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Wednesday, November 09, 2011

When we learn scientific facts and put an irrelevant Darwinist tag on it we increase the world's stupidity.

The article will explain to you why you might find yourself watching a game and and find yourself saying, "Run, it's a run!" or, "Just throw the fastball a little higher.  Take him up the ladder and strike him out!"   Because if you used to play a game, and especially on a team with actual uniforms and etc?   When you watch the game your brain thinks you are playing!   This is an ESPN source, specifically from the Grantland site.

Okay, as it happens science has discovered that the brain uses far more of its resources to do even simple tasks.  Like pretty much anything else, the brain does not fit the Darwinist stories.  But notice the Darwin Boilerplate at the end to make you think it has anything at all to do with the findings?


This Is Your Brain on Sports

The science behind watching the game

By Le Anne Schreiber If you were watching World Series Game 6 when David Freese hit his game-saving two-run triple on a 3-2 pitch in the bottom of the ninth, you may have jumped out of your seat, sloshed beer down your chest, and spewed half-chewed nachos toward the screen. But unbeknownst to you, as the beer fizzed, your brain leapt up, stretched your left arm nearly out of its socket trying to close the air between ball and glove before you slammed your backside into the Gulf logo on Busch Stadium's right-field wall.

Your brain plucked the ball from the grass, rocketed it toward third and, effortlessly switching allegiances, your brain slid headfirst into the bag. It also trotted home to score the tying run, and in the next few seconds, it waved a white rally towel, spat, and looked glumly over the Ranger dugout fence. Whatever your conscious fan loyalties, your brain couldn't help playing both sides, all roles. What your eyes see, your brain plays — as best it can, which is, of course, as variable as our actual playing and living.

The evidence that the spectating brain is also a playing brain has been mounting ever since the early 1990s, when a group of neurophysiologists at the University of Parma, Italy implanted electrodes in the brain of a macaque monkey to find out exactly which neurons fired when the monkey grasped a peanut and brought it to his mouth. The electrodes were placed in the monkey's premotor cortex, the region known to initiate signals that direct muscle movement in both macaques and humans. The researchers hoped that pinpointing the individual motor neurons that fired when the monkey grasped the peanut might lead to therapies that could help brain-damaged humans recover hand function.

The Parma team succeeded in their original brain-mapping goal, but it was an accidental discovery that made Parma a world-renowned source of cutting-edge neuroscience (not to mention hard cheese and cured ham). As science lore has it, a researcher in the Parma lab was eating peanuts one day when he heard a monitor buzz, indicating that the monkey's peanut-grasping neurons were firing. But the monkey had no peanut. After a moment of puzzlement came the researcher's "eureka!" moment: Some of the same motor neurons that fire when a monkey performs an action were also firing when he watched someone else perform that action.

In fact, it took several such chance observations and then years of testing before the Parma researchers could believe what they were seeing, because it so violated their understanding of how the brain worked. Neurons in a macaque or human brain that are specialized to plan, select, and initiate our muscle movements should not fire to somebody else's muscle movements. But since they appeared to be firing, the researchers wondered what the difference was, from our brain's point of view, between doing and seeing, between playing the game and watching the game, and, most fundamentally, between one's self and someone else?

The answer, according to subsequent research on both monkeys and humans, is that in a healthy premotor cortex, the difference is about 80 percent. In other words, about one-fifth of the neurons that fire in the premotor cortex when we perform an action (say, kicking a ball) also fire at the sight of somebody else performing that action. A smaller percentage fire even when we only hear a sound associated with an action (say, the crack of a bat). This subset of motor neurons that respond to others' actions as if they were our own are called "mirror neurons," and they seem to encode a complete archive of all the muscle movements we learn to execute over the course of our lives, from the first smile and finger wag to a flawless triple toe loop.
When we see a familiar action, our mirror neurons activate, and their firing lasts exactly as long as the observed action. This allows us to instantaneously understand the action, its goal, and even the emotions associated with it, without having to do any inferential thinking about it. If we are watching strenuous action, mirror neurons even provoke a small but measurable uptick in our heart and respiration rate.

In the nearly 20 years since the macaque in Parma gave new meaning to the phrase "monkey see, monkey do," hundreds of research projects around the world have studied mirror neurons to learn about everything from how we acquire language to how we develop empathy. And if you are still reading this, you have probably started to wonder what mirror neuron research has to say about the experience that brings you to this site: sports spectating.

Common sense suggests that the sports-watching brain might be an ideal laboratory for testing the properties of mirror neurons. Several scientists have explored this idea, but their research has mostly focused on the spectating brains of professional athletes, because they wanted to see if these cells encode even the most highly specialized motor skills. And who has more refined motor skills than world-class athletes?

The most relevant study, published in 2008, was conducted at The University of Rome, where neuroscientists recruited 10 professional basketball players, 10 expert watchers (basketball journalists and coaches), and 10 students who had never played basketball, and made them all test subjects.

In the first part of the experiment, the researchers had all three groups watch film clips of players attempting free throws. The clips were stopped at ten mid-action intervals and everybody was asked to predict the likely success of the free throws. The players made more accurate predictions at every time interval, but their greatest advantage over both expert watchers and inexperienced students was at the earliest intervals, before the balls had even left the players' hands, when there were no trajectories to watch.

This indicated that athletes were better than the others at understanding cues from the filmed players' bodies. But the researchers also wanted to know how much their motor systems, primed by their mirror neurons, contributed to reading those cues. So in a second experiment, using a technique called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), which yields the exact timing of neuronal firing, the researchers monitored the patterns of motor system activity in all three groups as they watched free throw video clips.

Everyone's motor system perked up watching the action, but the students showed a generalized perk-up, while both players and expert watchers showed activity of the specific motor areas involved in shot-taking. What separated the players from the expert watchers, though, was greater excitation of the hand muscles controlling the ball, especially the muscle controlling the angle of the pinkie finger at the instant the ball left the shooter's hand. There was not necessarily visible movement of the pinkie, but a measurable increase in what's called "motor evoked potentials," which signal preparation for intended action. The most unpredictable result: This activation was greatest when players watched the launch of a ball that was going to miss the basket.
Maybe the brains of the spectating players were not just simulating the shot-taking. Maybe they were trying to score. And so, perhaps, are we. We're just not as good at it.

Although most of the mirror neuron research I found about sports spectating compared samples at fan extremes, such as professional athletes and those with no experience in a sport, the free throw study suggests that there is a sliding scale of mirror neuron response among spectators based on their real-life sports experience.

Marco Iacoboni, a neuroscientist at UCLA and pioneering investigator of the mirror neuron system in humans, says the brain monitoring technology used in the Rome free throw study is best at measuring mirror neurons that are "strictly congruent," which means they fire at the sight of an action that exactly matches one in the spectator's motor repertoire. Other mirror neurons are "broadly congruent," meaning they fire at observed actions that are similar to ones you have performed.

"About two-thirds of our mirror neurons are broadly congruent," says Iacoboni, "which suggests to me that the purpose of the mirror neuron system is to get you more attuned to the goal of the action than the action itself."

In sports fan terms, this means if you are watching someone take a free throw, and you have never played basketball, your strictly congruent mirror neurons will not fire, but the broadly congruent ones that remember tossing a crumpled piece of paper into a wastebasket will.

For technical reasons, and to eliminate extraneous factors, most mirror neuron experiments are designed to monitor brain activity while test subjects watch a fairly simple action sequence. Teasing out what these studies imply about the experience of watching an actual game moves us into the realm of informed speculation. Scientists are understandably reluctant to venture far into that realm, but I asked Iacoboni to answer a few questions and respond to speculations of my own about sports spectating.

Having read that Iacoboni is an avid tennis player and fan, I started there. "If you're watching a tennis match," I asked, "with a rooting interest in one of the players, do your mirror neurons fire equally to both players?"
"It's well known that we have imitation biases," Iacoboni said, "that we tend to imitate people like ourselves. When I'm watching Federer play Djokovic, most likely I'm going to mirror Federer more, because I like him more."

"But if mirror neurons fire automatically," I continued, "and they are goal-oriented, wouldn't that create a natural tendency to keep one's eye on the ball, and so make you mirror both players?"

"The motor system is strongly oriented toward the goal of an action," Iacoboni answered. "When someone hits a tennis ball, the goal is to send the ball into a specific sector of space, and because of that, yes, I think there is a tendency to follow the ball. In fact, sometimes I want to focus on a player, watch how he moves, especially the balance of the body, the posture, but I can't help myself from following the ball, and I get upset with myself."

Switching to Iacoboni's other favorite sport, soccer, I asked if a spectator without much playing experience was likely to have more mirror neuron activity when the ball was near the net, because everyone understands the goal of the action there — get the ball in or keep the ball out — while the goal of midfield action is less obvious to a non-player.

"This is one I don't know how to answer," Iacoboni said. "I would like to do the experiment, look at the difference in brain activity near the goal and at midfield. My hunch is that you are right."

That strong goal orientation, I speculated, might make our mirror neurons show a preference for certain player positions that see more on-the-ball action, like quarterbacks, wide receivers, and running backs in football, who already exert a strong pull on our mirror neurons, because even if we have never played football, most of us have at least "broadly congruent" experiences of running, tossing, catching, and evading the attack of large men who want to harm us.

Iacoboni thought that was a reasonable hypothesis, especially with regard to quarterbacks, but didn't expand, confessing little interest in American football, because, compared to soccer, it was "so slow, with all that stopping."

Moving deeper into speculative territory, I asked if our mirror neurons, when activated strongly enough to set off MEPs (the aforementioned motor evoked potentials), could make us feel younger because those potentials, unlike our actual motor skills, could still be at or close to their best.

"In real life, when you make a full-blown action, you get all this sensory feedback," Iacoboni said, "but when it's just these tiny muscle contractions or maybe just increased excitability of your motor cortex, your motor plans can go unchecked by sensory feedback in a way that, it's possible, makes you feel younger. That's a nice idea."

Doing an informal study of my own unrealistically youthful mirror neurons before talking to Iacoboni, I watched some Monday Night Football and noticed that I felt more intensely involved in the game when I turned off the sound, so I asked if announcers got in the way of our mirror neurons by engaging us in constant analysis.

"Absolutely," Iacoboni said. "We actually have some data on that. Being analytical almost shuts down your motor cortex, doesn't let you simulate in full what you are watching. I shut the sound off while watching tennis."

Analytic language may put the damper on our brain's motor areas, but that is not the case with other kinds of language. Research using football and hockey players produced evidence that mirror neurons are activated not only when we see or hear action, but also when we listen to or read descriptions of it. And as with the response to sights and sounds, the degree of mirror neuron activation, which speeds up comprehension, depends on our individual experience with what's being described.

That research was conducted at the University of Chicago's Human Performance Lab, where cognitive psychologist Sian L. Beilock is the principal investigator. Beilock explains it like this:

"Even when reading, one of the ways we understand information is by calling on those motor systems we used to act in the past. So for someone with a lot of experience playing, reading about football, for instance, has what we call 'motor resonance,' because they can call upon the parts of the brain they used playing to simulate the action in their heads, and that often makes what they're reading easier to follow and makes them like that information better."

And this enhanced comprehension is not just a matter of their having heard or read a lot of football language, because they were players?

"Background knowledge certainly aids comprehension," Beilock answered, "but our brain also reuses motor experience we learned doing things to comprehend what we are watching or reading about. All of our experiences of doing in the world contribute to our comprehension of the world. It turns out, for instance, that we reuse areas of the brain that control our fingers when we count in our head, because at one point we learned to count on our fingers, and those same areas of the brain come alive again. "

You mean every motor skill we master makes us smarter?

"Yes, in the sense that the better you can do it, the better you can perceive it," Beilock said, adding that her research team has a National Science Foundation grant to see if motor experience can be used to help students learn physics. "The idea is that if you get a student to physically experience being part, for instance, of an angular momentum system, to experience forces and torques and have to counteract them to keep something stable, it might help them understand these concepts when they're reading about them. If the experience is grounded in your body, you would call on those motor areas of your brain when you're listening to a lecture and it could facilitate understanding."

I guess this means that the evolutionary purpose of our mirror neuron system is not primarily to make us more engaged sports spectators, although ESPN has certainly profited from this major side effect. It's more likely designed to advance the species by helping us develop cognitive skills, including but not limited to predicting the success of free throws.

After reading the research and talking to Iacoboni and Beilock, I still had an unanswered question. What had launched me on this particular quest for information was the subjective experience of feeling almost physically active when I watched sports or dance, as if I were running, leaping, dodging, punching, and crashing to the ground myself. It was as if from my couch potato position I had reaped the benefit of at least a portion of the endorphins a workout would produce. But nothing in what I read about mirror neurons indicated whether or not we liked it when our mirror neurons fired.

So in a last phone call, I asked Iacoboni if mirror neuron activity made us feel good.

"Oh, yeah," he said. "Although this is something very hard to prove, it makes a lot of sense. If this system is important for the things we believe it is, which is social cognition, understanding the mental states of others, empathizing with others, and how to learn things just by watching others, evolution must have devised something that makes us feel good when we activate these cells, which makes us do it more and more, because that is an adaptive mechanism. The popularity of watching sports is a good demonstration of this."

Le Anne Schreiber is the former editor-in-chief of Womensports Magazine and a former sports editor at the New York Times. She was ESPN's ombudsman from 2007 to 2009 and is the author of two books, Midstream and Light Years. This is her first piece for Grantland.


I bolded the boilerplate.  
"...evolution must have devised something that makes us feel good when we activate these cells, which makes us do it more and more, because that is an adaptive mechanism."  It is in no way supported by the evidence.   It is just the necessary cover all researchers need to put in their stuff somewhere to keep the censors happy.  What a crock


IAMB said...

I don't think you can comment on "inserting Darwinist boilerplate to get published" when it's apparent you haven't read the two peer-reviewed papers the article links to. Interestingly enough, both Aglioti et al (Nature Neuroscience 2008) and Beilock (International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology 2008) got published... and are completely absent any reference to evolution at all. Fancy that.

Unrelated: anyone heard from Creeper lately? His gmail account has been sending out spam for a while.

AmericanVet said...

Papers getting published w/o Darwin attached is good news. Of course this subject is not about origins or else it would be required to have a sop to Darwinism. I should say that any paper relating to origins must have boilerplate at minimum or it is not allowed for review. Until that scientific apartheid is changed there will continue to be more and more non-Darwinist organizations formed and growing. Many of them are world-wide now. They have big conferences and do their own peer review and issue technical journals and papers. But Scientific Jim Crow keeps most of their content off the secular agendas of organizations. For instance, Jonathan Sarfati had many papers published until he was "tarred with the creationist brush" and he therefore put in completely to

There are the random Michael Behe guys who will get a paper into review and then come under attack from all sides. It was hilarious to see how many people began proposing other mousetrap designs so they were attacking Behe's metaphors and analogies rather than the content of his work, Darwin's Black Box. I have seen a few fractured fairy tales trying to explain blood clotting and e. coli motility structures, all of them speculative and not observable.

I think that the Discovery Institute and ID in general will be the wedge that opens the door to scientific freedom again. Although ID'ers are NOT Creationists (somebody help Jon Woolf understand this, please?) by definition they include Creationist both YEC and OEC and they contain Theistic evolutionists, practicing and non-practicing Jews and Muslims, agnostics and you name it. ID is focused on observable science, things that can be tested today and does not try to tell an origins story or translate the sedimentary layers into ages. But the reason it will eventually give Creationists the same rights to study and publish and dissent and be heard in science is because ID is testable and falsifiable and it pulls the rug out from under Darwinism using science alone.

As to Creeper he just dropped off the map. Bad that his account was hijacked although that happens a lot.

IAMB said...

Bummer about Creeper... I miss having him around.

Anyway, I think you'd be surprised at how many papers, even in biology, get by without reference to evolution. In fact, the very first item in this month's International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology (the go-to journal for anything related to taxonomy of microbes) - an article characterizing a new species of methane oxidizing bacteria - is conspicuously absent any reference to evolution whatsoever.

AmericanVet said...

IAMB, that is very good news. I appreciate the information. My life is so busy with work and working with teens and teaching and belonging to local community organizations and town government and blogging and a very large family that it is very hard to keep up with all the different scientific disciplines.

If we all just allowed each other to present information without banning one or two worldviews then science would go back to the very free era of dissent and exchanges of ideas and therefore be as dynamic and powerful as possible. All the resources wasted trying to keep Creationists and ID'ers away from the table means fewer feet under said table of discussion and fewer ideas. In such a world I believe science should exist and will be far better for it.

One example is Kirschner and Gerhart. Personally I think their work actually favors creation but think of all the work they did on their great project and what a loss to the world of science if it had been rejected on a basis of worldview? What if quorum sensing was hooted down because a Creationist discovered it first?

Anonymous said...

"Of course this subject is not about origins or else it would be required to have a sop to Darwinism."

How so, since Darwin's theory never had anything to do with origins, and still doesn't to this day?

Please explain.

Jon Woolf said...

"Although ID'ers are NOT Creationists"

Their own words and actions prove that they are.

"One example is Kirschner and Gerhart. Personally I think their work actually favors creation "

How do you know what their work favors? You've never read it.

AmericanVet said...

Jon, you must live in an alternate universe of your mind. You do not constitute an authority nor a mind reader.

Jon Woolf said...

Derision still isn't an argument, Radar.

I know you've never read what Kirschner and Gerhart actually wrote because a) it's in biology-jargon, which you show no signs of comprehending; and b) if you had, you wouldn't think their work supported creationism.

AmericanVet said...

So you are wrong, I accessed Kirschner and Gerhart online some time ago. I was not using derision, I was making a factual statement. You often make blanket assertions like, "The Bible is not an historical document", which is a sign no one should consider you authoritative.

"Hot Lips" Houlihan said...

"If we all just allowed each other to present information without banning one or two worldviews then science would go back to the very free era of dissent and exchanges of ideas and therefore be as dynamic and powerful as possible."

Who's stopping you (or any YECs for that matter) from presenting information?

On the contrary, I've asked you loads of times to present information to back up your worldview, and nobody's stopping you...

Where is YEC's consistent interpretation of dating-related data (radiometric dating, ice core layers, tree ring data, varves) that allows them to line up with each other and permits a conclusion of a total age of the universe of around 6,000 years?

Where is it?

NOBODY is stopping you from answering this.

(You've already admitted that some of this is calibrated as far back as 3,000 years, making it that much more difficult to salvage a YEC conclusion from the data. But since that's impossible to begin with, I guess you had nothing to lose.)

"You often make blanket assertions like, "The Bible is not an historical document", which is a sign no one should consider you authoritative."

How so? The Bible is actually not a historical document. It is an anthology that happens to feature some historical material. That's a very different thing.

"I accessed Kirschner and Gerhart online some time ago."

You "accessed" it, did you? That doesn't contradict what Jon Woolf said. Given your past pronouncements on the subject, it's pretty clear you either didn't read or comprehend the source article.

AmericanVet said...

Tell you what, HLH, this weekend is to busy to put my source materials in order to do a full presentation about the following:

Where is YEC's consistent interpretation of dating-related data (radiometric dating, ice core layers, tree ring data, varves) that allows them to line up with each other and permits a conclusion of a total age of the universe of around 6,000 years?

But within two weeks I could either go into the radiometric dating methods again, although I have written on that, or I could put ice cores, tree rings and varves in one post, which I have not done before.

Since it would take a reader a fairly short time to use search terminology like
"zircons" "carbon-14"
"polonium" "radiocarbon" or just the word "dating" to access that information, I guess I will go for the varves/rings/cores part.

First I want to say that what this is going to be is a repeat of previously answered materials with a bit of research to see what has been discovered since I last wrote on those subjects. Frankly I wrote a lot on ice cores so it will be hard to find much else to say. Varves and tree rings, though, I have only covered in association with other topics and not just concentrated on them.

You are completely wrong when you say I have not answered these questions. But I can at least put cores/varves/rings in one post and then tell you to "go fish" for radiometric dating because I have written so much on it.

I read Kirschner and Gerhart online. I understood most of it, although some of the jargon is difficult. They couch their findings in Darwinist tongue, asserting that their findings are a new understanding of how evolution works. But what they actually did was reveal more information and complexity in the cell AND admit that there are several BIG jumps that organisms would have to make.

If you read their output, they primarily describe what they see happening in organisms and then ascribe Darwinist properties not observed. Example =

What is amusing is that they use Drosophia as one example. That particular animal has been abandoned as a candidate for evolution after researchers bombarded it, punched it, fed it, sang to it, did everything they could to make it evolve. They came up with some mutations that were harmful. They did get a double-wing formation mutation that was unable to fly and thus would never be passed on. K & G have made a few discoveries useful to ID, otherwise they have primarily told us what is happening in the segment of life they study and ascribe what is seen as being part of a Darwinist story.

AmericanVet said...

As for who is stopping people, really? What is the NCSE there for? Ben Stein's Expelled:No Intelligence Allowed was a neat expose of the worldview apartheid that is not only in the science world but also the academica and amongst the media. Since that movie aired, some ID and Creationists have realized that they have 1st Amendment grounds upon which to bring suit and they are making Darwinists pay for being prejudiced.

However science at large suffers for this Jim Crow of thought. Free discourse on subjects of origins are forbidden, kids in school mocked and given unfair grades in school by Darwinist teachers and this leads to less dissent, less critical thinking and less robust science.

What really cracks me up is that I bet you could not give me a scenario by which a simple Crayola Red Crayon could be produced by random naturalistic means and methods and yet you believe that a human being that is trillions of times more complex got here by chance. How can you people not see how ridiculous that stance is? Indefensible ignorance!

AmericanVet said...

I know that Darwin was writing primarily about preexisting organisms supposedly evolving uphill via mutations by way of natural selection. His work was just another rock thrown at Creation by Vitalists, an ancient concept that life forms itself. That concept has been given many titles and I do not care what name you put on the box.

I find it wearying and boring to type out naturalistic materialistic atheistic humanistic descriptors when "Darwinist" works just fine and I have said this often in the past. It boils down to a worldview which states that all things can be explained by natural causes. This is a worldview or religion. It is then applied to science. When the worldview is applied to science, science is limited by that worldview to answers that fit within that worldview. Fine.

I have the advantage of having been on both sides. I was a Darwinist and first attended school as a committed one. I had a nice big fossil collection, massive amounts of literature and had done lots of research. My parents knew that for Christmas or Birthdays I mostly wanted books or sports equipment.

As a teenager I focused mostly on sports, books & research, my car and girls. The older I got the higher up the list girls were placed. After being drafted by the military (In the Vietnam Era, lots of kids were given the choice of jail or military, so I was surrounded by gang-bangers and crooks and not only ordinary young people) I got involved in drugs. Drugs and also did more drinking. Pretty soon drugs got higher and higher on the list until it even surpassed not just girls, but eating and working and having a place to live.

Well, I tossed off the needle by voluntarily going to a treatment center and signing myself in and by contract could not leave until they said I could go. I went cold turkey. Worse than any illness, that!

But I remained a Darwinist and although I was more of a party animal after the military was over, I did go back to college and remained a Darwinist. Even after I was converted and became a Christian I still believed in evolution because nobody had ever presented me with a coherent alternative point of view nor had I diligently studied evolution to be sure it was intelligible because EVERYONE KNOWS IT IS TRUE.

But I did investigate. Then I discovered evolution had more holes than a year's supply of Swiss Cheese. Eventually I realized that the entire evolution story was just that, a story, lacking in proof and completely lacking in observable evidence.

Now ID is kicking the butt of Darwinism at every hand. All of these Darwinist pillars have been destroyed - Uniformitarianism, junk DNA, vestigal organs, recapitulation, geological column, radiometric dating, the age of every single planet in the Solar System, the age of the Sun and Moon, and many, many more.

One can use an organism such as a Butterfly and, by its life cycle and habits, prove that evolution is not capable of explaining life as we see it on Earth.

Jon Woolf said...

But I did investigate. Then I discovered evolution had more holes than a year's supply of Swiss Cheese.

Even assuming this tale of your conversion is correct -- which I doubt*, what you did was not "investigate." You looked for an alternative view, and found one that came from men whom you had already been conditioned to trust - namely, Christians who Believed as you do. After all, surely such righteous God-fearing men wouldn't lie to you!

But sadly, they did. Creationism survives only because its proponents tell lies.

(* -- Note that I don't say you're lying. I think you're telling the truth as you remember it. I also think you've unconsciously altered your memory to favor the story you want to believe is true.)

Jon Woolf said...

And yes, creationists are liars. Case in point:

All of these Darwinist pillars have been destroyed - Uniformitarianism, junk DNA, vestigal organs, recapitulation, geological column, radiometric dating, the age of every single planet in the Solar System, the age of the Sun and Moon, and many, many more.

None of this is true. For example, all geologists who aren't creationists, and even many of those that are, still accept uniformitarianism ... because uniformitarianism works and creationist flood-geology doesn't. Radiometric dating and the geologic column both stand firm, unmarred by creationist mudflinging. Vestigial organs and traits do exist, as does junk DNA, and evo-devo has shown that an organism's phylogeny does give many clues to its evolutionary history. Et cetera.

"Hot Lips" Houlihan said...

"First I want to say that what this is going to be is a repeat of previously answered materials with a bit of research to see what has been discovered since I last wrote on those subjects."

But why would you waste your time on that if it doesn't come close to answering the question?

Where is YEC's consistent interpretation of dating-related data (radiometric dating, ice core layers, tree ring data, varves) that allows them to line up with each other and permits a conclusion of a total age of the universe of around 6,000 years?

AmericanVet said...

HLH, yelling doesn't change anything. You will not bully me into changing my posting plans.

Jon, it is sad when you build your entire worldview on "we know of no other cause" when it comes to the origin of life after many generations of scientists have tried and failed to come up with any coherent hypothesis at all. Your completely unscientific wishful thinking does not impress.
We no of no way to rub a lamp and make a genie appear, does that mean you should spend millions of dollars and several lifetimes trying to find a way? I am particularly interested in how you think even one cell being formed by chance can possibly account for all the life on Earth. Statistically one cell is impossible. Multiply that by millions to the power of millions to account for all life with all the information and specific instructions for birth, growth, repair, life, and etc.

As to doubting my account of my life, you are free to do so but you only do it to attack my character and that is not going to change the evidence. Furthermore all the things I have declared falsified have been falsified and people who regularly read my blog know it. Tell you what, you keep on trying to psychoanalyze me and attacking me personally and I will keep on posting evidence and dealing with the science. Works for me.

Jon Woolf said...

Au contraire, Radar. To say "I don't know, but I intend to find out someday" is the essence of science.

As for my opinion of your character: believe it or not, it's intended as constructive criticism.

"If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle."
(Sun-tzu, The Art of War)

At the moment, Radar, you know neither the enemy nor yourself. That is one reason why you consistently fail.

"Hot Lips" Houlihan said...

"HLH, yelling doesn't change anything. You will not bully me into changing my posting plans."

Yelling would be if I put it in all caps. I was simply highlighting the question for you - and for others - since it's pretty clear it's a question that YEC can't answer, even though this is about as central to young Earth creationism as you can get. Which is why, as long as you continue to claim that YEC is scientifically supported and (absurdly enough) superior to mainstream science, you can expect to see this question repeated periodically to highlight YEC's complete scientific failure on its central tenet.

Nor am I trying to bully you into changing your posting plans. How do you think my comment amounts to bullying anyway?

I'm just pointing out that the posts you have in mind are pretty irrelevant to the question at hand, and by posting them you will not have answered the question.

"Hot Lips" Houlihan said...

The question is really quite simple (even if the answer is not):

Take, for example, tree ring data. We can calibrate it going back some time (I think you recently said it was 3,000 years). Now, that still leaves another chunk of tree ring data past the last date we can calibrate. Ordinarily one would say that, given that the first 3,000 rings showed that a ring corresponds to a year (within a very small margin of error), we can expect this pattern to more or less continue, barring any evidence of any other drastic change.

So we have another 8,000 tree rings to account for ( www DOT arts DOT DOT html ) even if you want to dispute that they should now deviate from the pattern of one tree ring to one year, even though there is no evidence of any other drastic change in conditions. So how exactly would YECs line these up against their historical narrative? Where do we see the evidence of the global flood, which is about as catastrophic an event as you can have, that surely must have left a mark in a tree's life? Even if you want to twist and bend the data, the question has to be answered - which tree rings line up with which biblical event?

This is a relatively simple start, but already YEC can't keep up. Next, take another dating method, and repeat the process - but not only does it have to line up with your biblical narrative, it also has to line up with the other dating methods.

Ask any YEC out there if they have an answer to this question - or if at least somebody somewhere is trying to come up with an answer. You'll come up blank. Heck, ask Sarfati. And prepare to be disappointed.