02/

However, this kind of two-faced dishonesty is what the scientific community has come to expect from the creationists.

Sha-ZAM!

Dr. Gotelli wins at life. One Internet for you, sir, on a silver platter.

#113

Posted by: FastLane | February 18, 2009 6:34 PM

Wow... he really hit the nail on the head.
Hard...with a really big hammer.

That's gonna leave a mark.

#114

Posted by: Muffin | February 18, 2009 6:37 PM

You were right, PZ, that was a real treat. "Pwned" indeed!

#115

Posted by: MH | February 18, 2009 6:40 PM

Instead of spending time on public debates, why aren't members of your institute publishing their ideas in prominent peer-reviewed journals such as Science, Nature, or the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences?

They would probably counter that they can't get their work into science journals because of discrimination by 'Big Science'. However, they haven't even got anything to publish in their own journal (well, not since 2005)!

I find it hard to even laugh at the cdesign proponentsists any more. Now my feelings are a combination of pity and revulsion.

#116

Posted by: Derek | February 18, 2009 6:45 PM

That is epic ownage. Well done, Mr. Gotelli.

#117

Posted by: Jazmin | February 18, 2009 6:46 PM

Since I have the energy to de-lurk tonight I'd like to add my bravo for Professor Gotelli as well as a standing (as in on-going)one for Dr. Myers. I always leave this blog feeling better educated.

On that note: What does "pwned" mean? I used to be smarter but I've got chemo-brain again.

#118

Posted by: BaldySlaphead | February 18, 2009 6:48 PM

That was a genuinely laugh-out-loud arse kicking of epic proportions. Magnificent!

#119

Posted by: MH | February 18, 2009 6:51 PM

On that note: What does "pwned" mean?

I find UrbanDictionary indispensable: pwned

#120

Posted by: echidna | February 18, 2009 6:55 PM

pwned:
"It can be pronounced as "owned" or as "poned", with both pronunciations being correct. In some cases, you will even hear it pronounced as "pawned". "Pwned" means "to be controlled against your will", or "to be defeated by a superior power"."
http://netforbeginners.about.com/od/p/f/pwned.htm

#121

Posted by: Bad Albert | February 18, 2009 6:55 PM

Even though he won't reply, I do hope Dr. Gotelli shares any response received.

#122

Posted by: Jazmin | February 18, 2009 6:56 PM

Thanks MH.

See, I'm getting smarter with every minute that I spend here.

#123

Posted by: gb | February 18, 2009 6:56 PM

Pwned, RejectID and eloquently Gotelli'd.

#124

Posted by: Lurkbot | February 18, 2009 7:05 PM

Awesome response, and very amusing for us, but I don't think it's going to land. The fact is, the mentalities of these yahoos are so different from normal humans that there's no basis for communication.

I'm talking particularly about the invitation to publish their work in peer-reviewed journals (I agree with Orac that specifying Science and Nature probably sounds unnecessarily elitist.) I remember when the cold fusion debacle was fading off into ignominy, the Utah state representative who introduced the legislation to spend $5 million setting up a Cold Fusion Research Institute was met with the objection: "But Pons and Fleischer couldn't even get their paper published in Nature!"

His response? "We're not going to let some English magazine tell us how to spend our money." You've got the same kind of people in the creotard ranks. You're dealing with people capable of calling Nature: "Some". "English". "Magazine".

Think about that for a minute. How do you even talk to somebody like that? You can't. All you can do is make yourself feel good by pwning their ass like Dr. Gotelli did, and resign yourself to the knowledge that they will never understand that they are now your bitch.

#125

Posted by: Laurie | February 18, 2009 7:06 PM

I hate to be a downer but, as far as I can tell, it was not Klinghoffer himself who wrote the snarky post about Dr. Gotelli's editorial. It looks like that post on the Discovery Institute site was written by someone named Anika Smith. (And the level of snark in the obviously foolish post didn't strike me as quite meriting Dr. Gotelli's accusation of two-facedness.)(Sorry to be such a stickler but I was disappointed when I clicked on the link because I expected a really nasty post by Klinghoffer himself.)

I also wish that Professor Gotelli had dialed back the sarcasm a bit, especially at the end. But, other than that I think, Gotelli's letter hit the nail on the head really effectively. It seems that it is probably a really good idea when declining invitations like this to explain why; it makes it harder for the creationists to say, "Oooh, they're just afraid of us, or it's all a conspiracy to bury our ideas."

#126

Posted by: Knockgoats | February 18, 2009 7:07 PM

Richard Dawkins@99,

Nice to have it confirmed it was Bob May. Having briefly worked in the Oxford Zoology Department while he was there (though I never talked with him, only learned of his fearsome reputation for both intellectual brilliance and... self-confidence), I was sure it must be when I read it in The God Delusion!

#127

Posted by: Ernie | February 18, 2009 7:10 PM

DI is going to need an industrial size vaseline jar. PWND

#128

Posted by: sciencemc | February 18, 2009 7:11 PM

Forgive me for the light-on-substance response, but:

That.
Was.
Awesome.

I will have a warm fuzzy feeling all day!

#129

Posted by: Laurie | February 18, 2009 7:12 PM

By the way, I am new to following the intelligent design "controversy" in any detail. I spent quite a bit of time reading up on it this weekend -- and am now spitting mad at the dishonest tactics of the creationists, who are clearly trying to take advantage of gaps in scientific knowledge of ordinary people like me.

So I can definitely understand the frustration of the regular readers here who have been dealing with this garbage longer than I.

#130

Posted by: Twin-Skies | February 18, 2009 7:14 PM

@yorktank #2

What's that the kids say? PWND?

No, no, no - that's won't do. Something more substantial's needed for this special occasion.

EPIC WIN!!! LOLZ!


#131

Posted by: Kaddath | February 18, 2009 7:15 PM

Honorary Molly to Dr. Gotteli.
+1

#132

Posted by: Peter McKellar | February 18, 2009 7:17 PM

Laurie @129

"So I can definitely understand the frustration of the regular readers here who have been dealing with this garbage longer than I"

It gets really tedious and time wasting, but it has to be done. Taking out the trash is mind-numbing.

#133

Posted by: mrcreosote | February 18, 2009 7:22 PM

"Never hit a man when he is down. Kick him - it's easier"

#134

Posted by: frog | February 18, 2009 7:24 PM

Orac: Something doesn't have to be in Nature and Science to be science and merit an invitation to speak.

In general, you're not only right, you're quite right. But in this particular case, you're wrong. They have their own funding mechanism; they've been working at it for decades. Something should have burbled to Science or Nature by now.

We're not talking one PI and a postdoc working in anonymity for six years to come up with a revolutionary understanding neuronal signaling, and publishing in a smaller journal because of the dogma they upset (at least in the short-term), or simply because they need more than 3 pages to describe what they've been up to; we're talking about a well-funded long-term "research" project that has produced zilch, since it is in reality a propaganda campaign.

In this case, calling on them to publish in Nature or shut-up is called for.

#135

Posted by: John Morales | February 18, 2009 7:25 PM

It was a very polite reply, as some measure politeness :)

PS. Nerd of Redhead, that reply was uncannily similar to many of your posts...

#136

Posted by: Neoteny | February 18, 2009 7:31 PM

pwned.

#137

Posted by: Matt | February 18, 2009 7:38 PM

I really don't like this part of the letter at all. In fact, these two sentences come close to ruining some excellent pwnage. Something doesn't have to be in Nature and Science to be science and merit an invitation to speak.

That is certainly true, but I think when you look at the claims being made it is forgivable. If, as the DI claims, evolution has been conclusively disproved and, (as they want to claim), a designer is self evident, we could expect both Nature and Science to devote an entire volume to the idea. Dr. Gotelli set the bar absurdly high because the claims are absurd.

#138

Posted by: QNA | February 18, 2009 7:39 PM

CRS Quarterly?

CRS? As in Can't Remember Shit? or Crappy Reasoning Sells?

#139

Posted by: Natasha Yar-Routh | February 18, 2009 7:42 PM

#11 'Wonderful response to a Disco Toot intellectual transvestite.'

That is a vile insult to transvestite's everywhere. I will thank you to be more civil in the future.

#140

Posted by: Brad | February 18, 2009 7:45 PM

Orac:

I really don't like this part of the letter at all. In fact, these two sentences come close to ruining some excellent pwnage. Something doesn't have to be in Nature and Science to be science and merit an invitation to speak.

True, and that might have been excessively snarky. But if the creos do find a stratum filled with fossilized precambrian rabbits or a living mammal with compound eyes, they are not going to publish in Proceedings of the Wyoming Amateur Fossil Hunter Conference or Cryptozoology. Nature and Science will be fighting over publishing rights.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and if the evidence exists, it will get top billing.

#141

Posted by: Eclogite | February 18, 2009 7:58 PM

That's a beautiful response. Thanks for sharing it with the masses.

#142

Posted by: damnedyankee | February 18, 2009 7:59 PM

Owned. Pwned. Hell, I'll even go further than that and say qwned.

#143

Posted by: Larry | February 18, 2009 8:10 PM

Fraidy cat.

#144

Posted by: Defaithed | February 18, 2009 8:15 PM

@Menyambal: "Science is done in a lab, or in the field, or in a conference. It is not done by debate."

So true. Think of why the creationists love debate so much. It's precisely a venue where the scientist can't bring his arsenal of evidence - lab research, fieldwork, fossils, etc. - other than what crumbs will fit onto a few Keynote slides.

All the two sides can bring to a debate is talk and showmanship, which is all the creationist has. "Show both sides of the controversy" debates are nothing more than an attempt to disarm the science side.

#145

Posted by: Helioprogenus | February 18, 2009 8:15 PM

I know that like myself, a lot of you are thinking, now why can't I come up with such a concise response to creationists rambling about useless drivel? The answer, sadly (for most of us) is that some people have an explicit expository ability to completely dominate irrational bullshit with a complete reply. No holes in that logic.

#146

Posted by: C. M. Baxter | February 18, 2009 8:15 PM

Finally, isn't it sort of pathetic that your large, well-funded institute must scrape around, panhandling for a seminar invitation at a little university in northern New England? Practicing scientists receive frequent invitations to speak in science departments around the world, often on controversial and novel topics. If creationists actually published some legitimate science, they would receive such invitations as well.

While reading this segment of Dr. Gotelli's letter, I tried really hard to put myself in Klinghoffer’s place. Although, I wasn’t all that successful, My face did start to burn. That’s the best slapdown I’ve read in a long while.

#147

Posted by: Tom | February 18, 2009 8:20 PM

Beautiful.

And he makes the point that IDiots refuse to listen to: if a scientist proved that evolution was wrong, he would win the Nobel Prize. He would become the most famous scientist in the world. He would even get on Leno!

#148

Posted by: Kevpod | February 18, 2009 8:27 PM

Any word on the response to this stirring smackdown?

#149

Posted by: Holbach | February 18, 2009 8:45 PM

A standing ovation to Dr Gotelli!

#150

Posted by: Ben | February 18, 2009 8:52 PM

PWNED!! hehe

#151

Posted by: CoalPetChick | February 18, 2009 8:55 PM

I love his listing them in with Holocaust Denialists. Oooo, zing! That'll get them pissy.

Fabulous response, made my night to read it.

#152

Posted by: Ed H. | February 18, 2009 8:57 PM

Pwnd. Thanks for posting this, you made my day.

#153

Posted by: tim Rowledge | February 18, 2009 8:57 PM

But if the creos do find a stratum filled with fossilized precambrian rabbits
... my first thought would be 'so time machines do work'. Followed by 'or more likely some creotard has faked it'.
#154

Posted by: Miguel | February 18, 2009 9:14 PM

I'M NOT WORTHY! m(_ _)m

Seriously, that was fucking awesome.

#155

Posted by: rob | February 18, 2009 9:15 PM

Thank you so much for publishing this hissy fit by Gotelli. I am very grateful for the link to the resource "'expelled exposed' exposed". And that's all I'd like to say here. Any web site so bereft of civility is no doubt empty of true and thorough rationality and real intellectual honesty.

#156

Posted by: Andrew | February 18, 2009 9:16 PM

P.S. I hope you will forgive me if I do not respond to any further e-mails from you or from the Discovery Institute. This has been entertaining, but it interferes with my research and teaching.

Reading that, I wonder if Klinghoffer even realized he was being ripped a new one. :-D

#157

Posted by: Kel | February 18, 2009 9:18 PM

... my first thought would be 'so time machines do work'.
I had two thoughts when someone first suggested that precambrian bunnies would be the result of time travel - firstly, if I ever had the chance to go back in time I would bring a rabbit and made sure it fossilised in precambrian rock just to fuck with palaeontologists. And secondly, the absence of precambrian rabbits disproves time travel because we don't see any back in time... unless that is another person went back in time and removed the offending fossil.
#158

Posted by: Rev. BigDumbChimp | February 18, 2009 9:19 PM

Fraidy cat.

really? That's all you got Lar?

#159

Posted by: Ichthyic | February 18, 2009 9:19 PM

Any web site so bereft of civility is no doubt empty of true and thorough rationality and real intellectual honesty.

Oh yes, you'll find reams of intellectual honesty over at the Disco Institute!

Have fun deluding yourself.

#160

Posted by: Wowbagger | February 18, 2009 9:22 PM

Any web site so bereft of civility is no doubt empty of true and thorough rationality and real intellectual honesty.

Ooooh, concern troll is concerned. Has anyone called for a whaaaaaambulance yet?

Pissant.

#161

Posted by: Rev. BigDumbChimp | February 18, 2009 9:31 PM

Any web site so bereft of civility is no doubt empty of true and thorough rationality and real intellectual honesty.


What about a website and movement so bereft of honesty? What is its measure of intellectual honesty?

Get over being called out on being a dishonest hack if you are part of the ID movement, because that is increasingly being proven to be all that encompasses it.

#162

Posted by: Kel | February 18, 2009 9:32 PM

I'm not sure how one could be civil to the drones from the Discovery Institute, what with them ignoring the last 150 years of scientific progress and existing for the purpose of destroying evolution for the sake of bringing people to Jesus [see Wedge document]. The public evangelising of unsupported science, the persistent attacks on academia, it's continual effort to push their religious ideology into public schools... There's really not that many things one can say about an organisation like that nor the people in it.

#163

Posted by: Teddydeedodu | February 18, 2009 9:33 PM

"In closing, I do want to thank you sincerely for this invitation and for your posting on the Discovery Institute Website. As an evolutionary biologist, I can't tell you what a badge of honor this is. My colleagues will be envious."

I fell off my chair laughing at this. Wow! Talk about brillant sarcasm. Forget about just plunging the knife and then twisting it. This is more like plunging it then twisting while still keeping a wide smile in one's face. Finally saying 'Have a nice day' after pulling it out!!

#164

Posted by: Desert Son | February 18, 2009 9:33 PM

rob (sadly) posted at #155:

And that's all I'd like to say here.

If I may be forgiven a moment of presumption, why do I get the feeling that the subject statement is somewhat . . . disingenuous, and that, in fact, rob (regrettably)'s desire is to say a great deal more here, possibly quoting from the "neener-neener" school of philosophical discourse?

Acknowledging, of course, purest presumption.

By the way, if you're still reading, rob (sadly), do you perceive this comment bereft of civility?

For the record, rob (regrettably), I'm not convinced that civility was ever a necessary signpost of "thorough rationality and real intellectual honesty," though I have a feeling many readers at Pharyngula would be happy to pour over the evidence you may have suggesting so.

Interesting to note, I often find the debates on this (and other) sites civil, even in disagreement. "Drive by" postings receive, perhaps, somewhat less gentle annotation.

No kings,

Robert

#165

Posted by: Brownian Author Profile Page | February 18, 2009 9:34 PM

Thank you so much for publishing this hissy fit by Gotelli. I am very grateful for the link to the resource "'expelled exposed' exposed". And that's all I'd like to say here. Any web site so bereft of civility is no doubt empty of true and thorough rationality and real intellectual honesty.

Don't trip over the fucking curb and fall in front of a fucking truck on your way out the fucking door, fucker.

#166

Posted by: Nathan | February 18, 2009 9:36 PM

that was an epic response, well played, well played indeed

#167

Posted by: Holbach | February 18, 2009 9:36 PM

I just sent Dr Gotelli an e-mail expressing our admiration from all of us at Pharyngula. He certainly deserves recognition and praise for his committment for the cause of science and the passioned rebuttal of the forces of nonsense. Again, a standing ovation to Dr Gotelli!

#168

Posted by: George | February 18, 2009 9:39 PM

lol for a moment i thought t he name stephenie meyer was in the letter. whew.

#169

Posted by: Last Hussar | February 18, 2009 9:45 PM

Not pwned

WIN.

When I post about creationism on my blog the best I get is
"It’s trivia. How will that help you at the time of death?

Hare Krishna."
(on the entry about the Burgess Shales). Confused me.

How come ID'ers never ask Pastafarians to debate- what are they scared of?

#170

Posted by: Dahan | February 18, 2009 9:58 PM

OMG, all I could think as I read that reply was "I am SO thankful I'm not at the recieving end of this". That was a compete pwning.

#171

Posted by: Nick | February 18, 2009 10:05 PM

Very nice response...it's always refreshing to see knowledgeable, polite, yet truthful rebukes to those who are ignorant and generally hostile.

#172

Posted by: LisaJ | February 18, 2009 10:12 PM

Wow! That was just amazing. I am so impressed. That was one of the sharpest, wittiest and spot-on honest pieces of writing on the subject of evolution vs creationism I have ever seen (of course, aside from many of your beautiful gems, PZ :))

#173

Posted by: amphiox | February 18, 2009 10:16 PM

#153:

Ah, but even if was time machines, time travel ubiquitous enough to ensure precambrian fossil rabbits, given the rarity of fossilization per se, would still blow common descent right out of the water, as it would mean genetic mixing of past and future breeding populations.

#174

Posted by: Eric Saveau | February 18, 2009 10:18 PM

Oh, my nonexistent gods and all their cartoon sidekicks; that was one of the most brilliant, eloquent, and savagely magnificent takedowns I have ever beheld. It's great to be among the good guys; we have all the coolest nuclear-powered weapons-grade pwnage!

#175

Posted by: Eric Saveau | February 18, 2009 10:37 PM

Wowbagger-

...(best spoken with an Australian accent).
Most things are :)

I agree; I find the Aussie accent in women delicious, and I do a pretty good one myself... but it irritates my wife to no end. Oh, well; she had to have some fault...

#176

Posted by: catta | February 18, 2009 10:44 PM

In closing, I do want to thank you sincerely for this invitation and for your posting on the Discovery Institute Website. As an evolutionary biologist, I can't tell you what a badge of honor this is. My colleagues will be envious.

This is a wonderful putdown, but I doubt the recipient will understand it as such. It may have been more effective to simply say "god bless". I'm pretty sure that would be understood as exactly what it means at the end of your average creationist email. But then, they might see that as some kind of admission. ;)

#177

Posted by: Ed Darrell | February 18, 2009 10:47 PM

So, now deprived of the spotlight intelligent design would have gotten at the University of Vermont, the Discovery Institute will do it's damnedest to set up such debates with high school biology teachers in Texas classrooms.

Alas, they have the support of every creationist dentist in Beaumont, Texas -- and that may be enough at this time, to get those debates going.

If only Texans could read Gotelli's letter and comprehend it . . .

#178

Posted by: Rev. BigDumbChimp | February 18, 2009 10:50 PM

If only Texans could read Gotelli's letter and comprehend it . . .


I'm sure there are plenty that can.

#179

Posted by: Timothy Wood | February 18, 2009 10:55 PM

lol.

#180

Posted by: Rick R | February 18, 2009 11:12 PM

Awesomeness. Pure and unadulterated.

#181

Posted by: «bønez_brigade» Author Profile Page | February 18, 2009 11:27 PM

Goddamn, I should have read that earlier today. That was good stuff -- especially the closing & PS parts.

#182

Posted by: Quotidian Torture | February 18, 2009 11:27 PM

If only Texans could read Gotelli's letter and comprehend it . . .

Not only do I comprehend it, but I strongly approve of it.

We're not all morons, you know.

#183

Posted by: Aboot Time | February 18, 2009 11:40 PM

I just want to say thank you to Dr. Gotelli. I guess they just need to keep having it explained to them how they're not doing science.

#184

Posted by: aarrgghh | February 18, 2009 11:46 PM

you got PWNED, baby!!!

#185

Posted by: Aquaria | February 19, 2009 12:05 AM

If only Texans could read Gotelli's letter and comprehend it . . .

I have a houseful of Texans here, and you know what? We all know how to read! We can even comprehend, and not just sound out letters!

Jesus on a pirate plank, what a presumptuous, ignorant thing to say.

#186

Posted by: Leigh Williams | February 19, 2009 12:05 AM

Sometimes the good guys win, and this is a world-class EPIC WIN.

Funny, Nick Gotelli doesn't sound like a Southern name, but he sure has that "pour on the syrup while you slip in the shiv" thing we use down pat, bless his heart.

I second the motion for a honorary Molly; the good professor certainly deserves it.

#187

Posted by: bobxxxx | February 19, 2009 12:06 AM

I like the way Nick Gotelli uses the words intelligent design only once, in the first sentence of his letter:

Thank you for this interesting and courteous invitation to set up a debate about evolution and creationism (which includes its more recent relabeling as "intelligent design") with a speaker from the Discovery Institute.

In the rest of his letter he always uses the words creationists and creationism. He refuses to call the Discovery Institute's belief in magic "intelligent design". Dr Gotelli probably knows those lying idiots are constantly denying ID = creationism.

#188

Posted by: Truckloadbear | February 19, 2009 12:54 AM

That was one great big bucketful of awesome.

**swoon**

#189

Posted by: tomh | February 19, 2009 1:05 AM

I only have one complaint. It was too short. I hated to see it end.

#190

Posted by: Eph Zero | February 19, 2009 2:55 AM

This fills me with a giddy joy that I rarely experience.

#191

Posted by: Randy | February 19, 2009 3:04 AM

Wow! So well written. Reminds me of a party i attended about 3 months ago. I am a member of a great local group in N.E. Ohio, The Cleveland Freethinkers. We had a movie night where we gathered at an organizers home and watched "Expelled". We had fun viewing that travesty masquerading as a documentary film, all the while providing an intelligent running commentary and cracking jokes. While Stein and the other pro I.D. folks prattled on about how their rights were being denied, and complained that their side deserved to have their arguments heard, we kept repeating aloud "Where is the science?" To paraphrase another film , "Show me the science!"

#192

Posted by: Vidar | February 19, 2009 3:08 AM

This is beyond mere pwnd, or even brutally pwnd.
This is brØtälly PWNZORED \m/(>.

Well done, sir.

#193

Posted by: HideousC Author Profile Page | February 19, 2009 3:10 AM

Col. Klinkhoffer: "But we need a partner on campus."

In legends, the Vampire can only enter a mortal human's home if he is invited.


#194

Posted by: Hugh Troy | February 19, 2009 3:56 AM

"In closing, I do want to thank you sincerely for this invitation and for your posting on the Discovery Institute Website. As an evolutionary biologist, I can't tell you what a badge of honor this is. My colleagues will be envious."

Wow! That sarcasm burns like the blast from a nuclear bomb! Eat that purveyors of ignorance!

"P.S. I hope you will forgive me if I do not respond to any further e-mails from you or from the Discovery Institute. This has been entertaining, but it interferes with my research and teaching."

In other words "don't waste my time you useless bastards!"
The response to the Dimwits Institute letter made me chuckle so much I fell off my chair!

#195

Posted by: clinteas | February 19, 2009 4:11 AM

Hey PZ,how did you get hold of his reply letter btw?? Just curious lol

And what a nice pwning it was.

#196

Posted by: Leah | February 19, 2009 4:26 AM

ZING!

#197

Posted by: Thomas | February 19, 2009 4:28 AM

That's Kung Fu. Graceful and deadly.

#198

Posted by: Christophe Thill | February 19, 2009 4:28 AM

You go, Telli !!!!

#199

Posted by: Cannonball Jones | February 19, 2009 4:35 AM

I love it when people put the time and effort into a really resounding smackdown. I don't think he sounds snooty or superior at all, just right on the money. Delicious.

#200

Posted by: Gordy | February 19, 2009 4:37 AM

A beautifully eloquent response without so much as a hint of punch-pulling. Highlight of my evening so far.

#201

Posted by: Master Mahan | February 19, 2009 4:37 AM

And some people say atheists can't appreciate beauty. That was true beauty right there.

#202

Posted by: David | February 19, 2009 4:44 AM

I have a new hero and his name is Nicholas Gotelli.

#203

Posted by: Gordy | February 19, 2009 5:05 AM

To rob #155 - Thank you for declining to engage with any of the points Professor Gotelli made, choosing instead to resort to insult and the entirely unsupported assertion that "Any web site so bereft of civility is no doubt empty of true and thorough rationality and real intellectual honesty." You thereby add to the already vast body of anecdotal evidence which indicates that, metaphorically speaking, you don't have a leg to stand on.

Please, if you have any scientific evidence at all which either supports ID/creationism, or disproves evolution, share it with us.

#204

Posted by: Tielserrath | February 19, 2009 5:12 AM

That letter was so amazing, such needly sarcasm, such feather-irony, such cuttingly perfect sentences - it could have been written by someone...

...English.

;)

#205

Posted by: Tualha | February 19, 2009 5:12 AM

James F #21:

To be fair, though, it wouldn't absolutely have to be in Science, Nature, or PNAS. Their data could appear in, say...(Lewis Black mode) ANY PEER-REVIEWED SCIENTIFIC JOURNAL!!!

Such as, say, Proteomics?

#206

Posted by: Cactus Wren Author Profile Page | February 19, 2009 5:26 AM

That
is
ART.

#207

Posted by: Intelligent Designer | February 19, 2009 5:49 AM

Another atheist chicken shit

#208

Posted by: clinteas | February 19, 2009 5:52 AM

Randy,
see I love it when creationist liars get nicely elegantly eloquently told to fuck the shut up and go away....

Awesome,if you ask me.

#209

Posted by: Kel | February 19, 2009 5:57 AM

How's your paper going for Nature there Randy? Got some evidence yet?

#210

Posted by: Holbach | February 19, 2009 6:05 AM

Unintelligent Debunker @ 207

Pisses the crap out of you, eh? Get your imaginary god to smite us down, mere humans with a power of words to negate your insane garbage.

#211

Posted by: RickWeimer | February 19, 2009 6:09 AM

Briliant,
Absofucking Briliant

It made my day.

#212

Posted by: Vaal | February 19, 2009 6:10 AM

Class!

#213

Posted by: SEF | February 19, 2009 6:13 AM

What made it harder of course is that, unlike creationism, alternative medicine has made big inroads into academic organizations and institutions -- driven not by sound science, but by politics, ideology, and money.
Which is yet another example of how medical doctors are not really scientists at all (apart from the vanishingly small minority of medics who genuinely do have a separate science degree and who do science behind the scenes rather than up-front doctoring per se).

It's interesting that, like creationists, many doctors do like to pretend they're scientists though. Everyone secretly knows science is the best.

#214

Posted by: clinteas | February 19, 2009 6:24 AM

SEF,

It's interesting that, like creationists, many doctors do like to pretend they're scientists though. Everyone secretly knows science is the best.

If I may ,thats bollocks.
At least as far as doctor's degree in Germany is concerned,you dont get that title without a scientific project,which usually will involve plenty of lab work,and is in no way inferior to your average doctorate thesis in the anglosaxon academic world.

You do get the title of "doctor" in the US and UK just for the fact of finishing your medical degree,so I guess thats where your post came from.But it doesnt apply to all doctors.

#215

Posted by: Scribbles | February 19, 2009 6:36 AM

Tres elegant

#216

Posted by: Ponder | February 19, 2009 6:42 AM

"FINISH HIM!"

"FATALITY!"

"MORTAL KOMBAAAAAAAAAT!!!!" Cue epic theme music.

Oh if we could only do the video game, imagine the PZ Myers sprite delivering a special combo on Michael Behe.

Prof. Gotelli, I salute you. That reply was made of win and awesome.

#217

Posted by: Andyo Author Profile Page | February 19, 2009 6:50 AM

I was a little surprised when I got my copy of Mlodinov's The Drunkard's Walk and saw a blurb for it in the back from David Berlinksy. The book has a lot to do with (hell, it's about) chance and randomness, and it seems to sneer at the idea of any premeditated destiny or "design" for most things that we think do. Haven't finished it yet, but it seems to be a great book anyway. Maybe it doesn't talk about evolution.

#218

Posted by: SEF | February 19, 2009 7:03 AM

I carefully didn't say all doctors, clinteas. Germany also has a better reputation for its attitude towards engineering. On the minus side though, Germany (and specifically the German medical profession) spawned Hahnemann and homeopathy ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Hahnemann

Some German doctors are guilty of rampant pseudoscience too. They are not all routinely thinking and behaving scientifically, even if they did once manage to bang some test-tubes together in their student past.

#219

Posted by: clinteas | February 19, 2009 7:16 AM

Some German doctors are guilty of rampant pseudoscience too

Absolutely true.

However you original post stated that doctors are not scientists,and I just explained to you that that is not the case where I studied medicine.It may be true in the US,but not everywhere.

#220

Posted by: SEF | February 19, 2009 7:24 AM

What title does a non-scientific medical doctor get in Germany instead then?

#221

Posted by: Frank J | February 19, 2009 7:26 AM

Some more advice to David Klinghoffer:

Please don't even think of spinning it as Prof. Gotelli being "afraid" to debate you. But you might want to tell us why you ID activists are so afraid to debate each other, especially since your internal disagreements regarding such key issues as the age of life and common descent are just as ireconcilable as your disagreements with "Darwinists".

#222

Posted by: Ben | February 19, 2009 7:31 AM

@185 You do inderstand that for the last 8 years there was one individual who provided strong evidence that Texans were not quite up to par with the intelligence of the general public, right? I know that is a poor excuse to say all "Texans are a bunch of right-wing nut jobs, who should be carried out to the back 40 and put down." But that does apply to George.

As for the letter, what can I say that has not already been said? A most excellent EPIC WIN.

#223

Posted by: Wowbagger | February 19, 2009 7:41 AM

@185 You do inderstand that for the last 8 years there was one individual who provided strong evidence that Texans were not quite up to par with the intelligence of the general public, right?

Yeah, but he was only a pretend Texan*, not a real one - though I can't imagine anyone from Connecticut is going to start reminding people of that anytime soon...

#224

Posted by: Rev. BigDumbChimp | February 19, 2009 7:48 AM

@185 You do inderstand that for the last 8 years there was one individual who provided strong evidence that Texans were not quite up to par with the intelligence of the general public, right?

What a stupid comment.

No "W" provided us pretty strong evidence that he wasn't up to par with the intelligence of the general public. Though that's even debatable. Why even say the above comment then try and qualify it?

Where are you from?

#225

Posted by: Scaryduck | February 19, 2009 8:05 AM

In the words of Mr Spock: "Captain, I am detecting large quantities of WIN in this sector"

#226

Posted by: progressive homeschooler | February 19, 2009 8:11 AM

Standing ovation for Professor G.

#227

Posted by: clinteas | February 19, 2009 8:12 AM

In the words of Mr Spock: "Captain, I am detecting large quantities of WIN in this sector"

He never said that.
he could have i guess.

#228

Posted by: AJS | February 19, 2009 8:21 AM

Wow. Just wow. That is an awesome example of how to hand someone their arse on a plate.

A debate between scientists and creationists will never be any more productive than a debate between people who believe that television sets work by a phosphorescent screen being struck by a beam of electrons which varies in strength as it traverses the screen, and people who believe that television sets work by having tiny people inside them who act out all the shows.

#229

Posted by: Ubi Dubium | February 19, 2009 8:56 AM

Wow. I read the creationists' request and Dr. Gotelli's answer, and about fell out of my chair. My husband (a lawyer) and his fundamentalist brother had an almost identical discussion by e-mail a week or so ago. Sparked off by a visit where he saw our Holiday tree decked in Flying Spaghetti Monsters, he started e-mailing my husband, asking for details about what he "believes" about the origins of the universe. My husband came back with a very thoughtful response about the big bang and current cosmological theories. Fundy Brother tried to use this as an opportunity to proseltyze, claiming he had real "evidence" that goddidit (and threw in a vision he had of our teen-aged daughter burning in hell for good measure).

My husband responded with, essentially, "If your evidence is really that good, write it up as a paper, get it published in a scientific journal like "Nature" so it can be subjected to peer review, and then I'll consider it. Not until then." My husband's e-mail read so much like Dr. Gotelli's that it's almost scary. Except it's not, since what they were both saying is the correct response to all creationists. If you are claiming that what you do is science, then you have to enter the fray with the real scientists, and subject your work to the same level scrutiny that theirs must endure.

Fundy Brother's response was, "Your sarcasm is not appreciated." My husband wasn't too upset by that, since it gave him the opportunity to send his response again, rephrased, with the message that he was not being in the least sarcastic. We are still waiting to see if Fundy brother will try again, or whether he has given up.

#230

Posted by: Moggie | February 19, 2009 9:07 AM

#229:

Wait, what? Your brother-in-law has suggested that your daughter will burn in hell for all eternity, and yet he's acting the aggrieved party?

#231

Posted by: Ray Ladbury | February 19, 2009 9:19 AM

One of the arguments you often hear from IDiots is that only ID can "explain everything". It is true. It can explain everything--just as a quadratic curve can be drawn through any 3 points in a plane, whether there's any real relation or a linear relation or no relation. So what do you lose by that? The problem is that while ID can explain everything, it can't predict anything--unless you want to reduce your creator--oops, designer--to an automaton governed by natural law. That's why ID cannot ever under any circumstances be science.

#232

Posted by: Ubi Dubium | February 19, 2009 9:25 AM

@Moggie

Wait, what? Your brother-in-law has suggested that your daughter will burn in hell for all eternity, and yet he's acting the aggrieved party?

Yup. Well, he said he had a highly disturbing vision of it in a dream. My husband's response was "If I were taking a medication that was giving me highly disturbing visions, I'd stop taking it. Just sayin'"

#233

Posted by: Menyambal | February 19, 2009 9:31 AM

Moggie said:

Wait, what? Your brother-in-law has suggested that your daughter will burn in hell for all eternity, and yet he's acting the aggrieved party?

Bizarre, innit? How in hell do the sickos who fantasize about burning people get the reputation of being good and loving? How can anyone suggest that such twisted freaks be given responsibility for morality and justice?

#234

Posted by: Jackie | February 19, 2009 9:38 AM

Dr. Klinghoffer freaking wins at life. That letter was awesome. Good for him! :D

#235

Posted by: Roger | February 19, 2009 9:51 AM

First off, that letter by Dr. Gotelli is WIN. Wow. I can't wait to finish this and read it again and then forward it to my friends.

Second, Ubi Dubium, your husband is also full of WIN. He is strong in the Snark.

#236

Posted by: Miss Scarlett | February 19, 2009 9:52 AM

I want to have Dr. Gotelli's baby!

#237

Posted by: Naked Bunny with a Whip | February 19, 2009 10:05 AM

Yeah, but he was only a pretend Texan*

Um, yeah, sure....

#238

Posted by: Brian Rapp | February 19, 2009 10:09 AM

Klinghoffer actually did respond with a whole lotta whine about Gotelli being a hypocrite.

"These guys always run from debates as fast as they can manage, hiding and shivering behind the excuse of not wanting to grant public recognition to doubts about Darwin -- doubts shared, of course, by most Americans."

Since most Americans have doubts about evolution and believe in a magic sky fairy, then evolution must be bunk and there must be a gawd. What a douche.

#239

Posted by: AnthonyK | February 19, 2009 10:17 AM

People here are way too hard about not-creationist-ID-scientists. They have proof the creator created this shit.
"You see that bacterium - God made it."
How can you argue with that?
I mean, it's been endlessly reviewed in theological circles and been found to be sound theologically and scientifically; yet still you find fault. Picky picky picky. No wonder science never really made it as a religion! Oh, wait..
Incidentally they have a posted a response over at uncreationist dissent. Apparently Dr Gotelli was rude and petty in his letter. Read dignified, yet patronising.
Great letter Dr D. How about posting here? I'm sure you'll find the company congenial.

#240

Posted by: ChrisKG | February 19, 2009 10:21 AM

In an effort to save a trip over to the dumb-side, here is the response from David Klinghoffer of the Discovery Institute as posted on their website. (I'd post the linkagain, but it's really not needed) My favorite quote, "Nah nah nah, boo boo!" I'd like to see that in a scientific journal!

Start:

What Is Hypocrisy, After All?
I’ve been corresponding with Nicolas Gotelli, a University of Vermont biologist. When I received his response to my initial email, I thought it was so ridiculous and hypocritical that I said to myself, Wouldn’t it be amusing to publish this on ENV? Then I reflected disappointedly, No, it’s a private correspondence, that would be unethical! I can’t do it without his permission and, since he’d have to be pretty thoughtless to allow someone to reprint his hysterically bristling letter, it’s not worth asking.

Luckily, Professor Gotelli has solved my problem for me. He promptly and without seeking permission sent our emails off to PZ Myers, who immediately published them on Pharyngula. You can read the correspondence there. Thank you, gentlemen.

Gotelli is the fellow who wrote an op-ed in the Burlington Free Press expressing the view that it was only proper that UVM should cancel Ben Stein as graduation speaker because the popular entertainer is also a “notorious advocate of intelligent design” who maintains that Darwinian ideas had deadly consequences in the form of Nazi racist ideology (only too true). Gotelli asserted it was appropriate to invite “controversial” speakers to campus, since “one of the best ways to refute intellectually bankrupt ideas is to expose them to the light of day.” But a commencement speaker is someone special, Gotelli went on, someone chosen for his peer-reviewed scholarship.

Someone, it turns out, like the widely published scholar Howard Dean, to whom UVM turned next and who will deliver the commencement address. What, as one online reader of Gotelli’s op-ed plaintively asked, “Was Daffy Duck unavailable?”

Prompted by a friend in Vermont who wanted to see Stein speak at UVM, I wrote to Gotelli on the assumption that just possibly he was sincere in his protestations about being for free speech. Perhaps he would agree to advise me on finding a forum for a debate about Darwinism on the UVM campus, on some occasion other than commencement. I suggested that rather than Ben Stein, it might be illuminating to put up a scientific Darwin critic like Stephen Meyer or David Berlinski against a Darwinian advocate like, oh, Nick Gotelli.

It was a pipe dream of mine. These guys always run from debates as fast as they can manage, hiding and shivering behind the excuse of not wanting to grant public recognition to doubts about Darwin -- doubts shared, of course, by most Americans. Sure enough, Gotelli wrote back, all in a huff. First, he was offended by a post on ENV that mildly guffawed at his op-ed and the choice of Dean as commencement speaker -- thinking I had written the post, which actually I didn’t. Gotelli had misunderstood the author identification. He called the post “sneering” -- which it hardly was -- and decried my “two-faced dishonesty” in now writing to him in a courteous tone.

I always try to write to and about people in a courteous tone. Not so, Gotelli -- or PZ Myers, or most anyone I can think of in the online Darwinist community, where venom and vulgarity are the norm. Which is interesting in itself. I guess ideas have consequences after all.

After throwing around the scare word “creationism” a number of times and mixing it up with other insults and untruths, Gotelli closes by, first, withdrawing his earlier suggestion that Stein (or anyone associated with ID) would make an appropriate “controversial” campus speaker, and then childishly warning that if I should try to reply to him, he would not answer me or anyone else from the Discovery Institute. In other words, “Nah nah nah, boo boo!” as my kids would put it.

Hypocrisy may be the wrong word for Gotelli’s about-face on free speech. Anyone who fails, out of weakness or temptation, to live up to his own openly professed ideals is a hypocrite. That would include most human beings. The normal feeling that goes with this is embarrassment. A hypocrite wouldn’t seek to publicize his hypocrisy.

Maybe, then, the right designation for someone like Gotelli is a cynic. That’s someone who treats ideas as chess pieces. When it suits your purposes, you advance an idea -- like “free speech.” When it doesn’t suit your purpose, the same idea becomes expendable, a useless pawn.

But no, that’s not quite it either. A cynic is typically smart enough to try to keep his cynicism a secret. That’s part of his game strategy. A cynic wouldn’t forward his correspondence to a buddy with a popular website, so that everyone could see how little trouble he takes to consider the words he writes.

The person who would do that isn’t a hypocrite or a cynic. He’s a fool.

Finish


Well, that's all folk!

#241

Posted by: GregB | February 19, 2009 10:34 AM

The only thing I would have added to the letter is that this is NOT a freedom of speech issue. No body is denying the creationist their right to spew their stupidity. We're simply saying that we're not goign to let you spew it in our universities because it's not an appropriate topic for a scientific discussion.

They are perfectly welcome to discuss their opinions in a comparative religion class. But they are no more allowed to present their unproven, untestable, unfalsifiable hypothosis as if it were science than a Scientologist would be allowed to present their concept of Xenu and the Thetans in a psycology class.

Also, this whole concept of "let's debate both sides of the argument" just makes me laugh. The creationist side of the argument comes down to "God did it and I choose to interpret everything I see as having been created by a supernatural being". Whereas, to teach the full spectrum of evidence for evolution would require each student get Ph.D.s in multiple disiplines. Evolution is so well proven in so many ways, do they really think it's possible to distill all that information into a single debate? A single class? Or even a single colege degree?

At this point I'd like to quote George Hrab's wonderful observation:

"If you deny evolution then you're denying biology.
If you deny biology then you're denying chemistry.
If you deny chemistry then you're denying physics.
If you deny physics then you're denying mathematics.
If you deny mathematics then you're denying reality."

#242

Posted by: Paul Lundgren | February 19, 2009 10:34 AM

Epic win.

#243

Posted by: BlueIndependent | February 19, 2009 10:35 AM

Ah the bullies finally get pushed down by the nerd. Shorter Gotelli: "Give me a reason to listen to you, or F off."

#244

Posted by: Steve_C | February 19, 2009 10:35 AM

Hahaha... and of course he never addresses the reason Gotelli shot him down. It's all about how nasty he was and how he's against free speech.

What an ass. But we knew that already.

Oh and why would UVM want Howard Dean to speak there??? He was only the very popular Governor of the state and helped forged the 50 state strategy that got Obama elected.

Klinghoffer fails... again.

#245

Posted by: BlueIndependent | February 19, 2009 10:39 AM

I note in the letter asking Gotelli to do the forum, Klinghoffer offers up a DI book and a DI person to "provide the scientific backdrop". Pretty shameless, no?

#246

Posted by: Rev. BigDumbChimp | February 19, 2009 10:47 AM

Klinghoffer of course ignores the main point of Gotelli's reply.


That public debates are not the place where where science is sussed out.

If he wants to debate, publish, publish, publish to peer review.

Once your work starts to become accepted then maybe you'll get invited to come to speak at places of higher education as someone who actually has something of worth to say.


His reply is fully one big giant side step and whine.

#247

Posted by: Bree | February 19, 2009 11:00 AM

Did the original IDer email actually use COMIC SANS?! I think he should be skewered in public just for his font choice! For SHAME!

Oh yes, and it was a brilliant response, but everyone's already chimed on that one.

----Bree

#248

Posted by: Lord Zero | February 19, 2009 11:01 AM

Its such a great reply. Wonderful.

#249

Posted by: The Tim Channel | February 19, 2009 11:05 AM

Shorter Gotelli:

Searching for deeper meanings in shallow water is not a function of our University. Please bugger off.

Enjoy.

#250

Posted by: Ray Ladbury | February 19, 2009 11:11 AM

It appears that Dr. Klinghoffer has adopted the time-honored technique of lying for Jebus. I've never been really clear on why an omnipotent being would be so vulnerable that you'd have to lie to defend him, but maybe nobody ever explained it to me properly.
Actually, I think a more effective way to deal with these IDiots is to say you'd love to debate them--just as soon as they make some predictions based on ID. That's the thing about any theory that invokes an omnipotent sky pixie for explanation--they've given up any hope of ever being able to predict anything. So, they can't say we're ducking debate...unless they want to also explain why they can't predict anything.

#251

Posted by: Alex Berger | February 19, 2009 11:20 AM

Fantastic response. More academics need to come out and directly, if tactfully, call these frauds out for what they are. As soon as you engage them in public you're playing by their rules. This is truly an excellent response.

#252

Posted by: 0verlord Author Profile Page | February 19, 2009 11:20 AM

What an eloquent way to say, "You and your dishonest, anti-science cohorts can go to hell." That was epic.

Rock on, Dr. Gotelli.

#253

Posted by: Milander | February 19, 2009 11:21 AM

Posted by: BlueIndependent | February 19, 2009 10:35 AM

Ah the bullies finally get pushed down by the nerd. Shorter Gotelli: "Give me a reason to listen to you, or F off."

The last line is what I tell my students to keep uppermost in their minds when they write a CV. It's also what I keep in mind when attending parties or conferences.

#254

Posted by: ChrisKG | February 19, 2009 11:23 AM

Another quick point here, the links he provides in the article go to pieces that he wrote (look at the Nazi link from the DI News website). He is proving his point by pointing you to his own writing. Now where have I seen circular logic like that before.....

#255

Posted by: AnthonyK | February 19, 2009 11:34 AM

What's wrong with Comic Sans anyway?
If it was good enough for Jesus when he wrote the Bible, it should be good enough for us.
And I note that the forces of santa who run this site won't allow any of us to comment using this font. It's censorship.
If it's not in Comic Sans, it's not true. Accept it!

#256

Posted by: SteveM | February 19, 2009 11:39 AM

Did the original IDer email actually use COMIC SANS?

New here?

No, of course he didn't, that is how PZ quotes idiots.

#257

Posted by: Mother Batherick Author Profile Page | February 19, 2009 11:41 AM

I find it quite telling that the Discovery Institute's snappy little creationist blog doesn't allow for comments. Gee, I wonder why...

#258

Posted by: Vlad | February 19, 2009 11:46 AM

Truly priceless. Sharp, witty, to the point and beyond any reasonable criticism. Mr Gotelli, you made my day!

#259

Posted by: oldtree | February 19, 2009 11:49 AM

I like the part about the old ben being an entertainer. Much like ID, it doesn't wash.

#260

Posted by: Helfrick | February 19, 2009 11:56 AM

Beautiful response.

On a related note. They will be invading my beloved state next week.

2009 marks the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin and the 150th year of the publication of his book The Origin of Species. In recognition of Darwin's work and its impact on our culture, the C.S. Lewis Society is hosting this amazing exploration of Darwin's Legacy: The Hidden Story. Featured speakers will trace Darwin's imprint on the world and his scientific predictions that have come to haunt him.
http://www.bayword.com/ContentPages/846/

#261

Posted by: SEF | February 19, 2009 12:05 PM

The trouble with these new-fangled creationists, the IDiots, is that they want to play at being scientists without going to the trouble of actually doing any science themselves. They're continually trying to invite themselves to the buffet party without bringing so much as a home-made potato-salad or dessert with them - just the ancient, turd-flavoured, discarded chewing-gum they stepped in on the way over.

#262

Posted by: Desertphile | February 19, 2009 12:09 PM

Good bloody gods. Gotelli *MURDERED* the poor dumb bastard.

#263

Posted by: SEF | February 19, 2009 12:11 PM

the forces of santa who run this site won't allow any of us to comment using this font. It's censorship.

Are you sure about that? It seems more like an argument from ignorance to me.
#264

Posted by: SLW13 | February 19, 2009 12:25 PM

Dude. I'll be grinning all day because of this. And how badly do you want video footage of Klinghoffer's face when he read this?

#265

Posted by: AnthonyK | February 19, 2009 12:33 PM

All right, so I didn't find out if you could comment in CS. I didn't want to even try to find out.

"There are some things we just don't want to know. Important things!" Ned Flanders

#266

Posted by: Nicole | February 19, 2009 12:43 PM

Ha, ha, ha! That totally made my day!

#267

Posted by: Christopher | February 19, 2009 12:51 PM

Epic win.

#268

Posted by: Lauren | February 19, 2009 12:55 PM

I find it very telling that he offers the debating services of a (supposed) mathematician and a philosopher of science, but not an evolutionary biologist or actual scientist of any sort. Hmmm.

#269

Posted by: Alan | February 19, 2009 1:04 PM

ROFLMAO

I want to shake that man's hand!!

#270

Posted by: James | February 19, 2009 1:17 PM

*slow clap* Bravo good sir, bravo.

#271

Posted by: Pablo | February 19, 2009 1:25 PM

These guys always run from debates as fast as they can manage

This is why I thought Gotelli made a mistake in not including scientific conferences as part of the media for creationists to participate. As I described above, he should have INVITED the schmoe to come to a scientific conference. Then let's see who runs from a debate?

Again, the point needs to be made clear: SCIENTISTS DEBATE EVOLUTION (in all aspects) GOES ON ALL THE TIME IN PUBLIC FORA. The creationists just refuse to show up.

#272

Posted by: a passerby | February 19, 2009 1:26 PM

In order to win you need to attack the enemy.
The IDists know this very well: they attack the theory of evolution, the scientists try to defend it, or to avoid the nonsensical confrontation altogether. That's good enough for the educated minority, but not nearly good enough for the masses. In the eyes of the average person the evolutionists are perceived as the ones that are losing the "battle", and ones that are afraid of debating the "controversy", because the average person does not know much about science and the scientific method.

Therefore we should start an offensive. We should start attacking their theory and let them try to defend it.
Immediately, an important issue will come to light: What is their theory anyway?
They will say that the biological systems are intelligently designed. OK, but by whom? How? When?

Was it the Christian God? Yahweh? Allah? An impersonal all-encompassing spiritual entity?
Was it in six literal days, or was it over a longer period of time? How long a period? Why?
Was everything created as it is today, or did God only create a number of "kinds" which then diversified through variation ("microevolution")? How many kinds were there originally, and what were they?
Did the dinosaurs really exist? Were they destroyed by God because they were evil? Were they all killed off by other animals and humans? Were they too big to fit on the Ark? Were their bones planted by God to test our faith? Are all the "dinosaur fossils" actually invented by evil evolutionists in an atheist conspiracy?
Does the "intelligent designer" take part in day-to-day affairs of his creation, or had he just created it and then left it to fend for itself?

When confronted with a torrent of such questions (followed by more precise sub-questions), the IDist will either be stumped and try to weasel out with vague terms, which will expose him as the narrow-minded idiot he is, or will give specific answers which will get him in conflict with other IDists which favor a specific magical story and perceive all other stories as blasphemy. Divide and conquer.

If I were in the States, I'd start going around with a camera crew and interviewing ID proponents right away.

#273

Posted by: Matt | February 19, 2009 1:33 PM

Posted by: 'Tis Himself | February 18, 2009 4:31 PM
P.S. I hope you will forgive me if I do not respond to any further e-mails from you or from the Discovery Institute. This has been entertaining, but it interferes with my research and teaching.
Don't call us, we'll call you.


Don't call us, we won't call you either

#274

Posted by: Watchman | February 19, 2009 1:38 PM

Foxtrot. Tango. Whiskey.

#275

Posted by: Ted Herrlich | February 19, 2009 1:46 PM

I think PZ needs a Top Ten, the Lenski to Schafly responses would be number one, this would rank a close second. Third would have to be the Judge Jones Dover ruling. As for the rest? Any ideas?

Ted
Tedhohio@gmail.com

#276

Posted by: gaypaganunitarianagnostic | February 19, 2009 1:49 PM

...Creationist dentists in Beaumont, Tx? Oh dear, I need dental work but I wouldn't want to go to a creationist dentist. I know of a couple of liberal MDs ( as well as a couple of ultra rightists), Don't know about the views of any dentists

#277

Posted by: chriss | February 19, 2009 1:58 PM

May I propose the inclusion into the language of your choice,the new noun "gotelli" as in "Mr. Klinghoffer has been served a large steaming plate of gotelli." or "That which lies in the road yonder resembling a large steaming plate of gotelli is what remains of an IDiot named Klinghoffer or possibly a squirrel"

#278

Posted by: Patricia, OM | February 19, 2009 2:10 PM

I'd love to have a recording of Stephen Fry reading that letter. It's brilliant.

#279

Posted by: chaynes | February 19, 2009 2:15 PM

Maybe Professor Gotelli can tell us creationists whose Origin of Life theory is correct?

RNA world theory? They haven't made life in a lab yet. Should I take it on faith that they'll do it soon?

Or Eugene Koonin's multiverse theory? He gets around the failure to replicate RNA world, but he doesnt have any data from all those other universes. Should I take it on faith that they exist?

#280

Posted by: ConcernedEducator | February 19, 2009 2:18 PM

Excellent! And what a coincidence, I JUST FINISHED a similar dialouge on Richard Dawkins' site - http://richarddawkins.net/article,119,Why-I-Wont-Debate-Creationists,Richard-Dawkins

The best part was the creationist, Karl Priest, yelling "coward" over his shoulder as he fled the "debate"

I contacted the Moderator of ednews.org(the "ed" is billed by the site as standing for Education) and informed him that a creationist was using his site to push a religious agenda - see the site to see the Editor's insulting and semi-literate reply (comment #32 from ConcernedEducater[me])
http://ednews.org/articles/33215/1/DARWIN-IS-DEAD-Leave-Him-in-the-Grave/Page1.html.

Would some of you fine, outstanding members of the intelligensia mind leaving some comments of your own?

#281

Posted by: Pablo | February 19, 2009 2:19 PM

BTW, does anyone else find the "we can't get funding to do research" excuse really lame? Granted, they aren't going to get federal research dollars, but come on, they have their own stinking Institute!!!!!! Why isn't the Discovery Institute funding ID research?

Maybe because they spend all their money funding speakers to go out and do "debates"?

I would think that this would be a fairly reasonable development project. You could find lots of donors, I bet.

#282

Posted by: Sven DiMilo | February 19, 2009 2:23 PM

Maybe Professor Gotelli can tell us creationists whose Origin of Life theory is correct?
No. He can't. It's a hard question about something that happened a few billion years ago, so there is little left in the way of direct physical clues. There is, however, considerably more evidence supporting an RNA-world hypothesis (e.g., known ribozymes that can catalyze their own replication) than there is for any scenario that includes a goddidit.
#283

Posted by: BlueIndependent | February 19, 2009 2:29 PM

"Maybe Professor Gotelli can tell us creationists whose Origin of Life theory is correct?"

Mr. Gotelli does not care about your question from a scientific perspective because it is not a scientific question, it is philosophical. Philosophical questions have no place in scientific endeavors, as the vice versa would hold.

But as a creationist, perhaps you can tell everyone here which god is the correct one we should be worshipping, and which one created all that exists, by directing us to the associated tomes of empirical evidence.

Nobody here would ask you to take those philosophical ideas on faith, but then, we would also recommend you not take your own faith on faith.

#284

Posted by: kim | February 19, 2009 2:30 PM

I contacted the Moderator of ednews.org(the "ed" is billed by the site as standing for Education) and informed him that a creationist was using his site to push a religious agenda - see the site to see the Editor's insulting and semi-literate reply (comment #32 from ConcernedEducater[me])
http://ednews.org/articles/33215/1/DARWIN-IS-DEAD-Leave-Him-in-the-Grave/Page1.html.

Would some of you fine, outstanding members of the intelligensia mind leaving some comments of your own?

They pulled your comment!! Left the id, and number, but your comment is gone!!

#285

Posted by: Sastra Author Profile Page | February 19, 2009 2:31 PM

chaynes #279 wrote:

Maybe Professor Gotelli can tell us creationists whose Origin of Life theory is correct?

Maybe Professor Gotelli is waiting for you creationists to present your Origin of Life theory.

Mechanism? Process? Description? Time frame? Please feel free.

#286

Posted by: j | February 19, 2009 2:32 PM

Gotelli has failed to impress. He did not say "creationist" enough times. Pathetic. Try to do better next time.

#287

Posted by: Pablo | February 19, 2009 2:34 PM

Maybe Professor Gotelli can tell us creationists whose Origin of Life theory is correct?

I'm sure he could tell you his opinion about what he thinks is correct, but then again, it is an unresolved issue so there is not a consensus answer.

But there's nothing wrong or unusual about that. Heck, there are countless unresolved issues in science. That's why science is interesting - there is still lots and lots to learn. And the more we learn, the more we know we have to learn.

Just because scientists have not reached a consensus about a topic doesn't mean that "goddidit"

For example, the question of "what caused the extinctions of the dinosaurs" is also still unresolved. Yeah, there are hypotheses out there, with varying degrees of empirical support, but yet they all have issues and questions about them. That doesn't mean God did it, though.

#288

Posted by: ConcernedEducator | February 19, 2009 2:36 PM

Posted by: a passerby
If I were in the States, I'd start going around with a camera crew and interviewing ID proponents right away.
------------------
Heck, if I could afford a camera crew I would have set out 2 days ago, when my "debate" with Karl Priest began.

I'd love to get that charlatan on video.

#289

Posted by: ConcernedEducator | February 19, 2009 2:41 PM

They pulled your comment!! Left the id, and number, but your comment is gone!!
---------------
No, the comment is still there - I quoted the poster of Comment #26, so it's a little confusing. Sorry!

#290

Posted by: a passerby | February 19, 2009 2:42 PM

"Posted by: BlueIndependent | February 19, 2009 2:29 PM
...
But as a creationist, perhaps you can tell everyone here which god is the correct one we should be worshipping
...

An another good set of questions for the creationists!

Does the "intelligent designer" require worshiping, and in which way exactly?
Are we supposed to conduct certain rituals? Which rituals, and how often?
Or are we just supposed to live by a certain set of rules? And what are these rules?
Does the designer punish those who do not actively worship him, or worship him in a "wrong" way? Does he reward those who do? Or he does not care?

#291

Posted by: Rev. BigDumbChimp | February 19, 2009 2:43 PM

Maybe Professor Gotelli can tell us creationists whose Origin of Life theory is correct?

RNA world theory? They haven't made life in a lab yet. Should I take it on faith that they'll do it soon?

Or Eugene Koonin's multiverse theory? He gets around the failure to replicate RNA world, but he doesnt have any data from all those other universes. Should I take it on faith that they exist?

Perhaps you should figure out that the Theory of Evolution isn't making claims on which theory of the origin of life is correct (though there are good theories out there that are being improved upon using actual scientific methods and techniques). But as a scientist, Gotelli requires more than apologetics disguised as sciency sounding "stuff" to be taken seriously. So it's pretty obvious that creationism isn't the correct one.

Creationists should start formulating their ideas into a testable theory and start producing actual science instead of sciency sounding stuff.

#292

Posted by: Julian | February 19, 2009 3:38 PM

They haven't made life in a lab yet? They damn well have, ever hear of Dolly the cloned sheep? Or the heart and other organs printed using a 3d cell printer? Or the living single/multi celled organism produced in the same matter?

And it is a hypothesis until otherwise proven, then it is theory. If creationists can produce a hypothesis and then actually prove it with real science (faith and belief does not count)... then the science world will change, like it did with the discovery of evolution, gravity, subatomic particles, quarks and like it may when the CERN collider actually works.

Btw, I so want to frame his response and show it to my science teacher :)

#293

Posted by: Engineer | February 19, 2009 3:41 PM

Wow. Gotelli’s mastery of sarcasm, intellectual rationalization, and demonizing is totally impressive. But of course, verbally describing a house of cards as an impenetrable fortress is still, in the end, an illusion for the liars club members.

For many years, watching the content and results of so many campus debates between the evolution religion and either ID science or creation science, marveling at how flummoxed evolutionists usually became when confronted with simple scientific evidence and common sense, I was always wondering in the back of my mind how they would deal with this problem over time. After all, it must have been terribly frustrating for the pontificates of the evolutionary religious doctrine to deal with the aftermath of students wondering about the meaning of scientific data that seemed to render macro evolution a complete impossibility, asking embarrassing scientific questions they couldn’t answer, and making it too risky for them to fail any student with the guts and intellectual savvy to disagree with the required viewpoint.

I did wonder how they would deal with it, and Gotelli gave me the answer: if you can’t come clean with the logical and scientific absurdity of your position, and you can’t beat them in a debate, just ridicule them while refusing to debate them and carefully positioning yourself as superior in intelligence. But can misused intelligence easily overcome an honest citizen’s commitment to common sense and rational thought?

One of the most widely read authors in history said “every man seems right until another comes forward to question him”. Ah, yes. But what if you could keep another from ever questioning you, and always surround yourself with those committed to uphold your intellectual illusion? Such are our campuses today, free from critical thinking, and with ready punishments for those who dare to question or embarrass even the most obvious of the Party’s illusions. [Ah, such enlightenment and intellectual freedom!]

That’s what Gotelli has mastered so eloquently: by hiding behind the lack of published research in the tomes which the bishops of evolutionary dogma control, by demonizing/ridiculing opposing viewpoints as being unworthy of his time, and by denying any public airings of the vast wealth of disagreeable facts, he can disguise his distain, censorship, and bullying, while maintaining an illusion of credibility, scientific neutrality, and professionalism.
“Peer review” in the “intellectual free market” sounds so wonderfully neutral. But isn’t that merely an illusion maintained for the uninformed and manipulated evolutionary-shrine visitors and worshippers? If it is so free, and if scientists with real data would be such welcome heroes, how is it that so many intellectuals are being dismissed from campuses because they dare break the code of silence to mention uncomfortable scientific facts? For that matter, how is it that there is such a dearth of open discussion on so many (or all) of the scientific discoveries that sound disturbingly like death-knells for evolutionary dogma?

While it could take an encyclopedia set to contain all of them, we don’t have time and your audience doesn’t have patience. So to mention a few: to say that cross-bedding is “extensive” in the fossil record is an understatement of immense proportion, yet it’s merely one of many points which make the evidence for rapid catastrophic formation of the geological strata and fossil deposition truly mind-blowing in scope; the only Grand Canyon theory that holds any water at all puts the canyon formation in either one or two stages of catastrophic-event releases from immense inland lakes, with over 90% of what we see formed in a total span of roughly 14 to 36 months; Mitochondrial Eve’s original-source human DNA was dated at 6,000 years ago in the conclusion of extensive scientific research that was carefully reviewed and quietly deemed to be “unassailable” by a small circle of academic “peers”, then the subject was shelved and blacklisted; 98% of chimp DNA equivalent to human DNA is more like 96% or less when the unmapped portions of the genome are included, which means that every generation had to include an average of 20 to 80 beneficial changes in DNA encoding, depending on how many millions of years you want to insert. (Why don’t such scientific facts get a full public airing in the “scientific” community?)

Unfortunately, since the unimaginable quality control achievement in the DNA reproduction system only allows an estimated 1 error in 10 Billion, macro evolution seems far-fetched to neutral observers. Even more unfortunately, there’s not one single “missing link” from all those generations of DNA alteration, suggesting that macro evolution is an adult fantasy with sexual and religious overtones, rather than a scientific opinion. And of course, that’s why there are so many staunch atheists who have converted to an ID perspective in recent years: it seems nearly impossible to investigate DNA content and maintain an intellectually honest adherence to evolution. In fact, Antony Flew called DNA evolution an “apparent impossibility”. I wonder how Professor Myers has managed the complex rationalizations?

Such scientific data and logical conclusions are the REAL reason that over 80% of high school science teachers and 60% of doctors think that ID needs to be presented alongside evolution in the classroom – despite the fact that both of these groups have been thoroughly saturated in “scientific” university educations. If evolution was anything but an atheistic religious doctrine this integration of classroom logic would have happened long ago, because anything that’s true becomes far clearer and less assailable with close examination. As such, public classroom and debate exposure is the perfect way to silence “IDiots” by disproving the need for Design and demonstrating the superiority of evolution. Come on! “Everyone who’s smart knows we’re right” is still Junior-high egoism that lacks any scientific evidence or credibility, despite Gotelli’s inspirational and talented slap-down sarcasm. Scrimmage-line insults prove nothing: if you’re going to beat your opponents you have to play the game and put points on the scoreboard. Instead of wasting your intellects to bash dissent and unbelievers, why not make real contributions? Debate them openly. Write those textbooks and help that strong majority of doctors and teachers to get over their deeply-rooted scientific doubts! Instead of lazily repeating the artificial constructs of empty, disproven evolutionary fallacies, buckle down and show them evidence that evolution is far more than an empty theory whose exclusive substance is the ethereal swamp vapors of wishful rationalization!

Speaking of intellectual honesty, in closing I would note that while many Christians and members of the public lump Creation Science with I.D., the core thrust of I.D. is purely based on scientific data. To claim otherwise seems dishonest. I.D. does not make claims as to whether the Designer is God or an advanced-race being from another galaxy: it merely presents and discusses the scientific evidence without a predetermined dismissal of what Patrick Glynn called “the simplest and most obvious solution” to the mountains of otherwise inexplicable scientific data.

#294

Posted by: Ben | February 19, 2009 3:43 PM

You, sirs, win two (2) internets for your troubles.

I am more interested that the link included to the discovery institute is a butthurt piece about Professor Gotelli forwarding this communication to you.

Was it always that way? Linking to untrustworthy sources may be a risk, at least with this lot.

#295

Posted by: Helfrick | February 19, 2009 3:48 PM

Speaking of intellectual honesty, in closing I would note that while many Christians and members of the public lump Creation Science with I.D., the core thrust of I.D. is purely based on scientific data.
Interesting. Where would one find this data? Are there any peer-reviewed papers you could point us to?
#296

Posted by: Sven DiMilo | February 19, 2009 3:49 PM

hiding behind the lack of published research in the tomes which the bishops of evolutionary dogma control
Just a highlight from that Wall o' Wrong.
#297

Posted by: CJO | February 19, 2009 3:50 PM

Speaking of intellectual honesty, in closing I would note that while many Christians and members of the public lump Creation Science with I.D., the core thrust of I.D. is purely based on scientific data. To claim otherwise seems dishonest. I.D. does not make claims as to whether the Designer is God or an advanced-race being from another galaxy: it merely presents and discusses the scientific evidence without a predetermined dismissal of what Patrick Glynn called “the simplest and most obvious solution” to the mountains of otherwise inexplicable scientific data.

Yes, let's do speak of intellectual honesty.

Intelligent design is just the Logos theology of John's Gospel restated in the idiom of information theory. --Wm. A. Dembski

The rest of your unutterably moronic screed is about to get an epic smackdown in 3... 2... 1...

#298

Posted by: Sastra Author Profile Page | February 19, 2009 3:55 PM

Engineer #293 wrote:

“Peer review” in the “intellectual free market” sounds so wonderfully neutral. But isn’t that merely an illusion maintained for the uninformed and manipulated evolutionary-shrine visitors and worshippers?

No, I don't think so. As Gotelli (and others) have pointed out, scientists are always looking for new ideas. That's part of the nature of the process. If you have the research, then it will be taken seriously.

I think one of the problems is that you don't have the research. That might be at least in part because you don't have an actual theory to work with. Saying "Theory A is not good" is not going to be a sufficient description for "Theory B."

Since you don't seem to be averse to long posts, I'm going to ask you if you could answer a question for me.

One of the people who comment here was once nice enough to summarize evolution into 14 points. If you have a problem with evolution (which you clearly do), then you're going to have a specific problem with one or more of these points.

Could you indicate which one? I'm not clear on where it breaks down for you. Thanks:

VARIATION:
1) Variation exists in all populations.

2) Some of that variation is heritable.

3) Base pair sequences are encoded in a set of self-replicating molecules that form templates for making proteins.

4) Combinations of genes that did not previously exist may arise via "Crossing over" during meiosis, which alters the sequence of base pairs on a chromosome.

5) Copying errors (mutations) can also arise, because the self-replication process is of imperfect (although high) fidelity; these mutations also increase the range of combinations of alleles in a gene pool.

6) These recombinations and errors produce a tendency for successively increasing genetic divergence radiating outward from the initial state of the population.

SELECTION:
7) Some of that heritable variation has an influence on the number of offspring able to reproduce in turn, including traits that affect mating opportunities, or survival prospects for either individuals or close relatives.

8) Characteristics which tend to increase the number of an organism's offspring that are able to reproduce in turn, tend to become more common over generations and diffuse through a population; those that tend to decrease such prospects tend to become rarer.

9) Unrepresentative sampling can occur in populations which alters the relative frequency of the various alleles for reasons other than survival/reproduction advantages, a process known as "genetic drift".

10) Migration of individuals from one population to another can lead to changes in the relative frequencies of alleles in the "recipient" population.

SPECIATION:
11) Populations of a single species that live in different environments are exposed to different conditions that can "favor" different traits. These environmental differences can cause two populations to accumulate divergent suites of characteristics.

12) A new species develops (often initiated by temporary environmental factors such as a period of geographic isolation) when a sub-population acquires characteristics which promote or guarantee reproductive isolation from the alternate population, limiting the diffusion of variations thereafter.

SUFFICIENCY:
13) The combination of these effects tends to increase diversity of initially similar life forms over time.

14) Over the time frame from the late Hadean to the present, this becomes sufficient to explain both the diversity within and similarities between the forms of life observed on Earth, including both living forms directly observed in the present, and extinct forms indirectly observed from the fossil record.

#299

Posted by: BlueIndependent | February 19, 2009 3:55 PM

"...the core thrust of I.D. is purely based on scientific data..."

OK. Where is the data exactly?

"...it merely presents and discusses the scientific evidence without a predetermined dismissal of what Patrick Glynn called “the simplest and most obvious solution” to the mountains of otherwise inexplicable scientific data."

Are you referring to the predetermined dismissal of the already predetermined and assumed existence of a being nobody can prove exists, and of which no evidence for direct control over anything on this planet has yet been shown?

"...marveling at how flummoxed evolutionists usually became when confronted with simple scientific evidence and common sense..."

Let me fix that for you: "...marveling at how flummoxed evolutionists usually became when confronted with back-breaking tortures of logic and the rantings of musty tribalistic mythology..." There. All better.

"...pontificates of the evolutionary religious doctrine..."

From nearly sentence one of your post I was suspect of your aims, and your naming of yourself as "Engineer" doesn't signal to me you A) are actually an engineer, B) have any real concept of what an engineer is versus a scientist, and C) know what science actually is. The rest of your post reaffirmed the existing model of the typical creationist that comes around here trying to shame genuinely curious people into submission to vaporous fairies. We don't listen to viewpoints like yours because A) they cannot be tested, B) they cannot be proven, C) their validity cannot be ascertained against other religions, D) even if the idea was proven it wouldn't benefit humanity at all because it wouldn't tell us how to solve real problems, E) need I go on? Your point of view is not valid because it gets nobody anywhere, and is nothing but a command for ill-earned and undeserved respect for something you yourself are wholly unable to theorize, test, prove, and make predictions on the behavior of.

But please, feel free to stay and make us laugh.

#300

Posted by: James F | February 19, 2009 3:58 PM

Engineer #293,

Just so we're clear, you believe there is a global conspiracy that has prevented, for decades, a single piece of data supporting ID (or refuting evolution) from appearing in peer-reviewed scientific research papers? A body of literature that numbers about 17 million as indexed at the National Library of Medicine? As a scientist, I like to know when someone calls me a liar and/or part of a super-powerful cabal. These are very serious charges, after all! Thanks in advance.

#301

Posted by: phantomreader42 | February 19, 2009 3:59 PM

"Engineer", go fuck yourself and stop disgracing a noble profession. Your worthless steaming pile of shit only makes it obvious what an idiot you are.

You babble about "debate" but the truth is creationist fuckwits like you don't want a debate. You want a sideshow. You want a chance to spew bullshit to the gullible to reinforce their delusions. You want to lie in public. You've been told repeatedly to present your evidence in the peer-reviewed scientific journals, but you flee in abject terror because you know you don't HAVE any evidence. You keep saying you have evidence, but you never present anything worthy of the name. You could try debating with actual scientists in front of an educated audience at scientific conventions. But you won't. Because you know you'd be laughed off the stage. You know that people who know what the fuck they're talking about will expose your lies and make it obvious what frauds you are. Your only hope is to confuse the gullible. You are despicable ghouls, spreading your toxic stench everywhere you go, taking advantage of innocent people to spread your propaganda. Go fuck yourself.

#302

Posted by: Glen Davidson | February 19, 2009 3:59 PM

Other than canards against geology and biology, what do you have, "Engineer"?

Nothing. No evidence for a flood (oh yeah, cross-bedding, never happens today), no evidence for purpose or rationality behind life at all.

End of story, aside from the well-deserved sneers at your bankrupt idiocy. The very baselessness of your unimaginative trollery is the reason for Gotelli's sarcasm, etc.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/6mb592

#303

Posted by: Benzion N. Chinn | February 19, 2009 4:02 PM

”Ben Stein may not be the best person to single-handedly represent the ID side. As you're aware, he's known mainly as an entertainer.”
So even the Discovery institute is trying to distance itself from Ben Stein and acknowledge that he has been a failure. I can't think of better evidence that PZ Myers and co. have won their battle against Expelled.

#304

Posted by: Tulse | February 19, 2009 4:03 PM

scientific data that seemed to render macro evolution a complete impossibility

Such as? You presumably grant that one can observe fairly large changes in the phenotype of some species just during a few human lifetimes (such as dog breeds)? So what is the "scientific data" the prevents like changes from accumulating to such a degree as to cause speciation? Would you agree that, if in the wild, chihuahuas and Newfoundland dogs would not interbreed, and thus be separate species?

Really, why is this so hard to grasp?

#305

Posted by: Dale Husband | February 19, 2009 4:12 PM

The Discovery Institute is furious at being rebuffed by Gotelli:

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2009/02/was_daffy_duck_unavailable.html

{{{What Is Hypocrisy, After All?
I’ve been corresponding with Nicolas Gotelli, a University of Vermont biologist. When I received his response to my initial email, I thought it was so ridiculous and hypocritical that I said to myself, Wouldn’t it be amusing to publish this on ENV? Then I reflected disappointedly, No, it’s a private correspondence, that would be unethical! I can’t do it without his permission and, since he’d have to be pretty thoughtless to allow someone to reprint his hysterically bristling letter, it’s not worth asking.

Luckily, Professor Gotelli has solved my problem for me. He promptly and without seeking permission sent our emails off to PZ Myers, who immediately published them on Pharyngula. You can read the correspondence there. Thank you, gentlemen.

Gotelli is the fellow who wrote an op-ed in the Burlington Free Press expressing the view that it was only proper that UVM should cancel Ben Stein as graduation speaker because the popular entertainer is also a “notorious advocate of intelligent design” who maintains that Darwinian ideas had deadly consequences in the form of Nazi racist ideology (only too true). Gotelli asserted it was appropriate to invite “controversial” speakers to campus, since “one of the best ways to refute intellectually bankrupt ideas is to expose them to the light of day.” But a commencement speaker is someone special, Gotelli went on, someone chosen for his peer-reviewed scholarship.

Someone, it turns out, like the widely published scholar Howard Dean, to whom UVM turned next and who will deliver the commencement address. What, as one online reader of Gotelli’s op-ed plaintively asked, “Was Daffy Duck unavailable?”

Prompted by a friend in Vermont who wanted to see Stein speak at UVM, I wrote to Gotelli on the assumption that just possibly he was sincere in his protestations about being for free speech. Perhaps he would agree to advise me on finding a forum for a debate about Darwinism on the UVM campus, on some occasion other than commencement. I suggested that rather than Ben Stein, it might be illuminating to put up a scientific Darwin critic like Stephen Meyer or David Berlinski against a Darwinian advocate like, oh, Nick Gotelli.

It was a pipe dream of mine. These guys always run from debates as fast as they can manage, hiding and shivering behind the excuse of not wanting to grant public recognition to doubts about Darwin -- doubts shared, of course, by most Americans. Sure enough, Gotelli wrote back, all in a huff. First, he was offended by a post on ENV that mildly guffawed at his op-ed and the choice of Dean as commencement speaker -- thinking I had written the post, which actually I didn’t. Gotelli had misunderstood the author identification. He called the post “sneering” -- which it hardly was -- and decried my “two-faced dishonesty” in now writing to him in a courteous tone.

I always try to write to and about people in a courteous tone. Not so, Gotelli -- or PZ Myers, or most anyone I can think of in the online Darwinist community, where venom and vulgarity are the norm. Which is interesting in itself. I guess ideas have consequences after all.

After throwing around the scare word “creationism” a number of times and mixing it up with other insults and untruths, Gotelli closes by, first, withdrawing his earlier suggestion that Stein (or anyone associated with ID) would make an appropriate “controversial” campus speaker, and then childishly warning that if I should try to reply to him, he would not answer me or anyone else from the Discovery Institute. In other words, “Nah nah nah, boo boo!” as my kids would put it.

Hypocrisy may be the wrong word for Gotelli’s about-face on free speech. Anyone who fails, out of weakness or temptation, to live up to his own openly professed ideals is a hypocrite. That would include most human beings. The normal feeling that goes with this is embarrassment. A hypocrite wouldn’t seek to publicize his hypocrisy.

Maybe, then, the right designation for someone like Gotelli is a cynic. That’s someone who treats ideas as chess pieces. When it suits your purposes, you advance an idea -- like “free speech.” When it doesn’t suit your purpose, the same idea becomes expendable, a useless pawn.

But no, that’s not quite it either. A cynic is typically smart enough to try to keep his cynicism a secret. That’s part of his game strategy. A cynic wouldn’t forward his correspondence to a buddy with a popular website, so that everyone could see how little trouble he takes to consider the words he writes.

The person who would do that isn’t a hypocrite or a cynic. He’s a fool.

Posted by David Klinghoffer on February 19, 2009 5:00 AM }}}

Those loons are so full of it that I'm amazed that they don't blow up!

#306

Posted by: Shaden Freud | February 19, 2009 4:18 PM

*sigh* At this point, you just have to bust out the MC Hawking. (NSFW)

#307

Posted by: cedgray Author Profile Page | February 19, 2009 4:23 PM

"Waaah! The courteous man made me feel bad! Waaah!"

How, exactly, is Gotelli performing an "about-face" on free speech? He's not stopping the DI from spewing their trash all over the place, but he's damned if he's going to help them in their grasping for the mantle of scientific legitimacy.

They're so pathetically, childishly dishonest.

#308

Posted by: Kel | February 19, 2009 4:47 PM

Maybe Professor Gotelli can tell us creationists whose Origin of Life theory is correct?
And once again the goal posts are shifted...

Evolution is a theory on the development of life, not origin of life. Silly creationist, evolution says nothing about where life came from - that fact is still as yet undiscovered. Though since the event took place almost 4 billion years ago, surely it can be forgiven that the last 55 years of search into the origin has not yielded a definitive result (but there are some promising leads)

Like it or not, life has evolved on this planet over the course of almost 4 billion years and all signs point to a Darwinian mechanism. Just because we don't have a strong theory on the origin of life, it doesn't make the evidence for evolution any less true. Evolution happened, the origin of life is another matter entirely.


Just to address one more point, saying "God did it" is merely an assertion and not in the least scientific. The origin of life is a genuine scientific controversy and there are several competing hypothesises that have some evidential merit that are under consideration. Just what does your hypothesis say? What mechanisms are at work? And what evidence is there to support your view? You are going to need to answer all those before your speculation becomes a genuine competing hypothesis.

Evolution is true, creationism is dead out the window by pure virtue of being true, if you have evidence that the first protocells that started off the process of evolution were crafted by God, please let us know...
#309

Posted by: Mats | February 19, 2009 4:47 PM

The darwinist response can me summed up by these words:

"Dude, are you kiding me? I can't defend the theory that says that everything created itself! Oh, and by the way, I don't like you!"

How brilliant. How right to the point. How "academic freedom"-like.

Gotelli, I am sure your students are proud that you chickened out to debate the evil creationists.

By the way, I don't recall historians refusing to debate holocaust deniers......

Must be something particular to darwinism!

#310

Posted by: Glen Davidson | February 19, 2009 4:56 PM

By the way, I don't recall historians refusing to debate holocaust deniers......

Must be something particular to darwinism!

I do. Most won't dignify shit like ID and Holocaust denial with a "debate".

Your mindless ignorance seems to be peculiar to, well, any lying idiot.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/6mb592

#311

Posted by: cedgray Author Profile Page | February 19, 2009 5:02 PM

Debate does not settle who is right and who is wrong.

Facts presented to the public are what do it. Put the facts of ID online where everyone can see them for themselves. Or, you know, in a science journal.

Otherwise, ID is indistinguishable from the kid in the playground who cups his hands and says "I've got a gold coin in my hands," and when you ask to see it, he simply says "no" and grins like a retarded twunt.

#312

Posted by: Steve_C | February 19, 2009 5:04 PM

Mats. It's the creationist who chicken out from science. They don't do research and they don't publish papers.

Dumbass.

#313

Posted by: Sastra Author Profile Page | February 19, 2009 5:05 PM

Mats #308 wrote:

The darwinist response can me summed up by these words:
"Dude, are you kiding me? I can't defend the theory that says that everything created itself! Oh, and by the way, I don't like you!"

"Dude, are you kidding us? The theory of evolution doesn't say that 'everything created itself.' If you don't understand the science, you have no grounds to criticize it -- and we don't care if you don't like this."

Fixed.

#314

Posted by: Rev. BigDumbChimp | February 19, 2009 5:06 PM

One of the most widely read authors in history said “every man seems right until another comes forward to question him”

The surest way to question a scientist is to provide empirical based research refuting his position.


So where is it?

#315

Posted by: Rev. BigDumbChimp | February 19, 2009 5:09 PM

By the way, I don't recall historians refusing to debate holocaust deniers......

Must be something particular to darwinism!


History and science are not the same thing Mats.

Science is debated in the lab, field work, peer review and with actual you know.... science.

#316

Posted by: Bobber | February 19, 2009 5:09 PM

By the way, I don't recall historians refusing to debate holocaust deniers......

One of my professors was intimately familiar with David Irving, and did a fine job of demolishing Holocaust denial without having to dignify Irving by sharing an auditorium stage with him. You see, Irving wasn't so much debated as he was destroyed in print - the evidence for the Holocaust was published in respected journals and well-researched books, and were easily cross-referenced against Irving's selective reading of the facts to show that Irving was playing on the same kind of doubt that "God-in-the-gaps" types do. Plus there's a difference: historians acknowledge that their discipline is open to individual interpretation of facts, far more so than is science. Irving's take can be put in the category of an opinion - and opinions are certainly topics of debate.

Irving and other Holocaust deniers are not merely misinterpreting information; they are decidedly ignoring information that does not comport with their predetermined conclusions and/or intellectual biases.

And did you really want to equate ID Creationism with Holocaust denial, which has NO standing amongst real historians, just as ID Creationism has NO standing amongst real scientists?

A poor, poor analogy, all around.

#317

Posted by: Chiroptera | February 19, 2009 5:12 PM

Mats, #308 The darwinist response can me summed up by these words:

And if creationists could actually present their case without making up what "darwinists" say (or making up facts), then maybe someone would take them up on their challenge to a debate.

Seriously. It's hard to present a case based on science and evidence in a couple of 20 minute segments against a skilled propagandist who can spew lies and half-truths with an entertaining flair.

#318

Posted by: T. Bruce McNeely | February 19, 2009 5:13 PM

What, as one online reader of Gotelli’s op-ed plaintively asked, “Was Daffy Duck unavailable?”

Top ten reasons why Daffy Duck would be better than Ben Stein as a commencement speaker:
10. Livelier stage presence
9. More articulate
8. More admirable role model
7. Better looking
6. More even-tempered
5. More popular with the student population
4. Has done something worthwhile with his life
3. More gracious in defeat
2. Does not drop "F-bombs"
And the number 1 reason...
1. Daffy's movies are more based in reality

#319

Posted by: Kel | February 19, 2009 5:14 PM

The "Darwinist" response summed up:
You need to do some science before you debate science.

#320

Posted by: Janine, Ignorant Slut | February 19, 2009 5:15 PM

Posted by: Mats | February 19, 2009

By the way, I don't recall historians refusing to debate holocaust deniers......

Must be something particular to darwinism!

Which is why we see the likes of Deborah Lipstadt doing debating tours with Holocaust deniers.

Dumbass.

#321

Posted by: Sastra Author Profile Page | February 19, 2009 5:18 PM

T. Bruce McNeely:

You forgot
1(a): Voice more pleasant to listen to.

#322

Posted by: Intelligent Designer | February 19, 2009 5:20 PM

These guys always run from debates as fast as they can manage, hiding and shivering behind the excuse of not wanting to grant public recognition to doubts about Darwin -- doubts shared, of course, by most Americans.

I can understand why they would run. When I was attending the University of Washington I listened to several debates between university professor evolutionists and creationsits. As I recall there was only one evolutionist that came close to holding his ground. He had three PHDs -- two of them honorary. He was a theistic evolutionist with the oratory skill of Obama. I wish I could remember his name. That fact is, evolutionists have learned their lesson about public debates by getting their asses kicked. Now they hide behind the "publish a paper in Nature" bullshit.

#323

Posted by: Janine, Ignorant Slut | February 19, 2009 5:21 PM

Actually, Chimpy, Deborah Lipstadt will not debate Holocaust deniers for the same reasons Richard Dawkins will not debate creationists, it gives their opponents a baseline respectability that they do not deserve.

#324

Posted by: Kel | February 19, 2009 5:23 PM

That fact is, evolutionists have learned their lesson about public debates by getting their asses kicked. Now they hide behind the "publish a paper in Nature" bullshit.
Yes, it's hiding. Because science is done in the public arena and not in academic peer review... for fucks sake you can be an idiot at times Randy.
#325

Posted by: CJO | February 19, 2009 5:24 PM

they hide behind the "publish a paper in Nature" bullshit.

Anti-intellectualism distilled to its essence.

Man, that stuff stinks!

#326

Posted by: Steve_C | February 19, 2009 5:24 PM

Yeah because publishing in science journals isn't science.

What a d-bag.

#327

Posted by: Rev. BigDumbChimp | February 19, 2009 5:25 PM

Randy randy randy.

Winners of debates do not determine factuality.

The Gish gallop and Hovid like tactics do not mean they are right. Only that they can spew enough bullshit that the other side has to spend all it's time shooting down the stream of wrongness.

Plus scientific subjects don't necessarily lend to short spurts like the debate format. That is the realm of sound bites and gotchas.

You know what does lend it self to scientific debate? Published research.

Whats the problem Randy? Where is the research refuting evolution?

#328

Posted by: James F | February 19, 2009 5:25 PM

#322

Randy, I'll direct the question to you as well. Do you believe there is a global conspiracy that has prevented, for decades, a single piece of data supporting ID (or refuting evolution) from appearing in peer-reviewed scientific research papers? A body of literature that numbers about 17 million as indexed at the National Library of Medicine? The other options are that ID isn't science or that ID proponents are completely incompetent at doing research. Thanks in advance.

#329

Posted by: Kel | February 19, 2009 5:26 PM

I think the likes of Randy wants to just be able to say what he wants, and not be constrained by things like contrary evidence, and have it considered science. Otherwise he's spent a lot of time preaching an untenable position without anything more than "I have a masters in mathematics and I say it's impossible" regardless of what the evidence shows.

#330

Posted by: Nerd of Redhead, OM Author Profile Page | February 19, 2009 5:26 PM

Randy, speaking of papers, hows your entropy paper coming? No publish, no glory.

#331

Posted by: Wowbagger | February 19, 2009 5:26 PM

The poorly-named 'Intelligent' Designer wrote:

That fact is, evolutionists have learned their lesson about public debates by getting their asses kicked. Now they hide behind the "publish a paper in Nature" bullshit.blockquote>

Yeah, requiring people who claim to be scientists to actually show their work rather than be able to impress an audience with simplistic, emotional rhetoric is 'bullshit'.

#332

Posted by: T. Bruce McNeely | February 19, 2009 5:27 PM

"Now they hide behind the "publish a paper in Nature" bullshit."

Well, if it's bullshit, why don't you clowns just get off your asses and DO IT?

#333

Posted by: Rev. BigDumbChimp | February 19, 2009 5:28 PM

Actually, Chimpy, Deborah Lipstadt will not debate Holocaust deniers for the same reasons Richard Dawkins will not debate creationists, it gives their opponents a baseline respectability that they do not deserve.

Yeah I don't follow the Holocaust denier stuff too much but my point was more that it was a terrible analogy. Two separate subjects that have different types of evidence. But yes for the reason you mentioned some of the same legitimate reasons not to.

#334

Posted by: CHAYNES | February 19, 2009 5:28 PM

Would one of you scientists tell us poor creationists what you want us to accept on faith.

Scientists tell us that life was not originated by a creator. Absolutely not. Science says so! Even though they cant show us what did happen.

Some scientists say that life arose from spontaneous reactions of simple chemicals. Merely a simple extrapolation of Miller-Urey. But they cant duplicate these reactions in a lab, after 60 years of trying. They say they need more time. And, of course, more manhours.

Other scientists, like Eugene Koonin, say the reactions will never be demonstrated in a lab. The probabilites are too low to happen, even in a zillion years. But he's no creationist. He says reactions did happen spontaneously. His explanation: There are an infinite number of universes, so the reactions would inevitably happen somewhere and that somewhere was here. But he has no data that any other universe exists. Not even one.

#335

Posted by: Rey Fox | February 19, 2009 5:30 PM

"Now they hide behind the "publish a paper in Nature" bullshit."

Well, you see, the trouble with debates (one of the troubles) is that the scientist is pretty much stuck with the facts, whereas the bullshitter can throw up as much bullshit against the wall as he wants, and depending on the audience, most of it will stick.

One of these drive-by ninnies will have to explain to me again why it is that debates are the end-all-be-all of intellectual discourse and truth-seeking, and why reality apparently should be decided on by a simple majority of everyone. Like I said before, shallow thinking.

#336

Posted by: Kel | February 19, 2009 5:33 PM

Scientists tell us that life was not originated by a creator. Absolutely not. Science says so! Even though they cant show us what did happen.
No it doesn't, science simply says the question is irrelevant as it's untestable. If you want to believe that God made the first protocell, go ahead. If you have any evidence that a protocell was 'created' and that creator was the Judeo-Christian construct of god, then bring the evidence. If you can't, then your position has no merit and is nothing more than a "god of the gaps".

Though again - the origin of life is not the diversification of life. Evolution is true, it's been shown to be true through overwhelming evidence in several different disciplines. The origin of life is another matter entirely. So why is the origin of life being brought up now?
#337

Posted by: Steve_C | February 19, 2009 5:33 PM

Yeah but poofing the universe into existence you accept on faith... right?

Fucking hypocrite.

#338

Posted by: Rey Fox | February 19, 2009 5:36 PM

"Scientists tell us that life was not originated by a creator. Absolutely not. Science says so! Even though they cant show us what did happen. "

You can't even show us the creator. Fail.

"Some scientists say that life arose from spontaneous reactions of simple chemicals. Merely a simple extrapolation of Miller-Urey. But they cant duplicate these reactions in a lab, after 60 years of trying. They say they need more time. And, of course, more manhours."

You guys haven't found shit. Haven't even been looking. Fail again.

#339

Posted by: CJO | February 19, 2009 5:36 PM

Some scientists say that life arose from spontaneous reactions of simple chemicals.

Amino acids and other long chain organics are hardly "simple."

Merely a simple extrapolation of Miller-Urey.

You don't have the slightest idea what you're talking about, do you?

#340

Posted by: Rev. BigDumbChimp | February 19, 2009 5:37 PM

Would one of you scientists tell us poor creationists what you want us to accept on faith.


Nothing.

#341

Posted by: WRMartin | February 19, 2009 5:37 PM

Would one of you scientists tell us poor creationists what you want us to accept on faith.
Nothing.
#342

Posted by: Steve_C | February 19, 2009 5:38 PM

Maybe my response should of been...

Yes, it's impossible we exist! We're not even here.

#343

Posted by: Sven DiMilo | February 19, 2009 5:38 PM

Scientists tell us that life was not originated by a creator.
Correction: scientists tell you that there is no evidence that life was originated by a creator, and in fact no evidence that a creator exists or existed.

Are you really surprised by our failure to replicate poorly understood events that occured over 3.5 billion years ago and required millions of years in 60 years of trying?

And "man-hours"? Do you really think that scientists are paid by the hour or are, like, on a cab-meter or something?

#344

Posted by: Rev. BigDumbChimp | February 19, 2009 5:41 PM

Sven, shit your meter is looking low. Let me add a quarter.

#345

Posted by: Rey Fox | February 19, 2009 5:42 PM

"So why is the origin of life being brought up now?"

Because for some reason it is of vital importance to the egos of shallow thinkers.

#346

Posted by: Shaden Freud | February 19, 2009 5:49 PM

Unless you can repeat the Big Bang and create the entire universe in 13.7 billion years in the laboratory, I won't believe evolution!

/creationist

#347

Posted by: Chiroptera | February 19, 2009 5:49 PM

CHAYNES, #334 Would one of you scientists tell us poor creationists what you want us to accept on faith.

I'm not a scientist, but I would say don't take anything on faith. Starting with your Bible.

Now you can try to apply a little common sense to the situation. Why would so many scientists be lying or misled? How could such a lie or mistake be maintained so cohesively over a century in as decentralized institution as science?

#348

Posted by: God | February 19, 2009 5:55 PM

You know, Creationists are so rude.

Here I am: God, creator of all things, all-knowing and all-powerful.

I would be glad to debate such an esteemed evolutionary biologist as Richard Dawkins. Really, I would. Professor Dawkins would have his microphone and podium, and an empty place would be reserved for Me. Professor Dawkins would say his piece, and then My voice would boom out "Actually, you're quite wrong. I did it. I did it all." It would be great, and of course, I would win.

But no Creationist has ever, I mean ever invited Me to debate an evolutionist on My own. No, they want to hog the stage all for themselves, get up there with their stinky, weak, imperfect bodies and weak, imperfect minds, and try and speak for Me.

Well, I, the Almighty God, curse all Creationists for their arrogance and pride. I curse them with stupidity. I curse them with never being able prove My existence. I curse them for all time with eternal damnation.

That will teach them to snub Me.

I, the Almighty God, have spoken!

#349

Posted by: GMacs | February 19, 2009 5:56 PM

Engineer, Thank you for reminding me why I'm changing majors. (I used to be an Engineering major, if you didn't catch that.)

#350

Posted by: Satan | February 19, 2009 6:00 PM

and then My voice would boom out

You know, there might be an itty-bitty little problem with that.

You see, Jesus mentioned to Me a while back that we sound almost exactly alike. The only way that he knew it was Me tying to tempt him, back then in the desert, was because You stage-whispered it to him.

But don't mind Me. I'm sure that people will be glad to believe that it's You, on Your say-so.

#351

Posted by: God | February 19, 2009 6:03 PM

I'm sure that people will be glad to believe that it's You, on Your say-so.

Well, they had damned well better. Or else there will be damnation all around, damn it!

#352

Posted by: Kel | February 19, 2009 6:29 PM

Would one of you scientists tell us poor creationists what you want us to accept on faith.
That's the last thing scientists want. Firstly, they can show you the evidence. Secondly, they can show you the writing that explains the evidence and how how each piece relates to each other. Thirdly, if you are still sceptical, you can train yourself in the scientific method and participate in the process yourself. If your ideas have merit, then they will get published.

The people asking to accept on faith are the creationists. They are asking you to accept that "God did it" is not only a valid answer, but the answer to life's mysteries. It's nothing more than projection on a part of a creationist to say that science is built on faith - anyone who even glances at the process knows it's nothing of the sort, the polar opposite to religion.
#353

Posted by: bob | February 19, 2009 6:37 PM

Here's why I would never debate a creationist: because someone basing their arguments on fact, logic, and reason is inherently at a disadvantage when talking to someone basing their arguments on lies, bullshit, and emotion.

Creationists get to LITERALLY make up whatever they need, while the scientist is expected to know the evidence, understand the theories, and apply them logically. Which side is harder? Which side can easily respond to ANYTHING at the drop of a hat? Which side can easily wiggle out of a difficult spot? Exactly.

One last thing: someone asked what scientists expect them to believe. By asking that question, all you've done is demonstrate that you don't know shit about science. Here's what I expect you to do: read a science book.

#354

Posted by: Ragutis | February 19, 2009 7:08 PM

Gee, CHAYNES, you use the word faith as if it's a bad thing...

#355

Posted by: Shadow | February 19, 2009 7:16 PM

Whenever I read the responses from the creos, why can I hear the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz singing?

When the DI posits an 'Intelligent Designer' I keep thinking of "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"

#356

Posted by: Doc Bill | February 19, 2009 7:21 PM

It's interesting reading comments on a science thread.

All of the comments from scientists and sane people are reasonable, biting, witty, funny and proper.

All of the comments by creationists are ignorant and stoopid.

(and if someone thinks my assessment is arrogant, I'd agree with that.)

#357

Posted by: MaleAlphaThree | February 19, 2009 7:37 PM

I wish I was as charismatic when I tell creationists to shove their pathological beliefs up their respective asses.

#358

Posted by: Eric Saveau | February 19, 2009 7:46 PM

There's a fight going on over at ERV where a creotard is lurching back and forth between two different threads trying to avoid facing up to his bullshit. We're all having a wonderful time bitch-slapping him around.

#359

Posted by: Petzl | February 19, 2009 7:53 PM

EXTRA! EXTRA!
Klinghoffer responds to Gotelli's response:

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2009/02/was_daffy_duck_unavailable.html#more

mmmm, creationist goodness!

#360

Posted by: Intelligent Designer | February 19, 2009 8:14 PM

Kel said:

Thirdly, if you are still sceptical, you can train yourself in the scientific method and participate in the process yourself. If your ideas have merit, then they will get published.

Kel, you have been drinking the cool-aid on the blog too long. Have you been trained in the scientfic method? What makes you think people like me haven't been? This argument that you are spouting is just something to hide behind.

By the way, I am now reading "Why Evolution is True".

#361

Posted by: T. Bruce McNeely | February 19, 2009 8:23 PM

Question from Intelligent Designer: Have you been trained in the scientfic method? What makes you think people like me haven't been?

Answer from Intelligent Designer: Now they hide behind the "publish a paper in Nature" bullshit.

That was easy!

#362

Posted by: Kel | February 19, 2009 8:25 PM

Kel, you have been drinking the cool-aid on the blog too long. Have you been trained in the scientfic method?
How long have I been trained in the scientific method? Not long - perhaps just over a decade of formal training, though it's irrelevant. I know how to apply the scientific method and what constitutes both good and bad science. How have I done this? By actually immersing myself in science, listening to those who have much more experience than I, reading science books, watching science programs, performing experiments myself; I've done a lot to figure out what is and isn't science.

What makes you think people like me haven't been?
By the continual public evangelisation of unscientific ideas that have not withstood the scrutiny of the peer review process. Anyone who thinks that public debates on ideas that have no empirical backing as opposed to fighting out ideas in academia is either ignorant of the scientific process or trying to deliberately subvert it. So which is it for you Randy? Ignorant or deceptive?

This argument that you are spouting is just something to hide behind.
If explaining how one can go about having their ideas recognised academically and thus being able to join in an academic dialogue is hiding, then guilty as charged.

If you think I'm wrong on any of those points, feel free to raise your objections. Likewise anyone else who feels I'm distorting the scientific process or have a fundamental misunderstanding, please sing up. I'm eager to learn and I don't mind about being wrong. So put up or shut up Randy, show me where my characterisation of the scientific method is misrepresentative.
#363

Posted by: Wowbagger | February 19, 2009 8:25 PM

'Intelligent' Designer wrote:

Have you been trained in the scientfic method? What makes you think people like me haven't been?

How about the fact that, given the content of many of your posts, you don't seem to be able to apply it?

That, as far as I'm concerned, is a pretty good indicator that you either weren't trained in it or - more likely - you've chosen to abandon it because it doesn't allow you to do what you want to do, which is make shit up as you go along in order to support your beliefs.

#364

Posted by: Helfrick | February 19, 2009 8:27 PM

What makes you think people like me haven't been?
Because you and your ilk spit out crap like this:
Now they hide behind the "publish a paper in Nature" bullshit.

The only thing I've seen ID proponents cling to is the assertion that Darwin was wrong. No data, no published papers, just a never-ending claim that 150 years of progress in evolution never happened.

#365

Posted by: Rev. BigDumbChimp | February 19, 2009 8:30 PM

Randy, tell me something.


How do you think that scientists promote their theories / hypotheses in the scientific community? I'm not just talking about evolution, I'm talking about all fields of science.


It's through peer review. It is the best structure we have for weeding out the good from the bad, the unsupported from good empirical science, the crack pots from genuine new discovery. Debates only prove who can score points, it doesn't prove anything about the validity of what is being debated.

Why should peer review change? So far what we have seen from creationists is trash. From ID it is sciency trash. It is rejected because it doesn't measure up. If you are so convinced of your science shouldn't it be easily supported?

Now if it works for the entire rest of the many scientific fields why do you supposed it shouldn't work for this subject? Is there that big of a conspiracy?

#366

Posted by: Owlmirror | February 19, 2009 8:32 PM


Have you been trained in the scientfic method? What makes you think people like me haven't been?

Oh, I dunno, maybe the way you continuously screwed up such basics as what entropy actually is, and refused to either educate yourself or acknowledge that you were wrong in the first place?

Hey, feel free to prove me wrong by demonstrating a rigorous explanation of how entropy (as defined by either statistical mechanics or information theory, pick one) disproves evolution. Or admit that you were wrong. Either one.

By the way, I am now reading "Why Evolution is True".

Good. Have you learned anything?

#367

Posted by: AnthonyK Author Profile Page | February 19, 2009 8:34 PM

It is noticeable how poorly constructed and written the creos' complaints are - I mean how difficult is it to say that they don't understand science?
They have to realise, which they don't, that science isn't religion, that it isn't founded on belief or faith, and that disputes are settled by experiment, not debate.
Plus they've got all that emotional investment in their faith - if you spend all your time obsessing over what god wants you to think and do, well, there's no time to think differently, and above all no possibility of being wrong since your inspiration is divine.
And so it happens that the most credulous of people end up denying the very things they should believe in or, as scientists say, accept.
And, hey guys, why is that your god wants you to seem so stupid? Because you sure do.

#368

Posted by: chaynes | February 19, 2009 8:34 PM

Thanks for your interesting replies. I am very relieved to learn that you scientists like evidence. Someday, perhaps, you will find some to back up you theories.

Perhaps you will demonstrate how life forms from methane, water and ammonia. The primordal soup science that our biology teachers taught us. Some of us creationists are from Missouri, and lacking your faith, we do like to be shown. Eugene Koonin does say that you'll never succeed in this demonstration, but maybe you'll prove him wrong.

Or perhaps you can get us some measurements from one of those other universes. Knowing that there are at least two universes would help us creationists believe that there are an infiite number of them. For now, we're skeptical of biologists like Koonin who explain wildly improbable events, such as the primordal soup story, by assuming that an infinite number of universes exist. We've only seen peer reviewed data on one universe, but I suppose we lack your faith

If you do come up with either of these, please put it in Nature and Science. Remember, until it appears there, it isn't science.

#369

Posted by: Kel | February 19, 2009 8:38 PM

Thanks for your interesting replies. I am very relieved to learn that you scientists like evidence. Someday, perhaps, you will find some to back up you theories.
A theory is a hypothesis that is strongly backed by evidence. This is why evolution is a theory and the question of the origin of life remains a hypothesis. Do you understand the difference?
#370

Posted by: Rev. BigDumbChimp | February 19, 2009 8:41 PM

Perhaps you will demonstrate how life forms from methane, water and ammonia. The primordal soup science that our biology teachers taught us. Some of us creationists are from Missouri, and lacking your faith, we do like to be shown. Eugene Koonin does say that you'll never succeed in this demonstration, but maybe you'll prove him wrong.


Supposing that the "primordial soup" theory is wrong (not evolution the way), are you claiming that automatically means a creator of some sort is responsible?

#371

Posted by: Nerd of Redhead, OM Author Profile Page | February 19, 2009 8:42 PM

Chaynes, read up on abiogensis. Parts of abiogensis have been demonstrated, but it is not filled in yet. But people are working on it, and it will be filled in without the need for invoking imaginary deities. God is never needed for anything, except explaining peoples delusions.

#372

Posted by: Wowbagger | February 19, 2009 8:49 PM

Perhaps you will demonstrate how life forms from methane, water and ammonia.

The Rev. BDC beat me to it, but I'll second his raising the question: why, even if we never demonstrate that life forms from those things (or anything else for that matter), are you then justified in inserting a god into that gap?

And why your god? Why not the god of a different religion? The inability to recreate abiogenesis says precisely zero about which god might have been responsible if there is a creator.

Why not a deist god that has no interest in your fawning and grovelling and whiny demands for wish fulfillment?

#373

Posted by: Intelligent Designer | February 19, 2009 8:49 PM

Kel,

Somehow I don't believe that you have a decade of formal training in the scientific method. Can you describe to me what you think constitutes formal training? Did it take you 10 years to get your bachlors degree or what?

I am aware that get a lot of your science ideas from watching youtube.com. I don't know how many videos you have asked me to watch.

What was the last science book you read?

It's true, I don't apply the scientific method in my blog posts -- it a blog. It's not like PZ applies the scientific method in this so called science blog. This blog is about ridiculing people of faith not science. It really a place where christianophobes and the like can spout their bigotry and feel good about it.

#374

Posted by: Kel | February 19, 2009 9:01 PM

Somehow I don't believe that you have a decade of formal training in the scientific method. Can you describe to me what you think constitutes formal training? Did it take you 10 years to get your bachlors degree or what?
Why are you attacking my qualifications? It doesn't make what I say any less true. If you have a problem with the way I apply the scientific method, just say so.

I am aware that get a lot of your science ideas from watching youtube.com. I don't know how many videos you have asked me to watch.
I got you to watch the videos because they were delivered in such a way that I thought you might be able to get something out of them. Clearly I was wrong.

What was the last science book you read?
I'm currently reading "Bad Science" by Ben Goldacre, but the book I read before that was "The Demon-Haunted World: Science As A Candle In The Dark" by Carl Sagan. Both relevant enough to the scientific method? Huh?

It's true, I don't apply the scientific method in my blog posts -- it a blog. It's not like PZ applies the scientific method in this so called science blog. This blog is about ridiculing people of faith not science. It really a place where christianophobes and the like can spout their bigotry and feel good about it.
Wah, wah, wah. Not to mention entirely irrelevant.
#375

Posted by: AnthonyK Author Profile Page | February 19, 2009 9:10 PM

Isn't it funny how one can deduce glazed eyes from Chaynes's perky post?
Don't come here to lecture people on "faith" and "evidence". Your excess of the first blinds you to the second.
It's the poor level of your argument that hurts. Your mis-characterisation of "scientists" as part of an opposing religion, your use of the word "faith" to mean "evidence-based knowledge." Your arrogance in coming here and thinking that just with a few words you can change anyone's experience and analysis.
And, that your arguments just ooze stupidity and incomprehension. Jesus is making a fool of you. Is that what you want?

#376

Posted by: Wowbagger | February 19, 2009 9:12 PM

It's not like PZ applies the scientific method in this so called science blog.

Randy, when you say things like this you illustrate exactly why people doubt your claim that you know anything about the scientific method.

#377

Posted by: Nerd of Redhead, OM Author Profile Page | February 19, 2009 9:16 PM

Randy may know a little of the scientific method, but he doesn't show it. He prefers to belie his monicker.

#378

Posted by: AnthonyK Author Profile Page | February 19, 2009 9:19 PM

Well, there's a book I'm reading which is great. It's called Evolution - What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters by Don Protheroe. Well-written, well-illustrated, and containing all the evidence you could wish. And plenty of wonder and beauty.
Sadly, none of the creos posting here will read it because they think it might destroy the religious beliefs they hold so dear, and we can't have that now, can we?
I'm sure you'd enjoy it though, Kel.

#379

Posted by: Kel | February 19, 2009 9:20 PM

Nerd, I know you have more experience in applying science than I have been alive. So can you verify that my understanding of the scientific method is correct? If not, where would be a good place to start in order to fix my misunderstanding?

#380

Posted by: Wowbagger | February 19, 2009 9:20 PM

Apparently, fossils make baby Jesus cry.

#381

Posted by: Kel | February 19, 2009 9:23 PM

Well, there's a book I'm reading which is great. It's called Evolution - What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters by Don Protheroe. Well-written, well-illustrated, and containing all the evidence you could wish. And plenty of wonder and beauty.
I think it's on my amazon wishlist, though if it's not it will be added soon. As soon as the Aussie dollar goes back up, I'll be doing an order off Amazon - there's a few books on there I want to get stuck into soon.
#382

Posted by: Nerd of Redhead, OM Author Profile Page | February 19, 2009 9:37 PM

Kel, have you heard me correcting you? So you have been doing fine by me. I can monitor your posts a little closer this next week, and if I see something significant I'll mention it. But, I'm not going to quibble if the "t" is crossed on the straight or on the slant.

#383

Posted by: samsingleton Author Profile Page | February 19, 2009 9:39 PM

Sam Singleton Atheist Evangelist applauds both the style and substance of Professor Gotelli's RSVP. It recalls the position stated in this week's Sermonette, "Why Atheists Always Lose when Debating with Theists," at www.samsingleton.com

#384

Posted by: Ichthyic | February 19, 2009 9:40 PM

Randy, leave Kel alone or we'll have to put you in the "Gimp Tank" again.

...and no food, this time.

#385

Posted by: Ren | February 19, 2009 9:43 PM

It really a place where christianoidiotphobes and the like can spout their bigotry and feel good about it.

yup.

...and I always feel good smacking you upside the head, Stimpson J Cat.

#386

Posted by: Kel | February 19, 2009 9:44 PM

Kel, have you heard me correcting you? So you have been doing fine by me.
Yeah, I gathered that. I've found on here and elsewhere that when one thinks another has said something wrong, they'll bring it up. Only a fool would think that this place here is one giant circle jerk, regulars get into heated discussion all the time over things as little as what a certain word can infer.

Watch out, now Randy is going to attack your qualifications. ;)
#387

Posted by: AnthonyK Author Profile Page | February 19, 2009 9:49 PM

And talking of Nazis and Hitler, as all we "Darwino-evolutionists" always do - now there was a man who not only understood evolution but was prepared to do something to help it along - that Nazi Bishop has just been told to leave Argentina. Good.

#388

Posted by: Kel | February 19, 2009 9:53 PM

Randy, leave Kel alone or we'll have to put you in the "Gimp Tank" again.
Let Stimpy come after me, if I'm wrong then surely he'll be able to show it. I have nothing to hide in my history and how I've come to learn about science, though I can't think of anything more irrelevant. If I'm wrong, it doesn't matter if I've spent decades working in the scientific arena. And if I'm right, it doesn't matter if I'm a homeschooled evangelical who has never set foot in a labratory. Let Stimpy show me where exactly I'm wrong instead of trying to see if I have the authority to say I'm right.
#389

Posted by: AnthonyK Author Profile Page | February 19, 2009 9:54 PM

Personally I'm not anti-christian, just anti-stupid-christians. Is that an unreasonable position to take?
If your faith is so weak that it can't handle reality, ye creotards, then I don't think you deserve to have one.

#390

Posted by: Sacred Frenzy | February 19, 2009 10:00 PM

Translation: Gotelli doesn't have the balls to debate David Berlinski or Stephen Meyer.

#391

Posted by: Intelligent Designer | February 19, 2009 10:03 PM

Randy, leave Kel alone or we'll have to put you in the "Gimp Tank" again ... and no food, this time.

Hey ... I can't pick on everyone at the same time. Does this mean RBDC won't be slipping me bananas this time around?

#392

Posted by: Nerd of Redhead, OM Author Profile Page | February 19, 2009 10:04 PM

Oh yawn, someone might accuse me of something again. I suppose I can handle it.

#393

Posted by: Rev. BigDumbChimp | February 19, 2009 10:04 PM

Translation: Gotelli doesn't have the balls to debate David Berlinski or Stephen Meyer.


Translation: Another moron who doesn't understand science.

#394

Posted by: Kel | February 19, 2009 10:05 PM

Are you going to show me where I'm wrong Stimpy, or apologise for the personal attack?

#395

Posted by: Chiroptera | February 19, 2009 10:05 PM

chaynes, #367: I am very relieved to learn that you scientists like evidence. Someday, perhaps, you will find some to back up you theories.

You mean like the single nested hierarchical pattern that links all known species? I realize that it's just me, but I can't think of a better single piece of evidence for evolution.

#396

Posted by: Rev. BigDumbChimp | February 19, 2009 10:11 PM

Hey ... I can't pick on everyone at the same time. Does this mean RBDC won't be slipping me bananas this time around?


No bananas for you!

#397

Posted by: Wowbagger | February 19, 2009 10:12 PM

Only a fool would think that this place here is one giant circle jerk, regulars get into heated discussion all the time over things as little as what a certain word can infer.

Agreed. When I've stuffed up on something I've had it pointed out to me. And, as Kel notes, the meanings of (and underlying implications of using) certain words has resulted in more than a few slanging matches between regulars who agree on other matters.

Plus, before his meltdown, we had truth machine, who didn't care who you were; if you made a mistake (in his mind) he wouldn't hesitate to let you know about it.

#398

Posted by: Rev. BigDumbChimp | February 19, 2009 10:14 PM

Apparently, fossils make baby Jesus cry.

Fossils

#399

Posted by: bryce | February 19, 2009 10:46 PM

Someone above wrote:
"At this point I'd like to quote George Hrab's wonderful observation:

"If you deny evolution then you're denying biology.
If you deny biology then you're denying chemistry.
If you deny chemistry then you're denying physics.
If you deny physics then you're denying mathematics.
If you deny mathematics then you're denying reality."

This sounds pretty interesting on the surface, but I don't see how denying evolution means you're denying mathematics.

#400

Posted by: Intelligent Designer | February 19, 2009 11:33 PM

Hey Bob,

Thank you for those kind words you posted on my blog

#401

Posted by: Intelligent Designer, OM biter | February 19, 2009 11:48 PM

Kel said:

Why are you attacking my qualifications? It doesn't make what I say any less true. If you have a problem with the way I apply the scientific method, just say so.

Kel, unless you are performing experiments you aren't applying the scientific method. And you didn't answer my question about formal training. Please explain to me the formal scientific training that you have had.

I hope this doesn't sound like a personal attack. The internet can be a cold place and you can never quite tell what tone of voice one is talking to you with. I presume your level of education is similar to mine since we do the same kind of work.

Nerd of Redhead has a PhD and he doesn't seem as smart as you. Since when does he deserve the title OM anyway.

#402

Posted by: not even remotely facilis | February 19, 2009 11:49 PM

bryce @398, I don't see how denying evolution means you're denying mathematics

That's OK. Logic isn't just for the students who didn't pay attention to their Jesuit instructors. The argument is a variation of the most exceedingly basic valid logical form known as the hypothetical syllogism.

#403

Posted by: T. Bruce McNeely | February 19, 2009 11:59 PM

Translation: Gotelli doesn't have the balls to debate David Berlinski or Stephen Meyer.

Translation of the translation: Berlinski and Meyer haven't anything that would pass muster in the scientific literature.

#404

Posted by: Kel | February 20, 2009 12:10 AM

Stimpy, my training doesn't matter if what I'm saying is correct. What I learnt as a young child as being the scientific method hasn't changed one bit in the 16-18 years I've known about it, and although my understanding of the process at 6 was a simplified version of when I was 15 which again was a still simplified version of the understanding I have now, in essence the same underlying process remains.

So the question remains, am I wrong? Am I hiding behind a process I misrepresent in my mind? If I am, I want to know.

#405

Posted by: Intelligent Designer | February 20, 2009 12:28 AM

Kel,

You lied about having 10 years of formal scientific training. I am just calling you on it to make you squirm a little bit. That's fair isn't it?

#406

Posted by: RD | February 20, 2009 12:35 AM

Gotelli wrote:

"I would not invite a creationist to a debate on campus for the same reason that I would not invite an alchemist, a flat-earther, an astrologer, a psychic, or a Holocaust revisionist. These ideas have no scientific support, and that is why they have all been discarded by credible scholars."

And there is high-fiving all around on this blog. Are these posters proud of taking a position that is, essentially, "I won't talk to you because you aren't worth talking to?"

Of course we've heard that sort of prideful dodge before. We recall Pasteur was heckled by his peers. Horrifically, Semmelweis was jeered as well by mainstream medical scientists.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contemporary_reaction_to_Ignaz_Semmelweis

Yes, we've heard all the scientific jeering before. One wonders why posters here congratulate one another for refusing to address a challenge to their orthodoxy.

Gotelli wrote:

"Academic publishing is an intellectual free market, where ideas that have credible empirical support are carefully and thoroughly explored. Nothing could possibly be more exciting and electrifying to biology than scientific disproof of evolutionary theory ... "

Both statements are lies -- unless you twist "credible empirical support" to mean anything the editors and publishers want it to mean. The outright refusal to debate critics of evolution rather disproves the second sentence.

Let's look at some of the evidence about academic journals, peer review, etc:

Exhibit 1: Physicist Alan Sokal's hoax article,
"Transgressing the Boundaries - Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity," which was accepted and published in the academic journal Social Text (1996). (The editors later claimed there wasn't any peer review. Really? But the editors are academics, aren't they?)

Exhibit 2: The well-known Piltdown Man hoax. The fossils were found in 1912 and touted as human. In 1923, Franz Weidenreich examined the remains and correctly reported that they consisted of a modern human cranium and an orangutan jaw with filed-down teeth. Weidenreich, being an anatomist, had easily exposed the hoax for what it was. However, it took thirty years for the scientific community to concede that Weidenreich was correct. What?? The academic publishers didn't immediately embrace the correction in 1923??

Exhibit 3 (multiple articles): The "public health gun control" advocates managed to insert their "studies" into JAMA and NEJM in the 1990s -- peer reviewed, right? A basic knowledge of epidemiological methods could discredit them, but politically JAMA and NEJM opposed firearms ownership, so the bogus "studies" entered "peer review" heaven.

Exhibit 4 (books and articles): Peter Singer's work, treated as "serious" science, in which he posits animals and humans are equal, and killing newborns is quite okay if convenient. I guess academics don't mind discussing baby killing in print, but heavens, don't dare discuss criticism of evolution.

Academic publishing is highly political -- ask any struggling associate professor -- and to say otherwise is just to lie.

But then, on this blog, we don't allow dissenting viewpoints, really, do we. Rather, we congratulate our superiority, untested by contrary viewpoints.

#407

Posted by: Brownian Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 12:37 AM

Since when does he deserve the title OM anyway.

Since December, d'uh. Sorry Stimpy, no banana for you. But maybe tomorrow, if you do well in the colour- and shape-matching tests.

#408

Posted by: Kel | February 20, 2009 12:38 AM

What's to lie about it? I was first formally introduced to the scientific method when I was 11 (I was informally introduced and even attended lectures at a much younger age), and I stopped studying my degree when I was 22. That's a little over a decade of formal training. It's not lying, it's just not relevant to the point you were trying to make.

#409

Posted by: Brownian Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 12:42 AM

But then, on this blog, we don't allow dissenting viewpoints, really, do we. Rather, we congratulate our superiority, untested by contrary viewpoints.

So, if I call you an idiot, does that mean you're the next Pasteur?

#410

Posted by: Wowbagger | February 20, 2009 12:44 AM

RD wrote:

but heavens, don't dare discuss criticism of evolution.

Criticise it with science all you like. Criticism by comparison to magic, on the other hand, doesn't deserve to be acknowledged.

#411

Posted by: Kel | February 20, 2009 12:48 AM

"Man does not attain the status of Galileo merely because he is persecuted; he must also be right." - Stephen Jay Gould

I can think of plenty of controversies in biology off the top of my head where there is intense debate among scientists, so when it comes to evolution in general why is there so much agreement? It's because the evidence overwhelming supports evolutionary theory. Of course scientists are going to defend it with great vigour, the theory has survived 150 years of intense scrutiny. Putting up an opposing point of view doesn't mean that it has any validity, and creationism through a variety of sciences and through many evidence lines has shown nothing in the way of credible evidence.

If one has definitive evidence that God's hand is not only in nature but as the creator of all that we see, show that evidence. But the ID advocates don't do that, they just want to be able to say "God did it" and think it's a legimitate scientific position. Do you honestly think if strong evidence would come through that all science journals would simply ignore it?

#412

Posted by: Sven DiMilo | February 20, 2009 12:49 AM

RD, you don't know what you're talking about.
Exhibit 1: has nothing whatsoever to do with science.
Exhibit 2: the Piltdown hoax was suspected from the very start. It was forever put to rest in 1953. That's 56 years ago.
Exhibit 3: The problem with these articles is what? exactly?
Exhibit 4; Nobody, but nobody, treats Peter Singer as a scientist: nor his output as science.
Exhibit 5: You are an oblivious idiot.

#413

Posted by: Desert Son | February 20, 2009 12:53 AM

RD at #405 posted:

But then, on this blog, we don't allow dissenting viewpoints, really, do we

Actually, from everything I've seen, there is plenty of dissenting viewpoint "allowed" here, and often encouraged. It's not necessarily respected, if it proves indefensible to critical scrutiny, but I'm not sure how that equates to "not allowed."

PZ has guidelines for certain behaviors, easily perused from the blog home page, not so much for quelling dissent as for minimizing factors like boredom, and damaging falsehood, and so forth. Again, not prohibition against dissent.

One thing that is celebrated here is the scientific method, which allows for all kinds of dissent, provided the dissent is defensible. One of the other great things about the scientific method is when something is shown to be indefensible, intellectually honest individuals analyze the data suggesting same, and make adjustments to things like theories, methods, and so forth, including abandoning them if the data suggests outright implausibility. Incidentally, I think a third really great thing about the scientific method is it's totally free of charge, though it can often be hard to find.

All that said, I have found this forum to be open to dissent, without being chumps for dissent that doesn't have evidence to back up its position.

Oh, and dissenting, and then not being able to defend the dissent, and then asserting that the dissent is being quelled because it's been disregarded (and disrespected, occasionally) because it's indefensible, isn't quelling dissent.

It's been said before: the science world, including its publications, would love to get its hands on testable data in support of leprechauns' existence, horses sometimes born with wings and that can take flight (density of their musculo-skeletal [spelling???] systems notwithstanding), evidence that telekinesis is verifiably extant (and how cool would that be?!), and that transcendent non-corporeal beings outside the laws of the universe regularly guide the unfolding of time and space through non-physical agency.

Just need the evidence for those to be defensible.

Until then, just because those things aren't given press, doesn't mean they're being quelled.

Smarter brains than mine can elucidate all this better, anyway, and I've probably missed some of the finer points, so sorry for any crudity in my presentation, but I hope I've hit the highlights.

No kings,

Robert

#414

Posted by: RD | February 20, 2009 12:55 AM

Brownian wrote:

"So, if I call you an idiot, does that mean you're the next Pasteur?"

Is this response an argument on the scientific or logical merits of my post?

Wowbagger wrote:

"Criticise it with science all you like. Criticism by comparison to magic, on the other hand, doesn't deserve to be acknowledged."

Again with the petulant "your argument doesn't deserve to be acknowledged."

Dr. Berlinski and Dr. Meyer, both insulted in this blogstream, do not cite to magic in their writings. So why must their views be excluded from discussion?

#415

Posted by: Kel | February 20, 2009 1:00 AM

Dr. Berlinski and Dr. Meyer, both insulted in this blogstream, do not cite to magic in their writings. So why must their views be excluded from discussion?
Because they have no interest in playing in the academic arena. Do you honestly think a public debate is practising science? It's nothing of the sort, it's just a platform from which to preach a position with no requirement of being accurate. Until they actually participate in science instead of publically evangelising their unscientific work, they are going to be shunned by the scientific community.

Why should science give these people the hint of legitimacy when they won't go through the processes to gain that legitimacy?
#416

Posted by: raven | February 20, 2009 1:03 AM

Chaynes;

Would one of you scientists tell us poor creationists what you want us to accept on faith.

Scientists tell us that life was not originated by a creator. Absolutely not. Science says so! Even though they cant show us what did happen.

Mothing. We don't give a rat's ass what you believe.

Science doesn't say anything one way or the other about a creator. That is religious stuff. The creator could well have invented abiogenesis.

Even though they cant show us what did happen.

I can tell you are a creationist. This is because you are ignorant and probably stupid as well.
1. Science doesn't know everything. This is good. If we did, we would have to get other jobs and our civilization would come to a halt.

2. If we did understand abiogenesis well enough to reproduce it, you creos would (dishonestly) move the goal posts again like you did when Copernicus proved the earth orbits the sun. Next you would demand that scientists demonstrate the Big Bang by producing one. A dumb move, while that might start another universe up, it would end ours.

BTW We are close to being able to create new life in the lab from scratch, the various artificial cell programs. Within a year or two maybe. Better get ready to move those goal posts.

#417

Posted by: Wowbagger | February 20, 2009 1:08 AM

Dr. Berlinski and Dr. Meyer, both insulted in this blogstream, do not cite to magic in their writings. So why must their views be excluded from discussion?

They are proponents of 'intelligent design', which means they believe there must be a designer to have designed things. This designer has carefully removed all traces of physical evidence of his/her/its existence.

Can you provide any explanation other than magic for how this is possible?

#418

Posted by: mrcreosote | February 20, 2009 1:09 AM

RD, re Peter Singer.

Peter Albert David Singer (born July 6, 1946) is an Australian philosopher. He is the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, and laureate professor at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics (CAPPE), University of Melbourne. He specializes in applied ethics, approaching ethical issues from a secular preference utilitarian perspective.

Now, since when has philosophy or bioethics been regarded as 'serious' science?

#419

Posted by: BlueIndependent | February 20, 2009 1:09 AM

"...So why must their views be excluded from discussion? "

Must we keep explaining it? Berlinski's and Meyer's viewpoints are not valid because they are not science. Period. End of story. They are religiously-tinged perspectives borne from indoctrination into a particular tribalistic ideology, none of which has any scientific data or proof for any of its claims, least of all the origin of life, and most especially that doctrine's followers' incessant decrees that anything against their group's dictums is false and a direct affront to their existence.

Meyer and Berlinski are saying exactly zero that is novel that hasn't been hashed 800 different ways over the centuries (yet always somehow arriving at exactly the same conclusion as their forebears). They have no data, no tests, no articles, no studies, no work. All they have are snarky criticisms for why everyone else is supposedly wrong. They are professional Monday morning quarterbacks who serve a political purpose that is entirely ascientific in nature.

Now whether you listen to what we've been saying is up to you, but it's the truth. I'm sorry you guys don't like to play by the rules of civil, curious society, but we here will do our darnedest to make sure you are countered everywhere because your viewpoint is simply troglodytic at best, and historically and ethically bankrupt at worst.

#420

Posted by: RD | February 20, 2009 1:12 AM

Kel wrote:

"Do you honestly think if strong evidence would come through that all science journals would simply ignore it?"

I am in no position to speculate about what all science journals would do. You don't know either. The posters on this blog all seem to think that insults are enough to discredit opposing evidence. Doubtless you've seen the posts. I'm left with the distinct impression that insults and personal attacks are the method of scientists, that is, if the people on here fancy themselves scientists.

Do you distance yourself from these ad hominem attackers?

As Sven, who wrote: [my responses in brackets]

RD, you don't know what you're talking about. [ad hominem]

Exhibit 1: has nothing whatsoever to do with science. [false -- the journal ran articles about science. The article pretended to be about science. The editors conceded that.]

Exhibit 2: the Piltdown hoax was suspected from the very start. It was forever put to rest in 1953. That's 56 years ago. [Confirming that it took 30 years for "science" to accept the disproof. So I was right.]

Exhibit 3: The problem with these articles is what? exactly? [They are epidemiologically faulty.]

Exhibit 4; Nobody, but nobody, treats Peter Singer as a scientist: nor his output as science. [Academic journals and book publishers take his output seriously. Check out his lengthy bibliography: http://www.princeton.edu/~psinger/articles_in_professional_journ.html ]


Exhibit 5: You are an oblivious idiot. [Ad hominem, as usual. Um, did you mean "oblivious" or "obvious" ... just wondering.]


#421

Posted by: Kel | February 20, 2009 1:13 AM

Okay, forget the peer review process. Just link to the studies that show their position has some merit. There are biologists on here after all who could assess the merits of it.

#422

Posted by: Wowbagger | February 20, 2009 1:16 AM

Blue Independent,

Troglodytic? Awesome - and fitting.

#423

Posted by: raven | February 20, 2009 1:20 AM

"...So why must their views be excluded from discussion? "

Good Cthulhu this is stupid. Berlinski and Singer have as much relevance and credibility in science as an auto mechanic does in the operating room.

There is a reason why scientists spend 10 years in universities just to get a license to practice. It isn't easy either. If you don't buy that, next time you need heart surgery, just check in at Ed's auto repair and towing.

#424

Posted by: Kel | February 20, 2009 1:23 AM

Do you distance yourself from these ad hominem attackers?
Just to clarify the difference:
ad hominem - I'm not going to debate with you because you're a creationist
Not ad hominem - I'm not going to debate with you because creationism has no scientific validity for it has not demonstrated itself to be science.

An ad hominem is a logical fallacy where one dismisses the other's argument through a personal attack. If you dismantle their argument with reason and use a personal attack, it's not an ad hominem.


Now if these creationists would actually do some experiments, if they would write and submit their articles to peer reviewed magazines, then maybe there would be some legitimacy to their request. But to subvert the scientific method, to formulate a conclusion before there's any evidence, to publically evangelise an unscientific position as science, these are not how you gain legitimacy. This is subjerting the system then crying foul then being excluded on that basis.
#425

Posted by: BlueIndependent | February 20, 2009 1:27 AM

"Would one of you scientists tell us poor creationists what you want us to accept on faith..."

First off, scientists don't tell, they ask. And around here my guess is they would ask you why you feel you must have faith in anything like a god to operate from one minute to the next. Then others might ask you why you bother with deific faith rather than taking control of your own life and not giving in to the petty whims of beings unseen.

#426

Posted by: Mike Perry | February 20, 2009 1:28 AM

Creationism and Intelligent Design are not the same. Creationism requires intervention by God as creator. The intelligence of Intelligent Design could just as easily come from highly intelligent but non-supernatural beings from elsewhere in the galaxy, beings who have perhaps been using the earth as a biological laboratory. ID advocates point that out all the time.

It is also precisely the POV in Douglas Adams' Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy, except in his tale we were created to answer the "ultimate question about life, the universe and everything."

Never forget that anything complex that chance can create is something that intelligence can certainly create. It is chance that has to prove itself, not intelligence. ID is always a valid scientific answer for those who are skeptical about the effectiveness of chance and natural selection.

And recall that we're already doing ID ourselves with genetically modified organisms. In perhaps a thousand years, we may know enough to be able to create an entire complex eco-system from scratch on a previously barren planet. How can someone claim that what we may be able to do in 3100 AD is something that no other beings have done in the entire history of the universe? That makes no sense.

It is Charles Darwin who illustrates that ID (by whatever means) is a legitimate scientific topic. The very point Darwin was trying to make in The Origins of Species is that natural selection can replace intelligent design (William Paley's watchmaker) to create our current biological complexity. Odd that today's Darwinians refuse to do what Darwin spent his professional life doing--debate ID.

Not being of Darwin's intellectual caliber, it's not surprising that they don't want to debate. They retreat into authoritarianism, scientific dogma, and what they think are cute little putdowns.

If Darwin were around today, he'd be weeping with shame for what science has bcome.


#427

Posted by: Wowbagger | February 20, 2009 1:29 AM

RD,

The posters on this blog all seem to think that insults are enough to discredit opposing evidence.

No, reality is what we use to discredit the 'evidence' you have provided. The insults are there for two reasons: a) because you deserve them, and b) because they amuse us.

I'm left with the distinct impression that insults and personal attacks are the method of scientists, that is, if the people on here fancy themselves scientists.

My insults and attacks have nothing to do with science, but that's because I'm not a scientist - and have made no claims to the contrary. I do, however, understand what science is and how it works.

RD, you don't know what you're talking about. [ad hominem]

How is that an ad hominem? It's an observation, not a means by which he discounted your argument. You don't know what you're talking about; ergo, he is justified in pointing it out.

[Academic journals and book publishers take his output seriously. Check out his lengthy bibliography:

Sigh. mrcreosote already answered this in #417:

Now, since when has philosophy or bioethics been regarded as 'serious' science?

Articles about science ≠ science.

#428

Posted by: RD | February 20, 2009 1:38 AM

Kel wrote:

"Because they have no interest in playing in the academic arena. Do you honestly think a public debate is practising science? It's nothing of the sort, it's just a platform from which to preach a position with no requirement of being accurate. Until they actually participate in science instead of publically evangelising their unscientific work, they are going to be shunned by the scientific community."

Wait -- Kel -- what is this "shunning" about? That's what "religious" groups do, right? And tight-knit fraternities, you know, the sort who won't let a white boy join if he dated a black girl?

Maybe you want to retract that word; that's fine. But actually, it states what you and the posters on here mean to do. That's why Ben Stein was disinvited from speaking at Vermont. Shunning. "We don't listen to your kind here," saith UV.


Kel further wrote:

"Why should science give these people the hint of legitimacy when they won't go through the processes to gain that legitimacy?"

Doubtless these words were spoken to and about Pasteur, Semmelweis, and everyone else who challenged long standing orthodoxy. "Legitimacy" is not a term of science, it is a term of law, of rhetoric, of polemics.

Now if Sven (poster above) were responding to you, he'd call you an "idiot." I don't. Your use of shunning to punish those who are not "legitimate" according to your self-selected standards, however, just sounds a lot like an unscientific, and certainly non-logical, way to address contrary viewpoints.

#429

Posted by: raven | February 20, 2009 1:39 AM

Mike Perry the next DI moron:

The intelligence of Intelligent Design could just as easily come from highly intelligent but non-supernatural beings from elsewhere in the galaxy, beings who have perhaps been using the earth as a biological laboratory. ID advocates point that out all the time.

Another stupid fallacy we've heard a zillion times. Who created those Intelligent Aliens.Or did they evolve? That just puts the question back another step or a thousand steps.

ID advocates point that out all the time.

And they flat out know it is a fallacy by now. The DI just lies a lot because they have nothing else going on.


#430

Posted by: Owlmirror | February 20, 2009 1:39 AM

The posters on this blog all seem to think that insults are enough to discredit opposing evidence.

What opposing evidence?

RD, you don't know what you're talking about. [ad hominem]

Actually, it's not an ad hominem. He explains why you don't know what you're talking about.

Exhibit 1: has nothing whatsoever to do with science. [false -- the journal ran articles about science. The article pretended to be about science. The editors conceded that.]

No, your words are false. "Social Text" is no more a science journal than is a book of poetry.

Here's more of why you don't know what you're talking about:

(The editors later claimed there wasn't any peer review. Really? But the editors are academics, aren't they?)

"Academics" are not necessarily specialists in science. Postmodernists are not experts in physics. It could even be argued that postmodernists are not experts in postmodernism (which I suspect was Sokal's point).

Either way, the editors of Social Text were not peers of physicists, and the article was not peer-reviewed by physicists.

#431

Posted by: Owlmirror | February 20, 2009 1:45 AM

Wait -- Kel -- what is this "shunning" about? That's what "religious" groups do, right? And tight-knit fraternities, you know, the sort who won't let a white boy join if he dated a black girl?

Actually, "shunning" is done by anyone with standards. Racism is a bad standard, on that we agree.

But science has the standard of evidence. You meet the standard, you're in.

You got evidence? Does anyone in the DI have evidence?

Does Ben Stein have evidence? Does Ben Stein have evidence that "science leads to killing people"?

Let me guess: the answers are "No", "No", "hell No", and "Oh, fuck No, he did not just say that".

#432

Posted by: Janine, Ignorant Slut | February 20, 2009 1:45 AM

Posted by: Mike Perry | February 20, 2009

Creationism and Intelligent Design are not the same.

Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! Try again. Can you say "cdesign proponentsists"?

#433

Posted by: raven | February 20, 2009 1:47 AM

Mike Perry the psychotic troll:

If Darwin were around today, he'd be weeping with shame for what science has bcome.

What!!! The most successful endevour in human history. Which lifted us from the stone age to the space age. Do you seriously think we invented a hi tech civilization by praying a lot and burning witches?

Great Cthulhu, must be a full moon or something. Darwin predicted that the religious nuts would go ape about his theory. Why he held off publishing it for several decades until Wallace came up with the same one. About all that would surprise him would be his picture on the British 10 pound bank note and how little 10 pounds buys these days.

#434

Posted by: Owlmirror | February 20, 2009 1:52 AM

It is also precisely the POV in Douglas Adams' Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy, except in his tale we were created to answer the "ultimate question about life, the universe and everything."

Dude? Douglas Adams was (a) a science-fiction writer, (b) a comic, and (c) an atheist, who wrote a funny science-fiction story which mocked, among other things, God.

"Most leading theologians claim that this argument is a load of dingo's kidneys, but that didn't stop Oolon Colluphid making a small fortune when he used it as the central theme of his best-selling book Well That About Wraps It Up For God."

#435

Posted by: Fortuna | February 20, 2009 1:57 AM

Wait -- Kel -- what is this "shunning" about? That's what "religious" groups do, right?

Organizations that exist for a specific purpose do indeed shun applicants who don't meet their qualifications.

Maybe you want to retract that word; that's fine. But actually, it states what you and the posters on here mean to do. That's why Ben Stein was disinvited from speaking at Vermont. Shunning. "We don't listen to your kind here," saith UV.

Kel doesn't need to retract shit. And Ben Stein is hardly entitled to speak at an academic institution after having disparaged the worth of the entire scientific enterprise.

Doubtless these words were spoken to and about Pasteur, Semmelweis, and everyone else who challenged long standing orthodoxy.

Well, if it's doubtless, you'll have no need to back those assertions up.

"Legitimacy" is not a term of science, it is a term of law, of rhetoric, of polemics.

If you wish to invoke a magic sky-man as a scientific explanation, with precisely no supporting evidence, you are not doing legitimate science. Better sic the rhetoric police on me.

#436

Posted by: Ragutis | February 20, 2009 1:57 AM

RD... You might want to take another look at that link on Semmelweis you posted:

The failure of the nineteenth-century scientific community to recognize Semmelweis's findings, and the nature of the flawed critiques outlined below, helped advance a positivist epistemology, leading to the emergence of evidence-based medicine.


Seems to me, evidence is something the ID movement lacks.

#437

Posted by: Sven DiMilo | February 20, 2009 1:59 AM

Allow me to demonstrate a bona fide ad hominem:
RD, you are a stupid poopy-head. Therefore, I discount your argument.

#438

Posted by: RD | February 20, 2009 2:06 AM

Raven wrote (just after launching another ad hominem attack):

"Another stupid fallacy we've heard a zillion times. Who created those Intelligent Aliens.Or did they evolve? That just puts the question back another step or a thousand steps."

Interesting. Dawkins, Sir Fred Hoyle, and Chandra Wickramasinghe, all evolutionists, have advocated or posited panspermia as a likely source of life on Earth. I guess Raven will call them all "DI morons."

==

Owlmirror's recent post suggests he didn't read the post to which mine responded, thus resulting in nonsequiturs. Oh well.

==

Owlmirror called Mike Perry a "psychoctic troll." That must be another one of those scientific terms.

==

Hang in there Mike Perry! As Wowbagger informed me, the insults, attacks and irrelevancies are just the scientists and wannabes amusing themselves. It is just harmless fun.

Later they'll shun you, as Kel suggested.

I get a kick out of these blog posts. I print them and show them to my high school students. I ask them, "which of these posters is addressing the merits of arguments, and which are just hurling insults and anger?" I let them draw their own conclusions.

G'night all.

#439

Posted by: Wowbagger | February 20, 2009 2:16 AM

I get a kick out of these blog posts.

Ah, a masochist. I'm glad we could be of use to you - you sad, sick loser.

I print them and show them to my high school students. I ask them, "which of these posters is addressing the merits of arguments, and which are just hurling insults and anger?"

How about you direct them here, and ask them to look at your posts and see if they can point out the merits in your arguments? Don't be surprised if they don't see any; we certainly can't.

I've already explain the insults. Anger? Please. Project much?

I let them draw their own conclusions.

No doubt the conclusion that most of them reach is 'Gee, I wish my teacher wasn't such a fucking embarrassingly clueless douche.'

#440

Posted by: raven | February 20, 2009 2:20 AM

Raven wrote (just after launching another ad hominem attack):

"Another stupid fallacy we've heard a zillion times. Who created those Intelligent Aliens.Or did they evolve? That just puts the question back another step or a thousand steps."

Interesting. Dawkins, Sir Fred Hoyle, and Chandra Wickramasinghe, all evolutionists, have advocated or posited panspermia as a likely source of life on Earth. I guess Raven will call them all "DI morons."

No. You missed the point because you are stupid. Panspermia is a legitimate scientific theory. Francis Crick also entertained it.

But if aliens seeded the earth with life, who created the aliens. Or did they evolve. No matter how far back you go in aliens seeding planets, at some point there has to be a beginning without seeding from preesisting aliens. The universe is only 13.7 billion years old.

I print them and show them to my high school students.

I assume you poison minds in some flea bag xian private school. We had a teacher like you on the west coast in public school. He lasted 10 days and was fired for gross incompetence.

#441

Posted by: Owlmirror | February 20, 2009 2:21 AM

Owlmirror's recent post suggests he didn't read the post to which mine responded, thus resulting in nonsequiturs.

But I did indeed read it. I guess you didn't read my post for understanding.

Owlmirror called Mike Perry a "psychoctic troll."

Speaking of not reading posts and thus resulting in non-sequiturs...

I print them and show them to my high school students. I ask them, "which of these posters is addressing the merits of arguments, and which are just hurling insults and anger?" I let them draw their own conclusions.

I hope you're honest enough to show them the entire thread... including your own evasions, equivocations, and downright fallacious reasoning.

But I suppose that is too much to ask for.

#442

Posted by: Ragutis | February 20, 2009 2:27 AM

Mike Perry:

Creationism requires intervention by God as creator. The intelligence of Intelligent Design could just as easily come from highly intelligent but non-supernatural beings from elsewhere in the galaxy, beings who have perhaps been using the earth as a biological laboratory. ID advocates point that out all the time.


OK, your IDiocy is doubly baseless, since there's no evidence of creation by a god or a race of extraterrestrial beings. Do some science and see if you find any that will withstand scrutiny.


Although it would be pretty funny if we found out that we had been designed. You know damn well you'd flip right the fuck out if it was by aliens that had evolved naturally, instead of your fictional YHWH. That would tie some Discovery Institute panties in a knot. That would be hilarious! Get to work on that evidence, OK? I can't wait to see the look on your faces when E.T. shows up to congratulate you.

#443

Posted by: Wowbagger | February 20, 2009 2:31 AM

Creationism requires intervention by God as creator. The intelligence of Intelligent Design could just as easily come from highly intelligent but non-supernatural beings from elsewhere in the galaxy, beings who have perhaps been using the earth as a biological laboratory. ID advocates point that out all the time.

Then why do most of them call themselves Christians? Freakish coincidence?

#444

Posted by: Twin-Skies | February 20, 2009 2:31 AM


Creationism and Intelligent Design are not the same. Creationism requires intervention by God as creator. The intelligence of Intelligent Design could just as easily come from highly intelligent but non-supernatural beings from elsewhere in the galaxy, beings who have perhaps been using the earth as a biological laboratory. ID advocates point that out all the time.

If Darwin were around today, he'd be weeping with shame for what science has bcome.

You're right, he'd be weeping for the fact that a lot of real science gets sidelined by the press for unsubstantiated drivel like ID.


I will have to respectfully disagree with this point. The Kitzmiller v. Dover trial recognizes Intelligent Design as a form of creationism.

Odd that today's Darwinians refuse to do what Darwin spent his professional life doing--debate ID.

The problem with ID proponents, based on what I've observed, is that they would rather resort of publicity and media attention to push their agenda; a literal trial by publicity. It's not that nobody wants to argue with them scientifically, it's rather that IDers actively bob and weave around any attempts at putting their arguments under the scrutiny of scientific community.

When was the last time they appeared at a proper science conference, or submitted a paper to a science journal for a proper peer review.

When was the last time they

#445

Posted by: Twin-Skies | February 20, 2009 2:36 AM

Continuing from #443 (dang, I got cut off)

...you're right about Darwin weeping if he saw the state of science today though.

To be exact, he'd be crying about the fact that so much serious scientific study routinely gets sidelined by the press to make room for quack health supplement ads, dubious homeopathy treatment, and ID.

#446

Posted by: Owlmirror | February 20, 2009 2:43 AM

The paper by Crick and Orgel hypothesizing Directed Panspermia is here ( Icarus 19, 341-346 (1973) ). It is only 6 pages long, and is not too technical.

http://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/SC/B/C/C/P/_/scbccp.pdf

There is nothing that suggests that it is the only possible way that life could have arisen on Earth. There is nothing that suggests that the hypothetical aliens did not arise by chemical abiogenesis and evolution; indeed, rather the contrary.

#447

Posted by: Kel | February 20, 2009 3:14 AM

Wait -- Kel -- what is this "shunning" about? That's what "religious" groups do, right? And tight-knit fraternities, you know, the sort who won't let a white boy join if he dated a black girl?
If you are going to complain about fallacies - make sure you don't make them yourself. You're making an appeal to ridicule there.

Science has set procedures to make sure the process is as objective as possible, and the creationists listed above have consistently subverted those procedures when it comes to creationism. Instead of experimenting, instead of testing the current evidence to falsify it, instead of writing papers for peer review, they simply evangelise in public. Which they are welcome to do, and scientists who actually play by the rules do not have any obligation to engage those who are playing with such underhanded tactics.

Remember that no-one is denying the rights of creationists, it's just that if you want scientific legitimacy you have to *gasp* do science!

Maybe you want to retract that word; that's fine. But actually, it states what you and the posters on here mean to do. That's why Ben Stein was disinvited from speaking at Vermont. Shunning. "We don't listen to your kind here," saith UV.
Ben Stein sold out all academic credibility by participating in a propaganda film which during promotion of the film he stated "science leads to killing people." He's subverted science, he's lied to the public, put a great mistrust in the academic process and you expect academia to welcome him with open arms?!?

Doubtless these words were spoken to and about Pasteur, Semmelweis, and everyone else who challenged long standing orthodoxy. "Legitimacy" is not a term of science, it is a term of law, of rhetoric, of polemics.
Do you know why now we accept Pasteur? It turns out he had the evidence to support his ideas. I refer you to the Stephen Jay Gould quote in post #410. Maybe if these creationists stopped evangelising and started to do some experiments then they would have some legitimacy. Remember that when Darwin published Origin Of Species in 1859, it caused tremendous outrage. It started a philosophical battle that has lasted 150 years, yet it was through evidence that his work came to be accepted. And it was through evidence that evolution has been updated over the past 150 years. Because that's what good science is all about - evidence!

You can keep crying foul that you don't get a fair go, but the simple truth is that evolution by natural selection is overwhelmingly supported by scientists for one simple reason - the evidence for evolution is overwhelming! If you want to disprove evolution, you have to disprove the evidence of find a better fit hypothesis. Please show the evidence for ID. Show that God's hand is in nature, go on!
#448

Posted by: passerby | February 20, 2009 3:27 AM

Posted by: RD | February 20, 2009 1:38 AM

"Doubtless these words were spoken to and about Pasteur, Semmelweis, Darwin and everyone else who challenged long standing orthodoxy."

There. Just fixed that for you.

You also unintentionally inspired a good analogy:
A person who denies the theory of evolution is equivalent to a doctor who claims that there is no need to wash hands after handling corpses. I suggest you go to the nearest hospital and start teaching the controversy. Just think of all the money unnecessarily wasted on detergent and disinfectants, and the pollution it generates!

#449

Posted by: Kel | February 20, 2009 3:29 AM

Later they'll shun you, as Kel suggested.
So you are going to misrepresent what I said in order to keep up with your fantasy persecution story?

Just because you seem to have something missing between your ears here it is again:
Anyone can participate in the scientific process. To get a paper published is not an easy feat though, this is to weed out bad ideas. And even if a paper passes peer review, it doesn't make the concept automatically accepted. Any new idea must not only be able to explain all evidence in it's relevant field currently exists, but must be able to make falsifiable predictions in order to test the hypothesis.
In a free market society, anyone has the right to exercise free speech. So anyone regardless of scientific evidence can speak their mind, you can, I can, that insane hobo can. But to talk in academia, one needs academic merit. In science, it's playing by the rules above. So for those who subvert the rules and claim to do science without doing so, there is no obligation on the part of scientists to entertain those who do not want to do science.

The Discovery Institute is playing a marketing game, it's not about science and it's not about being right. It's about evangelising a message of God. That's why they are pushing for a public debate instead of fighting out the concept in academia. Now the scientists involved aren't suckers and aren't going to go along for the ride, nor should they. I repeat, science is done in the academic arena which creationists are welcome to come and try any day. But in the public arena, scientists would do nothing more than make it seem like creationism is legitimate when it has made no academic attempt to be that way.

Get a fucking clue you moron! (note this is not an ad hominem as I didn't use it to refute your argument. it's purely an insult at the sheer stupidity you have displayed on here post after post.)
#450

Posted by: Wowbagger | February 20, 2009 3:57 AM

I suspect that RD, coward that he is, has left us. Affected pomposity was all he had; once we knocked that out of him there was nothing left.

#451

Posted by: Christina | February 20, 2009 4:00 AM

I simply don't understand why so many people are downright determined to be ignorant of what is going on in the Intelligent Design vs. Darwinist debate. Forgive me, but this a question I must ask to understand what is going on:
Have any of you actually read information on both sides of the issue, or are you just allowing yourselves to be spoon fed information on the side you are already disposed to like because of your own personal beliefs???
What I mean is, someone who actually wished to pick a side based off of evidence and reasoning, someone who was actually seeking truth about an issue, would not name call or react in anger and childishness the way just about all have on this site. No, instead, even if they initially didn't think they believed what a side had to offer, they would do research on the topic. The person seeking truth, would spend hours reading what was actually being said by the other side instead of what their opponents were saying about them. I must say I am afraid for my generation and for those in the scientific community, because these things are not being done, which tells me that no one cares for truth.
It appears to me that the side holding the most "power" in this debate merely because they are the ones with the money and resources, are also the ones who are afraid of the possibility that there could be an ultimate being in the universe more powerful than them. Because of this, they wish to label an organization seeking truth, no matter where it leads them as religious dribble, instead of what it actually is: science.
It also appears to me that this side has weak arguments based on logical fallacies and I hate to say it, but based on ignorance of the true facts in the argument.
Truth is the issue here, and mankind should be willing to do anything to find out what truth is, but all I see is viciousness, ignorance and fearful people who are doing everything short of putting their fingers in their ears and shouting, "I can't hear you!" Shutting your eyes to an issue, and pretending it isn't there doesn't make it go away, it never has. Neither does calling it stupid.
I find it interesting as well that no one seems to notice the fact that those in intelligent design include Jews, agnostics, Muslims, Diests, etc.... Interesting that these people get no credit for being ID believers, but only the Christians. Why is that???
Logically, I hope everyone does realize that any science done to try and prove the existence of an intelligent being/creator would have Christians supporting it because Christians believe in God. I have never understood why people act like this is proof of anything. If Christians weren't supporting it, I would frankly be a little worried. If you are a Christian and believe in God, why wouldn't you want to support science that sought to prove an intelligent being's existence. It doesn't make the science the same as creationism, it just means that Christians are being Christians. I just don't understand why any of this is hard to grasp.
Please, don't react based off of your biases, look at the issue, seek the truth. Don't take anyone's word for it, study the information for yourselves. Don't be hostile, but debate in peace not hatred, that is what scientists should desire on either side of the issue. Cruelty never got anyone anything worth having.

#452

Posted by: Kel | February 20, 2009 4:08 AM

Thank you for your concern trolling Christina. Now back in the real world we have a theory with 150 years of empirical evidence and intense attempts to discredit it that was won over over 99% of biologists including many religious scientists, and one theory without any academic backing either from evidence or from scientists in the field. The evidence points to evolution.

#453

Posted by: John Morales | February 20, 2009 4:10 AM

Christina @450:

I simply don't understand why so many people are downright determined to be ignorant of what is going on in the Intelligent Design vs. Darwinist debate.
There is no ignorance, nor is there such a debate.

... And it's "Intelligent Design"* vs. Darwinist Science.

--
* AKA Creationism.

#454

Posted by: Kel | February 20, 2009 4:15 AM

Okay Christina, here's your chance to give the last 200 years in science according to you. Lay out the history of both ideas, where the evidence and where the science lies for both. Cite major publication that have been landmarks for both concepts and show where the struggle in evidence has been. Though from your use of the word Darwinist I'm guessing you are a creationist who knows fuck-all about where the science lies.

#455

Posted by: clinteas | February 20, 2009 4:46 AM

I must say I am afraid for my generation and for those in the scientific community, because these things are not being done, which tells me that no one cares for truth. It appears to me that the side holding the most "power" in this debate merely because they are the ones with the money and resources, are also the ones who are afraid of the possibility that there could be an ultimate being in the universe more powerful than them

Christina,

I am afraid for my generation as well,because of the unrelenting attempts of bronze age mythology wooists to torpedo my kid's and every other kids education,to tell me how to live my life,to not run for public office if I dont believe in the prevalent bronze age myth and so forth.

Should there be an ultimate being ultimately powerful,I would not be afraid,but first ask her why she crashed that plane in Buffalo,followed by why she lets 26000 kids die every day,why babies are born without brains or limbs,why her representatives on Earth seem to need an awful lot of money from the believers to run her business,and many more questions...

The "Expelled" myth Im afraid doesnt fly,as anyone not brainwashed and indoctrinated by faith could easily see for themselves.

#456

Posted by: Kel | February 20, 2009 4:59 AM

It doesn't make [intelligent design] the same as creationism
I beg to differ...

Early draft Of Pandas and People (pre-supreme court ruling outlawing creationism) 1986:
Creation means that the various forms of life began abruptly through the agency of an intelligent creator with their distinctive features already intact. Fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, and wings, etc.
Of Pandas And People (post-supreme court ruling 1987:
Intelligent design means that various forms of life began abruptly through an intelligent agency, with their distinctive features already intact. Fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, wings, etc.

The copy / paste replacement of creation with intelligent design - http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/dover/forrest_chart2.png

The missing link:
(pre ruling) “Evolutionists think the former is correct, creationists accept the latter view.”
(post ruling) “Evolutionists think the former is correct, cdesign proponentsists accept the latter view.”


Now what were you saying about intelligent design not being creationism?
#457

Posted by: Kel | February 20, 2009 5:01 AM

Silly cdesign proponentsists, myths are for kids.

#458

Posted by: passerby | February 20, 2009 5:19 AM

"I find it interesting as well that no one seems to notice the fact that those in intelligent design include Jews, agnostics, Muslims, Diests, etc.... Interesting that these people get no credit for being ID believers, but only the Christians. Why is that??? "

Because Christianity is the dominant religion in the regions where almost all of the debates take place?

And another thing, now that you mentioned it...
Would you rather be friends with
a)people from a different religion, just because they support "Intelligent Design", even though their religion most likely teaches that your concept of "Intelligent Designer" is wrong and that you will suffer for eternity because you believe in it, or
b)atheists, who are most likely to never do anything bad to you, as long as you don't try to shove your beliefs down their throats?

Think about that.

The Muslims and the Jews will tell you that you are destined for eternal suffering for worshiping Jesus, the false son of God.
The deists and agnostics will tell you that all your prayers are useless, because there's nobody listening to them, and that if you feel that God is guiding you or anybody or anything else it is nothing but delusion.
The Christians of a faction different from your own will condemn you to hell over the slightest discrepancy in the interpretation of scripture.
The most any atheist or agnostic would do is ask you uncomfortable questions about your faith. Much better than sentencing you to burn for all eternity, no?

#459

Posted by: Kel | February 20, 2009 5:24 AM

And because it's vaguely on topic - Ricky Gervais!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaEj3g5GOYA

#460

Posted by: Wowbagger | February 20, 2009 5:25 AM

Christina wrote:

I simply don't understand...

You really didn't need to preface your blather with that; it's patently obvious that you don't understand.

Intelligent Design vs. Darwinist debate

First things first: it's not a debate - any more than there is a debate between oil + prayer vs. medicine for making you better when you're sick or injured; theory of flight vs. invisible lifting pixies for why aeroplanes do what they do; or parents actually bringing gifts vs. Santa Claus at Mythmas time.

Have any of you actually read information on both sides of the issue?

Yes. One side has hundreds of thousands of research papers spread over dozens of areas within science (biology, paleontology, geology, chemistry and so forth) and the other consists of 'Because you scientists can't explain absolutely everything that's ever happened ever, it must be God; here's a list of things we don't understand that we think is evidence.'

How much have you read? Maybe you should go
here
and check.

What I mean is, someone who actually wished to pick a side based off of evidence and reasoning, someone who was actually seeking truth about an issue

Where is this 'evidence' for ID? There is none. PZ once expressed this about as succinctly as anyone could: 'Your ignorance is not evidence.'

...would not name call or react in anger and childishness the way just about all have on this site.

How does the tone affect the content? Are you so limited that you can't separate the style in which something is written from the substance?

Scorn is not anger. It is the appropriate way to dismiss willfully ignorant, disingenuous fools who continue to try and peddle their falsehoods as truth when it is nothing of the sort.

It appears to me that the side holding the most "power" in this debate merely because they are the ones with the money and resources

Having the facts does bring great power. Lies are for the weak.

are also the ones who are afraid of the possibility that there could be an ultimate being in the universe more powerful than them.

If there was any evidence for your god then we would be fearful - because you god is an insane, murderous, hateful monster. If you believe in him and don't fear him then you haven't been paying attention.

It also appears to me that this side has weak arguments based on logical fallacies and I hate to say it, but based on ignorance of the true facts in the argument.

Such as? Feel free to present some; so far you've done nothing but moan about what big meanies we are.

I find it interesting as well that no one seems to notice the fact that those in intelligent design include Jews, agnostics, Muslims, Diests, etc.... Interesting that these people get no credit for being ID believers, but only the Christians. Why is that???

Because it is chiefly the Christians amongst these whackjobs who are fighting to get their lies taught as truth in schools. If Jewish creationists attempt to do likewise we will oppose them in the same way.

Logically, I hope everyone does realize that any science done to try and prove the existence of an intelligent being/creator would have Christians supporting it because Christians believe in God.

Really? Then why do the majority of Christians worldwide accept the fact of evolution? Why does the Catholic Church take the official position of having no problem with it?

If you are a Christian and believe in God, why wouldn't you want to support science that sought to prove an intelligent being's existence?

Maybe they're sick of fighting losing battles. Or perhaps they aren't as deluded as you.

Please, don't react based off of your biases, look at the issue, seek the truth. Don't take anyone's word for it, study the information for yourselves. Don't be hostile, but debate in peace not hatred, that is what scientists should desire on either side of the issue. Cruelty never got anyone anything worth having.

Sigh. And you end it with nauseating concern troll pablum chock full of stupid. Here's a hint: there's only one side that has scientists on it.

Sheesh.

#461

Posted by: passerby | February 20, 2009 5:27 AM

A quick example of the differences between various brands of (Judeo-)Christianity
Which Ten Commandments?
Pay special attention to the last column.

#462

Posted by: clinteas | February 20, 2009 5:40 AM

Kel,

that was hilarious,thanks for the link mate !

#463

Posted by: Doug S. | February 20, 2009 6:26 AM

My own suggestion:

Only engage in written, not spoken, debates with creationists. That gives you (and the rest of the Internet Hive Mind) plenty of time to find and call them on each specific lie they tell.

#464

Posted by: Rev. BigDumbChimp | February 20, 2009 8:12 AM

. It appears to me that the side holding the most "power" in this debate merely because they are the ones with the money and resources science

fixed

Knowledge is power and the side holding the power has all the science on their side.

There are no two ways about it, that is just how it is.

#465

Posted by: BlueIndependent | February 20, 2009 9:04 AM

"The intelligence of Intelligent Design could just as easily come from highly intelligent but non-supernatural beings from elsewhere in the galaxy, beings who have perhaps been using the earth as a biological laboratory. ID advocates point that out all the time."

There are several problems with your statement. I hasten to point out that you are admitting exactly why atheists say ID is just another form of creationism: Any sufficiently advanced technology displayed by someone or something to humans is indistingushiable from magic. You are essentially also breaking from other creationists by opening the very possibility to non-supernatural beings. Quite a large part of the ID-sympathetic community would take issue with your view. So basically you are torpedoing your own point, and you are not making a case for ID. You are saying ID occurs because humans do it, but humans didn't ID themselves into existence, and even if we were ID'd into existence by someone else, ID explains nothing beyond who supposedly did it, and tells us nothing about how to use the process. To date we have zero answer as to who ID'd us, and no way to test or get a signature for who it may have been. Evolutionary theory however, gives us a workable explanation for how biology on this planet functions that has been benefitting society for quite some time. ID is an intellectual dead end. Why you can't see that is quite puzzling.

"...It is Charles Darwin who illustrates that ID (by whatever means) is a legitimate scientific topic..."

Ah yes, the common tactic of sympathizing with Darwin, and the attempts to show how he has been misused for so long. Unfortunately for you, you are trying to A) rewrite history, B) sympathize with a figure the wide majority of those on your side actively try to tear down for a range of reasons ahistorical, entirely political, and very illogical, and C) ascribe your points of view to someone who never shared them by twisting the reality of their work. This tends to be one of the last-refuge tactics of IDers: Try to take away the thing they think the other side is 100% crazy to have, in a lame attempt to redirect attention.

"...They retreat into authoritarianism, scientific dogma, and what they think are cute little putdowns..."

The only authoritarians on here are those that come in telling evolution supporters that an all-powerful superbeing must exist, and that we must not only acknowledge, but get down on bended knee to it. You've come to the wrong place expecting such things, and that is why you ellicit "cute little putdowns". And please do define what "scientific dogma" is for us. You betray your obvious religiously biased position by claiming it is science that is dogmatic and not religion. Yopu sir are the one not open to debate (or actual science), because you have failed at logic, and that is indeed what is required to have the other two.

#466

Posted by: raven | February 20, 2009 9:07 AM

christina not understanding:

I simply don't understand why so many people are downright determined to be ignorant of what is going on in the Intelligent Design vs. Darwinist debate.

You are the ignorant one. We know all about intelligent design. It is in fact, over 2,000 years old, predating xianity. In all that time, it has gone exactly nowhere and proved exactly nothing.

Most of the arguments and fallacies they use are centuries old. The fallacies are so old they have latin names like argumentium ad ignorianti because they were noted by the Romans when Latin was still a living language.

There is no debate. There are religious extremists, mostly xian Dominionists who are attempting to jam their cult beliefs down our kids throats in science classes. This is illegal and the courts have ruled that many times and pointed out the ID is a religious belief. It is merely creationism with a coat of paint, not science.

#467

Posted by: Nerd of Redhead, OM Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 9:27 AM

Looks like our Aussie colleagues, with some help from elsewhere, had some fun last night. Funny how asking creationists for evidence confuses the heck out of them, and sends them scurrying back under their rocks. I raise my first cup of coffee to you in salute.

#468

Posted by: Chiroptera | February 20, 2009 9:50 AM

Mike Perry, #425: The intelligence of Intelligent Design could just as easily come from highly intelligent but non-supernatural beings from elsewhere in the galaxy, beings who have perhaps been using the earth as a biological laboratory. ID advocates point that out all the time.

And that is not the point. The point is that there is no evidence whatsoever that anything biological was designed by any sort of intelligent being. Trying to explain ID without the religious vocabulary doesn't excuse its advocates from providing evidence for their "theory."

#469

Posted by: John Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 9:53 AM

Gotelli's response is, simply put, ARROGANT, DEMEANING, VENOMOUS and VULGAR to an otherwise very courteous letter from a representative of an institution that HAS produced peer-reviewed papers and books. Darwinists like Gotelli always run from debates as fast as they can manage, hiding and shivering behind the excuse of not wanting to grant public recognition to doubts about Darwin -- doubts shared, of course, by most Americans (http://www.gallup.com/poll/114544/Darwin-Birthday-Believe-Evolution.aspx). Gotelli isn't a scientist. He is nothing but a cynic who does not respect anyone's ideas other than his own. I can't believe he even had the audacity to publish this letter online that only works against him. This makes him lower than a cynic. It makes him a fool.

#470

Posted by: Rev. BigDumbChimp | February 20, 2009 9:57 AM

Darwinists like Gotelli always run from debates as fast as they can manage, hiding and shivering behind the excuse of not wanting to grant public recognition to doubts about Darwin -- doubts shared, of course, by most Americans (http://www.gallup.com/poll/114544/Darwin-Birthday-Believe-Evolution.aspx).

Science is not a popularity contest.

The ID side needs to produce if they want to be considered on the same level of actual science.


How many times do you need to be told that?

#471

Posted by: Tulse | February 20, 2009 10:00 AM

The intelligence of Intelligent Design could just as easily come from highly intelligent but non-supernatural beings from elsewhere in the galaxy, beings who have perhaps been using the earth as a biological laboratory. ID advocates point that out all the time.

And how were the aliens created -- by evolution?

#472

Posted by: BlueIndependent | February 20, 2009 10:02 AM

"...It appears to me that the side holding the most "power" in this debate merely because they are the ones with the money and resources, are also the ones who are afraid of the possibility that there could be an ultimate being in the universe more powerful than them. Because of this, they wish to label an organization seeking truth, no matter where it leads them as religious dribble, instead of what it actually is: science.

Mmm yes, "science" that surprisingly has shown no actual work, no ability to solve real problems, no advances to its credit, no Nobel prize winners to fill its ranks, no new theories, and certainly no progress. But hey, the DI does have fancy-sounding titles like "fellow" and "senior fellow" attached to its highest members, undoubtedly to siphon off credibility from people that actually deserve the use of those terms next to their names.

But to the "power and resources" argument, why doesn't the ID community use all those church/synagogue/mosque funds available to them, and get some actual work done? Oh wait, that would color their research with the air of religion, and as we all supposedly admit, ID is separate from religion...yet somehow argues for exactly the same premise as nearly every religion the world over, without attaching a name to the all-powerful force in the hopes of getting people to buy into it.

"...It also appears to me that this side has weak arguments based on logical fallacies and I hate to say it, but based on ignorance of the true facts in the argument..."

Well, you are entitled and empowered to list which arguments of ours are logical fallacies, and enlighten us as to the "true facts" of the argument. I haven't seen anyone on your side offer those up yet, but before you post I would advise you to Google "An Index To Creationist Claims" and check your work there before posting your next item with all the things we've asked you to provide that we haven't already fulfilled argumentatively.

"...Logically, I hope everyone does realize that any science done to try and prove the existence of an intelligent being/creator would have Christians supporting it because Christians believe in God. I have never understood why people act like this is proof of anything. If Christians weren't supporting it, I would frankly be a little worried. If you are a Christian and believe in God, why wouldn't you want to support science that sought to prove an intelligent being's existence. It doesn't make the science the same as creationism, it just means that Christians are being Christians. I just don't understand why any of this is hard to grasp..."

There is no "science" that is being done to prove your god's existence. There are philosophical arguments and games of logic Christians play to try and prove their god exists, but the attempts are nothing more than that. There is no Christian lab that has found evidence of their specific god. There is in fact nothing but 2 billion people (a minority of the world's population) saying he exists, and a bunch of admittedly pretty buildings erected in "his" name, adorned with accompanying symbols amassed over a minority of millenia in the actual history of human society. Christians indeed make up a significant portion of the DI's ranks; if they truly ARE doing science there, which they are not, why would you say that Christians are not supporting such work? It is important to point out that Christians support such work, because it shows that Christians are very biased toward the answer ID supposedly sets out to prove. That's the problem. The logic problem you are citing - that evolution's supporters don't get why Christians would support ID "research" - is a strawman, it doesn't exist.

We know exactly why Christians support ID: It's the same reason they have used for millenia to keep the religion rolling. If their god/savior doesn't exist, then the whole thing is a sham everyone has been wasting time on, and well, they just can't have that. The problem is ID supporters are putting the cart before the horse, and are starting with the conclusion, and working backwards. They claim to be constructionists, but are in fact deconstructing reality to support a fairy tale. This is why ID fails. ID says there must be a creator, and going backward from there. They have no way to test for the nature of the supposed creator, they have no way to name it, ascertain how it thinks or functions, the nature of its existence, who created the creator, etc. ID can answer none of these questions, and therefore is unable to even get out of its chair to do any real work.

"...Please, don't react based off of your biases, look at the issue, seek the truth. Don't take anyone's word for it, study the information for yourselves. Don't be hostile, but debate in peace not hatred, that is what scientists should desire on either side of the issue..."

More concern trolling. You say this under the obvious assumption that we haven't done all the things you implored us to do. You come in here and tell us we need to lend an ear, to think critically and open-mindedly, and to not be hostile. Then, you assume none of us have done these things in arriving at our position, and then expect us to heed your words going forward. This is the problem with creationists, and indeed the conduct of those in religious groups: You assume people you are talking to haven't done their homework, so you start flapping your gums about how we need to kneel and be mindful, under the apparent assumption we are too stupid to have thought to think critically in the first place, and under the further assumption we have no prior experience with the subject.

Hear this now: We are not going to sit here and give listen to intellectual garbage, least of all because it harms your indoctrinated sensibilities. Creationism and ID are simply wrong, no matter what religion they come from, theistic or pantheistic. Nobody has yet proven they are not incorrect, and their supporters have as many different versions of the creation/ID story as they do denominations of their own faiths, perhaps more. Creaionists and IDers are good at only one thing: Criticizing the good work of others because the product of that work happens to tear down their perceptions of reality, perceptions that have no tangible right to exist in the first place, and if they weren't so emotionally stunted from years of psychological redirection and machination toward vespers would be able to cope with the truth.

Hear this also: You point of view is not unique, and it has been heard around here more times than there are words you could post. We know your side of the story. We know the different arguements and forms of your arguments. We have handily dealt with them all, because they do not hold up under actual scrutiny. There are resources on the internet for you to educate yourself. I directed you to but one of them. I suggest you spend this next Sunday morning reading, but not the same old sections of the book you usually do.

#473

Posted by: Nerd of Redhead, OM Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 10:04 AM

John, please cite 10 peer reviewed primary scientific journal articles from the last five years that prove ID is a scientitic theory. Your bluff is called.

#474

Posted by: Helfrick | February 20, 2009 10:04 AM

an institution that HAS produced peer-reviewed papers
Where are they?
#475

Posted by: Rev. BigDumbChimp | February 20, 2009 10:04 AM

John

Point me to the Peer Reviewed articles you are referencing here.

that HAS produced peer-reviewed papers and books
.
#476

Posted by: BlueIndependent | February 20, 2009 10:19 AM

"Gotelli's response is, simply put, ARROGANT, DEMEANING, VENOMOUS and VULGAR to an otherwise very courteous letter from a representative of an institution that HAS produced peer-reviewed papers and books..."

Well, Gotelli's response is all of those things...if you stretch logic pretty far. But I notice your use of all caps to describe the tone of Gotelli's response. Perhaps you have some emotional issues you need to work out before posting about other peoples' emotions. I would also disagree that Gotelli was "VULGAR", since he used no R- or X-rated language. I can see how Gotelli could be taken as "ARROGANT" and "DEMEANING", but characterizing his response as such would require the reader to accept that Meyer's letter to Gotelli had to be accepted in order for the response to be a good one, and that Gotelli need recognize Meyer's obvious "peer" status with him. Unfortunately Gotelli, who has actually done real measureable work, shouldn't be required to give someone who hasn't done any, any undue credibility simply because they want to "debate". As far as "VENOMOUS" goes, well, Gotelli didn't mention anything about hoping Meyer's gets hit by a us or something, so it's not really "VENOMOUS" at all.

Gotelli's response is basically what it should have been: Rebuking those who have openly mocked and rebuked him for doing nothing more than the job he was trained and hired to do, simply because Gotelli's work makes them feel dumb. If I were to prompt Gotelli for such as Meyer did, I would think I would get a similarly terse response...or maybe a bit less so, since I didn't publicly chide him in factless, valueless rants in the public square before going to him hat in hand to try to play nice. Meyer and Berlinski need to practice what they surely preach: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. They failed on this point, and failed yet further, going to the subject of their earlier ire and expecting that person to be nice and cordial when they themselves had not been. Meyer is demanding credibility he doesn't deserve, and he got the intellectual face-smacking that is typically requisite with those that seek to hog other peoples' well-deserved spotlight.

#477

Posted by: Bernard Bumner | February 20, 2009 10:22 AM

...ARROGANT, DEMEANING, VENOMOUS and VULGAR...

A fairly accurate description of the mendacious propaganda of the Discovery Institute, whose members have spent years systematically misrepresenting hard-working scientists and atheists.

#478

Posted by: BlueIndependent | February 20, 2009 10:23 AM

Sorry, I was confusing Klinghoffer and Meyer in my last.

#479

Posted by: Helfrick | February 20, 2009 11:08 AM

John, you still there? We're waiting.

#480

Posted by: subrosa7 | February 20, 2009 12:01 PM

Gotelli doesn't have the gonads to debate Berlinski.

Suppression, Censorship and Dogmatism in Science
"Textbooks present science as a noble search for truth, in which progress depends on questioning established ideas. But for many scientists, this is a cruel myth. They know from bitter experience that disagreeing with the dominant view is dangerous - especially when that view is backed by powerful interest groups. Call it suppression of intellectual dissent. The usual pattern is that someone does research or speaks out in a way that threatens a powerful interest group, typically a government, industry or professional body. As a result, representatives of that group attack the critic's ideas or the critic personally-by censoring writing, blocking publications, denying appointments or promotions, withdrawing research grants, taking legal actions, harassing, blacklisting, spreading rumors." -The Suppression of Inconvenient Facts in Physics

Gee that sounds familiar

#481

Posted by: Rev. BigDumbChimp | February 20, 2009 12:05 PM

subrosa7

It's very simple.

Show us the science.

#482

Posted by: Bernard Bumner | February 20, 2009 12:05 PM

...sounds familiar...

Yep. The same old, tired horse-shit...

#483

Posted by: Nerd of Redhead, OM Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 12:08 PM

Subrosa7, please show us proof that scientific papers submitted by DI have been improperly rejected or shut up. The burden of proof is upon you, since you made the claim. Your are a liar and bullshitter until you show yourself correct. Welcome to science. The papers and editor/referees comments will be required as evidence.

#484

Posted by: bob | February 20, 2009 12:09 PM

Would all you putzes who are yelling "CONSPIRACY!" please send us some of your rejected manuscripts? If you've tried to publish your research but the journals keep rejecting your articles, surely you still have the pdfs floating around? Or did the Big Science men in black break into your labs and destroy all your lab notebooks and wipe your hard drives?

Oh, that's right, I forgot. You're completely full of shit, and you're conspiracy-mongering to hide your position's vapidity. My bad.

#485

Posted by: BlueIndependent | February 20, 2009 12:19 PM

I see subrosa7 has found another lame screed floating around that, much as Ann Coulter does, tries to make itself credible by citing 60 different sources to back up what amounts to only a few pages worth of material. As usual the creationist likely expects us to debunk the entire thing by combing through it right this very second, and if we don't have an answer by the time the bell tolls midnight tonight, it means we're losers in the never-ending game of intellectual chess.

Subrosa7, that is not a scientific piece, it is a supposition piece. Big difference. It's also on a random website that appears not to be backed by anyone save the guy who paid for the web space and URL. You don't see well-known and respected organizations posting such amateurish material. Hell, even the DI has more credibility than what you just posted.

But your reply is the usual pathetic attempt to "identify" with those unseen, laboring, scorned and tortured hard-working scientists (who would apparently be a majority but are somehow suppressed systemically and systematically) who supposedly know all this stuff that is true that the rest of the scientific leadership refuses to allow to be seen. Typical conspiracy theory tripe. Do you not realize this sounds like someone coming to your door and asking you to let Jesus into your life? Do you not realize you sound like a snake oil-wielding salesman? "I know your pain and I can help you." Please. I suppose it's the Illuminati funding the suppressors, no?

#486

Posted by: ExDarwinian | February 20, 2009 12:35 PM

Anyone who has read the works of the Darwin critics (Denton, Behe, Dembski, Wells, Meyers, Sewell, Spetner, and others) with a shred of objectivity can see that these are highly intelligent, knowledgeable scientists, mathematicians, and philosophers of science whose criticism is thoughtful, carefully reasoned, and based on science, not religion. The fact that Gotelli feels compelled to (falsely) characterize their ideas as Creationism and liken these works to alchemy and flat-earth thinking (along with the chorus of cheers from the comments section) I can only attribute to a desperation born of the threat to deeply held paradigms represented by arguments to which Darwinians have found no legitimate reply.

This, however, is no excuse. The petty meanness and petulant lack of common courtesy of Gotelli's letter does him little credit.

#487

Posted by: Janine, Ignorant Slut | February 20, 2009 12:43 PM

You calling yourself "ExDarwinian" shows that you never understood what evolution is.

#488

Posted by: Rev. BigDumbChimp | February 20, 2009 12:44 PM

with a shred of objectivity can see that these are highly intelligent, knowledgeable scientists, mathematicians, and philosophers of science

Which does not put them in the category of unable to be incredibly wrong

whose criticism is thoughtful, carefully reasoned, and based on science, not religion.

That is laughable on many fronts.

The fact that Gotelli feels compelled to (falsely) characterize their ideas as Creationism and liken these works to alchemy and flat-earth thinking

Two words

cdesign proponentsists

(along with the chorus of cheers from the comments section) I can only attribute to a desperation born of the threat to deeply held paradigms represented by arguments to which Darwinians have found no legitimate reply.

Strange considering that the theory goes on strong continuing to be supported by mountains of evidence easily found by using this strange new technology called the search engine.

#489

Posted by: Nerd of Redhead, OM Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 12:45 PM

(falsely) characterize their ideas as Creationism
Gotelli is saying what Judge Jones did in his Kitzmiller v. Dover decision. ID is creationism in a fancy dress, but even if you dress up a pig, it is still a pig. ID is creationism until shown otherwise. And any proof of that has not been shown here or in court.
#490

Posted by: bob | February 20, 2009 12:46 PM

@ExDarwinian:

I attended a lecture by Michael Behe before I was even remotely knowledgeable about evolution. He still seemed full of crap to me, and speaking of petty meanness most of his talk was sarcastically insulting his critics.

But, to hell with either of our anecdotes/opinions. Please show me these "thoughtful" "scientists" and "philosophers" peer-reviewed papers. If they don't have any, please show us some manuscripts that they have attempted to publish. Heck, please send us some RAW DATA that they think demonstrates intelligent design.

Anything! Send us ANYTHING they have that even remotely looks like science! Just please don't send us logical fallacies, theology, long-winded arguments, and conspiracy theories ... we've gotten enough of that from you people to last a lifetime.

#491

Posted by: Helfrick | February 20, 2009 12:50 PM

The fact that Gotelli feels compelled to (falsely) characterize their ideas as Creationism
FAIL
Creation Biology (1983), p. 3-34: "Evolutionists think the former is correct; creationists because of all the evidence discussed in this book, conclude the latter is correct."

Biology and Creation (1986), p. 3-33: "Evolutionists think the former is correct, creationists accept the latter view."

Biology and Origins (1987), p. 3-38: "Evolutionists think the former is correct, creationists accept the latter view."

Of Pandas and People (1987, creationist version), p. 3-40: "Evolutionists think the former is correct, creationists accept the latter view."

Of Pandas and People (1987, "intelligent design" version), p. 3-41: "Evolutionists think the former is correct, cdesign proponentsists accept the latter view."

#492

Posted by: Bernard Bumner | February 20, 2009 12:51 PM

The petty meanness and petulant lack of common courtesy of Gotelli's letter does him little credit.

The outright dishonest bullshit peddled by Creationists is an insult to honest, hardworking, and fankly underappreciated scientists.

Why should any scientist respond with civility to the disingenuous requests of Creationists for debate, when what they are actually asking for is a platform to legitimise their distortions and lies about science (and, by extension, scientists)?

Feel free to substitute Intelligent Design Proponentist for Creationist, if it makes you feel better...

#493

Posted by: Helfrick | February 20, 2009 12:53 PM

Damn, RBDC you beat me to it.

#494

Posted by: Bernard Bumner | February 20, 2009 12:58 PM

Also ExDarwinian, why not read the vicious pile of putrid shit that Klinghoffer wrote about Gotelli, before you start moralizing about civil discourse between the two?

#495

Posted by: Steve_C | February 20, 2009 1:00 PM

Hey exdarwinian...

if they were so fucking brilliant why don't the do some science?
Criticism isn't science. It's a distraction.

ALL of the writings and whining of those creationists has been smacked down with reasoned science.

#496

Posted by: Stu Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 1:02 PM

What the hell? Where did all the sockpuppets come from all of a sudden?

Does anyone have a piddle pad?

#497

Posted by: Helfrick | February 20, 2009 1:04 PM

ID is creationism in a fancy dress

Like Wilford Brimley in drag.

#498

Posted by: Rev. BigDumbChimp | February 20, 2009 1:06 PM

I always liked the "ID is creationism in a cheap tuxedo".

#499

Posted by: CJO | February 20, 2009 1:15 PM

Mike Perry:
How can someone claim that what we may be able to do in 3100 AD is something that no other beings have done in the entire history of the universe? That makes no sense.

Nobody is claiming that. The claim is that no beings did it here, on Earth. The claim is based on the evidence, what we actually find here on Earth, not on sweeping generalizations about the powers of extra-terrestrial beings or the history of the universe, and it makes a great deal of sense.

Christina:
If you are a Christian and believe in God, why wouldn't you want to support science that sought to prove an intelligent being's existence.

Gee... maybe because it's fucking blasphemous? You ever heard of faith, Christina? It's what most grown-up Chritians who see the sham of ID for what it is understand to be the basis of the Christian tradition. Trying to prove anything using the tools of science by definition leaves open the possibility of disproof, meaning that using science to prove god is testing god, challenging god to show herself unambiguously in creation. It's actually profoundly opposed to the tradition of liberal Protestant Christianity, which is why most mainstream Christians are embarrassed by the stupidity and arrogance of clowns like Meyer and Behe.

#500

Posted by: Mover | February 20, 2009 1:19 PM

Science, as I see it here, in the legacy media, and in other opinion pieces, appears to be an animal of empirical studies, collaboration and consensus. A meeting of minds. Scientists they have it right when a bunch of scientists get together and agree on evidence that comes with repeatable results.

If someone comes along, or has been around, with a differing opinion based on the same evidence or not, it only seems natural that scientists would prefer to get together with these people and go over the evidence to get at the truth. I'm going to make a leap here and say that many on this blog are in agreement with that idea.

Then we have the exchange between the revered Nicholas Gotelli and the clown David Klinghoffer that is the subject of this thread. An exchange that seems to fly in the face of the whole collaborative environment thingy. If the emails posted here are accurate, one author is displaying a definite aversion to discussing the matter together. Of course, since little Nicholas' feelings were hurt by an opinion piece authored by Klinghoffer, I can see way he might be hiding from him and his people. Especially since the article raised valid points on the criteria for choosing commencement speakers that would be hard to defend (Ben Stein is not a published scholar so he is disqualified and is replaced by Howard Dean, a politician, who is qualified. And what were the titles of Dr. Dean's peer reviewed scholarly publications?).

However, some adults are able to get past their own egos for the betterment of science and the world in general. You know, like Bell & Watson, Obama & McCain, Albright & Il, Reagan & Gorbachev, Agent Kay & Serleena, Ren & Stimpy, Laverne & Shirley. The list goes on.

But I'm afraid that the general attitude displayed by Mr. Meyers, Nick Gotelli and many contributors found here is anything but collaborative. If anything it defies intellectual discussion and replaces it with personal attacks, insults and name calling ("wackaloon", "clowns", "two-faced" come to mind.)

My Atheist friend here tells me that it's OK to insult, marginalize, reject and/or shun people who may believe that evolution does not have all the answers or they are stupid and superstitious as evidenced by their believe a god. After all we already know that they have no real evidence, no evidence I can touch, count, analyze, heat up, cool down, freeze and slice or look at through a microscope. It would be a waste of time.

I can understand why some might not want some interloper casting doubt on their belief system. Especially when we already know it all and nothing new ever comes along.

#501

Posted by: Tulse | February 20, 2009 1:21 PM

the works of the Darwin critics

Can you cite some peer-reviewed original research published in established journals that these folks have done?

#502

Posted by: Chiroptera | February 20, 2009 1:23 PM

John, #468: Gotelli's response is, simply put, ARROGANT, DEMEANING, VENOMOUS and VULGAR to an otherwise very courteous letter from a representative of an institution that HAS produced peer-reviewed papers and books.

subrosa, #479: As a result, representatives of that group attack the critic's ideas or the critic personally-by censoring writing, blocking publications, denying appointments or promotions, withdrawing research grants, taking legal actions, harassing, blacklisting, spreading rumors.

Interesting. So the cdesign proponentsists are producing peer reviewed work while their work is being censored and suppressed.

Cdesign proponentistsists might be taken a tad more seriously if they would at least get their story straight before they bother the rest of us with it.

#503

Posted by: ExDarwinian | February 20, 2009 1:26 PM

My, my. Have I struck a nerve? I regard the venom and lack of civility of your collective response as confirmation of my thesis.

But you know, it doesn't really matter what any of us think--the truth will eventually prevail. (I give the neo-Darwinian synthesis about 20 more years.)

And by the way, there do exist peer reviewed papers and other publications written by critics of Darwinism, which is a near miracle given the extremely repressive intellectual climate that exists in the biological sciences at the current time. You can find a detailed list at the Discovery Institute web site.

#504

Posted by: bob | February 20, 2009 1:27 PM

@mover: Stop obfuscating.

You mentioned evidence. Please show the evidence for ID. Your "side" has had decades to provide some, and you haven't. That is why "little Nicholas" (hypocrisy alert!) doesn't want to discuss the matter, because there's nothing to discuss.

Until you provide some evidence, that is. Please do so. Once you do, we can happily "get together with these people and go over the evidence to get at the truth"

#505

Posted by: Nerd of Redhead, OM Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 1:27 PM

Mover, if ID/creationism is science, prove it. Or shut up. We will wait for your 10 citations of the peer reviewed primary scientific literature from the last five years showing creationism/ID is scientific. We will also require evidence in the guise of submitted papers to the same journals with editors/referees comments about the rejection of those papers. Until then, creationism and ID have been declared religious ideas by the US courts. Religion has no place in science class. As you well know.

#506

Posted by: Chiroptera | February 20, 2009 1:32 PM

MOver, #499: An exchange that seems to fly in the face of the whole collaborative environment thingy.

No, the exchange concerns an activity that has little to do with scientists getting together to discuss the evidence and try to arrive at the truth. The exchange concerns an antagonistic contest to try to sway as many members of a lay audience to their point of view regardless of the truth, and audience, by the way, which may be deliberately packed with the supporters of one view over the other.

Such an enterprise is not collaborative science. Now it may be a good way to educate the lay public on the issues and controversies of an issue, but, then again, not if one side or the other cannot be trusted to be objective or honest in the matter.

#507

Posted by: Glen Davidson | February 20, 2009 1:34 PM

If anything it defies intellectual discussion and replaces it with personal attacks, insults and name calling ("wackaloon", "clowns", "two-faced" come to mind.)

Fucktard, the fact is that Myers and others who are more than happy to attack have answered ID over and over again. So have much more polite scientists.

Once ID has been thoroughly fisked, and the same mindless shit is spouted again, we just call it a shit geyser.

If you have any arguments that haven't been properly answered, bring them up. I'm sure we'd discuss them. The old "your Nazis" line won't cut it, any more than it will for the rest of the hackneyed lying pseudoscientific world.

The fact is that the more intelligent, if insultingly wrong accusatory bastards, like Behe, want to redefine science because they know that they lack the evidence. Oh yeah, and they keep claiming that design is obvious, that it should be be the default, and other risibly moronic statements.

We don't collaborate with dishonest assholes who want to destroy science. That would make us as culpable as all of you idiotic, repetitious bigots. We call you dishonest assholes what you are, name-calling swine who can't do anything but whine when you've been answered well.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/6mb592

#508

Posted by: Kevembuangga | February 20, 2009 1:35 PM

@passerby
Who needs "Ten Commandments"?
One is enough!
Still, it seems a tough one for some... :-)

#509

Posted by: Nerd of Redhead, OM Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 1:36 PM

Exdarwinian, you just showed us you are a liar and bullshitter. Now, either show us the evidence or shut up. Welcome to real science. Your bluff is called, show us your cards.

#510

Posted by: CJO | February 20, 2009 1:36 PM

But you know, it doesn't really matter what any of us think

Fine. I will continue to operate on the justified and now confirmed belief that it doesn't really matter what you think. One question, though: why is it you feel compelled to keep offering your completely worthless opinion here?

#511

Posted by: Kevembuangga | February 20, 2009 1:38 PM

@passerby
Who needs "Ten Commandments"?
One is enough!
Still, it seems a tough one for some... :-)
(oops!)

#512

Posted by: Glen Davidson | February 20, 2009 1:39 PM

My, my. Have I struck a nerve? I regard the venom and lack of civility of your collective response as confirmation of my thesis.

Your libel of honest science, when you haven't a shred of evidence either for your pseudoscience or for your lies against your betters, calls for at least as much venom as you have received.

Until you're something other than a liar who attempts to demean those who have answered all of your lies, you're totally entitled to as much venom as we can put out.

Still, I've had enough of you vapid tards, so it'll have to come from others if you are to get what you deserve.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/6mb592

#513

Posted by: bob | February 20, 2009 1:42 PM

@ExDarwinian: I didn't ask for you to mention a laughably-biased website, nor for "other publications." I asked for academic articles, and failing that I asked for rejected manuscripts, and failing THAT I asked for raw data. Still waiting, by the way.

Also, please get over the persecution complex. It's pathetic. Welcome to the internet, people might swear at you. Boo fucking hoo.

#514

Posted by: Rey Fox | February 20, 2009 1:42 PM

To all the people whinging about the big bad scientists and us suppressing "views": Spill your views already. We've heard all the content-free whining before. Nobody is banned from Pharyngula for their "views". Check out the Titanoboa thread, we've let one particularly deranged creationist babble on for hundreds of comments now.

John:
"Gotelli isn't a scientist."

Speaking of arrogant...

#515

Posted by: Rey Fox | February 20, 2009 1:46 PM

"I regard the venom and lack of civility of your collective response as confirmation of my thesis."

Proving you to be a very shallow thinker, and thus perfectly representative of ID.

#516

Posted by: Stu Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 1:47 PM

I regard the venom and lack of civility of your collective response as confirmation of my thesis.

Good. Enjoy. Now fuck off.

#517

Posted by: Helfrick | February 20, 2009 1:49 PM

An exchange that seems to fly in the face of the whole collaborative environment thingy. If the emails posted here are accurate, one author is displaying a definite aversion to discussing the matter together
The Discovery Institute was not asking to work together. They were not offering to conduct research. They were looking for a podium to grandstand from.
My Atheist friend here tells me that it's OK to insult, marginalize, reject and/or shun people who may believe that evolution does not have all the answers or they are stupid and superstitious as evidenced by their believe a god.
I would bet your atheist friend never made the assertion that evolution has all the answers. I would agree that it is ok to insult, marginalize, reject and/or shun people who are dishonest and arrogant.

"Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions."— Thomas Jefferson

If you bother to look at the invention of the Discovery Institute (Intelligent Design), you will see, as we have already covered here today, that it is creationism plain and simple. It is not science, it is not backed up by anything credible.
After all we already know that they have no real evidence, no evidence I can touch, count, analyze, heat up, cool down, freeze and slice or look at through a microscope. It would be a waste of time.
Bingo.
I can understand why some might not want some interloper casting doubt on their belief system. Especially when we already know it all and nothing new ever comes along.
Evolution != religion. If you find something new, by all means document it and let us know about it.

P.S. It is said brevity is the soul of wit. You can say much more with much less.

#518

Posted by: Chiroptera | February 20, 2009 1:49 PM

ExDarwinian, #502: I regard the venom and lack of civility of your collective response as confirmation of my thesis.

That's nice. Now if ID was a real science, they would use evidence as confirmation of their thesis.

#519

Posted by: James F | February 20, 2009 1:49 PM

John #468

"[The Discovery Institute] HAS produced peer-reviewed papers and books."

First, those associated with the DI have produced no data in support of ID (or refuting evolution) in peer-reviewed scientific research papers, so there is no body of research to back up their arguments. Second, popular books don't count as a body of research. Books can certainly influence peer-reviewed scientific research (see, for example, The Selfish Gene) but thus far nothing produced by the DI has done so.

This is very instructive - don't fall into a trap when people say that the DI has produced peer-reviewed papers, since they've produced a handful of dreadful data-free pieces in places like Chaos, Solitons and Fractals and Rivista di Biologia, plus Stephen Meyer's review paper that got published through academic misconduct and was formally repudiated. Insist that they show papers presenting data in support of ID or refuting evolution, because such things don't exist.

#520

Posted by: Nerd of Redhead, OM Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 1:50 PM

I'm sure some people consider us uncivil since we don't accept what they say. We do the uncivil act of questioning their testimony. You want us to back up our beliefs with real evidence? LAWD o' Mercy, that is RUDE. But, welcome to science.

#521

Posted by: bob | February 20, 2009 2:12 PM

So, our requests to put up or shut up have been met with nothing but the occasional spattering of ID talking points. I'd say I'm surprised, but (unlike the ID proponents) I'm not a fucking liar.

#522

Posted by: Sastra Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 2:16 PM

Ex-Darwinian #502 wrote:

I regard the venom and lack of civility of your collective response as confirmation of my thesis.

What thesis would that be? That people who get rude and angry are never right?

That's almost certainly too broad, because it leads to contradictions. For one thing, it would allow evolutionists to point to angry creationists as showing evidence that "they must know they're wrong, or they wouldn't be so hostile." You'd end up with a situation where every side of a heated debate comes out the "winner." Not a very useful thesis.

When dealing with scientific issues, style is not as important as substance. Being kind and polite is absolutely necessary for self-esteem support groups, of course. I don't think anyone has ever accused the science community in general -- or Pharyngula in particular -- of being a self-esteem support group. It's not our area.

But you know, it doesn't really matter what any of us think--the truth will eventually prevail. (I give the neo-Darwinian synthesis about 20 more years.)

I respect the fact that you give a deadline. Of course, 20 years ago creationists were also predicting that evolution has "another 20 years" -- and 20 years before that, too. But I'm going to assume you're not planning on playing the memory-hole game, so I'll ask a question:

If, in 20 years, evolutionary theory is still supported by the majority of experts, still generating testable predictions, and still considered the underlying theory in biology -- what would you do then? I mean, what would this do to your religious beliefs?

Would you become a theistic evolutionist -- and come up with some means to reconcile your current beliefs with a God who "works through" evolution in some vague and purely background capacity?

Or would you renounce God, and become an atheist?

Exactly what is riding for you, with this "test" and "deadline" you've given for the Designer hypothesis?

#523

Posted by: Helfrick | February 20, 2009 2:26 PM

New logical fallacy? Argument from concern.

#524

Posted by: DaveL | February 20, 2009 2:33 PM

I've counted over 4500 words in this thread devoted to complaining about censorship of ID by mainstream scientists, claiming that the latter are "afraid" of debating ID, and repeating mantras about how ID has real evidence from real scientists.

So far, no evidence, though.

Think about it - the ID proponents here have been given more than enough space on this thread to publish a full-length journal article layout out newly discovered evidence for intelligent design. Instead they use it all to complain that no one will let them be heard.

Just like Nesbitt's recent Op-Ed.

Just like Expelled.

Does anyone notice a pattern?

#525

Posted by: ExDarwinian | February 20, 2009 2:46 PM

I try not to get into intellectual discussions with people whose minds are closed, and particularly with people who are also rude. And arrogant.

It is unnecessary for me to give evidence or arguments critical of Darwinism, because there is abundant material already out there, written by the authors I mentioned in my first post (Denton, Behe, Dembski, Wells, Meyers, Sewell, Spetner, and others). All that is required is to read any of their works with an open mind (something I fear is sadly lacking around here).

You make me laugh. Really. All I have to do is push your little buttons and you go all rabid and frothy in the mouth.

#526

Posted by: Mover | February 20, 2009 2:49 PM

bob@#503

You missed the point. My post did not attempt to provide evidence that is for or against evolution or ID.

I'm merely pointing out that the lack of civility that you self described "scientists" lack. And seem to be proud of it.


#527

Posted by: Nerd of Redhead, OM Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 2:51 PM

ExDarwinian, Either show the evidence or shut up. Welcome to science. Science is a put up or shut up endeavor. If you can't or won't put up, you need to shut up. Evidence is required to put up. Do one or the other.

#528

Posted by: Steve_C | February 20, 2009 2:51 PM

That's because your a troll.

We know all bout your favorite creationists. And we're also familiar with how they've been taken down with science. Try looking up Ken Miller or the Dover trial.

They haven't published one paper that calls into question the fact of evolution.

We are far from closed minded, unlike you, we are not ignorant.

#529

Posted by: Rey Fox | February 20, 2009 2:52 PM

"I try not to get into intellectual discussions with people whose minds are closed, and particularly with people who are also rude. And arrogant."

You're welcome to go home and cry to Mama then.

#530

Posted by: James F | February 20, 2009 2:54 PM

ExDarwinian #524,

Please see my post at #518.

#531

Posted by: Steve_C | February 20, 2009 2:56 PM

I'm not a scientist Mover, does that mean I get to call you an asshole without my motives being questioned?

Stop concern trolling. Our incivility doesn't mean we've lost the argument, just our patience.

#532

Posted by: SomeGuy | February 20, 2009 3:03 PM

I think that it is about time to classify Atheism as a religion. I guarantee that almost every one who has posted in support of this forum takes their opinions on faith. This faith is not entirely unwarranted but it is faith since many of the cornerstones of Atheism are untestable.

I find the manner with which most Atheist evangelize to be particularly telling that it is indeed a religion.

For what it is worth the common form of pseduo hate speech against organized religion does nothing but polarize the two sides. It would help your atheism evangelism if you could control your emotions.

The "holier than though" attitude that the scholarly evolutionists/atheists maintain is as repulsive as the falsely propagated attempts to mislead the public into believing that the separation of church and state exists in the US constitution.. The church of Atheism is not objective when it comes to history, only remembering the tragedies of religion.

The church of Atheism considers only immediately quantifiable data as guidance toward truth. Should one consider the fact that our nation has given birth to one of the greatest freedoms known to man? Where did we come from as a nation? Why is the historical aspect of Judeo-Christian influence ignored or presented from a one-sided point of view?

The doctrine of religion is purpose for our lives... Is the antithesis of religion a simple purposelessness? How does one prove that we came from nothing for absolutely no reason?

People bash America but often regress, knowing that it is the best system of government. Our nation is founded upon the notion that people must rule themselves. Not a single one you can honestly say that religion hasn't shaped your moral compass. Regardless of your level of moral relativism, we could probably all find a few guiding points to agree upon. Why do we find ourselves in this place? Similar to the American system or government, the judeo-Christian system lacks perfection but may serve as the most viable system of ethics.

#533

Posted by: Steve_C | February 20, 2009 3:09 PM

The godbots never get more interesting do they.

#534

Posted by: Christina | February 20, 2009 3:10 PM

I must say that though the responses I received were not surprising, and indeed proved many of my points rather than discredited them, it grieves me that almost none of you wish to debate the topic in civility. I am certainly capable of distinguishing tone from argument, but know all to well the powerful blinding force behind anger, sarcasm, cynicism, mockery and bitterness, and I have seen these traits in abundance on this site as well as hundreds of others related to this topic.

Before I go further, I wish to say that one reason I wonder whether any have actually done research on this debate is because your own words tell me you have not done it very well, or simply wish to ignore certain facts.

Perhaps I should restate my concern. Have any of you looked at the Discovery Institutes website or read any of their books and articles?

This leads me to a matter that has come up numerous times on this site.
If I may please clear up the issue of peer-reviewed articles and books, which also may answer some of your other questions about what scientific (please read them, they are scientific) arguments have been brought up by Intelligent Design theorists:

Scott Minnich and Stephen C. Meyer, "Genetic Analysis of Coordinate Flagellar and Type III Regulatory Circuits," Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Design & Nature, Rhodes Greece, edited by M.W. Collins and C.A. Brebbia (WIT Press, 2004). (PDF, 620KB)

This article underwent conference peer review in order to be included in this peer-edited proceedings. Minnich and Meyer do three important things in this paper. First, they refute a popular objection to Michael Behe's argument for the irreducible complexity of the bacterial flagellum. Second, they suggest that the Type III Secretory System present in some bacteria, rather than being an evolutionary intermediate to the bacterial flagellum, is probably represents a degenerate form of the bacterial flagellum. Finally, they argue explicitly that intelligent design is a better than the Neo-Darwinian mechanism for explaining the origin of the bacterial flagellum.

COMPLETE LIST:

Peer-Reviewed Scientific Books Supportive of Intelligent Design Published by Trade Presses or University Presses

W.A. Dembski, The Design Inference: Eliminating Chance through Small Probabilities (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998).

This book was published by Cambridge University Press and peer-reviewed as part of a distinguished monograph series, Cambridge Studies in Probability, Induction, and Decision Theory. The editorial board of that series includes members of the National Academy of Sciences as well as one Nobel laureate, John Harsanyi, who shared the prize in 1994 with John Nash, the protagonist in the film A Beautiful Mind. Commenting on the ideas in The Design Inference, well-known physicist and science writer Paul Davies remarks: "Dembski's attempt to quantify design, or provide mathematical criteria for design, is extremely useful. I'm concerned that the suspicion of a hidden agenda is going to prevent that sort of work from receiving the recognition it deserves." Quoted in L. Witham, By Design (San Francisco: Encounter Books, 2003), p. 149.

Michael Behe, Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution (The Free Press, 1996).

In this book Behe develops a critique of the mechanism of natural selection and a positive case for the theory of intelligent design based upon the presence of "irreducibly complex molecular machines" and circuits inside cells. Though this book was published by The Free Press, a trade press, the publisher subjected the book to standard scientific peer-review by several prominent biochemists and biological scientists.

Charles B. Thaxton, Walter L. Bradley, Roger L. Olsen, The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories (Philosophical Library, 1984, Lewis & Stanley, 4th ed., 1992).

In this book Thaxton, Bradley and Olsen develop a seminal critique of origin of life studies and develop a case for the theory of intelligent design based upon the information content and "low-configurational entropy" of living systems.

John Angus Campbell and Stephen C. Meyer, Darwinism, Design, & Public Education (Michigan State University Press, 2003)

This is a collection of interdisciplinary essays that addresses the scientific and educational controversy concerning the theory of intelligent design. Accordingly, it was peer-reviewed by a philosopher of science, a rhetorician of science, and a professor in the biological sciences from an Ivy League university. The book contains five scientific articles advancing the case for the theory of intelligent design, the contents of which are summarized below.

Scientific Books Supportive of Intelligent Design Published by Prominent Trade Presses

Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay W. Richards, The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed for Discovery (Regnery Publishing, 2004).

Gonzalez and Richards develop a novel case for the theory of intelligent design based on developments in astronomy and planetary science. They show that the conditions necessary to produce a habitable planet are extremely rare and improbable. In addition, they show that the one planet we are aware of that possesses these characteristics is also a planet that has characteristics uniquely adapted to scientific exploration, thus suggesting not simply that the earth is the recipient of the fortunate conditions necessary for life, but that it appears to be uniquely designed for scientific discovery.

William Dembski, No Free Lunch: Why Specified Complexity Cannot be Purchased without Intelligence (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2002).

Dembski refines his scientific method of design detection, responds to critics of his previous book (The Design Inference) and shows how his method of design detection applies to the kind of molecular machines analyzed by Michael Behe in Darwin's Black Box.

Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (Adler & Adler, 1985).

Denton, an Australian molecular biologist, provides a comprehensive critique of neo- Darwinian evolutionary theory. In a penultimate chapter, entitled "The Molecular Labyrinth," he also develops a strong positive case for the design hypothesis based on the integrated complexity of molecular biological systems. As a religiously agnostic scientist, Denton emphasizes that this case for design is based upon scientific evidence and the application of standard forms of scientific reasoning. As Denton explains, while the case for design may have religious implications, "it does not depend upon religious premises."

Peer-Reviewed Philosophical Books Supportive of Intelligent Design Published by Academic University Presses

Del Ratzsch, Nature, Design, and Science: The Status of Design in Natural Science (State University of New York Press, 2001).

Michael C. Rea, World without Design : The Ontological Consequences of Naturalism (Oxford University Press, 2004).

Articles Supportive of Intelligent Design Published in Peer-Reviewed Scientific Journals

Ø. A. Voie, "Biological function and the genetic code are interdependent," Chaos, Solitons and Fractals, Vol 28(4) (2006): 1000-1004.

In this article, Norwegian scientist Øyvind Albert Voie examines an implication of Gödel's incompleteness theorem for theories about the origin of life. Gödel's first incompleteness theorem states that certain true statements within a formal system are unprovable from the axioms of the formal system. Voie then argues that the information processing system in the cell constitutes a kind of formal system because it "expresses both function and sign systems." As such, by Gödel's theorem it possesses many properties that are not deducible from the axioms which underlie the formal system, in this case, the laws of nature. He cites Michael Polanyi's seminal essay, Life's Irreducible Structure, in support of this claim. As Polanyi put it, "the structure of life is a set of boundary conditions that harness the laws of physics and chemistry their (the boundary condition's) structure cannot be defined in terms of the laws that they harness." As he further explained, "As the arrangement of a printed page is extraneous to the chemistry of the printed page, so is the base sequence in a DNA molecule extraneous to the chemical forces at work in the DNA molecule." Like Polanyi, Voie argues that the information and function of DNA and the cellular replication machinery must originate from a source that transcends physics and chemistry. In particular, since as Voie argues, "chance and necessity cannot explain sign systems, meaning, purpose, and goals," and since "mind possesses other properties that do not have these limitations," it is "therefore very natural that many scientists believe that life is rather a subsystem of some Mind greater than humans."

John A. Davison, "A Prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis," Rivista di Biologia/Biology Forum 98 (2005): 155-166.

Otto Schindewolf once wrote that evolution postulates "a unique, historical course of events that took place in the past, is not repeatable experimentally and cannot be investigated in that way." In this peer-reviewed article from a prestigious Italian biology journal, John A. Davison agrees with Schindewolf. Since "[o]ne can hardly expect to demonstrate a mechanism that simply does not and did not exist," Davison attempts to find new explanations for the origin of convergence among biological forms. Davison contends that "[t]he so-called phenomenon of convergent evolution may not be that at all, but simply the expression of the same preformed 'blueprints' by unrelated organisms." While discussing many remarkable examples of "convergent evolution," particularly the marsupial and placental saber-toothed cats, Davison's meaning is unmistakable: This evidence "bears, not only on the questions raised here, but also, on the whole issue of Intelligent Design." Davison clearly implies that this evidence is expected under an intelligent design model, but not under a Neo-Darwinian one.

S.C. Meyer, "The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories," Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 117(2) (2004): 213-239.

This article argues for intelligent design as an explanation for the origin of the Cambrian fauna. Not surprisingly, it created an international firestorm within the scientific community when it was published. (See Klinghoffer, The Branding of a Heretic, WALL STREET JOURNAL, Jan. 28, 2005, as well as the following website by the editor who oversaw the article's peer-review process: http://www.rsternberg.net.) The treatment of the editor who sent Meyer's article out for peer-review is a striking illustration of the sociological obstacles that proponents of intelligent design encounter in publishing articles that explicitly defend the theory of intelligent design.

M.J. Behe and D.W. Snoke, "Simulating Evolution by Gene Duplication of Protein Features That Require Multiple Amino Acid Residues," Protein Science, 13 (2004): 2651-2664.

In this article, Behe and Snoke show how difficult it is for unguided evolutionary processes to take existing protein structures and add novel proteins whose interface compatibility is such that they could combine functionally with the original proteins. By demonstrating inherent limitations to unguided evolutionary processes, this work gives indirect scientific support to intelligent design and bolsters Behe's case for intelligent design in answer to some of his critics.

D. A. Axe, "Estimating the Prevalence of Protein Sequences Adopting Functional Enzyme Folds," Journal of Molecular Biology, Vol. 341 (2004): 1295-1315.

This experimental study found that functional protein folds are extremely rare, finding that, "roughly one in 1064 signature-consistent sequences forms a working domain" and that the "overall prevalence of sequences performing a specific function by any domain-sized fold may be as low as 1 in 1077." Axe concludes that "functional folds require highly extraordinary sequences." Since Darwinian evolution only preserves biological structures which confer a functional advantage, this indicates it would be very difficult for such a blind mechanism to produce functional protein folds. This research also shows that there are high levels of specified complexity in enzymes, a hallmark indicator of intelligent design. Axe himself has confirmed that this study adds to the evidence for intelligent design: "In the 2004 paper I reported experimental data used to put a number on the rarity of sequences expected to form working enzymes. The reported figure is less than one in a trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion. Again, yes, this finding does seem to call into question the adequacy of chance, and that certainly adds to the case for intelligent design." See Scientist Says His Peer-Reviewed Research in the Journal of Molecular Biology "Adds to the Case for Intelligent Design".

W.-E. Lönnig & H. Saedler, "Chromosome Rearrangements and Transposable Elements," Annual Review of Genetics, 36 (2002): 389-410.

This article examines the role of transposons in the abrupt origin of new species and the possibility of a partly predetermined generation of biodiversity and new species. The authors' approach is non-Darwinian, and they cite favorably the work of design theorists Michael Behe and William Dembski.

D.K.Y. Chiu & T.H. Lui, "Integrated Use of Multiple Interdependent Patterns for Biomolecular Sequence Analysis," International Journal of Fuzzy Systems, 4(3) (September 2002): 766-775.

The opening paragraph of this article reads: Detection of complex specified information is introduced to infer unknown underlying causes for observed patterns. By complex information, it refers to information obtained from observed pattern or patterns that are highly improbable by random chance alone. We evaluate here the complex pattern corresponding to multiple observations of statistical interdependency such that they all deviate significantly from the prior or null hypothesis. Such multiple interdependent patterns when consistently observed can be a powerful indication of common underlying causes. That is, detection of significant multiple interdependent patterns in a consistent way can lead to the discovery of possible new or hidden knowledge.

M.J. Denton, J.C. Marshall & M. Legge, (2002) "The Protein Folds as Platonic Forms: New Support for the pre-Darwinian Conception of Evolution by Natural Law," Journal of Theoretical Biology 219 (2002): 325-342.

This research is thoroughly non-Darwinian and teleological. It looks to laws of form embedded in nature to bring about biological structures. The intelligent design research program is broad, and design like this that's programmed into nature falls within its ambit.

D. A. Axe, "Extreme Functional Sensitivity to Conservative Amino Acid Changes on Enzyme Exteriors," Journal of Molecular Biology, Vol. 301 (2000): 585-595.

This study published by molecular biologist Douglas Axe, now at the Biologic Institute, challenges the widespread idea that high species-to-species variation in the amino-acid sequence of an enzyme implies modest functional constraints. Darwinists commonly assume that such variation indicates low selection pressure at the variable amino acid sites, allowing many mutations with little effect. Axe's research shows that even when mutations are restricted to these sites, they are severely disruptive, implying that proteins are highly specified even at variable sites. According to this work, sequences diverge not because substantial regions are free from functional constraints, but because selection filters most mutations, leaving only the harmless minority. By showing functional constraints to be the rule rather than the exception, it raises the question of whether chance can ever produce sequences that meet these constraints in the first place. Axe himself has confirmed that this study adds to the evidence for intelligent design: "I concluded in the 2000 JMB paper that enzymatic catalysis entails 'severe sequence constraints'. The more severe these constraints are, the less likely it is that they can be met by chance. So, yes, that finding is very relevant to the question of the adequacy of chance, which is very relevant to the case for design." See Scientist Says His Peer-Reviewed Research in the Journal of Molecular Biology "Adds to the Case for Intelligent Design".

Articles Supportive of Intelligent Design Published in Peer-Reviewed Scientific Anthologies

Lönnig, W.-E. Dynamic genomes, morphological stasis and the origin of irreducible complexity, Dynamical Genetics, Pp. 101-119. In Dynamical Genetics by V. Parisi, V. de Fonzo & F. Aluffi-Pentini, eds.,(Research Signpost, 2004)

Biology exhibits numerous invariants -- aspects of the biological world that do not change over time. These include basic genetic processes that have persisted unchanged for more than three-and-a-half billion years and molecular mechanisms of animal ontogenesis that have been constant for more than one billion years. Such invariants, however, are difficult to square with dynamic genomes in light of conventional evolutionary theory. Indeed, Ernst Mayr regarded this as one of the great unsolved problems of biology. In this paper Dr.Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig Senior Scientist in the Department of Molecular Plant Genetics at the Max-Planck-Institute for Plant Breeding Research employs the design-theoretic concepts of irreducible complexity (as developed by Michael Behe) and specified complexity (as developed by William Dembski) to elucidate these invariants, accounting for them in terms of an intelligent design (ID) hypothesis.

Granville Sewell, Postscript, in Analysis of a Finite Element Method: PDE/PROTRAN (Springer Verlag, 1985). (HTML)

In this article appearing in a 1985 technical reference book, mathematician Granville Sewell compares the complexity found in the genetic code of life to that of a computer program. He recognizes that the fundamental problem for evolution is the "problem of novelties" which raises the question "How can natural selection cause new organs to arise and guide their development through the initial stages during which they present no selective advantage"? Sewell then explains how a Darwinist will try to bridge both functional and fossil gaps between biological structures through "a long chain of tiny improvements in his imagination," but notes that "the analogy with software puts his ideas into perspective." Major changes to a species require the intelligent foresight of a programmer. Natural selection, a process which is "unable to plan beyond the next tiny mutation" could never produce the complexity of life.

Five science articles from Darwinism, Design, & Public Education, edited by John Angus Campbell and Stephen C. Meyer (Michigan State University Press, 2003) (hereinafter DDPE):

Meyer, S. C. DNA and the origin of life: Information, specification and explanation, DDPE Pp. 223-285. (PDF, 1.13MB)

Meyer contends that intelligent design provides a better explanation than competing chemical evolutionary models for the origin of the information present in large bio-macromolecules such as DNA, RNA, and proteins. Meyer shows that the term information as applied to DNA connotes not only improbability or complexity but also specificity of function. He then argues that neither chance nor necessity, nor the combination of the two, can explain the origin of information starting from purely physical-chemical antecedents. Instead, he argues that our knowledge of the causal powers of both natural entities and intelligent agency suggests intelligent design as the best explanation for the origin of the information necessary to build a cell in the first place.

Behe, M. J., Design in the details: The origin of biomolecular machines. DDPE Pp. 287-302

Behe sets forth a central concept of the contemporary design argument, the notion of "irreducible complexity." Behe argues that the phenomena of his field include systems and mechanisms that display complex, interdependent, and coordinated functions. Such intricacy, Behe argues, defies the causal power of natural selection acting on random variation, the "no end in view" mechanism of neo-Darwinism. Yet he notes that irreducible complexity is a feature of systems that are known to be designed by intelligent agents. He thus concludes that intelligent design provides a better explanation for the presence of irreducible complexity in the molecular machines of the cell.

Nelson, P. & J. Wells, Homology in biology: Problem for naturalistic science and prospect for intelligent design, DDPE, Pp. 303-322.

Paul Nelson and Jonathan Wells reexamine the phenomenon of homology, the structural identity of parts in distinct species such as the pentadactyl plan of the human hand, the wing of a bird, and the flipper of a seal, on which Darwin was willing to rest his entire argument. Nelson and Wells contend that natural selection explains some of the facts of homology but leaves important anomalies (including many so-called molecular sequence homologies) unexplained. They argue that intelligent design explains the origin of homology better than the mechanisms cited by advocates of neo-Darwinism.

Meyer, S. C., Ross, M., Nelson, P. & P. Chien, The Cambrian explosion: biology's big bang, DDPE, Pp. 323-402. (PDF, 2.33MB)

Meyer, Ross, Nelson, and Chien show that the pattern of fossil appearance in the Cambrian period contradicts the predictions or empirical expectations of neo-Darwinian (and punctuationalist) evolutionary theory. They argue that the fossil record displays several features--a hierarchical top-down pattern of appearance, the morphological isolation of disparate body plans, and a discontinuous increase in information content--that are strongly reminiscent of the pattern of evidence found in the history of human technology. Thus, they conclude that intelligent design provides a better, more causally adequate, explanation of the origin of the novel animal forms present in the Cambrian explosion.

Dembski, W.A., Reinstating design within science, DDPE, Pp. 403-418.

Dembski argues that advances in the information sciences have provided a theoretical basis for detecting the prior action of an intelligent agent. Starting from the commonsense observation that we make design inferences all the time, Dembski shows that we do so on the basis of clear criteria. He then shows how those criteria, complexity and specification, reliably indicate intelligent causation. He gives a rational reconstruction of a method by which rational agents decide between competing types of explanation, those based on chance, physical-chemical necessity, or intelligent design. Since he asserts we can detect design by reference to objective criteria, Dembski also argues for the scientific legitimacy of inferences to intelligent design.

Peer-Edited or Editor-Reviewed Articles Supportive of Intelligent Design Published in Scientific Journals, Scientific Anthologies and Conference Proceedings

Jonathan Wells, "Do Centrioles Generate a Polar Ejection Force?," Rivista di Biologia/Biology Forum 98 (2005): 37-62.

Most animal cells contain a pair of centrioles, tiny turbine-like organelles oriented at right angles to each other that replicate at every cell division. Yet the function and behavior of centrioles remain mysterious. Since all centrioles appear to be equally complex, there are no plausible evolutionary intermediates with which to construct phylogenies; and since centrioles contain no DNA, they have attracted relatively little attention from neo Darwinian biologists who think that DNA is the secret of life. From an intelligent design (ID) perspective, centrioles may have no evolutionary intermediates because they are irreducibly complex. And they may need no DNA because they carry another form of biological information that is independent of the genetic mutations relied upon by neo-Darwinists. In this paper, Wells assumes that centrioles are designed to function as the tiny turbines they appear to be, rather than being accidental by-products of Darwinian evolution. He then formulates a testable hypothesis about centriole function and behavior that, if corroborated by experiment, could have important implications for our understanding of cell division and cancer. Wells thus makes a case for ID by showing its strong heuristic value in biology. That is, he uses the theory of intelligent design to make new discoveries in biology.

Granville Sewell, "A Mathematician's View of Evolution," The Mathematical Intelligencer, Vol 22 (4) (2000). (HTML)

Mathematician Granville Sewell explains that Michael Behe's arguments against neo-Darwinism from irreducible complexity are supported by mathematics and the quantitative sciences, especially when applied to the problem of the origin of new genetic information. Sewell notes that there are "a good many mathematicians, physicists and computer scientists who ...are appalled that Darwin's explanation for the development of life is so widely accepted in the life sciences." Sewell compares the genetic code of life to a computer program--a comparison also made by computer gurus such as Bill Gates and evolutionary biologists such as Richard Dawkins. He notes that experience teaches that software depends on many separate functionally-coordinated elements. For this reason "[m]ajor improvements to a computer program often require the addition or modification of hundreds of interdependent lines, no one of which makes any sense, or results in any improvement, when added by itself." Since individual changes to part of a genetic program typically confer no functional advantage (in isolation from many other necessary changes to other portions of the genetic code), Sewell argues, that improvements to a genetic program require the intelligent foresight of a programmer. Undirected mutation and selection will not suffice to produce the necessary information.


The list continues....but I think, or at least hope, this gets the point across sufficiently.

I am willing to read what you have to say, but again I do plead with all to leave ridicule and hatred behind. It is a disgrace to all involved. History has proved that such violent outbursts through words leads to violent actions later; so yes it is an important matter to address despite the labels you wish to put on it. Thank you.

#535

Posted by: sobe | February 20, 2009 3:12 PM

Q: How do you decide between two competing theories of "Intelligent Design"?
A: Religious war.

#536

Posted by: bob | February 20, 2009 3:16 PM

@SomeGuy: Thanks for the non sequitur. Back to what the rest of us are talking about ...

@ExDarwinian: Pretend I'm ignorant of this abundance of evidence you mentioned. Please give me just a single link to a reputable peer-reviewed scientific article that supports ID. Note however that "criticism of Darwinism" is not the same as "support for ID," lest you invoke a false dichotomy.

@Mover: Indeed I did miss your point. I thought you had something of consequence to say. Before you criticize people for being rude, perhaps you shouldn't be rude yourself. Why the scare-quotes around and the modifier before the word scientist? You're accusing me of not being a scientist (or at least not a "real" one), and perhaps making scientist out to be something bad.

@All: Still waiting for ID evidence ...

#537

Posted by: Nerd of Redhead, OM Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 3:17 PM

Some Guy,
Atheists
deity - none
Church - none
Preachers - none
Regular meetings - none
Tithes - none
Not a religion. What an asshole.

#538

Posted by: Steve_C | February 20, 2009 3:17 PM

Hey Christina, we're familiar with the DI webiste... you don't need to repost a whole damn page from it. just a link.

And with in all that there's not one shred of data that puts evolution on shaky ground.

NONE.

#539

Posted by: EricLR | February 20, 2009 3:20 PM

Well when you have no empirical proof or research, your peers are other people with no proof or research so in that sense, I suppose they get in "peer-reviewed literature".

#540

Posted by: Nerd of Redhead, OM Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 3:21 PM

Now Christina, all books are removed from your list. They aren't peer reviewed. Also removed are all papers that have been refuted. For example, Behe's irreproducible complexity has been refuted. His paper all all supporting papers are dead. And once refuted, the article disappears from the literature. We will look at the remainder and see if anything is present that also can't be explained by evolution.

#541

Posted by: James F | February 20, 2009 3:23 PM

Christina #534,

Please see my post at #518.

#542

Posted by: FPM | February 20, 2009 3:24 PM

I used to respond to creationists back when I was a homeless rodeo clown but not any more. Now I am a world class magician !

#543

Posted by: Glen Davidson | February 20, 2009 3:31 PM

Have any of you looked at the Discovery Institutes website or read any of their books and articles?

Do you really fantasize that we don't study what the opposition says?

Just because your sort almost never even reads, let alone understands, those you demonize does not mean that we are equally dishonest.

Apparently you don't know that all of the IDiotic shit has been fisked. To be redundant (and because I know what ignorant people most on your side are), it has been "thoroughly fisked".

Even more to the point, if you weren't a lazy, intellectually dishonest git, you'd know that we've heard all of your rot beforehand. That's how we know that you are the one who hasn't bothered to read what the opposition has written.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/6mb592

#544

Posted by: SomeGuy | February 20, 2009 3:32 PM

[]"Posted by: Nerd of Redhead, OM | February 20, 2009 3:17 PM
Some Guy,
Atheists
deity - none
Church - none
Preachers - none
Regular meetings - none
Tithes - none
Not a religion. What an asshole."[]

Deity - the endless pursuit of science solely for the sake of science. (The giant sign in the sky that will prove that God doesn't exist.)

Followers - All of the trolls on this board including you. DO you have any peer reviewed articles?
Preachers -- Author of this blog.
Church -- Anywhere where members like you choose to be at any given moment. A church is not defined by its building but by its people.
Regular meetings -- Why wait when you can post now
Tithes -- Commercialism

Religion - A religion usually encompasses a set of stories, symbols, beliefs and practices, often with a supernatural quality, that give meaning to the practitioner's experiences of life through reference to an ultimate power or reality."--Wikipedia.

Your faith in natural selection and the interpretation thereof is the founding principle for your decision to join the church. You feel reasonably confident but in no way can post the giant sign in the sky to prove absolutely that God does not exist. Consequently your ultimate reality is based upon a premise that stands only to prove that there is no premise. Life is ultimately an act of random chance.

#545

Posted by: bob | February 20, 2009 3:33 PM

While we're trimming Christina's list, let's remove the conference paper(s) as well. To call those peer-reviewed is stretching the definition to breaking point. Have we forgotten the paper of computer-generated gibberish that some MIT students got through "conference peer-review" as a prank?

So, Christina (or anyone), please update your list. Also, please don't bitch and moan that we're being too hard on you ... welcome to science, get used to it being difficult. Moreover, you're the one making the extraordinary claim, so a little list of LEGIT articles shouldn't be too extraordinary of "evidence" for you to present.

#546

Posted by: bob | February 20, 2009 3:38 PM

SomeGuy: I doubt it's worth responding to you, but can you provide an example of a worldview that you wouldn't classify as a religion? If not, doesn't the word lose any relevant meaning? More importantly, what does this have to do with debating creationists?

#547

Posted by: David Marjanović, OM | February 20, 2009 3:40 PM

I haven't had time to read beyond comment 461 yet.

---------------------------------------------

Wow. Comment 293 is such a Gish gallop... even I can't steal the time to properly deal with that. Though, actually, I could just insert "show me" about twice into every sentence and be done with it.

Kel, unless you are performing experiments you aren't applying the scientific method.

:-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

Oh, man. Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses!!!

Science requires repeated and repeatable observation. Data. Facts. An experiment, where possible, is a convenient way to arrange observations whenever you want, and a convenient way to keep confounding factors under control, but none of that is necessary for science. That's why astrophysics and geology, for example, are sciences.

Way to destroy your grandiose claim of knowing the scientific method, dude.

LOL!

Yes, we've heard all the scientific jeering before. One wonders why posters here congratulate one another for refusing to address a challenge to their orthodoxy.

You misunderstand. We congratulate Gotelli for calling the cdesign proponentsists what they are -- dishonest, for example.

Exhibit 1: Physicist Alan Sokal's hoax article, "Transgressing the Boundaries - Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity," which was accepted and published in the academic journal Social Text (1996). (The editors later claimed there wasn't any peer review. Really? But the editors are academics, aren't they?)

No science involved here. Social text is not, and never was, a scientific journal.

Exhibit 3 (multiple articles): The "public health gun control" advocates managed to insert their "studies" into JAMA and NEJM in the 1990s -- peer reviewed, right? A basic knowledge of epidemiological methods could discredit them, but politically JAMA and NEJM opposed firearms ownership, so the bogus "studies" entered "peer review" heaven.

I'm not familiar with this bizarre American debate; all I know is there are much more recent papers that come to similar conclusions. Several people here are very familiar with this issue, however.

Exhibit 4 (books and articles): Peter Singer's work, treated as "serious" science

Are you crazy? That's (at most) philosophy, not science! It makes value judgments, for crying out loud!

"Do you honestly think if strong evidence would come through that all science journals would simply ignore it?"

I am in no position to speculate about what all science journals would do. You don't know either.

I've published in three of them...

Really, Gotelli is right. Evidence against the theory of evolution, let alone for creationism, would be sensational, and that's what science journals -- especially the most prestigious ones, like Nature and Science -- are after.

Exhibit 4; Nobody, but nobody, treats Peter Singer as a scientist: nor his output as science. [Academic journals and book publishers take his output seriously. Check out his lengthy bibliography: http://www.princeton.edu/~psinger/articles_in_professional_journ.html ]

Yes, do check it out! Having read the list from top to bottom, I can't find a single scientific journal in there. Most of the journals Singer has published in are purely philosophical, and, as far as I can tell, all the rest are very general medical journals that publish philosophical papers on ethics as long as it's related to the practice of medicine.

"Academic" and "scientific" isn't the same thing.

Good Cthulhu

Which one? Good, or Cthulhu? :o)

Never forget that anything complex that chance can create is something that intelligence can certainly create. It is chance that has to prove itself, not intelligence. ID is always a valid scientific answer for those who are skeptical about the effectiveness of chance and natural selection.

You are implying that evolution means chance.

In other words, you're advertizing your ignorance. Mutation is random, but selection is not -- it's determined by the environment.

Odd that today's Darwinians refuse to do what Darwin spent his professional life doing--debate ID.

He never debated it.

He never got onto a stage with a cdesign proponentsist and had an irrelevant battle of rhetorics. Not a single time. Instead, he carefully wrote down the evidence and how he drew his conclusions from it.

Huxley debated it once (Bishop Wilberforce, to be exact). Darwin never.

BTW, you just called creationism, if not the same as ID, a subset of ID. Your honesty is making progress.

How does the tone affect the content? Are you so limited that you can't separate the style in which something is written from the substance?

Let me just repeat that.

#548

Posted by: Nerd of Redhead, OM Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 3:41 PM

SomeGuy, still the fool. Atheists have no holy book, no theology (how can one have theology without a god), and no dogma. They have nothing in common except disbelief in all gods.

Not all atheists are scientists.
Not all regulars at Pharyngula are atheists.
Not all scientists are atheists.
Atheists moral essential come from application of the "golden rule", which Xians appear to have lost use of.
Still, there is no atheist religion except between your ears, where your god exists.

#549

Posted by: David Marjanović, OM | February 20, 2009 3:44 PM

Blockquote failure. "Yes, do check it out" and everything below it should be one position to the left of where it is.

#550

Posted by: Griz | February 20, 2009 3:44 PM

One thing that IDers and Creationists can't seem to understand is that Evolutionists are not saying that there is no God. Yes, there are a multitude who have taken the atheist position, but Evolution does not say there is no God. There may well be. However, belief in a higher power is not a SCIENTIFIC issue, it is a philosophical one. A higher power may very well have created the earth and all things on it, but there is nothing to say that Evolution is not a tool used by it. But there is also no evidence that a Higher Power exists. That is a matter of faith. Believing in God (in whatever form it takes) is not antithetical to Evolution or vice versa. The problem IDer's have is they have no real evidence to present or even a theory. They have an anti-thory (if Evolution is wrong then ID is correct) That is to say that if 2+2 does not equal 5 thn it must equal 3.

#551

Posted by: Rey Fox | February 20, 2009 3:49 PM

Shoveling the crazy:
"I find the manner with which most Atheist evangelize to be particularly telling that it is indeed a religion."

Another shallow thinker. Big surprise.

"For what it is worth the common form of pseduo hate speech against organized religion does nothing but polarize the two sides. It would help your atheism evangelism if you could control your emotions."

Your concern is noted.

"The "holier than though" attitude"

'Scuse me?

"that the scholarly evolutionists/atheists maintain is as repulsive as the falsely propagated attempts to mislead the public into believing that the separation of church and state exists in the US constitution."

What part of "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" do you not understand?

"Should one consider the fact that our nation has given birth to one of the greatest freedoms known to man? Where did we come from as a nation? Why is the historical aspect of Judeo-Christian influence ignored or presented from a one-sided point of view?"

America was built on the backs of slaves, should we consider slavery vitally important too?

"The doctrine of religion is purpose for our lives... Is the antithesis of religion a simple purposelessness? How does one prove that we came from nothing for absolutely no reason?"

Who says your religion can provide purpose? What IS your purpose anyway?

"Deity - the endless pursuit of science solely for the sake of science. (The giant sign in the sky that will prove that God doesn't exist.)
Followers - All of the trolls on this board including you. DO you have any peer reviewed articles?
Preachers -- Author of this blog.
Church -- Anywhere where members like you choose to be at any given moment. A church is not defined by its building but by its people. "

More from the Humpty Dumpty school of word definitions, I see.

"Regular meetings -- Why wait when you can post now"

In other words, NOT regular. Sheesh, try to keep up.

"Tithes -- Commercialism"

So am I to assume that you completely live on growing your own food and barter? Or do you feed the Beast too? Either way, what the hell does this have to do with atheism?

"Religion - A religion usually encompasses a set of stories, symbols, beliefs and practices,"

We have none, but please, feel free to make another post where you completely mangle the definitions of these words in order to shoehorn them into your crazy street preacher views.

"often with a supernatural quality"

We deny the existence of the supernatural, wouldn't even YOU say that?

"that give meaning to the practitioner's experiences of life through reference to an ultimate power or reality."

And yet you're going on and on about how we deny life's purpose. Well, which one is it?

"You feel reasonably confident but in no way can post the giant sign in the sky to prove absolutely that God does not exist."

I find the complete lack of evidence in any god to be enough. No need to prove a negative.

#552

Posted by: David Marjanović, OM | February 20, 2009 3:50 PM

One thing that IDers and Creationists can't seem to understand is that Evolutionists are not saying that there is no God.

Exactly. What the theory of evolution does is that it shows that the hypothesis that the diversity of life is due to creation is unnecessary. That's all.

A higher power may very well have created the earth and all things on it, but there is nothing to say that Evolution is not a tool used by it.

Except Ockham's Razor of course.

#553

Posted by: Steve_C | February 20, 2009 3:51 PM

Wow. Accepting scientific explanations for the world in which we live is a religion?

I guess your a member then SomeDork. Because I wager you accept that science is responsible for the computer you type on, the car you drive, the medicine you take, the planes you fly on, the satellites that send signals to you tv, the food you eat, the electricity that powers your home and the clothes you wear.

Your a walking breathing member of the Cult of Science. Welcome aboard.

#554

Posted by: Steve_C | February 20, 2009 3:54 PM

you're... I know. I know!

#555

Posted by: David Marjanović, OM | February 20, 2009 3:55 PM

"The "holier than though" attitude"
'Scuse me?

Must have used a spellchecker.

#556

Posted by: Stu Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 3:56 PM

Must have used a spellchecker.

Never! Spell-checkers are produced by the Cult of Science!

#557

Posted by: brandon | February 20, 2009 3:59 PM

It's funny, from that list of poseur-intellectual pseudo-scientific garbage you posted, a shining example is Wells's so called paper. In all of the scientific literature published since then, of all the work that's been done, it's been cited exactly once. And that citation is:

"The threat from creationism to the rational teaching of biology"
Author(s): Cornish-Bowden A, Cardenas ML
Source: BIOLOGICAL RESEARCH

whomp whooooommmmp

#558

Posted by: Sastra Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 4:17 PM

Some Guy #532 wrote:

I think that it is about time to classify Atheism as a religion.

"Atheism" is too broad a category; it can't be a religion for the same reason 'theism' can't be a religion. I think you would do better trying to classify the more specific science-oriented "secular humanism" as a religion. Unfortunately, if you do that, then you'll end up redefining religion as "a life philosophy," since you'd have to cut 'belief in God or the supernatural' out of the definition.

You're not going to find any argument over saying secular humanism is a life philosophy.

Should one consider the fact that our nation has given birth to one of the greatest freedoms known to man? Where did we come from as a nation? Why is the historical aspect of Judeo-Christian influence ignored or presented from a one-sided point of view?

The ideas which underlie Constitutional Democracy came from the rational ideals of the Enlightenment, which can be shared by Christian and non-Christian alike, since they rest on reason and common consent. I don't think there's anything about self-governance, human rights, and god-given liberty in the Bible. It's ideal model of government is that of King(God) and Subjects who Submit to His Authority. Christian theology didn't directly influence Enlightenment principles.

The doctrine of religion is purpose for our lives... Is the antithesis of religion a simple purposelessness?

No, answering "what purpose in life should we pursue?" -- like "how ought we to live?" -- falls under the mantle of Philosophy. Religion asks the question "what purpose did God make us for?" (or something similar)

The antithesis of religion, then, would be seeking to answer the first question. That's not "purposelessness."

#559

Posted by: SomeGuy | February 20, 2009 4:50 PM

"I find the complete lack of evidence in any god to be enough. No need to prove a negative." -- Rey Fox.

Such a scientific approach, don't you think? The whole crux of your conversation proves my reasoning for why this is a religion for you. I am sorry that you had a bad childhood. There is help for you...

Posted by: Griz | February 20, 2009 3:44 PM
That is a matter of faith. Believing in God (in whatever form it takes) is not antithetical to Evolution or vice versa. The problem IDer's have is they have no real evidence to present or even a theory. They have an anti-thory (if Evolution is wrong then ID is correct) That is to say that if 2+2 does not equal 5 thn it must equal 3.

Please see the previously quoted inflamatory post.... Somehow this antitheory is only valid when athiests uphold it...


Posted by: Steve_C | February 20, 2009 3:51 PM
Wow. Accepting scientific explanations for the world in which we live is a religion?
I guess your a member then SomeDork. Because I wager you accept that science is responsible for the computer you type on, the car you drive, the medicine you take, the planes you fly on, the satellites that send signals to you tv, the food you eat, the electricity that powers your home and the clothes you wear.
Your a walking breathing member of the Cult of Science. Welcome aboard.

I love the way you jump to conclusions just to placate your troll gang. I certainly never said anything regarding the validity of scientific laws. I only poked at your scientific theory.

I would be willing to bet that you are also the kind of generous person that women adore (:. It is clear that you are the most open minded, friendly, well educated member of the board.

Take a hint from some of the more intelligent members (Sastra, etc..) and try to at least entertain the possibility that the other side has a point. After that, debate can genuinely flow.

Sastra... Do you think that the morale law of the land was strongly influenced by Judaism? It seems that much of the world follows a large portion of the 10 commandments.

#560

Posted by: Paul | February 20, 2009 4:58 PM

Sastra... Do you think that the morale law of the land was strongly influenced by Judaism? It seems that much of the world follows a large portion of the 10 commandments.

I'm still waiting for the cdesign proponentsists to read far enough to get to the one regarding bearing false witness.

Are you trying to say that the Judeo-Christian god is real because different people have cribbed off some of their values? You do realize that the concept of the Judeo-Christian god was strongly influenced by all the other regions at the beginning of the first century BCE, right? Are those ancient religions more correct? If so, which ones?

#561

Posted by: Nerd of Redhead, OM Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 5:06 PM

SomeGuy, science has nothing to do with god and/or religion. Science cannot disprove god/religion, nor can religion disprove science. Science cannot use god as an explanation. So science ignores god. Now, religion can look silly if its beliefs don't match those of science. That is the whole problem with the creationist/ID movement. Their beliefs make them look silly. And then they throw tempertantrums and blame science rather than changing their religion to fit the facts. Science follows the evidence, and changes to adapt to the evidence. Religion is mental masturbation that never varies, because the fictional book they follow never varies or is updated. Religion can upgrade its theology to match the facts, and it needs to do so or it will become even sillier.

#562

Posted by: Sastra Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 5:08 PM

Some Guy #558 wrote:

Sastra... Do you think that the morale law of the land was strongly influenced by Judaism? It seems that much of the world follows a large portion of the 10 commandments.

I'm not sure what you mean by the "morale law of the land." If you mean Constitutional Democracy then no. Only 3 of the commandments -- against murder, theft, and perjury -- are actually against the law, and those are not crimes that are unique to Judaism. The Commandments which have to do with worshipping God are clearly unconstitutional, and those that have to do with honoring one's parents, adultery, and not "coveting" may or may not be good ideas, but aren't illegal.

If you mean to ask whether the 10 Commandments reflect basic principles that everyone shares -- some do, some don't. I think that you've got a problem when you try to use the Bible to show a non-Christian (or non-Jew) that this is where their morality "comes from."

If the moral precept makes good sense to them, then there are probably good reasons why it makes sense to them even though they're not Christian. In which case, you wouldn't need a book (or a special revelation from God) to come up with something so workable and reasonable. If it is fair, kind, and just, a rule or precept will stand on its own value.

But if the moral precept doesn't make good sense to an outsider, then you're not able to use it to show them that this is where their morality comes from. Obviously, it doesn't.

#563

Posted by: CJO | February 20, 2009 5:11 PM

It seems that much of the world follows a large portion of the 10 commandments.

Probably for the same reason that the ancient Israelites chose to codify them. If the common thread were in fact older than Judaism, what would that mean for the influence of the Judeo-Christian tradition? i.e. Why aren't we talking about influences on the Judeo-Christian tradition?

And where do you get off riding on Judaism anyway? The first two centuries of Christianity were all about distancing Christianity from its Jewish roots while co-opting the Jewish scriptures for prophetic proof-texts and the veneer of antiquity for a new-fangled superstition, and the centuries since have been dedicated to reviling, persecuting, and occasionally massacring Jews for killing the messiah. Why not talk about the sermon on the mount, rather than the ten commandments? Oh, that's right, because Christians repudiate all of that "blessed are the poor" bleeding-heart stuff these days, don't they?

#564

Posted by: Wowbagger | February 20, 2009 5:12 PM

Sastra... Do you think that the morale law of the land was strongly influenced by Judaism? It seems that much of the world follows a large portion of the 10 commandments.

Oh your god. You have got to be kidding, right? So, before they were exposed to Judaism, no other society had ever had laws against killing and stealing? It must have been an atheist's paradise, all the lack of moral responsibility. Just like we see in secular countries today.

I mean, I know I'd be spending a whole lot more time coveting things and bowing to false gods if it weren't for the ten commandments.

#565

Posted by: bob | February 20, 2009 5:12 PM

SomeGuy, you're effing up correlation for causation so hard that it's a little sad. Besides, does "the world" really follow that many of the commandments? By my count, the nopes (monotheism, blasphemy, sabbath, covet 1, covet 2) equal the yeps (honor parents, murder, adultery, theft, false witness). We can argue here and there on a few, but your language is squishy enough (seems, much, large portion) that your statement is meaningless anyways.

ID proponents, still waiting for that evidence ...

#566

Posted by: SAWells Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 5:19 PM

SomeGuy, "not playing sports" is not a sport. Not believing in gods is not a religion. And no, nobody has to prove that gods don't exist. Ho hum.

#567

Posted by: Jesse | February 20, 2009 5:22 PM

ID is a concept that an intelligent life form created life. Call it "God" or whatever you will. To what extent "God" nurtured it until it evolved to what it is today might never be known. If life was created at a foundational state by "God" and left to evolve, we might end up where we are today. Supposedly, this "God" is all-knowing and can see all possible futures, is in total control of the known universe, and be everywhere at once: omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent respectively. This being merely possesses technology more sophisticated, but similar, to what we are building today.

Omniscience is simply a prediction science- the breaking down of each possible tree of outcomes into a probablility. Many more variables would need to be tracked, but it could easily be done with a vast, quantum computer and something a little more sophisticated than SAS9.3.

Omnipotence is the direct application of omniscience whereby adjustments are made to environmental variables on the fly. Control is the predictable influence on an outcome.

Omnipresence is to exist outside of the normal space/time continuum. This is quite a difficult hurdle to get over since we have a limited understanding of physics at the moment.

Creation or evolution for us, the creation of life is about to become an arrow in humankind's quiver.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20249628/


#568

Posted by: SAWells Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 5:24 PM

@566: wuh?

#569

Posted by: CJO | February 20, 2009 5:30 PM

Jesse, that's just a vague theistic evolution position a la the views of Ken Miller et al, not ID, which blasphemously asserts that faith is unnecessary and that god has been challenged to show herself in creation, successfully.

It's utterly unfalsifiable, of course, and so useless to science and unparsimonious. But if you like to believe it, and you keep it out of public education, very few here will take much issue with it, other than to point out that no evidence justifies the claim.

#570

Posted by: Steve_C | February 20, 2009 5:30 PM

Evolution is a fact. So is gravity.

Are you really walking down the "Evolution is only a theory path?"

Thanks, I'm very opened minded and friendly. "The ladies love me, the girls adore me."
I'm a great guy. I just have a low tolerance for ignorance. And I've heard the "atheism is a religion and evolution is your scripture" so many times that I don't really feel the need to "debate" the idea because it it so completely lacking in thought.

http://new.music.yahoo.com/videos/RobBase/It-Takes-Two--2139200

#571

Posted by: Stu Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 5:33 PM

Omniscience is simply a prediction science- the breaking down of each possible tree of outcomes into a probablility. Many more variables would need to be tracked, but it could easily be done with a vast, quantum computer and something a little more sophisticated than SAS9.3.

Sadly, no. Thank you for playing.

#572

Posted by: CJO | February 20, 2009 5:38 PM

Stu, that's hilarious. I had not seen "let me Google that for you"

Will the snarky wonders of the Web never cease?

#573

Posted by: Steve_C | February 20, 2009 5:41 PM

I had seen it and forgot about it. It's great to do to your parents when they bug you to look something up and send them the link.

#574

Posted by: Peter | February 20, 2009 5:46 PM

This was a great response. But I don't think this will affect any of the thumpers. They just don't get it. I was speaking to a friend who was telling me which churches her children were attending and asked with a smile, "What? No atheists?" She laughed when I pointed to myself. But a couple passing by, two little gnomes about 4'high, turned and told me they'd seen miracles. I asked which ones and the man said, "Me. I'm a living miracle." He gave me a smile which I believe was some moral superiority and walked on. See? You go on smacking them in the head with reality, but they only see rainbows. What morons. Maybe stupidity is bliss.

#575

Posted by: Penguinsaur | February 20, 2009 5:48 PM

This is the first time I've read the comments and I have to say GOD DAMN! Do you people deal with this much creationist blathering in the comments of every single post? Seriously, I'm getting an actual headache listening to their conspiracy theories and whining about how rude the evil scientists are with them mocking crackpot theories and demanding evidence. *I've seen a 'creationist scientist' brag about a 15 year old not finding one hole in their argument, brag constantly about how he knows better as a Phd in chemistry and call homosexuals evil perverts who dont deserve rights all on the same page, but god forbid we do the standard internet mockery* Also why bother going through personally debunking the discovery institutes list? This took two seconds on google:

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CI/CI001_4.html

notice how I didnt copy and paste the whole page.

#576

Posted by: astrounit | February 20, 2009 5:49 PM


Christina #450 SAID: "Logically, I hope everyone does realize that any science done to try and prove the existence of an intelligent being/creator would have Christians supporting it because Christians believe in God. I have never understood why people act like this is proof of anything. If Christians weren't supporting it, I would frankly be a little worried. If you are a Christian and believe in God, why wouldn't you want to support science that sought to prove an intelligent being's existence. It doesn't make the science the same as creationism, it just means that Christians are being Christians. I just don't understand why any of this is hard to grasp."

Well, Christina, it isn't surprising you "just don't understand why any of this is so hard to grasp."

So, when did you acquire the odd notion that science is all about TRYING to prove something, that scientists are people who SEEK to prove something?

Where did you get that idea from? It's completely wrong, you know.

Science does in fact manage to demonstrate the viability of a great many conceptual models of the world, to very high degree of confidence, the vast majority of which had absolutely no coaching from preconceived belief.

Believe it or not, as you wish.

If you want "proof", go and consult competent mathematicians. They'll introduce you to the concept by going over a little Euclidean geometry.

Logically? Okay. Let me point out how "logical" YOU are: you make statements equating the scientific method as consisting of ATTEMPTS to prove something: "TRYING" to prove anything. "SEEKING" (="sought") to prove anything.

Then you say, "I have never understood why people act like this is proof of anything."

Are you kidding? What is it you don't understand? That people should "act" as if seeking or trying isn't, in point of actual fact, a "PROOF"?

Is THAT what you think is so hard for us to "grasp"? That we can't grasp that you seem incapable of grasping elemtary logic? Are we to presume that your incapacity in this regard is a valid justification for accepting what you say elsewhere? Just because you can't grasp why anybody should think that "trying" isn't what science DOES? That science isn't at all like religion, which always TRIES to find proof?

As the illustrious little wrinkled bat-eared foam-rubber Jedi sage Yoda once so profoundly intoned on a great big screen somewhere: "Do or do not. There is no try."

If you really want us to "grasp" whatever conviction you hold? Fine! Good! We'll make it easy for you. You don't have to supply any "proofs" at all. Just show us one little tiny scrap of actual and potentially verifiable evidence to support your convictions. I promise it will get our attention.

It shouldn't be too hard for even you to understand - graced as you are with the "logic" you have so abundantly exhibited - that's all it would take.

#577

Posted by: Jeff Spencer | February 20, 2009 5:50 PM

Everyone here needs to get outside and enjoy life.

#578

Posted by: Natalie | February 20, 2009 5:52 PM

Jeff, why don't you start with yourself?

#579

Posted by: James F | February 20, 2009 5:56 PM

Aw hell no. NPR is featuring the "mind-brain problem." On the side of science, Steve Novella (yes, they're using the term "Darwinist brain scientists"). On the other side...Michael Egnor. Have at it, Pharyngulites.

#580

Posted by: Jesse | February 20, 2009 5:59 PM

I'm just trying to offer a point of view that brings both sides of the coin to the same side.
Do I believe "God" is an alien being from another dimension that created physical laws that govern this universe and thereby influenced the evolution of life as we know it? No, but as a scientist, I leave room in my mind for it.

Religious people don't know what "God" is nor are they interested in learning for fear they would be disappointed. Atheists, apparently, know what "God" is and are already disappointed and are trying to share. Neither side truly wants to understand "God." What if "God" is an alien? Ask the question! Generate ideas! Leave room for the unexplained. Be at peace with the unknown.

(Again, I'm not a Raelian.)

My passion is to get people past the debate and back to fertilizing and expanding their minds with my own special brand of BS.

#581

Posted by: Steve_C | February 20, 2009 6:02 PM

Egnor??? Oh for fuck's sake.

#582

Posted by: subrosa7 | February 20, 2009 6:07 PM

It is interesting how Darwinists are keep saying this is the way it is and so and stop asking any questions – JUST BELIEVE. Hmmm, who is the one preaching faith? Let’s take Mendel for example. Pick up college biology textbooks read a passage on Mendel and his contributions to genetics and you will come away say, he was just like us man - lived and breathed Darwinism. Well, that is really not so. In Mendel's Pisum paper, published in 1866 (and yes that was peer reviewed), and of the time and circumstances in which it appeared suggests not only that it is antievolutlonary in content, but also that it was specifically written in contradiction of Darwin's book The Origin of Species, published in 1859. I just find it curious how authors of textbooks skew science to one way of thinking, even though Mendel’s work specifically refuted Darwin. I guess they don’t want any students to ask any questions? Thou shall not think different from the collective. I guess they will hold on to everything like the Haeckel's drawings in text books until we have every last student brainwashed.

#583

Posted by: Steve_C | February 20, 2009 6:08 PM

Penguinsaur... you have discovered one of the joys and curses of being a Pharyngulite.

The joy: yes they really are that ignorant.
The curse: they're that ignorant and have no idea and will repeat ad nauseam.

#584

Posted by: Rey Fox | February 20, 2009 6:10 PM

Psst. Subrosa. Check your watch, it's the 21st century now.

#585

Posted by: Lowell | February 20, 2009 6:12 PM

Two questions:

1. Does anybody understand what the hell Jesse is talking about? I'd ask him myself, but I don't speak whatever langauge it is that he's using.

2. Does anybody seriously believe that Jesse is a scientist, as he claims?

#586

Posted by: CJO | February 20, 2009 6:15 PM

Be at peace with the unknown.

Personally I can deal with doubt, uncertainty, not knowing. But the problem, as you may be aware, is that the creationists are not at peace with the unknown; they keep trying to stuff their god in everywhere they find it, and they like to pretend that the unknown is a bigger cubby-hole than it is.

So, in principle, great. You're an open-minded guy. But there is a point at which the craven tactics, shady motivations, and outright dishonest arguments of the opposition need to be fought, not capitulated to with the rhetoric of even-handedness. In the realm of facts, there is simply no contest. In the realm of public perception, well, let's just say nobody ever went broke overestimating people's appetite for magical thinking.

#587

Posted by: Nerd of Redhead, OM Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 6:18 PM

Subrosa7, Mendel's intent is irrelevant. His work was added to the growing evidence for evolution, as it should be. That evidence is still growing 150 years later. That is science at work. I don't know why you think Mendel's intent has anything to do with the result. Unless, of course, you have no idea of the bigger picture that is science.

#588

Posted by: Sastra Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 6:18 PM

Jesse #579 wrote:

Do I believe "God" is an alien being from another dimension that created physical laws that govern this universe and thereby influenced the evolution of life as we know it? No, but as a scientist, I leave room in my mind for it.

Sure. So does Richard Dawkins, Creationist Arch-Enemy and Militant Atheist.

Apparently, in the movie Expelled, creationists asked him if life on earth "could" have been created by an alien being. His response was yes, it 'could' have. There's no evidence for it, but, as a scientist, he couldn't rule it out and it was fine to speculate about it. He then went on to make the point that it was still likely that this alien being would have had to evolve from simpler forms.

Creationists were not pleased to see that Dawkins "left room in his mind" for the possibility that there was an "alien being" from this or any other dimension which was responsible for life on earth. Oh no. They professed to be shocked and horrified -- and gleeful -- that Dawkins had "let slip" that he was willing to consider the space alien hypothesis -- but not God!!!! Look at how the atheist gropes for straws! See! The space alien idea is STUPID -- and yet Dawkins will "entertain" it as an idea before he accepts the Bible! We win! We win! We win!

So I think your point that scientists should "leave room in their minds" for implausible but possible scenarios involving aliens and beings in other dimensions is already non-controversial among scientists, including atheist scientists. But the fine issues involved here may be a bit beyond some of the creationists.

#589

Posted by: Rey Fox | February 20, 2009 6:19 PM

"The whole crux of your conversation proves my reasoning for why this is a religion for you."

Translation: I have no response to the way you completely dismantled my poor excuses for arguments, so I'll just assert again.

"I'm just trying to offer a point of view that brings both sides of the coin to the same side. "

What coin, and why do we need both sides?

"Neither side truly wants to understand "God.""

That doesn't matter, since you're just handwaving about "God" anyway.

#590

Posted by: Christina | February 20, 2009 6:20 PM

I truly weep for my generation. Since when did science or scientific debate mean calling another person a git. I'm sorry, yes, science is hard and should be, but it should never be about beating down opposition on an impulse produced by anger. If you really believe me to be misinformed or ignorant, don't call me names as this is childish, but seek to inform me of what you believe in a civil, adult manner. I enjoy nothing better than a good discussion and debate with others as long as we can all be respectful. (yes, I will continue to mention this until it is heeded, thank you to those who are showing respect)
As to the list I previously posted of peer-reviewed articles and books, sorry , but it doesn't really make a difference if you like them or not. You asked if there were any, and I gave them to you. The fact is they were articles written by scientists, about scientific research, reviewed by scientists, and published in science journals, or published as scientific books. Why ask about them, if you've already made your decision about them? IDers can't help if you don't like their peer-reviewed materials, but that doesn't mean they don't exist.
As to throwing out all the books, this is frankly very illogical. Forgive me, but that would also mean we must throw out every scientific book ever written throughout the history of the world including Darwin's "Origin of Species".
This entire concept of peer-reviewed seems somewhat of a game to me anyhow, considering it hasn't meant much when looking at the bigger picture of the entire course of scientific history. For my part, it doesn't mean a thing to me whether something has been peer-reviewed or not. It is not as though it is impossible for someone to write something perfectly legitimate and scientific without getting it peer-reviewed.
On a much lower level, it would be the same as saying that a person cannot actually write real poetry unless it is published. With that logic, all of you who draw, or write poetry or prose, or play music, you aren't an artist if your things have not been published, displayed or recorded, and especially if they have not been reviewed by others and liked. This would mean the term artist is reserved only for the rich and famous. It is also the same as saying a language is not a real language until an accredited well-liked linguist has done linguistic research on it and approved it.

With that said, I would like to hear what people have to say about some of the scientific and mathematical studies done.
It is my understanding that it is a mathematical improbability for the first protein to have been constructed the way evolutionists say it must have been. What say you?
What about the major gaps of the fossil records, which Darwin himself said was the major flaw of his own theory?
What about stasis in the fossil records?
What about the fact that much of the research done on natural selection and mutations has shown that minor changes in species do exist but none studied have shown how those mutations actually produce a new species?
What about the statistical research done on the ability of earth to sustain life?
What about irreducible complexity? Don't just call it dumb, why don't you believe it makes sense? Many believe it makes perfect logical and scientific sense, just as many of you believe evolution makes perfect logical and scientific sense.
Perhaps if we shifted to these topics it would make a difference. Here's hoping anyway.

#591

Posted by: Steve_C | February 20, 2009 6:22 PM

Christina and subrosa...

Try starting here.

http://textbooksheaven.ecrater.com/product.php?pid=3098488

#592

Posted by: Kel | February 20, 2009 6:28 PM

What I don't get about the ID movement is that they trumpet Darwin's Black Box and the contents within as a triumph that has passed peer review. Firstly the book was sent to 4 people before publishing, the majority told him not to publish and one told him that he found it wrong but he should publish anyway. In 13 years following, Behe hasn't submitted any of the ideas contained within the book for peer review in an academic journal.

The funniest thing is how much they cling to irreducible complexity. A scientist worked out how such systems would evolve and predicted they would evolved all the way back in 1918. Only back then it was called interlocking complexity. And the icons of ID have now been consistently shown to have gradually evolved. Going on about the flagellum is quite pathetic really. Did God make the flagellum in his own image?

One more thing that ID is lacking is a mechanism. Just what did the designer do? Did the designer cause mutations? If so, how do we test that? Where are the tests that show a designer's hand in our nature? Better yet, where is the designer? This is what ID rests on, showing that there's a designer and the designer is tinkering with our DNA at some stage along the way. So for all those preaching ID, 2 questions: Just what exactly did the designer do, and how can we test for that? Answer both of those and put it in a scientific paper and you might have something.

#593

Posted by: Steve_C | February 20, 2009 6:29 PM

Uhg. Christina. Try reading every book Dawkins has written about evolution first. Then read Gould. Then read Dennet.

All the things you quoted are boring "arguments" that we've seen before. Go to talkorigins to read a disassembling of every one of those questions.

ID makes no sense, it's answer to scientific questions is "designer did it *wink*"

What form of theist are you anyway? And how old do you think the earth is?

#594

Posted by: Nerd of Redhead, OM Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 6:31 PM

Christina, flaws in the fossil record. Depends on what you mean by flaws. If you mean gaps, these are slowly being filled as people look in the proper strata and find the expected mingling of characteristics. For example Neil Shubin discovered Tiktaalik roseae, a fish/tetrapod gap filler by looking in the proper sediments in far northern Canada. So the gaps are being filled, and so far nothing anomalous like a Cambrian rabbit has been found. Science moves forward. Religious thought stands still.

#595

Posted by: Sastra Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 6:36 PM

Christina #589 wrote:

On a much lower level, it would be the same as saying that a person cannot actually write real poetry unless it is published. With that logic, all of you who draw, or write poetry or prose, or play music, you aren't an artist if your things have not been published, displayed or recorded, and especially if they have not been reviewed by others and liked.

No, it would not be the same: this is a poor analogy.

Poetry, art, music and literature are aesthetic matters of taste. They're not trying to be factual, and thus don't need to be vetted through any rigorous peer review process to check for errors and mistakes. The analogy might work better if you're talking about history or archaeology books. If so, then creationist literature might be comparable to the works of Eric Von Daniken (the amateur historian who traveled around the world looking at ancient artifacts and structures and subsequently 'figured out' that they contained evidence that earth had been visited by space aliens.)

His work became temporarily popular with the public, but was mostly ignored by serious archaeologists. A few wrote some rebuttals, pointing out that a background in the relevant fields was useful in understanding where the errors had been made.

#596

Posted by: Lowell | February 20, 2009 6:37 PM

Christina,

Some commenters here have already directed you to good sources for the basics of evolutionary biology. Please read them before you post any more of these worn-out ID/Creationist inanities.

It's your job to educate yourself. Not anyone else's.

#597

Posted by: John Morales | February 20, 2009 6:41 PM

Christina @589:

Since when did science or scientific debate mean calling another person a git. I'm sorry, yes, science is hard and should be, but it should never be about beating down opposition on an impulse produced by anger.
Apparently, you think this comment thread is supposed to be a "scientific debate", and posting comments is doing science.

This thread is social intercourse, and we are all engaged in it.

With that said, I would like to hear what people have to say about some of the scientific and mathematical studies done.
You could start here.
#598

Posted by: CJO | February 20, 2009 6:47 PM

It is my understanding that it is a mathematical improbability for the first protein to have been constructed the way evolutionists say it must have been. What say you?

Improbability doesn't equal impossibility, so I say so what? Also, that's an awfully vague question. Characterize, in your own words, "the way evolutionists say it must have been."

What about the major gaps of the fossil records, which Darwin himself said was the major flaw of his own theory?

Vague, again. Pick a "gap." And do you figure there's been some paleontology done since the 1870's? Perhaps you'd like to discuss some of it? Like Tiktaalik, for instance.

What about stasis in the fossil records?

What about it? That successful, widespread species remain largely morphologically unchanged for long periods of time does not contradict evolutionary theory in the least.

What about the fact that much of the research done on natural selection and mutations has shown that minor changes in species do exist but none studied have shown how those mutations actually produce a new species?

Speciation has been observed, and no magic appeared to be involved. Your "fact" is not.

What about the statistical research done on the ability of earth to sustain life?

I'm not aware of this "statistical research." Are you alluding to a 'fine-tuning' argument? I need only refer you to the vastness of the universe and the anthropic principle.

What about irreducible complexity? Don't just call it dumb, why don't you believe it makes sense?

What's dumb is not to recognize that such structures are a prediction of evolutionary theory. It's nothing new; Behe likes to pretend he invented the concept and that it makes the case for ID. Neither is true.

Anything else?

#599

Posted by: Wowbagger | February 20, 2009 6:50 PM

Christina wrote:

Since when did science or scientific debate mean calling another person a git.

It never has and it still doesn't. Being called a git is contingent upon acting in such a way that people identify and and correctly label you as such.

Don't want to be called a git? Stop acting like one.

John Morales wrote:

This thread is social intercourse, and we are all engaged in it.

Heh heh heh - intercourse.

#600

Posted by: Kel | February 20, 2009 6:54 PM

With that said, I would like to hear what people have to say about some of the scientific and mathematical studies done.
On Behe's work: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/behe.html H Allen Orr (if you don't know his name, you should) reviewing Darwin's Black Box http://bostonreview.net/BR21.6/orr.html
#601

Posted by: Rey Fox | February 20, 2009 6:56 PM

"For my part, it doesn't mean a thing to me whether something has been peer-reviewed or not."

Yeah, intellectual rigor, error-checking, who needs it? Go with what feels right, man!

#602

Posted by: raven | February 20, 2009 6:57 PM

christian being stupid:

I truly weep for my generation. Since when did science or scientific debate mean calling another person a git.

Save your histrionics for yourself. Polls show that the majority of the US population is sick and tired of fundies and their hate, lies, violence, destruction, and general kookiness.

50% - More Conservatives Now Say Churches Should Stay Out of Politics Wed Sep 24, 12:00 AM ET Half of self-described conservatives now express the view that churches and other houses of worship should stay out of politics; four years ago, only 30% of conservatives expressed this view. Overall, a new national survey by the Pew Research Center finds a narrow majority of the public (52%) now says that churches and other houses of worship should keep out of political matters and not express their views on day-to-day social and political matters. For a decade, majorities of Americans had voiced support for religious institutions speaking out on such issues. The survey also finds that most of the reconsideration of the desirability of religious involvement in politics has occurred among conservatives. As a result, conservatives' views on this issue are much more in line with the views of moderates and liberals than was previously the case. Similarly, the sharp divisions between Republicans and Democrats that previously existed on this issue have disappeared. There are other signs in the new poll about a potential change in the climate of opinion about mixing religion and politics. First, the survey finds a small but significant increase since 2004 in the percentage of respondents saying that they are uncomfortable when they hear politicians talk about how religious they are -- from 40% to 46%. Again, the increase in negative sentiment about religion and politics is much more apparent among Republicans than among Democrats.

Looks like there is a backlash against the Death Cults. These are nihilists who have only brought death and destruction during their time in power. Their latest victim is the US economy, the largest in the world at one time. Palin is one, a hardcore religious kook.

There is a fact for you. We in the reality based community use them a lot. Towards creos it works sort of like a cross towards a vampire. Except 5 minutes later, they arise without any memory of having seen a fact.

As to your standard talking points, they are just standard creationist babble and out of date by years or centuries. "What about the major gaps of the fossil records, which Darwin himself said was the major flaw of his own theory?" Darwin wrote his book 150 years ago. Things have moved on. There are hundreds of people at least searching for fossils. There are some sitting on my deck for Cthulhu's sake. Those gaps got smaller and smaller and now the god of the gaps has been pushed beyond the Big Bang with the physicists in hot pursuit.

And you really don't care. God himself could show up, laugh and say, c'mon, I'm a smart being and have better things to do than micromanage my own planet. Besides which as an omniscient being, I already knew how the Big Bang was going to turn out." Wouldn't make a dent. You don't worship a god, truth, or reality, you worship a book and your own Death Cult. There was something in the bible about setting up and worshipping idols. I'm sure you've never even read that book.

#603

Posted by: Kel | February 20, 2009 6:58 PM

With that said, I would like to hear what people have to say about some of the scientific and mathematical studies done.
On Dempski: http://www.talkorigins.org/design/faqs/nfl/ H Allen Orr reviewing No Free Lunch http://www.bostonreview.net/BR27.3/orr.html
#604

Posted by: raven | February 20, 2009 7:07 PM

christina clueless:

I truly weep for my generation. Since when did science or scientific debate mean calling another person a git.

Why weep? Science has increased our lifespans 30 years in a century while banishing horrible diseases like smallpox and polio. Ever seen a polio victim? There are a few around. They are invariably late 50's and older and have had a harder life than they wanted.

We feed 6.7 billion people, travel in space, and are surrounded by technology that St Paul would consider miraculous.

What have the Death Cultists done lately? Other than wreck the US ecnomy, shoot some catholics in N. Ireland, bomb some family planning clinics, and beat up the odd evolutionary biologist.

#605

Posted by: 'Tis Himself, Designated Economist Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 7:07 PM

Since when did science or scientific debate mean calling another person a git. I'm sorry, yes, science is hard and should be, but it should never be about beating down opposition on an impulse produced by anger.

If you're going to trot out the same lies and obfuscations that we've seen for years (yes, literally years), don't be surprised if we're angry.

Let us suppose that your great-grandmother is dead. You know she's dead, you were at her deathbed, you were at the funeral, you saw her put into a grave, there is no doubt in your mind that she's deceased. How would you react if complete strangers kept telling you that they saw and talked to great-grandmother just today? After a while, when yet another person told you about having lunch with great-grandmother, you'd possibly get annoyed. You know something is a fact and, when people keep telling you nonsense contradicting that fact, you might feel a bit perturbed.

In the same way, when wackos people like you tell us stuff that we know for a fact is wrong, and keep telling us these untruths over and over again, we get exasperated. Sorry if this disturbs you.

#606

Posted by: James F | February 20, 2009 7:12 PM

Christina #589,

As to the list I previously posted of peer-reviewed articles and books, sorry , but it doesn't really make a difference if you like them or not. You asked if there were any, and I gave them to you. The fact is they were articles written by scientists, about scientific research, reviewed by scientists, and published in science journals, or published as scientific books. Why ask about them, if you've already made your decision about them? IDers can't help if you don't like their peer-reviewed materials, but that doesn't mean they don't exist.

It's not a matter of whether we "like them or not." These materials provide no data supporting ID or refuting evolution (see #518).

As I said above, this is why it's important to ask for data in peer-reviewed scientific research papers when asking ID supporters for evidence. The lack of data leads to one of three conclusions: ID is not science, ID supporters are inept at doing research, or there is a decades-long global conspiracy suppressing ID - and some people in the comments seem to be seriously suggesting the third option.


#607

Posted by: Kel | February 20, 2009 7:17 PM

Bush appointee and religious conservative Judge Jones on Intelligent Design - For the reasons that follow, we conclude that the religious nature of ID [intelligent design] would be readily apparent to an objective observer, adult or child.The evidence at trial demonstrates that ID is nothing less than the progeny of creationism. The overwhelming evidence at trial established that ID is a religious view, a mere re-labeling of creationism, and not a scientific theory.After a searching review of the record and applicable caselaw, we find that while ID arguments may be true, a proposition on which the Court takes no position, ID is not science. We find that ID fails on three different levels, any one of which is sufficient to preclude a determination that ID is science. They are: (1) ID violates the centuries-old ground rules of science by invoking and permitting supernatural causation; (2) the argument of irreducible complexity, central to ID, employs the same flawed and illogical contrived dualism that doomed creation science in the 1980's; and (3) ID's negative attacks on evolution have been refuted by the scientific community.ID's backers have sought to avoid the scientific scrutiny which we have now determined that it cannot withstand by advocating that the controversy, but not ID itself, should be taught in science class. This tactic is at best disingenuous, and at worst a canard. The goal of the IDM is not to encourage critical thought, but to foment a revolution which would supplant evolutionary theory with ID.Those who disagree with our holding will likely mark it as the product of an activist judge. If so, they will have erred as this is manifestly not an activist Court. Rather, this case came to us as the result of the activism of an ill-informed faction on a school board, aided by a national public interest law firm eager to find a constitutional test case on ID, who in combination drove the Board to adopt an imprudent and ultimately unconstitutional policy.

#608

Posted by: Stu Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 7:27 PM

Christina:

I truly weep for my generation. Since when did science or scientific debate mean calling another person a git.

If someone is wrong, if it has been pointed out where and how said person is wrong and that person still asserts their position repeatedly, that person has been scientifically proven to be a git and should be addressed as such.

Git.

I'm sorry, yes, science is hard and should be, but it should never be about beating down opposition on an impulse produced by anger.

Flagrant, arrogant provable stupidity makes us angry, sorry.

If you really believe me to be misinformed or ignorant

Believing has nothing to do with it, moron.

don't call me names as this is childish

I would call it cathartic, you pig-headed fool. Besides, ignoring refutations of your pathetic points is the online equivalent of clapping your hands to your ears and screaming "LALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU", which, I think we can all agree on, is pretty damned childish.

but seek to inform me of what you believe in a civil, adult manner.

Firstly, you don't fucking get to tell anyone what to do. Secondly, you will be treated civilly if you stop acting like a child.

I enjoy nothing better than a good discussion

Liar. You haven't listened to a word that has been said. You like to talk, and that is not a discussion.

as long as we can all be respectful.

Again, who the fuck are you to tell anyone what to do? Furthermore, not listening is disrespectful. Demanding respect without showing it is arrogant, stupid and childish.

yes, I will continue to mention this until it is heeded

Better have it ready to copy and paste then, airhead.

As to the list I previously posted of peer-reviewed articles and books

You don't know what peer-reviewed means.

about scientific research

You don't know what scientific research means.

published in science journals

You don't know what science journal means.

or published as scientific books

You don't know what scientific means.

Why ask about them, if you've already made your decision about them?

To illustrate your ignorance.

IDers can't help if you don't like their peer-reviewed materials, but that doesn't mean they don't exist.

See above. Repeatedly asserting something doesn't make it true. It helps to be right.

This entire concept of peer-reviewed seems somewhat of a game to me anyhow

Only because you have no fucking clue how it works, why it works and why it is a prerequisite. You wouldn't know peer review if it hit you in your useless head.

For my part, it doesn't mean a thing to me whether something has been peer-reviewed or not.

Okay, thank you for that concession. Let's move on. Small question though: why were you harping on IDs dreck being peer reviewed IN THE SAME FUCKING POST?

Moron.

It is not as though it is impossible for someone to write something perfectly legitimate and scientific without getting it peer-reviewed.

Sure. But without review, how do you propose we verify it IS legitimate?

With that said, I would like to hear what people have to say about some of the scientific and mathematical studies done.

Sure, provide some. Peer-reviewed by non-creationists.

It is my understanding that it is a mathematical improbability for the first protein to have been constructed the way evolutionists say it must have been. What say you?

I say your understanding is wrong, I say I know where this statement comes from, I know it is bunkum. TalkOrigins is your friend.

What about the major gaps of the fossil records

Oh shut up. Go read TalkOrigins before you open your mouth again, tool. Do you think you are the first drone to try that lame, old canard?

What about stasis in the fossil records?

What about it?

What about the fact that much of the research done on natural selection and mutations has shown that minor changes in species do exist but none studied have shown how those mutations actually produce a new species?

Liar. Liar, liar, liar. Stupid Goddamned liar.

What about the statistical research done on the ability of earth to sustain life?

Adams. Puddle. Google. Idiot.

What about irreducible complexity? Don't just call it dumb, why don't you believe it makes sense?

Because it has been proven to be wrong, maybe?

TalkOrigins is your friend.

Many believe it makes perfect logical and scientific sense

Only the willfully ignorant ones. Five minutes on Google can educate you. Go do so, or shut the hell up.

just as many of you believe evolution makes perfect logical and scientific sense.

Theory proven to explain reality for 150 years, reinforced through multiple scientific disciplines

DOES NOT EQUAL

Random, incorrect, unsupported supposition that does nothing but vainly attempt to attack said theory without any alternative explanation beyond "I don't understand how the world works, ergo God did it."

Perhaps if we shifted to these topics it would make a difference.

Back your idiotic assumptions up first, you arrogant, ignorant douchenozzle.

(Yes, I'm grumpy. Good thing the weekend's here!)

#609

Posted by: Jesse | February 20, 2009 7:38 PM

Lowel @ 584

I study behavior prediction and strong proponents of a position are always blinded by it. I'm a pot stirrer by nature. My mission is to help people see a bigger picture. Don't be sheep.


#610

Posted by: Sacred Frenzy | February 20, 2009 7:40 PM

Since when did science or scientific debate mean calling another person a git.

This is an excellent point. People resort to name-calling when they are cornered. Simply put, most of the people on this blog appear to be deeply insecure about their outdated belief system, and they have don't have any direct evidence that the variation/selection mechanism produced the complex systems necessary for life. So they attack people who make the attempt to engage them in debate, they call them names, they ridicule the opposing view rather than respond to the main points of their arguments, etc. They preach the need for scientific thinking yet engage in oppressive practices that would make the Church that persecuted Galileo pale in comparison (Galileo didn't have any peer-reviewed articles either). For a science blog, the behavior practiced here is about as far away from scientific thinking as possible.

#611

Posted by: Nerd of Redhead, OM Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 7:42 PM

(Yes, I'm grumpy. Good thing the weekend's here!)
Beautiful rant BTW. OT, may I recommend some of Rev. BDC's, et al, suggestions as to beer/ales (I have an Arrogant Bastard chilling) to try, and Janine's suggestions as to tunes that might make the weekend better. Chime in folks, let's help the weekend progress.
#612

Posted by: Nerd of Redhead, OM Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 7:46 PM

Sacred Frenzy, yawn, methinks thou dost protest too much. Yawn.

#613

Posted by: Kel | February 20, 2009 7:46 PM

(Galileo didn't have any peer-reviewed articles either)
Galileo was around at the birth of science, since then it's come a long way. In a mere 150 years, we have observed mutation, adaptation, natural selection, and speciation - all the mechanisms required for evolution to work. By contrast ID has not shown a single experiment wherein their mechanism (Goddidit) for change is valid. Evolution is currently the only explanation that can account for life that has any evidential backing. Show me just how ID works and evidence of it working, then maybe the concept can remove itself away from being Creationism 2.0 and into the idea of a testable falsifiable hypothesis.
#614

Posted by: Chiroptera | February 20, 2009 7:53 PM

Sacred Frenzy, #609: They preach the need for scientific thinking yet engage in oppressive practices that would make the Church that persecuted Galileo pale in comparison....

What? Behe was forced to publicly recant and then place under house arrest for the rest of his life? I think you are joking.

#615

Posted by: brandon | February 20, 2009 7:56 PM

Christina what you don't seem to understand is that the creationist science you're quoting emerges from a system that is identical to a privately owned vanity press. In other words, it's not science. There's no data, there's no scrutiny, there's no methodology, there's no testing, there's no error-checking, there's no repeatability, there's no independent testing (other than the prima facie evaluation that it's crap) there's no debate. Such-and-such creationist writes a tract and the DI publishes it. That's that. That's not science, you can call it something else "Creationist Musings" "Navel Gazing" "Monocultural Ponderings." but it ain't science, and all your whining and complaining to the contrary doesn't change that cold, hard fact.

#616

Posted by: bob | February 20, 2009 7:57 PM

Christina, your tears are delicious. Books aren't peer-reviewed. That you don't put stock in peer-review demonstrates nicely that we ought to ignore your opinions. Without critical analysis and free inquiry, there's no way to separate bullshit from reality. Apparently you prefer to just believe in a reality that makes you feel special. Good for you.

Sacred Frenzy, I call Poe. You're saying the scientific worldview is outdated? Really? Coming from someone who (presumably) believes in a static two-millennium-old book, it's the height of hypocrisy to claim that dynamic ever-changing science is outdated. And, Galileo didn't have peer-reviewed papers? THERE WASNT ANY PEER REVIEW AT THE TIME YOU DOLT!

Jesse, you've been spending too much time thinking conspiratorially. Don't call us sheeple. You say you're a pot-stirrer ... well, you argue like a pot-smoker. Only a small fraction of your writing makes any damn sense whatsoever.

#617

Posted by: James F | February 20, 2009 7:58 PM

Jesse #608

I study behavior prediction and strong proponents of a position are always blinded by it. I'm a pot stirrer by nature. My mission is to help people see a bigger picture. Don't be sheep.

I'm all for vigorous philosophical debates, but when it comes to this discussion of ID we're talking science. We are not "blinded" by accepting deep time, heliocentrism, atomic theory, germ theory, plate tectonics, and so forth; similarly, we are not "blinded" by accepting the scientific theory of evolution. As a number people have said before, keep an open mind, but not so open that your brain falls out.

#618

Posted by: SC, OM | February 20, 2009 8:01 PM

(Galileo didn't have any peer-reviewed articles either)

Bwahaha can't convey my hearty yet lovely lilting laugh. I actually hurt my fingers hitting them on a table when I flung them up laughing at this. My weekend is made. Hilarious.

#619

Posted by: Wowbagger | February 20, 2009 8:04 PM

Sacred Frenzy:
People may resort to name-calling when they are cornered; however, not all name-calling is done by people in corners - it can be an act of ridicule, made by people who are tired of presenting facts to the obtuse and willfully ignorant.

Fixed it for you.

Simply put, most of the people on this blog appear to be deeply insecure about their outdated belief system, and they have don't have any direct evidence that the variation/selection mechanism produced the complex systems necessary for life.

Liar.

So they attack people who make the attempt to engage them in debate, they call them names, they ridicule the opposing view rather than respond to the main points of their arguments, etc.

They have no arguments; hence, they are ridiculed. Which part of that don't you understand?

For a science blog, the behavior practiced here is about as far away from scientific thinking as possible.

This implies you know what scientific thinking is - and you patently don't.

---

Jesse wrote:

I'm a pot stirrer by nature. My mission is to help people see a bigger picture. Don't be sheep. I'm a pot stirrer by nature.

You're a concern troll. There's such a thing as groupthink; it is not the same as consensus based on reality. Kindly shove your pot, and whatever you stir it with, up your ass.

#620

Posted by: 'Tis Himself, Designated Economist Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 8:05 PM

People resort to name-calling when they are cornered.

People also resort to name-calling when fucking idiots keep bleating the same lies over and over again. Here's a prime example of a fucking idiot telling a lie:

Simply put, most of the people on this blog appear to be deeply insecure about their outdated belief system, and they have don't have any direct evidence that the variation/selection mechanism produced the complex systems necessary for life.

This fucking idiot spews several lies and I bet he'll whine that I call him a fucking idiot. It's not my fault that a fucking idiot is a fucking idiot, it's the fucking idiot's fault.

#621

Posted by: Sacred Frenzy | February 20, 2009 8:10 PM

Wow, Wowbagger and 'Tis Himself, thanks for proving my point!

#622

Posted by: Nerd of Redhead, OM Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 8:13 PM

Sacred Frenzy, proving my point. Yawn, what a lying bore.

#623

Posted by: raven | February 20, 2009 8:14 PM

Well the dumb creationists are gone and the trolls have arrived.

It looks like it is just one wacko troll with multiple IDs. Thread over, mentally ill trolls have far more time to post rubbish than normal people have to read it much less respond.

BTW, who is name calling. Creationists are either dumb, ignorant, or crazy and usually all three. Them's just the facts. Someone has to anchor the left side of the bell shaped curve.

#624

Posted by: romanov99 | February 20, 2009 8:15 PM

I don't disagree with anything in the response of Dr Gotelli to the invitation, either in detail or substance. I have to say though, that the initial email from the Discovery Institute was quite polite and it would have been completely possible to make the exact same points without being rude or insulting. If the entire debate on evolution could be conducted in the tone of the initial letter, wouldn't it be at least slightly less irritating for everyone involved?

#625

Posted by: Bobber | February 20, 2009 8:18 PM

Intermission.

Posted by: Sacred Frenzy | February 20, 2009 8:10 PM

Wow, Wowbagger and 'Tis Himself, thanks for proving my point!

POINTED STICK WIELDER: "I predict someone will call me an ass when I say something stupid. Let's begin: 'People who call would call me an ass obviously can't refute my points, of which I have made precisely none.' "

CHORUS: "You're an ass because you haven't made a coherent point."

POINTED STICK WIELDER: "Ha ha! I win!"

CHORUS: "No, and you're still an ass."

How anyone deals with these people without heavy quanities of beer astounds me.

#626

Posted by: Nerd of Redhead, OM Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 8:20 PM

Romanov99, the tone is one of science with facts on its side, versus creationism/ID, which pretends to be scientific, but fails to be scientific. So we mock them for the stupidity. If they don't want to be mocked, they can cease being stupid. That is to acknowledge creationism/ID are religious ideas, and should only be taught in religious courses. Until then, Mock, Mock, Mock.

#627

Posted by: Wowbagger | February 20, 2009 8:20 PM

Sacred Frenzy,

A whiny dipshit acts like a whiny dipshit then tries to brag about having predicted that people would call him a whiny dipshit. Yeah, that's a point worth proving. What's next? You put on a Klan hood and smugly cry 'See! I knew you'd say I was a racist! Ha!'

Pissant.

#628

Posted by: 'Tis Himself, Designated Economist Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 8:22 PM

I find a glass of 18 year old Scotch whisky works just as well.

#629

Posted by: Matt | February 20, 2009 8:26 PM

Wow. This is becoming a troll hunting ground. I think I've seen more creationists on this thread than in the last month of Pharyngula.

#630

Posted by: Bobber | February 20, 2009 8:26 PM

Posted by: 'Tis Himself | February 20, 2009 8:22 PM

I find a glass of 18 year old Scotch whisky works just as well.

After you've downed the whiskey, you can at least break the bottles over the heads of the willfully ignorant. Not that I would ever advocate violence against ID/Creationist types. Not when sober, anyway.

#631

Posted by: Kel | February 20, 2009 8:28 PM

Sacred Frenzy, thou art a fool. Cornered? How are we cornered? We've seen mutation, selection, adaptation, and speciation both in the wild and the laboratory. All evidence in biology over the last 150 years has pointed to evolution. By contrast what does intelligent design have? How does ID work exactly? Where exactly did the Designer play his hand in nature and how can we detect that? To say it all looks designed is one thing, evolutionary biologists have been able to answer just why it looks designed for a while - before the words "Intelligent Design" were ever uttered (after the 1986 supreme court ruling outlawing creation science.

So if you think we are cornered, surely you can show the evidence that is allegedly cornering us. Because it looks to me like projection, biologists can show all mechanisms of evolutionary theory in action. What can you show, you dishonest little git?

#632

Posted by: Kel | February 20, 2009 8:32 PM

I have to say though, that the initial email from the Discovery Institute was quite polite and it would have been completely possible to make the exact same points without being rude or insulting.
I refer you to the Lenski affair
#633

Posted by: Ragutis | February 20, 2009 8:38 PM

Sacred Frenzy:

Go here: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/creationism/

Read a good dozen or so of the threads and count how many times the regulars here have been peppered with and refuted the same inane claims over and over and over and over again. Actually, if you go waaaaaay back, you'll likely see many of these same people being significantly more patient. But a few years of being smarmily presented with the same ignorant valueless challenges and arguments is bound to wear on anyone's nerves and patience. Especially when it's so easy cured, by you challengers of evolution simply doing a little studying on one's own or reading the information that's been provided here time and time again.


People aren't that terribly cranky about having evolution questioned. It gives an opportunity to share information and educate, which many here enjoy. They're cranky from hearing the same sad shit again from people that prefer willful ignorance to challenging their religious indoctrination.


Seriously, SF, Christine and others... before posting again, please read http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html

Please, creationists, come up with a new one every once in a while.

#634

Posted by: Lulls | February 20, 2009 8:44 PM

Bookmarked, and this blog will be followed from now on.

Damn, you guys are good.

#635

Posted by: Sacred Frenzy | February 20, 2009 8:50 PM

People aren't that terribly cranky about having evolution questioned. It gives an opportunity to share information and educate, which many here enjoy.

That is the funniest thing I have read in a very long time!

#636

Posted by: Dave Godfrey | February 20, 2009 8:53 PM

subrosa7 #581

In Mendel's Pisum paper, [it is] not only that it is antievolutlonary in content, but also that it was specifically written in contradiction of Darwin's book The Origin of Species, published in 1859.

If you had bothered to read Darwin's book you would know that Mendel was specifically criticising chapter five where Darwin discusses the "Laws of Variation" and sadly gets everything wrong because he didn't know how hereditary worked.

Mendel did not oppose Darwinian evolution, he hoped to add to it by showing where everyone was wrong.

Unfortunately Mendel worked it out and was the completely ignored for forty years. It took another 20 years after that to finally marry genetics and natural selection.

#637

Posted by: Jesse | February 20, 2009 8:56 PM

I agree, ID theory should be religious studies and not hard science.

#638

Posted by: David Marjanović, OM | February 20, 2009 9:02 PM

From Christina's naïve reposting of the DI publication page:

S.C. Meyer, "The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories," Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 117(2) (2004): 213-239.

This article argues for intelligent design as an explanation for the origin of the Cambrian fauna. Not surprisingly, it created an international firestorm within the scientific community when it was published.

Did it? I can't remember any such event, and I'm a paleontologist. Proceedings of the Biological What?

BTW, note the logical fallacy right in the title. The ranks of traditional biological nomenclature (like phylum) don't exist in nature, they are just conventions, and misleading ones at that. Stephen J. Gould fell victim to the same fallacy, believing that evolution must have been somehow different in the Cambrian than now; Dawkins trounced that by saying this is like someone being utterly amazed at the fact that all the thick limbs of a big oak are at least 100 years old -- what lamentable degeneration that only puny branches have grown since!

"I find the complete lack of evidence in any god to be enough. No need to prove a negative." -- Rey Fox.

Such a scientific approach, don't you think?

Uh... yes.

Duh.

The scientific method consists of 1) falsification and 2) parsimony. When two ideas explain the same evidence, and neither has been falsified yet, the one that requires more ad hoc assumptions loses.

Atheists, apparently, know what "God" is and are already disappointed and are trying to share.

Atheists think that God is not. That no such thing exists. I mean, please!

Mendel’s work specifically refuted Darwin.

That's what Mendel apparently believed his work was doing. But guess what, Mendel was wrong about that.

Mendel's work did disprove Darwin's (today practically unknown) theory of heredity. But that's not what we're talking about here. Here we're talking about his theory of evolution -- which in fact, and ironically, is much more easily compatible with Mendel's theory of heredity than with Darwin's! All you have to tweak is to allow for mutations, which are amply observed.

Do learn to separate people, ideas, and data.

published in 1866 (and yes that was peer reviewed)

Not that it matters, but peer-review hadn't even been invented back then.

Concerning Haeckel's drawings and textbooks, just plug Haeckel into the search engine of this blog. Top left corner of the page. You'll learn something.

If you really believe me to be misinformed or ignorant, don't call me names as this is childish, but seek to inform me of what you believe in a civil, adult manner.

Inform yourself first -- this is the Internet, after all; everything is just two clicks away, and maybe a few keystrokes in a search engine --, and stop pretending to yourself that you understand what you're talking about. Then we can talk. :-)

It is my understanding that it is a mathematical improbability for the first protein to have been constructed the way evolutionists say it must have been. What say you?

The calculations that cdesign proponentsists make on this matter always assume that amino acids had to assemble themselves spontaneously to produce a full-length functional protein. Of course this is extremely improbable. But try imagining an RNA world instead, and then add tiny little peptides to it...

What about the major gaps of the fossil records, which Darwin himself said was the major flaw of his own theory?

(He didn't say "flaw", obviously. He said this was one of the biggest potential problems.)

They've been shrinking ever since 1859. In 1861, Archaeopteryx was discovered. Immediately, the creationists asked for intermediate forms between this intermediate form and its ancestors and descendants. The discoveries kept rolling in at an ever-increasing pace, and just this year Anchiornis was described... google for it.

And that's just the birds! I can tell you the same story for limbed vertebrates (Tiktaalik is just the latest addition to a long series -- wasn't Archegosaurus the temnospondyl discovered in 1847?), for whales, for mammals, half of it for bats and for pterosaurs... Really, I could go on for days if I didn't have to sleep once in a while.

Even for rhynchosaurs. You probably don't even know what a rhynchosaur is, because they died out so long ago, but we have a nice little series of intermediates between them and their closest known relatives...

What about stasis in the fossil records?

Like many people you've misunderstood Gould's theory of punctuated equilibrium. Both the stasis and the punctuation are only visible on an extremely small scale -- single species over millennia, not large groups over tens of millions of years. To see that in the fossil record, you need to look at diatoms that form the floor of vast stretches of the Pacific Ocean, for example; things like dinosaurs aren't preserved in sufficient amounts.

What about the fact that much of the research done on natural selection and mutations has shown that minor changes in species do exist but none studied have shown how those mutations actually produce a new species?

Define "species".

No, really. I'm completely serious. There are at least 25 different definitions in the (mainstream, peer-reviewed, "orthodox") literature out there, and depending on the definition there are between 101 and 249 endemic bird species in Mexico!

Under some of these definitions, speciation has been witnessed. Even in the lab. Talkorigins.org will supply details.

What about the statistical research done on the ability of earth to sustain life?

What?

What about irreducible complexity? Don't just call it dumb, why don't you believe it makes sense?

Because it overlooks the phenomenon termed exaptation: function follows form, not just the other way around. Yes, a mousetrap that lacks a part isn't capable of working as a mousetrap, but its parts are still useful as a paper clip, a cutting board, a spring and so on. Yes, a flagellum that lacks too many parts (more than Behe believed, but that doesn't matter) can't work as a flagellum, but it's damn similar to the Type III secretion system... a sort of syringe. Again, I could go on for days.

#639

Posted by: Ragutis | February 20, 2009 9:09 PM

Well, I tried. Sacred Frenzy, if you're going to act like a troll:

Fuck off, you syphilitic, sheep-shagging shithead.

#640

Posted by: David Marjanović, OM | February 20, 2009 9:15 PM

Gah. 29 comments are posted while I write mine.

I have to say though, that the initial email from the Discovery Institute was quite polite and it would have been completely possible to make the exact same points without being rude or insulting.

Polite, yes, but hypocritical.

I refer you to the very beginning of Gotelli's letter:

Dear Dr. Klinghoffer:

Thank you for this interesting and courteous invitation to set up a debate about evolution and creationism (which includes its more recent relabeling as "intelligent design") with a speaker from the Discovery Institute. Your invitation is quite surprising, given the sneering coverage of my recent newspaper editorial that you yourself posted on the Discovery Institute's website:

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2009/02/

However, this kind of two-faced dishonesty is what the scientific community has come to expect from the creationists.

Any more questions?

#641

Posted by: Stu Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 9:21 PM

syphilitic, sheep-shagging shithead.

Pure, unadulterated win.

#642

Posted by: Stu Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 9:24 PM

That is the funniest thing I have read in a very long time!

We aim to please. Dillweed.

#643

Posted by: I_Stole_Your_JesusFish | February 20, 2009 9:28 PM

Re: Comment #293

Such scientific data and logical conclusions are the REAL reason that over 80% of high school science teachers and 60% of doctors think that ID needs to be presented alongside evolution in the classroom – despite the fact that both of these groups have been thoroughly saturated in “scientific” university educations.

Wow. As a Science teacher I've been bamboozled by my peers, NONE OF WHOM fit the mold of the "80%" of teachers in your claim. I'm SURE you have a valid link to the survey done to get this gem of information? Please send it to me, along with ANY OTHER evidence of the validity of ONE 'fact' in your post.

You really don't get it. Science really DOES NOT WORK by votes, surveys, or opinion polls. Science DOES NOT WORK by posting on blogs and stating it true. Science DOES WORK by producing DATA... Please show the ID DATA and we can talk.

Until then STFU and quit lying. Jebus doesn't like it when you lie.

#644

Posted by: Nerd of Redhead, OM Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 9:31 PM

Sorry DM, OM, but we are roused and must post our ridicule. Not to say your barb wasn't honed like a piece of obsidian used to remove the hide from a stone-age kill. :-)

#645

Posted by: ConcernedEducator | February 20, 2009 9:40 PM

BREAKING NEWS: NPR (National Public Radio) has just given a legitimate platform to a member of the Discovery Institute, Michael Egnor. No, I am NOT kidding!!!!!

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=100867217

Still think ignoring the creationists is the correct course of action?

#646

Posted by: Stu Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 9:41 PM

Jebus doesn't like it when you lie.

Unless it's for a Good Christian Cause, of course. Just like murder.

#647

Posted by: Stu Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 9:48 PM

Still think ignoring the creationists is the correct course of action?

Correct and proper, yes. Wise, no. It's a disease, and education is the vaccination. Then again, we have morons advocating against that, so perhaps we are all doomed in the long run unless we start requiring people to pass a common sense test before voting and procreating.

Oh, as a random aside, if you want to see how much education has declined in the past century or so, go here. Be sure to scroll down to see 1898 entrance exams.

Christ on a crutch, and I thought I went to a hardcore school. Humble pie.

#648

Posted by: ConcernedEducator | February 20, 2009 10:11 PM

Concerning the old adage "Debating a Creationist is like playing chess with a pigeon; the pigeon knocks over the pieces, craps on the board, and flies back to its flock proclaiming victory."

Do what I did to Karl Priest of the Discovery Institute...to follow the analogy, when he started to crap on the board I closed it on him!

Our entire exchange can be found here; I'm the duck!
http://richarddawkins.net/articleComments,119,Why-I-Wont-Debate-Creationists,Richard-Dawkins,page1#343559

#649

Posted by: ConcernedEducator | February 20, 2009 10:15 PM

I hear you, Stu! If I could combat these creationist clowns and scratch out a living wage doing so, I'd commit myself full-time to fighting this blight on our society.

Know anyone hiring? ;)

#650

Posted by: clinteas | February 20, 2009 10:17 PM

Ah,how nice to start the day with a well-done pwning by David M....

As to NPR,we get tidbits from that here in Australia on News Radio,and when I listen to them occasionally the comments often seem to have a right-wing or conservative bias,to say the least.SO Im not surprised that they would have a liar for jesus on.

#651

Posted by: Sacred Frenzy | February 20, 2009 10:24 PM

Fuck off, you syphilitic, sheep-shagging shithead.

Wow, Ragutis, you really got me with that. Or not.

But seriously, you guys would be taken seriously if you were able to engage in dialogue (you know, the way most adults do) rather than resort to vitriolic name-calling when people question your "Darwin said it, I believe it, that settles it" screeds. What a sad bunch of Fundies!

#652

Posted by: theReader | February 20, 2009 10:26 PM

Just like a kine to the cheese. What a befitting reply. I liked this most:
[b] P.S. I hope you will forgive me if I do not respond to any further e-mails from you or from the Discovery Institute. This has been entertaining, but it interferes with my research and teaching.[\b]

#653

Posted by: Nerd of Redhead, OM Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 10:26 PM

Sacred Frenzy, if you want to engage in a true, honest, dialog, acknowledge that creationism/ID are religious ideas, not scientific ideas. Until then. Mock, mock, mock.

#654

Posted by: Sastra Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 10:31 PM

Sacred Frenzy #650 wrote:

But seriously, you guys would be taken seriously if you were able to engage in dialogue (you know, the way most adults do) rather than resort to vitriolic name-calling when people question your "Darwin said it, I believe it, that settles it" screeds.

I suspect our creationist visitors would be taken more seriously if they ignored the 'vitriolic name-calling' and attended more to those portions which do engage on the issues. When people focus more on style than on substance, it doesn't look like they're interested in dialogue.

Darwin didn't "settle" anything. He set off a chain reaction of research and hypothesis and prediction and experiment and more research again that hasn't stopped yet, in 150 years.

#655

Posted by: Stu Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 10:42 PM

But seriously, you guys would be taken seriously

Project much?

if you were able to engage in dialogue (you know, the way most adults do)

That is not a rock, it is a hoof. The horse, it is too high for you.

rather than resort to vitriolic name-calling when people question your "Darwin said it, I believe it, that settles it" screeds.

Yes, you are so right. It's pathetic!

Oh, wait.

Nobody said that.

Pro-tip, Tinky Winky, it doesn't matter a flying fuck who says it. Darwin, Al Gore, Mendel, Galileo, Copernicus, Pasteur, scientists don't give a shit. The reason their ideas hold weight is... wait for it, you vapid moron... because their ideas hold weight. If Jesus would have preached quantum mechanics from the mount, he would be respected as a scientist. If Behe would produce evidence of irreducible complexity, he would win a Nobel prize. If Ben Stein were to prove a conspiracy to suppress ID teachings, he would be, well... relevant.

And if you were right, or had a point, we would listen to you. So make your actual point, or kindly fuck off. Your pathetic ad-hominem whinefest does not qualify.

#656

Posted by: Brandon St. Germaine | February 20, 2009 10:47 PM

While I agree with the return letter, I disagree with the philosophy that scientists should be "above" debating creationists. It is the staunch superiority complex that makes it so easy for billions of people to disregard scientific proof of evolution. Because the nation's parents believe in God, science classrooms are under attack. The opinion of the masses is paramount in the furthering of technology and science itself. How long was the flat earth believed until it was finally taken as evidence? We have to prove science to people, not just write proofs. This is why Bill Nye and Dawkins are very helpful to our cause, and this particular Atheist is only making it easier for religion to keep doing its thing.

#657

Posted by: Kel | February 20, 2009 10:51 PM

But seriously, you guys would be taken seriously if you were able to engage in dialogue (you know, the way most adults do) rather than resort to vitriolic name-calling when people question your "Darwin said it, I believe it, that settles it" screeds.
You know, creationists would be taken even slightly seriously if they realised that evolution is not the origin of species being regarded as dogma. There's 150 years of empirical evidence gathered, and many modifications to the original theory to get what we call today modern evolutionary theory. Genetics has been fused with natural selection, genetic drift has been seen as a force, far more is understood about gene flow, and recently there's been the addition of horizontal gene transfer to what is otherwise a process of vertical flow.

Evolution updates and adapts as per the evidence, so to say Darwin said it, I believe it, that settles it" is being incredibly dishonest and misrepresentative of how science works and how evolution is understood. This is why people are calling you and others dishonest gits, it's because you lie and lie and lie in order to keep up your feigned persecution complex. Get an education you moron!
#658

Posted by: Kel | February 20, 2009 10:54 PM

It is the staunch superiority complex that makes it so easy for billions of people to disregard scientific proof of evolution.
Don't you think that it's the opposite, that the creationists have shown nothing but contempt and are not above lying, that to debate them would be to validate their deceptive tactics? While it would be nice to live in an ideal world where people were open, honest, and strived for factual accuracy, how often has this happened in public debates between scientists and creationists?
#659

Posted by: Stu Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 10:54 PM

Brandon, I see where you are coming from... but this is why.

#660

Posted by: Ragutis | February 20, 2009 11:06 PM

Posted by: Sacred Frenzy | February 20, 2009 10:24 PM

But seriously, you guys would be taken seriously if you were able to engage in dialogue (you know, the way most adults do) rather than resort to vitriolic name-calling when people question your "Darwin said it, I believe it, that settles it" screeds. What a sad bunch of Fundies!

As has been explained to you and many many others, you wouldn't get the vitriol, mocking, or insults if you ditched the see-through concern trolling and instead showed up with a jigger of humility, a dram of honest curiosity and dollop of understanding of science and the subject of evolution. Hell, even without those, if you just showed a willingness to learn when things are explained to you, or read when you're pointed to a pertinent resource.

Act like a troll or a smarmy prat, you're gonna get called one.

#661

Posted by: Malcolm | February 20, 2009 11:09 PM

Christina @589

It is my understanding that it is a mathematical improbability for the first protein to have been constructed the way evolutionists say it must have been. What say you?

This argument indicates to me that you do not understand statistics.
The probability of being dealt a royal flush is very low, but if you deal the cards an infinite number of times, you will get one.
The statistical argument would only work if there was something particularly significant about the point in time when that protein formed. To put it another way: The formation of the first protein was inevitable.

What about the statistical research done on the ability of earth to sustain life?

If the Earth were in some special spot, like the centre of the universe, you might have a point. As it is, see above.

#662

Posted by: fred | February 20, 2009 11:10 PM

It appears Gotelli cannot handle differing opinions without blowing a gasket. The truth is that for all that we have learned through science, and have yet to discover through science, the odds of certain conditions 'just happening' are mindbogglingly remote.

Professor Gotelli's response above is completely rude and disrespectful. He is obviously feeling threatened by not really being able to answer the intelligent design arguments. Instead, Gotelli resorts to name calling and insults, which diminishes his position.

On the other hand, David Klinghoffer's request was polite and respectful of different opinions. Hopefully he'll find a more confident scientist who is willing to debate on the merits of what science has not been able to explain.


#663

Posted by: Kel | February 20, 2009 11:22 PM

So much fail in such a short space. IDiot after IDiot coming on here, spouting the same refuted nonsense and each time trying to claim the moral highground. "Why oh why won't those big bad evolutionists debate us?" Maybe it's because you won't do any science to validate your assertions, it's because the conclusion was already drawn before any research was done, and despite all points of ID being refuted by biologists, the same evangelising continues.

If they show some intellectual honesty and humility in the face of the unknown, then maybe people will show some respect to them. Instead acting polite while systematically undermining the scientific process through lies and public evangelising of untested unscientific ideas is not going to get them anywhere.

#664

Posted by: Shaden Freud | February 20, 2009 11:25 PM

The truth is that for all that we have learned through science, and have yet to discover through science, the odds of certain conditions 'just happening' are mindbogglingly remote

I agree! It didn't just happen.

#665

Posted by: Stu Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 11:26 PM

fred:

All intelligent design "arguments" HAVE been answered. TalkOrigins is your friend.

Klinghoffer's request was NOT polite. Scroll up.

the odds of certain conditions 'just happening' are mindbogglingly remote.

You can take your argument from ignorance and kindly shove it where mushrooms grow. Listen very carefully: nature does not play craps, it plays Yahtzee.

#666

Posted by: Jack | February 20, 2009 11:28 PM

Dr Gotelli doesn't want to discuss flat-earth either.

He clearly is afraid of the things that science can't explain...

(my god ID people are stupid)

#667

Posted by: Kel | February 20, 2009 11:29 PM

It's all too improbable, therefore an infinitely improbable being must have done it...

#668

Posted by: Sastra Author Profile Page | February 20, 2009 11:31 PM

Brandon St. Germain #655 wrote:

We have to prove science to people, not just write proofs. This is why Bill Nye and Dawkins are very helpful to our cause, and this particular Atheist is only making it easier for religion to keep doing its thing.

Dawkins does not debate creationists either -- he's been quite clear about that, and his reasons are similar to those of Prof. Gotelli. As for Bill Nye, I've never heard that he's debated any creationists.

There are other ways to promote science -- and evolution -- than through public debates which appear to make it appear that there is a scientific debate.

#669

Posted by: Kel | February 20, 2009 11:32 PM

Also he doesn't want to engage with holocaust deniers. OMG, the holocaust didn't happen!

#670

Posted by: ConcernedEducator | February 20, 2009 11:42 PM

Posted by: Christina:
Have any of you looked at the Discovery Institutes website or read any of their books and articles?
-----------------------
Why did you COPY AND PASTE THE ENTIRE DIATRIBE???
Sheesh! Is this one of the "debating skills" you learned in school?

Anyway, I recently debated (and crushed) a member of the Discovery Institute, Karl Priest - check out the entire transcript of it here:http://richarddawkins.net/articleComments,119,Why-I-Wont-Debate-Creationists,Richard-Dawkins,page1#343559

Karl claimed all of his evidence for ID was in his website:http://ednews.org/articles/33215/1/DARWIN-IS-DEAD-Leave-Him-in-the-Grave/Page1.html.

I've stared at that page until my eyes hurt...can anybody else find any evidence on this page?

#671

Posted by: phantomreader42 | February 20, 2009 11:43 PM

Fred @ #661:

Professor Gotelli's response above is completely rude and disrespectful.

Yes, it is disrespectful. Klinhoffer is a fraud, representing an organization created for no other reason than spreading lies. Why do you think a paid liar deserves respect?

Fred the failed mind reader:

He is obviously feeling threatened by not really being able to answer the intelligent design arguments.

Oh, now I see why you think a paid liar deserves respect. You're a creationist moron. You fell for the Dishonesty Institute's propaganda.

Here's a news flash for you: there are no "intelligent design" arguments. "Intelligent design" is just a pile of recycled creationist garbage, long-debunked attacks on evolution. cdesign proponentsists don't even try to make an argument in favor of their own claims, because they know they'll lose. They don't offer the slightest speck of evidence for this "designer", because they don't have any. They don't say what this "Designer" did, or when, or how, or why, because they have no answers to those questions that won't expose them as either religious nuts trying to steal legitimacy from science or utterly vacuous empty-headed fools.

The only "argument" cdesign proponentsists have is the Gish Gallop. That's a technique that involves constant lying without shame or pause. It's throwing up so much dishonest bullshit that it would take days to refute it all, then piling more on. It's spewing out-of-context quotes, misinterpreted results, and outright falsehoods while making sure honest people don't have the time or resources to counter it all, and doing all that dishonest fuckery in front of an audience who don't know any better. It's a trick to bilk the gullible. It's fraud. That's all ID is, pure, shameless fraud.

Fred the creationist moron:

On the other hand, David Klinghoffer's request was polite and respectful of different opinions.

It's not polite to lie. No matter how you try to dress up lies in pretty language, they're still lies. You can't polish a turd. The shit shines through. And shit is all ID has.

Fred the sideshow freak:

Hopefully he'll find a more confident scientist who is willing to debate on the merits of what science has not been able to explain.

I've said it before: you don't want a debate. You want a sideshow. You want to get up on stage and play "stump the scientist". And an honest scientist is at a disadvantage, because he's limited to the facts, while you bastards make shit up at every opportunity.

If Klinghoffer really wanted a debate, he could get it at scientific conferences or in the peer-reviewed scientific publications. But he won't dare go there. He'll flee in terror, because he knows an educated, prepared audience will recognize his bullshit for what it is. He knows if he dares write down the kind of shit he wants to spew before a live audience, countless scientists with expertise in the relevant field will look at it, see that it's bullshit, and say so, openly, for all the world to see. Klinghoffer could get the debate he claims to want, but he won't even try. Because he knows he'd lose. As every cdesign proponentsist before him has lost.

#672

Posted by: ConcernedEducator | February 20, 2009 11:47 PM

See comment #280 for clickable links to those sites.

How coincidental(?) that 2 days after I crushed Karl Priest, and he fled from the NPR forums, NPR goes and gives implied credibility to one of Karl's "peers" at the Discovery Institute:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/storyComments.php?storyId=100867217

#673

Posted by: Ragutis | February 21, 2009 12:00 AM

". . . imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, 'This is an interesting world I find myself in, an interesting hole I find myself in, fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!" DNA

You're a puddle, fred. The hole was not made for you. Deal with it, just like all us other puddles have to.

Yes, we're incredibly fortunate to be here. All the more reason to enjoy this life, to grab the opportunity to investigate and learn what we can of our surroundings in order to aid ourselves and future generations. As Richard Dawkins said: "We're all going to die. That makes us the lucky ones." No time to waste on pseudoscience and wishful thinking.

#674

Posted by: Ragutis | February 21, 2009 12:15 AM

Posted by: phantomreader42 | February 20, 2009 11:43 PM

You can't polish a turd.

I hate to nitpick, but actually it appears that one can polish a turd. Well, a non-metaphorical one. Naturally, it's the Mythbusters that did it.

#675

Posted by: Stu Author Profile Page | February 21, 2009 12:21 AM

Ragutis: that was my entire point with:

Puddle. Adams. Google. Idiot.

#676

Posted by: Ragutisr | February 21, 2009 12:53 AM

Posted by: Stu Author Profile Page | February 21, 2009 12:21 AM

Ragutis: that was my entire point with:

Puddle. Adams. Google. Idiot.


Whoopsie. Missed that, sorry. Great minds, eh? ;)

Anyways, it could be repeated another 100 times and they still wouldn't get it.

#677

Posted by: BlueIndependent | February 21, 2009 12:55 AM

Well, another post that's hundreds of responses in and we have creobots acting like their usual entitled selves and not doing the very thing they are blaming everyone else for not doing. Textbook projection. But, this is to be expected of a group of people who spend hours a week claiming they are ingesting the body of the savior they've never met and offloading their mental problems onto conceptualized air with a name. I must say I'm surprised this thread hasn't devolved into the typical creobot place, that is blaming atheists for every ill that one man has ever committed upon another, and perhaps for even corrupting the devil "himself".

I would say my favorite form of creobot is the one that thinks he's bucking the "darwinist" trend and being hip by trying to laugh "evolutionists" into shame. This type of creobot is especially funny, since they believe the mustiest, non-intellectual crap, and are perfectly content to eat it up like good little followers. My guess is many of them where t-shirts that say things like "God rocks!" and "Jesus is my co-pilot". Who wouldn't want an all-powerful fairy being having their back against the "evil atheist hoardes"?

What about anyone else? What's your favorite kind of creobot?

#678

Posted by: Ragutis | February 21, 2009 12:57 AM

I typo'd my own nick! Beat that, suckers!

*headdesk*

#679

Posted by: tresmal | February 21, 2009 1:02 AM

Jesus Haploid Christ on a stick! Has PZ Myers been experimenting with troll pheromones? What if they form a lek? Then they might start mating.Ugh (shudder)

#680

Posted by: Stu Author Profile Page | February 21, 2009 1:15 AM

Ragutis: for the record, I didn't even notice until you corrected yourself.

But when you did... spit-take of the day.

Anyhoo... where did all our dedicated ID minions go?

#681

Posted by: Stu Author Profile Page | February 21, 2009 1:21 AM

Tresmal:

Then they might start mating

What else are they going to do? Morons mating has been, is and will be an ongoing problem unless we intervene.

No, not on the mating part -- the moron part.

#682

Posted by: Kelly | February 21, 2009 2:00 AM

"lies are for the weak"

My friend, I am the lone individual in my educational institution (and in my circle of acquaintances) who articulates a belief in the Triune God. I am also the lone individual to speak up in defense of His Word, to speak out against the abhorrent practice of abortion, and to support the defense of the defenseless around the word (regardless of how unpopular doing so may be). And no, I do not have a circle of like-minded friends to whom I turn after these things happen.

Am I weak?

These convictions, dear to me as anything in this world, are dismissed as lies.

But I have given up many advances in my career rather than betray them. I have been shamed and laughed at more than you with your (currently) popular beliefs will ever know.

To call religion (particularly Christianity, with its current bull's-eye status) an opiate is an exercise in absurdity. Few things in this life have caused me as much pain as my confessions of my Lord and Savior.

Here I stand. In the face of all human "wisdom and knowledge". In the face of such contempt and rejection. Why?

Not because I am so strong in faith. (Hardly! I am daily ashamed at my weaknesses and shortcomings!) No- because of what He did for me on the cross at Calvary. Knowing of such abiding, perfect love and sacrifice, how can I do otherwise?

We'll all answer to Him someday. That is Truth.

#683

Posted by: Eric Saveau | February 21, 2009 2:03 AM

Kelly asked-

Am I weak?

Yes.

#684

Posted by: Eric Saveau | February 21, 2009 2:12 AM

Here I stand. In the face of all human "wisdom and knowledge". In the face of such contempt and rejection. Why?

Judging by your post here, it's because you're a pretentious egotistical twit who enjoys drive-by grandstanding on someone else's blog. Do you have any serious questions, or just more empty bloviations?

#685

Posted by: Benjamin | February 21, 2009 2:21 AM

Very refreshing.

#686

Posted by: Ragutis | February 21, 2009 2:28 AM

Kelly, do you live in the U.S.A.?

#687

Posted by: Kel | February 21, 2009 2:51 AM

To all those believers who reject evolution -
If all the evidence points to evolution, what does that say abut God? Does it say that God has deliberately deceived us by making it look like evolution happened, or does it tell us that God worked through evolution in order to create us? I'm really curious, because when so many lines of evidence all point to life evolving over time, when the size and age of the universe are huge, it brings theological implications of either a deceptive God or a God who works through nature.

Personally I have this problem, what with me being an atheist and all. But surely for those creationists here there must be something troubling about the idea of a pranskter god making all evidence look as though it evolved.

#688

Posted by: clinteas | February 21, 2009 3:07 AM

Gee,that Kelly is the real deal...
The lunacy,it is amazing.Got to love the human brain.

#689

Posted by: Rey Fox | February 21, 2009 3:38 AM

"We'll all answer to Him someday. That is Truth. "

You kinda just undercut your whole martyr act with the appeal to the eventual vengeance of the Cosmic Bully.

#690

Posted by: ConcernedEducator | February 21, 2009 3:57 AM

Posted by: Kelly
I have been shamed and laughed at more than you with your (currently) popular beliefs will ever know.
--------------------------
And what beliefs would those be? If you have some meaningful insight, great! But if you are attempting to label evolutionary biology as a "belief", then you have just called yourself weak: "lies are for the weak"

#691

Posted by: Twin-Skies | February 21, 2009 4:06 AM

@Kelly

Quit the martyr complex.

#692

Posted by: Walton | February 21, 2009 4:08 AM

Kelly, I don't think you're weak. I was a Christian for a long time myself. But I do think you're wrong, and I'd like, respectfully, to explain why. I doubt I'll change your mind, but I think constructive dialogue is valuable nonetheless.

The reason I left Christianity is, ultimately, the fact that it makes extraordinary claims without supporting them with any evidence. Christians, of course, believe that Jesus of Nazareth - a named figure living in historical times - was a divine being who performed many miracles and was physically resurrected from the dead. But all the evidence which it provides for this is a small number of anonymous texts of uncertain date and provenance, which contradict one another in places. There is no external corroboration (except Josephus' Testimonium Flavianum, which is generally thought to have been interpolated by later Christian scribes).

Of course, faith is all about believing things without evidence; that, in itself, is fair enough. But this raises a fundamental epistemic difficulty: where do we draw the line? How do we know which religious claims are right and which are wrong, if none of them are supported by evidence? How do we know that Jesus was the Son of God, but Mohammed was not a prophet? Or that Joseph Smith did not receive the Book of Mormon on gold plates from the Angel Moroni? Or that the Native American spirit gods are not real? Many of these beliefs are supported by purported eyewitness accounts, just like Christianity. So, if one abandons the need for evidence, how does one distinguish between what is true and what is false?

I also think the Epicurean dilemma raises a problem for all those who believe in a creator God, and who ascribe to Him the attributes of omnipotence and benevolence. Fundamentally, the physical and natural world is a harsh place. Tennyson had it right when he talked of "nature red in tooth and claw"; most animals either starve to death, die of disease, or are eaten alive. Not to mention the many who die in natural disasters. Centuries ago, before the advent of modern civilisation, the same was true for human beings, and in parts of the world it still is: most women died in childbirth, many people died in infancy, horrific infectious diseases were widespread, and most people lived in grinding poverty just above the subsistence level. It is human technology and innovation, not divine intervention, that has lifted us out of this miserable condition.

If, then, God is both omnipotent and benevolent, why did He create a natural world in which there was so much inevitable suffering? When you sing "All things bright and beautiful", you must also contemplate the fact that if you give God credit for all that is beautiful and good, you must also give Him credit for all that is putrid and foul, from tapeworm to the influenza virus. So if God is the creator, and He deliberately created all this suffering, how can we call Him benevolent? Conversely, if God was powerless to prevent all this suffering, how can we call Him omnipotent?

Liberal Christians will often assert that God "works through" evolution and other natural processes. They will also contend that "our hands are God's hands", so it is for us to "do the work of God" by making our Earth a better place. Such ideas are, of course, very difficult to disprove; but they beg the obvious question - what, then, is the difference between a world with a God who does not intervene and leaves us to our own devices, and a world with no God? And how can we know that we live in the former and not the latter?

Finally, I also take issue with the most fundamental doctrines of Christianity, and in particular with the Protestant tradition in which I was brought up. Why did Jesus need to "die for our sins"? If God is both omnipotent and merciful, He could have forgiven us without the need for a human sacrifice. If, conversely, God is bound by some sort of "fundamental law" requiring a blood sacrifice for sin, then surely He is not omnipotent? Christian teaching is simply not internally logically consistent.

I'm not trying to belittle or attack your religion, merely to explain (as concisely as possible) why I left the faith. Apologies for this long, rambling post.

#693

Posted by: Ragutis | February 21, 2009 4:15 AM

Nice post, Walton.

#694

Posted by: clinteas | February 21, 2009 4:15 AM

Walton,

you DO surprise me sometimes !

#695

Posted by: Brent | February 21, 2009 4:24 AM

Facts are stubborn things.

Is truth only true once it's published?

Did publishing the discovery of DNA make it fact? Were people before that DNA free?

Did things fall up before the theory of gravity was established?

Willfully blind!

#696

Posted by: clinteas | February 21, 2009 4:28 AM

Brent,

you point being?

#697

Posted by: Kel | February 21, 2009 4:29 AM

Nice post Walton, keep it up.

As for Brent - being published is no gauge of truth. Rather it's a means of seeing if an idea has some promise in explaining what's around. Anyone can have an opinion, and from that extension, most people's opinion is wrong. By checking any concept against a list of accumulated knowledge, one is able to weed out any ideas that don't pass the basic test. One could assert that the earth is flat and that the sun orbits the earth daily, yet it's a position that isn't supported by the basic facts and to engage it as if it were as valid as the current model of heliocentrism would be unrepresentative of the validity of both.

#698

Posted by: Brent | February 21, 2009 4:34 AM

Walton:

The Bible is internally logically consistent. If you leave out one or two ingredients, however, then it would appear not to be so.

I'm real sorry! I'm just not going to take the time to argue it, so I guess you can take that as a win for yourself as you like. I'm just respectfully going to say: Check again.

AND, to append my post at #694:

Is truth only true once it is believed?

#699

Posted by: Brent | February 21, 2009 4:47 AM

clinteas:

You should know since you just proved it beautifully.

Kel:

In keeping with your argument, then, has the I.D. "movement" grown or shrunk since its inception?

Can we then conclude that, since it has grown (it clearly has) that there must be merit to its ideas, hypotheses', etc.?

#700

Posted by: Ragutis | February 21, 2009 4:55 AM

Brent:

Not being published does not make a valid idea invalid.

But an idea not worthy of being published is invalid, incomplete, or otherwise inferior.

If ID was valid, and as obvious and well-supported as it's believers claim, it should easily be able to withstand the scrutiny of the peer-review process.

It's not the journals' fault that ID isn't and thus, doesn't.

You want your idea to be considered scientifically valid? Well then you're going to have to actually do some science and your methods and results will have to withstand scientific scrutiny. If you can't play by those rules, try getting ID into philosophy or comparative religion classes and texts instead.

Scientists may all be evil, atheistic, immoral, baby-eating kitten-stompers, but they do have standards.

#701

Posted by: clinteas | February 21, 2009 5:10 AM

Can we then conclude that, since it has grown (it clearly has) that there must be merit to its ideas, hypotheses', etc.?

ID has grown like HIV grows in Africa,that doesnt mean that having AIDS has merits.
Dickhead.

#702

Posted by: Kel | February 21, 2009 5:12 AM

In keeping with your argument, then, has the I.D. "movement" grown or shrunk since its inception?
Well there's really been no scientific movement and the arguments have been suitably refuted and explained. So in terms of that, it's shrunken as it's one more idea that's been thrown on the scrapheap.

Can we then conclude that, since it has grown (it clearly has) that there must be merit to its ideas, hypotheses', etc.?
The public movement for the idea has grown, but that hasn't translated into any science. It's been 13 years now since Behe published Darwin's Black Box, yet the scientific ideas contained within still haven't been pushed in academic circles.

So if you are asking that because it's popular among people who have no idea about how science works whether it has merit - my answer is no. Just as the number of people who believe in aliens making crop circles make the claim any more true. Argumentum ad populum, and what not. In terms of the science behind it, all concepts thrown forward have been long since refuted by people actually doing science. Check out talkorigins.org if you have any specific claim you want checked out.


As I said many posts above, for ID to have validity it needs to answer two questions: just what role did the designer play in nature, and how do we detect that? If you can answer those, then the idea might have some merit. Until such time, the concept is nebulous at best, and a disingenuous re-branding of creationism at worst. If you want to show that ID has validity, the nature of the claim means that you have to show the designers' hand. Otherwise, pick up a copy of The Blind Watchmaker, written before the term Intelligent Design was even used, and see just how we can distinguish between design and apparent design.
#703

Posted by: 'Tis Himself, Designated Economist Author Profile Page | February 21, 2009 5:57 AM

Brent #698

In keeping with your argument, then, has the I.D. "movement" grown or shrunk since its inception?

Can we then conclude that, since it has grown (it clearly has) that there must be merit to its ideas, hypotheses', etc.?

The argumentum ad populum is a logical fallacy. As the old saying goes: "Eat shit, 100 billion flies can't be wrong."

#704

Posted by: Brent | February 21, 2009 7:20 AM

"Grown" as in very well credentialed scientists who see the clear superiority of I.D. to explain the phenomena that we see.

And, how or to what degree a designer acted in the history of nature has absolutely no bearing on whether there is a designer, and, therefore, neither upon one's ability to make scientifically accurate conclusions that a designer indeed acted upon nature.

One step at a time. Though I'll note the irony that evolutionists like to have their cake and eat it too, as they quickly balk when challenged, and claim that evolution need not address OOL; "It's out of the scope of evolution." But, WE must give details about the designer. Lovely.

If you truly want the details of the designer, however, pick up a Bible; though that is my personal answer, and not what I.D. says, certainly.

#705

Posted by: Kel | February 21, 2009 7:27 AM

And, how or to what degree a designer acted in the history of nature has absolutely no bearing on whether there is a designer, and, therefore, neither upon one's ability to make scientifically accurate conclusions that a designer indeed acted upon nature.
It matters entirely, for without answering the concept of intelligent design is useless. If you don't know what the designer does, then how can you test it?

People here aren't saying that there isn't a designer, there's just no reason to think there is or to determine there is. It's not that we are saying there is no designer, it's saying there is no evidence to support a designer.

If you truly want the details of the designer, however, pick up a Bible; though that is my personal answer, and not what I.D. says, certainly.
My copy of the Koran says you're going to hell for using the bible!
#706

Posted by: 'Tis Himself, Designated Economist Author Profile Page | February 21, 2009 7:29 AM

"Grown" as in very well credentialed scientists who see the clear superiority of I.D. to explain the phenomena that we see.

All three of them? Actually it isn't three, Dembski is a mathematician and Luskin is a lawyer.

One step at a time. Though I'll note the irony that evolutionists like to have their cake and eat it too, as they quickly balk when challenged, and claim that evolution need not address OOL; "It's out of the scope of evolution." But, WE must give details about the designer. Lovely.

Why do the creationists continue to prove they're complete fucking idiots? Look, fucking idiot, there are thousands of peer-reviewed papers giving evidence for evolution. Show us the evidence for your creationism. Can't do it, can you? But you have the gall to whine about being asked to produce this evidence. You are a fucking idiot.

#707

Posted by: Josh | February 21, 2009 7:34 AM

If you truly want the details of the designer, however, pick up a Bible; though that is my personal answer, and not what I.D. says, certainly.

Then how can you say if we truly want the details then, if it's just your opinion?

But okay, let's say, for sake of argument, that your opinion jives with the ID movement's opinion (letting that one hang there untouched...), and the ID movement is trying to assert that it's pushing a scientific theory. Let's say that the "design" is real rather than apparent and that we postulate the God of the Bible as the designer. If we accept all of that, one of the very the next questions we're gong to need to ask (if this is to be treated as science) is:

How do we falsify God?

#708

Posted by: 'Tis Himself, Designated Economist Author Profile Page | February 21, 2009 7:38 AM

Brent, falsify the Flying Spaghetti Monster without using the Bible. Then show how your god can't be falsified (again, the Bible doesn't count as evidence).

#709

Posted by: Walton | February 21, 2009 7:56 AM

In keeping with your argument, then, has the I.D. "movement" grown or shrunk since its inception?

Can we then conclude that, since it has grown (it clearly has) that there must be merit to its ideas, hypotheses', etc.?

In keeping with your argument, then, has the Scientology "movement" grown or shrunk since its inception?

Can we then conclude that, since it has grown (it clearly has) that there must be merit to its ideas, hypotheses, etc.? (All hail Xenu!)

#710

Posted by: Kel | February 21, 2009 8:00 AM

The problem here is quite simple Brent. Science has continued it's observation of the natural world for the last 150 years and in that time collected mountains of evidence. We've seen mutation, adaptation through selection, and speciation - all the mechanisms needed for evolutionary theory to account for the diversity we see in nature. Through evolutionary means, not only can we show apparent design, but we can use the same principles in engineering in order to optimise systems. It's important to understand that not only can evolution explain life on earth, we know the mechanisms under which in operates!

So the mechanism of intelligent design is the only thing that could distinguish it from evolution. Otherwise saying there was a designer involved is an unnecessary hypothesis. If you want to believe that god worked through nature, then that's perfectly in your right. But without testing that idea, without proposing how such an event occurred - such a proposal is not science!

#711

Posted by: Nathan | February 21, 2009 8:36 AM

The notion that this obvious, predictable, and by-the-numbers response is some kind of smackdown from which Klinghoffer will be licking his wounds is ridiculous. The self-satisfied condescension in Gotelli's letter and in the subsequent comments here is no badge of honor. Smugness sucks, even if you're right. These hand-waving dismissals do nothing for those of us watching this debate from the sidelines who suspect that the Darwinian mechanism if not quite impotent, is nearly so. "Brilliant"? "Pwned"? Please.

#712

Posted by: 'Tis Himself, Designated Economist Author Profile Page | February 21, 2009 8:43 AM

Nathan,

Your concern is noted. Now please crawl back under the rock.

#713

Posted by: Nerd of Redhead, OM Author Profile Page | February 21, 2009 8:49 AM

Nathan, your little ignorant diatribe makes you look small and pitiful. There is an easy way to prevent that. If you don't have anything intelligent to say, don't say it. Otherwise, you show people your ignorance, like you did above.
If you have any evidence for ID/creationism show it. Otherwise, go away.

#714

Posted by: Joe G | February 21, 2009 8:56 AM

Peer review? Peer-review?

There isn't anything in any peer-reviewed paper that would demonstrate any amount of mutational accumulation can account for the diversity of life on Earth.

Heck there isn't anything in peer-review tat would demonstrate that the vision system could evolve from a population that never had one.

IOW there isn't any science behind either premise.

All you have are speculations based on the assumption.

Evolution occurs. No one is debating that.

But just what can evolutionary processes do is being debated.

And until we know what dtermines an organisms final form, we will never know whether or not one form can "evolve" into another.

Now if you want to falsify ID all you really have to do is start supporting your position. But all you can really do is bluff your way through any discussion.

There is a good paper out that demonstrates how difficult it would be just to get a new binding site.

However with universal common descent not only are new binding sites required but so are new genes, which require promoters, repressors, enhancers and all the meta-information required to get those new genes into the existing combinatorial logic.

IOW science has all but refuted your position.

And all you have left is your shit-eating mouths to try to stem the rising tide.

So munch away and be prepared to get flushed away...

#715

Posted by: SAWells Author Profile Page | February 21, 2009 9:11 AM

So, Joe didn't read that Nature special issue on the evolution of visual systems, did he?

IIRC the "paper that demonstrated how difficult it would be just to get a new binding site" actually demonstrated that even if you make a bunch of really bad assumptions about how evolution works, you can still evolve binding sites.

Ho hum.

And that "one form evolving into another" line smacks of the old cats-into-dogs idiocy. The stupid is dense in this one.

#716

Posted by: Nerd of Redhead, OM Author Profile Page | February 21, 2009 9:12 AM

JoeG, showing us the argument from stupidity. One paper won't do it. But hundreds of thousand and probably millions of papers will do so. Go read the whole literature. Then come back if you are still alive. Until then, keep showing us your ignorance with rants like that.

#717

Posted by: DaveL | February 21, 2009 9:20 AM

So, in other words, for you to consider evolution credible you would require scientists to provide you with a detailed roadmap of which mutations happened when, for all the history of life on earth, with evidence for each individual event.

Whereas to consider ID credible you simply require all of the above evidence to have not yet been compiled.

Is that what you consider science? Is that what you consider intellectual honesty?

I propose a fairer test. We have observed several new species arising from natural evolution. For ID to stand on the same footing you should show us at least a few new life forms being supernaturally created.

#718

Posted by: AnthonyK Author Profile Page | February 21, 2009 9:32 AM

Staggering ignorance, Joe G.
If you don't know something, it is a fallacy to believe that it is not known. This is an argument from your ignorance, which I'm sure you will be secretly happy to know, does not constrain the universe.
It's lucky for all of us, I think, that just because science has not proved to your satisfaction that electrons exist, they still flow, still participate in bonding, still wend their merry way through the warp and weft of matter.
The evidence for common descent is demonstrable on every level of organisation of organisms. DNA shows it irrefutably.
But alas, our understanding it to be held up because for some reason your personal conviction is required for the universe to obey its laws. I suppose that had you been young enough, you would have watched fascinated as apples stayed suspended in mid-air as the resolution of the Newton-Einstein dilemma was resolved to your high standard of proof.
What crap, how smug and (easily) satisfied you are with the standard of your own philosophy - oh, and is that Jesus I see peeping over your shoulder? Thought so. Poor old Jesus is getting a bit of a hammering at the moment, what with being the patron saint of Christian Stupidity.
But let's not blame him, it's your own personal fault.
You're a moron. What makes you thing that the argument from your own stupidity will make any difference to a supremely practical discipline like science?
It won't. Get up to speed, find out the difference between fact, theory, and unsubstantiated hypothesis, and educate yourself. It really isn't too late to make yourself slightly less stupid. Alas, I fear that experience teaches me that in practical terms it's an opportunity you just won't take.

#719

Posted by: Iain Walker | February 21, 2009 9:33 AM

RD (#405):

Exhibit 1: Physicist Alan Sokal's hoax article, "Transgressing the Boundaries - Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity," which was accepted and published in the academic journal Social Text (1996).

Social Text was a postmodernist humanities journal, not a science journal, and one which Sokal considered (apparently correctly) to have low editorial standards. An expose of a failure of proper peer review in one small field (an off-shoot of literary and social studies) tells us nothing about how peer review is conducted in a completely different discipline (science). You might as well argue that because nonsense sometimes get published in theological journals, then everything in the mathematical literature is suspect.

And contrary to your claim in #419 that "the journal ran articles about science", the journal did not publish scientific papers. It published papers in the field of social studies, some of which either touched on the sociology of science, or which misused scientific terminology to make themselves sound more impressive.

In 1923, Franz Weidenreich examined the remains and correctly reported that they consisted of a modern human cranium and an orangutan jaw with filed-down teeth. Weidenreich, being an anatomist, had easily exposed the hoax for what it was. However, it took thirty years for the scientific community to concede that Weidenreich was correct.

If you're going to cut and paste directly from Wikipedia, then you should quote your source. See? There's a little peer review for you.

Exhibit 4 (books and articles): Peter Singer's work, treated as "serious" science, in which he posits animals and humans are equal, and killing newborns is quite okay if convenient. I guess academics don't mind discussing baby killing in print, but heavens, don't dare discuss criticism of evolution.

Singer's a philosopher who publishes in the philosophical literature rather than the scientific. He does not publish as a scientist, and only an idiot would cite him as if he did. In any case, your "exhibit" fails to show any problem with academic peer review, since while you may not like Singer's conclusions (which you predictably misrepresent), that does not mean that they are not cogently argued and worthy of publication.

#720

Posted by: Josh | February 21, 2009 9:41 AM

These hand-waving dismissals do nothing for those of us watching this debate from the sidelines who suspect that the Darwinian mechanism if not quite impotent, is nearly so.

Ahhh yes, and we're supposed to be impressed by those who are watching from the sidelines, throwing out pithy little remarks that demonstrate that they likely don't really understand what the "Darwinian mechanism" actually does anyway? Are you restricting your suspicions to the ToE, or do you also suspect that the cell is not the basic structural unit of living things? Are you concerned that the Theory of Plate Tectonics doesn't really explain why sediments crumple at the proximal margins of deep ocean trenches? Are you concerned that there might not really be electrons within atoms, even though electrons are consistent with modern Atomic Theory? If you're not also concerned about these other theories, then I have to wonder what basis you have to be "suspicious" about the ToE. If you're only suspicious about evolution, and not other equally or less well understood theories, then you've just demonstrated such a poor understanding of science that I have to wonder why I'm supposed to care what your opinion is. You might see that as a hand-waving dismissal or as me being obnoxious, but I do this shit for a living and couldn't really care less about the "suspicions" of people on the sidelines who don't seem to know what the heck they're talking about. You might tell your mason that you have a better recipe for mortar than the one she's using to build your chimney, but I wouldn't except her to care much unless you showed her how your mortar worked better than hers. And I certainly wouldn't think she's gonna care much if you tell her that her recipe for mortar doesn't work when she spends her days using that recipe to lay brick.

The only debate about ID is the one regarding education. All we care about is whether or not IDiots get to lie to school children. I stand on the side that would prefer that they do not.

That's evolution's stand. Are you in good hands?

#721

Posted by: Iain Walker | February 21, 2009 10:03 AM

subrosa7 (#581):

It is interesting how Darwinists are keep saying this is the way it is and so and stop asking any questions – JUST BELIEVE.

In your imagination, perhaps.

In Mendel's Pisum paper, published in 1866 (and yes that was peer reviewed), and of the time and circumstances in which it appeared suggests not only that it is antievolutlonary in content, but also that it was specifically written in contradiction of Darwin's book The Origin of Species, published in 1859. I just find it curious how authors of textbooks skew science to one way of thinking, even though Mendel’s work specifically refuted Darwin.

The only idea of Darwin's that Mendel's work refuted was the idea of blending heredity - and if Darwin had known this he would probably have been very relieved, since he was having enormous problems reconciling blending heredity with natural selection. As it was, it eventually turned out that the mechanism of Mendelian genetics fitted with Darwin's theory much, much better than Darwin's own mechanism ever did.

So when you say "refuted", what you actually mean is "provided invaluable support for".

#722

Posted by: AnthonyK Author Profile Page | February 21, 2009 10:07 AM

The central conceit of the evolution deniers is to think that personal belief is somehow important in the history of the universe. It isn't. It wasn't personal belief that made Darwin (mostly) correct, nor the acceptance of his ideas in scientific and much wider circles - it was ideas, experiment, evidence and outstanding success that makes all of biology accept evolution as fact and theory.
If there are bits of the theory you don't understand, then please ask - there are many people here who will explain your difficulties - or even say "we don't know."
But don't be hoodwinked by the illusion of your personal belief, or lack of it.

#723

Posted by: Stu Author Profile Page | February 21, 2009 10:19 AM

Joe G: after you take your meds, could you make your point if you have one?

Walton: bravo.

#724

Posted by: BlueIndependent | February 21, 2009 10:50 AM

"My friend, I am the lone individual in my educational institution (and in my circle of acquaintances) who articulates a belief in the Triune God. I am also the lone individual to speak up in defense of His Word, to speak out against the abhorrent practice of abortion, and to support the defense of the defenseless around the word (regardless of how unpopular doing so may be). And no, I do not have a circle of like-minded friends to whom I turn after these things happen..."

Somehow I doubt it. You've found and been employed by the only near total atheist workforce in the world? Lone individual to "speak in defense of His Word"? Why doesn't your god stand up for himself? Why does he, apparently, slough off the scorn for him to his followers? As for the "abhorrent practice of abortion", that is your opinion, but the fact is that the countries in which women do not have rights to control their own birthing tracks are also the most oppressive in the world for them to live. I wonder why that is. And you "support the defense of the defenseless", apparently under the assumption that atheists do not do the same, and are nothing but black hearts with cruel intentions. "(regardless of how unpopular doing so may be)." Cue one of the worst aspects of Christian culture: The ill-deserved persecution complex.

"...Am I weak?..."

I don't think anoyone here is calling you weak for supporting certain good things, although we would take issue quite strongly on the abortion issue. The "lies" charge is in reference to the creationist/ID rejection of truth and knowledge, not your specific person. Do try and keep up.

"...These convictions, dear to me as anything in this world, are dismissed as lies.

But I have given up many advances in my career rather than betray them. I have been shamed and laughed at more than you with your (currently) popular beliefs will ever know..."

Well, since you apaprently have decided to maintain employment at this myhtical totally atheist (save you) "educational institution" where they mock you in your position and force you to give up "advances" in your career, it seems to me your plight was created by you. But please, stop making us laugh. You have received more ridicule than we will ever know? Atheists are (unsubstantially) reviled the world over by basically every religious organization big and small. Further, your own religion has made a point of using any means it could over centuries, perhaps longer, to beat back atheism, al,l while making people like you think there is a grand evil force out there designed solely for making little cross-carriers out of all of you. Spare us the martyr routing, we've seen it before and it gets no quarter because it's self-righteous garbage. You do not deserve any more or less scorn than any other human being that voices dumb ideas, regardless of religion, sex, race, or orientation. We are equal opportunity shamers around here.

"...To call religion (particularly Christianity, with its current bull's-eye status) an opiate is an exercise in absurdity. Few things in this life have caused me as much pain as my confessions of my Lord and Savior.

Here I stand. In the face of all human "wisdom and knowledge". In the face of such contempt and rejection. Why?

Not because I am so strong in faith. (Hardly! I am daily ashamed at my weaknesses and shortcomings!) No- because of what He did for me on the cross at Calvary. Knowing of such abiding, perfect love and sacrifice, how can I do otherwise?..."

Ah the persecution complex continues. "...particularly Christianity, with its current bull's-eye status..." Please stop. You are being absurd, and propagating, frankly, one of the biggest lies of modern political culture. Oh you Christians are just SOO beaten upon. Yet you are, as your leaders falsely claim, "96%" (more in the 70 range) of the Us population. How scorned you are all you hundreds of millions. Each one of you carrying that cross of shame every day. It must be tough. Why, how could even an atheist like me NOT relate? You people are unbelievable. Are you so blind as to miss the absurdity in the Christian persecution complex? I'm surely not, having once been Catholic. I know exactly where it comes from, and I know exactly how it is stoked in children. It's a damnable part of the doctrine intended to put members of your tribe above everyone else. And in that sense iot makes you guys like Muslims, always going on about being martyrs for Jesus. Everyone's a martyr so they can get their 15 minutes of glory when their eyes blink their last.

The human "wisdom and knowledge" that you are obviously chiding is the very thing that likely helps get you through your day in many ways. But I would hope that you would keep your word and stay true to your convictions by rejecting all the things that human "wisdom and knowledge" have created and provided for you. Thus, should I ever meet you in your domicile, I should be able to expect that it is comprised of a hole in a cliff wall somewhere, that you walk to work clothed in but sheets of the roughest-textured material you wove yourself, herd sheep on the way home, and given sermons upon decently sizable rocks to similarly behaving individuals that are part of your religion. Of course that would mean you are a member of a modern kibbutz, and well, you guys just can't have that communistic-type stuff. So you are probably one of those that professes to practice at a moral standard well above everyone else, but probably shops at Wal-Mart, where they treat workers like crap, and buy stuff from China where sweatshops can still be found and animals are tortured before slaughter.

All that human "wisdom and knowledge" has provided you with everything good you have today. Not some deity who takes credit for it in a book still unofficially translated and written nearly two millenia ago that is still not complete, and is frankly a mish-mash of unintelligible stories. Great reading perhaps, but poor fodder for running your life.

"...We'll all answer to Him someday. That is Truth."

No, my friend, we won't, because there is no truth in a being so petty, malicious, and prone to offense that the simplest things earn his greatest ire.

#725

Posted by: AnthonyK Author Profile Page | February 21, 2009 11:20 AM

You know, though I often complain about the low standard of the creationist/religious posts on here, I can see why. The replies, while frequently abusive, are also insightful. If I were a proseletizing christian I certainly wouldn't come here, unless it were to watch others floundering in a swamp way outside the narrow confines of their comfort zone.
Because they aren't interested in what other people think, far less any transcendental truth, they always seem to learn nothing, and run off when they and their stupid ideas have been trashed, complaining of offence.
What a shame they don't spend more time learning what scientists actually do think! Instead, they come here spouting their ignorance and take the insults as christ did his insults - confirmation of their rectitude.

#726

Posted by: GT | February 21, 2009 11:21 AM

Aaaah, geee…Mr. Myers (and bloggers)…718 posts and (I did not read everyone but I have spent 27 minutes glancing and reading over some) I sort of feel like I just got off the third-grade playground of U Bashem Grade School.

HERE IS THE FORM FOR THIS LETTER: first I bash too, then I’ll do something different…I’ll play the adult; really! And if you can’t take your own medicine then skip the next three paragraphs…and begin where I start “Mr Myers:”)

Have any of you watched a debate or discussion where both parties just nip away at the subject because both of the parties know that they are really in the same ‘boat’? They are both even toned, don’t make it personal, help each other out, and work at a solution with the idea of reaching the best common result (in that boat ‘picture’ that would be keeping it afloat).

I totally understand that all of you are against any discussion or that anyone else should be allowed to think or voice their opinion that a god might be the end result. Oh and ‘god’ forbid (Ouch I used the “G” word) someone should ask to talk about it with ‘smart’(assed) professors and hateful self-centered prideful folks in Vermont! Oops, now I’ve been classified, right?!! Well, wait a minute…you bashed away for 718 posts…does that mean that I can not bash the bashers? Is this just a good-old-boys redneck bar…hangout? Look (you ‘upper-class’ Vermonters (?)) , I’m in this thing called life too…just like you, I did not ask to be here and I will most likely not ask to go and as age (entropy) drains my ability to keep my ‘seed’ case (earthsuit) functioning I’ll probably whine in pain also when I go…JUST LIKE YOU! Why then would anyone be your enemy (and your mouth and pride be ready) and target for, your bashing, name calling, bulling, and condescending prejudicial tripe. Are any of you guys white…or black? Then there must be something wrong with you…your color is off (inferior) just like the words that ooze from your mouths! You said the “G” word!! Ohh my just come and lynch me then…in this free country in which I served 23 years in a uniform for you children! Had I known then what I know I would not have done that!

718 posts! Not one that I glanced over could entertain a question that might bring the creationist to the ‘table’ and allow them to converse…all because there were no adults present to break up the food fight. I’m sure I’m wasting my time here…huh?!

Mr. Myers: may I offer a way to entertain those other ‘types’ from a non-prejudicial approach?

The ultimate questions is not whether there is a God because no one who does believe (at least most) is going to come into the conversation and not bring up that Campfire Myth book that all you other ‘types’ laugh at. OK?! So we’ll remove your uncomfortable ‘feelings’ It is not about God, rather it is about…

Why is there something rather than nothing? Why isn’t the default condition just…zero, zip, not-ta, nill, no-thing? In fact, we should not even be having this conversation… further we should not be able to think in this manner. To ignore that there is design in the universe would be ignorant—there is design; take any formula from Planks constant to E-MC2; to the gravitational mass formula even the water cycle or even things like the Chandrasekhar limit for determination to cause an ‘orb’ to go nuclear. There is something really ODD going on in this whole thing called life! If you do not see that…then why do science and investigate ANYTHING!? ‘Existence’ done randomly should be done in a chaotic manner; it should have no ‘right’ to be orderly and predictable and repeatable and testable…there should be no ability to be ‘scientific’! The second Law of Thermodynamics basically says (in a closed system) that entropy will increase—that is things cool down and the energy potential difference between ‘items/places’ will level out. When everything is the same in its energy potential then nothing (there’s that word again) will change. Nothing will become new; nothing will get old…that is called the Heat Death of the universe. Aaaah, you Vermonters do know this stuff…right? Well, then where in life is there anything where the entropy is not above complete heat death? (we’re at 2.72 degrees Kelvin now) Let me make an example. If your cup of coffee cools down then in order to bring it back up to a nice temperature one must DO something(s). Usually this involves time, space matter, and energy (time in the microwave, you moving in space to get the cup into the microwave, the matter is the electricity that was produced by some COAL plant or however your power is generated, and the energy is that force transferred to the cup). Sometimes all these seem to blend together but…if you have a car or house (up there)…then keeping it(them) up and in good order and repair is all too obvious an issue! And that is an example of your desire to put a higher energy potential into the object (car/house) so that its entropy is low (its chaotic state is low…meaning its ordered potential is high). SO if there is order in the universe how/who put it there? We know that the universe began (WMAP, COBE etc) and we know it has/had order in it. We also know that there is an order deep down into the cell by powers of ten just as there is order when looking out into the universe by many more powers of ten. I could go on…but I won’t…you do it!

All of the above speak in manner from out of that big bad book you all just WILL NOT entertain…! Now there is the arrogance! If you want to really talk with ID folks (not literally beleiveing creationists that think that the word is only 6,000 years old) then come down of your stubborn horse and see if there is anything in that ‘book’ that just might HELP instead of being third-graders!!

Come on Vermont…you can do it!

Ohhh, BTW…I am in New England, and Yes I believe that God is real (well, as real as our limited four dimensions can reveal) but ‘seeing’ as how there are upwards of ten dimensions; why would I presume that I can just go see Him? One thing is sure. If God is real and one chooses to seek this out with open mind and soft heart and curiosity bent toward that possibility and away from pride and self-centeredness then…He will let you know. The only thing we have here when we come (born) into life is time…it is your responsibility what you do with it (being always in the world and of the world will not let you know God…One needs to be in the world but NOT of the world…be a foreigner to it). If I am wrong then I’ve lost nothing for none of us are going to bash this about later…for in nothing, nothing can be, and that goes for conversations about how I was wrong so that your pride can be elevated (there is no up…in no-where-land…there then would be… ‘nothing’; in-spite of the contradiction that there can not ‘be’ a be in nothing. A no-thing can not be a be! Only a something can be), but if I am right then you’ve lost eternity. Oh? You do not understand eternity? Have you ever spent an hour in a dentists chair waiting for the root canal to be over and it seemed like a weekend? Yet…you can be on a weekend (having a great time) and have it seem like an hour. What if time is just that relative to your perception and relationships with others (to include that inner self that makes you, you and not me)? What if in Heaven with God you would be so excited and happy that time goes so fast it is no longer perceptible—doesn’t exist! Gerald Schroeder mentioned that a photon of light takes 8 minutes to reach the Earth (well, maybe if you live in Vermont one never sees the ‘light’ …tee hee, sorry, I’m still not perfect!) but if you WERE the photon because you’d be traveling at the speed of light there would be no time! Hey, I could dig being light! I’ve shown on you all here, haven’t I? BTW: the default condition is that there has always been something there never has been nothing. Out of nothing, nothing comes. You can not have a nothing hole in a pieace of paper unless there is something around it (paper around the hole cut into the paper) and you can not dig a hole in the dirt unless there is dirt on its borders to define the hole. God is the something that defines everything in the universe and Dark Matter is just the beginning to understanding that when all this is over and time ceases and eternity remains that THEN we are going to be REALLY SURPRISED!

We are all humans…it is not about monkeys…and we are all going to die…we are all going to graduate life through death and come out the other side…maybe as light (or the lack of light; as darkness)! It is your choice your free will your responsibility but if you REALLY believe that all you’re here for is to buy a Lexus and screw chicks to bolster your gene pool then…go for it!

#727

Posted by: Josh | February 21, 2009 11:26 AM

You're here on this planet and in this life to serve Odin, GT. It's our only purpose. If you're not doing it devoutly, well then he's gonna want to have a little chat with you when you die.

#728

Posted by: Iain Walker | February 21, 2009 11:27 AM

Joe G (#713):

And until we know what dtermines an organisms final form, we will never know whether or not one form can "evolve" into another.

We have a fairly good idea of what determines an organism's final form - check out any of PZ's posts on Hox genes for a start, and try reading up on evo-devo.

As for one form evolving into another, you need to specify what you mean by "form". We can observe speciation (in the field, in the lab and as recorded in the fossil record), and we have abundant independent lines of evidence for common descent. We know that populations can diverge genetically and morphologically from a single parent stock. But unless you can be more specific about what degree of morphological difference constitutes a difference in "form", I'm not sure what it is that you think that we don't know.

Now if you want to falsify ID all you really have to do is start supporting your position.

No, if we want to falsify ID, what we really have to do is determine what predictions ID makes (if any) and then test those predictions by observation and experiment. And lo and behold, ID turns out to make hardly any any testable predictions (in part because of the refusal to formally specify anything about the hypothesised designer) and when it does, those predictions turn out either to be false (e.g., Behe's claims about the unevolvability of the blood-clotting cascade) or trivial (in that they are just as compatible with evolution, e.g., the fact that some "junk" DNA has a function).

Whether or not evolution is true has nothing to do with the merits of ID. It's entirely possible for both to be false. The fact that you think that testing evolution is also a test of ID shows that you really don't understand the way science works (or indeed basic logic).

There is a good paper out that demonstrates how difficult it would be just to get a new binding site.

Would you actually care to provide a link to this "good paper" of yours? A quick Google actually comes up with several papers and references that suggest that generating new protein binding sites by mutation and selection isn't that difficult at all. See, for example, here, here and here.

#729

Posted by: David Marjanović, OM | February 21, 2009 11:28 AM

So much fail in such a short space. IDiot after IDiot coming on here, spouting the same refuted nonsense and each time trying to claim the moral highground.

Yes, and none of them reading the thread before adding to it. Take comments 661 and 710 as examples. Comes in, complains about how Gotelli is unfriendly, completely glosses over Klinghoffer's dishonesty which Gotelli links to...

It is evil to comment on a thread without having read it first.

I typo'd my own nick! Beat that, suckers!

*headdesk*

Why don't you use autofill? Are you at work and can't change the most elementary settings of your browser?

Why did Jesus need to "die for our sins"? If God is both omnipotent and merciful, He could have forgiven us without the need for a human sacrifice. If, conversely, God is bound by some sort of "fundamental law" requiring a blood sacrifice for sin, then surely He is not omnipotent? Christian teaching is simply not internally logically consistent.

Naturally, all of this can be waved away by calling it an ineffable mystery.

Everything and its opposite can be waved away by calling it an ineffable mystery...

In keeping with your argument, then, has the I.D. "movement" grown or shrunk since its inception?

Can we then conclude that, since it has grown (it clearly has) that there must be merit to its ideas, hypotheses', etc.?

Wow. He consciously makes an argumentum ad populum. Incredible! I've never seen such stupidity before.

Scientists may all be evil, atheistic, immoral, baby-eating kitten-stompers, but they do have standards.

Well said!

There isn't anything in any peer-reviewed paper that would demonstrate any amount of mutational accumulation can account for the diversity of life on Earth.

Selection! Hello-o!

Do you notice what you just did? You showed you didn't even know that it's called "the theory of evolution by mutation, selection, and drift". How much more basic can it get?

Heck there isn't anything in peer-review tat would demonstrate that the vision system could evolve from a population that never had one.

Google is your friend.

Why do so many creationists believe that all knowledge they've never heard of really doesn't exist? Why?

However with universal common descent not only are new binding sites required but so are new genes, which require promoters, repressors, enhancers and all the meta-information required to get those new genes into the existing combinatorial logic.

Ever heard of gene duplication?

Nothing is ever really new in evolution.

#730

Posted by: Nerd of Redhead, OM Author Profile Page | February 21, 2009 11:38 AM

Yawn GT, tl;dr. I just skimmed your dreck. A) We've seen it all before and we are not impressed. B) You believe in god. Gee whiz, who would have thunk it.

Science does not and will not acknowledge imaginary deities in its methods. So your belief in god is irrelevant to science. That will not change. You are required to supply physical evidence for your deity that will pass muster with scientists, magicians, and professional debunkers, before any consideration of god by science. There is no physical proof in your dreck above. Try an eternally burning bush.

#731

Posted by: E.V. | February 21, 2009 11:45 AM

Try an eternally burning bush.
Nerd, that's between Lindsay Lohan and her Gyno, 'kay?
#732

Posted by: GT | February 21, 2009 11:47 AM

TO #729

Hey there you four-winged fruit fly...you did not get to the center of it then...

"...Planks constant to E-MC2; to the gravitational mass formula even the water cycle or even things like the Chandrasekhar limit for determination t..."

I guess the light just don't get that far up into Vermont...go hibernate at least then "yawning" has a purpose for you.

#733

Posted by: Nerd of Redhead, OM Author Profile Page | February 21, 2009 11:51 AM

GT, more nonsense from a godbotter. Take your meds.

#734

Posted by: AnthonyK Author Profile Page | February 21, 2009 11:52 AM

GT, if you're going to post here, please accept the minimum standards for argumentation that hold sway here. Don't just give us an incoherent rant. It makes you look stupid.
Although you "think" differently, evolution does not attempt to disprove "God", not even the debased, uni-dimensional (though apparently triune) one you support. Don't equate science with religion - it's a common fallacy, but a fallacy for all that.
I'm not an atheist because of science or evolution, I'm an atheist for many, more conventional reasons (evil god, why yours and not any of others, religion a cultural artifact etc) but the reality of the universe we find isn't an argument for why god doesn't exist, only, possibly that he's unnecessary. And if he's your god, and tells you that evolution didn't happen, then he makes you a fool.
But if you want to come here and post, please make what you say truer, more insightful, and yes - much more interesting.
Otherwise, there's nothing more to say about you than that you're an ill-educated fool, in way out of your depth.

#735

Posted by: Reynold | February 21, 2009 12:17 PM

I've ran into one of those creationist-debaters bullshit artists characters before.

I was able at least to get him to admit that it's only oral debates that "evolutionists" don't want. I did challenge him to a written debate with somone who wants to meet him, which he's yet to respond to.

Mind you, he is a busy little boy.

#736

Posted by: 'Tis Himself, Designated Economist Author Profile Page | February 21, 2009 12:35 PM

Try an eternally burning bush.

Nerd, that's between Lindsay Lohan and her Gyno, 'kay?

E.V. for the win!

#737

Posted by: Iain Walker | February 21, 2009 12:36 PM

GT (#725):

To ignore that there is design in the universe would be ignorant—there is design; take any formula from Planks constant to E-MC2; to the gravitational mass formula even the water cycle or even things like the Chandrasekhar limit for determination to cause an ‘orb’ to go nuclear.

The fact that natural phenomena exhibit predictable regularities does not entail design. In fact, unless you actually assume a background context of predictable regularity in which a designer can operate, it doesn't even make sense to posit design as an explanation for anything in the first place.

Briefly, agency - and hence design - is only possible if intention, action and outcome can be reliably linked in a regular, predictable way. To put it another way, to be an agent is to be subject to a predictability that is ultimately independent of the will of the agent. You can't "will" order and regularity into existence from scratch, because unless order and regularity are already facts of existence, there is no guarantee that your "willing" will have any effect at all, let alone the effect you intended. You would never be able to do anything intentionally, let alone design and create a universe. In fact, without some existing order and regularity, you would be unable to think or intend anything, since there would be no regular connection between your various mental states (and one could argue that it makes no sense to speak of mental states in this context, either, since there would be no way to identify a distinct subject of such states).

Consequently, if you claim that the orderliness and regularity of the universe is the result of the efforts of a designing deity, then you're presupposing that orderliness and regularity are already facts of existence. Now, you can define this additional level of orderliness as being part of God's nature, but one can just as easily claim that orderliness is part of the universe's nature. And at least the orderliness of the universe is something we can study and analyse. In the end, your appeal to design is vacuous - you haven't really explained anything at all.

If you do not see that…then why do science and investigate ANYTHING!?

Possibly because finding things out is a worthy end in its own right.

All of the above speak in manner from out of that big bad book you all just WILL NOT entertain…!

Actually, even if your "orderliness indicates design" argument were sound, it wouldn't demonstrate that the designer in question corresponded even remotely to the god of the bible.

Come on Vermont…you can do it!

What is this obsession with Vermont? Does someone we know live there?

#738

Posted by: supamanc | February 21, 2009 12:36 PM

I have a question.

IDiots believe that life was created, presumably by god. god wanted his creation (people) to worship him like adoring little slaves, but he also wanted them to CHOOSE to do so. so he gave free will to people, and in keeping with free will, contrived to hide all evidence of his existence, so that free will would never be destroyed. Now this mighty all powerful, omnipotent being has hidden all evidence of his existence and his being the creator . . .yet IDiots are still looking for it.

Now does this not seem a bit, well, idiotic to everybody. (sorry my question mark key is broken). Surely your supposedly all powerful all knowing god would not be stupid enough to leave some tiny clue, forget to tie a loose end, not realise the significance of one small detail, that would prove his existance, and that he created everything.

So, what's the point in looking, in fact sure;y, by the standard of the bibly thing, the very act of looking is blasphemy, and not only do you seek to prove gods existence, but you insult him by implying that he is not clever enough to hide the truth from you. . . . . . .mmmmmmmmmmm

#739

Posted by: MPW | February 21, 2009 12:38 PM

Brent:

Though I'll note the irony that evolutionists like to have their cake and eat it too, as they quickly balk when challenged, and claim that evolution need not address OOL; "It's out of the scope of evolution." But, WE must give details about the designer. Lovely.

There is no analogy between questions about Origin of Life and questions about ID's unnamed Designer.

In TOE, the "designer" is random mutation + natural selection (to oversimplify a little; there's sexual selection, genetic drift, and so on). The comparison is between that and your Designer.

Biologists have tons of details, tested and refined over and over, about the nature of this designer and how it works. They continue to be added to and tested. There are details about how the different mechanisms interact; there are timelines for when a lot of this stuff has happened in the past. Moreover, there are fierce debates among scientists about all of these details, which lead to received wisdom on the subject being constantly challenged and revised.

ID provides none of these details, and no testable hypotheses that might provide answers, despite twenty or so years of the ID movement. Moreover, there is no visible debate about these details among ID leaders, despite their apparent opinions ranging from "the designer just tinkered at certain points in evolution" (Michael Behe) to outright denial of common descent and any change in species (such as in the Of Pandas and People textbook).

And even if Origin of Life were analogous to your unnamed Designer... scientists still provide far more in the way of testable hypotheses about OOL, so your point would still fail on that score.

#740

Posted by: Sastra Author Profile Page | February 21, 2009 12:39 PM

GT #725 wrote:

718 posts! Not one that I glanced over could entertain a question that might bring the creationist to the ‘table’ and allow them to converse…all because there were no adults present to break up the food fight. I’m sure I’m wasting my time here…huh?!

I don't know. Is it possible that creationism might be wrong? And, if it were wrong, what kinds of evidence or argument would persuade you that you were mistaken?

Unless both sides can give at least a provisional, tentative, or theoretical "yes" to the first question -- and a clear, specific, honest response to the second -- then dialogue isn't possible. And no amount of gentle, respectful, pleasant vocabulary could change that.

Why is there something rather than nothing? Why isn’t the default condition just…zero, zip, not-ta, nill, no-thing?

There are at least two possible approaches to answering this without invoking the empty and anthro-centric response that there is something instead of nothing "because Somebody wanted it that way."

The first is to argue that the concept of Absolute Nothing -- zero, zip, nada, no matter, no energy, no time, no space, no extension, no dimensions, no pattern, no chaos, no existence to existence at all, of anything, in any form -- is incoherent and self-refuting.

A second approach is to look at the question by calculating the odds. There are an infinite number of ways that "something" might exist -- and there are an infinite number of "somethings" that might exist -- and there are an infinite number of variations of those "somethings" which could possibly exist. But there is one, and only one, way for there to be absolutely positively Nothing At All.

Therefore, looked at from a neutral statistical standpoint, the odds of Something over Nothing are Infinity Infinity Infinity times Infinity to the Infinity power -- to One. Contemplate that.

If this were your chances of winning a lottery, I would suggest you buy a ticket. Winning at that particular something-vs.-nothing game would not require a miracle. How much better odds do you need, before you agree to stop goggling in astonished amazement over 'wow, look -- there's something!!!' ?

#741

Posted by: Stu Author Profile Page | February 21, 2009 1:09 PM

GT: entropy? You come in here with that tripe?

#742

Posted by: AnthonyK Author Profile Page | February 21, 2009 1:24 PM

Brent spewed:

Though I'll note the irony that evolutionists like to have their cake and eat it too

That old "argumentum ad cakum" fallacy again.
If I, as an evolutionist, have cake, I do like to eat it. Indeed, for me as a Darwinian, in a sense, "having" cake is the same thing as eating it, though in a sexual sense I suppose I could make a distinction.
What is your point? Would leaving cake to moulder on my shelf and then throwing it away make me a better, or even a more thoughtful human being?
And what the fuck does this have to do with evolution?
I'm sorry, but the whole cake thing just makes me furious.
To imply that evolutionists are wasteful, or cruel with their children (and I still remember the incident in my childhood where because of bad behaviour those luscious scones sat forever uneaten on a high shelf - but that's nothing to do with it ); that's just going one step too far.
Fuck off and leave me alone, arsehole!

#743

Posted by: BlueIndependent | February 21, 2009 1:26 PM

GT, please. Your tactic of tackling the struggle here indirectly, and using easily-decoded verbal sleight of hand to take a few jabs is obvious. The incessant pleading that humanity is not here simply to screw and amass material things, that something will judge us after we die...the fact that you think this is novel material we A) have never heard and dealt with before, and B) have never seen put more eloquently than you, is pretty ignorant on your part. Do you really expect to be the next proselytizer in line to sway us?

Secondly your obvious begging the question through taking an earth-based question, that has physical answers and data supporting it, into the usual place creationists go (when they are conquered handily here on Earth) is to go cosmic and flounce around all the dark energy, gases, and minerals while pointing smiteful finger back toward us puny human thinkers to tell us how little our brains our and that design is obvious. YAWN. You aren't proving anything. Scientists have found a language to describe tangible things in reality. It doesn't mean some amorphous yet infinitely intelligent being with power over all things (except it appears its ability to explain the origin of its own existence) has given us a small glimpse of its grand schemes and provided us the decoder to understand it. But I do note your back-handed attempt to grandfather different aspects of actual science into ID's scope, thereby trying to take credit for things you nor any other ID supporter has ever had any positive impact in discovering or explaining. In fact, you guys so regularly try to assume control of that which isn't yours (rather thievish, no?), that if we followed your pseudo-intellectual lead, ID would feasibly become so huge and all-encompassing as to become the very thing its followers insist it's not: a religion. And another religion based on the premise that an all-powerful being or group of beings controls everything we say and do, everything down to the last atom, and that it's pointless to try to discover it all because the all-powerful being has our backs...that is, if you tithe weekly.

Save the crap GT. We've heard it, we've researched it, we've destroyed it. You came, we saw, we laughed. And you guys still haven't made a picometer's worth of traction forward on your points, because they are not substantive, and are nothing more than a highly non-intellectual street game...you know, the kind played with three cups and a seedy character shifting them about.

#744

Posted by: blacksheep | February 21, 2009 1:30 PM

Kel, your post at #686 is very similar to an argument I've used debating theists before.

What I said was the following.

"Assuming that all we believe about God is true, that He is divinely good and wants the best for us, which is more likely?

That God would give us senses to observe the world around us and free will and intelligence to interpret what we see as it makes sense, but would then fill the universe with evidence contrary to the truth of the bible and punish us for believing the evidence that He Himself has placed before us and given us the tools to observe...

OR that the writers of the bible, with the best of intentions, misinterpreted his work and put together stories that made sense with what they knew at the time? Wouldn’t it make more sense to base our beliefs on the actual WORKS of God that surrounds us as opposed to WORDS as interpreted and written then reinterpreted and rewritten by small, flawed, limited humans over and over again over the last 2000 years?

Belief in scientific ideas is not mutually exclusive to belief in God, only the literal word of the bible. Which even the most devout of theists have to admit has a lot of parts that don’t make sense in today’s world."

Thus far I have not received any real answer to that question. I'm not a theist, and freely admit that my question is a straw-man argument. But I still think it is valid because I think that if it could be answered it would settle or at least calm many of the debates like this one, which almost inevitability break down into petty squabbles and name calling.

#745

Posted by: Rey Fox | February 21, 2009 1:57 PM

"In keeping with your argument, then, has the I.D. "movement" grown or shrunk since its inception? "

Let's take the long view. The inception of the "ID movement" was thousands of years ago when people started anthropomorphisizing natural processes. Even if we narrow it somewhat and start it at the beginning of monotheistic creator religion, then that puts it back about 6000 years. It grew for a while, but has been shrinking for quite some time too, as humans understand more and more of the natural processes that govern the interaction of matter. The modern ID movement is thus just a circling of the wagons around the few remaining gaps into which one can cram a god if one is so inclined.

It's also an artifact of authoritarian humans trying to control thought and behavior, and in that respect, I also think it's shrinking.

#746

Posted by: AnthonyK Author Profile Page | February 21, 2009 2:09 PM

Success of ID? Well, let's see now:


GOALS

Governing Goals

* To defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies.
* To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and hurnan beings are created by God.

Five Year Goals

* To see intelligent design theory as an accepted alternative in the sciences and scientific research being done from the perspective of design theory.
* To see the beginning of the influence of design theory in spheres other than natural science.
* To see major new debates in education, life issues, legal and personal responsibility pushed to the front of the national agenda.

Twenty Year Goals

* To see intelligent design theory as the dominant perspective in science.
* To see design theory application in specific fields, including molecular biology, biochemistry, paleontology, physics and cosmology in the natural sciences, psychology, ethics, politics, theology and philosophy in the humanities; to see its innuence in the fine arts.
* To see design theory permeate our religious, cultural, moral and political life.

FIVE YEAR OBJECTIVES

1. A major public debate between design theorists and Darwinists (by 2003)

2. Thirty published books on design and its cultural implications (sex, gender issues, medicine, law, and religion)

3. One hundred scientific, academic and technical articles by our fellows

4. Significant coverage in national media:

* Cover story on major news magazine such as Time or Newsweek
* PBS show such as Nova treating design theory fairly
* Regular press coverage on developments in design theory
* Favorable op-ed pieces and columns on the design movement by 3rd party media

5. Spiritual & cultural renewal:

* Mainline renewal movements begin to appropriate insights from design theory, and to repudiate theologies influenced by materialism
* Major Christian denomination(s) defend(s) traditional doctrine of creation & repudiate(s)
* Darwinism Seminaries increasingly recognize & repudiate naturalistic presuppositions
* Positive uptake in public opinion polls on issues such as sexuality, abortion and belief in God

6. Ten states begin to rectify ideological imbalance in their science curricula & include design theory

7. Scientific achievements:

* An active design movement in Israel, the UK and other influential countries outside the US
* Ten CRSC Fellows teaching at major universities
* Two universities where design theory has become the dominant view
* Design becomes a key concept in the social sciences Legal reform movements base legislative proposals on design theory


Now I rather think that this hasn't quite happened as they thought. I wonder why?

#747

Posted by: DaveW | February 21, 2009 2:13 PM

The tactics employed by PZ and his "gang" are similar to those employed by most fascists. Censorship, smear tactics, possibly violence either physical or economic. Folks, when you see this sort of thing, you should run away as fast as you can.

Those of you who relish in these forms of attacks on others will find that what goes around comes around. Fortunately, this echo chamber of hate and hubris serves to remind people how desperate many of your are to advance your scientific as well as philosophical views without the usual scrutiny that other scientific and philosophical disciplines require.

Myers biggest fans are primarily the poorly educated public schooled plebeians who can't think critically and certainly can't think scientifically because of the dogmatic manner in which science is taught to them. And, they can't tell a logical fallacy from an ad hominem if it hit them in the face.

The responses by Myers moronic minions on this thread and others would be laughable if it weren't for the virulent hate that motivates them.

#748

Posted by: Sastra Author Profile Page | February 21, 2009 2:30 PM

Dave W #746 wrote:

The tactics employed by PZ and his "gang" are similar to those employed by most fascists.

I think the major theme running through the thread has been to argue that creationists need to go through proper scientific methods and channels if they want their theory to gain respect among the science community -- and they can not, will not, and have not done that. The name-calling and mockery is just so much stylistic flourishing over this central core, which is that of systematic honesty and integrity in method.

That's not how fascism works, of course -- nor any form of totalitarianism. They value outcome over process, and are not interested in going where the evidence leads. They know where the evidence should lead -- and it is up to the science to follow along to get the right result.

#749

Posted by: AnthonyK Author Profile Page | February 21, 2009 2:32 PM

Myers biggest fans are primarily the poorly educated public schooled plebeians who can't think critically and certainly can't think scientifically because of the dogmatic manner in which science is taught to them. And, they can't tell a logical fallacy from an ad hominem if it hit them in the face.

I suspect that you yourself have been hit in the face, repeatedly and recently, and have come here in an effort to find out why.

Well, since you asked, I'll tell you. It's because you are ignorant and angry. You're ignorant because you simply don't understand the prof and his blog, don't understand what motivates people to blog here, and don't have a fucking clue about the rationalist/scientific search which motivates me, at least - oh and that's Mr poorly educated public schooled plebian, to you godboy.

It's a mystery to me why misanthropes like you post here anyway. Is it hatred for your god? Lost your job? Pyscho-sexual problems? What?
You could tell us, at least that would make your posts of some interest, and who knows maybe we could give you some kind of advice. I mean, it isn't that kind of blog, but I think you'll find that atheists are generally kind and understanding because we've worked out that's the best way to be.
However I doubt it. You just sound to me like an angry fuckwit. If you intend to post again first make it a lot better than the above post, and second, make it a point to disabuse me of that idea.
If, that is, you can.

#750

Posted by: Nerd of Redhead, OM Author Profile Page | February 21, 2009 2:42 PM

Creationism and ID are religious ideas. The backers lie when they pretend the ideas are scientific. We here have no objection to creationism and ID being taught in public schools, provided they are in a comparative religion course or a mythology course. If they want to be taught in science courses, they must first prove themselves scientific. The easiest way to do that is to publish the evidence for creationism/ID in the scientific literature. This has not been done. In fact, this has been studiously avoided.
Not engaging in a debate with creationist is not censorship. They have access to other media. They could give a speech elsewhere. If the creationists engaged in honest evidence based debate, they would be debated. But they engage in dishonest rhetorical tricks to avoid having to show evidence.

#751

Posted by: Janine, Ignorant Slut | February 21, 2009 2:52 PM

Posted by: DaveW | February 21, 2009

The tactics employed by PZ and his "gang" are similar to those employed by most fascists. Censorship, smear tactics, possibly violence either physical or economic.

DaveW, a couple of questions. Do you have a working definition of fascism? Do you have ant idea what it is and how it works?

What gives you the impression that we, as a group engage in physical violence?

But I really must say, the all black uniform with the cephalopod medallion is simply smashing.

#752

Posted by: BlueIndependent | February 21, 2009 2:54 PM

The tactics employed by PZ and his "gang" are similar to those employed by most fascists. Censorship, smear tactics, possibly violence either physical or economic. Folks, when you see this sort of thing, you should run away as fast as you can..."

Oh yes tell us all how you know so much about fascists. I'm surprised it took you fools so long to go all Godwin on our asses. I should at least be thankful that it took over 700 replies this time. It usually take you idiots about a dozen words before you prove your pathetic level of intellect. But I look forward to your posting of proof that Myers, or indeed anyone of similar or greatest stature, has done anything of the sort you are suggesting. We await patiently. Just keep in mind quite a few of us have met Myers personally, and he's a nice guy. So we're going to be quite harsh on you should you fail to produce the proof your charges demand that you show.

...Those of you who relish in these forms of attacks on others will find that what goes around comes around. Fortunately, this echo chamber of hate and hubris serves to remind people how desperate many of your are to advance your scientific as well as philosophical views without the usual scrutiny that other scientific and philosophical disciplines require...."

Oh really DaveW? Is that an open threat? Why don't you take your statement and shove it? We've heard quite enough of this harbinger-of-violence talk from people a part of an organization that historically has been one of the very purveyors of such. We don't need morons like you who been indoctrinated into abject crap telling the rest of us what is and is not true. We don't take order, we ask the only question worth asking: Why? You guys have failed to answer that question repeatedly over millenia, and yet you still come in our house and give us crap. We aren't taking it anymore.

...Myers biggest fans are primarily the poorly educated public schooled plebeians who can't think critically and certainly can't think scientifically because of the dogmatic manner in which science is taught to them. And, they can't tell a logical fallacy from an ad hominem if it hit them in the face...."

Many here are doubtlessly public educated, but many others such as myself, were privately educated. Odd how simpletons like you never stopped to consider that. But I guess it's to be expected of someone who's had God and Jesus stuffed down his throat since he could crawl, and was never truly expected to do anything other than recite 10 stone age rules and a few poems by heart. We sir do our homework, and we don't take kindly to people coming in here and telling us we're evil because we don't accept your god or anyone else's.

...The responses by Myers moronic minions on this thread and others would be laughable if it weren't for the virulent hate that motivates them.."

What you define as "virulent hate" is known as a mixture of honest questioning and ridicule for stupidity and systemic failures of logic in civil society. You also come in here demanding respect with pallid denouncements of hatred made behind words of war. You know nothing of the evils you ascribe to us, and are patently unqualified to warn anyone about them. Now shove off and go kneel to your statues. It's the only thing you're good at.

#753

Posted by: Sastra Author Profile Page | February 21, 2009 3:07 PM

"The vast majority of the world's scientists have systematically been involved in an evil conspiracy to spread an elaborate lie for over 100 years, and this lie is the cause of most of the world's problems."

"That's a load of bullshit. Where's the legitimate evidence for this?"

"You swore. That so reminds me of when the Nazi stormtroopers would viciously stomp people to death. Now I know exactly how the Jews must have felt."

"Uh huh."

#754

Posted by: Badger3k | February 21, 2009 3:16 PM

Rey Fox (744) "Even if we narrow it somewhat and start it at the beginning of monotheistic creator religion, then that puts it back about 6000 years."

The first that I am aware of was Ahknaten, which IIRC was around 1300-odd years BCE, making monotheism only 3300-odd years old. Perhaps you refer to something from the Indus valley? I am not up-to-speed on ancient Hindu/pre-hindu myths, but I am not sure if pantheism/panentheism/henotheism - I get them confused and I am not sure what the beliefs of the time would be called - would qualify as "properly" monotheistic. To what do you refer to?

#755

Posted by: AnthonyK Author Profile Page | February 21, 2009 3:27 PM

Just keep in mind quite a few of us have met Myers personally

No way - man, he's just an illusion! I mean, come on, we've all "met" Myers, but not in real life! He doen't exist dude, he's just a construct we atheists use to give meaning to our nihilistic lives.
Please, let's have no more Myersism on this blog. Myers is dead. Let's just get on with our lives.

#756

Posted by: 'Tis Himself, Designated Economist Author Profile Page | February 21, 2009 3:35 PM

Myers biggest fans are primarily the poorly educated public schooled plebeians who can't think critically and certainly can't think scientifically because of the dogmatic manner in which science is taught to them.

I know that several of the people involved in this discussion on the pro-science side have or are working on graduate degrees in various subjects, including scientific subjects. I regret that I have a lowly masters degree in (I shudder to mention it) economics. But Nerd has a PhD in (I believe) chemistry and David Marjanović is a doctoral candidate in paleontology.

#757

Posted by: Badger3k | February 21, 2009 3:44 PM

re:755

'Tis - but they aren't educated through a fine institution like Liberty University or one of those online schools who work out of trailer parks and apartments. Seriously, there is no better PhD than one you can buy for $100 online. Obviously, if you go through a normal institution, you are being indoctrinated into the (let's see if I can get them all) "Facist authoritarian Darwin-worshipping atheistic mean-poopie-headed" dogma that is keeping the Man down!!!!11!!

Hmm. Not enough CAPS. I'll work on it.

#758

Posted by: Owlmirror | February 21, 2009 3:45 PM

[Re: Kelly @#681]
I am the lone individual in my educational institution (and in my circle of acquaintances) who articulates a belief in the Triune God.
Somehow I doubt it. You've found and been employed by the only near total atheist workforce in the world?

No, she did say Triune God. She might work with and/or have acquaintances who are Muslims, Jews, or Unitarians — or, heck, maybe even Zoroastrians.

/snark

#759

Posted by: Nerd of Redhead, OM Author Profile Page | February 21, 2009 4:14 PM

'Tis, lowly masters? Once a degree is granted, what you do afterwards is important. I make sure to listen to others because I can miss things others catch. Never be afraid to put in your two cents worth, or call me out if you think I'm wrong.
I have detected eau de academe from several posters.
The only reason I have presented my degree is to demonstrate to some posters that they can't bullshit me on what science is and isn't, otherwise, we are equals at the keyboard.

#760

Posted by: AnthonyK Author Profile Page | February 21, 2009 4:20 PM

Thank you, your emminence. You underestimate the boost your presence gives other humble posters, such as myself.
If I may be so bold.

#761

Posted by: Josh | February 21, 2009 4:24 PM

Myers biggest fans are primarily the poorly educated public schooled plebeians who can't think critically and certainly can't think scientifically because of the dogmatic manner in which science is taught to them.

That's the funniest line of bs I've read in weeks.

#762

Posted by: 'Tis Himself, Designated Economist Author Profile Page | February 21, 2009 4:37 PM

I'll be honest, Nerd, I'm proud of my MA. It took enough time and effort to get it.

No, I was doing the false modesty bit because Mr. DaveW was sneering at "poorly educated public schooled plebeians." Even though I went to Catholic grade school and high school, I know I could never match DaveW's schooling from his mommy and Rev. Billy Joe Jim Bob's Washed In the Blood of the Lamb Evangelical Gospel Academy of West Bumfuck, East Carolina.

#763

Posted by: bob | February 21, 2009 5:02 PM

DaveW, if you feel you've been violently oppressed, please provide your evidence for ID here. I've asked this of almost every troll in this thread, and the only thing resembling a reply was someone copy-pasting a list of "publications" off the DI website that the fine commenters here quickly deconstructed.

So, put up or shut up. If you've been suppressed, air your censored materials here. If people get angry at you, get the hell over it ... you're (a) talking controversial science and (b) you're on the damn internet.

Finally, I don't like your disparaging comment about public school. This is my 20th year in public school, and barring a catastrophe I'll be getting a PhD from my public university in the next few years. So, fuck off.

One more thing, an ad hominem IS a logical fallacy. Dumbass. Note that my calling you a dumbass is NOT an ad hominem, because I'm not saying "you're wrong because you're a dumbass." I'm saying you're wrong because there isn't actually a conspiracy keeping your good evidence silenced, you just don't have any good evidence.

#764

Posted by: Knockgoats | February 21, 2009 5:17 PM

These hand-waving dismissals do nothing for those of us watching this debate from the sidelines who suspect that the Darwinian mechanism if not quite impotent, is nearly so.,/i> - Nathan@710

Nathan, it was rather silly of you to include this in the smae comment as a link to your blog. Anyone who bothers to follow it can see that your cliam to be "watching this debate from the sidelines" is a barefaced lie.

#765

Posted by: AnthonyK Author Profile Page | February 21, 2009 5:21 PM

I'll be honest, Nerd, I'm proud of my MA. It took enough time and effort to get it.

I feel the same about my Nobel Prize for biology. You won't find me boasting about it however. I've also got a massive dick, but modesty forbids that too from ever being mentioned.

#766

Posted by: 'Tis Himself, Designated Economist Author Profile Page | February 21, 2009 5:28 PM

I've also got a massive dick, but modesty forbids that too from ever being mentioned.

I didn't know imagination grew that large.

#767

Posted by: A. Noyd Author Profile Page | February 21, 2009 5:30 PM

Iain Walker (#727)

Joe G (#713):
And until we know what dtermines an organisms final form, we will never know whether or not one form can "evolve" into another.

We have a fairly good idea of what determines an organism's final form - check out any of PZ's posts on Hox genes for a start, and try reading up on evo-devo.

I read Joe as saying he thinks we believe evolution works towards a specific, hierarchical goal where basic forms evolve into "higher" forms until they reach their "final," ultimate form, and that to him "an organism" means "a species."

At least, that's the only sort of sense I could dredge from his ramblings.

#768

Posted by: AnthonyK Author Profile Page | February 21, 2009 5:32 PM

My imagination is indeed immense, but then you know what they say...

#769

Posted by: A. Noyd Author Profile Page | February 21, 2009 5:33 PM

supamanc (#737)

(sorry my question mark key is broken)

If you're using Windows, try alt + 0063 (on the number pad).

#770

Posted by: Stu Author Profile Page | February 21, 2009 5:54 PM

The tactics employed by PZ and his "gang" are similar to those employed by most fascists.

Godwin in your first sentence! Congratulations, that's a new record.

Also, in other news, you are a moron.

#771

Posted by: Stu Author Profile Page | February 21, 2009 5:56 PM

Nathan, it was rather silly of you to include this in the smae comment as a link to your blog. Anyone who bothers to follow it can see that your cliam to be "watching this debate from the sidelines" is a barefaced lie.

I know, I know... a mendacious creationist cretin... who'd've thunk it?

#772

Posted by: Ragutis | February 21, 2009 6:45 PM

GT posted:

718 posts! Not one that I glanced over

Aha! I think I've found your problem.

Try reading for comprehension instead.

If you don't like the tone or style in this thread or on this blog, please read http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html

All your questions are answered there with references and recommendations for further reading. You're welcome to return and pick up the discussion once you're done. We'll be here.

#773

Posted by: Kel | February 21, 2009 7:55 PM

Kel, your post at #686 is very similar to an argument I've used debating theists before.
that's a nice way of putting it, I'm at the stage now where I'm convinced that most theists do not believe in God, rather that they believe in the bible. That way they can avoid answering the dilemma altogether. I'm betting most don't realise that the evidence pointing to evolution is overwhelming, and that there is at present no evidence to support the notion of a higher power. ID fails not because scientists are an atheist lot (the majority aren't) but because the idea of Intelligent Design doesn't pass scientific standards, hence why I've been going on about the two things ID advocates must answer.

It seems quite an obvious point, either Intelligent Design advocates show evidence of a designer interacting in nature or concede the idea is not science. Until a mechanism is proposed and tested, Intelligent Design is nothing more than the desire to push God in the classroom under the guise of "it doesn't have to be God"
#774

Posted by: Rey Fox | February 21, 2009 8:18 PM

"The first that I am aware of was Ahknaten, which IIRC was around 1300-odd years BCE, making monotheism only 3300-odd years old. Perhaps you refer to something from the Indus valley?"

Er...no, I'll go with your numbers instead. I'm not exactly sure where the 6000 thing came from.

#775

Posted by: Kel | February 21, 2009 8:31 PM

* PBS show such as Nova treating design theory fairly
Well they at least achieved this goal, the design hypothesis received a very fair hearing in Judgement Day.
#776

Posted by: AnthonyK Author Profile Page | February 21, 2009 8:39 PM

Yes, though that wasn't quite what they were hoping for.
The Wedge document is extraordinary though, isn't it? All their wishes, all their motivation, laid achingly bare. That's why they are so difficult to argue with - they truly believe that shit.
Hahahahahahahahahahahah. Ha. Though, eh?

#777

Posted by: Kel | February 21, 2009 8:46 PM

Yes, though that wasn't quite what they were hoping for.
Thus highlighting the semantic gap between fair and favourable. A fair trial can still end up with someone being found guilty.

The Wedge document is extraordinary though, isn't it? All their wishes, all their motivation, laid achingly bare. That's why they are so difficult to argue with - they truly believe that shit.
Agreed, it does speak volumes for their convictions and it's no wonder they resonate with the religious. It also speaks volumes for the level of ambition they had, the total failure to achieve any of those goals, and the underhanded tactics of using ID to get people to come to Jebus.

But yeah, it's very hahahahahahahahahahaha pathetic on their count.
#778

Posted by: Paul Murray Author Profile Page | February 21, 2009 9:57 PM

Not being of Darwin's intellectual caliber, it's not surprising that they don't want to debate.
I am not sure that Darwin ever *debated* evolution. He wrote a book.

The thing that makes science science is that it is *written* and *reviewed*. Humanity has tried debate as a way to get at truth. Greek philosophy was all debated. *It doesn't work*. Debate is not an effective way to get at truth - the sophists demonstrated that. Debate is prescientific.

If - *if* - one was to debate one of these people, the topic should be whether creation science counts as science, and the debater should not be a scientist, but a professional arguer: a philosopher, or a lawyer.

#779

Posted by: passerby | February 21, 2009 10:09 PM

"My friend, I am the lone individual in my educational institution (and in my circle of acquaintances) who articulates a belief in the Triune God. I am also the lone individual to speak up in defense of His Word, to speak out against the abhorrent practice of abortion, and to support the defense of the defenseless around the word (regardless of how unpopular doing so may be). And no, I do not have a circle of like-minded friends to whom I turn after these things happen.
Am I weak?
These convictions, dear to me as anything in this world, are dismissed as lies.
But I have given up many advances in my career rather than betray them. I have been shamed and laughed at more than you with your (currently) popular beliefs will ever know."


IMPOSSIBLE!!!
We (the atheist conspirators) have been working so hard for so many years to keep all of you out of all educational and scientific institutions, and you, against all odds, still have a job!

Please tell us what is this particular institution, we need to send some black helicopters over there right away.

#780

Posted by: GT | February 21, 2009 10:13 PM

"Creationism and ID are religious ideas" That's your opinion and so to is your faith in atheisum...everyone even you monkeys that are still evolving have a worldview. Deny it all you want it is not my call...go talk to a phychologist. And who was the 'post' that said entropy not that tripe again? WOW! That's the 2nd law of therm Dyn. I thought all you folks had grown up past primordial ooze. What a bunch of clowns. You should all go get jobs...Oh, I get it. You did have jobs but becuase you're so far down on the Darinian food chain you're hiding here on the blog so no other life form will chew you and spit you.

I came in here because I have a few of Sean Carroll's books and I picked up a couple vids the other day and the cosmic variance is his hang around spot...this 'offshoot' must be where he dumps his holding tank for all you panspermium faith gods.

I'm gone...

you all a joke...and totally in hell (aaah that's where everyone talks and no one has the sence to listen...or even knows how to listen...total gibberish complete 3rd grade din)

I'm not even going to waste my time spell-checking this

Ha ha haaa

#781

Posted by: Marko | February 21, 2009 10:13 PM

"Another stupid fallacy we've heard a zillion times. Who created those Intelligent Aliens..." - Raven #429

You're very clever, young man. Very clever. But it's aliens all the way back!"

(Sorry, I couldn't resist - with apologies to S. Hawking)

#782

Posted by: Larry Fischer | February 21, 2009 10:15 PM

A-Fricken-Men!

#783

Posted by: Sastra Author Profile Page | February 21, 2009 10:19 PM

GT #779 wrote:

I'm gone...

Oh, too bad. We hoped to chat.

#784

Posted by: Sven DiMilo | February 21, 2009 10:21 PM

oooh I betcha GT just drove by.
GT: There are two different guys named Sean Carroll.

go talk to a phychologist
It's spelled "phycologist," and why would I be interested in talking about algae?

#785

Posted by: Steve_C | February 21, 2009 10:22 PM

Erm OK GT. Bye bye. I don't think that argument would of made sense in your native language either.

#786

Posted by: Nerd of Redhead, OM Author Profile Page | February 21, 2009 10:26 PM

GT, you never proved creationism and ID are scientific. Your running away confirmed that you knew they were religious theories, and that you are scared to try to show they are scientific. Bawk, Bawk, Bawk.

#787

Posted by: bryce | February 21, 2009 10:29 PM

Earlier, Bobber wrote:
"And did you really want to equate ID Creationism with Holocaust denial, which has NO standing ..., just as ID Creationism has NO standing amongst real scientists?"

How is "real" defined?

#788

Posted by: John Morales | February 21, 2009 10:51 PM

bryce,

How is "real" defined?

Thusly.

As for real scientists, perhaps these seventh-graders can help...

#789

Posted by: Ragutis | February 21, 2009 11:17 PM

Fuck off, GT. All you're doing is making a twat of yourself.

Come back when you're sober and after you've read the pages I directed you to at #771.

#790

Posted by: MPW | February 21, 2009 11:19 PM

DaveW:

they can't tell a logical fallacy from an ad hominem if it hit them in the face.

This might be the funniest goddamn sentence clause in this whole thread. Bob at comment #762 covered why a little further up, but I just had to put in my vote.

Dave, you're a cutup!

#791

Posted by: Kel | February 21, 2009 11:44 PM

I'll ask again:
Can any ID advocate actually show examples of how the designer has helped shaped the course of life on this earth?
Furthermore, can any ID advocate construct a test that would allow for the mechanisms proposed by the first question can be tested?

If neither of these questions can be answered, why should we considered ID a science?

#792

Posted by: The MadPanda | February 21, 2009 11:55 PM

Dr. Gotelli's letter is going in my 'keep for future reference' file right next to Dr. Lenski's response to another grandstanding moron. Such grace under fire is impressive, and had I the wherewithall to remain so composed in the face of blatant idiocy, I would at least have the satisfaction of achievement once the schadenfreude faded.


The MadPanda, FCD

#793

Posted by: Kel | February 22, 2009 12:04 AM

That last line of mine should say "If neither of these questions can be answered, why should we consider ID a science?" Also it follows on that if ID is not a science, then what is this debate all about?

#794

Posted by: Markita Lynda: Healthcare is a damn right Author Profile Page | February 22, 2009 12:22 AM

Prof. Gotteli did not want an anti-science, scientist-demonizing spokesdrone like Ben Stein to give the UVM commencement speech and, in an editorial, expressed a preference for a real scientist. Klinghoffer then used his blog to accuse Gotteli of hypocrisy because UVM didn't replace Ben Stein with a scientist. Apparently it's the professor's fault that UVM found instead a former state governor who is the prospective Secretary of Health & Human Services in President Obama's cabinet. Klinghoffer even quoted favorably a 3rd-party whinge about 'couldn't they get Daffy Duck?'.

Then he complains because Prof. Gotteli was rude to him. Gotteli wasn't exactly rude but he was blunt. He called it two-faced when Klinghoffer followed up this whining and accusatory blog post with the unctuous letter that followed, asking for a scientific debate on campus.

It's odd that Mr. Klinghoffer is now whinging about not getting his chance at free speech at UVM (as though free speech meant being given a free podium), when the blog where he whinges does not allow any comments.

#795

Posted by: Jim M. | February 22, 2009 1:42 AM

I’m surprised that Gotelli had to guts to allow his letter to be made public. I guess he thinks it paints him as a Darwinitic hero or something. Obviously he is proud of his correspondence which, in my opinion, doesn’t say much for him or for Meyers who gladly published it on his site. They take pleasure in poking fun at people they call creationists, yet they want these same creationists(over half of the US population) to take them seriously. What a joke!
I understand Gotelli's reasoning for saying "No." to a debate. He claims there is no scientific controversy and he wouldn't allow a flat earth society person come and debate. But equating ID theory with flat earth ideas is totally off base and he knows it. This is just a ploy to make ID seem ridiculous. Ridicule does not win arguments and he is simply making a fool of himself with that kind of rhetoric. If there really were no controversy, then I could understand his reasoning, but you have to be like an ostrich and stick your head in the sand to claim there is no controversy! This is just an excuse. No matter how loud they shout “THERE IS NO DEBATE AMONG TRUE SCIENTISTS!”, it remains painfully obvious to everyone not indoctrinated and imprisoned with naturalism(whether methodological or other) that there is a debate. I guess they think that if they shout loud enough and long enough, people will begin to believe them. Personally, I think it makes them lose credibility, but that’s me.
What I found most amusing in the reply of Gotelli was his condescending advice to publish in Nature or Science, or some other well established scientific journal. He knows very well that the Darwinites will allow no such publishing to take place. The lack of ID articles in these journals of course, gives absolutely no credibility to evolution. Evolution must stand and fall on its own feet. Just because there isn’t a better alternative right now, has nothing to do with how trustworthy Darwinism is or is not. However, it does give proof of one thing: censorship. Arguments can be made on a totally scientific basis for ID but even this is not allowed. Why? Because it is claimed the person believes in a Creator and that is not scientific.
To be fair, a person’s worldview about origins should have nothing to do with whether his scientific paper is accepted for publishing or not. An IDer cannot publish an article critical of evolution simply because he is an IDer. However, a Darwinist could write the same paper and it MIGHT be accepted. There are articles all the time in mainstream scientific journals that question some aspects of the evolution hypothesis, but the authors always make it clear that they are not questioning the whole scheme of things so it’s OK. But if you question the whole scheme of things, then your article is not allowed no matter if it is totally scientific in nature. So Gotelli’s challenge to publish is laughable. He knows very well this is not possible because of censorship. And he thinks the public doesn’t understand this? These guys are way out in right field and have very little respect for the public. As long as they treat people that way, they ain’t gonna get anywhere with their cute litte stories they masquerade as science.
I was just surprised at how little shame these guys have. Granted, he made what was probably an honest mistake in assuming that Klinghoffer was the author of the article that was critical of him on Discovery Institute's website, but still, his response was childish and inappropriate. It is like, "OK, if you do me bad, then I have every right to do you bad too." This idea was something that Jesus talked against. But who needs religion anyway? Maybe PJ and Gotelli do. It would seem that way. In fact we all do, because we all have this same sinful tendancy in our hearts. Do we all still think that science has all the answers for life that we need? Only evolutionists and atheists believe this. Like it or not, they have to because they have nothing else to stand on.

Jim in Tokyo

#796

Posted by: Kel | February 22, 2009 1:45 AM

For all ID advocates out there, please answer these questions:
http://kelosophy.blogspot.com/2009/02/two-questions-for-intelligent-design.html

There's only two, surely it shouldn't be too difficult.

#797

Posted by: Owlmirror | February 22, 2009 1:57 AM

This is just a ploy to make ID seem ridiculous.

LOL.

I call Poe on Jim M. in Tokyo. Very well done humour!

#798

Posted by: Kel | February 22, 2009 2:05 AM

Do we all still think that science has all the answers for life that we need? Only evolutionists and atheists believe this. Like it or not, they have to because they have nothing else to stand on.
Nice shifting of the goalposts there, the whole problem with ID is that there's no evidential backing for the idea and has nothing to do with whether science has answers for everything in life. All evidence points to evolution, that's why it's backed by scientists. If Intelligent Design has merit - show the evidence for it! Otherwise realise that while there may be a designer, without evidence there is no debate.

If you want to believe that God played a hand in life, you are more than welcome to. But there's a big difference between one's own beliefs and what constitutes science. So when scientists ignore the dishonest folk at the discovery institute, it's not because they reject a creator. It's because Intelligent Design is an academically void concept that is publicly promoted despite the lack of evidence for it. You want it recognised? Show that there's evidence!!!
#799

Posted by: Markita Lynda: Healthcare is a damn right Author Profile Page | February 22, 2009 2:50 AM

Apparently I'm getting mixed up about who blogged what (the original comment on the editorial was not Klinghoffer's) and who said what (about Daffy Duck). Nevertheless, I stand by my point that Mr. Klinghoffer is foolish to hold Prof. Gotteli responsible for the choice of former Governor Howard Dean as commencement speaker.

And, Christina, you should read the records of Kitzmiller vs. Dover about what that "peer review" of Behe's book Darwin's Black Box amounted to. If someone told you that was the same review process as journal articles get, you were lied to. Here is the "peer review" as described by the professor of biochemistry who was asked by the publisher about the book: "I received a phone call from the publisher in New York. We spent approximately ten minutes on the phone. After hearing a description of the work, I suggested that the editor should seriously consider publishing the manuscript."

#800

Posted by: Ragutis | February 22, 2009 2:55 AM

that the Darwinites will allow no such publishing to take place.

MUAH HA HA HA HA! *rubs hands maniacally* Our preposterous and unsubstantiated theory is safe from the Soldiers of Christ for another day!

*headdesk*

Seriously, you don't think a paper providing scientific evidence of a Creator (god, alien race, whatever) would get published? It would be the biggest scientific discovery EVER, you moron.


Evolution must stand and fall on its own feet. Just because there isn’t a better alternative right now


Nice way to shoot yourself in the foot there, Jimmy.

When you do have an alternative that's supported by evidence, please come back and present it.

FFS, does religion make you allergic to labcoats or something?

#801

Posted by: Kel | February 22, 2009 3:04 AM

Evolution must stand and fall on its own feet.
I wonder if the people who say that understand just how much evidence there is supporting evolution... I'm betting not.
#802

Posted by: Wowbagger | February 22, 2009 3:19 AM

Good grief. I go away for a day and a night and this thread is still going. Looks like you guys have disposed of the idiot trolls without me.

Oh, one thing - Kelly, #681, wrote:

My friend...

I'm not your friend, buddy.

#803

Posted by: Markita Lynda: Healthcare is a damn right Author Profile Page | February 22, 2009 3:29 AM

Actually, I've seen a few polio victims (my late cousin was one) but nowadays they are usually immigrants.

#804

Posted by: passerby | February 22, 2009 3:29 AM

"FFS, does religion make you allergic to labcoats or something?"

No, it makes one allergic to thinking on their own. It makes their brain hurt.

#805

Posted by: passerby | February 22, 2009 3:32 AM

Also, massive thumbs up for Kel.

I really admire your relentlessness.

#806

Posted by: Kel | February 22, 2009 3:35 AM

My friend...
I'm not your friend, buddy.
(s)he's not your buddy, guy!

Also, massive thumbs up for Kel.

I really admire your relentlessness.
Thanks, it's a dirty job but someone has to do it. And if I don't, then there's only about 30 or so people on here who will!
#807

Posted by: Anton Mates | February 22, 2009 3:41 AM

The lack of ID articles in these journals of course, gives absolutely no credibility to evolution. Evolution must stand and fall on its own feet. Just because there isn’t a better alternative right now, has nothing to do with how trustworthy Darwinism is or is not.

Yeah! What do these scientists think they're doing, accepting evolution just because it's the best available explanation for the evidence? That's crazy talk!

#808

Posted by: Anton Mates | February 22, 2009 3:54 AM

Censorship, smear tactics, possibly violence either physical or economic.

Economic violence? Is that where we stab creationists right in the checking account?

Sorry, but Expelled's box office performance wasn't our fault.

#809

Posted by: Vagrant | February 22, 2009 4:08 AM

Thank you to all of you for being here on this blog engaged in this topic and for helping me already learn so much. I’ve been perusing this thread now for more than a day, following links, countering my incredulity, falling deeply in love with several posters and becoming less dumb (if I can say so myself).
For example, at first I though someone malicious had gone through and replaced every instance of the word “verifiable” with “falsifiable”. Searching several dictionaries did not reveal a meaning for “falsifiable” that was consistent with the context in which it was found here. I kept searching and thanks to that wikisite, I now think that it means more like “testable”. (I might not be the only person misled by that word and concede that I may still be wrong about how it is used in this thread). It’s always good to learn when a word is used to mean exactly the opposite of its familiar meaning.
There are so many scholars apparently writing here…is this an appropriate place for me to ask questions that might be kind of newbie? or can I get directions to that appropriate place?

#810

Posted by: Wowbagger | February 22, 2009 4:12 AM

What I want to know is, why isn't anyone challenging those arrogant scientists who believe in the theory of flight? It's just a theory after all. Why aren't they being forced to the table for a discussion? What about the controversy? I mean, they've never proved the theory of flight have they? They just assume planes fly because of it.

Now I'm not saying it's necessarily done by invisible pixies that go underneath birds and planes and helicopters and blue-footed boobies, but that doesn't mean we have to allow people who believe in this 'theory' to go around telling others they aren't allowed to comment.

Oh, and do not get me started on those closeminded, marching in lockstep, arrogant, echo-chamber, conspiracy-to-crush-all-dissent gravity theorists...

#811

Posted by: Kel | February 22, 2009 4:20 AM

is this an appropriate place for me to ask questions that might be kind of newbie? or can I get directions to that appropriate place?
Ask away, there's always bound to be someone willing to help.
#812

Posted by: Vagrant | February 22, 2009 4:28 AM

What I want to know is, why isn't anyone challenging those arrogant scientists who believe in the theory of flight?>>

Isn't it because, as bob posted in #762 ..."you're talking controversial science"? Flight & gravity being less so.

#813

Posted by: Vagrant | February 22, 2009 4:32 AM

Thanks Kel, I'm so flattered to get a response from you especially, you are obviously a hard-working thinker. So my current pestery ignorance is about "survival of the fittest". Is this a part of the theory of evolution? Where should I look for a reliable definition of fit?

#814

Posted by: John Morales | February 22, 2009 4:47 AM

Vagrant, it's not that hard to look. Evolutionary fitness.

#815

Posted by: scooter | February 22, 2009 4:53 AM

Vagrant:

"survival of the fittest" is not anywhere in the accepted scholarly works concerning evolution, it is just some simplified bullshit catch phrase from the layman and journalistic vagrants.

Anyway, I'd suggest in the upcoming end times, get a pile of rubbish next to a sewer, so you can fish for your own rats, as they will be in demand.

#816

Posted by: A. Noyd Author Profile Page | February 22, 2009 4:54 AM

Vagrant (#812)

So my current pestery ignorance is about "survival of the fittest". Is this a part of the theory of evolution? Where should I look for a reliable definition of fit?

One of my college anthropology professors said it would better reflect reality if it were called "survival of the marginally adequate" instead. As long as you're competent enough at survival to successfully pass on your genes to future generations, you could be considered "fit."

For more, check out Wikipedia and some of the explanations on talkorigins.

#817

Posted by: Wowbagger | February 22, 2009 4:56 AM

Vagrant,

What's a better question is this: why is the ToE any more 'controversial' than the other two in my facetious post?

There is as much evidence for the theory of evolution explaining the diversity of life on this planet as there is to support the theory of flight's explanation of why things fly, and the theory of gravity's explanation of why large bodies attract smaller ones.

Likewise, there is no evidence to the contrary for any of the three. The only 'controversy' is that there an educational system can produce people so lacking in science knowledge and critical thinking skills to think otherwise.

#818

Posted by: A. Noyd Author Profile Page | February 22, 2009 4:56 AM

Err, that was supposed to be "competent enough at survival and reproduction."

#819

Posted by: Kel | February 22, 2009 4:59 AM

"Survival of the fittest" is a phrase that became associated with evolution after the theory was first outlined. It's a truism in a certain sense, but it doesn't mean fittest in the way we use it in everyday language. Remember that in each generation there are more offspring than parents, so there's a competition between the offspring for the same resources. The ones that are best suited for gaining food, gaining a mate, avoiding being eaten, those are the ones who are going to have more offspring and those successful genes will be passed down through generations.

But of course it's a bit more complicated than that. The environment is never static and in certain instances the genes that would allow one individual to dominate would be quite useless. Being big and strong is one thing, but it comes at a cost - one has to eat more in order to survive. So if there's a crisis and food resources are depleted, it may be those smaller members of a species who survive. For a human example, in 1942 the Japanese captured about 50,000 Australian soldiers and put them to work on the Thai-Burma railway. They fed the prisoners with the same dietary rations that a Japanese soldier would get - about 1500 calories a day. Now Australians on average are much bigger and eat more - around 3500 calories. So when they were prisoners it was the fittest, strongest soldiers who died first through starvation and overwork.

So that should teach one important lesson - that what constitutes being 'fit' is wholly determined on the environment by which one is operating under. And therein lies the principle behind natural selection. Being bigger and stronger doesn't always help if the environment selects against that. The ones best suited to their environment will thrive. Charles Darwin summed this idea up so beautifully -
"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change." - Charles Darwin


One more thing to remember, and it will come in the means of a joke: Two men are walking through a forest when suddenly they stumble on a waking tiger. One man turns to run, while the other puts on his running shoes. The first man in utter amazement says "look, you can't outrun a tiger." "You're right, I can't" said the 2nd man, "but I can outrun you."

#820

Posted by: Kel | February 22, 2009 5:32 AM

One of my college anthropology professors said it would better reflect reality if it were called "survival of the marginally adequate" instead.
I like that way of putting it. My mate puts it a really nice way as well - "You don't have to be the fastest zebra to avoid being eaten by a cheetah, just not the slowest."
#821

Posted by: Vagrant | February 22, 2009 5:40 AM

Posted by: John Morales | February 22, 2009 4:47 AM
Vagrant, it's not that hard to look. Evolutionary fitness.
>>You’re right, but it can be hard for the ignorant to know which sources to trust and I asking for guidance from those whose opinions I’ve built some trust for, based on this thread. Your link led me to Wikipedia again, and I thought ID thinkers were as free as scientist to place information there.

Posted by: scooter | February 22, 2009 4:53 AM
"survival of the fittest" is not anywhere in the accepted scholarly works concerning evolution, it is just some simplified bullshit catch phrase from the layman and journalistic vagrants.
>>Is this correct? If so, that is why I was reluctant to put my trust in Wikipedia who say it’s central to the theory and is natural selection.

Posted by: A. Noyd | February 22, 2009 4:54 AM
One of my college anthropology professors said it would better reflect reality if it were called "survival of the marginally adequate" instead. As long as you're competent enough at survival to successfully pass on your genes to future generations, you could be considered "fit."
For more, check out Wikipedia and some of the explanations on talkorigins.
>>I was trying to gain clarity from sources here. Finding takorigins (thanks to this thread) has been wonderful and informative, but left me still unclear about this phrase.

Posted by: Wowbagger | February 22, 2009 4:56 AM
What's a better question is this: why is the ToE any more 'controversial' than the other two in my facetious post?
>>Mistakenly, I thought you were responding to me, so I replied.
But I should probably make my own position clear. I am persuaded by evolutionary science, as I’m aware of it. I am not a scientist (though fascinated by it). My usual arena is with the unschooled, the ignorant believers and yet I cannot help but try to confront their ridiculous claims when they foist them upon me.
I think the ID bullies fight with evolutionary scientists because you are the scientists that the general public sees as most prominently, actively & vociferously engaged in defence of science. Since ID folks seem unwilling to put forward their own case, perhaps they (erringly) view defending one’s position as weakness and thus they attack. Little do they know.
Kel, thank you again. This time for responding with such bounty of information, without me even having made clear that I wasn’t antagonistic to your views. I bow to your grace. And your information was useful and matches my understanding of natural selection being different than “survival of the fittest” (also depicted as “only the strong survive”).
Also must mention: Dr. Gotelli's letter...was wit, wise & wonderful.

#822

Posted by: Stephen Wells | February 22, 2009 5:50 AM

@808: the significance of "Falsifiability" for science is that it means "If you were wrong, you would be able to find out". It has nothing to do with whether a claim is actually true or false. "The square root of 2 is an irrational number" is a falsifiable claim (if you were wrong, you would be able to find out) which is also true, while "The earth is flat" is a falsifiable claim which is also false.

#823

Posted by: Wowbagger | February 22, 2009 5:58 AM

Vagrant,

My comment was just a random one rather than a response to anything you'd written - just me putting an idea together on the screen and thinking that perhaps the next cdesign proponentist might read it and think twice before trying the 'why do evolutionists want to censor dissenting views?' nonsense that we see a lot of here.

I'm not holding my breath, though. As they say, you can't reason a person out of a position they weren't reasoned into.

On that - as you've seen upthread there are those who like to bang their heads against the wall of reality by coming here and demonstrating their ignorance and closedmindedness; it's sometimes hard to discriminate between them and people asking genuine questions.

I'm not a scientist either, but in the nigh on a year I've been coming here I've learned a lot about evolution and other areas of science from the posters. And anything people here don't know themselves they'll know places to go to find more information.

#824

Posted by: supamanc | February 22, 2009 6:10 AM

Posted by: A. Noyd Author Profile Page | February 21, 2009 5:33 PM

supamanc (#737)

(sorry my question mark key is broken)

If you're using Windows, try alt + 0063 (on the number pad).


cool, did not know that, thanks!! and for the forward slash? :)

#825

Posted by: Nathan | February 22, 2009 6:24 AM

Josh (#719) and Knockgoats (#763), your point is well taken. "From the sidelines" probably wasn't the best choice of words; "as a non-specialist who is keenly interested in this debate" would have been better. Accordingly, I do collect relevant books and quotes on my site. In my own writing I try to stick to philosophy and rhetoric, hence the nature of my comment (#710) here.

#826

Posted by: David Marjanović, OM | February 22, 2009 6:38 AM

Isn't that interesting? The last two IDologists here didn't even understand that they were on the Internet. GT believed he was talking only to Vermonters (and upperclass ones at that, LOL!), and DaveW believed all of us had gone through the US school system. Well, folks, you're not in Kansas anymore!

For example, at first I though someone malicious had gone through and replaced every instance of the word “verifiable” with “falsifiable”. Searching several dictionaries did not reveal a meaning for “falsifiable” that was consistent with the context in which it was found here. I kept searching and thanks to that wikisite, I now think that it means more like “testable”.

It means the exact same thing as "testable", it's only more obvious. That's because, in the end, nothing is truly verifiable. Suppose you discover the truth. How do you find out that what you have discovered is indeed the truth? By comparing it to the truth, which you don't have? That's why science cannot prove/verify, only disprove/falsify.

Your link led me to Wikipedia again, and I thought ID thinkers were as free as scientist to place information there.

Well, yes, but there aren't enough IDologists out there to make a difference on Wikipedia! We actually found out once: there are only about 900 IDologists on teh whole wide intarwebz -- a very aggressively promoted Internet poll on the propaganda movie Expelled! didn't get more than 900 favorable votes. It's documented here on Pharyngula somewhere.

#827

Posted by: David Marjanović, OM | February 22, 2009 6:42 AM

Well, Nathan, now that you're back, let me refer you to my comments 639 and 728.

#828

Posted by: SEF | February 22, 2009 6:52 AM

"IDologists" = IDiots = IDlers = IDolaters = ...


the uncoordinated instinctual trends are the "id" ...
;-)

#829

Posted by: «bønez_brigade» Author Profile Page | February 22, 2009 7:27 AM

@supamanc [823],
If I may steal A. Noyd's thunder...

/ = Alt + 47

Also, ? = Alt + 63
As for a leading zero, it usually makes a difference, except for #s 32-126. You could type 100 zeros before 63, and it would still yield "?".

For more info: http://www.alt-codes.net/

Or just open the Character Map (charmap.exe) if in Windows.

#830

Posted by: «bønez_brigade» Author Profile Page | February 22, 2009 7:29 AM

Re: Me
"You could type 100 zeros before 63, and it would still yield "?"."
And, yes, I've tried it.

#831

Posted by: Josh | February 22, 2009 7:39 AM

Nathan, a non-specialists who are keenly interested in this debate are very welcome, as long as they understand that the debate is about education, not science.

There is no debate among the people who actually study evolution for a living as to the central propositions of the theory. I don't much care for what an engineer has to say about evolution's validity any more than some physicist is likely to give a rat's ass about my views on string theory. Nor should they. I don't publish in physics; they have no need of my opinion. Science isn't democratic and it tries hard not to be about opinion. English teachers shouldn't be trying to tell carpenters how to best to build sheds unless they actually know something about hammering nails (or can conclusively demonstrate that the shed, as currently built, is falling apart).

Sure, there are a few people out there who both hold credentials in biology and have some biology publications under their belt, who doubt evolution's validity. This does not mean that there is some huge debate about the validity of evolution raging within biological circles. The fact that some people dispute the shape of the earth as being spherical does not mean that there is a huge debate about the shape of the earth going on within geoscience.

Up until a few years ago (I think he's dead now), there was at least one lone holdout left who did not accept plate tectonics. He had not succeeded in falsifying the theory, but he was still holding onto his belief (and at this point it really was belief in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary). Did his opinion (and those of perhaps a few colleagues--I really don't remember) mean that there was a "huge debate" about plate tectonics raging within geology? Were the GSA meetings still holding theme sessions about this new tectonics paradigm that seemed to be blossoming everywhere? No. Those sessions had been held in the 50s and 60s. The sessions in the 90s were business as usual: structural geology with plate tectonics as the principal explanation for why the crust gets deformed; sedimentary geology with plate tectonics as the principal explanation for how accommodation space for sediment is created; igneous petrology with plate tectonics as the principal mechanism driving volcanism. You get the point. The existence of holdouts and detractors, in and of themselves, do not result in raging debate regarding a hypothesis or theory. Science doesn't care about your opinion. If these holdouts identify major issues that the theory has trouble with (i.e., make observations that the theory cannot explain), well that's a very different story. But that's also not what is going on with the ToE. The holdouts in evolution aren't doing a damn thing to advance biology. And they're aren't even trying. That's not even their real goal. They're trying to de-advance culture.

And before someone points at my plate tectonics example and says "See! See! Science is dogmatic! Dissent is silenced!" you would do well to spend some time studying the history of (e.g.) plate tectonics, so as not to embarrass yourself. Plate tectonics is now the accepted principal mechanism for how earth's crust is shaped and formed because the theory has fucking earned it. The birth of that theory was bloody. But it's over. If you want to see the process happening now--if you want to see real debate about an idea, then I recommend doing some research into snowball earth theory. That will give you a good idea of how much shit gets thrown at new, somewhat radical hypotheses in science. But neither of these ideas represent dogma; those of you who insist that accepted theories are dogma don't know what the hell you're talking about and should really stick to discussing American Idol.

*sigh*
Sorry--that turned out to be a rather longer blither than I had intended.

Anyway, non-specialists are absolutely welcome.

#832

Posted by: Knockgoats | February 22, 2009 7:39 AM

Obviously he is proud of his correspondence which, in my opinion, doesn’t say much for him or for Meyers who gladly published it on his site. - Jim M.

Who is this "Meyers" you speak of? Why is it IDiots like you so often can't even get PZ Myers' name right?

Arguments can be made on a totally scientific basis for ID but even this is not allowed. - Jim M.

Oh yeah? On the few occasions any IDiot has even tried, their claims have quickly been shown to be absurd - like the "irreducible complexity" of the bacterial flagellum, and vertebrate blood-clotting system.

But equating ID theory with flat earth ideas is totally off base and he knows it. Jim M.

What is this "ID theory" you speak of? Where is the research it has generated, the tests it has been put to, the journals this research and these tests are published in? (There's nothing to stop IDiots starting their own journals if the wicked Darwinists are preventing them publishing their ground-breaking research in the existing ones.) The plain fact is they do no research worth the name.

But who needs religion anyway? Jim M.

That would be the intellectually challenged and morally feeble, unable to think for themselves, or act rightly without threats and bribes from a mythical sky-daddy - such as you.

#833

Posted by: passerby | February 22, 2009 7:44 AM

"Posted by: supamanc | February 22, 2009 6:10 AM

cool, did not know that, thanks!! and for the forward slash? :)"

All you need and more :)

...just remember to add the leading zero(s)

#834

Posted by: passerby | February 22, 2009 7:46 AM

"Posted by: supamanc | February 22, 2009 6:10 AM

cool, did not know that, thanks!! and for the forward slash? :)"

All you need and more :)

...just remember to add the leading zero(s)

#835

Posted by: Vagrant | February 22, 2009 7:59 AM

Posted by: David Marjanović, OM | February 22, 2009 6:38 AM
It means the exact same thing as "testable", it's only more obvious. That's because, in the end, nothing is truly verifiable. Suppose you discover the truth. How do you find out that what you have discovered is indeed the truth? By comparing it to the truth, which you don't have? That's why science cannot prove/verify, only disprove/falsify.
>>So glad to have learned this and I can use it too. I walk and talk in a world with believers who are used to the word, “falsify” meaning disprove or misrepresent, so I hope having this new info will help me to guide them from their misled paths (or deflect them from befuddling me on mine).>>

Well, yes, but there aren't enough IDologists out there to make a difference on Wikipedia! We actually found out once: there are only about 900 IDologists on teh whole wide intarwebz
>>Now this is most fascinating. I had no idea that their presence on the internet was caused by so few. And by presence, I mean havoc.

Another question: as sad (read pathetic), threatening and debilitating this need for this discussion is, I can’t be the only one provoked to laughter by the deep subtle (dare I say teasing) humour used by those presenting smart, pertinent responses and by how ridiculous the IDlogs present themselves? In spite of them, it’s enjoyable discourse. (In an attempt at even-handedness, I note that outside of this thread I’ve encountered more obnoxious Idiots).

Can anyone direct me to reputable, current readings on Sociobiology or discussion forums on the topic that are as enlightening as this one?>>

#836

Posted by: Josh | February 22, 2009 8:05 AM

bryce:

How is "real" defined?

Sigh. This will probably piss some people off, but I think that in order for you to be a real scientist, you must be contributing to the science. I would say that means you must be doing science (which I define as studying aspects of it and publishing the results of those studies). I do not personally think that just holding formal training in a discipline makes you a practitioner of said discipline (e.g., I don't think of people that hold a BS in biology as biologists unless they do biology). Moreover, I think that real scientist is too broad. The days of Joseph Leidy are, sadly, over. Now we have real chemists and real biologists much more often than we have real scientists (it's way difficult now to be good at even more than one subdiscipline; never mind more than one field).

There is a whole side of this discussion, of course, as to whether someone who educates people in the science, but doesn't do it themselves, is contributing to the science. I don't think they are. I think they're planting terribly important seeds of curiosity that might ultimately result in major contributions to the science, but that they aren't themselves advancing the science. Where that line gets placed can definitely be argued, though...

#837

Posted by: Iain Walker | February 22, 2009 8:06 AM

A. Noyd (#766):

I read Joe as saying he thinks we believe evolution works towards a specific, hierarchical goal where basic forms evolve into "higher" forms until they reach their "final," ultimate form, and that to him "an organism" means "a species."

Well, when confronted with people like Joe who like to throw about vague and ill-defined terms like "kind" or "form", one can either:

(a) pick a possible interpretation and explain why (on that interpretation) they are wrong;
(b) ask them what the hell they mean;
(c) both.

Not that it usually makes much difference, since they usually haven't a clue what they're talking about anyway - Joe being a case in point.

#838

Posted by: FTK | February 22, 2009 8:10 AM

Heres an idea...why don't you show us your evidence that ID does not and cannot exsist..since your all so scientific...shoudn't be all that hard for you !
Can't?...thats ok...just show your evidence that humans evolved from something other than human !
Can't do that either?
Please tell us how faith in science is more valid than faith in religion.
Enlighten us,,,the world awaits........
You can all talk til the cows come home and the bottom line remains....not one person on the face of this planet can prove or dis prove either theroy..and they are exactly that..until the second coming..or the discovery of the missing link..thats all they will ever be !

#839

Posted by: A. Noyd Author Profile Page | February 22, 2009 8:11 AM

supamanc (#824)

cool, did not know that, thanks!! and for the forward slash? :)

That would be alt + 0047. (Actually, you probably don't need the 00 for either ? or /, but some alt code characters are particular about it.)

#840

Posted by: Kel | February 22, 2009 8:15 AM

Please tell us how faith in science is more valid than faith in religion.
One word: evidence. Just how are you using a computer now if you believe that science is faith? Do you even know how a computer works, this device that can do billions of calculations a second, do you think it works on magic and pixie-dust? Or do you just reap the benefits of science in order to complain about how science is faith? Just realise you wouldn't be on this website now if it weren't for science and our understanding of quantum mechanics.
#841

Posted by: Stephen Wells | February 22, 2009 8:18 AM

@FTK. Evidence that humans evolved from something other than human: shared endogenous retroviral sequences in humans and other primates clearly indicate common ancestry. There's also the signature of a chromosomal fusion event in one human chromosome which matches two chimpanzee chromosomes. There's more, if you have a few years to spare to learn about it.

See, while your side were happily assuring themselves that no question could ever be answered, actual scientists thought of good questions and answered them.

#842

Posted by: A. Noyd Author Profile Page | February 22, 2009 8:18 AM

Pssh, #823 (not #824, whoops) got answered twice before I got in. That'll teach me not to refresh before replying. :)

#843

Posted by: Nerd of Redhead, OM Author Profile Page | February 22, 2009 8:20 AM

FTK (ForTheKids, banned?), it is up the claimants to prove their case in science. Since ID claims to be scientific, it must put the right information, or shut up. So far, it hasn't put up any valid information, but won't shut up, which indicates in is operating in a bullshitting mode.
So, if you have any evidence you wish to suggest positively proving ID, present it.

#844

Posted by: Kel | February 22, 2009 8:29 AM

I was listening to The Skeptics Guide To The Universe just before sleep, and the quote of the week was oddly appropriate:

"Science must begin with myths, and with the criticism of myths; neither with the collection of observations, nor with the invention of experiments, but with the critical discussion of myths, and of magical techniques and practices. The scientific tradition is distinguished from the pre-scientific tradition in having two layers. Like the latter, it passes on its theories; but it also passes on a critical attitude towards them. The theories are passed on, not as dogmas, but rather with the challenge to discuss them and improve upon them." - Karl Popper (possibly the most influential philosopher of science in the 20th century)

#845

Posted by: 'Tis Himself, Designated Economist Author Profile Page | February 22, 2009 8:33 AM

FTK #837

So many strawmen, so little intelligence,

Heres an idea...why don't you show us your evidence that ID does not and cannot exsist..since your all so scientific...shoudn't be all that hard for you !
ID/creationism exists. You beating the ID/creationist drum is evidence for that. What we're saying is that ID/creationism is not science.
Can't?...thats ok...just show your evidence that humans evolved from something other than human ! Can't do that either?
Humans and chimpanzees share 96% of the same DNA. That's pretty strong evidence that there's a common ancestor who wasn't human.
Please tell us how faith in science is more valid than faith in religion.
Science doesn't rely on faith, it relies on evidence. It's only religion, which lacks evidence, that needs faith to prop it up.
You can all talk til the cows come home and the bottom line remains....not one person on the face of this planet can prove or dis prove either theroy..and they are exactly that..until the second coming..or the discovery of the missing link..thats all they will ever be !

Just because you're ignorant doesn't mean the rest of us are.

Weak try, FTK. Come back when you've got actual arguments instead of logical fallacies and ignorance.

#846

Posted by: Josh | February 22, 2009 8:37 AM

FTK, we don't look for missing links. Do try to keep up. Or go back to ERV.

AND, the burden of proof is on you to show us how ID explains things better than the ToE. Otherwise, why should we care? The ToE works fine and YOU use the fruits of it every day (sticking your head in the sand re: those fruits is irrelevant). When snowball earth was proposed, do you think the geosciences community would have cared in the least if the proponents didn't have a shred of evidence and couldn't explain anything with their new idea that we didn't already have before the idea? More importantly, do you think the geosciences community should have cared?

Here is a good example of how the burden of proof is on you, and not us. The Ozark cave fish, Amblyopsis rosae, lives in the dark in caves. It has nonfunctional eyes in its tissue, with no optic nerve. The ToE has an explanation for this observation (a blind cave fish that lives in the dark but possesses eyes that don't function) that's quite satisfactory and is congruent with the evidence. What is ID's better explanation for this observation?

just show your evidence that humans evolved from something other than human !

The evidence has been presented to you for years. It's not our fault that you wave it away as unacceptable.

#847

Posted by: AnthonyK Author Profile Page | February 22, 2009 8:39 AM

FTK. First, literate, well-argued posts only please. This is a clever blog. If you post badly-written screeds we will assume you are stupid, and I warn you that "we" are not.

Heres an idea...why don't you show us your evidence that ID does not and cannot exist

Punctuation....please. No one here thinks that ID dies not exist. Clearly it does. The problem is that is doesn't exist as a scientific theory. Even if you accept the central idea, that a creator did it, you are none the wiser. If you try to look for evidence for the creator in his creation, there is none, so far, in any scientific discipline. But ID is worse than just an idea with no evidence behind it - it's useless. Even if you assumed it is true, what then? OK, so god made the universe. Now what?
Please note that the Discovery Institute fellows have not produced any scientific papers using their theories to put forward new ideas. There's nothing.
That's why science rejects ID. It's dull, and it explains nothing.
What else was worrying you, about from your level of literacy? No doubt people here can help you, even if god has given up on you.
Remember, the ignorant are only informed people who don't know what they don't know.

#848

Posted by: A. Noyd Author Profile Page | February 22, 2009 8:45 AM

Iain Walker (#836)

No argument there. It's just interesting how we came to such different interpretations. And frustrating, in a way, since it shows how much work one has to do with massively misinformed people like Joe before one can make any meaningful engagement with them. Ugh.

#849

Posted by: Iain Walker | February 22, 2009 8:51 AM

Shorter GT @ #779:

"I can't answer the several reasoned responses to my previous post so I'm going to have a hissy fit and pretend I won the exchange."

#850

Posted by: AnthonyK Author Profile Page | February 22, 2009 8:57 AM

Actually, I lied. I do assume you are stupid. The evidence exists. Consider:
1) Badly written post.
2) Poster could well be drunk
3) Inarticulate ranting at "you", which must mean "me". I am to be part of some kind of oppressive group. Well OK. What do I do now?
4) Evidence of psychological disturbance, anger and unhappiness. May be because of 2) though close textual analysis seems to reveal more than a bottle-long problem here.
5) No true grasp of problem being debated. A long thread not read, of if so, not understood.
6) Not a question to be easily answered. Rhetorical? And who answers rhetorical questions? Suspect poster does not understand word.
7) Experience. If it appears to be a fuckwit post, it always is. Oh lord, why don't you make your acolytes more un-stupid?

Look, I know that there are clever christians out there. Why does Pharyngula only get the morons?

#851

Posted by: Kel | February 22, 2009 9:00 AM

2) Poster could well be drunk
I often post here drunk, I find it entertaining.

I know that there are clever christians out there. Why does Pharyngula only get the morons?
lol, quoted for truth
#852

Posted by: Iain Walker | February 22, 2009 9:04 AM

Jim M. (#794):

To be fair, a person’s worldview about origins should have nothing to do with whether his scientific paper is accepted for publishing or not.

True enough - it should depend on the strength of the arguments and the evidence presented. Unfortunately, that's where ID falls flat - the arguments that they present are sloppy and their "evidence" never supports what they think it supports.

This seems to be something that the ID-ists are incapable of getting. The arguments for ID qua scientific hypothesis have failed.

#853

Posted by: AnthonyK Author Profile Page | February 22, 2009 9:20 AM

"It's unpleasantly like being drunk"
"What's unpleasant about being drunk?"
"Ask a gin and tonic!"
Probably misquoted from HG2G.
Nothing wrong with drunk-posting, it's just that truthiness increases while profundity decreases.

#854

Posted by: FTK | February 22, 2009 9:33 AM

AnthonyK
Punctuation....please. No one here thinks that ID dies not exist
Classic

#855

Posted by: clinteas | February 22, 2009 9:34 AM

I often post here drunk, I find it entertaining.

Yeah,I used to do that as well,,just to re-read what I wrote in the morning and blush with embarrassment or freeze in horror LOL
So I try to keep some sort of coherence these days when I post hehe....

#856

Posted by: AnthonyK Author Profile Page | February 22, 2009 9:40 AM

That's not punctuation, that's apelling. Kind of. Now, you aren't a wisdom free zone because....?

#857

Posted by: David Marjanović, OM | February 22, 2009 9:42 AM

I walk and talk in a world with believers who are used to the word, “falsify” meaning disprove

It does mean that, as I said. It doesn't mean "misrepresent", though.

BTW: typing <blockquote>quoted text here</blockquote> results in this:

quoted text here
Look, I know that there are clever christians out there. Why does Pharyngula only get the morons?

Because the clever ones aren't creationists. :-|

FTK, care to answer to any actual point?

#858

Posted by: AnthonyK Author Profile Page | February 22, 2009 9:46 AM

goddamnit, spelling. Stupid is probably a retrovirus. I thought I'd be safe here. Suppose I'm wrong? Suppose FTK and the other dumn christianists are right? I kill myself now, right?

#859

Posted by: Iain Walker | February 22, 2009 9:46 AM

FTK (#837):

why don't you show us your evidence that ID does not and cannot exsist [sic]

Of course intelligent design exists - it's called human technology.

just show your evidence that humans evolved from something other than human !

Numerous homologies, morphological and genetic, which are readily explainable in terms of common descent. Non-adaptive homologies like shared pseudogenes with mutations at the same points (not to mention the ERV sequences that Stephen Wells mentions at #840), which are pretty much only explicable in terms of common descent. A fossil record which shows step-by-step transitions from anthropoid ape-like species to human-like species, with the differences between said species often rather blurred. Etc. Etc.

not one person on the face of this planet can prove or dis prove either theroy [sic]

Incorrect. Evolution is falsifiable. ID isn't, except when its proponents are rash enough to make a testable claim on some side-issue, whereupon it invariably turns out that the claim is either false or provides no actual support for ID. On top of that, evolution makes countless successful predictions about the natural world (this is a thing that is known as "evidence"). ID makes no successful predictions that would serve to distinguish it as an alternative hypothesis.

until the second coming..or the discovery of the missing link

Your understanding of scientific terminology seems to be based either on pre-Darwinian notions of the Great Chain of Being, or on supermarket tabloids. I suspect the latter.

"Missing link" is an outdated and misleading term that no scientist uses any more, especially when prefixed by the definite article. Instead, palaeontologists look for transitional specimens which share characteristics between, or are morphologically intermediate between, different successive taxonomic groups. Since many such transitional specimens have already been discovered for many different groups (including humans), it's not a question of waiting for any one specimen to turn up. It's more a matter of adding new evidence to an already existing mountain of evidence.

#860

Posted by: SEF | February 22, 2009 10:22 AM

@ AnthonyK #849:

I know that there are clever christians out there. Why does Pharyngula only get the morons?
1. For exception-proves-the-rule falsification of "only", there's SH - but he's not around much any more.

2. The less moronic ones don't have such a big issue with reality and are unlikely to follow the ID cretinists' ranting campaigns of disinformation and their mentions of or links to here.

3. The stupid ones do form the majority anyway. Quite apart from average IQ actually being depressingly low (so that the majority would be stupid by my standards anyway), we know that more scientists (and even some other well-educated people) don't believe in gods. Hence the smart side of the bell curve is ever so slightly weighted towards atheism and science and away from theism, nonsense, non-science and pseudo-science.

As someone else said: "reality has a liberal bias". With the obvious corollorary being that fantasists have a conservative etc bias - including hanging on to silly religious ideas.

#861

Posted by: BlueIndependent | February 22, 2009 11:02 AM

"...Please tell us how faith in science is more valid than faith in religion..."

Another typical creobot that doesn't get it. What makes you think we give a sh-- about faith? You seem not to be able to separate study and thought from faith, which is most unfortunate. If you are to understand our position, you're going to have to broaden your intellectual horizons a touch. We don't care about faith. Faith is for people that need governing apparitions to marionette themselves about their existence. But let me state it again: we have no faith. Get it?

Ergo your couching of science as a competing faith with religion reveals your lack of interest in understanding what real science is. How do you think all this technology you are ranting at us with right now happened? Science. Seems pretty non-faith-based, and pretty practical and real to me. The scientists that created the technology for you to use your computer didn't cross their fingers that their work would pay off. They did real work. They didn't sit in pews and hope for the best while mumbling organized ramblings to things they've never seen and to date cannot prove the existence of, let alone the exact signature that defines the being they kowtow to.

Science is real; it is not faith. Science is work; it is not wishes. But don't take my word for it: run your own experiment. Should you come down with a disease, I invite you to reject the science-based treatments (many of which were not possible without evolutionary theory) the hospital or doctor will doubtless prescribe for you. You are a man of your word right? Put up or shut up.

#862

Posted by: Fitz | February 22, 2009 3:39 PM

At last! After days of coming back to this thread I was starting to feel like Sisyphus.

I really have nothing to add so I'll just echo: Nicely done Professor Gotelli.

#863

Posted by: Rev. BigDumbChimp | February 22, 2009 4:06 PM

Please tell us how faith in science is more valid than faith in religion.


Shit. For fuck's sake. I go away for a few days and some careless person left the door open and FTK scurried in.


Long time no stupid from you FTK. Where you been?


I think you need to figure out what the definition of Faith is

dummy.

#864

Posted by: Vagrant | February 22, 2009 5:12 PM

Intellectual rigour is necessary for science. From all evidence, it would handicap IDism.
It is correct and appropriate for scientists to refuse to debate with IDists, thus denying any legitimization of ID as science.
However the need to debunk ID remains -- at PTA meetings, in public media, within civil organizations, etc. As a lay person, I need science to help me mitigate ignorance.
What comprises science is important to understand, yet widely misunderstood by non-scientists. This thread has been sterling in its presentation of the requirements of science. Given the large quantities of pseudo-science purveyed daily to the majority of people (who may be less educated, stupid, not inclined to investigate), how can even the ignorant reliably recognize bad science or non-science from valid science?

Posted by: David Marjanović, OM

It doesn't mean "misrepresent", though

While you are obviously correct in scientific terms, another meaning in common usage for “falsify” is misrepresent - to make false. Excuse my hair- splitting, should just thank you for teaching me to quote.
Lots of learning available on this thread from you bloggers sharing your smarts.
#865

Posted by: phantomreader42 | February 22, 2009 5:39 PM

BlueIndependent on FTK:

You are a man of your word right? Put up or shut up.

Wrong on both counts. FTK is a woman, and a pathological liar. She was banned from this site some time ago for spreading lies about PZ's daughter, check her entry in the dungeon. So FTK is neither a man, nor does she have any interest in keeping her word. Just a worthless creationist fuckwit, worshiping lies as all her sick cult must.

#866

Posted by: Stanton | February 22, 2009 5:52 PM

I think that this new FTK is different than the other one that's supposed to be plonked in the dungeon, especially since that one is spelled "FtK" and possessed competent spelling and grammar skills.

This one?
Just some coincidental troll.

#867

Posted by: Grimpeur Author Profile Page | February 22, 2009 6:40 PM

Here's an idea to handle "free speech/open forum" demands at universities from pseudoscience advocates: some university or group of universities might host an annual "persecuted studies" conference, where researchers into creationism, UFOlogy, astrology, homeopathy, alchemy, Velikovsky's planetary pinball, flat-earth, palmistry, crystal gazing, tarot, geocentrism, astral projection, NDE, free energy/perpetual motion, panspermia, channeling, cryptozoology, wizardry, therapeutic-touch, prayer, spoon bending, parapsychology/ESP, tooth-fairies, leprechauns, Pastafarian creation, paranormalism/spiritualism, holocaust denial, scientology, various conspiracy theories, (apologies to any pseudoscience I overlooked) could all convene to have their best and brightest exhibit their latest research in open-forum presentations, for the edification of science students, faculty, and any scientists who care to visit and ask questions.

A requirement to conduct a session is that you have some actual research or detailed falsifiable theory to present, using some arguable semblance of scientific method, and all presentations must include open Q&A sessions.

Imagine the prestige of having one's theories published in the "Proceedings of the Annual Persecuted Studies Conference" alongside all the modern great minds persecuted by the scientific community for their "unconventional" ideas (whoever they are).

#868

Posted by: «bønez_brigade» Author Profile Page | February 22, 2009 7:02 PM

@Grimpeur [#866],
"A requirement to conduct a session is that you have some actual research or detailed falsifiable theory to present, using some arguable semblance of scientific method, and all presentations must include open Q&A sessions."

Excepting movie theaters, a room with many asses in seats and no bodies on stage is an unhappy room. Though your idea is great, is would be best to drop that whole requirement that they actually do science, so at least one "persecuted" group would be able to present. A grand night of entertainment would surely ensue.

#869

Posted by: Owlmirror | February 22, 2009 7:09 PM

While you are obviously correct in scientific terms, another meaning in common usage for “falsify” is misrepresent - to make false.

True, but that's a linguistic/definitional point (which is why David M clarified the distinctive meaning). If evidence is falsified, what is happening is the evidence is being made to show something it would not show, if not tampered with.

What is falsified in science is theories and models — presumably by (non-falsified) evidence that shows that the theory or model must be changed to account for the new evidence.

Hm.

In that context, this may be helpful:

http://chem.tufts.edu/AnswersInScience/RelativityofWrong.htm

Note that while earlier models of the shape of the Earth are falsified, the newer evidence helps provide more resolution to an incomplete model rather than showing that the earlier model is completely wrong. Even when a theory is falsified, the new theory that accounts for the new evidence must still account for the older evidence as well.

#870

Posted by: bryce | February 22, 2009 9:02 PM

Were the following people "real scientists"?
Blaise Pascal, Louis Pasteur, Lord Kelvin, James Maxwell?

#871

Posted by: Grimpeur Author Profile Page | February 22, 2009 9:02 PM

@bønez_brigade [#867]

"...it would be best to drop that whole requirement that they actually do science, so at least one "persecuted" group would be able to present."

In that event, perhaps piratologists from the Institute for Noodly Research would step in to pinch-hit.

#872

Posted by: Wowbagger | February 22, 2009 9:17 PM

bryce wrote:

Were the following people "real scientists"?
Blaise Pascal, Louis Pasteur, Lord Kelvin, James Maxwell?

Irrelevant. Go here for the explanation of why.

#873

Posted by: Kel | February 22, 2009 9:22 PM

Why can't they ever cite scientists who were born after The Origin Of Species was published?

#874

Posted by: Nerd of Redhead, OM Author Profile Page | February 22, 2009 9:27 PM

Why can't they ever cite scientists who were born after The Origin Of Species was published?
Because all world class scientists after OoS understand evolution is scientific fact.
#875

Posted by: Brent | February 23, 2009 12:18 AM

Does a building crumble if we don't know who designed it?

The specified complexity (e.g., a stairway between two floors which has a degree of complexity within itself, and also has meaning, or specificity, within the greater structure in order to perform a necessary function) of the structure itself says that a designer was required. There is no need to know anything else whatsoever in order to determine that a designer acted. This is all that I.D. is speaking to, though not to say that we don't want or like to infer some things about the designer. It is possible to maker inferences about a designer from the design, but it isn't necessary to I.D.s task at hand.

#876

Posted by: Kel | February 23, 2009 12:26 AM

Does a building crumble if we don't know who designed it?
The 'who' is not the problem, it's the 'how' that is. Without making testable predictions, how do we know that there's a designer there? i.e. how do you differentiate between a process without a designer and the same process where the designer plays an unspecified role?

The specified complexity (e.g., a stairway between two floors which has a degree of complexity within itself, and also has meaning, or specificity, within the greater structure in order to perform a necessary function) of the structure itself says that a designer was required.
So in life, just what did the designer do? And how do we differentiate this from the blind processes that are the current explanation?
#877

Posted by: Wowbagger | February 23, 2009 12:26 AM

Brent,

Nope, complexity does not equal design. Go here and read why.

In fact, before you ask any more questions, read all of the TalkOrigins list of refuted creationist claims and you won't have to ask us any more questions.

#878

Posted by: Owlmirror | February 23, 2009 12:33 AM

The specified complexity (e.g., a stairway between two floors which has a degree of complexity within itself, and also has meaning, or specificity, within the greater structure in order to perform a necessary function) of the structure itself says that a designer was required. There is no need to know anything else whatsoever in order to determine that a designer acted. This is all that I.D. is speaking to, though not to say that we don't want or like to infer some things about the designer. It is possible to maker inferences about a designer from the design, but it isn't necessary to I.D.s task at hand.

The problem is that this analogy is incoherent. An organism is not like a building, in that we know that buildings do not naturally self-assemble, while we know that organisms do self-assemble.

"Specified complexity" is not coherently defined as a term, either.

#879

Posted by: Brent | February 23, 2009 1:02 AM

No, Kel, the how does not matter either. It is empirically factual that randomness does not lead to coherence and order, but that intelligent minds do. One does it all the time, the other does it never, at least not beyond the most crude and simple "order", and even that is just dumb luck (e.g. a tree falling across the banks of a river to allow a bridge). But Darwinism doesn't need a bridge, it needs a New York City!

I guess, if you like, the I.D.ists can explain how the building blocks in a cell work together and call that the designer's "how", but that is of course meaningless, really, because it's both obvious and cannot explain what underlies that process until more data can be obtained by observation. Just because darwinists like to go beyond what we observe and arrogantly proclaim they know how it arose doesn't mean that we should do it, and therefore I.D. will not.

Owlmirror: I guess we'll just take that on your authority that organisms self-assemble. Leaving darwinist just-so stories aside, perhaps you could prove that by observation?

I tried to give you a simple idea of specified complexity, sorry you missed it.

#880

Posted by: Kel | February 23, 2009 1:12 AM

It is empirically factual that randomness does not lead to coherence and order, but that intelligent minds do.
Do you even know how evolution works?

I guess, if you like, the I.D.ists can explain how the building blocks in a cell work together and call that the designer's "how", but that is of course meaningless, really, because it's both obvious and cannot explain what underlies that process until more data can be obtained by observation.
Here's the simple truth. We've observed mutation and adaptation through selection. We've observed speciation. Through the fossil record, through genetics, through anatomy and morphology, we see evidences of mutation and selection. This is so strongly evidentially-based that evolution is regarded as one of the strongest theories in science.

As an ID advocate you have two options:
1. Make a prediction of something in nature that necessitates a designer. Then test to see whether such a thing can arise naturally.
2. believe Goddidit and keep that view to yourself.

Saying it looked designed and appealing that a design necessitates a designer is not science. 300 years ago one of the greatest minds ever to walk on the earth said exactly the same thing about the solar system, yet today we have a good understanding of how stars and planets come together. If you want to believe God had a hand in nature, go ahead. You have every right to do so. But don't call it science and don't pretend that view is in equal measure with a view that's been observed and survived extreme scrutiny for 150 years.
#881

Posted by: Owlmirror | February 23, 2009 1:15 AM

I guess we'll just take that on your authority that organisms self-assemble. Leaving darwinist just-so stories aside, perhaps you could prove that by observation?

How do you think a fertilized egg becomes an adult organism? Angels reaching in and pushing the cells hither and yon?

Yes, development can be seen by direct observation. The cells divide and organize themselves. You could search youtube for "embryo development", if you wish.

I tried to give you a simple idea of specified complexity, sorry you missed it.

"Simple" does not mean "correct" or "coherent".

#882

Posted by: Wowbagger | February 23, 2009 1:21 AM

Brent wrote:

It is empirically factual that randomness does not lead to coherence and order, but that intelligent minds do.

Let's say, for argument's sake we accept that. Which 'intelligent mind' created that which created us? If it was aliens, whence came the aliens? If it was the gods, who created said gods? Continue ad infinitum.

Just because darwinists like to go beyond what we observe and arrogantly proclaim they know how it arose doesn't mean that we should do it, and therefore I.D. will not.

Which may be true up to a point; even so, why does the answer of 'we don't know' lead to 'if you don't know then my god must have done it'? At one point people claimed many things (thunder, lightning, rainbows) were the result of one or more gods acting in some fashion; eventually these all fell by the wayside as we discovered the natural explanations for them.

It's the same thing here. 'God of the gaps' = FAIL.

#883

Posted by: Kel | February 23, 2009 1:33 AM

For every Michael Behe who tried to give ID at least some notion of respectibility, there's 10,000 brent's - people who don't know the first thing about biology or evolution and so while Behe is arguing that ID works alongside evolution, you get morons spouting the same creationist fallacies that have been around for hundreds of years...

And this highlights beautifully that ID is nothing more than a rebranding of creationism, brought along with those same arguments of personal incredulity and arguments from design that were there back when they could call it creationism.

#884

Posted by: Kagato | February 23, 2009 1:40 AM

Cleary, this structure was built by intelligent hands. It has all the hallmarks of design and construction -- regular hexagonal columns, straight vertical lines, and distinct from the natural surroundings.

How could anyone look at it and say it occurred purely through natural causes?

#885

Posted by: Brent | February 23, 2009 2:35 AM

Kel, all else put aside for a moment: Just because I or any number of other creationists adhere to I.D. does not mean that we are the I.D. movement. It might be easier for some to rationalize away if it were so, but that argument is meaningless.

And, because I adhere to I.D. over Darwinism doesn't mean that I agree with all ideas within it, and certainly not other adherents to it.

So... again, your argument is meaningless.

But back to the topic: You asked if I knew how evolution works. Well, I think I know how it's proposed to work, but it would be better if we suppose I don't and you explain it. I'm not concerned with minor variation, mind you, but with major variation; bird to dinosaur, fish to man, kind of stuff.

Owlmirror: Very nice. I knew you'd resort to some process like you have and then say it is an example of self organizing. The problem for you is twofold, however. One, information: How do the organisms "know" how to self organize? Just knowing that it works as it does and then saying it is a random natural process is as much an argument from ignorance as what Darwinists try to nail I.D.ers with (unfairly). Two, you were strongly implying that life arose by separate organisms coming together randomly (i.e. not like an egg in which all of the necessary organisms are present, and unnecessary are not, and of which is part of a much larger and more complex process) and building up information, complexity, and coherence. This has never been observed. Your example with an egg would be analogous to a machine in a factory that was "automatically" able to produce a toy. The problem is that even though the toy seems to be "self-organizing", it was still designed and the process was one that was just being carried on by a process without need of further intelligent intervention.

#886

Posted by: Brent | February 23, 2009 2:41 AM

Kagato: Cool place! There is a place similar to that near where I live, too (Okinawa). Anyway, though it is neat and could make one wonder if it was designed, it misses one key ingredient; specificity. There is no reason or rhyme to the patterns. If it performed a function of some sort, then it would be reasonable to consider it as designed.

#887

Posted by: Wowbagger | February 23, 2009 2:51 AM

If it performed a function of some sort, then it would be reasonable to consider it as designed.

So, if something that otherwise appears designed has something that does not perform a function, it may then be considered reasonable to assume it wasn't designed?

Then humans were not designed. Why? Two words: male nipples.

#888

Posted by: Janine, Ignorant Slut | February 23, 2009 2:56 AM

Hey, a male nipple will not cause harm. Also, they are useful for MtF transsexuals.

How about a pelvic girdle too small for a baby's body. A whole lot of complications there.

#889

Posted by: Owlmirror | February 23, 2009 3:17 AM

Very nice. I knew you'd resort to some process like you have and then say it is an example of self organizing.

The only reason I brought up development in the first place is because I was trying to offer a distinction between your simplistic example of a building, and a biological organism.

How do the organisms "know" how to self organize?
For that, you would have to study developmental biology in far greater detail than I know — and there are indeed still unknown. But so what?
Just knowing that it works as it does and then saying it is a random natural process is as much an argument from ignorance as what Darwinists try to nail I.D.ers with (unfairly).

Quite wrong, in many ways.

Life, as far as we can tell, is a biochemical process. There is no apparent intelligence or life-force involved in development or metabolism. So the burden is on you to show that biochemistry — "random natural process" — is insufficient to explain life.

So far, "ID" has failed to do that.


Two, you were strongly implying that life arose by separate organisms coming together randomly (i.e. not like an egg in which all of the necessary organisms are present, and unnecessary are not,

I don't think you know what you are talking about here. Eggs do not contain organisms, they contain genetic material and cytoplasm (which then develops into an organism). There's nothing that says that there can be nothing unnecessary in there; indeed, much about development involves things that aren't really necessary to the final organism, such as tails on humans, to use one example.

and of which is part of a much larger and more complex process) and building up information, complexity, and coherence. This has never been observed.

Above you were discussing evolution; now it looks like you want to whine about the origins of life.

Well, life, as a biochemical reaction, either bootstrapped itself (analogous to cranes being put up to help build the scaffolding that is then used to build the building itself, then the scaffolding and the crane being disassembled when no longer needed), or it didn't (analogous to a skyhook simply lowering the building down). The problem with the "skyhook" is that there is no way to explain where it came from, or where the building it lowers came from.

You can't posit a designer without first showing that design is the only possible answer. But that means that you have to show that no natural cause could possibly have created life. That's a pretty difficult problem. There are an enormous number of possible chemical reactions that might have lead to life bootstrapping itself. So far, we have only investigated a few (and had some interesting partial successes, by the way).

How would you go about showing that all possible chemical reactions cannot possibly lead to life?

If you could figure out how to do that, you will have taken the first step to demonstrating that "ID" is valid. You have to prove that there was no analog to scaffolding; no analog to cranes. Good luck on that one: You have to prove a negative...

And then you have to show what it is that did create life.

Your "toy factory" example is bogus.

#890

Posted by: Brent | February 23, 2009 3:21 AM

Well, since I'm a runner I'd love to get rid of my nipples cuz it's no fun to forget to tape them and only realize it when I'm 8 miles from home! Yeeooouchers!

Anyway, I'll go ahead and leave them since it'll probably be another in a long line of supposedly vestigial organs that turn out to be rather useful after all. But either way, they look cute!

#891

Posted by: Wowbagger | February 23, 2009 3:31 AM

Anyway, I'll go ahead and leave them since it'll probably be another in a long line of supposedly vestigial organs that turn out to be rather useful after all. But either way, they look cute!

What about all the vestigial organs that, like male nipples, haven't turned out to be useful - and won't? Are we supposed to accept 'well, they might turn out to be useful; therefore, we were designed?'. You set the conditions for design; I've provided the flaw that exposes your claim to be unfounded. By your own definition, humans (the males at least) cannot be designed.

Cute doesn't cut it. You want to try arguing that what humans find attractive is designed, too?

#892

Posted by: Brent | February 23, 2009 3:47 AM

But, continuing with nipples... it's a question that can be turned around, also. If there is no purpose then why do they exist? Isn't natural selection supposed to select against this? Or is it only supposed to select against decidedly non-beneficial, harmful, traits? Seems funny to me.

Owl:

I don't think you know what you are talking about here. Eggs do not contain organisms, they contain genetic material and cytoplasm (which then develops into an organism).

Thank you for 'splaining that. Actually, I didn't think it right to say organism, but it seemed that's what you were saying since you raised this as an example to my challenge. Anyway...

I'll be back. Don't say you aren't looking forward to it.

#893

Posted by: Janine, Ignorant Slut | February 23, 2009 4:04 AM

Brent, unless a fetus get testosterone at the right time, it will be female. Even if it has the XY pairing. And seeing the nipples are needed to feed the young, it was not likely to be selected out.

The male body is an add on to the female archetype. Oversimplification but it does make me laugh.

#894

Posted by: Wowbagger | February 23, 2009 4:12 AM

Brent wrote:

But, continuing with nipples... it's a question that can be turned around, also. If there is no purpose then why do they exist? Isn't natural selection supposed to select against this? Or is it only supposed to select against decidedly non-beneficial, harmful, traits? Seems funny to me.

What makes you think the process of evolution is over? Do you think humans are the end product, the pinnacle? This is an illustration of your ignorance about what evolution actually is. It's not funny - it's sad. If it were 150 years ago, maybe. But not today.

Here's what Wikipedia has to say about it:
From conception until sexual differentiation, all mammalian fetuses within the same species look the same, regardless of sex. In humans this lasts for around 14 weeks after which, genetically-male fetuses begin producing male hormones such as testosterone.[citation needed] Usually, males' nipples do not change much past this point. However, some males develop a condition known as gynecomastia, in which the fatty tissue around and under the nipple develops into something similar to a female breast. This may happen whenever the testosterone level drops.

Doesn't sound much like a design to me - unless you want to argue the designer was lazy and half-assed...

#895

Posted by: Intelligent Designer | February 23, 2009 4:23 AM

Janine said:

The male body is an add on to the female archetype. Oversimplification but it does make me laugh.

So males are superior?

#896

Posted by: Brent | February 23, 2009 4:45 AM

wowbagger: Don't make a mountain of a molehill. I was basically saying, "I don't know". However, you would be advised to take my point seriously in that, if you do some checking, the list of vestigial organs has decidedly dwindled. I don't have a link handy, but I saw a list of previously believed vestigial organs that, as it turned out, were quite functional after more research and understanding. So, no, I wouldn't count on no use for nipples on males to stand.

Owl:

So far, we have only investigated a few (and had some interesting partial successes, by the way).
I.D. at it's best, or is that "Skyhook"?

How would you go about showing that all possible chemical reactions cannot possibly lead to life?
You know the answer to your question. Possible, perhaps, but probable, never! Anyway, I was somewhat referring to OOL, but it doesn't really matter. Even from the first living organism, or starting from numerous simple living organisms, there is simply no shown mechanism whereby they can become increasingly more complex, with novel (completely new) functions, and major morphological changes, which are necessary to Darwinism. It seemed to be what you were saying at first with your self-organizing claim, but then you resorted to an egg as an example, and then admitted it wasn't the same thing. Strange.
#897

Posted by: Owlmirror | February 23, 2009 4:46 AM

So males are superior?

In your case, obviously not.

#898

Posted by: Wowbagger | February 23, 2009 4:47 AM

Intelligent designer wrote:

So males are superior?

How the bloody hell do even you - a man of dubious (at best) perception - get that from what Janine wrote? The word 'add-on' hardly implies superiority.

#899

Posted by: Owlmirror | February 23, 2009 5:00 AM

Possible, perhaps, but probable, never!

Dude. You obviously have no idea what those words mean.

Possible means non-zero probability, which means that yes, it can happen.

Even from the first living organism, or starting from numerous simple living organisms, there is simply no shown mechanism whereby they can become increasingly more complex, with novel (completely new) functions, and major morphological changes

Yes, there is a mechanism. It's called genetic variation, or mutation, and selection.

The fact that you don't understand it does not mean that it does not exist. You really do need to read up on biology before you can criticize it.

It seemed to be what you were saying at first with your self-organizing claim, but then you resorted to an egg as an example, and then admitted it wasn't the same thing.

No, you didn't understand what I was talking about (and I wasn't sure what you were talking about). It's not my fault if you don't understand biology.

Start with reading a good book on evolution, will you? I like Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea, but there are others.

#900

Posted by: Wowbagger | February 23, 2009 5:00 AM

Even from the first living organism, or starting from numerous simple living organisms, there is simply no shown mechanism whereby they can become increasingly more complex, with novel (completely new) functions, and major morphological changes, which are necessary to Darwinism.

Brent, you've already demonstrated that you've got a very limited understanding of what evolution is, how it works, what it predicts and what it doesn't. You need to stop posting and start reading, rather than rehashing already debunked creationist claims.

As for not adding novel functions, PZ himself posted about this one about a year ago - go here and read for yourself.

#901

Posted by: Brent | February 23, 2009 5:11 AM

Doesn't sound much like a design to me - unless you want to argue the designer was lazy and half-assed...

Which reminds me... I.D. doesn't have a problem with devolution. We somewhat expect it. So, really, for I.D. this isn't a problem. I.D., however, will predict that everything has, or started with, a function, and work from there. If, like male nipples (as far as I know), there is no known function, it will go in the mystery category and be the focus of further research. Interestingly, this is exactly what darwinists don't do. They see something without apparent function and just say, "Aww, to heck with it. It's just left-over evolutionary junk."

"Junk" DNA, anyone? Junk...

and more junk...

#902

Posted by: Wowbagger | February 23, 2009 5:20 AM

Brent,

Did you read the list of debunked creationist claims at TalkOrigins? Seriously, they have dealt with everything you've brought up and everything else you will bring up.

Vestigial Organs
'Junk' DNA

In either of those pages is a link 'List of Claims' - click on it and look for anything you've found that the authors considered a 'major problem' or 'flaw' in evolution. They've heard it and refuted it.

#903

Posted by: Intelligent Designer | February 23, 2009 5:23 AM

How the bloody hell do even you - a man of dubious (at best) perception - get that from what Janine wrote? The word 'add-on' hardly implies superiority.

The annoying thing about the internet is that some people don't know when your joking.

#904

Posted by: SEF | February 23, 2009 5:25 AM

The word 'add-on' hardly implies superiority.
Besides which, all the Abrahamic religionists would then have to regard women as superior - because Eve was actually the pinnacle of creation as an add-on or afterthought from Adam. (Whereas evolution totally fails to stipulate any inherent superiority in add-ons; just requiring some temporary local advantage or absence of significant disadvantage instead. Single-celled critters haven't gone away as a result of multicellularity coming along.)

Furthermore, within those Abrahamic religions: the Jews would have to acknowledge the Christians as superior, the Christians would have to acknowledge the Muslims as superior, the Muslims would have to acknowledge the Mormons as superior and so on. Though I'm not sure Scientology is an add-on as such. Perhaps the next piece of religious crack-pottery will be.

#905

Posted by: Intelligent Designer | February 23, 2009 5:32 AM

Yeah Brent,

Haven't you got talkorigins memorized yet? Go read it and don't say another damn thing until you do. Of course I am sure it will go right over your IDiot head. And if you don't agree with some of the things written there it's because you are a stupid, lying SOB that is unwilling to learn. And if you get done with that stay tuned for my book list.

#906

Posted by: SEF | February 23, 2009 5:33 AM

@ Brent #895:

I saw a list of previously believed vestigial organs that, as it turned out, were quite functional after more research and understanding.
I bet you saw something factually incorrect, written by ignorant and dishonest religionists then. I can even guess the details of what one of those faulty examples will be, because it's a classic piece of religious misrepresentation (including, indeed probably starting from, the misrepresentation of "vestigial").

However, I challenge you to post the whole list - what you remember of it if you really can't find the original - so that we can all deconstruct the errors and point and laugh. If you can't remember any of it, that suggests considerable dishonesty on your part over how much of an influence it really had on you (and how little checking you bothered to do at the time); since you were clearly never learning anything, just trying to reassure yourself in your preferred delusions by imagining a reliable list existed.

#907

Posted by: Brent | February 23, 2009 5:35 AM

Perhaps you can logically refute my point rather than just saying I don't understand evolution. I do understand it. I love evolution. I'm very thankful that I don't have to look like every other person on the face of the earth. What I don't like, and you can't explain, is how your mechanism can account for change from even a simple cell to a more complex cell with novel function, let alone to a giraffe.

Don't give me novel garbage either. A different function, or one that wasn't present before and then is, may be said to be novel in one sense, but not completely novel. I.E., back to my log bridge analogy: a tree may fortuitously fall across a river to create a bridge where previously there was none. But what I'm talking about here is that this blind process has to first grow a tree when there were as yet no trees in existence, and then fall in the right place. This is what darwinism needs; something where there was previously nothing. It's no help to you even if we stay off of the OOL topic. Either way, you have to go from nothing to something.

Really, there is no help for evolution even if you get to just start with a living organism. According to your theory, there were simple living organisms with minimal function and complexity, and now they have eyes, ears, the sense of taste and smell. These are novel in the sense that I'm talking. How can evolution do that? Evolution for variation of existing functions? Okay. Development of novel functions? Nope.

And, probable doesn't mean likely, which is what you'd like to believe. Non-zero probability only means... NON-ZERO probability. You KNOW that I was using probable in the way it is almost always used today, i.e., likely. Doublespeak from a darwinist... oh, the shock!

#908

Posted by: Intelligent Designer | February 23, 2009 5:45 AM

Wowbaggar @ 899 wrote:

As for not adding novel functions, PZ himself posted about this one about a year ago - go here and read for yourself.

Wowbaggar, the conclusions PZ draws from this experiment are easily refuted. Put on your critical thinking cap.

#909

Posted by: Stephen Wells | February 23, 2009 5:49 AM

Brent, you want a novel function that isn't a novel function? You are confused.

How can a cell go from not sensing light to sensing it? By having a biochemical pathway - any biochemical pathway- involving a chemical that absorbs light; then light will alter the state of the cell. How many chemicals absorb light? All of the colourful ones. There are a lot of those.

So, you need to stop posting claims, and go and get yourself a basic education. Goodbye.

#910

Posted by: Brent | February 23, 2009 5:51 AM

I have memorized talk origins, in fact. It goes like this: Write about how evolution is a fact, that the common arguments have been debunked countless times, cite a reference to some paper(s) write more stuff just to make someone really have to search for the meat, hide the meat (i.e. just-so-story) deep within the text somewhere, ad infinitum.

I used to take the time to scour the crap so as to separate the chaff from the chaff and subsequently point it out, but now I make sure a link isn't going to talk origins before clicking on it. It saved me from suicide.

#911

Posted by: Wowbagger | February 23, 2009 5:51 AM

Brent,

If you understood evolution you wouldn't be attempting to make the points you're trying to make. You've already shown you think humans are the pinnacle of the process, rather than a 'work in progress' and that the process is 'blind' - both dead giveaways of ignorance of the process. The only question now is whether you haven't bothered to read or are choosing to be obtuse.

Another sign is that, mid-thread, you've given up on evolution and are now focusing on abiogenesis - we call that 'shifting the goalposts'. You want to be dishonest, fine. I'll step back - I'm not a scientist - and watch those with the appropriate knowledge eviscerate you on every creationist lie you produce.

#912

Posted by: echidna | February 23, 2009 5:54 AM

Intelligent Designer@907 wrote:
Wowbaggar, the conclusions PZ draws from this experiment are easily refuted. Put on your critical

Refute it then. Put up or shut up.

And don't toss out talking points and let everyone else do the legwork in refuting you. It's bad form. How do novel features evolve? Small changes over a very long time. If you don't grasp that, then educate yourself. TalkOrigins is your friend.

#913

Posted by: Intelligent Designer | February 23, 2009 5:56 AM

Cognitively Dissonant said:

So, you need to stop posting claims, and go and get yourself a basic education. Goodbye.

That means "shut up". Many folks here are fond of saying that in various creative ways. They are also fond of assuming you don't have an education.

#914

Posted by: echidna | February 23, 2009 5:57 AM

Oops. Sorry for the typos. Preview is my friend.

#915

Posted by: Intelligent Designer | February 23, 2009 6:00 AM

If you don't grasp that, then educate yourself.

See what I mean.

#916

Posted by: Wowbagger | February 23, 2009 6:05 AM

Brent wrote:

I used to take the time to scour the crap so as to separate the chaff from the chaff and subsequently point it out, but now I make sure a link isn't going to talk origins before clicking on it. It saved me from suicide.

Cognitive dissonance is a bitch, isn't it? Aren't you lucky you've got Jesus?

'Intelligent' Designer babbled:

Wowbaggar, the conclusions PZ draws from this experiment are easily refuted. Put on your critical thinking cap.

This from a drooling idiot who either can't read or can't spell. Colour me unimpressed.

Creotards: 'Give us novel functions! You evilutionists haven't shown us any novel functions!'
Scientists: 'Okay, here's a cecal valve on a lizard. It didn't have one before. It's a change on the physiological and genetic level.'
[crickets]
Creotards: 'Give us real novel functions! A cow that can breathe underwater! A duck that lays beer-flavoured eggs!
Scientists: Evolution doesn't claim to be able to do that. Can you cite where such a claim is made?
Creotards: Ha! We win! Praise Jesus!1! Oops, I mean aliens!

#917

Posted by: SEF | February 23, 2009 6:05 AM

They are also fond of assuming you don't have an education.
It's not a matter of assuming it at all, since you (collectively as well as individually) continually demonstrate it. Unfounded assumptions are the province of you fantasy-based people. In contrast, we, the reality-based people, have things such as the evidence of your own posts by which to judge you.
#918

Posted by: Josh | February 23, 2009 6:06 AM

Were the following people "real scientists"? Blaise Pascal, Louis Pasteur, Lord Kelvin, James Maxwell?

It doesn't really matter if they were real scientists then. The question was asked in the present tense.

#919

Posted by: echidna | February 23, 2009 6:08 AM

Intelligent Designer bleated: "They are also fond of assuming you don't have an education."

No assumption necessary. The evidence is clear when posters lack the most basic science education.

People on this blog are willing to go to great lengths to answer questions from posters who demonstrate that they are willing to learn something. Trolls, on the other hand, are just irritating.

#920

Posted by: Intelligent Designer | February 23, 2009 6:21 AM

Refute it then. Put up or shut up.

So you want me to do the critical thinking for you? Did it ever occur to you that the information for the so-called novel functions already existed in the DNA and that they were merely selected?

Also, I admit it. I am a troll. Is that a bad thing?

#921

Posted by: Kel | February 23, 2009 6:21 AM

But back to the topic: You asked if I knew how evolution works. Well, I think I know how it's proposed to work, but it would be better if we suppose I don't and you explain it. I'm not concerned w