Sunday, November 13, 2005

Unconstitutional Fossils

The Washington Post has an editorial condemning the Dover school board and the Kansas school board and obscuring the facts by equating the actions of both:

This week the Kansas Board of Education voted 6 to 4 to force teachers to include intelligent design's critique of evolution in their curriculum.


As noted previously, the Kansas board emphatically did not mandate teaching intelligent design. The Kansas board merely included more science related to evolutionary theory in its standards. The Post seems to take the position that if you provide kids with any scientific evidence that tends to contradict macroevolutionary theory, that must be "intelligent design's critique," and therefore unconstitutional. Under this logic, the fossils of the Cambrian Explosion (which are now part of the Kansas standards) are unconstitutional. Information about them must be banned from public schools. Presumably Stephen J. Gould's book Wonderful Life, which discusses these fossils, must also be banned? Wow.

I ask again what I asked before:
What justification is there for insisting that students be taught the evidence for evolutionary theory but banning any evidence against it, like the fossil record of the Cambrian Explosion, which all mainstream scientists acknowledge? What possible basis can there be for banning this information, when many people view this as extremely relevant to evaluating macroevolutionary theory?


23 Comments:

At November 12, 2005 5:46 PM, Anonymous Doodles said...

You're right in suggesting we need to keep pushing the big picture rather than nitpicking details.
A major part of that objective is to accept that most people have neither the intelligence, education or qualifications to hold an opinion - let alone comment - on the subject.
Morever, the more one is immured in assorted speculative 'philosophies' - particularly those of a 'revealed' or 'divinely inspired' nature - the less one has the right to pontificate. Not only is there not one single fact available which demonstrates the validity of their 'source' of information, but every scrap of evidentiary FACT discovered since the Cambrian clearly demonstrates that such a 'source' is no more than ignorant superstition.
To indoctrinate defenceless children with such unnatural perversions as Creationism - or that faith can move mountains! - should be rated as being among the worst forms of child abuse.

 
At November 13, 2005 2:32 AM, Blogger stewie said...

Hear, here!

 
At November 13, 2005 10:32 PM, Blogger stewie said...

Since you were so kind as to repeat a question, mistaken presuppositions and all, that your commenters have already answered handily (as well as apparently grossly recasting a post which has already been commented on), I'll return the favor and repost the answer (which essentially is that any "conflicting" or incongruous evidence that we find only tells us more about the evolution of life on this planet, and does not disprove the theory):

"The basic problem with your red herring here is that you’re assuming an inappropriate forum for a debate which does not exist in the scientific community. High school biology class is not the place to undermine the very material the school is attempting to teach the kids, and the assertion that a debate even does exist about the validity of evolution through genetic mutation is a duplicitous rouse by Kathy Martinites to spin a fact into an issue. It's dishonest.

Additionally, like all Creationists (I'm not going to mince words with ID), you make the woefully wrongheaded assumption that gaps or conflicting information in the fossil or genetic record serve as evidence against the notion of evolution. This is an ignorant and arrogant position, taken by people vainly in search of any sort of logical evidence to buttress their innately religious claims. In fact, we are constantly uncovering and filling in gaps in the evolutionary record - that's how the scientific inquiry works. We didn’t just magically transform from another primate lifeform into homo sapiens sapiens, there were transitional forms along the way, (see http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/species.html) and each one of us is one of those transitional forms... Paleoantrhopologists just discovered homo floresiensis in 2003. Do you somehow expect this trend to stop? That the continual stream of new species, both ancient and present, will suddenly cease?

With each new gap or presumed conflict we uncover, we find another biological question to answer. If we find something that initially appears to "conflict," that simply means that we need to re-examine the hypotheses of the certain species involved. This happens every day, and the results are actual, scientific solutions, not more theological questions. To every gap and every conflict there is an answer - it is simply a matter of assembling the evidence in a manner complete enough to find that answer.

But using these gaps and conflicts to argue for a theological agenda completely ill-suited to the scientific inquiry is fraudulent and treacherous. As quotes from my blog have said, ID asks theological questions. ID has no testable hypothesis. ID can make no predictions. ID explains nothing.

ID is not science. If it belongs anywhere (frankly I don’t think it does) ID’s place is in comparative religion or philosophy classes at the college level, not in high school bio classes."

 
At November 14, 2005 10:48 AM, Anonymous Steve said...

Stewie,

"ID asks theological questions. ID has no testable hypothesis. ID can make no predictions. ID explains nothing."

I was under the impression that math was a pure form of science.
Do you know that William Demsky (Specified Complexity) uses math as an argument against evolution by showing us the probabilities of DNA, proteins, and other building blocks, being constructed without an intelligent agent behind it.

We can show web sites too, look www.origins.org

 
At November 14, 2005 7:20 PM, Blogger stewie said...

It's not a matter of saying that there is not a possibility of a designer at the very, very beginning of the universe's life. There are many varied and possible models and theories of how and if a big bang occurred, but our human knowledge does not, at this point, extend that far into the past. Deists can agree with that much. But, after that point, the things that you call the building blocks of life were able to evolve, and for a mathematical demonstration, you can see Stephen Wolfram's tome "A New Kind of Science" which I heartily recommend.

http://www.wolframscience.com/thebook.html

The book literally illustrates that simple programs can produce extraordinarily varied, and what in retropsect appear to be completely random results. For example, the model at

http://www.wolframscience.com/nksonline/page-27
and
http://www.wolframscience.com/nksonline/page-28

and, most importantly, what it produces at
http://www.wolframscience.com/nksonline/page-30

From the page 30 caption: "Some regularities are evident, particularly on the left. But even after all these steps there are no signs of overall regularity - and indeed even continuing for a million steps many aspects of the pattern obtained seem perfectly random according to standard mathematical and statistical tests."

That model demonstrates that extraordinarily complex results can be rendered from extraordinarily simple rules. C'est la vie. The universe is guided by sets of elegantly simple and concise laws including gravity and such varied forces, that when they interact they bear a startling array of diversity from planets to black holes to atoms and everything in between.

It is, in fact, impossible to competently prove irreducible complexity WRT a system. It is only possible to say that we have not yet been able to decipher adequately the complexity of those systems which small-minded individuals claim to be irreducibly complex. Finding those simple rules are an integral component of science, and to remove those goals is to limit and effectively end scientific inquiry. Einstein said that his goal of a unified theory is something that could be explained to a child, something that could fit on a t-shirt. The rubric below the illustration of rule 30 on page 27 of the links I posted fits those criteria well. I look in amazement what it produces on page 30.

How many steps has the universe undergone since the execution of those primitive rules billions of years ago? Rules which may very well be the results of even more basic laws? Simply because the variety of the results are baffling to our human brains does not mean that such laws cannot be discovered in time through the nexus of tenacity, perspecasity and inspiration.

The truth is detectable. How dare so-called "scientists" stand in the way of this most noble of pursuits by trying to impede its progress through criticizing that which we have necessarily not yet answered. These are small minds which have designed a similarly small God, and I have no use for them.

I may post on this particular topic on my weblog in the near future.

 
At November 14, 2005 11:04 PM, Anonymous Aaron Schutte said...

Seeing how comments here don't seem to be extremely short, I will continue the trend....

This is from my Xanga blogring: "See nothing violently colliding with nothing? RUN!!! -Because we all know explosions can be very destructive and with the whole 2nd law of Thermodynamics thing that says everything tends toward disorder, when another universe begins with a bang it could be messy. Accidents are bound to happen when perfectly ordered life is suddenly created, like those foolish little people who actually believe GOD created the world. Haha, how illogical!"

These are my biggest problems with MACRO Evolution.

1). “Look! This pile of dead animal bones proves 1,- 1,000,000th of Evolution!” “No it doesn’t!” *argue, argue…* “Wait! This other pile of dead animal bones proves 1,- 5,000,000th of Evolution!” “Nu-uh!” *argue, argue…* “Hold on… How did it all START from nothing?” *silence, silence…*

-Science simply CANNOT explain the BEGGINNING. Where everything started. Before the earth was a hot soupy mess, before organisms made the incredible jump to being living and reproducing. Before all of that. The only logical conclusion one can come to is that something outside of this natural world kick started the whole thing. Even if you’re a hardcore Macro Evolutionist, you have to admit that an outside force started every thing. I simply believe that the force stuck around, didn’t have everything begin from micro organisms and has a book you can read.

2). The Second LAW (not ‘theory’) of Thermodynamics. It opposes Evolution’s core assertion that life became more and more orderly and complex while working toward a greater ‘perfection’ as time went on.

3). A major key to Evolution is that organisms/creatures gained incredibly large amounts of BRAND NEW genetic information. Uh, come again? I take 2 purebred bulldogs to a dog breeder and ask how long it will take to get a collie from the pair. 10 years? 100 years? 1,000,000 years? Sorry, it just isn’t going to happen. The genetic material is GONE. Notice I was still asking for a DOG, not even a horse or something!

Every one of these points effectively destroys Macro Evolution.

If I’m wrong I’d like to hear it. If you have a Xanga, you can comment on www.xanga.com/poliblog or email me at fairtaxhtown@gmail.com. I’ll bookmark this site, but I don’t have much time at all with my 75 hour a week work schedule. I do appreciate the intellectual honesty I’ve seen on this site. It’s commendable.

 
At November 15, 2005 5:34 AM, Blogger stewie said...

Apparently someone printed up their degree on the rectory computer...

Point 1: You've given up on science if that's where you stop. We've known for about one hundred years now that the universe is expanding, which means that in the past its particles were closer together. An old theory is that the universe was at one time a point of infinite density and all that, and other theories include that the universe expands and then contracts back to that small point, then blossoms out again the other end and it continues doing that and has for as far back as we can see. There are many such intriguing theories... but the fact that we can't (yet) discern when/if/what was the beginning of the process that constituties our universe does not mean that "God did it." That's a simple God of the gaps mentality, and is breathtaking and alarming in its utter lack of depth, consideration, complexity, and elegance. Gods were responsible for lightning until we determined natural causes for lightning, for infectious diseases until we found bacteria and viruses, for mental illness until we found biochemical causes for them. See a pattern here? Give us time, we'll figure it out.

Incidentally, the fact that your references are completely limited to life on this planet serves as an index to your geo-centrism and narrow-mindedness, as well as revealing that you have not even considered the evolution of the rest of the universe.

Point 2: The creationist thermodynamics chestnut. Actual scientists have answered and disproven this until they're blue in the face, but like a baby clinging to its bottle, you people won't relent... you just keep citing the same stupid assertion. Apparently you are unfamiliar with the second law and what it explicitly states, and only know whatever propaganda theopundits have fed you. But, in the pursuit of constant futility and a head bloodied by perpetual wall-bashing, I'll attempt to explain it to you as people have done countless times:

The second law says that heat will not spontaneously flow from a colder body to a warmer one, or equivalently, that total entropy in a closed system will not decrease. Creationists fail to recognize that the earth is not a closed system, as sunlight (with low entropy) shines on it and heat (with higher entropy) radiates off. This flow of energy, and the change in entropy that accompanies it, can and will power local decreases in entropy on earth. But that's a minor quibble. The larger problem with your garbage science is that entropy is not the same as disorder. Sometimes the two correspond, but sometimes order increases as entropy increases. Entropy can even be used to produce order, such as in the sorting of molecules by size. If you want sources on this, there are plenty, and I'll give you a list if you'd like. Anyway, the further point is that even in a closed system, pockets of lower entropy can form if they are offset by increased entropy elsewhere in the system. Order from disorder happens on earth all the time.

The argument you cite stems from a fundament lack of understanding about the nature of evolution. The only processes necessary for evolution to occur are reproduction, heritable variation, and selection. All of these are seen to happen all the time, so, obviously, no physical laws are preventing them. In fact, connections between evolution and entropy have been studied in depth, and never to the detriment of evolution. Several scientists have proposed that evolution and the origin of life is driven by entropy. Some see the information content of organisms subject to diversification according to the second law, so organisms diversify to fill empty niches much as a gas expands to fill an empty container. Others propose that highly ordered complex systems emerge and evolve to dissipate energy more efficiently.

Add to all this that creationists themselves make absurd claims such as hydrological sorting of fossils during Noah's Flood, which completely contradict your claim about the second law. Sloppy!

Point 3: Magic annexation of brand new DNA. This is just pathetic. Even though I revel in taking cheap shots at creationists, I do try to address these bullheaded claims with a soupcon of dignity. But, in this case you've somehow you've managed to completely forget anything you learned in 7th grade biology class about cellular meiosis, mitosis, and genetic mutation. Mutation in DNA is a demonstrable fact which seems to completely baffle creation scientists, and I've never understood why. When cells divide, or when other elements combine and then start a process of reproduction such as in meiosis, the reproductions are not always identical copies of the originals. Life and its organic systems simply are not that exact.

One mechanism that is particularly common for adding information is gene duplication, in which a long stretch of DNA is copied, followed by point mutations that change one or both of the copies. Genetic sequencing has revealed instances where this is likely the origin of some proteins. Do a PubMed search for "gene duplication" at

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi

...for over 4000 references to it. And countless simulations have shown that the processes of mutation and selection increases information and complexity.

As a result, we get birth defects, inconsistent expressions of traits both dominant and recessive, and a host of other genotypic and phenotypic variances that we see in the huge diversity of life. To reject this is either to grossly misunderstand and misrepresent fundamental biological process, or is an appalling intellectual apostasy committed by scientists who have allowed ideology to hijack reason and rational inquiry.

Every one of these points effectively demonstrate that you don't have a clue what you're talking about.

Put down the Jack Chick tracts and read some actual science by actual scientists.

 
At November 15, 2005 4:03 PM, Anonymous Steve said...

Stewie,

"ID asks theological questions. ID has no testable hypothesis. ID can make no predictions. ID explains nothing."

I was under the impression that math was a pure form of science.
Do you know that William Demsky (Specified Complexity) uses math as an argument against evolution by showing us the probabilities of DNA, proteins, and other building blocks, being constructed without an intelligent agent behind it.

"It's not a matter of saying that there is not a possibility of a designer at the very, very beginning of the universe's life. There are many varied and possible models and theories of how and if a big bang occurred, but our human knowledge does not, at this point, extend that far into the past. Deists can agree with that much. But, after that point, the things that you call the building blocks of life were able to evolve,"

It appears that you are using your talking points in the wrong context. I was not arguing of where the universe started, where the first life forms originated, or even whether or not Dempky's "scientific" argument can be rebutted. I was merely trying to show that there is science to ID. "Mathematical Odds" (which, by the way can be used to make predictions). There is science to Evolution as well. There is however a lot of faith attached to both. Niether one has been tested, and most likely can't be done so as to convince the other side.

Evolution is full of words like "it appears" or "is evidence of". It is never "We took these flys and bred them through a million generations and now we have bats." Until there is rock solid proof of an experiment of this nature we "Bible Boobs" will never subscibe to the "millions of years" blab. First of all the 4 billion years (which by the way is what Darwin also needs to make it work)has never been proven.

To IDers the "Goo to You, by way of the Zoo", is as hard to believe as "God did it" is to you.

I believe that science will ultimately lead us to evidence
of a creator.(Naturalist kicking and screaming of coarse). And if that is what really happend then why should science not be used. Is science a tool for the truth or not? If I place a candel on the table and light it, then leave the room, should science only look at the material evidence in the room? Or should it look to outside forces (ME) for the answer.

SO,if you have any hardcore evidence on Macroevolution, you know, repeatable, double blind tested, indisputable evidence, please post it, otherwise the battle continues.

 
At November 16, 2005 1:49 AM, Blogger stewie said...

You don't count the distance of gamma bursters and their rate of motion away from the earth as evidence then? Lots of really really smart physicists and cosmologists do... and there's a mountain of evidence beyond that. The actual age as we suspect it right now, is greater than 16bn years, not 4.

And it is possible to express absolutely anything in mathematical terms. Though many things expressed through mathematical proofs are valid (meaning that given that the premises are true it is impossible for the conclusion to be false) they are not necessarily sound (meaning that the premises are actually true and the conclusion cannot be false) which is where proofs of this type go wrong.

Dembski's filter is useless in practice because the probabilities it asks for can never be known. His first step, in particular, does not ask us to accept or reject just one regularity hypothesis, it asks us about all regulatory hypotheses, even ones that nobody has thought of before. Similarly, rejecting chance requires a complete list of all chance processes that might apply to the event.

Furthermore, the filter is based on the premise that the categories of regularity, chance, and design are "mutually exclusive and exhaustive." But they are not mutually exclusive. R.A. Fisher, for example, included mutations in all three categories. Individually, they were due to chance, but collectively they were governed by laws, and all of this was planned by God. Although the filter claims to detect design, it really says nothing about design. The filter defines design as the elimination of regularity and chance, not, as most people would define design, as purposeful, intelligent arrangement. The two definitions are not equivalent. Dembski himself noted that some intelligent design will be eliminated in the first two steps. So what the filter actually detects is "copying" and not intelligent agency.

Let's discredit this abortion a bit more... Since the filter does not say anything about design, there is no intelligent design hypothesis that can be used scientifically or for any practical purposes. His key terms in the filter, especially "chance hypothesis" and "specified," are poorly defined.

Take all of this into account when you find out that Dembski does not consider design to be a process. The process that produces design is itself not regularity (or the resulting design would have high probability) or chance (or the design would likely not result), SO THE RULES OF THE FILTER SAY THE PROCESS ITSELF MUST BE DESIGN. Thus, the design process must have another design process to produce it, which needs a design process of its own, ad infinitum, or somewhere along the way there must be no process at all and design must come out of nowhere. The filter, when applied to design, sends itself into an unanswerable loop. This is hardly an elegant or sound or conclusive invention. In actuality, design is typically done as an iterative process involving lots of trial and error. Regularity and chance are both parts of the process, as is selection. Evolution uses the same processes.

Additionally, scientists have continuously demonstrated that complexity specification allows false positives because it doeses not consider the combination of regularity and chance acting in concert, and it does not consider unknown causes. Again, this is far from an all-inclusive and elegant filter. AND... he admits in his own book (which I happen to have handy here, "Intelligent Design: The bridge between science and theology") that his filter is not ultimately and provably reliable. Let's read:

"Now it can happen that we may not know enough to determine all the relevant chance hypotheses. Alternatively, we might think we know the relevant chance hypotheses, but later discover that we missed a crucial one. In the one case a design inference could not even get going; in the other, it would be mistaken. But these are the risks of empirical inquiry, which of its nature is fallible. Worse by far is to impose as an a priori requirement that all gaps in our knowledge must ultimately be filled by non-intelligent causes." (Dembski 2002, 123)

He unfortunately fails to realize that his complexity specification criterion imposes an a priori requirement that all gaps must be filled by supernatural causes. He also said "On the other hand, if things end up in the net that are not designed, the criterion will be useless."

Teehee...

Returning to my original point that anything both true and false, valid and invalid, sound and unsound, can be expressed in mathematical terms, we can consider mathematical rules as analogous to grammar. You can string together a grammatically proper sentence such as "Cats love plaid oysters" but that does not make the premises true, nor the argument valid or sound. For one thing, we have no evidence that there is such a thing as plaid oysters, and no one has seen any evidence that cats love them. It's rather impossible for us to know if cats even know the concept and experience of love, so the entire statement boils down to nothing and we've just wasted our time on a thought experiment that had nothing to do with reality.

Similarly, using the language of math, many have come close to "proving" that 1=0 (see http://www.pen.k12.va.us/Div/Winchester/jhhs/math/humor/onezero2.html) but anyone who learned their junior high algebra can find the errors in those. You can express completely untrue things through math, and then leave the test to everyone else to find the flaws in it, but that is a dishonest way to do math, and that is what Dembski has attempted to do over and over again in his writings. They have nothing to do with reality, they are simply notations of things which are unsuited to mathematical expression. For example, take a look at a case where an English woman was falsely charged for killing her baby, based on Dembski's probability of specific design: http://www.pandasthumb.org/pt-archives/000166.html

From the article:

"According to the BBC, the rate of SIDS in England and Wales is less than 0.5 death per 1000 live births. In effect, prosecutors reasoned that the probability of three SIDS deaths was 0.00053, or approximately 10^neg10. They concluded that this probability was so small that a design inference was warranted, and the woman was charged.

What the prosecutors did not know or ignored was that SIDS may be a genetic disease that runs in families. Indeed, the woman’s grandmother testified that three of her children died of unexplained causes before the ages of 6 weeks (in the 1940’s, before SIDS was recognized). A geneticist further testified that SIDS could run in families and suggested two possible mechanisms. The jury used this information - what Dembski calls side information - and acquitted the woman."

When you attempt this sort of absurd explanation, you're always going to run in to problems, which is why Dembski has been disassembled and discredited over and over in so many ways in the scientific community.

As far as your last request - evidence for macroevolution - it's not worth my time to create a new catalogue of evidence for you, so I'll point you to an existing one:

http://www.talkreason.org/articles/Macroevolution.cfm

and then a straw-man ID critique of that extensive discussion:
http://www.trueorigin.org/theobald1a.asp

and a decisive beat-down of those distortive and self-contradictory critiques:
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/camp.html

But cats really do love plaid oysters.

 
At November 16, 2005 10:49 AM, Anonymous Steve said...

Stewie,

I don't know what your trying to prove with your SID's example. How can you or any of us know that the woman is innocent or not? Maybe she and her grand mother had some mental problems passed down through their genes. Maybe this mental disorder affected them and caused PPD. Who knows? Maybe her grandmother was mental and killed all six!!! Maybe it was SID's, SAR's, or bad cooking. All you seem to show is that we cannot know the real answer unless we know the woman's thoughts.

I am not trying to convince you of ID, I am merely arguing that there is some science in ID. Granted not a lot. But the movement is young still. Darwinism is over 150 years old. It started with Darwin posing the question that maybe life was a long series of changes through natural selection. I wonder if he met any resistance? Why not give ID the chance to emerge? If it fails to make progress then so be it. But what if it makes progress? Maybe it will turn some more scientist's to the idea. Maybe some mainstream brilliant minds will find empirical evidence for ID!

I do not claim to be an expert in evolution, but I know enough to know that so far it is just not convincing to me. You claim it is loaded with science! It is only speculation and possibilities, through what is observed. It is not like other theories, like the theory of gravity. We cannot test it like we can with gravity. We can't see gravity, we do not know how it works, but we can test it to be true 100% of the time. The same is true of the laws of motion. But you cannot put evolution anywhere near the same catagory as these. The same for ID. Can't do it.

I still fail to see how one can imply that a certain degree of
faith is not needed for a belief in macroevolution. I personaly see that it take a great deal. More than ID, especially when I look at the scope of the whole universe with all the forces, laws, and wonders. Where did it come from? I could go on about time, concienceness, love, hate, sex, and a myriad of others. But to you it probably would not matter. You seem to see things from a naturalist point of view. I don't have a problem with that, that is what make us "individuals", (which is another thing to put on the list).

Times up! I gotta go!

 
At November 16, 2005 6:55 PM, Blogger stewie said...

To substnatiate itself, the only thing macroevolution asks of us is to look at history, and judge whether or not it is a sufficiently elegant natural explanation and working principle for what has caused the development of the amazing variety of life on this planet, which stems from the basic forces that we witness in the larger universe and which regulate its progress.

You can call this faith, but when applied to natural explanation for natural occurrences, the defintion of faith to this observer appears to have been distended beyond recognition. By that definition, math, medicine, and any other academic pursuit are faiths at their base, but calling them faiths not only misrepresents their purpose (faith and religion I have personally defined as the search for one's metaphysical place in the universe) but an ultimately limiting definition of their goals.

It is akin to Ralph Waldo Emerson in "Self Reliance" calling Jesus a genius. Maybe he was, but it's too small a word to encapsulate what he did. That is analogous to deeming evolution a matter of faith, or calling it a religion, as this blog title implies. It is possible to see it that way under certain circumstances and some perverse definition of diferent aspects of both faith and evolution, but that's completely missing the thrust and purpose of evolution.

The principles set forth in evolutionary theory, though not absolutely complete, do provide us with a basic natural calculus for the beauty of life. When I was much younger, I used to look at a tortoise and say "wow, look at what God made" and that was comforting enough for me. That was how I was raised, and I am glad for it, for if it was where I had stopped, I would still be happy, at that point and in that knowledge I would have been content. But, from the first time I heard of the pangean theory (I believe i was six at the time), learned of the marvels of galaxial phenomenon and how they were constructed and continually evolving, and even when I first saw the bonobos at the zoo taunting the visitors in such a human way, my mind was set for a greater explanation of the relationships between all things. Even with this modicum of observable evidence behind me, "God did it" was no longer satisfactory, as it was a static principle, had no inherent dynamic, variable, interactive nature to it. Whenever change occurs, or we cannot explain the source of something, God did it. It was an intellectual cop-out, and, I believe, a matter of great fear among those who cling to it. Evoluton relies on those things that are dynamic, variable and interactive, and provides us with a framework for discovery and reasonable induction and interpretation those discoveries' results.

So, I fail to see how a method of research is a matter of faith. Simply because reason has lead you to subscribe to a research method does not mean that you worship at the altar of Darwin. This is where creationists/IDers go wrong in declaring evolutionary theory a religion. When man is not seen as the chosen species, they claim, we've eliminated the meaning and worth in our lives, and then there are no morals and the whole planet just falls apart. Unfortunately, immorality has been around a long time before Darwin. You'll be hard-pressed to find any scientists who consider evolutionary theory to be an argument against morality, or use it as a code of conduct. Only creationist/ID ideologues make such absurd claims.

ID fails to make progress because it simply doesn't have scientific legs. That treacherous community is attempting to completely circumvent the de rigeur peer-review process of evaluation and validation that every other scientific idea must pass, and taking it directly to a public hungry (fundie cases, desperate) for anything to supplant the immoral evils of evolution. Darwin was opposed on ideological grounds - "How could anyone revel in a bestial ancestry" and such - the very same grounds on which ID is *introduced.* These metaphysical disagreements have nothing to do with natural science, and have no place corrupting it. They are vestiges of an earlier time and ignorant worldview which religion has necessarily saved from elimination, as a result of the moral fears stated above.

For now, I see the tortoise as an amazing confluence of natural events and laws ranging from reproduction, to environment, to genetics, to physics, and all the other studies of natural life. I see the same beauty in Da Vinci's renderings of human and animal bodies. His famous drawings for a horse sculpture which hasn't survived are my favorite example. The sheer art of the muscle layers is captivating. His human paintings and sculptures are the same. This doesn't eliminate morality from our lives, it isn't an intransigent belief in an unverifiable account of past events. It is a method of research, which has allowed us to learn an incalculable amount about the world and universe.

 
At November 17, 2005 10:55 AM, Anonymous Steve said...

Stewie,

faith
5 entries found for faith.
To select an entry, click on it.
faith[1,noun]faith[2,transitive verb]article of faithfaith healinggood faith

Main Entry: 1faith
Pronunciation: 'fAth
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural faiths /'fAths, sometimes 'fA[th]z/
Etymology: Middle English feith, from Old French feid, foi, from Latin fides; akin to Latin fidere to trust -- more at BIDE
1 a : allegiance to duty or a person : LOYALTY b (1) : fidelity to one's promises (2) : sincerity of intentions
2 a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust
3 : something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs

Notice these two,

"(1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust
3 : something that is believed especially with strong conviction"

It is apparent that you do not believe in the supernatural. Therefore you can only see things from the naturalist viewpoint. I have shown these definitions to you because as you reply in this thread you seem to avoid showing me any "proof" of evolution. Where are the experiments that test the hopothesis? You point me to web sites, and speak all your talking points, but you have yet to tell me "in your own words" what it is that empirically leads you to believe as you do. You try to shadow my responses with things like,

"You can call this faith, but when applied to natural explanation for natural occurrences, the defintion of faith to this observer appears to have been distended beyond recognition. By that definition, math, medicine, and any other academic pursuit are faiths at their base, but calling them faiths not only misrepresents their purpose (faith and religion I have personally defined as the search for one's metaphysical place in the universe) but an ultimately limiting definition of their goals."

But, comparing faith in mathematics, medicine, and the like to what I'm calling evolutionary faith is dishonest.
An explanation alone without experimentation along side is not proof of anything. (Crop circles are made by UFO's} You seem to think that all we need is the hypothesis. We can test math, medicine, physics, gravity to great degrees of certainty. You have not shown me an example of the same in evolution. This is why we say the "Laws of Math", "The Laws of Gravity", ect... We do not say the "Laws of Evolution", It is the "Theory of....

Listen, not all Christian have been indoctrinated their whole life. I myself used to believe in evolution. I believed that it was foolish to think that everything came from a supernatural being. I bought the whole thing. But as I got older I started to see that the more complicated the universe got, the less likely it was to have happened by chance. I guess I noticed that evolution had to evolve in of itself to keep up with the growing demands that are constantly placed on it. As an example I'd like to point you to "Punctuated Equilibrium" Come on! First we're told that it is "slow gradual changes over millions of years", then when we find evidence of sudden appearances in the fossil record and now it's "slow gradual changes over millions of years with occaisional burst's of rapid change". I just don't believe it. It's commical. I know it can be made to make sense to some, but some folks could convince you that the sky is pink too.

What I'm trying to say is that some of us Christians are Christians because we don't believe in evolution, not that we don't believe in evolution because we're Christians. I think you fail to see it that way. I say this because I have visited your web site.

Bye!

 
At November 17, 2005 7:57 PM, Blogger stewie said...

I speak the truth out of a duty to intellectual honesty, and in that interest, I am an intellectual atheist, yet a personal (and completely non-evangelical) Christian. Any argument I have examined for the existence of a God, be it a theodicy by thinkers such as Leibnitz, books of the Bible such as Job, or logical games like the Ontological argument, I find to be intellectually unsatisfactory. Yet, I can't shake my belief in an ultimate creator, though not manichaen controller. It probably is just a personal prejudice or need, but it's there and I can't really get rid of it. Thus I am a personal Christian, but in all aspects of my intellectual life, I am an atheist, as I am willing to admit when evidence does not support a claim. That is how I can maintain fidelity to a faith, since my belief in an ultimate creator way, way, way back is only a matter of faith, and not a matter of empirical evidence or reason. Religion is a proper place for faith, as that is all that can substantiate it. I make no pretentions about any historical or physical evidence to legitimize my religious beliefs, because it is all shaky at best, and whether or not things in the Bible actually happened doesn't really matter anyway. As I've said on my weblog, religion and science serve two different purposes:

- "Science" answers a specific set of questions: What, When, Where & How.
- "Religion" also answers a specific set of questions: Who & Why.
- Neither should venture in to the other's territory, as they will always get the wrong answers to questions that they have no business addressing. Rf: Creationism.

Einstein backs me up in this contention, though I've been compelled by it before I knew he was. http://www.science-spirit.org/webexclusives.php?article_id=557

As we make progress in the scientific sphere, we are able to account for more and more in the natural world by natural causes, which makes sense: natural things are caused by other natural things. This does, however, confuse the issue of where God fits in to all this. Knowing that, if he exists, he is a pretty powerful and smart entity, the mechanisms by which he works are going to be beyond the comprehension of our Earthly and mortal brains, so we're going to have to wait for heaven to get the full story. To pretend that you already have God's place in the universe figured out before then belies a horrifficly arrogant and blind mindset, and is the most extreme form of hubris that I could imagine. My use for religion, which I stated above, is not a definition of God's place in the universe, only my best use for the nature of the information that both science and religion dispense. But notions like creationism and ID exist expressly to subjugate science to religion's beliefs, and that is wrong at the most basic level.

I've answered Punctuated Equilibrium several times. I'm tired of telling the same thing to different people, so I'm not going to get in to it again. It's a load of dog squeeze, forget about it. I've also answered the gradual change thing (as has Stephen Jay Gould): we expect massive leaps from plateau to plateau in evolution, simply by the nature of genetic mutation (I'll give yet another example in a minute). It is slow progress when averaged over billions of years, but from epoch to epoch it is more jagged. For a pop culture reference, see the into to the first X-Men movie.

Additionally, you need to use a single definition of "faith" when applying it to evolution and the supernatural. Simply saying that one thinks the method of research that evolution implies is a sort of faith is a completely different kind of faith from the religious form entailed in Christianity. While it is possible to use the same word to describe aspects of both, you must assume separate definitions of faith to completely express its relationship to the two pursuits' meanings.

As far as evidence for evolution, I know that my own terse words are not enough to convince a creationist (they just jump in to ID propaganda points right away) which is why I point theologues to massive volumes of material that I've reviewed. I'd rather just skip the personal discussion and jump to the heart of the matter. But you've asked straight out for evidence that I've encountered, so I'l oblige you:

UCSD researchers demonstrated in 2002 how changes and mutations in regulatory genes allowed aquatic arthropods 400 million years ago to evolve into a radically different body plan, namely land-faring six-legged insects. Quote from article at

http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/newsrel/science/mchox.htm :

"The UCSD team, which included Matthew Ronshaugen and Nadine McGinnis, showed in its experiments that this could be accomplished with relatively simple mutations in a class of regulatory genes, known as Hox, that act as master switches by turning on and off other genes during embryonic development. Using laboratory fruit flies and a crustacean known as Artemia, or brine shrimp, the scientists showed how modifications in the Hox gene Ubx—which suppresses 100 percent of the limb development in the thoracic region of fruit flies, while its crustacean counterpart from Artemia only represses 15%—would have allowed the crustacean-like ancestors of Artemia, with limbs on every segment, to lose their hind legs and diverge 400 million years ago into the six-legged insects."

These genes which control which other genes are turned on and off are common to all animals. Changes in the Ubx gene leades to changes in the Ubx protein, which leads to major changes in body layout. To discount this, you have to ignore the fact that all phenotypic trait expressions and features are defined and controlled by the genome of the organism (yes, even humans) and the changes it can undergo.

Creationists often assert that such a radical change would be tantamount to radiation poisoning and would result in a dead organism, or at least one which cannot survive for any notable period. But demonstrations such as the Hox Ubx one above disprove this. Now ask yourself, given the sheer number of organisms both extant and all those which have existed over the billions of years since the earth (much less the universe) was formed, do you really think that this is the only instance where this has ever happened? It's a fact that changes in genes lead to changes in bodies, and it's a fact that genes can and do mutate through this and other methods. I don't see the disconnect here.

The more specific answer to the creationist claim that you need the same mutation in both chromosomes is also answered by the example above, where a dominant mutation is all that's needed to rearrange the body plan, and thus entail a new species indentification.

Please note also that the species in which the mutation occurred did not necessarily vanish just like that. It simply died out eventually before the mutated line did (or will). This is another misrepresentation continually made by creationists: that things can't just change. The process as we understand it right now is not one of an entire species of organisms simply morphing into another speices, it is one of a mutation occurring, and that mutated form surviving and reproducing. It's simple stuff, and it's elegant. AND it can be substantiated, unlike the supernatural.

Please read the entire fascinating article (pictures and everything!) from the journal Nature here:

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v415/n6874/full/nature716.html

 
At November 17, 2005 10:52 PM, Anonymous Steve said...

Stewie,

I accept that "we" can cause mutations by turning on and off genes. But how am I to see that this is done by the pressures put on a spieces from a changing environment. And how am I to clearly see that these particular pressures "force" the neccessary gene manipulation to cause the spieces to adapt to these pressures.

Have you ever seen one of those shows that show us the evolution of man? I find these shows to be laughable. We see an ape, the ape can move around from tree to tree. It can move around on the ground fairly well too! They look as they are able to evade most preditors when needed and that they survive today. They are able to live and thrive in their environments still today.

As the show goes on we see how the artist shows the gradual change as the ape starts to walk upright. I know this is just an artist with a computer showing how it may of happend. But I can't help it, the rendition looks to me like the creature is using all of it's energy just to walk around in a half upright way. As hard as they try they cannot even make it look remotely comfortable. If it had to get away from a preditor it looks like it could neither run to, or climb a tree to escape.

So what I'm saying is that, even if all known spieces "could" have made changes from the evolutionary pressures present throughout time, how could they survive in their transitional states? Do you not see the ginormous problems that evolve as we add more hypothesis's to our hypothesis.

Also I think your Hox example is interesting, but shows no real evidence of what really may have happened, or that it is able to design the changes necessary to achieve the desired results, without an outside intelligent agent. Hence your experiment was not a throw of the dice. No points given!!!

Also I am not claiming to know where God place is in the universe. I do however recognize my place in God's universe. You seem to be the one who is trying to show us how God did it. I do not claim that much knowledge. Also where I may differ is that I believe the Bible because Christ believed the Bible. So if I am a Christian then I must strive to be like Him. So If the Bible says that God, made the creatures each according to it's kind, it is implied then that he did not make a zoo from goo.

Yes I do fall back on my faith!

Look I gotta go. I look forward to your answers.

 
At November 18, 2005 4:11 PM, Blogger stewie said...

You're looking at it from the classically naive creationist standpoint, but it's understandable. Species don't actually "choose" to mutate.

Mutatioins happen as a result of the inexactness of the reproductive method and a host of other variable boundaries. Much of the time, when a mutation occurs, the embryo doesn't even survive gestation, because the mutation mutates something quite necessary to live. But, other times, mutations such as the HoxUbx change I described above occur, and the results are beneficial.

The nature of evolution is one where a beneficial mutation happens, and if its survival/reproductive benefit is strong enough that the particular bloodline where the mutation occurs has a reproductive/survival advantage, the organism will be able to pass its genes on. If the mutation is not beneficial, it will die out after a generation or two.

The HoxUbx gene mutation obviously provided a reproductive/survival advantage to the mutated organisms, because they were able to reproduce in good numbers. None of the organisms chose to mutate, the gene simply mutated as a result of statistical probability spread over many years. Since the mutation helped in some way (no organism was even conscious of this), the organisms were naturally able to spread the mutated genes through reproduction.

When scientists say that something evolved in a certain manner to suit its surroundings, that's a shorthand way of saying that this process I just described occurred, and the genetic models that were better-suited to survive in the environment were able to reproduce and flourish in it. If a bird was born without wings in an environment that predated on birds, that bird would probably get eaten, or at least not have a genetic advantage in reproduction, and most likely not reproduce. If, though, that same bird were born with wings, and a sort of secretion which formed on its skin/feathers that made it smell unappetizing to predators, then the specimen would have a great reproductive advantage, as it would be more likely than others to live to adulthood and be able to reproduce.

There are an incalculable number of mutations possible, and over the course of so many years, some are bound to happen, and they have.

Follow?

BTW, I'm not trying to explain how God did anything, but we are able to deduce the natural mechanisms through which life occurs and evolves. We can't ignore those findings.

And I've never heard the saying "goo to you by way of the zoo." It's certainly not something any professor I know would seriously concoct. It sounds more like another Bible thumper rhyme invented to incite argument, like "Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve."

 
At November 18, 2005 9:58 PM, Anonymous S.o.S said...

stewie said...

" You're looking at it from the classically naive creationist standpoint, but it's understandable. Species don't actually "choose" to mutate."

If species don't choose to mutate, than why are there no signs of "somethings" or anythings evolving in the past 150 years of the evolutionary theory. Why, other than the experiments used to "try" to recreate scenarios through gene manipulation and the likes, are we not finding living proof via transitional "somethings". With a planet so populated with so many somethings(alot more than when evoltion began)do we continue to look to the past for proof?

"There are an incalculable number of mutations possible, and over the course of so many years, some are bound to happen, and they have."

"Follow?"

There are an incalculable number of somethings on,under and above this planet, and over the course of so many years,(150 sounds good), some are bound to have mutated , at the very least,into a something, where we could proclaim "Hey look, this something is starting to become something else"!

Follow?

Just because one chooses to believe in the idea("theories" are concieved in the mind as well) of ID, does not mean one knows nothing about the Theories of evolution. Most have gone to public schools which mandate it be taught.
Truth is, that if you just stop there and blindly accept it(as the IDer's are accused of) than you would need no proof. You Are A Believer! Are you Stewie? Who are you trying to prove evolution to? Yourself or others? What are all these collective scientist so afraid? Being wrong? Wasting a whole lifetime on a lie? No more books? No more professorships? No more accolades? No more erasing God from others lives? No more $$$$$$$$$$!!!!!!!
Fact is, the more I have studied evolution the more absurd it gets.
You have given so many references to books that back-up your belief in evolution. I will use Romans 1:16-32 to back-up my belief in why there is a belief in evolution...

 
At November 19, 2005 12:40 AM, Anonymous steve said...

Stewie said,

"When you attempt this sort of absurd explanation, you're always going to run in to problems, which is why Dembski has been disassembled and discredited over and over in so many ways in the scientific community."

Who's scientific community? Evolution's? Intellectual Atheist's? Maybe the "Scientists Unilateral Community Keeping Evolution Rolling Smoothly", or S.U.C.K.E.R.S.

"The Theory of Theories"
from the Bob Davis
Knowledge Base

(In this our first post on More Evolution Theories, I would like to start off with the remarkable "Theory of Theories":

All theories are theories as soon as they have been spoken out loud.
This is a most remarkable theory, first proposed by Guignol in 1213 in Janiceburg, France. He first wrote it down on parchment, copied it out and distributed it to everyone in the French Conservatory. They absolutely rejected this theory on its face. In humiliation, he was forced to retire to the island of Caccaral in 1214 where he quickly died in poverty and penance.

But his words live on, because to his good fortune his "Theory of Theories" was presented to the British Parliament for ratification as an adjunct to the Magna Carta in 1215, and thus was officially spoken out loud by the good Sir William of Forest. It was actually remarkable: as soon as the theory was spoken out loud, it became a theory and was accepted the world over - truly - thus proving the theory of theories for the first and last time.

Thus it is that Intelligent Design (ID) and Creationism and Darwinian Evolution are all equally considered "Theories" - for they have all been spoken out loud, some even by members of the British Parliament.

Thus it is the purpose of this website to chronicle all those theories that have been spoken out loud, and some that haven't yet but have been thought out loud, regarding the evolution of the species and the creation of the world. The "Theory of Theories" demands no less. As there are quite a few of these "Evolution Theories" we expect this task to take a while and expect to finish this chronicle by the year 32031, by 11:30am if we are prompt. Please come back often to see our progress.)

Just because a theory is widely accepted does not mean it is true. If that were the case then we should all become Christians because of the shear numbers. I think that you would be the first to agree that the truth is not revealed by majority rule. So your scientific community does not score points with me unless you can show me indesputable evidence.

S.O.S. says

"Just because one chooses to believe in the idea("theories" are concieved in the mind as well) of ID, does not mean one knows nothing about the Theories of evolution. Most have gone to public schools which mandate it be taught."

Many of us IDers are aware of all the "Ideas" of Evolution. They were all interesting back when I "believed in them". But one seems to loose interest in something when it does not seem to work anymore. Sometimes Stewie, you just have to get a new watch!

I can't keep trusting that the theory is going to come through in the end.

 
At November 19, 2005 1:34 AM, Anonymous Steve said...

Stewie,

Although we disagree on science, I believe we may hold simular political views. I have always loved Arnold. I think I like your website. I even bookmarked it!

By the way, Darwin doesn't love anyone. He's dead! But Jesus Lives!

 
At November 19, 2005 6:21 AM, Blogger stewie said...

s.o.s:

This thread is getting chronologically old to a comical degree, so I'll try to answer what are apparently the ravings of a zealous Christian sycophant in a succinct manner.

"There are an incalculable number of somethings on,under and above this planet, and over the course of so many years,(150 sounds good), some are bound to have mutated , at the very least,into a something, where we could proclaim "Hey look, this something is starting to become something else"!"

You are apparently unfamiliar with the notion of disease, like maybe a bird flu of timely note, or hell, any flu. Even saving that, in the scope of the billions of years that life as we know it has existed, 150 years is not a long enough period to expect significant bioevolutionary change in animals who are large enough for you apparently to take seriously. This is why we look to fossils for records of categorizable transitional forms, and have found so many. Rf: http://stewiethegreat.blogspot.com/2005/09/transitional-forms.html

"Just because one chooses to believe in the idea("theories" are concieved in the mind as well) of ID, does not mean one knows nothing about the Theories of evolution. Most have gone to public schools which mandate it be taught.
Truth is, that if you just stop there and blindly accept it(as the IDer's are accused of) than you would need no proof. You Are A Believer! Are you Stewie? Who are you trying to prove evolution to? Yourself or others? What are all these collective scientist so afraid? Being wrong? Wasting a whole lifetime on a lie? No more books? No more professorships? No more accolades? No more erasing God from others lives? No more $$$$$$$$$$!!!!!!!"

A similar linguistic tintamar can be produced by defecating into a fan.

Scientists are not afraid of any actual science ID could ever do - it can't (it only raises theological questions). Scientists (and people like myself) are afraid of theologues beguiling gullable people like you and what seem to be significant portions of society into subjugating science to religion's demands.

"Fact is, the more I have studied evolution the more absurd it gets."

Your "study" of evolution is apparently completely bounded by the writings of Michael Behe.

"You have given so many references to books that back-up your belief in evolution. I will use Romans 1:16-32 to back-up my belief in why there is a belief in evolution..."

I have given references to actual evidence and actual explanations from actual reason and logical conjecture based on overwhelming obersvable evidence, not theological edicts from an age (and people) that had no concept of science. There are few better ways of controlling people than scaring them to death.

Steve:

As vehemently as we disagree, people like s.o.s. make me appreciate posters like yourself who can have a conversation with someone like me in a somewhat-civil manner. For another theory to counter evolution, with at least as much supporting evidence as ID, please see http://www.venganza.org

I posted the Darwin bumper sticker as much for fellow college alumni as for creationists - one of the posters for my senior recital was "J.S. Bach Died for Our Sins." There was a very vocal born-again contingent on campus. I got some publicity out of it. Good times.

 
At November 20, 2005 6:32 AM, Anonymous S.o.S. said...

Stewie said..
"As vehemently as we disagree, people like s.o.s. make me appreciate posters like yourself who can have a conversation with someone like me in a somewhat-civil manner."
But Stewie also said..
".. so I'll try to answer what are apparently the ravings of a zealous Christian sycophant in a succinct manner."
And this too..
"Scientists (and people like myself) are afraid of theologues beguiling gullable people like you and what seem to be significant portions of society into subjugating science to religion's demands."

Stewie,
I too have visited your blog and noted one post in particular,"Intelligent Design is Stupid".
Demeaning someone and name calling is ok, as long as it is coming from an intellect such as yourself?(BTW you spelled gullible incorrectly)
"This thread is getting chronologically old to a comical degree,..."
Sorry Stewie, but you choose to leave comments on Lawrence's site, which is in conflict with your beliefs. So what would you expect? What is it that brings you here in the firstplace? I would hope it was not to just belittle those of us who do not agree with your beliefs. Or to try and convince us that we are just to gullible and stupid to have our own thoughts. Actually, your comments are comic relief to a comical degree. Laughter is the best medicine(and medicine is science). Research has shown that even "OUR FELLOW CHIMPS" like a good tickle now and again. Just for chuckles.

"You are apparently unfamiliar with the notion of disease, like maybe a bird flu of timely note, or hell, any flu. Even saving that, in the scope of the billions of years that life as we know it has existed, 150 years is not a long enough period to expect significant bioevolutionary change in animals who are large enough for you apparently to take seriously. This is why we look to fossils for records of categorizable transitional forms, and have found so many"..

Not sure of your point to my statement. I am not saying that something should evolve in a 150 year time span. But I am questioning why we have yet to find something that shows "any" signs, even insignificant, of becoming something else in the past 150 years. Even if dogs began to develop opossable thumbs to open their own cans of food, they would still be dogs. And I don't believe I was speaking specifically of animals.
I am not unaware of the notion of disease. (Little dig there as well?) I may not be as well read on the subject as you, but I have read that viruses and bacterias are parasitic and require a host in order to multiply or mutate. I am also aware that a virus, such as the bird flu, could possibly jump species(zoonosis?}. To survive in its new host, it will adapt to the different chemical make-up than that of it's original host. Its a new strain of the same virus. MRSA is still Staphyloccus aureus, but it is a strain that has become resistant to the methacillin once used to treat it. HIV is a descendant of SIV(found in apes)because certain strains of SIV bear resemblance to HIV-1 & HIV-2. Please, even ole' gullible me is not the least bit convinced that evolution is apparent via parasitic diseases, which adapt to the chemical compounds of their host. They mutate and adapt to their host. Not while laying dormant outside of a host. Thats what viruses do.
The Theories of Evolution are Stupid!
BTW You little jaw bone example is lame. The fossil record should be exploding with transitional fossils.

 
At November 27, 2005 7:20 PM, Blogger stewie said...

That's why it's an example, and not the complete history of everything. I'm not going to republish the entire fossil record for you to peruse here.

And if I misspell a word here or there (very few in comparison to the people I argue with on here), it's not really the point. I type as quickly as I think up the verbal phrases. It should be obvious from such typos that I don't proofread these comments.

Dogs developing opposable thumbs would take many, many years, far more than 150. There are, incidentally, polydactyl cats. Hemmingway was really in to them. Check it out. http://www.messybeast.com/poly-cats.html

 
At November 17, 2007 1:20 PM, Blogger rcochran said...

You're right in suggesting we need to keep pushing the big picture rather than nitpicking details.
A major part of that objective is to accept that most people have neither the intelligence, education or qualifications to hold an opinion - let alone comment - on the subject.
Morever, the more one is immured in assorted speculative 'philosophies' - particularly those of a 'revealed' or 'divinely inspired' nature - the less one has the right to pontificate. Not only is there not one single fact available which demonstrates the validity of their 'source' of information, but every scrap of evidentiary FACT discovered since the Cambrian clearly demonstrates that such a 'source' is no more than ignorant superstition.
To indoctrinate defenceless children with such unnatural perversions as Creationism - or that faith can move mountains! - should be rated as being among the worst forms of child abuse.



____

Obviously, YOU feel very qualifed to state YOUR opinion on this topic. What makes you so uniquely qualified?

Darwinism is arguably a speculative philosophy. There is not one single fact which demonstrates that life arose from non-living matter, and evidence to support macroevolution is sorely lacking, yet the evolution-oriented worldview is a framework for endless "scientific" speculation that is not to be questioned. And if it is questioned, people like you come along and pronounce the questioners unfit to have an opinion or to comment. This kind of thinking is the core of fascism.

No one knows everything, so is ANYONE "qualified" to have an opinion or to comment on any topic at all? Who gets to decide who is qualified enough? You?

 
At November 17, 2007 1:26 PM, Blogger rcochran said...

I can see by reading the posts of the pro-evolution people that the ideas presented by the blog owner are terrifying to you. If your belief in evolution were securely planted on a foundation of non-junk science, you wouldn't have so much venom for those who question your Darwin-oriented fundamentalist faith construct.

 

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