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Friday, December 15, 2006

The Lords of Evolution do not deign the peasantry shall opine!

Commenters in italics, me in plain text:

You demonstrated that IF the world was mostly flat and IF there was only one continent and IF water came up from underground THEN the world could have been covered. But where is the evidence that any of these things DID happen in the last four thousand years.

You mean besides water-catastrophic fossil rock layers all over the entire planet and a narrative involving an ark and a flood found in most cultures in the world? How about the Genesis account of the flood, which fits available evidence.

I still see no place where this 16,000 number came from. The link you mentioned simply says "I then figured out how many animals were on the Ark, arriving at approximately 16,000." There is no mention of how that number was reached.

Using the Genus as an equivalent generally to the kind, he assigns 7428 mammals, 4602 birds and 3724 reptiles to the ark. 15,754 is then rounded up to 16,000

The claim that dinosaurs simply grew larger because they lived longer than lizards now has two problems with it:

First, where is the evidence that any organism will continue to grow the longer it lives (it seems to me that this is obviously not the case.)

I quote from this site, something that is common knowledge to those familiar with zoology:

Which is true when it comes to animal growth? Animals:

A. Reach a particular size and then stop growing
B. Keep growing indefinitely
C. All of the above

If you guessed C, congratulations! The skeletons of most mammals reach a certain size and then stop growing. But many animals, including some mammals, keep growing throughout their lives. Kangaroos, for example, just keep growing and growing until they die. Most fish, amphibians, lizards, and snakes are also indeterminate growers. Until something--disease, a predator, or old age-takes them down, these animals know no bounds when it comes to size.

Dinosaurs, being most akin to snakes/amphibians/lizards could have been expected to keep growing throughout their lives. In antediluvial conditions, they grew to often enormous sizes, as the fossil record shows.

Second, this contradicts your other claims that dinosaurs lived after the flood. If their size was due to different atmospheric conditions, they would not have been around post flood, would they?

The documentation of man encountering dinosaur after the Flood usually presents dinosaurs as being big, but not Patagonia-huge as they were before the flood. It appears that post-Flood dinos tended not to grow any larger than half of their antediluvian limits. This is also true of most of the paintings and carvings and drawings of dinosaurs from the past.

What is insulting (not to me personally but I'm sure a great number of respected scientists would feel so) is that because you "have taken courses in Biology, Physics, Chemistry and Anthropology as well as Geology" you seem to think that you have the knowledge to overturn a couple hundred years worth of some of the most important scientific discoveries made.

You gotta be kiddin' me!!!!! Do I have to be a chef to determine whether a strip steak is tasty? Must I be a musician to decide whether or not I like an album by Muse? Should football fans be banned from cheering or booing unless they can prove that they are coaches? Are you really saying that only scientists can understand science and the rest of us peasants should just shut up and blindly believe what we are told???!!! Not in this lifetime and not this blogger, dude! You can take that elitist attitude back to Berkeley or wherever it was first input into you and...well, leave it there. (I am a gentleman). Insulting, to disagree with you? To disagree with Richard Dawkins? Hmm, what if you guys are WRONG?

On the topic of world view and science, if it were all about world view, Francis Collins would not be a proponent of evolution. Plain and simple. He is a firm believer in god and a devoutly religious man. However, he also has a knowledge of DNA and genetics which I would say surpasses most people alive, as well as a firm understanding of evolutionary theory. If DNA and genetics poses such a barrier to evolution as you suggest, and worldview is responsible for belief in evolution, as you have asserted multiple times, Francis Collins would not be be a proponent of evolution. Period. The same can be said for many many other scientists with similar credentials and beliefs. I gave you a few names previously but I'm sure if you really want I can find hundreds more just to demonstrate that this is not an anomaly.

I can find hundreds of creation scientists, too. So what? 40 years ago, I would have found that the majority of geologists were uniformitarians. 50 years ago the majority of adults in the Soviet Union would have claimed to be communist, and 70 years ago most Germans claimed to be Nazis. 700 years ago the vast majority of mankind thought the earth was flat.

Francis Crick, one of the "discovers" of DNA is an atheist, and yet do you know he didn't believe life happened by chance? He knew that DNA was too complex and there were too many factors involved that precluded its evolution...but since he hated the idea of God, he was a panspermia advocate. Yeah, unknown spacemen seeded the earth with life, that's science!

Remember my series by Dr. Schaefer? Here are his credentials:

"Professor Henry F. (Fritz) Schaefer is one of the most distinguished physical scientists in the world. The U.S. News and World Report cover story of December 23, 1991 speculated that Professor Schaefer is a “five time nominee for the Nobel Prize.” He has received four of the most prestigious awards of the American Chemical Society, as well as the most highly esteemed award (the Centenary Medal) given to a non-British subject by London’s Royal Society of Chemistry. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Moreover, his general interest lectures on science and religion have riveted large audiences in nearly all the major universities in the U.S.A. and in Beijing, Berlin, Budapest, Calcutta, Cape Town, New Delhi, Hong Kong, Istanbul, London, Paris, Prague, Sarajevo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sofia, St. Petersburg, Sydney, Tokyo, Warsaw, Zagreb, and Z├╝rich.

For 18 years Dr. Schaefer was a faculty member at the University of California at Berkeley, where he remains Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus. Since 1987 Dr. Schaefer has been Graham Perdue Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Center for Computational Chemistry at the University of Georgia."

Dr. Schaefer is a YEC creationist, just as I am. Is he an insult to Isaac Asimov? I will gladly post an article by a credentialed creation-believing scientist every week, if the public demands, and I could keep doing it with a different scientist each week for years and years.

I agree with scientists who say things such as the following:

"Based on probability factors . . any viable DNA strand having over 84 nucleotides cannot be the result of haphazard mutations. At that stage, the probabilities are 1 in 4.80 x 10 to the 50th. Such a number, if written out, would read:


"Mathematicians agree that any requisite number beyond 10 to the 50th has, statistically, a zero probability of occurrence (and even that gives it the benefit of the doubt!). Any species known to us, including the smallest single-cell bacteria, have enormously larger number of nucleotides than 100 or 1000. In fact, single cell bacteria display about 3,000,000 nucleotides, aligned in a very specific sequence. This means that there is no mathematical probability whatever for any known species to have been the product of a random occurrence—random mutations (to use the evolutionist's favorite expression)."
—I.L. Cohen, Darwin was Wrong (1984), p. 205.


"The usual answer to this question is that there was plenty of time to try everything. I could never accept this answer. Random shuttling of bricks will never build a castle or a Greek temple, however long the available time. A random process can build meaningful structures only if there is some kind of selection between meaningful and nonsense mutations."—Nobel Prize winner Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, "The Evolutionary Paradox and Biological Stability," in Molecular Evolution, p. 111.

At the very least, evolution remains completely unproven and undemonstrated, certainly not worthy of being the feature of the systematic brainwashing that takes place in our school systems and information media day after day. I stand with those who question these fallacies and contend for the truth!


WomanHonorThyself said...

youre so on spot with this one radar..Unproven..exactly hun!
ty for the comments on my Levin post! Heh!

Mazement said...

Are you really saying that only scientists can understand science and the rest of us peasants should just shut up and blindly believe what we are told???!!!

I think you're over-reading the bit you were replying to.

Let's move the argument to another field. Suppose you were trying to convert someone to Christianity, and all he had to say was, "Christianity makes no sense! Sometimes they say there's one God, and other times they say there's three. Why won't they make up their minds? And if the Ark of the Covenant was only four feet long, then how did Noah fit all of those animals into it?"

And suppose you patiently corrected him, and then five minutes late he was making the same flawed arguments as if he hadn't heard you?

Scientists feel the same way. Modern biology isn't something that was thrown together in an afternoon, it's the product of years of full-time research by thousands of scientists. If you've found a "common-sense" objection to their theories, then there's a good chance that some scientist has already thought about it and can explain why it isn't a problem.

So, no one's claiming that non-scientists can't do science. The claim is that it's arrogant and insulting to say that you understand science better than the vast majority of professionals working in the field.

To build on the analogy before:

Claiming that there's a conflict between unoformitarianism and catastrophism is just as meaningless as claiming that there's a conflict between monotheism and trinitarianism.

The "10^50th" argument is based on a seriously flawed misunderstanding of the processes involved; it's on a par with misunderstanding the difference between Noah's Ark and the Ark of the Covenant.

I'm pretty sure that rebuttals to both of those arguments have been posted here already.

Professor Schaefer taught at Berkeley so I'm inclined to think he's credible. But are we sure he's a Young-Earth Creationist? In this paper (top of page 3) he says that he believes that the Universe is 15-20 billion years old, and warns against "a wooden or unnaturally literalistic understanding of every [Bible] verse".

xiangtao said...

Over the weekend I did some research and was preparing to present what I found, but in the process I came to realize some unfortunate truths:

1. Radar will dismiss any evidence that he does not like. This includes things such as radiometric dating of the earth, the prediction and finding of Tiktaalik, the distribution of fossils in layers of rock, and so on.

2. Radar will reinterperate the evidence that he can in order to make it say what he wants. The recent article on rapid speciation readily comes to mind in this category.

3. Radar will form false analogies in order to trivialize opposing views. Mazement touched on this above. It is one thing for me to say that, because I have used both Mac and PC, I find that PCs work better for my purposes. It would be something completely other to say that, because I have had a computer since I was eight years old, I can conclusively tell you that everything Radar thinks he knows about computers is wrong.

4. After having his pet arguments thoroughly refuted and left behind (we thought) Radar will continue to bring them back as though he had proven them to us. The probability bound he continues to spout is one such case that simply put is "complete excrement of bull."

There can be no rational discussion where there is this kind of intellectual dishonesty. Radar's mind has clearly been made up and no amount of evidence will change it when, in his mind, his salvation depends upon it not being changed. I do find it interesting that of all people on earth, the only ones who believe in a young earth are those with a religious reason for doing so.

radar said...

I think xiangtao you sometimes write comments like this in order to continue to be a star in the posts! You will be again, once I get a chance to catch up. Work comes first, not likely going to post until tomorrow...

IAMB said...

Bwa ha ha ha! You cannot escape forever. Resistance is futile!

(Sorry, you'll understand that I just couldn't help that, I hope)

Anonymous said...

To everyone-

This interaction is funny. There is this fundamental belief splitting the two sides- both sides see the other side as brainwashed, indoctrinated, and just plain wrong- and no amount of evidence will compel either side to flop to the other side. It's interesting to watch.

To Radar-

I really can't believe that you try and explain the ark thing with "evidence" and reasoning. That to me is where you start to lose cred. If you want to call the gathering, feeding, storing, caring, washing, breeding, disbursement,........, and all the other problems a flood theory presents a miracle, I can buy that. Sure, if God was my thing I could see believing that God can do anything and that he performed this wild miracle and basically did the whole ark thing him/her/itself. Beyond the miracle theory nothing else makes sense to me. I read your other posts about the ark and they just seem absolutely unreasonable-- the only way this could happen is with complete and utter divine intervention.


highboy said...

"If you want to call the gathering, feeding, storing, caring, washing, breeding, disbursement,........, and all the other problems a flood theory presents a miracle"

Explain why these are "problems".

Mazement said...

Explain why these are "problems".

Isn't it obvious? Based on Radar's numbers, we've got a minimum of 16,000 animals, and that's assuming that you believe that macroevolution is possible and that one species can evolve into another within the same genus. (I think that's also assuming that the ark didn't carry any dinosaurs, or any other animals that went extinct in prehistoric times.)

There were only 8 people on the ark, so figure each person was responsible for 2,000 animals. That's a lot of work! A few large animals can go into hibernation, but most of them need food and water practically every day, and a lot of them don't do well in enclosed spaces and need a chance to move around. They also produce manure and various other wastes that would have to be cleaned up.

Is there a zoo near where you live? Some of them have special tours where you can go behind-the-scenes and see how much work is involved. It's not as easy as it looks! They need way more than 1 full-time employee per 2,000 animals.

I've gotta agree with Lava. The only way the Ark story works is as a continuous year-long act of divine intervention, with Noah & family just doing a token amount of work so they wouldn't feel completely useless. (And I don't think there's anything in the Bible to contradict that.) There'd also need to be one last miracle afterwards, to erase all the evidence of a world-wide flood by creating the geologic column and so forth.

scohen said...

"The "10^50th" argument is based on a seriously flawed misunderstanding of the processes involved"

And it's been pointed out to Radar numerous times. I'm actually a little surprised and disappointed that he brought it up again.

"Professor Schaefer taught at Berkeley so I'm inclined to think he's credible"

He's credible in his field, which is Chemistry. When he strays out of it to discuss biology, he loses that credibility. However your link (good work there) seems to indicate he's not a YEC. While this won't be another Morowitz, it's darn close.

highboy said...

"and that's assuming that you believe that macroevolution is possible"

I'm pretty sure Radar doesn't.

"There were only 8 people on the ark, so figure each person was responsible for 2,000 animals. That's a lot of work!"

Did they have something better to do on an ark for 40 days and 40 nights?

The answer to most of your "problems" is obvious. He brought eggs.

scohen said...

"The answer to most of your "problems" is obvious. He brought eggs."

Tim, there are a couple of things wrong with that hypothesis

First, they were on the ark for over a year, which is longer than the gestation time for anything I can think of that lays an egg. It only *rained* for forty days and forty nights --the entire voyage lasted much longer.

Secondly, each egg has different requirements, some need to be kept warm, others need to be submerged in oxygenated water, still others have only a small percentage of survival.

Also, how would Noah know which one was male and which was female?

Finally, when the eggs hatch, now you now have to care for thousands of babies, which is much harder than caring for a full sized adult.

By the way, with only 16,000 animals on the ark, and assuming eight hours for sleeping and everything else, each person only has 28 seconds to care for each animal per day.