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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: edsheppa
I wonder about people like Pearcey. Are they simply unable to objectively analyze their own arguments, e.g. looking at it from an opponents point of view, or do they knowingly make them confident they can fool people like you?

Its a bit of both.

651 posted on 02/01/2006 2:11:03 PM PST by Thatcherite (More abrasive blackguard than SeaLion or ModernMan)
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To: Thatcherite; mlc9852
The ERVs being talked about in your cited article aren't of the same type. Ichneumon probably knows a lot more about this, so I'm pinging him in in case he wants to add any more detail.

Exactly right -- creationist "so_real" tried the same stunt with the same study. This one must be floating around on some creationist site somewhere (I *know* they didn't find it by perusing science journals), since I'm seeing more creationists attempt to (mis)use it as "rebuttal" to the ERV evidence of common descent, even though it doesn't actually apply. (Gosh, creationists flinging studies they don't actually understand, we've *never* seen that before!)

Ah, there it is, a Google found it being flung around on ARN, a "design" forum...

For my prior explanation of why it causes no problems for ERV phylogeny reconstruction, see this old post.

652 posted on 02/01/2006 2:18:28 PM PST by Ichneumon
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To: Thatcherite; GLDNGUN
Science pursues what is useful on the assumption that "truth" and "usefulness" amount to the same thing.

Hmmm, that's rather strong. I'd put it differently. Science pursues useful knowledge rather than truth because the latter is unknowable in any practical way (perhaps it is even unknowable in principle). OTOH, history makes clear that the methods of modern science do produce useful and reliable knowledge about the world.

653 posted on 02/01/2006 2:18:52 PM PST by edsheppa
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To: Ichneumon

"I don't post them to "overwhelm" anyone, I post them to correct the overwhelming flood of lies and disinformation that "you and others" post in misguided attempts to attack biology."

Questioning is not lying. Why is questioning your biology mis-guided? Are you really that perfect?

"Science does not deal in "proof"

So, you are not really interested in origins, correct?

"Define "resulted from creation"

Originating with a Creator. Actually, I believe it is either/or for any Bible student. Law of the excluded middle. For your side, Lewontin said you cannot allow a divine foot in the door. For my side the genesis of "yom" is "warm" meaning a day, period. For anyone that has to try to marry the two he will face multiple difficulties.


"No, I'm not, because I understand what he's saying, unlike yourself."

Insult aside, I was referring to his statement that no transistional forms exist. You say they do.

"Stop grasping at every new hypothesis in the desperate hope that it "overturns" everything..."

You presume too much. I am certainly not desperate. Surely you are not saying that your doctrine is fully matured and not subject to change.






654 posted on 02/01/2006 2:18:53 PM PST by DX10
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To: mlc9852; Thatcherite
So in other words, you don't know either. Thanks.

He *gave* you the answer to your question, and you failed to grasp it.

If you're not even going to try to understand the answers you get, why do you keep asking questions? You're wasting your own time as well as ours.

655 posted on 02/01/2006 2:20:42 PM PST by Ichneumon
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To: Thatcherite
You appear to think that science is failing in its "duty" to provide truth, in the quest for "usefulness".

No, the Darwinists that have taken the theory to its ultimate logical conclusion have decided that there is no such thing as "truth". Do I believe in absolute truths? Absolutely.

Science pursues what is useful on the assumption that "truth" and "usefulness" amount to the same thing.

Again, the Darwinisits described don't believe in absolute truths, only "usefulness".

656 posted on 02/01/2006 2:35:14 PM PST by GLDNGUN
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To: GLDNGUN; whattajoke; Dimensio
[You very frequently misread and misunderstand things.]

You are confusing comprehension with independent thought.

No, I'm not, and your current misreading of my clear statement is yet another example of your ability to misunderstand.

When I talk about you misreading and misunderstanding, I am talking about actual misreading and actual misunderstanding. But even *that* clear statement seems hard for you to grasp correctly, you have to twist it in your own mind into something else.

I have no problem with a difference of opinion. I do, however, have a problem with people such as yourself who consistently are unable even to correctly grasp what it is that's actually being described. Disagree with my arguments or evidence if you wish, but for pete's sake, at least try to properly *understand* them first.

[Feel free to demonstrate that I'm wrong by describing its function. We'll wait.]

For what?

For the purposes of a rational discussion, which you have trouble maintaining.

You say it's useless until I point out a function at which point you move the goal post and say "Oh, I never said it had to be totally useless, etc." It's another example of evolutionists setting up a question where either answer "agrees" with the theory.

Now see, that's *another* example of your inability to read simple English and understand it properly. That's not what I said, son. I made *two* separate points, which you are bizarrely trying to twist into one in a way that I never did.

Come back when your reading comprehension improves, I get tired of arguing with people who are talking to the voices in their own heads instead of responding to what *I* actually wrote.

[Sorry, no, we prefer things that aren't transparently silly to a five-year-old.]

You mean like EVOLUTION? ROFL

You know, *arguing* like a five-year-old doesn't help your reputation either.

A FIVE-YEAR-OLD can look at a watch and tell you it didn't come together by shaking a bunch of watch parts in a bag. A FIVE-YEAR-OLD can look at a sand castle and tell you it wasn't created simply by the action of waves and sand. A FIVE-YEAR-OLD can look at a log cabin and tell you it wasn't made by a bunch of logs randomly falling in a forest.

Because watches, sand castles, and log cabins really are constructed things and did not form by evolutionary processes (and indeed can't, because they do not reproduce). Duh. You have a masterful grasp of the obvious, son.

Come back when you have the understanding of an educated adult.

Now, tell me what engineering team constructs each newborn puppy. What's that you say? Living things aren't built from blueprints? They get born naturally, without the assistance of a factory or toolboxes? Lineages of living things aren't *built*? They live and die and reproduce and pass on their genes and the occasional mutation introducing changes, all via *natural* processes without intelligent supervision? Gee, even a five-year-old realizes this!

Let us know when you rise to the level of a five-year-old's grasp.

But of course you have all the "answers"

Because I have vast mountains of evidence and research on my side. All you have is childish taunts and bluster and belligerence.

Go play with the other kids, the adults are trying to have a serious conversation.

657 posted on 02/01/2006 2:38:25 PM PST by Ichneumon
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To: Ichneumon; PatrickHenry
Anti-Evo complaint #1: "Quit "spamming" the thread with those voluminous responses; there's too much information there for us to deal with. A link would have sufficed!"

Anti-Evo complaint #2(actually used by the long since banned "Gore3000"): "Don't give us links! if you really had any facts to back up your argument, you'd post them here!"

Welcome to the "heads-I-win; tails-you-lose" world of anti-evo posting style complaints.

658 posted on 02/01/2006 2:40:57 PM PST by longshadow (FReeper #405, entering his ninth year of ignoring nitwits, nutcases, and recycled newbies)
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To: Thatcherite; icdorn
[If you are a Christian (like myself), just realise that scientists have a metaphysical bias in their line of work. You can look at the same facts and evidence from a theistic perspective and reach different conclusions.]

Creationists (whether you are one or not) come up with this particular canard repeatedly. Once more.... Science isn't just conducted by looking at the facts and arriving at conclusions. Looking at facts is the first part of the process, and arriving at conclusions is the last. There's a whole slew of stuff imbetween, that creationists tend to ignore.

Indeed. Here's a (simplified) description (and yes, I wrote it myself):

Explaining the scientific method

I've recently noticed that most creationists have absolutely no clue about how the scientific method works, so allow me to give you a *very* simple overview. The reality is far more rigorous than this, and subjected to endless review and retesting, but here's the short version...

Creationists imagine that scientists just gather some data, make up a "reasonable" speculation that they think could account for the data, and then kick back and go on vacation. The creationists think that's all there is to science, just the "speculation" part.

Nope.

That's just the barest *beginning*.

That's called the "hypothesis" stage. Scientists all over the world try to come up with all the hypotheses they can as possible explanations for any given scientific puzzle. This is a good thing -- the more brainstorming, the better the chance that someone will come up with a "speculation" that hits closest to the right answer.

So then they just argue over it to "decide" which one's right, eh? Nope, sorry, that's the creationist version.

Instead, they *test* these various ideas to see which ones actually work when compared against reality, and which ones fail when compared against reality. You've heard of those "experiment" things, right? This is the testing.

But contrary to cartoon-level public impressions of experiments, they're not always done by guys in a lab pouring test tubes together, or by scientists attempting to actually *reproduce* the process they're studying. Those are *one* way to test a hypothesis, but nowhere near the only reliable way. It's not possible to recreate the entire Hawaiian Islands chain in order to test hypotheses about how they formed, for example, but there *are* countless other ways to test hypotheses about geology -- or evolution, or any other field.

That's why you've heard scientists talk about "predictions" so much. One of the most widely useful, and most reliable, methods of testing a hypothesis is to work out its consequences -- to determine what results would occur if that explanation *was* the correct one. If that really *is* how things happen (or happened) in the universe, what "side effects" would it have, aside from the data or phenomenon itself which we crafted the hypothesis to explain? These are its *predictions*.

This is how we test to separate the good explanations from the bad explanations. If the Hawaiian Islands formed as a result of continental drift carrying the Pacific tectonic plate across a crustal magma plume, this would leave many, many kinds of tell-tale results which would be noticeably (and *test-ably*) different than the kinds of things you'd find if some *other* explanation was correct about a different manner in which the Hawaiian Islands had formed.

So to decide between the two (or fifty) potential explanations (hypotheses), you work out the "side effects" (predictions) of each different explanation -- what you'd find if X had actually happened, versus what you'd find differently if Y had actually happened, etc., then you go and *look* to see which of those side effects (if any!) you actually find when you look.

This "looking" can take different forms depending on the nature of the process being explored. In the case of some physics questions, you can build a tabletop setup of lasers in a certain configuration, or whatever, to reproduce the conditions which should act one way if hypothesis X is right, or another way if Y is correct, etc. This is a classic "experiment" in the layman's mind. In the case of medical hypotheses about what disease a patient has, you can try different drugs to see which he responds to. In some cases of geology, you can take core samples of the rocks under the Hawaiian Islands to see whether their composition and structure matches the predictions of one hypothesis, or another. In evolutionary biology, you can go check the DNA of various species to see if the pattern of differences and similarities matches the precise patterns (not just *general* patterns) which distinguish one hypothesis from another, or go find new fossils (or re-examine old ones) to see whether predicted features which no one sat down to check before match the predictions of various hypotheses, etc.

When this is done over and over and over again, and the *dozens* of different predictions of any one particular hypothesis are tested and all the predictions are found to match, and perhaps even more importantly, the things that the hypothesis predicts you *won't* find are looked for and found *not* to be present as well, then you can have more and more confidence that the hypothesis is, if not 100% correct (since you can never be *entirely* sure), very much on the right track, and is very close to being right explanation. Meanwhile, you can have great confidence that the alternative explanations which made predictions that *failed* are wrong, and can be taken out to the trash dumpster.

(Also, any one person can obviously make mistakes about reasoning out the predictions, or how to test whether the real world matches the predictions, etc. This is why science places such stress on *repeatability* -- you have to publish your data, your reasoning, your tests, etc., so that thousands of other experts can go over it with a fine-toothed comb looking for mistakes or fraud or untested presumptions, and can repeat your tests to verify that your results were valid and/or not a fluke. Also note that *this* is the kind of "repeatability" that science requires -- creationists often think that it means that the *processes* need to be repeatable, like being able to repeat the formation of the Hawaiian Islands; that's not the case. The *tests* have to be repeatable, the *verification* needs to be repeatable by anyone who cares to double-check your results, or try a new method of validating them.)

The core tenets of evolutionary biology make *VERY* specific predictions about what we should find (and what we *shouldn't* find) when we go looking at nature, and make *hundreds* of different predictions which allow multiple independent validation tests (since any one prediction might "come true" and match just by luck, even if the explanation is wrong). The tenet of common descent doesn't just predict that DNA from closely related species will "be similar", it predicts that they will be similar in *very* precise, specific ways, and that they will *differ* in other precise, specific ways. And when we examine and compare DNA, this is *exactly* what we find, *every* time we compare new DNA sequences which we had never examined before.

But wait, there's more!

Creationists often say, "but maybe DNA doesn't match all those predictions of evolutionary common descent, maybe DNA just happens to be that way because God chose to make it that way, even if those features of DNA don't seem to make sense from a 'design' standpoint (because after all, He works in mysterious ways, and He might have some Design reason for that configuration which is beyond our understanding), and it just *happens* to 'look like' the results one would expect from evolution."

Ah, but that excuse doesn't hold water.

Here's why.

The beauty of the scientific method is not only that it can decide between the hypotheses that *have* been thought of, it can also validate a hypothesis in the face of alternate *unknown* hypotheses (like the "maybe God did it instead" hypothesis).

Here's how that works.

The beauty of the "make predictions and then test them" method (especially since it's iterative -- after you do that, you make *more* predictions and test *them*, repeatedly) is that if your hypothesis (explanation) is wrong, there's *no* rational reason for an entirely unrelated explanation to "just happen" to match *all* of your explanation's 70 or 80 predictions "by coincidence", no matter *what* unrelated explanation we're talking about, including ones you haven't even thought of.

An unrelated explanation, if true, might by chance match the results of 10 or 12 of the predictions of your "wrong" explanation, but it's just ridiculous to think that (and mathematically close to "impossible" for) a process which actually works in a different manner than your speculatory explanation to "just happen" to match *ALL* the same expected results.

It's like OJ saying, "it wasn't me who killed my wife, it was some *other* guy, I don't know who... who just happened to wear my same large shoe size... and just happened to be wearing a rare, expensive type of shoe... that I just happen to have owned too... and just happened to get injured during the struggle and drop blood from his right hand... on the same night I just happened to cut that same hand shaving... and his blood DNA just happened to match mine... and he just happened to leave a glove at the murder scene that just happens to match one found in my alley... and I just happened to have received gloves just like that from Nicole as a gift and been photographed wearing them... and hairs matching mine just happened to be in the hat left at the murder scene... and fibers matching the carpet of my Bronco just happened to also... and the only hour of that day I can't account for my whereabouts just happened to be the time of the murder... and my houseguest heard thumps like someone climbing over the fence into the yard which just happened to match the time I would have had to have returned from Nicole's... But I didn't do it, it was some other guy."

Not freaking likely, is it?

When *all* of the different pieces of evidence implicate OJ, even the most unlikely and specific ones -- when they match predictions of what you'd expect to find if the "OJ is the killer" hypothesis is the correct one -- the odds of those results being "coincidental" matches with some *other* guy actually being the killer, vanish to nothingness. As attorney Vincent Bugliosi wrote in his book, in his "how I'd have prosecuted OJ" speech:

"At what point do these things stop being a coincidence, ladies and gentlemen of the jury? When you folks, as intelligent human beings using your common sense, say to yourself- 'Aw, c'mon, you've got to be kidding. It's ridiculous to suggest all of these things are just an incredible coincidence. That's not life as we know it.' That's when all this circumstantial evidence stops being a coincidence. When you people, as intelligent, sensible human beings -and that's why we selected you folks for this jury- say to the defense attorneys in this case, 'Let's stop living in a fantasy world and come back to earth.'

"When a person is innocent of a crime, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, chances are there isn't going to be anything whatsoever pointing toward his guilt. Chances are there will be nothing. But now and then, because of the very nature of life and the unaccountability of certain things, maybe one thing, in rare situations maybe even two things, will peculiarly point toward his guilt even though he is innocent. And in highly unusual and virtually unheard-of situations, maybe even three things will point to his guilt, even though he is innocent. But ladies and gentleman of the jury, in this case, everything, everything, points to this man's guilt. [...] We've set forth for you a staggering number of pieces of evidence that point to this man, and this man alone, as the murderer of these two precious human beings. Under these circumstances, it is not humanly possible for him to be innocent."

This is actually an excellent description of the manner in which scientific hypotheses are "proven beyond a reasonable doubt" as well.

When we test the biological hypothesis of common descent, we don't just test *one* prediction of that hypothesis. Any *one* prediction might, by chance, "just happen" to match the results of some *other* process that was "actually" responsible for the formation of modern living things. Any *one* successful prediction/test, as they say, "doesn't prove anything". The creationists are right about that. If God made living things through a process *other* than letting them evolve from a common ancestor, especially one we couldn't comprehend, it might "just happen" that this included the existence of a half-bird/half-reptile looking animal like Archaeopteryx. Just coincidence that you'd get something like that through common descent also. And maybe the non-OJ killer just happened to wear expensive, rare shoes that OJ had too. It could happen.

But science doesn't stop there.

Common descent *also* predicts that we should find shared endogenous retroviruses in the DNA related species (see the link at the top). And indeed, they are there in the DNA when we look. Match #2. Now, whatever God's beyond-our-understanding-but-not-by-common-descent method of making life, even though we *don't* know anything about it, there's *no* reason to expect that it *has* to match, down to the tiniest specific details, the several hundred exact characteristics of endogenous retroviral patterns which would have resulted from common descent. God's different-method-entirely would be very likely to have different characteristics, produce different patterns in DNA which, even if we didn't understand the reasons for those patterns, would be unlikely to match the intricate patterns produced by the common descent of past viral infections. But, gosh, they do! Does that make sense, that God's Method would *coincidentally* match the mathematically *hugely* unlikely exact patterns that common descent would have produced? It *could* happen by luck, I guess. And the real killer of Nicole Simpson might have been a one-in-a-trillion DNA match to OJ, too. It's not *impossible*.

Common descent also predicts that the number of synonymous codon SNPs between related species should be directly correlated to the time since their last common ancestor. There's no plausible "design" reason for this, by the way, since those nucleotides are functionally silent. Flip them on, flip them off, nothing changes. And when we analyze DNA, across thousands and thousands of species, the results *do* match the predictions of common descent (*and* the indications of LCA time match the fossil record -- another coincidence?) Once again, God's Method, whatever it might be, needn't "just happen" to match the results of common descent. Whatever God's design criteria, surely *some* of his choices are going to result in a design that "just happens" NOT to match the outcome of common descent in some respects or another. But here on test #3, we find that yet *again* the real-world tests beautifully match the predictions of common descent. But the creationists assure us that *this* is just a coincidence too, just like the random coincidence that Nicole's killer cut his left hand in the same place and on the same night that OJ cut his own hand too. Mere coincidence.

Item #4: Common descent predicts that synonymous protein substitutions should fit a very specific pattern across phylogenies, entirely apart from any phenotypic "design" considerations, because it has no effect on phenotype. Again, these very specific patterns *are* found every time we do DNA analysis. Again, there's no reason for God's Method to match these results, since God any other method than actual common descent would be unlikely to "just happen" to produce results that look *exactly* like the signature of common descent. And yet... that signature *is* found in DNA. Mere coincidence again? Still?

Items #5-#10,000... Well, you get the idea.

And even each "single" item above is actually *thousands* of smaller individual items in a "family" of predictions along that line of evidence, and they *all* keep matching the predictions of common descent. Coincidence?

If life is *not* the result of common descent, by what STAGGERINGLY enormous "coincidence" does God's "other method", *whatever* it might be, JUST HAPPEN to match in every large and small detail, EVERY prediction of common descent? What dumb luck for the evolutionists, eh? The evolutionists are wrong, the creationists say, but the evolutionists lucked out in the evidence lottery, because God's non-evolutionary Design criteria "just happens" to LOOK EXACTLY LIKE THE RESULTS OF EVOLUTION IN EVERY WAY.

Just by mere coincidence, of course, and it don't prove a thing. The creationists assure us of that.

Thus endeth the lesson on the scientific method, and how it is used to validate theories in hundreds of ways, large and small, and carry them far, far beyond the shaky unreliability of "simply speculations". Speculations have not passed a mind-boggling battery of tests and reality-checks. Scientific theories have -- and continue to be tested and retested every day, and adjusted as needed to keep them as accurate as possible as new evidence and test results keep being added to science's vast body of knowledge.

Epilogue

Now, for a few clarifications. In the above, I have *not* said that science could rule out the existence of God. I have not said science could rule out the *involvement* of God. (For that matter, science can't rule out the existence of Santa Claus, and neither can any other method.) Some things are impossible to demonstrate even in principle, nor does science make the attempt. What I *have* said, however, is that the scientific method can rule out certain *kinds* of explanations. In the example I gave above, what we ruled out (to a high degree of probability) was any *alternative* to common descent that did not *include* common descent. In other words, we demonstrated that *whatever* (or "Whoever") else might be involved in the formation of life, common descent *was* part of the process. God may have made us, but if He did, he did it via some variation on common descent.

The second caveat is that yeah, there's some bogus "science" out there. But for the most part, it isn't really science -- it's not stuff that has passed through the "reality-checking" filters I've described above -- it's some quacks putting on some white coats and calling a press conference to masquerade their agenda as actual science. The things that deserve the name "science" are those that have really passed the gauntlet of heavy-duty testing and restesting, and have survived all challenges thrown at it. And yes, there have been mistakes and frauds (albeit not nearly as frequently as the creationists try to claim). But science, by its very nature, is self-correcting -- eventually someone will spot the problems, and weed them out. And almost without exception, that someone is another scientist.

The final caveat to the above discussion is that in order for predictions to be testable, the world has to work in ways that are, well, *predictable*. The world (Universe, whatever you want to call it) has to be non-capricious, it has to work within guidelines, so to speak -- it can't be *deceptive*. This is often misunderstood and mislabeled as a "presumption of materialism", but it's not. As long as God doesn't play tricks on us, or act capriciously, the world is still "lawful" enough to be testable, to operate by steady "rules". As long as God/Nature/pickyourfavoritename doesn't *actively* attempt to disrupt our quest to learn how things work, the scientific method still works too. But, in exactly the same way that all the evidence of the guilt of OJ really *could* be "coincidental" if someone carefully *framed* him for the crime, it's also possible (in concept) for all of the features of life, DNA, fossils, etc. to so exactly match the results -- the predictions -- of common descent in so many different ways, but common descent *not* to actually have happened, if God *purposely* set up all the evidence in order to falsely *mimic* such results. But I don't think that *anyone* is actually willing to claim that God might be a liar, trying for some unfathomable reason to convince us of something that isn't really true.

Barring that, though (and barring newly discovered evidence overturning everything we've already discovered -- and don't hold your breath on that one), the only rational conclusion is that so many findings, in so many different independent lines of evidence, *so* closely match the *countless* predictions of common descent, because common descent *is* actually the case. Common descent has been demonstrated to be true.

If you want the bumper-sticker version of all of the above, it's the old saying, "If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, and waddles like a duck, it probably *is* a duck." Likewise, when the vast amounts of evidence overwhelmingly look like common descent, then...

[A dozen creationists posting, "that doesn't prove anything" in 3... 2...]

See also:

Evolution and Philosophy: Is Evolution Science, and What Does 'Science' Mean?

The General Anti-Creationism FAQ: Science and Evolution

29+ Evidences for Macroevolution: The Scientific Case for Common Descent

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolution-fact.html

Index to Creationist Claims, especially the following subsections:

CA100-CA499: Epistemology


659 posted on 02/01/2006 2:42:33 PM PST by Ichneumon
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To: Ichneumon
I just don't think humans evolved from something else. And since there is such debate over which ones were apes and which were humans, I will go under the assumption that apes were and are apes and humans were and are humans. Closely related just as many species are closely related. I'm still learning what different scientists think so I am not sure when I will have enough information that I actually will feel assured of what I believe. I am trying to keep an open mind, but I am looking at things as if we were created separately so I will be looking for interpretations to confirm what I believe. It may not be "scientific", but that's my viewpoint.

You emphasize the disagreement among creationists but there are also many disagreement among scientists so that doesn't worry me. What worries me is how many actual "experts" there are that are truly qualified to make determinations that so many others are going to give great weight to, if you understand what I'm trying to say. If there are thousands of scientists checking fossils, doing the aging, categorizing species, etc., then that's good. If it's basically a hundred or so, then I would question more. And who decides if something is a new species. I have really tried to find out but I haven't been able to. I found the organization that handles the names but they don't make the decisions of species.

I just still have a lot of questions.
660 posted on 02/01/2006 2:52:43 PM PST by mlc9852
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To: BMCDA

I still think science should have a definition of a planet. We have all kinds of definitions in science that the vast majority of scientists agree with. Seems there should be some sort of formula to determine if indeed an object is a planet or not. I really don't think that's asking a lot.


661 posted on 02/01/2006 2:54:22 PM PST by mlc9852
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To: Ichneumon
So you want people to learn something before you will give them any credit at all, yet when they try, you insult them. That hardly promotes the interests of science. That's why so many people get turned off to science - attitudes of those who use their knowledge to embarrass and insult people rather than trying to actually become interested in learning on their own. Attitude means a lot.
662 posted on 02/01/2006 2:57:17 PM PST by mlc9852
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To: caffe

If he dealt with one thing at a time rather than attempt to intimidate by dumping a truck load of feed-corn on top of the formally-set dinner table, why he might actually be interested in rational discussion. What psychology drives some to post as they do is a curious thing. Some curiouser than others.


663 posted on 02/01/2006 3:00:56 PM PST by bvw
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To: Ichneumon
childish taunts and bluster and belligerence

Did you really type that without feeling a hint of hypocrisy? Good grief. Others have grown tired of your condescension, personal attacks, and arrogance and it's quite obvious why.

664 posted on 02/01/2006 3:11:24 PM PST by GLDNGUN
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To: All

Almost a Balrog placemarker.


665 posted on 02/01/2006 3:30:23 PM PST by furball4paws (Awful Offal)
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To: Thatcherite
mlc9852 has been told more than once about the difference between "theory" and "law". Just more creationist tabula rasa.
666 posted on 02/01/2006 3:32:17 PM PST by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: furball4paws

One complete Balrog.


667 posted on 02/01/2006 3:32:22 PM PST by furball4paws (Awful Offal)
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To: GLDNGUN
Others have grown tired of your condescension, personal attacks, and arrogance and it's quite obvious why.

Indeed, it is obvious. They're tired of having their utter refusal to address facts and instead trash and flame because there are supposedly "no facts" and then trash and flame when too many facts are presented pointed out so obviously. Creationists here are getting tired of being called out on their willful ignorance and deliberate dishonesty.
668 posted on 02/01/2006 3:37:44 PM PST by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: BMCDA
And there is no mention of God or any other deity in other scientific theories either but somehow I never see creationists/IDers complain about that. So the Theory of Evolution no more assumes the nonexistence of your god than any other theory.

You have been keeping up with some of the attitudes from some scientists in astrophysics and quantum mecahnics, etc.? I seem to recall many quotes about God from some pretty prominent scientists. Oh yeah, a lot of folks here will explain their own "interpretation" of what that scientist "really" meant. But that's not much different from the M.O. of a fire and brimstone bible literalist preacher.

"The true wise man is the one who realizes he knows nothing"-Socrates

669 posted on 02/01/2006 3:39:10 PM PST by 101st-Eagle (Imagination is more important than knowledge-Albert Einstein..)
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To: furball4paws

Oops! I stole your thunder! Or is that fire?


670 posted on 02/01/2006 3:43:58 PM PST by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: 101st-Eagle
You have been keeping up with some of the attitudes from some scientists in astrophysics and quantum mecahnics, etc.?

The opinion of a science on the existence of a deity or deities is not itself a scientific opinion. The Theory of Evolution makes no "assumptions" whatsoever regarding the existence or nonexistence of any deities, despite the non-science related opinions of scientists outside of any relevant scientific field. Honestly, I don't see what the opinions of an astrophysicst has to do with evolution at all. Astrophysics is not biology.
671 posted on 02/01/2006 3:45:40 PM PST by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: USFRIENDINVICTORIA

Your post 177 is eloquently stated and right on the mark.


672 posted on 02/01/2006 3:48:34 PM PST by 101st-Eagle (Imagination is more important than knowledge-Albert Einstein..)
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To: mlc9852
I just still have a lot of questions.

Fair enough. Where can I find your similar questions for the creationists? Are they in the Religion threads?
673 posted on 02/01/2006 3:58:32 PM PST by whattajoke
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To: mlc9852
Good grief, how do you suppose we derive such a formula?

I mean this makes as much sense as demanding a formula that determines the difference between a mountain and a hill. And it is just as arbitrary so you haven't gained anything.

674 posted on 02/01/2006 4:00:30 PM PST by BMCDA (If the human brain were so simple that we could understand it,we would be so simple that we couldn't)
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To: Dimensio

Never mind - you are sandwiched and you will feel the fire of his wrath.


675 posted on 02/01/2006 4:00:41 PM PST by furball4paws (Awful Offal)
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Lurking ...

676 posted on 02/01/2006 4:30:48 PM PST by PatrickHenry (Virtual Ignore for trolls, lunatics, dotards, scolds, & incurable ignoramuses.)
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To: mlc9852
And since there is such debate over which ones were apes and which were humans, I will go under the assumption that apes were and are apes and humans were and are humans.

And how about the ones which no one can agree whether they were apes or humans, because they have some characteristics of both? What were they?

Can you say "transitionals"? I knew you could!

677 posted on 02/01/2006 4:31:54 PM PST by Lurking Libertarian (Non sub homine, sed sub Deo et lege)
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To: whattajoke

I believe most creationists would agree that they have a lot of questions. Everyone has a lot of questions.


678 posted on 02/01/2006 4:34:42 PM PST by mlc9852
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To: BMCDA; tortoise; Right Wing Professor
I mean this makes as much sense as demanding a formula that determines the difference between a mountain and a hill. And it is just as arbitrary so you haven't gained anything.

Well said.

"Tortoise" dealt with the general case thusly:

"Pretending that one can quantize a continuum rarely generates good results around the arbitrary boundary."

That pretty much says it all for this issue. Whether it is trying to draw a line that delineates modern humans from their more ancient ancestors, or planetoids from planets, or hills from mountains, they all fall into the trap of quantitzing the continuum. The boundaries are always arbitrary, and will almost always create debates regarding objects that are arbitrarily close to each other but which lie on opposing sides of the boundary we have arbitrarily imposed on the continuum to quantify it.

679 posted on 02/01/2006 4:40:27 PM PST by longshadow (FReeper #405, entering his ninth year of ignoring nitwits, nutcases, and recycled newbies)
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To: Lurking Libertarian
You say they are transitionals. I say they are either one or the other but with the limited information scientists actually have, it's flip a coin - heads, it's human, tails, ape. There are some obvious things we have in common with apes but that doesn't necessarily prove we had a common ancestor. And all the DNA info that keeps getting thrown around, what is the oldest DNA of an ape that they have looked at? Perhaps they are in fact transitional between something and something else. I don't know but neither do you so in the end, it comes down to what someone wants to believe.
680 posted on 02/01/2006 4:41:16 PM PST by mlc9852
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To: longshadow

Do you think the declaration of a new species is arbitrary?


681 posted on 02/01/2006 4:43:01 PM PST by mlc9852
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To: longshadow
... the trap of quantitzing the continuum.

Darwin was aware of the issue:

Those who do not admit the principle of evolution, must look at species as separate creations, or as in some manner as distinct entities; and they must decide what forms of man they will consider as species by the analogy of the method commonly pursued in ranking other organic beings as species. But it is a hopeless endeavour to decide this point, until some definition of the term "species" is generally accepted; and the definition must not include an indeterminate element such as an act of creation. We might as well attempt without any definition to decide whether a certain number of houses should be called a village, town, or city. We have a practical illustration of the difficulty in the never-ending doubts whether many closely-allied mammals, birds, insects, and plants, which represent each other respectively in North America and Europe, should be ranked as species or geographical races; and the like holds true of the productions of many islands situated at some little distance from the nearest continent.
Source: Darwin, The descent of man, Chapter VII.
682 posted on 02/01/2006 4:53:23 PM PST by PatrickHenry (Virtual Ignore for trolls, lunatics, dotards, scolds, & incurable ignoramuses.)
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To: PatrickHenry

"village, town, or city."

Actually I believe most counties have definitions of village, town or city, don't they?


683 posted on 02/01/2006 5:11:13 PM PST by mlc9852
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To: PatrickHenry
Darwin was aware of the issue:

Indeed; a wise man, he was.

684 posted on 02/01/2006 5:20:33 PM PST by longshadow (FReeper #405, entering his ninth year of ignoring nitwits, nutcases, and recycled newbies)
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To: longshadow

The Grand Master wants you to have the upcoming prime.


685 posted on 02/01/2006 5:31:32 PM PST by PatrickHenry (Virtual Ignore for trolls, lunatics, dotards, scolds, & incurable ignoramuses.)
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To: Dimensio
The opinion of a science on the existence of a deity or deities is not itself a scientific opinion. The Theory of Evolution makes no "assumptions" whatsoever regarding the existence or nonexistence of any deities, despite the non-science related opinions of scientists outside of any relevant scientific field. Honestly, I don't see what the opinions of an astrophysicst has to do with evolution at all. Astrophysics is not biology.

I know. I didn't say it was scientific, really. I understand if I gave that impression. But the poster I was responding to could leave the general impression that no scientists in any field considered a Higer Power relevant. Actually, the quotes and concepts about a Higer Power's role in all of this are quite abundant through the years. I can't recall the exact quote, but Einstein said something along the lines of, "If you seek God, look deeply in to nature," and Hawking has written something along the same lines.

There are many of us who feel evolution is a real force and was also put in to force. Astrophysic's relevance is drawn in when trying to ask sincere questions of, let's say , a highly trained naturalist, about the TOeverything's, tie to biology-or stating, "hey what about the concept of 'conciousness,' or isn't quantum mechanics really narly and leaves all these new questions unanswered" and one then gets talked down to by said naturalist.

Yes, we know the scientific method can't be employed for most of what I'm talking about. But man, are there really people that go around every waking hour feeling the scientific method is some kind of sacrament? That's just kind of wierd. It's just a man-made constuct. The scientific method is not a force of nature, no matter how incredibly valuable it has been to mankind. It's almost like some folks here have a poster of C. Darwin on the ceiling, a jar of vasaline on the nightstand and then get up to go to work with a fake Darwin beard on and "Beagle" painted on the back of the car.

Victor Frankel was pretty persuasive in writing on man's inherent thirst for meaning. Don't you think that every "thinking" human is going to at least have some intellectual "wrestling match" over the concept(s) at some point in his/her life all on their own? To think that a biology teacher couldn't lawfully start out the semester with "we are going to teach and study the theory of evolution this semester, a convergence of science from much convincing evidence, experimentation and review. There is debate over how the mechanism came about and was put in to play, but that is a question for outside this class...It will be studied in philosophy or religion class...." is really questionable teaching given we ALL think about this stuff and always have. To just make an innocuous statement about what everyone thinks about anyway and possibly be punished for it is becoming almost Orwellian in nature.

I guess I'm just saying that this pejoritive term of "scientism" is getting richly earned by even the evolutionary biologist IMO; to get made fun of because one seeks some answers outside the scope of natural selection about a possible meaning for life, or dismissing someone who is fairly learned but inducts the possiblity we don't really know jack about how all of this started is not the best way to convert the unwashed masses some high-minded posters on the threads seem to want to help. If they are engaged in something else, it smacks of sport and elitism for personal emotional reasons.

686 posted on 02/01/2006 5:36:02 PM PST by 101st-Eagle (Imagination is more important than knowledge-Albert Einstein..)
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To: longshadow; mlc9852
Indeed, and that's also the reason why until recently the definition of "planet" wasn't that controversial as it is today. A few years ago we had very large objects orbiting our sun and a lot of very small ones i.e. there was a huge gap between the two groups but now the gap gets filled up with objects from the Kuiper belt and drawing a line that separates planets from non-planets isn't that trivial anymore.

However, something like this is to be expected and not really that remarkable at all but it seems to cause extreme headache to those who think that there must be a clear-cut answer to everything.

687 posted on 02/01/2006 5:37:47 PM PST by BMCDA (If the human brain were so simple that we could understand it,we would be so simple that we couldn't)
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To: Dimensio

Both use math, eh? Both use logic, experimental technique, rationality, eh? Oh, I'm sorry, you're right. Astrophysics is not biology.


688 posted on 02/01/2006 5:42:06 PM PST by bvw
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To: DX10
Originating with a Creator. Actually, I believe it is either/or for any Bible student. Law of the excluded middle. For your side, Lewontin said you cannot allow a divine foot in the door. For my side the genesis of "yom" is "warm" meaning a day, period. For anyone that has to try to marry the two he will face multiple difficulties.

Somewhat off-topic, but it was interesting to read up on how Lewontin and Gould wanted to eat their own when Wilson started introducing sociobiology to the picture and survival of the fittest...Didn't quite square with the Harvard egalitarianist mind-set, ya know. I don't know if you are aware of how highly Lewontin thought of himself and his community, but it is really a little unsettling.

689 posted on 02/01/2006 5:44:41 PM PST by 101st-Eagle (Imagination is more important than knowledge-Albert Einstein..)
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To: longshadow; PatrickHenry
Indeed; a wise man, he was.

Yeah, it seems the man was a real know-it-all ;^)

Heck, sometimes I have the impression that most creationist claims can be refuted with Darwin's writings alone without the need to reference more recent papers.
Guess he saw it all coming...

690 posted on 02/01/2006 5:48:56 PM PST by BMCDA (If the human brain were so simple that we could understand it,we would be so simple that we couldn't)
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To: Ichneumon

I wonder how so many creationists actually practice medicine, have PHd.'s in all scientific fields? In your pea-brain, you think one can only understand science if they swear allegience to evolution? Again, why don't you go to your list and post a few of these accusations? Perhaps rather than do document dumps, you can actually hold an in-depth discussion of one issue at a time?


691 posted on 02/01/2006 5:57:35 PM PST by caffe
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To: BMCDA
However, something like this is to be expected and not really that remarkable at all but it seems to cause extreme headache to those who think that there must be a clear-cut answer to everything.

Exactly; some people can't seem to grasp the concept that whenever you "quantize a continuum" with an arbitrarily chosen boundary, there will always be objects in the same neighborhood of the continuum but on opposite sides of the boundary, one in one category, the other in a different one, yet they will be almost indistinguishable from one another. It doesn't matter where the boundary is drawn (unless it happens to fall in a region that is not occupied by elements of the continuum, in which case it arguably isn't a continuum!) -- as long as the boundary divides a neighborhood, you'll be able to find two elements of the neighborhood on opposite sides of the boundary.

The Inuits of Northern Canada live life in ways starkly different than Americans in the lower 48 -- they live on blubber and travel around in kayaks and dog sleds; but do Canadians in Windsor, ONT live life much differently than Americans across the river in Detroit, MI? If you put them in a police line up, you probably couldn't tell the Windsor resident from a person from Detroit, while the Inuit would stand out like a dead seal pup with a baseball bat embedded in its skull.

The point is, this same similarity of elements in the same neighborhood bisected by a boundary would occur, NO MATTER WHERE YOU CHOSE TO PUT THE US/CANADIAN BOUNDARY!

As you correctly note, the phenomona is to be expected, and doesn't signify much of anything significant, as it is simply an artifact of the quantizing process.

692 posted on 02/01/2006 6:00:01 PM PST by longshadow (FReeper #405, entering his ninth year of ignoring nitwits, nutcases, and recycled newbies)
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To: PatrickHenry; Doctor Stochastic
The Grand Master wants you to have the upcoming prime.

I seek post numbers having Transcendental value only... please alert me when a post number equalling Napier's Constant is available....

Until then, I remain the Grand Master's....

....Most Humble & Obedient Servant

693 posted on 02/01/2006 6:10:12 PM PST by longshadow (FReeper #405, entering his ninth year of ignoring nitwits, nutcases, and recycled newbies)
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To: longshadow
Intentionally and falsely trying to pass off Pandas as a science book is a far bigger and far more outrageous fraud than a thousand Piltdown Men.
As Plaintiffs meticulously and effectively presented to the Court, Pandas went through many drafts, several of which were completed prior to and some after the Supreme Court's decision in Edwards [Edwards v. Aguillard], which held that the Constitution forbids teaching creationism as science. By comparing the pre and post Edwards drafts of Pandas, three astonishing points emerge: (1) the definition for creation science in early drafts is identical to the definition of ID; (2) cognates of the word creation (creationism and creationist), which appeared approximately 150 times were deliberately and systematically replaced with the phrase ID; and (3) the changes occurred shortly after the Supreme Court held that creation science is religious and cannot be taught in public school science classes in Edwards. This word substitution is telling, significant, and reveals that a purposeful change of words was effected without any corresponding change in content, which directly refutes FTE's [FTE = the Foundation for Thought and Ethics, the publisher of Pandas] argument that by merely disregarding the words "creation" and "creationism," FTE expressly rejected creationism in Pandas. In early pre-Edwards drafts of Pandas, the term "creation" was defined as "various forms of life that began abruptly through an intelligent agency with their distinctive features intact – fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, and wings, etc," the very same way in which ID is defined in the subsequent published versions.
Source: Kitzmiller et al. v Dover Area School District et al..
694 posted on 02/01/2006 6:14:00 PM PST by PatrickHenry (Virtual Ignore for trolls, lunatics, dotards, scolds, & incurable ignoramuses.)
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To: Sweetjustusnow

YEC SPOTREP


695 posted on 02/01/2006 6:15:52 PM PST by LiteKeeper (Beware the secularization of America)
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To: bvw
Yes. That does not make them the same field.

Oh, I'm sorry, you're right. Astrophysics is not biology.

Correct. Both are sciences and both share aspects in common because they are sciences, but they are still not the same fields of study. Expertise in one area does not translate to expertise in another.
696 posted on 02/01/2006 6:25:00 PM PST by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: Dimensio; bvw
Both use math, eh? Both use logic, experimental technique, rationality, eh?

Oops. Forgot to quote this before the first sentence of my reply. Yes, both use logical, experimental technique, rationality and math. But this does not make them the same field of study.
697 posted on 02/01/2006 6:32:33 PM PST by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: longshadow
Neighbors in a manifold?

Maybe not.

Not Maybe?

698 posted on 02/01/2006 6:35:53 PM PST by bvw
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To: longshadow
Neighbors in a manifold?

Maybe not.

Not Maybe?

699 posted on 02/01/2006 6:35:54 PM PST by bvw
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To: blowfish

Another hilarious emission from FesterWorld.

AKA, festeractivity.

700 posted on 02/01/2006 6:38:38 PM PST by ml1954 (NOT the disruptive troll seen frequently on CREVO threads)
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