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The Dini-gration of Darwinism
AgapePress ^ | April 29, 2003 | Mike S. Adams

Posted on 04/29/2003 10:43:39 AM PDT by Remedy

Texas Tech University biology professor Michael Dini recently came under fire for refusing to write letters of recommendation for students unable to "truthfully and forthrightly affirm a scientific answer" to the following question: "How do you think the human species originated?"

For asking this question, Professor Dini was accused of engaging in overt religious discrimination. As a result, a legal complaint was filed against Dini by the Liberty Legal Institute. Supporters of the complaint feared that consequences of the widespread adoption of Dini’s requirement would include a virtual ban of Christians from the practice of medicine and other related fields.

In an effort to defend his criteria for recommendation, Dini claimed that medicine was first rooted in the practice of magic. Dini said that religion then became the basis of medicine until it was replaced by science. After positing biology as the science most important to the study of medicine, he also posited evolution as the "central, unifying principle of biology" which includes both micro- and macro-evolution, which applies to all species.

In addition to claiming that someone who rejects the most important theory in biology cannot properly practice medicine, Dini suggested that physicians who ignore or neglect Darwinism are prone to making bad clinical decisions. He cautioned that a physician who ignores data concerning the scientific origins of the species cannot expect to remain a physician for long. He then rhetorically asked the following question: "If modern medicine is based on the method of science, then how can someone who denies the theory of evolution -- the very pinnacle of modern biological science -- ask to be recommended into a scientific profession by a professional scientist?"

In an apparent preemptive strike against those who would expose the weaknesses of macro-evolution, Dini claimed that "one can validly refer to the ‘fact’ of human evolution, even if all of the details are not yet known." Finally, he cautioned that a good scientist "would never throw out data that do not conform to their expectations or beliefs."

The legal aspect of this controversy ended this week with Dini finally deciding to change his recommendation requirements. But that does not mean it is time for Christians to declare victory and move on. In fact, Christians should be demanding that Dini’s question be asked more often in the court of public opinion. If it is, the scientific community will eventually be indicted for its persistent failure to address this very question in scientific terms.

Christians reading this article are already familiar with the creation stories found in the initial chapters of Genesis and the Gospel of John. But the story proffered by evolutionists to explain the origin of the species receives too little attention and scrutiny. In his two most recent books on evolution, Phillip Johnson gives an account of evolutionists’ story of the origin of the human species which is similar to the one below:

In the beginning there was the unholy trinity of the particles, the unthinking and unfeeling laws of physics, and chance. Together they accidentally made the amino acids which later began to live and to breathe. Then the living, breathing entities began to imagine. And they imagined God. But then they discovered science and then science produced Darwin. Later Darwin discovered evolution and the scientists discarded God.

Darwinists, who proclaim themselves to be scientists, are certainly entitled to hold this view of the origin of the species. But that doesn’t mean that their view is, therefore, scientific. They must be held to scientific standards requiring proof as long as they insist on asking students to recite these verses as a rite of passage into their "scientific" discipline.

It, therefore, follows that the appropriate way to handle professors like Michael Dini is not to sue them but, instead, to demand that they provide specific proof of their assertion that the origin of all species can be traced to primordial soup. In other words, we should pose Dr. Dini’s question to all evolutionists. And we should do so in an open public forum whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Recently, I asked Dr. Dini for that proof. He didn’t respond.

Dini’s silence as well as the silence of other evolutionists speaks volumes about the current status of the discipline of biology. It is worth asking ourselves whether the study of biology has been hampered by the widespread and uncritical acceptance of Darwinian principles. To some observers, its study has largely become a hollow exercise whereby atheists teach other atheists to blindly follow Darwin without asking any difficult questions.

At least that seems to be the way things have evolved.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: creatins; creation; crevo; crevolist; darwin; evoloonists; evolunacy; evolution
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To: Dark Knight
Nice post, Dark Knight, about doctors and credentials.

I'll throw in, recent research pointint to pig hearts as good candidates for xeno-transplants. This would appear to me to fly into the face of Darwinism. While evolutionists are duty bound to contort themselves into some logical pretzel of an explanation for it, it still stands that, before it was discovered, it would NOT have been where evolution would have pointed.
401 posted on 05/02/2003 1:41:20 PM PDT by FactQuest
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To: whattajoke
Gee I guess without a degree in molecular biology or genetics I should disregard the fact that molecular biologists and geneticists and biochemists disagree about the topic under discussion and just go along with the "experts" on your side of the argument? Is that what you want?
Have you read anything at all by Michael Behe? Hey - lets stick to the topic and not try to argue by attacking the person's credentials advancing an argument here. If only people with degrees in a discipline can be correct on these issues then I guess we shouldn't even offer our thoughts when experts disagree? I can express my judgment about these issues without having a degree in these disciplines because there are experts in these disciplines who disagree. Not so?
402 posted on 05/02/2003 2:39:13 PM PDT by kkindt (knightforhire.com)
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To: Lurking Libertarian
These "observed mutations" did not help the creature and that is my point. And some of these so called mutations were not even mutations but expressions of genes already latent in the DNA
403 posted on 05/02/2003 2:43:52 PM PDT by kkindt (knightforhire.com)
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To: kkindt
Ah, yes, good old Behe. I guess the boatloads of discredit he's received hasn't reached you yet.

There are tons of simple refutations to his NON-PEER reviewed popular work of fiction... but I'll just pick one, because within it, there are about a hundred papers which directly refute one of Behe's more absurdist claims: that "There has never been a meeting, or a book, or a paper on details of the evolution of complex biochemical systems."

Admittedly, most of these papers contain boring, complex issues neither of us understands, but you'll get the point:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/behe/publish.html
404 posted on 05/02/2003 2:59:19 PM PDT by whattajoke
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To: FactQuest
[the talk.origins archive is quite simply the very best, most fair, most comprehensive online collection of pro-evolution and anti-evolution material available.]

Funny, I can't seem to find ANY anti-evolution material on there.

Then you didn't look very hard.

A great many of the "topic" pages on www.talkorigins.org contain sidebars in the upper-right corner containing links to anti-evolutionary material on the same subject, or specific rebuttals to that t.o. webpage. For example:

Plagiarized Errors and Molecular Genetics

29+ Evidences for Macroevolution

The Age of the Earth

The Evolution of Improved Fitness

Carbon-14 in Coal Deposits

Problems with a Global Flood

Fossil Horses FAQs

Many other pages present anti-evolutionary arguments in all their glory (*cough*) and also present arguments and evidence which counter them (oh, the horrors). For example:
Bombardier Beetles and the Argument of Design

Is the Complement System Irreducibly Complex?

Creationism and the Platypus

Thermodynamics, Evolution and Creationism

Other pages are straightforward descriptions of anti-evolutionary positions and/or arguments, such as:
So You Want to be an Anti-Darwinian: Varieties of Opposition to Darwinism

What is Creationism?

Irreducible Complexity and Michael Behe

The Coso Artifact: Mystery from the Depths of Time

Creationism and Human Evolution

Books and other works by anti-evolutionists are freely reviewed and not hidden under a bushel. For example:
Critiques of Anti-Evolutionist Phillip Johnson's Views

Review of Michael Denton's, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis

Geochronology kata John Woodmorappe

A Criticism of the ICR's Grand Canyon Dating Project

Flood Geology

Icons of Evolution FAQs

The more common anti-evolutionary arguments are all cataloged, presented, and critiqued:
The General Anti-Creationism FAQ

How Good Are Those Young-Earth Arguments?

On Creation Science and the Alleged Decay of the Earth's Magnetic Field

Meteorite Dust and the Age of the Earth

Polonium Halo FAQs

There are many full-text debates on the site which let anti-evolutionists speak for themselves in full. A few examples:
A talk.origins Age of the Earth Debate

Hugh Ross and Duane Gish Debate

Debate between Richard Milton and Jim Foley

The website contains a large archive of "Feedback", or letters-to-the-editor, which contains a large number of contributions by anti-evolutionists challenging information on the site or providing "new" arguments. Similarly, there are numerous classic post exchanges from the talk.origins Usenet forum, such as Fish Fossils: Post of the Month: September 2002, which give anti-evolutionists freedom to make their points.

Furthermore, alongside the full text of Darwin's On The Origin of Speciescan be found The Book of Genesis

Finally, the links page provides links to all prominent anti-evolutionary websites.

Are you sure?

Yes. I am.

405 posted on 05/02/2003 6:46:28 PM PDT by Ichneumon
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To: whattajoke
Can't you, a grown man, see the difference between Ich's links and the usual anti-evolution link?

I have read plenty and debunked plenty of the trueorigins garbage. The articles are almost never written by professionals in the field. They are written by people with absolutely no reputation to lose. They are mostly rhetoric and half truths. Now if you or anyone of your cadre of evolutionists wishes to discuss any article from any source you like, let's see it, lets discuss it and let's see if it in fact gives any sort of solid evidence for evolution.

(In fact, we have an article here on this thread which you folks refuse to discuss and give evidence, Dini's calling anyone but evolutionists not fit to be doctors. I have yet to see a single piece of evidence from your side backing that up).

You and your friends only give a bunch of links which you yourselves have not read. If you have read them, if they give strong proof for your position, how come none of you is willing to post the proof right here where all of us can discuss it?

The answer to the above question is that your links are garbage as I and Heartlander have been saying. So all you have left is the three 'proofs' of evolution:

INSULTS

DOUBLETALK

LIES

406 posted on 05/02/2003 6:52:11 PM PDT by gore3000
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To: Dimensio
Evolution is the atheist philosophy. -me-

How so?

As a very relevant example I can cite that Marx considered it a good basis for his materialistic theory and offered to dedicate Das Kapital to Darwin.

Evolution specifically denies the Bible as we see abundantly in this thread also.-me- So do the creation myths of every religion other than Christianity, Islam and Judaism.

In your effort to contradict my statement you have put your foot deep in your mouth. You have admitted that evolution is an enemy of Christianity and opposed to it. Thanks!

407 posted on 05/02/2003 6:55:55 PM PDT by gore3000
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To: Dimensio
Is gore3000 actually comparing the process by which a strain of single-celled organisms becomes resistant to antibiotics with a significantly larger-scale multicellular organism?

You are showing your ignorance to the world. Just because an organism may be simpler than a human it does not mean that it does not have an ability to adapt to different circumstances. Single celled organisms are still around since the beginning of life on earth. Not only that, single celled organisms, in spite of their small size still constitute some 90% of the biological mass on earth. Now that's what I call adaptability!

408 posted on 05/02/2003 7:00:48 PM PDT by gore3000
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To: All
Time to get this blue barf bag out:


409 posted on 05/02/2003 7:06:00 PM PDT by PatrickHenry (Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas.)
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To: kkindt
Have you read anything at all by Michael Behe?

I have. His most fundamental premise is wrong (and followup). Also another blow to Behe's thesis, a scathing review (MUST READ). Another review. More problems for Behe. Yet another review. Another problem with one of Behe's pet examples.

410 posted on 05/02/2003 7:45:09 PM PDT by Ichneumon
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To: gore3000
I have read plenty and debunked plenty of the trueorigins garbage. The articles are almost never written by professionals in the field. They are written by people with absolutely no reputation to lose. They are mostly rhetoric and half truths.

I'm very glad to hear you admit that, since True.Origins is a *creationist* website.

There may be hope for you yet if you've finally come to realize this about creationists.

411 posted on 05/02/2003 7:50:09 PM PDT by Ichneumon
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To: gore3000
You and your friends only give a bunch of links which you yourselves have not read.

Ah, another fellow who believes he can read minds. Wrong again.

If you have read them, if they give strong proof for your position, how come none of you is willing to post the proof right here where all of us can discuss it?

This is, quite simply, the most stupid question I've seen in months.

What is this -- an admission that creationists are either too lazy or stupid to know how to click a link and read the resulting page?

The answer is that anyone who wants to wade through the information can simply follow the link, whereas posting it in-line would be a burden on readers who have slow internet connections and aren't interested in that particular information. And courteously providing it as a link only in no way prevents "all of us" from "discussing it" -- at least those of us who understand how to click a webpage link...

So all you have left is the three 'proofs' of evolution: INSULTS DOUBLETALK LIES

Really? Where? You seem to have "forgotten" to support your accusation. But then, you tend to "forget" to support most of your amazing (and usually false) accusations. For example:


[Used with permission of the original author]

Gore3000's FABNAQ's
(Frequently Asked But Never Answered Questions)
These questions have been dodged [4] times so far

Science is very much aware that evolution is total nonsense, that is why it keeps refuting it.

Amazing claim, let's see if you can substantiate it:

In fact it is totally unbelievable that anyone would call evolution science in this day and age.

You mean, other than those countless thousands of scientists who work with it and research it all the time?

You make a lot of unsupported claims, son, let's see if you know how to support them:

1. The disproof of Darwin's racist claim that the brachyocephalic index showed what races were superior and which were inferior.

Troll Challenge #1: I've already challenged you to document this ad hominem claim. I already pointed out it was contrary to all I've read that Darwin has written about race (i.e., he considered them intellectual and moral equals; an amazingly fair-minded belief for his era.) You failed to even attempt document it. Do so now -- QUOTE Darwin and cite the source.

Troll Challenge #2: Document that whatever Darwin may have actually said on the matter has been "disproven".

NOTE:

For this and subsequent challenges, "document" does not just mean "declare it over and over again" as is your usual mode of "proof". It does not mean "quote other creationists". It does not mean "cut-and-paste semi-relevant website pages that happen to talk about the subject at hand and then declare that this proves your point through sheer volume". In short, none of your usual game-playing of "the conclusion is left as an exercise for the reader, and if you don't reach my conclusion you're an idiot." None of those are sufficient for your *specific* claims that "SCIENCE...KEEPS REFUTING" evolution and "SCIENCE is very much aware that evolution is total nonsense". So to document your amazing claims, you must quote, or provide specific citations for, MAINSTREAM SCIENCE publications which *specifically* declare to have contradicted, refuted, contradicted, or proven wrong the point you claim has "refuted" evolution via "science". For surely, if "science keeps refuting" evolution, someone in science would have mentioned it somewhere. Lord knows scientists aren't shy about pointing out when they've debunked something.

In short, you must quote/cite an actual science source which AGREES WITH YOUR CONCLUSION in each case and FLAT OUT SAYS SO. Not just "could be used to argue that conclusion" if you squint at it just right, you must actually find where science SAYS WHAT YOU SAY IT DOES, with no need for "interpretation" or "line of reasoning" on your part.

You say that "Science is very much aware that evolution is total nonsense", so all you have to do is *quote* science actually SAYING the things you say it does. Should be easy -- if you're not a lying swine.

While some may dismiss this as a minutae, it is a strong refutation of evolution because it shows that there has been no 'evolution' in the human species and according to evolutionists evolution is always going on.

Troll Challenge #3: Over what timespan has your alleged "no change" occurred?

Troll Challenge #4: Document (*see above*) that it hasn't.

Troll Challenge #5: Document (*ditto*) that "according to evolutionists" there would *have* be a change of the specified type over the specified time period if evolution were true.

2. Mendelian genetics showed that the transfer of new traits was very difficult if not impossible.

Troll Challenge #6: Document this insane claim. And since you have a short memory, I will again point out that you must DOCUMENT this by citing an actual scientific source which declares it to be "very difficult if not impossible" -- your own babbling, hand-waving arguments don't count. You're not allowed to try to prove your amazing assertion, you must *document* that *SCIENCE* flat-out says so, since you claimed that it did.

Indeed because a new trait or mutation is not in the gene pool of other individuals, it has an almost impossible chance of survival.

Troll Challenge #7: Document, please. And since I remember your failures in our earlier discussion of genetic drift, I must remind you that 1-in-a-thousand, or even 1-in-a-million, is *NOT* "almost impossible". Nor do your misconceptions bother to address the selection of favorable new traits, which have a far higher success rate.

2a. Mendelian genetics also showed the concept of alleles - duplicate genes in every organism which performed the same function but a bit differently. This allows the adaptation of a species to the environment without the need to wait for a chance mutation to occur. It shows that transformation of organisms is not necessary for survival.

Troll Challenge #8: Explain how the (obvious) fact that organisms can "survive" without evolution in any way supports your thesis that "science keeps refuting evolution". Oh, don't bother -- you can't. You're just being foolishly irrelevant here and even you must realize that.

3. DNA - a Nobel Prize winning discovery - showed the utter complexity of the cells in every organism. It laid to rest forever the concept that just a little mutation could transform an organism or a species.

Troll Challenge #9: Document (again, via quoting an actual scientific source which SPECIFICALLY AGREES with your CONCLUSION here) that you're not just making a wild leap from "it's complicated" to "it's impossible".

Troll Challenge #10: Document where evolutionists have ever said that "*A* little mutation" (i.e., singular) could "transform" an organism or species.

Troll Challenge #11: While you're at it, define "transform" in a way that doesn't make your statement trivially false or tautologically true.

4. Genome Project - showed the utter interrelatedness of every single gene, cell, part of the body.

Troll Challenge #12: Document that twaddle. Make sure your source speaks of the "utter interrelatedness" of "every single gene".

It has shown that it is impossible for any new trait to evolve by chance occurrence (or at random, or without design or whatever you wish to call how evolutionary changes to the genome are supposed to occur according to evolution).

Troll Challenge #13: Document where "it has shown" this. Again, you must find a scientific source which specifically agrees with your *conclusion*, not merely one that you can wave around and say, "this is supporting evidence, my conclusion is therefore inescapable, can't you see that?"

For any change, for any transformation to occur, there would need to be the coevolution of the new trait together with a complete support system to make it work.

Troll Challenge #14: And "science" agrees with you on this point where, exactly? Document it. Make sure it's talking specifically about "ANY change, ANY transformation".

This of course is totally ludicrous, especially in view of 2 and 3 above.

I agree your descriptions are ludicrous.

5. discovery of gene control - showed forever that the arrogant (and moronic) evolutionist theory that 95% of DNA was just there doing nothing except to give proof of evolution was utter bunk.

Troll Challenge #15: Documentation, please.

Science showed that it is that very DNA which evolutionists called 'junk" which is what controls the actions of genes and many other processes in the organism.

Troll Challenge #16: All of it? Document where science "shows" this.

[Update: This is the one challenge that Gore3000 actually attempted a response to. Amusingly enough, his linked source material actually VERIFIED THE SCIENTIFIC VIEW THAT HE WAS TRYING TO DISCREDIT. Hmm, speaking of people posting "things they have not themselves read"...]

So as you can see, we are very lucky that scientists ignore evolution.

Troll Challenge #17: Document that this is the case. I'll accept a quote from any peer-reviewed publication in an accepted science journal.

Otherwise, biology would still be stuck in the dark Darwinian ages.

Someone's sure in the dark here, but it's not us.

Time for you to document your assertions, or withdraw them. Time for you to demonstrate that you have any idea what in the hell you're talking about when you make claims about what "science" shows.

[End of FABNAQ]


412 posted on 05/02/2003 8:10:02 PM PDT by Ichneumon
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To: Ichneumon

May I have your attention please

Thank you.

As many of you may have noticed by now, the "contributions" of a certain poster who marks his text with a blue font have a tendency to derail creation/evolution threads by sheer volume and non sequitur irrelevancy. Even when he sticks somewhat closely to an actual point, he overwhelms a thread by beating his point into the ground through staccato repetition and an absolute refusal to give an inch no matter how thoroughly he's been answered.

Therefore, most of us have learned to just ignore him unless he accidentally says something particularly amusing.

However, I don't want to let that leave the impression that we have no good rebuttal to him. We do, we just tire of saying it in every single thread he pops onto with his same broken record.

Therefore, if anyone (on any side of the debate) wishes to see something addressed which the blue Freeper happens to raise, feel free to quote it and ask for a response.

Barring that, we'll presume that you're as tired of his spam as we are and we can all spend our time discussing things with more productive participants.

We now return you to the thread in progress.

413 posted on 05/02/2003 8:32:01 PM PDT by Ichneumon
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To: gore3000
I have read plenty and debunked plenty of the trueorigins garbage

One must assume that you debunked the two main principles of the trueorigin's website:

1. The myth that today’s heavily popularized beliefs about macro-evolution find “overwhelming” or unequivocal support in the data of empirical science

2. The myth that the alternative—biblical creation—somehow fails to find any compelling, corroborative support in the same data

We will all enjoy citing you as having refuted the above two points.

414 posted on 05/02/2003 8:50:46 PM PDT by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch is der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
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To: Ichneumon
Does this mean he's no longer a Christian (using his own criteria)?
415 posted on 05/02/2003 8:54:01 PM PDT by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch is der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
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To: gore3000
As a very relevant example I can cite that Marx considered it a good basis for his materialistic theory and offered to dedicate Das Kapital to Darwin.

So Marx thought that evolution worked well with a materialistic philosophy. Some people think that Christianity works well with a policy of racism -- such as the KKK. Does this make Christianity the racist philosophy? Further, I asked about the atheist philosophy, and you brought up materialism. Materialism is not the 'atheist philosophy', and as evidence I submit just about any atheistic Buddhist sect.

In your effort to contradict my statement you have put your foot deep in your mouth. You have admitted that evolution is an enemy of Christianity and opposed to it. Thanks!

No, though I should have worded my statement in a more specific fashion so that you could not twist my words in this way. I was referring specifically to the fact that evolution is not compatable with a literal interpretation of the book of Genesis. Thanks for showing off your usual intellectual dishonesty, though, and for ignoring the fact that non Judeo-Christian religions also disagree with Biblical creationism.
416 posted on 05/02/2003 9:23:41 PM PDT by Dimensio (Sometimes I doubt your committment to Sparkle Motion!)
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To: gore3000
Gore3000's non-sequitur response placemarker (he in no way has shown that single-celled organisms "adapt" and develop tolerances in the same way that multicellular organisms do).
417 posted on 05/02/2003 9:25:36 PM PDT by Dimensio (Sometimes I doubt your committment to Sparkle Motion!)
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To: longshadow
Wildly elliptical 1720 placemarker.
418 posted on 05/03/2003 3:32:42 AM PDT by PatrickHenry (Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas.)
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To: Ichneumon
Therefore, most of us have learned to just ignore him unless he accidentally says something particularly amusing.

Examples:

  1. "wildly elliptical" planetary orbits
  2. "a circle is not an ellipse...."
  3. "1720" is a really, really, really BIG number

419 posted on 05/03/2003 10:49:24 AM PDT by longshadow
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To: longshadow
Don't forget our embarrassing failure to win that non-existent Nobel Prize for biology.
420 posted on 05/03/2003 11:01:08 AM PDT by PatrickHenry (Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas.)
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To: PatrickHenry
Comment #271 Removed by Moderator

The fr pat henry ... self appointed mind and lives guardian // czar of other people's children via govt money -- schools --- very strange -- weird !

To: don-o

dp ...

What dissenting opinion gets the hammer?

owk ...

I myself was suspended just a week ago for ... questioning --- the existence of God...

And the posts were wiped from existence.

For example.

499 posted on 05/03/2003 10:45 AM PDT by OWK

421 posted on 05/04/2003 1:34:59 AM PDT by f.Christian (( With Rights ... comes Responsibilities --- irresponsibility --- whacks // criminals - psychos ! ))
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To: Junior
Phaedrus: ...new information [resulting from mutation], which I assume you would agree is absolutely necessary, is not created.

Junior: But it is. That is why those critters can survive the new environmental stresses. No genetic information is "destroyed" (or you'd have a host of other problems). Sometimes its rearranged, sometimes its introduced from the outside (viral agents).

Back now and have read Evolution is a Fact and a Theory from TalkOrigins a couple of times. What garbage. I'll be posting to you a bit later as to specifically how and why it's garbage. For now, as to the foregoing, you are assuming that mutation and viral agents are responsible for creating useful new information, and the facts simply don't support this. It is speculation only, Junior, and I've got to think you are seeing what you want to see.

422 posted on 05/05/2003 6:10:36 AM PDT by Phaedrus
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To: Ichneumon; Junior
I see you've responded at extreme length to my posts at numbers 332, 340 and 352, and I've read them over. The result is that my comment to you at #255, which follows, stands.

I have patiently, faithfully, gone through your response to my post to this point and have discredited it, item by item, without exception. You are practicing sophistry. There is no substance.

I'm not interested in now discrediting every statement you find the time to craft. That was done, to a point, in my #255 and my brief review suggests you are offering "more of the same". Bridge strategy aside, length is no substitute for strength. But you are invited to follow along in my discussion with Junior as I deconstruct TalkOrigins.

423 posted on 05/05/2003 6:34:57 AM PDT by Phaedrus
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To: Phaedrus
Deconstructionist placemarker.
424 posted on 05/05/2003 9:46:56 AM PDT by Lurking Libertarian (Non sub homine, sed sub Deo et lege)
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To: RadioAstronomer
Hey! Did you see the Mercury solar transit coming up for Saturday?
425 posted on 05/05/2003 10:26:07 AM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: Ichneumon
I guess we differ on what we call anti-evolution material.

What you showed mostly, and linked repeatedly, were examples of specific creationist arguments, and pages dedicated to countering them. I wouldn't call bringing up creationist arguments, in an attempt to soundly trounce them, "anti-evolution" material. Apparently, you do.

Sole exception that I saw (I didn't check every single link, I tired after a dozen) was the debate between Ross and Gish... which was presented rather raw. I suspect it was included to show divisions in the creationist camp.

So... if that is what you can drum up as proof that talk.origins web site is the most fair collection of pro- and anti-evolution material, you have failed - it clearly remains markedly, undeniably pro-evolution.

Now, as for comprehensiveness... quite astoundingly comprehensive. I'd be curious to see if there are any creationist arguments that aren't rebutted somewhere on this site.
426 posted on 05/05/2003 10:53:10 AM PDT by FactQuest
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To: FactQuest
I don't know if this thread is going to make it to 1000.

Too bad.

DK
427 posted on 05/05/2003 1:34:54 PM PDT by Dark Knight
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To: Dark Knight; Ichneumon
Doesn't look like it.

Ichneumon spent his energy on Phraedrus and Gore3000, never did address Protoavis or the origin of birds.

Pity, would have been a good debate.
428 posted on 05/06/2003 10:47:16 AM PDT by FactQuest
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To: Phaedrus
But you are invited to follow along in my discussion with Junior as I deconstruct TalkOrigins.

Gosh, we can't wait to be showered with your insight - it'll be a first.

429 posted on 05/06/2003 2:44:49 PM PDT by balrog666 (When in doubt, tell the truth. - Mark Twain)
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To: Phaedrus; balrog666
Still waiting.
430 posted on 05/06/2003 6:25:18 PM PDT by Lurking Libertarian (Non sub homine, sed sub Deo et lege)
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To: <1/1,000,000th%
Hey! Thanks for the heads up. I had not been paying attention lately. I have been terribly busy. :-(
431 posted on 05/06/2003 11:47:35 PM PDT by RadioAstronomer
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To: Lurking Libertarian
Deconstruction in progress ... your patience will be rewarded.
432 posted on 05/07/2003 5:52:57 AM PDT by Phaedrus
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To: longshadow
Therefore, most of us have learned to just ignore him unless he accidentally says something particularly amusing.

How about "Our eyes do not actually detect light" among the all time great gore3000isms?

433 posted on 05/07/2003 8:01:50 AM PDT by RightWingNilla
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To: RightWingNilla
How about "Our eyes do not actually detect light" among the all time great gore3000isms?

Not to mention his: "Infrared radiation causes sunburn."

Weeeeeeee!

434 posted on 05/07/2003 8:54:20 AM PDT by longshadow
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To: longshadow
Not to mention his: "Infrared radiation causes sunburn."

LOL. Is that a new one?

435 posted on 05/07/2003 2:09:27 PM PDT by RightWingNilla
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To: RightWingNilla
LOL. Is that a new one?

Not really. About five or six months old, I think. It was one of those scientific clunkers that occasionally throws out while in the midst of arguing about something else. While it was stunning, I had forgotten about it until I saw your reply regarding his clunker about "eyes" and "light"....

436 posted on 05/07/2003 3:37:39 PM PDT by longshadow
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To: whattajoke
Dear Abby,
My thoughts and feelings just pops and flashes
From some big bang of primordial gases?
My DNA and its incredible code,
Nothing more than chance I am told?
Is my whistling in the park
Just a whistling in the dark?
Everything is nothing that just happened to blow apart?
Confused!!!
437 posted on 05/07/2003 6:38:38 PM PDT by kkindt (knightforhire.com)
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To: Junior; Ichneumon; Lurking Libertarian; All
I promised to do a little parsing, or deconstruction if you prefer (as do I), of the inimitable TalkOrigins' Evolution is a Fact and a Theory.

The way to start this exercise is as the lawyers (not my favorite people) do, with definitions. From Merriam-Webster:

"Fact: a thing done; the quality of being actual; something that has actual existence; an actual occurrence; a piece of information presented as having objective reality; - in fact : in truth."

"Theory: the analysis of a set of facts in their relation to one another; a plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena (wave theory of light); a body of theorems presenting a concise systematic view of a subject (theory of equations). Synonym: see 'Hypothesis' ... implies insufficient evidence to provide more than a tentative explanation. Theory implies a greater range of evidence and greater likelihood of truth."

So a fact is something actual and a theory describes the relationship among actualities, often temporal (cause-and-effect). Can something be both? Not really. TalkOrigins is using a rhetorical device to attempt to give strength and objectivity to the Theory of Evolution. Therefore, any wordplay we encounter along the way that does not comport with the above, that does not maintain the separateness and the integrity of their meanings, will be accordingly labelled as empty rhetoric and thrown out, and Gould, the Sophist, will not be allowed to endlessly bend and twist these words to suit his purposes.

Academicians have convinced themselves that words are the only, or at least the highest, reality. This is, in my view but with a great deal of support, a conceit borne of insecurity, and the authors of TalkOrigins will thus not be allowed to indulge this vice in what follows. Those of us who live in the real world and earn our daily bread think in simpler but more honest terms. Complexity and hair-splitting serve better to deceive than enlighten.

I also noticed that a great deal of ink was spilled trashing Creationism and Creationists. This is a very bad habit having nothing to do with the verity of the Theory of Evolution or with science and, in not too much of a stretch, it can be viewed as a sign of psychological dysfunction if the writer cannot let it go. We are therefore going to ignore any such side-trips as irrelevant.

So, we continue our odyssey into substance with (surprise!) another definition.

"Biological evolution is a change in the genetic characteristics of a population over time. That this happens is a fact. Biological evolution also refers to the common descent of living organisms from shared ancestors. The evidence for historical evolution -- genetic, fossil, anatomical, etc. -- is so overwhelming that it is also considered a fact. The theory of evolution describes the mechanisms that cause evolution. So evolution is both a fact and a theory." See FAQ.

Biological evolution is a change in the genetic characteristics of a population over time.

Change happens every time a baby is born. Change is ubiquitous, applying to all aspects and events of/in the Universe over time. Change is not an Evolutionary theory, it is a simple observation applying to all of physical reality and this observation is not a scientific statement, it is a given. It is context. Science explains how things change over time, deducing the general rules by which facts and events relate to one another.

That this [biological evolution, presumably] happens is a fact.

A bald, unsupported assertion, and false.

Biological evolution also refers to the common descent of living organisms from shared ancestors.

"Also refers"? We have an "is" in the first sentence, which makes the statement definitional. This statement expands the definition.

The evidence for historical evolution -- genetic, fossil, anatomical, etc. -- is so overwhelming that it is also considered a fact.

Another bald, unsupported statement, not shown and wrong. It has never been shown that one species transforms into another and that would be evidence. Nor has it been shown how such a transformation might plausibly occur, which would be science. Not only is the evidence not overwhelming, it does not exist.

The theory of evolution describes the mechanisms that cause evolution.

No, it does not. As shown by the following which is taken from the article itself, the Evolutionists have been groping for answers for over 100 years and they still don't have them.

... biologists readily admit that they are less certain of the exact mechanism of evolution; there are several theories of the mechanism of evolution. (Moran)

"Less certain of the exact mechanism"? "Several theories of "the mechanism" of evolution"? This is an absurd statement if it is meant to denote science (which it is). Science tells us how cause relates to effect. It generalizes, finds general rules. It doesn't say "It might be this or it might be that, in 'uncertain' fashion." This statement is an admission that Evolution is not science.

And ... we are constantly learning new and important facts about evolutionary mechanisms. (Gould)

Or, to be blunt, Evolutionists are still looking for answers they don't have. Science has answers or it's not science.

And ... humans evolved from ape-like ancestors whether they did so by Darwin's proposed mechanism or by some other yet to be discovered.

What? What???!!!!! "... some other mechanism yet to be discovered"? Gould admits that the Evolutionists do not have the answers. And again, science without answers is not science.

So evolution is both a fact and a theory."

A bald and false assertion, and shown above to be false. But let's do a little further parsing. I particularly liked this segment purporting to prove Evolution by allusion.

It is a fact that the earth with liquid water, is more than 3.6 billion years old.

I can accept that the earth is very old, based on science.

It is a fact that cellular life has been around for at least half of that period and that organized multicellular life is at least 800 million years old.

We will accept this, too.

It is a fact that major life forms now on earth were not at all represented in the past.

And we accept this.

There were no birds or mammals 250 million years ago.

And this.

It is a fact that major life forms of the past are no longer living. There used to be dinosaurs and Pithecanthropus, and there are none now.

And this.

It is a fact that all living forms come from previous living forms.

But NOT this, because it has never been shown! This is a leap of faith, NOT science. And that is why Darwinism is accused by some, myself included, of being religion. And it is anti-Christian religion as shown by Darwinists' fixation with bashing Creationists. The referenced article itself, and Gould himself, expend a fair number of words doing nothing but bashing Creationism. None of this is science, folks.

Therefore, all present forms of life arose from ancestral forms that were different.

Nonsense, "therefore ...". This conclusion has no warrant.

In support of the foregoing and in rebuttal to Ich's dismissal and trashing of the work if not the person of Spetner, all of what follows comes from Not By Chance! subtitled Shattering the Modern Theory of Evolution by Dr. Lee Spetner, copyright 1997, 1998 The Judaica Press, Inc. I will thus only indicate at what page number the citation begins.

From Dr. Spetner's bio:

"Dr. Spetner received the PhD degree in physics from MIT in 1950. He was with the Applied Physics Laboratory of Johns Hopkins University form 1951 to 1970, where he was engaged in research and development in signal processing and the scattering of electromagnetic waves from the earth's surface. From 1958 he was a member of the principal professional staff of the laboratory. He spent the academic year 1962-63 on a fellowship in the Department of Biophysics at the Johns Hopkins University. During that time he became interested in evolution and published several papers investigating information buildup in evolution. (more)"

As to the British peppered moths (p. 67):

Although it may be an example of natural selection, it is not an example of random variation. It turns out that when the soot began to cover the lichens, the light-moth population didn't have to wait for a mutation to turn dark. The dark moth was already in the population. It was living as a small minority among the light moths [Bishop and Cook 1975]. Where the tree trunks are light, most of the moths are light colored. Where the tree trunks are sooty, most of the moths are dark. There was no random (emphasis here and in all subsequent instances in the original) variation. Both types of moths have been living side by side in both environments.

Here we have an example of microevolution that is not an example. It gets more interesting.

Page 138:

All point mutations that have been studied on the molecular level turn out to reduce the genetic information and not to increase it. Let's examine what's known about the resistance of bacteria to antibiotics . . .

Page 139:

Scientists have studied how streptomycin and other mycin drugs keep bacteria from growing, and how a point mutation makes bacteria resistant to the drug [Davies et al. 1971, Davies and Nomura 1972]. They found that a molecule of the drug attaches to a matching site on a ribosome of the bacterium and interferes with its making of protein, as shown in Fig. 5.3. With the drug molecule attached, the ribosome is unable to put the right amino acids together when it makes protein. It makes the wrong proteins. It makes proteins that don't work. The bacterium then can't grow, can't divide, and can't propagate.

The ribosomes of mammals don't have the site at which the mycin drugs can attach, so the drugs can't harm them. Because the mycins can stop bacterial growth without harming the host, they make useful antibiotics.

A point mutation makes the bacterium resistant to streptomycin by losing information. . . We see then that the mutation reduces the specificity of the ribosome protein, and that means losing genetic information. This loss of information leads to a loss of sensitivity to the drug an hence to resistance. Since the information loss is in the gene, the effect is heritable, and a whole strain of resistant bacteria can arise from the mutation.

And it gets much more interesting. At page 187:

Over a decade ago Barry Hall, then at the University of Connecticut, prepared a strain of E. Coli bacteria that could not break down the milk sugar, lactose [Hall 1982]. Normal E. Coli can live on lactose because they have an array of enzymes that can metabolize it. For this set of experiments Hall prepared a strain that lacked the gene encoding [for] the first enzyme in the array. Because of this lack, his strain of bacteria could not live on lactose. When these bacteria grew and multiplied on another nutrient, but in the presence of lactose, two mutations were found to appear in the same bacterium. One of these mutations was in a hitherto unknown structural gene and the other was its control gene. The mutated structural gene encodes an enzyme that can perform the missing first step in lactose metabolism. . . The gene that mutated had been present all along, but it was dormant. Its normal function is unknown. Hall called it a "cryptic" gene.

Continuing on:

Neither of the above two mutations is of any use by itself to the bacterium. For the bacterium to metabolize lactose, both mutations have to occur. In the absense of lactose, these two mutations are independent. They will occur together only by chance, and will do so only with the small probability of 10 to the minus 18th power. Hall calculated for his population the expected waiting time for both these mutations to occur by chance. He found that if they really did occur at random, he would have to wait for about a hundred thousand years before he could expect to see one of the double mutations. But in the presence of lactose he found about 40 of them in just a few days! These results suggest that the lactose in the environment induced these mutations.

It seems that the more we learn, the more reason we have to doubt the TOE.

And moving back to TalkOrigins, we conclude that they are either fools or liars. The accomplished academicians among them are clearly bright, so I leave to the reader to select the correct alternative. The TalkOrigins link is just replete with sophistry ripe for further parsing, which I will be pleased to do if the spirit moves. This deconstruction is therefore a representative sample only.

Here are a few folks that agree with me, for the right reasons.

Scientists with impressive credentials are leaving the doctrines of evolution. Unfortunately, no one has informed the general public.

As Science Digest reported:

Scientists who utterly reject Evolution may be one of our fastest-growing controversial minorities... Many of the scientists supporting this position hold impressive credentials in science.

Evolutionist Sir Fred Hoyle:

The notion that...the operating programme of a living cell could be arrived at by chance in a primordial soup here on the Earth is evidently nonsense of a high order.

Researcher and Mathematician I. L. Cohen:

At that moment, when the DNA/RNA system became understood, the debate between Evolutionists and Creationists should have come to a screeching halt. ...the implications of the DNA/RNA were obvious and clear. Mathematically speaking, based on probability concepts, there is no possibility that Evolution was the mechanism that created the approximately 6,000,000 species of plants and animals we recognize today.

Evolutionist Michael Denton:

The complexity of the simplest known type of cell is so great that it is impossible to accept that such an object could have been thrown together suddenly by some kind of freakish, vastly improbable, event. Such an occurrence would be indistinguishable from a miracle.

Peter Saunders (University of London) and Mae-Wan Ho (Open University):

From the claims made for neo-Darwinism one could easily get the impression that it has made great progress towards explaining Evolution, mostly leaving the details to be cleared up. In fact, quite the reverse is true.

Evolutionist Dr. Colin Patterson:

No one has ever produced a species by mechanisms of natural selection. No one has ever gotten near it...

Evolutionist Greg Kirby:

If you were to spend your life picking up bones and finding little fragments of head and little fragments of jaw, there's a very strong desire there to exaggerate the importance of those fragments...

Evolutionist Lord Solly Zuckerman:

Students of fossil primates have not been distinguished for caution... The record is so astonishing that it is legitimate to ask whether much science is...in this field at all.

Evolutionist Tom Kemp:

A circular argument arises: Interpret the fossil record in terms of a particular theory of evolution, inspect the interpretation, and note that it confirms the theory. Well, it would, wouldn't it?

Evolutionist Edmund Ambrose:

We have to admit that there is nothing in the geological records that runs contrary to the view of conservative creationists...

Paleontologist and Evolutionist Dr. Niles Eldredge, American Museum of Natural History:

The only competing explanation for the order we all see in the biological world is the notion of Special Creation.

Sir Fred Hoyle, astronomer, cosmologist, and mathematician, Cambridge University:

I have little hesitation in saying that a sickly pall now hangs over the big bang theory.

Sir Fred Hoyle, astronomer, cosmologist, and mathematician, Cambridge University:

The likelihood of the formation of life from inanimate matter is one to a number with 40,000 noughts after it... It is big enough to bury Darwin and the whole theory of evolution. ...if the beginnings of life were not random, they must therefore have been the product of purposeful intelligence.

Molecular biologist Michael Denton:

Is it really credible that random processes could have constructed a reality, the smallest element of which-a functional protein or gene-is complex beyond...anything produced by the intelligence of man?

C. Everett Koop, former U.S. Surgeon General:

When I make an incision with my scalpel, I see organs of such intricacy that there simply hasn't been enough time for natural evolutionary processes to have developed them.

Mathematician P. Saunders and biologist M. Ho:

We ourselves would be less concerned about falsifiability if neo-Darwinism were a powerful theory with major successes to its credit. But this is simply not the case.

C. Martin in American Scientist:

The mass of evidence shows that all, or almost all, known mutations are unmistakably pathological and the few remaining ones are highly suspect.

Pierre-Paul Grassé, Evolutionist:

No matter how numerous they may be, mutations do not produce any kind of Evolution.

Arthur Koestler, author:

In the meantime, the educated public continues to believe that Darwin has provided all the relevant answers by the magic formula of random mutations plus natural selection-quite unaware of the fact that random mutations turned out to be irrelevant and natural selection a tautology.

Norman Macbeth:

Darwinism has failed in practice.

Lyall Watson, Ph.D., Evolutionist:

Modern apes...seem to have sprung out of nowhere. They have no yesterday, no fossil record. And the true origin of modern humans...is, if we are to be honest with ourselves, an equally mysterious matter.

Wolfgang Smith, Ph.D.:

The Evolutionist thesis has become more stringently unthinkable than ever before...

John Woodmorappe, geologist:

Eighty to eighty-five percent of Earth's land surface does not have even 3 geologic periods appearing in 'correct' consecutive order. ...it becomes an overall exercise of gargantuan special pleading and imagination for the evolutionary-uniformitarian paradigm to maintain that there ever were geologic periods.

Evolutionist S. Lovtrup:

Micromutations do occur, but the theory that these alone can account for evolutionary change is either falsified, or else it is an unfalsifiable, hence metaphysical theory. I suppose that nobody will deny that is a great misfortune if an entire branch of science becomes addicted to a false theory. But this is what has happened in biology: ...I believe that one day the Darwinian myth will be ranked the greatest deceit in the history of science. When this happens many people will pose the question: How did this ever happen?

J. O'Rourke in the American Journal of Science:

The intelligent layman has long suspected circular reasoning in the use of rocks to date fossils and fossils to date rocks. The geologist has never bothered to think of a good reply.

N. H. Nilsson, famous botanist and Evolutionist:

My attempts to demonstrate Evolution by an experiment carried on for more than 40 years have completely failed.

Luther Sunderland, science researcher:

None of the five museum officials could offer a single example of a transitional series of fossilized organisms that would document the transformation of one basically different type to another.

Tom Kemp of Oxford University:

As is well known, most fossil species appear instantaneously in the fossil record.

Francis Hitching, archaeologist:

The curious thing is that there is a consistency about the fossil gaps; the fossils are missing in all the important places.

David Kitts, paleontologist and Evolutionist:

Evolution requires intermediate forms between species and paleontology does not provide them.

Gary Parker, Ph.D., biologist and paleontologist and former Evolutionist:

Fossils are a great embarrassment to Evolutionary theory and offer strong support for the concept of Creation.

Wolfgang Smith, Ph.D., physicist and mathematician:

A growing number of respectable scientists are defecting from the evolutionist camp. ...moreover, for the most part these 'experts' have abandoned Darwinism, not on the basis of religious faith or biblical persuasions, but on strictly scientific grounds, and in some instances, regretfully.

I. Cohen, mathematician and archaeologist:

It is not the duty of science to defend the theory of Evolution, and stick by it to the bitter end-no matter what illogical and unsupported conclusions it offers...

Ludwig von Bertalanffy, biologist:

The fact that a theory so vague, so insufficiently verifiable, and so far from the criteria otherwise applied in 'hard' science has become a dogma can only be explained on sociological grounds.

Malcolm Muggeridge, well-known philosopher:

The theory of Evolution...will be one of the great jokes in the history books of the future. Posterity will marvel that so flimsy and dubious an hypothesis could be accepted with the incredible credulity that it has.

Dr. Colin Patterson, Senior Paleontologist, British Museum of Natural History, London. The following quote was taken from a speech given by Dr. Patterson:

Last year I had a sudden realization for over twenty years I had thought I was working on Evolution in some way. One morning I woke up and something had happened in the night, and it struck me that I had been working on this stuff for twenty years and there was not one thing I knew about it. That's quite a shock to learn that one can be so misled so long. Either there was something wrong with me or there was something wrong with Evolutionary theory. Naturally, I know there is nothing wrong with me, so the last few weeks I've tried putting a simple question to various people and groups of people. Question is: Can you tell me anything you KNOW about Evolution? Any one thing? Any one thing that is true?

I tried that question on the geology staff at the Field Museum of Natural History and the only answer I got was silence. I tried it on the members of the Evolutionary Morphology Seminar in the University of Chicago, a very prestigious body of Evolutionists, and all I got there was silence for a long time, and eventually one person said, "I do know one thing-it ought not to be taught in high school.

With Thanks to Ready2go for the compilation.

And here is a full article debunking TalkOrigins: Talk.Origins: Deception By Omission.

Still Lurking, Libertarian?

438 posted on 05/09/2003 7:31:39 AM PDT by Phaedrus
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To: Phaedrus
Still Lurking, Libertarian?

Yes, still here, but a reply to this post will probably have to wait until next week. Work beckons.

439 posted on 05/09/2003 9:10:50 AM PDT by Lurking Libertarian (Non sub homine, sed sub Deo et lege)
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To: Doctor Stochastic; Ichneumon
By choosing not to buy in to the tenents of Darwinism does not mean one is ignoring basic biology. Remember, Darwinism is a theory and as such is still being debated. There are two sides to every debate. I'm only objecting to this professor's capricious use of his influence based on one facet of a students' background, assuming that in all other areas of study they are otherwise qualified for consideration. What of the students that reject Darwinism but keep it to themselves? Would these men and women make any worse or better physicians, all else being equal? I see no difference if this professor selected between medical school candidates based on their belief in Darwinism or the color of their skin. Both wrong in my book. It's only one more step to assume that only atheists or agnostics can make good medical school candidates.
440 posted on 05/09/2003 12:39:11 PM PDT by familyof5
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To: Phaedrus
I have patiently, faithfully, gone through your response to my post to this point and have discredited it, item by item, without exception. You are practicing sophistry. There is no substance.

Another "form letter" response, eh?

Your failure to actually rebut any of the many points I've made is duly noted.

Pretending that I haven't said anything is a poor substitute for being able to deal with what I say, but if that's how you want to play it, I have no objection whatsoever. It saves me time, and makes the paucity of your rebuttal (and your "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain" sophistries) apparent to all.

I'm not interested in now discrediting every statement you find the time to craft.

Fine by me. Feel free to continue failing to do so.

441 posted on 05/09/2003 4:19:44 PM PDT by Ichneumon
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To: FactQuest
So... if that is what you can drum up as proof that talk.origins web site is the most fair collection of pro- and anti-evolution material, you have failed - it clearly remains markedly, undeniably pro-evolution.

I said it was "fair" and "comprehensive". I didn't say that it didn't reach a conclusion. It fairly discusses the many arguments for and against evolution, and it fairly finds one set of arguments to hold water while the other set doesn't.

Now, as for comprehensiveness... quite astoundingly comprehensive. I'd be curious to see if there are any creationist arguments that aren't rebutted somewhere on this site.

Yes, exactly.

It presents and examines all the pro-con arguments, and rebuts the ones that don't have proper merit. The fact that most (although not all) of those are on the anti-evolution side is hardly the fault of the website's authors.

442 posted on 05/09/2003 4:24:13 PM PDT by Ichneumon
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To: FactQuest
Ichneumon spent his energy on Phraedrus and Gore3000, never did address Protoavis or the origin of birds.

I generally inhabit only one crevo thread at a time -- if I tried to keep active on all of them, I'd never have time to sleep. So when a new crevo thread becomes the "hot" one, I don't usually bother to go back to threads that are petering out.

And when I'm getting really short of free time, I often just purposely ignore the "My Comments" page, so as to not be seduced by the siren call of provocative posts aimed at me.

But the origin of birds topic is one that interests me -- which posts here did I miss regarding that issue that you think I should look at?

443 posted on 05/09/2003 4:27:48 PM PDT by Ichneumon
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To: RightWingNilla
How about "Our eyes do not actually detect light" among the all time great gore3000isms?

Not to mention his claim that our skin can't detect infrared radiation (known to the layman as "radiant heat").

Funny, I could have sworn mine did.

444 posted on 05/09/2003 4:31:07 PM PDT by Ichneumon
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To: All
One final observation about TalkOrigins and Gould's contribution to it ...

The late, great Stephen J. Gould is widely quoted in the material, waxing eloquent on the beauties of uncertainty and how Evolution is "one of the half dozen 'great ideas' developed by science. It speaks to the profound issues of genealogy that fascinate all of us—the 'roots' phenomenon writ large." Intellectuals just love the phrase, "writ large", do they not? On and on he rambles while a treacly layer of verbosity suffocates the facts. Within these ramblings we find this:

The final proofs of logic and mathematics flow deductively from stated premises and achieve certainty only because they are not about the empirical world. (underlined emphasis in the original)

Gould thinks he's being clever but here he reveals for all to see what a poor scientist he really is. The very power of all physics derives from the discovery that mathematics does have an extremely high correlation to the real world, in many instances to exceedingly fine tolerances. Physics is the most revered of the sciences for that very reason.

Gould was a Sophist and a scientific fraud.

445 posted on 05/11/2003 1:54:44 PM PDT by Phaedrus
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To: Ichneumon
I understand how the "my comments" page can swamp you.

rather than direct you page to a long post, I'll just splice in the relevant portion below, my comments slightly edited.

Sure, if for example a modern bird appeared out of nowhere, then yeah, you'd have a case for "fossil creation". But that's not what happens. Feel free to present an example of what you believe is the sudden appearance of something "radically different", if you think you can. And make sure your example is from a period where we actually have a decent number of fossil finds -- no fair pointing to "jumps" which are caused by the extreme rarity of fossil finds of any sort.

Protoavis texensis. Predates Archaeopteryx by about 75 million years. It's considerably more like a modern bird than Archaeopterx. Not sure if it meets the number of specimens criterion, only two individuals, and 31 other fossils of various parts.

But, let's look at the whole bird thing. Feathers are an amazing structure, and a lot of scientists think they are unlikely to have evolved twice independently. So, if Protarchaeopteryx and Caudipteryx both have feathers, then they have to be descendants of the first feathered creature. So, are they feathered dinosaurs that resemble birds, or large flightless birds that resemble dinosaurs? Descent with change doesn't imply a single, inexorable direction, nor does it have an outcome planned.

Even choosing to ignore Protoavis (after all, it is rather inconvenient), Archaeopteryx is Late Jurassic. So the first bird must have been sometime before that - Middle to early Late Jurassic. Thus, its dinosaur ancestor must have existed by the Middle Jurassic. But, dinosaurs with many avian characteristics don't appears before Late Jurassic, and the most birdlike don't appear until much later.

So, what am I missing? If we argue for descent from dinosaurs, and lament the silence from the fossil record to support it, aren't we admitting that said descent is very speculative, just less speculative than, say, descent from mammals?
446 posted on 05/12/2003 9:07:17 AM PDT by FactQuest
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To: Phaedrus; Junior; Ichneumon; Lurking Libertarian; balrog666; whattajoke; All
I promised to do a little parsing, or deconstruction if you prefer (as do I), of the inimitable TalkOrigins' Evolution is a Fact and a Theory.

Actually, you had originally promised to show that the authors of the website are, in your words, "liars" and "just possibly the most dishonest site on the web". Changing that to just "parsing" or "deconstructing" at this point is rather a retreat from your original claims.

Now you The way to start this exercise is as the lawyers (not my favorite people) do, with definitions. From Merriam-Webster:

"Fact: a thing done; the quality of being actual; something that has actual existence; an actual occurrence; a piece of information presented as having objective reality; - in fact : in truth."

"Theory: the analysis of a set of facts in their relation to one another; a plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena (wave theory of light); a body of theorems presenting a concise systematic view of a subject (theory of equations). Synonym: see 'Hypothesis' ... implies insufficient evidence to provide more than a tentative explanation. Theory implies a greater range of evidence and greater likelihood of truth."

So a fact is something actual and a theory describes the relationship among actualities, often temporal (cause-and-effect).

Close enough for government work, but be aware that there are often subtle differences in how the words are applied in various fields, which are crucial to the nature of the study in question. Words have multiple definitions for good reason, don't try to shoehorn everything into just the *above* single definitions, or else the mistake will be your own, and not the fault of those who use the words in different contexts.

Can something be both? Not really.

Can a *single* thing be both? No, generally (although I'm sure possible exceptions could be found if one tried hard enough). But the mistake you make in your subsequent exegesis (see, I can use pretentious words even when common ones would suffice, too) is to misunderstand that there are *several* aspects of the field of evolution, *some* of which are facts, and *some* of which are theory. The web page you're "deconstructing" discusses both varieties. In fact, it specifically says so in the VERY FIRST SENTENCES:

"When non-biologists talk about biological evolution they often confuse two different aspects of the definition. On the one hand there is the question of whether or not modern organisms have evolved from older ancestral organisms or whether modern species are continuing to change over time. On the other hand there are questions about the mechanism of the observed changes... how did evolution occur?

[Emphasis mine -- Ich.]

TalkOrigins is using a rhetorical device to attempt to give strength and objectivity to the Theory of Evolution.

Noooo, they're specifically trying to bring light to an oft misunderstood topic. The only one "using a rhetorical device" here is you, when you try to pretend that they're talking about a single, indivisible thing when in fact, as they plainly point out, there are several aspects to a field as broad as evolutionary biology. For someone who claims to be "parsing" what talk.origins has written, it's hard to see how you could have failed to understand the opening sentences of the page in question...

Therefore, any wordplay we encounter along the way that does not comport with the above, that does not maintain the separateness and the integrity of their meanings, will be accordingly labelled as empty rhetoric and thrown out, and Gould, the Sophist, will not be allowed to endlessly bend and twist these words to suit his purposes.

"Therefore", you are making your excuses ahead of time for those parts you are going to try to sweep off the table and fail to address.

Academicians have convinced themselves that words are the only, or at least the highest, reality. This is, in my view but with a great deal of support, a conceit borne of insecurity,

Oh, puh-leaze... When you decide to stop flogging your own personal monomania and get back to discussing the contents of the web page, let us know. At least this explains your fondness for the terms "parsing" and "deconstruction"...

and the authors of TalkOrigins will thus not be allowed to indulge this vice in what follows.

No worries, they don't.

Those of us who live in the real world and earn our daily bread think in simpler but more honest terms. Complexity and hair-splitting serve better to deceive than enlighten.

Self-congratulatory digression over? Good. Now, on with the alleged topic:

I also noticed that a great deal of ink was spilled trashing Creationism and Creationists.

What page were *you* reading? Oh, excuse me, "parsing"? The page you purport to be "deconstructing" in fact hardly "spills a great deal of ink" in the service of "trashing Creationism and Creationists". You did actually *read* it, didn't you? Most of it is spent on discussing the aspects of evolution itself, as promised. The closest this lengthy page comes to mentioning creationists/creationism *at all* are the following:

"Thus the power of the creationist argument: evolution is "only" a theory and intense debate now rages about many aspects of the theory."

"Evolutionists make no claim for perpetual truth, though creationists often do (and then attack us falsely for a style of argument that they themselves favor)."

"It is time for students of the evolutionary process, especially those who have been misquoted and used by the creationists, to state clearly that [...]"

"There are readers of these newsgroups who reject evolution for religious reasons. In general these readers oppose both the fact of evolution and theories of mechanisms, although some anti-evolutionists have come to realize that there is a difference between the two concepts. That is why we see some leading anti-evolutionists admitting to the fact of "microevolution"--they know that evolution can be demonstrated. These readers will not be convinced of the "facthood" of (macro)evolution by any logical argument and it is a waste of time to make the attempt."

Is this what constitutes "a great deal of ink [...] spilled trashing Creationism and Creationists" in your book? Gee, you're not overly *sensitive*, are you?

This is a very bad habit having nothing to do with the verity of the Theory of Evolution or with science and, in not too much of a stretch, it can be viewed as a sign of psychological dysfunction if the writer cannot let it go.

AAAAAHAHAHAHAHA!

No, surely, in an essay trying to make clear the distinctions between different aspects of the field of evolution, there's *no* reason to mention common sources of misunderstandings or philosophical disagreements, it must be a "sign of psychological dysfunction", eh? That was great, tell us another knee-slapper. These threads could always use more levity.

We are therefore going to ignore any such side-trips as irrelevant.

Yes, that *would* be wise, given that any attempt to actually address them would make your charges of "trashing" and "psychological dysfunction" so obviously bereft of real substance...

So, we continue our odyssey into substance with (surprise!) another definition.

"Biological evolution is a change in the genetic characteristics of a population over time. That this happens is a fact. Biological evolution also refers to the common descent of living organisms from shared ancestors. The evidence for historical evolution -- genetic, fossil, anatomical, etc. -- is so overwhelming that it is also considered a fact. The theory of evolution describes the mechanisms that cause evolution. So evolution is both a fact and a theory." See FAQ.

The astute reader will note that Phaedrus has pulled a bit of a bait-and-switch here. Phaedrus claims to be parsing/deconstructing the page, Evolution is a Fact and a Theory, by Laurence Moran, but suddenly has switched to yanking a short answer (the passage above) from this FAQ page instead. Not only is Phaedrus suddenly changing context without warning, but that FAQ page specifically notes at the top, "Brief answers are given for each question along with a pointer to one or more relevant files." Talk.origins has repeatedly stated that for full understanding, readers should consult the linked "relevant files" and not rely on the "quickie" FAQ answer as if it were the entirety of their statement on the matter. In fact, elsewhere on the site they take Jorge Fernandez to the woodshed for doing that very thing:

The answers to all seven questions in the original Archive version include a short response, and links to where a more in-depth answer can be found. In all seven cases, Fernandez omits the links to the in-depth responses. [...] By omitting without acknowledgement the sentence with the links to the in-depth responses, Fernandez makes it appear that he is addressing the entire Talk.Origins response to each question. In fact, his entire claim that the Archive responses dishonestly omit material rests on the assumption that he is addressing the entire Archive response. Mr. Fernandez's behavior, not that of the Archive, demonstrates deception by omission in its purest form.
Phaedrus has done the same, omitting the following links from the end of the above passage, where the quickie answer is addressed in much more depth and clarification:
See the Evolution is a Fact and a Theory FAQ, the Introduction to Evolutionary Biology FAQ and the Five Major Misconceptions about Evolution FAQ: Evolution is Only a theory
[Biological evolution is a change in the genetic characteristics of a population over time.]

Change happens every time a baby is born. Change is ubiquitous, applying to all aspects and events of/in the Universe over time.

Yes, exactly. That's what makes this aspect of evolution (change in a population over time) part of the "fact" portion of biological evolution. Don't think you have to disagree with *everthing* just to be contrary...

Change is not an Evolutionary theory, it is a simple observation applying to all of physical reality and this observation is not a scientific statement, it is a given. It is context.

Correct. That's why this is some of the "fact" part of evolution, not the "theory" part.

For someone who likes "parsing" and "deconstructing", you seem to be having some serious difficulties with simple declarative statements.

Science explains how things change over time, deducing the general rules by which facts and events relate to one another.

...and that's the "theory" part. Thus the title of the essay, "evolution is a fact *and* a theory". This isn't rocket science, try to keep up.

[That this [biological evolution, presumably] happens is a fact.]

A bald, unsupported assertion, and false.

Strange, then why did you just consider it so inarguably obvious above, by calling it a "given"? Arguing with yourself so soon?

[Biological evolution also refers to the common descent of living organisms from shared ancestors.]

"Also refers"? We have an "is" in the first sentence, which makes the statement definitional. This statement expands the definition.

Why yes it does. Good Phaedrus. Here's a cookie.

Biological evolution is a broad field of study which has *several* components, not all of them identical to each other. The Talk.Origins website is pretty good about signaling when they're talking about one aspect versus another, just as they do above, but apparently they overestimated the ability of some of their readers to keep up...

[The evidence for historical evolution -- genetic, fossil, anatomical, etc. -- is so overwhelming that it is also considered a fact.]

Another bald, unsupported statement, not shown and wrong.

Nice try, but the website most certainly *does* support the statement. For you to claim that a website as enormously comprehensive as Talkorigins.org leaves that statement "unsupported" is simply ludicrous on your part. You may *disagree* with some of the support (and from the way you kick and scream whenever someone dares link anything from there, you apparently do), but for you to flatly declare that they *don't* provide support for their statements -- when you know that they do, because you've seen the many links -- speaks very poorly for your own honesty, frankly.

Would you care to revise that silly accusation, or are you going to let it stand and speak for your reputation as is?

It has never been shown that one species transforms into another and that would be evidence.

From the same site you dishonestly declare leaves the statement "unsupported" and "not shown":

Observed Instances of Speciation

Some More Observed Speciation Events

Transitional Vertebrate Fossils FAQ

Plagiarized Errors and Molecular Genetics

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

Nor has it been shown how such a transformation might plausibly occur, which would be science.

From the same website which you claim leaves the matter "unsupported"

Introduction to Evolutionary Biology

Five Major Misconceptions about Evolution

Evolution and Philosophy: An Introduction

Not only is the evidence not overwhelming, it does not exist.

Quick, complete this sentence: "There are none so blind..."

[The theory of evolution describes the mechanisms that cause evolution.]

No, it does not.

See above for enlightenment. If you're able.

As shown by the following which is taken from the article itself, the Evolutionists have been groping for answers for over 100 years and they still don't have them.

Still don't have *all* of them, sure. No field of science does. But that doesn't make the notion that matter is made of atoms, for example, any less of a fact. But are you truly going to try to (mis)represent and say that evolution doesn't have *any* answers? I would strongly advise you not to shoot yourself in the foot that badly, but if you really want to, don't let me stop you.

[... biologists readily admit that they are less certain of the exact mechanism of evolution; there are several theories of the mechanism of evolution. (Moran)]

"Less certain of the exact mechanism"?

Yes, in context that quote says that they are of course less certain of the *exact* mechanism *than they are of the uncontested facts*. What, would you prefer that they say they are "equally" certain of the theory as of the facts, or *more* certain of the theory than of the facts? What exactly is your nitpick here, if indeed you have any valid one?

"Several theories of "the mechanism" of evolution"?

Yes, just as there are "several theories of the mechanism" of gravity, or of light propagation, or subatomic particles. However, in truth the mechanisms of evolution are at this point better understood than the ones underlying various aspects of physics. Unlike physics, where if you go small enough, large enough, or fast enough, the signs still read "here be dragons", in evolution the debate isn't over which mechanism (e.g. natural selection, sexual selection, genetic drift, punctuated equilibrium, etc.) are true, because they all have been factually demonstrated, the real debate is only over which mechanism(s) contribute most heavily and which are more minor factors, and/or which one was in play to drive a particular historical evolutionary change.

Meanwhile, I've never heard you complain that:

"The theory of universal gravitation is also independent of the specific explanatory mechanism for gravity, and in fact Newton never gave a mechanism for gravity. Why does the force between two masses follow the inverse square law and not another law (perhaps an inverse cube law)? It took nearly 300 years before any plausible mechanisms for gravity were proposed (by quantum field theorists). None of these proposed mechanisms currently have any experimental support."

From 29 Evidences for Macroevolution: Closing remarks by Douglas Theobald, Ph.D.

This is an absurd statement if it is meant to denote science (which it is). Science tells us how cause relates to effect. It generalizes, finds general rules. It doesn't say "It might be this or it might be that, in 'uncertain' fashion." This statement is an admission that Evolution is not science.

This only shows that you really haven't a clue as to what science is or how it works. Science most certainly *does* deal in the tug-of-war among competing theories. See: Evolution and Philosophy: Is Evolution Science, and What Does 'Science' Mean? and 29 Evidences for Macroevolution: Scientific Proof?

[And ... we are constantly learning new and important facts about evolutionary mechanisms. (Gould)]

Or, to be blunt, Evolutionists are still looking for answers they don't have.

Of course -- there are always more answers to be found. So?

Science has answers or it's not science.

Evolution *has* answers, quite literally tons of them (see above links). They're just admitting they don't have *all* the answers, but they're out looking for them, and finding more all the time. For this you give them hell? Would you prefer they tried to claim that they *did* have all the answers? Admit it: There's no pleasing you.

[humans evolved from ape-like ancestors whether they did so by Darwin's proposed mechanism or by some other yet to be discovered.]

What? What???!!!!!

Which word didn't you understand?

(Hint: Feigned incredulity is a poor substitute for reasoned response.)

"... some other mechanism yet to be discovered"? Gould admits that the Evolutionists do not have the answers.

No, he does not. Try reading the passage again for content this time.

Reading comprehension quiz: If I wrote, "Phaedrus posts on Free Republic, whether he/she does so by computer or by some other method yet to be discovered", would that be an "admission that Ichneumon does not have the answers", or simply a declaration that Phaedrus' participation in FR is a fact regardless of the method that he/she might conceivably be using to accomplish it?

And again, science without answers is not science.

And a rebuttal without substance is not a rebuttal. The science of evolution does have answers, it just doesn't pretend to have *all* answers. No science does. No science *can*, since there is always the possibility of discovering something new.

[So evolution is both a fact and a theory."]

A bald and false assertion, and shown above to be false.

Really? Where? I haven't seen you actually "show" that yet. What you *have* shown is that you have trouble with your reading comprehension from time to time, and are unfamiliar with how science actually works, and are curiously apt to declare things "bald" or "not shown" or "unsupported", when in fact they most certainly are, in detail.

But let's do a little further parsing. I particularly liked this segment purporting to prove Evolution by allusion.

"By allusion" is not what they're doing, actually. Time to get a new "word of the day" calendar.

[It is a fact that the earth with liquid water, is more than 3.6 billion years old.]
I can accept that the earth is very old, based on science.

And there was much rejoicing.

[It is a fact that cellular life has been around for at least half of that period and that organized multicellular life is at least 800 million years old.]
We will accept this, too.

"We"? The mouse in your pocket browses the internet also?

[It is a fact that major life forms now on earth were not at all represented in the past.]
And we accept this.

That's one well-read mouse.

[There were no birds or mammals 250 million years ago.]
And this.

[It is a fact that major life forms of the past are no longer living. There used to be dinosaurs and Pithecanthropus, and there are none now.]
And this.

[It is a fact that all living forms come from previous living forms.]

But NOT this, because it has never been shown!

Sigh -- what, your parents found you under a rock somewhere? Storks really bring babies after all? Rats spring fully-formed from piles of garbage and are *not* born? Are you really arguing for the age-old idea of spontaneous generation now? Based on what evidence, please?

This is a leap of faith, NOT science.

No, actually, science is the discipline which *refuted* the notion of spontaneous generation, and established that complex life forms don't spring up out of nowhere, they are actually born of parental organisms.

Hint: All he's saying here is that complex living things don't just pop in out of nowhere, they are born of prior living things. You came from your parents, my cat came from a mommy and a daddy cat, even bacteria come from other bacteria. So stop hyperventilating.

And that is why Darwinism is accused by some, myself included, of being religion. And it is anti-Christian religion as shown by Darwinists' fixation with bashing Creationists. The referenced article itself, and Gould himself, expend a fair number of words doing nothing but bashing Creationism. None of this is science, folks.

Are you done ranting now? Care to return with us to the topic at hand?

[Therefore, all present forms of life arose from ancestral forms that were different.]

Nonsense, "therefore ...". This conclusion has no warrant.

Actually, it does, in quite logical fashion. 1) Modern life is quite different from ancient life, 2) living things are born from each prior generation, they don't crawl out of the woodwork fully formed, 3) therefore modern life must be descended from past life which was quite different, if you look back far enough. QED.

1) and 2) are quite well established by that "science" thing you've heard about. If instead you want to claim that 1) is false, or 2) is false, *you're* the one who has a heavy burden of proof to meet if you want to be taken seriously.

If 2) is your focus, be sure that your alternative theory explains a) why your "poof here's a new life form out of nowhere" theory clashes with Genesis and why the religious creationists shouldn't denounce you as another godless infidel, b) why your "out of the blue" life form(s) -- be sure to name them -- always seem to be preceded in the fossil record by reasonably obvious evolutionary ancestors, and c) why your "new" species shares genetic errors with other "unrelated" species in a way that only makes sense if they actually did share a common evolutionary ancestor.

We'll wait -- this ought to be amusing.

In support of the foregoing and in rebuttal to Ich's dismissal and trashing of the work if not the person of Spetner, all of what follows comes from Not By Chance!

Ah, I see you've stopped critiquing what the talk.origins page actually says, and moved on to attempting counterarguments.

That really should have been a separate post, as it in no way counts as "deconstruction" of the talk.origins pages anymore. So I'll deal with Spetner and your other quote mining in a separate post of my own (tomorrow at the earliest, time for me to go to bed).

I do, however, find it ironic that in a post in which you whined and complained about talk.origins daring to speak of creationists while discussing evolution, you ran off on a wild tangent of your own and started irrelevantly arguing against evolution (by quoting others, mostly) in a post where you claimed to be discussing why the talk.origins website was allegedly a gang of "liars" and just possibly the most dishonest site on the web".

Sorry, but whether or not evolution turns out to be mistaken, as your bag-o-quotes tries to imply, that in no way helps support your claim that the talk.origin folks are knowingly telling falsehoods.

Now that you've failed in your attempt to prove them as "dishonest" as you originally asserted, would you care to retract your accusation, or are you going to try again to prove it, perhaps more successfully next time than you've managed here?

Your current attempt was, in a word, pitiful, and only demonstrated that you had a hard time keeping up with the discussion on that site. Far from showing that there's anything actually wrong with the material there, much less that it's "lies", as you claimed, all you've done in this post is sophistic word-splitting, trivial nitpicking, and "is not!" foot-stamping.

447 posted on 05/13/2003 3:56:11 AM PDT by Ichneumon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 438 | View Replies]

To: Ichneumon
You seem to think that I have some special responsibility to point out your ever mischaracterization simply because you have the unique ability to produce them at extreme length. Been there and done that. Once and not again. You believe in word games. I don't. Enjoy yourself.

My posts at #438 and #445 speak for themselves.

448 posted on 05/13/2003 6:22:39 AM PDT by Phaedrus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 447 | View Replies]

To: Phaedrus
My posts at #438 and #445 speak for themselves.

Well, they certainly do speak for your dishonesty, ignorance, and anti-science fanaticism.

449 posted on 05/13/2003 7:54:28 AM PDT by balrog666 (When in doubt, tell the truth. - Mark Twain)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 448 | View Replies]

To: balrog666
Kindly speak when you're spoken to, balrog.
450 posted on 05/13/2003 8:34:40 AM PDT by Phaedrus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 449 | View Replies]


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