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Monday, March 27, 2006

Philosophy - The commenters make my case for me

The soon-to-come posting will begin to address Genesis 10 and 11 and how the names found in the Bible have been documented to have been recorded in cultures around the world, startling proof of the veracity of the Bible. But let us first digress into the world of the commmenters....

"Everyone who has had my beliefs forced on them, please raise your hands?" (my words)

"All the kids in Kansas can now raise their hands." (an anonymous commenter)

The above is an example of why I have previously stated that the current evolutionist majority is currently playing the role of the Catholic Church and creationists find themselves playing Gallileo. Here is a commenter who is upset because Kansas school children can see both sides of the issue of origins rather than simply having the orthodox (Darwinist view) presented to them as scientific fact. It would be laughable were it not so true...

Right now, it is the majority of the kids not in Kansas who are having Darwinist beliefs forced upon them at school. The above commenter no doubt thinks that is just fine.

"Science is not a world view. It's a process.
I don't object to your world view, I object to you framing your world view as science when it's clearly not."
(an anonymous commenter)

To paraphrase George Lucas, "Ah, the prejudice is strong in this one!" The commenter is saying that only his world view is scientific. How arrogant a remark, and yet it is commonly held. Materialists, being in the majority, now believe they own the field.

"You want to trivialize what I say because you fear that there may be truth there," (my statement)

"No I don't. I trivialize what you say because it's ignorant and not scientific. It's also not backed up by any observations." ( an anonymous commenter)

The above reply is one of the more ignorant comments ever made to this blog! I have spent a lot of time illustrating how creation fits into the observable present more neatly than Darwinism and also presented a great deal of evidence at the same time. My commenters may not agree with the evidence (in fact many of them object very strongly!), but to say that there are no observations and that it is not scientific means that this commenter has really drunk the kool-aid. Drunk it, binged on it, begged for more.

I am glad for the comments, though, because they prove the point of my posting. One's world view has a great effect on one's scientific stance. That particular commenter is incapable of even considering anything that does not fit into his world view, no matter what the evidence. Not only that, he cannot see it. Perhaps he is not even capable of seeing it?

"However - i do disagree in your belief that ONLY your world view has any merit, and should be taught as factual truth. I can't speak for American schools, but that is NOT how we teach evolution over here. we say, this is the evidence found, and these are the scientific theories that seem to fit the evidence. we are still looking for further evidence & new theories." (Mrs. Aginoth)

Mrs. A, I did not say that only my point of view has any merit and only it should be taught. That is what the evolutionists are saying, as I just illustrated above. I am saying that, as you say, that both sides should be presented along with the evidence for both. Being in England, I believe, you don't know how it goes here in the states but in our schools Darwinism is presented as the ONLY possibility, which smacks of indoctrination rather than education.

She goes on to say..."I do not look to science to disprove God. i would be quite delighted if you could come up with a single scrap of scientific evidence to proove he definitely exists - it absolves us of all responsibility."

God bless you, Mrs. A! You look at it quite differently than I. I believe that the existence of God actually comes with responsibility to Him, as our maker. Perhaps you would consider the existence of Jesus Christ and the miracles he performed as evidence? Just a suggestion. But most of the other evidences such as the fossil record and rock layering depend entirely on how you wish to see them, it would seem.

"...It's the lazy man's way of looking at the world IMO. However, neither you, nor any of your creationist buddies have managed to come up with any proper evidence. Just saying "but we're all here" is not evidence, it is belief (as you have so rightly said) and therefore, we all have the right to believe differently if we so wish."

Lazy? Not sure how that would apply? Whereas I disagree with your review of the evidence, may I point out that it is Darwinist commenters who have stated that we must have evolved 'because we are here' whereas I have said that we were created. But yes, yes, YES!!!! We all have the right to believe as we will. I agree entirely. Let's be honest enough intellectually to present more than one side and let students come to an informed conclusion, shall we?

SCIENCE HAS ALWAYS DEPENDED ON LOGIC

Newton said, when complimented on his success in science, that "we stand on the shoulders of giants," referring to those who made discoveries in the past. Science has depended on a world that was orderly and logical. How odd that this world that materialists believe has occurred quite randomly nevertheless is very orderly. Every single discipline has found this and counted upon it. One can find and conclude that there are laws of motion, for instance, rather than forces being arbitrary and unpredictable.

The universe, and nature, have the appearance and the earmarks of design. Materialists hate to admit this but it is quite true. Not one of my commenters ought to argue with that, but rather that the appearance of design does not mean design has occurred.

I have admitted my world view and how it filters and colors what I see. I fear I am more honest than some of you in this way. I admit it, I understand it and am able to think logically anyway. If I were to use my commenters as an example, I would say that some evolutionists cannot even admit to themselves that their world view filters and colors their view of science. No, they will bluster and accuse and deny and denigrate but they mostly will not admit to it.

I am a Christian and a creationist and I hold a creationist viewpoint. There are hundreds of scientists, some of whom have won major scientific awards, who are either creationists or at least adherents to Intelligent Design. Many more are willing to say that macroevolution is not proven and there needs to be more study on the subject. My commenters know this is true and try to ignore it. They wish to trivialize creation science.

Dan S admits to having a world view that is part of his scientific beliefs. Mrs. A is willing to say that people should be able to make up their own minds. But there are other commenters who just cannot tell it like it is. They should admit it, "I am a materialist and I have a materialist view of science."

HONESTY

Let's go there. (I have one commenter who keeps asking me about the ACLU when I have already taken a stand and made my statement on the subject. Get a life, dude! It is off the subject, but the ACLU gets a large part of their income from tax dollars and in fact legislators are working on ways to prevent them from doing so in the future. If they couldn't draw big settlements and attorney's fees from suing a municipality for displaying a creche, then maybe they would just do what they say they are there for instead. That is what I say, what I believe and I am not going to swerve from that. Period!)

I hear people say I duck the statistical issues and also bring up the second law of thermodynamics. I posted a thorough look at statistics and have not been given back a straight answer yet. Take the Houdini out of your answers and play it straight, people. Mumbo jumbo with math might impress your friends but not me. Every answer a commenter has tried to give me began by reframing the question. No!

The second law? I did a long post on that one, carefully and patiently explaining why macroevolution, if it operates, must do so against the second law of thermodynamics. It just so happens that we must bring effort into this world to overcome that law. I clean my desk because it gets messy. Men work at factories because the parts would not assemble themselves without bringing in outside effort. Yet despite this, on the whole, entropy continues to win the fight against energy and of course one day energy will cease to be available, assuming nothing changes in the interim. I plan to be dead before then. But the point is that we must bring in outside effort to a system to overcome the second law. Random mutation within the gene pool of organisms will tend to bring about harm to the creature. We bring in outside effort (animal husbandry) to get fatter turkeys, specific dog traits, cows that give more milk and so on. These things don't just happen. Yet, in the mind of the macroevolutionist they do and they have. If you want to believe that, it is your right, but know that it is against the second law of thermodynamics.

I was accused of evading Dan S concerning his faith question (although Dan himself did not say so)? I thought I had made that clear. I believe in God and that He created and nothing that Dan can say will change that. How many of you have the guts to say, "I believe in macroevolution and that life has evolved. Nothing radar can say will change that?" Dan, I hope that is a complete answer to your question. But if you wish to frame it another way I will address that too, because I am not trying to avoid it. I just thought I had answered already.

As I said, I had been on the evolutionist side and have changed sides. My hope is that some of the people who read this blog may follow that same road. Therefore I plod away at my task. I know full well that some come here, lured by the idea that this is "an hilarious anti-science blog" and I dialogue with those who are merely here to mock. That is because I believe some of the evolutionists that come here are honest with me and with themselves and some honest exchange of ideas takes place. I therefore learn from those individuals and appreciate their participation.

Furthermore, sometimes the conversation goes elsewhere. IAMB pointed out The Mars Volta to me, a group I had not otherwise encountered. Jim just sent me a funny little video, thanks very much. It also seems I have received contributions from both sides of the fence for the next Carnival, so that should be interesting. And, yes, I am posting the pro-Darwin contributions, too!

Therefore, to commenters like Mrs A and Dan S and Matt among others, thanks. You disagree with me but you are straightforward and I am glad you are around. Actually, sometimes I think Dan S has longer commment contributions than that of the posts to which they pertain! To commenters who know where I am coming from like Tim and Mark and Amy and Jim, I appreciate your support!

Your world view determines to a great extent where you stand on the creation versus evolution question.

24 comments:

Amy Proctor said...

I'm terribly sad to admit that my church, the Catholic Church, is embracing evolution. It isn't in keeping with Church teaching or the past popes, but nonetheless... My husband and I had a run in with our priest and bishop of the Military Archdiocese about this very subject... it seems like we're fighting a losing battle, but there has always been a "faithful remnant" since the times of Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jeremiah, the women at the foot of the cross....

highboy said...

I'm more concerned about churches embracing homosexual pastors and priests than I am about their scientific view. Naturalism is my pet peeve. I've a debate coming up in Montreal, the second one so far, with another naturalist. The debate itself is fun, but the fact that people belief in naturalism is the heartbreaker.

creeper said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
creeper said...

Radar,

scohen: "Science is not a world view. It's a process.
I don't object to your world view, I object to you framing your world view as science when it's clearly not."

you: "To paraphrase George Lucas, "Ah, the prejudice is strong in this one!" The commenter is saying that only his world view is scientific."


No, he is saying that science is not a world view, it is a process. I'll add that it is a process that relies on what we can observe in nature and proceeds from there.

One can engage in scientific work (a naturalistic process) and still worship God (a spiritual act). The two are by no means exclusive - this is the false dichotomy you insist on pursuing, and presumably the reason why you couldn't answer Dan's question.

"I was accused of evading Dan S concerning his faith question (although Dan himself did not say so)? I thought I had made that clear. I believe in God and that He created and nothing that Dan can say will change that."

Which is exactly where you evade the question. Dan didn't say the words "You didn't answer my question", but he did follow up on it by repeating and elaborating the question:

"But let's play pretend! Let's imagine that someone could show you this beyond reasonable doubt. If that could, in make-believe land, happen, how would make-believe radar's faith in God be affected?

(I'm not trying to get you to say "Oh, then make-believe radar would realize Christianity is just a big silly mess! (unless, of course, that's what make-believe radar would likely do!))"


And even now you're evading it.

"How many of you have the guts to say, "I believe in macroevolution and that life has evolved. Nothing radar can say will change that?""

What does that have to do with "guts"? What's so brave about not being willing to examine your beliefs? How is this in any way compatible with "going where the evidence leads"?

I think the theory of evolution is the best explanation we currently have to explain the variety of life on this planet. Ongoing research keeps confirming it, with small adjustments and elaborations along the way. If scientific evidence surfaces, however, that falsifies evolution, I am open-minded enough to adjust my scientific understanding of the world.

Exactly which evidence did you think you presented that makes YEC more plausible than the current scientific consensus in geology, archaeology and biology? The flood scenario as well as the young earth scenario are full of blatantly obvious holes that neither you nor "creation science" have addressed. I'll get into your misunderstandings of both statistics and the 2nd law of thermodynamics in a little while.

"Dan, I hope that is a complete answer to your question. But if you wish to frame it another way I will address that too, because I am not trying to avoid it. I just thought I had answered already."

You have evaded it in the same way you did before. It's the equivalent of me asking you which books you’d like to take with you if you ever got stranded on a desert island, and you responding that you never travel and so will never be stranded on a desert island. Can you see how that is an evasion of the hypothetical that was posed?

creeper said...

Amy,

"I'm terribly sad to admit that my church, the Catholic Church, is embracing evolution."

I wouldn't quite say that they're "embracing" it, but they are looking for compatibility between the findings of science and their spiritual convictions. Did you have a look at Pope John Paul II's pronouncements on the matter?

The young earth scenario, on the other hand, is unfortunately not compatible with the scientific findings of approximately the last two centuries.

creeper said...

Highboy,

"the fact that people belief in naturalism is the heartbreaker"

I think there is a distinction to be made between naturalism as a worldview and the naturalistic process that is the scientific method. One does not need to subscribe to naturalism as a worldview to understand that what makes science useful is to proceed from the observable (nature) outward to construct a useful framework that benefits by being based on observable patterns, rules and phenomena.

Including the supernatural adds nothing useful to the process, no explanatory power. Indeed, if all scientific endeavors were to have been approached the way that YECs would like geology and evolutionary biology to be approached, we wouldn't be able to enjoy most of the benefits of science we take for granted today, including life expectancy and health care - areas in which most YECs are quite happy to reap the benefits of the naturalistic process known as science.

creeper said...

"I believe in God and that He created and nothing that Dan can say will change that."

Why quibble over how He created?

Science observes nature. God created nature. Science just describes the mechanisms by which God did what He did, right?

creeper said...

"The above is an example of why I have previously stated that the current evolutionist majority is currently playing the role of the Catholic Church and creationists find themselves playing Gallileo."

The difference is not so much in the relative numbers or what the status quo is, but who had the evidence on their side to ultimately be more convincing. That is what Galileo had on his side, and it's what allowed him to overcome the institutions.

And that is where YEC, on the other hand, falls tremendously short.

"Here is a commenter who is upset because Kansas school children can see both sides of the issue of origins rather than simply having the orthodox (Darwinist view) presented to them as scientific fact."

If there is an alternate scientific theory that explains the variety of life today, or if there is scientific evidence that falsifies the theory of evolution, by all means this should be presented in science class.

At this time - and perhaps you genuinely don't get this, Radar - both ID and YEC can't even get out of the starting gate in presenting alternative theories. Now that Dembski has decided to take a leave of absence from his blog and focus on research for a while (not sure if he's actually doing this, but that's what he said he wanted to do after the Dover case), perhaps he will come up with a genuine scientific breakthrough. If he does, I would welcome this being presented in science class.

YEC can't account for so many things relating to its own scenario that it has a long way to go before it belongs anywhere near a science class. By all means, teach it at Sunday school, teach it as comparative religion, but before it goes into a science class, there's a lot of work to be done.

And that is a key point when it comes to science classes. In no other area do we take on board unsustainable pseudo-science - why should evolutionary biology be any different? Why should we put the cart before the horse in this case? Why aren't the YECs willing to do the hard work involved?

Anonymous said...

[Dan S., who has other things to do and no time, says . . .]

1) Amy - to say the Church is embracing evolution is a bit off - this has been their position, to some degree, for many years now. Additionally, what the Church embraces is a form of theistic evolution, in which God guides the evolutionary process, and, I believe, the human soul is held not to have evolved from mere matter but to have been given by God at some point* (this isn't what I believe, but it is in no way either provable or disprovable by science). The Church has some experience with this kind of thing, you know.

Many American Catholics have been 'protestantized' to some degree on this issue - disagreeing with or ignoring Church teachings is one thing, but it seems a lot of them don't even know or understand the Church's position here. Weird.

Why do you refer to it as fighting a losing battle, Amy? If you guys are right about God existing, then evolution is our current best understanding of how He created, every research paper a song of praise, and each study an act of worship. Even by Dawkins.

2) What is science?
This of course, is an insanely complicated debate, involving philosophy, sociology, and etc. So let's skip it and go for the simple heuristics, the rules of thumb.
a) science as pornography.
No, I'm not talking about PZ's obsession with squid sex, but Justice Stewart's famous words from Jacobellis v. Ohio regarding it - 'I know it when I see it.' Whatever its legal merit, it's a good (if imperfect) bit of common sense in some circumstances, and can be applied here. Even without a explicit definition of science, most reasonably informed folks have an implicit image of what it looks like. Does creationism pass the test?

b) 9 out of 10 doctors agree . . .
Remember those ads? Now, as ads, they're not epecially trustworthy. But the concept is a big part of everyday life, formalized as 'the second opinion'.. Let's say you feel sick. 9 doctors who look at you think you need treatment x. The 10th thinks you need treatment y. Now, that doesn't mean Doctors 1 through 9 are right or that Doctor 10 is wrong. Dr. 10 might well have some special expertise, training, or knowledge that 1-9 lack; she may be on the cutting edge, a genius, simply more daring (and lucky). But without reason to believe that this might be the case, who are you gonna go with?**

And here we have a problem, because virtually all scientists - let alone those in the relevent fields - say x. Every time, not for evolution alone, but for their area of specialization within the vast bulk of modern science - old earth, plate tectonics, dating, etc. - that YEC advocates cast out.

9 out of 10 archaeologists
9 out of 10 geologists
9 out of 10 biologists#
9 out of 10 physicists
9 out of 10 astronomers
9 out of 10 cosmologists
etc.
(# (blanket term including geneticists, etc.)

And when I say 9 out of 10, that's just a figure of speech. In reality, it tends to be more like 98 or 99 out of 100, from what I can see.

Forget second opinions - it's like you were examined by every doctor from multiple speciaties, in many cases for over a century, and you took a good long look at the overwhelming consensus and said - nope. The cardiologist are wrong about my heart, the neurologists are wrong about my brain, the podiatrists are wrong about my feet, etc. Despite all their diagnoses fitting togther to identify a specific condition - just no. (But they're only wrong about this. I'm still getting a flu shot and eating healthy. I'm not going to dispute (let alone refuse to take advantage of) all the rest of medical science. Just this one part.

Does this mean the drs. are unquestionably right? No. And every scientist in the world could go "Evolution happpened!" and all it would mean is that - based on all the evidence - that's what they believe. Science doesn't give you absolute certainty, (although it makes up for that by giving us many more living babies and moon landings and etc.).

But science isn't like some hippy-dippy teacher who greets every answer with gooey drippy empty praise - oh, what an interesting idea, Kahlil! (I've been accused of this). It's the hardass who goes - you think so? prove it! (which is how you actually get kids to learn - with some leeway for common sense, of course). Take poor Al Wegener. He comes up with continental drift, and just gets blasted (for numerous reasons, some of them possibly extra-scientific and all too human, some of them possibly involving obscure details of how geology was conceptualized, but mostly because he had no plausible mechanism at all, and some of his data was flawed). Now, he seems to have been a fairly good-natured sort. Instead of becoming a cackling recluse or bitterly railing against the establishment, he got on with life, and died (on the way back from a polar research relief expedition) without ever getting to see the astonishing scientific discoveries during the '50s and 60s that made plate tectonics (a modified and improved version of his ideas) the fundamental idea in modern geology - rather like evolution for the life sciences.

Now this is kinda sucky. It's unfair. But it's the price we pay for effective science. You have to prove your beautiful little theory, defend it against the worst very bright people can throw at it, accept that you might have to try and try and try again, that your years of work might never amount to anything, or be tossed out by a single discovery, or proven fundamentally correct after you die. What, you want Mr, Hippy-Dippy going "Oh, what an interesting answer!

Up next: circle time, and an exciting game involving a big earth ball where we all get to cooperate! Won't that be fun!?

More later.

* which raises the odd prospect of the first ensouled humans being raised by soulless hominids, but since every teenager feels this way at some time or other, I think they could have managed . . .

** A special case is when Drs. 1-9 say that there's no hope, and Dr. 10 says, no, there's this alternative treatment being practiced in a Mexican clinic, at which point many folks would go with Dr. 10's advice. This is, in a sense, the situation I believe creationists feel they're in.

-Dan S.

creeper said...

"How odd that this world that materialists believe has occurred quite randomly nevertheless is very orderly."

Perhaps you confuse "randomly" with "non-teleologically". The laws of nature do result in a certain order - tiny particles forming bigger particles forming atoms and molecules, forming chemical elements etc. Masses clustering to form suns and planets, eventually falling into predictable orbits etc.

"I have admitted my world view and how it filters and colors what I see. I fear I am more honest than some of you in this way. I admit it, I understand it and am able to think logically anyway."

I know what my world view is, but I still endeavor to come to each argument and decide it based on available evidence and logic - to the best of my ability. That is why I value you answering questions when I spot inconsistencies and incoherence in the arguments you present, and am disappointed when you don't.

This is where I fear you and I differ, since I have seen you stretch the truth and argue dishonestly (and illogically) - and I'm baffled that apparently you now want to use the fact that you have a "world view" as an excuse...

Yes, I have a world view, and yes, it is different from yours. But I don't think that means I have to be dishonest. And I don't think you should be, either.

"There are hundreds of scientists, some of whom have won major scientific awards, who are either creationists or at least adherents to Intelligent Design."

There's quite a difference between creationists and adherents to Intelligent Design. How many young earth creationist scientists are there?

"Many more are willing to say that macroevolution is not proven and there needs to be more study on the subject."

This wording is so weak that it will even include many who accept the theory of evolution as the best currently available explanation. Heck, P.Z. Myers would probably agree with that statement.

"My commenters know this is true and try to ignore it. They wish to trivialize creation science."

"Creation science" can not answer even the most basic questions regarding the young earth scenario that it supposedly champions, and for that I think it justly deserves to be trivialized. Stop pounding out strawman arguments about "Darwinism" and treat the young earth scenario seriously - construct a realistic scenario that corresponds to the available evidence. And if it is impossible to do so, have the strength and open-mindedness to admit that it is not a viable hypothesis.

Seriously, questions as basic as differences in salinity, evolution of the races, distribution of civilizations in a post-flood world, viability of the variety of life based on the dating and size of Noah's Ark, and yes, even how the kangaroo got to Australia should not be stumpers at this point - they should be part of active research. It should not be up to you to puzzle over this.

Young earth creationism has been around so much longer than the theory of evolution. Why wasn't all of this figured out and explained, with supporting evidence, by scientists a long time ago? Or were they trying to figure this out... and the evidence led them somewhere else?

(At least that appears to be the case with geology, which found a young earth scenario untenable.)

Anonymous said...

"how the names found in the Bible have been documented to have been recorded in cultures around the world, startling proof of the veracity of the Bible."

Supposedly there is/was an Australian language where at the time of European contact the word for dog was "dog". (History is silent on whether they called beer "fosters". There are only so many sounds in the world's languages that you can make words out of . . .

"Here is a commenter who is upset because Kansas school children can see both sides of the issue"
You're right! This is horrible! We have to remedy this situation, across the board! I mean, even as we speak kids are being subjected to one-sided Copernicist/Gallelist orthodoxy presented to them as scientific fact! And, and, and (you get the already tired idea.)

And then, of course, the obvious next step. Every Sunday, children and adults across the land are having only one side of the origin issue presented to them! Why are the churches so opposed to critical analysis? They should be presenting evolution as an alternative explanation!

(A slightly less hackneyed and inherently flawed analogy - imagine a comparative religion class where only the Christian account was singled out for critical analysis, etc.)

"But if you wish to frame it another way I will address that too"

Ok,nothing I say can change your mind (and I don't necessarily want to, except perhaps in a very limited sense. But let's say something did. Pretend . . .

Ok, let's say you have a friend, sonar, who had similar beliefs. Let's say he was convinced that the current overall scientific account (which by definition cannot say anything about non-natural causes, etc.) is correct - the world is ~4.5 bya, life evolved. etc. How would this affect sonar? Do you think he would of necessity have to abandon his faith, or could he retain it, perhaps with some minor modifications (as many people do, say, when growing up and realizing that childish images of God, etc., might not bemeant as literal truth, but instead as guideposts for little human minds . . .

I just spent 17 minutes of my life writing this. Hmm. Maybe I can get a refund . .

-Dan S.

Shygetz said...

The commenter is saying that only his world view is scientific.

No, the commenter is saying only the scientific worldview is scientific. Law of identity has got you there. Science is only concerned with what it can observe, and all it can observe is matter/energy. Therefore, science is inherently a materialistic study. Come up with a God-o-meter, and we'll talk.

I have spent a lot of time illustrating how creation fits into the observable present more neatly than Darwinism and also presented a great deal of evidence at the same time.

No, you have spent a lot of time presenting half-truths and untruths and ignoring/belittling, or flat out not understanding the competent criticism leveled at your assertions. Making false materialistic claims is not science, it's just a lie (no matter how well-intentioned).

One's world view has a great effect on one's scientific stance.

Depends on what you mean. Technically, you are correct; if I view the world from physical perspective A and you view the world from physical perspective B, we will see different data, and therefore could potentially draw different conclusions. But, I think you mean that people's philosophical world view colors their science. This is only true of poor science, such as creationism. True science minimizes a priori assumptions and is based on the data. As the only data we can measure is material data, it is necessarily limited to materialism. Again, waiting on your God-o-meter to come out.

I am saying that, as you say, that both sides should be presented along with the evidence for both. Being in England, I believe, you don't know how it goes here in the states but in our schools Darwinism is presented as the ONLY possibility, which smacks of indoctrination rather than education.

No, evolution is presented as the only theory supported by the evidence (which is true). In science, Bible does not equal evidence.

Perhaps you would consider the existence of Jesus Christ and the miracles he performed as evidence?

Again, in science, Bible does not equal evidence.

But most of the other evidences such as the fossil record and rock layering depend entirely on how you wish to see them, it would seem.

Amazing how the same people who insist on literal reading of the Bible also insist on convoluted and self-contradicting reading of physical evidence.

If I were to use my commenters as an example, I would say that some evolutionists cannot even admit to themselves that their world view filters and colors their view of science.

I will admit it; I require verifiable evidence to support an assertion. This is my world view, and it does color my beliefs.

There are hundreds of scientists, some of whom have won major scientific awards, who are either creationists or at least adherents to Intelligent Design.

Yeah, there are also probably as many that think HIV doesn't cause AIDS, including a virologist who is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Wanna bet your life on that one, Radar?

It is off the subject, but the ACLU gets a large part of their income from tax dollars...

I believe you said majority and steadfastly refuse to correct your mistake. It is a personal attack based on your refusal to admit a mistake, and I find it telling.

I posted a thorough look at statistics and have not been given back a straight answer yet. Take the Houdini out of your answers and play it straight, people. Mumbo jumbo with math might impress your friends but not me.

It's the typical creationist "Explain difficult science completely thoroughly, but use small words." You're a computer guy--write me a 100% effective anti-virus program using only BASIC. You have 15 minutes...go!

While plenty of people have given you perfectly correct answers, I'll try to rephrase. It seems like the basic statistical trap you have fallen into is a presumed outcome. You set up your probability based on the premise that evolution requires that we start with slidge and end up with life as we know it. This is untrue. There is no a priori requirement that life end up as we know it today! That's why, even if you knew the correct probability functions to plug into your model, you would fail. It is quite possible that we could have ended up with life that was completely different than what we know right now. To correct an analogy that creationists are fond of abusing, evolution does not predict that a tornado in a junkyard will create a 747. Evolution predicts that a tornado in a junkyard will produce a configuration of junk that has lower wind resistance than the original configuration.

I did a long post on that one, carefully and patiently explaining why macroevolution, if it operates, must do so against the second law of thermodynamics.

*sigh* Fine, a thermo lesson. The 2nd law, as you stated in the other post, only states that, in the absence of an input of energy, heat only flows from hot objects to cold objects; that is, the thermodynamic entropy of a system can only increase in the absence of an input of energy. Fortunately, we have the Sun. It inputs a lot of energy, increasing the overall entropy of Earth. Plants take that excess energy and use it to generate ordered biomolecules. You can do it without life through photochemistry; unliving molecules get excited by light, and join together into more complex molecules (e.g. aryl azide chemistry). No thermodynamic problem here.

Your ignorant bastarization of the 2nd law states that things can only get less complex. Unfortunately for you, anyone who has seen a snowflake, or a quartz crystal, or normal ice can refute that terrible interpretation--things can and do assume more complex forms without any intelligence guiding them. Another example would be the formation of nylon-digesting bacteria. This entirely new function did not exist before man created nylon; it formed by genetic mutation and selection, causing a new function never before seen on Earth to form. This would also be against Radar's bastardized 2nd Law of Thermo, but fortunately, nature doesn't care what he thinks.

How many of you have the guts to say, "I believe in macroevolution and that life has evolved. Nothing radar can say will change that?"

Because it isn't true. If you discover data and show it to me, it is possible that you could disprove macroevolution and cause a complete reworking of the theory. But either creationists can't be bothered with something as trivial as finding new data, or else they just can't find any convincing data to disprove evolution, no matter how hard they try. Which is it?

Your world view determines to a great extent where you stand on the creation versus evolution question.

You are absolutely correct; if you demand physical evidence for your belief, then you will twist or ignore the writings in ancient texts and fall toward the evolution side. If you demand a literal interpretation of an internally and externally inconsistent collection of ancient writings, then you will twist or ignore the writings in the ancient texts and fall toward the creation side.

IAMB said...

Now that Dembski has decided to take a leave of absence from his blog and focus on research for a while...

Dembski's leave was a while ago and only lasted a couple of weeks. He's been back for a while now, though he doesn't post as often as he did before.

creeper said...

"how the names found in the Bible have been documented to have been recorded in cultures around the world, startling proof of the veracity of the Bible."

I don't doubt that large parts of the Bible reflect history and mythology that is in turn reflected in other cultures - more so in the case of mythology than actual history.

Pointing out that one part of the Bible in some aspects reflects either real history or myths that survived elsewhere tells us nothing about whether other parts of the Bible are likewise truthful - especially the further back one goes, and considering that the Bible has so many different authors.

Radar, I hope you're going to get around to addressing the flood one of these days.

creeper said...

iamb,

yeah, I'd seen Dembski over there after his supposed leave of absence. I wonder if he still finds the time to do his research.

creeper said...

Re. the ACLU: "That is what I say, what I believe and I am not going to swerve from that. Period!"

We're talking simple verifiable claims here, Radar, not what you "believe". You make factual claims and the facts either back you up or they don't. As it happens, you erred in two different ways:

1.) "The ACLU is funded in large part by taxpayer funds. Period. Like it or lump it!"

"In large part" means mostly, whereas you can't even show in any way that they receive as little as 18%, which is a far cry from "mostly".

and 2.) "the statements I made were true in that they do get a large portion of our tax dollars"

If you think it's more than, say, 0.2%, could you show this in some way?

IAMB said...

... yeah, I'd seen Dembski over there after his supposed leave of absence. I wonder if he still finds the time to do his research.

I really hope that was sarcasm...

creeper said...

No, I think he was serious when he said something about how this can only be won through sound science, and he was going to devote something like five years to research. Can't find the exact quote right now.

Don't think he was being sarcastic...

What was the other thing? Oh yeah - Dan:

"A special case is when Drs. 1-9 say that there's no hope, and Dr. 10 says, no, there's this alternative treatment being practiced in a Mexican clinic, at which point many folks would go with Dr. 10's advice. This is, in a sense, the situation I believe creationists feel they're in."

That was excellent.

xiangtao said...

Creationism: world view colors what you see

Science: What you see colors world view

highboy said...

Naturalism is a farce. Not naturalism, in the scientific sense, but in the philisophical and even religious sense. Naturalism teaches for example, that pedophile, being scientifically explained, is natural, and that because its natural, the human has no real choice in the matter, merely his/her instinct. However, naturalists still recognize pedophile behavior to be evil, and for pedophiles to be held responsible for something natural, based on genetic sexual preference that the human has no control over. That is an extreme example of course, but that is the naturalism I'm constantly in formal debate with. It claims all things can be explained scientifically, but then openly rejects the notion that it needs to explain morality. If it can't explain morality, where does it get this good and evil stuff? Anyway, I'm forming a theological/philisophical post about it here real soon, and any who wish to contribute, feel free. The more opinions the better as far as I'm concerned. NOTE: This has nothing to do with evolution or creation or anything like that.

Anonymous said...

"NOTE: This has nothing to do with evolution or creation or anything like that."

Doesn't have much to do with naturalism neither. Do you alwasy make stuff up so you can spout off against it? Didn't you learn your lesson with that ACLU stuff?

-- Sincerely, Fred R.

highboy said...

anonymous: Instead of running your mouth, do some research and come back later. It has quite a bit to do with naturalism. If you think it doesn't, you may want to inform the naturalists of that.

cranky old fart said...

"If it can't explain morality, where does it get this good and evil stuff"?

More to the point, where do you get the idea that naturalism is concerned with "good and evil stuff"?

highboy said...

Cranky: Check the link in my response to anonymous what his face and you'll have your answer.