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Darwinist Ideologues Are on the Run
Human Events Online ^ | Jan 31, 2006 | Allan H. Ryskind

Posted on 01/30/2006 10:27:35 PM PST by Sweetjustusnow

The two scariest words in the English language? Intelligent Design! That phrase tends to produce a nasty rash and night sweats among our elitist class.

Should some impressionable teenager ever hear those words from a public school teacher, we are led to believe, that student may embrace a secular heresy: that some intelligent force or energy, maybe even a god, rather than Darwinian blind chance, has been responsible for the gazillions of magnificently designed life forms that populate our privileged planet.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: crevolist; delusionalnutjobs; evolution; idiocy; ignoranceisstrength; intelligentdesign; whataloadoffeces
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To: Dustbunny
Science will eventually, probably not in our lifetime, but will prove it was the hand of GOD.

Science does not "prove" anything.
361 posted on 01/31/2006 3:04:02 PM PST by Dimensio ( <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: My2Cents
I've been reading your posts here, and your tendency to mix scientific findings with personal insults dilutes whatever effectivness you think your lengthy posts have

What would you expect from a knuckle dragging cave man who evolved from pond scum? The writing and verbal skills of a Daniel Webster? :)

362 posted on 01/31/2006 3:04:57 PM PST by AmericaUnited
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To: Dimensio
Science does not "prove" anything.

Actually, it keeps proving how idiotic statements like these were:

an evolutionist testified in the famous 1925 Tennessee Scopes Trial that are "no less than 180 vestigal structures" in the human body"

What are we down to now.... 3? Appendix BZZZ! Tonsils BZZZ! Goosebumps BZZZ! And on and on. You guys never get a 'win' here. How demoralizing....

363 posted on 01/31/2006 3:12:54 PM PST by AmericaUnited
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To: RobRoy; editor-surveyor; DaveLoneRanger; Mulch; frgoff
You're spamming.

You're unable to deal with the fact that our side has overwhelming mountains of evidence, and all you folks have is misrepresentations, errors, and lies.

You're not the only creationist who has found himself in that embarrassing position, faced with vast amounts of evidence he doesn't even begin to know how to counter:

The Mirage

Post of the Month: July 2003

by Louann Miller

Subject:    Re: Suggestion to Judges regarding Nowhere Man
Date:       29 July 2003

On Tue, 29 Jul 2003 12:36:30 +0000 (UTC), Seamus Ma' Cleriec wrote:

>> This is not fair. Your tactict is to drown me in messages so I can't
>> respond. Then when there's no time for me to write a responce you try
>> to end the debate. Instead of wanting an honest and fair debate you
>> just abuse the spirit of the rules and try to call everything. If you
>> do then you can be ashured that you did not really win. You can only
>> win the debate by addressing the real arguements. Now your making me
>> respond to post after post filled with filler. It's not fair and I'm
>> doing my best to respond. I am a busy person and this is the best I
>> can do. Just remember if you call off the debate you did not really
>> win.
>"Drown you in messages" ??? What messages has Lilith posted vis-a-vis
>the debate since late *MAY* are you having trouble with? There has
>been much commentary from the peanut gallery, but considering that you
>really [I think he meant to add the word 'only' here] have to respond
>to Lilith there is no excuse for not responding, other than not being
>able to respond.
>If you really *can't* respond in whole, respond in part - show
>everyone you are making an effort or do the honorable thing and give
>it up.

He's got a good idea there. Take, for example, Lilith's last message that was part of the formal debate thread. Divide it into ten parts, or five, or fifteen, whatever you're comfortable with. Then address one part at a time. While you're at it, you might indicate which parts of the message you believe to be filler.

(The risk there, of course, is that Lilith would very likely reply by explaining why those parts are not filler but an integral part of her argument. She might then re-explain what she said and how it relates to the argument as a whole. This is necessarily going to involve more words, which people will expect you to absorb and reply to in some way. Because that's what you do with the opponent's arguments when you're in a debate.)

I do have some sympathy for the mess you're in, NM. It's a self-inflicted mess, but I can appreciate that it's uncomfortable. I also understand that you were acting in good faith. Here's how it looks to me from the outside:

When you posted your challenge you had the idea that "evolutionism" and "creationism" were roughly parallel ideas about how the biological world works. Especially, that they were about equal in the size and detail of the body of information that they're based on.

That is the part I don't blame you for. Creationist leaders work very hard to give exactly this impression. Since they (creationist leaders) mostly quote each other's works rather than reading the "evolutionist" scientific literature, most of them probably believe this part themselves.

Problem is, when they said that they lied to you. They lied massively.

The totality of what might be called "the creationist literature" is very small and doesn't go into, by scientific standards, much detail at all. "Creation scientists" don't actually do the work of science. They don't spend, for example, six months repeating the Miller-Urey experiments five or six times to see if they really work or not and writing up the results in such great detail that anyone who reads their paper can duplicate the experiment themselves exactly. Instead they just write something for popular consumption saying "The Miller-Urey experiments were awful and bogus and nobody should believe a word of them."

In the short run, this saves them time. They've spent one sentence saying "don't believe Miller-Urey, because I say so" instead of 50 pages providing proof and support. But in the long run, it means someone like you who's at least trying to debate honestly is completely screwed.

Keeping with our same example: You might say "The Miller-Urey experiments are awful and bogus and nobody should believe them." Quoting your creationist sources in good faith. It's the information you've got for your side of the debate, so you use it.

The problem is, at that point Lilith is vastly better armed than you are. She has millions of volumes of published papers which are collectively called "the scientific literature." She can go back to the original Miller-Urey paper and see in detail what they did. She can also read dozens of other papers written since which redo the Miller-Urey experiments with some variation or talk about how they relate to a new experiment, again in huge amounts of detail.

So she naturally replies "What exactly is awful and bogus about the Miller-Urey experiment? Because it looks pretty good when you study it. You see, (fifteen paragraphs of details.)"

At that point, you're stuck. Because "awful, bogus, don't believe them" is all you were given by your creationist sources. You can't look up an equal mass of research to support the creationist view because they didn't do any research. They just asserted "awful, bogus, don't believe it -- take our word for this" and expected you to buy it. You did buy it, and it's you not them who's paying the price in embarrassment.

Worse, it's natural for you (in imitation of your creationist sources) not to just make one assertion like "Miller-Urey -- bogus" at a time but five or ten or more in a single post. It's easy and it doesn't take up much space. But Lilith can go look up details on every single one of those assertions just like she did on the first one. So you post a ten-sentence message, get a 150-paragraph reply, and feel like she's piling on. It's not filler and it's not a personal attack, it's just that treating each assertion honestly involves going into detail.

A metaphor I like to use: creationism is a mirage. From a distance, where you can't see details, a mirage of, say, a hill looks perfectly solid and real. But as you get closer, instead of being able to see more and more detail as you would with a real hill, it just melts away. Actual biology ("evolutionism") is a real hill in the same environment. From a distance, it may look no more solid than the mirage of creationism. But as you get closer, you can see individual rocks and shrubs and animal burrows and so forth -- detail, in short. If you ask someone "describe this hill as it looks from 10 feet away" you're going to get that detail in any honest answer. It's not Lilith's fault that your own hill melts away into a vague heat shimmer at the same distance.

Not your fault either, you didn't start creationism. But it would be more adult to admit "hey, my hill seems to have melted away like a mirage" instead of complaining that having a lot of facts on one side rather than the other makes it an unfair debate. This is what we were trying to warn you about, even if the tone of the warnings wasn't always kind, when you insisted on having this debate in the first place.

Louann Miller

364 posted on 01/31/2006 3:13:30 PM PST by Ichneumon
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To: Ichneumon
Stephen Jay Gould could not refrain from philosophizing about the general implications of data. Few people can. I prefer Einstein's perspective regarding science in general:

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed."

365 posted on 01/31/2006 3:18:14 PM PST by Fester Chugabrew
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To: Dimensio

The fuse which touched off the "big bang" kicking off the whole thing.

Suggest you go back and read my initial post.

366 posted on 01/31/2006 3:18:29 PM PST by Dick Bachert
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To: Dimensio

The fuse which touched off the "big bang" kicking off the whole thing.

Suggest you go back and read my initial post.

367 posted on 01/31/2006 3:18:31 PM PST by Dick Bachert
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To: Dick Bachert
I may pray for you -- to Darwin, of course.

Strange. I'd wish for you to spend your free time more wisely, but if you choose to pray to a guy who died quite some time ago, so be it.

He DOES answer prayer, right?

No. I know of no dead people who answer prayers. Do you have some insight into this amazing assertion, or are you just insane?

And inasmuch as you are CLEARLY one of the enlightened ones, answer the question posited in my post, to wit: What or who lit the fuse?

Thank you for the compliment. Re: the Big Bang (which is what you were yapping about) and "What or Who lit the fuse," my answer may shock you. I DON'T KNOW. Got that? I'm not afraid to admit that - and neither is science (so to speak). Theoretical physicists are making inroads regarding your question, but it is still unknowable. Of course the God you worship could have lit the fuse. Or it may have been the Navajo Raven. Or any number of unknowable things. The important thing here is - while quite interesting to think about, IT BEARS ABSOLUTELY NO RELEVANCE ON THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION.

Since blue is my least favorite complexion color, I will NOT be holding my breath awaiting your reply.

Did you honestly think you asked that difficult of a question?
368 posted on 01/31/2006 3:19:26 PM PST by whattajoke
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To: Dick Bachert
The fuse which touched off the "big bang" kicking off the whole thing.

This has nothing whatsoever to do with the theory of evolution.
369 posted on 01/31/2006 3:22:52 PM PST by Dimensio ( <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: ShadowAce; Dimensio; Right Wing Professor; furball4paws; MineralMan
Thank you. Please explain how an asexually-reproducing creature will eventually create a sexually-reproducing creature. Then explain how two asexually-reproducing creatures can produce two complementary-but-different sexually-reproducing creatures--within the same lifetime and in the same geographical area so that they may meet and reproduce.

Glad to help. But first, your last sentence has a false presumption -- male/female genders do *not* have to arise at the same time.

As for the rest of your question, here's a response I wrote a while back in responsen to a similar question:

Though not all creatures reproduce sexually, many do. Why are there two sexes? Did they evolve simultaneously?

I see three semi-independent questions here:

1. Why is sexual reproduction advantageous?

2. Why only *two* sexes?

3. How did the two sexes arise from non-sexual ancestors?

To address these, some common misconceptions need to be cleared up.

First, sexual reproduction does not actually require two or more sexes/genders. Sexual reproduction, fundamentally, is just the exchange of genetic material between two (or more) organisms. These organisms don't have to be "male" or "female" in any sense, and in fact many single-celled organisms (e.g. yeast) engage in sexual reproduction by fusing two separate cells, exchanging DNA, then separating.

The second misconception is that specialized male and female forms had to arise at exactly the same time (and *poof*, all at once). They didn't.

So to put it all together, the rise of sexual reproduction as we know it today in animals (and remember that many plants also engage in sexual reproduction, including male/female specialization) could easily have come about through progressive stages such as:

1. Unicellular organisms which reproduced asexually (i.e. by simple division), e.g. bacteria.

2. Unicellular organisms which gained the ability to fuse and exchange DNA in addition to division/budding, e.g. yeast.

3. Simple multicellular organisms (little more than communal colonies of unicellular organisms). Any single still would still have the ability to reproduce (and thus spin off a new colony) by either budding or two-celled sexual exchange. For example simple molds.

4. Simple but more advanced multicellular organisms, where different cells in the "colony" gain the ability to become more specialized based on location or chemical environment. Some regions would become specialized for ingestion of food, for example, while others would become more specialized at sexual reproduction (including specialized gametocyte cells, as well as simple "genitalia" or reproductive sites). Reproduction via single-celled division by any cell would become lost and the organism would now either entirely or primarily on on sexual reproduction (although the gametocytes would still in theory have the option of reproducing asexually). E.g. the higher fungi.

5. Full-blown specialized multicellular organisms as we know them, with specialized organs, etc., with a heavy dependence upon sexual reproduction via specialized organs, and a specialized differentiation between the "donor" and "receiver" cells involved in pairwise sexual reproduction at the cell level (e.g., "sperm and eggs"). At this point the organism is technically hermaphroditic -- there are not "male" or "female" forms. Instead each individual has the anatomy necessary to both donate sperm and produce/nurture eggs, and sexual reproduction involves a bi-directional transfer, with each of the individuals both donating and receiving sperm during the "sex act". E.g., earthworms.

6. From step 5 it's a relatively straightforward step to specialize into two separate sexes, *one at a time*. For example, a mutation could lead to a subpopulation of individuals which have lost the ability to donate sperm, but still have the capacity to produce eggs and have them fertilized. This subpopulation would not die out, since it could still reproduce by being fertilized by the remaining hermaphrodites in the population. Thus it is feasible to have a viable population consisting of a mix of hermaphrodites and "females", without specialized males yet existing. Or it could start in the opposite direction if the first "mutant" subpopulation involved individuals which lost the ability to produce eggs, but still had the capacity to fertilize the remaining hermaphrodites (i.e. "males"). At this point the "specialists" (that is, the "males" or "female" subspecies as the case may be) would be expected to specialize even further in become better DNA "donors" or "receptors", and this would create a genetic "arms race" which would be likely to cause members of the remaining hermaphroditic subpopulation to eventually specialize into the "other" sex, although that could take a lengthy amount of time. But the point is that it needn't arise overnight to "match" the appearance of the "first" sex, as might appear at first glance.

As for *why* sexual reproduction (i.e. why couldn't life have just gotten by for several billion years asexually), there are various forces at work. The first is that the "shuffling" that takes place during DNA exchange produces vast amounts of new variation, far faster than occurs during asexual reproduction. This buffers a species against being wiped out by various challenges, such as environmental changes, a new predator, a new disease, etc. The more that the individuals in a species resemble "clones" of each other, the more they can *all* be felled by a single adverse event which they are all vulnerable to in the same way. With higher variation, statistically many individuals will by chance be less susceptible to whatever adversity strikes the population.

Also, evolution takes place much faster in species which reproduce sexually than in those which reproduce asexually (for a given generation time and birth rate). In a sense a creature that reproduces asexually is its *own* "species", since it doesn't interbreed with any others of its kind. If beneficial mutation "A" takes place in one asexual bacterium, and beneficial mutation "B" takes place in the bacterium right next to it in the petri dish, those two beneficial mutations will never come together, not even in future generations, in order to make a "doubly blessed" individual. But in a species with sexual reproduction, *all* the beneficial mutations that occur in *any* individuals have the potential of being "shuffled together" in a subsequent generation in order to produce individuals which benefit from *all* of those beneficial mutations. Evolutionary "advancement" is greatly facilitated. (And even the creationists who claim not to believe in "macroevolution" should be able to see how this still helps to make beneficial "adaptation" vastly more efficient.)

So through a variety of effects, species which acquired sexual reproduction (with or without separate sexes) would be expected to "outevolve" those species which had not. And as you look around, you'll note that indeed most "complex" organisms reproduce sexually (including plants), and even unicellular organisms frequently do so or find a way to achieve similar outcomes (e.g. "lateral transfer" of DNA in unicellular organisms).

Why two sexes instead of a world of hermaphrodites? Presumably because having specialized males and females opens up more possibilities for more efficient functioning by each. Also, have a two-sex system *enforces* sexual reproduction, whereas hermaphrodites can often "fertilize themselves" -- which combines the worst aspects of both sexual and asexual reproduction with few of the advantages.

As a sidebar it's interesting to note that some animals (which ordinarily reproduce sexually) still retain the ability to reproduce by "simple cell division" at times. Through a process known as "parthenogenesis", females of the species produce a diploid egg cell which is a "clone" of its own DNA, and female offspring are produced without any fertilization by any male (a true "virgin birth"). Animals which can do this include some species of insects (e.g. aphids), fish, amphibians, and reptiles. And apparently a kind of half-assed parthenogenesis has been found to occur in domestic turkeys.

Why *only* two sexes? Probably because while there is a direct route for the production of specialized male/female forms from hermaphroditic beginnings, there doesn't seem to be any obvious way to produce *three* types, nor would there be any obvious advantage to doing so (and several obvious disadvantages).

Once that has been explained satisfactorily, I'll listen to more evidence that the TOE may be true.

Now that it has, what else would you like to see evidence of? Perhaps you could go back to post #14, although I fail to see why you couldn't have "listened" to that even without the sex-ed talk first.

370 posted on 01/31/2006 3:24:20 PM PST by Ichneumon
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To: Ichneumon
It is not as though you are incapable of blinding yourself to the implications of organized matter that performs specific functions as potentially indicative of an intelligent designer. Your own presentation of evolutionist arguments is compelling in many respects and demonstrates a fine effort on your part to present the facts. At the same time, they are not above question. The biggest question I have is how you know morphological similarities in species constitute historic continuities, much as humanly designed artifacts may have remarkable similarities yet be totally unrelated in history.
371 posted on 01/31/2006 3:25:00 PM PST by Fester Chugabrew
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To: Ichneumon

I wonder how many signed nuclear freeze petitions back in the 80s.

372 posted on 01/31/2006 3:26:57 PM PST by Tribune7
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To: Dick Bachert

Oops, I forgot to mention that I see you ignored the fact that you were wrong about Darwin recanting on his deathbed. And to think, I expected a nice, humble apology. Actually, the day a creationist types the words, "I was wrong," I may suffer a fatal heart attack.

So perhaps it's best you don't.

373 posted on 01/31/2006 3:29:00 PM PST by whattajoke
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To: Ichneumon

"You're unable to deal with the fact that our side has overwhelming mountains of evidence, and all you folks have is misrepresentations, errors, and lies."

No. You're spamming. Give it a rest, already. Or go try to convince some starry eyed undergraduates...

374 posted on 01/31/2006 3:30:02 PM PST by RobRoy
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To: Ichneumon

Here's another one from Einstein, which is not particularly supportive of a 4.5 billion-year-old earth:

"People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion."

375 posted on 01/31/2006 3:30:47 PM PST by Fester Chugabrew
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To: Ichneumon
What about goosebumps? Do you now admit that you have been using them as a completely phony pro-evo argument?
376 posted on 01/31/2006 3:30:51 PM PST by AmericaUnited
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To: ShadowAce
What I see are evolutionists mocking Christians because the Christians' faith doesn't match up to your naturalistic world view.

No, you don't. You see evolutionists mocking people, some of which happen to be Christians, for posting falsehoods, bogus arguments, and misrepresentations about science. We also mock bogus arguments in favor of God(s). *Faith* doesn't bother us, belief in one or more deities doesn't bother us. It's the people who overconfidently think they have a good argument when they don't, the people who think they know a subject well enough to "debunk" it when they don't, and the especially the folks who are arrogant and insulting while they do the above who we cheerfully mock, for they richly deserve it.

377 posted on 01/31/2006 3:30:58 PM PST by Ichneumon
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To: Dick Bachert
even Darwin himself had serious doubts about his earlier theories.

Evidence for this claim?
378 posted on 01/31/2006 3:31:28 PM PST by Dimensio ( <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: Ichneumon

"You're unable to deal with the fact that our side has overwhelming mountains of evidence, and all you folks have is misrepresentations, errors, and lies."

No. You're spamming. Give it a rest, already. Or go try to convince some starry eyed undergraduates...

379 posted on 01/31/2006 3:31:34 PM PST by RobRoy
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To: Fester Chugabrew
Science is more than Baconian inductivism.

I never said it was, nor am I proposing that it is. The opposite of "including fairies, angels and Jesus in science" is not Baconian inductivism.

You've "lawyered" your own definition of science, too, by insisting (on a non-empirical basis) that it must only deal with natural phenomena, with "natural" being a term that is wholly arbitrary.

Whatever. You're a lost cause. If you want to go on in your fantasy world, believing that all the world's scientists don't know what they're doing because they don't consult your bible before doing science and only you have the answer because you're willing to consider demonic possession, leprechauns, Loki, and who knows what else... be my guest.

Again, as long as I know where you're coming from, I will generally understand why you come to the conclusions you do. The results are consistent with your assumptions, as they should be. The ubiquitous presence of organized matter that perfroms specific functions is also consistent with the assumption that the universe is a product of intelligent design, as it should be.

Again with the second-grade logical errors... "Gosh, there's air to breathe. The presence of air is consistent with the assumption that the universe is the product of the creative power of an invisible pink unicorn.... Look, stars!! More evidence consistent with the invisible pink unicorn theory. Grass and animals to eat grass... Surely if there wasn't an invisible pink unicorn, these wouldn't be... Organized matter performing according to laws!! More evidence of the invisible pink unicorn!!"

380 posted on 01/31/2006 3:33:45 PM PST by WildHorseCrash
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