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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Nothing can be reasonable or beautiful unless it's made by one central idea, and the idea sets every detail. Thus creation attests to God and His puposes as an expression of His power and glory.

(Before we get back to information...Just a reminder to those who think the geological column supports Darwinism.  It doesn't.)


Howard Roark Said: "Rules? Here are my rules: what can be done with one substance must never be done with another. No two materials are alike. No two sites on earth are alike. No two buildings have the same purpose. The purpose, the site, the material determine the shape. Nothing can be reasonable or beautiful unless it's made by one central idea, and the idea sets every detail. A building is alive, like a man. Its integrity is to follow its own truth, its one single theme, and to serve its own single purpose. A man doesn't borrow pieces of his body. A building doesn't borrow hunks of its soul. Its maker gives it the soul and every wall, window, and stairway to express it."

The Fountainhead - Ayn Rand - 1943


 Pluto

I am a musicial person from a musical family.  Guess I am retired now, had my last paying gig maybe ten years ago and have too many irons in the fire as it is.  My mom?  She was a union musician for fifty years!  Kind of a Doris Day pop/swing/jazz singer and percussionist in jazz bands, big bands and trios.   Naturally I have always believed that a good band is always better live than what comes out of their studio albums.   This has tended to hold true.   Most bands I have seen at concert were better live.  My favorite Hendrix album is almost certainly Band of Gypsies, which was a live performance with Billy Cox and Buddy Miles.  BTW Foghat may well have been pretty good but when I saw them live they stunk.  Thank God they were the front band for Jethro Tull at that time so the concert was still worthwhile.

So anyway I get DirecTv and there is a channel that shows concerts in HD and stereo.  I have a very good stereo system and my son Rob brought a big plasma TV home when he left the military after his enlistment was up.  Rob put that in the family room and declared it would  be his "coming home" gift to us.  This weekend Toto was playing as recorded in Amsterdam, I believe, in 2007.  Steve Lukather can flat shred and the band is tight as a drum.  Great concert, great to ride the exercise bike to for sure!

Do you know what goes into making a concert like that happen?  I am not talking about selling tickets and stuff, I am just talking about the band's setup.   There are an amazing amount of speakers and amps and cables and you have to tune the speakers to the venue's particular acoustics and not only set the base mix on the board but go through the songs so the sound man can see when he needs to crank one feed up and one down.  Live sound mixing on the fly works better when you have notes to work from.  In fact, since they were involved in both the sound mix for the crowd and also getting a good recording for the DVD it must have been one heck of a job!

You gotta bring in all the instruments and make sure the guitars are tuned and the drums have the right tension after being transported and you need your spares ready and on and on and on...just running the sound board during a concert (one of my sons learned to run sound boards back in the days when we had a family band and taught me the basics on a very small minimal board for our church) would be tricky at times I am sure.  Bands have to deal with a string breaking, a drumstick slipping out of a hand or cracking, a short in a keyboad and all that.  One of my guitarist buddies used to break an average of one string per show for some reason.  Cheap strings or strong fingers, not sure which now.

The functions and components of the average human cell are more complex by far than everything being done to prepare for a big concert and everything that is being done by the band and the roadies and the sound crew.  Yet Darwinists actually think, and want you to think, that the cell just happened by a series of happy accidents!  Amazing.  Does Toto "poof" into existence and present a concert?  Preposterous.  Does a concert hall just pile up a bunch of junk and shine a tanning light on it for a few years in hopes a rock group will evolve?   People, think!   If simple things like a Fender Stratocaster have to be designed and manufactured and set up and properly amplified and connected to various sound effect devices and played, this requires energy and intellect and planning and work and time.  None of it "just happens" and neither does life!

Imagine for a moment that a carnival comes to town and the main exhibit is a Duckbill Platypus live within a oversized trailer.  Duckbill Inside is proclaimed on the side of the trailer.  The ticket booth has a similar sign.  The tickets are for See The Duckbill!  You get in line and when finally you get in you stand in front of a cage and see...a dog!   The sign above the cage?  Duckbill Platypus.  A guide tells you all about the animal's traits and so on.   As you walk out people are talking about the good old Platypus.   You are amazed.and puzzled.  Can't everyone see that it is just a dog in there?   But you see Darwinism went from a working hypothesis into a kind of a religion without ever passing the stringent tests required to even be a theory, let alone fact.  How did this happen?   Read on below...

Pluto
  
(Thomas Chrowder Chamberlin (September 25, 1843 – November 15, 1928) was an influential American geologist and educator. In 1893 he founded the Journal of Geology, of which he was editor for many years.)

An excerpt from a Chamberlin treatise with highlights by me:

"The Method of Multiple Working Hypotheses

With this method the dangers of parental
affection for a favorite theory can be circumvented.


by T. C. Chamberlin



Premature Theories

The habit of precipitate explanation leads rapidly on to the development of tentative theories. The explanation offered for a given phenomenon is naturally, under the impulse of self-consistency, offered for like phenomena as they present themselves, and there is soon developed a general theory explanatory of a large class of phenomena similar to the original one. This general theory may not be supported by any further considerations than those which were involved in the first hasty inspection. For a time it is likely to be held in a tentative way with a measure of candor. With this tentative spirit and measurable candor, the mind satisfies its moral sense, and deceives itself with the thought that it is proceeding cautiously and impartially toward the goal of ultimate truth. It fails to recognize that no amount of provisional holding of a theory, so long as the view is limited and the investigation partial, justifies an ultimate conviction. It is not the slowness with which conclusions are arrived at that should give satisfaction to the moral sense, but the thoroughness, the completeness, the all-sidedness, the impartiality, of the investigation. 

It is in the tentative stage that the affectations enter with their blinding influence. Love was long since represented as blind, and what is true in the personal realm is measurably true in the intellectual realm. Important as the intellectual affections are as stimuli and as rewards, they are nevertheless dangerous factors, which menace the integrity of the intellectual processes. The moment one has offered an original explanation for a phenomenon which seems satisfactory, that moment affection for his intellectual child springs into existence; and as the explanation grows into a definite theory, his parental affections cluster about his intellectual offspring, and it grows more and more dear to him, so that, while he holds it seemingly tentative, it is still lovingly tentative, and not impartially tentative. So soon as this parental affection takes possession of the mind, there is a rapid passage to the adoption of theory. There is an unconscious selection and magnifying of the phenomena that fall into harmony with the theory and support it, and an unconscious neglect of those that fail of coincidence. The mind lingers with pleasure upon the facts that fall happily into the embrace of the theory, and feels a natural coldness toward those that seem refractory. Instinctively there is a special searching-out phenomena that support it, for the mind is led by its desires. There springs up, also, an unconscious pressing of the theory to make it fit the facts to make them fit the theory. When these biasing tendencies set in, the mind rapidly degenerates into the partiality of paternalism. The search for facts, the observation of phenomena and their interpretation, are all dominated by affection for the favored theory until it appears to it author or its advocate to have been overwhelmingly established. The theory then rapidly rises to the ruling position, and investigation, observation, and interpretation are controlled and directed by it. From an unduly favored child, it readily becomes master, and leads its author whithersoever it will. The subsequent history of that mind in respect to that theme is but the progressive dominance of a ruling idea. 

Briefly summed up, the evolution is this: a premature explanation passes into tentative theory, then into an adopted theory, and then into ruling theory. 

When the last stage has been reached, unless the theory happens, perchance, to be the true one, all hope of the best results is gone. To be sure, truth may be brought forth by an investigator dominated by a false ruling idea. His very errors may indeed stimulate investigation on the part of others. But the condition is an unfortunate one. Dust and chaff are mingled with the grain in what should be a winnowing process.


Ruling Theories Linger

As previously implied, the method of the ruling theory occupied a chief place during the infancy of investigation. It is an expression of the natural infantile tendencies of the mind, though in this case applied to its higher activities, for in the earlier stages of development the feelings are relatively greater than in later stages.
Unfortunately it did not wholly pass away with the infancy of investigation, but has lingered along in individual instances to the present day, and finds illustration in universally learned men and pseudo-scientists of our time.
The defects of the method are obvious, and its errors great. If I were to name the central psychological fault, I should say that it was the admission of intellectual affection to the place that should be dominated by impartial intellectual rectitude. 

So long as intellectual interest dealt chiefly with the intangible, so long it was possible for this habit of thought to survive, and to maintain its dominance, because the phenomena themselves, being largely subjective, were plastic in the hands of the ruling idea; but so soon as investigation turned itself earnestly to an inquiry into natural phenomena, whose manifestations are tangible, whose properties are rigid, whose laws are rigorous, the defects of the method became manifest, and an effort at reformation ensued. The first great endeavor was repressive. The advocates of reform insisted that theorizing should be restrained, and efforts directed to the simple determination of facts. The effort was to make scientific study factitious instead of causal. Because theorizing in narrow lines had led to manifest evils, theorizing was to be condemned. The reformation urged was not the proper control and utilization of theoretical effort, but its suppression. We do not need to go backward more than twenty years to find ourselves in the midst of this attempted reformation. Its weakness lay in its narrowness and its restrictiveness. There is no nobler aspiration of the human intellect than desire to compass the cause of things. The disposition to find explanations and to develop theories is laudable in itself. It is only its ill use that is reprehensible. The vitality of study quickly disappears when the object sought is a mere collocation of dead unmeaning facts.

The inefficiency of this simply repressive reformation becoming apparent, improvement was sought in the method of the working hypothesis. This is affirmed to be the scientific method of the day, but to this I take exception. The working hypothesis differs from the ruling theory in that it is used as a means of determining facts, and has for its chief function the suggestion of lines of inquiry; the inquiry being made, not for the sake of facts. Under the method of the ruling theory, the stimulus was directed to the finding of facts for the support of the theory. Under the working hypothesis, the facts are sought for the purpose of ultimate induction and demonstration, the hypothesis being but a means for the ready development of facts and of their relations, and the arrangement and preservation of material for the final induction. 

It will be observed that the distinction is not a sharp one, and that a working hypothesis may with the utmost ease degenerate into a ruling theory. Affection may as easily cling about an hypothesis as about a theory, and the demonstration of the one may become a ruling passion as much as of the other..."

The author recognized the lure of the ruling hypothesis and the great damage to scientific advancements when said hypothesis is elevated in stature to an unproven law that stifles debate and research.  In other words, gentlemen, I give you Darwinism - Darwinism is, depending on your point of view, either an unproven hypothesis or a falsified one. Adherence to Darwinism in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary is, as Chamberlin said, "reprehensible."

Another thought:


A lesson from Pluto

Image NASA
Pluto

Pluto orbits 40 times further from the sun than Earth, and for over 70 years it has been regarded as the ninth planet of our solar system. Clyde Tombaugh (1906–1997) discovered Pluto in 1930 by comparing photographs of stars taken two weeks apart at the Lowell Observatory in Arizona.1
 
Lowell Observatory Archives
Clyde W. Tombaugh at the door of the Pluto discovery 
telescope, Lowell Observatory, Arizona.
Clyde W. Tombaugh at the door of the Pluto discovery telescope, Lowell Observatory, Arizona. 

Because of perceived irregularities in the motion of Uranus, Percival Lowell (1855–1916), the founder of the observatory, believed in the existence of a ninth planet. He dubbed it Planet X and calculated that it would be six times more massive than Earth. He even specified its location.2 Lowell searched for the planet without success from 1906 until he died.

Tombaugh was hired by the observatory in 1929 and discovered the planet near where Lowell suggested. This apparently vindicated Lowell’s predictions so the discovery was appropriately announced on Lowell’s birthday (13th March) and the first two letters of Pluto’s name are his initials.3
 
Pluto is so faint that it can only be seen with a telescope 30 cm (12 in) or larger, and astronomers were unable to determine its size and mass. Early estimates could rely only on the deviations of the orbits of Neptune and Uranus. The size was quickly revised down from Lowell’s estimate, and eventually astronomers settled on a mass about three quarters that of Earth.

All this changed around 1978, nearly 50 years after Pluto’s initial discovery. The key evidence was found by James Christy of the US Naval Observatory when he realized that Pluto has a moon. He noticed that some of the images from their 1.5 metre telescope showed Pluto slightly elongated but the stars in the same photographs were not. From those images he was able to estimate the diameter of the moon’s orbit and its orbital period. As a result astronomers could calculate the mass of Pluto with far more certainty.4 It is now accepted that Pluto is only 1/500th the mass of the earth. Ongoing observations confirmed Pluto’s moon, and the International Astronomical Union gave it official status in 1985 and named it Charon.5
Above sentiment from Gray, R., Pluto should get back 
planet status, say astronomers
Above sentiment from Gray, R., Pluto should get back planet status, say astronomers, , 10 August 2008. 

With such a tiny mass, Pluto could not possibly have affected the orbits of the gas giants Uranus or Neptune. In 1983 astronomers searched the entire sky by the Infrared Astronomical Satellite but no hidden planet was found. It is now generally believed that the perturbations to the orbits of Uranus and Neptune were imaginary, that Lowell’s calculations were wrong, and Tombaugh’s discovery was a coincidence.1
 
How could so many scientists be so wrong for so long about the mass of Pluto—by a factor of 400? A similar question is often asked when creationists speak of the earth being only 6,000 years old instead of the generally accepted age of 4,600 million years.

All the scientists got the same wrong answers because they all used the same models and the same assumptions.

The mass of Pluto, like the age of the earth, has not been measured directly. It is calculated from scientific models that are all based on assumptions. All the scientists got the same wrong answers because they all used the same models and the same assumptions. However, ongoing observations of the behaviour of Pluto led to more information that enabled an entirely different approach to the problem, overturning the previous assumptions and coming up with a radically new and soundly-based estimate.

There is another big difference. The mass of Pluto is operational science, where we can continue to make observations in the present using newer and better instruments and technology. But the age of the earth is historical science. We cannot travel back in time to make observations of things that only happened in the past. For information about the past we need reliable reports from eyewitnesses.

Pluto contradicts the nebular hypothesis

Pluto belongs to a class of objects that orbit the sun beyond Neptune, called TNOs (Trans Neptunian Objects). Astronomers regard these as material left over from the gas and dust nebula from which the solar system supposedly formed, supposedly 4.6 billion years ago.

But Pluto is a problem for the nebular hypothesis. First, it does not orbit in the same plane as the other planets (i.e., the ecliptic) but at an angle of 17°. Why not? Second, its axis of rotation is not perpendicular to its orbital plane but tilted so that it points almost directly at the sun at present. How come? Third, Pluto’s orbit is not circular but highly elliptical. In fact, it occasionally comes closer to the sun than Neptune. Why? These features of Pluto contradict the predictions of the nebular hypothesis, so astronomers have had to invent ad hoc secondary stories to explain them. So much for the nebular hypothesis.

Pluto and its moons1 don’t support the idea of billions of years either. Analysis of light from Charon suggests that its surface is covered with active volcanoes of ammonia-rich water spewing out of the moon’s deep interior. Similar conclusions have been reached for many TNO’s. This means there must be a source of internal heat within these objects. But if they are billions of years old they should have been cold and dead billions of years ago.
  1. Apart from Charon, two smaller moons, Nix and Hydra, were discovered in 2005.

References and notes

  1. Abell, G.O., Morrison, D. and Wolff, S.C., Exploration of the Universe, 6th edition, Saunders College Publishing, Philadelphia, USA, p. 186, 1993. Return to text.
  2. Ref. 1, p. 185. Return to text.
  3. Ref. 1. The name is from classical mythology and was suggested by Venetia Burney, an 11 year old school girl from Oxford, England. Return to text.
  4. Using Newton’s formulation of Kepler’s third law. Return to text.
  5. Ref. 1, pp. 288–289. Return to text.
~

I assure you that I not only assert but can prove that Darwinism is merely an interpretation of historical science with no operational science to back it up.   Right now the best scientific research in this area is being done by people who do not trust the baby hypothesis who grew up to be a tyrant, Darwinism.   They are free to follow the evidence without the need to shoehorn it into a failed hypothesis. 

Pluto and Goofy

So many of the comments I get are complete speculation presented as established fact,

Case in point - John E said "To put the word scientist and creationist in the same sentence defies any logic of language or common sense."   

Now I am quite certain I have already named a few hundred creationist scientists who were or are brilliant men and women with many accomplishments and many were listed in my last post, so that remark is one made by a completely brainwashed follower.

How about this from creeper?

"Let us know when creation scientists come up with falsifiable predictions about their hypotheses and then you can try to make a claim that they're doing "real science"."

I guess you missed the creationists who both predicted and explained the orbital abnormalities that far traveling space vehicles were experiencing on their way beyond the Solar System, posted maybe eight months ago?   Also, bacteria over thousands of generations have basically falsified Darwinism.

Here is one of the best/worst - "How do you tell someone that water is wet? Good grief!

Heh. Now you know how Creeper and I feel when you try to poke holes in radiometric dating.

Jon, if you cannot understand that DNA is complex coding for the cell and you cannot comprehend that it is designed to transmit information...

Of course it is -- under the conventional definition of information. But your definition is not the conventional one. You yourself said that under your definition, there must be an intelligence at both ends of a data transmission before you can say that the transmission contains information. There is no intelligence involved in either sending or receiving a DNA data transmission. It's all just chemistry.

Not trying to be mean, but that statement is wrong in every way.   You have run away from the dictionary definitions and you obviously have no clue about DNA or prefer to lie about it, one.   A geneticist who is honest would call you on this one.  DNA is a coding language expressed in organic form, among other things.

Your problem, Radar, is that you don't fully understand language, and so you can't disentangle yourself from your implicit assumptions. As just one example, look at the terms we're both using to describe DNA: "code," "information," "language," "words." These terms carry an implicit assumption that there's an intelligence involved, and it's taking conscious action. But there isn't. It's all just chemistry. In fact, what DNA is, what it does, and what it contains are not adequately described by any word in the English language. All we can do is use words that were coined for other uses, other contexts, and do our best to steer clear of the inevitable confusion. I've learned how to do that. You haven't."

That is a ridiculous statement.  Would you go up to Ringo Starr and declare he doesn't understand the art of drumming?  (I use Ringo because he is not a great drummer and I not want to compare myself to one of the great ones like the late John Bonham or Ginger Baker or Gene Krupa or Neil Peart).  I have a degree in journalism, do you?   I have written stories and radio copy for a living, how about you?  I won an excellence in sports journalism award last year and was offered a job writing for a baseball team but cannot uproot my family.  I have worked as an editor in chief for a large non-profit organization.  I don't follow the AP editorial standards on my blog because a blog is a discussion and not a newspaper so my words are sometimes folksy and full of vernacular.  

You are our of your depth, sport.  I have you cornered to the point you either lie or play dumb about information.  Dear readers, do not be fooled, Jon knows like any seeker of knowledge that there is a tremendous amount of information in the cell and it did not just happen.   But the implications of this knowledge ruin his religious adherence to Darwinism.   Such behavior was predicted by non-creationist Chamberlin.   

Here is a definition of DNA by Wikipedia, no friend to creationists!  -  "Deoxyribonucleic acid (en-us-Deoxyribonucleic_acid.ogg /diːˌɒksɨˌraɪbɵ.n(j)uːˈkleɪ.ɪk ˈæsɪd/ ) (DNA) is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms and some viruses. The main role of DNA molecules is the long-term storage of information. DNA is often compared to a set of blueprints, like a recipe or a code, since it contains the instructions needed to construct other components of cells, such as proteins and RNA molecules. The DNA segments that carry this genetic information are called genes, but other DNA sequences have structural purposes, or are involved in regulating the use of this genetic information."

Instructions.  Information.  Blueprints.  Recipe.  Code.  Etc.  I am not making up a definition for DNA, you are running away from it at top speed.   But running does no good.  DNA is a container for the information input by God in the beginning.   ID'ers would say by a designer and are agnostic as to the identity but I can fill in the blanks - God.

Toto does not just "poof" onto a stage and begin making music.  Organisms do not just "poof" into existence.  There is a complete lack of means to accomplish macroevolution by mutation and natural selection and there is a built-in barrier within the process of reproduction.   Even mutations are not always random but rather tend to happen in "hot zones" and many times at the same point in the genome across various lines of animal kinds.  Mutations often simply work a pre-existing switch.   The more we know, the less Darwin means to science.  (Toto by the way is from the latin word for "encompassing all" rather than Dorothy's little dog).

I just answered that question.

Your "answer" was two unconnected, unsupported propositions. That doesn't qualify as a logical argument.


You are evading because you have no answer.

Every organism contains information that was input by the Designer and we call it DNA. So there is intelligence in every cell.

Still a non sequitur. Using your definition of information, there must be an intelligence on both ends of a transmission before the transmission can be said to contain any information. What pre-existing intelligence receives the information you claim is in the genetic code?


Answered.   You are evading yet again.

Your assumption is backwards.

I'm not assuming anything. I gave you three pairs of organisms that evolutionary theory says are closely related, but require "macro-evolutionary" changes to get from species A to species B. You say macro-evolution is impossible and therefore those species can't be related.

(No, I said I did not THINK that they were related and skeletal structure supports my viewpoint,  But we first need DNA to compare in order to have a reasonable idea in that area of expertise.   It would be much harder for you to prove they are related, seeing as how the organisms are so different) The way we are sorting animals by baraminology is helped along by discerning which species can mate.  Any organisms that are able to mate are of one kind or baramin.   Animals that are extinct?  We must compare structures and make educated guesses.   Hyracotherium as a horse kind looks like a bad guess to me!

Very well. Prove it. How much information would have to be added to explain those changes? If you can't produce a reliable number to answer that question, then how do you know the number isn't 0?

Simply to convert feet to hooves would take thousands of steps.  Darwinists fail to acknowledge that such a change does not involve one gene or one mutation or change.  Systems must fit together properly.   This is why the poor tormented laboratory version of fruit flies who were prodded into mutations providing double wings were epic fails.   The structure of the mutated fruit fly did not support wings and they could not live.  To convert a four toed animal to a classically hooved animal is not a one step process.  The way the leg is designed and the foot is connected to the leg involves bone and muscle and tendons and cartilage that represent huge numbers of cells that must all be adjusted from one structural aspect to another.  As we have never once observed new information forming new structures in organisms it is colossally incredible to believe that thousand, no, millions of such changes were happening on a regular basis in the past.

We can only measure the information loss of creatures whose DNA can be compared or readily presumed by other means.  Scientists are working on the DNA losses and mutations in various bacteria now and some plants and other organisms.   Determining difference between the original horse kind and current versions is a bit harder as we are somewhat low on Eohippus DNA?   Nevertheless this work is being done.   Bet you would love it if I cut and pasted a technical abstract and paper on the subject.   One can do a comparison between the genetic information in a mongrel versus a poodle and will find more information within the mongrel.  We do not need to go back in time to see how speciation works and speciation is not helpful to Darwinism.

Yes, and do not be fooled by the scientists who trumpet, for instance, citrate-eating bacteria as a Darwinist victory!  The comparison might be, look, we invented a submarine that can take water into itself and sink by removing a section of the hull!!!!!  Yahoo, a new species of submarine!  (not going to last too long, is it?)

To quote Don Batten - "...Now the popularist treatments of this research (e.g. in New Scientist) give the impression that the E. coli developed the ability to metabolize citrate, whereas it supposedly could not do so before. However, this is clearly not the case, because the citric acid, tricarboxcylic acid (TCA), or Krebs, cycle (all names for the same thing) generates and utilizes citrate in its normal oxidative metabolism of glucose and other carbohydrates.5

Furthermore, E. coli is normally capable of utilizing citrate as an energy source under anaerobic conditions, with a whole suite of genes involved in its fermentation. This includes a citrate transporter gene that codes for a transporter protein embedded in the cell wall that takes citrate into the cell.6 This suite of genes (operon) is normally only activated under anaerobic conditions.

this would be the sort of thing that mutations are good at: destroying things

So what happened? It is not yet clear from the published information, but a likely scenario is that mutations jammed the regulation of this operon so that the bacteria produce citrate transporter regardless of the oxidative state of the bacterium’s environment (that is, it is permanently switched on). This can be likened to having a light that switches on when the sun goes down—a sensor detects the lack of light and turns the light on. A fault in the sensor could result in the light being on all the time. That is the sort of change we are talking about.

Another possibility is that an existing transporter gene, such as the one that normally takes up tartrate,3 which does not normally transport citrate, mutated such that it lost specificity and could then transport citrate into the cell. Such a loss of specificity is also an expected outcome of random mutations. A loss of specificity equals a loss of information, but evolution is supposed to account for the creation of new information; information that specifies the enzymes and cofactors in new biochemical pathways, how to make feathers and bone, nerves, or the components and assembly of complex motors such as ATP synthase, for example.
However, mutations are good at destroying things, not creating them. Sometimes destroying things can be helpful (adaptive),7 but that does not account for the creation of the staggering amount of information in the DNA of all living things. Behe (in The Edge of Evolution) likened the role of mutations in antibiotic resistance and pathogen resistance, for example, to trench warfare, whereby mutations destroy some of the functionality of the target or host to overcome susceptibility. It’s like putting chewing gum in a mechanical watch; it’s not the way the watch could have been created."   Read entire article and etc. here.

But I do really need to get back on creepers pet dating methods concerns pretty soon as I promised I would say more on that subject as well.   I have expressed my opinion in concert with thousands of scientists who see that information has never been observed entering the genome and therefore have grave doubts that it will EVER be observed because the information was in the organism at the start and any changes we see are all downhill or descending.  No commenter has ever provided an example of new information entering the cell but rather resort to arguing over the semantics involving the meaning of the word, "information."   Now Bill Clinton tried parsing the meaning of "is" during his impeachment and managed to keep his Presidency.   But no one doubted that he had lied under oath and we had physical evidence of his guilt.   So often it is the cover-up and not the crime!  Darwinists are in cover-up mode right now, trying to hush the creationists and ID'ers and fretting over a general populace that is beginning to turn away from Darwinism despite the fervent inanities of "Darwin's Golder Retriever" Eugenie Scott and the published works of Richard Dawkins and the non-stop brainwashing in the media and in our schools.   Sometimes common sense wins out anyway.  

Howard Roark Said: "Rules? Here are my rules: what can be done with one substance must never be done with another. No two materials are alike. No two sites on earth are alike. No two buildings have the same purpose. The purpose, the site, the material determine the shape. Nothing can be reasonable or beautiful unless it's made by one central idea, and the idea sets every detail. A building is alive, like a man. Its integrity is to follow its own truth, its one single theme, and to serve its own single purpose. A man doesn't borrow pieces of his body. A building doesn't borrow hunks of its soul. Its maker gives it the soul and every wall, window, and stairway to express it."

Ayn Rand and I would disagree on many things but I love that quote.  The Maker of all things did, indeed give all organisms the "soul and every wall, window, and stairway to express" His will and purpose in material form so that mankind, once certain of the glorious wonder of creation, will naturally worship the Creator of it all.   


Addendum specific to ERVs...this pdf 


(Large scale function for‘endogenous retroviruses’)

I get the technical journals but they do not convert them to online format in most cases for a year or a bit more.  ERV and junk DNA in general are better understood as design features that are devolving than any kind of evolutionary leftovers.  So far both sides can make subjective statements about ERVs but objective evidence is another matter entirely.

140 comments:

j said...

So much sound and fury ... so little understanding. I tell you that speaking of DNA as a code is misleading because it includes some unjustified connotations, and you respond by quoting another definition that repeats the same mistake. Yet another golden opportunity to show you actually are as deep a thinker as you claim to be, lost. That's really kinda pathetic, y'know. Do you actually not understand what I was getting at, or do you just not want to acknowledge it because you're afraid of where it might lead?

As long as you refuse to examine your own preconceptions, you'll never understand why your claims are wrong.

Anonymous said...

Creeper": "Let us know when creation scientists come up with falsifiable predictions about their hypotheses and then you can try to make a claim that they're doing "real science"."

Radar: I guess you missed the creationists who both predicted and explained the orbital abnormalities that far traveling space vehicles were experiencing on their way beyond the Solar System, posted maybe eight months ago? Also, bacteria over thousands of generations have basically falsified Darwinism.


I can't recall that specific article, but I think you are missing the point of a couple posts worth of comments. You posted a list of scientists who are reportedly creationists. Creeper asked you multiple times to point out a scientist who didn't use methodological naturalism in their work (multiple times this was asked). I don't think anybody has said people who believe in creationism can't do science. Whether the earth is 6000 years old or if God created man as is described in the bible doesn't effect many many fields of science.

Seriously.....the bacteria experiment again.....really?


lava

Anonymous said...

"I guess you missed the creationists who both predicted and explained the orbital abnormalities that far traveling space vehicles were experiencing on their way beyond the Solar System, posted maybe eight months ago?"

I did indeed. Was this on your blog? I did a google search on your blog of "orbital abnormalities" and only found the present post, no past ones.

Please fill us in on this, especially how it relates to YEC.

"Also, bacteria over thousands of generations have basically falsified Darwinism."

???

This is wrong on so many levels and indicates a complete lack of understanding of (1) the theory of evolution, (2) basic biology, (3) the scientific method, (4) simple logic. The fact that you keep repeating this ridiculous claim suggests that you really think you're on to a winner here, which places your judgement in question.

1. In the experiment in question, the bacteria actually speciated, which was exactly what the theory of evolution predicted.

2. In the experiment in question, the bacteria remained bacteria, which is also what the theory of evolution would predict.

3. Even if they had not speciated, that would not logically indicate that they could never speciate. Basic logic.

But anyway, keep 'em coming. That's why I love this blog: such hare-brained lunacy presented with such arrogant fervor.

-- creeper

Anonymous said...

"Creeper asked you multiple times to point out a scientist who didn't use methodological naturalism in their work (multiple times this was asked)."

There aren't any. But Radar is highly resistant to admitting mistakes. Maybe a pride thing.

-- creeper

Hawkeye® said...

Radar,
Very interesting, but as usual, lengthy. The Wikipedia definition of DNA is spot on, and those who attempt to obfuscate it into be something else are purposely trying to mislead, or downplay that which doesn't fit into their "ruling theory".

And the link to the Wikipedia article on "information" was very... informative (pun intended). There are clearly multiple definitions for information (ie, communication, sensory input, control, instruction, etc). As regards DNA, the definitions most suitable would relate to "instructions" and "control" versus "communication". The fact that DNA is an "ordered series of symbols" unmistakably makes it "information".

But perhaps the most interesting thing, was the etymology of the word "information": derived from the Latin word 'informatio' meaning 'concept' or 'idea'. And a concept or idea can come only from a mind, or dare I say it, an "intelligence". DNA contains information, therefore it contains a concept which must have originated from an intelligence.

Hawkeye® said...

creeper
"Creeper asked you multiple times to point out a scientist who didn't use methodological naturalism in their work (multiple times this was asked)."

There aren't any. But Radar is highly resistant to admitting mistakes. Maybe a pride thing.


I addressed this issue with you in the comments to Radar's last post. I now see that you have responded to my comment. You simply tacked on the end of the paragraph from Wikipedia that I left off. Your response raises some interesting observations.

First, you ignored my allegation that you might be confusing "scientific method" with "methodological naturalism". Apparently you did not want to appear confused, therefore you did not respond to my allegation.

Second, you ignored my comment that someone can use "scientific method" but still come to the conclusion that the "cause" of the observed data, phenomenon, artifact, etc. might not be "natural".

Third, you ignored my assertion that someone who thus uses the "scientific method" but concludes that the "cause" of their observations, etc. could not be "natural", are in fact rejecting "methodological naturalism".

Fourth, you ostensibly chose to tack on the end of the paragraph in order to make the point that: Methodological naturalism is the principle underlying all of modern science. Your implication no doubt is that anyone who does NOT assume ALL "causes" to be "natural", are therefore not "scientists" or practicing "science".

On this last point, I have a few comments. A key word in that sentence is "modern". You must agree that many great men of science such as Newton, Galileo, Copernicus, etc. did not eliminate the possibility of supernatural "causes" for certain phenomenon, etc.

However, those people were not "modern" were they? Therefore, the definition assumes that "modern science" is superior to "early science". In fact, the definition implies that modern "scientists" are superior to (ie, smarter than) Newton, Galileo, and Copernicus. Are they?

In fact, many such brilliant thinkers were in such awe of what they learned, that they were ever more convinced of a Creator God. This phenomenon happens yet today among scientists. Does that make them non-scientists?

And that's the real question, isn't it? Can a true "scientist" come to the conclusion that something they have observed might not have had a "natural" cause? Of course they can! If they find a human artifact which bears some evidence of design or information, they can conclude that it did not have a "natural" cause. It happens every day.

Why should it be any different in the realm of "life" or living things? If there is evidence of design or information, it is only REASONABLE to conclude that it did not have a "natural" cause.

Allow me to finish by saying that IF, by definition or for any other reason, scientists who use the "scientific method" are NOT ALLOWED to conclude that SOME observations may have other than a "natural" cause, then we have entered a strange new world... a dark world ruled by dictators... a world where people are forced to reject their own conclusions arrived at through observations they themselves have made.

Sorry, but I don't want to live in your world of "methodological naturalism".

Hawkeye® said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hawkeye® said...

Radar,
Sorry, but I double-posted, so I deleted the second one.

Anonymous said...

creeper, Hawukeye answered you and did it well so no need for me to tack on.

You miss the point with the bacteria in that it is NOT a case of more information added to the genome.

When you Darwinist people run away from dictionary and encyclopedia definitions of words? Then who is the fool? Your rant comments devoid of argument add nothing to your position.

radar

Anonymous said...

"Hawukeye answered you and did it well so no need for me to tack on."

Seeing as Hawkeye is more articulate than you, why should you indeed?

"You miss the point with the bacteria in that it is NOT a case of more information added to the genome."

There's a larger argument here regarding information being added, in that it's not always just about the information in the individual organism, but the collective information of the population. Basic example off the top of my head: some creatures called Widgits live on an island. For the sake of argument, let's say there are two of them, and between them they have a certain amount of information in their genomes. Now they reproduce at a healthy rate, and over millennia they adapt to different parts of the island: part of it is cold, part of it is hot, part of it requires flight, burrowing underground, whatever.

After some time, there is more collective information there, in that the initial organism now has multiple variations, making it more likely that some variant of them will survive should overall conditions change. For example, should an ice age hit, the Widgits used to cold are more likely to survive; heat wave, the opposite, and so on. The population as a whole has more information in their genomes than the original twosome.

Another way to think about this: if you have 1,000 organisms with a more or less identical genome, they will have less information than 1,000 organisms with more variation among them.

That's why in a case of having a population of bacteria of type X and then having a population of bacteria of type X PLUS a new variant, information has indeed been added.

But all that aside, seeing as "is information being added or isn't it?" is not what the experiment was about, why would you think that this falsifies the theory of evolution? Your logical process is a shambles here.

"When you Darwinist people run away from dictionary and encyclopedia definitions of words? Then who is the fool? Your rant comments devoid of argument add nothing to your position."

Is this really the same guy who was bragging about his journalism degree sometime in the last couple of days? Nobody is running away from dictionary definitions of information. We're asking you to back up your claims about information loss and/or gain, which of course requires a quantifiable definition of information. I'm surprised you're being so obtuse about this. Okay, not really.

But seriously, how can you expect your claims about information loss/gain to be taken seriously when there's no attempt made at quantification?

Is that so hard to understand?

Or do you actually understand it and are just backpedalling?

-- creeper

Jon Woolf said...

Aaaaaand....

But perhaps the most interesting thing, was the etymology of the word "information": derived from the Latin word 'informatio' meaning 'concept' or 'idea'. And a concept or idea can come only from a mind, or dare I say it, an "intelligence".

... Hawkeye kindly gives us a picture-perfect example of my point. When you take an existing word or symbol and give it a new meaning, you get into trouble.

The word "informatio" is 2000 years old and has had a firmly fixed meaning for almost all of that time. We worked out the nature of DNA less than fifty years ago. Are you really so ignorant of philology that you think you could take such an ancient word and apply it to a brand-new concept without causing some confusion in sloppy thinkers like creationists?

Anonymous said...

"Sorry, but I double-posted, so I deleted the second one."

There seems to be a lot of that lately, double-posts and so on.

BTW, does anyone use Bloglines? Is it just me or is it close to useless these days?

-- creeper

Anonymous said...

Amen to that, Jon.

radar said...

"2. In the experiment in question, the bacteria remained bacteria, which is also what the theory of evolution would predict."

Wrong. Creationists predict that kinds remain kinds but do speciate. Darwinists claim that kinds do NOT remain kinds but become other kinds.

Furthermore, normal speciation involves the selection of the preferred pre-existing genetic information within the kind depending on what environmental forces are at work. So these bacteria, if in the wild, would be almost certain failures and not pass the mutation along.

Also, Darwinists need to do more study on the survival of the fittest and natural selection. It turns out that reproduction depends greatly on a female selecting a partner and less on the viability of a creature. Predators seem to have a chase instinct and prefer bigger and faster game to weak, maimed or dead. The weak and maimed may not be eaten until they become carrion but they are not as attractive to predators in normal circumstances. Naturally when food gets scarce that changes.

Anonymous said...

"I addressed this issue with you in the comments to Radar's last post. I now see that you have responded to my comment. You simply tacked on the end of the paragraph from Wikipedia that I left off."

Not just the end of the paragraph, but also more importantly the end of the sentence that you pretended wasn't there.

I've been looking for the post and comments in question, but I can't find them. I've even put the phrase "Methodological naturalism is the principle underlying all of modern science" (which I'm pretty certain would have been in that set of comments) into the search field on Radar's blog as well as into google directly but restricted to Radar's blog (with the "site:" prefix) - I guess Google hasn't caught up somehow.

Hawkeye, if you happen to have the link at hand, I'd be grateful if you could post it here in the comments. For the moment, I'll have to go from memory and I'll go through your points one at a time.

"Your response raises some interesting observations.

First, you ignored my allegation that you might be confusing "scientific method" with "methodological naturalism"."


The two are rather closely related. The scientific method is based on methodological naturalism. I don't think I confused the two. Your omission from the wikipedia excerpt is key here: "Explanations of observable effects are considered to be practical and useful only when they hypothesize natural causes (i.e., specific mechanisms, not indeterminate miracles)."

In the link to the Wikipedia article on the scientific method that you posted, could you point me to the part where indeterminate miracles are permitted as part of the inquiry?

"Apparently you did not want to appear confused, therefore you did not respond to my allegation."

Thank you for the attempt at mind-reading. Sadly, I have to inform you your psychic gifts are limited. Don't feel bad, it happens to the best of us.

"Second, you ignored my comment that someone can use "scientific method" but still come to the conclusion that the "cause" of the observed data, phenomenon, artifact, etc. might not be "natural"."

In that case they would have employed methodological naturalism in their method, but come to a tentative conclusion dismissing metaphysical naturalism. They would then have a hypothesis on their hands. How would they go about exploring this?

"Third, you ignored my assertion that someone who thus uses the "scientific method" but concludes that the "cause" of their observations, etc. could not be "natural", are in fact rejecting "methodological naturalism".

No, they would be rejecting metaphysical naturalism, not methodological naturalism. And as stated above, they would then have a hypothesis on their hands. Then what?

"Fourth, you ostensibly chose to tack on the end of the paragraph in order to make the point that:"

To paraphrase The Princess Bride: "This word OSTENSIBLY - I do not think it means what you think it means".

"Methodological naturalism is the principle underlying all of modern science. Your implication no doubt is that anyone who does NOT assume ALL "causes" to be "natural", are therefore not "scientists" or practicing "science".

On this last point, I have a few comments. A key word in that sentence is "modern". You must agree that many great men of science such as Newton, Galileo, Copernicus, etc. did not eliminate the possibility of supernatural "causes" for certain phenomenon, etc."


Indeed. And they consistently employed methodological naturalism in all their advances.

-- creeper

radar said...

Jon, could you try to make a coherent argument that does not involve tossing dictionaries and encyclopedias and information specialists out the window? DNA contains information and information comes from intelligence. It isn't just me saying it, the thinking world agrees.

Now, how did information get into DNA? Mutation and natural selection are not intelligent and they do not produce information. You need another source.

Anonymous said...

"However, those people were not "modern" were they? Therefore, the definition assumes that "modern science" is superior to "early science"."

Not exactly the worst assumption ever made. But it seems to me you may be confused about what "modern science" means exactly.

"In fact, the definition implies that modern "scientists" are superior to (ie, smarter than) Newton, Galileo, and Copernicus. Are they?"

"Modern science" dates back to the Scientific Revolution, commonly dated as the 16th/17th century. So Copernicus would be just before it, while Newton and Galileo would qualify as "modern scientists".

That aside, I assume that the flaw in your logic here is immediately apparent to a number of commenters: I would never presume that today's scientists are smarter than, say, Newton, Galileo, Copernicus. Of course we need to take into account that all scientists build on what came before them. Who knows that each of these three gents would have accomplished if they had access to the same information as, say, Einstein? Or if they happened to be around today?

"In fact, many such brilliant thinkers were in such awe of what they learned, that they were ever more convinced of a Creator God. This phenomenon happens yet today among scientists. Does that make them non-scientists?"

Not at all, and this is a point I've discussed many, many times on this blog. The motivation for why someone pursues science is irrelevant. They still use the same methodology.

It's the only way it could work. In an example I've cited previously, if three scientists got together to discuss a particular problem, how far do you think they would get if each scientist slammed an ancient religious text on the table and insisted that whatever the results of the research would be, they would have to conform to this text? How could they possibly agree whose religious text is superior or correct? That is the whole point of the scientific method, and the reason it is so successful: scientists actually have to agree on something demonstrable regardless of viewpoint.

"And that's the real question, isn't it? Can a true "scientist" come to the conclusion that something they have observed might not have had a "natural" cause? Of course they can!"

Yes, they can "conclude" that. At which point they have a hypothesis. See above.

-- creeper

Anonymous said...

"If they find a human artifact which bears some evidence of design or information, they can conclude that it did not have a "natural" cause. It happens every day."

There are some mixed messages going on here. You mention "evidence of design or information" twice in your comment. What exactly do you mean by "evidence of information"? It seems to me you're confused about a pretty major concept here. Information itself is not inexplicable by modern science - quite the opposite. And it certainly isn't evidence of a supernatural cause, or even indicative of such.

"Why should it be any different in the realm of "life" or living things? If there is evidence of design or information, it is only REASONABLE to conclude that it did not have a "natural" cause."

If there were actual evidence of design (such as, say, an instance of specific complexity that is not related to functionality and can therefore not be explained by the theory of evolution (which favors beneficial functions)), then it would indeed be reasonable to conclude that something did not have a natural cause. The film "A Serious Man" has an excellent (and bizarre) example of such an instance, btw.

But it seems to me that the leap you're about to make is to confuse any old argument from incredulity with proof of design. "The cell is amazingly complex - therefore it must be designed." That kind of thing.

As for "evidence of information" making it reasonable to conclude that something did not have a natural cause, no. Information is explicable by natural means, and therefore does not require a leap to a supernatural explanation. Which means it would be UNREASONABLE to conclude such a thing on that basis alone.

-- creeper

Anonymous said...

"Allow me to finish by saying that IF, by definition or for any other reason, scientists who use the "scientific method" are NOT ALLOWED to conclude that SOME observations may have other than a "natural" cause, then we have entered a strange new world... a dark world ruled by dictators... a world where people are forced to reject their own conclusions arrived at through observations they themselves have made."

Ah yes, the grand conspiracy theory that Radar keeps whining about. Brainwashing this, censorship that. Apparently it's possible to brainwash such a large number of scientists that when they put together a "List of Steves" (only people named Steve that subscribe to the theory of evolution) it dwarfs the full number of creationist scientists that Radar can dig up... but it's not possible to brainwash that small list of creationist scientists. Uh-huh, that makes a lot of sense.

The "it's a big conspiracy holding us down" excuse has a certain emotional appeal, I suppose. Especially when actual scientific research doesn't exactly work in one's favor (as is the case for YEC).

Look, scientists who use the scientific method (no need for scare quotes for that, btw) are ALLOWED to conclude whatever the heck they want. That generally gets them to a HYPOTHESIS; they are then free to back that up with testable falsifiable predictions and so on. There is nothing in the world that is stopping creation scientists from doing exactly that. Instead, when you go to any creationist website, it's mostly about taking punches at the theory of evolution and related fields, little potshots, and then pretending that it proves "their side". Notice, for example, Radar's extremely limp attacks re. ice core layers, which all by themselves disprove any young Earth notions and which YECs cannot disprove. They can’t look at the evidence and come up with a better explanation.

"Sorry, but I don't want to live in your world of "methodological naturalism"."

There is no "world of methodological naturalism". Scientists use methodological naturalism in their daily scientific work, whether they are atheists, Catholics, Wiccans, Muslims, whatever. Then they go to their respective places of worship (or in the case of atheists just enjoy the weekend).

You yourself benefit from the fruits of methodological naturalism in just about every waking hour... but you're still free to practice whatever faith you choose. So much for a "methodological naturalist" "hell" of sorts.

In closing I'll note that neither Radar nor Hawkeye have forwarded a single name of a scientist who does not engage in methodological naturalism in their work.

And while I'm at it: neither has Radar responded to requests to provide specific, actual examples about his arguments re. polystrate fossils and paraconformities. One of many, many questions that Radar has attempted to sweep under the rug with endless cut-n-paste posts over the past few months/years.

It's all smoke and mirrors, running from one subject to the next. The moment you drill into a particular subject, YEC loses.

-- creeper

radar said...

And the scientific method does NOT include naturalism, that is added by naturalists as a religious choice. Frankly the ID and creationist scientists both do a better job of considering all possibilities and culling evidence using operational science than naturalists do.

Look where naturalism has taken Big Bang theory? Various unobserved Dark Matter unknowns get thrown into the formula to try to make up for the problems with the entire concept. No one Big Bang theory agrees with the observed Universe and none of them know what to do with the singularity at the start of a mythical BB either. That is because if there was a Big Bang it had to be controlled to produce the matter and energy we experience, it had to include a quick unexplained expansion and then background radiation and problems with total mass and etc come up.

radar said...

"It's all smoke and mirrors, running from one subject to the next. The moment you drill into a particular subject, YEC loses."

Are we having an opposites day? We drilled down into information in the cell very specifically and Darwinism got clobbered. You guys have run every which way to avoid admitting you have no answer.

We drilled down very specifically into reproduction and showed that the mother controls the frame upon which the child is built, thus disallowing macroevolution. We also showed that most speciation happens faster than Darwinists expect because the cell has switches pre-existing that allow for faster speciation.

We drilled down deep into rock layers and pointed out so many problems with the rock layers for Darwinists that you guys never can get away from.

In all three cases you people run away or change the subject. You cannot deal with information or polystrate fossils or cellular control over reproduction so you make a lot of noise but no evidence to refute these assertions.

radar said...

No, the scientific method does not need naturalism nor did it begin with that statement.

Information. I have led you horses to water and you are choosing not to drink but trying to change the definition of water will not make it less wet.

Jesus Christ raised people from the dead and yet many of the onlookers and especially those among the ruling priests and scribes still would not believe in Him. Jesus once said that if a man would not believe (paraphrasing here) the testimony of the Old Testament writers and prophets, neither would they believe someone risen from the dead. Christ rose from the dead and yet the majority of the citizens of Judea still did not believe.

There is absolutely no observational evidence for Darwinism. Zero. Zip. Nada. All observations of organisms fit the creationist predictions.

Darwin has a mythology, creation has a testimony in the Bible.

Darwinism is continually changing as more and more of its assertions are falsified. Creationism keeps saying the same things but we find more and more evidence to support our point of view.

Anonymous said...

"Wrong. Creationists predict that kinds remain kinds but do speciate."

Wrong. Speciation is evolution at the species level. Creationists permit micro-evolution, which is below the species level.

"Darwinists claim that kinds do NOT remain kinds but become other kinds."

Wrong. There is no mention of "kinds" in "Darwinist" theory. Nor have you been able to define it even within your own "worldview".

"Furthermore, normal speciation involves the selection of the preferred pre-existing genetic information within the kind depending on what environmental forces are at work."

Wrong. That would be micro-evolution. Speciation goes beyond that.

"So these bacteria, if in the wild, would be almost certain failures and not pass the mutation along."

?? The experiment was about whether speciation was possible, and since it was a scientific experiment, it took place under lab conditions. It confirmed predictions, btw.

The subject under investigation was not about whether the bacteria would then be able to survive "in the wild".

And it should be noted that your entire claim that the bacteria "would be almost certain failures" is nothing but unfounded wild conjecture.

"Also, Darwinists need to do more study on the survival of the fittest and natural selection. It turns out that reproduction depends greatly on a female selecting a partner and less on the viability of a creature."

Let me just repeat that last sentence, and oh how I yearn for some kind of neon flashing tag. I'll have to do with ALL CAPS BOLD ITALIC:

IT TURNS OUT THAT REPRODUCTION DEPENDS GREATLY ON A FEMALE SELECTING A PARTNER AND LESS ON THE VIABILITY OF A CREATURE.

-- KIMBALL ROSS BINDER, A.K.A. RADAR, JULY 2010


"It turns out", does it?!

I think this just about disqualifies you from commenting on anything related to biology or the theory of evolution (as if your comments on the bacteria experiments didn't do that already).

Wow.

It would be ever so fantastic if you could actually step just a little outside your small circle of propaganda websites so you wouldn't have to embarrass yourself with statements like this.

Seriously.

This is another whopper for the ages that indicates you know next to nothing about the subject at hand.

Here's a little clue: google "sexual selection" sometime.

The theory of evolution includes natural selection and sexual selection.

Read up on it sometime. Seriously. Nobody's forcing you to look stupid in public. You just keep volunteering.

"Predators seem to have a chase instinct and prefer bigger and faster game to weak, maimed or dead."

And this is something that was provided in the garden of Eden why exactly?

-- creeper

Anonymous said...

"And the scientific method does NOT include naturalism, that is added by naturalists as a religious choice. "

Try to figure out the difference between "methodological naturalism" and "metaphysical naturalism", then report back. You're obviously confused.

-- creeper

radar said...

"And while I'm at it: neither has Radar responded to requests to provide specific, actual examples about his arguments re. polystrate fossils and paraconformities. One of many, many questions that Radar has attempted to sweep under the rug with endless cut-n-paste posts over the past few months/years."

The above is a lie. Shame on you, creeper, for intentionally lying! People can use the search feature on my blog to falsify your statement many times over. Desperation?

The characterization of the content of sites like Creation.com and ICR and ARN is hilarious! Compare the actual research being done at ICR to the lame and ridiculous claims at a place like talk origins or one of the hate-oriented evolutionist sites.

I can imagine Eugenie Scott trying to debate David Berlinski on any conceivable scientific or philosophical subject...But we will not see any top Darwinists debate leading creationists or ID'ers because the Darwinists get their butts kicked and for good reason. Darwinism is all show, no go.

Anonymous said...

"We drilled down very specifically into reproduction and showed that the mother controls the frame upon which the child is built, thus disallowing macroevolution."

See, this is where you not actually comprehending the comments on your blog does you no favors. Jon nailed you on this (at least) twice, and you failed to comprehend it.

Seriously. Read your own blog.

And get over your own delusions of grandeur.

-- creeper

radar said...

To quote Hawkeye:

"Allow me to finish by saying that IF, by definition or for any other reason, scientists who use the "scientific method" are NOT ALLOWED to conclude that SOME observations may have other than a "natural" cause, then we have entered a strange new world... a dark world ruled by dictators... a world where people are forced to reject their own conclusions arrived at through observations they themselves have made.

Sorry, but I don't want to live in your world of "methodological naturalism"."

Well said! Bravo!

radar said...

delusions of grandeur? Jon answered? creeper in bizarro world?

Jon has not approached the border of answering!

This is not about me. It is about what is true. It isn't personal, it is about right and wrong and evidence versus myth and logic versus wishful thinking. Darwinism was a failed hypothesis that people have continued to cling to for fear of the alternatives.

Also, I don't post what I haven't read and with the exception of some complex math formulas I do not post what I do not comprehend well enough to teach. I leave it to the readers to figure out what is true and what is not. But I do not, unlike so many Darwinists, intentionally put out false information.

Anonymous said...

"The above is a lie. Shame on you, creeper, for intentionally lying! People can use the search feature on my blog to falsify your statement many times over. Desperation?"

Wow, the substance in your response is simply awe-inspiring.

LOL.

It's true. You've been asked to provide specific, actual examples about your arguments re. polystrate fossils and paraconformities and you've failed to back up your claims.


THAT'S NOT A LIE.

By all means, anonymous readers, google it (or make use of the search thingy at the top of Radar's blog, which amounts to the same thing).

"The characterization of the content of sites like Creation.com and ICR and ARN is hilarious! Compare the actual research being done at ICR to the lame and ridiculous claims at a place like talk origins"

Why would these sites that you think are better than talk origins continue to post lies?

Obvious example: the rate at which the moon recedes from the Earth. It's wrong, demonstrably so, and it was made clear to you on your own blog. Yet you offer no response, no retraction, and neither does any of the allegedly "respectable" sites that you mention.

And they've kept those claims up for years, in some cases.

Your beef with talk origins is debatable, the beef with the creationist sites is not; it's cut and dry: they're wrong, and they continue to keep those lies on line, perhaps to fool innocent passers-by.

"or one of the hate-oriented evolutionist sites."

"hate-oriented"? As if.

"I can imagine Eugenie Scott trying to debate David Berlinski on any conceivable scientific or philosophical subject...But we will not see any top Darwinists debate leading creationists or ID'ers because the Darwinists get their butts kicked and for good reason."

No, for bad reason: creationism survives on part emotional appeal and part evading specific arguments in depth, which they can do in a public setting, but not in an academic setting.

All it takes is a testable falsifiable prediction to test a hypothesis. That's where the work is.

"Darwinism is all show, no go."

Just the opposite: because creationism is all show and the theory of evolution is boring complicated science, creationism does better in a circus atmosphere.

-- creeper

Anonymous said...

Hawkeye: "Sorry, but I don't want to live in your world of "methodological naturalism"."

Radar: "Well said! Bravo!"


From one person who doesn't understand the meaning of the term to another... I'm sure you're very happy together.

-- creeper.

Anonymous said...

"Jon has not approached the border of answering!"

Jon knows his stuff, but he tends to advance the dialogue through constructive questions rather than extensive lectures. It's a viable approach.

And it's duly noted that despite your high opinion of yourself, you consistently fail to answer just about all his questions.

"This is not about me. It is about what is true. It isn't personal, it is about right and wrong and evidence versus myth and logic versus wishful thinking."

Logic dictates the theory of evolution and us being all alone in an enormous universe, doomed to die after an existence that may seem long to us but is a blink of an eye when compared to the age of the universe; wishful thinking buys us that we're all God's special creatures in a cosy little universe with an afterlife and all that.

If you want to put logic vs. wishful thinking, why would you think that "logic" would fall completely in the wishful thinking camp?

Wishful thinking is what religion is all about.

"Darwinism was a failed hypothesis that people have continued to cling to for fear of the alternatives."

What is so scary about the alternative? It's cosy and nice and safe. This doesn't add up.

"Also, I don't post what I haven't read"

Perhaps. But you don't understand all of what you post and you seem to read and/or understand very little of the comments on your own blog.

"and with the exception of some complex math formulas I do not post what I do not comprehend well enough to teach."

Doubt it. Your understanding of the theory of evolution is close to non-existent, as you demonstrate over and over again.

"I leave it to the readers to figure out what is true and what is not. But I do not, unlike so many Darwinists, intentionally put out false information"

Now there's an unfounded accusation. I've never seen a single "Darwinist" on this blog intentionally put out false information.

As for whether you intentionally put out false information, I think I've made allowances for that over the years. But the alternatives aren't flattering, since they tend to boil down to you either being dishonest or vastly misinformed. Both conclusions are amply supported by your utterances on your blog.

-- creeper

Jon Woolf said...

Radar whined: "Jon, could you try to make a coherent argument that does not involve tossing dictionaries and encyclopedias and information specialists out the window?"

Dictionaries? You trust dictionaries to tell you the correct meaning of a word? Tell me, which one? An online dictionary? A printed dictionary? Which one? Webster's? The Old English Dictionary? The Handbook of Chemistry and Physics?

Encyclopedias are even worse. Which one can you trust to tell you true? Americana? Britannica? World Book? Grolier's? Wikipedia? Would you try to get accurate knowledge of physics or chemistry or biology from a 1900 encyclopedia?

Even the Bible has this problem. Pick different versions, in different languages -- the Masoretic, the Vulgate, the King James. Or even different versions in the same language. Look at how stilted the King James Version sounds when read aloud today. How often have you gotten mixed up in reading the Bible because the same word meant something different in 1611 than it does today?

"DNA contains information..."

That depends on your definition of "information."

"...and information comes from intelligence."

This is an assumption on your part, based on the meaning you've always applied to the term "information" in the past. If that definition doesn't actually apply to DNA, then your assumption fails.

The DNA molecule doesn't contain a code, or a cipher, or a language, or any information at all, sensu stricto. The DNA molecule contains a non-random sequence of sub-molecules which, under certain circumstances, becomes a pattern for constructing a variety of organic molecules. That's all it is. Nothing more. Everything else that you think you see in it is actually in your own mind, a product of your sloppy thinking and your inability to leave your preconceptions behind.

Anonymous said...

"Jon, could you try to make a coherent argument that does not involve tossing dictionaries and encyclopedias and information specialists out the window?"

What is needed is a definition of information that allows us to quantify information. You've gone to the dictionaries and come up dry.

Now what?

"DNA contains information"

Indeed.

"and information comes from intelligence. It isn't just me saying it, the thinking world agrees."

The THINKING WORLD?



Whoa.

Radar, I've already pointed out a clear example of information that didn't originate from an intelligent source: tree rings (and ice core layers, for that matter).

Jon also provided examples of receptors of information that are not intelligent - and on the basis of which you and I are even able to have this conversation of sorts.

So you've been proven wrong on both sides of that equation - information in the context of this discussion doesn't require an intelligent transmitter nor an intelligent receiver.

"Now, how did information get into DNA? Mutation and natural selection are not intelligent"

Indeed they are not. Nor do they need to be.

"and they do not produce information. You need another source."

Why? Be specific.

-- creeper

radar said...

Jon,

Please quickly pass on your knowledge to all the geneticists and researchers working on mapping genomes and studying DNA so they can revise the definition of DNA and give up studying it as a source of information.

creeper, you need to understand the difference between a message and observable data. DNA is a message from an intelligent source to an intelligent receiver (the cell designed by God to receive and use the message). Tree rings are simply data. They do not tell you anything but rather you observe and make assumptions and hypotheses and theories based on the data.

Just like Jon's wind guage. The wind is not information but we can make observations about the wind and those observations will be information.

Anonymous said...

"Please quickly pass on your knowledge to all the geneticists and researchers working on mapping genomes and studying DNA so they can revise the definition of DNA and give up studying it as a source of information."

How do you think Jon re-interpreted the definition of DNA?

"creeper, you need to understand the difference between a message and observable data."

Both of which can constitute information, in case that escaped your attention.

"DNA is a message from an intelligent source to an intelligent receiver"

Unsupported conjecture - or were you planning to back that assertion up with anything at all?

" (the cell designed by God to receive and use the message)."

Complete speculation. Self-serving, to boot.

Apart from that though:

1. Are you seriously proposing that God is actively involved in each and every cell division? If so, on what basis?

2. Why would God want to send messages from and to himself?

"Tree rings are simply data. They do not tell you anything but rather you observe and make assumptions and hypotheses and theories based on the data."

Correct. Same for ice core layers. And their consistency is interesting.

Unless you're a creationist.

"Just like Jon's wind guage. The wind is not information"

That's right, it's data. Not yet information. It becomes information once it has an effect of some kind.

"but we can make observations about the wind and those observations will be information."

It becomes information when it is put to use. You still owe an explanation to Jon's question as to non-intelligent receptors, which from a scientific point of view are undeniable.

-- creeper

Jon Woolf said...

Histrionics aren't a scientific argument either, Radar.

"Please quickly pass on your knowledge to all the geneticists and researchers working on mapping genomes and studying DNA so they can revise the definition of DNA and give up studying it as a source of information."

But DNA is a source of information. Yes, it is, even though on its own terms it doesn't contain any information. That's because there's a difference between information contained in an object, and information about that object. Consider a picture taken by a digital camera. It's stored as a data file. That file contains the picture. It also contains information about the picture -- IPTC data, EXIF data, and so on. The technical term for this is metadata -- which means "data about data." In the same way, scientists studying DNA can learn information about DNA, even though DNA itself, when seen on its own level, contains no information.

One of the great things about the Universe is that it's always more complex than you think it is.

Anonymous said...

"There is absolutely no observational evidence for Darwinism. Zero. Zip. Nada."

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Define "Darwinism".

If it means "theory of evolution" (the most common interpretation), then we can start with the evidence of the sorting of fossils in the fossil record, which is inexplicable in YEC terms, but completely in line with the predictions of the theory of evolution.

Next, perhaps endogenous retroviruses. And I'm sure Jon could easily propose another half a dozen or so.

There's not much point in compiling a comprehensive listing at here, since you're most likely to dismiss and/or ignore the whole thing anyway.

But those first two should do the trick for now.

And if you meant something else by "Darwinism", be specific and we'll go from there.

"All observations of organisms fit the creationist predictions."

As if. How do creationists account for the sorting of fossils in the fossil records? (Not only were your past explanations vague and obviously-just-made-up, they simply didn't fit the observations at hand. It's a clear and obvious dead and for YEC.)

And how do creationists account for endogenous retroviruses?

Those two alone falsify your overreaching claim, and more are easily provided.

Looking forward to your continued evasions/strawmen/whatever...

"Darwin has a mythology, creation has a testimony in the Bible."

This is the same guy that was complaining about bizarro world a couple of comments ago?

Darwin had a scientific theory that has been confirmed by evidence ever since. Stuff he couldn't have known has been filled in over time, enriching his theory rather than refuting it.

The Bible has a creation myth, one of many, many creation myths. If taken literally (which is what YEC is based on), it is discounted by physical evidence, including the fossil record, but also sedimentary layers that could not have occurred in a global flood scenario. And more - the list goes on

"Darwinism is continually changing as more and more of its assertions are falsified."

Wrong. It is expanding and adapting, which is what happens in science. The theory has not been falsified.

If you disagree, how about coughing up a concrete example?

"Creationism keeps saying the same things but we find more and more evidence to support our point of view."

... while ignoring the many ways in which it has been falsified for a long time.

I'm pretty sure you've been asked this before, but why would you pride yourself on not changing your mind as new information comes to light?

-- creeper

Anonymous said...

My apologies for the three obvious typos in recent comments, e.g.

"dead and" --> "dead end"

- and I think there were two instances of a t instead of a w.

Just in case anyone reads this.

-- creeper

radar said...

creeper, instead of your typical throwing of fifteen things against the wall to get us all following rabbit trails, stick to one.

Your incoherent characterization of DNA would mystify a geneticist or microbiologist. They KNOW that DNA contains information. So why should we think that you or Jon know what the dictionary and textbooks and online sources do not? Why is it that science has accepted that DNA is full of information and you refuse to admit it? I would like to know the answer to THAT.

radar said...

Readers, please note the continual drumbeat about how wrong I am while never doing much more than repeat Darwinist dogma.

Hopefully the average reader (most never comment) will note that I have based my posts about information on the dictionary definition of information and I have used the dictionary definition of DNA as well. No real fight here between creationists and actual secular scientists, only the most brainwashed cannot admit that DNA is full of information. Jon Woolf and creeper are not representative of the scientific community. My definitions are neither mistaken nor ill-informed. These guys just don't like the place the evidence is taking us.

Please feel free to search the blog and read up on DNA and information and reproduction and facilitated variation and genetic redundancies for yourself. The material is presented logically. I post scientific articles, mostly by people with doctorates, and try to use explanations and analogies to get everyone over the rough spots.

Don't get caught up in the name-calling and hyperbole. Usually if a commenter is calling names it is to avoid talking on a subject where he is bereft of logical arguments.

Jon Woolf and creeper cannot possibly know what I do or do not understand. I wonder if they had to go look up who Howard Roark was? I wonder if they read Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged? I wonder if they even read the Chamberlin treatise? Because they are doing EXACTLY what Chamberlin considered reprehensible.

radar said...

My search is not working correctly right now?

The anomaly link: http://creation.com/pioneer-anomaly

That was the source article. It began: "About once a week for 10 years, scientific papers have been offering new solutions to the ‘Pioneer anomaly’, a small but mysterious slowdown (i.e. a negative acceleration) of four outward-bound spacecraft: Galileo, Ulysses, and Pioneers 10 and 11. "

Anonymous said...

"Your incoherent characterization of DNA would mystify a geneticist or microbiologist. They KNOW that DNA contains information. So why should we think that you or Jon know what the dictionary and textbooks and online sources do not? Why is it that science has accepted that DNA is full of information and you refuse to admit it? I would like to know the answer to THAT."

Kindly point out where you think that Jon or I ever claimed that DNA contains no information so that we can continue this discussion in a rational manner.

Barring that, please retract the claims you just made.

-- creeper

Jon Woolf said...

"Readers, please note the continual drumbeat about how wrong I am while never doing much more than repeat Darwinist dogma."

Readers, please note that one very good reason for creeper and me to "repeat Darwinist dogma" is that it's right.

Radar, I'm guessing you never played baseball ... or if you did, you weren't very good at it. I've pitched you a bunch of slow hanging curves, and you've whiffed on every one.

"Hopefully the average reader (most never comment) will note that I have based my posts about information on the dictionary definition of information"

Which is not adequate to this topic.

Most geneticists don't worry about this sort of thing for the same reason that most structural engineers don't worry about quantum dynamics: it isn't relevant to their studies. But it is relevant to these discussions, because you chose to make it so.

"Jon Woolf and creeper cannot possibly know what I do or do not understand."

If your writing is representative of your actual level of comprehension ... well, yes I can.

"Why is it that science has accepted that DNA is full of information and you refuse to admit it?"

?? I just said that to a geneticist, DNA is indeed full of information. And you said I was wrong. Make up your mind, please.

"Usually if a commenter is calling names it is to avoid talking on a subject where he is bereft of logical arguments."

Pot. Kettle.

And why are you using a work of fiction -- and by all accounts, a not-very-good one -- as a reference in a discussion about science? You remind me of the clown in another place and time who tried to use a passage from Crichton's The Lost World as evidence against evolutionary theory.

Anonymous said...

"Readers, please note the continual drumbeat about how wrong I am while never doing much more than repeat Darwinist dogma."

I'm sure the reader you're addressing can see for themselves that questions are being posed to you that you either refuse to answer or are unable to answer.

"Hopefully the average reader (most never comment) will note that I have based my posts about information on the dictionary definition of information and I have used the dictionary definition of DNA as well."

Neither of which is of any use in QUANTIFYING information, and are thus useless in any discussion of information GAIN OR LOSS.

Why does that continue to be so hard to understand for you?

"No real fight here between creationists and actual secular scientists, only the most brainwashed cannot admit that DNA is full of information."

That claim by itself would be a strawman argument.

Which is a logical fallacy, just in case our dear readers missed that bit.

And in case you missed what that means... it means that Radar's not being honest with you.

"Jon Woolf and creeper are not representative of the scientific community."

I'd never claim to be. I certainly hope you don't want to make such a claim. And I suspect Jon wouldn't make such a claim either.

"My definitions are neither mistaken nor ill-informed."

Just entirely unsuitable to the task at hand, so that you can't support your claims re. information loss.

"These guys just don't like the place the evidence is taking us."

Limp excuse, but if it makes you happy...

"Please feel free to search the blog and read up on DNA and information and reproduction and facilitated variation and genetic redundancies for yourself."

Better yet, avoid the propaganda from sources (AIG, CMI...) that keep posting demonstrable lies, as previously demonstrated on this blog.

"The material is presented logically."

Did you catch the bit where Radar didn't know about sexual selection?

Dang near spat my coffee at the screen over that one. The "parody blog" hypothesis just gained a few points.

"I post scientific articles, mostly by people with doctorates, and try to use explanations and analogies to get everyone over the rough spots."

You are aware that there are "scientific articles", "mostly by people with doctorates" that state the exact opposite of your claims, are you not?

Perhaps not.

Boring arguments from authority. Bring on the facts, Radar. Or admit they're not in your favor.

"Don't get caught up in the name-calling and hyperbole. Usually if a commenter is calling names it is to avoid talking on a subject where he is bereft of logical arguments."

Does that mean we can dismiss the past month's worth of rants about Darwinists then? Because that pretty accurately describes your posts. Notice all the disparaging comments about "Darwinists".

It's clear that you're bereft of logical arguments, but it's unusual for you to reach this level of personal insight.

-- creeper

Anonymous said...

"Jon Woolf and creeper cannot possibly know what I do or do not understand."

I can't read your mind, but when you make a statement that indicates a complete lack of understanding of, say, the theory of evolution, I can draw a very clear logical conclusion that you didn't know, for example, that the theory of evolution is not limited to natural selection but includes sexual selection. Here it is again, since you insist on fiddling with the wound:

"Also, Darwinists need to do more study on the survival of the fittest and natural selection. It turns out that reproduction depends greatly on a female selecting a partner and less on the viability of a creature."

Kimbal Ross Binder, in the year 2010, finally stumbled on sexual selection, as proposed by Charles Darwin approx. 150 years earlier.

This is the same guy who claimed (and apparently lied) that he understood the theory of evolution before he went YEC.

That lie is now exposed. No mind-reading required.

"I wonder if they had to go look up who Howard Roark was? I wonder if they read Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged? I wonder if they even read the Chamberlin treatise? Because they are doing EXACTLY what Chamberlin considered reprehensible."

Given that you just made it perfectly clear that you're not up to date on a pretty amazingly major pillar of the theory of evolution from over 150 years ago, your desperate attempts at name-dropping are exceedingly unimpressive.

-- creeper

Anonymous said...

"You remind me of the clown in another place and time who tried to use a passage from Crichton's The Lost World as evidence against evolutionary theory."

Ooh I'd love to hear more about that one.

-- creeper

radar said...

Or maybe it was this one that I used and the other one as reference?

http://creation.com/creationist-cosmologies-explain-the-anomalous-acceleration-of-pioneer-spacecraft

highboy said...

"Here's a little clue: google "sexual selection" sometime."

funny when I googled those words I didn't hit on anything appropriate for this website.

highboy said...

I thought about jumping in at a few different points here, but you guys are having quite a big enough scrap without me. I got cheated out of starting a flame war. Thanks a lot jerks....

Chaos Engineer said...

Furthermore, normal speciation involves the selection of the preferred pre-existing genetic information within the kind depending on what environmental forces are at work.

I know I'm a bit late coming to the thread, but I just ran across a wonderful article over at Pharyngula that relates to this.

Quick summary: We've just found a bunch of really interesting pre-Cambrian fossils. PZ Myers is frustrated: If we could find some DNA in the fossils, then it would be easy to sequence it and we'd learn a lot about ancient bacteria. But he thinks the fossils are so old that there's no hope of finding DNA.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but Creationism makes two predictions here: (1) These bacteria are less than 6,000 years old, so it's pretty likely that we'll find some better-preserved versions of these fossils with the DNA intact. (2) When we sequence them, we'll find that they're very nearly Ideal Bacteria: They'll have all the useful genes from a wide range of modern bacteria, plus some more useful genes that have been lost over the years and are no longer found in the wild.

Are Creationists willing to stand behind these predictions? If the predictions fall through, will they admit they're wrong and apologize?

(If we have trouble finding ancient bacterial DNA, we do have some good samples for larger animals. We just recently got the DNA sequence for Neanderthal Man; I'm not sure exactly where they fit into the Creationist timeline but scientists say that the DNA they used was about 30,000 years old.)

Anonymous said...

"funny when I googled those words I didn't hit on anything appropriate for this website."

Seriously? The front page seems pretty much on topic (evolution) to me.

Maybe you're doing it wrong...

-- creeper

Jon Woolf said...

I just noticed this bit, from back upthread. Radar wrote: "Predators seem to have a chase instinct and prefer bigger and faster game to weak, maimed or dead. The weak and maimed may not be eaten until they become carrion but they are not as attractive to predators in normal circumstances."

Where did you find this claim, Radar? What's your source? It doesn't match anything I've ever read about predator behavior.

creeper: "Jon knows his stuff, but he tends to advance the dialogue through constructive questions rather than extensive lectures. It's a viable approach."

Well, sometimes it is. Other times, apparently, not so much.

Thanks for the compliment, though.

Anonymous said...

At the risk of sounding "cheerleaderish", Bravo Jon and creeper, Bravo. It takes some effort to nail Radar when he starts a gallopin', but you guys did a wonderful job of calling him on the vast majority of his free flowing YEC BS. Great read guys. I don’t expect this post to remain on the front page for long.

One thing that strikes me today in reading this thread, Radar, is how your own hubris blinds you to the weakness of this blog when it comes to promoting creationist propaganda. You see, apparently unbeknownst to you, practically every post on this blog, including the ones you specifically refer to, also includes a comment section in which you and your “arguments” get completely obliterated. Or at the very least, the comments contain a great many questions that you are completely unable to answer. So, to recommend to anyone that they search this blog in order to “read up on DNA and information and reproduction and facilitated variation and genetic redundancies” does nothing to further you position, only weaken it. That said, I suppose that once you finally come to this realization, you will likely shut down commenting altogether. Actually, I’m kind of surprised that you haven’t done this already, to be honest. Long live the Dunning-Kruger effect, I guess. Thanks for that one by-the-way creeper. I think that the wikki page should have a picture of Radar or a screenshot from this blog as an example of D-K for all to see.

Oh and Radar, you also tell your “average reader”, “Don't get caught up in the name-calling and hyperbole. Usually if a commenter is calling names it is to avoid talking on a subject where he is bereft of logical arguments.” First off, just how stupid do you think these “readers” are anyway? Seriously though, can the same be said when you start name-calling? Like when you called creeper a liar above? Or your constant disparagement of “Darwinists”?

- Canucklehead.

PS - Regarding Radar's "Big Bang theory" comment above. Get ready to have your mind blown Kimbal.
http://io9.com/5586017/was-our-universe-born-inside-a-black-hole-in-another-universe

Oh and hb, before that fire in your belly absolutely compels you to comment on my comment, maybe you should first take a swing at lava’s comment in the last post that was addressed to you specifically. You know, because you respond to everyone equally on this blog (as anyone with “two working eyes” can see), and totally not just yours-truly due to your fiery hatred/jealousy of said anonymous Canadian many many miles away. Man, I wish I knew exactly what it was that got you so steamed at and/or obsessed with me. I think I’d use it as my sign off on every comment, just for fun. Any chance you’ll tell me what it was? LOL.

radar said...

Canucklehead,

Were you born in a black hole?

I said that what creeper posted was a lie. Check it out for yourself.

Hawkeye thoroughly answered the question on naturalism within the scientific method and I agreed with him. No need for me to repeat it.

Since Jon and creeper are not only arguing against me but the dictionary and scientific journal definitions of information and DNA I cannot understand your cheerleading. They have not answered the questions. They have not come close. I am sorry their evasions and repetition of Darwinist propaganda pleases you. The blind leading the blind, as Jesus said, and both will fall into a ditch.

Jon Woolf said...

Radar whined: "Since Jon and creeper are not only arguing against me but the dictionary and scientific journal definitions of information and DNA..."

I am? News to me.

"DNA
Pronunciation: \ˌdē-ˌen-ˈā\
Function: noun
Etymology: deoxyribonucleic acid
Date: 1944

: any of various nucleic acids that are usually the molecular basis of heredity, are constructed of a double helix held together by hydrogen bonds between purine and pyrimidine bases which project inward from two chains containing alternate links of deoxyribose and phosphate, and that in eukaryotes are localized chiefly in cell nuclei" -- from Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary.

I also checked my printed dictionary, the Random House College Dictionary, and its definition is almost identical. Neither one even uses the words "information," "code," or "intelligence." As for scientific journals, I don't think I've ever seen you quote one. Most of your copypasta comes from creationist journals-in-name-only, or laughably nonscientific pundits and demagogues.

Now, would you like to play another round of Dueling Dictionaries, or would you like to actually have an intelligent discussion in which both parties demonstrate their ability to think for themselves about a very complicated and fascinating topic? The problem of language -- that is, how to use words to say what you mean, and not say what you don't mean, all in such a way that the recipient will get the message you intended -- is one of the deepest in philosophy.

Anonymous said...

"I said that what creeper posted was a lie. Check it out for yourself."

What exactly was supposed to be a lie?

"Hawkeye thoroughly answered the question on naturalism within the scientific method and I agreed with him. No need for me to repeat it."

No, you're off on a different track: you don't understand the difference between methodological and metaphysical naturalism.

Hawkeye's point was somewhat more specific and educated than that, but was in part based on a key omission in the quote he gave.

I've addressed his points and am now waiting for an answer to the question of where indeterminate miracles are permitted as a part of scientific inquiry.

I'll note once again that neither you nor Hawkeye has managed to name a single scientist who does not use methodological naturalism in their scientific work.

"Since Jon and creeper are not only arguing against me but the dictionary and scientific journal definitions of information and DNA I cannot understand your cheerleading. They have not answered the questions.."

I'm not arguing against any dictionary definition, and neither is Jon. You're making claims about information loss, which of course necessitates the QUANTIFICATION of information, and that's not something you've been able to provide with any of your pasted definitions.

Without quantification of information, no verifiable claims of information loss or gain. That's what you're currently running away from and obfuscating about.

As for your claim about information requiring an intelligence at both ends, sending and receiving, we've disproven that in a number of ways now.

-- creeper

Anonymous said...

"Were you born in a black hole?"

I dunno' really, I mean, according to the article I linked, it looks like "technically" we may all have been "born" in a black hole.

And in terms of what Hawkeye "thoroughly" did, I think you need to re-read creeper's comments above. Spoiler Alert: it turns out, Hawkeye was just confused.

- Canucklehead.

radar said...

http://chicksontheright.com/2010/07/16/this-just-in-in-addition-to-her-moronic-nature-sheila-jackson-lee-is-also-delusional/

Because...

highboy said...

"Spoiler Alert: it turns out, Hawkeye was just confused."

Is that because you actually can explain how he was confused on your own or because creeper told you so? Just curious if you actually had your own thought yet.

"Canucklehead,

Were you born in a black hole?"

....

Anonymous said...

"Is that because you actually can explain how he was confused on your own or because creeper told you so? Just curious if you actually had your own thought yet."

Do you really just come here to live out your obsession with Canucklehead?

highboy said...

"Do you really just come here to live out your obsession with Canucklehead?"

...asks the troll obsessed with radar.

Anonymous said...

You probably have me confused with some other Anonymous. But your obsession with Canucklehead is as reliable as it is amusing.

Hawkeye® said...

Jon Woolf,
The word "informatio" is 2000 years old and has had a firmly fixed meaning for almost all of that time. We worked out the nature of DNA less than fifty years ago. Are you really so ignorant of philology that you think you could take such an ancient word and apply it to a brand-new concept without causing some confusion in sloppy thinkers like creationists?

A few things...

First, if the definition of a word has remained constant for almost 2000 years, then it is well established and accepted. We need not change it, but we may expand it, as per Wikipedia.

And, as an analysis of the Wikipedia article will reveal, all information -- including sensory input -- shows evidence of intelligent causation. [Humans design sensors to collect information about all sorts of things].

Second, if the discovery of DNA less than 50 years ago results in a finding that DNA shows evidence of "information" which falls in line with the generally accepted understanding of the term "information", then why would you propose a new definition for the term "information"... unless the recent finding contradicts your "theory" of evolution?

Jon Woolf said...

Hawkeye babbled: Second, if the discovery of DNA less than 50 years ago results in a finding that DNA shows evidence of "information" which falls in line with the generally accepted understanding of the term "information",

It doesn't.

Hawkeye® said...

creeper,

I've been looking for the post and comments in question, but I can't find them. I've even put the phrase "Methodological naturalism...

I don't think a site search looks at the comments section, but only at the articles. I've had that problem in the past at my own blog.

The two are rather closely related. The scientific method is based on methodological naturalism.

They may be closely related, but they are not identical. And I disagree with your assertion that "scientific method is based on methodological naturalism." The scientific method was around long before methodological naturalism. People were using scientific method who never in their wildest imagination would have considered that the some causes are not "natural". According to methodological naturalism, ALL causes can ONLY be natural. That is a more recent concept.

In the link to the Wikipedia article on the scientific method that you posted, could you point me to the part where indeterminate miracles are permitted as part of the inquiry?

Your sarcasm is duly noted. But you miss the point entirely, again. You are confusing "inquiry" and "causation". Scientists use "scientific method" to perform their "inquiry", which does not of course permit the use of any "indeterminate miracles". They make observations, establish facts, hypothesize, and perform experiments to test those hypotheses using only established methods, materials and procedures.

"Methodological naturalism" on the other hand, is a philosophical concept. It is in fact "an epistemological view" as per Wikipedia. It is not a method of "inquiry", scientific or otherwise. According to the philosophy of methodological naturalism, ALL "causation" must be "natural" and ONLY natural. That's a nice philosophy to adhere to, if you are so inclined, but it is not the only one.

Your confusion therefore, is the basis for your obvious mis-statements. And there is no point in discussing your responses to the remaining points I made, because they are likewise based on the same misunderstanding.

Hawkeye® said...

creeper,

"If they find a human artifact which bears some evidence of design or information, they can conclude that it did not have a "natural" cause. It happens every day."

There are some mixed messages going on here. You mention "evidence of design or information" twice in your comment. What exactly do you mean by "evidence of information"? It seems to me you're confused about a pretty major concept here. Information itself is not inexplicable by modern science - quite the opposite. And it certainly isn't evidence of a supernatural cause, or even indicative of such.


I didn't say that it was. Reread what I said, and then consider the automobile. It contains "evidence of design or information". In this case both. The automobile has clearly been "designed" because its complexity and artificiality are found nowhere in nature. There is also evidence of information in the automobile. Many automobiles contain a set of symbols "P R N D L" and "0 20 40 60 80 100 120", which are recurring in automobiles but not in nature. Therefore, it is logical to assume that the automobile did not have "natural" cause.

Now, I will not argue that its cause was "supernatural", but I will argue that after observing any number of automobiles, it is logical to conclude that the "cause" of these objects was NOT "natural". Why? Because there is evidence of "design" and "information" in the automobile.

If there were actual evidence of design (such as, say, an instance of specific complexity that is not related to functionality...

Why do you speak of "non-functional" complexity? An automobile is very complex, and it can be argued that virtually every component has a function (including hood ornaments and paint jobs). Yet, there is plenty of evidence for "design" in an automobile.

and can therefore not be explained by the theory of evolution...

Why would you assume that "functional" complexity can be explained by the theory of evolution, but "non-functional" complexity cannot be? And how can you tell the difference? As in the case of the automobile, some observers might not understand the functionality of certain components, yet a functionality is there and was contemplated in the design process.

evolution (which favors beneficial functions)...

Oh really? Sort of the way I favor one food over another? Or the way you favor one beverage over another? Do you realize how silly that sounds? What drives this "favoring" mechanism in evolution? To favor something requires "choice". To favor something requires a repository of knowledge where the results of experimental data are stored and called upon to make a "decision". Do I choose "A" or "B", "white" or "green", "left or right"?

In animals, to favor something, even food, still requires a repository of knowledge. It's called the brain. The lowest forms of life may appear to "favor" things, but they do not. They only react based on instinct or sensory input: temperature, humidity, sunlight vs. darkness, pH, the presence of a chemical, etc.

So, I reiterate. What drives this "favoring" mechanism in evolution? Where is its repository of knowledge? How does it make "choices"? Are you now describing evolution in human terms? Let's see, something with a brain that stores up lots of information favors "beneficial functions". I know... it's the "evolution god"! Am I right?

My God created all life. Your god evolved all life. OK, you have your religion. I have mine. So be it.

Jon Woolf said...

hawkeye: Why would you assume that "functional" complexity can be explained by the theory of evolution, but "non-functional" complexity cannot be?

He doesn't. He concludes it based on the fact that the evolutionary process continually tests an organism's functional phenotype for fitness within its current environment. Evolution does not produce or preserve non-functional traits.

What drives this "favoring" mechanism in evolution?

Natural selection.

The lowest forms of life may appear to "favor" things, but they do not. They only react based on instinct or sensory input: temperature, humidity, sunlight vs. darkness, pH, the presence of a chemical, etc.

As do you.

Anonymous said...

Hawkeye,

I'm a little surprised by the last few paragraphs of your comments above, as well as the thought process leading up to it. You've made intelligent comments in the past, but this present set of questions you've posed indicates a state of knowledge on your part that entirely predates the theory of evolution itself about 150 years ago. It's a conversation I would imagine some learned gentlemen would have had in some boudoir or absinthe joint around the beginning of the 19th century.

Hawkeye, I don't think you're unintelligent, but I do think you're - most likely intentionally - maintaining a certain ignorance of certain subjects, and I think you would find it an enriching experience to actually read up on the theory of evolution some day - if only to come up with more convincing arguments.

Jon has already made a few responses that I was composing in my head while reading your post, and he nailed it perfectly - so I'll simply say "Amen" to his response with regard to the specific issue he addressed.

I'd like to add a couple more things though:

Just to clarify this point -

"Oh really? Sort of the way I favor one food over another? Or the way you favor one beverage over another? Do you realize how silly that sounds? What drives this "favoring" mechanism in evolution?"

Simply put: the ability to survive and reproduce in greater numbers. This is pretty elementary biology, btw. I wonder if you're capable of now realizing how silly your comments re. favoring one food or beverage or another sound.

"Why would you assume that "functional" complexity can be explained by the theory of evolution, but "non-functional" complexity cannot be?"

Jon's addressed the functional complexity part. What about non-functional specific complexity though? Well, what if we found a verse from the Bible inscribed in DNA? Or in someone's teeth? (That was my earlier "A Serious Man" allusion, though I doubt anyone caught that one, since it's not exactly a movie everyone has seen.)

Evolution selects for beneficial functionality, regardless of whether YECs are capable of comprehending that or not, that has no effect on it.

But if we did find, say, a verse from the Bible inscribed in DNA, that would be it: you guys would win. Instantly. And at that point I would draw the appropriate conclusion and indeed conclude that the personified God of the Bible was the real thing. But as long as all you guys do is iterate an argument from incredulity and a whole bunch of ignorance of the theory of evolution, I don't really see what there is to discuss. You're coming up blank.

-- creeper

Anonymous said...

"Reread what I said, and then consider the automobile. It contains "evidence of design or information". In this case both. The automobile has clearly been "designed" because its complexity and artificiality are found nowhere in nature. There is also evidence of information in the automobile. Many automobiles contain a set of symbols "P R N D L" and "0 20 40 60 80 100 120", which are recurring in automobiles but not in nature. Therefore, it is logical to assume that the automobile did not have "natural" cause.

Now, I will not argue that its cause was "supernatural", but I will argue that after observing any number of automobiles, it is logical to conclude that the "cause" of these objects was NOT "natural". Why? Because there is evidence of "design" and "information" in the automobile."


But again, you're using "design or information" in an almost synonymous sense in your argument - you're simply wrapping the "evidence of information" into the "evidence of design". Can you separate the two? "Evidence of information" by itself does not necessitate a designer.

-- creeper

Anonymous said...

"Scientists use "scientific method" to perform their "inquiry", which does not of course permit the use of any "indeterminate miracles". They make observations, establish facts, hypothesize, and perform experiments to test those hypotheses using only established methods, materials and procedures."

... which would mean adhering to methodological naturalism.

From Wikipedia:

"Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new[1] knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering observable, empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning.[2] A scientific method consists of the collection of data through observation and experimentation, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses.[3]"

Or can you name something supernatural that is "observable, empirical and measurable"?

""Methodological naturalism" on the other hand, is a philosophical concept. It is in fact "an epistemological view" as per Wikipedia. It is not a method of "inquiry", scientific or otherwise."

I didn't say they were synonymous, I said they were closely related. Which they are: the scientific method is a method that adheres to methodological naturalism. With great success.

But because it does not preach metaphysical naturalism, it is possible for people (and scientists) of all faiths to be scientists.

"According to the philosophy of methodological naturalism, ALL "causation" must be "natural" and ONLY natural."

Same for the scientific method, see above.

"That's a nice philosophy to adhere to, if you are so inclined, but it is not the only one."

Can you name a modern scientist who uses anything other than methodological naturalism in their work or can't you? Keeping in mind that modern science stretches back to Newton?

Can we just agree that you and Radar can't come up with one?

-- creeper

Anonymous said...

"The scientific method was around long before methodological naturalism. People were using scientific method who never in their wildest imagination would have considered that the some causes are not "natural"."

This is where the distinction between methodological and metaphysical naturalism may not have sunk in...

To paraphrase your comment above:

"People were using methodological naturalism who never in their wildest imagination would have considered that some cases are not metaphysically naturalistic."

When people started using the scientific method, they used methodological naturalism in their work. Regardless of their metaphysical beliefs or motivations.

-- creeper

Jon Woolf said...

It really is rather surreal to see someone referring to methodological naturalism, but applying the definition of philosophical naturalism -- when the whole point of adding the adjectives is to distinguish between naturalism as a philosophy and naturalism as a method of investigation.

Surreal, but sadly not unexpected, given how little Radar understands his native language.

radar said...

With my daughter taken to the hospital last night (she is doing well) I have not kept up with the comments, which are exploding all over. Mostly Darwinists repeating propaganda and reminding everyone that they consider me to be a complete idiot. Nice,

As to methodological naturalism, creeper, what you do not understand is that a true scientist does not limit his field of inquiry to only the material world. The true scientist seeks to find the answer within the material world first and then, when that fails, looks to the supernatural.

Go look at the list of scientists working at or with the Discovery Institute if you want to find scientists who do not limit themselves to your arbitrary boundary and then add ICR and AIG and CMI and dozens and dozens of other such organizations.

Continuing to call me names rather than addressing the issues is rather juvenile. You Darwinists have completely failed to account for information, for life, for the existence of the Universe with any plausible naturalistic causation. The logical mind accepts that a supernatural explanation for these things is the best explanation. Only a religious adherence to naturalism keeps the mind from accepting the obvious answers.

When I am sure my daughter is well then I will surely use some of these comments to begin my next post so that I can clearly differentiate between the religious fervor of the naturalistic humanist and the clear and concise conclusions of the rational mind.

radar said...

My claims of information loss??? Have you no knowledge of genetics at all? Any geneticist will tell you that by studying the DNA strand scientists have concluded that many bacteria have lost a large percentage of functionality over time and also that speciation is a process of the selection of portions of the genome. I do not intend to teach a grade school course on genetics because you should be beyond that.

Mendel demonstrated long ago that organisms are produced from a selection of pre-existing information within the genetic code and he demonstrated some logic and order that could be observed in the husbandry of peas. Science has advanced to the point of gene mapping and can identify to some extent exactly how speciation operates. I challenge you to demonstrate enough intelligence to admit that speciation is a selection from a greater pool of information within the gene in order to reproduce specific offspring. If you do not know that then you frankly do not have the ability to comment with any intelligence on this blog.

Thanks, Hawkeye, for taking on a few point while I have been concerned about my hospitalized daughter!!!

Anonymous said...

Radar, look after your daughter first, and I hope she's okay.

Then do us all a favor and actually read the comments on your blog. So many times it seems you skim them over without understanding them at all, the above set being perfect examples of that.

-- creeper

Jon Woolf said...

Any geneticist will tell you that by studying the DNA strand scientists have concluded that many bacteria have lost a large percentage of functionality over time and also that speciation is a process of the selection of portions of the genome.

Perhaps you can link to an example of this?

Mendel demonstrated long ago that organisms are produced from a selection of pre-existing information within the genetic code and he demonstrated some logic and order that could be observed in the husbandry of peas.

No, he didn't. Honestly, Radar, sometimes you sound like you think Mendel discovered the entire science of genetics singlehanded. Gregor Mendel was a monk in a homespun robe, playing with his garden as a way of filling the time between Holy Offices. He discovered simple autosomal inheritance, and he discovered that most traits don't follow the rules of simple autosomal inheritance. He was so crushed by his experimental failures, and the lack of notice taken by others in his findings, that he gave up on genetics and turned his energy to astronomy and meteorology for the last twenty years of his life.

I challenge you to demonstrate enough intelligence to admit that speciation is a selection from a greater pool of information within the gene in order to reproduce specific offspring.

Why would any of us admit something that isn't true? There are many processes that can lead to speciation. One such mechanism serves as a perfect counterexample to your claim: polyploid speciation, known from many plant genera and some animals as well. In polyploidy, a series of malfunctions in reproduction result in an offspring that has a completely doubled genome -- ie, if the parents had 24 pairs of chromosomes, the polyploid offspring will have 48 pairs. Polyploid offspring can't breed with their own parent-type, but they can breed with other polyploids. If an environmental influence triggers polyploidy in an entire population, you can get an entire new breeding population of the polyploid in a single generation -- which, by the reproductive species concept, is a new species.

Genetic analysis shows that many plant species have evolved partly by polyploidy. We've even benefited from it ourselves -- many food-grains are polyploids, including one known to any SF fan: triticale.

I suggest a quick read of the Wikipedia article on polyploidy. It's a wonderful example of J. B. S. Haldane's dictum "the Universe is not only queerer than we imagine, it is queerer than we can imagine."

Jon Woolf said...

Any geneticist will tell you that by studying the DNA strand scientists have concluded that many bacteria have lost a large percentage of functionality over time and also that speciation is a process of the selection of portions of the genome.

Perhaps you can link to an example of this?

Mendel demonstrated long ago that organisms are produced from a selection of pre-existing information within the genetic code and he demonstrated some logic and order that could be observed in the husbandry of peas.

No, he didn't. Honestly, Radar, sometimes you sound like you think Mendel discovered the entire science of genetics singlehanded. Gregor Mendel was a monk in a homespun robe, playing with his garden as a way of filling the time between Holy Offices. He had no lab or high-tech instrumentation. He discovered simple autosomal inheritance, and he discovered that most traits don't follow the rules of simple autosomal inheritance. He was so crushed by his experimental failures, and the lack of notice of his findings, that he gave up on genetics and turned his energy to astronomy and meteorology for the last twenty years of his life.

I challenge you to demonstrate enough intelligence to admit that speciation is a selection from a greater pool of information within the gene in order to reproduce specific offspring.

Why would any of us admit something that isn't true? There are many processes that can lead to speciation, and not all of them involve information loss. Here's one of them: polyploid speciation, known from many plant genera and some animals as well. In polyploidy, a series of malfunctions in reproduction result in an offspring that has several times as many chromosomes as the parent -- ie, if the parents had 24 pairs of chromosomes, the polyploid offspring will have 48, 72, 96, or even more pairs. Polyploid offspring can't breed with their own parent-type, but they can breed with other polyploids. If an environmental influence triggers polyploidy in an entire population, you can get an entire new breeding population of the polyploid in a single generation -- which, by the reproductive species concept, is a new species.

Genetic analysis shows that many plant species have evolved partly by polyploidy. We've even benefited from it ourselves -- many food-grains are polyploids, including one known to any SF fan: triticale.

I suggest a quick read of the Wikipedia article on polyploidy. It's a wonderful example of J. B. S. Haldane's dictum "the Universe is not only queerer than we imagine, it is queerer than we can imagine."

Jon Woolf said...

Oops, sorry about the duplicate comment. Blogger glitched again.

Anonymous said...

As to methodological naturalism, creeper, what you do not understand is that a true scientist does not limit his field of inquiry to only the material world. The true scientist seeks to find the answer within the material world first and then, when that fails, looks to the supernatural.

HOW DO YOU TEST FOR THE SUPERNATURAL?

lava

Anonymous said...

"Go look at the list of scientists working at or with the Discovery Institute if you want to find scientists who do not limit themselves to your arbitrary boundary and then add ICR and AIG and CMI and dozens and dozens of other such organizations. "

You're making sweeping claims that you can't back up. Name a single one, JUST ONE, who doesn't use methodological naturalism in all their work. By name. Then show how they don't use methodological naturalism.

Methodological naturalism is not an arbitrary boundary, though it seems that you still can't get past some mental block that requires you to confuse it with metaphysical naturalism.

"I challenge you to demonstrate enough intelligence to admit that speciation is a selection from a greater pool of information within the gene in order to reproduce specific offspring. If you do not know that then you frankly do not have the ability to comment with any intelligence on this blog."

Given that you, Mr. Bacteria-Evolution, Mr. Darwinists-Haven't-Taken-Sexual-Selection-Into-Account, tend to vastly overestimate your own knowledge of a number of subjects, I'll take your challenge with a big fat bag of salt.

"The true scientist seeks to find the answer within the material world first and then, when that fails, looks to the supernatural."

What lava said.

If a "true scientist" doesn't find the answer within the material world (though there's an awful lot of material world to consider), I suppose some might ponder a supernatural cause. At which point all they've done is (perhaps tentatively) abandoned metaphysical naturalism, though not necessarily methodological naturalism.

HOWEVER, all they have at this point is a notion, perhaps the inklings of a hypothesis.

Then what do they do?

If you can't answer that, then all you're saying is that a "true scientist", when not coming up with an answer, simply concludes that "God did it".

I'd say "true scientist" is an awfully generous description of such a kind of person; "quitter" might be another. As would "non-scientist".

-- creeper

Hawkeye® said...

Jon Woolf,

hawkeye: Why would you assume that "functional" complexity can be explained by the theory of evolution, but "non-functional" complexity cannot be?

He doesn't. He concludes it based on the fact that the evolutionary process continually tests an organism's functional phenotype for fitness within its current environment. Evolution does not produce or preserve non-functional traits.


Now there you go again (to coin a phrase). Not "you" specifically, but "you" collectively... "the evolutionary process continually tests an organism's functional phenotype..." Again you assign human traits to a "process". First, evolution "favors" things. Now evolution "tests" things, eh?

In order to "test" something, an "intelligence" must have a repository of knowledge in which it can compare new data with previously acquired data through a set of controlled sequences. The purpose of the "testing" in your scenario, is to determine if the results obtained compare favorably or unfavorably to data in the repository.

I reiterate. Where is this repository of knowledge?

"What drives this "favoring" mechanism in evolution?

Natural selection.


And therefore, you must admit that "natural selection" has an intelligence with a repository of knowledge whereby it can compare past data to new data and make a "decision" in favor of "X" versus "Y"? If not, please explain the process.

The lowest forms of life may appear to "favor" things, but they do not. They only react based on instinct or sensory input: temperature, humidity, sunlight vs. darkness, pH, the presence of a chemical, etc.

As do you.


I beg to differ. I might absolutely hate "humidity", but if I "decide" to endure that environmental condition in order to attain some higher purpose, then I have "chosen" not to "react" as my normal "instincts" would dictate. I might even endure suffering and death (the highest breach of the "self-preservation" instinct) if my personal "values" are brought into question.

Last time I checked, mosquitoes don't have "values". But I could be wrong. Maybe Richard Dawkins has proved such things exist.

Jon Woolf said...

[chuckle.wav]

Not a bad try at a judo argument, Hawkeye. For a novice, at least. I'd give it a yellow sash. But everyone reading this understands what you're trying to do ... and most of them will also understand that you're simply evading the issue, not facing it.

Hawkeye® said...

creeper,

Hawkeye,
I'm a little surprised by the last few paragraphs of your comments above...


Glad that I could "surprise" you. It's not good to be too predictable.

as well as the thought process leading up to it.

Are you a mind reader? You know my thought processes now?

You've made intelligent comments in the past...

Don't start to flatter me. I might get a big head.

but this present set of questions you've posed indicates a state of knowledge on your part that entirely predates the theory of evolution itself about 150 years ago. It's a conversation I would imagine some learned gentlemen would have had in some boudoir or absinthe joint around the beginning of the 19th century.

Ahh yes. You may think of me as a Renaissance man.

Hawkeye, I don't think you're unintelligent...

Thank you. With two college degrees, I would hope not.

but I do think you're - most likely intentionally - maintaining a certain ignorance of certain subjects...

No. Just asking the tough questions that need to be answered.

and I think you would find it an enriching experience to actually read up on the theory of evolution some day...

"Enriching"...? How about "boring"? Besides, evolutionary theory only raises more questions than it produces answers. And which version should I read? Evolutionary scientists can't even agree among themselves.

if only to come up with more convincing arguments.

Your arguments have not exactly been "convincing".

Just to clarify this point -

"Oh really? Sort of the way I favor one food over another? Or the way you favor one beverage over another? Do you realize how silly that sounds? What drives this "favoring" mechanism in evolution?"

Simply put: the ability to survive and reproduce in greater numbers. This is pretty elementary biology, btw. I wonder if you're capable of now realizing how silly your comments re. favoring one food or beverage or another sound.


Not silly at all. I completely disagree with your logic. There is still no "favoring" mechanism involved. The "ability to survive and reproduce in greater numbers" is a function of the creature. Because one creature is more hardy or adaptable than another, it survives. That does not mean that it has been "favored" in any way by some outside process or "evolution god".

I reiterate. To "favor" something requires a repository of knowledge and an intelligence which allows it to make a "decision" based on acquired experiences. Where is the repository of knowledge in evolution? How does it make decisions? These are rhetorical questions of course. Obviously, there is no evolutionary repository of knowledge and no intelligence which allows it to make a decision. Therefore, there is no "favoring" mechanism. QED.

God can "favor". You and I can "favor". But evolution cannot "favor" anything.

"Why would you assume that "functional" complexity can be explained by the theory of evolution, but "non-functional" complexity cannot be?"

Jon's addressed the functional complexity part.


Not to my satisfaction.

Hawkeye® said...

(continued...)

What about non-functional specific complexity though? Well, what if we found a verse from the Bible inscribed in DNA? Or in someone's teeth? (That was my earlier "A Serious Man" allusion, though I doubt anyone caught that one, since it's not exactly a movie everyone has seen.)

You are 100% correct. I have not seen the movie, therefore I do not understand the implications of your questions.

Evolution selects for beneficial functionality

There you go again. Applying human traits to your "evolution god". First evolution "favored" something. Now it "selects" something. For all practical purposes there is no substantial difference between "favoring" and "selecting". Each requires a repository of knowledge, a database if you will, a selection criteria, and an intelligence to make a "decision". Evolution does not possess such instruments, therefore it does not "favor" or "select" anything. Therefore it does not exist. QED.

regardless of whether YECs are capable of comprehending that or not, that has no effect on it.

In other words, you don't need to be able to explain it to me in terms that I can understand logically, or for that matter, prove its existence. It still exists despite its being neither provable nor explainable. In other words, it requires "faith". OK.

But if we did find, say, a verse from the Bible inscribed in DNA, that would be it: you guys would win. Instantly. And at that point I would draw the appropriate conclusion and indeed conclude that the personified God of the Bible was the real thing.

Hardly. You guys would say it was "a hoax". Just like the dinosaur and human footprints together. You won't believe that. What makes you think you would believe a DNA Bible verse? Don't kid yourself. You wouldn't believe it if somebody came back from the dead and told you to believe in God (which someone named Jesus has already done btw).

But as long as all you guys do is iterate an argument from incredulity...

Well, as long as you guys keep making "incredulous" statements, then our response is likely to be incredulity.

and a whole bunch of ignorance of the theory of evolution...

Now, now, now. No need for name calling. Just because you can't explain it in a way that makes sense logically, does not imply my "ignorance". Don't try to dazzle me with "brilliance" or baffle me with "BS". Just explain it to me as a "natural" mechanism which does not require human traits like "favoring" or "selecting". If words really matter, then find the right ones.

I don't really see what there is to discuss. You're coming up blank.

There's plenty to discuss. You want me to disregard my faith and accept yours. Well, if you're going to do that, then you've got to be VERY convincing. And you ain't there yet.

Hawkeye® said...

creeper,

... which would mean adhering to methodological naturalism.

From Wikipedia:

"Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new[1] knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering observable, empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning.[2] A scientific method consists of the collection of data through observation and experimentation, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses.[3]"


How quaint. I tell you that you are confusing "scientific method" with "methodological naturalism" and you quote to me the definition of "scientific method" to explain "methodological naturalism". D'OH!

Hawkeye® said...

creeper,
"According to the philosophy of methodological naturalism, ALL "causation" must be "natural" and ONLY natural."

Same for the scientific method, see above.


No kidding. Sometimes talking to you is like talking to a brick. I have already acknowledged that point. But what I said, was that "scientific method" is what forms the basis of "inquiry", while "methodological naturalism" does not. It is a "philosophy", not a "method".

I reiterate. The "scientific method" forms the basis of "scientific inquiry". No problems. Methodological naturalism DOES NOT form the basis of scientific inquiries. According to the philosophy of methodological naturalism, ALL "causation" must be "natural" and ONLY natural.

Can you name a modern scientist who uses anything other than methodological naturalism in their work or can't you? Keeping in mind that modern science stretches back to Newton?

Yes. Sir Isaac Newton. Newton used "scientific method" but did NOT believe that ALL causation was natural ONLY. He believed that God was the Creator (ie, the non-natural cause) of gravity. He believed that God was the non-natural cause of the planetary movements. He believed that God was the non-natural cause of all the "natural laws". Therefore, I contend that he did not subscribe to the philosophy of methodological naturalism which demands that ALL causes be natural ONLY!

Radar came up with a long list of other modern scientists who come to the same conclusions as Newton.

Can we just agree that you and Radar can't come up with one?

Nope.

Hawkeye® said...

Jon Woolf,
"It really is rather surreal to see someone referring to methodological naturalism, but applying the definition of philosophical naturalism -- when the whole point of adding the adjectives is to distinguish between naturalism as a philosophy and naturalism as a method of investigation."

It was not I who defined "methodological naturalism" as a philosophy. It was Wikipedia...

"Naturalism (philosophy)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Redirected from Methodological naturalism)

Naturalism is divided into two philosophical stances:

* Methodological naturalism (or scientific naturalism) which focuses on epistemology..." (etc.)

I have simply been trying to tell creeper that he is confusing a "philosophy" with a "method".

Hawkeye® said...

Jon Woolf,
[chuckle.wav] Not a bad try at a judo argument, Hawkeye. For a novice, at least. I'd give it a yellow sash. But everyone reading this understands what you're trying to do ... and most of them will also understand that you're simply evading the issue, not facing it.

I'M not facing it? You still haven't answered my questions have you? Therefore, I think it is YOU who are not facing it. I think it is YOU who are simply evading the issue.

radar said...

Hawkeye,

When you argue this subject with Woolf you are trying to catch smoke with a butterfly net. He is unable to understand the point.

Normal scientists used to look for natural causes first and then, when natural causes failed, look to the supernatural. Thus Pasteur demonstrated that life comes from life and the scientific community agreed - no natural cause for life.

Woolf and creeper cannot admit that supernatural causes may exist for religious reasons and therefore they will parse language and twist the conversation, as you have demonstrated. They have their fingers in a logical monkey puzzle and they sound like Bill Clinton questioning what the meaning of "is" is. The readers can plainly see this.

Hawkeye® said...

Radar,
"Normal scientists used to look for natural causes first and then, when natural causes failed, look to the supernatural."

I'm not sure I agree with that statement 100%. I would maintain that early scientists attributed the orderliness they found in nature to "laws", and ultimately to a "lawgiver".

Because they were well acquainted with the scriptures, they remembered that "God is not the author of confusion". They remembered that God created the sun to rise each morning, and the seasons to happen at their appointed times. They remembered that God gave "the law" to Moses on Mt. Sinai.

They associated orderliness in nature with "laws" and they logically concluded that those laws were authored by the Great Lawgiver Himself.

Many of today's scientists have no such education in the scriptures, therefore they worship the creature rather than the Creator. They worship "nature" rather than Him who created "nature". They look for "laws" but not a "lawgiver".

radar said...

Hawkeye, you and I are on the same page. It was more common in the past for the scientist to both expect and look for evidences of the Creator in creation. Someone with a Darwinist mindset does not "grok" this. So I didn't bother to speak to that mindset.

Fortunately for mankind, there is a rapid growth of scientists who have studied the evidence and concluded that naturalism cannot account for the design of organisms and the fine-tuning of everything and therefore they have abandoned naturalism and accepted the idea that organisms were designed. With that thought in mind, they continue to use the same scientific method that worked for Newton or Bacon or Von Braun but without the arbitrary and unscientific addition of "natural causation only."

Microengineers/nanoengineers are working from the premise that tiny systems are a design that can be copied and utilized whether they admit to it or not or even care. Operational science does not need to have Darwin included and in fact operational science tends to focus on the evidence and only puts the Darwin label on the finished product to get by the "censors".

Jon Woolf said...

Hawkeye wrote: Therefore, I think it is YOU who are not facing it. I think it is YOU who are simply evading the issue.

Of course you do. Doesn't mean you're right, though.

Radar wrote: When you argue this subject with Woolf you are trying to catch smoke with a butterfly net. He is unable to understand the point.

Don't confuse an absence of agreement with an absence of understanding.

Woolf and creeper cannot admit that supernatural causes may exist for religious reasons

[snicker.wav] So much sound and fury, so little understanding. I'm quite ready to agree that "supernatural" (whatever that means) things may exist; I just am unconvinced that they do exist. So far, your attempts to prove that they do amount to "I assume that they do, therefore they do." Not very convincing.

The Tao of Heaven:
Does not contend and yet excels in winning
Does not speak and yet excels in responding
Is not summoned and yet comes on its own
Is unhurried and yet excels in planning
The heavenly net is vast
Loose, and yet does not let anything slip through

Anonymous said...

...they continue to use the same scientific method that worked for Newton or Bacon or Von Braun but without the arbitrary and unscientific addition of "natural causation only."

So, what scientific theories/developments/... did Newton or Bacon or Von Braun come up with that took into account the supernatural?

Also, you never answered my question about how you test for the supernatural?

lava

Anonymous said...

Hawkeye,

1. re. your complaint that we keep using human traits to describe things, unfortunately language has many connotations and we often have to make do with words that are less than ideal to describe certain things. Perhaps “favor” is not an ideal word, though the context should have made the meaning somewhat clear.

“Select” likewise has connotations of active choice, which is why Darwin saw fit to use the qualifier “natural” to differentiate it from the kind of “selection” we are used to. “Natural selection” obviously is a very different term from plain “selection”, and perhaps the qualifier “naturally” should be used when that is what we mean in this context.

A term that may get the meaning across more clearly, i.e. without connotations of conscious choice, would be to “filter” something. I doubt you’ve ever read Dawkins’ book “The Blind Watchmaker”, though I’d recommend it – you’d get more out of it than you might think. As a simple, extremely basic example, he mentions the sorting of pebbles on a beach, in which pebbles/stones/sand of different sizes are “sorted” by successive waves on the beach, causing stones of different sizes to end up in different strata. You’ve probably seen this phenomenon yourself when walking on a beach of pebbles.

You could analogously apply the terms “selection” or “favoring” to this process, even if no conscious comparison to a pre-existing set of data has occurred. Would you agree?

-- creeper

Anonymous said...

”To "favor" something requires a repository of knowledge and an intelligence which allows it to make a "decision" based on acquired experiences.”

No, it does not. The process of putting something through a sieve can “favor” small pieces of sand over larger objects. It can also “select” smaller pieces over larger ones.

-- creeper

Anonymous said...

”And therefore, you must admit that "natural selection" has an intelligence with a repository of knowledge whereby it can compare past data to new data and make a "decision" in favor of "X" versus "Y"? If not, please explain the process.”

Hawkeye, it appears that you have not grasped the concept of natural selection at all, seeing as you insist on an intelligence and a conscious comparison process being at work, which is something that not even IDers or, as I understand it, most YECs would claim.

Natural selection means that traits that aid survival and/or reproduction are “naturally selected” by virtue of the fact that they will of course tend to survive and reproduce in greater numbers, hence having an amplifying effect over successive generations. There is no conscious intelligence or comparison to existing knowledge involved.

Perhaps you find reading about certain subjects (like evolution) boring, but when you indicate a lack of knowledge like this about something you're attempting to argue against, it demeans the significance of the two college degrees you lay claim to. Surely if you earned those, you're more au fait with intelligent, logical discussion than you're putting on display here.

-- creeper

Anonymous said...

2. re. early scientists attributing orderliness in nature to “laws”, which they ultimately attributed to a “lawgiver”.

It seems to me you’re putting the cart before the horse here. Throughout human history, man has observed the regularity of certain things they could observe: night and day, seasons, weather, as well as phenomena like gravity and physics. Repeated observation told them that this would predictably always be the case: you throw a stone up in the air, it will always fall down in a very predictable arc, and so on.

As man sought explanations for this, they initially opted for explanations that kinda worked, but were not based on any detailed analysis, experimentation etc. Gods were given credit for thunder and lightning as well as the rising of the sun, and so on. Over time this evolved into polytheism and monotheism, along with the notion of divine authority and a “lawgiver”. It’s entirely possible that early scientists (and even some today) are inspired by this notion of a God having created the whole thing.

The same regularity of phenomena, over time, also permitted humans to develop science, and thence to develop scientific laws. Newton’s Laws are very straightforward and scientific, and regardless of (or even despite) Newton’s religious beliefs, his famous Laws make no mention of any divine influence. He may well have been inspired by the belief that he was exploring God’s creation, but all of Newton’s successful scientific work adheres strictly to methodological naturalism (note that this is not to be confused with metaphysical naturalism, as Radar and Hawkeye seem hellbent on doing).

” Many of today's scientists have no such education in the scriptures, therefore they worship the creature rather than the Creator. They worship "nature" rather than Him who created "nature".”

But if God supposedly created nature, then what is wrong with scientists studying the creation? Seeing as the study of God himself is not possible from a scientific standpoint?

Lava just raised the question in a comment preceding mine, for the umpteenth time. I’ve also asked this many times before, as have many others, going all the way back to cranky old fart back in 2006.

No answer has ever been given or appears to be forthcoming...

(continued in next comment)

Anonymous said...

(continued from previous comment)

If you want to include the supernatural, if you really want to wedge God into science, if you want to “consider all possibilities”, then how would you test for the supernatural?

This is what I consider the complete failure of this train of thought, something that neither Radar or Hawkeye have ever been able to address. To be fair to them, they are not in any way learned men on the subject and seem brazenly determined to look completely uneducated on the very subject they attempt to argue against, but (to be fair, in turn, to the other commenters) it’s not like this subject has not been brought to their attention.

Let’s say a scientist is at the end of his wits in trying to find an explanation for a particularly difficult phenomenon (e.g. origin of life, origin of the universe) by “only” studying the natural world (I put “only” in quotes because the natural world is vast and still leaves much to explore), and he concludes that there is no plausible explanation to be found in the material world, and he conceives of a supernatural cause.

At this point, he is no better off than if he had conceived of a natural cause. What he now has in hand is a hypothesis. “I've run through all the natural ways I can think of to explain the origin of life. I think God did it.” Another scientist, a more imaginative one perhaps, might conclude "I've run through all the natural ways I can think of to explain the origin of life... oh wait, there's one more."

NOW WHAT?

If said scientist has a natural cause in mind, he can come up with a testable, falsifiable hypothesis to test this, and keep exploring. Witness, for example, the work of Dr. Jack Szostak - fortunately not a “true scientist” in Radar’s mind, meaning that scientific progress is permitted to continue.

But if said scientist had a supernatural cause in mind (e.g. “God did it”)... then he cannot do such a thing. He can state with conviction that he can’t think of any alternative and that he therefore thinks God did it. And from that point can not continue.

Which means that his scientific endeavor comes to an end.

Now keep in mind, folks, that this second person is the one that Radar would like you to see as the “true scientist”. The one stuck on a hypothesis he cannot test. Because he “considers all possibilities”. But merely "considering" does not constitute scientific progress.

Long ago, Vikings thought that Thor rained thunder and lightning down on them. They couldn’t think of another explanation, so it seemed plausible to them. And if you were one of them, you couldn’t be blamed for believing the same thing. And according to Radar, whoever constituted the scientists among them would have been "true scientists" for leaping to a supernatural conclusion.

Needless to say, those "true scientists" did not fare so well over time.

-- creeper

Anonymous said...

Looking over Hawkeye's comments here, the old adage of "if you have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail" seems very apt. Hawkeye has God in mind and therefore is determined to see volition in everything, even natural selection, not taking into account any other point or interpretation.

Same with the constant projection of "worldview" above all else to the motivations of the people who are here making arguments requiring a simple and logical understanding of scientific methods and theories.

"Woolf and creeper cannot admit that supernatural causes may exist for religious reasons and therefore they will parse language and twist the conversation, as you have demonstrated. "

What makes you think I'd be loath to admit that supernatural causes may exist? Or that I would find this objectionable on religious grounds?

1. Supernatural causes may exist. I'm pretty sure I've made that point in different words on this blog not so long ago, but since apparently you don't read most of the comments on your own blog, Radar, I guess you missed that one too.

But there is no evidence for such causes, and the ongoing trend of things that were believed to have supernatural causes being revealed to have natural causes after all makes it quite plausible to believe that there is no such thing as the supernatural, only the natural that we have not yet understood.

2. I do not ascribe to any religion. For someone who is so devoutly Christian and is so closely involved in local church activities and who yet somehow claims not to be religious, it's really something that you would then try to pin this label on someone else. Again, this appears to be some kind of weird projection on your part. You're steeped in religion and dogma, therefore everybody else must be too.

Tell me, Radar, on what basis do you claim that Jon and/or I are religious?

-- creeper

Anonymous said...

creeper: "Can you name a modern scientist who uses anything other than methodological naturalism in their work or can't you? Keeping in mind that modern science stretches back to Newton?"

Hawkeye: "Yes. Sir Isaac Newton. Newton used "scientific method" but did NOT believe that ALL causation was natural ONLY. He believed that God was the Creator (ie, the non-natural cause) of gravity. He believed that God was the non-natural cause of the planetary movements. He believed that God was the non-natural cause of all the "natural laws". Therefore, I contend that he did not subscribe to the philosophy of methodological naturalism which demands that ALL causes be natural ONLY!"


His beliefs would then be a rejection of metaphysical naturalism, no more. His methods in defining these laws and conducting his research subscribed entirely to methodological naturalism.

I've already made this point upthread:

"In that case they would have employed methodological naturalism in their method, but come to a tentative conclusion dismissing metaphysical naturalism. They would then have a hypothesis on their hands. How would they go about exploring this?"

Or did Newton at some point stop and say: "I believe God is responsible for gravity, and this is how I can prove it."? Of course not.

"Radar came up with a long list of other modern scientists who come to the same conclusions as Newton."

... every single one of which used methodological naturalism in their work.

-- creeper

Anonymous said...

"With that thought in mind, they continue to use the same scientific method that worked for Newton or Bacon or Von Braun but without the arbitrary and unscientific addition of "natural causation only.""

Newton and Bacon and Von Braun all worked within the constraints of methodological naturalism, regardless of what worldview they might have held. And this is not an "arbitrary and unscientific" addition, quite the opposite: it is rational and scientific.

All you have to do is think a step further, as has been mentioned numerous times on this blog, even if that does not seem to sink in with the more religious-minded commenters as well as the purveyor of this blog:

When you propose a natural cause, you can find a way to test for it.

When you propose a supernatural cause, what do you do?

That's why devout Christians have found methodological naturalism useful in their scientific work (e.g. Newton) even while rejecting metaphysical naturalism on the whole.

I'll also gladly dig up another example to illustrate this, which Radar and his cohorts have also found impossible to answer:

Let's say three scientists of different religions get together to explore a certain phenomenon. What would happen if they each, at the beginning of their collaboration, slammed their own religious text on the table and insisted that the conclusions they were about to find had better conform to this text, or else?

They wouldn't get a whole lot done, would they?

After much arguing, they would eventually have to agree that the only way they could conduct any research would be to make claims and test claims that each could verify regardless of worldview. And the only thing we can test is what we can all observe. Claiming divine revelation simply doesn't work in this context.

That is precisely why methodological naturalism (regardless of one's stance on metaphysical naturalism) is by far the best way to conduct science, and no one has yet proposed a better alternative.

-- creeper

radar said...

Hawkeye, you should give up on this point. Someone like creeper is unable to perceive their own worldview filter. We know Newton actually wrote a bit more about Christianity than he did about science, for instance, and certainly never even considered the concept of methodological naturalism. Naturalism is an unreasonable and unnatural constraint on the pursuit of truth.

What do naturalists have at the end of their rainbow? Blind chance with no conceivable logical causation. How do they explain the concepts of fractals and design templates and information and life itself? If you carefully read Darwinist literature they (unwittingly?) seem to give power to organisms to make themselves into new forms, as if there was a mystical power within creatures to self-evolve. Listen to the descriptors when a Darwinist speaks, read the language in textbooks.

Naturalism is a choice made on metaphysical grounds that is imposed on science for no just cause. Creeper claims the scientists I have named use methodological naturalism but their own words deny his claim. I have included so many articles and quotes on the subject that no more needs to be said. Darwinists choose to limit their worldview to materialistic causes only. That is a room with no windows or doors and they will never escape its bounds.

Anonymous said...

"You want me to disregard my faith and accept yours. Well, if you're going to do that, then you've got to be VERY convincing. And you ain't there yet."

No offense, but I really couldn't care less about your faith. If you want to believe in God and Jesus, fine by me. Plenty of people manage to believe in God and Jesus without falling for a bunch of misinformation about science, like these folks. I don't think your faith necessitates making yourself look uneducated in public. It's possible to disagree on some points, sure, but for you to miss even the basic aspects of natural selection is quite a whopper.

I've been in personal discussions up close with high-level religious clergy and people involved in religious media (and no, I won't tell you who) that have devoted their lives to spreading the gospel, but who think that Young Earth Creationism is a silly aberration of the Christian faith. I don't think it was their worldview that led them to that conclusion.

-- creeper

Anonymous said...

"Hawkeye, you should give up on this point. Someone like creeper is unable to perceive their own worldview filter."

How would you differentiate between what you think is my worldview filter and a worldview filter that uses no pre-suppositions, including that of a God as laid down in an ancient religious text?

"We know Newton actually wrote a bit more about Christianity than he did about science, for instance, and certainly never even considered the concept of methodological naturalism."

For someone who never even considered it, it's a bit odd that he so consistently used it in his work. He may well have written about Christianity (the same way that a scientist today can go to church on a Sunday or speculate about God as he wishes), but when you look at his scientific work, I challenge you to point to any instance in his successful scientific work in which he strayed outside of methodological naturalism.

"Naturalism is an unreasonable and unnatural constraint on the pursuit of truth."

As I explained above, methodological naturalism is quite the opposite of unreasonable or unnatural. I note that you appear unable to address the arguments I made and want to simply skip beyond them.

"What do naturalists have at the end of their rainbow?"

Methodological naturalists?

1. Scientific results, very consistently and successfully.

2. Whatever personal faith they desire and believe in. Their use of methodological naturalism in their scientific work does not affect that.

Metaphysical naturalists?

What rainbow? The implication of your question is that there is a rainbow, that this is all about worldview and competing rainbows.

But what of the three "scientists" with competing religious texts? How would you resolve that situation?

"Blind chance with no conceivable logical causation. How do they explain the concepts of fractals and design templates and information and life itself? If you carefully read Darwinist literature they (unwittingly?) seem to give power to organisms to make themselves into new forms, as if there was a mystical power within creatures to self-evolve."

The fact that you start this little sequence with "blind chance" with no further qualifiers indicates that you have not grasped the mere concept of natural selection, and Hawkeye seems pretty shaky on this as well. It's a poor basis (actually no basis at all) on which to judge any further science as regards evolution, abiogenesis etc.

Evolution involves random chance as a factor, yes, but it is not limited to it - a common strawman argument among creationists.

That's where natural selection comes in.

-- creeper

Anonymous said...

"Naturalism is a choice made on metaphysical grounds"

In science, methodological naturalism is a choice made on pragmatic grounds. Without it, there would have been no Scientific Revolution and we wouldn't have been able to experience the kind of scientific progress that we see in our own lives.

Metaphysical naturalism may well be a choice made on metaphysical grounds, but you were sloppy enough in your statement so as not to make it clear which kind of naturalism you were referring to - quite possibly because you don't understand the distinction yourself.

"that is imposed on science for no just cause."

Wrong - for the cause that it works, and scientific progress is impossible in its absence.

"Creeper claims the scientists I have named use methodological naturalism but their own words deny his claim."

Unless they actually used something other than methodological naturalism in their actual scientific work, their words outside of that are irrelevant.

"I have included so many articles and quotes on the subject that no more needs to be said."

Other than actually naming a scientist who uses something other than methodological naturalism in their scientific work, something you have failed to do despite numerous requests and even including all the articles and quotes you have posted on your blog. Never once did any of them use anything other than methodological naturalism in their scientific work, and your hollow assertion right here does nothing to change that.

"Darwinists choose to limit their worldview to materialistic causes only. That is a room with no windows or doors and they will never escape its bounds."

If a "Darwinist" (again, sloppy terminology on your part) is someone who accepts the theory of evolution as valid, then they of course do not limit their worldview to materialistic causes only. I don't know what kind of morons you think your readers are that you think it's sufficient to keep repeating such plain lies.

-- creeper

Anonymous said...

Hawkeye: "Oh really? Sort of the way I favor one food over another? Or the way you favor one beverage over another? Do you realize how silly that sounds? What drives this "favoring" mechanism in evolution?"

creeper: “Simply put: the ability to survive and reproduce in greater numbers. This is pretty elementary biology, btw. I wonder if you're capable of now realizing how silly your comments re. favoring one food or beverage or another sound.”

Hawkeye: “Not silly at all. I completely disagree with your logic. There is still no "favoring" mechanism involved. The "ability to survive and reproduce in greater numbers" is a function of the creature. Because one creature is more hardy or adaptable than another, it survives. That does not mean that it has been "favored" in any way by some outside process or "evolution god".”


When you say “one creature is more hardy or adaptable than another, it survives”, are you referring to the genotype or the phenotype? I suspect (because of the last sentence in your paragraph above) that you’re referring to the genotype, which would mean you’ve missed the whole thrust of the argument.

”I reiterate. To "favor" something requires a repository of knowledge and an intelligence which allows it to make a "decision" based on acquired experiences.”

No, it does not. A process can “favor” something without a conscious intelligence being at work. Take any filter, sieve, or similar process, e.g. the aforementioned pebbles being sorted on the beach.

”Where is the repository of knowledge in evolution? How does it make decisions? These are rhetorical questions of course. Obviously, there is no evolutionary repository of knowledge and no intelligence which allows it to make a decision. Therefore, there is no "favoring" mechanism. QED.”

Your QED fails due to faulty premises at the beginning (unfounded assertion of the necessitation of the involvement of a conscious intelligence), as of course is always the result if you proceed from faulty premises.

Incidentally, as I mentioned before, your wild excursion here is not something supported by even Intelligent Design proponents nor, as far as I know, most creationists.

-- creeper

Jon Woolf said...

We know Newton actually wrote a bit more about Christianity than he did about science, for instance, and certainly never even considered the concept of methodological naturalism.

The term "methodological naturalism" hadn't been coined yet, so how could he have written about it?

Naturalism is an unreasonable and unnatural constraint on the pursuit of truth.

"Science is the search for FACT, not TRUTH. If it's Truth you want, Dr. Tyree's philosophy class is right down the hall." -- Professor Henry Jones Junior

highboy said...

"Science is the search for FACT, not TRUTH. If it's Truth you want, Dr. Tyree's philosophy class is right down the hall." -- Professor Henry Jones Junior"

That's a great quote and all but the problem is you posted it in response to a very valid description of the naturalist worldview. The idea that nothing can exist except that which can be interpreted by our 5 finite human senses is a pretty unreasonable and arrogant claim to make.

I can't respond to every little point made in all of these comments, but I would say that it is indeed impossible to test scientifically for supernatural behavior, since science only deals with the natural order. But the fact that the natural order has a beginning (assuming of course the big bang theory) verifies that supernatural concepts are not impossible.

"The details differ, but the essential elements in the astronomical and Biblical accounts of Genesis are the same. This is an exceedingly strange development, unexpected by all but the theologians. They have always believed the word of the Bible. But we scientists did not expect to find evidence for an abrupt beginning because we have had, until recently, such extraordinary success in tracing the chain of cause and effect backward in time. At this moment it seems as though science will never be able to raise the curtain on the mystery of creation. For the scientist who lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries." -Robert Jastrow former Director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies

Jon Woolf said...

The idea that nothing can exist except that which can be interpreted by our 5 finite human senses is a pretty unreasonable and arrogant claim to make.

Agreed. That's one reason why I didn't make it.

highboy said...

"Agreed. That's one reason why I didn't make it."

I didn't say you did. Naturalism however does make that claim, and it was naturalism hawkeye was referring to, not general science as your last response implied.

Jon Woolf said...

Naturalism however does make that claim

So what? We aren't talking about philosophical naturalism. We're talking about science. Science doesn't care about finding "the truth." Science cares about finding and explaining facts.
To attack the scientific method (aka 'methodological naturalism') as being a barrier to "the search for truth" is a non sequitur and a logical fallacy.

Anonymous said...

"But the fact that the natural order has a beginning (assuming of course the big bang theory) verifies that supernatural concepts are not impossible."

While supernatural concepts by their very nature can not be excluded as a possibility in principle nor included in science (seeing as they can not be proven or disproven), the logic here seems a little shaky.

Anonymous said...

"The idea that nothing can exist except that which can be interpreted by our 5 finite human senses is a pretty unreasonable and arrogant claim to make."

Unreasonable?

Arrogant?

Why?

highboy said...

"So what? We aren't talking about philosophical naturalism. We're talking about science. Science doesn't care about finding "the truth." Science cares about finding and explaining facts.
To attack the scientific method (aka 'methodological naturalism') as being a barrier to "the search for truth" is a non sequitur and a logical fallacy."

Then maybe you and hawkeye should get on the same page because it is in fact that type of naturalism that he was addressing, which is why, once again, your entire remark was irrelevant, nor did he one single time, nor any other poster for that matter, attack the scientific method. Not once.

"While supernatural concepts by their very nature can not be excluded as a possibility in principle nor included in science (seeing as they can not be proven or disproven), the logic here seems a little shaky."

Have an explanation as to why? Before the big bang (or however you think the natural order was formed) there was no natural order. Period. So whatever happened before the formation of the natural order by definition would have to be supernatural.

"Unreasonable?

Arrogant?

Why?"

Our eyes can deceive us, our ears can deceive us, our touch can deceive us, our taste can deceive us, our nose can deceive us. All of our senses are flawed, imperfect, as is our finite human brains. Unless you or any other human has infinite knowledge that I'm left out of...

Jon Woolf said...

Highboy, you'd be a lot more interesting if you could keep up with the conversation.

Radar and Hawkeye have both been engaging in a rather flagrant bit of doubletalk: they assault "methodological naturalism" while claiming to use and approve of "the scientific method." What they don't understand .. or perhaps they do understand, but think the rest of us won't .. is that "methodological naturalism" and "the scientific method" are the same thing. This isn't open to debate. It's a plain and simple fact. The two terms are synonymous. You can't support one and reject the other.

radar said...

Pay careful attention to this: "So what? We aren't talking about philosophical naturalism. We're talking about science. Science doesn't care about finding "the truth." Science cares about finding and explaining facts.
To attack the scientific method (aka 'methodological naturalism') as being a barrier to "the search for truth" is a non sequitur and a logical fallacy."


In other words, readers, this guy cannot comprehend the concept. He is so certain that science must be naturalistic that he cannot even conceive of an alternative. He is incapable of considering the concept!

Even a child can understand that there is a concept of natural and supernatural. Occam's Razor. When we study the natural world, we look for natural causes first and then, if natural causes cannot account for the situation, we consider the supernatural. Mr. Woolf cannot get past step one.

The natural world cannot account for its own existence, for starters. There are a tremendous number of natural processes that can be studied and put to good use, it is a terrible shame that so many scientists are wasting their time trying to prove a natural cause for a few things that must be supernatural in nature. It is inherently frustrating because they can come up with a lot of verbiage but absolutely no proof whatever.

I am certainly ready to be instructed about DNA, j. What great knowledge do you have that will convince me it is not a coding system that provides information to the cell and also a kind of software that works in concert with the cell to reproduce life and also participate in ongoing systems and processes as life goes on. Fire at will.

Anonymous said...

Even a child can understand that there is a concept of natural and supernatural."

Even a child can learn that things s/he thinks are supernatural may turn out not to be.

"Occam's Razor."

... does not generally work in favor of a supernatural explanation.

1. Because it does not have the same explanatory power. "God did it" doesn't explain the "how", one of the great failings - if not the greatest failing - of creationist science.

2. Adding an unnecessary level of complexity (there's an omnipotent supernatural being filling in all the gaps that we can't explain) is exactly what Occam's Razor aims to prevent.

"When we study the natural world, we look for natural causes first and then, if natural causes cannot account for the situation, we consider the supernatural."

IIRC that is why thunder and lightning were thought to be the work of Thor. How did that work out?

Also, you've been asked this a few times now, and predictably you have no answer: once you "consider the supernatural", then what?

It appears to me that at that point you have a hypothesis, and a dead one at that, since you can not test for it in any way.

"There are a tremendous number of natural processes that can be studied and put to good use, it is a terrible shame that so many scientists are wasting their time trying to prove a natural cause for a few things that must be supernatural in nature."

Science is doing just fine. "must be supernatural" is conjecture from an uneducated mind, and you've failed to explain how science would be improved if it ever included the supernatural (which of course it can't).

How do you think science would be improved? Just a couple of clear, concise paragraphs would do.

"The natural world cannot account for its own existence, for starters."

???

-- creeper

Anonymous said...

"In other words, readers, this guy cannot comprehend the concept. He is so certain that science must be naturalistic that he cannot even conceive of an alternative. He is incapable of considering the concept! "

Re. not comprehending the concept... ever notice how Radar invariably only refers to "naturalism" instead of "metaphysical naturalism" or "methodological naturalism"? He either doesn't comprehend the distinction or is banking on his readers not comprehending the distinction.

-- creeper

Anonymous said...

"Before the big bang (or however you think the natural order was formed) there was no natural order. Period."

You know this how?

Hawkeye® said...

Jon Woolf,

Radar and Hawkeye have both been engaging in a rather flagrant bit of doubletalk: they assault "methodological naturalism" while claiming to use and approve of "the scientific method." What they don't understand .. or perhaps they do understand, but think the rest of us won't .. is that "methodological naturalism" and "the scientific method" are the same thing. This isn't open to debate. It's a plain and simple fact. The two terms are synonymous. You can't support one and reject the other.

Call it "doubletalk" if you wish, but they are NOT the same thing. (See, I can use bold too.)

I reiterate. Methodological Naturalism is a philosophy and Scientific Method is a method. There is an obvious difference between philosophy and method. I may philosophize that the walls in my house need painting, but there is a method for actually doing the painting. I may philosophize that the lawn needs cutting, but there is a method for actually doing the cutting. And likewise, I may philosophize that "science" requires the cause of everything in the universe to be 'natural' ONLY, but there is a method for actually doing science. I might also philosophize that "science" does NOT require the cause of everything in the universe to be 'natural' ONLY, but there is still a method for doing science.

Scientists do not use a philosophy to conduct experiments, they use a method.

Hawkeye® said...

creeper,
I understand where "you" (meaning all Darwinists) are coming from, better than you think. I understand "natural selection" better than you think. But I've been trying to make a point. That is, that Darwinists have a tendency to apply human characteristics and attributes to "nature". And you do it subconsciously.

"Natural selection" is a misnomer, and a deceitful one at that. Nature "selects" nothing. Nature "favors" nothing. Nature "chooses" nothing. Nature "breeds" nothing. Nature simply is. Creatures are "born". Creatures exist. Creatures die. Some creatures are "healthy", and others not so much. Nature may appear to "favor" certain creatures, but it does not. Creatures with big teeth do not always eat smaller creatures because sometimes the smaller creatures are faster or more agile... but sometimes they do. Sometimes you get the bear, and sometimes the bear gets you.

Some creatures adapt to new environments, others do not. Those that adapt to new circumstances remain similar to their predecessors. They may change from one type of mosquito into a slightly different type of mosquito, or from one type of fish into a slightly different type of fish. But they do not change from reptiles into birds, or even from toads into salamanders. God created all these creatures to "be fruitful and multiply... according to their own kinds".

But Darwinists seek to remove God from the equation. Nothing "supernatural" allowed. No Creator permitted. Not even an "Intelligent Designer" (despite the less than supernatural ramifications such a label might theoretically imply). And why? Because Man is sinful. Man wants to be God. He is great in his own mind. Man aspires to be the zenith of all living things. The existence of God, a Creator, or even an "intelligent designer" would deny such an aspiration. The existence of God might even require such distasteful things as "obedience" and "worship".

Therefore, they choose to believe that everything "evolved" (the alternative would be too horrifying). They don't believe in "devolution", which implies degradation. They believe in "evolution", which implies improvement. They believe that Man ultimately "evolved" from a single cell creature, and that life in turn "evolved" from lifelessness. By its very nature (no pun intended), the concept of "evolution" is a "progressive" process (with a few admitted occasions of "regressive" evolution or "devolution" to explain things that don't otherwise make sense to them). Man then becomes the zenith of all living things. He is the preeminent being on the planet.

Hawkeye® said...

(continued...)
But how can this occur? How can nature "improve itself"? What kind of "natural process" might we conceive of whereby God and the supernatural can be eliminated from the equation? And thus, Darwinism... "natural selection"... survival of the fittest. So be it. And Man saw what Darwin had created, and said that it was good.

Therefore, the concept of "natural selection" is of paramount importance to Darwinists. It is the mechanism whereby nature can "improve itself". It is a "process" that goes from "goo to you". Agonizingly slow: conveniently too slow to observe and prove. Relentless: it doesn't stop when one form of life reaches perfection, otherwise evolution might have ended with the bacteria. Adapting: learning to live without this, or in spite of that. Progressive: adding scales and flesh, eyes and ears, arms and legs, wings and feathers, brains and minds.

And along the way, I've noticed how Darwinists have this tendency to apply human traits to the process of "evolution". Evolution seems to take on a personality of its own. It "favors" things. It "selects" things. It "chooses" things. What causes this tendency?

I believe it is because of what Darwinists do. They are desperately trying to prove a theory that is seriously flawed. They are trying to prove a theory which is almost entirely unsupported by the facts. Therefore, they have to keep asking themselves over and over again: "If I could explain this process, how would I do it? If I were "nature", what would I do? How would 'I' achieve evolution"? The result is that they tend to impose their own personalities onto nature. "This animal is 'the fittest' because, if 'I' were nature, I would favor this animal over that one, or this trait over that one." It started first with Darwin, and continues to this day.

Nature "selects" nothing. Nature "favors" nothing. Nature does not seek to "improve itself". Nature does not tend to "improve itself". Nature does NOT "improve itself". If anything, nature tends to degrade or "devolve".

highboy said...

"You know this how?"

Because the natural order is observable and testable. Science is the study of the natural order and nothing else. Science can't observe or test something that isn't part of the natural order, which is exactly what creeper and jon have been saying.

highboy said...

"IIRC that is why thunder and lightning were thought to be the work of Thor. How did that work out?"

Lame comparison. Thunder and lightening are natural phenomenon that can be studied and observed. The cause of the ordering of the natural world is beyond science. That's a simple fact. So yes, radar is correct, if something isn't naturally explainable....

Jon said:

"Highboy, you'd be a lot more interesting if you could keep up with the conversation."

You'd be a lot more credible if you could stop mischaracterizing hawkeye's arguments. No one "attacked" the scientific method in any way shape or form.

Anonymous said...

"Because the natural order is observable and testable. Science is the study of the natural order and nothing else. Science can't observe or test something that isn't part of the natural order, which is exactly what creeper and jon have been saying."

Perhaps you should read the question again.

Jon Woolf said...

hawkeye yapped: I reiterate. Methodological Naturalism is a philosophy and Scientific Method is a method.

And I reiterate that you're wrong. The adjective "methodological" is there in the term "methodological naturalism" specifically to distinguish it from "philosophical naturalism."

It's the philosophical naturalist who says "the supernatural does not exist." The methodological naturalist says only "I don't know how to study the supernatural, so I won't bother trying."

I'll grant you that the distinction is a fairly advanced one, requiring a mild-to-moderate intellectual level to grasp it. Say, high school freshman or thereabouts. Is that why creationists have so much trouble with it?

Hawkeye® said...

Jon Woolf,
hawkeye yapped: I reiterate. Methodological Naturalism is a philosophy and Scientific Method is a method.

And I reiterate that you're wrong. The adjective "methodological" is there in the term "methodological naturalism" specifically to distinguish it from "philosophical naturalism."


Jon, Jon, Jon. Please don't take my word for it. Please go to the following website...

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

Then, once you're there, please read along with me...

"Naturalism (philosophy)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Redirected from Methodological naturalism)
Jump to: navigation, search

Naturalism is divided into two philosophical stances:

* Methodological naturalism (or scientific naturalism) which focuses on epistemology..."

Did you see that? Or does it take "a mild-to-moderate intellectual level to grasp it. Say, high school freshman or thereabouts...?"

Now go to the following website...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epistemology and let's learn about "epistemology" shall we...

"Epistemology (from Greek ἐπιστήμη – epistēmē, "knowledge, science" + λόγος, "logos") or theory of knowledge is the branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and scope (limitations) of knowledge."

Did you see that? Or does it take "a mild-to-moderate intellectual level to grasp it. Say, high school freshman or thereabouts...?"

Now let's go to the following website shall we...

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

Try to keep up OK?...

"Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering observable, empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning. A scientific method consists of the collection of data through observation and experimentation, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses."

Did you see that? Or does it take "a mild-to-moderate intellectual level to grasp it. Say, high school freshman or thereabouts...?"

Methodological Naturalism is a philosophy and Scientific Method is a method of inquiry or a body of techniques.

Get over it already.

Jon Woolf said...

Hawkeye, you have a great weakness in your argument style: you think that all you have to do to win an argument is go find an unimpeachable source that agrees with you, and I should bow my head and accept it. Sorry, I don't work that way. Shards, man, I'm willing to argue genetics with a PhD geneticist face to face -- what makes you think there's anyone or anything I'd automatically accept as an unimpeachable authority, on any subject? And then to think Wikipedia is such a source -- sheesh!

Here's a source, from a professor of philosophy, that uses something closer to my definitions of "methodological naturalism" and "philosophical naturalism." Here's another, from a retired professor of physics. Is either of these any more reliable than the Wikipedia articles you linked? Any less?

What you have to do is look at many sources and see if they converge on any kind of consensus. The consensus among the writers I've read is that "methodological naturalism" is a purely practical thing, a necessary prerequisite for doing science because science is limited to the natural world and has no way to study the supernatural. (If indeed there is such a thing as 'the supernatural'.) What you and Radar want to call "methodological naturalism" is actually the position that the consensus labels "philosophical naturalism" -- the doctrine that the supernatural (whatever that is) does not exist. And you make this redefinition only because it serves your purpose: to destroy the basic structure of science and get your particular brand of religion into science classrooms. If redefining these terms a different way served your purpose better, you'd do it in a heartbeat.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me this distinction you two are quibbling over was already covered upthread. "Methodological naturalism" and the "scientific method" are perhaps not perfectly synonymous, but are so closely related that the difference is quite trivial. The scientific method is merely the practical execution of the philosophy of methodological naturalism.

Hence my pointing out some key aspects of the definition of the scientific method here. Note especially this part:

"To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering observable, empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning."

... which means adhering to methodological naturalism.

The fact that scientific method adheres to methodological naturalism does not mean that it negates metaphysical naturalism, which is an aspect that I'm not sure you've fully addressed, Hawkeye, and about which Radar seems terminally confused, seeing as he doesn't grasp the fact that "methodological naturalism" and "metaphysical/philosophical naturalism" both exist and are different from each other.

Hawkeye, you focus on the rather narrow distinction between the scientific method and methodological naturalism, one being a method and the other being philosophical, which as far as I can tell may well be correct, but it seems that in doing so you're losing sight of the existence of actual metaphysical (or philosophical, as it's also called) naturalism and the distinction between that and methodological naturalism.

The scientific method and methodological naturalism have good reason to exist, and Jon has made the distinction between metaphysical naturalism on the one hand and the scientific method and methodological naturalism on the other hand perfectly plain in his earlier comment:

It's the philosophical [or metaphysical - creeper] naturalist who says "the supernatural does not exist." The methodological naturalist says only "I don't know how to study the supernatural, so I won't bother trying."

The scientific method and methodological naturalism exclude the supernatural not for any religious reason, but for an entirely practical one: there is quite obviously no way to subject the supernatural to scientific study.

That is why Radar's suggestion that a "true scientist" or superior scientist or whatever should "consider the supernatural" as an option doesn't pan out. Such a scientist may well "consider the supernatural", at which point he would be negating metaphysical (or philosophical) naturalism.

He is, however, inevitably still stuck with the practical reality of scientific discovery. Now that he is "considering" a supernatural cause, what are the options that are open to him? He can not study the supernatural in any scientific way (if he could, it would of course be part of the natural world and therefore not supernatural). So he now has a non-scientific hypothesis, a.k.a. a belief.

Which is fine, and there's nothing wrong with that. Humans experience and understand the world around them in all kinds of ways, including religious ones.

However, as far as science goes, there is no "superior" or "true" science to be had in this direction.

Why this should be the cause of so much vexation for Radar is something I've never quite understood.

-- creeper

Anonymous said...

I found this bit in the Wikipedia article on methodological naturalism interesting as well, and it may give some people food for thought as they seem to falsely equate methodological naturalism with atheism and the like:

By the late Middle Ages the search for natural causes had come to typify the work of Christian natural philosophers. Although characteristically leaving the door open for the possibility of direct divine intervention, they frequently expressed contempt for soft-minded contemporaries who invoked miracles rather than searching for natural explanations. The University of Paris cleric Jean Buridan (a. 1295-ca. 1358), described as "perhaps the most brilliant arts master of the Middle Ages," contrasted the philosopher’s search for "appropriate natural causes" with the common folk’s habit of attributing unusual astronomical phenomena to the supernatural. In the fourteenth century the natural philosopher Nicole Oresme (ca. 1320-82), who went on to become a Roman Catholic bishop, admonished that, in discussing various marvels of nature, "there is no reason to take recourse to the heavens, the last refuge of the weak, or demons, or to our glorious God as if He would produce these effects directly, more so than those effects whose causes we believe are well known to us."

Enthusiasm for the naturalistic study of nature picked up in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries as more and more Christians turned their attention to discovering the so-called secondary causes that God employed in operating the world. The Italian Catholic Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), one of the foremost promoters of the new philosophy, insisted that nature "never violates the terms of the laws imposed upon her."


"Taking recourse to the heavens, the last refuge of the weak" is exactly what a confused Radar is advocating "true" scientists should do.

-- creeper

highboy said...

"Shards, man,"

that is freakin awesome. do you mind if I steal that?

radar said...

creeper, your slam would work much better if you actually read the whole thing?

"The Italian Catholic Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), one of the foremost promoters of the new philosophy, insisted that nature "never violates the terms of the laws imposed upon her."

Galileo assumed that God had designed the laws imposed upon nature. He was critical of religious leaders who would not brook any changes to their worldviews. Now it is the Darwinists who are the religious leaders and they are digging in their heels against the more and more obvious evidence that design is evidenced within the cell. They do so on metaphysical grounds rather than on evidence.

creeper, hoisted upon his own petard! (modern translation)

"For tis the sport to have the enginer Hoist with his owne petar"

William Shakespeare, Hamlet.

radar said...

Thus saith Hawkeye:

Did you see that? Or does it take "a mild-to-moderate intellectual level to grasp it. Say, high school freshman or thereabouts...?"

Methodological Naturalism is a philosophy and Scientific Method is a method of inquiry or a body of techniques.

Get over it already.


You can lead a horse to water...

Anonymous said...

Radar, it was hardly a "slam", but it perfectly supports the point of what I've been saying all along: modern science is conducted according to methodological naturalism, regardless of the scientist's personal religious faith or other motivation.

Of course I also read the bit you highlighted, but I don't see how that contradicts what I've been saying all along.

"Now it is the Darwinists who are the religious leaders and they are digging in their heels against the more and more obvious evidence that design is evidenced within the cell. They do so on metaphysical grounds rather than on evidence."

What religion would that be, Radar? People of all faiths and religions accept the theory of evolution.

What you call "obvious evidence" of design if evidence of complexity, no more. Complexity is explainable by the theory of evolution. What in principle is not explainable by the theory of evolution would be examples of theoretically irreducible complexity, but in practice none have ever been found.

Despite your pasting of the Shakespeare quote, I'm not sure you understand the meaning of the phrase, as it doesn't seem to apply to the situation here.

-- creeper

Jon Woolf said...

You can lead a horse to water...

... but you can't make him think.

Or a creationist, it would seem.

radar said...

"You can lead a horse to water...

... but you can't make him think."

Classic irony.

As I told Hawkeye, those who cannot learn and those who will not learn wind up in the same predicament. When you are unable to separate your worldview from objective reality you will be forever lost within that worldview.
There is no point giving you dictionary definitions and carefully built logical steps to understanding if you will not dare open your closed mind even a crack.

Jon Woolf said...

As I told Hawkeye, those who cannot learn and those who will not learn wind up in the same predicament. When you are unable to separate your worldview from objective reality you will be forever lost within that worldview.

Indeed.

Is a puzzlement, how you can say that and yet not practice it yourself. Is a great puzzlement, yes. Zathras not understand at all.

Anonymous said...

"When you are unable to separate your worldview from objective reality you will be forever lost within that worldview.
There is no point giving you dictionary definitions and carefully built logical steps to understanding if you will not dare open your closed mind even a crack."


Radar, if you really do believe that you are capable of separating your worldview from objective reality and we are not, and if you think it is us who will not dare to open our closed mind even a crack, then how do you account for the fact that it is you who is trying to shut down the conversation, at this very moment, using ad hominem arguments and lying about the evidence that has been presented?

Surely, unless you're not willing to open your mind even a crack, you'd be willing to engage in an open and honest discussion about objective reality. The fact that after challenging us to provide evidence and us promptly providing it to you, you now are desperately trying not to address it, should make it clear if not to you, then at least to your readers, that you are indeed not willing to open your mind even a crack, and that you are unable to separate your worldview from observable reality.

-- creeper

Hawkeye® said...

Jon Woolf,
Hawkeye, you have a great weakness in your argument style: you think that all you have to do to win an argument is go find an unimpeachable source that agrees with you, and I should bow my head and accept it. Sorry, I don't work that way.

OK. You win. If unimpeachable sources don't phase you, and "impeachable" sources won't do it either, then there is NOTHING that I can say that will convince you.

Therefore, you win "because I know that you are obstinate, and your neck is an iron sinew and your forehead is brass."

Amen. And so be it.

Jon Woolf said...

If unimpeachable sources don't phase you, and "impeachable" sources won't do it either, then there is NOTHING that I can say that will convince you.

Nice histrionics, but not accurate. There's still one way you could convince me: show me you, personally, understand the theory of evolution as well or better than I do. Show me you have a good grasp of the evidence. Show me you understand the evolutionary process. Show me you understand the theory's true implications.

Yes, I know how much work that will be. It's hell being a hero, ain't it?