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Kent Hovind at St Cloud State University

Category: Creationism
Posted on: April 29, 2006 10:04 AM, by PZ Myers

After sitting through Hovind's talk, I have seen the light. I've always been awfully hard on Christianity and Christians here, despising their beliefs and making mock of their nonsensical ideas and backwards social agenda. But this evangelist really reached out and grabbed me.

I now feel a great pity for them.

Hovind is one of the leading lights of fundamentalist Christianity in this country; the large auditorium was packed full, and they had to put up folding seats on the stage behind him to handle the crowd. They were enthusiastic and laughing and cheering and shouting "Amen!" throughout his talk. All I could think through it all was sorrow and sympathy for all the Christians who have willingly afflicted themselves with this clown, who have gullibly swallowed his lies. I am so sorry, Christians. I'm very embarrassed for you.

On a purely objective level, evaluating the presentation and the skill of the speaker, I was surprised: it was an exceptionally bad talk. You will often hear these creationist speakers praised for their rhetorical ability, if not their grasp of science, but I'm afraid Hovind was awful. We have weekly student seminars at my university, and sometimes students do a less than stellar job at this public speaking business…but I have never heard a speaker as incompetent as Hovind.

Yes, he spits out words fast with little fumbling, and he lards his talk with well-practiced folksy jokes, but it's all so poorly organized and clumsily presented that it has no persuasive power at all. He is doing nothing but affirming the prejudices of his audience—he's effective at that—but he's not communicating any information at all effectively. I imagined him giving this talk to an informed audience, rather than the bussed-in church groups that were here, and his schtick would fall flat, and fall hard. Scientists have this expectation that they will learn something from a talk, you see, and that they'll be able to evaluate the process by which the conclusions were arrived at; there was nothing like that here.

Even if you are sympathetic to Hovind's claims, here is an indicator of what a poor speaker he is. This was scheduled to be a one hour talk. He showed up with a power point presentation containing over 700 slides. My personal rule of thumb for a good hour presentation is that if you're a bit lazy and fill it chock-a-block with bullet points and text slides, 30 or 40 is about right; better talks pare it down to 20 or fewer data-rich slides and spend some time discussing each one. 700+ is practically criminal; it's a declaration of rapid-fire superficiality, that you intend to steamroller the audience with no consideration for thought. Hovind is the anti-Tufte.

He also went over his allotted time—he talked for almost 2 hours. He knew it, too; at the hour mark, he mentioned that he was going to say just a few more things quickly, and then instead he went on and on, going all the way to the end of his list of power point slides. It was agonizingly bad. Again, though, his audience was predisposed to favor him, so nobody showed up with a hook.

What about his style? It was nothing but corn-pone jokes. He warmed up the audience beforehand with a continuous display of 'witticisms' projected on the big screen. Things like "Why is the third hand on a watch called a second hand?" and "Where does the light go when it goes out?" It was calculated, I'm sure, to rot the brains of the audience before the ringmaster came on. The audience actually laughed at these things. I was ready to leave, and he hadn't even started talking.

That was the tone in the talk, too. He'd rant a bit about the awful lies scientists pack into textbooks, and then he'd trot out some tired old joke. It was like watching Hee Haw—I half-expected Junior Samples to show up.

(Hovind seems completely incapable of changing his tone. In the beginning, he was introducing his family in this same jokey way, when he pointed to a picture of his son-in-law in one picture and mentioned that he'd died of cancer just a few weeks ago. One serious and sad mention, then zip, right back to the jokes. It was very jarring, and brought one word to my mind: psychopath.)

In addition to dropping a joke everytime his brain lost its train of thought, he was incessantly plugging his videos—they were on sale in the lobby. Money was a constant theme, which is also not something I've seen at science talks. Maybe we need to start. I didn't buy any of his videos, of course—this one lecture convinced me I don't need to hear any more Hovind, especially not a Hovind babbling on for several hours in each of a dozen tapes. I really don't know how Matt survived his experience with them.

As for the content of his talk: that wasn't the point. This was an mutual backslapping session for creationists, not an evening of substance. The talk itself was irony-rich garbage. His message was that science textbooks, yea, even the ones in use at SCSU, were full of lies, and he, lover of science that he was, only wanted to see those lies removed. In order to do this, he gave a talk that was full of lies. About 700 of them, actually.

In those 700 slides, he raced through an incredible number of creationist canards: polystrate trees disprove gradualism, non-existence of the geologic column, fossils date the rocks and rocks date the fossils, the Grand Canyon is young, microevolution, not macroevolution, humans don't have gill slits, mutations only destroy information, yadda yadda yadda. Seriously. They were all dead arguments presented at such a rapid clip that there was no time to think about them, let alone rebut them. And the lies were just so painfully blatant: as an example, he claimed that trilobites weren't old and they weren't extinct, and to 'prove' his claim, he showed a picture of an arctic isopod and announced that there it was, alive and crawling, proof that the biology professors have all been lying to you.

It was almost too much to take: Hovind was inciting the audience to tear pages out of biology books, to protest to the university about the lyin' professors there, and he was doing it by lying non-stop.

I didn't ask any questions. Once he shut up, I left; I don't think there would have been any point to trying to rebut him, any more than there is any point to trying to rebut Hee Haw.

Oh, and one more thing: St Cloud State should feel a little shamefaced. We had a creationist visit UMM, and he was politely but forcefully out-argued by our students, and even though at least one church group was brought in, they were totally outclassed by the students. This event was more heavily stacked with family and church attendees, but the SCSU students seemed to be heavily pro-creationist. That's not a good sign for a healthy university, unless they're cynically aiming to recruit from the poorly educated pool. It might make economic sense, in the short run, but it's very unfortunate to see my son's degree cheapened that way just as he's ready to graduate.

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Comments

#1

Posted by: Miguelito Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 10:21 AM

There is a reason for turning a one-hour talk into a two-hour talk. It cuts into Q&A time and he stands to be less embarassed by scientists asking critical questions.

#2

Posted by: wolfa Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 10:24 AM

So he went through a new slide about every 15 seconds? Was each slide one sentence long?

#3

Posted by: PZ Myers Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 10:30 AM

There were lots of pictures -- redundant pictures. For instance, he flipped through a lot of aerial shots of the Grand Canyon. He showed picture after picture of embryos from biology texts after claiming that Haeckel faked it all, never pausing, which makes sense...if Haeckel faked it all, you don't want the viewers to dwell on all those contemporary photographs of embryos that show he was right.

#4

Posted by: Rob Knop Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 10:36 AM

I am so sorry, Christians. I'm very embarrassed for you.

Once again, you go implicitly assuming that all Christians are on a page with this nutbar.

I know there's no point in pointing this out, since I've tried it before, but you're way off base here. Yes, Hovind is a nutbar, and yes, creationists are nutbars, but many Christians would make no more claim to being philosophical partners to him than you would make a claim of being a philosophical partner to Jesse Ventura.

#5

Posted by: PZ Myers Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 10:57 AM

So you aren't embarrassed by the fact that this professing Christian with a huge number of Christian followers is going around the country declaring what it means to be a Christian, and none of the Christians in attendance are speaking out against him?

Weird.

Personally, I'm rather embarrassed when Christopher Hitchens mentions that he's an atheist.

#6

Posted by: Tara Mobley Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 11:00 AM

And I am sorry that you actually sat through that. I wouldn't have had the patience.

#7

Posted by: Bruce Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 11:03 AM

He warmed up the audience beforehand with a continuous display of 'witticisms' projected on the big screen. Things like "Why is the third hand on a watch called a second hand?" and "Where does the light go when it goes out?"

Steve Wright called. He wants his jokes back.

700 slides in two hours? I hope there weren't any epileptics in the house.

That's not a talk, it's an infomercial.

#8

Posted by: wolfa Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 11:05 AM

Oh, it's like one of those animations I did when I was 10, on a flipbook. Except he doesn't know that computers do better animations than flipping through pictures really fast on powerpoint?

I missed a talk by Brian Alters (I think -- the Canadian who was part of the recent ID trial) here, and was very disappointed.

#9

Posted by: PZ Myers Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 11:12 AM

It wasn't exactly flipbook style. Sometimes the transition from one slide to the next wasn't there, and he'd just babble out a joke.

Oh, and in a couple of places, there were jokes in the slide -- one sentence of the joke per slide.

Seriously, if ever I wanted to kill Edward Tufte, I'd get a copy of that talk and email it to him. It would be like sending "Wenn ist das Nunstruck git und Slotermeyer? Ja!...Beiherhund das Oder die Flipperwaldt gersput!" to a German.

#10

Posted by: Ithika Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 11:21 AM

Fscking TypeKey! The "keep me logged in for two weeks" doesn't actually do anything, does it? I have to re-log in every time.

Anyways, I was trying to say that I was at a Larry Lessig talk once that used about 300 slides in approximately 20 minutes... and it worked really well. It was more like he was narrating a movie than talking with slides. He didn't stop or stutter once and the whole thing moved in one seamless lockstep synchronous beauty. Incredibly impressive; although not as suitable for a scientific/technical presentation. Though by the sounds of it, Hovind doesn't really go in for presenting the facts.

#11

Posted by: kayigo Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 11:26 AM

You are evaluating this speech as though it were a lecture.
It wasn't one. It was a sermon. A really, really bad sermon. And from your description, he was preaching to the choir.

#12

Posted by: Andy Groves Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 11:29 AM

I imagined him giving this talk to an informed audience, rather than the bussed-in church groups that were here, and his schtick would fall flat, and fall hard. Scientists have this expectation that they will learn something from a talk, you see, and that they'll be able to evaluate the process by which the conclusions were arrived at; there was nothing like that here.

Ahhh, but that shows that Hovind has understood the first rule of public speaking: Know Your Audience

He pitched his talk at exactly the level he wanted for his audience, and judging by their response, at exactly the level his audience wanted. It may have been an objectively awful talk, but it fulfilled the role he wanted - evangelisizing for creationism - perfectly. It was a sermon, not a seminar. Of course Hovind would flop if he talked to a group of scientists. That's beside the point. The chances of him ever talking to a group of scientists are about the same as me or you taking Holy Communion.

#13

Posted by: sdanielmorgan Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 11:35 AM

Well, considering that Hovind has a court date coming up for tax evasion, and another court date coming up regarding the shutdown of his park, I'd say he won't have nearly so much time to go around spreading his mental pollution.

#14

Posted by: Carlie Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 11:39 AM

Was there a moderator? Someone should have stopped him, and with a subtly scathing comment or two thrown in. "I'm sorry, but your hour is up. We now have to stop for Q&A from the audience. I am sorry that you're not finished, but we assumed that since you give so many lectures, you would know how to tailor your comments for the agreed-upon amount of time." [pulls plug on slide projector]

#15

Posted by: PZ Myers Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 11:41 AM

Yes, he's tailoring his talk for his audience -- and I think that is an incredibly demeaning attitude. He's going in poorly prepared with a hodge-podge of noise that he's fleshing out with bad jokes and bible verses. It works.

Call me a dreamer, but I think the way to counter this is for good, entertaining science speakers to give well-prepared, insightful talks that actually take some time to discuss the evidence and ideas. Let them learn what a good presentation is like. Raise the bar and leave the cheap-ass vaudevillians like Hovind behind.

#16

Posted by: PZ Myers Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 11:43 AM

The 'moderator' was, I think, a lay god-botherer for the Christian fraternity on the SCSU campus. As long as Hovind coughed up a bible verse now and then, he wasn't going to stop things.

#17

Posted by: Zeno Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 11:46 AM

Whoa! Close call! If I could read German better, I'd be dead now. And my dog smells terrible.

Speaking of dreadful jokes: I once sat all the way through a Duane Gish talk at a University of California campus. It was not so much a lecture as it was a stand-up routine. There were the sly asides that invited the true believers to laugh it up at the expense of those silly, silly evolutionists (they think they're smarter than God!), the anti-intellectual barbs for the consumption of jes' plain folks (why, some people are just educated till they have no sense left at all!), and the disjointed appeals to authority (scientists don't really know anything, except for the ones who formulated that second law of thermodynamics, which is sacrosanct [in our misinterpretation of it]). Any challenge during the Q&A session was turned aside with a quip, a recycled creationist talking point, and an oh-so-sad sympathetic shake of the head. Fortunately, when I saw Gish, Power Point hadn't been invented yet.

The next generation of "scientific" creationists will undoubtedly be spawned from the ranks of the sycophantic students who packed the lecture hall for Duane Gish at UC and for "Dr." Hovind at SCSU. The people at the Institute for Creation Research are cooking up a mentoring program to help such students earned advanced degrees at secular universities without blowing their cover as creationists. I cited the ICR announcement of its mentoring program in Undercover creationists for people who want details but aren't on the ICR mailing list (which, I confess, I am).

#18

Posted by: Kristine Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 11:55 AM

I wasn't there, but the words "Nuremburg rally" come to mind, as well as those 5-hour long lectures given in Red Square...I've given up trying to understand the mentality that embraces this shite. Obviously there's no real argument to refute, even, because creationists like Hovind don't advance anything that orderly--it sounds like one big game of pretend. It sounds like a bunch of people who deep down don't really have deep convictions getting together and trying lose themselves in groupthink, because they want to avoid the pain of each being an individual.

#19

Posted by: Alpha Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 11:56 AM

This sounds exactly like how it went down at Virginia Tech. Like other commenters have said, Hovind knows his audience and isn't aiming at scientists. He's just reinforcing the beliefs of creationists and hoping to snag some people who don't know much about the issue with his version of "shock and awe".

#20

Posted by: Nick (Matzke) Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 12:01 PM

This was scheduled to be a one hour talk. He showed up with a power point presentation containing over 700 slides. My personal rule of thumb for a good hour presentation is that if you're a bit lazy and fill it chock-a-block with bullet points and text slides, 30 or 40 is about right; better talks pare it down to 20 or fewer data-rich slides and spend some time discussing each one. 700+ is practically criminal; it's a declaration of rapid-fire superficiality, that you intend to steamroller the audience with no consideration for thought.

Judging Hovind like you would judge an academic talk is almost cute, PZ. Too many slides, what a poor presenter!

What is really going on is an old-fashioned revival. Hovind's talks *always* go at least two hours, and it's not because he wants to avoid questions, because he always takes questions for another 1-2 hours, and is quite happy fencing with usually hapless critics. He will outlast them if nothing else. He's a flashback to the days of snake-oil salesmen.

#21

Posted by: CL Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 12:27 PM

Why should SCSU feel shamefaced? If the student body is heavily creationist but otherwise qualified to be in school there, I don't see why SCSU is to blame. Rather, it's the Minnesota elementary and secondary school systems that should feel shame, since a biology course taken to fulfill a distribution requirement your last semester of college isn't going to do much to change ideas that persisted through twelve years of mandatory science classes.

#22

Posted by: compass Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 12:39 PM

So you aren't embarrassed by the fact that this professing Christian with a huge number of Christian followers is going around the country declaring what it means to be a Christian, and none of the Christians in attendance are speaking out against him? Weird.

Typical. So, if Rob Knop doesn't come right out and say he is embarassed by Hovind, you then implicitly trash his point?

Stop attacking the messenger and address the message.

Once again, you go implicitly assuming that all Christians are on a page with this nutbar. I know there's no point in pointing this out, since I've tried it before, but you're way off base here. Yes, Hovind is a nutbar, and yes, creationists are nutbars, but many Christians would make no more claim to being philosophical partners to him than you would make a claim of being a philosophical partner to Jesse Ventura

He's right, you know. There's no point in debating with you.

You actually might have something to offer, even to Christians, but your almost relentless condescension and patronizing tone suggests that you are only interested in appealing to your echo chamber sycophants and in patting yourself on the back while saying: "I really showed those creationists THIS time."

Once again, it is tragic to see such learning being poorly used.

#23

Posted by: compass Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 12:50 PM

If the student body is heavily creationist but otherwise qualified to be in school there, I don't see why SCSU is to blame. Rather, it's the Minnesota elementary and secondary school systems that should feel shame, since a biology course taken to fulfill a distribution requirement your last semester of college isn't going to do much to change ideas that persisted through twelve years of mandatory science classes.

Ummm, bad news. Even the most rigorous K-12 science program is not going to shape everyone to "see the truth in evolution." There is this troublesome concept in human nature called "free will" that keeps screwing up all those efforts at programmins people to act and think in certain ways.

#24

Posted by: PZ Myers Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 12:53 PM

Yes. All Christians should be ashamed that Kent Hovind is speaking for them. When you simply disavow him, you are using that as an excuse to do nothing.

You know that we atheist outsiders aren't going to persuade any of your fellow followers of your traditional tribal superstitions; they're going to tune us out as soon as they hear we don't believe a ghost made Mary preggers. So why aren't you and Rob unhappy with Hovind stealing your religion and using it to promote BS? This ought to be even more personal for you than me.

When you feel you are affiliated with a group, you should also feel more responsible for preserving the reputation of that group. There's a curious omission of that feeling by Christians, however, who seem to be rather tepid as a whole about the creationist phenomenon, or all too often, enthusiastically supportive. Please don't try to tell me that he's a fringe minority: I've been to a couple of creationist affairs in St Cloud and Minneapolis, and we're talking about packed houses there.

So get off your butt, compass, and oppose the usurpers.

Oh, wait...you're on their side. Never mind. You make my case for me.

#25

Posted by: Janet Cohen Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 1:28 PM

Dear Professor Myers,
SCSU is commonly known for bigotry among administration, professors and students. With no disrespect intended sir, I am surprised you would let your child attend a school with such a poor reputation.
BTW, I am a great admirer of yours and a U of MN Twin Cities Grad Student. Most sincerely, Janet

#26

Posted by: CL Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 1:34 PM

There is this troublesome concept in human nature called "free will" that keeps screwing up all those efforts at programmins people to act and think in certain ways.

Who's talking about "programming?" Certainly, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. My point was, if one guy spends 12 years trying to convince the horse that drinking is a good idea, it's unfair to say that the next guy who comes along should be ashamed of himself for being unable to convince it to drink. I'm not sure where you're getting OMG EVERYONE SHOULD BE FORCED TO THINK THE SAME out of my comment.

#27

Posted by: BlueIndependent Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 1:47 PM

I don't think I could have sit through that. 700 slides really is the sign of an amateur, at least from a PowerPoint and talk-facilitation aspect. This guy sounds like someone who's found a way to make money off his ego by attaching it to people's emotions...oh wait, that's the entire republican party.

Anyhow, compass, please spare us the tortured persecuted Chrsitian crap. The church has been railing against "heretics" for millenia. In fact they go to such lengths to do so, I'm more apt to defend non-christian scientists do meaningful work than Christians that bash them for doing it. Hovind is an embarrassment to critical thinking worldwide. His protestations and sales tricks won't change that.

Also, a creationist telling a scientist, especially a biologist, just how things really are is a bit like me telling a surgeon he's not operating on someone's heart properly. I simply wouldn't even consider making such an gesture, because it would be so gallingly stupid.

And I ask who does Mr. Hovind think came up with this nebulous idea to put "lies" into biology books? They never do answer that question, although that's usually when they decry liberals or some other attention steerer...

#28

Posted by: thalarctos Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 1:54 PM

I've never understood what Christians like compass mean by "free will", anyway, since apparently if you actually use it to think anything other than what you're told to believe, God sends you to hell for that. Viz. compass' use of the term as an apology for indoctrination, while terming learning to think and evaluate the evidence for oneself as "indoctrination" above.

Maybe God, through compass, means "free will" as in "free beer", not as in "free thought".

Back on topic, though, there are enough Christians in this country that if they wanted to stand up to what the minority is doing in the name of their religion, the fanatics would never get away with what they're doing. Except for a few, however, they don't.

I'm reminded of a slogan from the early days of AIDS activism, "Silence = Death". Most Christians in this country are standing by silently as the religious right does its damage, so if you don't like that fact, rather than attacking PZ as the messenger, you might want to mobilize your fellow Christians to reclaim your religion.

#29

Posted by: squeaky Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 1:54 PM

Well, PZ, I am embarrassed by Hovind. My brother gave me a 12 CD set of his to listen to about three years ago. Which I did (although I skimmed through much of it). I would hope that my first year geology students could refute the uninformed claims he makes about plate tectonics and the geologic column, etc. However, my brother has no science background since high school, which was for him, 20 years ago. Hovind's claims sound good to the uninformed because he packages his message in a slick, shiny wrapper. 700 slides--he knows not only his audience, but our culture. We are enticed by the visual in this culture, and he is playing to that. Plus he calls himself "Dr." even though his "doctorate" is in something like "Christian education" from a sort of mail-order college that doesn't have anything near an acredited degree program. Not only that, he claims to have taught science in high school, and he doesn't have anything past an undergrad degree in science, if he has that--I don't think he even has a science education degree, for that matter. Most people don't get past the "Dr." though, and assume he must know what he is talking about, even though his "doctorate" isn't in any branch of science. Since he is talking to people who don't have anything past an undergrad degree in science, if that, and since they WANT to believe what they are told the Bible says (although few of them take the time to sort it out for themselves), his uninformed rebuttals of science sound pretty darned good. Yes, he is preaching to the choir, he knows his audience, and he is a sheister to the Nth degree. And as a scientist who is also a Christian, I am embarrassed for my fellow Christians who can't ferret him out.

However, in their defense, they are ill-equipped to do so, and so is most American society. The average person has little understanding of science or how science works. Pop science sounds good. The average person assumes the person telling them about science has the authority to do so, and knows what they are talking about. Most people don't take the time to actually ferret out the truth of the matter (in science, or anything)

Hovind knows this and takes advantage of it. There is this overall attitude of "trust" of anyone who claims they are a Christian and uses the right Christian-speak. Couple that with his assumed authority because he has a "doctorate", and you have a master manipulator ready to fleece the flock.

To me, the biggest red flag he blatantly flies is his constant advertising of his material for sale, and why people can't see through that is beyond me. But then again, the entire American society is attracted to the bright shiny objects advertisers have to sell us. Why else do people prefer the big Hummers or fast cars to fuel efficient vehicles? Perhaps Christians are falling for this guy hook, line, and sinker, but it isn't a flaw only they hold in this society. It's a flaw most of us hold--the flaw of being attracted to celebrity, to the charismatic, to the fast talker, to the popular. Why else did the birth of Tom Cruise's baby make national headlines?

#30

Posted by: BlueIndependent Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 1:57 PM

"...There is this troublesome concept in human nature called "free will" that keeps screwing up all those efforts at programmins people to act and think in certain ways."

You're confusing free will with the existence of evidence to support a given claim. Surely you and I and anyone else have the free will to not take facts seriously. It doesn't mean they cease being facts, and that those facts cease affecting reality and the human condition. But I guess I'm stating the obvious.

No one's programming anyone to think like anything. If anything, I was programmed at a young age to go to church and believe in a god. How is that any different from what you claim scientists are doing? Seriously. Answer that question.

That's why Christian fundamentalism is so corrosive: it rejects reality because certain things aren't written in a certain book. It's a lot like Islamic or Hindu fundmentalism in that way. All three are religions, and all three openly denounce science because it ruins their gig.

Meanwhile, I continnue to be a happy Christian accepting of (r)evolutionary ideas.

#31

Posted by: lloydletta Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 2:01 PM

Ken Avidor and I drove up to SCSU for the Bachmann Amendment Horror Show. We didn't draw such a crowd unfortunately. We saw the Hovind poster - it was pretty over the top. I've got it posted over on DB.

http://dumpbachmann.blogspot.com/2006/04/dump-bachmann-at-saint-cloud-state.html

#32

Posted by: Bill Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 2:04 PM

Go to Google video (http://video.google.com/) and search on 'hovind'

Streams to your desktop in all its inane glory: corny jokes, Hee Haw style.

#33

Posted by: 386sx Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 3:07 PM

He will outlast them if nothing else.

Or cut their microphone.

He's a flashback to the days of snake-oil salesmen.

I hadn't realized they weren't still around.

#34

Posted by: impatientpatient Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 3:16 PM

This reminds me of an Amway/Quixtar adventure I once had. (Note-Never once did I think of joining) Friends (non- religious)who I thought were extremely intelligent invited me to an "investment meeting". Being suspicious I went to the hotel before the meeting to see what I could find out. I got the name of the organization renting the space and googled it but didn't find anything online, so I went to the meeting. It was a motivational meeting filled with well dressed idiots. That I sat through it was amazing, but it was like driving by an accident scene- I could not believe that this had happened. Anyway- it was lame jokes lame graphics talking points and lies all mixed up and served as real. The guy talking was a radio announcer (who is still on the radio three years later) who kept telling everyone there he was doing this for his future freedom. It was about two hours long - and was billed a a forty five minute speech. People shouted out, clapped mindlessly, and were basically idiots this whole meeting. Much of the meeting was spent hawking their "self-help" material. Not once was the word Amway mentioned- just Quixtar- kind of like creationists changing their name to ID. All that kept going through my mind was HOW COULD THIS HAVE HAPPENED TO MY FRIENDS??????

The point is, that people will believe pap for the masses if it is served with a veneer of "credentials" just because they are too lazy to find out for themselves what the truth is. I was not surprised to see religious people I personally knew there, because religion and MLM go hand in hand- the more credulous you are about one thing the more credulous you will be about the next, I think.

I am not very friendly with my former friends anymore- once I made it clear that I was NOT INTERESTED- I was struck off of their list of people to hang out with. This is not unlike religious people who realize that once you cannot be saved you are no longer someone they should spend time with. It is a very opportunistic and predatory world. People with limited amounts of exposure to critical thinking skills can be snookered by the most amazing idiots out there. People will believe passion over substance a lot of the time. NEVER underestimate the ability of some people to exploit these things.

#35

Posted by: squeaky Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 3:35 PM

Good points, impatientpatient. You echo my points above. An important thing to realize, though, is that it is not just Christians who fall for this--we all do to some degree or another, even those of us who think we are immune. A friend of mine pointed this out to me, and I, who pride myself in not being taken in by the trappings of this society (live simply so that others may simply live, sort of thing) boldly claimed I don't fall for the tactics of advertisers. Then I was honest with myself, and I remembered a recent e-mail I had received from Amazon.com telling me of books they knew I would be interested in from my past buying practices. Danged if I didn't buy a couple of them! We can call the people who fall for Hovind's crap ignorant fools, but we're all susceptible to snake oil salesmen and advertisement--it just depends on the salesman and what our vulnerabilities are. Capitalism runs quite well on these vulnerabilities. Nothing has changed since Barnums' "Sucker born every minute" statement. And we're all suckers at some point or another, but not all for the same reasons.

#36

Posted by: Corey S Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 4:39 PM

I would be interested to know if "Dr." Dino had his stats updated. According to someone that was at his seminar last weekend, some of them were, but he did not mention which ones.

#37

Posted by: IAMB Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 5:11 PM

Heh... you know, PZ, surviving my Hovind overdose wasn't ever really an issue. It's the unpleasant side-effects that bother me.

For starters, there's that pesky thousand yard stare that just won't seem to go away...

#38

Posted by: Cyde Weys Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 6:51 PM

PZ, I saw Kent Hovind last year and I left with mostly the same impression you did. I wrote a big post to talk.origins about it; here it is:

http://groups.google.com/group/talk.origins/msg/eb9a6713b20f443a

I just thought some of your readers might want a little bit of a different perspective on it.

#39

Posted by: 386sx Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 8:00 PM

He's a flashback to the days of snake-oil salesmen.

Oh, the snake oil people are still around:

The website doesn't tell us that the eight are all supporters of intelligent design led by the ID Network's John Calvert and William Harris.

The FAQ distributed at the candidate forum is prominently reproduced on the Kansas Science 2005 site in PDF.

Here's one of the FAQs and the answer:

Q: Do the changes seek to criticize evolution to advance religion?
A: No. They seek to eliminate rather than advance a religious bias that permeated the old standards.

Presumably the religious bias they seek to eliminate is the religious bias that is biased against making changes that seek to criticize evolution to advance religion. So technically, if you stop to think about it, I guess they're not really lying about it too much.

#40

Posted by: John M Price Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 8:20 PM

Hovind may be an issue. If you want to lose sleep, look up the Now program broadcast 28 Apr about religion and politics in Ohio.

Theocracy is not that far away.

#41

Posted by: Grumpy Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 8:51 PM

Bruce: "Steve Wright called. He wants his jokes back."

Reminds me of George Carlin, actually. Carlin coasted on such material for years, and he's still considered a comedy legend.

Either that, or Gallagher. Did Hovind smash any fruit during his presentation??

#42

Posted by: Rey Fox Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 9:14 PM

And I ask who does Mr. Hovind think came up with this nebulous idea to put "lies" into biology books? They never do answer that question, although that's usually when they decry liberals or some other attention steerer...

That's one thing I've never quite understood. Suppose there really is some big atheist/scientist/liberal conspiracy undermining Christianity, the question is...why? What do the big evil atheists have to gain? Where are all the rich powerful scientists? Why would the "liberal media" "lie" about global warming? There's SO much more money in denying it.

#43

Posted by: Keanus Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 9:17 PM

I too have always been baffled by the reluctance of Christians to speak out openly against the fraudulent, self-serving snake-oil salesmanship of people like Hovind. Privately they condemn him, but publicly they are adverse to saying anything negative. It's kind of like if he's Christian, even a repulsive one, don't say anything if you can't say something nice. I'd much prefer that Christians would put on the car bumper the sticker that says "The Christian Right is Neither." Were I Christian I've have them on both ends of the car!

#44

Posted by: Ed Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 9:39 PM

Who's reluctant to speak out against Hovind?

Three years ago I got an invitation to debate Hovind. Some lackey had thought I was a practicing scientist, and thought it would be the classic stuff. When they discovered I'm a teaching lawyer, and a Christian, they made all sorts of excuses to get out of the debate, including false changes of schedule. It was quite humorous.

In our church parking lot there have often been cars with the "Christian right is neither" bumper sticker. One of the reasons Hovind sticks to the backwater cities for the most part is that he cannot stand scrutiny of serious Christians, as well as not being able to withstand the scrutiny of science.

But remember what Twain wrote in one of the Tom Sawyer books: "Ain't we got every fool in town on our side, and ain't that a big enough majority in any town?" Hovind's existence works off of that philosophy.

#45

Posted by: Rev. BigDumbChimp Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 10:10 PM

What color were his big flooy shoes and foam nose?

#46

Posted by: Rev. BigDumbChimp Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 10:11 PM

grr floppy

#47

Posted by: SkookumPlanet Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 10:42 PM

PZ
Andy Groves is correct about audiences. His "first rule of public speaking: Know Your Audience," is the first rule in all public communications, such as mass media, political campaign speeches, advertising, etc. Did Hovind's audience feel demeaned? You wouldn't go before that crowd and give the talk you gave to an annual scientific conference. Do that and the audience tunes out and hears nothing. "Communicators" who ignore audience needs are egotistical failures.

As a teacher you tailor material to audience constantly. But in college students you have a self-motivated audience, there to work, more or less. With an audience allergic to thinking, or distracted by other priorities, etc., it's a different equation if audience effect, rather than self-satisfaction, is the goal. You like entertaining science speakers but Pharyngula's tastes would be a foreign language to most in that hall.

SBers often rif on how people SHOULD process information, the arguments and persuasion that SHOULD work on them. Demeaning the public when it's unpersuaded and uninformed by such "shoulds" actually is self-demeaning, revealing an analysis highly anectodal, ignorant, and unscientific. Attitude formation and change, emotional bias filters in communication, etc. is rarely discussed beyond Cognitive Daily. Let me turn to a celebrity as my analogy, Homer Simpson, scientist. "Lousy, stupid experiment turned out wrong. Marge! Come in here and explain to this experiment what it's supposed to do. [whispered aside to experiment] And if you know what's good for you, you little... "

Squeaky makes the reality in the good ol' U.S. of A. clear. Twice. One quibble which is there has been change since Barnum's day -- the hucksters are getting much more sophisticated and now use science. See Seed "News Items" column straight below, "Study Finds a Mechanism for Decision-Making" for one of many examples.

"Why else did the birth of Tom Cruise's baby make national headlines?" I'll also add that the meta-manipulation going on escapes even the most observant. Our current "celebrity culture" phenomenon is not a natural one, but rather one carefully constructed over many decades.

As has been the rise of the right. High stakes politics is almost such these days. On a Chris Mooney topic I discussed the sophisticated psychomarketing technique Dub and Vee-Dub used, proximity soundbites to sell Americans on invading Iraq. As snakeoily as it gets. Or snakeyoily.

And impatientpatient always has insights [for me, at least] about how the minds in that audience work.Perhaps impatientpatient will check me on the following.

Rey Fox, not money, but with irrefutable "logic", power. Scientists, who may soon be demonized as dishonest, anti-Christian, and anti-American, gain the obvious, as dupes, for Satan. Spreading nationwide to ID footsoldiers, it may get quite personal and may tar scientists, academics, teachers, etc., in general, if useful for a broader sociopolitical agenda. The right lies about science at will and feeds their audience shovelfuls of false witness. Why would they stop?

compass. PZ's doing his job, which he does very well -- being a provocateur. You're roughly right but, like "echo chamber sycophants" are a bit over the top. Staying "in subject", you're at PZ's Revival Meeting, with appropriate content and emotions. It can get condescending and patronizing as those crowded into the tent would probably agree. There's even speaking in tongues -- or is that Latin?

#48

Posted by: jakobpunkt Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 11:03 PM

I wonder why he always uses the same, 30-year-old photo on his posters. It's just kind of weird. It's not like the audience isn't going to be immediately able to tell that he isn't 25 when they look at him. Is it vanity or just extreme laziness. Either way, I find it quite disturbing.

#49

Posted by: compass Author Profile Page | April 29, 2006 11:58 PM

Please don't try to tell me that he's a fringe minority: I've been to a couple of creationist affairs in St Cloud and Minneapolis, and we're talking about packed houses there. So get off your butt, compass, and oppose the usurpers.

There are plenty of nutball Protestant ministers selling spiritual whipped cream instead of proper meat. They aren't worth the energy. Neither is Hovind. At least he is intellectually honest enough to admit that there is a possibility of a God. Agnostics posing as atheists that haven't worked out the logic correctly (such as yourself) are more of a concern in a world that is convinced that the third act of the mind alone suffices for divining truth.

Though heaven knows tilting at the Pharyngula/PZ windmill is a lonely, damned near fruitless endeavor in this sycophant-infested echo chamber.

I've never understood what Christians like compass mean by "free will", anyway, since apparently if you actually use it to think anything other than what you're told to believe, God sends you to hell for that.

So sadly wrong it almost isn't worth the response, but I'll try.

God doesn't send people to hell, Raven. They choose to go all on their lonesome.

#50

Posted by: minimalist Author Profile Page | April 30, 2006 12:22 AM

Alright, compass, I'll bite: how does one "choose" to go to a place one does not believe in?

#51

Posted by: Harrison Author Profile Page | April 30, 2006 12:37 AM

"Though heaven knows tilting at the Pharyngula/PZ windmill is a lonely, damned near fruitless endeavor in this sycophant-infested echo chamber."

My goodness, Compass, what a martyr complex! Climb down off that cross; we need the wood!

You assume a "tone" of exasperated moral superiority, question the integrity of PZ and nearly all the posters, and then act wounded when people get annoyed and jab back at you.

Tell me, why do you bother with us heathens? We're really not worth all this time and effort, are we? Gosh, we sure are lucky to have you to kick around...

#52

Posted by: BlueIndependent Author Profile Page | April 30, 2006 1:02 AM

compass, you are making far too many assumptions to even begin to consider yourself humble. This btw is another symptom that is common of the false "persecuted Christian". In one breath you decry someone's views because they are not humble to a particular possibility you hold dear. But by the same token you're being just as "arrogant" as the person you are decrying. In the end you're not so much refuting a person's argument, as stating that you merely do not subscribe to that viewpoint.

Who says that not believing in a god automatically means someone believes humans to be gods? This is one of the most assanine assumptions hard-right Christians make of atheists/non-religious people. It's a premise reached via means that are so false, and it's another example of reactionism inherent in conservative psychology. If A != B like it should be according to X edict in book Y, then C must be the cause or the real truth. I'm sorry, but any way you cut it, that's bad math. It allows you to make assumptions in light of an absence of fact, and does not place upon you the burden of having to research what the real facts might be. It really is just another form of the god-of-the-gaps argument is used to attempt to disprove evolution.

And really, what's a more humble way to go about discovering life? Searching for facts and testing them against hypotheses? Or making assumptions and running with it because the water on the stove is boiling?

#53

Posted by: George Cauldron Author Profile Page | April 30, 2006 1:35 AM

Though heaven knows tilting at the Pharyngula/PZ windmill is a lonely, damned near fruitless endeavor in this sycophant-infested echo chamber.

Yup. Coming here every day and insulting the liberals must take a lot out of poor Compass.

Funny thing, tho, no one's paying him or forcing him, and he sure seems to enjoy it.

#54

Posted by: impatientpatient Author Profile Page | April 30, 2006 1:43 AM

The thing that I keep thinking about is that science is not a common language, but religion is. Does that make sense? Even if you have no real experience with religion you know about Christmas and Easter and Jesus and Heaven and Hell and all of the other motifs like salvation and redemption----- these are built into our culture without us even being aware of it. ( If you need some help envisioning how ubiquitous it is in our culture, try taking a University English course without having a religious understanding.) Kind of like product placements in television shows. They are vaguely nice, comforting and non-threatening for the majority. You go to church for weddings (happpy) baptisms (happy) and funerals (not so happy, but now seen as a celebration of life). It is a way to mark the inevitable seasons of our lives.

Science and technology are taken for granted, and yet, also feared. Technologyand science are not value neutral for many people, and the pace of change is dizzying. Those who are in the "feel good" business exploit that unsettling reality by spinning it and hearkening back to simpler times. Because science and technology are by nature so TECHNOLOGICAL and difficult for most to understand or judge the merits of, it is met with suspicion. ( Here is a link I found on Jesus and Technology: http://web.engr.oregonstate.edu/~funkk/Technology/index.html#technology )

The language of religion to an outsider is as confusing as the language of science to one without a firm grounding in science. And science is much harder to put into "talking points" - simplistic talking points anyways. Science is constantly evolving. Religion, even though it has most definitely changed in form and function, still at its core is resistant to anything but incremental reforms. These two worlds cannot co-exist without clashes. It is inevitable. The changes that science brings affect everything- the computer for example has changed forever how we communicate. It is instantaneous, it is seen as superficial, you do not need to be in physical proximity to communicate nor do you have to even use your hearing which at least gives a clue to the emotionality of the conversation. While it has been embraced by the religious folks, its use still is discussed in theological terms. It is a tool to reach out and save others and to transmit important information with rapidity. The pitfalls are to be avoided- online gambling and pornography, and the benefits are NOW seen as outweighing the harm. There are still clusters of Christians who decry this use on the basis of some passages in Revelations or other interpretations of Scripture that can be seen to frown upon embracing the ways of the world.

What implications does this have for those who are scientifically and not theologically based. First of all, know your potential audience. If you are trying to talk to people who do not believe in evolution, know what they do believe and check your arrogance at the door at the beginning. The old adage that you catch more flies with honey is true. When you talk, talk as simply as you can. The average scientist may know what you are talking about when you speak about pro-inflammatory cytokines and interleukin 2 and the difference between cellular and humoral immunity ( I only use this example and not evolution because I know about it and not much else!) , but most people are completely unfamiliar with scientific-ese. (For those of you unfamiliar with religion, try to imagine trying to figure out the Apostle's Creed and what it means and how it was put together and how that fits in with now). People want to know mostly about how something is going to affect them personally. If it isn't going to affect them immediately or in some horrific way the are not very interested. Think advertising- the more hideous the zit, the better the response from teenagers everywhere when it comes to buying Clearasil. Evolution doesn't really have any "now" factor to most people. It is ancient history or a lie. What are the benefits of knowing about evolution- what tangible difference will it make in a Creationists life to believe in Evolution? Well, cancer and bird flu come to mind. Diseases evolve, our immune systems have evolved, and that is a real and tangible way to viscerally grab attention. Science needs to marry different fields together to present how a paleontologist, a microbiologist, a chemist and a doctor can be interconnected and relevant. And they need to do it soon if there is any hope of turning the tide in North America. Scientists need to court the media like the religious people do. Unfortunately I think this is considered a form of grandstanding and bad form these days. I am amazed when I read about Pasteur and Einstein and realize that the media of their day followed them with almost as much zeal as the paparazzi follows Britney Spears today.

And that is my never to be humble opinion about why religion is better at getting its message out. It is simple, it is immediately gratifying, when you come in to the fold there is an instant sense of belonging and you don't have to worry about consequences- both your immediate and long term needs are satisfied. Even if you are only a peripheral believer it is a panacea in times of need.

Science on the other hand MAKES people think and there is no clear cut way to use what you know to help in an immediate way, nor is there any guarantee for the future. It is not cohesive and it is quite frankly a bit unsettling.

Way too much talking and probaly I am still missing something.

#55

Posted by: G. Tingey Author Profile Page | April 30, 2006 4:57 AM

You may feel sorry for them, but. .....

Lets remember, most christiuans are blackmail victims.
Christianity, like islam, and all other religions is blackmail - blackmail of a "better life" & fear of punishment from the religious, if they have political or social power.

Yesterday, I was stopped by a christian as I was walkin home, and it was a female.
So I pointed out that women have no place pushing anythiug in christianity.
Even though it's all in the bible, I just got the mindless "god loves you/god bless you/ jesus will save you" mantra, until I had to walk away before I knocked her down.

Why do they do it?
They don't even follow their own teachings.
There's anothe really fundie church here, and I've just seen women wearing RED going to church .....

As for the previous poster, who said "all christians arn't like Hovind" - well, what are you going to DO about it then?
Put up, or shut up, and be classified with Hovind.
Caliming "Oh he/they are not PROPER christians/muslims/communists" really will not wash, unless you take some steps.
Otherwise, you are automatically going to be classed along with those already known to be brain-dead.

#56

Posted by: Kagehi Author Profile Page | April 30, 2006 1:37 PM

You know.. One of the favorite sayings of nearly everyone is:

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

I would like to make an addendum to that, "When most good men do nothing, it doesn't matter if only some appose evil." This is the logic gap the appologists posting on here don't $%$@%#@ seem to get.

#57

Posted by: John M Price Author Profile Page | April 30, 2006 3:54 PM

I, too, have been shunned and by one of my closest friends from HS. He even figured prominently in a 'life review' as a criminal, havng shot me, decided to put the gun to the back of my head. (That is, BTW, a real traumatic experience.) I need to tell him this before I am dead.

As to feeling sorry for them, I am not sure why? They live a fact free life, and do not realize just how much atheism is involved in their living (e.g., car repair, surgery - why they praise god and sue the surgeons is still beyond me, fixing the TV and so forth). They really are using denial and avoiding cognitive dissonence. I'd feel sorry for them if they were aware of the problems they have, but from what I see, there is no suffering going on here, just basic blindness to the real world. No need to really feel sorry, save for the waste of minds we are seeing.

#58

Posted by: AJ Milne Author Profile Page | April 30, 2006 10:38 PM

...Funny thing, tho, no one's paying him or forcing him, and he sure seems to enjoy it.

Aww... Now you're just bein' mean. I'm sure our dear old troll really is suffering, as he says. I've been intermittently reading his... erm... 'contributions' for the past little while, and it really does look to me like he's a bit more unhinged than usual of late. There's a slight uptick in his bleating about sycophants and echo chambers... a rather suggestive references to Don Quixote... Hmmm...

Yep. I think he knows. I think he's realizing that the reason he's making no inroads here isn't that is audience is somehow blinkered and benighted by the spellbinding cult of PZ's personality (or the cult of PZ's spellbinding personality--feel free to pick whichever amuses you more, I guess)... and it isn't that we've all conspiratorially closed our hearts or minds and other sundry organs against him just to raise his blood pressure in a bizarre and cruel random experiment on blog forum posters...

No, dear readers, I think he's catching on to the fact that the real reason he has been nothing more than comic relief here--beyond the fact that he is, remember, arguing that the magical sky bunny he thinks he hears in his head is actually real--is that he's a spectacularly incompetent and unconvincing troll, after all, and couldn't sell a free dose to a crack addict.

So let's not further mistreat him by laughing at the poor dear's pain.

No. Let's start a pool. I've got the Wednesday after next for his final, utter meltdown, when he submits a post of several tens of thousands of words... consisting entirely of the chorus to 'Yes, Jesus Loves Me', repeated... followed by a few random keystrokes, then silence.

Who else is in?

#59

Posted by: Stanton Author Profile Page | May 1, 2006 12:24 AM

"After sitting through Hovind's talk, I have seen the light."
That reminds me of a quote from Homer Simpson...
"I see the light! It burns!"

Really, I'm surprised that Mr Hovind is still toddling about with his blasphemously awful, if not plain blasphemous seminals...
Is he out on bail before he has to explain to the court why he continues to use his faith as an aegis for his money?

#60

Posted by: Sawyer Author Profile Page | May 1, 2006 8:56 PM

A lot of you are making some good points, but most of you are doing nothing but insult Dr. Hovind. If you want to come across as actually knowing what you are talking about, why don't you refute some of the things that he's saying? Insulting him for what he's teaching doesn't do anything. If you can actually show what he's lying about then people will be less inclined to listen to him.

#61

Posted by: Sawyer Author Profile Page | May 1, 2006 9:11 PM

And I give my apologies to those that are supporting or at least respecting Hovind for lumping you together with everyone else

#62

Posted by: PZ Myers Author Profile Page | May 2, 2006 7:09 AM

There is a whole bunch of links partway through the article--they all lead to short refutations of his points. Hovind's nonsense is very old and tired, and one way he gets away with it is that sane people get tired of repeating the same stuff over and over again, while Hovind never tires of repeating the same lies over and over again.

#63

Posted by: Roger | July 15, 2006 3:57 PM

PZ Myers clearly has his limitations of reasoning and concentration due to his chosen ancestry.

Just because he could not keep up with the many slides presented, is no fault of Hovind. Seems like the larger audiance had no trouble in this field. ( I would suspect they have a different origin to Myers)

Just as Myers & co.expect payment for their material, so does Hovind for his. I would rather pay Hovind for his

#64

Posted by: Ryan McGoldrick | October 27, 2006 9:26 AM

Excuse me? All of your responses to Hovinds claims are complete "baloney" and go well off the point. The geographic column he claimed 85% of the world does not have it in correct order. Your reply? You name a few places which have it. Go back to sleep.

#65

Posted by: Caledonian | October 27, 2006 9:31 AM

Yes, clearly Myers must list, in alphabetical order, the names of the places of 85% of the world where the column order is conserved. Only this will refute the profound wisdom and insight of Dr. Hovind, Director of Internet Prognostication, , Deliberator of Exotic Endogamy, and Doctor of Occipital Orientation.

#66

Posted by: roger | October 28, 2006 5:59 PM

PZ Myers,I find it highly improbable that within minutes of a message being posted on your website, a response from Caledonian, in support of you and your "we spring from a billion year old rock" theory is posted.

Seems to me that the same thing took place when you posted your Hovind-bashing story, back in April 2006. Within minutes of your message, hoards of replies came in, in support of you and your "we come from a rock" theory.

Would I be far off the mark if I suspected these responses to have come from your students? How else would they know about your page, and that you would need so much support to prop up you and your theory?

Did you contact Caledonian, and ask him to reply on your behalf, to save you the embarassment?

I am sure that those of us that do not have rocks in our heads will see through this ploy.

#67

Posted by: PZ Myers | October 28, 2006 6:14 PM

Silly person. This site gets between 10 and 20 thousand visits and several hundred comments each day.

I assure you, I don't have to run off and manually recruit people to reply to comments here. At least a hundred people will have read your comment in the next hour...and weekends are my low-traffic days.

#68

Posted by: Roger | October 28, 2006 6:28 PM

Thanks,PZ
But is does seem very strange to a thinking man

Silly as it may seem, what are the chances of life springing from a rock?

I will go with Hovind's theory rather.
Your theory seems too far out,and silly, I'm afraid

#69

Posted by: Caledonian | October 28, 2006 6:29 PM

Did you contact Caledonian, and ask him to reply on your behalf, to save you the embarassment?

Ah ha HA HA HAHA HAHAHA! I bet PZ would rather drive red-hot forks through both his eyes than contact me with a request for anything. In case you haven't noticed, there's a sidebar where recent posts are linked. When people visit the site, they can see the latest new posts, even if the thread they're in are very old.

Combined with the principle that particularly stupid posts are likely to receive mocking responses... and voila! QED! Eureka! Vesica piscis! Umlaut! Marklar marklar! So it is demonstrated...

#70

Posted by: Roger | July 20, 2007 1:19 PM

OOPS PZ....seems like your story of thousands of visits and hundreds of comments posted a day to this site, on your quiet days, did not really amount to too much of late.

Perhaps it is time for you to call in Caledonian and your other students to fill in for you again, and prop up your much needed support for this rather silly theory. Of course, you are also at liberty to have the authorities legislate that this theory be taught in all institutions of learning, as a proven FACT.
Roger

#71

Posted by: Steve_C | July 20, 2007 2:14 PM

Is this guy serious???

He's gotta be pulling our leg.

Yeah, PZ is LYING about his sire traffic.

What an a-hole.

#72

Posted by: kmarissa | July 20, 2007 2:32 PM

Why do people come back nearly a year later to attract everyone's attention, again, to what morons they are? Didn't we laugh at you enough the first time?

#73

Posted by: Steve_C | July 20, 2007 2:39 PM

He didn't mention his hero doing time in the Federal Prison.

I wonder why that is.

#74

Posted by: Roger | July 21, 2007 7:08 AM

PZ you really should inform your students that one year in the scheme of evolution is miniscule.

I was expecting responses from someone more adult...

Perhaps you should recruit someone to assist you, who has evolved a little further than mocking birds and laughing hyennas

#75

Posted by: Zarquon | July 21, 2007 8:37 AM

It's not as if yours and Hovind's lies deserve anything other than mocking.

#76

Posted by: Roger | July 21, 2007 5:54 PM

PZ, this site is such a disappointment to me.....

These students jumping in to your defence....are they the best scientific brains you have at your disposal ???

Seems like all they can respond with is laughter, mockings, insults and accusations of "lies".

One even suggests that since Hovind is in jail, he cannot be trusted, therefore his message is a lie.

If we are to use this as our basis to determine truth, how should we view Nelson Mandela, who spent 27 years in prison?

It should not have slipped your attention that your M.O. so far, has not been effective, so it would be refreshing if you, or someone you can find with intelligence can respond.

#77

Posted by: PZ Myers | July 21, 2007 6:11 PM

You're just blithering, Roger. People are mocking you because you seem to be incapable of saying anything of substance, but are just blindly defending Hovind.

Here's a proposal: pick ONE specific scientific claim from Hovind's vast array of 'refutations' of evolution and present it here with some minimal support from you. You'll get a much different response, I promise: people will directly address the claim. Go ahead.

We're waiting.

#78

Posted by: MartinM | July 21, 2007 6:18 PM

You'll get a much different response, I promise: people will directly address the claim.

Of course, people will directly address the claim and mock him. Fair chance that he'll then focus on the latter to the exclusion of the former.

#79

Posted by: Roger | July 21, 2007 6:40 PM

Thanks PZ....

I do have a few questions, and I trust that you can give an answer to them...

My first question to you is whether evolution is a theory, or a fact?

(Hovind claims it is a theory - not a fact.)

#80

Posted by: Lepht | July 21, 2007 7:05 PM

Roger, it's both. evidence for it is overwhelming, making it a *scientific* theory, which is the same as an accepted fact.

the fact that it is a theory does not mean there are people who can look at the evidence and reject it. the word does not hold the same meaning in science as it does in the layman's world.

and i'm not PZ. come over to my place if you wanna debate that, because i'm willing to answer any question you put to me.

Lepht

#81

Posted by: Roger | July 21, 2007 7:24 PM

Lepht, thanks for the civility in your response to my first question to PZ.

My second question to PZ is what stumbling block does this theory have, preventing it from being a fact.

#82

Posted by: PZ Myers | July 21, 2007 7:42 PM

Hovind reveals his ignorance of basic scientific terms with that false dilemma. It's both a theory and a fact. Here, read these: Not just a theory and Evolution is a fact and a theory.

You aren't off to a good start here. Lepht also told you it's both a theory and a fact. Why did you stumble on heedless with your second question? It is a fact. Nothing is preventing it from being a fact.

#83

Posted by: Roger | July 21, 2007 8:02 PM

PZ, Lepht has written "the fact that it is a theory does not mean...."

Now to me this can only be interpreted that it is a theory.

So if nothing prevents it from being a fact, why do you attempt to classify it as fact and theory?

Now my third question is related to another claim by Hovind that for this theory to be plausible, spontaneous life would have had to spring from a rock. Hovind claims that this evidence has not been found or duplicated. Was Hovind lying, or does such evidence exist?

#84

Posted by: PZ Myers | July 21, 2007 8:11 PM

Stop. You don't get to ask a third question until you've shown that you understand the answer to the first, and you clearly don't. This is how Hovind can gallop through 700 slides in a talk -- because his gullible audience isn't thinking.

You don't understand what a theory is. It is not a guess. It is not something that falls short of being a fact. Now go do your homework: I gave you two brief web pages to read.

Come back when you understand them, or if need something in them explained to you.

#85

Posted by: Lepht | July 21, 2007 8:11 PM

Roger, i know you're expecting replies from just PeeZed, but this galls me. i told you.

i'll be clearer: evolution is a theory like gravity is a theory. in the context of science, "fact" and "theory" mean the exact same thing.

Lepht

#86

Posted by: Lepht | July 21, 2007 8:25 PM

also, the theory of Darwinian evolution has nothing to do with where life *came* from.

the rock idea is Hovind mangling the hypothesis - that being the word for something we haven't concluded on yet - of abiogenesis, life arising from ever more complex molecules. that does NOT mean "animals sprang from goo" or "life sprang from a rock". to some extent, it's been demonstrated - we can take a reconstruction of the chemicals and conditions of primaeval Earth and self-replicating particles will arise. they're the progenitors of primitive life.

do you get it now? evolution is, in your terms, a fact. there is no reason to doubt. Hovind is not only lying, he is woefully uninformed of what science really is.

if you need any clarification, my offer's still open.

Lepht

#87

Posted by: Roger | July 21, 2007 8:28 PM

Thanks Lepht, I have no problem with you answering my questions if PZ does not. In fact I appreciate your taking the time to do so.

So would I be correct to understand that a theory in scientific terms does not necessarily mean that it has to be proven to become classed as a scientific fact?

#88

Posted by: PZ Myers | July 21, 2007 8:34 PM

NOTHING IN SCIENCE IS PROVEN.

Everything is provisional.

The theory (which is an important category) of evolution is as well-substantiated as anything in science -- it's much better established than any theory of gravity.

#89

Posted by: MartinM | July 21, 2007 8:35 PM

So would I be correct to understand that a theory in scientific terms does not necessarily mean that it has to be proven to become classed as a scientific fact?

Right, theory is not a lesser classification than fact. This is why we talk of atomic theory, or germ theory. Doesn't mean that the existence of atoms and germs is not proven. Theories are broad, powerful explanatory frameworks; you can't boil them down to a single statement of fact.

#90

Posted by: Lepht | July 21, 2007 8:39 PM

yes! exactly. we can't outright PROVE anything in science, but we have a hell of a lot more evidence for evolution than Hovind and co. do for their creationist myth.

so much, in fact, that evolution is an accepted theory, and creationism is not even classed as science.

Lepht

#91

Posted by: Roger | July 21, 2007 8:49 PM

Gentlemen, many thanks for your time and input on this topic - it certainly is engrossing, but I must confess that I am far from convinced.

Lepht, thank you especially for the manner in which you have handled this subject with me. I do appreciate your input, and thanks for your offer to discuss these topics further with me. Unfortunately I am not able to pop in to visit, as I live in Africa....but we can continue if you like through this site. I do have more questions to ask, but it is now almost 3 o'clock in the morning here.....my bed is calling.

Chow for now

#92

Posted by: Lepht | July 21, 2007 9:05 PM

Roger, is a blog, not a house. i'm an online entity. you're welcome though.

and if you're not convinced yet, you will be - i for one promise to help you see. there's no faith or trust necessary for belief in evolution, just observation of the natural world.

hope to hear from you soon, man. it's good to hear people willing to re-examine their dogma.

Lepht
vg78y9q@gmail.com

ps. that's "Ciao for now." =]

#93

Posted by: Roger | July 22, 2007 8:39 AM

Good day to you gentleman, I trust you folk are well there in the US of A

Just to fill you in, I went to the dictionary to get some definitions on theory, fact, & hypothesis.

Perhaps my dictionary is out of date (mid 70's), but it ties up with my understanding that a theory is a speculation, as opposed to proof. Likewise this dictionary defines a hypothesis as a theory to be proved or disproved by reference to facts. This dictionary defines a fact as a deed or anything done, known to have happened, or to be true.(Chambers's Etymological English Dictionary)

In terms of these definitions would my understanding be incorrect to claim, that without proof, a theory remains just a theory, and cannot be classed as a fact?

Perhaps PZ would then permit us to move on....

#94

Posted by: PZ Myers | July 22, 2007 9:08 AM

Oh, man, not the old dictionary ploy.

You are asking about how scientists use the word "theory". You don't get to substitute in the colloquial definition: to scientists, "theory" has a very specific meaning, and you aren't using the right one.

A theory is an integrating principle supported by a large body of observation and experiment that is a demonstrably successful guide for research. It is a successful and productive question engine: scientists find it indispensably useful, and regard it as true.

That's what a theory is. That's what evolution is. When you try to claim that evolution is "just a theory", you sound as idiotic as if you'd claimed that Earth is just a planet.

#95

Posted by: Roger | July 22, 2007 9:33 AM

PZ, I was of the opinion that you would permit me the use of reference books, other than those prescribed by yourself, to verify this hypothesis. A dictionary has always been a useful tool for me to get understanding.

It comes as a surprise to me that scientists have a very different dictionary to those of the layman, to whom they are trying to sell a theory as fact.

Be that as it may, are you now willing to permit a response to my questions, from your team?

#96

Posted by: Lepht | July 23, 2007 7:44 AM

Roger, i've told you this BEFORE.

that dictionary is giving you the common English usage. when we say "theory", that is not the usage we are referring to.

one more time: evolution is a theory like gravity is a theory. it is an accepted fact.

Lepht
(yes, you made it so mad it's using bold font)

#97

Posted by: Lepht | July 23, 2007 7:48 AM

ah yes, and i almost forgot; by your logic, if evolution is "just a theory" even after science has found evidence for it, no evidence against it, and accepted it as fact...

... where does that leave the hypothesis with no evidence, plenty of counterevidence and zero real scientists positing it, creationism?

L

#98

Posted by: MartinM | July 23, 2007 8:31 AM

Roger, the dictionary defines 'energy' as "the ability to act, lead others, effect, etc., forcefully."

Try plugging that into a physics equation and see what comes out.

Dictionaries typically record common usage, not detailed technical definition. However, take a look at dictionary.com's entries for theory.

The first two:

1. a coherent group of general propositions used as principles of explanation for a class of phenomena: Einstein's theory of relativity.
2. a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural, in contrast to well-established propositions that are regarded as reporting matters of actual fact.

1) is a good, if simple, start to a definition of the word as scientists use it. 2) is the way you're using it, and that definition doesn't apply to evolutionary theory any more than it applies to atomic theory or germ theory.

#99

Posted by: Stanton | July 23, 2007 8:48 AM

Anybody notice how Roger has never bothered to present one of Mr Hovind's "scientific" claims in order to defend it?
My guess is that he's just another Christian troll who's decided to come here with the sole purpose to antagonize Prof Myers.

#100

Posted by: Lepht | July 23, 2007 9:03 AM

i'm still waiting, yeah. and when he does present one and it gets pwned - er, refuted - he'll call ad-hom.

*sighs*

Lepht

#101

Posted by: Lepht | July 23, 2007 9:52 AM

okay, i call time's up.

Roger, if you ever do decide to come back here, and you're willing to actually debate properly and listen to what we're saying instead of repeating "Just a theory! Just a theory! Just a theory!" to yourself, i'll happily host an entire written one on the cases for and against evolution as a fact over at my place.

i repeat once again that as i'm a techhead, my place is a blog, not a house, and its doors are open to everyone.

i hope to actually hear from you, and not to see another creationist run off after he can't convince the satanic atheists that the sky-daddy's watching them.

Lepht

#102

Posted by: Steve_C | July 23, 2007 10:09 AM

You have to be a complete idiot to think you can come onto a scientist's website and tell him what science and theory are...

Frickin troll. Go read a bookon evolution a REAL book backed by science not religious liars.

#103

Posted by: Roger | July 23, 2007 1:01 PM

Hi Guys, Ok I just got some of your responses on behalf of PZ.

You guys seem to be quite annoyed, and I can only imagine it to be because I have not readily bought into this theory. My dictionary defines "gullible" as easily deceived

At no time have I tried to convert any of you guys to creationism.

It would have been quite refreshing if you could have handled my questions with courtesy and a little dignity....
the insults, ridiculing, giggling and barking do not really further your cause.

To bring you folk up to speed, I did watch a copy of Hovind's DVD on the theory that you support so zealously.
I went onto the net and found your site where PZ complained that he could not keep up with the presentation given by Hovind. It was just too much for him to take in.

My feeling was that if PZ did not like the message, it was rather immature (the scientist) of him to attack the messenger.

Further I felt that Hovind had made some very very interesting observations, and it was my intention to investigate these claims.

Sadly, I find that the responses to my questions to this site has been insulting.

To evaluate this theory, in the light of Hovind's DVD, it was my intention to ask a number of questions to which I anticipated some honest answers from PZ, or you, his team.

PZ and yourselves have confirmed that a theory is actually a fact. My, and many non-scientific people believe a theory is only a theory. Some theories of course will have supporting evidence to lead you to believe that the theory is correct, and a fact. But then we also have theories which do not have the evidence to support it.

This is why it is vital for theories to be tested, accepted or rejected.

Now some people are so zealous to validate a theory that they will even stoop to falsify findings to prove their theory as a fact. They would have no difficulty in modifying a find to fit a theory.... file a little here, scrape a little there, burn a bit. Perhaps this has even taken place in the field that you guys work. I'm bot sure.
But it all boils down to a theory having to be tested.

Now the not-easily-deceived actually should be afforded that opportunity to test this theory.....and a theory is still only a theory until it has been tested,in my books.
A M.O. of ridicule, giggling, insults, etc. is actually counter-productive, and reflects a mentality of school children.

Lepht, I was impressed with your openess and willingness to chat when we last spoke, but regrettably I find that from your last responses you have been sucked back into the pack of laughing hyennas, and giggling schoolboys. This is unfortunate.

Just take a look at PZ's comments....."a theory is believed to be true, so it is a fact".....what nonsense ... only the gullible will buy that. No wonder we find evidence of scientists rigging the show....cut a little, file a little, bend a little...just so it fits.

At no stage have I tried to run away...I have nothing to run from....yet my distinct feeling has been that PZ and you, his team of students would like nothing more.

It should not have slipped your notice how quickly PZ stopped you responding to my questions, and it certainly did not escape my attention how readily you guys obeyed....except for the flurry of expected insults , of course.

Perhaps this is the only weapon of defence you have to prop up this untested theory

#104

Posted by: Steve_C | July 23, 2007 1:16 PM

Once again you've proven you have no understanding of science or evolution.

Completely predictable too.

#105

Posted by: Rey Fox | July 23, 2007 1:18 PM

"But then we also have theories which do not have the evidence to support it."

If there wasn't EVIDENCE, then it wouldn't be a proper THEORY. This sentence quite clearly shows to me that you have no willingness to discuss this in any useful way. The commenters here have taken great pains to define "theory" and "fact" to you, and you, quite willingly, just don't get it.

But we seem to agree that ideas, hypotheses, what-have-you, should be backed up by evidence. So lay it on us. Let's hear what Mr. Hovind offers as evidence for his supposed theory. Otherwise, you're just wasting our time. Playing the victim card won't get you anywhere, because we're all familiar with the tactic of provoking the blog regulars into getting testy and then cherry-picking the comments that disturb you the most and whining about how mean everyone is.

#106

Posted by: Lepht | July 23, 2007 1:20 PM

Roger. you clearly have not understood what i have been saying, and that's why i sounded annoyed - i am an educator, and it incenses me to see such misinformation spread amongst my species.

evolution is true, Roger, and it is not true because i or PZ believe it so - it is true because the evidence all says so. there is nothing which does not fit with Darwin's theory, and we have never "filed", "cut" or otherwise doctored evidence. it is a fact, to use your terminology, not a belief. it has already been tested - you can take viruses, inoculate a population against them, and watch the virus strain evolve to resist the vaccine - and observed. Hovind is quite simply wrong to say it is just a theory.

PZ never said "a theory is believed to be true, so it is a fact". his point was "a theory is a fact", and this still stands. what evolution predicts is what we see; what it predicts cannot happen, does not. it is fact.

now, it is your turn, sir. show me your evidence that scientists "rig the show". i will accept any verifiable evidence you have, and i will not accept anecdotes or fallacious arguments. you may reply here, or on my own site.

please, this time read what i have actually said. then, we can have a proper debate, and not this foolishness.

Lepht
http://sapiensanonym.blogspot.com
lepht@cryptomail.org

#107

Posted by: Roger | July 23, 2007 2:14 PM

Ohhh, Ok I do get it....evolution with viruses is true, and that is a fact..That I do believe...and I have seen how influenza keeps changing.....sorry I missed that point you were trying to make.

The evolution that I was thinking of was the theory that you came from the ape species. That part I will not buy into, and that you cannot prove to me, without evidence

Glad you back Lepht.

On the doctoring of evidence question I will need to do some research. I can recall a prominent scientist being called to task on that topic. It was on television here a while back, so I will have to hunt for that info for you.

#108

Posted by: Lepht | July 23, 2007 2:58 PM

they are the same thing. microevolution and macroevolution are the same process, and yes, our species is descended from apes. that is a fact, Roger, and one you are going to have to deal with. you cannot escape it by questioning the morals of scientists.

you're right, we can't outright prove anything, especially not creationism. but i can and will show you the mountain of evidence for evolution, and the gaping void of similar for anything else. i promise you, i will show you the truth.

TV is not evidence, Roger. claims are not evidence. i am talking about proper evidence - documents you can show that have clearly been altered, data that was collected scientifically but does not fit with the proposals of Darwinian evolution, computer records.

someone saying a scientist has cheated is not enough.

i shall not carry on with this discussion unless you can back up your claims. you say scientists rig the show - that is an insult to my profession and its search for the truth, and you must back it up with proof.

i hope you don't take that as a personal insult. it is not. i provide backup for my claims, and all i ask is that you do the same.

Lepht
http://sapiensanonym.blogspot.com

#109

Posted by: Roger | July 23, 2007 4:03 PM

Lepht, I told you I would get back to you....the case I spoke of was well documented, and I need to do some research to get the details. This was a while back, and I need to get a handle on it. I will also scour the net for this.

In addidtion I will get hold of a paleontologist(spelling?) mate of mine regarding this case. He is aware of the details. I can recall the guy in question being stripped of all his degrees, or whatever, from the university. It was quite a scandal and disgrace.

Refer back to my note...I said I was not sure if it was in your field. I will get the info. So no need for offence, Sport.

Just to give you some more info on this paleontologist mate of mine...we hold discussions on this theory whenever he pops into my home ( a house, not a blog)and we can freely discuss evolution and creationism with each other. We are not attempting to convert each other... we discuss the different viewpoints, evidences, etc. We can disagree on some issues, but we remain friends.
Now his take on all this is that there is a mountain of evidence to support your theory, but he personally cannot rule out the theory of creationism.

So while perhaps neither side can prove their theory, outright, would it be wise to discount and ridicule the other?

Would it be correct to denounce creationism as a lie, then
state that just because a scientist was caught cheating does not mean that evolution is not true?

We chat again, and I will get back to you with the evidence you seek. As I said before, it may not be from your discipline, so don't lose any sleep over it, or take offence.

#110

Posted by: Stanton | July 23, 2007 4:11 PM

i shall not carry on with this discussion unless you can back up your claims. you say scientists rig the show - that is an insult to my profession and its search for the truth, and you must back it up with proof.

i hope you don't take that as a personal insult. it is not. i provide backup for my claims, and all i ask is that you do the same.


In my experience, the vast majority of Christians whom I've argued evolutionary biology with tend to take requests to do more research as insults or requests to procure evidence for their false claims as being apparently far worse than crass and unsubtle inferences about the fidelty of their mothers.
Want to bet that Roger takes this that way, too?
#111

Posted by: Lepht | July 23, 2007 4:20 PM

Stanton, all i can say is that for once i am glad to have the amount of medical problems i do.

it means that this whole time i've been so sedated that you're only seeing about a tenth of how pissed off i'd be without the analgesics, thus enabling me to carry on with this discussion.

Roger, i'm waiting for evidence. not anecdotes, not your mate's opinions - evidence. creationism, i must warn you, has none so far.

Lepht
(opiated)

#112

Posted by: Roger | July 23, 2007 4:23 PM

Lepht, did you also see a comment #110 from stinton just come in...?

Can you make any sense of it?

#113

Posted by: Roger | July 23, 2007 4:32 PM

Good grief Lepht, do you expect me to get this evidence for you right now....hell, it has taken you over a 150 years to come up with yours!!!! and you still cannot prove it....do you have any reason not to be reasonable?

#114

Posted by: Steve_C | July 23, 2007 4:33 PM

I can make sense of it.

Has any research done to substantiate the creationist viewpoint?

#115

Posted by: Lepht | July 23, 2007 4:38 PM

Roger, Stanton is worrying that you'll take my request for evidence as an insult and, feeling yourself to have been slighted, not come up with any.

and actually, yes, i do expect speedy delivery. if the evidence exists, it will be publicised, and on the Net, probably in a scientific journal. so you should be able to dig it out pretty quickly.

i am reasonable. that is why i do not believe things without evidence.

Lepht

#116

Posted by: Lepht | July 23, 2007 4:41 PM

Roger said: .hell, it has taken you over a 150 years to come up with yours!!!! and you still cannot prove it

i don't need to remind you that Christianity has been going for two thousand years and still cannot prove anything, Roger. just show me what you have and we can go from there, please.

L

#117

Posted by: Roger | July 23, 2007 4:51 PM

Excellent point you make there Sport
But as I said I try not to convert you
and I attempt not to prove creationism
I do have difficulty getting you to prove your theory...
We just cannot get passed this stumbling block
Yet you will have me believe an unprovable theory as a fact
Sorry...I cannot do that

#118

Posted by: Lepht | July 23, 2007 5:03 PM

Roger, if you could see me you would not be calling me "Sport". it seems to make you feel better, but believe me, you would kick yourself. now stop it.

i never said you were trying to convert me; i am merely trying to show you what can be observed. that is evolution. it is not an "unprovable theory": it. is. fact.

now, unless you wanna actually answer that "excellent point" of mine, i have nothing further to say to you. you have a choice, Roger: do your research, be honest with yourself and with what you find or don't find, listen to what other people outside your church are saying, and come talk to me properly and intelligently.

or, refuse to come up with anything to support your wild claim that a magic man done it all, tell yourself evolution is unprovable and so creationism must be true, and stay safe in your unchangeable viewpoint. it is your choice to make.

i shan't return to this thread. you are welcome to come to Sapiens Anonym and continue this any time you like.

i wish you luck, sir. free yourself.

Lepht
vg78y9q@gmail.com
http://sapiensanonym.blogspot.com

#119

Posted by: Stanton | July 23, 2007 5:03 PM

Good grief Lepht, do you expect me to get this evidence for you right now....hell, it has taken you over a 150 years to come up with yours!!!! and you still cannot prove it....do you have any reason not to be reasonable?
Among other things, learn how to read, Roger: you spell my name as S-T-A-N-T-O-N. Secondly, if you actually knew how to read, you would realize that people have come up with literal lots of evidence for evolutionary biology, including the documentation of fossil organisms, such as the transition from paleotheres to horses and brontotheres, or the transition of small, hornless brontotheres such as Eotitanops, to giant, horned brontotheres such as Brontotherium, and the observation and confirmation of the appearance of new species arising from older species, such as the Giant Evening Primrose, Oenothera gigas arising from the seed of Lamarck's Evening Primrose, Oenothera lamarckiana, the London Underground Mosquito, Culex molestans arising from Culex pipiens, or the Honeysuckle Maggot Fly arising from hybridization between the Blueberry Maggot and Snowberry Maggot Flies.

And what evidence have scientific creationists like Kent Hovind have brought forth in support of Creationism? Oh, wait, he never brought anything up besides lies and incoherent diatribes.

It's gross, willful ignorance like yours that makes me routinely disgusted with Creationists.

#120

Posted by: Steve_C | July 23, 2007 5:04 PM

What's unprovable? God? Yes.

Yet you can't except the fact of evolution. Oh the irony.

You do know about DNA don't you? Heard of speciation?

#121

Posted by: Stanton | July 23, 2007 5:10 PM

You do know about DNA don't you? Heard of speciation?
No, he hasn't, as most likely, his interpretation of Christianity forbids him from learning what "speciation" means under pain of infinite hellfire.
#122

Posted by: Roger | July 23, 2007 5:13 PM

Lepht, I quickly went into Yahoo search, typed in Disgraced Scientist, and a number of sites came up

I have not checked any of them yet,as you are pressing me....I am not even sure if one of these refers to the TV slot I mentioned to you. Would you mind checking these out in the meantime?

It is now past 11.00 PM here, and I need to call it a night.

Shall we continue with this tomorrow then?

#123

Posted by: Steve_C | July 23, 2007 5:18 PM

You need to quit while you're behind.

#124

Posted by: Roger | July 23, 2007 5:23 PM

Lepht, my apologies for calling you sport

You speak of church???? what church???? I have not mentioned that I go to church, and I certainly do not attend any....

Where did this come from????

#125

Posted by: Steve_C | July 23, 2007 5:28 PM

Most creationsits do. Most people who would bother to listen to Hovind do.

So you're a non religious creationist? Weird.

#126

Posted by: Owlmirror | July 23, 2007 6:24 PM

Roger wrote:

The evolution that I was thinking of was the theory that you came from the ape species. That part I will not buy into, and that you cannot prove to me, without evidence

Hm.

Could you answer a few preliminary questions, Roger? I'm asking because it would be useless to waste my time going over things you already know, or have rejected for some reason.

First of all, have you read any recent science on the subject of the similarities between the great apes and humans? Have you already read about the morphological similarities, biochemical similarities, and genetic similarities between the two specials?

You said you have a paleontologist friend. Does this friend have a particular specialty, like hominid paleontology? Have you already discussed the subject of human evolution with him, and the similarities I asked about above?

And, one more question, assuming that the answers to the above questions are all "no": Do you accept that all humans are the same species, despite the physical differences between them?

#127

Posted by: Steve_C | July 23, 2007 6:39 PM

We don't come from apes. We're descended from a common ancestor.

There's a difference.

We are primates though. It's a classification in science. Try researching our section of the evolutionary tree.

Wouldit hurt these people to even WIKI the topics?

#128

Posted by: Owlmirror | July 23, 2007 7:01 PM

Easy there, Steve.

Roger has reading comprehension problems. Note his above confusion between "theory" (popular) and "theory" (scientific). Gotta word things very simply for him.

Hm. I probably shouldn't have used big words like "morphological" and "biochemical" and "hominid", now I think of it.

#129

Posted by: Kent Hovind | July 23, 2007 7:36 PM


Hovind pimps all professors that debate him! makes em look like asses! This entire site is a bunch of queers!

#130

Posted by: MikeG | July 23, 2007 7:42 PM

Please, Hovind! You couldn't play chess if you life depended on it!
You have to be able to think a bit for that.

[/pretending that was Hovind, posting from prison]

#131

Posted by: JohnnieCanuck, FCD | July 23, 2007 8:22 PM

Well, given the most recent definition for Hominidae, we are apes, Great Apes.

If you dispute that chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans are in the biological family Hominidae, separating them into the Pongidae as was done in the past, then the response is, we are descended from a common ancestor to ourselves and apes. In any case the lot of us are all primates.

This wouldn't be that infamous "If we are descended from monkeys, then why are there still monkeys?" favourite of the creationists, would it?

#132

Posted by: Lepht | July 24, 2007 7:04 AM

open thread over chez moi:
http://sapiensanonym.blogspot.com/2007/07/open-thread-evolution-roger-and-homo.html

see, i'm being nice. i didn't even say "fuck", and i've come all the way back here even after i said i wouldn't, and even now my paracodeine-induced niceness has all but worn off.

Roger: i am not your researcher. if you have evidence, it will not be on TV (TV is not factual, it is entertainment) and i will not find it for you. as the one with the unproven hypothesis, the onus is on you to get your own evidence.

also, i know you didn't say you were in a church. i was using it to mean the Christian group whose beliefs you subscribe to, not an official denomination.

if you're going to come here, insult me and my comrades, tell us we fake all our evidence and then utterly fail to come up with any of your own - then you have lost, sir. if you can provide repeatable backup, do so, before i begin to think you have none.

i'll say it one more time: what is your evidence that creationism is true?

Lepht
(hypertensive scientist)

#133

Posted by: P-W | July 24, 2007 11:05 AM

Although the above review was extremely negative, there was enough "honest" information in the review to make me wish I had been there and had been able to enjoy the solid data the man presented! It is those who cannot present rational and reasonable and convincing scientific counterpoints who are forced to resign themselves to "moaning" over the powerful data which exposes the Darwinian deception.

#134

Posted by: Roger | July 24, 2007 11:15 AM

Hi Lepht, I thought you had left...glad you are back

Ok I can see that the stuff you are taking is affecting you
poorly.

Would you prefer to leave this over till tomorrow then ?

I was not asking you to become a researcher and look for evidence, nor was I presenting TV as evidence. I did type in "disgraced scientist" on the net, and and a number of sites/ links came up, which I refered you to.

I do not understand your reason for not wanting to go into the site...., but if you relent, I'm sure you will find what you are looking for.
Did you want me to print these articles for you and send them to you ?

By the way, you have given me no evidence, as you state, to support your theory. You have merely repeated "it is a fact."
In fact you have stated that you can predict what will happen, and what will not happen, according to this theory.
Now this I find interesting....would you be able to predict into what form man, as we know him now, will evolve in the future? Perhaps you could tell us over what period of time it will take for this process to evolve.

Why do you insist that I should defend, support and prove creationism? I am not a scientist, nor in the military, nor a researcher. I have no need to fulfill this task.

I do not see your reasoning that if I do not blindly accept your theory of evolution, that I should then defend and prove creationism.

But then I must confess that I was massively impressed with the manner in which Hovind handled this subject. I would need to get hold of some more of his DVD's, especially
those where he debates evolutionist scientists on their subject.

Anyway, I do look forward to hearing from you as soon as you are feeling fit enough.

Cheers till then

#135

Posted by: Steve_C | July 24, 2007 11:26 AM

Roger, you're a nonreligious creationist?

P-W, honest information from Hovind? What are you smoking?

#136

Posted by: MartinM | July 24, 2007 11:49 AM

By the way, you have given me no evidence, as you state, to support your theory.

Do you have an idea of what it would take to convince you?

#137

Posted by: MartinM | July 24, 2007 11:50 AM

It is those who cannot present rational and reasonable and convincing scientific counterpoints who are forced to resign themselves to "moaning" over the powerful data which exposes the Darwinian deception.

What data's that, then? Got anything of substance, or are you just here to troll?

#138

Posted by: Rey Fox | July 24, 2007 11:54 AM

"Why do you insist that I should defend, support and prove creationism? I am not a scientist, nor in the military, nor a researcher. I have no need to fulfill this task."

Simple. Because you insist evolution is false, hold it to some high level of "proof", and say how wonderful Hovind's videos are on a thread devoted to him. And, I might add, you've shown up in a place where the host and quite a few of the commenters, make a living in biology, and baldly stated that the theory which unites the whole field, is not true and proceeded to insult us for it. Like it or not, you've picked a fight, and it's put-up or shut-up time.

All we asked for was one scientific claim made my Hovind that you find true or convincing, but you've resolutely stonewalled us and continued to try to poison the well. You're like the guy in the other threads here who keeps deriding us for lack of biblical knowledge, then never displays any of his own. You're a troll. This might be why no one responded to you for a year.

If you're really interested in the evidence behind evolution, and are acting in good faith, then I suggest that you at least start out with Carl Zimmer's Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea, either the PBS TV series or the book. It really is a fascinating subject.

#139

Posted by: Owlmirror | July 24, 2007 1:09 PM

You know, maybe my previous questions were just too hard to answer.

I'll try again, with one question, and I'll keep it very short.

Roger, what do you think "evolution" means?

#140

Posted by: Steve_C | July 24, 2007 1:20 PM

Roger is a classic troll. I'll condense his argument down.

"I see no reason to accept the theory of evolution, I can't be bothered to actually learn about the science and evidence involved, but Hovind seems to make sense to me, so I'll let my thinking stop there. And I can't be bothered to actually consider how life diversified and spread across the planet."

He claims to not be religious. And he's also not interested in actual science. He just doesn't feel comfortable with the fact that we share a common ancestor with modern primates. It hurts his ego or something. He's much happier with the god did it theory. But not enough to actually pray to his creator.

#141

Posted by: the hat | July 24, 2007 1:23 PM

Several points:
1. Not all Christians are idiots. Many are scientists, who can hold a scientific viewpoint and a spiritual faith without confusing the two and without their heads exploding.
2. Hovind confuses the two. Would that his head would explode.
3. Powerpoint is one of the single most effective tools for destroying thought. I refer you all to the Powerpoint Gettysburg Address, and related links. Investigations of space shuttle disasters have shown that the use of Powerpoint by engineers and administrators may have contributed to a paucity of independent thought that could have identified problems before they became critical.
4. Stupidity is our one inexhaustible resource. If only we could devise a way to run a motor on it, our energy problems would be solved forever.

#142

Posted by: P-W | July 24, 2007 2:39 PM

P-W, honest information from Hovind? What are you smoking?

Posted by: Steve_C | July 24, 2007 11:26 AM

The review evidently by PZ Myers, a biologist, was the subject of my comment regarding "enough 'honest' information."

His review of the Hovind presentation, while obviously expressing extreme disenchantment with Hovind, was truthful enough to make me realize I would loved to have had the opportunity to have been at that two hour presentation so that I could have become more familiar with the overwhelming scientific evidence which is giving Darwinian macro-evolution a real run for its life.

#143

Posted by: Steve_C | July 24, 2007 2:46 PM

Oh. You're being sarcastic. I get it.

#144

Posted by: P-W | July 24, 2007 2:49 PM

It is those who cannot present rational and reasonable and convincing scientific counterpoints who are forced to resign themselves to "moaning" over the powerful data which exposes the Darwinian deception.

What data's that, then? Got anything of substance, or are you just here to troll?

Posted by: MartinM |

The data presented by Hovind, by Creationists, and material written by recognized scientists and intellectual investigators which is available in Christian bookstores everywhere, who are not out to discredit the existence of a Creator.

#145

Posted by: Steve_C | July 24, 2007 2:52 PM

Hovind doesn't present data. He presents fiction and promotes ignorance.

We don't need to discredit the existence of a creator. There's no evidence for one.

Hovind is a conman and a liar.

#146

Posted by: P-W | July 24, 2007 2:53 PM

Oh. You're being sarcastic. I get it.

Posted by: Steve_C | July 24, 2007 02:46 PM

Quite the contrary, I am being rather blunt.

#147

Posted by: P-W | July 24, 2007 2:57 PM

We don't need to discredit the existence of a creator. There's no evidence for one.

Posted by: Steve_C | July 24, 2007 02:52 PM

Evidence for the existence of a Creator is found in the existence of order and design and laws in the universe.

Design indicates a Designer, order indicates an Organizer, and laws inidicate a Lawgiver.

#148

Posted by: Steve_C | July 24, 2007 2:58 PM

You're blunt like a hammer, you're not the sharpest tool in the drawer either.

#149

Posted by: P-W | July 24, 2007 3:03 PM

You're blunt like a hammer, you're not the sharpest tool in the drawer either.

Posted by: Steve_C | July 24, 2007 02:58 PM

Evidence for the existence of a Creator is found in the existence of order and design and laws in the universe.

Design indicates a Designer, order indicates an Organizer, and laws inidicate a Lawgiver.

Posted by: P-W | July 24, 2007 02:57 PM

By the way, this evidence for a Creator (the Watchmaker scenario), is based on inductive logic, which is part of the scientific method.

#150

Posted by: Rey Fox | July 24, 2007 3:04 PM

Heck, why do you even need any more "solid data"? You have a set of glib truisms! By the way, do you have any evidence of who that designer is, and how he operates? Or is that the sort of thing we're not supposed to ask?

#151

Posted by: Owlmirror | July 24, 2007 3:04 PM

Evidence for the existence of a Creator is found in the existence of order and design and laws in the universe.

Nonsense. Natural order and natural laws exist. They don't prove anything outside of themselves. And the combination of those order and laws give the emergent appearance of design - without requiring an external designer.

#152

Posted by: P-W | July 24, 2007 3:10 PM

Nonsense. Natural order and natural laws exist. They don't prove anything outside of themselves. And the combination of those order and laws give the emergent appearance of design - without requiring an external designer.

Posted by: Owlmirror | July 24, 2007 03:04 PM

You are correct that natural order and natural laws do not "prove" anything outside of themselves, but they do provide evidence which can be interpreted. To me they are convincing evidence of a vastly Superior intelligence, since by inductive logic, a watch indicates a Watchmaker.

#153

Posted by: Steve_C | July 24, 2007 3:13 PM

Superstitious people are funny.

Creationists seem to be not to bright. God must love them less.

#154

Posted by: Steve_C | July 24, 2007 3:17 PM

A watch also implies a tooler, a glass maker, a jeweler and various other suppliers of what it takes to make a watch.

How many gods are there anyway?

#155

Posted by: P-W | July 24, 2007 3:19 PM

Heck, why do you even need any more "solid data"? You have a set of glib truisms! By the way, do you have any evidence of who that designer is, and how he operates? Or is that the sort of thing we're not supposed to ask?

Posted by: Rey Fox | July 24, 2007 03:04 PM

I find substantial evidence of that Designer in nature: in natural laws, design, and order throughout the fabric of the universe. Such complex order and design cannot even be found in the technology of man!

Coincidentally, the evidence of the Designer I find in nature is harmonious with the Creator I find described in the Bible.

#156

Posted by: Owlmirror | July 24, 2007 3:19 PM

You are correct that natural order and natural laws do not "prove" anything outside of themselves, but they do provide evidence which can be interpreted.

How do you know your interpretation is the correct one?

Without additional evidence, your interpretation is without basis.

To me they are convincing evidence of a vastly Superior intelligence, since by inductive logic, a watch indicates a Watchmaker.

What watch? There is no watch. Therefore, there is no watchmaker.

#157

Posted by: Roger | July 24, 2007 3:21 PM

P-W, do not be put off by these silly comments they throw at anyone that does not agree with them.

As Fox said earlier, this is a site devoted to Hovind....Hovind slays them and their unproved theory.

But then Fox makes the admission that they (the scientists)are making money out of this.......

#158

Posted by: Steve_C | July 24, 2007 3:26 PM

This site isn't devoted to Hovind. Just this post is. There is a cell dedicated to Hovind however. That's where they put conmen and liars.

#159

Posted by: P-W | July 24, 2007 3:29 PM

A watch also implies a tooler, a glass maker, a jeweler and various other suppliers of what it takes to make a watch.

How many gods are there anyway?

Posted by: Steve_C | July 24, 2007 03:17 PM

I believe it was Aristotle who hypothesized the existence of many "gods" through inductive logic as applied to the universe. But there are alternative explanations to consider.

The existence of "evil" in the universe suggests inductively that the Bible's "Satan" may actually exist. It is possible to inductively recognize good and evil forces in the universe by the observation of nature. The good forces are harmonious with the Bible's explanation of a Triune God who is a plural unity, hence "one" as a family is "one." Angels would align with that Designer, and fallen angels (demons) would align with the evil antagonist (Satan). The Bible's world view appears to me to agree with observable nature.

#160

Posted by: Steve_C | July 24, 2007 3:36 PM

hehehehe.

AHAHAHAHA!

Dats so scareeeee. I hope he never challenges me to a fiddlin' duel!

#161

Posted by: Owmirror | July 24, 2007 3:36 PM

I believe it was Aristotle who hypothesized the existence of many "gods" through inductive logic as applied to the universe. But there are alternative explanations to consider.

Like the parsimonious explanation that unobserved gods need not be hypothesized?

#162

Posted by: P-W | July 24, 2007 3:38 PM

You are correct that natural order and natural laws do not "prove" anything outside of themselves, but they do provide evidence which can be interpreted.

How do you know your interpretation is the correct one?

Without additional evidence, your interpretation is without basis.

To me they are convincing evidence of a vastly Superior intelligence, since by inductive logic, a watch indicates a Watchmaker.

What watch? There is no watch. Therefore, there is no watchmaker.

Posted by: Owlmirror | July 24, 2007 03:19 PM

The substantiating evidence for the world view I have adopted is found in the collected writings of over forty authors over a period of at least 1600 years (the Bible). I have not found a better explanation of the universe.

As for the analogy of the "watch and the Watchmaker," try substituting "creation and the Creator."

#163

Posted by: Rey Fox | July 24, 2007 3:44 PM

"Coincidentally, the evidence of the Designer I find in nature is harmonious with the Creator I find described in the Bible."

Ah yes, coincidence. Has nothing to do with the religion in which you were raised, nope.

Oh, and Roger, I gave you some homework. Hop to it.

#164

Posted by: Owlmirror | July 24, 2007 3:48 PM

The substantiating evidence for the world view I have adopted is found in the collected writings of over forty authors over a period of at least 1600 years (the Bible).

I'm sorry, but that doesn't count as substantiating evidence. The authors either make trivial observations, or offer completely unsubstantiated and unrepeatable observations. And at least some of those observations have been directly contradicted by later researchers. Unless you have something better to offer, your evidence is rejected. It has nothing to do with science.

I have not found a better explanation of the universe.

I'm sorry that you haven't taken the time to actually read up on the latest in cosmological and biological research. But arguing from ignorance is not science.

As for the analogy of the "watch and the Watchmaker," try substituting "creation and the Creator."

No. Given the shoddy — indeed, nonexistent — quality of your proffered evidence, I am afraid that your implied thesis — that a "creation" and a "Creator" exists — is denied.

#165

Posted by: P-W | July 24, 2007 3:52 PM

"Coincidentally, the evidence of the Designer I find in nature is harmonious with the Creator I find described in the Bible."

Ah yes, coincidence. Has nothing to do with the religion in which you were raised, nope.

Posted by: Rey Fox | July 24, 2007 03:44 PM

You are correct that "coincidentally" may be a poorly chosen word. After all, if we are using inductive logic as a scientific method, the more general assumptions arrived at must be verifiable. The Bible verifies the general assumptions I have arrived at from my observations of nature, and adds much more than my feeble self is able to intellectually arrive at alone.

#166

Posted by: Roger | July 24, 2007 3:52 PM

Ok. Rey, I will do so.....but only long after I have studied the Bible that P-W has referred to.

He definitely has a far better understanding and explanation than that of your evolution.

#167

Posted by: Bob | July 24, 2007 3:59 PM

There is a reason for touting the tapes during these things: the creationists have to pay their own way with only tapes or donations supporting their research and expenses. The so called "real" scientists get their way paid for by the taxpayers.

#168

Posted by: P-W | July 24, 2007 3:59 PM

No. Given the shoddy -- indeed, nonexistent -- quality of your proffered evidence, I am afraid that your implied thesis -- that a "creation" and a "Creator" exists -- is denied.

Posted by: Owlmirror | July 24, 2007 03:48 PM

I hardly think the word "shoddy" is appropriate when applied to the collective work of over forty authors living in varied cultures and varied geographical areas over a period of at least 1600 years. I do not agree with your conclusions.

#169

Posted by: Rey Fox | July 24, 2007 4:03 PM

It's just as well. I knew you had absolutely no intention of learning anything.

#170

Posted by: Steve_C | July 24, 2007 4:04 PM

Wow. You're a silly twit.

All you need is right there in that 2000 year old book. Well, the King James version most likely... the latin version.

The bible is evidence of absolutely nothing and it explains very little.

#171

Posted by: Steve_C | July 24, 2007 4:08 PM

Roger is only pretending not to be religious. I don't know why he doesn't accept the hindu version of creation or the Scientologist's verion if he doesn't have a preference.

#172

Posted by: Owlmirror | July 24, 2007 4:10 PM

I hardly think the word "shoddy" is appropriate when applied to the collective work of over forty authors living in varied cultures and varied geographical areas over a period of at least 1600 years

The fact that it is a collective work is irrelevant.

That fact that the authors lived in varied cultures and varied geographical areas is irrelevant (and note that their biographies are often unverifiable as well).

The period of time it took to compile the work is irrelevant.

All that matters is the observations; those things that the authors report on. Are they detailed and rigorous? Are they substantive? Are they reproducible? Do they hold up given later research?

No. Either the observations are trivial and vague, or they are unfalsifiable, or they are obviously, evidently, false.

#173

Posted by: MartinM | July 24, 2007 4:13 PM

The data presented by Hovind, by Creationists, and material written by recognized scientists and intellectual investigators which is available in Christian bookstores everywhere, who are not out to discredit the existence of a Creator.

I was looking for something a little more specific.

And what exactly do you make of the many Christian scientists who accept mainstream science?

#174

Posted by: Roger | July 24, 2007 4:56 PM

I think Hovind is an outstanding christian scientist

#175

Posted by: MartinM | July 24, 2007 4:59 PM

Hovind isn't a scientist at all. He has no scientific training, does no scientific research, and is ignorance of even the most basic principles and methodologies of science.

#176

Posted by: Steve_C | July 24, 2007 5:07 PM

You would. Think Bush is a super dandy president too, I'm sure.

The curriculum that he got a "Doctorate" in is THEOLOGY.
Not science. He got it from a diploma mill.

So his "Dr." credentials are complete bullshit.

#177

Posted by: P-W | July 24, 2007 5:39 PM

All that matters is the observations; those things that the authors report on. Are they detailed and rigorous? Are they substantive? Are they reproducible? Do they hold up given later research?

No. Either the observations are trivial and vague, or they are unfalsifiable, or they are obviously, evidently, false.

Posted by: Owlmirror

The Bible has endured criticism for centuries and milleniums because it can be tested, examined, and is consistently being verified by archaeology as to its historicity, as well as in the fact that macroevolution is being falsified by archaeology as well.

#178

Posted by: MartinM | July 24, 2007 5:54 PM

...as well as in the fact that macroevolution is being falsified by archaeology as well.

So where's the data? You talk a lot, but where's the substance?

#179

Posted by: Brownian | July 24, 2007 5:54 PM

Really P-W? You have a cud-chewing rabbit? (Leviticus 11:6.)

Tested.
Examined.
Found wrong.

I suppose you'll have to become a Hindu then. The Vedas have endured criticism for more millenia than the bible.

You'd better hurry up and convert. The festival of Guru Poornima happens this Sunday.

#180

Posted by: Owlmirror | July 24, 2007 5:56 PM

The Bible has endured criticism for centuries and milleniums because it can be tested, examined, and is consistently being verified by archaeology as to its historicity,

Nonsense. Parts of the Bible can be verified by archeology - and again, only relatively trivial parts at that. The city of Jericho exists. Pharaohnic Egypt existed, and so did the ancient state of Judea, and its neighbors and enemies.

However, the Bible is not consistently verified. No tower of Babel, reaching into to the sky and abandoned has been found; no historical record of the Hebrews in Egypt; nothing that even suggests that a 40-year sojourn of a single people in the Sinai peninsula ever took place.

And the Bible's claims about natural history are still false, or trivial, or unverifiable, or unreproducible.

Still rejected!

as well as in the fact that macroevolution is being falsified by archaeology as well.

Stuff and nonsense. The bible's claims are falsified by modern science. Archeology has never falsified evolution.

#181

Posted by: Rey Fox | July 24, 2007 6:00 PM

"macroevolution is being falsified by archaeology as well."

Archaeology is the study of human culture from historical times. You see why we're disinclined to take your "scholarship" seriously?

#182

Posted by: P-W | July 24, 2007 7:13 PM

Stuff and nonsense. The bible's claims are falsified by modern science. Archeology has never falsified evolution.

Posted by: Owlmirror | July 24, 2007 05:56 PM

I seem to recall reading a quote by Darwin in which he expressed extreme concern over the fact that the fossil record failed to record the multitudes of "transitional forms" he postulated. He seemed to believe that the fossil record could prove his theory of macroevolution wrong. To this date I am unaware of any fossil transitional forms capable of verifying Darwin's theory. His concern seems to have been justified that the fossil record could upset his theory.

#183

Posted by: Science Avenger | July 24, 2007 7:17 PM

P.W. said: By the way, this evidence for a Creator (the Watchmaker scenario), is based on inductive logic, which is part of the scientific method.

Yes, but the problem is that is the only first step. Science goes beyond that to falsifiable testing, whereas religions and pseudoscience like ID/creationism remain in the speculative realm. I have a longer explanation of this here.

#184

Posted by: P-W | July 24, 2007 7:30 PM

P.W. said: By the way, this evidence for a Creator (the Watchmaker scenario), is based on inductive logic, which is part of the scientific method.

Yes, but the problem is that is the only first step. Science goes beyond that to falsifiable testing, whereas religions and pseudoscience like ID/creationism remain in the speculative realm. I have a longer explanation of this here.

Posted by: Science Avenger | July 24, 2007 07:17 PM


In discussions of science with creationists, it will often be noted that inductive logic is part of the scientific method. "A watch implies a watchmaker" is a piece of induction. Here are some parts, and some gears, which seem to be assembled for some purpose, thus a designer is inferred. They argue this is equivalent to what scientists do when interpreting fossils, or the geologic column, or a wide variety of science.

However, these are not the same at all. Induction is an important part of science, true. It is often how we construct our hypotheses. Religion and pseudoscience stop at this step, however, which is why they are not science. Science goes one step further and tests its induction with evidenciary experimentation, ie, some procedure that could in theory produce data contrary to the hypothesis. Hypotheses that are based on past data, even a good amount of it, are nowhere near as powerful as those that have been put through the falsification ringer.

Science Avenger

The flaw in your thesis is in assuming the area of "testability" is always the three or four dimensions with which we are most familiar.

If the dimension for testability is in a realm with which science is unfamiliar (the spiritual realm), your thesis fails in its criticism because it fails to include the dimension of the spirit.

#185

Posted by: Owlmirror | July 24, 2007 7:33 PM

I seem to recall reading a quote by Darwin in which he expressed extreme concern over the fact that the fossil record failed to record the multitudes of "transitional forms" he postulated. He seemed to believe that the fossil record could prove his theory of macroevolution wrong.

No. Even if not a single transitional fossil had ever been found, it would not have "disproved" the theory.

However, transitional fossils have been found, and they provide excellent supporting evidence for evolution - along with all of the other evidence of the biological similarities between related species.

To this date I am unaware of any fossil transitional forms capable of verifying Darwin's theory.

You're arguing from ignorance again. There are many transitional fossils — of fish that are evidently transitional to amphibians; of dinosaurs that are evidently transitional to birds; of apes and hominids that are evidently transitional to man.

This is a fuller explanation; Please read carefully:

Use and Abuse of the Fossil Record, pt1

Use and Abuse of the Fossil Record, pt2

#186

Posted by: Science Avenger | July 24, 2007 7:36 PM

P.W. said: I seem to recall reading a quote by Darwin...

You are speaking the wrong language bud. In science we speak of data, experimentation, and evidence. Quotes are for history and philosophy.

To be more blunt, since you seem to like that, what Darwin says doesn't mean a tinker's damn today. Really. That was almost 150 years ago. Believe it or not, we've learned a few things since then, and while Chuck was a pretty good scientist in his day, his quotes belong in a modern discussion of science about as much as Christopher Columbus belongs in the America's Cup.

#187

Posted by: Owlmirror | July 24, 2007 7:38 PM

The flaw in your thesis is in assuming the area of "testability" is always the three or four dimensions with which we are most familiar.

And you have evidence of other dimensions?

If the dimension for testability is in a realm with which science is unfamiliar (the spiritual realm), your thesis fails in its criticism because it fails to include the dimension of the spirit.

The dimension of "spirit" itself is untestable, which is why it is, quite properly, rejected by science.

I'm not even sure that "spirit" is meaningful. Can you even define "spirit" coherently?

#188

Posted by: Science Avenger | July 24, 2007 7:49 PM

P-W said: The flaw in your thesis is in assuming the area of "testability" is always the three or four dimensions with which we are most familiar.

Oh yeah, well (with apologies to Berkley Breathed) I snort the nose Lucifer, banana banana.

Sorry, but taking that any more seriously would insult your intelligence, and that of the readers.

#189

Posted by: P-W | July 24, 2007 7:55 PM

The dimension of "spirit" itself is untestable, which is why it is, quite properly, rejected by science.

I'm not even sure that "spirit" is meaningful. Can you even define "spirit" coherently?

Posted by: Owlmirror | July 24, 2007 07:38 PM

Science has recently invaded the realm of the soul (psyche), which is the non-material area of the mind, with its most recent attempts in psychology, a baby science.

The spirit is a non-material realm which is subjectively real to the individual, but which is accessible by the soul (psyche). Since psychology is a baby science with multitudes of theories not holding a consensus, it is understandable that universal opinions have not been formed in the area of psychology. Emotions like love, hate, joy, grief, and others are not testable in the three or four dimensions physical science attempts to understand, and they cannot be measured or handled, yet we know they are as real as microwaves. Science is still a baby, and attempting to think the Designer's thoughts after Him.

The spiritual realm is evidenced by the material realm, just as the soul is evidenced by the emotions, speech and actions of the individual.

If you are skeptical of a spiritual realm, may I suggest you begin investigating string theory?

#190

Posted by: Owlmirror | July 24, 2007 8:26 PM

Emotions like love, hate, joy, grief, and others are not testable in the three or four dimensions physical science attempts to understand,

False.

Science can test emotions, or at least, as much about emotions as the person emoting can express, and can be recorded.

You mention psychology. Rather more important are the sciences of neurology, neuroscience, and neuropharmacology.

Can you provide a coherent definition of the soul that is distinguishable from the evidence that the brain contains all that is necessary for consciousness?


and they cannot be measured or handled, yet we know they are as real as microwaves.

Emotions can be measured, if somewhat sloppily. As you say, the science is still young.

However, neurologists can record instances of persons with damaged brains, and thus learn about healthy brains. For example, the reason that the amygdala is known to be the physical seat of the emotions is because those with damaged amygdalas exhibit highly unusual emotional affect.

Given that persons with damaged brains demonstrate damaged mental function, there is no reason to hypothesize that there is anything other than the brain that is involved in the process that we call mind.

There's certainly no evidence for the soul anywhere in there.

The spiritual realm is evidenced by the material realm, just as the soul is evidenced by the emotions, speech and actions of the individual.

In other words, there's no evidence for either a spiritual realm or the soul.

Emotions, speech, and actions of the individual all arise from the actions of the brain.

Would it be your contention, by the way, that someone with a damaged brain has a damaged soul?

#191

Posted by: JimV | July 24, 2007 9:08 PM

P-W and Roger: everything you need to know is covered here:

http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/faqs-index.html

(Fact vs. theory, evolution vs. abiogenesis, transitional fossils, evolution observed in the lab and in nature, verified predictions, et cetera - complete with references to peer-reviewed scientific literature.)

If after having read them, you think you can refute any of the refutations, come back and try. If you succeed, you will almost certainly win a Nobel Prize!

However, you will have to do much better than, "I don't understand it, so it must not be true!" (Do you understand General Relativity?) (I don't.) Or, "Some scientists have been dishonest, therefore I don't have to accept evolution even though the National Science Foundation and all other major scientific institutions do." (The scientists were "caught" by the way by other scientists, because scientists have to give their data and methods in peer-reviewed papers where others can check them.)

#192

Posted by: P-W | July 24, 2007 9:30 PM

In other words, there's no evidence for either a spiritual realm or the soul.

Emotions, speech, and actions of the individual all arise from the actions of the brain.

Would it be your contention, by the way, that someone with a damaged brain has a damaged soul?

Posted by: Owlmirror | July 24, 2007 08:26 PM

I would suggest you examine string theory to determine whether the three or four dimensions science currently deals with are all that exist, as you evidently assume. Is it possible that a human is greater than the sum of their physical parts? String theorists postulate as many as nine or ten dimensions. Obviously, they are theorists, but in attempting to explain the things current science is incapable of explaining, some of those theorists postulate other dimensions. Could it be that baby physical science has yet to discover another dimension?

People have experienced "out of body" experiences and "near death experiences," as well as supernatural experiences in which they experience "contact" with spiritual beings who are not part of this material world. You evidently believe the material realm is all that exists, but to paraphrase Shakespeare, my opinion is that, "There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

If one believes man is simply a thinking brain, obviously, that theory will inflluence that person's "morality." If one believes there is a Designer to whom man is accountable, that world view may also influence one's morality.

#193

Posted by: Uber | July 24, 2007 10:00 PM

If one believes there is a Designer to whom man is accountable, that world view may also influence one's morality.

No dipstick, it's not what you believe, you can believe anything. It's what you have evidence for and that is the material world.

People have experienced "out of body" experiences and "near death experiences," as well as supernatural experiences in which they experience "contact" with spiritual beings who are not part of this material world. You evidently believe the material realm is all that exists,

You you apparently believe in all manner of bullshit that have either been debunked or have perfectly natural explanations as amazing as they may be.

#194

Posted by: P-W | July 24, 2007 10:12 PM

There are websites which investigate problems with the macroevolutionary hypothesis such as the following website.

If one is taught macroevolutionary theory in an uncritical manner, they may be ignorant of some of the problems made by observations from nature. Consider the following source as a possible option for more critically examining the macroevolutionary hypothesis:

http://www.christiananswers.net/

#195

Posted by: khan | July 24, 2007 10:44 PM

Troll/Fundie/Dungeon alert!

#196

Posted by: P-W | July 25, 2007 9:35 AM

I find it interesting that there are no responses to string theory. If the materialist philosophy, which makes physical science its "religion," can satisfactorily explain all that is (materialism), is string theory simply an expedition to explore new possibilities in "materialism?" String theory seems much more likely to open the possibility of other dimensions, like the dimension of the spirit.

#197

Posted by: MartinM | July 25, 2007 9:42 AM

...is string theory simply an expedition to explore new possibilities in "materialism?"

Yes. All physical science deals with the physical, strangely enough. To be perfectly honest, I don't think you really grasp what physicists mean by the word 'dimension.' To a physicist, 'dimension of the spirit' is just gibberish.

#198

Posted by: Steve_C | July 25, 2007 10:26 AM

I think we can ignore the trolls and leave them to their fairy tales.

I detest the ignorant arrogant fools.

#199

Posted by: Roger | July 25, 2007 12:14 PM

OK, P-W, so now they will not speak to you because you brought to their attention the possiblity of an alternative to their theory.

Thanks for the insight you brought....it has been stimulating and enlightening

#200

Posted by: MartinM | July 25, 2007 12:25 PM

You seem to have an annoying tendency to over-generalize, Roger. I'm quite clearly still speaking to P-W. Indeed, there are a number of commenters who haven't said anything at all about ignoring him, against only two who have.

#201

Posted by: Steve_C | July 25, 2007 12:31 PM

Wrong. It's because you people are dense.

String Theory is NOT an alternative to evolution. It doesn't even discuss biology.

#202

Posted by: Rey Fox | July 25, 2007 12:36 PM

Like you said, Steve, ignore. P-W is just throwing on one layer of BS after another, and Roger is just trying to wind us up.

#203

Posted by: Blake Stacey, OM | July 25, 2007 12:37 PM

String theory seems much more likely to open the possibility of other dimensions, like the dimension of the spirit.

Nope. It ain't.

It's a whole lot of hard math which people do in the hope that they will eventually be able to make definite predictions which can be tested by experiment. Same as any other materialistic idea from Big Bad Science.

#204

Posted by: Science Avenger | July 25, 2007 12:45 PM

Roger whined: OK, P-W, so now they will not speak to you because you brought to their attention the possiblity of an alternative to their theory.

No, it's because what he is saying is ignorant, and that's when it isn't complete gibberish.

Imagine Roger, that you were discussing Christianity with someone who said:

"If Jesus is the lamb of God, then where is his wool? And how can you explain nylon then?"

Would you actually try to have an intelligent discussion with such a person? Or would you just ignore him, perhaps suggesting some reading to improve his ignorance to a level that might allow him to ask a substantive question?

See, babbling on about string theory and tossing the term "dimensions" around willy nilly when discussing evolution is on the same level. It's not challenging. It's just annoying. It reveals the interlocutor's ignorance, and little else.

#205

Posted by: Lepht | July 25, 2007 12:54 PM

okay, i have given up on this entirely. i'm just back here to root for anyone who doesn't think belief is a solution to problems, who can actually read and comprehend an argument,and who are actually searching for truth instead of blindly following what they've been told.

PZ, i apologise for feeding the trolls. Roger, P-W, i hope one day you wonder why you accept Christian mythology, but not Muslim or Grecian. Rey Fox, Science Avenger, get in there!

Lepht

PS. i am not angry because of my drugs, you deltoid; the stuff i take is sedative and if anything is making me *nicer*.

#206

Posted by: Rey Fox | July 25, 2007 1:13 PM

Er...get in where?

#207

Posted by: Owlmirror | July 25, 2007 2:55 PM

Sigh. I was busy doing other things, like working, and sleeping. I'm willing to keep up the debate, but I do need time to do other stuff...

I'm breaking this reply up, because I do have other things I need to take care of in between crafting responses:

I would suggest you examine string theory to determine whether the three or four dimensions science currently deals with are all that exist, as you evidently assume. [...] String theorists postulate as many as nine or ten dimensions. Obviously, they are theorists, but in attempting to explain the things current science is incapable of explaining, some of those theorists postulate other dimensions.

I'm sorry, but you've completely misunderstood string theory.

While Blake's response above in #203 is correct, I'll expand on it a bit:

It's kind of funny, because some scientists are a bit irritated at the use of the word "theory" in "string theory" — precisely because (at the time that I write this), there is no way to test any of these theories. In the scientific sense, these string theories are actually "string hypotheses". And all they are, really, are attempts to create an internally consistent mathematical model of a hypothetical structure that would be consistent with all currently observed subatomic particles, and would be a way of accounting for their properties and behavior.

Yes, these string hypotheses have included models which require many higher dimensions — but I think you're a bit confused as to what a dimension is. In this case, it's a mathematical and physical concept, just the more usually comprehensible 3-dimensions-of-space-and-1-dimension-of-time universe is a mathematical and physical concept.

There is nothing in string theory that would be mapped to anything like a "spiritual" dimension, in the way that you use the term, which I am guessing is something like "something that we can't see with our current science", or something vague like that.


I took this part out from the above so as to respond to it separately:

Is it possible that a human is greater than the sum of their physical parts?

It depends on what "greater" means. Of course there's a lot about ourselves that we don't yet understand — but so far, nothing has been found that transcends physical matter.

Some of the most important scientific fields that have been growing in recent times is the study of physical and mathematical systems following fairly simple rules, yet resulting in enormously complex and unpredictable behavior. This field of complexity theory is still very young, and the reason I bring it up is because emergent complexity is an example of something that is indeed greater than the sum of its parts, yet is still wholly material, with no requirement for "spirituality" to account for it. A simple, basic example of this are those images I'm sure you've seen around somewhere. Fractals are mathematical constructs whose rules are very simple, yet their expression is very complex.

Now, you may want to think that perhaps somewhere in this complexity there is room for spirituality. This has always happened when theists learn something of new physical sciences, such as quantum mechanics, or string theory, or whatever. But the burden of proof is on the theists. As far as science can discover, these are simply the rules by which the universe works. There is not the slightest hint that there is anything "out there" that makes the rules that way, or can be hidden behind the rules. As it has always been, the burden of proof is on theists, to define what "spirit" means in the context of what science has discovered, and is consistently meaningful with, and testable by, those discoveries and observations.

#208

Posted by: Owlmirror | July 25, 2007 9:53 PM

People have experienced "out of body" experiences and "near death experiences," as well as supernatural experiences in which they experience "contact" with spiritual beings who are not part of this material world.

Rather, there are people who have claimed to have had such experiences.

I'm not saying they are all lying, but the assertion that something supernatural has occurred is not proven by these claims, precisely because we know that the brain can get into some very weird states sometimes.


There's a couple of books that I read, Stiff (mostly about what happens to bodies after death, but includes some reports of alleged psychic phenomena), and Spook (reincarnation, NDEs, psychics who claim to talk to dead spirits, out-of-body experiences), where the open-minded author, Mary Roach, tries to investigate some of the alleged supernatural events, and reports on various researches into these phenomena.

There's a doctor, for example, who is trying to test out-of-body experiences. As I recall, it's a very simple setup — there's a computer monitor at the top of a cabinet that is position so that it cannot be seen from the floor. If someone could send their alleged astral body out to see what the monitor is displaying and report back, that would demonstrate proof that there's something there (assuming the scenario was otherwise controlled against fraud).

But there's been nothing.

There's been numerous attempts at research into psychical phenomena, and the very best results amount to little more than occasional flukes in many, many test runs.

Unless something better comes along, there is very little reason indeed to suppose that there is anything to such experiences as you offer.

Far better results can be found in neuroscience research, which include examples of duplicating the sensation that one is outside of one's body, by stimulating a certain region of the brain. (One of the chapters in Spook is about a scientist who suspects that spiritual sensation results from hyperstimulation of the temporal lobe of the brain — and tries to induce this using a magnetic field. Some people feel something, some don't.)

Given this, the most reasonable conclusion is not that psychic phenomena exist, but that people experience illusions — a particular effect inside their brains — which they interpret as being real.

If there's more to it than that, well, bring on the evidence.

#209

Posted by: Owlmirror | July 25, 2007 10:05 PM

If one is taught macroevolutionary theory in an uncritical manner, they may be ignorant of some of the problems made by observations from nature. Consider the following source as a possible option for more critically examining the macroevolutionary hypothesis:

http://www.christiananswers.net/

No.

Evolution is a proven biological phenomenon. You've offered absolutely nothing to demonstrate that Christianity has any insight into biology; indeed, your comments have been almost uniform examples of common Creationist errors, showing complete misunderstanding and confusion about evolution, biology, and science in general. More importantly, your comments started out with the severe confusion that the particular texts of your religion have anything meaningful to say about biology or cosmology.

While Christians may be biologists, and biologists may be Christians, Christianity qua Christianity has no basis in which to offer any criticism of modern biological science.

#210

Posted by: Stanton | July 25, 2007 11:09 PM

The dimension of "spirit" itself is untestable, which is why it is, quite properly, rejected by science.

I'm not even sure that "spirit" is meaningful. Can you even define "spirit" coherently?


Things like vodka, whisky or merlot.
#211

Posted by: Stanton | July 25, 2007 11:13 PM

Really P-W? You have a cud-chewing rabbit? (Leviticus 11:6.)
Technically, Brownian, the Bible referred to hyraxes, not rabbits. The theologians who were translating the Bible into various European languages, i.e., Latin, French, English, etc, had no contact with hyraxes and had no idea what they were, beyond the fact that they look squintingly like earless rabbits. And no, hyraxes don't chew cud, either.
#212

Posted by: Roger | July 26, 2007 1:54 AM

Stanton, pop into answersingenesis.org to get some real understanding on this topic. No squinting needed here

#213

Posted by: Owlmirror | July 26, 2007 2:21 AM

I'm not even sure that "spirit" is meaningful. Can you even define "spirit" coherently?

Things like vodka, whisky or merlot.


Well, that's me told.

But... Scientifically, I think we need to test these spirits, rigorously. Perhaps you can procure some samples? Preferably chilled?

#214

Posted by: Owlmirror | July 26, 2007 2:41 AM

Indeed, now I think of it, I foresee great advances to the cause of Science and Spirituality here:

Subject imbibed a solution containing 40% ethyl alcohol by volume, in doses of about 45mL, said doses repeated 5 times over the course of two hours.

Results: At end of two hour period, Subject felt as though was "floating free of body", to use a simplified and subjective turn of phrase. Subject then giggled loudly for ~3 minutes straight, then rushed to lavatory to eject contents of stomach.

Conclusions: Inconclusive. Further testing obviously called for, although perhaps using smaller doses.

#215

Posted by: P-W | July 26, 2007 8:06 AM

Consider the following source as a possible option for more critically examining the macroevolutionary hypothesis:

http://www.christiananswers.net/

No.

Evolution is a proven biological phenomenon.
Posted by: Owlmirror | July 25, 2007 10:05 PM

That website contains links to observable data from nature and the Creation Research Institute website.

#216

Posted by: MartinM | July 26, 2007 8:51 AM

It's a big site. Perhaps you could choose one argument you feel is particularly good and present it here. Preferably in your own words, so that we know you understand it yourself.

#217

Posted by: P-W | July 26, 2007 8:58 AM

People have experienced "out of body" experiences and "near death experiences," as well as supernatural experiences in which they experience "contact" with spiritual beings who are not part of this material world.

Rather, there are people who have claimed to have had such experiences.

I'm not saying they are all lying, but the assertion that something supernatural has occurred is not proven by these claims, precisely because we know that the brain can get into some very weird states sometimes.


Posted by: Owlmirror | July 25, 2007 09:53 PM

You are correct that the brain can play tricks on us, especially under critical physical experiences, and I am aware of those who classify all near death experiences as "brain tricks." Obviously, some are willing to discount all evidence which contradicts their preconceived conclusions.

Eyewitness accounts are valuable sources of information when they are honest attempts to recall the past. There is a doctor who was so convinced his patient's "near death experience" (which he observed firsthand -- and whom he personally revived) provided evidence of the spiritual realm, he made a decision to accept the God of the Bible. He could not ignore his firsthand witness of his patient's experience. He changed from a person of disinterest to a Bible "believer." It so changed his life he even has produced television programs for TBN on the very subject of "near death experiences," and he documented his patient's experience which made him a "convinced" Bible believer.

To claim there is no spiritual realm is unscientific, even if science at this time is incapable of "proving" its existence, just as the physical scienes are incapable of explaining myriads of other things at present.

To assume there is no spiritual realm because the physical sciences are incapable of verifying them, is ridiculous logic. Proving a universal negative is impossible. Physical science is a fallible attempt by man to more fully understand the universe. To place one's entire eternity in the hands of a fallible baby science which is so incapable of explaining so many areas of nature that it requires the rise of "string theorists," is in my opinion rather foolish. But that is exactly what "materialism" does. It makes man's limited knowledge of the physical sciences a "religion."

#218

Posted by: Stanton | July 26, 2007 9:21 AM

Roger, the people in Answers in Genesis are a bunch of lying sacks of shits who routinely attempt to demonize evolutionary biology by blaming it to every literal ill in the world, from the misinterpretation of dodos to the Pennsylvania Amish shootings. That their leader, Ken Ham, said that Steve Irwin is probably burning in hell for not repenting the apparently unforgivable sin of accepting evolution, doesn't help improve my opinion of them, either.
You don't know anything at all about Biology, evolutionary or otherwise. Coprophagy is not the same as cud-chewing/rumination, which requires the use of a four-chambered stomach, nor is it a form of rumination, either. Furthermore, hyraxes, which the Hebrew authors of the Bible were referring to in the first place, do not chew cud, nor do they practice coprophagy, and as such, any excuse given for literal apologists is just hot air blowing out their arse.
Now, would it be possible if you could provide some tangible evidence of Creationism, or are you forbidden to do so under pain of eternal hellfire?
...
...
PW, your saying that science is a religion simply because scientists can not perceive the spirit world is inane and moronic. If a scientist has no way of perceiving something, how in the bloody name of hell can he study it? It's as idiotic as chastising a nuclear physicist because he can't fix your watch by talking to the invisible, un-x-rayable gremlin that allegedly lives inside of it.

#219

Posted by: P-W | July 26, 2007 9:32 AM

Perhaps you could choose one argument you feel is particularly good and present it here. Preferably in your own words, so that we know you understand it yourself.

Posted by: MartinM | July 26, 2007 08:51 AM


" I seem to recall reading a quote by Darwin in which he expressed extreme concern over the fact that the fossil record failed to record the multitudes of 'transitional forms' he postulated. He seemed to believe that the fossil record could prove his theory of macroevolution wrong." P-W

No. Even if not a single transitional fossil had ever been found, it would not have "disproved" the theory.

Posted by: Owlmirror | July 24, 2007 07:33 PM

Perhaps to restate my argument a little more accurately, Darwin appeared to be concerned that his macroevolutionary theory could be "falsified" by the amazing lack of transitional forms which have never been found (but which many assume exist and which Darwin postulated should exist in abundance in the fossil record).

The fact that Darwin's postulated "multitudes of transitional forms" don't occur is falsification of his theory, although Owlmirror evidently assumes macroevolutionary theory cannot be falsified.

I am aware that one of the DNA scientists has now advocated man's appearance as a result of "astronauts" from other galaxies, because his "macroevolutionary" faith for man's existence has been "shaken."

I have read an Australian scientist who argued that cladistics disproves the macroevolutionary hypothesis, yet you will find "quacks" who claim cladistics "proves" the macroevolutionary hypothesis. The magic formula for the macroevolutionary dogmatists is: genetics plus time = macroevolution. "Time" is the magic part of the formula.

#220

Posted by: P-W | July 26, 2007 9:38 AM

PW, your saying that science is a religion simply because scientists can not perceive the spirit world is inane and moronic. If a scientist has no way of perceiving something, how in the bloody name of hell can he study it? It's as idiotic as chastising a nuclear physicist because he can't fix your watch by talking to the invisible, un-x-rayable gremlin that allegedly lives inside of it.

Posted by: Stanton | July 26, 2007 09:21 AM

Let me clarify the misunderstanding. I am not saying that science is a religion, I am saying that materialists make fallible baby science "their" religion.

#221

Posted by: Stanton | July 26, 2007 11:03 AM

No, let me make myself clearer:
Science is about observing the natural world and making sense of what tangible evidence tells us about the natural world.
Astral projection, out of body experiences, the spirit world, all of those things have left absolutely no tangible evidnce, and are not of the natural world. As such the studies of such topics are not science for two important reasons.
I stand by my statement that chiding people for making "science" a "religion" simply because they can not perceive it in order to study it to be inane and moronic.

#222

Posted by: P-W | July 26, 2007 12:50 PM

No, let me make myself clearer:
Science is about observing the natural world and making sense of what tangible evidence tells us about the natural world.
Astral projection, out of body experiences, the spirit world, all of those things have left absolutely no tangible evidnce, and are not of the natural world. As such the studies of such topics are not science for two important reasons.
I stand by my statement that chiding people for making "science" a "religion" simply because they can not perceive it in order to study it to be inane and moronic.

Posted by: Stanton | July 26, 2007 11:03 AM


I consider inductive logic (a scientific method) which perceives a Designer from the amazing complexity and design in the Universe neither "moronic" nor "inane" since by analogy design in the natural world evidences the non-material spiritual world with its Supreme Designer. In addition, while natural science doesn't necessarily concern itself with history (although fossils can be considered "history" and origins can be considered a type of historical study), history is part of the natural world and eyewitness accounts are valid in a court of law and are part of the "natural" world, and eyewitness accounts often help substantiate how events and which events actually happened. Eyewitness accounts may be evidence of the non-material spiritual world, and design in the universe is substantial evidence of the non-material world in which the Designer evidently resides. Eyewitness accounts, while not necessarily being scientifically friendly to natural science, are nevertheless valid means for obtaining data. While I agree with you that natural scientists may not wish to concern themselves with eyewitness data, reasonable scientists recognize there is a measure of value to eyewitness accounts and experiences. If eyewitness accounts indicate that supernatural beings have intersected with our "natural" world, it is unscientific to perfunctorily dismiss them as invalid.

While you obviously will not agree, Theology is considered by many to be the "Queen of the sciences."

#223

Posted by: Rey Fox | July 26, 2007 1:30 PM

No use trying to pin him down to any specific claim, Martin. He's just going to Gish Gallop all over us. You might as well be asking him who the "Australian scientist" and "one of the DNA scientists" are. I suspect that the latter might be P-W's crude and uninformed way of trying to identify someone connected with the Human Genome Project, but who the heck knows?

By the way, I had a near-death experience once, and I saw leprechauns. Now there's a spanner in the works.

#224

Posted by: Owlmirror | July 26, 2007 3:39 PM

I am aware that one of the DNA scientists has now advocated man's appearance as a result of "astronauts" from other galaxies, because his "macroevolutionary" faith for man's existence has been "shaken."

This is false.

I know that it's false because I know who you're thinking of, and what he really said, because I read his actual paper. You don't even remember his name, and I am certain that you've never read any of his work.

He never questioned evolution.

Like all creationists, when you have no facts, you offer lies.

#225

Posted by: Owlmirror | July 26, 2007 3:45 PM

(christiananswers.net) That website contains links to observable data from nature and the Creation Research Institute website.

No. Like all creationist websites, it contains links to half-truths and lies.

#226

Posted by: Owlmirror | July 26, 2007 4:13 PM

Eyewitness accounts are valuable sources of information when they are honest attempts to recall the past.

They are sources of information about what the "eyewitness" thinks happened. They are nearly useless if the "eyewitness" cannot provide corroborating external evidence.

There is a doctor who was so convinced his patient's "near death experience" (which he observed firsthand -- and whom he personally revived) provided evidence of the spiritual realm, he made a decision to accept the God of the Bible.

That only proves that the patient told a convincing story, and that the patient and the doctor were both gullible enough to believe it. It doesn't matter if the patient was being 100% honest. The more likely explanation is that something happened inside the patient's brain that the patient thought was real. The burden of proof is on those who think it is real to find the evidence of its reality.

To claim there is no spiritual realm is unscientific, even if science at this time is incapable of "proving" its existence, just as the physical scienes are incapable of explaining myriads of other things at present.

I never claimed that there was no spiritual realm, only that the burden of proof was on those who claim there is one. Indeed, I am willing to go one better and suggest that it is likely that there is a "spiritual" realm — whose only reality is inside the brains of the people who experience it.

Anything else requires evidence external to those brains.

To assume there is no spiritual realm because the physical sciences are incapable of verifying them, is ridiculous logic.

False. A real spiritual realm, something that exists outside of people's brains, and can be distinguished from an illusion experienced inside of people's brains, is something for which no evidence has been provided.

The parsimonious conclusion is that the spiritual realm only exists inside people's brains.

#227

Posted by: Owlmirror | July 26, 2007 4:40 PM

Proving a universal negative is impossible.

So? All logic must be in accord with observations and understood definitions.

There is no dry land on the ocean floor.

There are no naturally growing palm trees at the North Pole.

There is no naturally breathable atmosphere on the Earth's Moon.

There is no evidence that the bible story of creation is true, nor that a universal flood covered all of the Earth at any point in the past 10000 years, or ever.

There is no evidence that the universe has a creator; nor is there any evidence that the universe needs a creator.

Physical science is a fallible attempt by man to more fully understand the universe.

Science is a chaining together of successive observations and facts. Each observation and fact may be a small thing in and of itself, but the whole is the best estimate at what reality itself is that we have. Any fallibility in the system results because individual humans are fallible — which is why science insists on careful citations and observations that are repeatable by other observers elsewhere. The system of science tries to take fallibility into account, and correct for it.

Religion, in contrast, ignores human fallibility. Indeed, religion only succeeds because humans are fallible, and gullible.


To place one's entire eternity in the hands of a fallible baby science

Science may be a "baby", but it's a prodigy with a few centuries of great success, and what certainly looks like a bright future ahead of it.

Religion is an insane old man with dementia, who sometimes plays with the baby, and sometimes makes attempts to assault the baby, or drown it, or rape it, or set it on fire.

which is so incapable of explaining so many areas of nature that it requires the rise of "string theorists,"

Make up your mind, will you? You're the one that brought up string theory in the first place.

#228

Posted by: Owlmirror | July 26, 2007 4:54 PM

Perhaps to restate my argument a little more accurately, Darwin appeared to be concerned that his macroevolutionary theory could be "falsified" by the amazing lack of transitional forms which have never been found (but which many assume exist and which Darwin postulated should exist in abundance in the fossil record).

And your argument is not only inaccurate, but completely false. Charles Darwin never said, nor implied, anything like what you write above.

The fact that Darwin's postulated "multitudes of transitional forms" don't occur is falsification of his theory,

False. Why do you keep lying?

The transitional forms that have been found verify the theory of evolution.

although Owlmirror evidently assumes macroevolutionary theory cannot be falsified.
Owlmirror assumes no such thing. Find God, get him to write a paper explaining how he performed the creation in such a way that accounts for all observations of evolution, and get him to submit the paper to a refereed scientific journal.
#229

Posted by: MartinM | July 26, 2007 5:10 PM

The fact that Darwin's postulated "multitudes of transitional forms" don't occur is falsification of his theory

What, in your opinion, would a transitional form look like? What would we need to show you?

#230

Posted by: Roger | July 26, 2007 5:29 PM

I can recall Hovind stating that these guys can produce an entire being, and it's wife, from the find of a toe fossil...

Bet you they can do more than that

#231

Posted by: Rey Fox | July 26, 2007 5:42 PM

At least we have the toe fossil.

#232

Posted by: Steve_C | July 26, 2007 5:52 PM

These guys are ignorant trolls.

Why do we keep feeding them?

#233

Posted by: Brownian | July 26, 2007 6:12 PM

I can recall Hovind stating that these guys can produce an entire being, and it's wife, from the find of a toe fossil...

Bet you they can do more than that

I'll take that bet Roger, since I studied a fair amount of physical anthropology.

What can be inferred from a single bone (or a number of unconnected bones) is something called the 'minimum number of individuals' or MNI. You see, even from fragments, you can very often tell what a bone is and which side of the body it comes from (I used to bet fellow students coffee money that I could identify and side metacarpals--wrist bones--blindfolded.) The MNI is determined by pairing and comparing like bones. For instance, if you were to find two left fibulae in a pile of bones, you can conclude that at least two individuals contributed their skeletons to that pile. If the two previous bones are from adults and another found in the pile is from a child (based on the fact that the ends of children's bones aren't fully fused) you can also conclude that least three individuals contributed their skeletons to that pile. For bones that display sexual characteristics like the skull and the pelvis, you can determine gender. All of this information allows physical anthropologists to make very educated estimates of from whom a bone came from.

This is a far cry from Hovind's assertion, but that fellow has some real issues with truth.

Any other aspect of science you'd like to be actually educated on?

#234

Posted by: Owlmirror | July 26, 2007 6:15 PM

Why do we keep feeding them?

I dunno about everyone else, but I'm running a psychological experiment. I'm trying to see if there's any argument - any at all - that can get through the mental blinders of creationism.

So far, it looks like they are either not reading, or not understanding, any of the arguments. Or they simply don't actually care about logic or truth. Nevertheless, I persevere.


Also, I have occasional urges to pontificate pedantically. Better to vent it here than to bore my friends.

#235

Posted by: Owlmirror | July 26, 2007 6:19 PM

Any other aspect of science you'd like to be actually educated on?

I'll bet a bottle of Stanton's spirits that you lost him at the words "physical anthropology".

#236

Posted by: Rey Fox | July 26, 2007 6:24 PM

Sorry, I had to get that dig in.

#237

Posted by: Brownian | July 26, 2007 6:33 PM

Let's at least hope he won't be throwing out "Dr. Hovind says they" to the people who are actually part of "they".

#238

Posted by: Steve_C | July 26, 2007 6:35 PM

They don't want to learn anything.

Their mind is settled. Nothing we could show or tell them will convince them of anything.

They have their fairy tale. They're quite happy with it. To accept the science would mean that their fairy tale isn't a fact. At least their version of it anyway.

To try to enlighten them is pointless. They think they're going to shatter the godless' grip on reality.

They're not. Don't entertain their fantasy.

#239

Posted by: Owlmirror | July 26, 2007 7:30 PM

At some point, I'll get bored. Until then, it beats another round of Solitaire.

#240

Posted by: Owlmirror | July 26, 2007 7:55 PM

I consider inductive logic (a scientific method) which perceives a Designer

No. This is the fallacy of assuming one's conclusion.

from the amazing complexity and design in the Universe neither "moronic" nor "inane" since by analogy design in the natural world evidences the non-material spiritual world with its Supreme Designer.

"Design" in the natural world does no such thing.

The natural world has order.
The natural world has laws.
The natural world has complexity.

There is no evidence that the order or the laws or the complexity arose by the action of an intelligent agent or agents.

There is no evidence of a spiritual world that is anything other than personal illusions.

reasonable scientists recognize there is a measure of value to eyewitness accounts and experiences

Reasonable scientists are very much aware that eyewitnesses are fallible. They are always fallible, and when carefully tested in controlled experiments, eyewitnesses are often provably wrong.

See, for example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witness

Again, this is is why scientific experiments are so carefully designed and documented — so as to avoid being mere "eyewitness" anecdotes.

#241

Posted by: bob | July 27, 2007 8:22 AM

"I have read an Australian scientist who argued that cladistics disproves the macroevolutionary hypothesis, yet you will find "quacks" who claim cladistics "proves" the macroevolutionary hypothesis.

Who is this Australian scientist? Names and references. I am heavily involved with systematics, and even the most die-hard supports of Bayesian and maximum-likelihood have never said anything like that. The assumption that cladistics is based upon is that macro-evolution is true. The fact that using parsimony based on shared acquired characteristics can give us a result is support for evolution. If macro-evolution, (change over time, and common descent) were not true then cladistics should be incapable of reproducing a phylogeny.

With the original question, evolution is both theory and fact, like gravity. The genetic make-up of a population changes over time. That is evolution, and that is an observable fact. Much like, gravity, the force pulling you down is an observable fact. However, how this change in the genetic make-up of a population occurs and what are the rules governing this change are theories. Just like the theory of gravity explains how gravity works. Both theories can be tested, and have been.

I can understand how you can be confused about theory verse fact in this case. In the scientific world, the basic theory evolution have been so well tested and have been found to be so robust, that many scientists treat the theory of evolution as simple fact.

To say that evolution is just a theory and therefore isn't real, is like saying that gravity is a theory and therefore we can fly.

#242

Posted by: P-W | July 27, 2007 12:06 PM

There is a scientist who produces science programs that run on TBN who has very interesting data.

He has produced a book with a photograph of fossilized cowboy boots from the United States (miillions of years old would be the proper assumption). He indicates that fossilization can occur in less than ten years. He also includes a photo of an ancient rock (from Peru) having an ancient carving of a man astride a very specific type of dinosaur (shades of Dynotopia)!

On one of his science broadcasts he related information about another scientist who has been breeding fruit flies for several decades. As most of you are probably aware, the life span of a fruit fly is miniscule compared to that of a human. That scientist has bred several hundred thousand generations of fruitflies over several decades, which are equivalent to the number of generations macroevolutionists claim it took for man to evolve. But did he ever produce anything greater than a fruitfly? If you think he did, you will leave me in hysterics!

#243

Posted by: Owlmirror | July 27, 2007 2:35 PM

There is a scientist who produces science programs that run on TBN who has very interesting data.

You mean, there is a Creationist liar who produces television shows on a Creationist television network who spreads lots of lies.

He has produced a book with a photograph of fossilized cowboy boots from the United States

You mean these boots? The ones for which the claimant will not allow any further examination of the data? The ones which no-one else has been allowed to examine?

http://paleo.cc/paluxy/boot.htm

(miillions of years old would be the proper assumption).

False.

See, this is the difference between real science and Creationist science-raping. Real science demands that all evidence be examined thoroughly, and be permitted to be scrutinized by other scientists; that all data be made available to those in the appropriate fields.

Creationist-religion-pretend-science waves something like this around, says "See? Fossil boots in a few decades! Looks millions of years old!" — and then hides everything, and refuses to allow anyone to examine it at all.


He also includes a photo of an ancient rock (from Peru) having an ancient carving of a man astride a very specific type of dinosaur (shades of Dynotopia)!

A quick Google suggests that these are called Ica stones. Eh. I'm too busy right now to look into it, but a misinterpretation or a fake is more likely than "a very specific type of dinosaur".

http://www.skepdic.com/icastones.html

As most of you are probably aware, the life span of a fruit fly is miniscule compared to that of a human. That scientist has bred several hundred thousand generations of fruitflies over several decades, which are equivalent to the number of generations macroevolutionists claim it took for man to evolve

Who is claiming that equivalence?

The fruit-fly breeding is meant to test various ideas about mutation, inheritance, and evolution. Everything that was discovered was in support of evolution.

As with these and many similar assertions, these are long standing creationist claims, which don't have anything to do with disproving evolution.

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB910_1.html

#244

Posted by: P-W | July 27, 2007 2:57 PM

There is a scientist who produces science programs that run on TBN who has very interesting data.

You mean, there is a Creationist liar who produces television shows on a Creationist television network who spreads lots of lies.

(My reply is that he is a macroevolutionist who had a change of mind).

He has produced a book with a photograph of fossilized cowboy boots from the United States

You mean these boots? The ones for which the claimant will not allow any further examination of the data? The ones which no-one else has been allowed to examine?

http://paleo.cc/paluxy/boot.htm

(miillions of years old would be the proper assumption).

False.

See, this is the difference between real science and Creationist science-raping. Real science demands that all evidence be examined thoroughly, and be permitted to be scrutinized by other scientists; that all data be made available to those in the appropriate fields.

(My reply is that he is building a Creationist museum which is perfectly open to visitors containing many of the items he has come across).

Creationist-religion-pretend-science waves something like this around, says "See? Fossil boots in a few decades! Looks millions of years old!" -- and then hides everything, and refuses to allow anyone to examine it at all.

(My reply is that he is building a Creationist museum which is perfectly open to visitors containing many of the items he has come across).

Posted by: Owlmirror | July 27, 2007 02:35 PM


Who is denying the evidence that he offers? You are.

#245

Posted by: Owlmirror | July 27, 2007 7:53 PM

(My reply is that he is a macroevolutionist who had a change of mind).

What is his name, anyway? If he's a creationist, I am willing to bet that he's lying about having been a "macroevolutionist" as well. But I would be open to evidence that he simply went insane instead.


Creationist-religion-pretend-science waves something like this around, says "See? Fossil boots in a few decades! Looks millions of years old!" -- and then hides everything, and refuses to allow anyone to examine it at all.

(My reply is that he is building a Creationist museum which is perfectly open to visitors containing many of the items he has come across).

Open to visitors is not the same as open to scientific investigation. Will he allow his "evidence" to be examined by geologists, chemists and paleontologists? And if thorough scientific investigation shows that the boot is not fossilized as he claims, will he publish a retraction?

If he doesn't, then he's no different from any of the other creationist liars out there.


Who is denying the evidence that he offers? You are.

Since he isn't offering his purported evidence for scientific examination, I'm saying that he's lying that he even has evidence until proven otherwise.

Scientists who refuse to let their evidence be examined are viewed with the greatest suspicion by their peers, even when the subject is nowhere near as unusual and extraordinary as millions-of-years-old-fossil-boots would be. Are they hiding something? Are they tampering with the data? If they really have something real and important, why are they hiding it?

So the suspicion is all the greater — and deservedly so, giving the constant lying by creationists — when a creationist says he has something that "disproves" some matter of basic paleontology or biology.

Because when similar claims in the past were investigated, it always turned out that the creationist was lying.

#246

Posted by: P-W | July 28, 2007 11:17 AM

"To place one's entire eternity in the hands of a fallible baby science"

Science may be a "baby", but it's a prodigy with a few centuries of great success, and what certainly looks like a bright future ahead of it.

Religion is an insane old man with dementia, who sometimes plays with the baby, and sometimes makes attempts to assault the baby, or drown it, or rape it, or set it on fire.


Posted by: Owlmirror | July 26, 2007 04:40 PM

The late Dr. Francis Schaeffer suggested in a video curriculum which I had the opportunity to observe, that modern science is greatly indebted to the Bible and its world view because of the fact the Bible posits the existence of an intelligent Creator. That in itself suggests by inference that the intelligent Creator's "work" can be "intelligently" understood.

Schaeffer suggested that the rise of natural science during the Reformation was aided by the Bible world view which indicated an intelligent Creator existed who's work could be intelligently examined. This world view was of inestimable value towards a "coherent" examination of the physical universe.

#247

Posted by: Owlmirror | July 28, 2007 6:06 PM

The late Dr. Francis Schaeffer suggested in a video curriculum which I had the opportunity to observe, that modern science is greatly indebted to the Bible and its world view because of the fact the Bible posits the existence of an intelligent Creator. That in itself suggests by inference that the intelligent Creator's "work" can be "intelligently" understood.

No, I think not.

The Bible is not a scientific text, nor does it encourage analysis or investigation. The alleged creator is not described as an intellect whose work is meant to be studied, but as a powerful authority to be obeyed and never questioned.

While it does have a few psalms about the glory of the natural world, that glory is presented like the clothes of wealthy king, to be admired from afar but not looked at closely. While it does have the line "Thou shalt not bear false witness" -- a commandment that few if any creationists have ever obeyed -- there is no positive injunction to actively seek out what is true, document it, and present it to the world. And there's certainly no suggestion that if its own words are found to be contradicted by evidence, that the evidence is to be accepted and those words of the bible to be rejected. Dogma is held to be absolute.

While sometimes otherwise religious societies have become sufficiently relaxed from their dogma to permit or even encourage investigation, this investigation is almost always restricted by said dogma.

In very nearly all places where liberal investigation of reality is permitted, religion is weak--because when actually questioned, it is found wanting in facts. In nearly all places where religious dogma is held paramount, science is very weak, and is often entirely absent.

Schaeffer suggested that the rise of natural science during the Reformation was aided by the Bible world view which indicated an intelligent Creator existed who's work could be intelligently examined. This world view was of inestimable value towards a "coherent" examination of the physical universe.

A case could be made that skepticism towards the bible -- and in response, emphasizing rigorous ways of finding truth -- resulted after the Reformation because so many doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church were being overthrown. If indulgences, transubstantiation, the sacraments, and the authority of the pope were actively denied, perhaps other doctrines and dogmas could be rejected as well.

Also, more people could actually read the Bible in their own language. Once it is seen what the bible actually says, it's also possible to see how much it is lacking in evidence. And for that matter, how cruel the character of god is.

However, more to the point, the Reformation came with the invention and spread of the printing press, and the subsequent dispersal of all sorts of information. Far more important than the bible in the growth of science were the works of the ancient philosophers like Archimedes, Eratosthenes and Aristotle, all of whom had the essence of science in their writings: Make observations, document them carefully, showing materials and methods, and correlate them with past observations to discover new rules or new facts that derive from these observations. These philosophers were not always entirely correct -- but where they were wrong, the problem was almost always because of insufficiently accurate tools, or data that they had not or could not collect properly. While they were sometimes sloppy or swayed by biases, the science grew because someone kept on questioning.

While scientists of the early Reformation were religious -- as are some scientists even now -- all scientists take their methodology from those philosophers, who documented their observations, not because they were religious, but because that is how truth is built.

The point is that the discovery of truth is held paramount, and dogma is rejected if it is contradicted by fact.

#248

Posted by: P-W | July 28, 2007 7:11 PM

In nearly all places where religious dogma is held paramount, science is very weak, and is often entirely absent.

Posted by: Owlmirror | July 28, 2007 06:06 PM

Dr. D. James Kennedy has made the observation that wherever the Bible has been held in esteem, there the society and its sciences have prospered. There is a difference between "religious dogma" and a Biblical world view. He also noted that wherever the Bible has been held in esteem, there has been the proliferation of colleges and universities and hospitals. In fact most hospitals and a vast majority of colleges and universities were the products of Christian faith. He wrote a book in detail on the very subject. All one needs to do is examine the history of the West and compare it to the history of the East, and trace the route of the Bible and its legitimate adherents.

While you are correct that "religious dogma" can sometimes be a purpose institutions have used for stopping things that were true (the Reformation is a product of such persecution), a legitimate adherence to the ethics and practices of Scripture promotes rather than prevents advancement.

Please tell me how atheism has advanced society and the world? What hospitals, universities, and colleges have the atheists built? What has been the incredible contribution of atheism througout history that has so changed civilization?

#249

Posted by: Owlmirror | July 29, 2007 8:06 PM

It is interesting to me to note the way the claims have been backed away from in this thread, going from the ridiculous assertion of the scientific factuality of the bible to trying to support the claim that Christianity has social utility. To be honest, I think the latter is a much less contentious claim, and certainly Christians (especially Christian evolutionary biologists) who acknowledge that reality is more important than dogma would still contend that Christianity has value. I am much less interested in arguing this point than refuting the obviously false claims of Creationists, but since I do have some points, I'll continue.


Dr. D. James Kennedy has made the observation that wherever the Bible has been held in esteem, there the society and its sciences have prospered.

This claim is very vague. What does "held in esteem" mean, any way? How carefully did he observe, given that it has been shown that religiosity and education do tend to have an inverse correlation, in that at least some places with high religiosity — such as the American South; the "Bible Belt" — has higher crime rates, greater poverty, and lower education than the more liberal and far less religious states?


There is a difference between "religious dogma" and a Biblical world view.

Oh? Can you describe this difference?


He also noted that wherever the Bible has been held in esteem, there has been the proliferation of colleges and universities and hospitals. In fact most hospitals and a vast majority of colleges and universities were the products of Christian faith.

Yes, many institutions were built by wealthy Christians. However, wealthy pagans, Muslims, Hindus, Confucians, and Buddhists also built great institutions. And at least some Christians, pagans, Muslims, Hindus, Confucians, and Buddhists tore down some existing institutions — and are still trying to do so.

When religiosity leads to both creation and destruction, the only logical explanation is that it's necessary to look deeper than religiosity for both creation and destruction.

What is the common element in the inspiration to create?

If we eliminate the name of the religion, we can focus on the specific emotions that inspire that creativity:

Centers of learning are created by those who favor learning; the process of curiosity, honesty, and sharing of knowledge.

Centers of healing and charity are created by those who feel compassion for other humans.

Since Christianity is neither necessary nor sufficient for the above, the absolute most that can be said is that some Christians use Christianity as a means to express compassion and/or love of learning.


What is the common element in the inspiration to destroy?

Well, it is often hatred — but all too often that hatred is political or religious hatred for those who are not in the same political or religious group.

And I therefore think it is equally fair to state that some Christians use Christianity as a means to express contempt, hatred and cruelty toward those who are not of their own group.


He wrote a book in detail on the very subject. All one needs to do is examine the history of the West and compare it to the history of the East, and trace the route of the Bible and its legitimate adherents.

"Legitimate" — and who decides "legitimacy", anyway? No schismatic or heretic has ever been illegitimate in their own eyes; it's always the one they're splitting from who is illegitimate.

More to the point, though, comparing the West to the East is fraught with complexity. Which aspects of history are important? It can just as easily be said that the West gained a momentary advantage, and exploited it ruthlessly in colonization, expansion of trade routes, and conquest. Once those victories were won, some individuals became very wealthy, and invested some of that wealth in the universities and hospitals mentioned above.

The difference between East and West, I note, is quite often a matter of attitude towards the past; towards tradition and heritage. The excessive reverence for the teachings of the past meant that societies were unwilling to examine those teachings; they were unwilling to innovate past a certain point, because their ancestors had not done so, or because religious innovation was (and is) forbidden, and therefore any innovation was forbidden.

And, tragically enough, that is exactly what Creationists want to do to the West now: turn away from certain truths that have been learned about nature and reality, and force onto all of society a restrictive, unreasonable, and completely undeserved reverence for the words of the Bible.


Please tell me how atheism has advanced society and the world? What hospitals, universities, and colleges have the atheists built? What has been the incredible contribution of atheism througout history that has so changed civilization?

These are wrong questions. It has been my contention throughout that it is not "Christianity" that is responsible for advancement and progress; it would not be my contention that "atheism" is responsible.

However, I would assert that we can assign a term to the positive creative concept of compassion towards other humans, and to the prescriptive belief that humanity can improve itself. That concept can be covered by the word "humanism".

I would also assert that we can assign a term to the positive creative concept of the love of learning; the positive belief that humanity can continue to learn by studying reality and sharing the knowledge with others. That concept can be covered by the term "freethinking".

Both humanism and freethinking try to identify the common concepts that have lead to the greatest progress and general welfare of all. Thus, it has been humanistic and freethinking ideals that have lead to all progress throughout time — regardless of whether belief in God was involved or not.

Since you asked.

#250

Posted by: Stanton | July 29, 2007 8:58 PM

Is this the same D. James Kennedy who made a tv show about how Darwin directly inspired Hitler to commit the Holocaust, nevermind that he didn't bother to explain why there is no evidence to suggest that Darwin was an antisemite, or why all of Hitler's antisemitic speeches read as though they were plagiarized from Martin Luther's "Of the Jews and Their Lies"?

#251

Posted by: Steve_C | July 29, 2007 9:21 PM

STOP FEEDING THE TROLLS.

They are ignorant godbots that won't except amy evidence we give them.

They don't care.

#252

Posted by: P-W | July 30, 2007 11:03 AM

I am aware that one of the DNA scientists has now advocated man's appearance as a result of "astronauts" from other galaxies, because his "macroevolutionary" faith for man's existence has been "shaken." P-W

This is false.

I know that it's false because I know who you're thinking of, and what he really said, because I read his actual paper. You don't even remember his name, and I am certain that you've never read any of his work.

He never questioned evolution.

Like all creationists, when you have no facts, you offer lies.

Posted by: Owlmirror | July 26, 2007 03:39 PM

My immediate source for this data was my memory. I came across the information quite a few years ago. Two separate pieces of data provided my information, and both were produced by Dr. D. James Kennedy. One was a printed "Creationist" newspaper tabloid he had produced, and I believe I heard Dr. Kennedy also repeat the information in one or more of his radio broadcasts. I was unable to locate my original source, but I just did a Google search and have confirmed my memory of information originally obtained from Dr. Kennedy.

The scientist was Francis Crick, of Watson/Crick fame (I thought he might be the person, but I didn't trust my memory and because I couldn't honestly remember which member of the team it was). The name of his theory, which I did not recall, was entitled "Directed Panspermia."

According to Wikipedia he evidently is no longer alive, and evidently recanted the "spaceman" theory before his death. He evidently had a revived belief in spontaneous generation according to Wikipedia. Spontaneous generation is more aptly described as "abiogenesis" by modern scientists, due to the fact that "spontaneous generation" is associated with former forms of the abiogenesis hypothesis which have been debunked.

Interestingly, the Bible confirms that abiogenesis is actually possible, and the Bible confirms Crick's restored belief in the possibility of abiogenesis as justified.

The Biblical account of human abiogenesis indicates it was directed by a Superior Intelligence, something naturalists (and especially materialists) are unable to confirm. The "primordial soup" form of abiogenesis appears to probably be disconfirmed, at least in the manner it is usually postulated by naturalists (Genesis 2:7, 3:19).

Interestingly, while the first human male appears to have been the product of intelligently directed (dusty) abiogenesis, the first female is only indirectly the result of that process, since she appears to have been genetically engineered from the abiogenesis material previously generated into a male (Genesis 2:21-23).

#253

Posted by: Steve_C | July 30, 2007 11:11 AM

Seeeeee?

This is exactly what I'm talking about.

#254

Posted by: P-W | July 30, 2007 11:24 AM

Is this the same D. James Kennedy who made a tv show about how Darwin directly inspired Hitler to commit the Holocaust, nevermind that he didn't bother to explain why there is no evidence to suggest that Darwin was an antisemite, or why all of Hitler's antisemitic speeches read as though they were plagiarized from Martin Luther's "Of the Jews and Their Lies"?

Posted by: Stanton | July 29, 2007 08:58 PM

I cannot confirm that Dr. Kennedy produced the type of program you are suggesting, but it is rather common knowledge that Hitler was a racist who, according to my limited knowledge, was attempting to preserve or produce an "Arian" race of blond men.

By the way, I understand Luther died within days of his anti-semitic comments. I assume it to be the judgment of God on one of His own.

#255

Posted by: Steve_C | July 30, 2007 11:36 AM

Yeah we know all about Hitler's master race plan. It was all based on german mythology and a total lack of understanding of genetics.

Nationalist fronts are an ugly thing. They often use religion and racial pride to justify their twisted agendas. Take a look at the Christian Militia movements sometime. Or the Army of God perhaps.

#256

Posted by: P-W | July 30, 2007 12:23 PM

And, tragically enough, that is exactly what Creationists want to do to the West now: turn away from certain truths that have been learned about nature and reality, and force onto all of society a restrictive, unreasonable, and completely undeserved reverence for the words of the Bible.

Posted by: Owlmirror | July 29, 2007 08:06 PM

No, that is not my wish, and I am certain that is not the wish of other Creationists. That attitude would fit the definition of "religious dogma," which you have previously raised. That would be asking people to adhere to "beliefs" they do not believe.

The fact is, as a high school student, I dabbled with atheism. Then I had an "epiphany," as some might call it (I would prefer the phrase "a God encounter"). After my "epiphany" I realized that "evolution" (as commonly understood) presented problems to my newly grasped Bible based faith.

To be more technical, "macroevolution" (which would be the theory of a fish becoming a man) was what challenged my faith. "Microevolution" is irrefutable genetics which is found in the "hybridization" process, and it in no way threatened my newly found Bible based faith.

It was "macroevolutionary" theory which challenged my faith. In a high school biology class the teacher assigned us papers to write. I used the opportunity to explore what I would now technically call the "macroevolutionary" hypothesis (which is commonly called "evolution"). My biology teacher may have been a theistic evolutionist, at least he proposed theistic evolution as a viable alternative to Creationism. But I found macroevolutionary theory to be at variance with my understanding of the Bible. And I honestly thought the macroevolutionary hypothesis might refute my Bible based faith. So I took the opportunity in writing my biology class paper to investigate the macroevolutionary hypothesis from evidence both for and against it.

I was amazed to discover the paucity of evidence supporting the macroevolutionary hypothesis. I couldn't believe how many holes there were in the theory. I would never have come across that knowledge if I had not begun a "critical" investigation of the assumed truth about macroevolution. I am someone who had assumed modern natural science knew what it was believing on the issue of evolution, but my critical investigation convinced me otherwise.

I have never met any "confirmed" macroevolutionary students of natural science, that I am aware of, other than my former biology teacher. It is intensely interesting to discover that very little substance has been offered thus far in my conversations, other than "blanket assertions." I do find some of the comments rather interesting and some extremely informative and enlightening (I am not a natural scientist, and some of your comments have been rather enlightening), but nothing that would convince me so far that the macroevolutionary hypothesis has added any new convincing evidence in its favor. In my opinion, much of what I have received this far from replies fit what I would call (to borrow your phrase) evolutionary "dogma." Most replies evidently indicate a sincere belief in macroevolution, but the evidence offered this far has been extremely unconvincing to someone who has become increasingly skeptical of the macroevolutionary hypothesis.

#257

Posted by: P-W | July 30, 2007 9:54 PM

"I have read an Australian scientist who argued that cladistics disproves the macroevolutionary hypothesis, yet you will find "quacks" who claim cladistics "proves" the macroevolutionary hypothesis. P-W

Who is this Australian scientist?

Posted by: bob | July 27, 2007 08:22 AM

Sorry to be so late in getting back to you. I have located my copy of Michael Denton's book, "Evolution: A Theory in Crisis." He is the Australian scientist I was referring to.

You will find plenty of reviews on the internet, pro and con. Creationists are usually pro Denton, and macroevolutionists are usually anti Denton.

The particular chapter I am referring to is Chapter 6, pages 119-140. You might also be interested in Chapter 12, "A Biochemical Echo of Typology."

P-W

#258

Posted by: Owlmirror | July 31, 2007 11:56 PM

I'm very disappointed. I thought you would be at least willing try to start thinking, and then you start citing the Bible as though it had anything to do with reality.

Yes, the current scientific speculation is that abiogenesis occurred — as a biochemical process. Abiogenesis hypotheses involve organic chemicals coming together in various configurations in various environments to form self-replicating chemicals, which then become RNA and DNA, which then form self-replicating cells, which then become multicellular life. It is absolutely a part of the argument that the process was very slow, taking billions of years before the first multicellular life occurred — but the hypotheses are based on the evidence in biology itself; in the FACT that all known organisms are either single cells or groups of cells of various sizes; in the FACT that DNA and RNA are organic chemicals found in all known terrestrial life which are responsible for reproduction; in the FACT that viruses, formed of DNA and RNA, exist independently of cells and use cellular chemicals to reproduce themselves; in the FACT that the basis of cellular and viral reproduction is a matter of biochemistry.

The Genesis story you cite "confirms" nothing. It is not based on fact; it is a story with nothing verifiable in it. There is no God that can be shown to have creative powers; there is no Adam who can be shown to be the first created man; there is no place called Eden that evidence of the story exists. It is just a story. Citing it in a scientific discussion is like citing the story of the Gingerbread Man. Fairy tales have no place in the hard sciences.

Sigh.


And as for Crick, well, you can read what he wrote here:

http://www.fasebj.org/cgi/reprint/7/1/238.pdf

He doesn't reject evolution; he doesn't reject abiogenesis as a chemical process that leads to life. It's just the idea that perhaps life originated by abiogenesis from basic chemicals, and from there by evolution, on another planet first. Then these evolved intelligences sent out packets of simple organisms that eventually made their way here, to become the ancestors of all cellular life. He suggests some ways that the idea can be tested, but does not suggest that it was in any way necessary to have happened.

I see problems with the idea, and I am sure that he did as well. It was simply speculation, and he never "recanted" it, but simply moved on to more useful research.


I may respond to some of your other comments, but I am getting bored now. You continue to cite creationists as sources of authority, when I have explained several times that they are liars, and demonstrated at least some of those lies. Providing reasoning to explain misconceptions is worthwhile; arguing against delusions and lies is nearly pointless.

#259

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 1, 2007 12:02 AM

Corrected URL: The above URL was a later paper by Crick and Orgel, on RNA as the basis for very early self-reproducing life. The paper by Crick and Orgel on Directed Panspermia is here. It is only 6 pages long.

    http://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/SC/B/C/C/P/_/scbccp.pdf

#260

Posted by: P-W | August 1, 2007 3:14 PM

"Perhaps to restate my argument a little more accurately, Darwin appeared to be concerned that his macroevolutionary theory could be 'falsified' by the amazing lack of transitional forms which have never been found (but which many assume exist and which Darwin postulated should exist in abundance in the fossil record)." P-W

And your argument is not only inaccurate, but completely false. Charles Darwin never said, nor implied, anything like what you write above.

Posted by: Owlmirror | July 26, 2007 04:54 PM

It took me awhile to verify my claim above, but due to your skepticism, I did make the attempt to locate Darwin's exact quotes on this subject. Since I previously had only quotations from a secondary source, I made the attempt to verify the quotations from Darwin's own book.

Here are three exact quotes taken from Darwin's own "Origin" book:

(1)
"Firstly, why, if species have descended from other species by insensibly fine gradations, do we not everywhere see innumerable transitional forms? Why is not all nature in confusion instead of the species being, as we see them, well defined?" (Darwin)

(2)
"But, as by this theory innumerable transitional forms must have existed, why do we not find them embedded in countless numbers in the crust of the earth?" (Darwin)

(3)
"But I do not pretend that I should ever have suspected how poor a record of the mutations of life, the best preserved geological section presented, had not the difficulty of our not discovering innumerable transitional links between the species which appeared at the commencement and close of each formation, pressed so hardly on my theory." (Darwin)

While, admittedly, Darwin attempts to rationalize away this "missing" data (the missing links) which undermine his theory of "gradual" (- my term) macroevolution, he does attempt in his volume to rationalize the missing data away in a reasonable manner. He honestly confronts the data which appears to undermine his thesis, and offers possible explanations which might explain the "missing data" which appears to falsify his theory of gradual macroevolution.

Modern macroevolutionists have obtusely admitted the "links" are still missing and have never been found. The fact is that Darwin's "GRADUAL" theory of macroevolution has indeed been falsified unanimously by the fossil record, even if only a segment of macroevolutionists (the "RAPID" macroevolutionists) are willing to admit it (rather surreptitiously). (The link to Penny's paper on fossils which you included in one of your comments admits the same "gradual" links are missing, although not in the words I have used).

"Punctuated equilibrium" has been astutely recognized by Denton as an "admission" by macroevolutionists that the "links" for Darwin's gradual theory of macroevolution are still missing and have never been found.

What we are left with are "non-linked" fossils which are "assumed" to be linked by macroevolutionists, some of whom have reincarnated the macroevolutionary theory in a form known now as "punctuated equilibrium." I believe it was Dr. D. James Kennedy who made the observation that "punctuated equilibrium" sounds "suspiciously" like the creation account of Genesis (minus a deity, I might add).

#261

Posted by: Roger | August 1, 2007 3:36 PM

Good grief P-W, are you perhaps suggesting that even Darwin had his doubts about his own theory because he could not find evidence of missing links?

Did you not hear PZ categorically say that there are no obstacles to this story and theory being a fact?

Have you not learned anything from these scientists?

P-w, no matter which way their "evidence" is shaved, cut, bent, twisted, presented, and theorised, I'm afraid you will have to accept it as fact, or you will be branded another creationist liar and moron....after all they are the scientists, you know.

Have you not learned anything at all?

#262

Posted by: Roger | August 1, 2007 3:47 PM

Oh, and another thing, please stop quoting from these creationist liars, like Darwin and the likes

#263

Posted by: Brownian | August 1, 2007 3:51 PM

So, what's your problem with Tiktaalik roseae?

That's not transitional between lobe-finned fishes and tetrapods? In fact, it is exactly the sort of fossil evolutionary theory would predict and Lo! and Behold: there it is.

#264

Posted by: Steve_C | August 1, 2007 3:55 PM

Wonder which creationist website they got the quote mining from... you know they haven't read "The Origin of Species".

They would possibly comprehend how completely idiotic they sound.

#265

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 1, 2007 4:37 PM

(The link to Penny's paper on fossils which you included in one of your comments admits the same "gradual" links are missing, although not in the words I have used).

Did you read the whole thing? If you couldn't read it, did you at least look at the pictures? At least the ones showing the sequence of "Eusthenopteron -> Pandeichthys -> Tiktaalik; Acanthostega"?

Is there something about the explanation of how each of these fossils are a chain of transitional forms between ancient fish and ancient amphibians that you just didn't understand?

No, we don't have all transitional fossils between each of those species. But we have these fossils, which do show clear transitions.

Even if we had no fossils at all; even if there were zero fossil bones or shells found of any organism whatsoever -- there is still all of the enormous genetic and biochemical evidence linking all living animals, which is positive evidence for the theory of evolution. And this body of evidence keeps growing, as more and more organisms have their complete genome sequenced.

#266

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 1, 2007 8:20 PM

I just realized something...

You've been insisting, over and over, that there is an absence of transitional fossils. This is false; there are sufficient transitional fossils to demonstrate more than a few biological lineages.


You've also been insisting, over and over, that this somehow "falsifies" evolution. This too is false, but you keep saying it. Darwin never said this; no evolutionary biologist has ever said it. So it must be something that you think is generally true.


Therefore, since you hold that it is generally true that absence of evidence falsifies theories, you must agree that the absence of evidence for God falsifies the God theory. Therefore, you agree that there is no God and that you are an atheist.

Since you are an atheist, you can, in good conscience, stop reading Creationist lies about evolution, and start reading what evolution really is — including all of the supporting evidence. Especially the real evidence of transitional fossils.

I second the recommendation made above — "Carl Zimmer's Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea, either the PBS TV series or the book".

#267

Posted by: P-W | August 3, 2007 10:05 AM

I just realized something...

You've been insisting, over and over, that there is an absence of transitional fossils. This is false; there are sufficient transitional fossils to demonstrate more than a few biological lineages.

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 1, 2007 08:20 PM

You are correct that there are no lack of transitional forms for the verification of "microevolution" (which is simple genetics and evidenced by the hybridization process). Those transitional forms which verify Darwin's MICRO-evolutionary theory are observable in everyday life (like the different races of man). I am not disputing genetics nor Darwin's MICRO-evolutionary hypothesis. I consider those issues to be irrefutably verified by a simple observation of everyday life.

It was Darwin himself who complained (in his own book) that the gradual transitional forms for his GRADUAL MACRO-evolutionary theory are missing from the fossil record. He made that observation as the quotations I supplied from Darwin's own book indicate (blog comment #260 above).

If I were to summarize the three quotes from Darwin's own book (as quoted in blog #260 above), I would say that Darwin was complaining in the following manner:

Just as we don't see gradual transitional forms in daily life to verify MACRO-evolution, but instead we see well-defined kinds of life without any gradual transitions between them (derived from Darwin quote #1 - from blog comment #260 above), in the same manner the fossil record mirrors what we see from daily life, a lack of gradual transitional forms linking the well-defined major kinds of life (derived from Darwin quotes #1, #2, and #3 from blog comment #260 above).

Darwin's whole "gripe" can be reduced to the simple observation that: the fossil record mirrors what we see in everyday life, a lack of gradual transitional life forms to confirm and verify his GRADUALLY realized MACRO-evolutionary hypothesis.


The whole issue is over whether macroevolution, if it ever occurs, takes place in a GRADUAL manner as Darwin hypothesized, or in a RAPID and sporadic manner. Darwin favored the GRADUAL form of macroevolution, but the RAPID and sporadic form is advocated by modern proponents of "punctuated equilibrium."

My whole claim is that the RAPID and sporadic form of macroevolution (punctuated equilibrium) is best favored by the fossil record, because the theory of "punctuated equilibrium" best explains the lack of "gradual transitional fossil links." Indeed, "punctuated equilibrium" doesn't need any "gradual transitional links" in the fossil record, and supposes that "gradual transitional links" do not even exist (in harmony with the fossil record). Darwin's "gradual" form of the macroevolutionary hypothesis requires a "gradual sequence of links" which are missing from the fossil record.

The only problem is this, since the "gradual transitional links" are missing for verification of Darwin's "gradual form of macroevolution," and since the rapid sporadic form of macroevolution (punctuated equilibrium) does not need any more evidence of transitional forms than what we supposedly observe in daily life, why believe macroevolution based on the "mute" (insignificant) fossil evidence?

#268

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 4, 2007 10:06 PM

I see that you've stopped using the word "falsifies", but you still don't quite get it:

The evidence for macroevolution is the same evidence that exists for microevolution.

Just as scientists can analyze the biology and genetics of all humans, from "Every Hottentot and every Eskimo" (to quote the great musician and mathematician Tom Lehrer), to Tierra del Fuegans and Australian Aborigines, we can infer from this evidence that all humans are indeed all one species, all different yet all similar, with the differences being caused by changes in what amounts to a few hundredths to a few tenths of a percent in the genome; the genetic code of all living things. Fine. That's microevolution, you say.

However, the same exact methods of biological and genetic analysis can be done on different species. One of the most famous and important, of course, is the genetic analysis done in comparing the human genome and the chimpanzee genome. The percentage of difference is greater than that between any two humans — but the percentage of difference is still relatively small; only a couple of percentage points. The vast bulk of the chimpanzee genome is similar to the human genome, just as chimpanzee anatomy is similar to human anatomy.

And just as we can infer that all humans are related, given the anatomical and genetic similarities, without having every single skeleton of every single generation from the common ancestors of all Eskimos and all Hottentots to the current populations of those groups, so too can we infer that humans and chimpanzees are related, given the anatomical and genetic similarities, without having every single fossil from the millions-of-years-ago common ancestors of all humans and all chimpanzees through all of the generations that each lineage took.

Which is the evidence for macroevolution right there.

Now, getting back to punctuated equilibrium:
What is your point? "Punctuated equilibrium" is still a theory of evolution; it is still consistent with the fact of common descent with modification. Darwin was the first to formulate and express the general concept, but he was not and is not the last word on how evolution works.

While we do have the evidence of common descent, we don't have all of the information on how speciation might occur. In some cases, gradual modification may be the sufficient explanation; in others, some sort of rapid genetic change in a particular population may be the answer. However, whatever the answers are, they will come from biological evidence; from a better understanding of how organisms interact with the environment and with each other, and from a better understanding of how genomes work.

Which is exactly what biologists who study evolution are doing anyway.


Creationists, of course, are far too busy lying about biologists to actually do any work in studying anything.

Since there is no evidence that anyone (other than human beings, that is, with often slipshod methods) has ever deliberately and intelligently made a change to any genome, the only reasonable inference is that genomes changed as a result of something natural to the environment in which its reproduction was occurring.

#269

Posted by: Steve_C | August 4, 2007 11:02 PM

Owl.

He's a dyed in the wool creationist. He believes god did it. He may even think the world is 10,000 years old.

He doesn't understand how speciation works. Doesn't want to. He's got his religous doubters who reaffirm his superstitious beliefs.

You will go back and forth like this forever, until he picks up a book and actually reads what the theory of evolution is and what it's mechanisms are.

That he says there's micro but not macro proves he doesn't get it.

#270

Posted by: Stanton | August 4, 2007 11:26 PM

Dinars to donuts says that the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are going to stop by my house for tea and cookies before PW picks up a book to learn about the theory of evolution and how speciation works.

#271

Posted by: Steve_C | August 4, 2007 11:31 PM

Yeah. People don't like to mess with their gaurded delusions.

Try popping by abovetopsecret.com... there's a whole world of wacky out there.

#272

Posted by: Steve_C | August 4, 2007 11:46 PM

Yeah. People don't like to mess with their gaurded delusions.

Try popping by abovetopsecretdotcom... there's a whole world of wacky out there.

#273

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 5, 2007 1:44 AM

There was an article a while back about a teacher in a public school who is trying to teach evolution. Unfortunately, the parents of the children got some bigshot Creationist, I think it was Ken Ham, to spread his standard mixture of blithering idiocy and lies to the kids. So the kids were often acting up, and combining typical adolescent rebellion and snottiness with spewing Ham's slams to the teacher, as he was trying to show them the evidence for evolution.

I don't think I could take that. I simply wouldn't have the patience to put up with that sort of crap. But I admire the teacher's fortitude, and his persistent hope that he might just get through to some of them if he was allowed to get through the curriculum and explain all of the evidence, and correct the misconceptions the kids were ignorantly echoing.

The students might not be able to learn, but I don't think that it's wrong to try and teach the facts.

Or to put it another way, it is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness.

#274

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 5, 2007 1:47 AM

Of course, if someone persists in blowing out the candle, or worse yet, dumping a bucket of cold water on it, well, I can see that that might well inspire some very creative cursing.

#275

Posted by: P-W | August 5, 2007 4:01 PM

Creationist-religion-pretend-science waves something like this around, says "See? Fossil boots in a few decades! Looks millions of years old!" -- and then hides everything, and refuses to allow anyone to examine it at all.

Open to visitors is not the same as open to scientific investigation. Will he allow his "evidence" to be examined by geologists, chemists and paleontologists? And if thorough scientific investigation shows that the boot is not fossilized as he claims, will he publish a retraction?

Posted by: Owlmirror | July 27, 2007 07:53 PM

I located my copy of Dr. Baugh's book which contains photos of the "Limestone Cowboy." I reexamined the evidence in light of your inference that Dr. Baugh has something to hide.

Dr. Baugh, at the end of the second page (p. 111) of the two pages containing the photos of the "Limestone Cowboy" in his book (copyright 1999), presents some interesting information which I had not remembered, but which stood out in light of the solicitation by the man at this following link (which you included in one of your blog comments), who indicates his solicitation to "examine" the fossilized evidence was rejected by Dr. Baugh:

http://paleo.cc/paluxy/boot.htm

The website you mentioned above (copyright 2006) makes the following claim:

"Unless more rigorous evidence is provided by Baugh or other 'limestone cowboy boot' advocates, their claims that the boot contains a fossilized leg must be regarded as dubious at best. It appears more likely that the boot contains unfossilized bones surrounded by whatever sediment filled and hardened in the boot void after the flesh decayed away--providing no evidence against evolution, nor even rapid fossilization." D R A F T (C) 2006, Glen J. Kuban

What is interesting to me is that the comment Dr. Baugh made (copyright 1999) at the end of page 111 was conveniently "excluded" by the author of the previous website who is soliciting an opportunity to "examine" the cowboy's leg in Dr. Baugh's museum.

The comment Dr. Baugh made in that 1999 book is prefaced by the fact that radiological x-rays were performed at a Texas hospital in 1997 (which Dr. Baugh names and dates more specifically in his book, along with the name of the technician who performed the x-ray scans at the identified hospital). What is more interesting is the evaluating comment Dr. Baugh makes at the end of page 111. Dr. Baugh makes the confession that rapid fossilization of some materials is well known by experts in the field of fossils and is "not" a scientific "issue."

So what then is the point of the solicitation to "examine" the cowboy leg by the skeptic? Obviously, if the skeptic is unaware that rapid fossilization occurs (which is exactly the assertion he questions on his web page in the quote above), that individual is obviously not an expert on fossils because he is unaware that fossil experts are aware that rapid fossilization takes place and is "not" a scientific "issue," and so the non-expert skeptic's "verification" would be worthless. If the skeptic were an expert on fossils, "rapid fossilization" would not be an issue with him, but that is his exact problem.

Obviously, since the skeptic should be aware by now that "rapid fossilization" of some materials is "not" a scientific "issue" among exerts in the field (at least since Dr. Baugh's book is dated as 1999 and contains that information, and the skeptic could refute or verify the issue of rapid fossilization from other sources), a possible logical conclusion is that the skeptic may have some concealed and ulterior motive for examining the evidence which he is refusing to reveal to Dr. Baugh, which in itself suggests that the skeptic possibly cannot be trusted. This explains to me why Dr. Baugh would responsibly refuse the non-expert skeptic's solicitation to "examine" the evidence.

Furthermore, Dr. Baugh's main interest about the "Limestone Cowboy" is not to "prove" rapid fossilization takes place (which is already well known by experts in the field). Dr. Baugh's real purpose with the "Limestone Cowboy" is to make a point with his outlandish relic:

that experts in the field of fossils are refusing to educate the general public about rapid fossilization (page 111).

And why? The inference is that macroevolutionists, by refusing to educate the public on rapid fossilization of some materials, are allowing the general public to be misled into the false assumption that "if something is a fossil, it must be "centuries, milleniums, or millions of years old."

#276

Posted by: Stanton | August 5, 2007 6:33 PM

All of "Dr" Baugh's alleged instant fossils, the "Cretaceous Hammer," the "Limestone Cowboy." are actually concretions, mineral deposits that form in mineral-rich water. If you or he actually knew anything about geology, you would know this.
And if you actually read about "Dr" Baugh, you would also know that he has refused to let scientists study his alleged fossils in laboratories.
Saying that one can "study" a specimen by strolling through an exhibit is false. In order to scientifically study a specimen, it must be taken to a scientific laboratory where tests can be run on it.

#277

Posted by: Steve_C | August 5, 2007 6:53 PM

Uhg.

Like I said before. PW will pull crap liek this out of his crationist... ummm...

Anyway.

There's no point. PW will only accept creaionist "science skeptics" before he even bothers to read about the evidence of evolution from real scientists.

#278

Posted by: Steve_C | August 5, 2007 6:55 PM

Wow. Sorry for all the typos, that's painful to read.

#279

Posted by: Stanton | August 5, 2007 7:51 PM

Furthermore, neither P-W nor "Dr" Baugh, nor any other creationist alive or dead today have never bothered to explain the logic of how an alleged "human finger," the severed foot in boot of an ex-cowboy, nor a hammer can somehow negate the fact that there are lots of observed, documented evidence of macroevolution, including the appearance of the Giant Evening primrose Oenothera gigas from the seed of Lamarck's Evening primrose, O. lamarckiana, the descent of the London Underground mosquito, Culex molestans from the European mosquito, C. pipiens within the last 100 years, or the appearance of the Honeysuckle Maggot Fly on the eastern North American coast, descended from hybrids of the Snowberry and Blueberry Maggot flies, within the last 250 years.
Well, that's not exactly true: creationists like P-W, and "Dr" Baugh figure that if they refuse to understand evolutionary biology, the evidence will miraculously cease to exist.

#280

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 6, 2007 3:14 AM

Excuse me, did I say a bucket of cold water up there? I meant to say, a bucket of horseshit.

#281

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 6, 2007 3:46 AM

The inference is that macroevolutionists, by refusing to educate the public on rapid fossilization of some materials, are allowing the general public to be misled into the false assumption that "if something is a fossil, it must be "centuries, milleniums, or millions of years old."

Yup, that's horseshit, all right. Horseshit from an abused zombie horse with bad diarrhea from eating something rotten.

Dude. The dating of fossils, like all other scientific methods, is ultimately based on the evidence of chemical processes and radioactive decay.

When a scientist assigns an age to a fossil, it isn't given a particular age because it's a fossil; it's given that age because, by the best geochemical and radiochemical evidence, it really is that old. And the scientist will publish that dating method along with all of the other information about the fossil.

"Rapid" "fossilization" is completely meaningless if it is immediately obvious to an educated and experienced geologist with half a brain that it is indeed rapid, and that the "fossil" is obviously only a few decades old.

Nobody is "refusing" to "educate" the "public" about "rapid fossilization". If the "public" wants to be "educated" about "rapid fossilization", the public can fucking well take a fucking geochemistry course.

Sorry about the cursing. A bucket of horseshit dumped on my little candle of science makes me curse a bit.

#282

Posted by: Stanton | August 6, 2007 11:24 AM

Like I said before, Owlmirror, the evidence does not exist for P-W because he refuses to understand it.
Probably for some goofy religious reasons.

#283

Posted by: Stanton | August 6, 2007 8:24 PM

Oh, and before I forget...
The idea that evolutionary biologists refuse to educate the public about how fossilization or macroevolution occurs is as shit-brained stupid as the idea that the Twin Towers were actually blown up by missiles launched by the US military, or the idea that the Nazis never actually killed any Jews or other undesirables in the concentration camps, or even the idea that Jews leaven matzo with the blood of unbaptized babies.
Only a supremely stupid, mentally castrated moron could say that "evolutionists" are "misleading" the public about how fossils.
...
Oh, and for your information, P-W, when a "fossil" is less than 1 million years old, but older than 500,000 years old, it's termed a "subfossil."

#284

Posted by: P-W | August 7, 2007 10:43 AM

So, what's your problem with Tiktaalik roseae?

Posted by: Brownian | August 1, 2007 03:51 PM

Perhaps you are aware that the claim is made that Tiktaalik roseae is 375 million years old?

There are problems with the fact that several accepted dating methods will not agree on the exact age of a fossil.

Assumptions are made about dating methods and the past which cannot be verified by scientists. Often details contrary to assumptions will undermine the macroevolutionist's paradigm in dating fossils. Assumptions will be undermined by details which suggest dates entirely different (often much younger) from those macroevolutionists have postulated for a fossil.

Consider, for example, that dinosaur bones which had not fossilized have been found. But can unfossilized bones exist for more than a few thousand years? The inference is that the time the last dinosaur lived on earth is much more recent than macroevolutionists claim!

(I am sure you will want evidence for the claim that unfossilized dinosaur bones were found. Consider the following source: "The Real Jurassic Park," "Earth," June 1997. You will discover that an inaccurate claim was made by many that blood was also found. The following website does an interesting examination of the "blood" claim:

http://www.reasons.org/resources/apologetics/dinosaur_blood.shtml )

Shades of Jurassic Park!

I will also refer you to the "Limestone Cowboy" controversy in the above blog comments which indicate fossil experts are aware of rapid fossilization.

#285

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 7, 2007 3:06 PM


Consider, for example, that dinosaur bones which had not fossilized have been found.

More horseshit.

See the list of creationist claims.

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CC/CC371.html

  Citing the above page:

The bone that Schweitzer and her colleagues studied was fossilized, but it was not altered by "permineralization or other diagenetic effects" (Schweitzer et al. 1997b). Permineralization is the filling of the bone's open parts with minerals; diagenetic effects include alterations like cracking. Schweitzer commented that the bone was "not completely fossilized" (Schweitzer and Staedter 1997, 35), but lack of permineralization does not mean unfossilized.


http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CC/CC371_1.html

  Citing the above page:

The age of fossils is not determined by how well they are preserved, because preservation depends far more on factors other than age. The age of this particular bone was determined from the age of the rocks it was found in, namely, the Hell Creek Formation. This formation has been reliably dated by several independent methods (Dalrymple 2000).

You, again:

Perhaps you are aware that the claim is made that Tiktaalik roseae is 375 million years old?

Yes, the Late Devonian was about 385-359 million years ago. What's your point? Is there some Creationist horseshit that suggests that the dating of the Late Devonian is incorrect?

I will also refer you to the "Limestone Cowboy" controversy in the above blog comments which indicate fossil experts are aware of rapid fossilization.

Demonstrated as horseshit already. There is no meaningful comparison between a bootfull of recently crystalized calcium compounds and a fossil found and dated in real, known geological strata.

#286

Posted by: Stanton | August 7, 2007 3:55 PM

Do you honestly think and believe in your heart of hearts that scientists would continue to use the current dating methods if they were as unreliable as you claim? No, they would not, and they would devise better, more reliable dating methods.
Furthermore, given as how you've given no citations by reputable scientists who doubt the validity of Tiktaalik, I'm going to say that you're lying out of your ass.
Especially since scientists do revise the age-ranges of fossil organisms when it is revealed that there has been errors in dating. Otherwise, scientists would be still saying that the brontotheres lived until the Early Oligocene, rather than saying now that the brontotheres died out at the very end of the Eocene.

And if you actually knew how to read a report, which you don't, you would realize that the dinosaur "blood" is nothing more than degraded protein.
But, this is to be expected from a shit-brained idiot who's taken a religious vow to never learn anything about science under pain of eternal hellfire.

#287

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 7, 2007 7:40 PM

I just don't know... P-W, you admitted up there that you weren't a scientist or a researcher. Are the scientific arguments being presented to rebut these ridiculous Creationist lies just so far above your head that you can't really understand them?

How about a simpler analogy?

Pretend, for a moment, that you have an heirloom, an antique desk that's been hand down in your family for five or six generations. You know that the desk is an antique because you've had it appraised by experts, who, in addition to looking at it closely all over and confirming that the style is that of a particularly well-known furniture maker of a few centuries ago, also tested tiny samples of the varnish and the wood to confirm that they too match the type of varnish and wood used by that furniture maker, and can be dated to the same approximate age. The antique desk was officially appraised by several experts as being very valuable.

But wait! Now someone comes along and shows you a catalog depicting a replica desk in the exact same style of your antique, and claims that the fact that this replica exists disproves that your heirloom is an antique. Indeed, this someone claims that your heirloom can't be much older than the oldest replica, and it certainly isn't worth more.

Granted that you don't know much about how antiques are analyzed and appraised — wouldn't you at least suspect that there was something very wrong with the argument itself?

And are you capable of realizing that claiming that all fossil dating is "suspect" because of some recently crystallized calcium compounds is the exact same sort of badly wrong argument?

#288

Posted by: Aquila | August 8, 2007 4:27 PM

Yes, the Late Devonian was about 385-359 million years ago.
Posted by: Owlmirror | August 7, 2007 03:06 PM

As a matter of interest, how was this determined?

#289

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 8, 2007 6:23 PM

Yes, the Late Devonian was about 385-359 million years ago.
As a matter of interest, how was this determined?

Generally speaking, from known radioactive half-lives, and from isotope ratios given specific elements and their radioactive decay products. In the case of strata this old, an element with a very long half-life, like certain isotopes of uranium (found in zircon crystals and other minerals). For more detail:

http://www2.nature.nps.gov/geology/usgsnps/gtime/ageofearth.html#date

and

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/dating.html


The paper on Tiktaalik in Nature cites several geographic surveys of the region that the fossil was found in; presumably they go into greater detail of how the determination was performed.

Embry, A. & Klovan, J. E. The Middle-Upper Devonian clastic wedge of the Franklinian Geosyncline. Bull. Can. Petrol. Geol. 24, 485—639 (1976) Chi, B. I. & Hills, L. V. Biostratigraphy and taxonomy of Devonian megaspores. Bull. Can. Petrol. Geol. 24, 640—813 (1976) Embry, A. F. in Geology of the Innuitian Orogen and Arctic Platform of Canada and Greenland (ed. Trettin, H. P.) 263—279 (Geological Survey of Canada, Calgary, 1991)
#290

Posted by: Steve_C | August 8, 2007 6:33 PM

They'll never read it.

#291

Posted by: P-W | August 9, 2007 6:27 PM

"But can unfossilized bones exist for more than a few thousand years?" P-W

See the list of creationist claims.

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CC/CC371.html

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 7, 2007 03:06 PM

Thank you for the link. I find its response rather unconvincing and inadequate on quite a large number of issues (like the partially unfossilized T-rex dinosaur bones), but the link is still an indispensible index for examining Creationist evidence! Thank you again!

Concerning the partially unfossilized T-rex bones, perhaps you are aware the claim is made by macroevolutionists that the last dinosaur lived 65 million years ago? (The website you provided above suggests well preserved and partially unfossilized T-rex dinosaur bones after 65 million years in order to rebutt the claim of recent dinosaurs?) Please! They should try selling me the Brooklyn Bridge instead!

I found your recommended website's review of the film "Footprints in Stone" rather interesting and unusually extensive (that film depicts fossil human footprints inside of actual dinosaur prints at the Paluxy River). I actually had the opportunity to view that very film. I can understand why the site you linked me to would give that film the kind of review it did: some of the macroevolutionary scientists who had examined the human footprints were actually filmed as they gave their examinations, and later their "rebuttals." A very phenomenal piece of filmaking from the standpoint of watching intelligent intellectuals rationalize away plainly obvious evidence!

I see the website you pointed out also has an uncertain rebuttal on the Ica Stones, which are Inca burial stones often depicting dinosaurs (about 1/3 out of the over 1,100 Dr. Baugh mentions depict various kinds of dinosaurs), often with humans interacting with those dinosaurs.

To indicate the inadequacy of your provided website's rebuttal on that issue, I will state that one of your previous blog comments suggesting the Ica Stones depicting a man astride a dinosaur might be a "misinterpretation" or a "fake" (the "fake" theory is reinforced and rebutted by various websites) caused me to hunt down and locate Dr. Baugh's 1999 book (in order to reexamine the evidence). I discovered I had forgotten information about those Ica Stones which the above website you pointed out never even mentions!

Dr. Baugh indicates that a chronicler of the Incas (which Dr. Baugh names) who wrote about 1570 spoke of the stones. It was noted that many of the stones the 1570 chronicler mentioned were taken back to Spain (in his time).

In addition, Dr. Baugh indicates some of the Ica Stones (Inca cemetary stones from Ica, Peru) depict amazing accomplishments, like brain surgery, which has been confirmed by skeletons with skulls having obvious scars from the successful procedure (Inca brain surgeons no less)! In addition, Dr. Baugh mentions the name and date of a newspaper article on the Ica Stones by a named, major Peruvian newspaper, which concerned a Spanish priest who in 1525 inquired about the stones with "strange" creatures on them. The dinosaurs? The term "dinosaur" was coined in 1841, according to Dr. Baugh.

One amazing note Dr. Baugh makes is that the pictures on some of the stones depicted some of the dinosaurs with dermal frills, before modern science had even confirmed that some dinosaurs do indeed have dermal frills (Dr. Baugh also provides the 1992 source which officially confirms those dermal frills exist on some dinosaurs)!

On another note, I found your following statement very succinct, precise, and perceptive. Your statement, in my opinion, gets to the central heart and core of the entire macroevolutionary/creationism issue.


"The evidence for macroevolution is the same evidence that exists for microevolution."

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 4, 2007 10:06 PM

This is probably the heart and central core of the entire issue. I have turned your succinct and perceptive statement into a question:

"Is evidence for microevolution the same evidence that exists for macroevolution?"

To the above question macroevolutionists will usually answer "yes," and Creationists will universally answer "no."

In your favor, you have Darwin, and probably the vast majority of macroevolutionists on your side. Darwin in his "Origin" book wrote of two theories:

1) his "special theory" (microevolution), and 2) his "general theorgy" (macroevolution).

Darwin extrapolated evidence for his microevolutionary theory (which has been scientifically verified), into his macroevolutionary theory (assumed to be verified).

From Darwin's two theories, he predicted the fossil record would have an "inconceivable" number of transitional forms, which he discovered was proven to be false. Yes, there are limited examples of microevolutionary "transitional forms," and numerous supposed examples of major life forms (without the gradual transitional chains to their hypothesized major links), but Darwin was shocked by the amazingly universal, and systematic (and now predictable) transitional gaps in the fossil record which his general theory predicted should exist between major life forms in "inconceivable" and gradual abundance.

Why do Creationists answer "no" to the question, "Is evidence for microevolution the same evidence that exists for macroevolution?"

While it is obviously correct that both theories are related, the fact is that the difference Creationists observe between the two theories is so vast, that equating the two as verified by the same evidence is impossible for them. The vast difference Creationists note is that the "special theory" (microevolution) deals with an EXISTING gene pool, but the "general theory" (macroevolution), postulates that NEW MATERIAL is BEING ADDED to that existing gene pool in order to generate new life forms.

Creationists are simply requiring evidence that the "mechanism" for macroevolution does indeed produce NEW GENETIC MATERIAL for the gene pool. So far, the evidence is abundantly manifest everywhere that genetic material is continually being LOST in the process of adaptation (i.e., vestigal organs and endangered species lists), but the evidence for a GAIN to the genetic pool is even refuted by the fruitfly experiment (blog comments #242, #243). After several hundred thousand generations of fruitflies over several decades of breeding, nothing greater than a fruitfly was ever produced (yet within the equivalent number of generations man was supposed to have evolved). Yes, the experiment provides abundant proof for microevolution (which is already proven), but evidence for a gain to the gene pool is still predictably missing.

#292

Posted by: Stanton | August 9, 2007 7:09 PM

A) Concerning the dinosaur proteins
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/dinosaur/blood.html
B) If the Ica Stones are real, then, P-W, can you or "Dr" Baugh explain why there have never been any remains of Tyrannosaurus, Triceratops or Stegosaurus ever found in Peru, or why there have been no other depictions of these dinosaurs on any other Peruvian artifacts, ever?
C) If you really knew how to read, rather than copy and paste nonsense, you would realize that the purpose of fruit fly experiments was not to create new insects, but to study the genomes of fruit flies.

#293

Posted by: Brownian | August 9, 2007 7:13 PM

Creationists note is that the "special theory" (microevolution) deals with an EXISTING gene pool, but the "general theory" (macroevolution), postulates that NEW MATERIAL is BEING ADDED to that existing gene pool in order to generate new life forms.

Such genetic additions occur all the time, usually through complete, partial, inverted, duplication transcription errors. There is absolutely no question that genetic material can increase as well as decrease. Google any combination of transposition, duplication, fusion, fission, and you'll find more scientific articles demonstrating the processes than sore knees at a Catholic mass.

#294

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 10, 2007 2:13 AM

When Baugh's name was first mentioned as a source, I didn't really dig into his background at all, because, hey, one Creationist is as much of a liar as another.

After reading the talkorigin's pages on his persistent pattern of deceptive practices, I realized that I had been wrong. Some Creationists lie more than others.

Baugh is so full of horsehit that even Answers in Genesis felt moved to repudiate him.


http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/paluxy/whatbau.html

All the creationist scientists that we have spoken to regard Mr. Baugh's teaching as a serious embarrassment.

And note that "Mr.". For Baugh to arrogate to himself the honorific of "Dr." is yet another example of horseshit, and is an insult to those who actually spend years of their lives working towards bachelors, masters, and doctorates in the hard sciences.

Baugh: Humbug!

#295

Posted by: P-W | August 11, 2007 11:52 AM

If the evidence gets too tough, "Kill the messenger."

Right? After all, isn't that what they did to Jesus?

Well, I realize Creationists have their disagreements, and Dr. Baugh is not the only person I have referred to. I also mentioned a link to Dr. Hugh Ross.

Maybe you want to call him a "liar" also?

Dr. Baugh is also the scientific research director for the world's first hyperbaric biosphere, which is a simulation of what he believes are the "original ecospheric conditions of Planet Earth." Yes, scientists do have changing opinions and theories, and Dr. Baugh is no exception (he formerly subscribed to the macroevolutionary hypothesis, but had a change of mind).

I cannot vouch for the link you pointed me to, but I find the claim by that individual rather irresponsible.

But if you are interested in credentials, I noticed I had come across a website entitled, "Dr. Baugh's Questionable Credentials." Interestingly, after I accessed it, it was blank. The page contents had been removed.

Hmmmmmmm. I wonder why?

Since you are such adept Google experts, I am amazed you were unable to locate anything out about Dr. Baugh except that questionable web page. Maybe you are not really interested in Dr. Baugh's credentials?

In case I am wrong, you will find Dr. Baugh's biography at the following link:
http://www.creationevidence.org/bio/bio.html

You will also find Dr. Baugh's Doctoral Dissertation online at this link:

http://www.drcarlbaugh.org/

But are you really even interested in his credentials? I think not.


#296

Posted by: P-W | August 11, 2007 12:08 PM

By the way, your http://www.talkorigins.org website is an indispensable index to Creationist Arguments, even if it is full of anti-creationist "dogma."

#297

Posted by: P-W | August 11, 2007 2:55 PM

even Answers in Genesis felt moved to repudiate him.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/paluxy/whatbau.html

All the creationist scientists that we have spoken to regard Mr. Baugh's teaching as a serious embarrassment.

Baugh: Humbug!

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 10, 2007 02:13 AM

In addition to Dr. Baugh's credentials, which I have furnished in blog comment #295 above, I have located on "Answers in Genesis" several actual articles about the Paluxy River, none of them repudiating Dr. Baugh nor the Paluxy River find.

Here is an actual article from "Answers in Genesis" which makes its comments about the Paluxy River. They do not repudiate the Paluxy River find, nor Dr. Baugh. You should read for yourself what is actually stated in its context.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/faq/dont_use.asp

Below you will find an article referencing the alleged Paluxy River "repudiation" by Creationists, but observe the exact statements by Ken Ham in the last phrase I quote from his article:

"by Ken Ham

"In 1986 a number of leading creationist researchers decided that the evidence of supposedly human and dinosaur footprints, found together at the Paluxy River in Texas, had serious problems. They decided that, pending further research to establish the correct interpretation of the prints, they could no longer be safely used as evidence supporting the fact (based on the biblical account of creation) that man and dinosaur lived at the same time."

"Regardless of what the correct interpretation really is, (Ken Ham)"

The above quotes were taken from the following link:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v25/i2/bullet.asp

Ken Ham does take the view that he does not agree with some of Dr. Baugh's "creation evidences" ( http://www.answersingenesis.org/Home/Area/faq/dont_use.asp ), but as a young earth creationist Ken Ham also disagrees with some of Dr. Hugh Ross's opinions about a more ancient earth! Just because Creationists disagree among themselves about which evidence they agree or disagree with, in no way impugns the legitimate credentials held by the party they may disagree with over particular "creation evidences!"


In addition, Answers in Genesis did an interview with an Associate of the Paluxy River excavation. But is it a repudiation of the Paluxy River find? You can read the exact words of one of the Associate excavators at Paluxy (Dr. Clifford Wilson) in his own words (about the Paluxy excavations) at "Answers in Genesis" in the interview conducted at the following link:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v25/i2/bullet.asp

He was actually filmed while excavating dinosaur footprints which he had assumed would not be found because of the geological location being excavated. But guess what happened? The above link devulges the information, along with the later "misinformation" which followed his investigation.

Ken Ham, while I respect him, has opinions not everyone will agree with (just as not everyone will agree with Dr. Baugh nor Dr. Hugh Ross). In a philosophical opinion on the best evidence for creation ( http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/wow/best-proof-of-creation ), Ken Ham lists the Paluxy River footprints as something he personally supposed was not well enough researched. Just because Ken Ham is not familiar enough with the Paluxy River evidence to formulate strong opinions, does not mean there is noone who has researched the evidence! He can have his opinions based on his own lack of research, but others who are more familiar with the evidence are entitled to their own opinions as well.

The closest thing I could find for a "repudiation" of Dr. Baugh on "Answers in Genesis," was a letter from a reader which "Answers in Genesis" reprinted, whom they introduced as a "self-styled 'Professional Biologist'."

It was the "self-styled 'Professional Biologist'" in his write-in letter to "Answers in Genesis" who called Dr. Baugh a man with "dubious credentials" (a compliment "Answers in Genesis" returned to Meiss when they introduced Meiss as a "self-styled 'Professional Biologist'").

A writer for "Answers in Genesis" gave a point by point reply to Meiss, and you will find they did not endorse that opinion of Dr. Baugh which was a slam by the "self-styled 'Professional Biologist'." The actual letter can be found at this link:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/Home/Area/feedback/negative_26August2002.asp

Dr. Baugh's legitimate credentials are not in question, even though someone with different views may be misguided enough to insult those credentials out of exasperation (because they do not agree with him).

The website you pointed out ( http://www.talkorigins.org ) does a great job of indexing Creationist views, but it's included anti-Creationist "dogma" also does a superior job of generating "misinformation."

#298

Posted by: P-W | August 11, 2007 3:31 PM

B) If the Ica Stones are real, then, P-W, can you or "Dr" Baugh explain why there have never been any remains of Tyrannosaurus, Triceratops or Stegosaurus ever found in Peru, or why there have been no other depictions of these dinosaurs on any other Peruvian artifacts, ever?

Posted by: Stanton | August 9, 2007 07:09 PM

I was unaware such intensive and thorough excavations had already been thoroughly conducted and conclusively completed. Would you please provide me a list of the excavators?

#299

Posted by: Silvermute | August 11, 2007 3:40 PM

P-W, would you mind just fucking off now, there's a good chap. No one cares what you think, if that's the right verb to describe what's going on in your head.

#300

Posted by: P-W | August 11, 2007 3:44 PM

So, what's your problem with Tiktaalik roseae?

Posted by: Brownian | August 1, 2007 03:51 PM

While researching "Answers in Genesis" in reply to Owlmirror, I came across this interesting piece on Tiktaalik roseae:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v2/n2/tiktaalik-fishy-fish

#301

Posted by: Roger | August 12, 2007 5:07 PM

P.W, I am interested in what you have to say....it all makes a lot of sense to me.

Please do not be put off by Silvermite's and Stuntin's responses...their longshot/bigchance theory is just a rediculous deception.

Kent Hovind will be proud of you for exposing their lies.

Keep up your good work shown here

Roger

#302

Posted by: Carlie | August 12, 2007 8:04 PM

"Interesting" isn't quite the word for it. "Incorrect" and "irrelevant" fit better.

#303

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 12, 2007 8:24 PM

If the evidence gets too tough, "Kill the messenger."

Who said anything about killing?

If the messenger is full of horseshit, tell everyone that the messenger is full of horseshit, and ignore the message.

Or are you saying that the penalty for fraud and false testimony should be death? I can't agree with your bloodthirstiness, although I don't think illegal fraud should go unpunished, either. I certainly think it's worthy of at least a hefty fine, and maybe a jail term. Wow, just like Kent Hovind!

Maybe you are not really interested in Dr. Baugh's credentials?
In case I am wrong, you will find Dr. Baugh's biography at the following link:
http://www.creationevidence.org/bio/bio.html

Actually, I suddenly became fascinated by Mr. Baugh's credentials, or rather, lack thereof.

I see that he has some alleged degrees in theology. Whoop-dee-doo. Since theology is essentially the study of a work of fiction, it's not that hard to get a degree, as long as you make sure that your lies aren't too different from the lies of every other theologian in your particular sect. This is called "dogma".

And since theology has nothing to do with actual cosmology, biology, geology, paleontology, or any other hard science, even if those degrees in theology are valid, they would prove nothing about Baugh's knowledge in those fields.

How about those other degrees, from the Pacific College of Graduate Studies? Wait. What the hell is the "Pacific College of Graduate Studies"?

Oh, look:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/paluxy/degrees.html

Pacific College Incorporated (a.k.a Pacific College of Graduate Studies and Pacific International University)[26], from which Baugh claims a master's degree in archaeology, traces to a small, private, religious school in Australia, whose president is Clifford Wilson.[27] Ian Plimer, a member of the Australian Research Council and professor of geology at Newcastle University, reported that PCI is not accredited or authorized to grant degrees. Plimer stated, "Any degrees from this 'College' are illegal in Australia and are clearly being used fraudulently in the U.S.A.[28]
(emphasis mine)


Baugh: Humbug!

#304

Posted by: Kseniya | August 12, 2007 9:15 PM

Wow, a thread from April still lives! But when we see comments citing AIG as an authoritative source on Tiktaalik rosae, shouldn't we just put it out of its misery?

Just sayin'.

#305

Posted by: Stanton | August 12, 2007 9:38 PM

Please do not be put off by Silvermite's and Stuntin's responses...their longshot/bigchance theory is just a rediculous deception.

Kent Hovind will be proud of you for exposing their lies.

Keep up your good work shown here

Roger


Roger, you're a pompous moron who's too arrogant to know what he's talking about. In fact, you've never read the Bible, before, let alone a biology textbook, otherwise, you would realize that when Our Lord, Jesus Christ, said "turn the other cheek," he did not mean to moon people. You might as well take a crap in Our Savior's mouth, as you haven't paid attention to a single word that came out of it, otherwise, you would know that intentionally misspelling my name in order to agitate me is, by Jesus' definitions, blasphemy. Unless, of course, you actually did read the Bible, and happen to know which book and verse that talked about Jesus Christ telling his disciples that it's okay to make fun of their enemies.
Also, if you want to be like Kent Hovind, be my guest. If you want to come to this country and use up its resources, be protected by it, and spend money here while using your faith in God as an aegis for your money, fine: the US' prisons may be overcrowded, there's still room in it for religious morons who think that Faith means not needing to pay taxes to help maintain the country.
I was unaware such intensive and thorough excavations had already been thoroughly conducted and conclusively completed. Would you please provide me a list of the excavators?

P-W, there have been no tyrannosaur, stegosaur, or ceratopian dinosaurs ever found in South America. If you actually knew how to read books, you would have known this. If you can not answer my question, I will presume that you are lying through your teeth. Furthermore, the art of no other alleged culture in South America depicts "dinosaurs" like the Ica Stones.
Also, rather than dodge my question, can you tell me the exact location of the cave where the Ica Stones were allegedly originally excavated?

#306

Posted by: Roger | August 13, 2007 1:46 AM

Stantun, there are two definitions of blasphemy in the Bible
- Man claiming to be God
- Man claiming to have the power to forgive sins

Fortunately you are not God, therefore misspelling your name does not fit the definition of blasphemy.

But then we have grown accustomed to "scientists" bending definitions to fit a theory.

Hmmmmm

#307

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 13, 2007 2:15 AM

Ah, the Ica Stones.

I hadn't meant to get caught up in that particular morass, but I really just want to point out a few things:

1) Even if the stones are real depictions of dinosaurs, carved hundreds or thousands of years ago, that wouldn't have anything to do with disproving evolution. The extinction of the large dinosaurs is a paleontological theory, not an evolutionary one. For giant dinosaurs to live into the age of modern humans would be quite fascinating, but not a disproof of evolution -- and it's an example of the stupidity and deceit of creationists to suggest otherwise.

2) Speaking of stupidity and deceit, some of the interpretations of the more crudely carved images on the stones is laughable. There's that one that is said to depict the Earth's continents 13,000,000 years ago. Ridiculous! The image on the stone is of some elongated blobs, with blank spaces and lines drawn between them. There's no telling if the thing is supposed to represent lands at all, let alone giant land masses. And the supposed "Cesarean" operation! It is no trick at all to cut a pregnant woman open and extract the fetus. People forget that in ancient times, that exact thing was done when a pregnant woman died, so as to save the baby (which is why it was almost certainly not the way that Julius Caesar was born, since his mother survived the birth). The trick is in keeping a pregnant woman alive while doing so, and in sewing her back up so that she remains alive afterwards...

3) However, again pretending for a moment that some (I doubt all) of the stones depicting dinosaurs were carved hundreds or thousands of years ago... There's a far simpler explanation that doesn't contradict either evolutionary theory or paleontological theory: Like artists today who depict living dinosaurs, the ancient stone-carvers were inspired, not by living dinosaurs, but by fossils, and the stones are not evidence that man and dinosaur lived in the same area at the same time, but rather that somewhere in Peru was (is?) a beautifully preserved collection of dinosaur fossils.

Of course, the most likely explanation is that the dinosaur depictions are modern carvings. Even if some or all of the rest of the rocks are ancient, that would not prove the dinosaur ones were of that age. Particularly the one with the triceratops and stegosaurus; that one looks almost too pat.

I note that the dating method is not described very well, nor is there any sense of how accurate it is.

#308

Posted by: P-W | August 13, 2007 11:17 AM

B) If the Ica Stones are real, then, P-W, can you or "Dr" Baugh explain why there have never been any remains of Tyrannosaurus, Triceratops or Stegosaurus ever found in Peru, or why there have been no other depictions of these dinosaurs on any other Peruvian artifacts, ever?

Posted by: Stanton | August 9, 2007 07:09 PM

I was unaware such intensive and thorough excavations had already been thoroughly conducted and conclusively completed. Would you please provide me a list of the excavators?

Posted by: P-W | August 11, 2007 03:31 PM

CORRECTION:

I am sorry. I failed to examine closely the pictures Dr. Baugh included on pages 106-107 of his 1999 book. His comments indicate the photos are of ancient Peruvian textiles and ancient pottery from tombs in Peru. Both the textiles and the pottery contain pictures of dinosaurs, and by the way, they are not Ica Stones.

#309

Posted by: P-W | August 13, 2007 11:52 AM

1) Even if the stones are real depictions of dinosaurs, carved hundreds or thousands of years ago, that wouldn't have anything to do with disproving evolution. The extinction of the large dinosaurs is a paleontological theory, not an evolutionary one. For giant dinosaurs to live into the age of modern humans would be quite fascinating, but not a disproof of evolution -- and it's an example of the stupidity and deceit of creationists to suggest otherwise.

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 13, 2007 02:15 AM

I agree with your candor here, except it appears to me that the macroevolutionist's paradigm becomes rather "cramped," and it is, after all, the other macroevolutionists who have been putting up the big fuss with their claim that the last dinosaur lived 65 million years ago! All one needs to do is refer to the excellent index you pointed out at http://www.talkorigins.org to discover the tremendous effort that has been put into refuting Creationist's evidences which infer recent dinosaurs, like the Paluxy footprints.

#310

Posted by: Steve_C | August 13, 2007 12:25 PM

Oh for fuck's sake.

Creationists don't have a scientific argument.

They have deluded beliefs which they must protect by distorting science and making shit up.

P-W. Give up. You will never ever win.

#311

Posted by: Brownian | August 13, 2007 12:35 PM

it is, after all, the other macroevolutionists who have been putting up the big fuss with their claim that the last dinosaur lived 65 million years ago

No, that claim is made by paleontologists and geologists.

You see, it is not simply evolutionists who feel their work invalidates creationism.

It's all of science.

#312

Posted by: Josh | August 13, 2007 2:50 PM

Actually, I don't think 'tremendous effort' has been put into refuting the claims of Paluxy human footprints at all. They were rather easy to refute. The only reason there was any controversy at all is that the structures don't record the anatomy of any animal, so if they were footprints, they were very poor quality footprints. We have good quality human footprints...and these aren't them. This of course has allowed for all sorts of interpretations of the structures. This happens a lot in paleontology with tracks. A footprint is the trace of an act; it is an impression in sediment. An animal might have created the footprint but what we're left to study is the impression. Footprints are highly variable objects and often times they're terrible in quality. Even for good ones it is a miserable process to try and figure out what animal made a track. Laboratory experiments that have the same animal walk in the essentially the same way across different substrates can produce very different footprints that in the fossil record would look like different animals. As such, the parataxonomy of Linnaean binomials on tracks has always been complicated and problematic--most paleontologists are highly critical *whenever* someone says such and such a track was made by genus X (as opposed to say just 'large predatory dinosaur'). Why are we going to be *less* critical of an *amazing* claim like "this footprint was made by a human!" when it comes from rock where no human fossils have ever been found from an age where we don't expect them than we are of a *rudimentary* claim like "this footprint was made by a tyrannosaurid" when it comes from a place where tyrannosaurid fossils are common? Even so, the people who insist of trying to slap genus names on footprints are smart enough to go and try and find the most well preserved footprints they can...you know...ones which actually preserve some anatomical detail. Instead of spending energy vigorously asserting that the Paluxy 'tracks' are human...why the hell aren't people out hunting for better preserved putative human tracks alongside dinosaur footprints? There are literally millions of fair to excellent quality dinosaur footprints in the world that have already been found. If humans and dinosaurs coexisted, then there should be...somewhere...dinosaur footprints preserved with tracks that looked enough like human footprints that we couldn't disprove the hypothesis. It hasn't happened...in almost 200 years of scientifically studying dinosaur tracks. Millions of tracks from thousands of localities...no good candidates for human footprints. Where are they? Does this absence of evidence *prove* dinosaurs and humans didn't coexist? Of course not...Tyrannosaurus existed before we found evidence of it. But sorry...Paluxy doesn't prove that they did, either. Rather, the footprint evidence argues rather strongly that they did not.

#313

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 13, 2007 6:02 PM

except it appears to me that the macroevolutionist's paradigm becomes rather "cramped,"

The scientific paradigm is always limited by the evidence. What's your excuse?


All one needs to do is refer to the excellent index you pointed out at http://www.talkorigins.org to discover the tremendous effort that has been put into refuting Creationist's evidences which infer recent dinosaurs, like the Paluxy footprints.

First of all, evidence does not "infer". Inferring is a mental activity performed by intelligent humans. Evidence would imply. It's bad enough that your logic is broken; can you please attempt to use the English language correctly?


Second of all, Creationists have no evidence. Talkorigins refutes Creationist delusions and lies. Like the Paluxy footprints, for which all of the evidence, as examined by actual paleontologists and geologists with real credentials, is that they were all formed by dinosaurs, in their entirety.

Only frauds and deluded fools are saying anything otherwise.

#314

Posted by: Aquila | August 13, 2007 6:14 PM

P-W has done a rather sterling job in pointing out to you Darwinian acolytes that the evolutionists' thinking is very creative in their efforts to dismiss the Creator. Is creative writing a pre-requisite? Evolutionists seem to be very certain about events in the "distant" past to which there were no human eye-witnesses, happily interpreting the fossil record according to their preconceived belief and then stating it as fact. This is akin to fortune-telling, astrology etc. in reverse i.e. pseudo-science.

The Bible on the other hand declares the works of the Creator and contains predictions (prophecies) e.g. rise and fall of kingdoms (Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome) well before the events occurred, which have been confirmed archaeologically. Moreover, there are some 300 prophecies in the Old Testament specific to Jesus Christ, including the timing of his first advent. And one of Christ's many epithets is Author of Life...

#315

Posted by: Steve_C | August 13, 2007 6:34 PM

Blah blah blah.

Go suck a wafer.

#316

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 13, 2007 6:51 PM

Aquila, your comment was broken. I fixed it for you:


Evolutionists seem to be very certain about events in the distant past to which there were no human eye-witnesses, happily interpreting the fossil record according to the existing evidence of geological processes, geochemical reactions, and radioactive decay.

This is science.


The Bible on the other hand declares the works of the Creator (which are either contradicted by the evidence, or for which there is no evidence), and contains records of alleged predictions (prophecies) e.g. rise and fall of kingdoms (Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome) well before the events occurred, few of which have been confirmed archaeologically. Moreover, there are no prophecies in the Old Testament specific to Jesus Christ, including the timing of his first advent, only stories made up creatively after the fact.

#317

Posted by: P-W | August 13, 2007 10:32 PM

The issue of origins ultimately deals with alternatives: is chance the "designer," or is some intelligence the Designer?

Darwin suggests "chance" is the designer of man's brain, but the Bible indicates Intelligence is the Designer of man and his brain.

Has random chance ever been observed or has random chance been seen repeatedly in the act of creating the most basic organism?

Has an Intelligence been observed creating or has an Intelligence been seen repeatedly in the act of creating the most basic organism?

Individuals often make a decision between "random chance" as the designer (as Darwin suggested), or for an Intelligence as the Designer (as the Bible suggests).

The "laws of logic" intimate the Great Logician, the Ultimate Engineer, is The Grand Designer. But some discard the "laws of logic" for a variety of reasons and instead favor the "chaos theory of design" (random chance as the "creator").

Nature, the Bible indicates, "preaches" the existence of a Creator, and according to the Bible, noone is excused from nature's "sermon."

The Bible indicates some do not wish to retain knowledge of the Creator revealed through nature, but instead reject that knowledge of the Creator which everyone perceives via the material world.

Not only does everyone perceive the existence of the Creator through the material world so that noone is excused from that knowledge, the Bible also indicates that the Creator has communicated with mankind through men, through prophets, and ultimately through the love of the Ultimate Prophet, the Messiah of Israel.

Statistical evidence exists for the validity of the Bible through over 300 predicted Messianic prophecies which were made in the First Covenant Bible of Israel (the Old Testament), and recorded as fulfilled in the Second Covenant Bible of Israel (the New Testament).

A miniature sampling of some of the 300 predicted and fulfilled Bible prophecies of the Messiah (which provide further verification that Israel's Lord is the Creator of the world) are available at the following link:

http://www.geocities.com/webtangletown/resume.html

#318

Posted by: Steve_C | August 13, 2007 11:09 PM

Sod off ya twit.

I gotta prophecy for ya.

We all turn to dust.

#319

Posted by: Stanton | August 13, 2007 11:18 PM

Thank you for proving that Creationists have absolutely no interest in science, and that they utterly lack any respect for those humans interested in entertaining rational thought.

#320

Posted by: Roger | August 14, 2007 12:37 AM

Good prophecy you quoted there Steve_C, it is straight from the Bible, so you can count on it.

#321

Posted by: Stanton | August 14, 2007 1:02 AM

And tell me exactly what do Biblical prophecies have to do with Biology, Geology and Paleontology?

#322

Posted by: Aquila | August 14, 2007 3:17 AM

Well, Stanton, let's see: "Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein" (Isa 42:5). Then, "Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them." (Isa 42:9).

#323

Posted by: Josh | August 14, 2007 9:00 AM

Owlmirror wrote: *Like the Paluxy footprints, for which all of the evidence, as examined by actual paleontologists and geologists with real credentials, is that they were all formed by dinosaurs, in their entirety.*

Well...mostly, except that not every impression in question is a footprint at all, of anything. I know this might be considered splitting hairs, but it illustrates *just how little* geology anyone who believes in Glen Rose human tracks knows.

#324

Posted by: Steve_C | August 14, 2007 10:02 AM

Oh yeah... no one knew that you decomposed and turned into dirt before the bible was conjured up.

That's hysterical.

Next you'll be telling me that the bible foretold that you needed eyes to see and a mouth to talk.

Nitwit.

#325

Posted by: Josh | August 14, 2007 10:53 AM

P-W wrote: *Darwin suggests "chance" is the designer of man's brain...*

Where exactly did Darwin suggest that? You know, part of the reason this foolish 'debate' continues is that a ridiculously small percentage of those on the side of creationism appear to have actually read Darwin or, more importantly, noticed that science hasn't been sitting around watching the daisies grow since 1859 and has actually (What? shock!) moved a bit beyond Darwin. For people who so often use the word 'truth' in their arguments, many of you seem to have little need or desire to verify the truth of *your own* statements. Instead you vigorously assert incorrect statements like the one above and then you're surprised when scientists don't immediately take you seriously. You have zero problem telling people to go read the Bible to get educated about creationism but for some reason don't see that a little education on your end might also be beneficial. It is difficult to effectively discuss imagery in the 'Lord of the Rings' with someone who has never opened Tolkein. Moreover, if you're trying to pursued folks that your side of an argument is right, can't you not see that misrepresenting the side you're arguing against hurts you...badly? Why should we take any position you make against evolution seriously when your writing strongly suggests you haven't even taken the time to figure out what the theory actually says?

#326

Posted by: Stanton | August 14, 2007 10:56 AM

Well, Stanton, let's see: "Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein" (Isa 42:5). Then, "Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them." (Isa 42:9).
So, then, Aquila, how does this explain why fossils of placoderms and trilobites are segregated from fossils of plesiosaurs, which are, in turn, segregated from fossils of whales?
#327

Posted by: Stanton | August 14, 2007 11:02 AM

Why should we take any position you make against evolution seriously when your writing strongly suggests you haven't even taken the time to figure out what the theory actually says?
Because they said that God said so, Josh.
#328

Posted by: Josh | August 14, 2007 11:20 AM

*Because they said that God said so, Josh.*

Well, then their argument is easy. They can simply assert that the Bible is literal truth, period. They don't need to say anything at all about Darwin...indeed, given *that* position, they should have even *less* of a need to misrepresent what he actually said.

#329

Posted by: Rey Fox | August 14, 2007 11:22 AM

Steve C:

"If thou haveth not the eyes to see nor the mouth to speak, thou wouldst be forever bumping into things and lacking the means even to communicate thine anguish. The Lord sayeth so."

-2 Obviousans 23:3

"A great messiah will be born unto the people, yea fulfilled this prophecy shall be in the next book. Also, some empires will rise and fall some time in the next indeterminate time period."

-Stickneckoutus 4:29

Josh: Their arguments all come from the slavish worship of charismatic authority figures and the canonization of moldy old texts that derive their sacredness from being moldy and old, and so they assume that we think the same way.

#330

Posted by: Steve_C | August 14, 2007 11:27 AM

A bear shiteth in thine woods.

-3 Duhnoshittius 14:7

#331

Posted by: Josh | August 14, 2007 11:33 AM

Rey wrote: *...and so they assume that we think the same way.*

Sigh...I know. And I should let them continue to argue in circles, but...it's so hard.

#332

Posted by: Kseniya | August 14, 2007 12:17 PM

Josh:

For people who so often use the word 'truth' in their arguments, many of you seem to have little need or desire to verify the truth of *your own* statements. Instead you vigorously assert incorrect statements like the one above and then you're surprised when scientists don't immediately take you seriously.

Bingo!

While we're on the subject of Truth, I'd like to clear something up:
________________________________________

In the beginning there was an empty darkness. The only thing in this void was Nyx, a bird with black wings. With the wind she laid a golden egg and for ages she sat upon this egg. Finally life began to stir in the egg and out of it rose Eros, the god of love. One half of the shell rose into the air and became the sky and the other became the Earth. Eros named the sky Uranus and the Earth he named Gaia. Then Eros made them fall in love.

Uranus and Gaia had many children together and eventually they had grandchildren. Some of their children become afraid of the power of their children. Kronus, in an effort to protect himself, swallowed his children when they were still infants. However, his wife Rhea hid their youngest child. She gave him a rock wrapped in swaddling clothes, which he swallowed, thinking it was his son.

Once the child, Zeus, had reached manhood his mother instructed him on how to trick his father to give up his brothers and sisters. Once this was accomplished the children fought a mighty war against their father. After much fighting the younger generation won. With Zeus as their leader, they began to furnish Gaia with life and Uranus with stars.

Soon the Earth lacked only two things: man and animals. Zeus summoned his sons Prometheus (fore-thought) and Epimetheus (after-thought). He told them to go to Earth and create men and animals and give them each a gift.

Prometheus set to work forming men in the image of the gods and Epimetheus worked on the animals. As Epimetheus worked he gave each animal he created one of the gifts. After Epimetheus had completed his work Prometheus finally finished making men. However when he went to see what gift to give man Epimetheus shamefacedly informed him that he had foolishly used all the gifts.

Distressed, Prometheus decided he had to give man fire, even though gods were the only ones meant to have access to it. As the sun god rode out into the world the next morning Prometheus took some of the fire and brought it back to man. He taught his creation how to take care of it and then left them.

[etc.]

#333

Posted by: Josh | August 14, 2007 1:22 PM

I have actually wondered for a while when Zeus was going to get pissed off enough that so many people have stopped worshiping him that he started getting up in people's shit.

#334

Posted by: Stanton | August 14, 2007 1:30 PM

Speaking of Eros, did you know that, in "History of the World, Part 1," Mel Brooks personally choreographed Caledonia's Erratic Tempo Dance in praise of Eros?

#335

Posted by: Josh | August 14, 2007 1:37 PM

Shit no...I didn't know that...

#336

Posted by: Kseniya | August 14, 2007 1:42 PM

So... We have Mel Brooks to thank for our continued existence? Awesome!

#337

Posted by: Stanton | August 14, 2007 2:15 PM

Well, as they say...
"The jig is up!"
"And gone!"

#338

Posted by: Aquila | August 14, 2007 5:52 PM

Owlmirror & Stanton: The rise and fall of kingdoms (empires) were predicted in the book of Daniel during the time of the Babylonian empire. The succession of empires (Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome) stretches from 626 BC to 476 AD following which pagan Rome turned into Papal Rome. The book of Daniel was authored by Daniel, a Judean exile in Babylon (from 605 BC). He recorded details showing that he was on the scene of action as an eyewitness. Daniel also prophesied a 490-year probationary period for the Jews, which included the crucifixion of the Messiah halfway through the last seven years of said probationary period. The point is that God revealed this and more to Daniel in dreams and visions i.e. God revealed the future as no mere mortal ever could. Capiche?

Now, back in your domain: An animal keels over and dies. How long would it take for it to be completely buried within a stratum? Assume a Stegosaurus.

#339

Posted by: thalarctos | August 14, 2007 5:56 PM

Assume a Stegosaurus.

I've been buried in writing documents for days now, and I have to say, this is the coolest sentence I've seen in some time.

#340

Posted by: PZ Myers | August 14, 2007 6:08 PM

Somebody has been reading that fraud, Josh McDowell.

The Book of Daniel was written after the events it "prophesies", and even at that the "prophecies"were mistaken and full of errors. Your evidence is crap.

As for a stegosaurus, most well-preserved fossils would have been buried within days or weeks. Replacement of the organic tissue with minerals would have occurred over tens of thousands of years, and could have been ongoing for millions.

#341

Posted by: Steve_C | August 14, 2007 6:11 PM

Are you truly interested in the science or just looking for more opportunities to spread your superstitions?

You can't even prove that Jesus existed. How can you show a prophecy was fulfilled? Such silliness.

Try wikipedia and look up fossils or fossilization.

#342

Posted by: Stanton | August 14, 2007 6:16 PM

I repeat, Aquila: What exactly do Biblical prophesies have to do with Biology, Geology and or Paleontology, and how does the Bible explain why fossils of placoderms and trilobites are segregated from fossils of plesiosaurs, which are, in turn, segregated from fossils of whales?
You don't appear to have answered either question at all.

#343

Posted by: Stanton | August 14, 2007 6:23 PM

Steve, to answer your question,

Are you truly interested in the science or just looking for more opportunities to spread your superstitions?

And I quote from the book of Welduh 8:32

And lo, there will be holy idiots in the future who claim to know everything, and yet, be unable to answer a single question. And they get angry and puzzled when others disagree with their answer of "GODDIDIT""

#344

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 14, 2007 8:38 PM

Alas, P-W. You fail to learn, you fail to try and understand, you fail to think. Naturally, you return to dogma.

The issue of origins ultimately deals with alternatives: is chance the "designer," or is some intelligence the Designer?

Neither, although the first one is closer. The laws of the universe are the "designer". "Chance" is involved, in the sense that the manner in which the laws interact are usually uncontrolled — and when they are controlled, the ones who implement that control are fallible living beings, ultimately subject to those laws.

Darwin suggests "chance" is the designer of man's brain,

Dawin suggested that "chance" and selection was the designer of man's brain. So far, there has been nothing to disprove this, and accumulated evidence — in the form of comparisons between the brains of various animals, and a better understanding of how genetics interacts with brain development — in favor of this.

but the Bible indicates Intelligence is the Designer of man and his brain.

The Bible assumes an Intelligence. It tells a story, and provides no evidence that this "Intelligence" exists now, nor ever existed. It explains nothing.

Has random chance ever been observed or has random chance been seen repeatedly in the act of creating the most basic organism?

That depends on what "creating" means. Inasmuch as all reproduction and development involve a certain degree of random chance, and can be considered to be acts of "creation" to a certain extent, then the answer is "yes". Heh.

Has an Intelligence been observed creating or has an Intelligence been seen repeatedly in the act of creating the most basic organism?

If by "Intelligence" you mean "the entity whose story appears in the Bible", then, NO. Of course not.

Individuals often make a decision between "random chance" as the designer (as Darwin suggested), or for an Intelligence as the Designer (as the Bible suggests).

People who educate themselves about science and biology do find evolution to be the simplest explanation that fits the existing data.

Those who are brainwashed and indoctrinated into a religion and who refuse to shake off the indoctrination, do prefer the story that includes an Intelligence, yes. Oddly enough, Muslims prefer the Intelligence in the Koran; Hindus often prefer the Intelligence in the Vedas. Orthodox Jews like the Intelligence in the Bible as well, but reject in disgust the entire New Testament. And everyone gets into fights over which Intelligence is the "right" one, including various sects of Christians.

Yet none of the religious groups can provide any evidence that their Intelligence even exists.

The "laws of logic" intimate the Great Logician, the Ultimate Engineer, is The Grand Designer.

The "laws of logic" do no such thing. The laws of nature exist and have been and are being discovered. Nothing about those laws "intimates" anything about being the result of an Intelligence. But the "laws of logic" do strongly intimate that all religious works were created by human imagination, and nothing more.

Nature, the Bible indicates, "preaches" the existence of a Creator, and according to the Bible, noone is excused from nature's "sermon."

A work of fiction about an imaginary being has no weight in describing anything about nature and reality.

The Bible indicates some do not wish to retain knowledge of the Creator revealed through nature, but instead reject that knowledge of the Creator which everyone perceives via the material world.

Since nature does not reveal a Creator, then those that do perceive a Creator are deluded. Those who do not have achieved at least that amount of rationality.

the Bible also indicates that the Creator has communicated with mankind through men, through prophets, and ultimately through the love of the Ultimate Prophet, the Messiah of Israel.

In other words, the work of fiction about God claims to be true, without providing any evidence. How nice and circular.

Statistical evidence exists for the validity of the Bible through over 300 predicted Messianic prophecies which were made in the First Covenant Bible of Israel (the Old Testament), and recorded as fulfilled in the Second Covenant Bible of Israel (the New Testament).

Pure horseshit.

A miniature sampling of some of the 300 predicted and fulfilled Bible prophecies of the Messiah (which provide further verification that Israel's Lord is the Creator of the world) are available at the following link:

300 samples of pure horseshit. Again, those are nothing but examples of making up stories after the fact.

Now science, on the other hand, has a pretty good track record of making predictions and fulfilling them. Every implementation of technology is a fulfilled prediction of science. I don't know exactly how many there are, but I am absolutely certain that the number is far higher than 300.

#345

Posted by: Josh | August 15, 2007 12:37 PM

Aquila, If you're going to provide a biblical citation to support a point, could you please provide the actual wording, or at least the verse? It would be easier to discuss a reference if I knew what, say Daniel, actually wrote. Thanks.

Regarding your question *Now, back in your domain: An animal keels over and dies. How long would it take for it to be completely buried within a stratum? Assume a Stegosaurus.*

Stratum is the wrong word to use here. Stratum is a word that really loses its meaning outside of the context of a package of sedimentary rock. When we're talking about strata we're generally talking about environments which are already part of the rock record, not environments in which organisms are living and dying. You're asking about how a dinosaur gets buried...it is a question about the environment in which the animal lived at the time in which it lived.

As for how long it takes the carcass of an animal to be buried, it really depends on the environment in which the animal died...but generally within a few months. We know a great deal about how sediment moves in air and water because these processes can be observed in real time.

If an animal dies in a river valley, then the most likely means of burial is the river itself. Rivers tend to bury things during flood events. The depositional event itself (the act of sediment covering the carcass) can be as short as part of a single day. This can take place (broadly speaking) on the flood plain or in the channel of the river. So your stegosaurid might die and lay on the floodplain for a while...a massive storm hits, floods the channel and buries it perhaps as fast as in an afternoon. Carcasses can also be interred in the channel and be covered more gradually by within-channel sediment-moving processes...much more business as usual stuff...this might require weeks or months for the carcass to be covered. If an animal dies on the shore or in the ocean, events will bury things quickly...a day or so...'business as usual burial' might require several months...maybe longer depending on in what type of 'microenvironment' the animal dies (it would take a lot of words to go through them all here). *Normally,* if the animal dies in a lake...we're talking pretty gradual business as usual deposition requiring at least months to completely cover even a small carcass like a fish. In the desert, those few things which are covered over and buried tend to be buried in pretty quick events...a few minutes in some cases.

These above generalized examples all relate to final internment. The stegosaurid discussed above could lie on the floodplain getting picked at by scavengers and then having its bones bleach in the sun for YEARS before an event comes along to bury it. In terms of the actual event that buries a bone, the post-death residence time before final burial is irrelevant.

#346

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 15, 2007 4:58 PM

Let's see...

The book of Daniel, the short snark shock version:


Chapter 1: Judaea is conquered by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Daniel is one of the conquered people, and is brought to the king. There's a bit about him not wanting to eat the food or drink the wine of the king, presumably because it isn't kosher food or wine, and him and his friends being healthy eating just legumes and drinking water. Whoop.


Chapter 2: Neb has a dream! He call his magicians and wise men, and orders them to tell him what his dream was. They can't, and he orders them killed.

Daniel prays to God for the answer, and gets it. There's a bit of groveling to God for giving the answer, and the Dan goes to Neb, and says that God told him what the dream was and what it meant.

The dream: A big statue, with a gold head, silver chest and arms, brass belly and thighs, iron legs, and feet made partly of iron and partly of clay. The whole thing gets smashed by a rock. The pieces fly away like chaff. The rock grows and becomes a big mountain.

The meaning: Neb ate too much before going to bed. OK, maybe not.

The meaning: The gold head is Neb. Everything else are empires to follow. They'll each fall. The crushing rock is God's eternal empire.

Neb is stunned by this awesome psychic reading, and tells Dan he should set up his own psychic hotline. OK, maybe not.

Neb gives Dan lots o' schwag, including a whole honkin' province to run. Dan in turn puts his buddies Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego in charge.


Chapter 3: Neb makes a golden statue, and launches a concert to dedicate it (statuepalooza?). People are supposed to worship the statue. Those who don't get down and boogie to the statue burn in a furnace.

Shad, Mesh & Abe don't get down. They say God will make them cool. Neb gets mad. He stokes the furnace, and tosses them all in. They don't burn. Neb is impressed. He orders that no-one should disrespect God.

More groveling to God follows.


Chapter 4: This chapter is told in first person from the POV of Neb. Neb has a new dream, about a tree that gets cut down. Dan says, "Dude, that tree is you. You are so totally busted." Except Dan is now called Belteshazzar. WTF?

Neb goes nuts and eats grass.

More groveling to God follows.


Chapter 5: The new king, Belshazzar, sees some weird shit. There he is, chowing down with his buds, and suddenly this freaking hand appears and writes something on the wall. Bel says that anyone who can read it will get schwag. He calls in Dan. Dan says, "I don't need schwag. Your dad was an arrogant swot, and so are you. The writing says that your kingdom was weighed by God, and he's going to split it between the Medes and the Persians". Bel is apparantly not particularly distressed by this, and gives Dan his schwag. Bel gets snuffed that very night.


Chapter 6: Now Darius the Mede is in charge. He wants everyone to bow down only to him for a 30 day period. Dan ignores this, and grovels to God as usual. Dar's ministers tattle on Dan to Dar. Dar tosses Dan to the lions. The lions don't eat Dan. Dar tosses the tattlers to the lions, and the lions chow down on the tattlers. NOM NOM NOM.

More groveling to God follows.


[To be continued, maybe...]

#347

Posted by: Stanton | August 15, 2007 5:23 PM

Like I have asked previously, what do Biblical prophecies have to do with Biology, Geology and Paleontology?
Or is Aquila lying about the Bible being a science textbook?

#348

Posted by: Owlmirrror | August 15, 2007 6:18 PM

I dunno, I was just thinking that Aquilia thought that the book of Daniel was something so impressive with the prophesies and fulfillment and stuff. Yet here I am, halfway through the book, and so far there's just some weird dreams, and real unlikely shit (frex: Belshazzar has just heard that his empire is doomed and all he can think of is to give the messenger some bling and go to bed so that he can be killed. Can we say idiot plot?)

I was just wondering if Aquilia could maybe point out the parts that I'm supposed to be impressed by. So far, it's about as good as most folktales, which also often have weird shit and contrived idiot plots, now I think of it.

#349

Posted by: Josh | August 16, 2007 8:32 AM

Owl: I suspect your 'liner notes' regarding Daniel will offend Aquilia. That being said, however, I almost spit water across my keyboard. If you weren't worried about offending people, I suspect you have the makings of a very funny book there (to an admittedly limited audience, but still). I almost f-in' lost it over statuepalooza.

#350

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 16, 2007 4:09 PM

I am not sure if I am trying to offend Aquila or not. I am mostly trying to amuse myself, although there is a certain continuing irritation at the fundamentalist dogma that Bible stories are all 100% true, which is presumably where Aquila's certainty that the book of Daniel is a true prophecy arises from.

I suppose there's the faint hope of the humor perhaps provoking subversive skepticism about the fundamentalist mindset, unlikely as that might be.

#351

Posted by: Brownian | August 16, 2007 4:25 PM

Ooh, I liked that too, Owlmirror.

My fundamentalist ex-roomate used to spout off similar bible stories as if they were examples of wisdom only the divinely inspired could possess.

His favourite example was of Solomon and the prostitutes (1 Kings 3:16-28).

To me it was a perfect example of a biblical strawman: if you were confronted with a psychotic woman who would rather kill a baby than let her roommate have it ("Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!"), do you think you'd really need God's help to determine she's not the most fit mother?

His response was that godless people are all savages, incapable of the most basic human compassion.

What a maroon.

#352

Posted by: Steve_C | August 16, 2007 4:29 PM

It's stupifying that someone would say that prophecies prove the bible is literal truth.

So bizarre.

Owl you did a great job of showing just how goofy it is.

#353

Posted by: Kseniya | August 16, 2007 4:36 PM

Owl's tale rocked, and was deeply chuckleworthy.

Brownian - whoa. And they call skeptics 'arrogant'...?

#354

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 16, 2007 4:54 PM

His favourite example was of Solomon and the prostitutes (1 Kings 3:16-28).

Funny you should mention that; I was just thinking about it.

The really weird thing about that story is this: If you read it carefully — and I checked this in the original Hebrew as well — Solomon does not say "Give the baby to the mother who wants the baby to live". He speaks right after the mother who says "Cut the baby in half", and says "Give her the baby; she is the mother". The text simply does not say who "her" refers to, and the most literal interpretation is that the baby should go to the mother who would rather kill the baby than give it up.

Larry Gonick (yes, in The Cartoon History of the Universe, Vol I) suggested that the whole thing was a political allegory: The "baby" is the state of Israel; the two "mothers" are Solomon and the other claimant for the throne, and that Solomon was willing to cut the state in two if he couldn't have the whole thing, and his rival preferred peace and unity and giving up the claim to the throne.
Therefore, Solomon deserved the whole thing.

Or something like that. I may have to double-check to be sure.

#355

Posted by: Brownian | August 16, 2007 4:54 PM

What was even more bizarre (to me, at least) was that my roommate would see the tiniest bit of good advice in the bible as evidence that it was inspired by God, as if no mortal human could have come up with "Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land." (Deut 15:11)

Perhaps it's because he was a selfish ass both before and after his being born-again.

#356

Posted by: Kseniya | August 16, 2007 5:03 PM

Perhaps it's because he was a selfish ass ...

Yeah. I'm continually struck by those who claim there is no morality without god. Huh? I can only conclude that the claimant is admitting his own innate amorality, and projects it on everyone else. This is nothing new, of course, but it's a recurring theme which continues, in a way, to astonish me.

#357

Posted by: Stanton | August 16, 2007 5:37 PM

Would a parent be considered a good parent if she teaches her child to share his cookies with his sibling by telling him "If you don't give your sisters some of your cookies, I'm going to cut off all your fingers and make you eat them"?
I think it's analogous to saying that it's better to do good to avoid eternal hellfire, rather than to do good simply because it's good.

#358

Posted by: Steve_C | August 16, 2007 5:56 PM

I always was told in the story that the mother who would rather give up the baby than have it killed was the mother.

Isn't that how most people are told the story?

#359

Posted by: Kseniya | August 16, 2007 6:14 PM

Steve, yes!

#360

Posted by: Kseniya | August 16, 2007 6:18 PM

That is to say, the woman who was given custody of the baby was the one who was willing to give it up. Whether or not she was actually the mother is, perhaps, open to question...

#361

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 16, 2007 6:36 PM

I always was told in the story that the mother who would rather give up the baby than have it killed was the mother.

Isn't that how most people are told the story?

Yup, sure. My point was that a careful literal reading of the text shows that it is actually suspiciously ambiguous, and can even support the opposite interpretation to the way the story is commonly told.

#362

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 16, 2007 6:47 PM

The book of Daniel, the short sharp snark version, Part 2!

The next couple of chapters are hard to summarize. Oh, well. One at a time:

Chapter 7: And lo, for Dan did eat a cheese pizza before going to sleep. OK, maybe not.

And Dan did dream some wacky shit.

So, there's a lot of wind, on the sea, and four big animals come up out of the sea. One looks like a lion with eagle wings, and the wings are yanked off, and it stands up straight and gets a human heart (NOM NOM NOM). The second looks like a bear chowing down on some ribs (NOM NOM NOM), and is told to go eat (what, a bear needs instructions?). The third looks like a leopard with four bird wings on its sides and four heads. The fourth looks really nasty and has iron teeth and ten horns (making a terrible cacaphony, too, because they were out of tune).

So Dan focuses on the horns, and an eleventh horn comes out of nowhere, yanks out three of the other horns, and this eleventh horn has human eyes and a mouth.

Then Dan sees some thrones, and an old geezer in white sits on one that's on fire, and fire shoots out of him, and millions of people pop up and some books are opened.

And that horn is still talking and an animal is killed (that final, nasty one?) and set on fire. BBQ!

And some dude drops out of the sky and hangs out with the old geezer, and gets put in charge of stuff.

And then Dan wonders what the hell it all means.

And a helpful someone says, "Oh, zese are all egzpressions of your reprezed dezires und confuzed zexuality.", and Dan says "Whut?", and the someone continues, "For egzample, the many hard, long, upthrusting, horns — do you feel a strange urge to put your lips on zem und blow?", and Dan says, "Srsly, WTF?". OK, maybe not.

And then a suspiciously convenient and ambiguous someone kindly infodumps on Dan that the four animals are kings, but the fourth one is a kingdom that will eat the world, and the horns are kings, the last horn is a king that will take down three kings, but will eventually be destroyed. And then some saints will be put in charge. Thank you, Mr. Exposition. Yeah, that makes loads of sense.

And Dan said, whoa, I think that cheese pizza must have had some mighty weird mushrooms on it. OK, maybe not.


[To be continued, maybe.]

#363

Posted by: thalarctos | August 16, 2007 7:10 PM

The text simply does not say who "her" refers to, and the most literal interpretation is that the baby should go to the mother who would rather kill the baby than give it up.

Intersting--in The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Brecht unambiguously had the foster mother awarded custody. So the morality is more clear in the Marxist didactic exposition than in the Bible--who woud have guessed? Oh, wait...

Owlmirror, love your exegesis!

#364

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 17, 2007 2:54 AM

The book of Daniel, the short sharp snark version, Part 3

Chapter 8:
Dan dreams wacky shit, part 2.

So Dan is in Shushan in Elam by the stream Ulai, and he sees a ram (OH HAI...) with two horns (no doubt specified because there are so many one-horned and three-horned rams running around?) up high, one horn higher than the other.

And this ram is kicking ass and taking names and being one badass ram, when all of a sudden Dan sees a billy-goat from out of the west, with one horn between his eyes. [It really sounds like somebody back then knew the trick of surgically joining the horn-buds of a kid-goat in the center of its head to make a goat-unicorn. (Note: pink dye is extra)]

And the billygoat-unicorn is in the ram's base, downgrading the ram and breaking the ram's horns. And the billygoat is now large and in charge, but his single horn breaks and becomes four horns, and a horn comes out of one of the horns and takes over the south and the east, and is so badass that it puts out the stars and tears down the sky and it tears down truth, and it is just mighty badass.

And Dan hears a saint asking how long this particular crap is going to go on, and gets an answer of 2300 days.

And Dan sees a dude, and someone says, "Gabriel, explain the weird shit to Dan".

And Gabe very conveniently infodumps on Dan that the ram is the joint Medean and Persian kingdom ("Und ze broken horns, you see, represents your fears of emasculation..." "Whut?"), and the ass-kicking ram-slamming billygoat is the Hellenic empire that defeats the Medes and the Persians, and the big, powerful, central horn is "the first king" ("Und did you feel any desire to be... penetrated by zat horn?" "Whut?"), and the four horns are the kingdoms that follow, and one of the later kings will be a mighty badass, who will nevertheless fail.

And shut up about this dream because it's about the far future.

And Dan pukes up some fly agaric 'shrooms and cheese. OK, maybe not.

And Dan faints.


Chapter 9:

Um. Most of this chapter is Dan groveling to God. See Dan. See Dan grovel. Oh, yes, God you are so mighty, and we are so pathetic, and evil, and we deserved to have our asses conquered, and you are so good to us... and so on. Grovel, Dan, grovel.

Oh, wait. Gabe shows up again. OH HAI, IS INFODUMPS TIEM AGAYN. With more numbers! Gabe sez: God luvs ya. You have 70 weeks to make it up to God. In seven weeks, Jerusalem will be allowed to be rebuilt, and for 62 weeks it will be built. And then some hotshot will come in and kill an anointed one, and destroy the city, but he'll be flooded out, and he'll do nasty stuff for one week.

Chapter 10: Hoo, boy. This one is where the light subtext suddenly becomes really heavy subtext. Slashfic writers will shout for joy, and grab their tools, and maybe after that, they'll grab their writing implements.

Dan has been feeling poorly. He hasn't been eating right for 3 weeks, and he's been letting himself go. He's a complete mess.

Then, there he is by the river Tigris, and he looks up and sees a dude, wearing TOTALLY sleek threads, and this dude has a TOTALLY HAWT BODY, and a voice like you wouldn't believe. And Dan is totally overcome, and falls facedown on the ground. And then... hold on, I gotta paste this in verbatim:

"10 And, behold, a hand touched me, which set me tottering upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands.

11 And he said unto me: 'O Daniel, thou man greatly beloved, give heed unto the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright; for now am I sent unto thee'; and when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling."

And there's more like that, where the dude is talking to Dan, explaining that he's involved in this big struggle, and Dan feels weak, and "one like the appearance of a man" touches Dan, and Dan feels strong again.

I mean, really now. Somehow, I get the feeling that Dan and the dude are going to be staring into each other's eyes while the dude is infodumping, and the subject of horn will come up again, and Dan will blush and get all flustered. OK, maybe not.


[To be continued, probably. Why stop now?]

#365

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 18, 2007 1:23 AM

The book of Daniel, the short sharp snark version, Part 4

Nearly done.

Chapter 11: I am not 100% sure if this is narrated by Dan, or by the stud by the river in a continuation from the previous chapter. And it doesn't lend itself very well to snark; it's all politics, and vaguely-worded politics at that, which is really kinda boring. No more weird dreams and shit; no more funky animals (and long, stiff horns); no more hot studs making poor Dan tremble. It's all infodump. Sorry.

Anyway, whoever narrates sez: There will be 3 more kings of Persia, then a fourth one will arise who will be richer, and more powerful, and more ambitious, and more aggressive, and he'll attack Greece.

And he'll fail, and lose everything.

And there will be a king in the south who will kick ass, and his daughter will marry the king of the north, and ... nothing much will come of this directly. But one of her descendants will kick the ass of the king of the north, and will bring treasure and stuff into Egypt (which is presumably the south?), and leave the king of the north alone for a while. And then...

Crap, I don't think I can summarize this. Basically, the north and the south and whoever all try and kick each others asses, and make treaties and alliances, and break them, and all kinds of shit happens, and I think the part that he's trying to get to is where one of these characters will "have indignation against the holy covenant" and "they shall profane the sanctuary, even the stronghold, and shall take away the continual burnt-offering, and they shall set up the detestable thing that causeth appalment", and then he'll get his ass kicked but good.

I think that's it. There's a bit more of this guy, and fighting between the north and the south, and... anyway. Eh, close enough.


Chapter 12: Last chapter!

Hey, this is about the dead arising! It looks like it happens right after the last part, which ends in the death of the one who profaned the sanctuary, which allegedly happens after some wars and stuff that follow the last three kings of Persia in Dan's time. Huh. I think we would know if there had been a zombie apocalypse sometime in the past two and a half millenia, ya think?

Some will have "everlasting life", and some will have "reproaches and everlasting abhorrence", and the wise will shine like the stars. How nice.


Hm. It looks like Dan has been with the stud by the river this whole time, and it was the stud who tells Dan the last bit about the dead rising.

And someone asks when all this happens, and the stud gives a vague answer. And Dan has apparantly recovered enough strength to say WTF?, and asks the stud again, and the stud tells Dan to amscray; "for the words are shut up and sealed till the time of the end". Poor Dan! Denied by his studmuffin! </3

However: "from the time that the continual burnt-offering shall be taken away, and the detestable thing that causes appalment set up, there shall be" 1290 days. And "Happy is he that waiteth, and cometh to the" 1335 days.

And Dan should just wander off and relax and wait for the end of days.

And that's it. The end.

#366

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 18, 2007 2:21 AM

Some final thoughts on the book of Daniel. The ending was a bit anticlimactic, wasn't it? "The end-times come, everyone comes back to life and is judged, no, we won't say exactly when. The end."

The Creationists seem to have shut up. Explain to them, patiently and repeatedly, that no, their criticism of evolution is invalid because they don't understand what evolution is or how it's supposed to work, and they keep yammering on and getting it wrong. But call their bluff on their knowledge of their holy book, and they go strangely silent...

Now, I left something out of my snark-fest. The prophetic dreams and visions that Dan has (the latter half of the book) are said to take place in various years of the reigns of the kings of Babylon, and later, Persia. That's probably the basis of the claims of Daniel being "fulfilled prophecy": "Even ignoring all of the vaguely-worded stuff, how about all th prophecies about the rise of the Greek empire, and its eventual decay, before it happened?!"

Um. I don't know if the Creationists are still reading, but I'll pretend they are, and address an answer to the above question.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Even now, nearly every time psychic phenomena is investigated, it turns out to be either deliberate or inadvertant deception and delusion, or something completely unreproducible. So even without investigating any further, I have to consider that while there is the text itself claiming to have been written several hundred years before the events they describe, there is also the possibility that the author of those words, for whatever reason, might very well have written them after the events, in the form of a prophecy from hundreds of years earlier. Given the long, long history of human deception and fraud, I have to give the latter interpretation nearly all of the weight — and the interpretation that the text is literally true gets the same weight as fairies, leprachauns, God, and Santa Claus. Especially since the last prophecy obviously did not come true.

And that's without getting into all of the problems with assigning an early date to the book of Daniel, when actual scholarship of the ancient Middle East is brought into play. I read the Wikipedia article on the book, just to get a feel for what the arguments were. I note that the article has a neutrality warning; could it be that fundamentalists are getting into edit wars? Anyway, Dan gets some fairly obvious things wrong, and says some things about Babylon, Medea, and Persia that don't have any supporting evidence.

And so on.

I think that's it, at least for now.

#367

Posted by: P-W | August 18, 2007 2:11 PM

It's stupifying that someone would say that prophecies prove the bible is literal truth.

Posted by: Steve_C | August 16, 2007 04:29 PM

Now science ... has a pretty good track record of making predictions and fulfilling them. Every implementation of technology is a fulfilled prediction of science.

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 14, 2007 08:38 PM

So a track record of fulfilled "predictions" are validation for natural science but not for the Bible?

#368

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 18, 2007 3:10 PM

So a track record of fulfilled "predictions" are validation for natural science but not for the Bible?

Sure.

The so-called "fulfilled" "predictions" in the bible are all either really tenuous interpretations, or are claimed to be "fulfilled" by simple fiat, or have obvious natural explanations. Such as being written down after the events they "predict".

Just out of curiosity, have you personally investigated all of the so-called "fulfilled" "predictions" in the bible? Have you investigated any of the 300 samples that you pointed at?

Science, on the other hand, is an eternal prediction — in the sense that a scientific law means that all future interactions involving the law will follow the law.
Two masses will always attract each other with a force that is inversely proportional to the square of their own distance, multiplied by a specific constant of approximately 6.67 × 10−11 N m2 kg−2.

Of course, it may be discovered that the law — the "prediction" — is not being followed in exactly the same way, in which case, it requires modification. In the case of gravitation, the law required modification by Einsteinian relativity. But note that relativistic gravitation, while it gives a better prediction in all scenarios, in most non-relativistic scenarios, it is nearly identical to the prediction given by Newtonian gravitation.

The whole point of science is to modify the predictions, if necessary, based on the evidence.

The whole point of religious dogma is to reject all evidence that contradicts the biblical "predictions" (fundamentalist/creationist), or by rejecting that there is a contradiction (liberal interpretation).

#369

Posted by: Steve_C | August 18, 2007 4:44 PM

P-W is a lost cause.

He doesn't understand the scientific method.

Plus he actually believes that the bible made predictions that came true.

Uhg.

#370

Posted by: Stanton | August 18, 2007 8:13 PM

P-W, do you know why Biblical prophesies are so important to Biology, Geology and Paleontology?

#371

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 18, 2007 10:09 PM

Say, I just remembered my own question that I was wondering about. P-W, above you said that you investigated "macroevolutionary theory", and found a "paucity of evidence" and "holes in the theory", and on and on.

How, exactly, did you perform this investigation? Which books did you read? Did you look at any original scientific papers? Did you fully investigate the geological record, the paleontological evidence, and the biochemical and genetic evidence?

Describe your methods and reasoning. Show all work.

#372

Posted by: Stanton | August 18, 2007 11:56 PM

I prophesize P-W will say one of the following answers:
1) ""Answers in Genesis" told me so"
2) "Dr Baugh told me so."
3) "Dr Hovind told me so."
4) "The Bible prophesized it."

#373

Posted by: Kseniya | August 19, 2007 11:43 AM

Paucity? Holes? Indeed! P-W correctly brings to our attention the utter lack of extant video that shows transformation of a snail into a cougar. Darwin is finished!

He's way ahead of me. I didn't realize that macroevolutionary theory was different from evolutionary theory.

#374

Posted by: Stanton | August 19, 2007 12:55 PM

That's because he read that prophecy in the Bible.

#375

Posted by: Kristjan Wager | August 19, 2007 1:58 PM

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

I think Hitchens is more appropriate here.

[w]hat can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence. (source)

#376

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 19, 2007 2:34 PM

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

I think Hitchens is more appropriate here.

[w]hat can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.

Well, to a certain extent. Especially in regards to the more egregious claims.

But the problem is that the Fundamentalists think they do have evidence — in the bible.

And there's certainly plenty of ordinary evidence in the bible. The texts do exist; they have been around for a long time; some of the places and peoples described in the texts have independent verification.

Where things start getting problematic is the exact details of those people and events. There's no verification for most of them. In many cases, the peoples mentioned — Romans, Greeks, Persians, Babylonians, Egyptians — kept their own records of various things that they thought were important, and the things described in the bible don't match up, or don't appear at all. So there's one level of unreliability right there.

And finally, of course, there's all of the supernatural events described, from the creation to the Flood; to three dudes being tossed into a roaring furnace and not getting burned; to events being "prophesied" hundreds of years before they happened.

For those supernatural — extraordinary — events, there is indeed no evidence at all.

(You knew that already, but I thought I'd clarify in case P-W et alia were still lurking)

#377

Posted by: Kristjan Wager | August 19, 2007 3:05 PM

Well, I can't help wonder if Roger and P-W really want to use Hovind as a source.

We are, after all, talking about someone:

1) Who even AiG thinks is wrong on science.

2) Is in jail fpr tax evation, basing his lack of tax payment on the advice of people who has to make clear that they are not qualified to advice people in tax questions.

3) Who has sold anti-semitic literature in the past.

Does this imply that this is someone you can trust as an authority on anything? He has clearly demonstrated his lack of judgement and skepticism, and that he is unqualified to talk about the subject at hand (science).

Given the fact that our Creationist commenters have yet to demonstrate any understanding of what science is, and just parrot talking points from Creationist sites, I guess they aren't too critical of Hovind (beggars can't be choosers), but I would be embarressed basing any of my arguments on such a person's "lectures".

#378

Posted by: Aquila | August 19, 2007 7:05 PM

PZ, I am not familiar with the work of Josh McDowell. However the links you provide are one-sided - not what I expected from an academic. Try the works of Roy Anderson and William Shea.

Otherwise thank you (and Josh) on the elucidating comments on burial. Have you experimentally verified your statement that replacement of the organic tissue with minerals would have occurred over tens of thousands of years, and could have been ongoing for millions?

Owlmirror, what does the law of evolution predict homo sapiens will evolve into? (BTW it's et al...)

#379

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 19, 2007 8:25 PM

Owlmirror, what does the law of evolution predict homo sapiens will evolve into?

Assuming Homo sapiens (NB: the standard of nomenclature is to always capitalize the genus, and always lowercase the species) refrains from becoming extinct due to global disaster, the law of evolution predicts that, as with all species, H. sapiens will evolve into its descendants.

Really, what kind of answer were you expecting?

(BTW it's et al...)

Since I didn't (and don't) know the actual genders or numbers of the Creationists who might read and might respond, I saw no reason not to use the plural neuter.

Especially since Creationists behave more like things than people. Ask simple, basic questions like "How do you know what you think you know?" or "Why do you think that this article of belief is true?" or "What methods did you use in research?" or "Why do you continue to rely on this authority when it has been shown to be fraudulent?", and there's no response, except for continual rephrasings of old, old misconceptions and misunderstandings. Where is the self-awareness? Where is the ability to analyze and reason? Where is the critical thinking?

But I rant.

#380

Posted by: Josh | August 20, 2007 10:53 AM

Aquila wrote: *Otherwise thank you (and Josh) on the elucidating comments on burial. Have you experimentally verified your statement that replacement of the organic tissue with minerals would have occurred over tens of thousands of years, and could have been ongoing for millions?*

Aquila, you're more than welcome.

Regarding your question about work being conducted on the post-burial degredation rates of the organic fraction of vertebrate bone and subsequent replacement rates by minerals via groundwater solutions, some research has been and is being done on this. But for vertebrates certainly this aspect of the science of taphonomy is really still in its infancy. There just aren't that many people who focus on this kind of stuff (I'm far less familiar with what folks who work on invertebrate fossils are up to, but I can tell you very little research has popped up on my radar).

Since paleontology focuses on what ancient life was like *while that life was alive,* we're far more interested in using taphonomy to help answer questions regarding the environment in which an animal lived than about what happened to it after it was dead and buried. So, because folks are trying to use taphonomic information to infer aspects of paleoenvironment, they're much more often trying to understand what various environmental processes do to (mostly the outside of) a bone or shell or whatever *before* the element in question undergoes final burial.

You're asking about what is going on *after* final burial and we know far less about this because we CARE far less about this. As I stated in other posts, the degree of permineralization in a bone or shell is completely irrelevant to whether or not we think of it as a 'fossil'(the process of permineralization is a continuum, sure, but it does *not* ever result in a yes or no as to whether something is or isn't a fossil) and is actually irrelevant to most of the questions we try to answer *using* fossils. In general, broad declarative statements that minerals replace the original material in bones or shells over millions of years (or hundreds of thousands, or whatever) don't really reflect the literature nor how paleontology currently looks at fossils or the permineralization process.

BUT, that all being said, the level of detail in which we currently understand rates of perminalization DOES NOT AFFECT OUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE AGE OF A FOSSIL BECAUSE WE DO NOT DATE FOSSILS USING PERMINALIZATION. Well, perhaps some people out there somewhere do, but if so, they're foolish and I'll tell them that. I'm making this point because I presume you're actually more interested in questions regarding the age of fossils than you are in discussing the nuances of the precipitation of calcite crystals out of groundwater.

The fact that the study of permineralization is currently rather far behind some other aspects of paleontology CANNOT BE USED (if you're being honest) to say-- "SEE?! They don't know how old the earth is! Scientists don't know anything! He even just admitted they don't understand fossilization rates well!" --because we simply *don't use* permineralization to date fossils. Its like if Ford had trouble with side airbags and someone said, "See! Ford doesn't know anything about Electronic Fuel Injection systems! They can't get those side airbags to deploy properly at all! And they have the audacity to try and tell us their EFI system increases gas mileage by 13mpg? Ridiculous!"

(and yes, I intentionally used the foolish phrase 'fossilization rates' above instead of properly saying perminealization because that is probably exactly how I would be misquoted).

#381

Posted by: Steve_C | August 20, 2007 11:35 AM

Wow. You guys keep trying. And they keep dodging don't they.

What? Science? HUh? Nuh uh!

They only ask for evidence so they can criticize it and pretend it's not valid.

Why bother? The only thing they trust is the "word of the lord".

#382

Posted by: Josh | August 20, 2007 11:49 AM

I have to admit that I am still intrigued by those occasional glimmers when they actually will...for a moment...engage the specific point that is being discussed and not dodge. I agree with you, though, Steve...the dodging ability is nothing short of astonishing. Its fascinating, actually.

I also keep putting geology out there since both 'sides' as a general rule seem so amazingly uninformed.

#383

Posted by: Stanton | August 20, 2007 12:22 PM

In fossils, and fossilization, permineralization means one of two things, in that either the original organic material has rotted and or dissolved away, and the cast is filled back up with crystals, either calcium carbonate or silicate (both of which are the most common), or, if the organic material is porous, such as vertebrate bone, the porous regions of the fossil are filled in with calcium carbonate or silicate crystals.

The former type of permineralization is very common among molluscan fossils.

Not all fossils undergo permineralization. Those fossils of the various Cambrian Laggerstatten are essentially carbon-smears on shale and limestone, while some fossil mollusk shells have survived intact enough for people to discern the original patterns, if not colors, on the shells.

#384

Posted by: Josh | August 20, 2007 1:27 PM

Regarding #383. Uhm...ok... I'll take this as an addendum to post #380, I guess, since it doesn't act to refute what I wrote nor really to build on it but rather acts to sort of tangentially restate the major points: that degree of permineralization doesn't define a fossil and that the process of permineralization is not one that we use to date rocks (I dealt with the mechanism itself in other posts). What you write is more or less accurate, except that what you describe as silicate is much better referred to as silica (silicon dioxide).

In geology, we tend not to use *silicate* to refer to SiO2, but rather as a term used to discuss a group of rock forming minerals built around various configurations of silicon and oxygen. Whereas quartz, probably the best known silicate mineral, can be involved in permineralization, there are whole groups of silicates, such as say...the amphibole group, which don't tend to form at the temperatures and pressures where permineralization takes place and usually end up in sedimentary rocks as clasts of pre-existing igneous or metamorphic rocks rather than by crystalizing out of solution. I'm not going to be looking at a thin-section of a heavily permineralized dinosaur bone and expect to see crystals of hornblende. Granted, weird things do happen and nature is certainly all about breaking the foolish little rules we like to set up, but in general *silicate* is an imprecise term to use when discussing permineralization.

#385

Posted by: Kseniya | August 20, 2007 1:53 PM

Aquila,

what does the law of evolution predict homo sapiens will evolve into?

Ah, a request for a prediction of the future, as if the theory of evolution were divination. Professor Trelawney will be with you shortly to answer that question.

While we wait for her, I have A Question for you: Is your resistence to learning organic or environmental?

First: It's not a law, it's a theory. I suggest you write that down, as it will be on the test.

Second: AFAIK, and the better-educated among us will correct me if I'm wrong, that sort of prediction is impossible to make without knowledge of the future. A species may evolve or not, it may become extinct or not, depending on the existence of selective pressures (or the lack thereof) and adaptive mutations (or the lack thereof).

Predictions may be made within the context of speculative scenarios in which hypothetical selective pressures and mutations that may guide and enable the evolutionary process are introduced into the scenario, and applied with regard to those species considered in the scenario.

The predictive power of the theory is demonstrated (and validated) in the discovery of Tiktaalik rosae. The existence of a "transitional" form similar to Tiktaalik was predicted to have existed in a particular geological place-time, and the discovery of Tiktaalik fulfilled that prediction.

We all share your curiousity about the future of the human race. But evolutionary theory cannot tell us what that will be. Eventual extinction is extremely likely, unless we can colonize planets in other solar systems. And even then... Hey, all things must pass.

A more interesting (to me) question might be, "What will the mudskipper evolve into?" The answer to any question like that, however, is always "It depends."

Speaking of mudskippers, it never ceases to amaze me that creationists who clamor for transitional fossils blithely overlook the existence of a modern fish that breathes air and climbs trees. I suppose that's to be expected from the sort of mind that reject all evidence (particular the existence of transitional fossils!) that conflicts with its pre-set beliefs.

#386

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 20, 2007 2:40 PM

Or to summarize, evolution predicts that all future generations will follow the process of reproduction, variation, and selection.

But neither reproduction, variation, nor selection are simple, easy-to-quantify concepts. All we can do is look at organisms, and see, as more and more data accumulates, that they all resulted from those processes.

(But if mammals evolved from mudskippers, why are there still mudskippers?!?) (Sorry. Sometimes I'm evil.)

Josh/Stanton: I don't know enough geology, so it's good to see solid explanations of how actual geology is done. But I do know enough to know when a Creationist is spewing a bogus argument, about geology or anything else. So there's that.

Which reminds me...

#387

Posted by: Josh | August 20, 2007 2:46 PM

Ahhh Kseniya...now you've hit on one. The whole 'transitional fossils' thing drives me f-ing crazy. The statement "there are no transitional fossils in the fossil record" is so ridiculously false they might as well be saying "no one has ever sold water in plastic bottles." I don't have a problem with people questioning a theory (how could I; I'm a scientist...it's pretty much what we *do*). I do have a problem with people outright denying things that are right in front of their faces because they're too bloody stubborn to LEARN.

#388

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 20, 2007 2:59 PM

I am not familiar with the work of Josh McDowell. However the links you provide are one-sided - not what I expected from an academic. Try the works of Roy Anderson and William Shea.

I didn't find anything about Anderson, but William Shea appears to be a rabid Creationist, whose biggest claim about Daniel appears to be that there is a list of names, written on a clay prism during Nebuchadnezzar's reign, which include some names very similar to those of Daniel's companions from chapters 1 and 2 of the book. Wow! Gasp!

Except... the names don't match very well (the Wikipedia entry, for example, has them as much closer to the biblical forms than the actual Akkadian inscriptions). You really have to squint and use a very creative interpretation to make them all fit.

I want to try digging into Shea's source for this, because I have a sneaking suspicion that he may have fudged the data (that is, I suspect that not all of the names are actually on the clay prism, and some are from other sources, which may or may not have anything to do with Nebuchadnezzar). This may beyond my research capabilities, and I've already spent far too much time trawling though articles about cuneiform studies and ancient semitic languages.

All of which is besides the point, of course.

It doesn't matter if all of the names from the Book of Daniel are found together in inscriptions dating from Neb's time. So what? It is not incredible that the author of the Book of Daniel was descended from high-ranking ancestors in Babylon, and was recording names from his family history, for example. The prophecies are what is incredible, and remains unproven.

Until the actual prophecies are conclusively dated to before the events they describe, the so-called "prophecies" can be considered bogus; a deliberate literary device, a fiction.

#389

Posted by: P-W | August 21, 2007 10:50 AM

So a track record of fulfilled "predictions" are validation for natural science but not for the Bible? P-W

While I thank you for your reply to this question, Owlmirror, I am really hoping for an elaboration from Steve_C on the following statement:

"It's stupifying that someone would say that prophecies prove the bible is literal truth."

(Posted by: Steve_C | August 16, 2007 04:29 PM)

I am already aware of your position, Owlmirror, but I was hoping to have Steve_C elaborate on his statement and his intended meaning.

Owlmirror, I was simply using your very perceptive statement

(Now science ... has a pretty good track record of making predictions and fulfilling them. Every implementation of technology is a fulfilled prediction of science.
Posted by: Owlmirror | August 14, 2007 08:38 PM)

to illustrate that fulfilled predictions are not the sole domain of "theology" or the Bible alone, and to illustrate that fulfilled predictions can and usually do (but not always) contribute toward the validation of the source for the "prediction," something perhaps Steve_C (unlike yourself, Owlmirror) perhaps may have failed to grasp?

On another issue, I do have replies, Owlmirror, to your copycat position on Daniel, and some of the positions in your referenced Wikipedia article (with some of its included and acknowledged "atheist" sources), but for the sake of brevity, I will not exhaustively answer all of the issues raised at this reply. I may (if the Lord and PZ and others allow) approach some of the issues in sequel replies. I will start, if I may, with your following assertion:

"The so-called 'fulfilled' 'predictions' in the bible are all either really tenuous interpretations, or are claimed to be 'fulfilled' by simple fiat, or have obvious natural explanations. Such as being written down after the events they 'predict'. (Posted by: Owlmirror | August 18, 2007 03:10 PM)

Obviously, since you do not claim to be a Bible expert, nor to have exhaustively studied all and every one of the prophecies in the Bible in detail, you must (as Josh McDowell might note, and thanks PZ) be taking a skeptical presuppositional position, and you are ruling out the "deity" options by personal "fiat."

With your adopted presuppositional hostility to deistic intervention in the book of Daniel, Owlmirror, you are forced to explain everything from the naturalist's or materialist's point of view to escape and avoid any "deistic" implications which might validate the book of Daniel as historical and as prophetically predictive.

With this reply, I will only note the liabilities in your "fiat" position. First, to claim that no real "deity" is involved in the book of Daniel, you would have to know everything, to know that nowhere, in all of the universe, was there ever a "spark" of something that could be described as a "deity" which intervened in the events of Daniel. In other words, you would have to be "omniscient."

Secondly, you would have to be everywhere, to know that nowhere was there in any part of the universe or galaxies a spark of "deity" who may have intervened in the events of Daniel. You would have to be "omnipresent" to prove your above claim on Daniel and the Bible.

Thirdly, you would have to be eternal in order to exist throughout history to know that nowhere at any time in all of the existence of the cosmos was there any ever spark of "deity" who may have planned intervention in the affairs detailed in the book of Daniel and the Bible.

In other words, you would need to be eternal, omnipresent, and omniscient to "prove" your claim that "deity" was not involved in the events detailed in Daniel. In other words, you would have to be God to prove God was not involved in the events described in Daniel and the Bible.

Since I have good information that you are not God, we can put your following claim in the realm of a hypothesis.

"The so-called 'fulfilled' 'predictions' in the bible are all either really tenuous interpretations, or are claimed to be 'fulfilled' by simple fiat, or have obvious natural explanations. Such as being written down after the events they 'predict'. (Posted by: Owlmirror | August 18, 2007 03:10 PM)

I hope you do not object to my describing your statements above as your "hypothesis." If you do, I will be highly suspicious about your "scientific" credentials. As it is, I do not agree with nor share your hypothesis: the non-intervention of deity in the affairs of Daniel and the Bible.



#390

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 21, 2007 2:23 PM

The short response to your argument, P-W, is that the burden of proof is not on me to disprove your claim, but on you — on all theists — to provide proof of the "God" claim.

So far, all of your so-called arguments only work by assuming the conclusion first that God exists! This is bogus logic.

I have a longer response, but it will take time to compose, and I have other things to do just now.

#391

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 21, 2007 2:42 PM

Oh, and before I forget: The earthquake in Peru is a terrible tragedy, but one of the things that I noticed was that one of the places that was damaged was Ica. Sure enough, in another forum, the question of the Ica Stones came up, with some rather interesting references to the truth and factuality of them:

http://www.cryptomundo.com/cryptozoo-news/ica-stones/

Spanish investigator Vicente Paris, after four years of investigation, offered in 1998 new evidence that supports that the stones are a hoax. Among the proofs presented by this investigator were microphotographs of the stones that showed traces of modern paints and sandpaper.

and later on:

The October 2001 Fortean Times article, "Jurassic library - The Ica Stones" by Filip Coppens goes into more detail about why the stones are hoaxes:
"The first-hand observation by Neil Steede that, even though the stones he examined did have this patina, there was no patina in the grooves. This suggests that while the stones were certainly very old, the carvings were clearly of far more recent origin"
Also, Mr. Uschuya made a custom Ica stone that said "BBC TV" on it for a man by the name of Ray Sutcliffe in 1977. I think that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that he faked the Ica Stones.

And so on.

#392

Posted by: Stanton | August 22, 2007 1:10 AM

Owlmirror, you honestly think that P-W will believe you about the Ica Stones, when you're not a crackpot creationist like "Dr" Carl Baugh?
You're silly like that...
Just like me, waiting for P-W to explain what Biblical prophecies have to do with biology, geology or paleontology.

#393

Posted by: Kseniya | August 22, 2007 1:17 AM

Stanton, aren't you glad you didn't take a vow not to eat or bathe until P-W answered that question?

#394

Posted by: Josh | August 22, 2007 9:17 AM

It really is remarkable, and indeed never fails to amaze me, how difficult they find it to directly reply to a question or a statement of refutation. If I make a statement that Stanton doesn't like, he is going to pounce on it, immediately, hopefully supporting his assault with data or reasoned thought...something. And he fully expects that if he makes a good case I'm going to say 'huh...you make a good case.' These guys throw out stuff like the Paluxy tracks foolishness, we respond with hundreds of words explaining to them how we actually deal with footprints and in what manner the Paluxy track issue was dealt with...and 'they'...disappear...or simply move on to another point. Fascinating. What I find even more intriguing, at least on this blog...is that when 'they' make a statement that 'we' feel is disingenuous, we jump on it and point out our position regarding that statement...again usually supporting the refutation with data. Unless I'm missing it, when 'we' through out reasoned refutations of points, 'they' don't tend to respond with 'oh, that's bullshit, you're lying' unless we don't really support the statement. If there is a lot of data involved, then tend to just...move away. Amazing. Sorry...just ruminating here because it is such a curious thing.

#395

Posted by: Stanton | August 22, 2007 2:20 PM

Stanton, aren't you glad you didn't take a vow not to eat or bathe until P-W answered that question?
Exactly. I would make for a very poor monk or hermit. In fact, I'd sooner bite myself than give up pork products for religious reasons.

Oh, and Josh, speaking of the Paluxy Tracks, doesn't it seem strange that P-W didn't acknowledge the facts that none of the alleged "human" tracks looked like human footprints, or that several people from the nearby town of Glenn Rose freely admitted to carving many of the "human" tracks with the specific intent to draw in tourists?

#396

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 22, 2007 2:22 PM

Stanton: I am never, ever shilly. I am ash shober ash a jug, Imean judge ::hic::, dour and sombre as a true Shcotshman. Mmmm. Scotsch.

Also, I never lie. ::hic::

#397

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 22, 2007 2:43 PM

Josh: A tentative notion that I've had is that religious people can learn, but they have problems with thinking, and with unlearning. The less they know how to think, the more likely it is that they'll be dogmatic Creationists; they will refuse to unlearn, to drop the dogma that they've learned even when the dogma is shown to be badly flawed or even completely false. All reasoned thought must necessarily included discarding the false when new evidence is provided, and they simply refuse to do so. The best explanation that I can think of for this is emotional investment in the dogma and psychological identification with the dogma — they aren't going unlearn if doing so requires too painful a split with what they think they know, and changes who they think they are.

Even intelligent religious people have this problem — although the more intelligent they are, the less they will emphasize the dogma, and will instead compartmentalize it, and coming up with phrases like "allegory" and such to describe it.

This isn't restricted to just religion, of course, but it is most noticeable in religion.

There's also the probable involvement of them having a heightened sense of their own intellectual abilities. There's a psychological study out there about those who are incompetent and unaware of it; they will quite literally assert that they know what they are doing, screw up badly, and yet continue to maintain this strong confidence in their own abilities.

But I'm just armchair psychoanalyzing, here. I'd be willing to change my mind if someone showed better evidence of where the mental problems arise.

#398

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 22, 2007 2:54 PM

P-W: I have been thinking about my longer response, but it occurs to me that Josh and Stanton are right in that you don't seem to respond to questions or to new information very well. So if I'm going to invest the time in writing arguments, you need to show that you're reading them and paying attention.

So, if you would answer a few simple questions (and also Stanton's above), starting with this one ....

Are you familiar with the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears?

#399

Posted by: Stanton | August 22, 2007 2:59 PM

If Goldilocks and the Three Bears isn't in the Bible, or wasn't written by "Drs" Carl Baugh or Kent Hovind, P-W has never so much as heard of it.

#400

Posted by: Josh | August 22, 2007 3:05 PM

*Oh, and Josh, speaking of the Paluxy Tracks, doesn't it seem strange that P-W didn't acknowledge the facts that none of the alleged "human" tracks looked like human footprints, or that several people from the nearby town of Glenn Rose freely admitted to carving many of the "human" tracks with the specific intent to draw in tourists?*

Stanton, yes...it IS strange...although since he backed away from the whole Paluxy discussion almost immediately thereafter, perhaps also a bit telling, eh?

Owl, re: 396--funny...not as funny as statuepalooza (gonna be hard to beat that one...), but funny.

#401

Posted by: Josh | August 22, 2007 3:11 PM

Owl, regarding #397 above...I haven't made up my mind on the thinking aspect of your post, but I think you might be spot on with the unlearning. I met a number of fairly religious, but very smart and educated, people while I was in grad school and they were in some cases capable of being shown issues with an argument and adjusting their views based on accepting those issues, but when it came to religion, they just dug their heels in. Excellent observation, in my opinion.

#402

Posted by: Kseniya | August 22, 2007 3:19 PM

People have been known to go to great lengths when attempting to avoid (or to "resolve") cognitive dissonance...

#403

Posted by: Josh | August 22, 2007 3:24 PM

Kseniya, you're always so good at summing up the major point in just one or two sentences. Cut it out!

#404

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 22, 2007 4:48 PM

I haven't made up my mind on the thinking aspect of your post, but I think you might be spot on with the unlearning.

Josh: Well, perhaps "thinking" is not quite the proper word. Maybe a better phrase would be "generalized analysis and reason"? That is, they can think and reason about non-religious problems, but the thinking and reasoning part of their brain just stops working right when the beliefs that are held religiously are involved?

Or as Kseniya said. Cognitive dissonance make brain not work right.

I guess what I'm wondering is if it is possible to work around the cognitive dissonance/compartmentalization by small increments, or by some argument that I haven't thought of yet. Hm.

#405

Posted by: Kseniya | August 23, 2007 3:50 PM

Thanks, Josh, I'm pleased that you think so, but I have to admit that when I'm not "summing up", I tend to write too much. (I'm working on fixing that, LoL.)

:-)

Owlmirror, I do think incremental reality-checking can be effective. For example, on the geriatric ward at the local psych hospital one frequently must deal with patients who lose touch with where (and when) they are, as one might expect. Asking questions ("Do you know your son's name? Do you know how old he is?") can help bring someone back from, say, 1953, but sometimes even showing the person a copy of today's newspaper, with "August 23, 2007" printed right there on the front page, is insufficient to the task - for the delusion, though usually temporary, can be tenacious and profound.

Of course ordinary, everyday cognitive dissonance should not be confused or conflated with delusion or dementia, but to the extent that "belief" collides with "fact" there are similarities. If a cherished belief is so strongly held that no hoop is too small, too high, too mobile, or too flammable to jump through, then there comes a point where the steadfast denial of fact and evidence does cross that fuzzy line into the realm of the maladaptive.

#406

Posted by: Josh | August 23, 2007 4:05 PM

Kseniya, It is true that you can go on at times, but A, so can I and B, I enjoy reading it, so write on...

Owl, re: 404...hmmm...*but the thinking and reasoning part of their brain just stops working right when the beliefs that are held religiously are involved?*

I think you have hit on why I personally think belief is so dangerous...it is very difficult to change.

#407

Posted by: P-W | August 23, 2007 9:49 PM

The short response to your argument, P-W, is that the burden of proof is not on me to disprove your claim, but on you -- on all theists -- to provide proof of the "God" claim.

So far, all of your so-called arguments only work by assuming the conclusion first that God exists! This is bogus logic.

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 21, 2007 02:23 PM

Thank you for your reply. I hope you do not feel I am picking on you, Owlmirror, but you are kind enough to reply to my comments with issues I feel are very significant, so I feel you particularly do deserve replies on the significant issues you address.

In one of your previous comments you indicated that the Bible "assumes" the existence of God. In that you are correct. You are correct the Bible "assumes" the existence of God.

Why does the Bible "assume" the existence of God?

It is because of the fact that nature already "declares" the Creator's existence that the Bible does not need to "prove" God's existence (which is not arguing in a circle). The Bible relies on nature's declaration of God as evidence of His existence. Since nature itself demonstrates God's existence, the Bible does not make any "proofs" for God's existence.

Dr. Hugh Ross has referred to God's "fingerprints" which can be found in nature. I personally find numerous evidences of God through nature:

a) evidence of God for me is that the eye is a camera superior to any camera ever devised by man, b) the brain is a computer superior to any computer man has created, c) the body is a machine superior to any robot man can devise, and so on. These demonstrate to me that the Creator is an Engineer superior to that of any human.

Yet people conclude all of this was "chance?" While dabbling with the idea of atheism myself as a teenager, I suddenly thought of the atoms in a leaf and the atoms in a blade of grass, and I realized I could not be an atheist.


I would like to examine again your statements concerning the book of Daniel.

Daniel, as you may already know, is one of the most hotly contested books of the Bible (because the book of Daniel claims to make predictions of the future and those predictions have obvious historical events which fulfill the predictions). The supernatural claims evidenced by the book of Daniel are so obvious, that skeptics attempt to undermine Daniel by counterclaims that it is an "after the fact prophecy" (based on absolutely no evidence except the assumption that the supernatural does not take place).

Despite the fact that skeptics have been continually surprised that new archaeological discoveries regularly confirm the historical accuracy of Daniel, claims that the book is a fraud never stop. Skeptics have claimed some historical "errors" "proved" Daniel was incorrect history, yet when archaeological discoveries were found proving Daniel's book was historically accurate on those very issues, did they change their opinions?

"Herodotus doesn't even mention Nebuchadnezzar and at one time critics doubted his very existence based on that silence." 2

"The critics of the book of Daniel used to claim that the presence of the word "herald" in Dan. 3:4 meant that the book was of late origin. But, H. H. Schaeder was able to show that in fact this word was of Old Iranian origin." 2

All of the Biblical data in the world will not necessarily change the opinion of someone who rejects nature's evidence of God, although some atheists are eventually "reconvinced" of God's existence (as former atheist C. S. Lewis finally was).

With regard to the book of Daniel, you have adopted the previous skeptical position first assumed by an ancient opponent of Christianity (Porphyry). The position he took is that Daniel is (like some pseudepigraphal literature), a fraud. Pseudepigraphal literature has examples where claims are made the writing was by a famous historical personage (in order to gain an audience for the unknown writer).

"... the pseudepigraphical approach wants to have its cake and eat it too. The reason for pseudepigraphy, it is claimed, is to employ some famous person's name for the sake of one's own views. But if Daniel is not mentioned in any Jewish literature until 140 BCE, then how famous could he be?" 1

Daniel was famous, and this is evidenced by his name in the book of Ezekiel. Naturally, the counterclaim of skeptics is that the "Daniel" Ezekiel mentions is not the one from Babylon. Detailed analysis has been made of both the belief it is the Daniel of Babylon, and the counterclaim. I am not stating that the mention of Daniel in Ezekiel is "proof," but it is substantial "evidence" of the pre-second century existence of the historical person Daniel. 1

"If Daniel was written as late as is claimed then how did he know of details about Babylon that had been lost within a half-century of its fall to Cyrus in 539 B.C. (Xerxes having destroyed its palaces, walls, and temples in 480 B.C.)?" 2

"the author possessed a more accurate knowledge of Neo-Babylonia and early Achaemenid Persia history than any other known historian since the sixth century B.C." 2

"How did a 2nd century Jew know about the sexagesimal system (numbering based on 60) that was used and invented in Babylonia? An example is found in Dan. 3:1." 2

"Herodotus doesn't even mention Nebuchadnezzar and at one time critics doubted his very existence based on that silence." 2

"The presence of three Greek loan words is easily explained, as all three refer to the names of musical instruments (lyre/zither, harp/trigon and pipe/bagpipes - 3:5, 10, 15). We now know that the Greeks traded extensively throughout the Ancient Near East from at least the 8th Century BC, and Greek mercenaries were common from the 7th Century." 2

"... the fact that no more than three Greek words occur in the Aramaic of Daniel (and these are technical terms) argues against a second-century date for the writing of the book." 2

"In terms of the Aramaic of the text it has been concluded that the book could _*NOT*_ have been written *later than* 300 B.C. ... Stefanovic studied Old Aramaic inscriptions from the ninth to the seventh centuries B.C. and found significant similarity to the Aramaic used in Daniel. " 2

"Also the famous Aramaic scholar E. Y. Kutscher has shown that the Aramaic of Daniel points to an Eastern origin. ... A Western origin would be required if the Maccabean thesis were correct." 2

"in the Akkadian 'the verb normally falls at or near the end of the sentence' whereas in the normal Aramaic of Palestine it would not. ... This point 'proves that the Aramaic of Daniel (and Ezra) belongs to the early tradition of Imperial Aramaic (seventh-sixth to fourth centuries BC) as opposed to later and local Palestinian derivatives of Imperial Aramaic ...'" 2

"Vasholz notes that the word order of Daniel agrees with that of the Assur ostracon which is dated from the 7th century B.C." 2

"Pusey has reported that there was 'a marked correspondence between the Chaldee of Daniel and Ezra, and a marked difference between the Chaldee of both and that of the Targums. [In fact,] the Chaldee of Daniel bore traces of being *earlier* than that of Ezra.' [Pusey, xxx] 'The modern opponents of the book of Daniel have been constrained to admit that the Chaldee of Daniel is nearly identical with that of Ezra, and is distinct from that of the earliest Targums.'" 2

"If Daniel originated in Palestine in the 2nd century B.C. as alleged then why doesn't the language of the book reflect the Hebrew that was common at that time--i.e., as reflected in the Qumran scrolls?" 2

"Joyce G. Baldwin did a study of ANE 'prophecy' texts, specifically the 'Akkadian prophecies,' and their relation to the book of Daniel. She concludes that Daniel does NOT contain any such prophecies even though 'in form and style there is a striking resemblance' to the Akkadian prophecies. [Baldwin (1979): 96, 99; contra Walton in Hill and Walton, 349] Indeed, to Baldwin, this similarity is of 'considerable embarrassment to those who accept a second century date for the writing of Daniel.' ... After all, how would a 2nd century Jew in Palestine know so much about Akkadian prophecies to be able to 'copy' their 'form and style'?" 2

Are there quotations from the book of Daniel in literature earlier than Antiochus Epiphanes?

There are ample examples of quotations and allusions to the book of Daniel in intertestamental literature before the time of Antiochus Epiphanes. 3

If "a writer living at the time of Antiochus Epiphanes wrote the book of Daniel after the events," how is it that the book of Daniel was able to accurately predict:

a) the fall of the Grecian Empire,
b) and the history of the Roman Empire,
c) and the death of the Messiah,
d) and the destruction of Israel's Temple,
e) and the Temple's rebuilding after its destruction! 4

1) http://www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=1576
2) http://www.biblicalstudies.org.uk/article_daniel.html
3) http://www.christian-thinktank.com/qwhendan3b.html
4) http://www.templeinstitute.org

#408

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 24, 2007 2:48 PM

(so much for the Socratic method... ::sigh::)(so. trying incremental repetition instead:)

It is because of the fact that nature already "declares" the Creator's existence that the Bible does not need to "prove" God's existence (which is not arguing in a circle).

You really are completely deluded, aren't you?

"It is because of the fact that nature already "declares" the Creator's existence" - this, right there, is false. It is not a fact. It is not true. It is a basic, fundamental lie that you have had repeated to you, and have repeated to yourself, and are trying to spread to others. But you, and those that repeat it, don't seem to understand its falseness.

Nature only declares itself. Deluded people — like you, like other creationists — think that nature "declares" something else. It doesn't. All we can study is nature; all that we can infer from the study of nature is nature's laws. That's all. Those are the only facts that are evident.

To argue otherwise is speculation, and utterly unsupported speculation at that. To assert that this speculation is "fact" is delusional.

#409

Posted by: Steve_C | August 24, 2007 2:52 PM

He is.

I said that weeks ago.

It's completely pointless.

I don't know why he comes here.

#410

Posted by: tony | August 24, 2007 3:11 PM

P-W

You are seriously deluded. circular claims notwithstanding, you mention one of my favorite bugbears -- the eye is better than any camera made by man.

Not true.

The eye is pretty good (for organics). But it is completely reliant on a whole bunch of post-processing to make sense of the images that impinge on the retina. It has stupidly high latency. It has blind-spots (pretty much) right at the primary point of focus (fovea) requiring lots of micro-movements (saccades) to get that part of the field of view to impinge on actual receptors, and the general resolution is so poor it would be unacceptable in the cheapest camera-phone. It's color resolution truly sucks, with very limited sensing capabilities (and even these are degraded in a significant part of the population).

The fact that our brains can fool us into thinking our eyes are so damn good, might suggest to you that they are pretty good at fooling us into believeing some other things too (like gods)

If the eye was submitted as a 'design' for a new camera - it would not even make it to the preliminary PoC stages.

Admittedly, it (mostly) does the job. But as a camera it has huge technical flaws.

Just like your arguments.

#411

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 24, 2007 3:26 PM

It may have something to do with evangelicals thinking that it would be a big "win" to convert an atheist. Of course, Creationists can't see that the arguments are all bogus; if they could see that, they wouldn't be Creationists.

So P-W keeps returning, thinking, "Aha, this argument will convince that rascally atheist!". Of course, when the flaws are pointed out, the Creationist brain doesn't understand it, and rather than saying, "Hm. I wonder if there really is something wrong with the argument?", says "Well, that atheist sure is being stubborn!". And then: "I bet this argument will convince that rascally atheist!"

And so on.

It's creepily and sadly like seeing an insect banging against a light bulb.

"Ooh, shiny — must be the moon! Me go that way — ow! Whut th'? Ooh, shiny — must be the moon! Me go that way — ow! Whut th'? (etc)"

#412

Posted by: Josh | August 24, 2007 3:52 PM

Owl, I think P-W does a decent job of explaining why he doesn't feel that the Bible needs to set up any proofs for God's existence.

Steve_C, I know this will cause an eyeroll, but I'll keep trying for a bit...

P-W, the 'evidences' you list as support for Nature 'declaring God's existence' are essentially opinions...and you actually describe each of them in the language of opinions when you list them off (you say things like 'evidence of God for me is...' and 'These demonstrate to me that...'). Opinion or belief isn't proof of anything, and the way that you wrote that last post strongly suggests that you recognize this. Opinion cannot be used as scientific evidence. I would argue that it is not really anykind of evidence. It is more the interpretation of the evidence than the evidence itself. We're not interested in interpretation of evidence where this question is concerned...we're interested in the actual data.

Its like if you said, 'the way a BMW handles on corners proves to me that BMWs are the best cars in the world.'

Well, that's nice for you, but perhaps I drive a Porsche and think BMWs all handle like shit. I interpret the evidence in a different way, so your statement doesn't prove that BMWs are the best cars (presuming that our agreement on that point WOULD, of course...).

#413

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 24, 2007 7:35 PM

(another increment...)

Since nature itself demonstrates God's existence,

I've already addressed the first part of this statement. It is false. It is not true.


the Bible does not make any "proofs" for God's existence.


The bible makes claims about what God allegedly did. It starts with "God did this", then continues with "God did that", and "God did the other", on and on through the Bible.

Since the evidence of nature often contradicts what the bible says God did, those claims that the bible makes about God are proven false.

When a source of information has many important claims proven false, it is not reasonable to consider anything that the source says to be reliable (Baugh: Humbug!). If the claim is particularly extraordinary, it can be considered false until further evidence is found.

The bible is not a reasonably reliable source of information about the nature of the universe or its laws.

#414

Posted by: Stanton | August 24, 2007 7:46 PM

So, what does the Bible prophesize about Biology, Geology, and Paleontology?
Should I infer that, because the Bible does not address any of the three topics at all, not to mention Physics, and Astronomy, either, that, contrary to the song and dance routine Creationists do, that the Bible is not, and never was meant to be a scientific textbook?
I mean, there has to be a reason why P-W has ignored and evaded every single question I've asked, right? Perhaps that is it?

#415

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 24, 2007 9:49 PM

(another increment.. like slogging through a swamp of flapdoodle... while chained to a boulder...)

(based on absolutely no evidence except the assumption that the supernatural does not take place).

Science is based on finding the rules of nature. The rules of nature are indeed assumed to be unbreakable. It may be that the rules of nature are not fully understood, but claims that there are new rules, or even modifications of the old rules, must always be accompanied by testable, conclusive evidence.

So-called "supernatural" events are always extreme claims that the known laws of nature have been, or can be, broken. These extreme claims have never been supplied with testable, conclusive evidence. And those who make the claims have all too often been found to be frauds and/or tricksters. The reasonable conclusion is therefore that supernatural events do not happen; that they are all based on either deliberate or accidental deception or misunderstanding.

Since no examples of genuine, testable, conclusive evidence for the supernatural has ever been presented, the claim that a supernatural event occurred in the past must be met with the greatest skepticism. This is particularly true of a claim that causality was violated.

The so-called supporting "evidence" for the "prophecy" of Daniel taking place before the events being "prophesied" is either inconclusive or untestable, or both. The only reasonable stance is to reject it.

#416

Posted by: P-W | August 25, 2007 11:38 AM

The main reason for this post is to correct an incorrect reference in my Daniel comments (blog comment #407). Footnote #2 is incorrect. The correct link to footnote #2 is:

http://www.tektonics.org/guest/danielblast.html

Sorry.


I will try to address some of the comments at a future date.

#417

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 25, 2007 11:30 PM

http://www.tektonics.org/guest/danielblast.html

Well, I'm glad to see that you're at least correcting your own errors of scholarship. The problem is, your sources are crap. Who is going to correct those errors of scholarship?

I skimmed through the above. Boy, "blast" is right. It's just this huge glob of dumped points, a lot of which looks quote-mined. Of course, he demonstrates his bias by highlighting things like "linguistically impossible", and "no evidence". Funny, if a hardcore atheist said something like "The absence of evidence is proof that god does not exist", the Creationist comeback is always something like "The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence!". Bah. Inconsistent and illogical hypocrites to the end. A natural explanation is simply that at least part of the book of Daniel — containing the "language" that he's so hot about — was passed down as a document from the time it was written. And I see that I'm hardly the first to suggest that.


And I see that he's not only biased, he's bloody well dishonest as well. Right after this whole long section about those who argue that the stupid book had more than one author (a rather obvious explanation for the inconsistencies, errors, and differences in language), he suddenly ignores everything that he had just written, and summarizes:

"that scholarly consensus is that most of the chapters of the book were written during the Exile and that there was only one author to the book this means that "we may safely assert that the book could not possibly have been written as late as the Maccabean age."

Such nonsense! Such bilgewater! Such utter bullshit!


It doesn't matter how many linguistic analysis were done, nor what experts did them. If they were Creationists/Fundamentalists, they were biased and deluded.

None of them can prove that any miracles happened, like people being set on fire and not being burned. None of them prove that the parts of the book of Daniel that talk about the Greeks conquering the Persians (and much of the Middle East) were written before the Greeks conquered the Persians (and much of the Middle East).

And there's nothing in Daniel that specifically refers to the Roman Empire. There's nothing in Daniel that specifically refers to a son of God being killed by the Romans to atone for original sin.

And a lot of the so-called resolutions of the dating problems are just painfully stupid.

And finally, he ignores the biggest problem of all: The last prediction. Chapter 12 says that shortly after the events being "predicted" in chapter 11 — right after the Greek Empire arises, it falls and splits into a north and south kingdom in the middle east, and there's all kinds of crap happening, with the kings of the north and south smacking each other around — this last king arises, and loses, and then the dead come back to life.

Hello? Never happened!

"Daniel" didn't predict anything. Like many other eschatological "prophets", he mixed some myths from the past with events that were recent for him, and then bunged in this huge, final prediction that the world! would! soon! end! and the dead! would! rise!. And like all the other eschatological "prophets", his prophecy failed. Duh.

#418

Posted by: Stanton | August 26, 2007 12:03 AM

AND
How does the alleged prophecies in the Book of Daniel prove that the Bible is a reliable resource for Biology, Geology, and Paleontology?

#419

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 26, 2007 5:33 PM

(Another increment... still slogging... slowly...)

the eye is a camera superior to any camera ever devised by man, b) the brain is a computer superior to any computer man has created, c) the body is a machine superior to any robot man can devise, and so on.
and
I suddenly thought of the atoms in a leaf and the atoms in a blade of grass, and I realized I could not be an atheist.

These are arguments from ignorance and incredulity. They ultimately boil down to: you don't understand how these things came to be, therefore, God did it. Or more to the point: You don't understand how natural laws could have caused these things, therefore, no natural laws could have caused them, and therefore something supernatural caused them.

This is bogus logic. The inference "no natural laws could have caused them" is not something for which you have any evidence, only your own feelings. The next inference, which is even more bogus, "and therefore something supernatural caused them", comes from your religion, which is just traditions and stories and myths written down and transmitted by flawed and ignorant men.

This is what all Creationism, whether YEC or ID, reduces down to. It is rightly rejected by proper scientists, even religious ones.

If you don't know how something arose, then the only honest thing to do is to stop there and admit it: you, personally, don't know how these complex things arose.

Science starts from the assumption that things in the natural world (including eyes, brains, bodies, leaves, and grass) can be examined, and their properties demonstrated and described as things in the natural world. And the vast bulk of the evidence from science, from the many examinations and demonstrations and descriptions, is that living organisms, and their varied parts, arose from simpler organisms; and that these simpler organisms arose from still simpler ones, and those arose from single cells.

And the best speculation, based on all of the existing evidence that has been gathered, is that single cells arose from the complex interactions of organic chemistry.

The last part requires more evidence to be gathered, but there's more evidence for that than exists for supernatural explanations of the origins of life — which in fact offers no explanations at all, other than saying that it was supernatural!

#420

Posted by: P-W | August 28, 2007 12:47 PM

"It is because of the fact that nature already "declares" the Creator's existence" - this, right there, is false. It is not a fact. It is not true. It is a basic, fundamental lie that you have had repeated to you, and have repeated to yourself, and are trying to spread to others.

Nature only declares itself. Deluded people -- like you, like other creationists -- think that nature "declares" something else. It doesn't. All we can study is nature; all that we can infer from the study of nature is nature's laws. That's all. Those are the only facts that are evident.

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 24, 2007 02:48 PM

PEACE fellow bloggers! Thank you again for your candid comments, Owlmirror.

You correctly observed (in my opinion) in one of your previous comments that the Bible "assumes" the existence of God. You are disputing whether the Bible's "assumption" about God's existence is because it relies on "nature's declaration and demonstration of God's existence."

Systematic Theologies often have a section called "Natural Theology" which consists of the evidences for God in nature, but the Bible speaks for itself. The following Scriptures lead me to the conclusion that the Bible "assumes" (your word) the existence of God based on "nature's declaration of the Creator's existence" (my opinion):

The Holman Christian Standard Bible
Psalms 19

1 The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky proclaims the work of His hands. 2 Day after day they pour out speech;
night after night they communicate knowledge. 3 There is no speech; there are no words;
their voice is not heard. 4 Their message has gone out to all the earth,
and their words to the ends of the inhabited world.

To me Psalm 19 is stating that while the heavens and sky do not have a "literal voice with literal words" (verse 3) they nevertheless have a "message" that is universally understood (verse 4).

Romans 1

19 since what can be known about God is evident among them, because God has shown it to them. 20 From the creation of the world His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what He has made. As a result, people are without excuse.

Paul in Romans 1 appears to me to be saying, "the invisible characteristics of God are understood from the visible world."

"Nature only declares itself. Deluded people -- like you, like other creationists -- think that nature "declares" something else. It doesn't." (Owlmirror)

Perhaps you may have seen some of the CSI shows on CBS. CSI's (Crime Scene Investigators) will analyze the evidence at a crime scene in order to discover whether a crime had been committed. Often the evidence of a crime is uncovered by "inferences" or "declarations" from evidence at the scene. The "declaration" of the crime might be a bullet with telltale characteristics that it was fired from a particular weapon. The "declaration" of the crime might be cloth from clothing the criminal was wearing when the crime was committed.

We have the same circumstance with nature. What we have is a CSI investigation, although instead of being a "Crime Scene Investigation," it is a "Creation Scene Investigation." Just as telltale evidence is left at a Crime Scene which can reveal a crime was committed, telltale evidence exists in nature for the existence of the Creator. "Fingerprints" of the Creator exist in nature, which can often be discovered by inductive logic, a scientific method of reasoning. While deductive logic is a more reliable method of reasoning, natural science must often rely on the inductive method, which can be misleading, and which is less reliable. But noone in the natural sciences will discard the inductive method of reasoning, because the deductive method of reasoning is sometimes not possible in the natural sciences.

Theology is considered by many to be the "Queen of the sciences." Like natural science, Natural Theology (one of Systematic Theology's many divisions), relies on inductive reasoning like the following:

Programming evidences an intelligent programmer. DNA exhibits intricate programming. DNA evidences an Intelligent Programmer.

#421

Posted by: P-W | August 28, 2007 12:54 PM

P-W, the 'evidences' you list as support for Nature 'declaring God's existence' are essentially opinions...and you actually describe each of them in the language of opinions when you list them off (you say things like 'evidence of God for me is...' and 'These demonstrate to me that...'). Opinion or belief isn't proof of anything, and the way that you wrote that last post strongly suggests that you recognize this. Opinion cannot be used as scientific evidence. I would argue that it is not really anykind of evidence. It is more the interpretation of the evidence than the evidence itself. We're not interested in interpretation of evidence where this question is concerned...we're interested in the actual data.

Posted by: Josh | August 24, 2007 03:52 PM

You are perceptive. Yes my interpretations from the "evidence" are that a Creator exists. While you are correct that this is my "opinion," it is also my "opinion" that if an object is hurled into the air it will likely change direction and fall to the earth. Both are my "opinions."

Evidence that almost all people's believe in a God or gods is virtually universal. Occasionally some people will "unlearn" their belief in a Creator, as was the case with Darwin, who declared himself an agnostic in his later life. He became so enamored with his "general theory" (macroevolution), he became "disoriented" concerning his ability to discern the existence of a Creator. Darwin admitted that originally he had been a theist, and that he had found the "design" argument the most convincing, but later he became "disoriented" by his infatuation with his own "general theory" and Darwin was no longer able to consider the "argument from design" as compelling an evidence as he formerly had. That is why I presented evidences which I find convincing.

Some who have "unlearned" their belief in a Creator are sometimes later "reconvinced" by more rigorous evidences of a Creator which they discover near the end of their scientific careers. After they have exhausted all other avenues of investigation, they discover they are forced to "bump up" against evidence of a Creator which the average layman might never consider. Why weren't more obvious evidences convincing to them? Maybe because, like Darwin, they had "unlearned" their knowledge of a Creator and had too easily discounted the more obvious "fingerprints" for a Creator.

#422

Posted by: Dustin | August 28, 2007 1:00 PM

P-W, did you ever "unlearn" that the earth was flat, and that the sun wasn't spinning around our pancake to make the day and night? Because that's the idea most people will have if left to their own devices -- just like God. They also, if left to their own devices, tend to independently codiscover Aristotle's version of physics, and have to "unlearn" that, too. What most people believe when left to their own musing isn't a good indicator of anything.

#423

Posted by: Aquila | August 30, 2007 8:40 PM

Owlmirror wrote in post #379: "Since I didn't (and don't) know the actual genders or numbers of the Creationists who might read and might respond, I saw no reason not to use the plural neuter." Well, no... et al. is the abbreviation for et alii (masculine), et aliae (female) and et alia (neuter), all plural. Since this abbreviation is extremely common in referencing/citations, surely you should know this basic fact?

#424

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 31, 2007 1:49 AM

The following Scriptures lead me to the conclusion that the Bible "assumes" (your word) the existence of God based on "nature's declaration of the Creator's existence" (my opinion):

Uh-huh. And why are those bible verses supposed to matter, to scientists, or to anyone else who wants to find out how reality actually works? To turn Stanton's question into an assertion: The bible has absolutely nothing to do with modern biology, geology, or cosmology. It is nothing more than the record of a primitive and often superstitious people, and the only observations of the natural world within this record are naïve and often incorrect ones. It is rightly rejected for those wrong observations since evidence has been found for the correct observations that contradict it.


"Fingerprints" of the Creator exist in nature,

They most certainly do not. We know what fingerprints are because we have examples of fingers, and we can see that they leave prints; we can therefore correctly infer that the prints that are found came from fingers that match the prints.

We do not have any examples of the fingers of a god or gods, or any reasonable analogs thereof; neither does anything in nature resemble "fingerprints".


While deductive logic is a more reliable method of reasoning, natural science must often rely on the inductive method, which can be misleading, and which is less reliable. But noone in the natural sciences will discard the inductive method of reasoning, because the deductive method of reasoning is sometimes not possible in the natural sciences.

There is something wrong with your logic if it arrives at conclusions for which there is no evidence, or is otherwise bogus.


Theology is considered by many to be the "Queen of the sciences."

Many people having reverence for a delusion and making grandiose claims for it does not make the delusion true. Theology is no more a science than people with Napoleon complexes are Napoleon.


Natural Theology (one of Systematic Theology's many divisions), relies on inductive reasoning like the following:

Programming evidences an intelligent programmer. DNA exhibits intricate programming. DNA evidences an Intelligent Programmer.

And that "reasoning" is crap, since it ignores real, important differences between programs written by intelligent humans, and the way that DNA works.

Heck, the owner of this very blog, PZ Myers, knows both computer programming and how DNA generates the proteins that build bodies, and has pointed out how DNA is not like software.

There are more specific arguments that can be made. Here's one:

The whole point of how DNA works is that it varies. It does not stay exactly the same; variation in reproduction and the transfer of genetic material from one bacteria to another is the bloody rule, not the exception. The "random chance" that you so decry above is everywhere in the way that DNA reproduces.

This is in stark contrast to programs written by humans. The whole point of most programs is for the code to stay exactly the same; the input and output vary, but the programming of a particular version must stay exactly the same as what the programmer originally wrote.

There's an exception to the above rule, in genetic algorithms. But the whole point there is that the "programmer" is, again, random chance. Yes, an intelligent person performs the selection of the rules according to a desired result, but not any actual programming. And those who have used evolutionary programming have often noted how weird the resulting software is; how incredibly convoluted it is; how different from the careful, structured programmatic constructs of most actual human programmers.

Again, the important concept here is selection. Yes, in the case of evolutionary algorithms it is an intelligence that selects. But selection involved when most DNA reproduces is starkly, obviously not an intelligence. It is whether the result can survive. If it does, it has a chance to reproduce in its own turn. It has been selected for. If it doesn't survive, it has been selected against. And so it has gone, and so it goes, until the sun flares, and then later goes out.

#425

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 31, 2007 2:30 AM

Well, no... et al. is the abbreviation for et alii (masculine), et aliae (female) and et alia (neuter), all plural. Since this abbreviation is extremely common in referencing/citations, surely you should know this basic fact?

I really don't get your point here. You seem to be implying that someone who writes in English and uses the Latin phrase "et alia" does not know that the phrase is abbreviated "et al.", which is a totally ridiculous inference to make.

The only conclusion that I can reach is that seeing Latin confuses and upsets your thinking, which seems strange to me given your Latin cognomen. Are you even aware that Aquila means "Eagle"? Perhaps not.

I am sorry for overestimating your intellect and linguistic flexibility. I shall refrain from writing "nota bene" or "et cetera", or any of the many other Latin phrases that have been accepted into English scholarly language, and while often abbreviated, can also be written out in full.

Instead, I humbly submit that instead of "et alia" in my parenthetical aside above, please read "and the rest". There, is that better?

#426

Posted by: Aquila | August 31, 2007 1:02 PM

My dear Owlmirror, your intellectual prowess is really letting you down, tut tut... My point was that your stated reason for using et alia instead of et al. is completely nonsensical.

#427

Posted by: Stanton | August 31, 2007 1:07 PM

Then, Aquila, can you explain what the alleged prophecies of the Bible, whether in the Book of Daniel, or otherwise, have absolutely any bearing at all on the sciences of Biology, Geology and Paleontology, or are you just being a loquacious Jesus-troll like P-W and that idiot Roger?

#428

Posted by: Roger | August 31, 2007 3:01 PM

Stuntin, I believe the point that Aquila was making was that the prophecies foretold and fulfilled were an indication that God does in fact exist.

We find the answer your question regarding the bearing it has on the sciences in Scripture (1 Timothy 6.20) "...avoiding profane and vain babblings and oppositions of science falsely so called"

I have now watched Hovind's DVD's and believe that Kent has covered this very topic in depth, and extremely well.

Roger

#429

Posted by: Roger | August 31, 2007 3:03 PM

Stuntin, I believe the point that Aquila was making was that the prophecies foretold and fulfilled were an indication that God does in fact exist.

We find the answer your question regarding the bearing it has on the sciences in Scripture (1 Timothy 6.20) "...avoiding profane and vain babblings and oppositions of science falsely so called"

I have now watched Hovind's DVD's and believe that Kent has covered this very topic in depth, and extremely well.

Roger

#430

Posted by: Dustin | August 31, 2007 3:20 PM

Thanks for clearing that up for us, Rogquila. And now, let us turn to Deuteronomy 15:11-21. Brother Roguila, will you read for us?

#431

Posted by: Aquila | September 1, 2007 8:56 AM

Addendum to post #426: In post #425 you wrote: "The only conclusion that I can reach is that seeing Latin confuses and upsets your thinking, which seems strange to me given your Latin cognomen. Are you even aware that Aquila means "Eagle"? Perhaps not."

Are you aware that Aquila is also a geographical place? Has it occurred to you that I may be Italian with Aquila as my name? Or did you feel that my use of English - apart from an error where I wrote "female" instead of "feminine" - could not possibly be that of an Italian? So you see that your "only conclusion" is very limited and based on presumptious assumptions and "givens". Oh wait! Of course, you're an evolutionist!


Which reminds me, in post #417, you wrote: "...and then the dead come back to life. Hello? Never happened!"

Has it occurred to you that this refers to the end (at Christ´s second coming)? So, of course it has not happened yet, and to quote you: "Duh". Your conclusion is the result of a superficial reading of the book of Daniel - anyone can do that and render a so-called humorous contemporary version to boot (with your lackeys inanely cackling and clapping in response).

#432

Posted by: P-W | September 3, 2007 11:52 AM

Peace!

"Fingerprints" of the Creator exist in nature" (P-W),

"They most certainly do not. We know what fingerprints are because we have examples of fingers, and we can see that they leave prints; we can therefore correctly infer that the prints that are found came from fingers that match the prints.

"We do not have any examples of the fingers of a god or gods, or any reasonable analogs thereof; neither does anything in nature resemble 'fingerprints'."

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 31, 2007 1:49 AM

You are correct again, Owlmirror! If indeed God is a Spirit (as the Bible claims), God the Spirit would not have fingerprints because He is a Spirit (although if Deity took upon Himself humanity in the Messiah, that would be an unusual exception, and an after creation event).

But you have missed my point (perhaps intentionally?).
The idea is that of analogy, not the idea of literal fingerprints for God the Spirit (which may mean you know more than you are letting on, and you are really feigning ignorance?).

"Programming evidences an intelligent programmer. DNA exhibits intricate programming. DNA evidences an Intelligent Programmer." (P-W)

And that "reasoning" ... ignores real, important differences between programs written by intelligent humans, and the way that DNA works.

Posted by: Owlmirror | August 31, 2007 1:49 AM

I am glad Owlmirror, you made the point that my statement "ignores real, important differences between programs written by intelligent humans, and the way that DNA works."

You are correct again, Owlmirror! But the point is: it is the similarities, not the differences (between humanly produced software programs and DNA), which are the basis for the inductive analogy!

#433

Posted by: Stanton | September 3, 2007 12:02 PM

Shitheaded-Blasphemer named Roger, do realize that Hovind's "videos" fit the idea of "profane and vain babblings and oppositions of science falsely so called" very nicely.
Furthermore, neither you, nor P-W, nor Aquila have explained how Biblical prophecies apply to science.

#434

Posted by: Roger | September 3, 2007 4:20 PM

Thanks, Stintin....

Perhaps we should then move away from Hovind's evidences, and see what Prof. Walter Veith has to say on this subject.

From what I can undestand, Walter was an evolutionist who saw the deception of this darwinian theory, and after years of studying creationism, has crossed the floor, and turned his back on on your so called solid scientific facts.

I have obtained copies of his DVD's on this topic, and it is my intention to study this material closely.

From what I can pick up, it seems that Walter recently toured the US of A giving lectures covering, amongst others, the theory of evolution.

Perhaps you are aquainted with Prof. Walter Veith, and some of his work?

Roger

#435

Posted by: Stanton | September 3, 2007 5:55 PM

Roger, are you just some shitheaded little moron who is so mentally challenged that you couldn't spell my name correctly when Gabriel blows his horn, or are you just a shitheaded little shithead who doesn't care crap about what Jesus said about antagonizing people? If you really want to get me to consider taking you seriously, learn how to spell my name correctly, otherwise, I will continue to regard you as a moronic shitmouthed, shitheaded little blaspheming shithead with a brain dimmer than a snuffed out jack'o'lantern.

Furthermore, what does Walter Veith say about placoderms? How does he dismiss trilobites or ammonites? Why should I even listen to him if he has written absolutely no peer-reviewed scientific papers falsfying fossil evidences?

#436

Posted by: Owlmirror | September 4, 2007 11:05 AM

My point was that your stated reason for using et alia instead of et al. is completely nonsensical.

This has got to be the most ridiculously stupid and confused argument ever raised by a creationist. Of all the things to get emotional and defensive over, this minor little grammatical detail is what you care about?

Let's recap:

I wrote: — "([...]et alia[...])"

You wrote: — "(BTW it's et al...)"

Now, I wasn't sure what you meant by this. If you meant "the more usual way to abbreviate 'et alia' is to write 'et al.'", well, this is so obviously true that taking the time to point it out made little sense. If you meant "writing 'et alia' is wrong", well, this is so obviously false that writing it made no sense. Of course, there was always the possibility that you had some point or other about Latin grammar that you were hinting at.

So I decided to give you the benefit of the doubt and explain why I chose to write et alia over et alii or et aliae, and I wrote: — "Since I didn't (and don't) know the actual genders or numbers of the Creationists who might read and might respond, I saw no reason not to use the plural neuter."

And you wrote: — "Well, no... et al. is the abbreviation for et alii (masculine), et aliae (female) and et alia (neuter), all plural. Since this abbreviation is extremely common in referencing/citations, surely you should know this basic fact?"

This eliminates the possibility that you had anything to say about Latin grammar, and instead goes back to the first two options. However, the phrasing is so confused that I am still not sure if you mean the trivially obvious point that et alia and et alii, and et aliae are more usually abbreviated et al., or the obviously incorrect assertion that writing out et alia is wrong.

Your current response makes no sense, either. My "stated reason" is above; if you have some problem understanding it, well, that's not my fault.

If you wish to continue this, could you please clarify: Are you trying to make a trivial point, or an incorrect one?


Are you aware that Aquila is also a geographical place?

I noted it when I looked up the word to confirm my understanding of its Latin meaning.

Has it occurred to you that I may be Italian with Aquila as my name?

Well, it has now. I note that you write in the hypothetical; are you in fact asserting that Aquila is your name?

But regardless, I fail to see how that explains your confusion. What is your point? And why is it more important than discussing objections to the scientific validity of the bible or the creationist failure to understand modern science?


Which reminds me, in post #417, you wrote: "...and then the dead come back to life. Hello? Never happened!"

Has it occurred to you that this refers to the end (at Christ´s second coming)?

Nope. Why should it have? Read the text. The dead coming back to life does not follow the second return of any messiah or alleged son of god; it immediately follows the decline and fall of the last, arrogant, MidEast-conquering king, which was described as taking place after a bunch of battles between kings of the north and south. And there are some times specified in the text; even the most creative interpretation of those times is in the distant past.

Why should I creatively infer that your mythology has anything to do with what Daniel wrote? He was using his mythology, not yours.

Your conclusion is the result of a superficial reading of the book of Daniel

Hey, at least I read it and commented on it. And I read some fundamentalist fanatic arguments for a semi-literal reading of it, and some saner discussions of the text, and some archaeological source references. What have you read? And why does the book of Daniel deserve a reading that is more than superficial?

For that matter, have you ever given even a superficial reading to a modern scientific work on evolution?


anyone can do that and render a so-called humorous contemporary version to boot

Oh yeah? I defy you to come up with a rendition of the book of Daniel that's anywhere near as funny as what I wrote.

(with your lackeys inanely cackling and clapping in response).

No, you have inane lackeys. Or rather, one rather useless inane lackey.
I have fans.

#437

Posted by: Owlmirror | September 4, 2007 12:27 PM

The idea is that of analogy, not the idea of literal fingerprints for God the Spirit (which may mean you know more than you are letting on, and you are really feigning ignorance?).

Uh... It was obvious that you were making an analogy. I was merely responding in the same language of the analogy.

Fingers and their prints are examples of physical causes and effects in the natural world; the connection between them is one of observation.

When you speak of alleged "fingerprints" of God, you are implying that an observation in the natural world can only be explained by a cause that is supernatural. This is false; you have no evidence of the supernatural; of anything outside of nature.

But the point is: it is the similarities, not the differences (between humanly produced software programs and DNA), which are the basis for the inductive analogy!

But the inductive analogy is false if the premise is false. It is assumed that DNA is "intricately programmed" in the same way that software is programmed; the alleged "similarity" is an illusion resulting from confusion by those who understand neither DNA nor software programming. The differences between DNA and software are critical. There is no evidence to suggest that DNA has ever been "programmed" by an intelligent being; all of the evidence that we can find in studying DNA is that DNA's "programming" has resulted from billions of years of variation and selection.

Also, since the use of the phrase "intricately programmed" is meant to imply that an intelligence, presumably supernatural, deliberately produced the program, this is once again an example of assuming the conclusion.

#438

Posted by: Josh | September 4, 2007 3:32 PM

You are perceptive.

Thanks...I will take that as a compliment.

Yes my interpretations from the "evidence" are that a Creator exists. While you are correct that this is my "opinion," it is also my "opinion" that if an object is hurled into the air it will likely change direction and fall to the earth. Both are my "opinions."

I would not say that they are 'opinions' in the same sense. I'm presuming that you take the eye (?human) as evidence of a creator because you cannot conceive of how evolution could produce such a structure. You see that the structure (eye) exists but you did not do any work to *demonstrate* why the eye existing is evidence that a creator produced it other than to make the statements that A, a creator exists and B, evolution cannot produce an eye (you're also not doing any work to *demonstrate* why evolution cannot produce the eye). These statements are unsubstantiated, which is why they are opinion...evidence, at least the kind that would make us sit up and take notice, would be something that clearly showed a creator acting. That the eye exists doesn't work...even if evolution were wrong, the default answer wouldn't necessarily be a creator.

The falling object example is different, not the least of which because you have experience watching objects fall...you can predict, with a good deal of certainty, that if you release your pencil, it will fall to the floor. In this case, your 'opinion' is based on experience (observations of things actually falling). There are lots of observations supporting your opinion that the pencil will fall. These observations, these data, might even cause you to theorize about what is causing all of these pencils to fall when you drop them.


#439

Posted by: Steve_C | September 4, 2007 4:24 PM

Jebus these guys are idiots.

I think their arguments are perfectly round in their circularity?

Is there such a thing as quantum circularity?

#440

Posted by: Stanton | September 5, 2007 1:24 PM

Jebus these guys are idiots.

I think their arguments are perfectly round in their circularity?

Is there such a thing as quantum circularity?


No, but they do demonstrate "Biblidolatry," where they worship the holiness and alleged inerrancy of the Bible, rather than actually taking the teachings contained within the Bible to heart, and using their worship of the Bible's holiness and alleged inerrancy to prove that they, alone, know the words of God.
Technically, this is blasphemy on two accounts, but, since the Bible is inerrant, Steve, they fancy themselves beyond reproach.
#441

Posted by: Josh | September 5, 2007 1:37 PM

Perhaps we should spend more time on the flood. It is a story in the Bible that is actually testable (e.g., is there evidence that a global flood occurred within the last 10,000 years?) and which we have indirectly been testing for ~300 years.

#442

Posted by: Stanton | September 5, 2007 1:55 PM

Perhaps we should spend more time on the flood. It is a story in the Bible that is actually testable (e.g., is there evidence that a global flood occurred within the last 10,000 years?) and which we have indirectly been testing for ~300 years.
Have I asked them about which passage of the Bible explains why the trilobite Deiphon, the ichthyosaur Temnodontosaurus, and the mosasaur Tylosaurus are not found together in the same strata, despite the fact that all three organisms once lived in England?
#443

Posted by: Josh | September 5, 2007 2:33 PM

I think that is an excellent variation on what I have come to call *The Stanton Question*...I think you should use this version perhaps more often than the classic one.

#444

Posted by: Stanton | September 5, 2007 2:36 PM

I think that is an excellent variation on what I have come to call *The Stanton Question*...I think you should use this version perhaps more often than the classic one.
Correction: that's "The Intelligently Designed Intelligent Design Filter."
#445

Posted by: Josh | September 5, 2007 2:43 PM

Perhaps make it an acronym?

#446

Posted by: P-W | September 5, 2007 8:06 PM

Thank you for your reply Owlmirror (#437).

When you speak of alleged "fingerprints" of God, you are implying that an observation in the natural world can only be explained by a cause that is supernatural. This is false; you have no evidence of the supernatural; of anything outside of nature." (Owlmirror)

Inductive reasoning is the process of reasoning by analogy, or similarity. This is an imperfect form of logic which can lead to false conclusions, but it is an accepted tool for the scientific method. No, inductive logic does not require a Creator as the only possible solution. Macro-evolutionists use inductive logic to arrive at a totally different explanation: Darwin's general theory (macro-evolution). Inductive logic is based on analogy, so in the sense of analogy, inductive logic is "evidence" of a Creator by analogy. A Creator is not the only possibility from inductive logic (as Darwin has demonstrated), but the existence of a Creator is a viable and, in my opinion, more probable and reasonable option for explaining organisms than blind chance and a hypothesized and yet undiscovered and unknown "law" of nature which self-organizes matter (how much closer to defining a Creator can one get without acknowledging Him?).

But the point is: it is the similarities, not the differences (between humanly produced software programs and DNA), which are the basis for the inductive analogy! (P-W)

But the inductive analogy is false if the premise is false. It is assumed that DNA is "intricately programmed" in the same way that software is programmed; the alleged "similarity" is an illusion resulting from confusion by those who understand neither DNA nor software programming. (Owlmirror)

The strength of an induction rests in the number of similarities contained in the comparison or analogy. I noticed, for example, that in one of your previous comments you said that design in nature has the "appearance" of design but isn't really design. Well, maybe you could coin a new word? We can argue over the meaning of language, but the strength of inductive logic is in the similarities of the subjects being compared. For all intents and purposes, there is no reason to claim that design in nature isn't design, not even semantically.

Your strategy is to preempt the power of the analogy by declaring the premise false semantically. By denying design is design, one wouldn't need a Designer, and by denying that programming is programming, one can dispense with an Intelligent Programmer for DNA. By denying that law is law, one does not need a Lawgiver, and by denying order is order, one can dispense with an Organizer. Semantics will not discredit the premise. The tactic of declaring the premise as false semantically is in my opinion false itself.

You obviously have copied your tactics here, but the strength of the inductive argument is in the number of similarities in the two subjects being compared. Design can be defined by at least six characteristics: symmetry, order, beauty, functionality, and form. These are observable characteristics in design. All of these characteristics are observable in nature, and are the properties of numerous organisms. The inductive conclusion is that organisms have a Designer. While you might prefer a depersonalized designer (macro-evolution), I am confident the mathematical odds and the evidence from nature (including biology, geology, and paleontology) are against your hypothesis and in favor of a personal and Intelligent Designer, whose existence is evidenced by the material universe, and whose identity is proclaimed in the Bible.

Also, since the use of the phrase "intricately programmed" is meant to imply that an intelligence, presumably supernatural, deliberately produced the program, this is once again an example of assuming the conclusion. (Owlmirror)

Again, the strength of the inductive argument, is in the number of similarities between the two subjects being compared. No, just because a banana is yellow and the sun is yellow, that does not mean they are the same size. The number of similarities in that comparison are inadequate for a valid induction.

As an apparent student of natural science, you are evidently unfamiliar with the legal rules for written and spoken evidence, which corroborate the testimony of nature.

The evidence that humans have always believed in a God or gods is virtually universal, and is evidenced by the category of "Natural Theology" which is also referred to as "General Revelation" (revelation of a Creator through nature):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_theology
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_revelation

You will discover the roots of nature's evidence of a Creator (if you examine the above links) goes all the way back through history to include the ancient Greek philosophers, but in my opinion even further to the earliest human beings. Unfortunately, the Bible indicates that some people do not wish to retain the knowledge of the Creator. The Creator allows people to follow their own desires, but they are not exonerated from the evidence which everyone universally understands, but in some cases may deny.

Peace!

#447

Posted by: Steve_C | September 5, 2007 8:14 PM

Geeze. He never quits. No gonna let it go are ya.

#448

Posted by: P-W | September 5, 2007 8:17 PM

Thank you for your reply Josh.

Yes my interpretations from the "evidence" are that a Creator exists. While you are correct that this is my "opinion," it is also my "opinion" that if an object is hurled into the air it will likely change direction and fall to the earth. Both are my "opinions." (P-W)

I would not say that they are 'opinions' in the same sense. I'm presuming that you take the eye (?human) as evidence of a creator because you cannot conceive of how evolution could produce such a structure. You see that the structure (eye) exists but you did not do any work to *demonstrate* why the eye existing is evidence that a creator produced it other than to make the statements that A, a creator exists and B, evolution cannot produce an eye (you're also not doing any work to *demonstrate* why evolution cannot produce the eye). These statements are unsubstantiated, which is why they are opinion...evidence, at least the kind that would make us sit up and take notice, would be something that clearly showed a creator acting. That the eye exists doesn't work...even if evolution were wrong, the default answer wouldn't necessarily be a creator. (Josh)

I will refer you to the reply I made to Owlmirror (#446) and specifically to the following links which deal with Natural Theology and General Revelation, which are different ways of referring to evidence of a Creator from nature and go all the way back through history to include the ancient Greek philosophers, but in my opinion even further to the earliest human beings:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_theology
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_revelation

The falling object example is different, not the least of which because you have experience watching objects fall...you can predict, with a good deal of certainty, that if you release your pencil, it will fall to the floor. In this case, your 'opinion' is based on experience (observations of things actually falling). There are lots of observations supporting your opinion that the pencil will fall. These observations, these data, might even cause you to theorize about what is causing all of these pencils to fall when you drop them. (Josh)

Inductive logic is an accepted tool in the scientific method which can give unreliable results. Inductive analogy is a logical method of reasoning which is partially based on experience, but which you correctly note does not constitute the same kind of evidence as an empirical form of study, but inductive logic is based on analogy, so in the sense of analogy, inductive logic is evidence of a Creator by analogy. The strength of inductive logic is in the number of similarities between the subjects being compared. If you require empirical evidence of a Creator, the same kind of empirical evidence natural science requires, this suggests you have eliminated the possibility of an immaterial Creator. You cannot require the same evidence for an immaterial Creator, as you would for a material being, unless you have already ruled out the possibility of an immaterial Creator Spirit.

Peace.

#449

Posted by: Stanton | September 5, 2007 8:39 PM

So, how does this "Fingerprint of God" talk explain why no one has found Iguanodon fossils together with Dawkins' Giant Deer, Megaloceros dawkinsi, in rock strata in England?

#450

Posted by: Josh | September 6, 2007 5:54 AM

Morning, P.
Its early...I'm going to beg some indulgence from you...I will study the first part of your reply, but it will take a bit.

*If you require empirical evidence of a Creator, the same kind of empirical evidence natural science requires, this suggests you have eliminated the possibility of an immaterial Creator. You cannot require the same evidence for an immaterial Creator, as you would for a material being, unless you have already ruled out the possibility of an immaterial Creator Spirit.*

I don't require empirical evidence of a Creator...science does. Science doesn't put the notion of a creator in a different category than it would a butterfly. Yes, science needs empirical evidence of a creator in order to contemplate a creator. Otherwise, the creator is out of the realm of science. This is why we tend to say that, scientifically speaking, we don't care if there is a creator or not, because we cannot disprove the existence of an immaterial being (unless that being chooses to act in a material way that can be studied). If we're talking about science, we restrict the discussion to things science can actually deal with. Unless you're in Kansas, science 'rules out' the immaterial simply because it cannot be studied by the process of science...therefore we see it as a bit foolish to include.

Your own example of evidence of the falling object--that you used that example in the same spirit (no pun) as the 'evidence' we were discussing for a creator (the 'fingerprints' you see in the natural world) shows clearly what you posit above...that you're putting the evidence for a creator in a different (immaterial) category than that of the falling object. You and I are on the same sheet of music with respect to the falling pencil...but we want different forms of evidence for the creator...that's where the departure comes in. This isn't right or wrong...it just makes being on the same sheet of music in a discussion more difficult.

I hope this didn't wander too much...the caffeine has yet to truly work its magic.

#451

Posted by: Josh | September 6, 2007 6:07 AM

*I am confident the mathematical odds and the evidence from nature (including biology, geology, and paleontology) are against your hypothesis and in favor of a personal and Intelligent Designer, whose existence is evidenced by the material universe, and whose identity is proclaimed in the Bible.*

P, if you're going to say that evidence from nature supports the hypothesis of a designer, then I'm presuming we're talking about empirical evidence here. Unless you're using a different definition for the word hypothesis. What empirical evidence from geology or paleontology supports the existence of a creator whose identity is proclaimed in the Bible?

#452

Posted by: Stanton | September 7, 2007 12:18 AM

What empirical evidence from geology or paleontology supports the existence of a creator whose identity is proclaimed in the Bible?
The fulfillment of the prophecies made in the Book of Daniel, of course, apparently.
#453

Posted by: Kseniya | September 7, 2007 12:57 AM

I think The Creator ate too many onion rings last night, and left his fingerprints on my sunglasses. Somebody did, anyways.

It puzzles me how any thinking person can confidently insist that the universe itself is hard evidence of anything other than the plain and simple fact its existence.

#454

Posted by: Kseniya | September 7, 2007 1:01 AM

Sigh... That should be "... the plain and simple fact of its existence."

#455

Posted by: Aquila | September 7, 2007 4:03 PM

Stuntin, I believe the point that Aquila was making was that the prophecies foretold and fulfilled were an indication that God does in fact exist.
Posted by: Roger | September 3, 2007 4:20 PM

Roger that Roger - I had hoped that Stanton would have used his(her) God-given abilities to figure this out for him(her)self, especially since I pointed this out way back in post #314.

...just some shitheaded...shitheaded little shithead...crap...shitmouthed, shitheaded little blaspheming shithead...
Posted by: Stanton | September 3, 2007 5:55 PM

Rather limited vocabulary, Stanton. But there is hope - extensive reading... You could also ask Lepht what sedative he(she) is taking to make him(her) nicer.

#456

Posted by: Aquila | September 7, 2007 5:31 PM

This has got to be the most ridiculously stupid and confused argument ever raised by a creationist. Of all the things to get emotional and defensive over, this minor little grammatical detail is what you care about?
Posted by: Owlmirror | September 4, 2007 11:05 AM

Evidently you care - you devoted an inordinate number of words to my quick BTW. Sadly (for you), this does not support your "stated reason", which is both unambiguous and nonsensical. Let me state it as simply as possible: et al. is indifferent to gender and number. Capiche?

Now, could we please move on...

Well, it has now. I note that you write in the hypothetical; are you in fact asserting that Aquila is your name?

But regardless, I fail to see how that explains your confusion. What is your point? And why is it more important than discussing objections to the scientific validity of the bible or the creationist failure to understand modern science?
Posted by: Owlmirror | September 4, 2007 11:05 AM

Whether or not Aquila is my name is irrelevant. But the posed questions served as a "vehicle" to highlight the ease with which conclusions are reached without all the facts at hand and without due consideration of all assumptions made. Even the scientifically-minded can regard assumptions as "givens" over time and these should be re-assessed regularly.

#457

Posted by: Stanton | September 7, 2007 8:15 PM

Aquila, do realize that Roger is a complete moron who demonstrates his alleged "Christian love" by refusing to display the minimal brainpower to spell my name correctly. If you had the necessary brainpower to realize that Roger is nothing more than a twit who has done absolutely nothing but agitate people, you would also realize that you have utterly failed to demonstrate how the alleged prophecies in the Bible show how the Bible enhances the sciences of Biology, Geology or Paleontology.
In other words, can you put up, or shut up, please?

#458

Posted by: Stanton | September 7, 2007 8:22 PM

Or, if you truly can not demonstrate why the Bible is necessary for the study of the Natural Sciences, can you explain exactly why it was necessary of Roger to insult and agitate me by maliciously mispelling my name, AND why it was necessary for you to point out the fact that I became agitated without also pointing out the fact that Roger was goading me?
Or, is insulting demeaning people without answering questions asked of them routine behavior for creationists like you and Roger?

#459

Posted by: Stanton | September 7, 2007 8:57 PM

I mean, really, isn't it a spectacular sight watching a creationist slander a person by cherrypicking facts? Why do they do such things? Do they, as Christians, feel compelled to break the 10 Commandments, especially the Commandments of "Thou shalt not bear false witness," and "Love thy neighbor," on a routine basis because they feel that, when Jesus said to disregard the laws of the Old Testament, he meant the 10 Commandments, and not the myriad laws of Leviticus?

#460

Posted by: Stanton | September 7, 2007 9:00 PM

I mean, really, isn't it a spectacular sight watching a creationist slander a person by cherrypicking facts? Why do they do such things? Do they, as Christians, feel compelled to break the 10 Commandments, especially the Commandments of "Thou shalt not bear false witness," and "Love thy neighbor," on a routine basis because they feel that, when Jesus said to disregard the laws of the Old Testament, he meant the 10 Commandments, and not the myriad laws of Leviticus?

#461

Posted by: P-W | September 8, 2007 1:01 AM

I must apologize for the inadequacy of my previous responses (#446 and #448) in basing my evidence for the existence of a Creator solely on inductive analogy with regard to DNA. While it is correct to say there is a correspondence between computer programs and DNA, and so there is an inductive analogy, a following author indicates there is an exact attribute shared by both humanly created software programs and DNA which does not rest on analogy, but on a precisely identical characteristic, namely: the identical ability to store information which is essentially a language.

"The most striking fact about DNA is that the existence of the coded genetic information can definitely not be explained in terms of matter and energy or natural laws. Dr. Werner Gitt, a professor at the German Federal Institute of Physics and Technology, has said this on the subject:

"A code system is always the result of a mental process... It should be emphasized that matter as such is unable to generate any code. All experiences indicate that a thinking being voluntarily exercising his own free will, cognition, and creativity, is required... There is no known natural law through which matter can give rise to information, neither is any physical process or material phenomenon known that can do this. "

( http://www.harunyahya.com/articles/70scientific_world.html )
(Above quotations from an article cited by TalkOrigins.org)


Below you will find an author who argues analogy is not required for evidence of a Creator, because there is an exact correlation between a software program and DNA.


DNA and Other Designs

By Stephen C. Meyer
From First Things 102, April 1, 2000

( http://www.arn.org/docs/meyer/sm_dnaotherdesigns.htm )

... biologists now describe cells as, among other things, "distributive real time computers" or complex information processing systems.

As it turns out, specific regions of the DNA molecule called coding regions have the same property of "sequence specificity" or "specified complexity" that characterizes written codes, linguistic texts, and protein molecules. ... As Richard Dawkins has noted, "The machine code of the genes is uncannily computer-like." In the case of a computer code, the specific arrangement of just two symbols (0 and 1) suffices to carry information. In the case of DNA, the complex but precise sequencing of the four nucleotide bases (A, T, G, and C) stores and transmits the information necessary to build proteins. ...

... Our experience with information-intensive systems (especially codes and languages) indicates that such systems always come from an intelligent source--i.e., from mental or personal agents, not chance or material necessity. ... During the last forty years, every naturalistic model proposed has failed to explain the origin of information--the great stumbling block for materialistic scenarios. ...

Because mind or intelligent design is a necessary cause of an informative system, one can detect the past action of an intelligent cause from the presence of an information-intensive effect, even if the cause itself cannot be directly observed. ...

Scientists in many fields now recognize the connection between intelligence and information and make inferences accordingly. ... SETI's search for extraterrestrial intelligence presupposes that the presence of information imbedded in electromagnetic signals from space would indicate an intelligent source. As yet, radio astronomers have not found information-bearing signals coming from space. But molecular biologists, looking closer to home, have discovered information in the cell. ...

... contra the classical Humean objection to design, the "DNA to Design" argument does not depend upon an analogy between the features of human artifacts and living systems ...

... while DNA is similar to a computer program, the case for its design does not depend merely upon resemblance or analogical reasoning. Classical design arguments in biology typically sought to draw analogies between whole organisms and machines based upon certain similar features that each held in common. These arguments sought to reason from similar effects back to similar causes. The status of such design arguments thus turned on the degree of similarity that actually obtained between the effects in question. Yet since even advocates of these classical arguments admitted dissimilarities as well as similarities, the status of these arguments always appeared uncertain. Advocates would argue that the similarities between organisms and machines outweighed dissimilarities. Critics would claim the opposite.

The design argument from the information in DNA does not depend upon such analogical reasoning since it does not depend upon claims of similarity. As noted above, the coding regions of DNA have the very same property of "specified complexity" or "information content" that computer codes and linguistic texts do. Though DNA does not possess all the properties of natural languages or "semantic information"--i.e., information that is subjectively "meaningful" to human agents--it does have precisely those properties that jointly implicate an antecedent intelligence.

As William A. Dembski has shown in his recent book The Design Inference (1998), systems or sequences that have the joint properties of "high complexity and specification" invariably result from intelligent causes, not chance or physical-chemical necessity. ...

The design argument from information content in DNA, therefore, does not depend upon analogical reasoning ... but upon the presence of an identical feature ("information content" defined as "complexity and specification") in both DNA and all other designed systems, languages, or artifacts. While a computer program may be similar to DNA in many respects, and dissimilar in others, it exhibits a precise identity to DNA in its ability to store information content (as just defined).

Thus, the "DNA to Design" argument does not represent an argument from analogy of the sort that Hume criticized, but an "inference to the best explanation."

Above article by Stephen C. Meyer, who did his doctoral work in the history and philosophy of science at Cambridge University, is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Whitworth College and Senior Research Fellow at the Discovery Institute in Seattle.

Copyright 2000 Stephen C. Meyer. All rights reserved. International copyright secured.

There you have it in the words of Stephen C. Meyer:

"The design argument from information content in DNA, therefore, does not depend upon analogical reasoning ... but upon the presence of an identical feature ("information content" defined as "complexity and specification") in both DNA and all other designed systems, languages, or artifacts."

The Creator is evidenced by His ability to store information in DNA which is essentially a language. The exact same ability to store language information is found in human software programs which Stephen C. Meyer defines as "information content" defined as "complexity and specification."

PEACE!

#462

Posted by: Owlmirror | September 8, 2007 3:15 AM

Inductive reasoning is the process of reasoning by analogy, or similarity.

And.... so what's the similarity here? Can you, or anyone, point out the similarities between computer software and DNA in such a way that it rules out the DNA having evolved to its current state?

This is an imperfect form of logic which can lead to false conclusions,

Yup. Like the conclusion that "DNA evidences an Intelligent Programmer."

Macro-evolutionists use inductive logic to arrive at a totally different explanation: Darwin's general theory (macro-evolution).

Since evolutionary biology has the evidence of genetics, paleontology, and comparative anatomy, it is not merely inductive, but deductive logic that is involved.

Since science (not just biology, but other branches as well) has all of the evidence, and theology has only inductive logic, well, deduction trumps induction.

but the existence of a Creator is a viable and, in my opinion, more probable and reasonable option for explaining organisms than blind chance and a hypothesized and yet undiscovered and unknown "law" of nature which self-organizes matter

How is selection undiscovered and unknown?

Why do you never even acknowledge selection by even writing it out? What is this phobia you have about the word?

And what probabilistic calculations have you, or anyone, performed to conclusively show that variation and selection are conclusively insufficient to explain organisms?

I noticed, for example, that in one of your previous comments you said that design in nature has the "appearance" of design but isn't really design.

No, that doesn't sound like something I would say. I usually try to be more careful than that, because Creationists aren't very intelligent, and get easily confused by the slightest sloppiness.

Of course, sometimes they make shit up. Is that what happened here? Did you make up something you thought I might say, and are arguing against that? That's called a "strawman argument". Could you please avoid doing that? I know it's hard for Creationists to be honest and careful in their thinking, but could you make the effort?

Well, maybe you could coin a new word? [...] For all intents and purposes, there is no reason to claim that design in nature isn't design, not even semantically.

First of all, words in the English language can and do have more than one meaning. "Design" can mean "shaped by an intelligence", or it can mean "having an evident purpose without reference to an intelligence". For example, "The Plasmodium parasite is superbly designed to evade the human immune system and hijack human cells for its own purposes, eventually killing the human."

I am sorry that you are so easily confused by the appearance of design. But when so many organisms have features that best serve, not human purpose, but the purposes of the organisms themselves, it is completely wrong to assert that some external intelligence designed all of those features, when the only evidence we have is that those features evolved.

By denying design is design, one wouldn't need a Designer, and by denying that programming is programming, one can dispense with an Intelligent Programmer for DNA.

See? This is again sloppily stated, due to your own confusion about what the words mean, and about what science has found. A more careful phrasing would be:

I do deny that evolved design is design by an intelligent designer (except for human breeding projects, which are often sloppy anyway), because there is no evidence that evolved design is intelligent design. Evolved design is often demonstrably sloppy and stupid.

I do deny that evolved programming is intelligent programming, for the same reasons as above.

By denying that law is law, one does not need a Lawgiver,

And I deny that natural law is intelligently designed law. Natural laws are simply the way the universe works. There is no evidence that there is an intelligence who made the laws.

by denying order is order, one can dispense with an Organizer.

Since order can and does arise from the natural laws that I acknowledge exist, no Organizer is necessary.

Semantics will not discredit the premise.

Your premise isn't false because of semantics. It's false because DNA in general shows no sign of having been programmed by any intelligence. The burden of proof is on you to demonstrate otherwise.


Design can be defined by at least six characteristics: symmetry, order, beauty, functionality, and form.

Oh? Consider a rock. A smooth river-polished round one has symmetry, and would thus exhibit order and form; it can certainly be considered beautiful, for simple and austere standards of beauty, and of course, if it is small enough to fit in the hand, it is highly functional in being able to smash things, like nuts and the skulls of prey, enemies, friends, and of course, relatives.

Congratulations. You've just proved that God was a deliberate accessory to the murder of Abel.

Next time you come up with a "definition" for design, you might try a little harder to avoid for it being so vague as to be completely and utterly useless.

While you might prefer a depersonalized designer (macro-evolution), I am confident the mathematical odds and the evidence from nature (including biology, geology, and paleontology) are against your hypothesis

Since you, like so many Creationists, don't understand mathematics, biology, geology, or paleontology, as demonstrated by your unbroken failure rate at understanding, let alone demonstrating competence in any of the above areas, your confidence is obviously misplaced.

in favor of a personal and Intelligent Designer, whose existence is evidenced by the material universe, and whose identity is proclaimed in the Bible.

Remind me again why the Bible gets any privilege over the holy books of all of the other religions?

As an apparent student of natural science, you are evidently unfamiliar with the legal rules for written and spoken evidence, which corroborate the testimony of nature.

What, now you speak legalese? Which legal rules, in which districts and jurisdictions?

Something that you keep failing to understand is that the hard sciences have higher standards for evidence than any "legal rules".

"Testimony", forsooth.

The evidence that humans have always believed in a God or gods is virtually universal, and is evidenced by the category of "Natural Theology" which is also referred to as "General Revelation" (revelation of a Creator through nature):

Yawn. It's same old argument from ignorance that I already refuted. "Gosh, X exists, and is so darn hard to understand. X couldn't have arisen from just the interaction of natural laws. Therefore, X must have arisen from supernatural laws. Therefore, God did it!"

It doesn't matter how old it is, or how many people think it's true. It is based on an the untestable premise that something cannot have arisen naturally. Note that that premise is an attempt to "prove" a negative without evidence — something you yourself asserted cannot be done.

The Creator allows people to follow their own desires, but they are not exonerated from the evidence which everyone universally understands, but in some cases may deny.

Horseshit, from the first word to the last. Natural theology at best is an argument for a vaguely Deistic and distant designer. There's nothing in there that could possibly be in support of your specific mythological God in all his disgustingly cruel and malevolently petty vicious repulsiveness.

Peace!
They make a desert, and so they call it.
#463

Posted by: Owlmirror | September 8, 2007 4:00 PM

The exact same ability to store language information is found in human software programs which Stephen C. Meyer defines as "information content" defined as "complexity and specification."

I'm not going to go through that entire thing and refute it point by point.

Instead, I'm going to attack it at the source. What the fuck is "complexity and specification"? How is it defined? Is there some rigorous way that it can be applied and tested so as to determine its utility in distinguishing natural things from intelligently designed things?

No. There isn't. I'm going to expand on that in a bit, but first, a little story.

It is alleged that a famous religious mathematician once faced off against a famous atheist in the mid-1700s, declaiming "Sir, (a+bn)/n=x, therefore, God exists! Reply!", and that the atheist had no reply.

This probably never happened, and if it had, I would be ashamed of the mathematician for stooping to such nonsense. Arguments like this are essentially arguments from intellectual bullshit: "I am smart, I can spout off something that sounds smart, and I believe in God, therefore, God exists!"

Stephen Meyer, whose article you cite, is not a mathematician. He's a good writer, but his qualifications are in history and philosophy. He is in fact citing the work of one William Dembski.

So what happens when those who are actually qualified to analyze Dembski's alleged "complexity and specification" do so?

How about this:


http://scienceblogs.com/goodmath/2006/06/creationists_respond_to_debunk.php

But the Dembski line is the one that's particularly funny. Because, you see, my critique of "specified complexity" was that you can't mathematically refute specified complexity because Dembski never defines it. In paper after paper, he uses obfuscatory presentations of information theory to define complexity, and then handwaves his way past "specification". The reason for this is that "specification" is a meaningless term. He can't define it: because if he did, the vacuity of the entire concept becomes obvious.

A complex system is one which contains a lot of information; which, in information theory, means a system which can't be described with a brief description. But specification, intuitively, means "can be described concisely". So you wind up with two possibilities:

"Specification" has a mathematical meaning, which is the opposite of "complexity", and so "specified complexity" is a contradiction; or "Specification" is mathematically meaningless, in which case "specified complexity" is a meaningless concept in information theory.
The problem isn't that "I don't know the definition of specified complexity". It's not even that there is no definition of specified complexity. It's that there cannot be a definition of specified complexity.

A few more:

http://scienceblogs.com/goodmath/2006/06/dembskis_profound_lack_of_comp.php

I was recently sent a link to yet another of Dembski's wretched writings about specified complexity, titled Specification: The Pattern The Signifies Intelligence.

While reading this, I came across a statement that actually changes my opinion of Dembski. Before reading this, I thought that Dembski was just a liar. I thought that he was a reasonably competent mathematician who was willing to misuse his knowledge in order to prop up his religious beliefs with pseudo-intellectual rigor. I no longer think that. I've now become convinced that he's just an idiot who's able to throw around mathematical jargon without understanding it.
[...]

Demsbki's theory of specicfied complexity as a discriminator for identifying intelligent design relies on the idea that there are two distinct quantifiable properties: specification, and complexity. He argues that if you can find systems that posess sufficient quantities of both specification and complexity, that those systems cannot have arisen except by intelligent intervention.

But what if Demsbki defines specification and complexity as the same thing? Then his definitions are wrong: because he requires them to be distinct concepts, but he defines them as being the same thing.

Throughout this paper, he pretty ignores the complexity to focus on specification. He's pretty careful never to say "specification is this", but rather "specification can be this". If you actually read what he does say about specification, and you go back and compare it to some of his other writings about complexity, you'll find a positively amazing resemblance.

In other words, Dembski's "complexity and specification" is a deliberate and egregious argument from intellectual bullshit.

Re-fucking-jected!

#464

Posted by: Roger | September 9, 2007 5:00 AM

Stanton(correct spelling?), I have watched Veith's DVD's now and his evidence supporting creation, fossils, conflicting & fallible dating methods, and the worldwide flood are most convincing.

Walter is a real scientist, and I'm afraid that your attempts to brush aside his achievements just won't wash.

Together with the many scientists listed on the Creation Science website, there is a quote calling evolution science "fiction" I support this view.

#465

Posted by: Josh | September 9, 2007 5:45 AM

Roger,
Evolution is science fiction, but you support the notion of the flood? Could you give me one piece of demonstrable, unequivocal evidence supporting a worldwide flood that covered all land within the last 10000 years?

#466

Posted by: Stanton | September 9, 2007 1:00 PM

So, then, Roger, why did it take you so long to spell my name correctly, given as how we both live in an age where we can go Ctrl C? Why was it necessary of Aquila to point out the fact that I get agitated when people maliciously misspell my name, but without pointing out the fact that you were doing it on purpose?

Furthermore, I asked you what Walter Veith said about placoderms and trilobites, and how he explains why, if placoderms, and trilobites lived at the same time as humans, why is it that there are no records of humans encountering placoderms or trilobites?
For instance, the placoderm genus Bothriolepis has over 100 species, with fossils found literally on every continent. Why is it, then, there are no descriptions or depictions of Bothriolepis interacting with humans until the 19th century, when the first fossils of it were found in Europe?

#467

Posted by: some random sockpuppet... | September 9, 2007 2:32 PM

Josh & Stanton - i don't think it's worth the effort.

look above at roger's comments from july & october of 2006, and then from july of 2007. any attempt to even get basic details of what he knows is ignored in favor of insults, cheap shots and non sequiturs. his recent comments have been mere smug assertions that some crap creationist video convinced him, with no explanation of why. he shows no interest in even discussing what he thinks, let alone why he thinks it.

he's not only a troll, he's a stupid, boring troll.

and as for mangling of names, well, just remember that "roger" means "fuck".

#468

Posted by: Aquila | September 9, 2007 3:53 PM

Do they, as Christians, feel compelled to break the 10 Commandments, especially the Commandments of "Thou shalt not bear false witness," and "Love thy neighbor," on a routine basis because they feel that, when Jesus said to disregard the laws of the Old Testament, he meant the 10 Commandments, and not the myriad laws of Leviticus?
Posted by: Stanton | September 7, 2007 8:57 PM

"Love thy neighbour [as thyself]" is not one of the 10 commandments; rather it sums up the last six commandments - similarly "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind" sums up the first four. Could you indicate where Jesus said to disregard the laws of the Old Testament?
#469

Posted by: Roger | September 9, 2007 3:54 PM

Some Randy Suckpuppet ???? what name is that ?
Try washing your mouth...the filth spewing out is pretty fowl

#470

Posted by: Stanton | September 9, 2007 4:16 PM

Aquila, you still haven't answered my question of is befouling other people through the cherrypicking of facts typical behavior for Christian Creationists like yourself, or are you joining Roger in this schoolyard antagonism?
Furthermore, are you saying that Christians are not compelled to treat other people with respect and that it is perfectly legitimate behavior for Christians such as yourself and Roger to antagonize other people with the sole purpose of your own selfish amusement?

#471

Posted by: Aquila | September 9, 2007 4:25 PM

PZ, Owlmirror and Josh (in no particular order), following on from posts #289, #378 and #380 (also in no particular order):

I gather that the geologic periods are determined by the fossils contained within them. Therefore, for example, the Devonian period is not necessarily characterised by the same rock type across the globe, and may be characterised by more than one rock type (say a layer of limestone on top of a layer of sandstone) at various locations.

Furthermore, that fossilisation requires quick burial. Therefore the forming of geologic periods must be characterised by slow deposition (via erosion for instance) over millions of years as well as fast deposition (via flood for instance) to enable quick burial within days to weeks. I imagine that the two different mechanisms would yield distinct strata, especially distinct if the deposition material comes from different sources?

The Devonian period has been dated by the presence of Zircon crystals and other minerals within it at one geographical location at least. What is this location? Have Devonian period locations in other parts of the world also been dated?

#472

Posted by: Stanton | September 9, 2007 4:30 PM

Perhaps I haven't been clear enough for you, Aquila.
Let me rephrase myself, then.
Why did you feel compelled to point out my outburst without also pointing out that my outburst stemmed from the fact that Roger was purposely and maliciously misspelling my name?
Certainly, aren't there supposed to be prohibitions in the Bible against behaving like schoolyard bullies, or did you and Roger read a section of the Bible that permits a Christian to taunt and agitate other people?

#473

Posted by: Owlmirror | September 9, 2007 4:32 PM

Could you indicate where Jesus said to disregard the laws of the Old Testament?

Jesus didn't, yet disregarding the laws of the Old Testament seems to be part of modern Christianity.

I mean, there's the Sabbath, the 7th day of the week. That's one of the Ten Commandments right there. The commandment says to keep it, and not to do "work". There's some debate over what "work" means, but other parts of the Old Testament say that one of the most critical laws of keeping the Sabbath is no lighting fires.

Yet Christians seem to have no problem with disregarding that commandment and lighting fires on Saturdays. Summer barbecues are often held on Saturday, for example, and of course, Christians drive anywhere they please on Saturday using an internal combustion engine.

So why is that, exactly?

And that's not even getting into circumcision and keeping kosher, and the laws of purity, and all of the sacrifices, and keeping the holidays, and on and on.

#474

Posted by: Aquila | September 9, 2007 4:38 PM

Stanton, one school-yard lesson is: Do not react/respond to goads...

#475

Posted by: Steve_C | September 9, 2007 4:43 PM

If we did that, you would be completely ignored.

#476

Posted by: Stanton | September 9, 2007 4:45 PM

Aquila, you did not answer my question of whether it is typical for all Christians to behave as schoolyard bullies, or if it's only typical for Creationists such as Roger and yourself.
Why is that?

#477

Posted by: P-W | September 9, 2007 6:10 PM

I don't require empirical evidence of a Creator...science does. Science doesn't put the notion of a creator in a different category than it would a butterfly. Yes, science needs empirical evidence of a creator in order to contemplate a creator. Otherwise, the creator is out of the realm of science. This is why we tend to say that, scientifically speaking, we don't care if there is a creator or not, because we cannot disprove the existence of an immaterial being (unless that being chooses to act in a material way that can be studied). If we're talking about science, we restrict the discussion to things science can actually deal with. Unless you're in Kansas, science 'rules out' the immaterial simply because it cannot be studied by the process of science...therefore we see it as a bit foolish to include.

Posted by: Josh | September 6, 2007 5:54 AM

Thanks for your reply with some interesting and provocative issues! Well thought out!

First, to give you a general reply, I would like to ask you Josh, if "science" can prove the existence of Julius Caesar? If not, why not? Is it because Julius is not alive now, and he cannot be observed and tested for his existence on a weight scale or by some other method of testing like DNA or blood samples?

Did Julius Caesar ever exist, and can natural science "prove" Julius Caesar ever existed? If so, is Julius Caesar's existence "proven" by natural science through experimentation and testing? If not, are you suggesting that some other form of evidence is required other than empirical science?

I am not trying to be rude or clever with the above questions, I am simply using an analogy to suggest that natural science may require another form of evidence to establish the existence of Julius Caesar (a form of evidence other than empirical evidence or testable observation). This is a similar situation which we find in trying to establish the existence of the Creator Who is rumored to exist in another world, a dimension which, I would suppose, natural science might also need "proof" for? How would natural science find evidence for the existence of another dimension (a spiritual one)? Does natural science attempt to investigate near death experiences, and do all natural scientists conclude that near death experiences are "brain tricks" and that rumors of another world should always be deemed incredible? Material evidence is used to infer the existence of the Creator (like DNA's remarkable programming language -- blog comment #461), but the Creator Himself is not observed and is, according to the Bible, an immaterial Spirit (except for the incarnated Messiah which is Deity taking humanity at Bethlehem -- Micah 5:2).

Secondly, testable evidence of a Creator would, if the Creator was an immaterial Spirit as the Bible claims, be in the form of secondary evidence, like "fingerprints" from a crime scene which infer that a crime has been committed, and that the evidence of the crime is a fingerprint (or bullet, or weapon, or whatever other evidence might lead investigators to conclude a criminal perpetrated the crime). The crime was a historical event which probably was not observed (unless a video somehow captured the incident). Since the crime was a historical event, it cannot be observed again and retested, although theories about how the crime was perpetrated can potentially be tested and evaluated. Creation was also, like crimes or the existence of Julius Caesar, a historical event, so evidence can be amassed for the beginning of the world, like Einstein's theory of relativity which infers the Big Bang, which in turn suggests the Biblical account of Creation is credible when it points to the Creator "speaking" the universe into existence ( page 6 of "The Return of the God Hypothesis"):

( http://www.arn.org/docs/meyer/sm_returnofgod.pdf )

Third, Science has not always had the skeptical view of an immaterial Creator which it has maintained since Darwin's inductive (but in my opinion, false) conclusion about the "truth" of macro-evolution (Darwin's general theory), which was extrapolated and confused with and from micro-evolution (Darwin's special theory). While micro-evolution is demonstrated in nature, you yourself appear uncertain about the credentials of macro-evolution in some of your previous comments. Macro-evolution has never been demonstrated or proven, although all sorts of circumstantial evidence has been amassed by its supporters to infer its reasonableness. To demonstrate the shifting belief natural science has had about a Creator, I would refer you to a work by Stephen C. Meyer ( http://www.arn.org/docs/meyer/sm_returnofgod.pdf ), "The Return of the God Hypothesis."

In that work, Stephen C. Meyer indicates that science often concludes things about the world on the basis of abduction, a different method of logic than deduction, but a method which sometimes can give results which are as reliable as "deduction." I would refer you to the whole work, but the part on abduction is pages 20-22 ( http://www.arn.org/docs/meyer/sm_returnofgod.pdf ). The section which indicates the shifting belief in a Creator is pages 1-6, and the revival of the God hypothesis through recent discoveries in the sciences is found on pages 6-19.


Your own example of evidence of the falling object--that you used that example in the same spirit (no pun) as the 'evidence' we were discussing for a creator (the 'fingerprints' you see in the natural world) shows clearly what you posit above...that you're putting the evidence for a creator in a different (immaterial) category than that of the falling object. You and I are on the same sheet of music with respect to the falling pencil...but we want different forms of evidence for the creator...that's where the departure comes in. This isn't right or wrong...it just makes being on the same sheet of music in a discussion more difficult. (Josh)

Again, historical events which are by nature unrepeatable and untestable from an empirical point of view (like the existence of Julius Caesar or a crime committed yesterday), require a different "form" of evidence, although that different form of evidence is not necessarily "immaterial." They are not necessarily "immaterial" forms of evidence, but they are secondary forms of evidence which do not directly "replay in video" the existence of Julius Caesar or the commitment of a crime, or the creation of the universe.

Natural Theology examines tangible and material evidence (like encoded information in DNA which atheist Richard Dawkins said had an uncanny resemblance to computer programming -- blog comment #461) for existence of a Creator in a similar way CSI's (Crime Scene Investigators) examine material and tangible evidence to determine if a crime has actually been committed at a crime scene. The evidence is secondary, but there are definite inferences the secondary evidence can make for the historical event. That evidence can lead to the correct conclusion a crime was committed, and in the case of a Creation Scene Investigation, to evidence of the existence of a Creator.

Peace!


#478

Posted by: Stanton | September 9, 2007 6:41 PM

Stanton, one school-yard lesson is: Do not react/respond to goads...
So, then, is that what you say to comfort a child who, through no fault or his or her own, is forced into an environment filled with other children who derive the ultimate satisfaction from degrading, if not destroying another person's self-worth? Would you say the same thing to a person who's being harassed at the workplace?
#479

Posted by: Owlmirror | September 9, 2007 8:18 PM

The Devonian period has been dated by the presence of Zircon crystals and other minerals within it at one geographical location at least. What is this location? Have Devonian period locations in other parts of the world also been dated?

Your question appears to imply that only one dating has been done. What, you think geologists are as intellectually lazy as creationists? Quite the contrary, there have been many dating efforts over that past century, in many different locations, and using different radioactive elements, and of course, dating efforts are still ongoing. Geology is not a dead science, although creationism wants to kill it.

scholar.google.com has 18,000 hits on (zircon dating), and 3,540 on (zircon dating Devonian)

Let's see, here's the first hit and a few refs:

R. D. Tucker, D. C. Bradley, C. A. Ver Straeten, A. G. Harris, J. R. Ebert and S. R. McCutcheon,
New U-Pb zircon ages and the duration and division of Devonian time,
Earth and Planetary Science Letters,
Volume 158, Issues 3-4, 30 May 1998, Pages 175-186.
( http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0012-821X(98)00050-8 )

The site locations for the above dating are listed as being:

3.1. K-bentonite, Kalkberg Formation (Helderberg Group), Cherry Valley, NY (early Lochkovian)
3.2. Sprout Brook K-bentonites, Esopus Formation (Tristates Group), Cherry Valley, NY (early Emsian)
3.3. Tioga K-bentonite, Wytheville, VA (Eifelian)
3.4. K-bentonite (Center Hill), Little War Gap, Tennessee (Frasnian)
3.5. Piskahegan Group, New Brunswick (late Famennian)

There are 55 references in that paper; I'm not going to hunt after all of them.

But here's some:


Chemical Geology
Volume 119, Issues 1-4, 5 January 1995, Pages 307-329
U---Pb dating of granites with inherited zircon: Conventional and ion microprobe results from two Paleozoic plutons, Canadian Appalachians
J. C. Roddick and M. L. Beviera
( http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0009-2541(94)00107-J )

Here's another:

Geological Magazine
Volume 129, Issue 3, 1992, Pages 281-291
The numerical age of the Devonian-Carboniferous boundary
Claoue-Long, J.C., Jones, P.J., Roberts, J., Maxwell, S.
( http://geolmag.geoscienceworld.org/cgi/content/abstract/129/3/281 )

The locations:

The SHRIMP ion microprobe has been used to date zircons in a 1cm thick bentonite located in the Hasselbachtal auxilliary global stratotype section through the Devonian-Carboniferous boundary in Germany, and a tuff located at a similar biostratigraphic level in Australia. Multiple replicate analyses have yielded indistinguishable ages, and indicate 353.2±4.0 Ma (2s) as the age of the boundary.


This study used strontium found directly in fossil shells in the strata rather than zircons:


Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Volume 60, Issue 4, February 1996, Pages 639-652
Strontium isotope stratigraphy of the Middle Devonian: Brachiopods and conodonts
Andreas Diener, Stefan Ebneth, Ján Veizer and Dieter Buhl
( http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0016-7037(95)00409-2 )

Brachiopod and conodont samples were collected in the Eifel region of Germany, the area around the global stratotype for the Middle Devonian, with an apparent average temporal resolution in the 105 y range. Preservation of the brachiopod shell material has been assessed by optical microscopy, SEM, and cathodoluminescence and only the better preserved internal ("secondary") layer of the shell has been utilized for strontium isotope measurements.

And this study used neodymnium isotopes:

GSA Bulletin;
April 1999; v. 111; no. 4; p. 578-589
Nd isotopes, geochemistry, and constraints on sources of sediments in the Franklinian mobile belt, Arctic Canada
P. J. Patchett, M. A. Roth, B. S. Canale, T. A. de Freitas, J. C. Harrison, A. F. Embry, and G. M. Ross
( http://bulletin.geoscienceworld.org/cgi/content/abstract/111/4/578 )

Here's a review of dating methods:

Williams, E. A., Friend, P. F., Williams, B. P. J.
A review of Devonian time scales: databases, construction and new data
Geological Society, London, Special Publications 2000 180: 1-21
( http://sp.lyellcollection.org/cgi/content/abstract/180/1/1 )

Aspects of the isotopic age and stratigraphical databases underpinning Devonian geological time scales are reviewed to assess differences in recent U-Pb zircon-based schemes and older schemes based on Rb-Sr, K-Ar, 40Ar-39Ar dating of minerals and whole-rock samples. The various methods of time-scale construction are described and, with their databases, 14 calibrations of Devonian time are discussed. Finally, the most recent data are collated and compared against current U-Pb-based time scales.
#480

Posted by: Owlmirror | September 9, 2007 9:06 PM

if "science" can prove the existence of Julius Caesar?

So, you want to talk about Julius Caesar, eh?

The claims that you are making about God are vastly different from those made for Julius Caesar. Yes, Julius is only known to us now by writings and artifacts. But the claims are hardly that extraordinary! He was a man, like all men. We know that Rome exists and has existed for w few thousand years; we know that Romans exist and had ancestors going back to those thousands of years to the time of the Empire and earlier; we know that the Romans had a political structure like all peoples have political structures; we know that that political structure had a leader; and we know that at one period of time, they recorded the name of that leader as "Gaius Iulius Caesar".

We know that humans exist and have existed; we have 6 billion examples of our species. Where is the example of a God?

Note that Julius Caesar has been dead and gone for millenia. Are you trying to say that God has been dead and gone for millenia as well?

Also note that we don't believe everything that was written down about Julius. The Romans wrote that after Caesar died, betrayed by those he thought he could trust, he became a god. Do you believe this? If you do, you're even more of a credulous dolt than you've so far indicated. If you don't, though, you're just a hypocrite: Why do you reject the written Roman myth about Caesar and accept the written myth about Jesus with such tenacity that you deny all logic and reason in defending the myth?

Macro-evolution has never been demonstrated or proven, although all sorts of circumstantial evidence has been amassed by its supporters to infer its reasonableness.

What, more refuted bullshit?

All of science is demonstrated by the evidence that has been amassed by scientists. "Proof" isn't even the relevant word.

NO evidence has been amassed by Creationists. All you have is tradition, imagined nonsense, and flat-out lies.

#481

Posted by: Aquila | September 10, 2007 3:03 AM

Stanton, one school-yard lesson is: Do not react/respond to goads...
Posted by: Aquila | September 9, 2007 4:38 PM

If we did that, you would be completely ignored.
Posted by: Steve_C | September 9, 2007 4:43 PM

Hm. Strange comment from the king of vitriol.

#482

Posted by: Aquila | September 10, 2007 3:09 AM

Aquila, you did not answer my question of whether it is typical for all Christians to behave as schoolyard bullies, or if it's only typical for Creationists such as Roger and yourself. Why is that?
Posted by: Stanton | September 9, 2007 4:45 PM

Stanton, you might pose the essence of your insistent question to yourself: as far back as post #99, without direct provocation, you engaged in name-calling.

#483

Posted by: Stanton | September 10, 2007 9:08 AM

Can you answer my question or not, Aquila?

#484

Posted by: Stanton | September 10, 2007 9:11 AM

Really, are you really that factually and morally bankrupt that you are wholly unable to explain why you had to point out my outburst without also acknowledging that Roger was to blame?

#485

Posted by: Josh | September 10, 2007 9:19 AM

P, regarding #477...thanks for the detailed reply. I'm going to wade through it and Owl's take and see if I have anything to add...but as to the first question regarding whether or not we can 'prove' the existence of Julius Caesar through the methodologies of science, the short answer is no, because we don't 'prove' things in science. Can we test the hypothesis that he lived? Yes...and we have. We have so far failed to falsify this hypothesis (because lots of evidence supports the notion of his existence) and at this point continue to think that yes, he most likely did exist (though to be fair, we tend to leave to history that which is Caesar's).

#486

Posted by: Josh | September 10, 2007 10:31 AM

Aquila wrote: I gather that the geologic periods are determined by the fossils contained within them. Therefore, for example, the Devonian period is not necessarily characterised by the same rock type across the globe, and may be characterised by more than one rock type (say a layer of limestone on top of a layer of sandstone) at various locations.

OK...let's see. First, a geologic 'period' is a subdivision of what we call geologic time, which is represented by the geologic time scale. It is a 'period' of time in the (usually) past. Incidentally, it's a formally defined unit and thus should be referred to with the word period capitalized (Devonian Period). The physical package of rocks that exists within the crust that dates to the Devonian is not the Devonian Period, but rather the Devonian System. But when we're studying the Devonian Period, all of the data we're interested in (e.g., fossils; sediment samples) are held within this package of rocks that is the Devonian System (because they date to the Devonian Period). Still with me?

Historically, yes, the various systems (the packages of rocks) were defined (i.e., the rocks exposed at the earth's surface were divided up into different groups) on the basis of the fossils held within them (I'm only really talking about sediments here; how igneous and metamorphic materials became incorporated is a tangential story that we can omit for the moment). That is to say, if you looked collectively at all of the fossils that were known, there were both differences and similarities that allowed them to be separated into rough groupings. These groupings were correlated with rock packages from which they had come, and so thus we could then separate the column into different systems of rocks.

This is a different issue from that of determining the absolute age of these rocks/fossils (which is where radiometric age dating and other techniques come in).

So, yes, the Devonian doesn't mean a type of rock (e.g., sandstone) and there are various different types of Devonian-aged rocks exposed across the globe and also buried under the surface. It's important to point out that the types of rocks are pretty universal (i.e., there are sandstones and mudstones and limestones that date to every period of the Phanerozoic Era--the time interval we're most concerned about when studying the history of life). The simple fact of having a sample of sandstone in your hand--in and of itself--says nothing about the age of that rock. There are certain types of rocks that are more common in specific systems than in others (e.g., 'redbed' mudstones are much more likely to be from a couple of time periods only), but that's related to paleoenvironmental and diagenetic factors and not to the ages of the materials themselves.

Did all of that make sense?

Aquila wrote: Furthermore, that fossilisation requires quick burial.

I've pounded on the 'fossilization' issue quite a bit and will omit repeating it here.

Aquila wrote: Therefore the forming of geologic periods must be characterised by slow deposition (via erosion for instance) over millions of years as well as fast deposition (via flood for instance) to enable quick burial within days to weeks. I imagine that the two different mechanisms would yield distinct strata, especially distinct if the deposition material comes from different sources?

I'm confused by your statement of slow deposition via erosion. I presume you mean weathering and erosion of existing rocks, transport of that sediment, and then redeposition of that material into new rocks?

That being said, though, in the broad sense...yes. You're sort of talking in broad strokes about the entire enterprise of weathering, erosion and deposition of sediment. As far as we can tell, this processes is independent of age (i.e., has basically operated much the same way it does now as far back as we can look) and still happens now (e.g., I can almost certainly show you places within a few miles from your home where sand is being deposited in the same ways it was deposited in millions of locations worldwide during the Devonian). This discussion can easily be a can of worms...it's complicated and can go on and on. I'm happy to have this conversation with you, because I like talking about this process, but be aware...it's a large subject.

Briefly, though, through time, sediment accumulation generally means lots of sediment being dumped during events, separated by times when little sediment is added. So yes, the rocks in the Devonian took almost 60 million years to accumulate, but it was (broadly) a stair-step process. On land (including river systems), most of sedimentation occurs in events, which are separated by intervals of time without really much deposition going on (although there is removal of sediment). For example, lots of sediment was deposited in the New Orleans area during the Katrina event...and (by comparison) not all that much has been deposited in the two years since, although there has been a little bit of removal in various areas. In the broadest sense...the oceans, lakes, estuaries and such are largely dominated by gradual, more or less continuous sediment deposition. Even so, events are what really cause lots of deposition quickly even in these systems (stair-step). Deserts are mostly erosional environments at any given time.

Different mechanisms yield different types of sediment, not different strata. Different events yield different strata. Rocks deposited in a flood are very different from rocks deposited at the bottom of a lake or in the middle of a river channel or deposited by a volcanic eruption. But 16 different flood events in a river valley will produce a sequence of stacked flood deposits, all of which will basically look the same (i.e., they will all indicate that they were formed by the same process) even though they may be different strata (i.e., represent different floods).

Different source materials will cause subtle changes in rocks (this might express itself in color, for example), but not nearly so much the type of rock. Rock type is much more related to the process by which it formed than the materials is consists of (e.g., flood deposits from a source area containing lots of pure quartz grains, in terms of rock type, look like flood deposits from a source area that consisted mostly of organic-rich clay).

Aquila wrote: The Devonian period has been dated by the presence of Zircon crystals and other minerals within it at one geographical location at least. What is this location? Have Devonian period locations in other parts of the world also been dated?

All absolute ages for all of the different geologic systems in the column have been obtained by radiometric dating (yes, including U-Pb dating of zircons) and some other methods (these mostly for younger systems). I think it is safe to say that the ages for each period are based on at least several thousand independent measurements from locations across the globe. If there is an outcrop of igneous rock stratigraphically close to a sequence of sediment, you can bet someone has tried to obtain a date from it. And depending on the kind and age of sediment, this can be said of many strata as well. This is a long post, so I think I'll see what questions you come back with before I go further (especially since Owl threw so much out there on the dating issue).

#487

Posted by: Steve_C | September 10, 2007 11:41 AM

I beg you're pardon, I'm the King of Dismissiveness.

You're the Duke of Drivel.

If you said anything of substance, I'd engage you. But you don't.

#488

Posted by: PZ Myers | September 10, 2007 11:45 AM

Hey now! What are you doing, handing out aristocratic titles on my blog?

Duke? No way. "Mud-smeared starving peon of Drivel", maybe.

#489

Posted by: Josh | September 10, 2007 11:52 AM

I take offense here to the implication that mud-smeared is automatically an insult.

Can we abbreviate them as we might ranks?

Duke of Drivel= DD

Mud-smeared starving peon of Drivel = MSSPD

#490

Posted by: Steve_C | September 10, 2007 12:14 PM

Ok. But can I still be the king of dismissiveness?

#491

Posted by: Stanton | September 10, 2007 12:30 PM

Only if you agree to wear a rhinestone-studded jumpsuit and grease your hair, Steve.

#492

Posted by: Josh | September 10, 2007 12:36 PM

Wouldn't you rather be the ravenous despot of dismissiveness or something cool like that?

#493

Posted by: Steve_C | September 10, 2007 12:43 PM

C'mon. I'm strictly black leather Elvis.

#494

Posted by: Anton Mates | September 10, 2007 1:43 PM

Again, historical events which are by nature unrepeatable and untestable from an empirical point of view (like the existence of Julius Caesar or a crime committed yesterday), require a different "form" of evidence, although that different form of evidence is not necessarily "immaterial."

This doesn't make sense. The existence of Julius Caesar is perfectly testable and empirically investigable. Simply go dig! If you find, for instance, a large mass of writings by various contemporary sources attesting that "Julius Caesar" was simply a hoax created by, I dunno, Pompey to conceal his shadow dictatorship of Rome, then you've cast doubt on Caesar's existence. Similarly if there were a lot of contemporary or almost-contemporary sources which disagreed on the basic outline of Caesar's life--when he was born, where he had his military campaigns and so forth.

As Owlmirror says, there are a number of assertions made about Caesar which we doubt. Not only his divinity but, for instance, the various stories about his prowess in swimming, or his own stories about his almost unlimited mercy during the civil war. These might be true, but they lack the necessary empirical evidence for us to be confident in their truth.

As for crimes...how do you think forensic investigators attempt to determine the existence and nature of a crime? Did this person commit suicide or were they murdered? If they were murdered, how was it done? You run tests.

#495

Posted by: Josh | September 10, 2007 1:47 PM

Anton,
Well said.

-J

#496

Posted by: Owlmirror | September 10, 2007 2:38 PM

Are we even sure that "Duke" would be the correct form? Perhaps "Duchess" is more correct; we have no evidence of actual gender to examine.

However, regardless of the gender issue, when we examine the etymology of "Duke", we see that the term originally meant "leader";"commander".

Since there is obviously no signs of any leadership going on, "follower" would be more correct. Perhaps even "camp follower"? Let's see, one definition for "camp follower" is "One who follows but does not belong to a main body or group". That could be appropriate.

I see that there's another definition as well, whose appropriateness may or may not be applicable...

#497

Posted by: Owlmirror | September 10, 2007 2:54 PM

As for crimes...how do you think forensic investigators attempt to determine the existence and nature of a crime? Did this person commit suicide or were they murdered? If they were murdered, how was it done? You run tests.

And (I realize that this is a bit redundant, but P-W seems hard of understanding), you run tests on the evidence.

And just to hammer the point home a bit more, those tests don't come out of nowhere, or out of a personal revelation. All forensic tests were originally done as scientific experiments on physical, material evidence. I've already pointed out that fingerprint testing arose from observing that fingers leave prints. The other forensic tests are also from observations of the material world: a particular chemical binds to blood proteins and fluoresces; an individual hair from one person will have characteristics that can be compared to other hairs on that person; fibers from one particular fabric will have characteristics that can be compared to other fibers; pollen grains on a shoe can be compared to other pollen grains from a particular environment. And so on.

Where is God, that we can compare the so-called evidence to it?

#498

Posted by: Aquila | September 11, 2007 3:15 PM

Thanks folks for your latest detailed inputs on geology, fossilisation and dating. I find it all very interesting and will inter alia work through these in due course.

#499

Posted by: Kseniya, OM | September 11, 2007 3:23 PM

Can I be the Countess of Accountability?

(Why yes, I do suffer from delusions of grandeur.)

#500

Posted by: Aquila | September 11, 2007 3:28 PM

Aquila, you did not answer my question of whether it is typical for all Christians to behave as schoolyard bullies, or if it's only typical for Creationists such as Roger and yourself. Why is that?
Posted by: Stanton | September 9, 2007 4:45 PM
Stanton, you might pose the essence of your insistent question to yourself: as far back as post #99, without direct provocation, you engaged in name-calling.
Posted by: Aquila | September 10, 2007 3:09 AM
Really, are you really that factually and morally bankrupt that you are wholly unable to explain why you had to point out my outburst without also acknowledging that Roger was to blame?
Posted by: Stanton | September 10, 2007 9:11 AM
You sowed in posts #99 and 110; you reaped in post #112...

Morally bankrupt? I note that you have not chastised your mates for unbecoming language... Or would this then be a case of the "pot calling the kettle(s) black"?

Stanton, one school-yard lesson is: Do not react/respond to goads...
So, then, is that what you say to comfort a child who, through no fault or his or her own, is forced into an environment filled with other children who derive the ultimate satisfaction from degrading, if not destroying another person's self-worth?
Posted by: Stanton | September 9, 2007 6:41 PM

You seem to be speaking from experience? I certainly am - being reserved and not being able to understand or speak a word of English, I was singled out very quickly.

#501

Posted by: Steve_C | September 11, 2007 3:51 PM

Jesus christ on a grill.

If you can't stand the ridicule get out of the commenting business.

#502

Posted by: Josh | September 11, 2007 3:58 PM

Kseniya wrote: Can I be the Countess of Accountability?

Oh Kseniya...in my eyes you're the countess of so much more than that... But if we're gonna vote...sure...I'll support a petition to promote to that rank.

Will that make you:

Kseniya, OM, CA

or CA Kseniya, OM?

#503

Posted by: Owlmirror | September 11, 2007 4:05 PM

(...And another thing, in response to P-W's repeated assertions about using inductive logic to argue for Natural Theology...)

I've been thinking about inductive logic, and it occurs to me that another argument can be made from inductive logic as well, to a certain extent. Follow, please:

Humans have the examples of other humans to look to. One important and striking trait that humans have is that humans can and do communicate; the more intelligent humans are, the better they are at communicating with each other. Even if two humans don't have a common language, they can learn each other's language through gestures, actions, and other signifiers.

Not all humans are equally communicative. However, even someone who is generally quiet can make some indication that a question was heard; they can make a gesture, or otherwise indicate that they are aware of the other person attempting to communicate.

Some humans have nonfunctional speech systems; they are mute.
Some humans have nonfunctional hearing; they are deaf.
Some humans have nonfunctional sight; they are blind.
But even the deaf and mute can either respond to gesture or use gesture to communicate. Those who are deaf and mute and blind can respond at least to touch; to gestures drawn with a finger on their hands.

Some humans have nonfunctional bodies; they are not merely mute, but paralyzed, so that they cannot gesture either. But even they can blink, at least, or move their eyes.

Some humans are so badly paralyzed that they cannot move their eyes voluntarily with any regularity. But in recent years, their brains can be monitored, and activity indicates that they can at least hear questions.

Of course, sleeping humans cannot communicate; nor can completely catatonic ones. And when humans are completely dead, they cannot communicate at all ever again.

Otherwise normal but deeply depressed or bad-tempered and sullen humans might be able to communicate, but will refuse to do so.

Otherwise normal but busy or distracted humans might be able to communicate, but their attention is focused on something else that is important to them. But even a distracted person can communicate once their attention is no longer distracted.

The god hypothesis is that there is an entity of enormous intelligence and enormous power that exists. Theists have asserted that this entity is immaterial, non-physical.

But even if we grant the highly improbable hypothesis that an intelligence is possible without an evident body of some sort, there is a huge problem: This supposed intelligent and powerful entity refuses to communicate clearly and effectively as even the least intelligent human can. Does the entity suffer from one of the communication-stopping defects that humans suffer from, listed above?

Theists tend to make excuses for this entity, yet here, the choice seems clear:

Given the options of
(a) believing in an enormously intelligent and powerful immaterial entity that cannot or will not communicate, and
(b) deciding that such a ridiculous contradiction in terms does not exist,
the latter is by far the simplest and most likely logical conclusion.

#504

Posted by: Aquila | September 11, 2007 4:59 PM

If you can't stand the ridicule get out of the commenting business.
Posted by: Steve_C | September 11, 2007 3:51 PM
Thankyou Steve_C! Something useful from you is a welcome change. But do you think your mate, Stanton, will be convinced?
#505

Posted by: Steve_C | September 11, 2007 5:16 PM

So obtuse.

I get it. You can't stop playing dumb.

#506

Posted by: Aquila | September 11, 2007 5:28 PM

I get it...
Posted by: Steve_C | September 11, 2007 5:16 PM

I doubt that. And to quote: "You wouldn't get it if it came in a large bag marked it".

It is almost 23:30 in this part of the world - good night.

#507

Posted by: Steve_C | September 11, 2007 5:34 PM

I thought they were supposed to be witty in that part of the world.

Apparently not.

#508

Posted by: Stanton | September 11, 2007 8:51 PM

Aquila, you still have not answered why you singled out my outburst without also acknowledging that Roger was maliciously misspelling my name beforehand.
Why did you do that?
Am I to believe that the non-English-speaking country where you live, Christians are allowed to do whatever they please and are not held accountable for their actions?
Or, did you intend to take advantage of the fact that Roger is nothing more than a simpering Jesus-troll, and lack the courage to confess to this?

#509

Posted by: Steve_C | September 11, 2007 9:08 PM

I believe his answer was..."You reap what you sow" and pointed out two of your posts before Roger's.

#510

Posted by: Stanton | September 11, 2007 9:19 PM

And how does that excuse Roger from being an unabashed troll or Aquila from being a perfidious quote miner who can't explain why the alleged prophecies of the Book of Daniel are relevant to Biology?

#511

Posted by: Stanton | September 11, 2007 9:42 PM

Furthermore, Steve, what sort of commentary would you make about the mental prowess of a person, such as Roger, who is honestly aghast over the idea that the US government considers the idea of laundering money in the name of God and Heaven to be a felony crime punishable by decades in prison, or believes in his heart of hearts that koalas, wombats and snake lizards were able to reach Australia from Mount Ararat before tigers, antelopes and elephants?

#512

Posted by: Steve_C | September 11, 2007 9:57 PM

It doesn't.

People who think the story of Noah is true are dipshits.

Morons. Sheep. Godbots.

The story is complete crap. And not even original.

#513

Posted by: P-W | September 13, 2007 6:23 PM

Thank you for your extensive comments (#462, 463), Owlmirror.

I hope you will forgive me for being selective about my own responses, but I am not well-informed about some scientific issues, and I find it necessary to do research to make hopefully halfway intelligent comments (plus or minus) to more informed scientific knowledge. I also sometimes need to take time to process the meanings conveyed by other people's statements.

Sometimes I find the story of the man and the forest to fit my situation rather appropriately. The story goes that a man was told about a forest by his friend, so he went to investigate, and when he got to its location he used his cell phone to query his friend and said to him, "Forest? What forest? I don't see any forest! All I see are trees that are in the way!"

I believe I am not always alone on this feeling.

Anyway, to address some of your issues:

Macro-evolutionists use inductive logic to arrive at a totally different explanation: Darwin's general theory (macro-evolution). P-W

Since evolutionary biology has the evidence of genetics, paleontology, and comparative anatomy, it is not merely inductive, but deductive logic that is involved. (Owlmirror)

While you may be correct that evidence for micro-evolution from genetics, paleontology, and comparative anatomy can be, and sometimes probably is, deductive, or at least abductive, I continue to maintain that since (in the opinion of Creationists like myself), evidence for MICRO-evolution does not necessarily constitute evidence for MACRO-evolution, that the "evidence" for macro-evolution continues (in my opinion) to be inductive rather than deductive.

but the existence of a Creator is a viable and, in my opinion, more probable and reasonable option for explaining organisms than blind chance and a hypothesized and yet undiscovered and unknown "law" of nature which self-organizes matter (P-W)

How is selection undiscovered and unknown? (Owlmirror)

I believe my vague statement was misinterpreted here. In referring to "self-organizing" matter, I was referring to spontaneous generation and abiogenesis (the hypothetical development of living organisms from inanimate matter unaided by the Superior Intelligence of Genesis 2:7).

Why do you never even acknowledge selection by even writing it out? What is this phobia you have about the word? (Owlmirror)

I do not have a phobia for the phrase "natural selection" as it pertains to MICRO-evolution (which refers to the environment as the "breeder" of specific characteristics). I strenuously object to the term when it is used of MACRO-evolution, because MACRO-evolution has never been demonstrated as a factual process. "Natural selection" (in the case of MACRO-evolution) is an inductive hypothesis which has not been confirmed because MACRO-evolution itself fails to be confirmed. If macro-evolution were confirmed, then it could follow naturally that "natural selection" might also probably apply to cases of macro-evolution, just as natural selection applies in cases of MICRO-evolution.

"I am sorry that you are so easily confused by the appearance of design. But when so many organisms have features that best serve, not human purpose, but the purposes of the organisms themselves, it is completely wrong to assert that some external intelligence designed all of those features, when the only evidence we have is that those features evolved. (Owlmirror)

I am glad you used a loaded term: "purpose." That loaded term has obvious connotations for Intelligent Design which I assume you would also object to. The word "purpose" was one of the six characteristics of design which I had observed, but which I had accidentally omitted in my list of design characteristics (I had stated there are at least "six" characteristics of design but had inadvertently only listed five characteristics for design in a previous blog comment).

"I do deny that evolved design is design by an intelligent designer (except for human breeding projects, which are often sloppy anyway), because there is no evidence that evolved design is intelligent design. Evolved design is often demonstrably sloppy and stupid." (Owlmirror)

In comparison to your views, I have evidently come to a different conclusion about the original design of organisms. I believe the original organisms aboard Noah's Ark, and those organisms which survived apart from the Ark (in what I believe was a universal, not a localized, flood) had all of the genetic capabilities for producing all of the known varieties and breeds of organisms today, including the different races of man). Those organisms aboard the Ark are examples for micro-evolution (Darwin's special theory), which I define as "the shuffling of genes" and also as "the environment and geographical isolation sometimes causing some genetic combinations to be more favored than others (natural selection)." Those organisms surviving aboard the Ark and apart from the Ark were descendants of what I believe were Intelligently Designed ancestral organisms (Genesis 1), an opinion, which you evidently may not share.

Semantics will not discredit the premise. (P-W)

Your premise isn't false because of semantics. It's false because DNA in general shows no sign of having been programmed by any intelligence. The burden of proof is on you to demonstrate otherwise. (Owlmirror)

I am nowhere as familiar with DNA as you may be, and I should probably read PZ's article on DNA, but maybe I can spot a forest where you only may be able to spot the trees? There are several lines of evidence that suggest to me (although they may not be convincing to you) that DNA is the product of Intelligent Design.

1. As Stephen C. Meyer noted in quoting atheist Richard Dawkins, "'The machine code of the genes is uncannily computer-like.' In the case of a computer code, the specific arrangement of just two symbols (0 and 1) suffices to carry information. In the case of DNA, the complex but precise sequencing of the four nucleotide bases (A, T, G, and C) stores and transmits the information necessary to build proteins." (#461) I have done a little toying with programming myself, so I have a limited understanding of programming languages, and the nucleotides analogy to the binary system is a sufficient analogy for me to conclude an Intelligent Designer was behind DNA.

2. I also noticed this article on a computer program which was developed for deciphering DNA and which was first tested on a novel by Jane Austen without having ever been programmed to understand English ( http://www.physorg.com/news82989044.html ). I consider this computer program to decipher DNA and its capability to operate on the English language an adequate illustration of the similarity between English and DNA for "information content" defined as "complexity and specification."

3. I have used computer virus and maintenance software in rebuilding the information on some computer hard drives I have used. I noticed the "uncanny resemblance" (to allude to the words of atheist Richard Dawkins) of the color map (use the On/Off switch) for DNA found at
( http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/genome/expl_01_onoff.html or
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/genome/explore_wave.html or
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/genome/explore.html ) and the color map of a hard drive (which depicts specific types of information being repaired by color) which is created by maintenance software while it is in the process of rebuilding the information on the hard drive.

4. Another code was discovered with regard to DNA ( http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/25/science/25dna.html?ex=1311480000&en=34d8e6ced8d42f47&ei=5089 ).

5. DNA is even replacing silicon chips in human computers: ( http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v22/i2/focus.asp#DNA ) and

The Sunday Mail (Brisbane), January 16, 2000, p. 20.
Minneapolis Star Tribune, , January 13, 2000.
Nature, January 13, 2000, pp. 143-144, 175-179, and

New York Times, , December 6, 1999.
New Scientist, December 11, 1999, p. 8 and

( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNA_computing ) and

( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MAYA_II ).

6. A statement by Bill Gates comparing DNA to computer code ( http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/quotes/mine/part4.html ).

As a summary, the above information (some of which attests to the "language" characteristics of DNA) suggests to me that the Genesis 1 account of the Creator "speaking" and then "creating" the organisms on earth, is accurate. The "speaking" and "creating" language was, perhaps, DNA?


Natural theology at best is an argument for a vaguely Deistic and distant designer. (Owlmirror)

I knew there was a theologian lurking in you somewhere, Owlmirror! Your concession is noted. Still, in an effort to tweak your theology, it has been noted by Stephen C. Meyer that Deism and Pantheism have some difficulties with new discoveries by science (pages 6, and 24-25 of "The Return to the God Hypothesis"). While Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson may have been able to maintain the credibility of Deism's "reconstruction" of the Creator in their day, the theory of relativity and the Big Bang suggest Deism's and Pantheism's "reconstructions" of the Creator are grossly inadequate (see pages 6 and 24-25 of "The Return of the God Hypothesis": ( http://www.arn.org/docs/meyer/sm_returnofgod.pdf ).


I mean, there's the Sabbath, the 7th day of the week. That's one of the Ten Commandments right there. The commandment says to keep it, and not to do "work". (Owlmirror #473)

As a side note, I noticed your statement about the Sabbath. If it were somehow validated that macro-evolution was the tool used by which the Creator made the different organism's on earth (which I believe is highly unlikely, but I admit my interpretation of the Genesis text is potentially wrong), and if it could be demonstrated that the proper interpretation of Genesis 2:7 is that of a literal "process" (macro-evolution) rather than a literal "event" (creation), I would be forced to adopt a form of theistic macro-evolution which probably most macro-evolutionists would find repulsive.

If I were the above hypothetical theistic macro-evolutionist, and some creationist came to me with the objection that "macro-evolution is not capable of being demonstrated today," my pat answer to the creationist would be, "Well of course macro-evolution is not demonstrable today! Haven't you read that God rested on the Sabbath, and that He created in only six day-ages? If macro-evolution were still going on today, the Genesis account would be proven incorrect, because present day macro-evolution would prove the creation process is still going on since macro-evolution is a tool for creating newer and higher life forms!"

While I am not a macro-evolutionist, one of the reasons I believe macro-evolution is not going on now (if it were the method the Creator used to produce living organisms), is that the Creator rested on the Sabbath and did not resume the task of creating, which was completed on the sixth day.

At present, I remain a perpetual skeptic of macro-evolution, even in a theistic form, and I am extremely skeptical about macro-evolution being the technique used by the Creator to create the organisms on earth.

Peace.

#514

Posted by: Owlmirror | September 14, 2007 7:03 PM

P-W, I've gotten bored with you.

My efforts have been to try and explain science as it is currently understood, and why the myths of religion are not science; why it is fundamentally wrong to try and claim that there is any support of those myths in modern science.

However, this requires mental effort and intellectual honesty on your part. You have shown no effort in trying to understand the science; you have repeatedly demonstrated the intellectual dishonesty of the permanently indoctrinated and deluded.

Your most recent response is probably the saddest example of this; you seem to think that because you've run some software programs, and done some "toying" with programming, you're somehow qualified to judge that DNA was intelligently programmed?

Your other points are even more confused. No-one has denied that DNA is complex, has consistent patterns, and acts in some ways like software, or can be used in problem-solving. But all of the evidence from those who study DNA is that the apparent programming is emergent: no intelligence was or is involved.

I addressed your confusion over macro- and micro-evolution at #268. Your response is simply confused, but I don't think there's much point in trying to explain things clearer, since you aren't interested in paying attention or learning.


And worse yet, you still bring up Noah's Flood — which is nothing more than an ancient myth; it was disproved as a scientific hypothesis more than a hundred years ago, by geologists who actually went looking hard for the evidence, and didn't find it. Some were devoutly religious, but they were more honest than any modern Creationist — when they could not find evidence of a universal flood, they said so. They charted rocks and strata from all over the place, laying the groundwork for modern geology, which is now able to date the strata, going back hundreds of millions and billions of years.


Your problem, P-W, is not that you are seeing a forest where others are seeing trees. Your problem is that you are reading a map created by those who never saw the territory, who have never looked at the territory, and who misinterpret and deny the true data being reported by those who are actually exploring the territory. You are seeing a forest where there is nothing. You, and your sources of information, are confused and deluded.


Since you read my question about the Sabbath, but appear to have decided to disregard the point, I'll put it here as a set of statements:

1. In the bible, God says not to light fires on the Sabbath.
2. Christians do light fires on the Sabbath.
3. Therefore, Christians do disregard God's commandment about keeping the Sabbath.

I doubt you'll address it, though. It has nothing to do with evolution, and everything to do with fundamental Christian hypocrisy. I don't particularly care; the religious commandments are as irrelevant to me as the taboos of any other primitive tribes. But I sometimes wonder how Fundamentalist Christians, who bend over backward to interpret some parts of the bible as being literally true, justify their blatant double-standards and hypocrisy. No doubt it's the same way you deal with scientific arguments: you ignore the facts whenever they are inconvenient to your deluded mindset.

#515

Posted by: Steve_C | September 17, 2007 10:05 AM

Anyone who believes the story of the Ark is true should be laughed at, then ignored.

#516

Posted by: Steve_C | September 17, 2007 10:08 AM

Anyone who believes the story of the Ark is true should be laughed at, then ignored.

#517

Posted by: Josh | September 17, 2007 4:00 PM

The Flood. Yeah, P...that's a tough one. As a scientific hypothesis, it gets hammered rather hard. Not only has no one found evidence of it, they keep finding evidence that directly argues against it (not to mention that the evolution of the science of physics has driven more than few nails into its coffin). If you'd like to discuss it, I'm happy to...

#518

Posted by: Stanton | September 17, 2007 9:00 PM

Not only has no one found evidence of it, they keep finding evidence that directly argues against it (not to mention that the evolution of the science of physics has driven more than few nails into its coffin). If you'd like to discuss it, I'm happy to...
Such as the fossil records of equines and brontotheres suggesting that they came through Asia from North American, and how not a single kangaroo, koala or wombat fossil is found outside of Australia, let alone in Turkey?
#519

Posted by: Roger | September 18, 2007 5:38 PM

Stuntin, what kind of science are you propagating now????
Just because you can't find a fossil outside of Australia ???? Such nonsense.... last week I could not find my car keys...there you have it...there is no such thing as a car ...that proves beyond any doubt that you are linked to an ape

#520

Posted by: Rey Fox | September 18, 2007 8:29 PM

Yeah, Stoontoon, Jesus/God/Holy Vapor magicaly teleported all the Australian marsupials after the Flood! The lack of fossils totally proves this!

On an unrelated note, this crack cocaine that Roger gave me is friggin' SWEET.

#521

Posted by: Stanton | September 18, 2007 9:26 PM

Roger, that you have to resort to a monumentally pathetic insult rather than even attempt to pull one of your beloved video mentors' pathetic explanations out of your ass to counter my pointing out that the fossil record repeatedly contradicts the Noachian Flood simply reinforces the fact that you are both fatally naive and maliciously stupid.
Didn't you go into a big song and dance about how this one South African veterinarian made a bunch of pathetic internet videos on how he saw the Light and disproved Evolutionary Biology? Didn't you say that this twit had evidence that explained why the fossil record apparently contradicts the Noachian Flood?
Oh, wait, Creationists don't need to obey the Commandment of "Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness."
Of course, then there's the fact that you lack even the most rudimentary brainpower to copy and paste my own name.

#522

Posted by: nemo | September 19, 2007 2:57 PM

what a thoroughly unpleasant lot you all are! have looked at other "scientific" vs religion sites and they seem to be able to have a civilised discussion / debate without name calling and insults. but perhaps, they're more evolved...

am v grateful i didn't go "the science route" - it seems to make people quite nasty.

#523

Posted by: Steve_C | September 19, 2007 3:12 PM

Don't worry. We're greatful too.

If the creationists weren't such dense nitwits... we wouldn't get so "mean".

#524

Posted by: nemo | September 19, 2007 3:27 PM

aah, there you go again.

perhaps your education wasn't as complete as you thought. it seems to be entirely impossible for you to make a reasonable comment without insults.

as i say, you lot seem to be an unusually unpleasant bunch. there are other sites where "scientists", athiests and christians can comment (and disagree) like adults, without the sniggering and name calling.

from where i'm sitting, it looks like this site is for little boys with big egos

#525

Posted by: Brownian | September 19, 2007 3:39 PM

Nemo, try going to a conference of physicians and telling them they really should listen to your theory about how all disease is caused by and imbalance of the four humours.

Why not head down to an MLB game, hop onto the field and tell the umpire you've got a book that says (with some interpretation) that last pitch was actually over the plate?

Maybe the boys on the line at Ford would be grateful to hear how an angel came to you in a dream and said that cars can be safely assembled with wads of chewing gum rather than bolts and welds.

I'm sure they'll accord your beliefs all the respect they deserve with none of the 'nastiness' you see here.

Do let us know how it goes, willya?

#526

Posted by: Rey Fox | September 19, 2007 3:46 PM

You seem to think you're entitled to not get insulted. We get folks like you coming on our board all the time and whining about how mean we are, and they almost never have anything else to contribute to the discussion. It's like they just skim over entire threads and only read the naughty words. Heck, the way you put "science" and "scientist" in quote marks clearly signals to me that you have no respect for us (and is a pretty good sign that you have no respect for empirical evidence). So why should we make nice?

I suggest you go back to those other fora you mentioned where they tell you that it's okay to believe centuries-old dogma rather than actual facts. You're not going to get that here.

#527

Posted by: nemo | September 19, 2007 3:56 PM

you misunderstand, having different views and beliefs is one thing, resorting to name calling is another.
i'm not saying one group or another should suddenly change their views, but it would make for more interesting reading (for both sides) without all the rubbish.

#528

Posted by: MAJeff | September 19, 2007 3:58 PM

But, your "side's" views are the rubbish.

#529

Posted by: Josh | September 19, 2007 3:59 PM

Thanks for the generalization, Nemo, but I don't snigger or refer to name calling unless I think someone truly deserves it. If you can point to me a place on this blog where my ego has gotten the best of me and I've been nasty without provocation, I'll apologize for it...immediately. I'm rather skeptical you can find a case where I've been nasty at all, however. I don't appreciate being painted by such a blanket statement. Nor actually, do I appreciate the tacit insult leveed by your choice to type scientists in quotes. I am a scientist, thank you very much. I do it for a living, and have the graduate degrees and the peer-reviewed publications to back it up. If you're going to accuse people of being childish, it is perhaps wise to make sure you've outgrown your own diapers.

#530

Posted by: Steve_C | September 19, 2007 5:17 PM

Creationism and ID are garbage.
Worthless, meaningless crap.

Nemo should I say what a great and wonderful idea Adam and Eve and Noah's ark are?

The people who come on here and whine about us being mean believe those things are actually true events.

I think they should be laughed at.

Do you like being laughed at Nemo?

#531

Posted by: nemo | September 19, 2007 5:23 PM

josh, i do apologise to you. it was not my intention to lump you together with the others. your comments have been quite intersting. i am actually very interested in what both sides have to say.
regards

#532

Posted by: Aquila | May 17, 2008 6:31 PM

Thanks folks for your latest detailed inputs on geology, fossilisation and dating. I find it all very interesting and will inter alia work through these in due course.
Posted by: Aquila | September 11, 2007 3:15 PM

...Different mechanisms yield different types of sediment, not different strata. Different events yield different strata....
Posted by: Josh | September 10, 2007 10:31 AM
Josh, so a band of rock ostensibly of the same colour is not necessarily a stratum in itself but may comprise several strata representing several events, whilst a stratum may have different types of sediment due to different mechanisms (fast vs. slow deposition). But wouldn't fast vs. slow deposition be different events, and hence result in different strata?

In post #517 you (and Owlmirror, post #514) comment that geologists could not find any evidence for a universal flood. What would constitute such evidence?
#533

Posted by: Brownian, OM | May 17, 2008 7:03 PM

For one thing, a global flood would leave a distinctive 18O/16O ratio, distributed worldwide, as a result of the Dole effect.

#534

Posted by: phantomreader42 | May 17, 2008 9:07 PM

Aquila @ #532:

In post #517 you (and Owlmirror, post #514) comment that geologists could not find any evidence for a universal flood. What would constitute such evidence?

Now there's a good question (though one that the people claiming there actually was such a flood should be trying to answer, but they don't).

Here's an interesting site I've seen on the subject.

A local flood leaves evidence, it disrupts things in predictable ways. A global flood would have much more serious effects, over a much larger scale, and therefore would be expected to leave much more evidence. And yet, not a speck of anything that even looks like evidence of a global flood has been found.

#535

Posted by: phantomreader42 | May 17, 2008 9:14 PM

And what's with doing necromancy on a months-dead thread to ask questions about bullshit like flood geology?

#536

Posted by: Steve_C | May 17, 2008 9:37 PM

He's back out, on parole.

#537

Posted by: Owlmirror | May 17, 2008 10:49 PM

Zombi thread rise from the dead
and wants to eat pick ur BRAAAAIINS

#538

Posted by: Owlmirror | May 18, 2008 12:33 AM

However, more seriously regarding flood geology: One might want to research on James Hutton, and other early geologists, such as James Playfair and Charles Lyell.

However, the early geologist that I had in mind was the very devout Adam Sedgwick.


And related to the topic, a somewhat discursive early history of geology.

#539

Posted by: Rey Fox | May 18, 2008 12:43 AM

And then there's that worldwide layer of black clay from the K/T extinction event. Why isn't there anything in the Good Book about a global fire?

#540

Posted by: Roger | May 18, 2008 12:53 PM

Aquila, Aquila, what are you doing looking for info from these chaps?

Scroll back and read comment #129... these guys are posing as "scientists". They have nothing to offer you.

Even PZ has admitted it is just a THEORY, and it cannot be proved. So don't get all hung up on it. Just drop it into the trashbin.

Rather get hold of the material from Kent, or Walter Veith...these guys are real scientists, and they can explain what you need to know. It makes far more sense.

#541

Posted by: anon | May 18, 2008 1:30 PM

Hey, Rogeridiot, Wikipedia says you're wrong

A theory is a logically self-consistent model or framework for describing the behavior of a related set of natural or social phenomena. It originates from or is supported by experimental evidence (see scientific method). In this sense, a theory is a systematic and formalized expression of all previous observations, and is predictive, logical, and testable. In principle, scientific theories are always tentative, and subject to corrections or inclusion in a yet wider theory.

And if Kent Hovind is a real scientist, then how come he doesn't have any degrees from any accredited schools and never engaged in any scientific research whatsoever?

#542

Posted by: Owlmirror | May 18, 2008 2:11 PM

Kent "Convicted Felon" Hovind doesn't even know his own bible, let alone anything about science. Kent "Jailbird" Hovind thinks that "Render unto Caesar" doesn't apply to him. Nor does Kent "Criminal Fraud" Hovind care about the verse that says "Let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay". And Kent "Criminal Perjury" Hovind repeatedly broke God's commandment (and US law) against not bearing false witness.

If you actually care about science, maybe, just maybe, you should ignore the convicted and proven frauds and pay attention to the actual, real scientists; the ones who actually do the real-world research and can explain how all of the pieces fit together.

#543

Posted by: Roger | May 18, 2008 3:06 PM

Thanks Onion and Fowlmirror, so we can then accept that Prof.Walter Veith is a real scientist then.

Ok then Aqila, forget the Hovind material, but do get the Veith info. You will be amazed at how logical this is, and his model does not need constant changing to fit a "theory" He demonstates how the layers were formed.

#544

Posted by: Etha Williams | May 18, 2008 3:33 PM

@#543 Roger --

You will be amazed at how logical this is, and his model does not need constant changing to fit a "theory"

Again with the misuse of "theory"! You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. Did you not see anon's #541 clarifying the correct use of that word?

In science, models do need constant changing as new evidence comes to light. In the words of Konrad Lorenz, " "Truth in science can be defined as the working hypothesis best suited to open the way to the next better one." No good scientist would claim that his explanation of a natural phenomenon is complete and immutable.

#545

Posted by: Roger | May 18, 2008 3:45 PM

Thanks Etha.....I was merely pointing Aquila to the fact that Veith's model demonstrates the deposition of the layers. It is very clear, and does not need updating. He has not claimed anything...he has merely demonstrated...

Unlike the evolution theory which is often updated, and yet remains a theory, and incomplete.

#546

Posted by: MIkeG | May 18, 2008 4:00 PM

"yet remains a theory"
What the hell do you expect it to become? You've been pointed to the scientific definition of the word "theory". Do us the courtesy of reading it, learning it and using it correctly.

Else I shall be forced to toss you onto the "virulently ignorant" dustbin.

#547

Posted by: Etha Williams | May 18, 2008 4:12 PM

@#545 Roger --

Unlike the evolution theory which is often updated, and yet remains a theory

You really have a knack for selective reading, don't you? In my comment, for which you so kindly thanked me, I linked you to the previous comment explaining why you are misusing the word theory.

A scientific "law" is no more immutable or definite than a scientific theory, right? Just take Newton's laws of motion. While they're very good approximations of the equations governing motion on a macroscopic scale, they were ultimately invalidated by Einstein's theories of relativity.

#548

Posted by: Owlmirror | May 18, 2008 4:12 PM

Actually, all of Veith's credentials involve... zoology. Specializing in nutrition, I see. He might know how to feed a cow, or a lizard, or a monkey, or a troll (like that naughty monkey who calls himself Roger!). But his mythological explanation of geological deposition would be unlikely to be of any value, since he has no expertise in geology.

If you want to understand geology, you might want to read the work of peer-reviewed geologists. Hey, how about picking up a nice geology textbook? You can even get one from the library, if you're low on funds. Shocking idea, isn't it, to read up on what's written by actual peer-reviewed scientists writing in their area of expertise.

#549

Posted by: Etha Williams | May 18, 2008 4:14 PM

Ummm...ignore the "right?" at the end of the first sentence in my second paragraph in #547. I initially worded that as a rhetorical question, then decided a simple statement would suffice, but forgot to remove the "right?" from the end.

#550

Posted by: Aquila | May 18, 2008 4:37 PM

And what's with doing necromancy on a months-dead thread to ask questions about bullshit like flood geology?

Posted by: phantomreader42 | May 17, 2008 9:14 PM

But hey, what is months in the greater scheme of things i.e. millions of years as per evolutionary model?

Moving on, considering that the present earth surface shows erosional features, why is it that the contact between bands of rock is so flat?

#551

Posted by: Rev. BigDumbChimp | May 18, 2008 4:46 PM

Rather get hold of the material from Kent, or Walter Veith...these guys are real scientists, and they can explain what you need to know. It makes far more sense.

Yes go give old Kent a call.... ooops. Nevermind.

The bigger question is, do you think that Kent is getting that special kind of male companionship one can only get in prison?

#552

Posted by: MIkeG | May 18, 2008 4:46 PM

Really, Aquilla? Contact between bands of rock is always flat?

I guess the Wave in Arizona doesn't exist, not to mention countless other uplifted, eroded and overlain formations.

#553

Posted by: MIkeG | May 18, 2008 4:48 PM

Crap.botched the link to the Wave

must remember to use preview.

#554

Posted by: Etha Williams | May 18, 2008 4:53 PM

@#551 Rev. BigDumbChimp --

Yes go give old Kent a call.... ooops. Nevermind.

You have to realize, though, that KH is in prison because of the religious persecution against outspoken Christians that is all-too-common in the US.

#555

Posted by: Rev. BigDumbChimp | May 18, 2008 4:55 PM

Unlike the evolution theory which is often updated, and yet remains a theory, and incomplete.

We need to create an internet law that states something along the line of.

Rev. BigDumbChimp's internet law of Creationist ignorance: During any communication with a creationist, the probability of the creationist making the "It's just a theory" mistake approaches one.

You creationists continue to make that mistake and when doing so immediately demonstrate to everyone reading that you are completely clueless as to how science works.

Please, read this. It will help. I promise.

In the American vernacular, "theory" often means "imperfect fact"--part of a hierarchy of confidence running downhill from fact to theory to hypothesis to guess. Thus creationists can (and do) argue: evolution is "only" a theory, and intense debate now rages about many aspects of the theory. If evolution is less than a fact, and scientists can't even make up their minds about the theory, then what confidence can we have in it? Indeed, President Reagan echoed this argument before an evangelical group in Dallas when he said (in what I devoutly hope was campaign rhetoric): "Well, it is a theory. It is a scientific theory only, and it has in recent years been challenged in the world of science--that is, not believed in the scientific community to be as infallible as it once was."

Well, evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world's data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts do not go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's, but apples did not suspend themselves in mid-air, pending the outcome. And humans evolved from apelike ancestors whether they did so by Darwin's proposed mechanism or by some other, yet to be discovered.

Moreover, "fact" does not mean "absolute certainty." The final proofs of logic and mathematics flow deductively from stated premises and achieve certainty only because they are not about the empirical world. Evolutionists make no claim for perpetual truth, though creationists often do (and then attack us for a style of argument that they themselves favor). In science, "fact" can only mean "confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent." I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.

Evolutionists have been clear about this distinction between fact and theory from the very beginning, if only because we have always acknowledged how far we are from completely understanding the mechanisms (theory) by which evolution (fact) occurred. Darwin continually emphasized the difference between his two great and separate accomplishments: establishing the fact of evolution, and proposing a theory--natural selection--to explain the mechanism of evolution. He wrote in The Descent of Man: "I had two distinct objects in view; firstly, to show that species had not been separately created, and secondly, that natural selection had been the chief agent of change. . . . Hence if I have erred in . . . having exaggerated its [natural selection's] power . . . I have at least, as I hope, done good service in aiding to overthrow the dogma of separate creations."

Thus Darwin acknowledged the provisional nature of natural selection while affirming the fact of evolution. The fruitful theoretical debate that Darwin initiated has never ceased. From the 1940s through the 1960s, Darwin's own theory of natural selection did achieve a temporary hegemony that it never enjoyed in his lifetime. But renewed debate characterizes our decade, and, while no biologist questions the importance of natural selection, many doubt its ubiquity. In particular, many evolutionists argue that substantial amounts of genetic change may not be subject to natural selection and may spread through the populations at random. Others are challenging Darwin's linking of natural selection with gradual, imperceptible change through all intermediary degrees; they are arguing that most evolutionary events may occur far more rapidly than Darwin envisioned.

Scientists regard debates on fundamental issues of theory as a sign of intellectual health and a source of excitement. Science is--and how else can I say it?--most fun when it plays with interesting ideas, examines their implications, and recognizes that old information might be explained in surprisingly new ways. Evolutionary theory is now enjoying this uncommon vigor. Yet amidst all this turmoil no biologist has been lead to doubt the fact that evolution occurred; we are debating how it happened. We are all trying to explain the same thing: the tree of evolutionary descent linking all organisms by ties of genealogy. Creationists pervert and caricature this debate by conveniently neglecting the common conviction that underlies it, and by falsely suggesting that evolutionists now doubt the very phenomenon we are struggling to understand.

Sorry for the long paste, but ... well it was needed.

#556

Posted by: Rev. BigDumbChimp | May 18, 2008 5:02 PM

You have to realize, though, that KH is in prison because of the religious persecution against outspoken Christians that is all-too-common in the US.

Yes of course. Now that we atheists are the majority in the representative government and judicial system we are free lay the legal smackdown on the minority groups like christians.

#557

Posted by: Aquila | May 18, 2008 5:06 PM

I was referring to "sentinels" in Cedarberg where top of layer 3 is decently weathered but layer1/layer2 and layer2/layer3 contacts are flat. Also Grand Canyon appears to have pretty flat contacts.

#558

Posted by: MIkeG | May 18, 2008 5:27 PM

OH, OK then. The flat contacts support your hypothesis and the ones that intersect at different angles matter not at all in Earth's history.

#559

Posted by: Owlmirror | May 18, 2008 5:46 PM

The flat contacts support your hypothesis

What, the hypothesis that layers form in layers?

#560

Posted by: Rev. BigDumbChimp | May 18, 2008 5:58 PM

What, the hypothesis that layers form in layers?


OHHHHHHHHHH right. Next you'll be telling us that water is wet.

#561

Posted by: MIkeG | May 18, 2008 6:33 PM

Ogres are like onions, they have layers!

That last one was a bit garbled, I guess. I was pointing out that Aquilla's idea that the earth is just a layer cake (laid down in a flood), or maybe a parfait (everybody loves parfait), is a bit off. This pic linked in the "wave" link, once I got it right, shows strata that are not parallel to all of the other strata.

#562

Posted by: MIkeG | May 18, 2008 6:40 PM

Disregard that last comment, my new Sarcastrometer(TM) hasn't arrived yet.

#563

Posted by: Owlmirror | May 18, 2008 7:08 PM

Anti-evolutionists are like onions; they make me weep. Actually, they're more like horseradish; they make my eyes itch and weep really hard AND they clear my sinuses.

No, wait, that's not quite it.

#564

Posted by: MIkeG | May 18, 2008 7:37 PM

Creationists are like habaneros, slice 'em up and they'll add a little fun to the dish, but wash your hands before going to the bathroom.

Not quite right either...

#565

Posted by: Aquila | May 20, 2008 6:10 PM

Really, Aquilla? Contact between bands of rock is always flat?

I guess the Wave in Arizona doesn't exist, not to mention countless other uplifted, eroded and overlain formations.

Posted by: MIkeG | May 18, 2008 4:46 PM

Thanks for the link to the pretty picture; don't see signs of erosion between the layers i.e. contacts are flat... As for intersecting layers at various angles, got any more pretty pictures?


#566

Posted by: Owlmirror | May 21, 2008 2:58 PM

don't see signs of erosion between the layers i.e. contacts are flat

So?

#567

Posted by: Roger | May 21, 2008 3:10 PM

Aquila, you will need to be a little patient and supportive with these folk.....

Seems like their "scientific" minds cannot grasp what you are drawing to their attention. Perhaps they are regrouping to get a handle on this now

Perhaps you can now understand why they are so upset about KH whipping them in their professed field of expertise...and he is not even a scientist...so they claim.

Be that as it may...get hold of Veith's material...he will definitely answer your questions...

#568

Posted by: Brownian, OM | May 21, 2008 3:19 PM

Here are a bunch of photos of non-conformities for Aquila's edification.

As for Roger, well, his brain's about the best example of a fossil as anyone's likely to see.

The only people Hovind has ever shown up are the ones who fell for his bullshit.

#569

Posted by: Owlmirror | May 21, 2008 6:25 PM

Who should be believed on geology?

A nutrition zoologist out of his field (and, after seeing some of his statements on the web, probably out of his mind)? A convicted fraud and perjurer?

Or actual peer-reviewed geologists?

Such a difficult question to answer.

#570

Posted by: Kseniya | May 21, 2008 6:31 PM

Hovind... whipping...

goawaymentalimage

#571

Posted by: MIkeG | May 21, 2008 6:44 PM

Thanks, rational people for trying to point Aquila to information.

Personally, I thought the Wave was an aesthetically pleasing as well as geologically stunning example of an angular conformity.

As for the disconformity Aquila asked for, Brownian covered that, so I need say no more.

Aquila, have fun in your little geological-layer cake world. It must be so easy there, all answers are "Flood done it!" Who needs a Brunton?

#572

Posted by: Owlmirror | May 21, 2008 10:28 PM

goawaymentalimage

Calm blue ocean...

Calm blue ocean...

Here's a better mental image:

Hovind is sitting in his cell, mumbling to himself. Every now and then, his mumbles become louder, and his cellmate starts reading his book aloud until Hovind quiets down.

Hovind's cellmate is reading The God Delusion.

Heh.

#573

Posted by: Aquila | May 25, 2008 5:29 AM

...This pic linked in the "wave" link, once I got it right, shows strata that are not parallel to all of the other strata. Posted by: MIkeG | May 18, 2008 6:33 PM
...Aquila, have fun in your little geological-layer cake world...Posted by: MIkeG | May 21, 2008 6:44 PM

The natural pictures are awesome. However I did not claim parallel layers nor a geological-layer cake world. Nevertheless, your "geological-layer cake world" comment does raise a question:

I have heard it stated that the geological column represents the Earth's land surface as you go back in time. For example, if you go back some 408 million years, then the Earth's land surface is the definable boundary between the Silurian System and the Devonian System (bar unconformities such as the missing rocks of the Silurian and Ordovician systems in the Grand Canyon, where the Muav Limestone (Cambrian) some 505 million years ago would have been exposed). What is the accepted geological stance on this statement?

And then, what lies beneath the ocean floors? Have the ocean floors been excavated?

#574

Posted by: MIkeG | May 25, 2008 5:34 PM

For the first question, I'm going to have to plead ignorance. I'm not a geologist, just a microbiologist stuck in an office full of geologists. They sound like they're full of schist, but they're generally gneiss about it.

As for what lies below the ocean floors, well, the part that interests me is the first few cm (lots of cool microbial stuff going on there). As I understand it, the ocean basins get they're young rock along the spreading centers, such as the Mid-Atlantic ridge, it's basalt that cools and spreads as the convection of the mantle pulls it along. as you go farther from the ridge, the fresh basalt cools and gets thicker when the mantle below it cools with it and adds thickness. It also collects anything that rains down on it from above. That's mostly clays and some organic material left over from the food web above. So, say somewhere between the mid-Atlantic ridge and Florida, you have a gradually thickening layer of sediment, with additions from the top via the water column, on top of a gradually thickening layer of basalt.

As for what lies below the basalt, well, it's mostly upper mantle material. There is a geological term for it, but, again, IANAG.

Has it been excavated? Not like an anthropological site. It has been extensively drilled, though. That's the whole point behind the Ocean Drilling Project and its successor, the International ODP.

Sorry for not being able to adequately answer your 1st q, but that's why we have specialists. Did the response to the 2nd clarify?

#575

Posted by: Aquila | May 27, 2008 3:39 PM

For the first question, I'm going to have to plead ignorance... Sorry for not being able to adequately answer your 1st q, but that's why we have specialists. Did the response to the 2nd clarify?
Posted by: MIkeG | May 25, 2008 5:34 PM
MIkeG, re 1st question, I appreciate your candour given your previous jibes. As for "full of schist... generally gneiss about it" - good one.

Thanks for response to 2nd question. Given that oceans account for some 70% of Earth's surface, I am certainly curious as to what lies in the oceanic sedimentary layers - specifically anthropologically speaking, although other fossil finds would also be interesting.

So Owlmirror, Josh et al., could you elucidate?

Meanwhile, another question (3rd): why is it that we even have a fossil record if the average erosional rate is reported to be 60 mm per 1000 years?

#576

Posted by: Kseniya | May 27, 2008 3:57 PM

why is it that we even have a fossil record if the average erosional rate is reported to be 60 mm per 1000 years?

Why don't you ponder that one for a while, Aquila, and come up with an hypothesis or two? There are doors to be opened, and interesting pathways beyond.

#577

Posted by: Josh | May 27, 2008 4:08 PM

So Owlmirror, Josh et al., could you elucidate?

Shit. Hold on. I was gone for almost four months, so the last time we were talking on this thread was like December/January. Let me catch up a bit...

#578

Posted by: Aquila | May 27, 2008 4:16 PM

Kseniya@#576: You're a geologist? If so, this is your domain - you answer it.

#579

Posted by: Aquila | May 27, 2008 4:24 PM

...last time we were talking on this thread was like December/January. Let me catch up a bit...

Posted by: Josh | May 27, 2008 4:08 PM

Actually, last time pre-dates #531 around Sep...

#580

Posted by: Josh | May 27, 2008 4:29 PM

Actually, last time pre-dates #531 around Sep...

Yeah, I noticed that when I looked back. Hard to believe.

I'm starting with a reply to #532. This'll take a second, though...

#581

Posted by: Aquila | May 27, 2008 4:43 PM

Josh, but if you don't mind, I'll catch up tomorrow as I have to hit the sack.

#582

Posted by: Josh | May 27, 2008 5:06 PM

...Different mechanisms yield different types of sediment, not different strata. Different events yield different strata.... Posted by: Josh | September 10, 2007 10:31 AM
Shit, was it that long ago...?

Josh, so a band of rock ostensibly of the same colour is not necessarily a stratum in itself but may comprise several strata representing several events, whilst a stratum may have different types of sediment due to different mechanisms (fast vs. slow deposition). But wouldn't fast vs. slow deposition be different events, and hence result in different strata?

Okay, "band of rock" is difficult. It has no meaning in geology, really. In truth, strata (an old term) are awkward to deal with as well in discussions. I'm going to presume that "band" is probably analogous to bed, however. But let's use current terminology. It'll be easier to stay on the same page.

So...okay. What you see most of the time when you look at sedimentary rocks in place in the field is an outcrop. Outcrops are the currency of field geology. An outcrop is an exposure of bedrock cropping out at the surface (i.e., poking through the vegetation and modern soil, buildings, etc). Let's be clear also: you can have an outcrop of unconsolidated glacial sand or till or whatever. An outcrop doesn't have to be "hard" with respect to the soil that is partially covering it. Bedrock is defined with respect to the modern topographic surface--how hard or soft it is is irrelevant.

In an outcrop, there might be one or more "formations" exposed. A formation is a mappable unit of rock (i.e., it is extensive enough that it can be indicated on a geologic map). Usually formation-scale is much larger than outcrop-scale. Outcrops are usually a few to dozens of meters "long" or thick and formations are usually dozens or hundreds or thousands of meters thick. Depending on whether or not the formation is flat-lying, a single thick formation can represent the entire bedrock of an area many miles wide. But you can have an outcrop that happens to glimpse the contact between two formations. This happens all the time.

A sedimentary formation can be one rock type (e.g., sandstone, shale, limestone) or it can be more than one (e.g., can include sand and mud, could be limestone and sandstone). Few sedimentary formations contain only one rock type. Most contain varying lithologies (different rock types).

A sedimentary formation will have a number of beds (1 to n) in it (again, I think a bed is analogous to your band of rock above). These beds will either all be the same type of rock, which is unusual, or they will be varying lithologies, which is common. Beds are usually going to range from a few centimeters in thickness to a number of meters.

So, it is very common to see, for example, an outcrop that has twenty meters of alternating beds of sandstone and limestone, which are all from about a meter to three meters say in thickness.

In general, beds of sandstone more commonly represent single "quick" events (such as a given storm event). Beds of mudstone often represent single events, like a storm, but can also be integrated over time, depending on the type of environment we're talking about (in marine environments they are more commonly much longer events). Beds of shale are usually quite thick and represent good amounts of time. Beds of limestone range in thickness but almost always represent pretty significant amounts of time. But, each of these beds are thought of in terms of single depositional "events" because the depositional conditions remained basically the same through the deposition of the entire bed. So, "event" is not tied to time the same way for all sedimentary bodies. One thing that is the same, is that the boundaries between beds are tied to time. They represent changes in conditions and a time gap. These gaps can be very small or very large.

So, a sedimentary formation will usually consist of a bunch of different beds of rock that each represent the depositional conditions for that bed. There is a time gap between each of the beds and there can be a different mechanism for adjacent beds. You can have a sandstone bed a meter thick sitting on top of a mudstone bed five meters thick. Two different things happened at two different times.
We know this because we see this happening today. Much of geology is a very historical science. Sedimentology is actually much less so. We can directly observe most of these processes happening in the modern world and set up experiments to directly test and models and hypotheses.

Color is tough. It can relate to the process that produced the bed. But it can also be related to post-depositional processes. Color is far less important to us than sedimentary structures (of which bed is one). Color can change within formations or between formations or there can be a series of different mappable units that are all, red, say. But, a formation or an outcrop of one color will usually include a number of beds representing a number of events. We worry about rock type and structures first, color second. I have seen color change across a single bed before, though. Color is not the key. Beds are the key.

So, yes, changes in depositional conditions usually make different beds (roughly analogous to strata), which can indicate different rates of deposition and different mechanisms.

Okay. I barely scratched any surfaces here, but I think that this answers your question. So, I'm going to stop for now and ask: does it?

In post #517 you (and Owlmirror, post #514) comment that geologists could not find any evidence for a universal flood. What would constitute such evidence?

Uh, let's do this is slightly smaller steps. Let's worry about beds first. Once we get beds down, we can move on to the fun stuff...

#583

Posted by: Josh | May 27, 2008 5:22 PM

Aquila asked in #550:
...why is it that the contact between bands of rock is so flat?

Again, if we're equating "bands" with beds, then the answer is: contacts between beds aren't universally "so flat." Sometimes contacts are flat, sometimes they're not (e.g., bows or ripply contacts); depends on the bed.

#584

Posted by: Owlmirror | May 27, 2008 5:47 PM

Hey Josh,

Glad to so you back, and being patient and explanatory.

There's a quote out there that I like, that's attributed to Charles Babbage:
"On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament!], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."

I think creationists often become confused, and ask questions that reflect that confusion.

I suspect that Aquila's question about "flat contacts" is the result of a similar confusion over rates of erosion and/or rates of deposition, and how a sedimentary layer ought to look, either from his own thoughts or from some creationist source. See also Aquila's #557 and #565.

You might want to go over the basics in very small baby steps, perhaps using a layer cake as an example.

#585

Posted by: Kseniya | May 27, 2008 7:09 PM

Hey Josh, welcome back, and echo Owlmirror's sediments.

Err, sentiments. :-)

Aquila: No, I'm not a geologist, though the question is certainly not unanswerable. (Obviously, Josh could answer it better than I.) I don't mean to be coy, I'm simply curious about what you might come up with, and thought you might find the exercise worthwhile. After all, your question already contains part of the answer.

#586

Posted by: MikeG | May 27, 2008 8:51 PM

Aquila:

Given that oceans account for some 70% of Earth's surface, I am certainly curious as to what lies in the oceanic sedimentary layers - specifically anthropologically speaking, although other fossil finds would also be interesting.

There is tons of good stuff in the seds of the ocean basins, but most of it is not anthropological. Humans haven't been plying the oceans that long. There are a few ancient shipwrecks, I would guess, but they don't go very far back in time (geologically speaking).

The fossils that are laid down in the ocean sediments throughout deep time actually represent one of the best and most complete fossil evidences for evolution. Algae with silicious or carbonate shells make great fossils, and they occur in huge numbers (blooms, etc.). Huge numbers, relatively easy to fossilize, and lots of time = great record.

#587

Posted by: Josh | May 28, 2008 8:29 AM

Hey Owl; Kseniya. Thanks for the welcome back. It's good to be. I missed you guys, but there's this war on and stuff.

I think creationists often become confused, and ask questions that reflect that confusion.

Agreed, and agree re: baby steps. I think for a bit, however, that I'm gonna try and reply point by point to specific questions rather than doing a lot of exposition. I don't think anyone wants to read through a sedimentology text in blog form. Maybe we can see how that goes for a minute and then re-adjust if needed.

#588

Posted by: Josh | May 28, 2008 8:55 AM

Roger wrote: Ok then Aqila, forget the Hovind material, but do get the Veith info. You will be amazed at how logical this is, and his model does not need constant changing to fit a "theory" He demonstates how the layers were formed.

He truly must be a visionary, and a genius, and must have written one heck of a lot on this subject, because based on my years of training and experience, the statement "he demonstrates how the layers were formed" is as difficult and complicated to address as something like "he shows us how the cathedrals are built and decorated."

Addressing the complexity and diversity of cathedral design takes more than a few thick volumes, as anyone with even a passing interest in the subject knows from ten seconds browsing a bookshelf. Addressing "how the layers were formed" is a similar career-ish type quest. It's called sedimentology.

When I read that statement, several questions popped to mind, such as:

Which layers? Where? What kinds of layering are we discussing here? Not all layers are "created" equal. How a layer (probably analogous to bed) of limestone is formed is generally a very different process from how a layer of sandstone is formed.

For someone to assert that they have a model of how "the layers" (I'm assuming all of them?) were formed is like saying "I have a model for how the wars were won." The statement is simply ridiculous. If he is asserting that he knows how all sedimentary layers are formed, then he is lying.

It is on him to demonstrate why his model is correct and all of our models are incorrect. To do this he must demonstrate how his model falsifies thousands of tested hypotheses, millions of observations, thousands of experiments, and countless data points that are covered in thousands of publications. Simply appealing to authority or logic isn't going to be sufficient. Our models have some logic to them, thank you very much, and they work. This isn't a observation-only, deep time discipline within geology.

#589

Posted by: Josh | May 28, 2008 9:16 AM

Thanks for the link to the pretty picture; don't see signs of erosion between the layers i.e. contacts are flat... As for intersecting layers at various angles, got any more pretty pictures?

re: "the wave." In the picture, the large distinct line cutting horizontally across the outcrop in the middle (above the heads of the people walking) is an erosional surface. There are a bunch of others, but that is the most distinct and obvious one. The people are walking on depositional surfaces (each of those white lines). Each of the white lines is an avalanche surface along which sand grains are deposited. This is a sedimentary structure called cross-bedding. You can tell that the "big line" is an erosional surface because the tops of the cross-beds are truncated against it. They didn't form by stopping all at that same point. They were eroded down to that point.


#590

Posted by: Kseniya | May 28, 2008 9:21 AM

You will be amazed at how logical this is, and his model does not need constant changing to fit a "theory"

In other words, Veith applies a little "common sense" to a field in which he has limited expertise. In doing so, he makes the same mistake all creationists make: he starts with his conclusion, hammers the evidence into whatever grotesque shape is necessary to fit that conclusion, and makes the a priori assumption that if science contradicts Scripture, then science must be wrong.

You will be amazed...

Uh-huh.

Look, even a layperson can pick Veith apart.

What's that you say? A layperson has no business critiquing the work of a scientist in his field of expertise?

Dr. Veith's field of expertise is Nutritional Physiology. But, being [cue trumpets and dramatic sunrise graphics] A Creationist, he has access to all kinds of insights that tens of thousands of trained geologists are denied.

Uh-huh.

Lookee: 446 hits, mostly creationist sites, of course.

You will be amazed...

I am, I am. Really. I am.

#591

Posted by: Josh | May 28, 2008 9:29 AM

However I did not claim parallel layers nor a geological-layer cake world.

Didn't you? I interpreted why is it that the contact between bands of rock is so flat as though you were arguing for a "layer-cake" world. It doesn't change anything I wrote, but my mistake if that isn't the position you're advocating.

I have heard it stated that the geological column represents the Earth's land surface as you go back in time. For example, if you go back some 408 million years, then the Earth's land surface is the definable boundary between the Silurian System and the Devonian System (bar unconformities such as the missing rocks of the Silurian and Ordovician systems in the Grand Canyon, where the Muav Limestone (Cambrian) some 505 million years ago would have been exposed). What is the accepted geological stance on this statement?

We don't really have a stance on it. Saying that the geological column represents the Earth's land surface as you go back in time is such a generalization as to be untrue. Let's leave that one alone for the moment. It's problematic nature should become more clear as we fry other fish.

And then, what lies beneath the ocean floors? Have the ocean floors been excavated?

Mike dealt with this well. I'm gonna let it lie for the moment.

#592

Posted by: Josh | May 28, 2008 9:38 AM

Rey Fox wrote: And then there's that worldwide layer of black clay from the K/T extinction event. Why isn't there anything in the Good Book about a global fire?

Since we're in geologic housekeeping mode, I would be remiss if I didn't address this one as well. Couple of points:

A. The clay layer is not exposed everywhere and doesn't uniformly cover the planet.
B. The clay isn't uniformly black.
C. Clay alone doesn't generally equal fire.
D. I dunno anyone who is actually arguing that the WORLD burned.

Ray's larger point, however, is well taken: the K/T event was global and it wasn't a flood (there do appear to have been local "floods" related to it, though--tsunami breccias anyone?) and it is well recorded in the geologic record. One would think the good book might mention it, especially if it came after the deluge, as many young earthers like to argue (i.e., if the entire package of sedimentary rocks is the result of the Flud or since).


#593

Posted by: MikeG | May 28, 2008 9:25 PM

Whew! It's good to have you back, Josh. Thanks for the geologist's perspective.

#594

Posted by: Roger | December 28, 2008 7:50 AM

Kent Hovind made a statement that if one placed a frog into a blender and reduced it to squelch, that a frog would not emerge from the goo, no matter how long you waited.

Here we have a scenario where all the ingredients are available in the exact proportions needed for your model to kick in.

According to your model, would the goo first become a tadpole before evolving into a frog?

#595

Posted by: Janine, Vile Bitch | December 28, 2008 8:01 AM

Let's see here. A dumb ass goes to an old thread and asks an ignorant question.

FUCKHEAD, you will not get a frog from that goop. But it will make great food for billions of micro otganisms.

And, FUCKHEAD, get your terms straight. A tadpole does not evolve into a frog anymore than a baby evolved in order to become you.

Roger, you are a sad sack of shit. And that is without your body being blended in a blender.

#596

Posted by: Kel | December 28, 2008 8:06 AM

The only way frog goo could turn back into a frog is through an intelligent agent - that would be an act of creationism if it happened. Having the ingredients is never enough, it needs to come together in the right order. The only way you are ever going to get a frog is have another frog give birth to it, you won't get the evolutionary process starting from scratch and giving rise to the exact life that is now - that's an absurdity and again indicative of a divine hand in the process.

#597

Posted by: Roger | December 28, 2008 8:12 AM

Thanks Kel, I can see that you have a good understanding of the process of life. I agree with you totally.

Janine's ranting is indicative of someone that cannot provide support for a failed and floored theory.

#598

Posted by: Kel | December 28, 2008 8:23 AM

Janine's ranting is indicative of someone that cannot provide support for a failed and floored theory.
Evolution happened, the theory is one of the most solid we have in science. The amount of evidence for evolution is overwhelming, everything from the DNA that is in each of our cells, to the fossil record, to the morphological similarities and variation between species - it all fits one pattern: life emerged gradually over millions of years and we along with every other species of life began from either a single or a few self-replicating primitive cells.

To call that theory failed and floored is to just show your own ignorance of the scientific method and the evidence that supports the theory.
#599

Posted by: Roger | December 28, 2008 8:35 AM

It's amazing Kel

The model you support says that the building blocks of life were formed from the goo over millions of years

Millions of years then brought about life, yet Janine says that the goo would have been food for "otganisms"?? organisms???

I withdraw my support of your understanding of life.....it is very different to mine

With the obvious absence of labaratory tests to create life under the best circumstances, this theory is floored and failed.

#600

Posted by: Nick Gotts | December 28, 2008 8:55 AM

With the obvious absence of labaratory tests to create life under the best circumstances, this theory is floored and failed. - Roger

I don't know of any "labaratory tests to create life" - or even laboratory ones. Research on abiogenesis is making rapid progress - google the name "Szostak" for example. Of course, if this work does lead to the creation of life in the laboratory, creobots will promptly claim that this supports their claims, because it obviously required intelligence to do it.

#601

Posted by: Kel | December 28, 2008 8:58 AM

I withdraw my support of your understanding of life.....it is very different to mine
Based on what you've said, I'm glad you don't support my view. I'll go with the scientific consensus on this issue.
The model you support says that the building blocks of life were formed from the goo over millions of years
Show me where in evolutionary theory it says life was formed from goo... actually show me where in evolutionary theory that it rests on abiogenesis.

Evolution is to do with the change and diversity of life from common ancestry, it says nothing about how life began.
With the obvious absence of labaratory tests to create life under the best circumstances, this theory is floored and failed.
Abiogenesis = origin of life, evolution = diversity of life. Abiogenesis has some way to go, though we are getting closer. But we are talking about a chain of events that happened ~3.8 billion years ago. Evolution is the force that acts on the life that is already there, the evidence for evolution is overwhelming. What came before the evolutionary process began? Well that's another question to answer, and it's one that does need an answer. But not knowing how the earth got it's crust does not invalidate plate tectonics, the evidence for plate movement and the geological features associated with that are well supported by evidence.

Evolution, the diversity of life with common ancestry is one of the strongest theories in science, it's up there with heliocentric orbit of the earth. We know more about the mechanisms behind evolution than we know the mechanisms behind gravity. If you want to complain about how life began, you are not talking about evolution you are talking about abiogenesis. Don't you understand the basic difference?
#602

Posted by: Janine, Vile Bitch | December 28, 2008 9:16 AM

Let's see. Ignorant dumbass drops a steaming pile of knowingness on an old thread. A non scientist (Me) calls the dumbass on not even knowing what the terms means. Dumbass whine that my rudeness proves that one hundred and fifty years of scientific research fall apart in the face of dumbass' staggering tower of stupidity.

Kel and Matt were much too kind to you.

Words to the dumb. Learn the difference between abiogenesis and evolution. Evolution does not cover how life begins, just how it changes. Also, dumbass, despite my typo, that pile of frog goop will be a colony for micro organisms. What the fuck do you think happens with carcasses.

#603

Posted by: SC, OM | December 28, 2008 9:25 AM

The model you support says that the building blocks of life were formed from the goo over millions of years

This obsession with words like "goo" is really just so silly. Why is the idea that life in this way so appalling? As Bakunin said in "God and the State" some 130+ years ago:

Idealists of all schools, aristocrats and bourgeois, theologians and metaphysicians, politicians and moralists, religionists, philosophers, or poets, not forgetting the liberal economists-unbounded worshippers of the ideal, as we know-are much offended when told that man, with his magnificent intelligence, his sublime ideas, and his boundless aspirations, is, like all else existing in the world, nothing but matter, only a product of vile matter.

We may answer that the matter of which materialists speak, matter spontaneously and eternally mobile, active, productive, matter chemically or organically determined and manifested by the properties or forces, mechanical, physical, animal, and intelligent, which necessarily belong to it-that this matter has nothing in common with the vile matter of the idealists. The latter, a product of their false abstraction, is indeed a stupid, inanimate, immobile thing, incapable of giving birth to the smallest product, a caput mortuum, an ugly fancy in contrast to the beautiful fancy which they call God; as the opposite of this supreme being, matter, their matter, stripped by that constitutes its real nature, necessarily represents supreme nothingness. They have taken away intelligence, life, all its determining qualities, active relations or forces, motion itself, without which matter would not even have weight, leaving it nothing but impenetrability and absolute immobility in space; they have attributed all these natural forces, properties, and manifestations to the imaginary being created by their abstract fancy; then, interchanging rôles, they have called this product of their imagination, this phantom, this God who is nothing, "supreme Being" and, as a necessary consequence, have declared that the real being, matter, the world, is nothing. After which they gravely tell us that this matter is incapable of producing anything, not even of setting itself in motion, and consequently must have been created by their God.

#604

Posted by: 'Tis Himself | December 28, 2008 9:47 AM

Thanks, SC. I'm filing that quote from Bakunin for further study and possible use in discussions with creationists.

#605

Posted by: SC, OM | December 28, 2008 10:16 AM

You're welcome, 'Tis Himself! I've been working (very, very slowly and inconsistently) on a critical analysis of that piece, but I love that segment.

The whole thing is available here, and it's great:

http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_archives/bakunin/godandstate/godandstate_ch1.html

(Beware: antisemitism in evidence. :()

#606

Posted by: Roger | December 28, 2008 12:10 PM

Thanks for the info

I must be confused then

I thought C.D's book Origin of Species should cover this too.

But Kent Hovind makes asses out of you and this dumb theory


#607

Posted by: Sven DiMilo | December 28, 2008 12:14 PM

C.D.'s book is a) about the mechanism for how species originate from other species, and b) 150 years old. Catch up.

Kent Hovind makes asses out of you and this dumb theory

Yes, of course he does. Bye now!

#608

Posted by: Jadehawk | December 28, 2008 12:39 PM

Roger, if you want to argue on here without being insulted or laughed at, some basic education in biology, physics, and Philosophy of Science would be essential.

1)The Origin of the Species is, despite what you may think, not the end all be all of Evolutionary Theory. It wasn't that even when it was written, and it certainly isn't now, 150 years later. If Darwin had never existed, the Theory of Evolution would still exist. You'd just be blaming someone else for it.

2)I know most creationist have a hard time separating words for things from the things themselves, but "goo" isn't a particular substance. The goo that happens when I forget the boiling veggies is different from the goo from a shredded frog, is different from Teh Primodial Goo(TM).

3)Even if we had Teh Primodial Goo(TM), abiogenesis isn't an imperative. There is nothing that HAS to happen. I'm sure there's plenty of exoplanets (or maybe even bodies within our solar system, for example Europa) that have some form of primodial goo, but nothing happened (or not enough happened to call it "life"). It's just the way the dice rolled.

4)Evolution doesn't care a whit how life came to be. it would still work the same whether life came about by abiogenesis, panspermia, or goddidit

#609

Posted by: Janine, Vile Bitch | December 28, 2008 12:57 PM

Posted by: Roger | December 28, 2008

I must be confused then

The only thing dumbass was right about.

#610

Posted by: Owlmirror | December 28, 2008 1:25 PM

I repeat my comment #542 above:

Kent "Convicted Felon" Hovind doesn't even know his own bible, let alone anything about science. Kent "Jailbird" Hovind thinks that "Render unto Caesar" doesn't apply to him. Nor does Kent "Criminal Fraud" Hovind care about the verse that says "Let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay". And Kent "Criminal Perjury" Hovind repeatedly broke God's commandment (and US law) against not bearing false witness.

If you actually care about science, maybe, just maybe, you should ignore the convicted and proven frauds and pay attention to the actual, real scientists; the ones who actually do the real-world research and can explain how all of the pieces fit together.

#611

Posted by: Kel | December 28, 2008 4:02 PM

I must be confused then
Indeed you are confused, just look:
But Kent Hovind makes asses out of you and this dumb theory
Yep, really confused.

I thought C.D's book Origin of Species should cover this too.
The Origin Of Species is not a bible, science changes over time as more evidence comes to light. Certain aspects of his theory have been superseded to fit the new evidence, but the theory as a whole still remains. Remember that Darwin didn't know about genetics when he wrote the book, yet all findings in modern genetics validate the theory. We've learnt just how speciation works, and one thing we've seen that Darwin didn't write about was genetic drift.

We've found transitional fossil after transitional fossil, there are genetic markers that are in identical places on chimps and humans, we've observed advantageous mutations, we've seen new species come to light, we have observed natural selection in action. And all this fits in with relative and absolute dating techniques in geology, it all fits with the geographical distribution of life, and it fits in with the age of the cosmos.


If you are going to come on a science blog and make assertions about science, can you at least have the decency to be informed?
#612

Posted by: Kel | December 29, 2008 5:10 AM

Kel and Matt were much too kind to you.
I'm in favour of giving people a chance before belittling their proud ignorance. Roger may simply be misinformed, and in that case there's no harm in steering him in the right direction. However he turned out to be a creationist troll and once again my vision of humanity is shattered.
#613

Posted by: Janine, Vile Bitch | December 29, 2008 6:02 AM

Kel, I had no idea you try to maintain such an idealized view of humanity.

#614

Posted by: clinteas | December 29, 2008 6:10 AM

and once again my vision of humanity is shattered.

There's a reason I like "Resident Evil".Or "Idiocracy".

It is hard these days to believe in humanity,try getting into a lane on a busy freeway,tells you all you need to know about humanity.

#615

Posted by: Kel | December 29, 2008 6:16 AM

We all need some way to sleep at night :P

#616

Posted by: clinteas | December 29, 2008 6:19 AM

We all need some way to sleep at night :P

Mine is Tawny Port.
Or "Once upon a time in the West". Or both.

#617

Posted by: Kel | December 29, 2008 6:21 AM

Mine is Tawny Port.
All I have left is vintage
#618

Posted by: Janine, Vile Bitch | December 29, 2008 6:22 AM

I use my misanthropy as an excuse to escape the waking world.

#619

Posted by: clinteas | December 29, 2008 6:28 AM

I use my misanthropy as an excuse to escape the waking world.

Well,for me its not so much misanthropy,I tend to just dispair about people and their stupidity and ignorance....well,maybe that is misanthropy after all...:-)

Back to Tawny...

#620

Posted by: Owlmirror | December 29, 2008 11:26 AM

I'm in favour of giving people a chance before belittling their proud ignorance. Roger may simply be misinformed, and in that case there's no harm in steering him in the right direction. However he turned out to be a creationist troll and once again my vision of humanity is shattered.

I could have told you...

For some reason, "Roger" really likes this particular thread, perhaps because he's a Hovind partisan. As far as I can tell, the Roger who started commenting in July of 2006 is the same Roger who appears throughout the thread, claiming (so to speak) that Hovind is right, and everyone else is wrong, blah sneer blah, creationist garbage, sneer, sneer blah.

He has evinced no actual interest in science. It's all about promoting Hovind as True Prophet/Scientist.

#621

Posted by: Josh | December 29, 2008 11:33 AM

...and here I thought we had finally killed this thread.

#622

Posted by: Kel | December 29, 2008 3:47 PM

He has evinced no actual interest in science. It's all about promoting Hovind as True Prophet/Scientist.
Okay then, so he's just another idiot to be treated with contempt. I'll remember for the future.
#623

Posted by: Rey Fox | December 29, 2008 4:03 PM

"For some reason, "Roger" really likes this particular thread"

Thread? This here is a blog. Roger camps out at this blog, which he gets on his internet.

#624

Posted by: Rev. BigDumbChimp | December 29, 2008 4:10 PM

With the obvious absence of labaratory tests to create life under the best circumstances, this theory is floored and failed.

So much stupid in one sentence.

There is a lack of tests?

What are the best circumstances?

What theory are you talking about?

abiogenesis?

#625

Posted by: Kel | December 29, 2008 4:18 PM

"Darwinism cannot explain gravity, cannot explain thermodynamics. Most of all, it cannot explain how life began." - Ben Stein

Seemed oddly appropriate

#626

Posted by: Kel | December 29, 2008 4:21 PM

"Darwinism explains so little. It doesn't explain how life began. It doesn't explain how gravity works to keep the planets in their orbits. It doesn't explain how thermodynamics works. It doesn't explain how physics or the laws of motion work." - Ben Stein

"And I would say to these people, well, how did life begin? "We don't know, but it had to be by Darwinian means." Well, how did gravity begin? "We don't know, but it had to be by Darwinian means."" - Ben Stein

#627

Posted by: Josh | December 29, 2008 4:22 PM

"Darwinism explains so little. It doesn't explain how life began. It doesn't explain how gravity works to keep the planets in their orbits. It doesn't explain how thermodynamics works. It doesn't explain how physics or the laws of motion work." - Ben Stein

Funny, the same is true for ID and the Bible.

#628

Posted by: Owlmirror | December 29, 2008 5:02 PM

"For some reason, "Roger" really likes this particular thread"

Thread? This here is a blog. Roger camps out at this blog, which he gets on his internet.

<*looks askance*>

<pedantry style="terminology">
For some reason, "Roger" really likes this particular comment thread of this particular weblog posting.
</pedantry>

<sheesh style="sheesh">
Sheesh.
</sheesh>

#629

Posted by: Rey Fox | December 30, 2008 3:52 AM

Er...that was actually deep cover satire. I was figuring that the reason that Roger keeps posting on this ancient thread is that he thinks it's the whole web site, or "blog". A la John A. Davison, or any other number of technically illiterate creationists.

And now that that joke has fallen to the earth with a gentle thud, I shall retire to my bed.

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