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Saturday, December 11, 2010

So SETI is just another word for Such Expenditure of Time and Intelligence...for nothing

So,

With the help of a fellow blogger, I begin:

Intelligent Design – Select Quotes

Intelligent Design
Click on image

Just as in the everyday world, where we immediately conclude design when we see a complex, interactive system such as a mousetrap, there is no reason to withhold the same conclusion from interactive molecular systems. This conclusion may have theological implications that make some people uncomfortable; nonetheless, it is the job of science to follow the data wherever they lead, no matter how disturbing.
~ Michael Behe, in The Sterility of Darwinism

The probability of life originating from accident is comparable to the probability of the unabridged dictionary resulting from an explosion in a printing factory.
~ Professor Edwin Conklin, Princeton University biologist

Intelligent design begins with a seemingly innocuous question: Can objects, even if nothing is known about how they arose, exhibit features that reliably signal the action of an intelligent cause? To see what’s at stake, consider Mount Rushmore. The evidence for Mount Rushmore’s design is direct—eyewitnesses saw the sculptor Gutzon Borglum spent the better part of his life designing and building this structure. But what if there were no direct evidence for Mount Rushmore’s design? What if humans went extinct and aliens, visiting the earth, discovered Mount Rushmore in substantially the same condition as it is now? In that case, what about this rock formation would provide convincing circumstantial evidence that it was due to a designing intelligence and not merely to wind and erosion? Designed objects like Mount Rushmore exhibit characteristic features or patterns that point to an intelligence. Such features or patterns constitute signs of intelligence. Proponents of intelligent design, known as design theorists, purport to study such signs formally, rigorously, and scientifically. Intelligent design may therefore be defined as the science that studies signs of intelligence.
~ William A. Dembski

As biochemists discover more and more about the awesome complexity of life, it is apparent that its chances of originating by accident are so minute that they can be completely ruled out. Life cannot have arisen by chance.
~ Sir Fred Hoyle, in The Intelligent Universe

A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from th facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question…. Rather than accept the fantastically small probability of life having arisen through the blind forces of nature, it seemed better to suppose that the origin of life was a deliberate intellectual act.
~ Sir Fred Hoyle

Hopefully I have made the issues quite clear.   I truly believe that most people who believe in Darwinism have given little thought to the matter and have simply swallowed all the propaganda whole.   In a world where we are busy trying to have fun, find love, make a living, figure out what to do for a career, what to buy people for Christmas, deal with the weird squeaking sound when you hit the brakes on the car and unfortunately in these times very possibly trying to find a job...most folks just take the science classes that are required to get through school and get on with their lives.  So all the shows and magazines proclaiming millions of years go in one ear and out the other, a little bit sticks and it means nothing to them 99 per cent of the time...

When you engage a Darwinist, they do not like to discuss science at first, they try to dismiss YEC and ID people as religious kooks.   To me, they are the religious kooks.   When a Darwinist begins to talk about YEC they jump right into the metaphysical and try to avoid the messy science part.   They do not wish to talk about things like chirality and meta-information and transposons and irreducibly complex systems and symbiotic relationships in detail, because they soon find themselves exposing their complete lack of evidence for their various claims.   Macroevolution has never been observed.  Speciation has.  YEC can give great proofs that organisms are designed to conserve the kind of organism while allowing for wide variation within kinds and that in fact there are switches built into many organisms that operate when a common mutation or copying error occurs.   A human cell is far more complex than the world's biggest factory, has far more redundancies built in than a space station and has far more information than all the libraries in all the schools in the USA.   Evolve THAT, atheists!   The odds against one simple cell happening by chance are mathematically impossible and we have complex organisms everywhere of all kinds.   Figure it out!

Many Christians just accept Darwinism as fact because they have been told it is a fact and they do not look too hard at the whole thing.   All sorts of big church organizations and of course typically the more organized and the longer they have been around the farther away from any critical thinking they get - Lots of them have endorsed Darwinism.   Sure, they say, Darwin and God get along just fine.   We have our religion and science has science.   They do not understand that Darwinism is religion and it is absolutely the opposite of real Christianity.   They do not think deeply and critically about what Darwinism teaches.  They do not bother to investigate for themselves. 

As I said, I came to the question being at first a Darwinist and later ambivalent and still later a Young Earth Creationist but it was years later than that when I understood the metaphysical implications.   No actual Adam and Eve, no Fall, no Original Sin, no need or use for Christ, no Salvation, no hope or purpose to life!   No wonder so many young people grow up and turn away from church.   If you believe Darwinism and really think about it, then Christianity is a myth and the Bible is just a good source of morality in a general way.   Now I can see that millions of years of evolution just doesn't fit into the Bible.  So while I came to a belief in the literal interpretation of Genesis by studying science, it was my study of the Bible that confirmed to me that Darwinism is in opposition to Christianity.   So now I am fortified by faith and by fact. 

Even the people working in operational science may not give much though to Darwinism, because in truth operational science doesn't need or use it.   How an organism works, how the planets move, what we see the moons of Jupiter doing and so on and so forth?  Bringing evolution into any of that simply slows down the investigative process.   People like Dawkins with their half-baked ideas about memes, Darwinist priests making cladograms and for good measure throw in punctuated equilibrium and hopeful monsters and junk DNA and vestigal organs and the ludicrous Drake Equation and directed panspermia and frankly, from here, it all sounds like a grade schooler trying to think of the best lie to use to convince a parent he wasn't one of the kids that broke out the windows on the back side of his school the night before.  Fairy tales, just-so stories, dating records designed to produce long ages that have been repeatably falsified, on and on and on.   Will ordinary scientists just take a look around and begin to put the pieces together?   The answer is yes, the number of YEC and related organizations is growing rapidly and the ID movement is picking up steam because of evidence, not worldview, but because of empirical study of the world around us.  Geocentricism took a few hundred years to be accepted by the scientific establishment.   Darwinism is kind of like the guy who knows he has a disease that will kill him in three days.   Darwinism is desperate to hold on but it is doomed by it's lack of evidence.   Atheists need Darwin like junkies need their next fix.   They will lie and cheat to get it.  

So this is why some Darwinists are more than willing to lie and cheat and overturn actual laws of science in their quest to somehow, someway, get past the elephant in the room - Organisms are designed and ergo, they have a Designer.   But of course the drumbeat of propaganda goes on and on and on.   We shall do our best to overcome waves of ignorance with lifesavers of truth.   Ah, the great thing about having a blog is being able to say things like that.   Overcome savage sharks of superstition with harpoons of hope?  Wash away piles of poo with firehoses of truth?  Anyway, the news media is so gullible that they just barf up everything Darwinists feed them.   So the ICR begets the AIG which begets the CMI and at the same time the Discovery Institute comes along and now there are lots of ID and YEC in the scientific community and there will be more and more of us as time goes by.

One hilarious aspect of the search for ET they call SETI is that they are trying to find analog communications from a supposedly advanced race of aliens who would be highly unlikely to be broadcasting what SETI is trying to find.   Mankind has advanced from analog to digital, radio and television signals actually going out on the airwaves are diminishing in amount for so much of our devices are receiving from cable and satellites and cell towers now.   Wax cylinders became flat platters of vinyl and then tape and then cds and then MP3 and so on and so forth.   If there really was an ET, why would you think they give out signals we could even discern?

Why are Darwinists willing to spend millions and millions of dollars looking for the slightest hint of design and intelligence from the stars while they totally ignore the massive evidence for design and intelligence in organisms? This is the most amazing case of not seeing the forest for the trees in scientific history!

As Cre-Evo headlines tells us...

See an interesting update to the 12/05/2010 entry, “Lean to the Left.”
SETI Ignorance Gets Stronger     12/09/2010     http://creationsafaris.com/crev201012.htm#20101209a

Dec 09, 2010 — “Science is not about blind faith” begins a video posted on MSNBC about SETI.  Part of an article by AP reporter Seth Borenstein, “Evidence for E.T. is mounting daily, but not proven,” the video explains Frank Drake’s famous equation that tries to quantify the probability for extraterrestrial intelligence.  Though Drake confidently asserts the probability that 50,000 advanced communicating civilizations exist in the Milky Way, Borenstein’s subtitle asserts, “So far, first signs of life elsewhere are more likely to be closer to slime mold.”

    Confidence exudes like a strong perfume from both the video and the article.  “Lately, a handful of new discoveries make it seem more likely that we are not alone – that there is life somewhere else in the universe,” Borenstein began, diving immediately into Wolf-Simon’s claim that some microbes can imbibe arsenic as a substitute for phosphate in their proteins and DNA (12/02/2010).  Then Carl Pilcher, director of NASA’s Astrobiology Institute, was given the microphone to say, “The evidence is just getting stronger and stronger” that “There’s got to be life out there.”  After a brief caveat that “Since much of this research is new, scientists are still debating how solid the conclusions are,” Borenstein reassures the reader that even if something simple, like slime mold, is detected first, “It can evolve from there.


    Borenstein’s confidence is based on the premise that the search for E.T. is based on “Some science, some pure guesswork.”  Since every non-scientist has access to guesswork, to what science does he refer?  Admitting that the Drake Equation includes guesswork factors, “such as the likelihood of the evolution of intelligence and how long civilizations last,” Borenstein strips it down to two factors: “How many places out there can support life?  And how hard is it for life to take root?”  Bolstered by Wolf-Simon’s arsenic microbes, he beamed, “That means the probability for alien life is higher than ever before, agree 10 scientists interviewed by The Associated Press.”  He said additionally, “nothing topped last week’s news of a lake bacterium that scientists could train to thrive on arsenic instead of phosphorous.”

    Perhaps Borenstein celebrated too soon.  Live Science said, “Many skeptical scientists not involved with the study have raised questions about its methods and findings.”  Later, Karl Tate on Live Science included the arsenic claim as #10 in his list of top ten “Kerfuffles” – “The debate over arsenic-based life is just the latest example of science -- blown out of proportion or just plain misunderstood -- exploding across the news media.”  (Others included Martian bacteria and overhyped human ancestors).  And Nature News said that the announcement got a “toxic response” from other scientists, who called it “premature at best” and complained about the way it was publicized.  Steve Benner, an origin of life researcher, “used the analogy of a steel chain with a tinfoil link to illustrate that the arsenate ion said to replace phosphate in the bacterium’s DNA forms bonds that are orders of magnitude less stable.”  Not only that, the NASA Astrobiology team failed to show that the microbes actually incorporated arsenic into their molecules.  Some scientists were upset that NASA’s teaser to the press had them thinking life had been discovered beyond Earth; indeed, even Fox News reporters were expecting an announcement that life had been discovered on Titan.

    Did Borenstein have any other science, less dubious, to amass in favor of his contention that the evidence for E.T. is getting stronger and stronger?  Indeed he did.  Calling on SETI Institute senior astronomer Seth Shostak, who “ticks off the astronomical findings about planet abundance and Earthbound discoveries about life’s hardiness,” he agrees that these points “have gone in the direction of encouraging life out there and they didn’t have to,” – so much so, that denying the existence of extraterrestrial life, Shostak alleged, is tantamount to believing in miracles (i.e., that life only exists on earth).  Time out for a brief reality check:
Astronomers, however, do believe in proof.  They don’t have proof of life yet.  There’s no green alien or even a bacterium that scientists can point to and say it’s alive and alien.  Even that arsenic-munching microbe discovered in Mono Lake in California isn’t truly alien.  It was manipulated in the lab.
With that brief time out over, Chris McKay assured readers that, “There are real things we can point to and show that being optimistic about life elsewhere is not silly.”  He called on the red dwarfs to sing in agreement – red dwarf stars may not be the anti-life districts once thought; “That didn’t just open up billions of new worlds, but many, many times that,” Borenstein chimed.  The giants chimed in, too: “scientists now believe that as many as half the stars in our galaxy have planets that are two to 10 times the size of Earth — ‘super Earths’ which might sustain life.”  With a recent estimate that the universe may contain six times as many stars as thought, the chorus just keeps getting louder.

    Of course, 300 sextillion lifeless locations would still be lifeless.  “The other half of the equation is: How likely is life?” Borenstein continued, calling briefly on Donald Brownlee to debunk the notion that intelligent life is common, but agreeing that microbial life could be.  “By making life more likely in extreme places, it increases the number of planets that are potential homes for life,” astrobiologists agree – even though all those extreme places studied are right here on Earth.  But does a potential habitat rise to the level of scientific evidence?  Never mind; potential is enough: Mars, Europa, Titan, Enceladus – places where no life has been found – put dollars on the bet that aliens inhabit the universe, so much so that “Shostak puts his money behind his optimism,” Borenstein ended.  Apparently Shostak bets a cup of coffee at his lectures that scientists will find proof of alien life by 2026.  “The odds, he figures, have never been more in his favor.

Got odds?  We do.  Read our online book, especially Ch. 6.
    Let’s unpack this reasoning about odds in this SETI drinking party.  “The odds, he figures, have never been more in his favor.”  What are the odds when your sample size is one?  You have one example, and you want to extrapolate the odds to 100 billion planets in the galaxy.  This is like winning the world’s biggest lottery on your first draw the only time you play, and thinking the odds are great of winning many more times because there are a lot of convenience stores where you can play the lottery.

    Statisticians like to think about urns with colored marbles, so let’s say you are walking on your terrace, and discover an iPhone, not yet aware of its purpose or function; also on the terrace you find an urn with marbles in it, but you know nothing about what kind of marbles are inside.  You reach in and pull out an orange marble, then a red one, then another orange one, and a white one (these represent Venus, Mars, Europa, Titan, and Enceladus), along with a lot of black marbles.  Because your iPhone contains some of the same colors that are in the marbles, you concoct a theory that iPhones evolve out of marbles.  Then you look off into the distance and see many more urns you think must have marbles, too – billions of them.  Yet get all excited, thinking that the odds of finding more iPhones must be astronomical.

    In your ecstasy, you produce an equation you call the Flake Equation, and calculate your odds: N is the number of iPhones that must exist in all the urns.  R(u) is the rate of formation of urns, f(m) is the fraction of those urns with marbles, n(g) is the number of urns large enough to contain iPhones, f(g) is the number of urns where circuits begin evolving from the marble material; f(s) is the number of marbles that evolve into iPhones, f(c) is the number of iPhones that spontaneously call you up, and L is the lifetime of the average iPhone battery.  Would this justify the Search for Extra-Terracetrial iPhones?  Get real.

    Even if one of the iPhones calls you up some day, it would not support your theory that the iPhone evolved out of the marbles.  It would validate the view that both iPhones were intelligently designed.  But in our day, such reasoning is disallowed a priori, because it’s not “science.”  Thus, science has devolved into absurdity, where sophisticated ignorance is glorified, because intelligent causes have been excluded from the very definition of science.  The cult of Darwin has given birth to the cult of SETI, where marbles evolve into iPhones, and molecules evolve into minds.

Next headline on:  AstronomySETIOrigin of LifeDarwin and EvolutionMediaDumb Ideas
Tip Link
The ancient Greek eclipse-predicting computer, the Antikythera Device, has been brought to life in Lego blocks.  Go to Live Science for two fun video clips revealing the intelligent design that went into the original device and its modern copy.

40 comments:

highboy said...

One argument that has always made me chortle is that there are so many examples of "bad design", so there couldn't be some perfect intelligent designer. The problems with this argument are obvious: If someone only ascribes to a testable hypothesis, the hypothesis that there is a "better" design can't be their argument, as such a hypothesis is not testable, or at least has never been tested. It shows hypocrisy to put it frankly.

Jon Woolf said...

"I truly believe that most people who believe in Darwinism have given little thought to the matter and have simply swallowed all the propaganda whole."

You believe wrong.

highboy: "If someone only ascribes to a testable hypothesis, the hypothesis that there is a "better" design can't be their argument, as such a hypothesis is not testable,"

except that it is. There's an obvious better location for the prostate gland in male humans. There's an obvious better way to give the panda a thumb than to modify the sesamoid bone. There's an obvious better way to design the female-mammal reproductive system than to have the birth canal pass through a just-barely-wide-enough pelvis. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

"the number of YEC and related organizations is growing rapidly"

yet remains miniscule next to the number of scientists who know YEC is nonsense and its adherents are religious fanatics.

How do you tell whether a given mutation increases or decreases the information-content of a gene, Radar?

What's the YEC explanation for the no-young-isotopes phenomenon, Radar?

What's the YEC explanation for fossiliferous strata in Large Igneous Provinces, Radar?

What's the YEC explanation for age-specific trace molecules in crude oil, Radar?

What's the YEC explanation for fossils in marble and slate, Radar?

What's the YEC explanation for broken, weathered, and scavenged fossils, Radar?

What's the YEC explanation for ecological ghosts, Radar?

What's the YEC explanation for index features such as the K-T clay layer, Radar?

Why aren't dolphins and ichthyosaurs ever found together, Radar?

Why aren't rhamphorhynchoids and neornithines ever found together, Radar?

How did dogwoods and sycamores outrun brontosaurs and allosaurs to higher ground, Radar?

How do we get fossil formations that preserve multiple layers of dinosaur and bird nests, obviously nesting colonies from several different years, in the middle of the geologic column?

How did we get magmatic intrusions -- that is, underground lava flows that took time to occur and more time to cool and solidify -- in between layers of fossil-bearing sedimentary rock?

When you can answer those questions in detail, with specific observations and sensible deductions therefrom ... then, and only then, will you be able to claim that YEC is science. Until then, it's religious fanaticism and nothing more.

radar said...

Jon, you are quite arrogant to say that you are a better designer than God. You and your buddies used to speak confidently of vestigal organs...until they were all found to have purpose. You boasted about junk DNA...until it turned out that junk DNA has multiple functionality. Just this week you were bragging about how an organism had been manipulated into replacing phosphorus with arsenic in it's basic structure...except it didn't.

So I am not going to listen to your questions until you quit dodging the question you said you would answer, where does information come from. You see, I know you cannot answer it unless you admit to an Intellect that produced it so you will dodge the question and try to change the subject. Nope. My blog. My rules. If you cannot answer the question then I will not pay attention to your Goo-to-you Gallop.

Anonymous said...

My blog. My rules. If you cannot answer the question then I will not pay attention to your Goo-to-you Gallop.

Brave Sir Radar ran away.
Bravely ran away away.
When Knowledge reared its ugly head,
He bravely turned his tail and fled.
Yes, brave Sir Radar turned about
And gallantly he chickened out.

Bravely taking to his feet,
He beat a very brave retreat.
Bravest of the braaaave, Sir Radar!

radar said...

But I do want other people to look at Woolf's array of questions and think about what he is asking. Is anything he asks a fundamental question, or is it fringe stuff? The answer is that it is fringe stuff.

Think about this, gang. If life would evolve from non-life, it would be happening now. Our Earth is very friendly to life, so if it is going to happen it would happen now. Yet we can examine every organism we find and we can examine the DNA and determine that it has descended from the same kind of organism.

If life could come from non-life, the thousands of scientists trying their best to make it happen with the full force of modern science behind them would be able to artificially induce it to happen. But they find insurmountable hurdles in trying to get life from non-life. Truly ridiculous ideas have been put forth ("on the backs of crystals" is one of my favorites) but in fact what science is proving is that the Law of Biogenesis holds true.

Scientists once thought that blood-letting was a way to heal people. One of the nicknames for doctors, "Leeches", comes from a former treatment that included placing leeches on a patient to suck their blood. Jon Woolf has faith in the current level of scientific knowledge and in his mind he believes that the old saw of the Panda's thumb being a design flaw.

Such arguments are pathetic attempts to take the focus away from the main arena - the impossibility that life evolved from non-life, which is necessary for the classic Darwinist naturalistic materialistic worldview to be sustained.

I do not expect Woolf to change his mind, he is probably too sold out to his religious belief system to understand reasoning. But I expect the average reader to come to the table with an open mind. When Darwinists give blind chance credit for inventing life, they are using magical thinking, just as they do when they discuss the beginning of the Universe. All of the words written about the Big Bang boil down to *poof* it just happened. Life? *Poof* again.

Historical evidence tells us there has been a continual belief in God and we have evidence that a Creator God made the Universe and life. Once you accept that premise, the design of life is no surprise and the logical rules and systems and laws are no surprise. A logical mind made logical men who could comprehend and use their God-given intellect to build things and invent things and move things and understand things. Far more sensible and logical than *poof* and once people accept this, a lot of wasted scientific intellect and resources will be redirected to helping people live better and to stop or cure diseases. No more stupid SETI, no more NCSE, no more censorship and fairy tales...

radar said...

Brave sir radar asked "where does information come from?" and all the Darwinists run away.

You are the ones who run. You are the ones who try to change the subject. You are the ones who cannot face the truth. Make all the silly poems you like. Truth is truth.

Anonymous said...

And so Radar waves the white flag.

Nice job, Jon. You should be done here; nothing more to add.

Jon Woolf said...

"Jon, you are quite arrogant to say that you are a better designer than God."

Well, yeah. What's your point?

No, to be fair, I have no doubt that an intelligent, omniscient, omnipotent god would be a much better designer than I could ever be. That's why I'm fairly sure that no such entity created the world I see around me.

"If life would evolve from non-life, it would be happening now."

No, it wouldn't -- because the prebiotic compounds would themselves be food to existing lifeforms.

"You and your buddies used to speak confidently of vestigal organs...until they were all found to have purpose."

Nipples on male mammals have a purpose? The degenerated pelvic bones in whales and manatees have a purpose? The useless eyes of cave fish and burrowing moles have a purpose? The chestnuts on horses' legs have a purpose? Do tell, please.

"Scientists once thought that blood-letting was a way to heal people."

And still do, under certain very limited circumstances. Why, some treatments even still use leeches and maggots!

"You boasted about junk DNA...until it turned out that junk DNA has multiple functionality. "

For the record, I never entirely bought the conventional wisdom about 'junk DNA.' I always suspected there was more to it than we knew. Rule 15 applies to Nature as well as to human endeavors.

As for the arsenite-bacteria story ... yeah, I screwed up. Believed the hype and didn't wait to find out more. Not the first time, won't be the last ... but I intend to be intelligent and learn from the experience. Can you do the same, Radar? Can you admit when you're wrong and learn from your mistakes? Can you admit that YEC has no answers for the questions I posted above?

"where does information come from."

From random reorganization of existing material. In genetics, that means mutations.

"And so Radar waves the white flag."

It would seem so. Ah, well, I suppose I'll have to continue my search for a knowledgeable and honest creationist elsewhere...

highboy said...

"There's an obvious better location for the prostate gland in male humans."

and how did you test for that? Post the empirical data.

"There's an obvious better way to give the panda a thumb than to modify the sesamoid bone."

how did you test for that? Post the empirical data.

"There's an obvious better way to design the female-mammal reproductive system than to have the birth canal pass through a just-barely-wide-enough pelvis."

how did you test for that? Post the empirical data.

"Well, yeah. What's your point?

No, to be fair, I have no doubt that an intelligent, omniscient, omnipotent god would be a much better designer than I could ever be. That's why I'm fairly sure that no such entity created the world I see around me."

Of course the arrogance you spew here would be warranted had you had one piece of evidence at all that the way you think the world should be designed would be better that way. Having not tested your hypothesis other than to speculate in your head, there isn't any evidence. It is amusing though that someone who doesn't believe in a Creator can still assume that if there was a Creator that the Creator in question would have no reason to create the world like this instead of a different way that made better sense to Jon. LOL.

Jon Woolf said...

Highboy, five minutes of research on any of those topics will give you the answers you seek.

highboy said...

"Highboy, five minutes of research on any of those topics will give you the answers you seek."

Waving the white flag I see. I also see no research to actual testing that was done to prove your theories of a "better" design. You did not testing, therefore, your conclusions are not scientific, making your argument against designed creation illogical. I asked for empirical data as to how your examples have been tested. You either have it or you don't.

Jon Woolf said...

[yawn]

Someday, Highboy, you'll learn that I don't say things I can't back up.

The stupid placement of the male prostate gland is so well known that it's the butt of jokes. It's also been a consistent killer of older men throughout history, and remains so today in societies that don't have first-class medical care. The prostate gland wraps around the urethra. The prostate often enlarges with age -- sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. A greatly enlarged prostate will constrict and eventually block the urethra, which causes a rapid and very painful death. And it would be ridiculously simple to solve: just route the urethra around the prostate instead of through it.

highboy said...

No Jon, you didn't back anything up. In fact, you simply repeated one of your earlier claims, but with more detail. That's it. If the problem is so easy to solve, why isn't it solved? What tests have been run that support the conclusion you just made? None. You're the science guy so its odd I should have to say this, but let me remind you of the scientific method:

1. Form a hypothesis.
2. Test the hypothesis.
3. Make your conclusion.

You skipped a step fella.

Jon Woolf said...

Paging Doctor Moreau, paging Doctor Moreau...

(captcha: 'flogin', as in what you're doin' to this dead horse, Highboy.)

Anonymous said...

"So I am not going to listen to your questions until you quit dodging the question you said you would answer [...] You are the ones who run."

What is this, junior high? Radar, you're an adult. Such childish rhetorical dodges should be beneath you.

If what you believe is true, the answers to these questions should easily fall into place:

"How do you tell whether a given mutation increases or decreases the information-content of a gene, Radar?

What's the YEC explanation for the no-young-isotopes phenomenon, Radar?

What's the YEC explanation for fossiliferous strata in Large Igneous Provinces, Radar?

What's the YEC explanation for age-specific trace molecules in crude oil, Radar?

What's the YEC explanation for fossils in marble and slate, Radar?

What's the YEC explanation for broken, weathered, and scavenged fossils, Radar?

What's the YEC explanation for ecological ghosts, Radar?

What's the YEC explanation for index features such as the K-T clay layer, Radar?

Why aren't dolphins and ichthyosaurs ever found together, Radar?

Why aren't rhamphorhynchoids and neornithines ever found together, Radar?

How did dogwoods and sycamores outrun brontosaurs and allosaurs to higher ground, Radar?

How do we get fossil formations that preserve multiple layers of dinosaur and bird nests, obviously nesting colonies from several different years, in the middle of the geologic column?

How did we get magmatic intrusions -- that is, underground lava flows that took time to occur and more time to cool and solidify -- in between layers of fossil-bearing sedimentary rock?"


Are you really capitulating in the face of these questions, any one of which falsifies a YEC hypothesis?

highboy said...

"(captcha: 'flogin', as in what you're doin' to this dead horse, Highboy.)"

Quit dodging. YOU said your examples were testable. Where are the results from these tests from which you drew your conclusion? Otherwise, your argument is not scientific and therefore just baseless speculation.

highboy said...

"What is this, junior high? Radar, you're an adult. Such childish rhetorical dodges should be beneath you."

You might want to remind Jon of that. I was given examples of "bad design" by the science expert here with an "obvious" alternative that is supposedly better, but lo and behold, I see no scientific data supporting his conclusion. Of course its because there isn't any, the hypothesis was never tested, but instead of agreeing that it was nothing more than baseless speculation all we see are multiple dodges.

radar said...

Jon knows that he cannot answer the fundamental questions that underlie Darwinism, so he will barf out a bunch of lower-level claptrap to try to take the focus away from the importance of intentionality and design. Grade school kids might be buffaloed and manipulated by name-calling but it will not work on me.

For Darwinism to be possible, there must be naturalistic source for both life and information. I am still waiting for any Darwinist on the planet to step up and either give the answer or admit that they have no idea.

When you admit you do not know, then I will ask the follow-up question, which is, why do you not accept the obvious conclusion? Life was designed and information was placed within it by an Intelligent Source. Now THAT is what I call obvious. Not some layman's opinion about where the prostate should go.

radar said...

Remember, folks, there was Dawkins and company claiming the eye was "backwards" for many years before research revealed that the way the retina is wired, albeit at first looking backwards, is actually optimal. Doctors used to believe the appendix was not necessary, or the coccyx, or tonsils and various small glands that we now know have functionality.

Anonymous said...

"For Darwinism to be possible, there must be naturalistic source for both life and information."

The theory of evolution does not rely on a naturalistic source for life or information.

Anonymous said...

"I was given examples of "bad design" by the science expert here with an "obvious" alternative that is supposedly better, but lo and behold, I see no scientific data supporting his conclusion."

Highboy,

While instances of "bad design" could be tested scientifically, I doubt anyone is going to waste time on actually testing them in most cases, e.g. by constructing alternative pelvis designs to facilitate birth etc., simply because there is little to be gained by such tests and thus they aren't worth the effort.

It is, however, possible to compare such structures in nature, for example by seeing how painful and difficult the birthing process is for different mammals, and thus compare their efficiency. For example, a cow can give birth with relative ease and the calf will be quite capable and mobile within hours of birth. In humans, the female recovers with more difficulty, and the baby is essentially helpless for a long time afterwards, not least because its skull isn't fully formed, since it has to pass through the birth canal, which is as narrow as it is because of the size and shape of the pelvis.

This is a clear drawback, and since we can observe more efficient structures, we can conclude that if this were a "design", it is less than optimal.

highboy said...

Anonymouswhosits:

I respect your answer actually, and thanks for making a civilised effort, and its a reasonable position to take.

However, here the problems I see with that response:

1. All of this has to operate under the assumption that while birth problems exist in the current form of childbirth, that the "better" system suggested would not offer equal or even greater risks. Without testing the hypothesis, its not even educated speculation that placing the birth canal under the pelvis would lessen the risks or problems in human child birthing.
2. The basic violence done to the concept of the scientific method. While someone like Jon or whoever may feel they have a pretty good idea (at best) as to a possible alternative to any of these "bad designs", without testing such a thing the conclusion, by definition, is not scientific. To put it bluntly, the logic used in this argument against an intelligent designer is not based on scientific fact.
3. To suggest that a design that causes problems or has risks for any species is not evidence against an intelligent designer, because the argument assumes that he who is making the argument would know the motives of the Creator. So yes, if the Creator's entire purpose is to create a perfect world with perfectly species yes, Jon would have an argument. But for example, with childbirth, if the Creator designs the birth process to be painful as punishment for disobedience, wouldn't the birth problems be evidence of a great design? The point is, I respect Jon's scientific background and education, but the argument against an intelligent designer in this case, (being God) is simply not scientific and assumes entirely too much.

Anonymous said...

"1. All of this has to operate under the assumption that while birth problems exist in the current form of childbirth, that the "better" system suggested would not offer equal or even greater risks."

This is where the observation in cows (and other mammals) comes in. AFAIK they are not subject to equal or even greater risks.

"Without testing the hypothesis, its not even educated speculation that placing the birth canal under the pelvis would lessen the risks or problems in human child birthing."

Not sure what you mean by "under the pelvis". We can have educated speculation, though, that a pelvis shaped more like that of a cow (or certain other mammals, whatever) would lessen the risks or problems in human birth.

It's idle speculation though, since we're not going to re-design humans to accomplish this, right?

Anonymous said...

"2. The basic violence done to the concept of the scientific method. [...]"

For starters, you are aware that arguments for an intelligent designer are not based on scientific fact, yes? Every time you hear someone like Radar say "obvious design", note the lack of science involved. The conclusion is assumed a priori to be correct.

But that aside, there is no "violence" being done to the scientific method here. Not every last discussion has to be confirmed through an experiment - all this means is that it carries that much less weight. Witness Radar's inability to demonstrate the impossibility of abiogenesis.

In science, some notions will simply languish on the shores of apathy or "not-worth-the-effort-to-base-an-experiment-on". Yes, it's true that scientific theories get to be what they are due to being confirmed on the basis of falsifiable, testable claims, but not every observation/deduction rises to the level of a scientific theory.

For example: if you really want to challenge the "bad design" argument, someone would have to care enough (and provide funding) to construct a suitable experiment. In that case, one would have to probably construct a human female with a theoretically "better" pelvis and see what comes out the other end, so to speak. Sounds pretty horrendous as well as ridiculously expensive and ethically/morally questionable.

Does anybody care enough about the outcome to go through all that? I doubt it.

But in the meantime, we have the comparison to other mammals, which do provide us with some clues.

highboy said...

"This is where the observation in cows (and other mammals) comes in. AFAIK they are not subject to equal or even greater risks."

except humans aren't cows, and again, assuming humans were redesigned to have birth process like cows it would work as well as that of cows. Gross assumption without actually testing.

"It's idle speculation though, since we're not going to re-design humans to accomplish this, right?"

Which makes making the argument against intelligent design not scientific.

"For starters, you are aware that arguments for an intelligent designer are not based on scientific fact, yes?"

what does that have to do with the scientific validity of the counter argument? If someone is going to criticise radar's arguments based on a lack of testable hypothesis than they are susceptible to the same criticism when positing arguments against intelligent design when the arguments are NOT based on testable hypothesis. The examples of "bad design" that Jon gave with a list of "better" examples are not testable hypothesis. There was no testing, there is no way to test for such a thing, as there is no way to test for supernatural phenomenon. So the argument that they ARE testable, as Jon argued, is totally incorrect. As for intelligent design, there is an obvious design, the question is whether or not the design is random chance or designed by an intelligence.

The point of the back and forth is that those ascribing to only empirical data should hold their own arguments to the same standard that they hold radar's or any other opposing viewpoint. Science can't only be based on testable hypothesis when it comes to YEC and not to other posited arguments by other intellects.

Anonymous said...

"3. To suggest that a design that causes problems or has risks for any species is not evidence against an intelligent designer, because the argument assumes that he who is making the argument would know the motives of the Creator."

Absolutely correct. That is the problem with the whole intelligent design movement. It presumes an intelligent designer, but in the absence of knowing the motives (or even approximate identity) of that designer, we have no way of testing the hypothesis.

It's not possible to argue either for or against it.

Anonymous said...

"So yes, if the Creator's entire purpose is to create a perfect world with perfectly species yes, Jon would have an argument. But for example, with childbirth, if the Creator designs the birth process to be painful as punishment for disobedience, wouldn't the birth problems be evidence of a great design?"

Depends on what you mean by "great", I suppose... Billions of women will not find it that great, I assure you. :-)

But anyway, obviously you mean some vast all-encompassing design.

Here's how this design plays out when faced with real-life examples:

If a design is "good/impressive": proof of a designer, because he's perfect and created a perfect creation.

If a design is "bad": proof of a designer, because he wanted to punish us.

Can you see where this theory of design (or actually, design hypothesis) falls outside the realm of science? Especially some scientific theory that is supposed to explain everything?

The problem is that you're dealing with an untestable post hoc explanation.

Anonymous said...

"The point is, I respect Jon's scientific background and education,"

You're a few steps ahead of Radar on that one. He's in full-blown denial as far as that goes. Poor Radar.

"but the argument against an intelligent designer in this case, (being God) is simply not scientific and assumes entirely too much."

Highboy, the argument for an intelligent designer is scientifically non-existent. It's a "God of the gaps" argument that assumes the default to be "God did it", and the moment science doesn't have an explanation handy, the "God did it" explanation is not just meant to suffice, but is deemed authoritative.

The problem with that is that such "God of the gaps" arguments have historically not fared so well, which is why they are not used in an empirical context.

Anonymous said...

"except humans aren't cows, and again, assuming humans were redesigned to have birth process like cows it would work as well as that of cows. Gross assumption without actually testing."

Both are mammals. It's an observation, not a scientific theory. Hypothetically how would you test this, and is it worth it to actually test this?

Anonymous said...

"It's idle speculation though, since we're not going to re-design humans to accomplish this, right?"

"Which makes making the argument against intelligent design not scientific."

Trying to reason this through: you may believe that the argument against intelligent design is not scientific, and that's fine, but logically speaking, how does us not re-designing (mutating) humans to improve the design of the pelvis make the argument against intelligent design not scientific? I don't follow your logic here.

Anonymous said...

"For starters, you are aware that arguments for an intelligent designer are not based on scientific fact, yes?"

"what does that have to do with the scientific validity of the counter argument?"

Not much. But if the original argument has no scientific validity, no counter-arguments are needed. But feel free to take apart the counter-argument if you can. Just because the counter-argument may not be valid doesn't mean the original argument is valid.

Anonymous said...

"If someone is going to criticise radar's arguments based on a lack of testable hypothesis than they are susceptible to the same criticism when positing arguments against intelligent design when the arguments are NOT based on testable hypothesis."

There is a difference in the level of the claims. Jon has mentioned observations that in his opinion indicate bad design. For all I know, he may be right, he may be wrong, and it may be entirely supportable or supported by evidence, observational or experimental or otherwise. Or it may not. But on the whole, the argument doesn't have a big impact on the validity of either the theory of evolution or of creationism.

On the other hand, what Radar has been doing is claiming that there is a testable, tested, confirmed scientific law that abiogenesis is impossible, and that "Darwinists" are in denial or liars or worse because they don't genuflect to this alleged law. You've seen him repeatedly make this claim over a number of different blog posts and in quite a few comments, right?

Now that is a very specific and far-reaching claim. It also happens to be false. The impossibility of abiogenesis has not been and can not be tested, as Radar has now finally acknowledged. (Though I suspect he'll try to backtrack on this shortly once he realizes the consequences.)

Anonymous said...

"The examples of "bad design" that Jon gave with a list of "better" examples are not testable hypothesis. There was no testing, there is no way to test for such a thing, as there is no way to test for supernatural phenomenon. So the argument that they ARE testable, as Jon argued, is totally incorrect."

Um, hang on a second - where did the supernatural come into this? Intelligent design theory doesn't say the designer is supernatural.

Or did you mean creationism? Well that's plain outside of science as it is, for the exact reason you stated.

Anonymous said...

"As for intelligent design, there is an obvious design, the question is whether or not the design is random chance or designed by an intelligence."

To avoid confusing the issue, you should say there is obvious functionality, not obvious design. Otherwise you're making an a priori assumption.

And note that the options are not "random chance" vs. "intelligence". Amazingly, you've managed two logical fallacies for the price of one: a false dichotomy and a strawman argument.

Anonymous said...

"The point of the back and forth is that those ascribing to only empirical data should hold their own arguments to the same standard that they hold radar's or any other opposing viewpoint."

You are correct in that, though we also have to be specific and accurate in assigning the respective authority and accuracy to the respective explanations. Radar consistently lies through his teeth when he claims that the theory of evolution has not been confirmed, and when he claims that something that was never tested or confirmed is a scientific law.

Anonymous said...

"Science can't only be based on testable hypothesis when it comes to YEC and not to other posited arguments by other intellects."

It isn't. The theory of evolution is a tested and confirmed scientific theory. Creationism can't come up with testable, falsifiable claims that can be confirmed. Radar's unfounded claims to the contrary coming in in three, two, one...

radar said...

I thought the Tower of Babel had been redone here in comments. A ton of Darwinist propaganda like people who think they are better designers than God and those who believe Darwinism has been proven. Hahahahahahahaha! Proven??? It never happens. Ask Richard Dawkins. No one has ever observed it, the science of the cell tells us it cannot happen and yet so many religious zealots with their ludicrous claims.

I slit the throat of abiogenesis on the 14th. Earlier we proved that there is no natural source for information. No life, no information? Oh oh! No Darwinism!

Anonymous said...

Grow up, Radar.

I mean, really!

Anonymous said...

Radar, your incoherent rant here is hardly persuasive and starts to smack of desperation, like a certain person stuck in a certain bunker on the losing end of a war around the middle of the last century, incapable of comprehending which battles have been lost.

All you've shown in your latest post is that you can't test for the impossibility of abiogenesis. You thought you were just evading that very question, you've provided the answer - but it didn't go in your favor.

Why do you consistently make claims you can't back up, and then stick to them? It's a peculiar psychological phenomenon. Why not look at the arguments and then come to a conclusion? It greatly reduces the potential for embarrassment.

Anonymous said...

"Earlier we proved that there is no natural source for information."

Did we now?

This word "prove", I do not think it means what you think it means....