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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Follow up to Canning Darwinism, Perhaps the faIlacy of scientism is more widespread than we like to think.


Darwinists, do you not understand that I am writing this blog to advance knowledge and expose fallacies in your thinking?   I give you a chance to hone your understanding of Darwinist science when you (occasionally) actually make a point worth making and point out the arguments you make that are not worth making.  Saying something like "creationist scientists are liars" is a false claim and a small-minded one at that.  It also is in no way any form of argument at all.  As it happens, Darwinism cannot even get off the ground in the light of current scientific knowledge.   No way to produce life, no way to input information...could life happen by chance?  No way!

From the preface to The Mystery of Life's Origin

"...The experimental results to date have apparently convinced many
scientists that a naturalistic explanation for the origin of life will be
found, but there are significant reasons for doubt. In the years since
the publication of Biochemical Predestination I have been increasingly
struck by a peculiar feature of many of the published experiments
in the field. I am not referring to those studies conducted more
or less along the lines of Miller's original work, although there are
firm grounds for criticizing those studies as well. I am refearing to
those experiments designed to elucidate possible pathways of prebiotic
synthesis of certain organic substances of biologic interest,
such ae purines and pyrimidines, or polypeptides.

In most cases the experimental conditions in such studies have
been so artificially simplified as to have virtually no bearing on any
actual processes that might have taken place on the primitive earth.
For example, if one wishes to find a possible prebiotic mechanism of
condensation of free amino acids to polypeptides, it is not likely that
sugars or aldehydes would be added to the reaction mixture. And yet,
how likely is it that amino acids (or any other presumed precursor
substance) occurred anywhere on the primitive earth free from contamination
substances, either in solution or the soIid state? The
difficulty is that if sugars or aldehydes were also present polypeptides
would not form. Instead an interfering cross-reaction would
occur between amino acids and sugars to give complex, insoluble
polymeric materia1 of very dubious relevance to chemical evolution.
This problem of potentially interfering cross-reactions has been
largely neglected in much of the published work on the chemical
origins of life.
The possible implications of such an omission merit
careful study.

Other aspects of origin-of-life research have contributed to my
growing uneasiness about the theory of chemical evolution. One of
these is the enormous gap between the most complex "protocell"
model systems produced in the laboratory and the simpleat living
cells. Anyone familiar with the ultrastructural and biochemical
complexity of the genus Mycoplasma, for example, should have
serious doubts about the relevance of any of the various laboratory
"protocells" to the actual historical origin of cells. In my view, the
possibility of closing this gap by laboratory simulation of chemical
events likely to have occurred on the primitive earth is extremely
remote.

Another intractable problem concerns the spontaneous origin of
the optical isomer preferences found universally in living matter
(e.g., L-rather than D-amino acidsin proteins, D-rather than L- sugars
in nucleic acids). After all the prodigious effort that has gone into
attempts to solve this great question over the years, we are really no
nearer to a solution today than we were thirty years ago.

Finally, in this brief summary of the reasons for my growing
doubts that life on earth could have begun spontaneously by purely
chemical and physical means, there is the problem of the origin of
genetic, i-e,, biologically relevant, information in biopolymers. No
experimental system yet devised has provided the slightest clue as to
how biologically meaningful sequences of subunits might have originated
in prebiotic polynucleotides or polypeptides. Evidence for
some degree of spontaneous sequence ordering has been published,
but there is no indication whatsoever that the non-randomness is
biologically significant. Until such evidence is forthcoming one certainly
cannot claim that the possibility of a naturalistic origin of life
has been demonstrated.

In view of these and other vexing problems in origin-of-life
research, there has been a need for some years now for a detailed,
systematic analysis of all major aspects of the field. It is time to
re-examine the foundations of this research in such a way that all
the salient lines of criticism are sirnultaneousIy kept in view. The
Mystery of Life's Origin admirably fills this need...."

"...If the author's criticisms are valid, one might ask, why have they
not been recognized or stressed by workers in the field? I suspect that
part of the answer is that many scientists would hesitate to accept
the author's conclusion that it is fundamentally implausible that
unaesisted matter and energy organized themselves into living systems.

Perhaps these scientists fear that acceptance of this conclusion
would open the door to the possibility (or the necessity) of a
supernatural origin of life.
Faced with this prospect many investigators
would prefer to continue in their search for a naturalistic explanation
of the origin of life along the lines marked out over the last
few decades, in spite of the many serious difficulties of which we are
now aware, Perhaps the faIlacy of scientism is more widespread
than we like to think.

One's presuppositions about the origin of life, and especially the
assumption that this problem will ultimately yield to a persistent
application of current methodology, can certainly influence which
lines of evidence and argument one chooses to stress, and which are
played down or avoided altogether. What the authors have done is to
place before us essentially all the pertinent lines of criticism in one
continuous statement and to invite us to face them squareIy.
All scientists interested in the origin-of-life problem would do well
to study this book carefully and to evaluate their own work in the
light of its arguments."

Dean H. Kenyon
Professor of BioIogy
San Francisco State University

Postscript.  I have a present for those who are unaware:  Pomplamoose!  Nataly Dawn and Jack Conte were both posting internet music videos and have now joined forces making VideoSongs.  You may recognize them from the new Hyundai commercials that have just begun playing?






Anyway, my family is stuffed full of artists and musicians so I have a real appreciation for musical talent as well as artistic talent.   Our daughter Amanda married a fellow artist last year and they are so gloriously happy together.   They like making their own bread, picking berries to turn them into jams and preserves, combing through the junk people leave out on trash day for raw materials for art (and recyclables to recycle).   They also draw and paint and sculpt, their house is basically at art gallery within which they have made a home.   This Pomplamoose (French for Grapefruit) couple reminds me of a musical iteration of Amanda and Dan.   Maybe Jack will decide to "put a ring on it?"  I hope you get some enjoyment from their music videos.  They have a nice website where the newest stuff is downloadable:  Pomplamoose.

What Nataly and Jack do is part of a new trend away from Indie label albums to direct interaction and purchases between listeners and artists.

Come to think of it, our house is kind of an art gallery, too, as there are works by family members as far back as Debbie's grandmother and my father and by most of our children.   One reason Debbie has been able to stand the mostly white walls is because we have pictures hung all over the place.  

I had a bug that was passed to me by one of my sons and it hit the whole family so NO ONE went  to church this morning.   Weird.   Therefore I think I am going to ramble for awhile.  Skip to the scientific language in the black print at the bottom if you do not want to listen to me ramble on about the family.

Me, I am a singer and songwriter with a long amateur career in churches and a short professional career, but my mom was a professional singer and musician for several decades and we are related to Hoagy Carmichael, the guy who played 'Cricket' in TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT and wrote a huge number of songs, including Stardust and Mississippi Mud and Georgia On My Mind.   I only wrote one complete song with all the words and all the music all by myself that was ever performed onstage although I contributed words and some music to a few songs that no doubt have not been player or sung for decades, dating from way back....except now and then I might sing part of one of them in the shower or while I am messing around with rearranging stuff.   Once I became a Christian I focused on music in church environments and I know that was the wise choice.  My mom and I are both better singers than Hoagy was but didn't have a fraction of his songwriting and piano-playing talents so singing and harmonizing became what I do or did, as I am on hiatus from even church singing right now.   My wife's nephews Matt and Owen Sartori did become successful rock musicians, with bands that made albums like Push and A Band Called Delicious and then Owen made a couple of albums under his own name.  So you see that my family is very art and music oriented and not just into geeky stuff like information and science. 

Also I am a fantasy sports enthusiast and have a big pile of internet trophies for finishing in the top three of various football, baseball and basketball leagues, many of which are championships.   It is more fun belonging to a fantasy site like the Fantasy Lounge because you can match up against the best players from around the world and get top-quality competition.  A few of the FL guys are professional writers for sports sites or writing official team blogs for professional sports teams.   One league I love is the Battle of the Sports Forums, where the top four competitors from each sports site compete in basketball each year and four sites are involved.   Whichever site does worst overall is dropped from the competition and the winner hosts the next year's event and invites a new site to join in.   I think we won three years ago so two years ago I was the commissioner and finished second personally but Rotokingdom won the overall title so they hosted it this year.

We own and love dogs and my mother-in-law and her friend co-own a professsional kennel and used to show dogs and rack up awards for them, allowing them to put the "Ch. " as a preface to the names of the dogs that they bred and sold to other kennels and private owners. We also keep tropical fish and have a parakeet.   

Our oldest children are all talented singer, the youngest is an artisan and the second-youngest is an artist.  My wife is an artist in all sorts of media - she sculpts, paints, draws, does fantastic pumpkin carvings, makes jewelry and painted eggs, just all sorts of stuff.   If she wanted to do it she could concentrate on making jewelry to sell on the internet and bring in some bucks but for now she does it for fun and to give away to people.

My wife and I are also Bible brains, in that we love to study the Bible and understand it so that we can interpret the prophetic sections properly and glean the wisdom from the words.  We believe that the ultimate quality of life has little to do with the stuff you have and the money you have and a great deal to do with the quality of your character and the character of your children and grandchildren and friends.   It is all about relationships with God and others and the proper application of Biblical teachings to daily life. The Bible isn't a book you read once and boom, you have got it!   It is a book that challenges you for a lifetime in that there is more and more understanding and wisdom to be gleaned if you are able.   Only those who have come to a relationship with God by faith can get the most out of that book but there is readily understood wisdom for anyone there as well.

I have some severe health challenges from various accidents but I could be a lot better off if I could find a better way to control my weight.  Even being on a very strict diet, the limitations on my ability to exercise and some of the drugs I take keep me from losing weight quickly.   I get frustrated often because of this.  I have to be disciplined even during Thanksgiving, when everyone else is munching down all sorts of turkey and dressing and pies.   I did not have even one candy bar at Halloween.  Nevertheless I am still fat and cannot yet even play tennis or volleyball or even fly (no flying until my leg is cleared for flight, high altitude might awaken the possible MRSA colony 'sleeping' within it.   No one is certain how to determine this, but if I lose a great deal of weight the doctor will sign off).  I probably eat less than you do.  Eventually that will pay off.

I believe God wants me to write this blog so I write it.   I always turn down offers to write for pay (not that I am inundated, I think I have had three offers in the last three years so I am not a hot commodity and all three were part-time offers) so I am free to do this blog, which makes me zero dollars.   Therefore I am only answerable to one Editor and He doesn't bother to correct my grammatical mistakes.   I am also free to discuss what I will.   No one is there to tell me that I am being too politically incorrect (my wife sometimes points out a flaw in my presentation, like getting the Sarfati videos out of order a few days ago) and frankly being politically correct is usually a very bad idea, since being politically correct more often than not involves being morally incorrect.

The point is, we are people, we are eclectic and kind of weird.   We like good books and music and interesting subjects.   We decorate for Christmas.  We have cool arrangements of bushes and trees and flowers in our yard.   We have a son who makes butterfly knives from pieces of scrap metal and broken tools.   We have a son who taught the Afghani Militia in Kabul in basic police and crowd control tactics.  We have a daughter who was an All-State Choir Soprano and a son who starred in his college choir and was the lead in two musicals.  I have two nieces who are so musically gifted they play in orchestras and give music lessons while they are still in high school.  (My sister and her husband live in California, darn it, and we cannot go visit until I am cleared to fly.  Obviously they are awesome parents to have such talented and wonderful girls!)  We are smart people and we are funny people and we are ordinary people who make good neighbors and don't cause trouble.  We are Christians and we are not going to sit quietly and do nothing while Darwinist propagandists try to brainwash the children of America with Scientism that is not bulwarked by evidence.  

You see, evidence is not interested in the results of court cases or what your worldview might be.  Evidence simply IS.  A real scientist applies logical reasoning to the evidence that he gathers and then makes decisions about that evidence.  No one can take a time machine back to the beginning of life to prove that God made all living things.  But the evidence is so completely on the side of intelligent design that Darwinists have to do backflips to run away from the logical conclusions drawn from the evidence.   Life doesn't appear designed by chance, it appears to be designed and therefore logic says it was designed.  The sedimentary rock layers appear to be a result of a world-wide flood.   Fossils appear to all be complete organisms fully functional.  A deep look within the operations of cells show us that cells are biological machines, very complex and very orderly, so why do scientists hide their eyes to the obvious conclusions?   I say it is because they prefer to live a lie than to acknowledge a Creator God.   I say that they fear a Creator God because that means that there are moral absolutes, there are purposes for every life and responsibilities as well.   I say they fear the truth because they do not wish to consider a life that makes them accountable to a Creator God.

3 comments:

Jon Woolf said...

"Darwinists, do you not understand that I am writing this blog to advance knowledge and expose fallacies in your thinking?"

Correction: that's why you think you're writing this blog.

You're wrong. About far too many things to list.

"Saying something like "creationist scientists are liars" is a false claim and a small-minded one at that."

Unless it's true, which it is. You know, a few years ago I sat down with Duane Gish's book Evolution: The Fossils Still Say No and went through it page by page, comparing what he said to the facts and to the books and articles he claimed to have used as sources. In the 300-odd pages of that book I was able to document over 250 errors of fact. Many of them were systematic, intentional misquotes of his sources. If anybody did that to one of your creationist pals, you'd call it a lie.

"Life doesn't appear designed by chance, it appears to be designed and therefore logic says it was designed."

Logic isn't always right.

"The sedimentary rock layers appear to be a result of a world-wide flood."

Except where they don't -- such as fossiliferous layers in Large Igneous Provinces, paleosols, tilted and eroded strata, preserved karst landscapes, widespread index features, and the perfectly sequential nature of the fossil record. To name just a few.

"Fossils appear to all be complete organisms fully functional."

So what? All organisms are and were 'fully functional.' Conventional science has never claimed anything else. If you think it has, you're wrong.

"A deep look within the operations of cells show us that cells are biological machines, very complex and very orderly,"

Complex, yes. Orderly, no. Modern cells, and the organisms they combine to form, are chemical Rube Goldberg gadgets, often depending on extremely rickety, fragile systems to carry out functions that could be done much more simply.

"I say it is because they prefer to live a lie than to acknowledge a Creator God. I say that they fear a Creator God because that means that there are moral absolutes, there are purposes for every life and responsibilities as well. I say they fear the truth because they do not wish to consider a life that makes them accountable to a Creator God."

[snork] Yeah, right. Radar, the fatuousness of that claim exceeds any I've seen from you yet -- and that's no mean feat.

Anonymous said...

"Life doesn't appear designed by chance, it appears to be designed and therefore logic says it was designed."

"Logic isn't always right."

Logic by definition is at least logical. There is nothing logical (or scientific) about taking the initial superficial appearance of something and taking that as the final conclusion, or considering it proven.

"The sedimentary rock layers appear to be a result of a world-wide flood."

Case in point. In order to take this as the final conclusion, you have to ignore a truckload of evidence to the contrary, which Jon Woolf has kindly listed for you.

Hawkeye® said...

Radar,
Interesting stuff from Kenyon. Thanks for sharing.

(:D) Best regards...