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Sunday, December 26, 2010

No free lunch for Darwinists - no substance to false claims of "progress" in the field of abiogenesis

 Here is another common fallacy:   "Everyone agrees that abiogeneis had to happen, that non-life developed somehow into life."


No, the Law of Biogenesis remains unchallenged.   Never has life come from non-life and real scientists are throwing up their hands at the thought of finding a natural means of producing life.  It is the same situation with the Laws of Thermodynamic.  Naturalism is helpless to explain existence, information and life.   

Only a supernatural Creator can explain these things.

The primary difference between ID proponents and Creationists is that Creationists are willing to identify the Designer as the Creator God whereas many ID scientists do not take the findings of operational science and deduce anything but simply study the world using the actual scientific method that involves methodological investigation.  Naturalism is not part of the scientific method.   


credit


From Biologic Institute:

An introduction to the Biologic Institute from me to you... A Christmas present for the scientific minded...I suppose if you are hoping to illustrate the hopelessness of abiogenesis this would be considered "progress" but otherwise it is just a few more shovelfuls of evidence thrown upon the coffin of Darwinism.  We are going to have that thing dead and buried before anyone gets around to holding a funeral!

Evolutionary Algorithms: Are We There Yet? 

— December 17th, 2010 by Ann Gauger

In the recent past, several papers have been published that claim to demonstrate that biological evolution can readily produce new genetic information, using as their evidence the ability of various evolutionary algorithms to find a specific target. This is a rather large claim.

It has thus fallen to others in the scientific or engineering community to evaluate these published claims. How well do these algorithms model biology? How exactly was the work done? Do the results make sense? Are there unexamined variables that might affect the interpretation of results? Are there hidden sources of bias? Are the conclusions justified or do they go beyond the scope of what has been shown?

A new paper by Montañez et al. [1], just published in the journal BIO-Complexity, answers some of these questions for the evolutionary algorithm ev [2], one of the computer programs proposed to simulate biological evolution. As perhaps should be no surprise, the authors found that ev uses sources of active information (meaning information added to the search to improve its chances of success compared to a blind search) to help it find its target. Indeed, the algorithm is predisposed toward success because information about the search is built into its very structure.

(This aforementioned paper is available for download as a pdf right here.)

These same authors have previously reported on the hidden sources of information that allowed another evolutionary algorithm, AVIDA [3-5], to find its target. Once again, active information introduced by the structure of the algorithm was what allowed it to be successful.

These results confirm that there is no free lunch for evolutionary algorithms. Active information is needed to guide any search that does better than a random walk.

[1] doi:10.5048/BIO-C.2010.3
[2] doi:10.1093/nar/28.14.2794
[3] doi:10.1038/nature01568
[4] doi:10.1109/SSST.2010.5442816
[5] doi:10.1109/ICSMC.2009.5345941

~~~~~~~

So as usual another attempt by Darwinists to identify a source of information for life is a failure.  Natural selection chooses FROM information, mutation is broken information that was already there in one way or another and all these computer-modeled information sources turn out to be provided with "help" finding information.

So we again reference the dictionaries to remind everyone:

Definitions of information on the Web from Merriam Webster

in·for·ma·tion

noun \ˌin-fər-ˈmā-shən\

Definition of INFORMATION

1
: the communication or reception of knowledge or intelligence
2
a (1) : knowledge obtained from investigation, study, or instruction (2) : intelligence, news (3) : facts, data b : the attribute inherent in and communicated by one of two or more alternative sequences or arrangements of something (as nucleotides in DNA or binary digits in a computer program) that produce specific effects c (1) : a signal or character (as in a communication system or computer) representing data (2) : something (as a message, experimental data, or a picture) which justifies change in a construct (as a plan or theory) that represents physical or mental experience or another construct d : a quantitative measure of the content of information; specifically : a numerical quantity that measures the uncertainty in the outcome of an experiment to be performed
3
: the act of informing against a person
4
: a formal accusation of a crime made by a prosecuting officer as distinguished from an indictment presented by a grand jury
in·for·ma·tion·al \-shnəl, -shə-nəl\ adjective
in·for·ma·tion·al·ly adverb

Other sources...
  • a message received and understood
  • knowledge acquired through study or experience or instruction
  • formal accusation of a crime
  • data: a collection of facts from which conclusions may be drawn; "statistical data"
  • (communication theory) a numerical measure of the uncertainty of an outcome; "the signal contained thousands of bits of information"
    wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn
  • Information as a concept has many meanings, from everyday usage to technical settings. The concept of information is closely related to notions of constraint, communication, control, data, , instruction, knowledge, meaning, mental stimulus, pattern, perception, and representation. ...
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information
So how and when and where in the natural world do we find information?  From intelligent sources.  That is the way it is.

The Science of Denial 

— October 6th, 2009 by Douglas Axe

Scientists sometimes find themselves wishing things were different.  In one sense that’s a thoroughly unremarkable observation.  After all, scientists are human, and humans have always found themselves wishing things were different.

But what if some of the things scientists wish were different are the very things they have devoted themselves to studying?  In other words, forget about salaries, teaching loads, and grant funding.  What if some scientists want the brute facts of their own field of study to be other than what they really are?

As odd as it may seem, particularly to non-scientists, that tension between preference and reality has always been a part of doing science.  Like everyone else, scientists don’t just have ideas—they favor them… even promote them.  And for scientists, as for everyone else, sometimes those cherished ideas are just plain wrong.

For decades now, a growing minority of scientists have argued that the standard explanations of biological origins are prime examples this—cherished ideas that are spectacularly wrong.  That raises an interesting question.  If these ideas are really so wrong, why do so many experts affirm them?

Some, of course, would call this a false paradox.  By their way of thinking, the mere fact that so many experts accept these ideas shows that they can’t be badly wrong.  But paradigm shifts do happen in science, and every time they do the world is treated to the memorable spectacle of lots of experts being badly wrong.

Even experts have ways of avoiding reality.  When it comes to the improbabilities that plague naturalistic origins stories, the avoidance often takes the form of what I’ve called the ‘divide and conquer’ fallacy. [1] It works like this.  Instead of asking what needs to be explained naturalistically, you concentrate on what can be so explained.  Specifically, you look for some small piece of the real problem for which you can propose even a sketchy naturalistic solution.  Then, once you have this mini-solution, you present it as a small but significant step toward the ultimate goal of a full credible story.

But the only way to tell whether small steps of this kind are taking us toward that ultimate goal or away from it is to examine them carefully in the context of the whole problem.  If that analysis doesn’t give the intended result, it’s tempting to skip it and end on a happy note.

Consider the work that Lehmann, Cibils, and Libchaber recently published on the origin of the genetic code. [2] By one account they have “generated the first theoretical model that shows how a coded genetic system can emerge from an ancestral broth of simple molecules.” [3]

That would be huge alright.  And huge claims always call for caution.

Let’s start with some background.  The “broth” that Lehmann et al. are thinking of is sometimes called the “RNA world”—a hypothetical early stage in the evolution of life when RNA served both the genetic role that DNA now serves and the catalytic role that proteins now serve.

In modern life, most RNA performs a cellular function analogous to the function of the clipboard on your computer.  It enables sections of ‘text’ to be lifted from a larger ‘document’ for temporary use.  These sections are genes and the document is the genome.  By providing in this way temporary working copies of genetic text, RNA contributes to the central purpose of genes, which is to provide the sequence specifications for manufacturing the functional proteins that do the molecular work of life.

This is where the genetic code comes in, and with it the daunting problem it poses for naturalistic accounts of origins.  The key thing to grasp is that genes are as unlike proteins as successions of dots and dashes are unlike written text.  Only when a convention is established, like Morse code, and a system put in place to implement that convention, can dots and dashes be translated into written text.  And then, only meaningful arrangements of dots and dashes will do.  Likewise, only a system implementing a code for translating gene sequences (made from the four nucleotides) into protein sequences (made from the twenty amino acids) can enable genes to represent functional proteins, as they do in life.

What makes it so hard to imagine how this system could have evolved is the need for it to be complete in order for it to work, coupled with the need for it to be complex in order to be complete.  To agree that “•” stands for e is relatively simple, but not in itself very helpful.  Only when a whole functional alphabet is encoded in this way do we have something useful.  Similarly, it seems that an apparatus for decoding genes, and thereby implementing a genetic code, would have to physically match each of the twenty biological amino acids to a different nucleotide pattern.  Whatever else that apparatus might be, it can’t be simple.  Moreover, it can’t be useful without some meaningful genes (encoding useful proteins) to go with it.

This realization is enough to make even a committed to materialist give up on the idea of an evolutionary explanation.  Evolutionary biologist Eugene Koonin appears to have done just that.  In his words, “How such a system could evolve is a puzzle that defeats conventional evolutionary thinking.” [4] Accordingly, he proposes the unconventional solution of an infinite universe (a multiverse) in which even the seemingly impossible becomes certain.

I think it’s fair to say that most biologists are uncomfortable with Koonin’s proposal.  Part of what bothers them is the tacit abandonment of more conventional solutions, as though these have no hope of ever succeeding.  In the wake of this, Lehmann, Cibils, and Libchaber are, in effect, refusing to throw in the towel, and that merits attention in itself.

Instead of making the universe bigger, they propose a way of making the genetic code smaller, hoping that this downsized version might feasibly arise in a conventional evolutionary way.  But there’s a risk.  Their efforts to simplify could easily lead to oversimplification.

They presuppose an RNA-world endowed with two kinds of tRNA molecules, each of which has dual functional capacities: at one end they attach an amino acid, and at the other they pair with a specific base triplet (codon) on an RNA gene.  Their world also has steady supplies of two kinds of amino acid, at least one kind of RNA gene that restricts itself to the two codons recognized by the tRNAs, and “a ribosome-like cofactor” that cradles the complex formed between the tRNA that caries the new protein chain and the codon to which it is paired.

The immediate question is, how could a world that has never encoded proteins have done so much preparation to become a world that does encode proteins?  We seem to be left with the familiar alternatives of extraordinary improbability or guided design.  Here it has to be conceded that Koonin’s proposal is at least commendably frank, in that it acknowledges the improbabilities.  Lehmann et al., like everyone else, prefer not to go there.

Maybe that’s because, like everyone else, they find themselves between a rock and a hard place.  Since the modern system for implementing the genetic code is way too complicated to have appeared by accident, they know they need to look for not just a simplification, but a radical simplification.  But if it’s hard to explain how even a modest simplification could leave the basic function intact, imagine how hard it becomes for a radical simplification.

Their efforts to find a workable compromise between sterile simplicity and complex functionality are both laudable and instructive, but unsuccessful nonetheless.

Their simplified proteins are built from two amino acids instead of twenty.  People have tried to fish out life-like proteins from pools of random chains made from just a few amino acids, but nothing impressive has ever come of it.  That’s not surprising when you consider how fussy real-life proteins are about their amino-acid sequences.  The idea of forcing them to hand over eighteen of their constituent amino acids without so much as a complaint is just plain unrealistic.

Lehmann, Cibils, and Libchaber attempt to push their proteins even further.  Their translation mechanism has an extraordinarily high error rate, resulting in about one wrong amino acid for every six added to a new chain.  And that’s under ideal conditions.  Things get much worse if the conditions deteriorate.

Let’s experiment with this.  If you haven’t read the title of their paper, hold off and we’ll see if you can read a version of it that has been simplified along the lines of their proposal.  Protein functions would have to be remarkably relaxed about protein sequences for their simplifications to have worked in early life.  The test will be to see whether you are comparably relaxed about spelling when you read.

The most common vowel in the title of their paper is e, and the most common consonant is n.  To mimic their proposed simplification of proteins, let’s replace all the vowels in their title with e and all the consonants with n, randomly mistaking vowels and consonants about one sixth of the time.  The random errors make many versions of the title possible, but you don’t have to see many examples to convince yourself that this isn’t going to work:
simple titles
This isn’t meant to be a proof, of course, just an illustration.  It approximates the scale of simplification that Lehmann et al. have proposed for protein sequences, and in so doing it provides very reasonable grounds for suspecting they have oversimplified.  Something closer to proof can be had by examining how fussy real protein functions are about protein sequences.  That whole field of work, as I see it anyway, seems to confirm the suspicion.

So in the end, Lehmann, Cibils and Libchaber seem to have taken us a step further from a naturalistic explanation for life rather than a step closer.  Some people will be more pleased with that conclusion than others, and that’s okay.  From the standpoint of science, every step is progress.

[1] Perspectives, 1 April 2009
[2] Lehmann J, Cibils M, Libchaber A (2009)
[3] ScienceDaily
[4] Koonin EV (2007) 

 "As odd as it may seem, particularly to non-scientists, that tension between preference and reality has always been a part of doing science.  Like everyone else, scientists don’t just have ideas—they favor them… even promote them.  And for scientists, as for everyone else, sometimes those cherished ideas are just plain wrong."

Merry Christmas, Darwinists!  Here is your present...a chance to understand the error of your ways and adjust to 21st Century discoveries about life and existence.   Evidence, my friends, not fairy tales....And with that thought in mind, Darwinists are invited to take part in the discussion of complexity in the cell.  No need to deny it or hide it, but rather face it and explore it!


The Debate Over Design Gains Momentum with a New Peer-Reviewed Science Journal: BIO-Complexity  

— April 30th, 2010 by Douglas Axe

It’s no secret that the scientific establishment is decidedly against not just the idea of intelligent design but also the idea of debating that idea.  They just wish the whole subject would go away.  That being the case, most establishment-minded scientists will, I suspect, thoroughly disapprove of BIO-Complexity, a new science journal that positively welcomes the scientific debate [1].

Now, I usually sympathize with those who want troublemakers to stop making trouble.  Trouble has a bad name for good reasons.  But on the other hand, we often find ourselves looking back with gratitude at certain troublemakers of the past—people who persisted in shaking things up, usually at great personal cost, until their cause won the day.

It seems to me that the trouble ID has brought on the science academy is of this more noble kind.  Like all scientific controversies, this one is about ideas.  And while ideas can be very powerful, they only become dangerous when no one is allowed to critique them openly.  Where scrutiny is encouraged, the worst that an idea can be is false.  Where it is forbidden, things can get much worse (as history shows).

With that in mind, if you examine the way scientists on both sides of the ID debate are conducting themselves, which side would you say is generally doing a better job of inviting critical scrutiny?  Which side is earnestly seeking the strongest critique that the other side can offer?  The answer should be obvious.  It has to be the side that is promoting the debate, right?  Or conversely, which side has little tolerance for dissent?  That’s equally obvious.  It’s the conflicted side—the one that is constantly switching between denying that the debate exists, trying to win it, and trying to shut it down.

Of those three conflicting options, only one—the desire to be proven right—has a legitimate place in science.  The greatest moments in the history of scientific discourse happened when people were so committed to getting it right and so sure of being right that they welcomed critical scrutiny.  They weren’t always right, of course, but there is nothing shameful in that.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  This contest of ideas, this rigorous exchange, is precisely how science is meant to work.

And that’s exactly what BIO-Complexity is about.  Unlike most science journals, this one is founded on critical scientific exchange.  That commitment began with an inclusive approach to recruiting scientists to serve as editors.  As one of the people involved in the process, I can assure you that whatever the Editorial Board [2] ends up looking like when all the replies are in, the invitations went out to everyone we could think of with the expertise and the interest to make a useful contribution, regardless of their perspective on ID.  Inevitably some will have been overlooked, and these too will be welcome later additions, pending board approval.

BIO-Complexity demonstrates its commitment to critical exchange in other ways as well.  For every peer-reviewed article it publishes, it seeks a well-informed Critique of that article.  And for each of these it seeks a Response from the original authors.  Unlike the original articles they comment on, Critiques and Responses won’t be peer reviewed.  The reason for this is that we want to give people appropriate freedom to state informed opinions boldly, without the level of caution that peer review tends to enforce.  And on the subject of peer review, the policy of BIO-Complexity is to seek evaluation from experts who fall on both sides of the ID controversy.

Finally, you can have your say as well, because everyone who agrees to abide by three common-sense rules can post comments on anything and everything that BIO-Complexity publishes [3].  The rules are known as the three Rs: real names, respectful tone, and relevant focus.  Published articles will be technical, so you’ll want to have some familiarity with their subject matter in order to post comments, but we guarantee there won’t be any viewpoint discrimination here.  If you can find a polite way to say that someone’s conclusions look completely wrong, then go ahead and say it (and don’t be offended if someone politely returns the favor).

Enough said.  Go explore.  I can’t think of anything bad to say about BIO-Complexity, so I’ll leave that to others.  Let them have their say, and then come back to the question of what science is all about.  If you’re a big fan of science, I think you’ll end up being a big fan of BIO-Complexity.
[1] http://bio-complexity.org
[2] BIO-Complexity Editors
[3] See registration information.

50 comments:

Jon Woolf said...

"Never has life come from non-life..."

Never, Gracie?

Of course, we all know that what you meant was "never has life come from non-life without supernatural interference." But that's not the same thing at all, is it?

Do try to say what you really mean, Radar.

"...and real scientists are throwing up their hands at the thought of finding a natural means of producing life."

No. Real scientists continue investigating the question of whether life could have originated from non-life by entirely mundane means, without outside interference. Meanwhile, religious fanatics insist vehemently that the fact their limited minds can't understand how natural abiogenesis could have happened must mean that abiogenesis couldn't have happened.

This is, of course, quite foolish since the Universe is not limited by the shortcomings of deliberately-crippled human minds.

(hey, the captcha is a real word again: 'equaled'.)

Anonymous said...

Radar,

Jon Woolf is absolutely right. No matter what your disagreement with "Darwinists" are, one thing we can all agree on is this:

Abiogenesis did take place. It even says so in Genesis, right?

We just disagree about the method.

You've already demonstrated that it's impossible to test for the impossibility of abiogenesis. Why are you so unwilling to learn from that? Why are you so afraid to draw conclusions from that?

Anonymous said...

"Evidence, my friends, not fairy tales....And with that thought in mind, Darwinists are invited to take part in the discussion of complexity in the cell. No need to deny it or hide it, but rather face it and explore it!"

This coming from a man who cowardly runs away from any real debate or tough questions.

Oh the irony!

Captain Stubing said...

"Here is another common fallacy: "Everyone agrees that abiogeneis had to happen, that non-life developed somehow into life.""

Let me get this straight: are you saying there was life on Earth on the first day of Creation? The second day? The third day?

radar said...

False charges abound...

Real scientists are proving to themselves that there is no natural means of producing life, information or matter, for that matter. Argue with them, I am simply posting what people with doctorates and post doctoral studies are saying when they do experiments and tests.

A supernatural cause for the Universe, information and life would be what we call "answers" and does not end study. It simply gives science another piece of understanding by which all things can be studied, understood and manipulated.

Go ahead, tell us what is wrong with the posts I made rather than your ad hominem attacks.

Anonymous said...

"Argue with them, I am simply posting what people with doctorates and post doctoral studies are saying when they do experiments and tests."

And these experiments and tests have been submitted to peer-review and published by a reputable scientific journal, right?

Note: journals clearly geared towards ID and sponsored by the Discovery Institute, like Bio-Complexity do NOT count! ;-)

So you see, Radar: for all your talk about open discussion it's these ID-ers who fear rigorous examinations of their 'tests and experiments'. They're afraid to have them put to the test and rather scream at the sidelines.

It's cowardice abound. Why do you support cowards?

Anonymous said...

"Real scientists are proving to themselves that there is no natural means of producing life, information or matter, for that matter."

Name the scientist and the proof presented. Keep in mind that this would require a falsifiable statement. (As you've already discovered, it's impossible to prove such an impossibility of abiogenesis, but you seem unable to acknowledge that.)

"A supernatural cause for the Universe, information and life would be what we call "answers" and does not end study."

Except that that's where creationists inevitably are stuck, for understandable reasons: they've reached an untestable hypothesis.

I take it that you're acknowledging that there was no life on Earth on Day One of Creation, and that therefore abiogenesis did occur at some point during Creation Week.

"It simply gives science another piece of understanding by which all things can be studied, understood and manipulated."

Untestable hypotheses do not advance scientific understanding. They present possible alternatives, but since they are untestable, they represent a dead end for science. That doesn't mean they are necessarily wrong, but they can hardly be said to represent "superior science" by any stretch of the imagination. And untestable hypotheses have never resulted in any scientific discovery.

Anonymous said...

"Go ahead, tell us what is wrong with the posts I made rather than your ad hominem attacks."

An ad hominem attack would mean that one dismisses your claims because of who you are. Instead, you keep repeating the same untruths repeatedly (i.e. lying), and you're called out for it. That's not an ad hominem.

Look it up sometime.

Anonymous said...

False charges abound...

Name one.

radar said...

People with doctorates and awards and post-doctoral degrees didn't get them in a cracker jack box. If the ruling paradigm does not review their work because of prejudice and superstition, eventually they will form their own peer groups and ignore yours. It is pretty funny to see you guys comment on this in particular since I reference several documents that have been peer reviewed by "regular" institutes/organizations so you have revealed yourselves. You do not read or understand the posts, you just scan them and then begin commenting. Oops!

radar said...

So you keep saying I am lying? How, by presenting evidence that is uncomfortable to you? What lies?

Jon Woolf said...

"People with doctorates and awards and post-doctoral degrees didn't get them in a cracker jack box."

Well, actually, some of them did. Or pretty close to that. Have you ever heard of a "diploma mill" or "degree mill"? Many creationist "scientists," such as Kent Hovind, Don Patton, Carl Baugh, and Harold Slusher, got their "doctorates" from degree mills.

To be sure, there are creationists who have legitimate degrees. However, in most cases those degrees are in fields unrelated to biology, palaeontology, or historical geology, the three fields most directly relevant to evolutionary theory. As Phil Johnson himself once pointed out, a scientist out of his area of expertise is no more knowledgeable than a layman.

Anonymous said...

"If the ruling paradigm does not review their work because of prejudice and superstition, eventually they will form their own peer groups and ignore yours."

Ah yes, the old conspiracy theories. The trademark of cowards...

Anonymous said...

"So you keep saying I am lying? How, by presenting evidence that is uncomfortable to you? What lies?"

You mean evidence like that of John Hartnett? He was exposed for the liar and deceiver he is.

Why doesn't that open your eyes, Radar? Afraid of the truth?

Anonymous said...

"So you keep saying I am lying?"

Yep.

"How, by presenting evidence that is uncomfortable to you?"

No, by making erroneous claims and then not backing them up with evidence when challenged.

If you were able to present evidence that were uncomfortable to us, that would be a tremendous step forward for you. But unfortunately for you, we can distinguish between evidence and simplistic logical fallacies, including the almost constant argument from incredulity ("it's complex! therefore God must have done it!").

"What lies?"

Here's one:

"Real scientists are proving to themselves that there is no natural means of producing life, information or matter, for that matter."

Here's another one:

"Here is another common fallacy: "Everyone agrees that abiogeneis had to happen, that non-life developed somehow into life.""

You were challenged on both of these, you have no comeback, and yet no doubt you will repeat these lies in blog posts to come.

radar said...

You are correct, if you are under the delusion that those things are lies, I am going to keep saying them and standing by them. It is not a lie if it is the truth. You do not like the truth, that is your problem and not mine.

radar said...

Frankly the science is entirely on my side. Happy New Year! I am going to post two or three direct copies from other sites, which I know you all love, and then back to the three pitfalls of Darwinism = Existence, information, and life. No explanation for them and real science tells us no natural source for them.

radar said...

God is not a being. God transcends time, space and matter. He is to us in some ways a simple concept of goodness and love and light. We know Him as omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. But being supernatural and transcendent means He is beyond the material world and cannot be fully comprehended by the natural mind. Philosophically because God represents fullness of goodness and power and presence He seems simple to describe but how He can have such qualities is not within our power to comprehend.

So I would say that God is a simple concept and He is fully Who He says He is, which does not mean He is complex. For if He is all goodness and power and presence who is to say that God actually consists of more than three integral "parts"?

We know it takes a complex being to support life, but so far as we know "life" itself is not natural and does not consist of parts. We know that "intellect" exists within us and exists within a remarkably complex (over thirteen billion components, each of which are quite complex) but when life goes away, so does intellect and again it seems to have no mass and does not seem to have any parts. Both of these qualities of a living person leave at death, with no loss of mass and no certainty that they are natural in nature.

radar said...

"Well, actually, some of them did. Or pretty close to that. Have you ever heard of a "diploma mill" or "degree mill"? Many creationist "scientists," such as Kent Hovind, Don Patton, Carl Baugh, and Harold Slusher, got their "doctorates" from degree mills."

Point one, other than maybe Hovind this is a lie. I do not know or care about Hovind as his worldview drags his science behind it, just as the talkorigins site people do. I lump them both together as two sides of the same coin.

Point two, Patton so anihilated Ian Plumer in a debate that there is a famous "how NOT to debate a Creationist" post online that I suspect you may have read? If not I can probably dig it up. Dr. Patton has impeccable credentials.

Point three, this article did not come from any of those people.

Oh, and my "creation myth" is actually taken from the world's most respected book of history, the Bible. Read by more people than any other book, the Bible is the only reliable historic account of man that predates Anno Domini authors. I am sure you are among those who critique the Bible but you do so for personal reasons. Higher Textual criticism has been a epic fail.

radar said...

One more thing. If a supernatural God made all things, His creation of life is not "interference" it is part of His intentional plan.

Jon Woolf said...

Point one, other than maybe Hovind this is a lie.

No, it isn't. See below.

Point two, Patton so anihilated Ian Plumer in a debate...

That often happens when the scientist is trying to stick to the facts, while the creationist has no such limitation.

Dr. Patton has impeccable credentials.

Patton has claimed degrees from "Pacific International University" in Missouri, and "Queensland Christian University" in Australia. Neither school has any campus or organized curriculum. They award degrees in return for lump-sum tuition payments and maybe some correspondence coursework. They have no accreditation from any recognized educational office or organization. They're degree mills, pure and simple.

Read by more people than any other book, the Bible is the only reliable historic account of man that predates Anno Domini authors.

You really must do something about this tendency to overreach, Radar. It may be true that the Bible contains some useful historical accounts, but there's no way that it's more reliable than the three thousand years worth of written Egyptian history BCE that we have, or the two thousand five hundred years of Mesopotamian history BCE, or the two thousand five hundred years of Chinese history BCE, or the more than three thousand years of Indian history BCE.

Of course, that's not even considering all the evidence we have for ancient man that goes beyond preserved writings...

Anonymous said...

Ah, yes. I like to take my information from experts with PhDs granted by unaccredited religious schools too.

lava

radar said...

I can start listing references. How about Duane Gish? UCLA and UC Berkley. Big diploma mills. I can do a whole post on this nonsense!


Education B.S. Chemistry, UCLA - 1949; Ph.D. Biochemistry, University of California, Berkley - 1953
Employer Institute for Creation Research (retired)
Known for Prominent public speaker on Creationism

Jon Woolf said...

You'll note that I did not include Gish in my list of creationists with diploma-mill degrees. Gish is among the few leading creationists whose degrees are entirely legitimate ... although, considering what he's done with them, I wonder if the California state university system has any established means of revoking a science degree for reasons of gross misuse of same.

Anonymous said...

"God is not a being."

Hm. "Supreme being" refers to what exactly?

You might want to check out "being" in the dictionary sometime and rethink your claim.

Or is this one of those black-is-white, up-is-down kind of claims? Apparently you once claimed you weren't religious somewhere on your blog...

Anonymous said...

"Oh, and my "creation myth" is actually taken from the world's most respected book of history, the Bible."

Some mighty wishful thinking at play here. The Bible is not a history book, though it contains bits of history. But in its entirety it is not a history book, respected or otherwise.

"Read by more people than any other book, the Bible is the only reliable historic account of man that predates Anno Domini authors."

Ah, so here's another topic you don't seem to know anything about, but choose to make authoritative claims. Sorry, no, the Bible is not "the only reliable historic account of man that predates Anno Domini authors". Doesn't take a whole lot of research to figure out that's not true.

Oh and didn't someone on your blog claim that the Bible contained eyewitness accounts of creation?

"I am sure you are among those who critique the Bible but you do so for personal reasons."

Attempts at mind-reading almost always fail.

"Higher Textual criticism has been a epic fail."

How so? Be specific. Don't just make claims "for personal reasons". Argue with actual facts and specific arguments.

radar said...

You will find I did a short series on the New Testament and Higher Textual criticism on this blog previously, if you care to see.

If Gish means California schools are in trouble, what does Dawkins mean for Oxford? Should we shut the place down?

Really, if you cannot come up with anything better than personal attacks on scientists in the comments thread...instead of the actual content of the posts...it just validates the post.

Anonymous said...

Really, if you cannot come up with anything better than personal attacks on scientists in the comments thread...instead of the actual content of the posts...it just validates the post.

By that logic, you've validated Darwin's theory of evolution over and over and over again.

Anonymous said...

Re. textual/textural criticism, I found this post, but you don't really put a dent in TC in that discussion at all.

So, you were claiming TC was some kind of epic fail. You're basing this claim on what exactly?

Got anything at all to back this up?

radar said...

Infantile lame retorts. Again, how about trying to deal with the post itself? Scientists engaged in the study of the cell keep finding more evidence that a natural path to life is not possible, that there are insurmountable obstacles and frankly scientists with every weapon 21st Century science has at their beck and call cannot "make" life, just fool around with it a little.

The study of DNA/RNA and the chemical reactive barriers to their formation, the problems at the molecular level, tells us that abiogenesis is, as Louis Pasteur famously said, "a bad dream." fr. chimera

Scientists who waste their time trying to prove this are like babies with power tools. They will not accomplish much besides strengthening the Law of Biogenesis by their failures, they waste time and resources and they may make something dangerous by mistake. Something Robin Cook/Michael Crichton-level dangerous?

This is Frankenstein revisited but that was simply fiction. This stuff is science fiction applied to the real world. At best it will produce nothing, at worst a disaster.

radar said...

http://radaractive.blogspot.com/2006/11/hit-or-myth-scholarship.html

Has some TC commentary and links to three other posts by me on the subject. The basis of TC is strictly metaphysical in nature, as the people involved are so far from the tangible manuscripts available in the second and third centuries when the Bible was being analyzed, scrutinized and accepted officially. The Old Testament, long accepted before the time of Christ, was preserved by a system of quality process control far superior to what a typical US factory used until the late 1990's. I know this because I was an ISO 9000 series auditor. Kaizen may be a Japanese word, but the concept was invented by God and taught to scribes who used quality process controls to maintain an accurate and authoritative scripture. For some stuffed shirt in Germany to read copies of copies of copies of copies and make silly pronouncements and call it "higher" anything? Ludicrous.

radar said...

For those of you who actually study the Bible, I do not believe the Textus Receptus is absolute. While King James did use a method of analysis that was akin to modern computing, and that itself is amazing, his personal beliefs interfered with the project, so that some words were not translated (such as baptizo) and some concepts a bit garbled. Also, 15th Century English is a long way from modern American. You can be sure that no one wanted to put John the Baptist's head on a hood of a Dodge Charger!

Biblical scholars have done what they can to compare fragments of scripture to what we have now and translate from Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic and Latin in order to present the student with the best possible reading. It is still necessary to find and inspect the original language in some cases to nail down specific and precise meanings ("yom" for instance). Most of the Bible is simply understood if the student is equipped with a reasonable intellect and has accepted Christ as Savior.

Sorry, but the scriptures must be spiritually discerned to get the full meaning. If you do not have the Spirit of God alive in you, the words will be clear and the understanding evident, but you will tend to miss the inner wisdom and the context relative to the entire Bible. Nobody can comprehend the Bible well until they have devoted a few years of study.

Hey, how many years of study does it take for a doctor to get a degree? A Veterinarian? Well, to be a Bible student who is more than a beginner takes years. That is life in the big city, guys.

Anonymous said...

"Scientists engaged in the study of the cell keep finding more evidence that a natural path to life is not possible"

Complexity itself is not that evidence. You've already discovered that the impossibility of abiogenesis by natural means can not be proven, so why would "I don't think abiogenesis by natural means is possible, but I can't prove it" be so hard to swallow?

Re. the evidence that a natural path to life is not possible, do you have anything at all here that constitutes evidence? Be specific.

Because all you've come up with so far are the following:

1. It's too complex, and so I believe it must be designed, not evolved. (Logical fallacy: argument from incredulity.)

2. This research takes away from more useful scientific fields like curing cancer. (Which is (a) not supported by any evidence and (b) ignores the fact that such research may lead to unanticipated benefits.)

3. (This seems to be a new one:) Scientists in this field may come up with something dangerous.

If there is no evidence that abiogenesis by natural means is impossible, why not just accept that? It doesn't affect your beliefs one bit.

Anonymous said...

"Infantile lame retorts. Again, how about trying to deal with the post itself?"

Delicious irony.

Anonymous said...

"Hey, how many years of study does it take for a doctor to get a degree? A Veterinarian? Well, to be a Bible student who is more than a beginner takes years. That is life in the big city, guys."

It must have escaped your attention then that the TC scholars are not atheists, judging by their titles are most likely more qualified than you in Bible studies (life in the big city, huh?) and, by the way, are not trying to disprove the existence of God.

Anonymous said...

"Kaizen may be a Japanese word, but the concept was invented by God"

Scripture reference, please.

"For some stuffed shirt in Germany to read copies of copies of copies of copies and make silly pronouncements and call it "higher" anything? Ludicrous."

Ah, now it becomes clear: you don't know what higher textual criticism is. You just have some knee-jerk reaction that it must be trying to disprove God or something, and now you have some emotional need to vent against it, regardless of facts.

So instead of dealing with the substance of higher TC, all you have so far are "infantile lame retorts".

Should you ever run across any evidence for this alleged "epic fail" of higher textual criticism, do let us know. We won't hold our breath.

radar said...

I listed posts that will link at least five posts made by me that deal with HTC. Again, people coming to try to tear apart the Bible many hundreds of years after any original manuscripts are long gone and pretending to be able to authoritatively discard historical findings in favor of their own agenda deserve to be lambasted. Few serious Bible students can read the critique of Genesis by these guys without stifling laughter. Imagine not understanding that Bible authors intentionally use different names for God since God was referred to by many, many descriptive names. God may be simple, but He has many qualities that the Children of Israel incorporated into scripture. Jehovah Jireh, Jehovah Raphtha, Elohim, Yaweh and etc.

Kaizen is a Japanese word that is used for a system of quality process control first implemented in Japan and now in popular use in industry world-wide. You will not find a 20th Century Japanese term in scripture, sorry. You lost track of the argument there.

Scribes counted the number of "letters" in each book, the middle symbol of each book, they also inspected each line and each completed book by using counting and specific areas of comparison in addition to simple proofreading so that scripture would be copied precisely and the meaning would not be garbled or lost.

radar said...

Because scribes had rules to be followed when copying scripture that was in effect a quality process control system more efficient than anything used in industry until the 20th Century. Therefore while Gilgamesh has a contorted and mythologized story of creation/flood/etc. and other cultures often have extremely weird and unlikely creation and flood mythologies, the Hebrew Book of Genesis was carefully kept the same century after century.

Therefore we have one ancient account of creation and flood that is accurate and logical. The narratives fit the evidence much better than Darwinism, let alone any other historical documentation predating the time of Christ. Therefore the Bible was the common handbook for all Archaeologists doing digs in the Middle East. Therefore the great scientists who dragged both the ruling scientific crowd and the church leadership kicking and screaming out of Greek axiomatic belief systems and magical thinking and brought empirical investigation to the fore. It was men of God who invented the scientific method and it was men of God who helped free the common man from serfdom by their discoveries in science and their insistence upon scriptural authority above any human being wearing a fish hat. It was men of God who invented the printing press and began publishing Bibles and it was the Bible that was the primary tool to bring literacy to the common man.

People, bring some literacy and learning to the table before you make your pronouncements and derisive comments. You are simply embarrassing yourselves when you discuss some categories of learning. I am not a guy who knows everything about everything but I do know a great deal about the Bible and you Darwinists know very little at all about that subject, including HTC.

radar said...

"If there is no evidence that abiogenesis by natural means is impossible, why not just accept that? It doesn't affect your beliefs one bit."

You cannot prove a Unicorn does not exist with any more logical ammunition than I can prove abiogenesis doesn't happen. But unlike the Unicorn, I can present evidence that abiogenesis is statistically impossible and that every step of the road that natural substances would take to try to become life has insurmountable challenges. The behavior of molecules, the reaction of chemicals, the racemic nature of the basic building blocks that would exist could they be built by chance...so many different reasons that abiogenesis is absolutely ridiculous. I can easily demonstrate that it is too improbable to consider for many, many different reasons.

Nobody can prove that an imaginary thing is impossible. Because it IS imaginary, we cannot find evidence for it. One can simply test for it and after hundreds of years of the same results every time one makes a law. The Law of Biogenesis stands unchallenged. Life comes from life. Please at least TRY to be a scientist for once rather than a religious zealot. Abiogenesis is just too improbable to spend even one second of consideration.

Also, the Laws of Thermodynamics all stand unchallenged, falsifying a Universe that creates itself. I have seen that the mad desire to deny the existence of God can warp a mind as awesome as Hawkings so that he posits a Universe that is created by properties or forces that can only exist if a Universe is already in place!

I am sorry so many of you are locked in worldview prisons that keep you from seeing the awesome beauty of creation and the many signatures of the Designer. Fractals. Fibonacci numbers. DNA. The harmonics of specific atoms that allow for combinations friendly to life that would otherwise be rare. The wonderful behavior of water, whose properties are most unusual and therefore allow for life, most specifically that ice floats rather than sinks to the bottom of a body of water because when water freezes it takes more oxygen with it, thereby becoming a covering and insulator for bodies of water rather than falling to the bottom and leading to a deadly total freeze of water in cold climates.

Did you know that every electron is the same but years of study tell us that it really is true that every snowflake is unique? Do a search for Caltech and snowflakes sometime.

Real scientists doing real science find more design, more amazing algorithms built into creatures that are more sophisticated that anything man has devised. And we are not chumps, we have put men on the Moon. But bees and ants compute alternate routes and solve puzzles better than our most advanced computer programs.

It is not simply an argument for complexity, it is an argument for design by an intellect that is greater than ours. It is the presence of vast amounts of information in a world that does not produce information naturally. Science needs to dump their religion and their prejudices and get back to acknowledging that a Creator God made everything so let's figure out how best to make use of it all.

Anonymous said...

Ah, Radar again sneaks in after a few days to get the last word in.

No wonder the comments here have no date stamp LOL.

By the way; that rant didn't change anything Radar. Words don't cut it.

Anonymous whatsit said...

"Again, people coming to try to tear apart the Bible many hundreds of years after any original manuscripts are long gone and pretending to be able to authoritatively discard historical findings in favor of their own agenda deserve to be lambasted."

Do make up your mind, Radar: is it the most accurately preserved document ever ever ever, or is it unreliable because the original documents are long gone?

Pick one.

Anonymous whatsit said...

"Imagine not understanding that Bible authors intentionally use different names for God since God was referred to by many, many descriptive names."

It has nothing to do with the understanding or lack of understanding of that; it has to do with drawing inferences from the specific use at particular times.

Surely you didn't miss that, did you? After all, you posted posts with links to other posts, right?

Anonymous whatsit said...

"Kaizen is a Japanese word that is used for a system of quality process control first implemented in Japan and now in popular use in industry world-wide. You will not find a 20th Century Japanese term in scripture, sorry. You lost track of the argument there."

No, I did not. This was your claim:

"Kaizen may be a Japanese word, but the concept was invented by God"

Where is the scripture reference that this concept was invented by God?

"Scribes counted the number of "letters" in each book, the middle symbol of each book, they also inspected each line and each completed book by using counting and specific areas of comparison in addition to simple proofreading so that scripture would be copied precisely and the meaning would not be garbled or lost."

Looks like a pretty man-made process to me. So you don't have a scripture reference then?

Okay, glad that's settled.

Anonymous whatsit said...

"Because scribes had rules to be followed when copying scripture that was in effect a quality process control system more efficient than anything used in industry until the 20th Century."

And this from an IT guy? Sad.

"Therefore while Gilgamesh has a contorted and mythologized story of creation/flood/etc. and other cultures often have extremely weird and unlikely creation and flood mythologies, the Hebrew Book of Genesis was carefully kept the same century after century."

This is just priceless. Other cultures have weird and unlikely creation and flood mythologies, but the one in the Bible is supposed to make sense because they were more anal about copying their ancient creation myth?

Radar, honey, the Judeo-Christian flood mythology is likewise weird and unlikely when stacked up against observable evidence. Just because at some point it may have been written down and copied precisely from that point on doesn't mean that the oral transmission that preceded it is somehow more accurate or truthful.

And do make up your mind: you can't keep dismissing HTC because they didn't have access to original documents and at the same time keep claiming that it's the most accurately copied document in existence.

Why are you so afraid of HTC? Uncanny.

Anonymous whatsit said...

"You cannot prove a Unicorn does not exist with any more logical ammunition than I can prove abiogenesis doesn't happen."

Thank you for acknowledging this AGAIN. Notice how there's no scientific law that says unicorns can't exist?

Just like there's no scientific law that says that abiogenesis (by natural or other means) is impossible.

And note, AGAIN, that the lack of such a scientific law has absolutely zero impact on your worldview. No threat to your faith.

And of course you'll surely acknowledge that abiogenesis did occur. Even in your worldview, it's right there: Genesis 1 of your precious religious text.

All that's left is quibbling over the mechanism. You have no idea and claim that it was an unspecified mechanism, with no apparent possibility to explore this further, but at least it satisfies your religious urges. Good for you, enjoy it. Others possess more intellectual curiosity and explore the possibilities of a natural mechanism.

Captain Stubing said...

"It was men of God who invented the scientific method"

That may well be, but it doesn't mean that the scientific method had to confirm God.

Anonymous whatsit said...

""Because scribes had rules to be followed when copying scripture that was in effect a quality process control system more efficient than anything used in industry until the 20th Century."

And this from an IT guy? Sad."

I'll cheerfully retract this - I misread this as "in the 20th century" instead of "until the 20th century".

Though that does raise the question of why this method was absent all that time, given that God invented it and all.

Lotus said...

radar...when you actually understand the Laws of Thermodynamics (Mainly the Zeroth and First Laws) then talk about them. Until then please do not talk about them and look even more ignorant. And there is evidence for Abiogenesis, not as thorough as say Gravity or Evolution, but that is only because it is still in the infancy stages of research.

Anonymous said...

"I am sorry so many of you are locked in worldview prisons that keep you from seeing..."

Proceeds to tell me a bunch of shit I already knew about.

That "harmonics of atoms" thing, by the way, is crucial to describing--get this--abiogenesis.

radar said...

The only evidence for abiogenesis is doofs like Lotus claiming that there is evidence. Darwinists just tell us "the check is in the mail" but they never deliver.

There is NO EVIDENCE at all for abiogenesis. There are barriers at the chemical level, the molecular level, and on up the ladder that are insurmountable by chance. In fact controlled experiments that seek to eliminate the problems never manage to produce life in any form.