A Dying Dog Moans the Loudest

A Dying Dog Moans the Loudest

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276 thoughts on “A Dying Dog Moans the Loudest

  1. Actually, dying dogs very often quietly and surreptitiously creep off to a secluded place to die.

    As for evolution dying, that assertion is simply another in a long line of religious fairy tales. It is more robust now than ever. A more truthful cartoon would be how the religious try to strangle this growing body of knowledge of how life changes over time (a mathematical certainty) only with their frenzied reality-denying belief.

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    • Actually the our increased ability to share information has resulted in our not talking authoritative claims for granted and to scrutinizing and questioning things more than ever as we educate ourselves. Evolution is just one of those claims.

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    • tildeb:

      “A more truthful cartoon would be how the religious try to strangle this growing body of knowledge of how life changes over time (a mathematical certainty) only with their frenzied reality-denying belief.”

      Sure, let’s talk mathematical certainty.

      Oxford University Admits Darwinism’s Shaky Math Foundation – May 2011

      Excerpt:

      “File this one under: Mission Impossible. An Oxford college, St. John’s, is advertising to hire a pair of researchers to undertake a tough assignment: shore up the admittedly unsteady mathematical foundation of Darwinian theory, specifically in the ever distressing area of population genetics.

      In a downloadable document of particulars for the two-year assignment, the college frankly concedes that ranged against them the new hires will face, well, basically the entire rest of the scholarly field that studies the subject. Biologists may accept that ‘natural selection leads to organisms that maximize their fitness,” the document observes.’ ”

      (written within the actual job description calling to ‘fix’ the persistent mathematical problems with neo-Darwinism within two years)
      ” ‘However, mathematical population geneticists mainly deny that natural selection leads to optimization of any useful kind. This fifty-year old schism is intellectually damaging in itself, and has prevented improvements in our concept of what fitness is.’ ”

      The God Of The Mathematicians – David P. Goldman – August 2010

      Excerpt:

      “We cannot construct an ontology that makes God dispensable. Secularists can dismiss this as a mere exercise within predefined rules of the game of mathematical logic, but that is sour grapes, for it was the secular side that hoped to substitute logic for God in the first place. Gödel’s critique of the continuum hypothesis has the same implication as his incompleteness theorems: Mathematics never will create the sort of closed system that sorts reality into neat boxes.”

      Taking God Out of the Equation – Biblical Worldview – by Ron Tagliapietra – January 2012

      Excerpt:

      “Kurt Gödel (1906–1978) proved that no logical systems (if they include the counting numbers) can have all three of the following properties.

      1. Validity . . . all conclusions are reached by valid reasoning.
      2. Consistency . . . no conclusions contradict any other conclusions.
      3. Completeness . . . all statements made in the system are either true or false.

      The details filled a book, but the basic concept was simple and elegant. He summed it up this way: ‘Anything you can draw a circle around cannot explain itself without referring to something outside the circle—something you have to assume but cannot prove.’ For this reason, his proof is also called the Incompleteness Theorem.

      Kurt Gödel had dropped a bomb on the foundations of mathematics. Math could not play the role of God as infinite and autonomous. It was shocking, though, that logic could prove that mathematics could not be its own ultimate foundation.

      Christians should not have been surprised. The first two conditions are true about math: it is valid and consistent. But only God fulfills the third condition. Only He is complete and therefore self-dependent (autonomous). God alone is ‘all in all’ (1 Corinthians 15:28), ‘the beginning and the end’ (Revelation 22:13). God is the ultimate authority (Hebrews 6:13), and in Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3).”

      “In mathematics there are two ways to go to infinity. One is to grow large without measure. The other is to form a fraction in which the denominator goes to zero. The Cross is a path of humility in which the infinite God becomes finite and then contracts to zero, only to resurrect and thereby unite a finite humanity within a newfound infinity.”
      – William Dembski, PhD. Mathematics, ‘The End Of Christianity – Finding a Good God in an Evil World’

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      • GA, the mathematical certainty is revealed quit simply by how diploid reproduction works in reality. Life really does change with mathematical certainty of inheritance over time by this process and one must deny reality to deny this fact.

        Of course, with mounting evidence for predictive mathematical certainty, whenever reality must be denied we find Getic.Apolo ready to play his bit part.

        Perhaps someday you’ll comprehend what others say before reaching for the internet to come up with reams of words that give the appearance of supporting your reality-denying assumptions.

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  2. From Dr. Todd Wood, a young earth creationist, teaching at Bryan College:

    “Evolution is not a theory in crisis. It is not teetering on the verge of collapse. It has not failed as a scientific explanation. There is evidence for evolution, gobs and gobs of it. It is not just speculation or a faith choice or an assumption or a religion. It is a productive framework for lots of biological research, and it has amazing explanatory power. There is no conspiracy to hide the truth about the failure of evolution. There has really been no failure of evolution as a scientific theory. It works, and it works well.

    I say these things not because I’m crazy or because I’ve “converted” to evolution. I say these things because they are true. I’m motivated this morning by reading yet another clueless, well-meaning person pompously declaring that evolution is a failure. People who say that are either unacquainted with the inner workings of science or unacquainted with the evidence for evolution.

    He goes on to say that YEC is strictly a faith stance. I’m good with that.

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    • tildeb (part 1 of 2):

      I’m afraid you may have wasted your efforts with the extensive quote from Dr. Wood. I don’t see anyone here calling evolution a failure or rejecting it outright. In fact, if we’re going to define evolution simply as a change in allele frequencies in populations, then of course it occurs. Many theists I know (me included) accept that as fact.

      You see, it’s just that it requires extraordinary faith to take a rather uncontroversial process in nature, and proclaim that – extrapolated over time – the same relatively mundane process can eventually result in new organs, new structures, new body plans, whole new phylae and kingdoms, and all the complexity and diversity of life on the earth. And solely through naturalistic and materialistic processes at that, even as there’s zero evidence that purely material processes have generated even a single functional protein, let alone Mozart from mud.

      You’re gonna have to forgive us, tildeb, some of us just don’t have the kind of faith you do.

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    • tildeb (part 2 of 2):

      “Perhaps someday you’ll comprehend what others say before reaching for the internet to come up with reams of words that give the appearance of supporting your reality-denying assumptions.”

      Ahh, the classic ad hominem. It’s interesting to note that I provided a reference directly indicating that evolutionary theory does not have a rigorous mathematical foundation to even speak of, and, not only did you avoid addressing that reference, but your only remotely relevant responses were:

      “Life really does change with mathematical certainty of inheritance over time by this process…”

      “Of course, with mounting evidence for predictive mathematical certainty…”

      I believe Hitchens said it best:
      “That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.”

      What was that about reality-denying assumptions, again? =D

      “Before you can ask ‘Is Darwinian theory correct or not?’, you have to ask the preliminary question: ‘Is it clear enough so that it could be correct?’. That’s a very different question. One of my prevailing doctrines about Darwinian theory is ‘Man, that thing is just a mess. It’s like looking into a room full of smoke.’ Nothing in the theory is precisely, clearly, carefully defined or delineated. It lacks all of the rigor one expects from mathematical physics, and mathematical physics lacks all the rigor one expects from mathematics. So we’re talking about a gradual descent down the level of intelligibility until we reach evolutionary biology.”
      – David Berlinski, mathematician

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      • …not only did you avoid addressing that reference… because I never made that claim!

        Let’s revisit, shall we?

        I wrote, this growing body of knowledge of how life changes over time (a mathematical certainty)…

        You see the difference from what you think I meant (“a reference directly indicating that evolutionary theory does not have a rigorous mathematical foundation to even speak of…”)

        And yes, there is good evidence that these changes over time do, in fact, create new species… not that you care in the slightest. Speciation is not as direct as you pretend those who understand evolution claim – mud to Mozart – but it happens all the same whether you want to admit it or not, whether this reality happens to agree or disagree with your creationist belief.

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  3. And for once I agree with synapticcohesion how impressively wrong you can be in your ability to comprehend and keep running with it. But then that will consistently happen when you don’t care about what’s actually true. This seems to be the criterion for gaining a Fellowship and the Discover Institute – the major source for all your misguided quotations.

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    • tildeb:

      You got me there. For a moment, I thought you were here for some serious discussion. But then came the slew of all-too familiar ad hominems, rhetoric, and unsubstantiated assertions. Loud moaning tildeb-style, if you will.

      And just like that, you’ve made a greater case for the title of this thread than I ever could. Well played. ;)

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      • The cartoon is absolutely incorrect: evolution is doing exactly the opposite of dying and it’s achievements in creating new knowledge continues to work for all of us. The moaning comes only from misguided creationists. Any discussion to be of value beyond pointing out why the cartoon is incorrect must be about why the creationists continue to try paint evolution as anything other than a fact. As I already stated, anyone who simply wants to take a position of faith in some aspect of a creative divine agency is fine with me because he or she is not looking to reality for any kind of explanation but to belief alone; the ‘moaning’ problem comes from those who mistake this faitheist position as an ‘alternative’ explanation about reality. Now we have a direct conflict in an arena of knowledge for which religion comes without any means (or merit) to even ponder.

        Faith in the religious sense is divorced from reality because it does not allow reality to arbitrate its claims (a nice, comfy home for all kinds of Oogity Boogity), so it is only an exercise in hypocrisy to pretend that faith is any deserving position to then arbitrate reality! Creationism bring nothing knowledgeable to the table in any ‘discussion’ because reality has already been benched. There is no evidence from reality for a single creation event, which is bad enough for the creationist, but in addition there is no evidence in reality where specific religious claims insist it should be found. And this is why creationist beliefs are clearly held independently of reality, making it solely and wholly a matter of faith rather than fact. If more creationists were honest enough to accept their beliefs as strictly a matter of faith, then there would be an end to the moaning about evolution and we could all get on with the business of gaining knowledge about reality we share.

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    • We clearly see how the knowledge of adaptation and resistance in organisms can help us in science and many other areas, but I fail to see how unfounded claims that we all came from a magic molecule, prokaryotes evolved into eukaryotes, we used to all live in the water, birds came from reptiles, and we all evolved from Lucy and other ape-like beings (that started out looking exactly like a typical monkey)–is going to help us with inventing and creating things that are beneficial to science, botany, medicine, etc.

      What say you, tildeb? You’re the resident evolutionist expert here, n’est-ce pas?

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    • synapticcohesion:

      Methinks when tildeb goes on one of his condescending, bitter tirades against religion (“frenzied reality-denying belief”, “a nice, comfy home for all kinds of Oogity Boogity”, “Creationism bring nothing knowledgeable to the table in any ‘discussion’ because reality has already been benched”) and relegates all religious belief to being based on faith, he is completely oblivious to the fact that every worldview – especially his – contains areas that require faith.

      I’m just saying it’s okay if tildeb’s worldview, or mine, or anyone else’s for that matter, has some elements of faith, cos’ a little faith isn’t that bad a thing at all. =)

      “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
      – Hebrews 11:1

      “Only in a world where faith is difficult can faith exist.”
      – Lee Strobel, ‘The Case for Faith: A Journalist Investigates the Toughest Objections to Christianity’

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    • synapticcohesion:

      “I fail to see how unfounded claims that we all came from a magic molecule, prokaryotes evolved into eukaryotes, we used to all live in the water, birds came from reptiles, and we all evolved from Lucy… is going to help us with inventing and creating things that are beneficial to science, botany, medicine, etc.”

      On that note, in a 2005 article published in The Scientist, the late professor and scientist, Dr. Philip Skell highlighted a survey of his peers – over 70 scientists – on whether Darwin’s theory played a part in their research. In an eloquent statement that has since been referenced numerous times, Skell recounted that in many areas of biological research “Darwin’s theory had provided no discernible guidance, but was brought in, after the breakthroughs, as an interesting narrative gloss.” Excerpts of the article follow below:

      “[T]he modern form of Darwin’s theory has been raised to its present high status because it’s said to be the cornerstone of modern experimental biology. But is that correct? … Darwinian evolution – whatever its other virtues – does not provide a fruitful heuristic in experimental biology. This becomes especially clear when we compare it with a heuristic framework such as the atomic model, which opens up structural chemistry and leads to advances in the synthesis of a multitude of new molecules of practical benefit. None of this demonstrates that Darwinism is false. It does, however, mean that the claim that it is the cornerstone of modern experimental biology will be met with quiet skepticism from a growing number of scientists in fields where theories actually do serve as cornerstones for tangible breakthroughs.”

      “Certainly, my own research with antibiotics during World War II received no guidance from insights provided by Darwinian evolution. Nor did Alexander Fleming’s discovery of bacterial inhibition by penicillin. I recently asked more than 70 eminent researchers if they would have done their work differently if they had thought Darwin’s theory was wrong. The responses were all the same: No.”
      – Dr. Philip Skell, in the article ‘Why Do We Invoke Darwin? Evolutionary theory contributes little to experimental biology’, The Scientist Vol. 19, August 2005

      Food for thought, no doubt. ;)

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      • Food for thought indeed, Getic.Apolo. Unfortunately, it is a fundamental question that evolutionists will continue to ignore. Tildeb’s beloved blogger, “Sensuous Curmudgeon” posed the question to creationists asking what (if any) inventions have resulted from creationism. He obviously missed the irony of his question as absolutely NOTHING had been invented or created that benefited society as a result of Darwinian evolutionism. NOTHING.

        Unless one considers eugenics programs and other pseudoscientific endeavors to be beneficial to society. (I would not be surprised if tildeb thinks they were.)

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      • Thanks for the interactions, guys.

        As I’ve mentioned before, when a dog is rabid, the last thing to do is poke it with a stick and never kick it.

        The imagery in the cartoon is symbolic. The emaciated look of the dog is a sign of a chronic disease. This represents the aspect of evolutionary theory that, like such a disease, has plagued the theory its entire life. What is it? Well, it’s called the Cambrian explosion. Honest evolutionists (which do exist, I’m happy to say) will tell you that there’s no evolutionary explanation for this sudden emergence. Even Darwin knew about it, saying:

        The abrupt manner in which whole groups of species suddenly appear in certain formations, has been urged by several palæontologists, for instance, by Agassiz, Pictet, and by none more forcibly than by Professor Sedgwick, as a fatal objection to the belief in the transmutation of species.

        And this says nothing of the genetic plans and “scaffolding” that we now know exist in the DNA of organisms. According to scientists, the number of organisms from that time has not been reduced since Darwin’s age, but has, actually, increased (meaning the problem got worse, not better, with more study). And that’s just one of many of its problems. Evolution says nothing about origins essentially. It also can’t account for other things, like consciousness for example.

        Now there are those zealous evolutionists who would like to paint a pretty picture of evolution being a healthy and robust hound, a theory of theories that explains everything and ends all inquiries. And the more zealous of the zealous tend to avoid considering that, in fact, they might be reading their own presuppositions into “facts” instead of just merely relaying them. So who is really “denying reality”? Let readers make up their own minds. While I can’t speak for all Christians, as a fan of Sherlock Holmes, I have to say that I enjoy Victorian-age fiction very much. But I think Victorian-age science fiction should be avoided.

        Joshua

        PS – The owner of the land where this dog once frolicked gleefully (that is, reality) has arrived with gun in hand to put the lame dog out of its misery.

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      • Not that it makes the slightest difference to you and your entrenched beliefs, synapticcohesion, but you really do have control over your the state of your own ignorance, and so far you seem determined to avoid any exercise that may reduce it regarding evolutionary biology.

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  4. “Honest evolutionists (which do exist, I’m happy to say) will tell you that there’s no evolutionary explanation for this sudden emergence”

    Can you provide some quotes for this please? Do you mean ‘no possible explanation’ or just ‘there are explanations but they can’t pin down which is correct’? I’ve seen lots of explanations given that are consistent with evolution.

    Jerry Coyne notes: “many animals and plants do not show up as fossils until well after the Cambrian explosion: bony fishes and land plants first appeared around 440 million years ago, reptiles around 350 million years ago, mammals around 250 million years ago, flowering plants around 210 million years ago, and human ancestors around 5 million years ago. The staggered appearance of groups that become very different over the next 500 million years gives no support to the notion of instantaneously created species that thereafter remain largely unchanged. If this record does reflect the exertions of an intelligent designer, he was apparently dissatisfied with nearly all of his creations, repeatedly destroying them and creating a new set of species that just happened to resemble descendants of those that he had destroyed.”

    Creationists have been predicted the demise of evolution since Darwin’s day. I saw an amusing collation of such predictions once, each ‘moaning louder’ than the one before. And yet the evidence for it grows year by year.

    Your Darwin quote notes only that Darwin was aware of objections. If you continue to read from the same quote he addresses the objections.

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    • Andy, I did keep reading the quote and how he addressed the objections. What was his answer to the objections in a sentence? (Tell us and let’s see if we came to the same conclusion [that I actually pre-addressed after the Darwin quotation in the previous comment].) Has the objection become less true or more true after all these years?

      Of course I meant that there’s no satisfactory explanation (“satisfactory” as in evolution scientists agree that it explains it best).

      Given that Mr. Coyne is an atheist it doesn’t surprise me that his presuppositions influence his interpretations and his conclusions. (For example, where did he get the ages?) Surely you wouldn’t suggest an atheist scientist is unbiased and completely impartial? Being a consistent atheist evolutionist, one can’t accept or acknowledge any evidence for a non-natural origin of anything or the appearance of anything that can’t be explained naturally. The last sentence in the quotation show a bit of the bones of Mr. Coyne’s contentions.

      Joshua

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      • “Has the objection become less true or more true after all these years?”

        Less true of course as our understanding has increased. As Tildeb notes, it’s not a serious issue for modern scientists. Forget Darwin, look to the modern science.

        “Of course I meant that there’s no satisfactory explanation”

        Satisfactory to whom?

        “Given that Mr. Coyne is an atheist…”

        Ad hominem unworthy of you Josh. The facts are the facts regardless of who’s saying them, whether Coyne or Ken Miller. If you have specific rebuttals to the facts he quoted you should simply bring them up.

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      • “Satisfactory to whom?”

        Keep reading the sentence please.

        Ad hominem unworthy of you Josh. The facts are the facts regardless of who’s saying them, whether Coyne or Ken Miller. If you have specific rebuttals to the facts he quoted you should simply bring them up.

        Again, keep reading the rest of the paragraph that I wrote (See the part that talks about the “ages”?). That’s why I wrote it!

        Please use philosophical terminology with care!

        Joshua

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  5. Tildeb, I was going to post that link too, but then remembered that one of us posted it before on another thread on this site. It doesn’t matter what information you post here, it’ll just be ignored, and the same claims will arise again a few weeks later.

    “Now there are those zealous evolutionists who would like to paint a pretty picture of evolution being a healthy and robust hound”

    The vast majority of biologists accept the veracity of evolution. By your reckoning this must make them all zealous. If by that you mean “Enthusiastic devotion to a cause, ideal, or goal and tireless diligence in its furtherance”, then sure, that possibly applies to most scientists – the good ones anyway.

    “But I think Victorian-age science fiction should be avoided.”

    I disagree. Jules Verne should be enjoyed in its context, as should HG Wells. One can even enjoy Bronze-age myths, as long as one understands that that is what they are. I’m currently enjoying Sherlock Holmes myself. The author was a great fan of rationality in his fiction. Bizarrely, in reality Conan Doyle was a spiritualist and a loud outspoken believer in fairies.

    As for dying dogs, if you attack a bulldog, the fact that it’ll bite you back is not a sign that it is in ill-health (as Samuel Wilberforce discovered).

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    • It doesn’t matter what information you post here, it’ll just be ignored, and the same claims will arise again a few weeks later.

      I admire the genius of someone who can remember the content of hundreds of complex posts on a wide range of some of the most complex subjects in the world, although I would question their honesty.

      Let’s try to be adults here and stick to the issue at hand.

      Joshua

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      • It was the same context. You posted a question I believe a chemist had posted to Nature magazine, asking what practical uses we had got out of evolution. In reply, one of us referenced the same link tildeb posted. It wasn’t that long ago so no particular genius (or indeed lack of adulthood) is required to remember that, though thanks for the compliment.

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      • No problem! It’s not every day that I get chided for not being able to remember the content of hundreds of messages on the questions of existence and all that it entails. And you did say “It doesn’t matter what information you post here, it’ll just be ignored and the same claims will arise again a few weeks later”. No worries. Next time I’ll know that I shouldn’t take the first half of a sentence literally, only the second.

        Joshua

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    • The vast majority of biologists accept the veracity of evolution. By your reckoning this must make them all zealous. If by that you mean “Enthusiastic devotion to a cause, ideal, or goal and tireless diligence in its furtherance”, then sure, that possibly applies to most scientists – the good ones anyway.

      No, I meant evolutionists who are not scientists (which includes you and tildeb) who actively promote evolution as a theory to explain just about everything.

      And both you and tildeb prop up this argument as if evolution scientists bring no presuppositions or biases to the table, while anyone, be they a creationist or an intelligent design proponent (which, by the way, aren’t the same — just so readers know), is relying totally on “faith”. That is an absurd and disingenuous characterization. The truth is that it’s a battle between two competing definitions of science: one an observational one that goes wherever the evidence leads, the other one that automatically assumes what it is trying to prove (that everything is natural and of natural origin).

      By the way, what actual critiques of the theory of evolution have you read? (Tell us two.)

      I like Verne, too, and Wells. But Wells’ writings are infused with a real pessimistic view of man and his future. A case could be made that his belief in evolution was the direct cause of it (ref. Morlocks, etc.).

      Joshua

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      • “No, I meant evolutionists who are not scientists (which includes you and tildeb) who actively promote evolution as a theory to explain just about everything.”

        No, I just accept the scientific model of evolution as an explanation for biological diversity.

        “what actual critiques of the theory of evolution have you read? (Tell us two.”

        The copy of Frank Turek’s book ‘Don’t have enough faith to be an atheist’ that Frank sent me himself. Lots of blogs from Erik Hovind’s site.

        “And both you and tildeb prop up this argument as if evolution scientists bring no presuppositions or biases to the table”

        Again, if you dispute anything in particular that Coyne said, tell us what it is. If you think that mainstream biologists who happen to Christians – like Ken Miller – are saying something markedly different about the Cambrian Explosion than Coyne, let me know.

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      • The copy of Frank Turek’s book ‘Don’t have enough faith to be an atheist’ that Frank sent me himself. Lots of blogs from Erik Hovind’s site.

        C’mon now. Frank Turek is a fantastic speaker and I enjoy listening to him sometimes. However, he’s not a scientist. Erik [sic] Hovind is not a scientist, either (someone correct me if I’m wrong). I’m talking about some substantial Creationist or Intelligent Design works written for lay audiences by Creationist / Intelligent Design scientists. Let me recommend two of the most popular works on both, if you haven’t read them:

        Refuting Evolution by Jonathan Safarti (Creationism)

        Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design by Stephen Meyer (Intelligent Design)

        Again, if you dispute anything in particular that Coyne said, tell us what it is.

        The ages.

        Joshua

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  6. Not this tired trope again!

    *groan*

    Paleopbiologist Martin Brasier (source and clarification added by me):

    “A rich fossil record of early animal remains has been discovered from near the end of the Ediacaran period at about 545 Ma to the appearance of calcified trilobites and echinoderms in the Chengjiang biota, some 520 Ma ago. This transitional period, variously known as the Tommotian or Fortunian Stage, contains examples of transitional forms. For example, Halkieria and Maikhanella are probable stem group ‘molluscs’ with multi-element shells; Eccentrotheca and Camenella are taken to be stem group ‘brachiopods’ with multi-element shells. Dozens of scientists have been writing about these materials in recent years. Some 20 million years of evolution has thereby been ignored (regarding the appearance of the Cambrian ‘explosion’ found in Burgess shale…what is now referred to by creationists as Darwin’s Dilemma).”

    You see, Darwin did not have all the answers to address all the evidence then available, but today’s version of evolutionary theory is far more and better informed. Those who continue to abuse Darwin’s ignorance – as if his contribution to our understanding of how life changes over time is somehow reduced or countered or exposed as fraud – seem oblivious to the fact that he was well aware of his own ignorance and many of the weaknesses of his theory. That;’s why he wrote about them (well, duh!)! But each has been successfully bolstered by the application of this scientific understanding of how and by what mechanism life changes over time to such a degree that one must choose to remain ignorant in order to continue to mistakenly believe that these weaknesses still apply today. They don’t, and anyone with intellectual integrity and honest curiosity can find this out for him- or herself.

    But to those who choose not to understand this natural process in the name of faith-based creationism – and have the arrogance to wave away the gobs of evidence and mutually supporting avenues of inquiry that always support it’s accuracy – what evidence can ever be brought forward to convince such a faitheist that his or her entrenched faith-based creationist beliefs are contrary to what’s true in reality?

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  7. “Of course I meant that there’s no satisfactory explanation (“satisfactory” as in evolution scientists agree that it explains it best).”

    So you don’t mean no possible explanation can exist, or even that we don’t have any ideas or evidence.

    So if, say, Richard Dawkins and Stephen Gould argued about which explanation for the Cambrian Explosion is the best (and they did), that means there is no ‘satisfactory explanation’ for it, by your definition?

    That’s like saying if two pathologists argue over which of two causes best explains what killed a person, that means there is no satisfactory natural explanation at all, even though they might both agree that one of the two causes is correct. Josh, there are plenty of arguments within all scientific disciplines. This is quite normal. I doubt there’ll ever be a time when everyone agrees on everything. An analogy for you would be that because you might disagree with a biblical scholar on the correct interpretation of a bible verse, that means ‘no satisfactory interpretation’ exists, and therefore there can be no real interpretation.

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    • That’s like saying if two pathologists argue over which of two causes best explains what killed a person, that means there is no satisfactory natural explanation at all, even though they might both agree that one of the two causes is correct. Josh, there are plenty of arguments within all scientific disciplines. This is quite normal. I doubt there’ll ever be a time when everyone agrees on everything.

      Well, this is quite different than the image I got from you and tildeb in this thread and others. You both seem to be trying to paint a picture of evolutionist scientists as merely relaying “facts” without any interpretation or bias whatsoever. For example, you said: “The facts are the facts regardless of who’s saying them, whether Coyne or Ken Miller.” If that were the actual case, then how and why would any disagreements appear? (In this context, one of the “facts” would be the ages that I mentioned as one of my points of contention.)

      From what I remember a short time ago when Mary Schweitzer found some brown tissue inside a T-rex bone, the first reaction of some in the scientific community was to accuse her and her colleagues of poor research and worse (reference: Origin of Species: How a T. Rex Femur Sparked a Scientific Smackdown). The point being that scientists, for all their brilliance, seem to be a forgetful lot, forgetting that they have presuppositions, too. Instead of considering that their theories and presuppositions might be incorrect — how long certain things, like soft tissue, can last; long ages, etc. — some very vocal among them assumed that other people were altering the facts.

      In a way, I see an analogy between this and Mormonism. Mormons would like to maintain the story that Joseph Smith saw each and every single Reformed Egyptian character (not a real language, by the way) floating magically on a piece of papyrus in his hat with their English translations below them. He would read out the word and one of his scribes would copy it down and read it back. Once Joseph heard that it was correct, the papyrus would disappear and the next would appear. This went on to create the Book of Mormon. When the thousands of historical, factual, grammatical, and spelling errors were noted in the 1830 edition (which I have, by the way), later Mormons wanted to blame the printer, even though he had told them about the errors. The idea is: If the story of Joseph Smith were to be true, then there is no way for an error to have entered in.

      How is a “fact” established anyway? How do you verify that something is 68 million years old?

      Let me know if you don’t have time to respond. We dads are busy people, I know…

      Joshua

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    • “A short time ago”? Good grief, but the creationist beat goes on and on and on… regardless of how often and how well they are debunked!

      What Schweitzer thought she had found occurred about 20 years ago and did cause quite a stir. So those who follow the same method of science that has brought us our understanding of ‘gravity’ – let’s all call ourselves ‘gravitationalists’ who subscribe to the theory of gravity, as well as us ‘atomicists’ who subscribe to atomic theory, and ‘germacists’ who subscribe to germ theory… the same method of science that has brought us our understanding of ‘evolution’, and who are absurdly singularly identified by militant faith-based creationists as ‘evolutionists’ – got to work on her findings (as she continued to do) and has come up with an explanation that seems to elude those who wish to find something – anything! – that supports casting doubt on good science. That’s why they continue to haul out yet another canard about this ‘soft tissue’. Turns out – and Schweitzer is front and center telling these shrill yet apparently deaf creationists – that what she actually identified was “soft, transparent microstructures in dinosaur bone. But creationists refuse to let a good thing die so they continue to go on and on and on even after their original claims have been defrocked with good science:

      “We hypothesize that, if original, these microstructures will have molecular features in common with extant osteocytes. We present immunological and mass spectrometry evidence for preservation of proteins comprising extant osteocytes. These data are the first to support preservation of multiple proteins and to present multiple lines of evidence for material consistent with DNA in dinosaurs, supporting the hypothesis that these structures were part of the once living animals. We propose mechanisms for preservation of cells and component molecules, and discuss implications for dinosaurian cellular biology.” (From Schweitzer’s paper)

      No one is altering the facts here, Joshua. Evidence was found, it was rigorously investigated, and new knowledge has been produced that in no way, shape, or form, empower creationist drivel except by those all too willing to jettison the method of good science and replace it with faith-based beliefs that presume to already know the answers.

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      • Well, Schweitzer’s article for Earth magazine about what she had possibly discovered was published in 1997. If you want to get your panties in a wad about the phrase “a short time ago”, you be my guest. Apparently, it doesn’t take much for you to get bent out of shape.

        So, the correction is that it wasn’t “brown tissue”, but “soft, transparent microstructures”. Fine. Thanks. The Smithsonian Magazine from oh-so-long-ago in 2006 (!) called it “stretchy brown matter”. Whatever. While I appreciate the update, I wonder about how carefully you read my comment in its context. The point wasn’t about what Schweitzer and her colleagues discovered. It was the initial, public reaction of some scientists to her findings which indicated certain biases. And where did I say that someone altered the facts?

        And you continue to be difficult to interact with. I mean, c’mon, there are only so many ways you can tell someone they’re an idiot. You’ve exhausted your supply and have started repeating yourself. It gets kind of boring to read.

        Grow up just a little bit. Ask some questions for a change.

        Joshua

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  8. Josh, I quoted and agreed with Dr. Todd: that YEC is strictly a faith stance and I’m good with that. Where you and I disagree is whether or not evolution is good science and in this matter your disagreement is not attached to reality but your faith.

    You (and your cohorts) are in the most unenviable position possible, insisting that those who think evolution is true do so because the method of science it follows in this particular case somehow doesn’t work when in fact it is not only the same method but does work to produce knowledge reliably and consistently well for everyone everywhere all the time.

    In contrast, the beliefs you follow try to jump the shark and replace this good science that works with the answer TheDesignerdidit (blessed be his name). Behind this assertion is a vacuum of good science, a barren ground that has produced zero knowledge and zero applications that work. There simply and honestly is no comparison to discuss.

    In reality, where there should be evidence for a creator in all areas of honest inquiry that utilizes the same method of science that informs our medicine and engineering and mining and aerospace and computer technology and agriculture and particle physics and so on, we find…. no evidence of causal effect nor any mechanism that works to bring it about. All we have are assertions that it MUST be so because people BELIEVE it must be so.

    You want to blame the bias of people for this unmitigated scientific failure to support your faith position. I understand; it’s difficult to come to the realization that one has been wrong and it’s even more difficult to put aside wrong beliefs. That’s why pursuing what’s true, rather than pursuing what is believed to be true, is a difficult and courageous undertaking. It does require integrity to submit your beliefs to the arbitration by reality. If you are going to suggest evolution is the result of poor science, then use good science to show its replacement. Go ahead. Nobody is stopping you.

    I think that if you honestly tried, you would find exactly what Dr. Todd finds: that people who say that evolution is a failure or insufficiently supported by reality are either unacquainted with the inner workings of science (to know the difference between good and poor science) or unacquainted with the evidence for evolution (which is mutually supportive when it doesn’t have to be this way). Those are your only two honest choices any honest person with intellectual integrity faces over this issue, Josh. Presuming you (and your cohorts) are in fact honest and have intellectual integrity, then pick your poison if you are going to continue to advocate that evolution is a theory in crisis: you are either ignorant about the method of science (continuing in spite of compelling reasons to the contrary that it is poor science) or ignorant about the evidence (which is overwhelming). The only way around this barrier is to admit that creationism is a position not of science where it enjoys no evidence-based support nor capable of producing a legitimate alternative but of faith alone.

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    • Sorry, tildeb, I won’t bite. I had hoped for better with you. But, sadly, you, unlike Andy, don’t seem to be the least bit interested in discussion. I like Andy, but we disagree about everything. Besides, he, to his credit, is light on the insults and was even considerate enough to e-mail me personally. Learn from him.

      Joshua

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    • It’s not a question of ‘biting’ but ‘understanding’. This is what you refuse to do. Even when an eminent evolutionary biologist like Coyne bothers with a creationist like synapticcohesion, you guys don’t listen and learn; you already know that creationism is true because you accept the premise as the conclusion first in spite of no evidence from reality to back up the assumption. This is exactly the same broken methodology used to support your ignorant assertion that evolution is like a rabid dog: revealing a profound lack of knowledge. This lack is due to the two points Todd makes, which is why you own one of them.

      Yes, Andy’s tone is praiseworthy on the politeness scale but equivalently effective on the knowledge scale. In spite of your repeated demands for him to jump through your hoops, which he does mostly in good humour, it matters not when it comes to pointing out how and why your entrenched faith about the shortcomings of evolutionary theory are quite ignorant; you don’t care that they are ignorant because you assume they are not, and then use the support of others equivalently ignorant. Your assumptions are wrong – as are the same assumptions (relabeled as Intelligent Design) made by Fellows of the Discovery Institute, and there is no means available to you – or any strident creationist – through your broken methodology to understand why this central criticism is fatal to your assertion that your faith accurately reflects reality. It doesn’t, but you have no means at your disposal to understand – regardless of how nice the tone may be – why this is so. The discussion you seek can never happen as long as you hold fast to confusing your premise to be your conclusion. That’s why I introduced Todd to you, so that you wouldn’t confuse the criticism with the the person saying it. Yet you’ve stumbled back into this hole of your own making with the ease of long practice. Blame for your ignorance (and your cohorts) lies fully on your own shoulders and not in the ‘tone’ of those who attempt to help you out.

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      • I only say this occasionally, but it’s always true – Tildeb your posts are very enjoyable to read, and interesting too. You’re right about the hoops!

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      • Thanks, Andy. And the hoops never seem to make any difference other than to allow Joshua a way to bow out of providing an equivalent amount of evidence or avoid addressing reasonable criticisms… by blaming others for not doing enough hoop jumping.

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      • Well, as I said before, there are only so many ways you can call someone an idiot. Grow up a little bit. Ask some questions for a change. Do some of your own research. For example, how many critiques of the theory of evolution have you personally read?

        Perhaps you’ll be like Andy and consider a book by a Christian motivational speaker enough to draw a conclusion on what constitutes the creationist perspective on things. But that’s ridiculous. I challenge you to read Jonathan Sarfati’s Refuting Evolution.

        But I bet you won’t.

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  9. “The ages.”

    But virtually all the scientists who are Christian agree with those ages. So dismissing the quote just because it comes from an atheist makes no sense.

    Stephen Meyer’s book’s been pretty thoroughly debunked, hasn’t it? It doesn’t sound like a great use of my time to read it, any more than spending time reading moon landing conspiracy books, or watching ‘Loose Change’, or ‘Zeitgeist’. At any rate, doesn’t it primarily concern how the first cells came about – it has no beef with any modern accepted science about how evolution progressed over the past billion years or so, including the Cambrian Explosion. Even ID proponents like Michael Behe accept ideas like that we share common ancestry with apes.

    If someone accepts virtually all of evolutionary science, and an old earth, but still wants to believe that God created the first cells, then I’m not that fussed to be honest – go ahead.

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    • But virtually all the scientists who are Christian agree with those ages.


      What is the source for that claim?

      Stephen Meyer’s book’s been pretty thoroughly debunked, hasn’t it?

      Says who now? Oh, the guys whose theories have nothing to say about the origin of life?

      So your comment makes it impossible to not ask: Which is it, (a) evolution explains the origin of the first living cells so as to refute the ID position proposed by Meyer, or (b) evolution doesn’t deal with the origin of the first living cells, only what happened after their appearance? (It seems like you want to say both in the paragraph.)

      Thanks, man!

      Joshua

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    • If someone accepts virtually all of evolutionary science, and an old earth, but still wants to believe that God created the first cells, then I’m not that fussed to be honest – go ahead.

      Just so. I agree that people can believe what they want… as long as they self-identify these claims as faith-based beliefs. Todd clearly admits that his YEC beliefs are correctly identified as a matter of faith alone that cannot compete with knowledge produced from good science. That’s why I’m fine with that bit of self-delusion.

      Where I draw the line is with those who try to present faith-based beliefs as something other than what they are, based on what is only claimed to be an equivalent yet alternative method of inquiry to science, a method that mysteriously does not produce knowledge. Ever. One might think this is a clue…

      And in this matter of confusing faith with fact, the people crossing the line are those who make a factual claim based on faith but who then fail spectacularly to back it up with anything other than more faith-based belief. That’s not cool because it is disingenuous; it misrepresents a faith-based belief to be something it is not: a fact… a claim about reality subject to scientific inquiry but then held to be privileged from it not b y merit or practical value but by a ‘LOOK OVER THERE’ strategy…. by attacking only a very narrow and specific branch of science (evolution) as unworthy while refusing to recognize that it follows the same method that allows these shrill creationists to bang away at their keyboards, ignore their medication, and post their scientifically illiterate comments about the biases and shortcomings of the scientific community on the scientific application called the internet.

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      • And how many creationist materials have you read, tildeb? Name any of the work by any creationist scientist that you have read.

        (My guess is that these two inquiries will be met with a long diatribe in which creationists and Christians in general will be slandered and mocked and described as idiots in no few words. Let’s wait and see…)

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      • I’ve read all kinds of creationist drivel! I’ve seen all kinds of creationist drivel. My favourite creationist material, bar none, is from the transcripts from the Dover Trial where ID is exposed to be what we all suspected it to be: theology. And our suspicions were confirmed not by atheists but its greatest proponents! Lovely, entertaining material, to be sure.

        You see, Joshua, all it would take to make creationist material valuable is if it created knowledge. Even after celebrating its 25 year anniversary at the Discotute, not one piece of knowledge has been forthcoming. It’s a failure. Now, of course, to get around this failure that must belong to everyone but those who still try to support it, we have the Discoveroids manufacturing their own IS periodicals and creationist ‘peer review’ panels, its own library reference center to bump up how many references are made to the Jolly Fellows who man the ID battlements against honest scientists, a publishing branch to print up what no reputable scientific publisher would print, and so on. Because of Templeton money alone, we can expect to see the Neo-ludidtes of ID hanging around pushing for ID to be inserted into science curriculum for another 25 and it is quite reasonable to assume the same amount of knowledge will be generated: zero. But at least it will afford Getic.Apolo more internet references for his theology to continue to masquerade as an ‘alternative’ to the knowledge engine that is evolutionary theory at work. It’s an unfair request, I know, because we should all make special allowances for the truly disabled amongst us… even if it is religious and goes by the misnomer Intelligent Design. It’s the Christian thing to do.

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      • Well, thanks for giving us another nugget that does nothing but expose the inconsistency of a self-proclaimed intellectually honest person. If evidence points to design, you can ignore it or describe it away. That doesn’t mean it goes away. And whatever hate you’ve got for the Discovery Institute would be better remedy by a picture of Stephen Meyer on a dartboard, not by long, aimless diatribes against them in the comments section of a tiny blog that is not associated with them.

        I see all this anger and frustration ties back to the a priori assumption of your side that no evidence can count towards a non-naturalistic explanation for anything because you “know” no non-naturalistic explanation exists. This is in spite of the evidence that honest evolution scientists would admit. They would tell you that there is nothing that we know of that can account for things like new genetic information, the emergence of new structures (eyes, feathers, limbs, digits), and other things. Reminds me of a quote I heard just today:

        “Even if all the data points to an intelligent designer, such an hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic.” – Scott Todd, immunologist, Nature 410(6752), p. 423, 1999/10/20

        So, you and your kind can continue to be the What-Constitutes-Good-Science gatekeepers. I won’t continue to bother you anymore. In turn, I invite you to please stop insulting each of us by wasting our time with these lengthy, angry, aimless diatribes. I’m tired of reading over them.

        Good day,

        Joshua

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  10. “What is the source for that claim”

    Because they are uncontroversial ages – they’re not contested by general scientists. Coyne wasn’t saying anything there about which there isn’t widespread agreement across the board by mainstream scientists – Christian or otherwise. If you know otherwise, let me know. Tell me which ages quoted by Coyne are accepted only or at least disproportionately by atheists. Tell me what all the consensus of Christian scientists are saying are the real ages. Show me the non-Creationist Christians or non-ID proponents who disagree with him.

    You can ask why I discount the latter group – only because you dismissed Coyne not because he disagrees with ID, but specifically because he’s an atheist. This suggests you hold that he’s saying something Christians as a whole don’t hold to be true, not just ID proponents. Again, there’s nothing ‘atheist-centric’ about the data Coyne quoted. The divide here, if there is one, is between ID/non-ID, not atheist/theist. And even then, there are many old-earth proponents of ID.

    What’s your source for disputing the years quoted by Coyne?

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    • Well, rather than branch off into minor branches of this thread, I suggest that you do a little more thorough research. Actually read some scientific material written by Creation scientists. I find it ridiculous that you express negative opinions about how scientific or unscientific the Creation position is based on some articles by Eric Hovind (a non-scientist) and Frank Turek, a Christian motivational speaker among other things (another non-scientist). It’s telling, but laughable.

      Do you really consider yourself informed of the position when, according to your own admissions, the work of those two is the main part of what you read of the creationist position? And did you read them before or after you concluded that evolution was fact?

      If you consider reading works such as Refuting Evolution by Jonathan Sarfati beneath you, then you should ask yourself why.

      Joshua

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      • “based on some articles by Eric Hovind (a non-scientist) and Frank Turek”

        When did I say I was basing it all off that? You asked me to name two creationist arguments I’d read, I gave you two. I politely jumped through your hoop, as Tildeb would put it. I never said I based all my opinions on just those two sources – I simply did what you asked and gave two sources I’d read.

        “according to your own admissions, the work of those two is the main part of what you read of the creationist position?”

        Eh? By my own admission? Where did I ‘admit’ that? The main part? Never said that. You only asked for two, you didn’t even specify that they had to be my main source, and I never claimed they were. They were just two off the top of my head.

        Out of interest, what are the two MAIN evolution sources for you? Talkorigins doesn’t count, as you’d apparently not even read that before I referred you to it.

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      • Well, I thought when you wanted to tell us what creation science material you’ve actually read that you’d give us some material that was actually written by creation scientists. Surely that wasn’t expecting too much. However, I appreciate your candidness. Did you read, watch, or listen to anything by any creation scientists? (Now’s the time to say!)

        RE: Main sources for Evolution

        I do try to keep up as best I can. If you remember, I’m a father. In addition to that I’m a teacher, an artist, a musician, and a linguist, facts which mean a lot of my time is spent elsewhere on a variety of other subjects. Add to that, in the process of moving overseas, I left a library of material on evolution at my parents’ home years ago. Although I don’t remember the exact details, I do remember having Richard Leakey’s Origins, a large assortment of National Geographic, and some other materials. Currently, I’ve got a digital library of standard texts, the Origin of Species by Darwin (a very dense work), a few lectures (public and private) and videos by Dawkins, and an assortment of texts and recent debates between the best and the brightest of the evolution/creation field. I’ve got a variety of books which feature interactions between people on both sides. I can’t remember them all (they are upstairs), but one that I particularly enjoy referencing is The Future of Atheism by Robert Stewart, which is essentially a transcript of a debate. Also, since I’m not a scientist, I’m limited on the sources I can digest and understand. And I could always do with more and wouldn’t consider my knowledge in any field complete.

        Of course, yourself being a non-scientist, I genuinely wonder how much of the content on talkorigins.org you yourself understand. After all, the site itself claims “is to provide mainstream scientific responses to the many frequently asked questions (FAQs) that appear in the talk.origins newsgroup and the frequently rebutted assertions of those advocating intelligent design or other creationist pseudosciences.” I found many (not all!) of the articles to be technical and requiring at least a working knowledge of a particular field to properly assess.

        Hope that answers your question. If being overly honest on these points hurts me, then so be it. That’s the truth.

        Joshua

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  11. “You both seem to be trying to paint a picture of evolutionist scientists as merely relaying “facts” without any interpretation or bias whatsoever.”

    It’s the difference between facts and theories. Facts are generally accepted by everyone. The disagreements are over the theories.

    Look up Stephen j Gould’s explanation of the difference between fact and theory in science.

    Small excerpt: “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.”

    As for how we know how old things are, I’ll recommend Dawkins book The Greatest Show On Earth for a great extended explanation of how we date things. I found it fascinating. Suffice it to say, multiple different methods are used, which convene on the same dates in very reliable testable ways.

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    • Terrific pictures and graphs and table, too, as well as lucid explanations how all the evidence points in only one direction… when it doesn’t have to be this way….

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  12. “. The point being that scientists, for all their brilliance, seem to be a forgetful lot, forgetting that they have presuppositions, too.”

    On the contrary, scientists are more aware than most of their fallibility and bias, and even more so of each others’ fallibility. That’s the whole point of the scientific method – it’s structured specifically to remove bias from results. Hence untold numbers of experiments where scientists don’t get the results they hoped for/wanted. Science doesn’t get accepted unless it’s repeatable – all your sceptical rivals get to test your experiment and retake it themselves.

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  13. The Theory of Evolution is just like any other scientific theory.
    It’s useful therefore it’s still around. It helps scientists do their job of examining reality.

    Do you want to get rid it? Easy. Just replace it with a better, more effective theory.
    It happens in science all the time.

    On the other hand, trying to pick holes in an established theory and trying to win by default is a waste of time. There are theories out there that are incomplete or that have a bone of contention that the expert genuinely can’t agree on.Yep, it happens. Doesn’t mean that the theory can’t be used in the meantime.
    Intelligent Design is a genuinely stupid fraud.
    There’s no work and there never will be. It’s a pea and shell game to separate the sucker from his cash. Creationism in a cheap tuxedo.

    Fallacy of ID and creationism-False Dichotomy [Reloaded]

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  14. And name any creationist material you’ve read.

    Science is the study of reality. If creationism wants to play with the big boys then it can enter the scientific arena like anyone else. Wake me up when “creationist material” doesn’t have to rely on vanity presses and isolated cranks but is found in mainstream science doing…work.

    Creationism is a sad joke. There’s no work. If you want creationism to be taken seriously then roll up your sleeves and apply it. Make some discoveries. Do something useful.
    (crickets chirping)
    Evolution is the foundation of modern biology. You can do stuff with it. As long as that keeps happening, it’s going to continue to be accepted as the “go to” scientific theory.

    Oh, and how old do you think the Earth is?
    (Just asking)

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  15. Rambling? Hardly.
    Creationism is joke. There’s no work. It’s a sucker’s game.
    Biologists don’t accept the Theory of Evolution just to hurt your feelings. They accept it because it’s useful. There is no vast scientific conspiracy.
    Creationism? No so much.
    I’ll admit that Dembski has made a nice little pile of cash from his coffee table books but that’s about it. Nobel Prize material, he ain’t.

    Tell the truth, Joshua. How old do you think the Earth is?

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  16. Josh, if Dr Mason has serious evidence that radiometric dating doesn’t work, and the earth is billions of years younger than currently believed, then he should submit his findings for peer review and await his Nobel Prize for physics. This would be the biggest upset and paradigm shift in scientific history. His claim is similar to saying you’ve got proof that the moon is only a few miles from earth, or that the Grand Canyon is only a few metres long. What do other physicists think of his claims? Googling him just brings up creation sites quoting or interviewing him. He doesn’t seem to be doing much to gain traction for his ideas.

    The evidence for an old earth is overwhelming. It doesn’t just rest on radiometric dating. There are many completely different dating systems used that converge on the same rough age. It makes no sense for all to be wrong in exactly the same way. As for it being a few thousand years old – tree ring dating alone, the most low tech possible form of dating, means we have pieces of wood we know are 11,000 years old.

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    • Your criticism assumes two things:

      1) Dr. Mason said radiometric dating doesn’t work (Did he say that? Well, you’ll have to actually watch the video.);
      2) other physicists don’t know about the problems he details in the video.

      I think his matter-of-fact delivery implies that physicists know about the problems and assumptions he’s talking about. But I’m not a physicist or even a scientist, so I’m open to correction. Maybe I’ll try to get in contact with him and do an interview on this topic of the age of the Earth…

      Regardless, what I want to know is whether or not you actually watched the video. Did you watch it?

      Have you ever heard, read, or listened to evidence for a young Earth? (And I’m not just talking about some guy saying, “The Bible says…”)

      Joshua

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      • “I think his matter-of-fact delivery implies that physicists know about the problems and assumptions he’s talking about.”

        You may think it implies it, but you have no idea. It’s possible that Mason is implying it, but you have no idea if he’s right there either. As I’ve already said, if he had proper evidence of a major paradigm shift in science, he should be submitting papers on it, not videos to fellow creationists/IDists/Young Earthers.

        No, I’ve not watched the video. It’s 80 minutes or so long, right? With an incredibly fringe theory. As I already said, our age for the earth comes from several different disciplines. Attacking a single one gets you nowhere. And even if he attacks all of them, he needs to bring major evidence, major tests that anyone else can reproduce. Look up how Einstein’s special theory got tested before anyone accepted it – look up the work of Eddington on that. Until Mason comes up with anything similar, I’m not going to waste time watching his videos.

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  17. You’ve posted on Bill Pratt’s site, Josh. In fact, a post from you there is how I found your site in the first place. He’s posted a few times on Young Earth arguments. You might be interested in his post here:
    http://www.toughquestionsanswered.org/2009/03/26/are-scientists-persuaded-by-evidence-for-a-young-earth/

    You can argue that your Jim Mason link is an example that Pratt has not come across yet, but the rest of his post there still stands.

    Why not post your Mason link there and see what Pratt thinks?

    BTW, I’m aware he’s not a physicist, and I’m not saying he’s got arguments that trump anyone else’s, I just found his opinion there interesting as a YEC proponent who still dismisses evolution, but who is now pretty much convinced by the scientific evidence for an old earth. He also sums up what I tried to say above – that it makes no sense for so many different disciplines to all be wrong with the SAME approximate age. This is not a case where they can all be making the same error, as the dating methods are completely different in each case. Even if Mason disagrees with one, he’s still got several others to deal with, none of which are in his area of expertise.

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    • Pratt’s summary is kind of sparse, content-wise. But surely you’ve got better sense than to think that I’ve never been exposed to old age/Earth arguments? I’ve spent years studying and collecting material on these issues. I haven’t read everything on it (nor has anyone else) and I’ve got so much to learn. However, of all the things I’ve read, watched, and listened to, Hugh Ross, of Reasons to Believe, astrophysicists and generally brilliant guy, presents the best case for an old Earth. I’ve listened to hours of him debating about the age of the Earth. While I appreciate some of his contributions (like his theories on time being similar to a honeycomb-type structure [crude summary]), he doesn’t persuade me on the age of the Earth. William Lane Craig is an old age/Earth proponent, too.

      I might take your advice and post Mason’s video somewhere on his site. But Bill looks pretty busy fending off atheists, so I won’t expect a response…

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  18. From tildeb…“My favourite creationist material, bar none, is from the transcripts from the Dover Trial where ID is exposed to be what we all suspected it to be: theology. And our suspicions were confirmed not by atheists but its greatest proponents! Lovely, entertaining material, to be sure.”

    I read the transcripts too. Very entertaining. Creationists under oath and subject to expert cross-examination really shines a light on their thinking. It’s hard to get away with lies and waffle in a court of law.

    From…Andrew: Josh, if Dr Mason has serious evidence that radiometric dating doesn’t work, and the earth is billions of years younger than currently believed, then he should submit his findings for peer review and await his Nobel Prize for physics. This would be the biggest upset and paradigm shift in scientific history.

    ‘Tis true is that. Only the work counts. Come up with something new and exciting and radical that completely turns previous understanding on it’s head and you are bound to be awarded a Nobel Prize. That’s what it’s there for. Science doesn’t do dogma.
    Hiding out on the fringes of creationist blogs, peddling coffee tables books and addling the minds of defenceless homeschooled American children is not what science is about.
    Only the work matters.

    NOVA | Intelligent design on trial 1 – 12

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    • Cedric, I take all your comments with a grain of salt. You’ve not read any creationist material as far I can discern. So not only are you unqualified to comment on the content of creation science arguments, you have peaked my curiosity regarding whether or not you get commissions on Youtube videos posted.

      What do you fear by reading, watching, or listening to a creation scientist give evidence for things like intelligent design, creation, young Earth, etc.?

      Then again, if I got my knowledge of creationism from The Family Guy, it’d be as patchy and erroneous as the bulk of people who speak out against it.

      Joshua

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      • Let’s be honest here: If Science/The Scientific Establishment said that the earth is millions or trillions or even “just” hundreds of thousands of years old; Cedric, tildeb, Andrew, and the rest of the automatons would simply parrot whatever numbers that they are given because they wouldn’t know the difference. After all, the number has changed dramatically numerous times over the years and the tildebs, Cedric, and Andrews of the world parroted the (fluctuating) conventional wisdom at the given time with such fervor and conviction that can only be described as RELIGIOUS.

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      • You want honesty? Well, in my undergrad days I worked on summer on Antarctic ice core samples extracting pollen dating back more than 50 thousand years. You could literally see the changes in phenotypes over the centuries…. not that you care about what’s true if it in any way conflicts with your religious beliefs.

        You seem to assume that, like your indoctrination into your religious convictions, children are indoctrinated into believing that evolution is true. Quite the contrary; we are educated into understanding how and why reality shows us that evolution is true. And this understanding can occur only if we honestly respect reality to inform our knowledge claims made about it. For reality does not support Unnamed Design or creationist POOF!ism. It shows – to any reasonable and honest mind – how all life on earth – related by common descent – changes over time.

        It’s not my fault or Andy’s or Cedric’s that this is what reality shows us; it’s reality’s ‘fault’. And it is this assumption creationists continue to adhere to that places without justification or merit their religious belief in some privileged, divinely sanctioned position to determine what constitutes good science… and finds ‘fault’ with reality for failing to comply by blaming those who respect it’s arbitration as somehow of questionable character and dubious intellectual integrity. But, as is typical, the creationist/UD gang get their facts exactly backwards… just like you have about assuming we are scientific automatons.

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    • After all, the number has changed dramatically numerous times over the years and the tildebs, Cedric, and Andrews of the world parroted the (fluctuating) conventional wisdom at the given time with such fervor and conviction that can only be described as RELIGIOUS

      Deep fried dumb.
      Science is not a religion. They use different methodologies.
      That’s something that is objectively true.
      It’s demonstrable.

      It doesn’t matter what the science says. Scientists are not priests reading out from some old book of goat herders.
      It matters how science found out about stuff.
      Yeah, the answers change.
      Did you ever furrow your brow in thought and ask yourself why?
      It’s because..science is a continuous process of investigation and learning from experience. Old ideas get discarded if newer and better evidence comes along. Science has no dogma so scientists don’t have a problem with constantly re-examining stuff and looking for new ways to explore stuff.
      It’s investigation; not revelation.

      We don’t catch criminals using old forensic methods. We use the latest ones. Why? Because they are better.
      DUH!
      They are more effective.
      Thirty years from now, they will be even better.
      That’s a good thing.

      Do you want your doctor to give you antibiotics from the 50’s or do you want the latest batch? Think about it.
      Religion doesn’t enter into it.
      Just because you don’t understand or value science don’t mean others don’t either. In the real world, it doesn’t just all boil down to one variety of religious mumbo-jumbo or another.

      Claim CA250:
      Scientific theories are always changing. You cannot trust what scientists say, since it may be different tomorrow.

      “1. Science investigates difficult questions about unknown fields, and scientists are human, so it is inevitable that scientific findings will not be perfect. However, science works by investigating more and more, which means results get checked and rechecked with further findings. The reason some findings change is because they get corrected. This process of correction helps make science one of the most successful areas of human endeavor. The people who cannot be trusted are those who are always right.

      2. As more evidence accumulates, scientific findings become more and more certain. Theories that have withstood several decades of study may undergo more refinement of details, but it is almost inconceivable that they would be overturned completely.”

      Well, in my undergrad days I worked on summer on Antarctic ice core samples extracting pollen dating back more than 50 thousand years. You could literally see the changes in phenotypes over the centuries….

      I am experiencing real envy. That sounds so very cool.

      Like

      • “Old ideas get discarded if newer and better evidence comes along….We don’t catch criminals using old forensic methods. We use the latest ones. Why? Because they are better.
        DUH!”

        So you’re comparing changes (advances) in technology to changing…”facts.” “Facts” are supposedly backed by “evidence” and which only idiots would dare question and scrutinize. Riiiiight…

        Orwell is rolling in his grave right now…

        Welcome to the Brave New World where not only opinions change, but the “facts” are also in constant flux.

        Like

      • So you’re comparing changes (advances) in technology to changing…”facts.”

        Yes, it’s called reality. There’s no need to put facts in scare-quotes.

        “Facts” are supposedly backed by “evidence”…

        Evidence. Yes. It’s important.

        (…insert slow hand clap here…)

        …and which only idiots would dare question and scrutinize.

        Read basic English…

        “However, science works by investigating more and more, which means results get checked and rechecked with further findings.”

        Scientists question and scrutinize all the time. It’s a never-ending process. Why is this hard for you to understand?

        Theories that have withstood several decades of study may undergo more refinement of details …

        Take note of the “study” bit. Bit difficult to study something in science without the necessary questioning and scrutiny that always takes place. Scientists do the work that counts. Useless flapping your gums takes a poor second place.

        Orwell is rolling in his grave right now…Welcome to the Brave New World

        No.
        Huxley wrote Brave New World.
        Orwell wrote “1984”.
        Get it right.
        The dystopian society of 1984 required that history was deleted and re-written. That doesn’t happen in science. All the mistakes made are carefully recorded. We learn from them.
        It’s possible to go back through history and see how scientists did their work and the conclusions they came to on the age of the Earth.
        Each estimate became older and older as more data from experiments and observations from various fields were acquired.

        Believing in a 5000(or whatever) year old Earth is dumb.
        It’s homeskooler dumb.
        It’s so dumb that even those who believe it are seldom willing to say it out loud in public.
        It’s something to be deeply ashamed of.

        Radiometric Dating is Flawed!! Really?? How Old IS the Earth?

        Like

      • Synapticcohesion demonstrates Dr. Todd’s point: people (who say stuff like this) are unacquainted with the inner workings of science or unacquainted with the (role of) evidence. Yet synapticcohesion thinks himself in a position to teach Jerry Coyne that evolution is not true and actually argue with him when Coyne takes the time and makes the effort to respond! Understanding just how inappropriate this approach he undertakes is reveals a depth and scope of scientific illiteracy on the part of synaptic<cohesion that is truly breathtaking, and this is why he is a living example of Todd’s criticism of those who deny evolution.

        But rather than learn how and why he has gone so wrong in his approach to these complex issues, our brave synapticcohesion attempts to continue to man the battlements of his faith against the encroachment by reality and straighten the rest of us out, knowing as he does (by divinely sanctioned revelation, no less!) that his starting beliefs about various aspects, intentions, meanings, and purposes that lie behind historical POOF!ism are correct… even when reality arbitrates them to be factually wrong. Reality, in the world of creationists, is over-rated, so science – our very best method for discovering this reality independent of our biases and prejudices and personal interpretations – is also assumed to be over-rated in this particular case (evolution) but not in all the cases they use and trust on a daily basis. And they have no problem with trying to teach the rest of us to go along with this divinely sanctioned selective method where X is true in all these cases but obviously Not-X in this one particular case.

        To quote a Hollywood source about creationists being held equally accountable as the rest of us to wearing the badge of understanding first when it comes to criticizing the method of science:

        Badges? We ain’t got no badges. We don’t need no badges. I don’t have to show you any stinkin’ badge!

        Like

  19. Cedric, I take all your comments with a grain of salt. You’ve not read any creationist material as far I can discern.

    What does it matter? You can’t go around saying that creationism is really real ’cause some anonymous guy on the internet didn’t do enough reading to satisfy your arbitrary standards.
    You don’t get to win by default.
    Creationism must stand or fall on it’s own merits.
    That’s just the way reality works.
    Creationism is a complete joke.

    I don’t see you being quick off the mark with a list of wonderous discoveries made by creationism.
    The courtier’s reply will get you nowhere.
    Where’s the work?
    They couldn’t produce any at Dover and they can’t produce any nowadays.
    It’s a fraud. It will forever be consigned to kooky websites and coffee table books.

    How old is the Earth, Joshua?
    Spit it out. Tell the truth now.

    Like

      • Well, Andrew, such a question is kind of foolish in light of the abundant information online detailing the young age/Earth creationist perspective on the age of the Earth (the position to which I’ve made plain that I ascribe to in other threads). I could have coldly said, like some, “Google it”, but I didn’t think I’d have to. I thought I would do the more polite thing and not answer directly so that Cedric might actually / accidentally have to read some creationist literature. Since that doesn’t seem likely to occur on its own, here’s an article from an actual, living young earth creationist scientist, Jonathan Sarfati:

        [creation.com] How old is the earth? by Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D., F.M.

        Let the shock die down. Had one actually been reading the opposition’s literature, the idea of a 6,000 to 10,000 year old age of the Earth wouldn’t be such a mystery.

        So I guess now the only thing to do is sit back and wait for Cedric’s Youtube video rebuttals…

        Joshua

        Like

      • A PhD in physical chemistry? So he should know better, right? (The video Cedric might use is already at that link!) Obviously, the man is no biologist yet tries to make his living peddling creationism to those who are equally ignorant of the subject.

        But it really is quite astounding that the method of science works so well so often for so many so consistently… works so well, that is, except where it conflicts with creationist beliefs! What a fantastic coincidence… so fantastic that some kind of unseen agency (blessed be his name) must have designed it that way.

        And when science does conflict with creationist/designer belief (blessed be his name) then it instantly becomes such a dubious method (as we are told by some people that have a PhD!) that it takes more faith than most creationists have to think the exception deserves even more skepticism than most rational people could produce.

        Like

      • It’s wonderful visitors like tildeb that make me think I should change the name of the blog to “No Aimless Diatribes Allowed”…

        We already know you don’t like we creationist (a particular well nourished dislike, bordering on hate, I think) and have a deep disdain of creationist scientists. Yep. Got it about the 63rd time you told us in your own particular long way of saying it. Tell us something new, or at least interesting.

        Like

  20. “Orwell is rolling in his grave right now…Welcome to the Brave New World

    No.
    Huxley wrote Brave New World.
    Orwell wrote “1984″.”

    Naaaw really? I knew you would mention the obvious. I separated those two sentences–you’re the one who placed them together. I was referring to 1984 and BNW because they both cover “doublethink” and the inculcation of “facts” mindlessly spewed by the automatons reciting what they heard from the cradle.

    ““Facts” (that) are supposedly backed by “evidence”…

    Scientists question and scrutinize all the time. It’s a never-ending process. Why is this hard for you to understand?”

    No, many supposed “scientists” and their mindless automated advocates declare unfounded conjecture as being scientific “fact,” while ridiculing OTHERS for doing THEIR JOB of QUESTIONING and SCRUTINIZING. If the “facts” are so tenuous that they can CONSTANTLY CHANGE whenever there is a new method or technology discovered, then, guess what? These aren’t FACTS! And the “EVIDENCE” is obviously NOT EVIDENCE!

    Why is this SO HARD for evolutionists to comprehend?!

    Like

    • “No, many supposed “scientists” and their mindless automated advocates declare unfounded conjecture as being scientific “fact,””

      Good job the actual scientists don’t do that then, and just the ‘supposed “scientists”‘.

      ” If Science/The Scientific Establishment said that the earth is millions or trillions or even “just” hundreds of thousands of years old; Cedric, tildeb, Andrew, and the rest of the automatons would simply…”

      If you’re saying “If thousands of experts in several different disciplines all converged on the same age of the earth, using several different techniques for their calculations, then I would accept their conclusion as the best possible given current evidence”… sure guilty as charged.

      parrot whatever numbers…

      Like

    • ” the inculcation of “facts” mindlessly spewed by the automatons reciting what they heard from the cradle. ”

      Not sure who you’re referring to here (Religious dogmatists?) but it’s not scientists, with it’s constant testing, retesting, doubleblind tests, peer reviews etc.

      Like

    • I was referring to 1984 and BNW because they both cover “doublethink” and the inculcation of “facts” mindlessly spewed by the automatons reciting what they heard from the cradle.

      Whatever helps you sleep at night.
      (shrug)

      No, many supposed “scientists”…

      It’s just scientists. No need for scare quotes. They won’t help you at all. Talk like an adult.

      …ridiculing OTHERS for doing THEIR JOB of QUESTIONING and SCRUTINIZING.

      Scientists ridicule you because you say stupid stuff.
      Yelling will not help you.
      To think that the Earth is 5000 years old is…dumb.
      Really, really dumb.
      It’s a rejection of all the physical sciences.
      Scientists ridicule you because you are clueless and haven’t the faintest idea how science works or what questions to ask.
      You are yelling “snap” at a poker game.
      Tell your deep-down dumb to your children and they will get laughed at too.

      If the “facts”….

      Again with the scare quotes?
      (sigh)
      Look, its facts-not “facts”.
      It’s evidence-not “evidence”.
      It’s scientists-not “scientists”.
      Use real English.

      …are so tenuous that they can CONSTANTLY CHANGE whenever there is a new method or technology discovered…

      They don’t. New technology and new methods often only confirm what we already know. It gives us a better and richer understanding of the world around us.
      Looking at small stuff with a magnifying glass is good.
      Nothing wrong with that.
      Looking at stuff with a microscope is even better.

      New methodologies and new tech confirms that the Earth is much, much older that the YEC’ers believe it is.
      Back in Kelvin’s day, scientists thought it was only about 20 million years old. They had good reason to think that was the case. Then along came Atomic Theory and everything changed.
      In the light of new evidence, scientists change their minds because they constantly revise and question their findings. They are interested in reality. There is no dogma in science.

      Why is this SO HARD for evolutionists to comprehend?!

      Nope. It’s not just biology. That’s the least of your worries.
      All of the physical sciences are against you.

      You’ve got nothing but ignorance and a spittle-flecked monitor.

      Like

      • “Tell your deep-down dumb to your children and they will get laughed at too.”

        This sentence makes absolutely no sense.

        “I was referring to 1984 and BNW because they both cover “doublethink” and the inculcation of “facts” mindlessly spewed by the automatons reciting what they heard from the cradle.

        Whatever helps you sleep at night.”
        (shrug)

        That response made absolutely no sense either.

        Cedric, when are you going to make some coherent sense? And what’s a “scare quote,” by the way?

        Like

  21. Scare quotes are when you put quote marks around a word when it’s not required, in an attempt to undermine it or make the word look scary. ie “Scientists”. That was made pretty clear by Cedric’s post – as he points out, they’re scientists, not “scientists”. Compare the following two paragraphs:
    1. The American Mitt Romney has been trying to appeal to Christian voters. He’s been campaigning for some months now.
    2. The “American” Mitt Romney has been trying to appeal to “Christian” voters. He’s been “campaigning” for some months now.

    Like

      • From Wiki: “Use of the term scare quotes appears to have arisen at some point during the first half of the 20th century. Occurrence of the term in books appears as early as 1946 in a nonfiction work by Carey McWilliams titled “California” and academic literature as early as the 1950s.” Note, McWilliams was an American so, no, it doesn’t turn out to be just British.

        Like

      • Here’s another word: “reckon.”

        A bygone word in the US that hasn’t been used since the times of the Old West. But I “reckon” I’ve heard Brits using this term before. ;)

        Like

  22. “Americans don’t say “scare quotes.” Ever.”

    What’s your point? Regardless of whether they call them scare quotes or not, Americans USE scare quotes. It doesn’t really matter what they’re called, you were using them. Unless you’d like to explain what you meant by the use of quotes, if it doesn’t fit in with the definitions of scare quotes that we’ve already linked to.

    Brits are more likely to say suppose that reckon, though the latter is not unheard of.

    Like

    • There’s no point, I was just making an observation. My quotes are not intended to “scare,” they are intended to denote sarcasm. Or to quote what someone just said. Either way, I’m sure Cedric is convulsing right now as I have used more “scare quotes” once again.

      Like

      • Tildeb :Occurrence of the term in books appears as early as 1946 in a nonfiction work by Carey McWilliams titled “California” and academic literature as early as the 1950s.”.

        synapticcohesion: Who cares about the origins? Americans don’t say “scare quotes.” Ever.

        Cary McWilliams was…American.
        He said “scare quotes”.
        But maybe you meant a different kind of American and/or a different kind of “ever”.

        Like

      • “they are intended to denote sarcasm”

        Right… that’s what scare quotes means. And referring to “scientists” with sarcasm is nonsensical – they ARE scientists. So, as we were, you were using scare quotes.

        Like

  23. Josh, synapticcohesion and the rest:

    Wow, didn’t expect this place to be so full of life (albeit with the usual suspects) during the short time I’ve been away. It’s also interesting to note how some are trying to steer the discussion away from the original topic. As Josh every so aptly put, “there are those zealous evolutionists who would like to paint a pretty picture of evolution being a healthy and robust hound, a theory of theories that explains everything and ends all inquiries.”And yet, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that for all its little benefits, evolutionary theory is failing on many fronts, one of them being the Cambrian explosion. And since discussions on the Cambrian explosion are a walk right up my alley, I shall begin there, and along the way, address some of the more pertinent points raised on the matter.

    First of all – and without going into the various other failings of evolutionary theory (a theory which I don’t reject outright, but accept with the understanding that it has its limits in describing the world as we know it) – you’re absolutely right on one count, Josh: there is simply no credible evolutionary account for the Cambrian explosion. Not one of the explanations I’ve come across elsewhere so far explains the origin of new information required to build the complex body plans that appear abruptly in the Cambrian explosion. The problem lies in the fact that most explanations don’t explain the Cambrian explosion at all, and some, – like Jerry Coyne’s quote put up by Andrew Ryan – try to explain away the Cambrian explosion, which is a different matter in itself. Explaining an event includes, at minimum, offering a credible account, whether or not it supports Darwinism. Whereas what we really hear from explainers away is a non-credible account that satisfies the emotional needs of the people with a vested interest in avoiding the immense difficulties that the attested event presents to Darwinism.

    Now, let’s look at the more specific, Cambrian-related comments posted, starting with Andrew Ryan. I’ll focus on his quote from Coyne, specifically:

    “… many animals and plants do not show up as fossils until well after the Cambrian explosion: bony fishes and land plants first appeared around 440 million years ago, reptiles around 350 million years ago, mammals around 250 million years ago, flowering plants around 210 million years ago, and human ancestors around 5 million years ago. The staggered appearance of groups that become very different over the next 500 million years gives no support to the notion of instantaneously created species that thereafter remain largely unchanged. If this record does reflect the exertions of an intelligent designer, he was apparently dissatisfied with nearly all of his creations, repeatedly destroying them and creating a new set of species that just happened to resemble descendants of those that he had destroyed.”

    I am not sure what Coyne is getting at here, for he should know better. For instance, no ID proponent ever claimed that groups such as the vertebrate classes (“bony fishes”, “mammals”) appeared during the Cambrian. On the contrary, the fact that a pattern of morphological disparity precedes diversity is fundamentally at odds with the neo-Darwinian scenario of gradualism. All of the major differences (such as higher taxonomic categories like phyla) appear first in the fossil record and then the lesser taxonomic categories such as classes, orders, families, genera and species appear later. On the Darwinian view, one would expect to see all of the major differences in body plan appear only after numerous small-scale speciation events. But this is not what is observed.

    Also, the talk about “groups that become very different over the next 500 million years” is somewhat strange. Of course we see increases in complexity after the Cambrian, no one suggested otherwise. But the heart of the matter is, the majority of phylum-level body plans that have left a fossil record do appear in the Cambrian. And yet, no satisfactory explanation has been offered. The final part of Coyne’s comments – “If this record does reflect the exertions of an intelligent designer, he was apparently dissatisfied with nearly all of his creations…” – are the strangest of the lot. Any consistent ID proponent would tell you that ID is an inference to design, and has nothing to say on the identity, intents and purposes of the Intelligent Designer. Let’s just say that if Coyne had tossed this up in an actual debate, he would have been slaughtered.

    So it seems Coyne hasn’t really explained much about the Cambrian explosion now, has he?

    Like

    • “Any consistent ID proponent would tell you that ID is an inference to design, and has nothing to say on the identity, intents and purposes of the Intelligent Designer”

      Shame that when it came to the Dover trial, it was the ID proponents who got slaughtered, and your above claim fell apart in the trial too.

      Like

  24. Next up, tildeb, who had this to say:

    “Paleopbiologist Martin Brasier (source and clarification added by me):

    ‘A rich fossil record of early animal remains has been discovered from near the end of the Ediacaran period at about 545 Ma to the appearance of calcified trilobites and echinoderms in the Chengjiang biota, some 520 Ma ago. This transitional period, variously known as the Tommotian or Fortunian Stage, contains examples of transitional forms. For example, Halkieria and Maikhanella are probable stem group ‘molluscs’ with multi-element shells; Eccentrotheca and Camenella are taken to be stem group ‘brachiopods’ with multi-element shells. Dozens of scientists have been writing about these materials in recent years. Some 20 million years of evolution has thereby been ignored (regarding the appearance of the Cambrian ‘explosion’ found in Burgess shale…what is now referred to by creationists as Darwin’s Dilemma).’ “

    I’m not sure you truly understand the implications of the Cambrian explosion. I’ll elaborate by focusing on what you posted from (the interestingly titled blog, “Why Evolution Is True” (really, lovin’ the title here).

    I’ll agree that there are, indeed, disagreements over the duration of the Cambrian explosion, even among Darwinian paleontologists. But the real issue here is the origin of information. Even if the Cambrian explosion had lasted 40 million years, there would not have been enough time for unguided processes to produce the enormous amount of specified complexity and information in the DNA of the animal phyla. Nor has something remotely similar ever been testably reproduced in the labs. But hey, I’m all ears if you have any evidence to share.

    Moreover, if you’re familiar with the original findings of Martin Brasier – as reported in the January 2009 issue of the Journal of the Geological Society, it was reported that he had discovered “a variety of exceptionally preserved microbes” from late Precambrian rocks in England that address “the paradox known as ‘“Darwin’s dilemma’.” At the time, Science Daily announced that “Darwin’s dilemma” was “the lack of fossils in sediment from the Precambrian.”

    But – surprise, surprise – this was not Darwin’s dilemma. Darwin’s dilemma was the notable absence of intermediate fossils showing the diversion of Cambrian phyla from a common ancestor. Brasier didn’t solve Darwin’s dilemma. Instead, he helped put one more nail in the coffin of Darwin’s attempt to salvage his theory from it. The truth is hard to avoid: “exceptionally preserved microbes” from the late Precambrian actually deepen Darwin’s dilemma, because they suggest that if there had been ancestors to the Cambrian phyla they would have been preserved.

    As noted vertebrate paleontologist Robert L. Carroll noted:

    “The most conspicuous event in metazoan evolution was the dramatic origin of major new structures and body plans documented by the Cambrian explosion. Until 530 million years ago, multicellular animals consisted primarily of simple, soft-bodied forms, most of which have been identified from the fossil record as cnidarians and sponges. Then, within less than 10 million years, almost all of the advanced phyla appeared, including echinoderms, chordates, annelids, brachiopods, molluscs and a host of arthropods. The extreme speed of anatomical change and adaptive radiation during this brief time period requires explanations that go beyond those proposed for the evolution of species within the modern biota.”
    (Robert L. Carroll, “Towards a new evolutionary synthesis,” Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Vol. 15(1):27-32)

    But wait, tildeb, it gets more interesting. Your article is from 2010, and yet, in 2011 and 2012, the Cambrian explosion continues to be a major headache for neo-Darwinists. For instance:

    ‘Complex Arthropod Eyes Found in Early Cambrian’ – June 2011

    Excerpt:

    “Complex eyes with modern optics from an unknown arthropod, more complex than trilobite eyes, have been discovered in early Cambrian strata from southern Australia.,,, Here we report exceptionally preserved fossil eyes from the Early Cambrian (~515 million years ago) Emu Bay Shale of South Australia, revealing that some of the earliest arthropods possessed highly advanced compound eyes, each with over 3,000 large ommatidial lenses and a specialized ‘bright zone’. These are the oldest non-biomineralized eyes known in such detail, with preservation quality exceeding that found in the Burgess Shale and Chengjiang deposits. Non-biomineralized eyes of similar complexity are otherwise unknown until about 85 million years later. The arrangement and size of the lenses indicate that these eyes belonged to an active predator that was capable of seeing in low light. The eyes are more complex than those known from contemporaneous trilobites and are as advanced as those of many living forms. They provide further evidence that the Cambrian explosion involved rapid innovation in fine-scale anatomy as well as gross morphology…”

    I’ve got other references, but I’ll stop at one for now. Would you, tildeb, care to explain how your article remains relevant in the face of what I’ve shared?

    Like

    • So, if the explanations offered here thus far for the Cambrian explosion are meant to reflect the best and brightest evolutionary theory has to offer, that makes for a really sorry state of affairs, and further highlights Josh’s point: that the Cambrian explosion continues to represent a formidable challenge to the neo-Darwinian theory of evolution. And it is my view that Darwinism is likely irrelevant to the Cambrian Explosion and subsequent diversity altogether, and that future research warrants an extensive discussion of alternatives to Darwinism. An idea, of course, that appears to be firmly resisted by die-hard evolutionary materialists, no matter how embarassingly awkward the evidence for the Cambrian explosion is to their religio.. I mean, scientific theory.

      I’ll part with this question: are we all bold enough to entertain the notion that evolutionary theory might possibly have its necessary limits? Yes? No?

      Have a great weekend folks. =)

      Like

      • Josh, here’s your chance, man, to straighten out a ‘brother’! GA presents an argument that presumes modern geological dating methods are reliable. The fool, right? You think the earth is 6-10 thousand years old and here’s GA talking about hundreds of millions of years that you know is just plain wrong. So why aren’t you arguing with him about his basic facts of geological time being ludicrous, that his argument here is just another long ‘rant’ disassociated from reality?

        Might it be because you’re more concerned with maintaining an alliance with those against evolutionary theory than finding out what’s actually true?

        You see, the fact of the matter is that GA doesn’t understand how science works. He takes my counter-point about some of the problems that comes with reliance on evidence only from the Burgess Shale and points out how fossil evidence for intermediaries exist in other formations. But GA confuses this with being about eyes. So he searches the internet for anything critical about eyes and evolution and posts that as if it is a meaningful criticism. It isn’t. From another formation we get other fossil evidence of complexity early in the Cambrian. So how does the creationist comport all this evidence hundreds of millions of years old with a young earth only a few thousand? They don’t. They can’t using good science!

        But rather than deal with this unpleasant and difficult task that involves work, the creationist thinks that pointing out minor discrepancies in need of further study reflects a catastrophic problem that can be only be resolved by inserting ‘creationism’ as a cause while ignoring literally tens of millions of years that cover this geological time known as the explosion. This is the false dichotomy raised so often it has become the banner of creationists of all stripes including design proponents.

        You see, Josh, you can’t have it both ways and maintain intellectual integrity. If you want serious talk about the kinds of issues GA raises, then you must first accept why the age (of hundreds of millions of years) of the evidence matters, and this you are already unwilling to do (having dismissed the method because you found a someone with scientific credentials to say the whole enterprise is wrong), making an exception, of course, for GA if his latest comment appears to aid your cause with a criticism of evolution. But it doesn’t, you see. Its foundation stands contrary to your cause.

        Like

      • tildeb, I understand as an atheist missionary, it is your duty to disseminate the Nothing (because it’s what you believe in), but get a grip and get the chip off your shoulder, man. Despite what anyone else may say, your broad, gross generalizations are an eye-sore on this blog and are adding nothing to the conversations. As I’ve said before in different words, I still hope that one day you may get over your intellectual superiority complex and come join the rest of us here who are equally passionate and belligerent about our view of reality, even in places where big boys and girls have come to different conclusions. We still try to behave like adults.

        You also have the tendency to assume too much and then ramble at length on those wrong assumptions. For example, in your latest comment (see above), you wonder why haven’t I unloaded on GA about the geological time. Being a consistent in your wrong assumptions, you then go on to accuse me of wanting to maintain some “alliance” instead of wanting to find out what is true. Well, I hate to awaken you to the reality you say you care about — the same reality that tells us that information only comes from intelligence; that life only comes from life; etc. — but the world is round. When you are reading comments and accusing me of not interacting with this one or that one, well, I’m asleep or working on the myriad of other things. Did that ever dawn on you? Did you for one minute ever consider that I hadn’t even read them yet? (which is true)

        Besides, the comments I did read weren’t actually addressed to me. They were addressed to you guys on that side. So, why don’t you get off the creationists-are-complete-morons-nana-nana-boo-boo diet you’ve been on for the past year. As I said in my last response (and I hope I don’t have to say it again) I know you think I’m an idiot. I know you think I’m dishonest. I’m know you think I don’t care about reality. I know you want to apply your same twisted conclusions to all creationists and people in the intelligent design field. Whatever. OK. Let’s get back to the topic like adults. To do that, answer this question:

        Where do scientists that you agree with get their age of the Earth from? Does it involve any assumptions?

        Joshua

        Like

  25. And yet, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that for all its little benefits, evolutionary theory is failing on many fronts, one of them being the Cambrian explosion…

    Not according to the scientific community.
    They do the work.
    If you disagree then enter the scientific arena and claim your Nobel Prize.
    Everything else is hot air.

    There are two problems here with your thinking.
    .

    One is that is that you are recycling a zombie PRATT.
    In this case it’s Claim CC300…
    Complex life forms appear suddenly in the Cambrian explosion, with no ancestral fossils.
    Source: Morris, Henry M. 1985. Scientific Creationism. Green Forest, AR: Master Books, pp. 80-81.
    Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. 1985. Life–How Did It Get Here? Brooklyn, NY, pp. 60-62.

    The second is that is that you are doing an Argument from False Dichotomy.
    Creationism is an old joke. There’s never anything new.

    Fallacy of ID and creationism-False Dichotomy [Reloaded]

    Like

  26. Cedric Katesby:

    Wow. As usual, Cedric Katesby completely dismantles our points with his brand of rhetoric-filled non-arguments and Internet atheist videos. Brilliant. I am not worthy.

    Normally I focus on the more serious-minded and try not to engage with Internet atheists, but in your case I’m happy to make an exception every now and then. Wow, where do I even begin?

    (in response to my comment “And yet, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that for all its little benefits, evolutionary theory is failing on many fronts, one of them being the Cambrian explosion…”)

    “Not according to the scientific community.
    They do the work.
    If you disagree then enter the scientific arena and claim your Nobel Prize.
    Everything else is hot air.”

    Uh, yes, evolutionary theory has failed us on many fronts including the Cambrian explosion, according to the scientific community.
    They do the work.
    If you disagree then enter the scientific arena and claim your Nobel Prize.
    Everything else is hot air.

    “There are two problems here with your thinking.”

    Cue strawman-cum-complete-misunderstanding in 3, 2, 1…

    “One is that is that you are recycling a zombie PRATT.
    In this case it’s Claim CC300…”

    Tadaa! What do you know, right on schedule! =D

    Listen, when you’re free, read all that I wrote again, slowly, and try your best to see why my points do not fit into that nice little cut-and-paste Internet atheist argument of yours from the yesteryears (1985? Really?). If you actually do that, you’ll have earned my respect.

    Like

    • Uh, yes, evolutionary theory has failed us on many fronts including the Cambrian explosion, according to the scientific community.

      You seem to be unable to back up your assertion.
      Reality is not your friend.
      The scientific community disagrees with you.
      Deal with it.
      (shrug)

      Listen, when you’re free, read all that I wrote again, slowly, and try your best to see why my points do not fit…

      It’s the same old creationist whining from Morris back in 1985. You have brought nothing new to the table.

      …evolutionary theory is failing blah, blah, Cambrian explosion blah, blah, there is simply no credible evolutionary account, blah, blah…

      You are yelling “snap” at a poker game.

      Like

  27. Cedric Katesby:

    As for other assertions you made:

    “Creationism is an old joke. There’s never anything new.”

    I’m a bit confused here: when you say “creationism”, are you referring to the till-now unsubstantiated evolutionary claim that nothing created something, non-life created life, non-information created information, and goo created Getic.Apolo? =D

    “We don’t catch criminals using old forensic methods. We use the latest ones…”

    That awkward moment when Cedric Katesby is willing to accept the inference-to-best-explanation methods of forensics as science, but is unwilling to view inferences to design by the same standard.

    “Science is the study of reality.”

    This one’s gonna be pretty straightforward. I’m gonna ask you a simple question, it’s as easy as a yes/no, let’s see how you fare yeah? Ready?

    As far as you’re concerned, is science the sole source of knowledge claims about reality and sole arbiter of truth? Yes, or no?

    My money’s on you avoiding a simple yes or no and taking this all over the place. Please prove me wrong.

    Listen, there is a reason why I directed my discussion towards just Andrew Ryan and tildeb, and why Josh talks past you most of the time. It’s because I can rely on Andrew Ryan and tildeb engaging in the discussion proper at least to some extent, and, no offence, but you just haven’t provided enough substance for us to believe you should be taken seriously.

    To end, my personal favourite of yours:

    “Science doesn’t do dogma.”

    LOL.

    Do drop by more often. =D

    Like

    • I’m a bit confused here

      Far be it for me to disagree with you on that one.

      “creationism”, are you referring to…

      Is English your second language or are you terminally unable to use a dictionary?

      ..the till-now unsubstantiated evolutionary claim…

      Creationism=/= evolution.
      The English language is not your friend.

      …that nothing created something, non-life created life,…

      That’s another PRATT.
      Creationism is an old joke. There is never anything new.

      Claim CB000:
      Pasteur and other scientists disproved the concept of spontaneous generation and established the “law of biogenesis” — that life comes only from previous life.
      Source: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 1985. Life–How Did It Get Here? Brooklyn, NY, p. 38.

      Claim CB090:
      Evolution is baseless without a good theory of abiogenesis, which it does not have.
      Source:

      Mastropaolo, J., 1998 (2 Nov.). Re: The evolutionist: liar, believer in miracles, king of criminals. http://www.asa3.org/archive/evolution/199811/0040.html

      That awkward moment when Cedric Katesby is willing to accept the inference-to-best-explanation methods of forensics as
      science, but is unwilling to view inferences to design by the same standard.

      Not at all.
      Forenic science passes the process of peer review nicely.
      Creationism does not.
      Science fail.

      As far as you’re concerned, is science the sole source of knowledge claims about reality and sole arbiter of truth? Yes, or no?

      You have a better option?
      Reality must be studied if we are to understand it. There’s no free lunch. Magical incatiations have been tried. They doesn’t work. Science, on the other hand, works very well.

      Science doesn’t do dogma.

      LOL.

      Claim CA320:
      Scientists are pressured not to challenge the established dogma.
      Source:Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. 1985. Life–How Did It Get Here? Brooklyn, NY, p. 182.

      Never anything new. The creationist two-step. The same two-step that your great-grandparents used to dance.

      Like

  28. tildeb:

    Your behaviour is a wee bit odd. First of all, I have no issues with Josh’s YEC stance, as I believe current scientific knowledge on the matter is provisional and I don’t think science has reached a consensus on the issue even if we might differ in our perspective. As such, I am able to respect his point of view without being militantly opposed to it as you are. To think that Josh have to hold mirror-image opinions on everything right now is just, weird. For instance, pro-evolutionist P Z Myers, whom you adore, doesn’t even consider newborn babies human beings, I suppose you share the same view? You should really have thought that through now, shouldn’t you?

    Moreover, those are worldview differences for Josh and myself to perhaps sit down and have a nice chat over in the future, to illuminate each other’s worldviews. To bring that up, in the face of having no decent rebuttal to what I brought up regarding the Cambrian explosion, highlights the embarrassing lows that some people would embrace just to steer conversations away from where the going gets tough.

    I’m feeling really awkward for you right now, tildeb. I have no reason to believe you understand the Cambrian explosion at all. And to resort to such methods. Real awkward.

    Like

    • First of all, I have no issues with Josh’s YEC stance, as I believe current scientific knowledge on the matter is provisional and I don’t think science has reached a consensus on the issue even if we might differ in our perspective.

      Yeah, the jury is still out on the whole Earth being thousands or billions of year old thing. A real puzzler that one. Sure.
      Deep fried dumb.
      All of the physical sciences are not your friends.

      Why Young Earth Creationists are WRONG, Part I

      Like

      • I post a presentation geared toward laymen by an actual creation scientist. You post this?! Such an insult to the video-consuming public seriously interested in the creation/evolution controversy.

        So, pardon me for not being convinced by the arguments of a poorly produced video that features what is in all likelihood the illegal use of an ’80s hit as background music. (Don’t think Europe sponsored the video.) All exported with unregistered shareware no less. Translated: Doesn’t mean it’s entirely wrong or lacking of substance, but it is a terrible source. Would you actually list this video as a reference on even a high school essay? (I doubt it.)

        C’mon now. Play fair. Watch the video I posted, Cedric. I double dog dare you.

        Joshua

        Like

      • Josh:

        “I post a presentation geared toward laymen by an actual creation scientist. You post this?! Such an insult to the video-consuming public seriously interested in the creation/evolution controversy.”

        But then again, Cedric Katesby doesn’t intend to be taken seriously. I guess all’s well then. ;)

        Like

      • I post a presentation geared toward laymen by an actual creation scientist.

        There’s no such thing. You can have a scientist that believes in creationism but you can’t have a creation scientist.
        In order to be considered a scientist, you have to do work.
        Scientific work.
        You have to do field/ laboratory research and enter the scientific arena and submit your findings to your peers and generally earn your keep.
        Dr. Jim Mason may well one day overturn all of the physical sciences. He may well win a Nobel Prize.
        He’s not going to do it by putting up videos on youtube.

        Also, since I’m not a scientist, I’m limited on the sources I can digest and understand. And I could always do with more and wouldn’t consider my knowledge in any field complete.

        Then you need a system to ensure you are not allowing yourself to be led by the nose.
        Coffee table books and videos are all very well but you have to be sure of the underlying science. If you are not, then you are vulnerable to someone with a Phd who will claim to be a member of your tribe and happily tell you what you want to hear.
        The videos that I post are not evidence in and of themselves. They are a popularisation of the scientific work.
        Creationism, on the other hand, is fringe and will always remain there because that’s how they operate.

        6. Evolution vs. Creationism:Experts vs. Scientists-Peer Review

        Like

      • The peer review video is spot on. And it explains clearly why Intelligent Design is a scientific fraud, which is why your claim that ID is ‘fringe’ is exactly right.

        Once people understand what good science means then they have the tools to see why all the shite about evolutionary biology’s problems are just a smokescreen trying to cover up why the Discovery Institute stable of authors are not doing good science and not producing good science. They are doing theology. And only those who do not understand what good science means go along and support this charade, people especially like Getic.Apolo who do absolutely nothing constructive but throw up enough debris that they earn the respect of fellow believers who can be relied upon to confuse appearance with substance. The fact is that there is no credible evidence that good science informs Intelligent Design. On this the controversy is completely manufactured.

        Like

    • Back to your old tricks, I see. Love the way you slipped in the term ‘militant’ (notice the scare quotes, synapticcohesion? They serve a function, don;t they?) and telling me who I ‘adore’. Nice drive by smear. And then we’re back to ‘worldview’ tripe where you reject the method of science only when it suits your support of incompatible beliefs and then blame everything and everyone else for its lack of alignment with both reality and the knowledge we have about it.

      What you are doing is duplicitous: trying to counter the scientific consensus that evolution is true with trivial scientific differences you find online but equivalently built on scientific foundations you admittedly reject. Even you don’t lend any credence to these differences but present them as if they are worthy of critical consideration by others, a consideration you presume (without understanding) reveals some fatal flaw in evolutionary knowledge when it does no such thing! The problem remains that you are too ignorant in your scientific illiteracy to see that your efforts are in vain because they’re not in any way supportive of your alternative POOF!ism activism.

      You’re just making noise and assume it contributes to a ‘discussion’. You might as well use an air horn every time someone tries to discuss the issue you have raised with solid scientific input because this is what your behaviour does; it only interferes with but adds nothing contributory to the points being addressed. You raise these quoted bits not to ‘discuss’ anything but simply to hide behind. You have zero interest in discussing evidence you yourself raise half a billion years old because you’ve already flatly rejected its age. But the criticisms hinges on this very point (not that you grasp this, or offer any credible evidence in all these exchanges that you are even capable of grasping this).

      You continue to arrogantly present these trivialities as if you are revealing information hidden from the dupes who disagree with your version of POOF!ism, and those equivalently ignorant of how science works go along with this little charade and offer you repeated strokes of compliments to you for playing this heroic role. But it’s a lie. The criticisms you borrow and falsely present as meaningful have already been thoroughly addressed without any earth-shaking changes to our understanding of evolution. You simply choose to ignore this fact and keep busy pumping up the old air horn for your next ‘comment’. But presenting your scientifically illiterate comment in the form of a question doesn’t make it any more conducive to a grown up discussion than making raspberry sounds.

      Making noise is not conducive or equivalent to grown up discussions. But you are allowed to do this repeatedly by Josh only because it gives the appearance of support for anti-scientific beliefs. That’s it. That’s the sum total of your contribution, yet Josh insists that those who point out this anti-scientific bias you creationists cling to and continue to spout no matter how often and how thoroughly debunked they are are the ones responsible for derailing some hypothetical discussion that otherwise might take place. The problem is, the ones derailing the discussion are the ones who refuse to even hear the case why creationist beliefs are just that: faith-based beliefs disconnected from the reality we share.

      But if you stay true to form, you’ve already rejected what I’ve written here, forgetting in your haste to protect your beliefs from legitimate criticism that the problem here is me and my ‘worldview’ and my atheism and my devoutness to the religion of evolution, and so on and so forth. You forget (no surprise) that I started this thread with a quote from YEC Dr Todd who is telling you the same thing. This should cause you cognitive dissonance, and evidence that your attribution of the problem here is not tildeb’s or Ryan’s or Katesby’s shortcomings but your own. Fully and wholly your own.

      Like

    • Ah, you clearly missed my reply to you.
      I’ll post it here again for your benefit.
      …………………………….

      Tildeb :Occurrence of the term in books appears as early as 1946 in a nonfiction work by Carey McWilliams titled “California” and academic literature as early as the 1950s.”.

      synapticcohesion: Who cares about the origins? Americans don’t say “scare quotes.” Ever.

      Cary McWilliams was…American.
      He said “scare quotes”.
      But maybe you meant a different kind of American and/or a different kind of “ever”.

      Like

  29. Josh: ” that features what is in all likelihood the illegal use of an ’80s hit as background music. (Don’t think Europe sponsored the video.)”

    You don’t think it, but you don’t actually know either way. That aside, it’s a pretty irrelevant objection to a video. Especially as you’ve only managed to post a video from some conference delivered to YECs.

    Getic: “First of all, I have no issues with Josh’s YEC stance, as I believe current scientific knowledge on the matter is provisional and I don’t think science has reached a consensus on the issue even if we might differ in our perspective.”

    That’s a disingenuous way of addressing a belief in an earth of 10,000 or less years’ age, equivalent to saying you’re fine with someone believing Mount Everest is a few feet tall, on the basis that scientists might disagree over whether it’s 8848m or 8848.5m high. That scientific knowledge is provisional doesn’t mean that any idea is valid, no matter how way out it is. Whether or not science has reached an exact consensus yet, the vast overwhelming view from many different disciplines is an earth measured in the billions of years. An earth in thousands of years simply has very little traction in scientific circles; you’re not far off condoning a belief in a flat earth.

    Like

    • I’m grateful that context doesn’t prove to be a problem for most people. Had you read the entire comment, you would have seen this sentence:

      “Translated: Doesn’t mean it’s entirely wrong or lacking of substance, but it is a terrible source.”

      Would you seriously stop a discussion and say, “Hey, I saw this random, anonymous video online that said…”?

      Contrast that with the video I posted which features an actual scientist (a nuclear physicist) and his credentials along with the organization to which he belongs.

      “Especially as you’ve only managed to post a video from some conference delivered to YECs.”

      Well, as someone once said, “It’s a pretty irrelevant objection to a video”.

      By the way, you still haven’t said whether or not you watched the video. So, let me ask a second time: Have you actually watched the video?

      As an editor, I’m sure you don’t read the work you edit as carelessly as you’ve been reading my comments the past little while. (If you did, you wouldn’t have a job long.)

      Oh, and I can easily verify whether or not Europe authorized the use of their song as background music. All I need to do is flag the video and let the Youtube administrators check it out. But it seems pretty harmless to me, so I don’t plan on doing it. I can test my theory, if you’d like me to.

      Joshua

      Like

      • Contrast that with the video I posted which features an actual scientist (a nuclear physicist)…

        Yeah but what do you do when some other nuclear physicist comes along and says the opposite?
        Toss a coin?

        …and his credentials along with the organization to which he belongs…

        Nope. Don’t be bedazzled by credentials or the organization.
        Only the work counts.
        That goes for any scientific issue.
        You have to have an objective, non-arbirtary system to weed out the nutters, frauds, the deluded, the out-dated and the just plain wrong.
        You have to have a way to esure that you are not just going along with someone because they are telling you exactly what you already want to hear and are propping up your pre-conceptions.
        It’s not the conclusions; it the methodology that you should be rigorous about.

        Like

      • Right. This (pseudo)intellectual posturing that you take in your comments is undeserved and unwelcome. In case you didn’t notice, I’m not taking you seriously. (I thought that was clear in the last message.) I don’t take anyone seriously who rides an intellectual high horse, especially a person who stares down his nose at people who hold to a theory you yourself have not even examined.

        Feel free to move along and find other blogs that may appreciate your substandard input. When you’ve got some substance to your arguments, come on back.

        Joshua

        Like

      • Josh 1: “I’m sure you don’t read the work you edit as carelessly as you’ve been reading my comments the past little while”
        Josh 2: “By the way, you still haven’t said whether or not you watched the video.”
        Andrew, back on 2012/10/29 at 5:46 PM: “No, I’ve not watched the video.”

        “Contrast that with the video I posted which features an actual scientist (a nuclear physicist) and his credentials along with the organization to which he belongs.”
        As Cedric points out, the quality of the video, or its soundtrack, is irrelevant. It’s whether it’s quoting decent science. I haven’t watched the video because it’s a waste of my time – the science is the important part and Dr Mason is not putting forward decent science. If he was, there’d be papers he was submitting for peer review presenting his ideas.

        Like

      • Thanks for the correction. I see that single sentence now. It got buried in the numerous, lengthy comments since that time.

        It is very telling that you assume you know what Dr. Mason will say and that it’s wrong. Maybe you don’t know that it’s a very foolish thing to judge a man without first hearing his case?

        Re: 2012/10/29 Comment

        You may think it implies it, but you have no idea. It’s possible that Mason is implying it, but you have no idea if he’s right there either. As I’ve already said, if he had proper evidence of a major paradigm shift in science, he should be submitting papers on it, not videos to fellow creationists/IDists/Young Earthers.

        Well, you can ignore a man’s biography and work experience. That’s fine, but it’s disingenuous.

        And I see your continued slights here and there against my honest confession to be limited in my understanding of science due to the fact that I’m not a scientist. Fact is, I was just being honest. But don’t forget you’re are not a scientist, either. And I don’t recall seeing you answer how it is that you comprehend most of the content on sites like talkorigins.org, since it is mostly geared towards people with a working knowledge in a particular scientific field. So I really question your ability to conclude what is and isn’t “decent science”. You can think you know, but you have no idea whether or not your right because, again, you’re not a scientist, either. Of course, as with the video, I have a way to test my theory about whether or not physicists know about the problems and assumptions he’s talking about. I can contact Dr. Mason and ask him!

        Meanwhile, you just remain content in your self-imposed ignorance. Don’t dare spend a minute — or 80! — hearing anything that might upset your paradigm. Hearing alternative explanations and having to compare and contrast them is difficult work, I know.

        Joshua

        Like

      • It is very telling that you assume you know what Dr. Mason will say and that it’s wrong. Maybe you don’t know that it’s a very foolish thing to judge a man without first hearing his case?

        His case must be heard in the scientific arena. Nothing else matters.
        All the videos and coffee table books in the world are worthless without the work. He must enter the scientific arena.

        Well, you can ignore a man’s biography and work experience. That’s fine, but it’s disingenuous.

        No, it’s appropriate. To be bedazzled by biography and work experience is a sucker’s game. Only the work matters.
        A Phd is no insurance that the person you are listening to is not a nutter.

        …my honest confession to be limited in my understanding of science due to the fact that I’m not a scientist. Fact is, I was just being honest. But don’t forget you’re are not a scientist, either.

        Kudos to you for admitting it. So what is your system for avoiding the trap of just believing someone that tells you what you want to hear?
        What are the safeguards you put in place to esure that you are not being sold a dodgey bill of goods?

        So I really question your ability to conclude what is and isn’t “decent science”.

        (…facepalm…)
        He’s already told you.

        …the science is the important part and Dr Mason is not putting forward decent science. If he was, there’d be papers he was submitting for peer review presenting his ideas.

        Dr Mason must enter the scientific arena. That way, his work comes into live contact with scientists in the relevent field. You don’t have the background knowledge to understand nuclear physics BUT there are real, working scientists who do and they don’t keep quiet about their findings or how they reached them. Make use of their work and expertise. It would be a shame to just blindly carry on regardless.

        Of course, as with the video, I have a way to test my theory about whether or not physicists know about the problems and assumptions he’s talking about. I can contact Dr. Mason and ask him!

        Yes but…he could lie to you and you would have no way of spotting the lies. If we assume that he’s willing to lie to people on video then it’s not unreasonable to assume he will balk at lying to you over the phone.
        He doesn’t even have to be lying.
        He could simply be wrong or deluded or out-dated etc.
        It’s not a very good test you have. It makes you look gullible.
        Only the work counts.

        Creationists: Put Up or Shut Up

        Like

  30. “Jonathan Chait is…American.
    He said “scare quotes”…in 2008”

    So maybe he was educated in English schools. Maybe he’s a fan of Cary McWilliams. Who knows? Who cares?

    Like

  31. So maybe he was educated in English schools. Maybe he’s a fan of Cary McWilliams. Who knows? Who cares?

    You do.
    This is what you said before…

    Who cares about the origins? Americans don’t say “scare quotes.” Ever.

    You are demonstrably wrong.
    Google is not your friend.

    Like

  32. ” I can contact Dr. Mason and ask him!”

    But if you’re a self-confessed novice, how is that going to help? It’s like saying “I can tell whether that woman’s a liar, I can can just ask her!”

    The test is whether other scientists trust him. Or if you think he’s the one sane one and all the others are idiots (simplifying there, but you get my drift), then he needs to offer tests to show he’s right. The analogy here would be Einstein, whose theories were initially rejected because his peers simply couldn’t understand them – the whole point of his paradigm-shifting ideas was that they didn’t fit in the existing paradigm. So they needed to be tested – there was an observation that his theories predicted would be made during an eclipse that could only be explained by his theories. Eddington did the hard word of testing that the prediction was correct… and it was.

    Like

  33. “So I really question your ability to conclude what is and isn’t “decent science”. ”

    As Cedric and I both already pointed out – there’s peer review, making testable predictions, double blind testing. But above all, peer review. If you don’t like the system, stop going to the doctor, stop flying on planes, stop using any modern technology. It’s all based on peer review. No-one’s selling technology based on a guy’s video presentation to the DIscovery Institute.

    If it helps, I also don’t spend time investigating the Flat Earth Society either – not one minute or 80 minutes. But on the subject of me watching videos, it’s a lot easier for me to read stuff online while the wife is watching a film next to me or I’m waiting for office work to come in. Not so easy for me to slap a video on to watch. But that’s aside from the fact that I already explained why Dr Mason is not ‘doing the science’ yet.

    Like

    • And all of this goes back to my Todd quote, that it is obvious by the line of argument taken by so many creationists who cross the line between theology and science that “well-meaning (people) pompously declaring that evolution is a failure… are either unacquainted with the inner workings of science or unacquainted with the evidence for evolution (as well why that overwhelming evidence is so important to the scientific consensus that evolution is true).”

      Like

      • Yes, the site is full of evidence from Josh and synapticcohesion and getic.apolo for not recognizing the mistakes in the line of reasoning they use that we we see made over and over again in spite of multiple ways and times of pointing out why it’s mistaken; mistakes in methodology they use that we we see made over and over again in spite of multiple ways and times of pointing out why it’s mistaken; mistakes in prior conclusions that form the foundation of what they assume is a current understanding that we we see made over and over again in spite of multiple ways and times of pointing out why it’s mistaken, and so on. The presumption each make IS the Dunning-Kruger effect in action and demonstrably so.

        Like

    • Well, have you ever talked to any scientist or anyone who majored in a branch of science about their opinion of peer reviewed literature? Try it.

      By the way, you can easily write to a nuclear physicist of your choice and ask them about the same thing. You see? But be careful: According to you and Cedric, everyone is guilty before being proven innocent. So, the scientist you may ask is probably lying anyway.

      Regardless, let me be nice and help us both out here, Andy: Please don’t waste anymore of your time over here. Really. Your time would be better spent with your family or your wife. (Mine, too.) Your unwillingness to watch a single video or, since I can understand about the dynamics of family life, reference the written work of any single creation scientist on your own in place of it speaks volumes to me. I have come to consider your interactions here disingenuous and interacting with you openly and honestly as a poor use of my time. On top of that, you have once again brought in the “Dunning-Kruger effect” (a personal favorite of yours) to our interactions in spite of what I myself told you regarding my inability to accurately access scientific claims — meaning that I rely on the work and word of others who have the many abilities and knowledge that I don’t have. I have not propped myself up as a scientist or anything other than a Christian who has the right to refer to the work and word of others on this or that issue. That is in opposition to the Dunning-Kruger effect. (And I have to doubt your ability to accurately access and apply psychological designations. As far as I know, you’re not a psychologist, either.)

      The mistake I made was being overly honest with you while you continue to take it for granted and pretend you (and your cohorts), also a non-scientist, are somehow in a better position to access scientific claims, as if you understand the details of the science you promote.

      It’s a shame.

      Good day,

      Joshua

      Side note: Maybe you should spend time investigating the Flat Earth Society. The majority of its members are reportedly atheists and agnostics, according to their FAQ page.

      Like

      • According to you and Cedric, everyone is guilty before being proven innocent. So, the scientist you may ask is probably lying anyway.

        Nope. You are creating a strawman.
        Nobody said that any scientist you may ask is probably lying to you.
        You made that up by yourself.

        Your unwillingness to watch a single video or, since I can understand about the dynamics of family life, reference the written work of any single creation scientist on your own in place of it speaks volumes to me.

        Only the work counts. Peer review? Scientific arena? Hello?

        …meaning that I rely on the work and word of others who have the many abilities and knowledge that I don’t have…

        Sure. That goes for a lot of people. However, you don’t have methodology to figure out the veracity of claims. You are just allowing yourself to be led by the nose.

        I have not propped myself up as a scientist or anything other than a Christian who has the right to refer to the work and word of others on this or that issue. That is in opposition to the Dunning-Kruger effect.

        No, it’s not. Find out what the Dunning-Kruger effect actually is.
        It’s not that hard to figure out.

        Like

      • Cedric, now, I’ve seen that you sometimes have trouble with the English language (there’s no nice way to put it), like when I politely asked you to go elsewhere until you got some substance to your responses or that time when I told you that I don’t take you seriously. Remember?

        What I did is called “exaggerate to emphasize a point”. Remember when I told you I could ask Dr. Mason about the presuppositions he claimed in the video that you didn’t watch? You said:

        “Yes but…he could lie to you and you would have no way of spotting the lies. If we assume that he’s willing to lie to people on video then it’s not unreasonable to assume he will balk at lying to you over the phone.”

        So, you assume that people are lying to you. In this case, it’s Dr. Mason. (Of course, he didn’t lie to you because you didn’t even watch the video.) And then you assume that if he were asked about a claim that he would lie about the lie he just told. So, what evidence do you have for that, other than the presupposition that people are guilty of lying, without evidence or in spite of it? (Thus, everyone should be considered guilty [of lying] before being proven innocent.)

        Of course, I don’t expect you to give a real response. You’ll probably just leave another poorly formatted, substandard insult with a Youtube video. It’s a shame. There’s a better Cedric.

        Joshua

        Like

      • What I did is called “exaggerate to emphasize a point”.

        Well, others might see it as creating a strawman.

        Yes but…he could lie to you and you would have no way of spotting the lies.

        So here it’s clear that I’m making the point that he could lie to you.
        I’m not saying that he is or he will lie to you.
        I’m saying that he could.

        If we assume…

        Here I’m very carefully saying “If” and “assume”.

        If we assume that he’s willing to lie to people…

        Note that it’s very clear that I am not saying that anybody is lying at all. Not even Dr Mason.
        I’m saying that he could and that we have to allow for that possibility.
        Worst case scenario and all that.

        So, you assume that people are lying to you.

        Nope. This is not what I said. You are bearing false witness.

        In this case, it’s Dr. Mason. (Of course, he didn’t lie to you because you didn’t even watch the video.)

        Never said that he lied; either to me or anybody else.

        And then you assume that if he were asked about a claim that he would lie about the lie he just told.

        Nope. That’s really not what I said.
        I didn’t even imply it.

        So, what evidence do you have for that, other than the presupposition that people are guilty of lying, without evidence or in spite of it? (Thus, everyone should be considered guilty [of lying] before being proven innocent.)

        No.
        Dr Mason is just one example. We could be talking about any scientist. It’s not about individuals.
        Crackpots exist.
        (I’m not calling Dr Mason a crackpot. I’m making the self-evident observation that crackpots exist.)
        There are also liars and frauds and the deluded and the just plain wrong.
        Some of these liars and frauds and deluded etc happen to be people with credentials and wonderous resumes and books and videos.

        I’m talking about some substantial Creationist or Intelligent Design works written for lay audiences by Creationist / Intelligent Design scientists. Let me recommend two of the most popular works…

        This is what you recommended. This is your standard.
        You have no way of knowing if these people are blowing smoke or not. It’s dangerous thinking. You are putting yourself at risk.

        Well, you can ignore a man’s biography and work experience. That’s fine, but it’s disingenuous.

        No, it’s not. The scientific community does not give other scientists a free pass just because of their biography or work experience and neither should you.
        Sometimes world-class respected scientists go off the deep end about all sorts of topics. It happens.
        Dr Deusberg is a classic example of this.
        Whatever methodology you adopt must take that into consideration.

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      • Well, the way your comment was worded, I thought you were accusing Dr. Mason of lying (without having heard what he said no less). I thank you for the clarifications.

        The scientific community does not give other scientists a free pass just because of their biography or work experience and neither should you. Sometimes world-class respected scientists go off the deep end about all sorts of topics. It happens.

        See, these are good points. In a way, unless we can investigate everything first-hand, we’re all in the same sort of boat: We’ve got to take people at their word unless they give us reasons to do otherwise or if we encounter something to make us doubt their claims. With science, it takes a lot of skill, time, and training to do that. I don’t have those particular science skills. You?

        By the way, since the peer review thing keeps popping up, I thought I’d throw this out there for your consideration: NY Times: For Science’s Gatekeepers, a Credibility Gap

        Like

      • Well, the way your comment was worded, I thought you were accusing Dr. Mason of lying (without having heard what he said no less). I thank you for the clarifications.

        So it was a genuine misunderstanding on your part?
        Ok. I can accept that. No biggie. Let’s move on.

        In a way, unless we can investigate everything first-hand, we’re all in the same sort of boat: We’ve got to take people at their word…

        Heck no! Just trusting people on important scientific claims is a bad idea.
        That’s a sure way to be sold a lemon of a car or a bottle of snake oil (metaphorically speaking).

        With science, it takes a lot of skill, time, and training to do that. I don’t have those particular science skills. You?

        Most people don’t have scientific skills. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. However, the crackpots out there prey upon those very people. They use jargon and authority and flash their Phds and crow about the great achievements they have done (both real and imagined).
        What is needed is a set minimum standard to ensure you are not swept away by someone telling you what you want to hear with convincing sounding words.

        Fortunately, there are tonnes well known scientific commmunities out there with the relevent scientific skills who can fairly and openly test claims. They are well armed and ready to mix it up in the scientific arena. All challengers are accepted.
        Nobels Prizes are just begging to be one.
        Fame and forture are just around the corner.
        Either someone can walk the walk or they cannot.
        Forget the websites and the coffee table books and the videos.
        You must adopt a better standard.
        The one you have at the moment is seriously flawed.

        When a slick salesman claiming to be a scientist targets you as his audience for his scientific claims rather that going to the actual scientific community…that should raise an instant red flag.
        If someone has really found a cure for cancer, then they should not waste their time blogging about it but rather publish in the Lancet or the Journal of New England Medicine etc.
        (Again Dr Deusberg and for variety ex-Dr Wakefield)

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  34. tildeb:

    ”Yes, the site is full of evidence from Josh and synapticcohesion and getic.apolo for not recognizing the mistakes in the line of reasoning… mistakes in methodology … mistakes in prior conclusions… in spite of multiple ways and times of pointing out why it’s mistaken, and so on.”

    All of that sounds nice and dandy. If only it were true. Unfortunately for you, your activities on this site have a habit of speaking for themselves.

    Any passing observer could see it for what it is, tildeb: Whenever you put up a reference to something scientific or pseudoscientific (like from a blog titled ‘Why Evolution Is True’), I have treated your references with basic courtesy and dignity and focused on addressing them directly, to highlight the inherent flaws in the references and your thinking. Be it a discussion on the failings of Lenski’s Long Term Evolution Experiment, or in showing here just how problematic it is for Darwinism that there is no good explanation and zero testable empirical support for the Cambrian explosion, I have made sure to focus, as you mention, on lines of reasoning, on methodologies and on your arguments, at times thoroughly dismantling them, bit by bit. Not once have I immediately dismissed your references upfront as “biased, atheistic drivel”, or referred to all atheists/evolutionists and their beliefs as “delusional” or “frenzied reality-denying belief” or… well, you get my drift.

    You, however, have not followed in that same spirit. I have literally lost count of the number of times you have responded to anything I’ve said by throwing ad hominems at either me or the people I’ve cited in the references and the studies they’ve done. And all the time you’ve made sure to not address the reference directly, even if it’s to show us all why it’s flawed. Not to mention the various juvenile names you’ve come up with along the way that you’ve used to pepper your comments (“Ooogity Boogity”, “Discoveroids”, “Discotute”, etc.).

    Just take a sampling of the kind of scientific responses I have got from you on this thread alone:

    ”… whenever reality must be denied we find Getic.Apolo ready to play his bit part.”

    “… at least it will afford Getic.Apolo more internet references for his theology to continue to masquerade as an ‘alternative’ to the knowledge engine that is evolutionary theory at work.”

    “And only those who do not understand what good science means go along and support this charade, people especially like Getic.Apolo who do absolutely nothing constructive but throw up enough debris that they earn the respect of fellow believers who can be relied upon to confuse appearance with substance.”

    I’m choosing, out of respect for Josh and synapticcohesion, to speak only on my behalf, although I am very confident that they will attest to your behaviour as well (I’ve read your responses to them myself, and invite them to share their thoughts), and other unbiased readers of this site are probably nodding away in agreement. In fact, Andrew Ryan had some advice for Josh regarding ad hominems, and far be it from him to be a hypocrite in not granting you access to the same advice:

    “The facts are the facts regardless of who’s saying them.. If you have specific rebuttals to the facts he quoted you should simply bring them up.”

    Listen, I can imagine it must frustrate you when, sometimes, I target the heart of your references and effectively dismantle them. I can understand. But that should be cause for some humility or, should you feel there are flaws in my thinking, motivation for highlighting to me the flaws in my thinking so that I can learn some new things as well. Not one of us knows everything there is to know, that should be cause for reasonable discourse. But it seems pretty clear that that isn’t what you’re after. And yet, I am not compelled to follow suit and behave in the same manner as you, tildeb. In fact, I refuse to. For the Blble is clear on how I should carry myself in these situations:

    “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” – Matthew 5:43-48

    “… guard what God has entrusted to you. Avoid godless, foolish discussions with those who oppose you with their so-called knowledge.” – 1 Timothy 6:20

    So, here’s the deal, tildeb: I’ll carry on focusing squarely on dismantling your arguments, and you go ahead with your ad hominems and handwaving, and wrap them up by declaring victory for yourself and complaining about how we are the ones who’re not keeping to lines of reasoning and methodologies and what not. And we’ll let the rest of the passing observers of this site decide for themselves who’s after proper discourse and who isn’t. Sound good to you?

    Good day.

    (Footnote: Allow me to help you avoid going off on a tangent one more time with strawmen about how synapticcohesion, Josh and I are ”trying to counter the scientific consensus that evolution is true” with this oft-repeated statement that you seem to have missed: we do not reject evolutionary theory outright. There are certain tenets of the theory I myself accept as irrefutable fact. I just don’t have to kind of faith you have that allows you to accept most, if not all of the unsupported aspects of the theory, without asking questions. So please, do take it easy on the straw next time round, I’d appreciate it)

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    • …or in showing here just how problematic it is for Darwinism that there is no good explanation and zero testable empirical support for the Cambrian explosion…

      Your position is unfounded. It’s not reflected in the scientific community. You just don’t know what you are talking about.
      Hence, the Dunning-Kruger Effect.

      I have made sure to focus, as you mention, on lines of reasoning, on methodologies and on your arguments….

      The idea is to focus on your own.
      Your methodology is sadly lacking.

      Tildeb puts it very well when he says you are …trying to counter the scientific consensus that evolution is true with trivial scientific differences you find online but equivalently built on scientific foundations you admittedly reject. Even you don’t lend any credence to these differences but present them as if they are worthy of critical consideration by others, a consideration you presume (without understanding) reveals some fatal flaw in evolutionary knowledge when it does no such thing!

      Now as for the issue of ad hominems…

      I have literally lost count of the number of times you have responded to anything I’ve said by throwing ad hominems at either me…

      If this is true, then why do you fail to quote tildeb actually making an ad hominem?
      It’s an easy fix.
      Think how much stronger your case would be showing to one and all that tildeb actually made a genuine ad hominem by actually showing a genuine ad hominem.
      I’d be very surprised if that’s really the case but maybe (just maybe) it’s true. Tildeb is the kind of person who would honestly apologise for making an ad hominem and withdrawing it.
      So demonstrate it.
      There’s only one thing you should remember to do before you go galloping off finding examples of ad hominems…
      Make sure you know exactly what is an ad hominem. Invariably, creationists have no idea what it really means.

      Just take a sampling of the kind of scientific responses I have got from you on this thread alone:

      Tildeb does not claim those responses are scientific.
      That’s you just building a strawman.
      (And no, before you start talking about ad hominems, find out what it actually means before you start embarrassing yourself again.)

      Listen, I can imagine it must frustrate you when, sometimes, I target the heart of your references and effectively dismantle them.

      Can you give a “for instance”? Talk is cheap.

      …wrap them up by declaring victory for yourself and complaining about how we are the ones who’re not keeping to lines of reasoning and methodologies and what not.

      There’s this tree trunk stuck in your eye. Might want to remove it.

      Allow me to help you avoid going off on a tangent one more time with strawmen…

      Again, if tideb really and truly has created a strawman, then quote it and explain how it qualifies as a strawman.
      Easy fix.

      …we do not reject evolutionary theory outright. There are certain tenets of the theory I myself accept as irrefutable fact.

      Interesting. Such as…?

      I just don’t have to kind of faith…

      You mentioned something about strawmen before.

      ….you have that allows you to accept most, if not all of the unsupported aspects of the theory….

      You mentioned something about strawmen before.

      …, without asking questions.

      At this rate you will run out of hay.

      So please, do take it easy on the straw next time round, I’d appreciate it)

      Pure, unadulerated projectionism.
      Impossible to parody. It’s perfect the way it is.

      Like

  35. Andrew Ryan:

    ”That scientific knowledge is provisional doesn’t mean that any idea is valid, no matter how way out it is. Whether or not science has reached an exact consensus yet, the vast overwhelming view from many different disciplines is an earth measured in the billions of years.”

    So, even by your own admission, science may not have “reached an exact consensus yet”. And yet, “vast, overwhelming views” seal the deal now, do they? While I am not a YEC, I recognise that even by conservative estimates, about 30-40% of Americans believe in a young earth. Where I come from, I’m placing it at a very conservative 25%. Hardly ”way out” numbers, if you ask me. Interestingly, you seem to have troubling respecting their views, and yet somehow, have no issues with supporting the case for homosexual behaviour and marriage when (even by your own admission) homosexual behaviour accounts for less than 2 or 3% of the world’s population, which makes it somewhat more ”way out” than belief in a young earth. What gives, Andrew Ryan? So is it about “vast overwhelming views” or not?

    I guess some people can have their cake and eat it too.

    ”If someone accepts virtually all of evolutionary science, and an old earth, but still wants to believe that God created the first cells, then I’m not that fussed to be honest – go ahead.”

    I just saw this, and can’t help but notice the way you’ve phrased it. So, a few questions:

    Is accepting that God may have created the first cells in direct conflict with accepting evolutionary science? How so?
    Does evolutionary science actually something to say on the creation of the first cells? Any testable hypothesis perhaps?

    Your thoughts please. Thanks.

    ”True that. It’s also the Dunning-Kruger effect in action once again.”

    To borrow your words, the ironing is really delicious, Andrew Ryan! =D

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  36. So, even by your own admission, science may not have “reached an exact consensus yet”.

    A blind man searching for a shadow of doubt. How dishonest of you.

    And yet, “vast, overwhelming views” seal the deal now, do they?

    What exactly do you think a scientific consensus actually means? Vast, overwhelming views is a rather good way to describe it. (HIV research, vaccines, etc.)

    While I am not a YEC, I recognise that even by conservative estimates, about 30-40% of Americans believe in a young earth.

    Then shame on them. Reality is not decided by an opinion poll.
    How many of them believe in alien abductions or that the Sun goes around the Earth?
    If you want to understand reality, you have to study it. It requires real people doing real work. Science is the study of reality.

    Interestingly, you seem to have troubling respecting their views…

    People often have views that are not worthy of respect. Once upon a time, black people in America could not eat lunch at Woolworths.
    Just because you believe something stupid does not entitle you to automatic respect.

    I guess some people can have their cake and eat it too.

    Conflation.
    Scientific consensus is not the same as public consensus.
    Different methodologies, remember?

    Is accepting that God may have created the first cells in direct conflict with accepting evolutionary science? How so?

    Ah, the gift that keeps on giving…

    Is accepting that Santa may have created the first cells in direct conflict with accepting evolutionary science? How so?
    Is accepting that magic may have created the first cells in direct conflict with accepting evolutionary science? How so?
    Is accepting that Baal may have created the first cells in direct conflict with accepting evolutionary science? How so?

    Like

  37. Cedric Katesby:

    Ahh, if it isn’t everybody’s favourite Internet/atheist troll. =D

    Listen, the following might be a bit awkward for you, but right there, at the top of the comments I posted, you see the two little phrases “tildeb” and “Andrew Ryan”? Well, um, guess what? They actually mean those comments were meant for… (drum roll)… that’s right, tildeb and Andrew Ryan. Got it? Good for you! =D

    Also, I particularly remember synapticcohesion asking you “when are you going to make some coherent sense?” and Josh stating in no uncertain terms that “this (pseudo)intellectual posturing that you take in your comments is undeserved and unwelcome. In case you didn’t notice, I’m not taking you seriously.”

    So I’m curious why you’d think you were being taken seriously at all, given you have not offered much that makes for worthwhile discussion. Um, you do realise that don’t you? That I, like others, am not taking your comments seriously?

    In any case, you are, of course, welcome to provide substance to the discussions, and as and when you do – without running when questioned – we’ll all be glad to engage.

    In the meantime, if trolling’s what you’re after, knock yourself out man.

    Whatever helps you sleep at night. ;)

    Like

    • “given you have not offered much that makes for worthwhile discussion”

      Who says? I’ve found Cedric’s posts to be interesting and well informed. He’s surely welcome to reply to posts not addressed specifically to him.

      Your post to me had so much to unpack I’m not sure I have the energy to spell it all out. You compare scientific consensus with the large numbers of Americans being YE creationists. You said that even I admit there’s not consensus on the age of the earth – no, I said that whether or not there is exact consensus, there is vast agreement that 10’000 years or less is way out. In other words, it’s irrelevant whether or not an exact age is agreed upon (and when we’re talking billions of years, what would an exact agreement look like – to the nearest millennium? Century? Hour?)

      It was you who brought up consensus, not me – you supported a belief in YEC with the justication that consensus hasn’t been reached. I was addressing that.

      My point was that even a disagreement whether it’s 4.54bn years or 5bn years wouldn’t lend any more credibility to a belief that it’s just 10,000 years old.

      Finally you bring up that gays are a minority and note that I support gay rights. This is a non sequitur. You’re comparing rights for a minority with questions of scientific consensus or lack of it. These are completely different subjects. Whether a group constitutes 2% of a population is irrelevant to questions of their rights.

      Like

      • Iagree that Cedric’s contribution is quite meaningful as he almost always includes either his reasons or a video explanation for his observation or criticism.

        And look at the effort you have had to make to clarify what you earlier expressed clearly. Cedric, too, has made quite an effort to also clarify what was previously expressed clearly, namely, the difference between comprehending the qualifying term ‘should’ and differentiate it with the miscomprehended ‘is’. Such an effort is not trolling, is not impolite, is not dismissive; it reveals an honest attempt to help. What seems to be lacking is the desire to first comprehend before responding, and I see little evidence of accepting responsibility to do a better job comprehending in future exchanges. All too often, the quick response is mostly, “Oh just go away with your troubling comments. You don’t want to hold a real discussion because you hate religion.’

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      • “And look at the effort you have had to make to clarify what you earlier expressed clearly”

        Yup, glad it’s not just me that’s noticed that. My earlier analogy of Everest’s height made my meaning pretty clear, I thought, but the meaning got twisted.

        The whole ‘age of earth’ thing started in Josh’s disputing Coyne’s dates in the Cambrian Explosion, which Josh brought up to justify his saying Coyne’s atheism meant his explanation for the CA couldn’t be trusted. This seems a big smoke screen to me, a long diversion to avoid a simple point – Coyne’s atheism was irrelevant to his answer – regardless of whether you dispute his dates, they are based on science completely divorced from questions of religion. The entire age of earth discussion here has been a diversion started to cover an ad hominem rejection of Coyne.

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      • “Cedric, too, has made quite an effort to also clarify what was previously expressed clearly, namely, the difference between comprehending the qualifying term ‘should’ and differentiate it with the miscomprehended ‘is’”

        Yes, and it was HIM who got accused of not being very good with English.

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      • The blame always seems to lie elsewhere, and occasionally shared. (the clue for this common usage confusion is he/who, him/whom, followed by the check of which replacement sounds better: “Cedric got accused, He/Him got accused…” (my previous life as an ESL/adult educator) Of course, synaptic’cohesion’ could be bothered to explain; he sees his job simply as correction, like he tried to do with the misguided peer reviewer, educator, scientist, and past president of American Biological Society professor Jerry Coyne.

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  38. Listen, the following might be a bit awkward for you, but right there, at the top of the comments I posted, you see the two little phrases “tildeb” and “Andrew Ryan”?

    Yeah, I noticed. Just thought I’d help you out.

    In any case, you are, of course, welcome to provide substance to the discussions…

    I always do.

    In the meantime, if trolling’s what you’re after, knock yourself out man.

    That would be, um,…groovey?
    (shrug)

    Like

  39. getic.apolo, you may pretend all you want that you are concerned with what’s true while still thinking you play the maieutic role here, but you don’t. You play the role of a sequacious apologist by using a very consistent method: search the internet for whatever appears to support your entrenched faith-based opposition to evolution. When criticized for doing this repeatedly, you claim the ad homenum card, forgetting that it is is you that is doing this, you who are failing to take the criticism seriously, you who fiddle with the truth, and you who continue to rely on this obfuscating method. This sustained methodology reveals the sustained motivation for doing so: not to respect what’s true, not to respect the method of science, not to respect why crossing the boundary by putting your selected scientific lipistick on certain parts of your religious pig does not change it into anything other than a pig with lipstick, not to respect how we come to know about the reality we share, not to learn from your mistakes, not to deepen your appreciation for those who do this work; your efforts lead only to one result: to cause noise. Why should anyone concerned with finding out what’s true think the character of someone so willing to prostitute their intellectual integrity and undermine this inquiry intentionally is worthy of anything other than derision and scorn?

    You claim your motives are pure, that you do seek knowledge, that others maliciously malign your character, but consistently fail to prove otherwise; you continue on in your method of making noise. You do not grasp that your cherry picking internet sources – especially from the writings of the Discovery Institute fellows – reveals a very clear motive to avoid rather than respond to the accurate and justified criticism of your method and, when this motive is revealed, to then claim victimhood over and above re-evaluation and self-reproach.This avoidance technique is cowardly and the whining demonstrates you to be a whining intellectual coward who doesn’t have the slightest desire to learn and change accordingly.

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  40. Joshua writes, I have not propped myself up as a scientist or anything other than a Christian who has the right to refer to the work and word of others on this or that issue.

    You prop yourself as someone with an equivalent opinion when you try to insist that the scientific consensus is (and not modified by might be) not true. You cross the line between believing something is true (like Dr. Todd) and that it is true by compelling evidence from reality (unlike Dr. Todd). It is this line that Andrew and I have clearly shown to be crossed that gets our dander up (not your beliefs as a christian to which you are entitled) because you do NOT have an equivalent opinion to the scientific consensus; in fact, you have a highly cherry-picked opinion based on really poor methodology where you evaluate scientific claims based only on how well they comport with your religious beliefs. This bias – this demonstrable prejudice repeated in so many posts targeting evolution as somehow inadequate – is so obvious that it should be prominently displayed in this blog’s header “I flatly reject the method of science whenever it produces conclusions that conflict with my religious beliefs.” It’s that clear.

    As for your claim that you respect “natural selection, mutations, and genetic variation,” this is demonstrably a lie. You do not respect ‘natural’ selection at all: you presume and assume UNnatural selection through POOF!ism. That’s what all forms of creationism have in common: an UNnatural intervention at some point to create something not naturally produced! And you show this whenever you jump to abiogenesis… as if intervention b y some agent of Oogity Boogity was a perfectly reasonable explanation!

    You do not respect mutation as it exists in reality: a <inatural process that leads to speciation. You reject all evidence I have ever provided that shows this happening, not because it conflicts with any religious belief you may have but because you question the science as if your opinion about it was equivalent to the scientists undertaking and writing about it.

    You do not respect genetic variation because you do not accept the mechanism by which these variations become heritable, become evolution in action, become change in life over time by natural selection. You flatly reject how our knowledge of heritable genetic variation leads us to the conclusion of no founding couple with a fallen nature in our common ancestry.

    What you do is accept bits of natural selection, bit of mutation, bits of genetic variation if and only if they comport with your religious beliefs! You rely repeatedly on your religious beliefs to dictate to reality which bits of scientific conclusions to accept and which to reject not on some personal and private level pertaining solely to your religious beliefs but broadly to criticize the scientific METHOD as flawed, that scientific consensus is misguided and channeled by atheists to support whatever conflicts with your religious beliefs as if some giant conspiracy was a reasonable observation, that the science is WRONG to hold creationists beliefs to its light and find it without scientific merit. It’s always somebody else’s fault but never, ever, an obvious shortcoming in your own methodology that presumes an equivalency of opinion!

    I know, I know, go away tildeb, no one asked you for your criticism, you’re mean, you’re an atheist with a militant, strident, shrill religion of your own, you didn’t watch MY video, you didn’t answer MY questions, you didn’t respond to this or that standard and debunked creationist canard that I presented, you don’t want to have a ‘reasonable’ discussion, yada, yada, yada. But, really, save your keystrokes unless and until you want to seriously discuss why crossing the line between what you believe and what’s true in reality is a problem you fully own.

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  41. “Of course, synaptic’cohesion’ could be bothered to explain…”

    It’s “couldn’t,” by the way. And no, I did not go into an English lesson to “explain” anything because I assume that it was a simple mistake. I make grammatical errors that I normally would not when I’m tired.

    Condescension is YOUR trademark, tildeb. I’ll leave that job to you.

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    • Well I was up all night with the kids and then up for good from 5:30am, but no I shouldn’t have made that grammatical error. But it wasn’t me accusing others of not having decent English, and at any rate it was about comprehension not grammar. Picking up others’ English mistakes is a pretty weak burn and derails genuine debate.

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      • I know you weren’t picking on anyone, Andrew. It was still fun pointing that out, nonetheless. ;)

        Just as Cedric can’t resist pointing out my “scare quotes,” I (sometimes) can’t resist being a grammar nazi.

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    • Actually, synaptic’cohesion’, the sentence is fine as it reads. You could be bothered to explain but you choose, instead, to only correct – as I accused you and as you did again here. And then you pretend you took the grammatical mistake to only be a simple one due to tiredness, but if this were true, then you wouldn’t have tried to highlight the Gotcha! moment. Either way, you reveal yourself, and when its pointed out and shows you in an uncharitable light you (right on cue) try to blame someone else.

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    • “Just as Cedric can’t resist pointing out my “scare quotes,” ”

      Oh right, you putting things in scare quotes is just an embarrassing mistake that only happens when you’re tired? I guess that might let you off the hook a bit then. Anyway, glad me writing him instead of he brought you some pleasure, in a non-condescending way naturally.

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      • Synapticcohesion: “Actually the our increased ability to share information has resulted in our not talking authoritative claims for granted”

        Matthew 7:3 comes to mind.

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  42. tildeb:

    “getic.apolo, you may…”

    Excellent. Another ad hominem-ridden, rant-filled, substance-free post proudly brought to you by tildeb. You actually lost me right at the start, to be honest.

    And kudos on the beautiful irony of calling someone else a “whining intellectual coward” when all you’ve been doing on this thread is, um, whining and cowering from intellectual discourse (besides, what do I have to be afraid of? You? The likes of you and Cedric Katesby do not frighten me. Got that? You do not frighten me. Deal with it).

    Anyway, I have no reason to believe that you are representative of the numerous wonderful, respectful and serious-minded atheists and agnostics I’ve met and conversed with. So you just go ahead and knock yourself out with your intellectually rigorous and straw-filled “Oogity Boogity and “POOF!ism” and “Discoveroid” and what-nots, and I’ll focus squarely on dismantling your arguments and on the discussions at hand, alright?

    Now, back to the problem of the Cambrian explosion. As I’ve mentioned before, the Cambrian explosion remains very problematic and troubling for neo-Darwinism and as yet, there is not a single satisfactory explanation or testable hypothesis to explain. That is why it remains very much a puzzle within the evolutionary framework even by scientists’ admission.

    ‘The earliest Cambrian record of animals and ocean geochemical change’
    (Adam C. Maloof, Susannah M. Porter, John L. Moore, Frank O. Dudas, Samuel A. Bowring, John A. Higgins, David A. Fike, and Michael P. Eddy
    Geological Society of America Bulletin, November 2010)

    Abstract:

    “The Cambrian diversification of animals was long thought to have begun with an explosive phase at the start of the Tommotian Age. Recent stratigraphic discoveries, however, suggest that many taxa appeared in the older Nemakit-Daldynian Age, and that the diversification was more gradual. [. . .] The time line suggests that the diversification of skeletal animals began early in the Nemakit-Daldynian, with much of the diversity appearing by the middle of the age. Fossil first appearances occurred in three pulses, with a small pulse in the earliest Nemakit-Daldynian (ca. 540-538 Ma), a larger pulse in the mid- to late Nemakit-Daldynian (ca. 534-530 Ma), and a moderate pulse in the Tommotian (ca. 524-522 Ma). These pulses are associated with rapid reorganizations of the carbon cycle, and are superimposed on long-term increases in sea level and the hydrothermal flux of Sr.”

    Priapulids challenge the cone of increasing diversity concept – from Science Daily, Oct 2012

    Excerpts:

    “The research, carried out by evolutionary biologists Dr Matthew Wills, Dr Sylvain Gerber, Mr Martin Hughes (all University of Bath) and Dr Marcello Ruta (University of Lincoln), features in the October issue of Journal of Evolutionary Biology.

    Dr Wills first pioneered a study on existing and extinct priapulids in 1998. Fourteen years on, the team looked at a new and expanded data set of anatomical features to see how knowledge of these worms has been affected by new fossil finds.

    He explained: ‘The fossils from the Cambrian period can cause a real headache for evolutionary biologists. Instinct tells us to expect simple organisms evolving over time to become increasingly more complex. However during the Cambrian period there was an apparent explosion of different major groups of animals, all appearing simultaneously in the fossil record. We looked at priapulid worms, which were among the first ever predators. What’s remarkable is that they had already evolved into a diverse array of forms — comparable to the morphological variety of their living cousins — when we first encounter them in the Cambrian fossil record. It’s precisely this apparent explosion of anatomical diversity that vexed Darwin and famously attracted the attention of Harvard biologist Stephen Jay Gould.’ ”

    The actual study done by the team, for those who’re interested:
    The disparity of priapulid, archaeopriapulid and palaeoscolecid worms in the light of new data

    Challenging Fossil of a Little Fish

    Excerpt:

    “What they had actually proved was that Chinese phosphate is fully capable of preserving whatever animals may have lived there in Precambrian times. Because they found sponges and sponge embryos in abundance, researchers are no longer so confident that Precambrian animals were too soft or too small to be preserved. ‘I think this is a major mystery in paleontology,’ said Chen. ‘Before the Cambrian, we should see a number of steps: differentiation of cells, differentiation of tissue, of dorsal and ventral, right and left. But we don’t have strong evidence for any of these.’ Taiwanese biologist Li was also direct: ‘No evolution theory can explain these kinds of phenomena.’ ”

    And so, from what I’ve seen, evolutionary theory fails as a valid scientific theory in explaining the origination of such massive amounts of biological information in the Cambrian. Of course, people like tildeb and Cedric Katesby are welcome to toss aside their ad hominems and Internet atheist videos and engage in a proper discussion on the problem, but as of now, they’ve provided no evidence of note on this thread, and so, their position has nothing. Here’s hoping they endeavour to change that situation.

    Like

    • Just to give some perspective here on the time frame of the Cambrian ‘explosion’, imagine arriving on earth from some distant planet in a billion years and looking at whatever evidence one could find of, say, hominids. What you would find is that over the course of a mere 2 million years (about 10% of the time we’re dealing with for the Cambrian ‘explosion’ for a reference) a primate species among many arose very slowly to dominance (the first 1.8 million years doing nothing differently than these other primate species but differentiating during that time into proto-humans), and then ‘suddenly’ spreading across the globe over the past 200,000 years. In the past 2,000 years, these humans caused massive population change throughout the biosphere, re-formated the surface of the world, altered climate, sent bits of designed earth to nearby moons and planets and some even beyond the solar system, all the while using nearby space as kind of orbital junk yard. Could this ‘explosive’ development have happened only by chance? Two thousand years? Come on! There must have been a Universal Design Engineer (blessed be his name) intervene at the 1.8 million mark and grant special knowledge on how to achieve this ‘explosive’ effect!

      In other words, ‘explosions’ in the distant past are actually very long stretches of time but comparatively shorter to deep geological time… in the same way that the past 300 years in human history (over the past 200,000 years) have shown an equivalent ‘explosion’, yet we find the pace of today’s change – in both complexity and information design of our technologies, therapies, and application – directly caused by human activity to still be increasing.

      Impossible!

      From a distant perspective, this pace of change with which we are familiar would seem ‘instantaneous’ in a geological time frame, but we know that advancements in all areas of human affect are built on what has come before and then advanced. The same principle can applied backwards even if it seems to be ‘fast’ in the comparison we are using. Twenty million years is actually a very, very, very long time for significant biological change to occur, just as twenty-five years today can easily be enough time for remarkable global changes to occur by human activity.

      If we want to understand this distant past, I see no knowledge coming from a method of inquiry that presumes the need for an interventionist agency based on such a poor assumption about the pace of change requiring it, when we have such compelling evidence from today that new knowledge doesn’t just pop into existence fully formed but relies in every case on a path of development from what has come before. For someone to claim the relative speed at which biological change happens indicates it must have be been caused by some unknown interventionist intelligent design engineering agency without any corroborating evidence seems to me to be very, very, very silly.

      Like

    • Another ad hominem-ridden, rant-filled, substance-free post proudly brought to you by tildeb.

      Then quote the ad hominem. You never seem to be able to do that.
      (Just make sure you find out what an ad hominem actually means first.)

      (besides, what do I have to be afraid of? You? The likes of you and Cedric Katesby do not frighten me. Got that? You do not frighten me. Deal with it).

      Then demonstrate it rather than ranting.
      Go to the scientific community and abandon the kook websites.

      I’ll focus squarely on dismantling your arguments and on the discussions at hand, alright?

      Oh, it that what you think you’ve been doing?
      Sad.

      Now, back to the problem of the Cambrian explosion. As I’ve mentioned before, the Cambrian explosion remains very problematic and troubling for neo-Darwinism…

      No, it doesn’t.
      This is just a shopworn PRATT.

      Claim CC300:
      “Complex life forms appear suddenly in the Cambrian explosion, with no ancestral fossils.”
      Source:
      Morris, Henry M. 1985. Scientific Creationism. Green Forest, AR: Master Books, pp. 80-81.
      Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. 1985. Life–How Did It Get Here? Brooklyn, NY, pp. 60-62.

      And so, from what I’ve seen, evolutionary theory fails as a valid scientific theory in explaining…

      Maybe you are simply getting it wrong. Did that ever occur to you?
      Why are you forced to rely on kook websites to cherry-pick isolated quotes from single studies for you and then have them massaged?
      Go to the scientific community directly. Get your information first-hand.

      Like

  43. tildeb:

    “In other words, ‘explosions’ in the distant past are actually very long stretches of time but comparatively shorter to deep geological time.”

    “Twenty million years is actually a very, very, very long time for significant biological change to occur…”

    That’s just you asserting it, isn’t it? The thing is, even forty million years is a blink-of-an-eye in geological terms. Twenty million? A lightning-quick blink. Fact of the matter is, scientists say the term “explosion” is not a misnomer. As Charles Marshall of Harvard University observes:

    “There are five major components of the Cambrian “explosion” that need to be explained: (a) the spectacular increase in animal disparity [i.e., in different types of animals], (b) the rise in animal diversity [i.e., in numbers of species within the different types], (c) why the time of onset of the explosion was some 543-542 mya, (d) why the duration of the explosion was some tens of millions of years long, and (e) why the event appears unique.”
    (Charles Marshall, “Explaining the Cambrian ‘Explosion,’” p. 361)

    Paleontologist James Valentine of UC-Berkeley stresses that the uniqueness of the Cambrian Explosion is not down to an incomplete fossil record, or the peculiarities of preservation:

    “…some workers have supposed that the explosion is not real, but is an artifact of the preservation of fossils, representing an increase in preservability rather than representing the origins of new groups. There is considerable evidence that the explosion was real, however….For example, some of the groups that appear during the explosion require durable skeletons as part of their early bodyplans, so their origins can be no earlier than the origins of their durable skeletons.”
    (James Valentine, “On the Origin of Phyla” (University of Chicago Press, 2004), p. 179)

    Finally, Paleontologist Douglas Erwin of the Smithsonian Institution – in the face of the uniqueness of the Cambrian explosion – makes this honest admission:

    “the simple, empirical fact is that the establishment of new bodyplans is not a frequent event….There is every indication that the range of morphological innovation possible in the early Cambrian is simply not possible today.”
    (Douglas Erwin, “The Origin of Bodyplans,” American Zoologist 39, p. 626)

    Thus, if an evolutionary theorist’s argues that the Cambrian explosion was not “abrupt” or “explosive”, that argument is headed nowhere. In fact, even recent textbooks highlight the fact that the fossil record does not document the evolution of the phyla which appear in the Cambrian explosion:

    “Most of the animal phyla that are represented in the fossil record first appear, ‘fully
    formed,’ in the Cambrian some 550 million years ago…The fossil record is therefore of
    no help with respect to the origin and early diversification of the various animal
    phyla.”
    (R.S.K. Barnes, P. Calow & P.J.W. Olive, “The Invertebrates: A New Synthesis,” pp. 9-10 (3rd ed., Blackwell Sci. Publications)

    Thus, amongst the many other problems associated with the lack of evolutionary explanations for Cambrian explosion (which I’ll save for a later period), evolutionary theory has never been able to explain the incredibly short duration of the Cambrian explosion sufficiently, and even if we grant the most generous assumptions for time to evolutionists, we still run into insurmountable problems.

    I am genuinely all ears, though, if and when you provide any actual evidence. Cheers.

    Like

  44. Charles Marshall, “Explaining the Cambrian ‘Explosion,’”?
    Really?
    On the Origin of Phyla?
    Wow.
    The Invertebrates: A New Synthesis?
    My oh my.

    That’s some serious reading.
    Or at least it would be…if you’d actually read them and they were your actual source materials.
    Sure , it looks impressive. It might fool the gullible. Only you don’t strike me as being that industrious.
    Where were your actual sources of information?
    Or should I say “What was your single source of information.“?
    Also, while you are about it, tell us honestly how much you just lazily cut-and-pasted.

    Ninth Commandment and all that.

    Funny how creationists always do the same ol’ same ol’.
    There’s never any new tricks.

    “One frequent creationist poster to the talk.origins newsgroup produced a long list of what he dubbed “Famous quotes from famous evolutionists” . It was not hard to discover that the list was taken, almost verbatim, from a creationist site called “Anointed-One.Net”, where the list is called “Quotes by Famous Evolutionists.” Lists like this, presented with little or no context except for vague claims that they somehow “disprove” evolution, are common among creationists. Indeed, entire books of these quotes have been published .

    For a number of reasons, the posting of this list was illustrative of a persistent and basically dishonest practice, frequently engaged in by creationists, that has become known as “quote-mining.” While the etymology of this term is obscure , the definition is clear enough. It is the use of a (usually short) passage, taken from the work of an authority in some field, “which superficially appears to support one’s position, but [from which] significant context is omitted and contrary evidence is conveniently ignored”.
    (Link)

    Like

    • Well, doesn’t that describe our friend getic.apolo’s technique here to a tee?

      Why, yes it does!

      (That’s not an ad hominem, G.A: it’s an accurate observation based on evidence from reality. You seem to be under the impression that the two are synonyms.)

      Like

  45. Cedric Katesby & tildeb:

    Boy, this kind of awkward comedy is difficult to script. It’s like the blind egging on the blind.

    Alright, very quickly now, because we are all aware of what’s going on: running from difficult questions that you cannot grasp or trying to distract with ad hominems or red herrings has evolved (pun intended) into a favourite pastime of yours:

    Your selective hyperskepticism is your own problem and no one else’s. I have read the various references (many of them from the actual books/magazines/articles themselves), I do fully understand how relevant they are to the discussion at hand, and that’s why I use them. You know, posting information that’s relevant to a discussion is a pretty cool concept. You guys should try it sometime. =D

    And so, now that the convenient distractors are quickly out of the way, the question that begs to be asked is: why would the two of you even resort to such odd distractions instead of tackling my questions head on? And the only reasonable conclusions seem to be:

    (1) You do not understand the Cambrian explosion all too much, or
    (2) You do, but have no choice but to distract from my asking for evidence linking evolutionary theory to Cambrian explosion, since you have not put up any and don’t have any to put up in the first place.

    To figure out if you fall within category (1) or (2), let’s try to simplify things a little. As I’ve stated, there is zero valid supporting data linking the Cambrian explosion with evolutionary theory. So as far as valid scientific theories go in explaining the origin of the massive amounts of biological information in the Cambrian, evolutionary theory – like your attempts at steering the topic off-course – has been a massive fail.

    Amongst the many references I brought up, I will make things simpler for you by focusing on just two. Firstly, as mentioned, Charles Marshall of Harvard University highlighted 5 challenges the Cambrian explosion poses:

    “There are five major components of the Cambrian “explosion” that need to be explained: (a) the spectacular increase in animal disparity [i.e., in different types of animals], (b) the rise in animal diversity [i.e., in numbers of species within the different types], (c) why the time of onset of the explosion was some 543-542 mya, (d) why the duration of the explosion was some tens of millions of years long, and (e) why the event appears unique.”
    (Charles Marshall, “Explaining the Cambrian ‘Explosion,’” p. 361)

    Also, as recently as this month, an article appeared in Science Daily (and just like that, notice how your suggestion that we should “go to the scientific community directly” and get our “information first-hand” falls flat on its face, Cedric Katesby?), whereby the article highlighted a new research that sheds light on priapulids and how they cannot be explained adequately within an evolutionary framework.

    Priapulids challenge the cone of increasing diversity concept – from Science Daily, Oct 2012

    Excerpts:

    “The research, carried out by evolutionary biologists Dr Matthew Wills, Dr Sylvain Gerber, Mr Martin Hughes (all University of Bath) and Dr Marcello Ruta (University of Lincoln), features in the October issue of Journal of Evolutionary Biology.

    Dr Wills first pioneered a study on existing and extinct priapulids in 1998. Fourteen years on, the team looked at a new and expanded data set of anatomical features to see how knowledge of these worms has been affected by new fossil finds.

    He explained: ‘The fossils from the Cambrian period can cause a real headache for evolutionary biologists. Instinct tells us to expect simple organisms evolving over time to become increasingly more complex. However during the Cambrian period there was an apparent explosion of different major groups of animals, all appearing simultaneously in the fossil record. We looked at priapulid worms, which were among the first ever predators. What’s remarkable is that they had already evolved into a diverse array of forms — comparable to the morphological variety of their living cousins — when we first encounter them in the Cambrian fossil record. It’s precisely this apparent explosion of anatomical diversity that vexed Darwin and famously attracted the attention of Harvard biologist Stephen Jay Gould.’ ”

    Your simplified task right now is to show me how the “five major components” that Charles Marshall spoke of have been have been addressed by the evolutionary paradigm, or to show how the recent research and findings which somehow do not square with evolutionary theory can be explained. Failing which, and given you haven’t given anything else of note yet, my point stands: evolutionary theory fails as a valid scientific theory in explaining the origination of such massive amounts of biological information in the Cambrian.

    Of course, people like tildeb and Cedric Katesby have always been welcome to engage in a discussion proper on intellectual grounds. But as of now, tildeb has been more interested in coming up with new ways to pour scorn and mockery on all of religion and its adherents (Oogity Boogity). And Cedric Katesby’s been up to his neck in work being an active promoter for obscure TalkOrigin claims and Youtube least-watched videos. And altogether, they’ve provided no evidence of note on this thread, and so, their position has nothing, which is rather unfortunate.

    Here’s hoping they change that situation in the future with some actual evidence.

    Like

    • What do you mean by ‘obscure’ Talk Origins claims? I looked at the page in question and it referenced 25 scientific papers.

      Like

    • I’ve read the link you gave there – Marine Worms Reveal the Deepest Evolutionary Patterns – and I don’t see anyone there saying these findings are impossible to explain in naturalistic terms. References to ‘causing a headache’ don’t look like they mean what you seem to be saying they do. They’re not saying ‘oops, we’re screwed, this cannot be explained by natural selection, a designer must be invoked.’

      Instead, your own link contains lines like: “Priapulids are fascinating animals with much potential in evolutionary studies” and “This research will help us to understand evolutionary patterns in ‘deep time’.”

      As you know, it finishes: “Dr Ruta added: “Detailed scrutiny of other groups of organisms is needed, in order to decipher the rate at which structural, functional and ecological changes occur and how acquisition of new traits impact on group diversification. Ultimately, combined results from these investigations will offer a solid framework for understanding the very roots of Life’s grandeur and the astounding variety of species alive today.””

      All this strikes me as saying that these new fossil finds will DEEPEN our understanding of evolution, according to the scientists involved.

      Like

    • Alright, very quickly now, because we are all aware of what’s going on: running from difficult questions that you cannot grasp or trying to distract with ad hominems or…

      The ad hominems that you endlessly mention but can’t bring yourself to quote?
      Ah.

      Your selective hyperskepticism…

      What exactly is “hyperskepticism”? Your previous attempt to explain it ended in fail when you gave a defintion that was clearly made up on the spot by a loon.

      I have read the various references…

      There’s this thing called the internet. A word search reveals that you have done no such thing. Reveal you single lonely source of information. Tell us how much you just lazily cut-and-pasted.

      As I’ve stated, there is zero valid supporting data…

      Yet not according to the scientific community.
      The people that fed you your talking points are leading you by the nose.

      Firstly, as mentioned, Charles Marshall of Harvard University highlighted 5 challenges the Cambrian explosion poses:…

      Yes, he did.
      In a work called “Explaining the Cambrian ‘Explosion,’”
      Maybe he had more to say on the subject in the rest of the book?

      Like

      • Marshall: “Classification of this rich panoply of explanations is somewhat arbitrary but typically explanations center on one of the fol- lowing factors: (a) changes in the abiotic environment, (b) changes in the genetic or de- velopmental capacity of the taxa involved, or (c) changes in the biotic environment, i.e., in ecology. All of these factors must have played a role, but how important was each?”

        Also: “Here, I first briefly review our knowledge of the Cambrian “explosion,” outline what needs to be explained, and then summarize some of the more prominent ex- planations for the event, focusing on how effectively each explains the various com- ponents of the “explosion” that need to be accounted for. I then show how recent advances in our understanding of the evolution of fitness landscapes provide a way of understanding the interactions between organisms, their environment (both the biotic and abiotic), and their genetic potential for change.”

        You’re right it seems the questions Getic quotes as being posed by Marshall here – “Your simplified task right now is to show me how the “five major components” that Charles Marshall spoke of have been have been addressed by the evolutionary paradigm” – is actually addressed in the same work by Marshall. A simplified task indeed. Or just a simple one.

        Like

      • Uncanny.
        Who would have thought that questions posed in a book titled ““Explaining the Cambrian ‘Explosion,’” were followed up with answers explaining the Cambrian ‘Explosion’?

        Darwin used the same rhetorical device and creationists mined it for all it was worth.

        “To suppose that the eye, with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree.”

        Well, there you have it. Charles Darwins’ own words.
        (shock, gasp, horror)
        Such problems associated with the lack of evolutionary explanations for the eye. Evolutionary theory has never been able to explain the eye. We still run into insurmountable problems. Evolutionary theory fails as a valid scientific theory in explaining the origination of eyes and the massive amounts of biological information etc. etc.
        Evolution is clearly a dying dog that’s been slowly dying since 1859.

        Or not….

        Quote Mining Darwin – Atheist Experience

        Like

    • getic.apolo states as if true that there is zero valid supporting data linking the Cambrian explosion with evolutionary theory.

      Well, as is typical, this statement followed (without addressing) Brasier’s explanation I offered why the Cambrian ‘explosion’ is only a problem for evolution in the creationist’s mind but not in reality. You see, I had already given evidence that there is NOT zero valid supporting data linking the Cambrian explosion with evolutionary theory but, in fact, compelling supportive evidence from reality that does support it… not that getic.apolo cares one whit about what is true in reality in his rush to get online and start quote mining whatever gives the appearance of support for his creationist beliefs. This fact puts to bed getic.apolo’s notion that people like Cedric and I don’t want to avoid the burden of providing evidence; the truth is that Getic.apolo doesn’t care (and will ignore) evidence contrary to whatever claim he cares to make… whether it’s about evolution or the character of those who dare disagree with his underhanded methods of ‘discussion’. (Hyperscepticism? Good grief.)

      It is on this history, this basis, this reality provided by getic.apolo’s repeated behaviour, that I agreed with Cedric’s legitimate charge and accurate description of how our friend getic.apolo relies on the dubious practice of quote mining… because that is exactly what he does to the accolades of other creationists. And this is why his newest cut and paste argument is just more of the same. If we answer with our comprehension of what these scientific papers are actually saying (and kudos to Cedric and Andrew Ryan for actually reading them and coming back to tell the rest of us what is actually being said), then getic.apolo will simply move on to the next cut and paste argument again and again and again because he doesn’t want to learn; all he wants is to appear to win his argument, appear to be a creationist who cuts through the poorly made scientific defenses and reveals evolution to be wrong, misguided, over-blown, and inadequate, a champion of the creationist cause heroically willing to bear the brunt of Darwinian-fueled scorn and contempt in the pursuit of god’s truth, appear to want to invite these misguided evolutionists to the table of his setting to have a ‘discussion’. He actually wants no such thing because his behaviour demonstrates no such desire.

      As evidence for my charge, let’s see how the ‘discussion’ changes by how he responds… now that his latest foray into the quote mines has been revealed.

      Like

  46. Cedric Katesby:

    Since we’re on the topic of not running from questions and problems but facing them head-on, allow me to refresh your memory on a question you evaded on this thread (and tildeb did in another):

    “This one’s gonna be pretty straightforward. I’m gonna ask you a simple question, it’s as easy as a yes/no, let’s see how you fare yeah? Ready?

    As far as you’re concerned, is science the sole source of knowledge claims about reality and sole arbiter of truth? Yes, or no?

    My money’s on you avoiding a simple yes or no and taking this all over the place. Please prove me wrong.”

    And of course, you did go on to evade the question, exactly as I’d predicted! =D

    I’m not sure I want you running from the question. What’s making you so nervous, Cedric Katesby? It’s either a yes, or a no. There are no other subsets. Logic 101. So how about having the courage to venture an answer, given your extreme faith in science:

    As far as you’re concerned, is science the sole source of knowledge claims about reality and sole arbiter of truth? Yes, or no?

    Try to stick around and actually answer this time round. Thanks.

    Like

    • See? After asking others to explain his latest cut and paste argument, when others tep up and answer his charges and show how and why why his ‘evidence’ is wrong or unrepresentative or inappropriate, getic.apolo, doesn’t care. He runs away by changing the topic and defends his actions by falsely accusing those who have taken the time and made the effort to answer his recent questions of not answering his past questions to his satisfaction. Of course, he doesn’t do this like a grown up wanting to have a real and honest discussion; he belittles this effort others make at his request as if talking to a child, ordering them about, and pretending his patience, although sorely tried, is growing thin at their reticence to answer his questions properly (ignoring that they already have… just not quite up to his ‘high’ standards)!

      What a dishonest, immature, and disagreeable tactic. But, hey, all seems fair when you’re a creationist defending not a private belief honestly held by faith but extending them into the world as if they described reality. The problem, as always, is that reality is not friendly to arguments about it based solely on faith. Getic.apolo would have us think this fatal problem in his over-extending faith to be fact is caused by those who point out how and why reality disagrees.

      Like

      • tildeb:

        See, it’s statements like these that give me the impression you’re obtuse. First of all, this was indeed a question that Cedric Katesby (and previously, you) ran well clear of, and I only brought it up to him so that he would finally muster the courage to venture an answer. If you had opened your eyes, you’d have noticed that at the same time, I was still having the other conversation going with you on the Cambrian explosion (I’ve provided further comments since, if you’d bother to look).

        So, looks like I haven’t run anywhere, tildeb, it’s almost as if… I’m here to stay. Get used to it! =D

        Like

  47. “As far as you’re concerned, is science the sole source of knowledge claims about reality and sole arbiter of truth? Yes, or no?”

    I know you don’t like us answering each other’s questions, but I’ll give this a go.

    If I have to answer just Yes or No, then I’d say no, but it’s an odd question. There are plenty of sources of knowledge, and at any rate science is a method not a source. But I’d say the scientific method is the best method we have for testing claims. It’s the best we have for examining empirical evidence. It’s self-correcting and it works.

    Hope this helps and you accept this as a straight answer.

    Like

  48. I heard Dawkin’s ridiculous explanation for how the eye formed on its own. But the question is, without an eye created perfectly to adapt to one’s environment to begin with, how did these early prototypes survive in order to reproduce and “slowly evolve” the eyes that they needed…in order to survive?

    It’s a lot like Lucy. We’re supposed to believe that an arm-dragging, bow-legged beast that could not even run as fast as modern HUMANS, was somehow able survive and flourish in a harsh environment rife with predators for the “millions of years” that it supposedly took for Australopithecus to become the tildebs of the world.

    Like

    • Lots of critters survive fine with little or even no eyesight even today, so your question is bizarre. Dawkins explains it fine – a little eyesight gives an advantage over none at all (in many environments). It doesn’t have to be perfect to allow survival or confer advantage. And it’s not like anyone’s proposing that one creature evolved eyes slowly in an environment when all its predators already had perfect eyesight!

      Like

      • It’s not about just about vision, it’s about proper processing of light through the eye (a fully-formed protected, environmentally-suited eye) so that the hormones can function optimally in order to produce and maintain a perfectly formed and functioning organism that is able to thrive and reproduce.

        Like

      • Why does it have to be completely protected to work? My balls are vulnerable – they still work. In fact my eyes are vulnerable too… Perhaps you should try reading the Dawkins explanation again – you don’t seem to have understood it.

        Oh and this bears reposting. Sorry – “I can’t resist!”

        Synapticcohesion: “Actually the our increased ability to share information has resulted in our not talking authoritative claims for granted”

        Matthew 7:3 comes to mind.

        Like

    • I heard Dawkin’s ridiculous explanation for how the eye formed…

      It may sound ridiculous to you but that does not mean much.
      You could be simply wrong.
      You have to have a methodology to make sure you are not just going with your gut.
      Just because you don’t understand something does not mean that the scientific community does not understand it either.

      But the question is, without an eye created perfectly to adapt to one’s environment to begin with….

      Why does any organ need to be “perfect”? Near enough is usually good enough.

      .…how did these early prototypes survive in order to reproduce and “slowly evolve” the eyes that they needed…in order to survive?

      Well, for one, they were not “prototypes”. There is no ladder of progress in evolution.

      It’s a lot like Lucy. We’re supposed to believe that an arm-dragging, bow-legged beast that could not even run as fast as modern HUMANS,…

      Running fast is not a prerequisite to survival.
      Plenty of other species out there don’t run as fast as humans yet they survive to reproduce just fine.

      …was somehow able survive and flourish in a harsh environment rife with predators for the “millions of years”…

      Well, it’s hard to argue with success. Plenty of species survive in harsh environments with lots of predators and go on to reproduce.
      It’s the name of the game.

      Like

  49. “Why does it have to be completely protected to work? My balls are vulnerable – they still work. In fact my eyes are vulnerable too…”

    There’s a difference between vulnerable and having some kind of protection in order to function. Our corneas (within limits, of course) protect our eyes from heat, UV light, light, dirt and dust, the elements, the weather, chemicals, etc. Most cephalopods (which evolutionist claim have eyes that are better designed than ours) lack corneas. This means that if we had the “superior eyes” of cephalopods, we would be BLIND.

    Luckily for us (and for cephalopods), we have precisely the right kind of eyes perfectly suited for our environments. Wow…

    It’s as though we were all meticulously designed by an omniscient Creator.

    Like

    • “Luckily for us (and for cephalopods), we have precisely the right kind of eyes perfectly suited for our environments. Wow…”

      Yes, as one would expect in animals shaped by natural selection. Who would have thought that animals would NOT evolve eyes completely unsuited to their environments! “Luckily for us” indeed…

      Dawkins’ explanation is pretty clear. Take a hundred stages between having no eyes at all and what we have today. You can’t claim that any particular stage would not allow its owner to survive because we can see examples in nature of a creature with eyes in just that stage. Eyes with no corneas could still work (as we can see in nature) and though not optimum, would give us better survival advantage than no eyes at all, allowing us to survive while corneas evolved.

      You admit yourself: ‘within limits’ – our eyes aren’t perfect. Many people need glasses, our vision deteriorates throughout life, many people’s sight gets damaged through accident, we squint in sunny weather, we have a blind spot.

      Like

      • “You admit yourself: ‘within limits’ – our eyes aren’t perfect.”

        Define “perfect.” We were not created to be indestructible. That would make us gods, wouldn’t it?

        “Many people need glasses, our vision deteriorates throughout life, many people’s sight gets damaged through accident, we squint in sunny weather…”

        Again, we are not created to be indestructible. Many people are also morbidly obese. Would you blame this on “faulty design,” or on what you put into your body? So-called “primitive” peoples that are completely unexposed to modern day foods do not have problems with obesity–nor do they have vision problems. WE are to blame for our deficiencies based on our lifestyles, what we consume, and what we expose ourselves to.

        “…we have a blind spot.”

        Only if we use (or only have) one eye.

        Thank God we have two eyes.

        Like

      • I said ‘our eyes are not perfect’, you ask me to ‘define perfect’. Are you saying there’s a definition of ‘perfect’ that our eyes fit, such that one cannot say ‘our eyes are not perfect’? If so, please give me this definition. If not, don’t quibble over a fairly uncontroversial statement. Anyone who wears glasses would laugh at you telling them their eyes are perfect.

        “Many people are also morbidly obese. Would you blame this on “faulty design,” or on what you put into your body? ”

        Rubbish analogy. Look up the most common reasons for short-sightedness and long-sightedness – they’re mostly genetic, not ‘looked at the wrong things’ or ‘looked too much at the wrong things’.

        “So-called “primitive” peoples [don’t] have vision problems.”

        Please provide a cite for the claim that ‘so-called “primitive” peoples’ all have 20:20 vision.

        “That would make us gods, wouldn’t it?”

        Strawman – I never talked about indestructible. I pointed out that it’s nonsense to describe us as having “precisely the right kind of eyes perfectly suited for our environments”.

        At any rate, the conversation is now drifting from your original argument from ignorance and incredulity on the evolution of the eye, which I’ve already addressed.

        Like

    • It’s as though we were all meticulously designed by an omniscient Creator.

      It’s as though potholes were all meticulously designed by an omniscient Creator to hold just the right amount of puddle water after a heavy shower.

      No 96: ARGUMENT FROM DESIGN, a.k.a. GOD OF THE GAPS, a.k.a. DESIGN/TELEOLOGICAL ARGUMENT (IV), a.k.a. ARGUMENT FROM PERSONAL INCREDULITY (III)
      (1) Isn’t X amazing!
      (2) I don’t understand how X could be, without something else (that I don’t really understand either) making or doing X.
      (3) This something else must be God because I can’t come up with a better explanation.
      (4) Therefore, God exists.

      Like

  50. “I said ‘our eyes are not perfect’, you ask me to ‘define perfect’. Are you saying there’s a definition of ‘perfect’ that our eyes fit, such that one cannot say ‘our eyes are not perfect’? If so, please give me this definition. If not, don’t quibble over a fairly uncontroversial statement.”

    Don’t say our eyes are not “perfect’ unless you can elaborate on what you mean by “perfect.”

    “Anyone who wears glasses would laugh at you telling them their eyes are perfect.”

    Anyone who wears glasses can tell you that they are the exception to the rule. That something went wrong–it’s usually due to whatever deficiencies the parent(s) had and/or what they were exposed to. Most of us live a lifestyle where we spend most of our time indoors. This alone can lead to deficiencies such as deficiencies in vitamins A and D–which are related to vision.

    “Rubbish analogy. Look up the most common reasons for short-sightedness and long-sightedness – they’re mostly genetic, not ‘looked at the wrong things’ or ‘looked too much at the wrong things’.”

    Rubbish response. Blaming everything on “genetics” alone is a cop out and is false. Yes, your parents can pass on whatever their genes are contaminated (or deficient in) on to you as was the case with their parents. You’re not expressing your parents deficiencies due to “genetics” anymore that a contaminated plant producing malformed fruit is expressing it’s “genes.” Even some of the most obese people today only have obese members in their families for only two generations. This should tell us something. Nothing is “genetic”–food and lifestyle (or whatever we are exposed to) on the other hand, are compelling factors.

    “Strawman – I never talked about indestructible. I pointed out that it’s nonsense to describe us as having “precisely the right kind of eyes perfectly suited for our environments”.”

    You definitely did say that we are imperfect because we are not indestructible. Didn’t you just say that we are not “perfect” because are eyes are not invulnerable? And we DO have precisely the right eyes suited for our environments. I wouldn’t want the “superiorly designed” eyes of cephalopods and I’m sure that they would not want to trade with us.

    Like

    • Nope: “Myopia occurs when light is focused in front of the retina. It occurs because either the eyeball is too long, or because the cornea is too curved. Despite maximum flattening of the lens, the eye is not able to focus the light rays further back, and on to the retina”

      Lack of vitamin D doesn’t make your eyeball lengthen!

      Although one can exacerbate sight problems with your lifestyle – eg reading a lot – both nearsightedness and farsightedness have a strong genetic component, especially if a parent is very nearsighted or farsighted. If both parents are nearsighted or farsighted, there’s a good chance their child will be the same. This isn’t a ‘cop out’ blaming of genetics, it’s simple fact. Go look it up if you don’t believe me. And even the environmental causes of worsening sight such as reading is not comparable to gorging on fat to become obese. If something as important as reading makes your sight worse, then that’s a clear example of our eyes not being well suited to our modern environment.

      Can you back up your ‘exception to the rule’ claim? What are you thinking the percentage of the population is with 20/20 vision? From what I can gather, they are actually the MINORITY. It is they (not them!?) who are the exceptions.

      As for ‘primitive’ people all having great eyesight, where are you talking about? Guess how many third-world citizens are estimated to suffer – and I mean suffer – from bad eyesight? A billion people.

      Finally, as for ‘vulnerable’, are you claiming that the only meaning of the word is ‘not indestructible’? So if someone says “The President’s failure to ensure the troops get adequate equipment has left them vulnerable”, they’re in fact claiming the right equipment would have made the troops immortal or indestructible? If I say “My CDs are vulnerable outside of their boxes”, that means I think the box renders them indestructible? If the word really only told us that something wasn’t indestructible, then there’s not much that it wouldn’t apply to, and the term would have very few applications.

      Like

      • “If something as important as reading makes your sight worse, then that’s a clear example of our eyes not being well suited to our modern environment.”

        I agree. Our eyes were intended to be suited for the environment that was created for us. Man thought he could do better. He was wrong.

        Believe it or not, many people with even more severe forms of myopia would not have to go far back to discover that myopia is NOT part of their genetic makeup. That it only began to manifest back two or three generations at most.

        You are correct to assert that the eye distortions of myopics are a result of neuromuscular dysfunction rather than a “genetic” deformity of the eye. And there are underlying reasons behind neurological dysfunctions. One can throw his hands up and say “it’s genetic,” or he can attempt to try to address the causes behind his disorder and do his best to ensure that he does not exacerbate the problem–or not keep doing exactly what his parents did in order to ensure that his children also have this neuromuscular disorder. Even the simple act of wearing glasses alters the light that your eyes receive and the hormones that are produced–and that will no doubt have and effect on one’s progeny as well. And prescription lenses for near sightedness tricks the eyes and forces them to be in constant “close-up” focus when your eye muscles would normally relax more when viewing things that are not up to your face. This will also have a cumulative effect on one’s vision, progressing eye shape, and ability to properly focus. Those that have severe myopia cannot simply stop wearing glasses, but many others with only slight near-sightedness can.

        “All this makes perfect sense in the light of evolution – for hundreds of thousands of years we quite rarely needed to focus on things very near to us during the average day, so the muscle spasms which lead to the lengthening of the eye would rarely happen. Our eyes WERE once very well suited to our lifestyles.”

        Actually this actually proves the opposite. We supposedly progressed from singled-celled organisms to what we are today; yet instead of EVOLVING to adapt to the relatively subtle changes in our current environment, we are progressively showing signs of degeneration. Devolving into cripples that need apparatuses for our eyes in order to see.

        That’s a far cry from our supposedly overcoming GREATER adversity by progressing from a slow, arm-dragging, bow-legged manchimp to a human being with an unencumbered stride–and better posture more befitting of bipedalism.

        Like

      • Even the simple act of wearing glasses alters the light that your eyes receive and the hormones that are produced–and that will no doubt have and effect on one’s progeny as well.

        Um, no.
        You are perhaps thinking of Lamarckism or some cock-eyed version thereof.
        Your eggs are addled.

        And prescription lenses for near sightedness tricks the eyes and forces them to be in constant “close-up” focus…

        That’s a new one.
        Where did you get this from?

        We supposedly progressed from singled-celled organisms to what we are today; yet instead of EVOLVING to adapt to the relatively subtle changes in our current environment, we are progressively showing signs of degeneration. Devolving into cripples that need apparatuses for our eyes in order to see.

        How do you square that with…So-called “primitive” peoples that are completely unexposed to modern day foods do not have problems with obesity–nor do they have vision problems.?

        Where do you get this nonsense from? All people have eye problems of one sort or another. Can you name a single tribe or ethnic group that does not have vision problems? Really?

        WE are to blame for our deficiencies based on our lifestyles, what we consume, and what we expose ourselves to.

        Woo thinking. Entirely unsupported by evidence. Lifestyle can cause many health problems but that not the same thing as saying that we are to blame for our health problems. All the exercise in the world will not cure or prevent MS.

        Like

    • ” Devolving into cripples that need apparatuses for our eyes in order to see.”

      There’s no such things as ‘devolving’ – if it’s change then it’s simply evolution. There’s nothing about evolution at means something has to get more complicated or stronger or faster. If an animal’s natural predators are removed from its environment then over many generations the species probably will become weaker and slower – unless they’re competing for resources with each other, the bigger, faster, stronger animals may actually be at a disadvantage as they have to convert more food into muscle and and energy.

      And if a species is in an environment where great eyesight no longer gives a reproductive advantage, over many generations the species’ eyesight most likely will deteriorate. For example, observe moles with barely functioning eyes that actually have fur growing on the lens! Those eyes were useful once, many generations ago when the species lived above ground.

      But I didn’t say necessarily that our eyes had got worse for that reason – it’s possible that our eyes are little different from our ancestors of ten thousand years ago, just that we’re using them differently now – as I said, wearing them out with too much close work, straining the muscles. synaptic, that isn’t actually so far from what you said yourself. However, like the moles, it’s possible we’re now keeping alive people who’d in the past have died through their bad eyesight, affecting the gene pool. But this isn’t a bad thing. I’d much rather live in a world where the ‘unfit’ aren’t removed from the gene pool. Especially if a pair of glasses is all that’s required to let them live a normal life

      But your talk of altering your progeny through your own behaviour is pretty nonsensical – as Cedric points out, that’s discredited lamarckism.

      In biological terms we don’t see our bow-legged predecessors as being more rubbish versions of us. We’re not higher up some biological tree. There’s no assumption that we’re improved versions, though obviously as we value reasoning ability, we can see that we’re far superior in that regard.

      And asking how these bow legged creatures could have survived misses an important point. It’s like asking how our army survived a few hundred years ago on such inferior weaponry. Creatures evolve in tandem with other species. Leopards may have been slower 50,000 years ago, but so were their prey. As one gets faster, the other must get faster too. And there are plenty of slower creatures than our bow-legged predecessors that still manage to survive. Dodos did just fine on an island until we came along. We killed them off in a century or so – they never had the chance to adapt to us. But other slow animals do fine. Look at sloths. If they ever evolve into fast, smart creatures, perhaps a million years from now they’ll look back and wonder that they ever survived too!

      Like

      • “But your talk of altering your progeny through your own behaviour is pretty nonsensical – as Cedric points out, that’s discredited lamarckism.”

        Really. Then pregnant women should be able to smoke and eat whatever they want because according to you and Cedric, they’re behavior will have no effect upon the unborn child. Good luck with that mindset.

        And these consequences are not relegated to the mother either. The father’s lifestyle and habits will have an effect on the quality of his progeny as well. It is a scientific fact that older fathers have a greater chances of producing children with “genetic” disorders. That’s clearly a misnomer because had the father been younger, these so-called “genetic” disorders are less likely to surface. This includes disorders such as schizophrenia and cerebral palsy. The reason behind this is simple: being older, the father has more advanced years of his body being exposed to his lifestyle and habits–or just being a product of the modern environment. It’s also undeniable proof that whatever both parents are exposed to or expose themselves to has an effect on their offspring. The only difference is some of the effects are more severe than others.

        >>Alcohol consumed by the male can lead to a variety of problems in the reproductive system. Unlike females, whose eggs are all made during pre-birth development, males continuously make sperm throughout their lives. Some studies have shown that alcohol consumed by the male can enter the testicles through the bloodstream. The drug then seems to mutate some characteristics of the sperm. After exposure, they can end up with deformed heads or tails, hindering their mobility. Alcohol could also be transported to the ova via the semen and expose the embryo to levels of this toxicant. In addition, alcohol-affected semen could alter embryo maturation.

        These mutations can lead to birth defects, miscarriage, or illness in the resulting baby. When children with fathers who are heavy drinkers and non-alcoholic mothers are compared with those with FAS, the children of the drinking fathers are not grossly malformed, but they do have certain intellectual and functional deficits, and they are also more likely to be hyperactive.<<

        I assumed that was all common sense. I was wrong.

        I am, however, more than happy to provide you with information for your edification.

        Like

      • “they’re behavior will have no effect upon the unborn child”

        That’s not the same as ‘misusing your eyes will affect your unborn child’s eyesight’. If that’s not what you were claiming then fine, and I genuinely apologise if that’s just down to my poor reading skills (no sarcasm). But still, the proportion of glasses wearers whose bad eyesight is down to smoking or drinking parents is tiny. This doesn’t get you anywhere closer to showing that bad eyesight in large numbers of humans is down to poor lifestyle choices of them or their parents.

        Like

      • Oh and by the way, sorry “couldn’t resist”:
        “they’re behavior will have no effect upon the unborn child”

        You mean “their”, not “they’re”, right.

        Point made now, I can stop pointing out your grammatical errors – yeah? Just say…

        Like

  51. To isolate and make clearer one point there, lots of ‘close work’ does make myopia worse. And the numbers of myopia sufferers is a sign of how many of us have to concentrate on things close to in our everyday life. But reconciling that with a claim that our eyes are perfectly suited to our environment is absurd. Clearly our environment requires lots of close work for the majority of us. Very few people work on farms or hunt creature from distances any more. Unless you want to claim that God designed us to spurn books and computers and needlework, and bad eyesight is our punishment for straying from our intended path.

    All this makes perfect sense in the light of evolution – for hundreds of thousands of years we quite rarely needed to focus on things very near to us during the average day, so the muscle spasms which lead to the lengthening of the eye would rarely happen. Our eyes WERE once very well suited to our lifestyles. And yes, obesity is a similar sign of our times – our ancestors evolved to eat fats and sweet things when we could. Our brains release ‘satiated’ feelings after eating a certain amount of protein or carbs, but not when we’ve eaten a certain amount of fat or sugar. Our ancestors never NEEDED that feeling as there were no equivalent to donuts or twinkies.

    Like

  52. “And prescription lenses for near sightedness tricks the eyes and forces them to be in constant “close-up” focus…

    That’s a new one.
    Where did you get this from?

    I’d be happy to enlighten you, Cedric. To wake you up from your profound state of ignorance.”

    >>These glasses cause the parallel rays to diverge just enough so that the eye can focus them on the retina. They make the eye feel (with regard to focusing effort, at least) that the viewed object is actually closer than it is. In fact, if you follow the dotted lines, you will see that point F is where the viewed object appears to be. In this example, F is also the focal point of the lens. Minus lenses thus move the world closer to the eyes.<<

    http://www.myopia.org/ebook/08chapter3.htm

    Like

    • But your talk of altering your progeny through your own behaviour is pretty nonsensical – as Cedric points out, that’s discredited lamarckism.”

      Really. Then pregnant women should be able to smoke and eat…

      Apples and oranges. Don’t mix them. It makes you look silly.

      I’d be happy to enlighten you, Cedric. To wake you up from your profound state of ignorance.”

      Don’t you have a better source of information?
      Say, perhaps, something from the scientific community?
      Just believeing some guy peddling a book is not a good idea.
      (Peer review, scientific literature etc.)

      It is a scientific fact that older fathers have a greater chances of producing children with “genetic” disorders.

      Sure, but then you go on to claim…

      ..being older, the father has more advanced years of his body being exposed to his lifestyle and habits–or just being a product of the modern environment.

      You can back this up, right? Keep your coffee table books. Is this claim actually from the scientific community or not?

      Can you name a single tribe or ethnic group that does not have vision problems? Really?

      Like

      • “But your talk of altering your progeny through your own behaviour is pretty nonsensical – as Cedric points out, that’s discredited lamarckism.”

        Really. Then pregnant women should be able to smoke and eat…

        Apples and oranges. Don’t mix them. It makes you look silly.”

        The fact that Darwin was a supporter of Lamarckism makes YOU silly. I don’t subscribe to giraffes being able to acquire their long necks by sheer will power and stretches. But evolutionists do. Darwin did.

        Pay attention next time to the information that I provide you.

        “Don’t you have a better source of information?
        Say, perhaps, something from the scientific community?
        Just believeing some guy peddling a book is not a good idea.
        (Peer review, scientific literature etc.)”

        This is common knowledge. At least “common” to most of us. The link provided was not where I first learned this information (I already learned about this years ago)–it’s just a convenient and easy-to-read article that I thought that you could appreciate. The author of the article that I provided is simply reiterating a scientific factin regards to how minus lenses work. It is a fact, not an opinion. Learn the difference.

        “Can you name a single tribe or ethnic group that does not have vision problems? Really?”

        No, because as soon as we know about them,”discover” them; they are immediately exposed to many aspects of our modern lifestyle including food and, more than likely, water. Water that is “cleaned” with poisons such as chlorine and fluoride, of course.

        There have been studies on various “primitive” peoples around the world and it was discovered that they tended to be in better condition than people living in modern, “civilized” societies. They had more strength, their teeth were straight, their eyes were healthy, they had perfectly formed skeletal structures, and were not susceptible to the “genetic disorders” and deformities that we see regularly in modern societies. BUT…as soon as modern foods were introduced to these people, the descendants began showing signs of degeneration: crooked teeth in need of orthodontic work, smaller and weaker jaw structures, loss of strength and musculature, teeth that were prone to cavities and falling out, and many other forms of degeneration that we call “normal” and “genetic.”

        These tribes did not move to the cities, nor did they dramatically change their lifestyles. They were simply exposed to some of modern man’s food choices. In some cases, the water as well. Yet, these dramatic changes happened right away–in the next generation.

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

        Someone earlier was asking if I was saying that “third world” people are in better condition than we are. I was NOT comparing the third world at all. People in the many parts of the third world often have it worse than people living in first and second world conditions. They are often exposed to magnified version of modern day dilemmas. They will be the ones most exposed to industry, pollution, dumping to toxic chemicals and materials, contaminated water supplies, etc. They have all the modern day ailments–and often worse.

        Like

      • The fact that Darwin was a supporter of Lamarckism makes YOU silly.

        How? I didn’t mention Darwin. He’s been dead for a long time.

        I don’t subscribe to giraffes being able to acquire their long necks by sheer will power and stretches. But evolutionists do.</i?The fact that Darwin was a supporter of Lamarckism makes YOU silly. I don’t subscribe to giraffes being able to acquire their long necks by sheer will power and stretches. But evolutionists do.

        Liar. Put up or shut up.

        This is common knowledge. At least “common” to most of us. The link provided was not where I first learned this information (I already learned about this years ago)–it’s just a convenient and easy-to-read article that I thought that you could appreciate. The author of the article that I provided is simply reiterating a scientific factin…

        Spare me your hand waving and bluster. Again, put up or shut up.
        Books from thirty-plus years ago written by possible cranks fail to impress.

        “Can you name a single tribe or ethnic group that does not have vision problems? Really?”

        No, because as soon as we know about them,”discover” them; they are immediately…

        Such as which tribes? Which tribe or ethnic group suffered this awful fate? Name them. Name a study. Name any study.
        Remember your claim.
        I do.

        So-called “primitive” peoples that are completely unexposed to modern day foods do not have problems with obesity–nor do they have vision problems.?

        Where do you get this nonsense from? Sources?

        There have been studies on various “primitive” peoples around the world and it was discovered that they tended to be in better condition than people living in modern, “civilized” societies.

        Do you need help shifting those goal posts? They seem a bit heavy for you.

        Like

    • synapticcohesion:

      “I’d be happy to enlighten you, Cedric. To wake you up from your profound state of ignorance.”

      Oh come on now, the man obviously enjoys his nap, let him have it. =D

      Like

    • “But evolutionists do”

      Really? Who? No-one’s accepted Lan. for like a hundred years or something, surely? Regarding Darwin, can you expand on that – did he keep believing all his life? If so, that’s not so significant. Our modern acceptance of evolution stands apart from anything Darwin did or didn’t believe.

      And as I said, if the only way we can keep perfect eyesight is to live like ‘primitives’, abandoning computers and books etc, then it’s still a stretch to call our eyes perfectly adapted or designed for our environment, given that our environment isn’t the primitives’. Only a tiny proportion can live like that. Why design eyes that you know will only be optimum for a few thousand out of billions of people? How many people get the chance to live that lifestyle?

      Like

      • “Why design eyes that you know will only be optimum for a few thousand out of billions of people?”

        LOL! Were we created before or after processed foods, chemicals, and other adulterated products and byproducts? We were obviously created for a more natural, “Bliblical” or “Maker’s” diet. Thus our design, which was made for optimally for all of us, only suits those that follow the natural dietary laws.

        “And as I said, if the only way we can keep perfect eyesight is to live like ‘primitives’, abandoning computers and books etc, then it’s still a stretch to call our eyes perfectly adapted or designed for our environment, given that our environment isn’t the primitives’.”

        Believe it or not, we used to all eat this way in the not-so-distant past–“primitive” or not. Blaming “faulty design” on your body not being able to properly adjust to man made chemicals and toxins is as ridiculous as a drug abuser blaming “faulty design” on his not being able to do coke and meth without suffering the consequences.

        As I had said earlier, we’re not meant to be indestructible. If we decide to test ourselves with things that are unhealthy and unnatural, then we only have ourselves to blame.

        Like

  53. tildeb (part 1 of 3):

    Ahh, lovely. Quite frankly, I find your religiously motivated insults and sneers – coupled with Cedric Katesby’s substance-free rhetoric – make a greater case for the topic of this thread (the moaning evolutionary theory/theorist, remember?) than I ever could. Not to mention the juvenile, all-too-familiar Internet atheist charge of quote-mining, a clear attempt at distraction in order to avoid addressing the difficult points of the discussion. Any rational reader could gather that the only reason I provide just 3 or 4 quotes – and not dozens – is because I took the time and trouble to read those books/articles/references, to appreciate what they mean. If I was interested in quote-mining, trust me, I could have provided a lot more telling admissions from evolutionists! =D

    And so just like that, Cedric Katesby’s (and your) very unoriginal “oh-the-creationist-quote-mined” trick crumbles upon the slightest scrutiny, and you’re forced back towards focusing on the discussion proper.

    Sadly, it’s people like these – with an elevated sense of intellectual superiority – who tend to see no relationship between their insults and general childishness and their failure to convince a majority of their position. They, of course, think that that’s because the public is stupid. Oh well…

    Anyway, I’ve tried to filter out the more relevant portions of your comments, so if you will, I’m gonna focus on just that in my response, alright (but don’t you let me stop you, you two go on ahead with your “Oogity Boogities” and “the scientific community does not agree with you” and other hollow rants)?

    Let’s begin. =)

    Like

  54. tildeb (part 2 of 3):

    ”getic.apolo states as if true that there is zero valid supporting data linking the Cambrian explosion with evolutionary theory.”

    Uh, yes, unfortunately for you, that’s the state of affairs at the moment. I did warn you that a discussion on the Cambrian explosion was “a walk right up my alley.” But of course, you’re welcome to do what neither you nor Cedric Katesby have managed till now: provide some actual empirical evidence or testable hypothesis to back up your claim, and show me how the debate surroundingly the Cambrian explosion is settled.

    ”Well, as is typical, this statement followed (without addressing) Brasier’s explanation I offered why the Cambrian ‘explosion’ is only a problem for evolution in the creationist’s mind but not in reality. You see, I had already given evidence that there is NOT zero valid supporting data linking the Cambrian explosion with evolutionary theory but, in fact, compelling supportive evidence from reality that does support it…”

    What you said is clearly dishonest, and this thread stands as evidence for that. Fact is, I immediately and directly responded to your so-called Brasier’s explanation, you have yet to put up a reply to my response, and here you are suggesting I didn’t address Brasier’s explanation. How odd. Here tildeb, allow me to refresh your memory:

    (what I’d written elsewhere earlier on this thread):

    ”I’ll agree that there are, indeed, disagreements over the duration of the Cambrian explosion, even among Darwinian paleontologists. But the real issue here is the origin of information. Even if the Cambrian explosion had lasted 40 million years, there would not have been enough time for unguided processes to produce the enormous amount of specified complexity and information in the DNA of the animal phyla. Nor has something remotely similar ever been testably reproduced in the labs. But hey, I’m all ears if you have any evidence to share.

    Moreover, if you’re familiar with the original findings of Martin Brasier – as reported in the January 2009 issue of the Journal of the Geological Society, it was reported that he had discovered “a variety of exceptionally preserved microbes” from late Precambrian rocks in England that address “the paradox known as ‘“Darwin’s dilemma’.” At the time, Science Daily announced that “Darwin’s dilemma” was “the lack of fossils in sediment from the Precambrian.”

    But – surprise, surprise – this was not Darwin’s dilemma. Darwin’s dilemma was the notable absence of intermediate fossils showing the diversion of Cambrian phyla from a common ancestor. Brasier didn’t solve Darwin’s dilemma. Instead, he helped put one more nail in the coffin of Darwin’s attempt to salvage his theory from it. The truth is hard to avoid: “exceptionally preserved microbes” from the late Precambrian actually deepen Darwin’s dilemma, because they suggest that if there had been ancestors to the Cambrian phyla they would have been preserved.

    As noted vertebrate paleontologist Robert L. Carroll noted:

    “The most conspicuous event in metazoan evolution was the dramatic origin of major new structures and body plans documented by the Cambrian explosion. Until 530 million years ago, multicellular animals consisted primarily of simple, soft-bodied forms, most of which have been identified from the fossil record as cnidarians and sponges. Then, within less than 10 million years, almost all of the advanced phyla appeared, including echinoderms, chordates, annelids, brachiopods, molluscs and a host of arthropods. The extreme speed of anatomical change and adaptive radiation during this brief time period requires explanations that go beyond those proposed for the evolution of species within the modern biota.”
    (Robert L. Carroll, “Towards a new evolutionary synthesis,”Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Vol. 15(1):27-32)

    But wait, tildeb, it gets more interesting. Your article is from 2010, and yet, in 2011 and 2012, the Cambrian explosion continues to be a major headache for neo-Darwinists. For instance:

    ‘Complex Arthropod Eyes Found in Early Cambrian’ – June 2011

    Excerpt:

    “Complex eyes with modern optics from an unknown arthropod, more complex than trilobite eyes, have been discovered in early Cambrian strata from southern Australia.,,, Here we report exceptionally preserved fossil eyes from the Early Cambrian (~515 million years ago) Emu Bay Shale of South Australia, revealing that some of the earliest arthropods possessed highly advanced compound eyes, each with over 3,000 large ommatidial lenses and a specialized ‘bright zone’. These are the oldest non-biomineralized eyes known in such detail, with preservation quality exceeding that found in the Burgess Shale and Chengjiang deposits. Non-biomineralized eyes of similar complexity are otherwise unknown until about 85 million years later. The arrangement and size of the lenses indicate that these eyes belonged to an active predator that was capable of seeing in low light. The eyes are more complex than athose known from contemporaneous trilobites and are as advanced as those of many living forms. They provide further evidence that the Cambrian explosion involved rapid innovation in fine-scale anatomy as well as gross morphology…” “

    So, what’ve you got to say, tildeb? I’ve been waiting for your response, here’s hoping you provide one.

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  55. tildeb (part 3 of 3):

    ”…kudos to Cedric and Andrew Ryan for actually reading them and coming back to tell the rest of us what is actually being said…”

    Lol, say whaaat? You must clearly be referring to a similar conversation you’ve had in one of them multiverses, because here on Earth, on this thread, Cedric Katesby and Andrew Ryan gave zero – wrap your head around this, ZERO – evidence from Marshall’s book that squares evolutionary theory with the Cambrian explosion. Cedric Katesby has been keeping at his day job as ambassador of obscure TalkOrigins posts and Youtube least-watched videos. And Andrew Ryan – at least to his credit – did stay on topic and put up a quote about what evolutionist Marshall intended to highlight in his book. But there was certainly nothing put up on what testable hypotheses or conclusions were arrived at.

    It might interest (or unnerve) you to know that I’ve read the entire book in my local library, and it makes for a really good read, full of very interesting information, with a great attempt at portraying evolution in “action”.
    However, a careful read of it leads one to clearly see that Darwinian mechanisms have nothing at all to do with the Cambrian explosion. It’s a great study for disproving Darwinian evolution – contrary to the author’s purpose. In fact, Andrew Ryan’s quote reference had an open admission by Marshall saying just as much: “Classification of this rich panoply of explanations is somewhat arbitrary” (do you get what “arbitrary” means?).

    So I’m still waiting for you to enter the discussion proper and provide some actual evidence. Better yet, I challenge you – or Cedric Katesby – to tell me which part of Marshall’s book satisfactorily links evolutionary theory with the explosion. Up for the challenge? I doubt it.

    ”If we answer with our comprehension of what these scientific papers are actually saying…”

    Actually, if you would answer with any comprehension of the Cambrian explosion at all, that would be a great start. =D

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  56. Andrew Ryan:

    In response to my question (“As far as you’re concerned, is science the sole source of knowledge claims about reality and sole arbiter of truth?”), you had this to say:

    ”I know you don’t like us answering each other’s questions, but I’ll give this a go.
    If I have to answer just Yes or No, then I’d say no, but it’s an odd question. There are plenty of sources of knowledge, and at any rate science is a method not a source. But I’d say the scientific method is the best method we have for testing claims. It’s the best we have for examining empirical evidence. It’s self-correcting and it works.
    Hope this helps and you accept this as a straight answer.”

    Well, quite frankly, thank you, for at least having the courage to venture an answer (and I do accept it as a straight answer). I also note with appreciation that at least to some extent, you make efforts to stay on topic and engage the arguments on their merits, unlike tildeb and (worse yet) Cedric Katesby. I have a few points that I would like to discuss in greater detail with you when my schedule eases up (I fly off tonight for work). In the meantime, here are a few thoughts on some of your other comments:

    “I’ve read the link you gave there – Marine Worms Reveal the Deepest Evolutionary Patterns – and I don’t see anyone there saying these findings are impossible to explain in naturalistic terms.”

    That’s not my argument. I said that this cannot be explained via evolutionary mechanisms as of yet, a fact that still stands. Are we in agreement?

    Also, I don’t want to assume anything beforehand, but when you suggest these findings may possibly be explained “in naturalistic terms” in the future, does that mean you’re committed to an evolutionary explanation of the findings, or are you open to the possibility that there could be a scientific inference to intelligent design?

    “What do you mean by ‘obscure’ Talk Origins claims? I looked at the page in question and it referenced 25 scientific papers.”

    I’m glad you brought this point up. Here I am quoting from 3 or 4 books/articles I’ve read, and Cedric Katesby suggests I’m quote-mining, and yet I’m to accept that he’s read even one of the 25 supposed papers highlighted in his link (kind of makes him sound dense, now that I think about it). Go figure.

    Anyway, I’m sure you’ll understand if I do not have the time to look through 25 papers, but i am familiar with the scientific literature pertaining to the Cambrian explosion, and want to hear your thoughts on the matter. Would you care to highlight one or 2 papers in there that you think make a solid case for explaining the Cambrian explosion through evolutionary mechanisms? Preferably papers that provide some testable hypothesis, that would be appreciated.

    “You’re right it seems the questions Getic quotes as being posed by Marshall here – “Your simplified task right now is to show me how the “five major components” that Charles Marshall spoke of have been have been addressed by the evolutionary paradigm” – is actually addressed in the same work by Marshall.

    Except, it’s not. I have read the book. I’m happy for you to show me otherwise, if you’re familiar with it. In fact, the conclusion I came to is that Marshall just made attempts at explanations that were not based on any clear evolutionary mechanism. In fact, his quote that you cited (”Classification of this rich panoply of explanations is somewhat arbitrary) is exactly the message I came away with after reading the book: that the author’s just expressing his opinion, not much based on actual facts or any proper hypothesis. I’m happy for you to show me how you arrived at a different conclusion.

    ”I know you don’t like us answering each other’s questions, but I’ll give this a go.”

    Rest assured that that’s not the impression I would like to give you, and I’m glad to answer any questions you’d like to post, since I do believe you are on this thread with the right intentions and spirit. So feel free to fire away, cheers. =)

    [P.S.: My main – albeit not only – point behind that single yes-or-no question was to highlight to adherents of scientism/ methodological naturalism – such as Cedric Katesby – a simple fact: that for all their bravado and claims of “oh science is the study of reality” or “oh we should believe only what can be proven scientifically”, they simply cannot lead lives consistent with their scientism/methodological naturalism, for there is much that science cannot explain or have access to. I hope to have made that point, for starters]

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    • “yet I’m to accept that he’s read even one of the 25 supposed papers highlighted in his link”

      They’re peer-reviewed, they stand up to scrutiny – they’ve been checked and tested by experts in the field who’ve tried and failed to find fault with them. That’s the way the system works. Thus Cedric doesn’t need to read the papers. We can take them as read. Any other system ends in madness – there’s otherwise no point when we can stop reading as another person can always say ‘but what if THAT person is lying to you?’. No one person can personally check themselves every single piece of data.

      “that the author’s just expressing his opinion”

      If his opinion is worthless to you, why quote him in the first place?

      “does that mean you’re committed to an evolutionary explanation of the findings”

      What are your alternatives – space aliens with technology indistinguishable from magic, or God intervention? One can ALWAYS say that these might explain something in ANY situation. If you’re accused of murder you can blame one of the above. Has either of these EVER proved to be the right explanation for any phenomenon? Not to my knowledge. So sure, I think we’re justified in figuring naturalistic explanations are the right ones, and in this situation, naturalistic explanations for change in species over time pretty much come under the banner of ‘evolution’.

      Like

  57. Not to mention the juvenile, all-too-familiar Internet atheist charge of quote-mining, a clear attempt at distraction in order to avoid addressing…

    Nonsense. Quotemining is a real thing. It’s well documented. You are guilty of it.

    Any rational reader could gather that the only reason I provide just 3 or 4 quotes – and not dozens – is because I took the time and trouble to read those books/articles/references, to appreciate what they mean.

    Why do you lie?
    This is the internet. There’s this thing called google.
    You take a sample of words and do a search.
    Your cut-and-pastes pop right up. They are all from a single source.
    A child could discover your lies. The quotes from the books you have clearly not read are all from a single source. Even the intros are the same.

    If I was interested in quote-mining, trust me…

    I am not in the habit of trusting liars like you.

    And so just like that, Cedric Katesby’s (and your) very unoriginal “oh-the-creationist-quote-mined” trick crumbles upon the slightest scrutiny…

    LIke what? Are you demented?

    (but don’t you let me stop you, you two go on ahead with your “Oogity Boogities” and “the scientific community does not agree with you” and other hollow rants)?

    Well it happens to be true. You’ve got nothing.

    …show me how the debate surroundingly the Cambrian explosion is settled.

    Do you need some help with those goalposts? Shift much?

    However, a careful read of it leads one to clearly see that Darwinian mechanisms have nothing at all to do with the Cambrian explosion. It’s a great study for disproving Darwinian evolution – contrary to the author’s purpose.

    So…you understand the book better that the author?
    Ah, of course.

    In fact, Andrew Ryan’s quote reference had an open admission by Marshall saying just as much: “Classification of this rich panoply of explanations is somewhat arbitrary” (do you get what “arbitrary” means?).

    The quotemining thing. It just never stops with you.

    That’s not my argument. I said that this cannot be explained via evolutionary mechanisms as of yet, a fact that still stands.

    According to whom? You?

    Also, I don’t want to assume anything beforehand, but when you suggest these findings may possibly be explained “in naturalistic terms” in the future, does that mean you’re committed to an evolutionary explanation of the findings, or are you open to the possibility that there could be a scientific inference to intelligent design?

    That’s just stupid. There’s no other word for it.

    “…does that mean you’re committed to an evolutionary explanation of the findings, or are you open to the possibility that there could be a scientific inference to magic?”

    “… does that mean you’re committed to an evolutionary explanation of the findings, or are you open to the possibility that there could be a scientific inference to vampires?”

    Here I am quoting from 3 or 4 books/articles I’ve read…

    When people quote from books, it doesn’t pop up as a cut-and-paste job. However, yours does. You lifted it wholesale. Somebody else read those books and did the quote-mining for you. You just regurgitated it. It’s shameful, dishonest and plain old-fashioned lazy.

    …and Cedric Katesby suggests I’m quote-mining, and yet I’m to accept that he’s read even one of the 25 supposed papers highlighted in his link (kind of makes him sound dense, now that I think about it). Go figure.

    Evidently, you don’t know much about peer review. How do people like you even tie your own shoes? I didn’t claim to have read any of those papers.
    (facepalm)

    Would you care to highlight one or 2 papers in there that you think make a solid case for explaining the Cambrian explosion through evolutionary mechanisms? Preferably papers that provide some testable hypothesis, that would be appreciated.

    You are just repeating a PRATT. The scientific community simply doesn’t agree with you. Reality is not your friend.

    …a simple fact: that for all their bravado and claims of “oh science is the study of reality” or “oh we should believe only what can be proven scientifically”, they simply cannot lead lives consistent with their scientism/methodological naturalism, for there is much that science cannot explain or have access to.

    Science knows it can’t explain everything…otherwise it would stop.
    Get in the sack with the rest of ’em.

    Dara O’Briain with home truths about quackery

    Like

  58. ” We were obviously created for a more natural, “Bliblical” or “Maker’s” diet”

    By someone who presumably knew the vast majority of mankind would be be unable to eat that way. And you’re clutching at straws if you’re maintaining half the population has bad eyes due to our diet. Where’s your cite for that claim? I already quoted an explanation I find far more convincing. Search spasms on this thread to find it.

    Like

    • So how do you eat, and do you spurn books, computers and ‘close up’ use of your eyes, or do you spurn the ‘makers’ plan’ for you?

      Like

      • “So how do you eat, and do you spurn books, computers and ‘close up’ use of your eyes, or do you spurn the ‘makers’ plan’ for you?”

        Of course not. And if I and/or my progeny suffer the resultant repercussions of my actions (or inaction), I have nothing and no one to blame but myself. At least I am aware of this, and I’m not blaming “genetics” or “faulty design.” When you are aware you can be proactive and avoid excess and things you know that will be detrimental to you—either immediately or cumulatively. To a degree, of course. It’s not as though we can make the added chlorine disappear from certain municipal water supplies–so that it doesn’t smell and taste like swimming pool water.

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      • “, I have nothing and no one to blame but myself”

        Really? A minute ago you were saying short-sighted people could blame their parents. A glasses-wearing five-year-old – no-one to blame but himself? For not insisting his parents feed him differently, or bring him up in some unspoiled savannah? Or do I misunderstand you?

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  59. “There have been studies on various “primitive” peoples around the world and it was discovered that they tended to be in better condition than people living in modern, “civilized” societies”

    I’d like to look at these studies,if you have a link, but I don’t deny this is possible – one might expect that tribes living a lifestyle closer to the one we spent tens of thousands of years evolving in WOULD have benefits from it. We evolved as hunter gatherers, not needing much ‘close-up’ eye work, as I said before. One expects if a species changes it’s lifestyle and environment very quickly that it won’t have time to evolve to adapt to the change. I’m sceptical that myopia can be so directly related to unhealthy lifestyle choices though, and would like to see scientific studies from you to support the notion. If it was an established idea I would expect the anti-tobacco lobbyists to be making a far bigger deal of it.

    But it’s refreshing to here an (apparently) fairly fundie Christian giving a very ‘green’ outlook, when most hawk the idea that nothing we do to the environment could possibly harm us in any way.

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  60. “, I have nothing and no one to blame but myself”

    Really? A minute ago you were saying short-sighted people could blame their parents. A glasses-wearing five-year-old – no-one to blame but himself? For not insisting his parents feed him differently, or bring him up in some unspoiled savannah? Or do I misunderstand you?”

    Look at what I said again. I said that “I” (or any other individual) can be blamed for what happens to me and my progeny. So yes, I maintain that the parents are responsible (either directly or indirectly) for many on the problems that their children are born with. This was something that you ironically disagreed with, claiming that I was promoting “Lamarckism” when I wasn’t.

    But, instead of the future generations making the same mistakes because it’s all “genetics” anyway, they can do something to break the chain after realizing that it’s not about genetics at all.

    Like

    • I don’t drink or smoke. I eat healthily, exercise lots. How am I to blame for needing glasses? But sure, if we have evidence that something is harming us, I agree that blaming genes isn’t helpful. But that’s not what I was doing.

      Like

      • “I don’t drink or smoke. I eat healthily, exercise lots. How am I to blame for needing glasses?”

        As I has said earlier, the parents are responsible as well. Thus, if you had poor vision ever since you were a child, it is clearly not your fault. But it may be your fault if your vision gets progressively worse each year.

        The point that I was making is that ailments, diseases, and disorders do not come from a “family gene,” they derive from something from your environment (and what you choose to expose yourself to). And what your body is exposed to will no doubt affect the quality of your genetic material. It’s not a blame game–a lot of what we are exposed to today is beyond our control unless we (such as water quality, industrial pollution, etc.). Even then, there is an option of moving elsewhere.

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    • “As I has said earlier, the parents are responsible as well. Thus, if you had poor vision ever since you were a child, it is clearly not your fault. ”

      My parents lived healthily as well. Sorry, I’m just not buying it. I know you hate the idea of people not owning their mistakes, but you seem to be going in the other diraction. It sounds a little similar to those people who say the disabled are responsible for their disabilities. If you’re determined to maintain that all eye problems can be blamed on child or parent, do you say the same for all other health problems? If not, why make the distinction? If yes, are all medical conditions that afflict kids the fault of their parents? Blood conditions, muscle problems, brittle bones etc? All down to boozing parents who didn’t stick to organic diets (or whatever)? Again, where are you getting this from – in other words, can you supply your sources, any links?

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  61. “But it’s refreshing to here an (apparently) fairly fundie Christian giving a very ‘green’ outlook, when most hawk the idea that nothing we do to the environment could possibly harm us in any way.”

    I’m not promoting anything. I’m simply arguing that we were not created with “faulty genes,” nor were we “poorly designed” for living on this earth. It’s the artificial, man-made environments that we sometimes have difficulty adjusting to–and you can’t blame that on design.

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  62. Cedric Katesby:

    LOL! =D

    Hmm, let’s see…

    Ideological, rhetoric filled, substance-free rants that don’t address the arguments – check.
    Lack of basic etiquette 101 in answering questions not even directed towards you (but running from ones that are) – check.
    Baseless, distractive accusations of quote mining that you can never hope to back up with anything but hot air and your wildest imagination – check (yup, you have NO evidence against me, that’s why none is on the table. Deal with it).

    Wow, you’re really cornering the market on dogmatic, militant Internet atheistic behaviour, aren’t you? Vox Day may have been on to something when he said that people like you display what he refers to as “social autism”. Thankfully, the likes of you and tildeb represent a small minority, most atheists/agnostics I’ve met are wonderful people.

    Little wonder then that people don’t take you seriously here. And here, and here, the list really goes on, doesn’t it? =D

    But hey, don’t worry about others, what’s important is that YOU enjoy urinating on people’s sites on practically any post, that’s all that matters (I note with great amusement that you usually don’t add much to discussions apart from leaving your usual obscure Youtube videos and cut-and-paste TalkOrigin links, and that you and tildeb actually go about defiling people’s blogs together. You’re a ”team” now, are you? LOL!).

    Anyway, I’m gonna pass on conversation with you for obvious reasons and focus on more serious-minded people, if you don’t mind. But hey, feel free to continue talking to yourself yeah?

    P.S.: Please don’t bother replying to this. Really. =D

    Like

    • Cedric, this is what Getic does when he gets frustrated by your comments here – he starts Googling your name to search for other discussions you’ve had online. He did it to me too – my reaction was 1) Be flattered! And 2) Yeah, there’s lots of examples of me beating other people online too, what’s your point?

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      • Andrew Ryan:

        Wow, still hung up on the time I highlighted your questionable behaviour, are you? Why not you just move on, now?

        And your suggestion that I’m “frustrated” by his comments is silly, given he’sthe one who’s been avoiding my question (the one you eventually answered on his behalf), and hasn’t really addressed the argument on the Cambrian explosion directly.

        Listen, I know it might be difficult for you to be neutral in these circumstances, but have you even bothered to take stock of Cedric Katesby’s tone and behaviour here and elsewhere? Just pause and scroll through this thread. Are you really a fan of this kind of non-serious, condescending, typical Internet atheist debating tactics that don’t add to the discussion?

        If your answer is yes, then I guess I really have nothing much further to add. Feel free to enjoy your “fruitful” discussions with him.

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    • Wow, still trying to undermine people by googling for posts they’ve made on other sites?

      “the time I highlighted your questionable behaviour”
      What, you mean the time you highlighted some great posts I made on other websites? It was fun re-reading them.

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      • I’m just playing, Getic! To be honest, these avenues add little to discussion. That’s why I don’t see the point in getting personal. I’m probably more tolerant to ‘tone’ in these threads than personal stuff. In other words, robustly calling someone’s arguments idiotic (though I try to avoid it myself) bothers me less than attacking someone personally – references to ‘social autism’, or trying to dig up dirt from other websites. Remember that you post under a pseudonym, whereas I and presumably Cedric use our real names.

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      • Andrew Ryan:

        Okay, your point is taken, though I hope you could try to be a bit more neutral and make your own assessment on the kind of treatment people like Josh, synapticcohesion and I have accorded Cedric Katesby, and his contrasting responses.

        Anyway, I’m seeing the potential for fruitful discussion between us, and you certainly strike me as more serious-minded than the typical Internet atheist. So I’m gonna keep sticking to discussions, and I hope you do too. Thanks. =)

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  63. Andrew Ryan:

    ”They’re peer-reviewed, they stand up to scrutiny – they’ve been checked and tested by experts in the field who’ve tried and failed to find fault with them. That’s the way the system works. Thus Cedric doesn’t need to read the papers. We can take them as read.”

    Wait a second, did I read that right? “Take them as read”?? So that’s how the quest for truth works now, by taking things as read? How do you discern if you’re being led by the nose, by ideologues?

    And if you’re thinking “that’s the way the system works”, you might want to think again.

    Peer review: Of 53 landmark publications, 47 could not be replicated

    Excerpts:

    “In “Science sucks”at ID-friendly blog Telic Thoughts, chunkdz tells us (and unfortunately, this is not an April Fool’s joke),

    ‘Not science as a method, but science as an enterprise. Everybody who’s ever given money to cancer research should really be pissed about this.

    Scientists are no different from most people. Dangle big wads of cash or prestige in front of them and they’ll do just about anything to get it. Here’s some key quotes:

    During a decade as head of global cancer research at Amgen, C. Glenn Begley identified 53 ‘landmark’ publications — papers in top journals, from reputable labs — for his team to reproduce. Begley sought to double-check the findings before trying to build on them for drug development.

    Result: 47 of the 53 could not be replicated.

    Note this is not a random sampling. It represents what the head of Amgen research thought was ‘the best of the best’ in cancer research.’

    Chalk one up for peer review.”

    “If his opinion is worthless to you, why quote him in the first place?”

    On the contrary, Marshall’s opinion is of worth to me, it highlights that he does not have a satisfactory, scientific explanation for the Cambrian explosion, just smoke and mirrors. And a subsequent read of the book confirms the fact. That is why I asked you to highlight to me which area of his book you believe squares evolutionary theory with the explosion. In fact, any testable hypothesis at all that satisfactorily explains the Cambrian explosion via evolutionary mechanisms would be appreciated, because I have yet to come across one. Have you?

    “What are your alternatives – space aliens with technology indistinguishable from magic, or God intervention?”

    Actually I was thinking more of a scientific inference to intelligent design (inference to best explanation) that explains the data from the explosion a lot better than evolutionary theory.

    But I suppose the space-alien-theory could work as well. =D

    “I think we’re justified in figuring naturalistic explanations are the right ones, and in this situation, naturalistic explanations for change in species over time pretty much come under the banner of ‘evolution’.”

    Justified in what sense? What do you do with data within your worldview that cannot be broken down into naturalistic explanations? They are still valid in our understanding of reality, and you just accept it by faith and carry on, is that correct?

    And one last thing: I couldn’t help but notice your on-going discussion with synapticcohesion. Just so I don’t get the wrong impression, are you suggesting that faulty designs are a strong argument against design? Or are you making some other argument?

    Thanks for your time.

    Like

    • If you’re now now reduced to questioning the whole peer review process then you need to go live as a hermit – cos every piece of technology you use is based on it. Every medicine. How do you even think we’re having this conversation?

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  64. “Just so I don’t get the wrong impression, are you suggesting that faulty designs are a strong argument against design”

    I’m not going to scroll back and check, but i believe I was querying his description of our eyes as perfect. I don’t neded to say that eyes have to be indestructible to be perfect. The term perfect is ill-applied to something that requires glasses. To improve. And that’s even without going into all the other problems one finds in human eyes that could easily be improved with no trade-off in quality. But are we just about done on that subject? Hope that clarifies for you.

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  65. Andrew Ryan:

    “If you’re now reduced to questioning the whole peer review process…”

    Strawman. That’s not the argument I was making. Rather, I was asking you to exercise discretion when approaching peer reviewed papers and to make up your own mind on matters, peer-reviewed or otherwise. But apparently, by your own admission, someone coming across peer reviewed material “doesn’t need to read the papers. We can take them as read.” That’s not how some of us work, though.

    [Trivia for you: Darwin’s own ‘On The Origin of Species’ was first published in a book for a general audience – not in a peer-reviewed paper. As was some of the most revolutionary scientific work in history – Newton’s ‘Principia’, Copernicus’ ‘De Revolutionibus’, Einstein’s original paper on relativity, the list goes on]

    Since you place so much faith in peer review, have you ever considered giving peer-reviewed, scientific papers supporting the theory of intelligent design a chance? If not, what are your reservations?

    “I’m not going to scroll back and check, but i believe I was querying his description of our eyes as perfect. I don’t neded to say that eyes have to be indestructible to be perfect. The term perfect is ill-applied to something that requires glasses. To improve. And that’s even without going into all the other problems one finds in human eyes that could easily be improved with no trade-off in quality.

    That’s what I’m after. You are saying there are problems with the eye. As far as you’re concerned, is there something wrong with the eye being less than perfect?

    Also, I’m not familiar with any scientific evidence that evolutionary mechanisms, RM+NS and the likes have produced a single functional protein, let alone a complex, multi-protein system like the vision system, or the entire eye. Do you have any references to share on how the eye came about via evolutionary mechanisms?

    Finally, if you don’t mind answering my earlier question: what do you do with data within your worldview that cannot be broken down into naturalistic explanations? They are still valid in our understanding of reality, and you just accept it by faith and carry on, is that correct?

    Thanks.

    Like

    • Rather, I was asking you to exercise discretion when approaching peer reviewed papers and to make up your own mind on matters, peer-reviewed or otherwise.

      Arbitrary. What do you do when “your own mind” does not match the peer-reveiwed literature? Toss a coin?
      You don’t have a good methodology.
      You’ve got no way of knowing if you are just fooling yourself by latching onto the stuff that you like and ignoring the rest.

      Trivia for you: Darwin’s own…

      We know. Times have changed.
      Peer-review covers all the sciences nowadays.
      It leaves the cranks out in the cold.

      Since you place so much faith in peer review, have you ever considered giving peer-reviewed, scientific papers supporting the theory of intelligent design a chance?

      There are none. It’s the same with Intelligent Design scientists. There are none. Nor are there creation scientists.

      To be a scientist, you must do work. Nothing else matters.
      To have a paper in the peer-reviewed process, you must actually do something and enter the scientific arena. That requires work. Such work must stand up to the scrutiny of the scientific community and be fruitful. Otherwise it just withers on the vine and fades away.
      ID is a dead loss.
      There’s nothing to work with.
      Have a good, hard look at the fluff and nonsense that the ID crowd puts out. It’s worthless rubbish.

      Also, I’m not familiar with any scientific evidence that…

      A never, ending Gish gallop of ignorance.
      Your familiarity or lack thereof or acceptance or lack thereof has no bearing on reality.

      Gish Gallop in 72 seconds

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    • “Trivia for you: Darwin’s own ‘On The Origin of Species’ ”

      Sure, that was 150 years ago.

      “As far as you’re concerned, is there something wrong with the eye being less than perfect?”

      What do you mean ‘something wrong’? This started because Synapt said he couldn’t believe something as perfect as the eye could evolve. My response is that the human eye doesn’t have the appearance of a perfect organ. Rather it looks like an evolved body part – with trade-offs, less than perfect attributes, things that came about due to the ‘no backwards’ step aspect of evolution. A kluge, in other words.

      “Since you place so much faith in peer review”

      I accept it as the best system we have. Are you aware of superior ones?

      “what do you do with data within your worldview that cannot be broken down into naturalistic explanations?”

      Can you give examples?

      To clarify my position:
      1) When we are dealing with data that CAN be subjected to the scientific method, then the scientific method is the best to use – it’s the one shown to produce working results
      2) When we have questions that are dealt with in peer-reviewed papers, if you want to dispute the findings then you need to publish your own papers. If your rebuttal to peer-reviewed findings is just a guy giving a talk on Youtube, that isn’t enough.

      Busy day – that’s probably my limit for a bit.

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  66. “My parents lived healthily as well. Sorry, I’m just not buying it.

    …If yes, are all medical conditions that afflict kids the fault of their parents? Blood conditions, muscle problems, brittle bones etc?”

    Just something as simple as wearing glasses can effect your health because, in having a piece of glass or plastic between your eyes and the sun, you are not getting the full spectrum of the sun’s rays. And being that glasses acts as prisms by bending light (which is why prescription glasses can be used to start fires just as a prism or magnifying glass), glasses are actually damaging to the eyes as well.

    Common sense should tell you that if glass can be the difference between a strong healthy plant producing strong and healthy fruit (progeny) as compared to a plant behind glass that does not do as well, then the same would apply to other living beings–including you. You may say that you are not a plant, but the same is the case with animals. Many zoo animals that are kept indoors behind glass (or without a lot of direct sunlight) have problems reproducing altogether. Sometimes this deficiency is remedied by using artificial, full-spectrum light that is closer to the full spectrum of light produced by sun.

    http://library.sandiegozoo.org/studbooks/birds/beautifulfruitdove2000.pdf

    And so called “genetic disorders” are not something that future generations have to accept as inevitable due to their “genes.” All future generations have to do to break the chain of resurfacing genetic disorders is to diversify their gene pool. People living in a small, isolated village may not have much of a choice; but many other people have a choice and should use common sense.

    Simply living our modern day lives means that we are at risk for various deficiencies, disorders, diseases, etc. So as I had already said, it’s not about placing blame on anyone it about stating a fact. The fact which is we are not faultily designed. We were designed perfectly for a world that was originally created for us–not the one that much of humanity has placed themselves (or were placed) in.

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    • People draw their partners from a far wider gene pool than in the past. You hark back to when we lived according to God’s Plan, but then we were far less likely to pair up with someone of a different ethnic group, purely cos of lack of planes, trains and automobiles.

      Sure, glasses makes the eye dependent on them, but I’m talking about why we need the glasses in the first place. And don’t call genetic disorders ‘so-called’. I’m guessing you’ve not seen the effects of degenerative health problems first hand. Blaming them on the patents’ lifestyles or lack of genetic diversity is sick.

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      • “Blaming them on the patents’ lifestyles or lack of genetic diversity is sick.

        … But I acknowledge you’re rejecting the word ‘blame’.”

        I’m sure you meant to say, “patients’.” ;)

        Yes, you are correct–the point is not to blame the victims of these diseases, it is to make the point of what the underlying causes for what you were blaming on faulty design.

        And, no, you are incorrect about my not seeing degenerative health problems first hand. And we can either take the “woe is me, we are all ticking time bombs” attitude, or we can learn more about the factors behinds these problems so that we can at least try to avoid falling victim to them ourselves.

        And by “genetic diversity,” I mean people sharing very similar lists of rare, so-called genetic diseases in their family histories. Being that much of these rare genetic disorders are a result of recessive genes, it would not be wise to start a family with someone sharing the same litany of genetic diseases and disorders in their family as you do in yours. In fact, it is extremely selfish play Russian roulette with the health of the unborn child.

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    • “about stating a fact. The fact which is we are not faultily designed”

      Interesting use of the word fact. Though I’d agree that we aren’t designed, faultily or otherwise. But I acknowledge you’re rejecting the word ‘blame’.

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    • “I’m sure you meant to say, “patients’.” ”

      You’re wrong. I meant to say parents.

      “you were blaming on faulty design”

      No, I don’t believe we are ‘designed’. I’m saying it’s nonsense to claim we are ‘perfectly designed’ (and no, as I’ve pointed out several times, I’m not holding up our not being indestructible as evidence). As I said to Getic, all the aspects one might hold up as ‘faulty design’ actually make perfect sense as evolved traits. Everything you’ve posted in response has been an ad hoc attempt to avoid this notion.

      “it would not be wise to start a family with someone sharing the same litany of genetic diseases and disorders in their family as you do in yours”

      Obviously, and if both spouses’ parents had a particular disease then that would given them pause. But not all genetic diseases are recessive, as you acknowledge, and many diseases are rare enough that it’s not possible to know that members of your family are carriers. Do you have a wife? How many tests did you go through with her for shared recessive disease genes before marrying? How many generations did you look back? For either of you the last time the disease was expressed could have been several generations ago. Hardly a ‘litany’.

      At any rate, this is a rabbit trail away from your initial eye complaint, which basically came down to an argument from incredulity, and an unfalsifiable claim about our eyes, whereby you first claimed our eyes are perfect, and then came up with ad hoc reasons for any eye problems we had. As I said, unfalsifiable.

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    • Just something as simple as wearing glasses can effect your health because, in having a piece of glass or plastic between your eyes and the sun, you are not getting the full spectrum of the sun’s rays.

      What rays are missing? Name them.
      Or are they mystery rays? Just like mystery tribes and ethic groups that vanish upon close inspection?

      And being that glasses acts as prisms by bending light (which is why prescription glasses can be used to start fires just as a prism or magnifying glass), glasses are actually damaging to the eyes as well.

      So…glasses start fires in people’s eyes or something?
      Where do you get this stuff from?

      Common sense should tell you that if glass can be the difference…

      Common sense, eh? Ok. Sure. Right. Yet, um, you have the science to back it up, right? You’re not just making this stuff up as you go along, right?

      And so called “genetic disorders” are not something that future generations have to accept as inevitable due to their “genes.”

      What’s the difference between bog-standard genetic disorders as used by English speakers everywhere and your special brand scare-quoted “genetic disorders”?
      Same diff with genes? How do genes become “genes” for no apparent reason?

      We were designed perfectly…

      Not according to the scientific community. Assertions are all very well but you have to provide evidence for such claims.

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    • The fact which is we are not faultily designed. We were designed perfectly for a world that was originally created for us-

      Evolution is about a bottom up process of design, meaning changes over time branching out through common descent into speciation where life adapts its needs be met by local environments and raw materials. Intelligent Design (creationism) is about the opposite, a top-down process of design put into place by an intelligent designer. Reality should provide us evidence which model – the top down or bottom up design – best fits. Remember, Stephen J. Gould pointed out that the difference will not be found in the complexity and perfection of anatomy and physiology because both models will exhibit these factors. What we need to look for is evidence that stands outside of the commonalities… specifically, whether the design we see is constrained by local environments and available raw materials or is not. Top down design should not be constrained by such local factors.

      Now we can make a prediction: if the evolutionary model is accurate, we should find imperfections, sub-optimal design, quirky anatomy and other manifestations of contingent evolutionary history. We should find results that no self-respecting engineer would have deliberately designed.

      And we do. Aplenty.

      From an excellent but old post about the human eye and the compelling evidence it provides for a bottom up development contingent on evolutionary history, please read Dr. Novella’s short but clear description with visual aids here.

      “The most obvious design flaw of the retina is that the cellular layers are backwards. Light has to travel through multiple layers in order to get to the rods and cones that act as the photo-receptors. There is no functional reason for this arrangement – it is purely quirky and contingent.

      Even in a healthy and normally functioning eye this arrangement causes problems. Because the nerve fibers coming from the rods and cones need to come together as the optic nerve, which then has to travel back to the brain, there needs to be a hole in the retina through which the optic nerve can travel. This hole creates a blind spot in each eye. Our brains compensate for this blind spot so that we normally don’t perceive it – but it’s there.

      From a practical point of view this is a minor compromise to visual function, but it is completely unnecessary. If the rods and cones were simply turned around so that their cell bodies and axons were behind them (oriented to the direction of light) then there would be no need for a blind spot at all.

      You see, like theology, Intelligent Design offers us no way to directly check it against reality because it assumes that all evidence points to it regardless of what it might be. This is why synaptic’cohesion’ assumes the human eye is perfect by a top down designer without ever bothering to understand what evidence could show this is not so. He doesn’t grasp that our brains allocate about a third of all its activities to clean up the mess our eyes make relaying visual information in order for us to make meaning from its input. To use an analogy, our brain’s software program is massive to compensate for the deficiencies of the eye’s hardware. For a top down design, this is terrible engineering but synaptic’cohesion’, who assumes that all evidence reveals the creative glory of god, has no method of inquiry available to him to understand why this is evidence for evolution. He’s already rejected the scientific approach. That’s why he spouts this creationist nonsense about the ‘perfection’ of the human eye, not knowing it has already been thoroughly debunked.

      To be clear, the problem here is not that synaptic’cohesion”s conclusion is wrong; the problem here is that his method of inquiry doesn’t work to produce knowledge. That’s the problem with all faith-based beliefs, which is the same problem faced by Intelligent Design: it doesn’t produce knowledge.

      Like

      • ““The most obvious design flaw of the retina is that the cellular layers are backwards. ”

        What, even in people whose parents didn’t smoke? Are you sure that we’re not born with the cellular layers the right way round, and then they switch the other way as soon as we do something against God’s plan?

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      • I think it’s pretty clear that synaptic’cohesion’ doesn’t understand the processes of biology, heritability, and genetics, but this doesn’t stop him from ‘arriving’ at his preordained conclusions about biology, heritability, and genetics that just so happen to align perfectly to support his faith-based beliefs. The chances of this happening is a probability of one!

        I do want to take issue with you, Andrew, about your rejection that we are designed. I think it’s pretty evident that expressions of biology do follow a design; the issue is whether the design is from “an unguided, unplanned, messy, quirky, and historically contingent process called evolution” (to quote Dr. Steve again) or from an intelligent designer (blessed be his name).

        I think we make a mistake to concede to creationists the ownership of this term ‘design’ when we know perfectly well that all biological development is built like scaffolding from earlier genetic material, meaning it has been designed (along with a low percentage of alterations) in a way that creationists seem unable or unwilling to grasp. The evidence is overwhelmingly supportive.

        So there is design; the question is about the source of that design. The process of unguided evolution accounts for it and reality backs that up in every case. Intelligent Design accounts for it but reality – as Cedric would say – is not its friend.

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      • Again, we don’t have a “blind spot”–unless you’re saying that most of us are walking around with only one eye open.

        As I had told another evolutionist, declaring that your having a “blind spot” when you close one eye is proof that the eye is
        “flawed” or “poorly designed” compared to other animals such as squids as RIDICULOUS as hopping on one leg and claiming that your losing balance is evidence of “faulty design” compared to flamingos.

        “The most obvious design flaw of the retina is that the cellular layers are backwards. Light has to travel through multiple layers in order to get to the rods and cones that act as the photo-receptors. There is no functional reason for this arrangement – it is purely quirky and contingent.”

        >>It has been observed that the damage to photoreceptors in an experimental model is strongly related to temperature,[16] and other studies have confirmed that heat exacerbates photochemical injury. Any system designed to protect against the latter should also protect against the former.[17]

        In 1980, a paper was published which explained for the first time something already known about the choroid.[18] That is, its very high rate of blood flow which far exceeds the nutritional needs of the retina, despite the latter being highly active metabolically, as indicated. This paper referred to earlier experiments showing that much less light energy was required to cause a retinal burn in dead animals than in living animals.

        It went on to describe experiments with animals which demonstrated that reducing the choroidal blood flow rendered the retina more susceptible to light-induced thermal injury. The choroid takes 85% of the ocular blood flow, and the choroid is remarkable for having the highest blood flow per gram of tissue of all tissues in the body, four times greater even than that of the renal (kidney) cortex. The authors also noted that little oxygen is extracted from blood flowing through the choroid.<<

        In other words those capillaries are in front of our photoreceptors in order to protect them from damage from overheating. Comparing the eyes of cephalopods (that are under water) to humans is senseless and illogical as our eyes would need to be structured very differently being that we have very different environments. Unlike humans, cephalopods lack a cornea–I don’t think I need to tell you what would happen to human beings if they went around without their corneas to protect their eyes from the elements (including the sun which we have greater exposure to).

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      • Yes, we do have a blind spot in each eye, and binocular vision does not eliminate but compensates for this design flaw, as does the brain busy filling in missing and opaque data!

        If you read Dr Steve’s response about blood flow in the eye, you would have already had an explanation about why your explanation is problematic for an intelligent design (although I sincerely doubt you would be capable of appreciating its subtlety so I’ve emboldened the important part):

        “This answer is unsatisfactory, however, because it assumes that certain elements of the current retinal design are necessary and unchangeable – which is only the case in a contingent system, but is certainly not the case in a top-down designed system. (tildeb: to account for susceptibility to heat, in other words, could have a much better design if a top down approach were, in fact, true than one that clearly interferes with vision!) For example, the rods and cones could have been designed so that the photoreceptor discs are produced at the top (meaning the layer closest to the direction of light), with older ones moving backward toward the bottom of the cells where they are absorbed. Below this absorption layer could be the blood vessels and the axons from the rods and cones could also leave from the bottom of the rods and cones through this opaque absorption layer (the RPE).

        The point is – a top-down designer could arrange the cells and the cell layers in any configuration that could logically work, and it is certainly possible to conceive of workable configurations that place the photoreceptors at the top, rather than the bottom. Evolution, or a bottom-up system, cannot do this. It is constrained by existing anatomy.”

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      • “tildeb: to account for susceptibility to heat, in other words, could have a much better design if a top down approach were, in fact, true than one that clearly interferes with vision!) For example, the rods and cones could have been designed so that the photoreceptor discs are produced at the top (meaning the layer closest to the direction of light), with older ones moving backward…”

        Blah, blah, blah. I wonder if God is amused by his creation claiming–in vain–that they can do better.

        Considering the fact that we wouldn’t have camera lenses (or pictures, movies, etc.); if it weren’t for the ingenious design of the eye being such an inspirational model.

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      • You’re talking about the lens. Novella is talking about the film. To compare apples to apples, It would be a pretty stupid design to put the film in front of the aperture and have an onboard computer to compensate, wouldn’t it?

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      • “To compare apples to apples, It would be a pretty stupid design to put the film in front of the aperture and have an onboard computer to compensate, wouldn’t it?”

        No. In cameras, the film is protected from the potentially damaging effects of light. In the human eye, the retina (which functions much as “camera film”), is protected by the nerve fibers that are in front of the retina.

        Thanks for proving–once again–the genius behind the design of the eye.

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      • the retina is protected by the nerve fibers that are in front of the retina.

        That’s funny word you use: ‘protected’, as in the film is ‘protected’ from the very light it is trying to capture. Yeah, great design.

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      • “as hopping on one leg and claiming that your losing balance is evidence of “faulty design” compared to flamingos.”

        That analogy would only work if there was a flaw in your feet that could have been easily avoided, that is only a problem if you only have one foot, but which puts you at a greater disadvantage than needed if you lost a foot.

        People can easily lose an eye – Peter Falk, Rex Harrison, ex UK PM Gordon Brown, all had only one eye. For them, the blind spot would be a flaw in their vision, one that a designer could easily have avoided with no subsequent negative trade-offs.

        And as Tildeb pointed out, binocular vision or not, our brains still have to work to cover up the blind spot.

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      • Again, we don’t have a “blind spot”–unless you’re saying that most of us are walking around with only one eye open.

        Then the scientific community must be saying that most of us are walking around with only one eye open…since 1660’s.
        How odd.

        Why we have blind spots – and how to see the blood vessels inside your own eye!

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