And the Discovery Institute has a major headdesk moment


Here’s old Bill Dembski, being interviewed by Focus on the Family, one of the few remaining forums that take him seriously.

I believe God created the world for a purpose. The Designer of intelligent design is, ultimately, the Christian God.

Whoops. Well, so much for any more attempts to claim in courts of law that ID is purely scientific and isn’t about trying to shoehorn Christianity into science classes. Cuz, you see, here’s the Discovery Institute’s official position:

Does intelligent design postulate a “supernatural creator?”

Overview: No. The ACLU, and many of its expert witnesses, have alleged that teaching the scientific theory of intelligent design (ID) is unconstitutional in all circumstances because it posits a “supernatural creator.” Here we provide several actual statements from intelligent design theorists that the scientific theory of intelligent design does not address metaphysical and religious questions such as the nature or identity of the designer. [Emphasis added by some little atheist smartass.]

Hmm. Awk-warrrd, eh, Billy?

Of course, Dembski has frequently been perfectly open about his religious motivations — when addressing a safe Christian audience. In the world of creationism, talking out of both sides of your mouth is standard operating procedure. It must lead to some really uncomfortable muscle cramps.

Comments

  1. says

    Hey, aren’t you the kind of guy who would say the what one does/believes in private has nothing to do with his public life? Please correct me if I’m wrong about you.

  2. says

    Actually Rhology, that was a little rude of me. Let me ask you this though, does Dembski’s answers to the interview in the source material give you a warm, happy feeling that he understands what objective research is?

  3. says

    TL,No offense taken. :-)That he *understands* it, sure. That he thinks it’s possible for anyone out there on either side, I doubt it based on other things he’s said including in a recent public appearance I witnessed.And I’d go along with him in that – I see a boatload of bias and ignoring evidence and arguments on the evolutionist side, so…

  4. Martin says

    Hey, aren’t you the kind of guy who would say the what one does/believes in private has nothing to do with his public life? Please correct me if I’m wrong about you.Leave it to you to get everything wrong, Rho.If the DI has a particular spin they’re putting on ID for the public, and then Dembski comes along and contradicts that spin in an interview published for the public, how then does your comment apply here in any way? Nice try, though.I see a boatload of bias and ignoring evidence and arguments on the evolutionist side, so…Oh really. We’re all ears….

  5. says

    I agree with you that the Discovery Institute is wrong in trying to minimize the fact that God is the Intelligent Designers. Instead of doing the hard work and over turning this nonsensical revisionist view of the First Amendment that it is illegal to teach about God they have incorrectly tried to compromise who God is, and that is a mistake. Below is a link to the ICR which explains some of the reasons Darwinism is mistaken. http://www.icr.org/article/3140/Not to say the ICR is always right; but they are probably wrong less than Darwinians, who are wrong quite a lot. Perhaps if scientists could just stop trying to shun anything that adds to the credibility of God’s Word, all the evidence could come out. The Bible stands as proof for the origins of life, and has never been disproved. In fact most people who seriously try to disprove the Bible end up converting to Christianity, so perhaps that is why so many scientists are so afraid to acknowledge the truths of the Bible, or even look at it. If as you say there it has no power then you have no reason to fear it; but you are so deeply opposed to it, because you know it does have power, and many of you have even witnessed its power but deny it. I will leave you with a short quote so you can begin to understand that the damage done to society by the gentle cynics is just as great as that done by the religious fanatics.The opposite of the religious fanatic is not the fanatical atheist but the gentle cynic who cares not whether there is a god or not. – Eric Hoffer

  6. says

    “The Bible stands as proof for the origins of life”How so? Do you honestly expect us to believe that a book written centuries ago by people with very little knowledge about the natural world trumps the best research we have going today? I think that what I see is a stark fear that the interludes of science are getting too close to the marrow. It’s the persecution complex of creationists that leads them to think that they are being sidelined by an old boy’s club; otherwise, they know (and many of the preachers have to know) that their enterprise is bunk but they use the supposed side-lining as an excuse to cover for the fact that creation “science” has yielded not a single practical application to date. Evolutionary theory is used extensively in areas like medicine, pathology and disease control, psychology, ecology, fisheries management, and pest control – and it’s used to good effect. It is no wonder, and is entirely consistent with the character of the two camps, to find scientists carefully and calmly explaining their hypotheses and the difficulties associated with them, submitting their findings to journals for further careful consideration and criticism by other scientists, and the creationist lobby using fear and legal wrangling at every turn, pulling at the heart strings in the hope that the mind will soon follow. The creationist movement is not only bankrupt on logical and scientific grounds, it also has no moral authority to speak of. They have conceded it entirely to the scientific community with their despicable behaviour. I’ll just run through a few little facts about the world, to try to impress upon you the difficulty of forcing a Biblical interpretation on the natural order:–endogenous retroviruses – thousands of them – are shared by humans and chimpanzees on the same chromosomes on the same locations on the chromosomes. These viruses have become defunct, but act as excellent markers for phylogenetic analysis. They are the very sort of thing we would expect to find if humans and chimpanzees share a common ancestor. The alternative is that God placed them in the same places of the chromosomes in each lineage and then deactivated them. Of course, it’s also possible that these elements just happen, by pure chance, to have been reverse transcribed into the same chromosome locations thousands of times independently. But the odds against that are astronomical. –psuedogenes and fossil genes – all over the genomes of human beings and other animals there are defunct copies of genes that were once translated into proteins but that have since accrued mutations that have disabled transcription or otherwise disrupted the polypeptide sequence. Through sequence analysis, we have found homologues of pseudogenes and fully functional genes. In some primates, genes associated with producing olfactory receptor molecules are fully activated, but in humans, the homologous sequences have been consigned as fossils as our lineage became more and more vision-oriented. Selection was relaxed on the olfactory loci as more resources could be diverted to other parts of our bodies; the aforementioned primates retained the ability to synthesise the molecules at the high rates their ancestors did (which were also our ancestors). We also find genes arranged into gene families, with some members of these families now defunct (like some members of the globin family). So why would God place hundreds of pseudogenes on the same chromosomes in the same locations in different animals? — selective sweeps – areas of the genome have had their variability severely reduced because an allele has come to fixation in a population in a relatively short period of time due to strong selection at that locus, which has had an effect on neighbouring regions as well. Wikipedia says it nicely: “As its prevalence increases, the neutral and even slightly deleterious genetic variation linked to the new mutation will also become more prevalent. This phenomenon is called genetic hitchhiking. A strong selective sweep results in a region of the genome where the positively selected haplotype (the mutated allele and its neighbours) are essentially the only ones that exist in the population, resulting in a large reduction of the total genetic variation in that chromosome region.”– “selfish DNA” – some pieces of DNA are known to replicate themselves independently of the needs of the organism. They appear to be genomic parasites, and they are propagated not because they are necessarily good for the organism, but because they are good at copying themselves. They can even be bad for the organism, and indeed some cases have been found where they have brought a species to the brink of extinction. Some bias sex ratios (even by killing males) or meiosis to favour themselves, while others – called homing endonucleases – convert the other allele on the homologous locus into a copy of themselves. Large parts of the genome consist of repeated sequences of DNA that appear to have no function. While some types of DNA – that were once thought to be just “junk” – are now known to have a function (like rRNA and tRNA genes, which are highly repeated) – others appear to have no role other than their own self-propagation. Scientists have removed large parts of the genomes of some organisms with no apparent ill effect, and some closely related species have wildly different genome sizes. Indeed, along these lines, it is difficult to take seriously the idea that a species of salamander (I can’t remember what it’s called) has a genome around three times as large as that of a human. Did God need all that genetic material to build a salamander – probably less complex than a human – and yet only a third as much to build a person? There are also some genes which get transcribed into RNA, but then one of the RNA codons has to be “edited” by an enzyme, otherwise it would be fatal to the organism. Mutants that lack this enzyme die. This isn’t intelligent design. It’s sloppy and is more reminiscent of a Third World mechanic who improvises and uses the materials immediately available to him than that it is to a First World engineer using CAD. There are so many redundancies, oddities and just plain bad design in organisms that either a fool or a malevolent demon could be the culprit if it wasn’t evolution. — sexual antagonism – males and females very often have conflicts of interest when it comes to reproduction, because the fitness optima of the sexes is often significantly different. What is good for a male isn’t necessarily good for a female, because they have different costs and benefits associated with their life histories. While there are still many outstanding issues and controversies in the field of sexual selection and sexual conflict, it is abundantly clear that the battle of the sexes is a costly, nasty (just look at infanticide in lions and and the eating of males during copulation in many spiders) and often deadly game associated with a tremendous amount of waste, which can lead to lowered overall fitness for a populations as its members have to devote so many resources into the “arms race”. I am currently reading a book called “Sexual Conflict”, and it highlights many of the most fiendish adaptations by males to, for example, gain sperm precedence over other males, using a suite of chemicals, genital modifications to scrape out the sperm of other males, and so on. Females have their strategies to counter this, including behavioural adaptations and chemicals of their own to make it difficult for sperm to reach the egg (and sometimes this can be so effective that a significant proportion of the females in a population will be infertile). Again, none of this indicates intelligent design. It is entirely what would be expected, however, if you have evolving agents with differing interests. — parasitism – something like 25 percent of all species make their living through exploitation or manipulation of another species. Perhaps the most nefarious (and my personal favourite) example is the ichneumon wasp. These chaps inje
    ct their eggs into the larvae of other insects, which are paralysed and then eaten alive. Some species of wasp hunt tarantulas, which they paralyse and then drag back to their nests. They lay an egg on the spider and leave the larva to feast on the arachnid. Another species injects an agent into the brains of cockroaches, which are then “dumbed out” and led back by their antennae to the wasp’s burrow. I can give you plenty of other disturbing examples of parasitism – of animals using other animals as mere conduits for their own propagation – but I think the ichneumon wasp illustrates my point well enough. This sort of ruthless exploitation is the type of thing that is easily accounted for by a process that is itself indifferent to suffering, and whose only gold standard is the propagation of genes. Did a benevolent God instead intelligently design these organisms, with their complex adaptations for circumventing the defences of other animals (defences which are themselves often complex, like our own immune system)? ALL these things are easily accounted for by evolution. We don’t know all the details about how certain things evolved, but it’s completely clear that evolution is the most parsimonious explanation for them. They are precisely the sorts of things that we readily expect to find given the way evolution is supposed to work. They make no sense if one attempts to invoke an intelligent, benevolent being as the agent responsible. By the way, if you’re going to dispute any of this, do so on scientific grounds. Don’t fall back on accusing us of “denying” what you would like us to think is so obvious. If your view has so much going for it, then the evidence from the natural world should seamlessly align with what the Bible says and with what we should expect to find if God is in fact the artificer. Of course, we see that they are completely inconsistent. Not only is the God hypothesis a complete failure, it is also a stupendous cheapening of the sheer wonder of nature. Biological complexity is amazing largely because it doesn’t require an intelligent designer like God to bring it about. It is the result of a process – which we now know heaps about – that is not itself conscious but that can, through cumulative refinement over many generations, produce exquisite adaptations that rival or surpass human technology. And – just as impressive – we basically know how it’s done. Our species has come of age, because we understand the process that gave rise to us. That’s as uplifting and inspiring as anything. Many, though, still prefer to wallow in their personal incredulity, accepting the trivial non-answers provided by religion, thinking that they have all the answers just because they have read an archaic book written by pre-scientific nomads; the height of arrogance and a display of utter contempt and non-interest in the methodology or the findings of science. To acknowledge that we are evolved beings, on the other hand, is truly humbling, and it’s poetic and more haunting than anything in any creation myth. Why cheapen all this by saying that instead it was God who lovingly fashioned the biosphere so that we could live in it? There’s simply no comparison. The former is deeply wonderful, exquisite (with all the quirks and redundancies mentioned previously), utterly fascinating, challenging and eye-opening, allowing us to see how we are linked to the universe not only through our affinities with other creatures, but with the processes and chemistry and matter that make up the universe; the other is a children’s fairy tale that isn’t even remotely plausible, is boringly parochial, petty, and requires endless ad hoc fixes to make it hold together. We have no need to “deny” it, because it collapses on its own complete lack of merit. Far from us being the ones who are “afraid”, I rather think it’s you who’s afraid, and for good reason. You must, in some corner of your mind, know that the gig is up. But I’m saying that this isn’t grounds for despair, because the truth that you’ve been missing out on is so much more awesome than the mythology you’ve subscribed to.

  7. says

    The Bible does stand as proof for the origins of life, and nothing within its pages that has been disproved. There are some things which have obviously cannot be observed, but since everything we can observe has proves true there is no reason to believe that everything else would not prove true if it was possible to fully test it. “How so?” you ask. Just like it says in the Bible: “In the Beginning God created the heaven and the Earth” “Do you honestly expect us to believe that a book written centuries ago by people with very little knowledge about the natural world trumps the best research we have going today?” No, not unless you believe it is the inspired Word of God. I do not know how you would explain the amazing accuracy of the Bible, apart from God. Do you really believe the best research we have going today can answer the questions surrounding the origins of life and our ultimate purpose in life. “…they know (and many of the preachers have to know) that their enterprise is bunk but they use the supposed side-lining as an excuse to cover for the fact that creation “science” has yielded not a single practical application to date.” Why do you not believe in creation science? Is it because of its lack of pragmatic philosophy, which lacks any way to define truth, or it is it because of a genuine lack of truth? Do you even believe there is really truth or that truth is all relative? It you are looking for pragmatism maybe people like Dewey and Darwin provide that, but if you are looking for truth then try creation science. I personally thought science was about observation, and not about pragmatism, but maybe I was wrong. “…pulling at the heart strings in the hope that the mind will soon follow.”Interesting you should bring up the brain heart connection. I used to buy into the notion that the brain was totally independent of the heart and that the use of the word heart in the Bible was purely symbolic. Then I got to thinking about how the Bible is literally true, and so I looked into it. The result was that I found the mind to be highly influenced by the heart. Although, science had this quite wrong for a while it is finally starting to catch up to the Bible on this topic. Interesting how the Bible being “archaic” as you say clearly stated just how important the heart is. “…it was observed that, the heart communicates with the brain in ways that significantly affect how we perceive and react to the world. It was found that, the heart seemed to have its own peculiar logic that frequently diverged from the direction of the autonomic nervous system. The heart appeared to be sending meaningful messages to the brain that it not only understood, but also obeyed (Lacey and Lacey, 1978). Later, neurophysiologists discovered a neural pathway and mechanism whereby input from the heart to the brain could inhibit or facilitate the brain’s electrical activity (McCraty, 202)” “…a growing body of evidence now suggests that the heart plays a particularly significant role in this process. The above findings indicate that, the heart is far more than a simple pump. In fact, it is sen now as a highly complex, self organizing information processing centre with its own functional ‘brain’ that communicates with, and influences, the cranial brain via the nervous system, hormonal system and other pathways.”The Brain in the Hearthttp://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/pdf/Heart,%20Mind%20and%20Spirit%20%20Mohamed%20Salem.pdf“The creationist movement is not only bankrupt on logical and scientific grounds, it also has no moral authority to speak of. They have conceded it entirely to the scientific community with their despicable behaviour.”Who said anything about the moral authority of the creationist movement? I was talking about the moral authority of the Bible. Creation science only stands on the moral authority of the Bible which is the word of God, so ultimately it stands on the moral authority of God. Sometimes people do make mistakes when they do not stand on Biblical facts. However, if you are referring to creation research regarding evolutionary heresy would you cite some facts as to where you believe creation science is wrong. Also, why do they need moral authority, if they present facts should we not consider them, instead of playing lawyer games; by attempting to discredit the people instead of the facts, which come from God. If someone such as Bill Clinton, who has clearly deceived many people, said something I would not automatically disqualify it based on his lack of character, but would judge his statement based on the facts. “I’ll just run through a few little facts about the world, to try to impress upon you the difficulty of forcing a Biblical interpretation on the natural order:”Thank you for trying to impress me with your scientific knowledge. I am not impressed, although I do commend your for presenting some scientific information here. So, let me get down to the meat, I think first your comment represents a bit of misunderstanding of the creation side of the argument, although you seem to understand the Darwinian side well. Many people often confused that the issue is more centered on the missing links and abiogensis. So I qualify want I believe is accepted as truth, at least by the majority of creation scientists, and what is unproven Darwinian evolution. It is accepted that natural selection does occur. It is accepted that organisms do adapt within the limitation of the available their genetics, according to their genes and would have many redundancies in order to enable this adaption. They also adapt via special operons which turn on and off certain genes based on environmental factors, such as the lac operon. It is not accepted that mutations yield substantial benefit to organism, or that one species changes to into another, since this has never been observed. However, it is accepted that for example a Chihuahua and Great Dane are both dogs which have evolved or changed through microevolution. Accordingly, it is important to remember this distinction between microevolution and macroevolution. Furthermore, there Darwinian evolution is seen as a web of lies and facts, so it will obviously take time to sort out all of the fact from fiction, considering creation scientists get no federal funding, and little money to work with. –endogenous retroviruses -and –psuedogenes and fossil genes – “The alternative is that God placed them in the same places of the chromosomes in each lineage and then deactivated them. Of course, it’s also possible that these elements just happen, by pure chance, to have been reverse transcribed into the same chromosome locations thousands of times independently. But the odds against that are astronomical.”So you are auguring against creation by arguing against pure chance. The odds against life evolving coming from non life are also astronomical, yet you assert that happened. So if evolution does not operate under pure chance, then is it now considering some guides law of the universe? This is interesting, why would deactivated chromosomes in both us and chimpanzees prove we share ancestors. We simply share a common creator, which is God. Things like these actually seem to support creation, because if we have all these chromosomes and methods for adaptation, then we can logically explain how God engineered animals to adapt within the limits of their genetic materials and species, not by mutation. If we evolved over a long time through much mutation as Darwinists say we would expect much more genetic diversity. We are not separated from monkeys by pure mechanics, but by things such as by our knowledge of good and evil, lack of instinct, lack of habitat, our unnatural nature, etc. “Obviously, there is no problem understanding that HERVs have roles in regulating genes (a God-designed functio
    n) and causing disease (due to mutations in HERVs as a result of the Fall). It has been suggested that HERVs and other transposable elements played a role in rapid genetic changes that occurred post-Flood to allow humans and animals to adapt to different environments, as suggested by the AGEing (altruistic genetic elements) mechanism.5 One article states, “Whether these repeated sequences [referring to transposable elements] are now ‘junk DNA’ is a complex issue.”4 Biblical creationists do not think that HERVs are “junk” DNA, but much work needs to be done to gain a greater understanding of the role of HERVs in the past and present. The difference is our starting point—the Word of God versus the word of man.” http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2006/1219herv.asp“Many evolutionary biologists consider the 99% genetic similarity between humans and chimpanzees as strong evidence for evolution. This study demonstrates that while a high degree of genetic similarity exists, the way in which those genes are used (gene expression) is quite different in the human and chimpanzee cerebral cortex. Human brains display a higher level of gene expression than chimpanzees. Researchers think that this may explain the profound differences between human and chimpanzee brain function. As this study indicates, genetic similarity is a meaningless comparison. Rather, it’s how the genes are used that is critical, and in this respect humans and chimpanzees are radically different. It appears that the Creator used the same building blocks (genes) to construct both humans and chimpanzees, but used them in very different ways.” Mario Caceres et al., “Elevated Gene Expression Levels Distinguish Human from Non-human Primate Brains,” PNAS, USA 100 (2003), 13030-35. “Researchers Discover Genes that Distinguish Human, Nonhuman Primate Brains,” ScienceDaily.com. “So why would God place hundreds of pseudogenes on the same chromosomes in the same locations in different animals?”Why not? Again we are not separated from animals by simple mechanics, but by our soul, knowledge of good and evil, lack of natural habit, and instinct, etc. I think we should rather be asking why no other animal in the entire universe act as strangely and unnatural as humans. That is if what separates us from the animals. Additionally, having extra genes perhaps allows animal more genetic diversity without the use of mutations, and if they are really pseudogenes genes perhaps they are just simply God leaving a signature telling us He made all of these things. Additionally, these mechanic similarities across some many species point to a signal maker, who is God. What do you propose co evolution, what are the odds that so many similarities would remain across all these species if evolution did work by such mutation as you say. “There are 481 segments longer than 200 base pairs (bp) that are absolutely conserved (100% identity with no insertions or deletions) between orthologous regions of the human, rat, and mouse genomes. Nearly all of these segments are also conserved in the chicken and dog genomes, with an average of 95 and 99% identity, respectively. Many are also significantly conserved in fish. These ultraconserved elements of the human genome are most often located either overlapping exons in genes involved in RNA processing or in introns or nearby genes involved in the regulation of transcription and development. Along with more than 5000 sequences of over 100 bp that are absolutely conserved among the three sequenced mammals, these represent a class of genetic elements whose functions and evolutionary origins are yet to be determined, but which are more highly conserved between these species than are proteins and appear to be essential for the ontogeny of mammals and other vertebrates. “http://creationsafaris.com/crev0504.htmWhere is the genetic diversity and mutations which would be required for Darwinian evolution, to have causes the divergence between all of these species. Again God created both humans and animals, so it would make sense that he would use things that are universally exchangeable throughout an entire ecosystem, such as ATP a universal energy currency. I would be interested to hear your theory about how ATP evolved, as I am sure you have some theory.– selective sweeps -Here are your key words for selective sweeps they are: “neutral and even slightly deleterious” just as we would expect. Where are your beneficial mutations necessary for macroevolution, that is what we reject the notion that there are beneficial mutations, not the neutral or slightly deleterious ones. — “selfish DNA” –“Did God need all that genetic material to build a salamander – probably less complex than a human – and yet only a third as much to build a person? There are also some genes which get transcribed into RNA, but then one of the RNA codons has to be “edited” by an enzyme, otherwise it would be fatal to the organism. Mutants that lack this enzyme die. This isn’t intelligent design. It’s sloppy and is more reminiscent of a Third World mechanic who improvises and uses the materials immediately available to him than that it is to a First World engineer using CAD. There are so many redundancies, oddities and just plain bad design in organisms that either a fool or a malevolent demon could be the culprit if it wasn’t evolution.”“Evolutionary biologists maintain that junk DNA provides incontrovertible evidence for evolution. This study demonstrates that intergenic (between gene) and intronic (within gene) “junk” DNA has function, since harmful mutations occur in these regions of the genome. In fact, this study’s authors suggest that deleterious mutations in junk DNA are associated with genetic disorders. Function for intergenic and intronic DNA indicates that careful planning by an Intelligent Designer, rather than undirected, random biochemical events, shaped the genomes of organisms.” Peter D. Keightley and Daniel J. Gaffney, “Functional Constraints and Frequency of Deleterious Mutations in Noncoding DNA of Rodents,” Humans are not mechanically better than animals; we obviously lack instinct, and are extremely unnatural. So we disprove evolution, we break the whole framework. What separates us is our spirit, not a bunch of programmed mechanism. If we had a bunch more programmed mechanism we would simply be a more complex robot, just like any other animal; however we have a spirit or soul, which does not require any more genetic programming. If, we look at the Bible God engineered species for survival, and what you may view as sloppy is perhaps what you just have no understanding of yet. Also if mutants that lack the enzyme die, then there is no way to evolve outside of the DNA, this goes right along with the creation science view that evolution only occurs within the limits of our genetic material, and we would they would obviously need more genetic material to adapt. I think it is incredible that animals have all of these redundancies; so they can survive and adapt as programmed by God. Also you are neglecting the fall of man, which is when man was cursed for disobedience, and so we likely left unable to naturally adapt. Obviously man was perfect in the beginning, but since the fall God allowed imperfections to creep in. Also you are right there was a malevolent demon involved in the fall of man, which was Lucifer. As a result of man following the malevolent demon instead of God we were cursed. As I am sure you also know that was not the end, because God also provided an answer who is Jesus Christ. — sexual antagonism – “Again, none of this indicates intelligent design. It is entirely what would be expected, however, if you have evolving agents with differing interests.”Let me ask you, what an evolving agent is, because it sounds similar to an intelligent agency. Why would evolution have differing interests, and where would these different interests come fr
    om? When did male and female diverge from one another? I think you are kind of arguing against your own theory here, because I was under the impression that this enabled survival of the fitness. Ensuring that the most fit mate transferred there DNA. Certainly, we see this in crazy competition between the sexes today, but the question you should really be asking here is why have humans realized that it is wrong to do things such as eat their young. Where did they obtain this knowledge of good and evil, or do you believe it is not wrong to eat your young? The Bible tells us why we understand that it is wrong to eat our young, and to sacrifice the weaker of the race. Humans clearly see arms races as wrong, as where animals have no knowledge of good and evil so they act as they are programmed by God. You have not demonstrated new mutations for the sexual adaption, so I see no conflict in what you sate about sexual antagonism. Although, I do not believe it occurred before the fall of man so, there is also a possibly this battle could be symbolic of the battle between good and evil. — parasitism – Did a benevolent God instead intelligently design these organisms, with their complex adaptations for circumventing the defences of other animals (defences which are themselves often complex, like our own immune system)? What you have neglected to mention here are the great setbacks the theory of spontaneous generation has caused us in this area of germ research. People used to really think parasites could actually come from nonlife, and so people were misled by the irrational theory of spontaneous generation, which scientists are still clinging to today. Finally, this theory was disproved by Louis Pasteur and others, and has advanced our understanding greatly. So, I do not understand why evolutionary scientists want to that a step backwards by continually looking for ways to this prove the disproved theory of spontaneous generation. Again, similar to the arms race between male and female it is hard to pin this one down. When do you think parasitism began? Likely these types of things are the result of the fall of man, because I cannot conceive of an evolutionary purpose for parasites, can you? I think that providing us with an immune system to fight back is a benevolent act. Again this could also be symbolic of the battle between good and evil, and pointing to God. This world is imperfect in its current state. While God is benevolent he is also Holy and Just and demands punishment for evil. He provided the answer to this dilemma in Jesus Christ. Again “It may seem strange that God placed such temptation before man, but it is not wrong of God to provide an opportunity for man to demonstrate his obedience and thus receive greater blessing. God later tested Abraham to offer his son Isaac, and gave him greater blessing as reward for his obedience. However, Satan’s motive was very different. It was not wrong for man to listen to the temptation—nor was it sin to be tempted. Sin was the yielding to temptation.” http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v4/i3/fall.asp“Our species has come of age, because we understand the process that gave rise to us. That’s as uplifting and inspiring as anything. Many, though, still prefer to wallow in their personal incredulity, accepting the trivial non-answers provided by religion, thinking that they have all the answers just because they have read an archaic book written by pre-scientific nomads; the height of arrogance and a display of utter contempt and non-interest in the methodology or the findings of science.”Would you rather we worship the finding of science? The Bible has stood the test of time; it has stood up to the many attacks for eons. Science and technology is nothing new as the ancient world also had fancy science and technology too and look where it got them. I do not think we are claiming to have all the answers because we read the Bible, because God has clearly not revealed everything in the Bible. Therefore, for the things not reveled in the Bible we must make hypothesis based on what we know, just like scientists. The only difference is that we have metaphysical truths revealed through the Bible so we can put some scientific facts in a better perspective. These metaphysical truth serve as prima fascia evidence for the existence of God, and have not been disproved. “To acknowledge that we are evolved beings, on the other hand, is truly humbling, and it’s poetic and more haunting than anything in any creation myth. Why cheapen all this by saying that instead it was God who lovingly fashioned the biosphere so that we could live in it? There’s simply no comparison. The former is deeply wonderful, exquisite (with all the quirks and redundancies mentioned previously), utterly fascinating, challenging and eye-opening, allowing us to see how we are linked to the universe not only through our affinities with other creatures, but with the processes and chemistry and matter that make up the universe; the other is a children’s fairy tale that isn’t even remotely plausible, is boringly parochial, petty, and requires endless ad hoc fixes to make it hold together. We have no need to “deny” it, because it collapses on its own complete lack of merit. Far from us being the ones who are “afraid”, I rather think it’s you who’s afraid, and for good reason. You must, in some corner of your mind, know that the gig is up. But I’m saying that this isn’t grounds for despair, because the truth that you’ve been missing out on is so much more awesome than the mythology you’ve subscribed to.”How is all this wonderful, exquisite, and eye-opening? This sounds just like ancient paganism or the occult when you say we are all connected with affinities to other creatures. Perhaps, you may call it New Age religion today, but it is nothing new. How are we connected? Are we not connected by spirit? I fail to see anything wonderful about our utter lack of natural connection in modern society; we cannot even survive without depleting natural resources. On one hand you call nature malevolent and on the other hand you call it exquisite. Do you find it exquisite that we turn back to dust? Perhaps if we call it star dust that is what makes it sound poetic and amazing. We have no instinct, and are completely unable to survive apart from our unnatural technologies, which is destroying this planet. We are a parasite as most scientists see us. The Bible provides are reason to preserve our parasitic race, which cannot be obtained through science. Also, the Bible provides the answer for our lack of harmony, i.e. the fall. Darwinian evolution has no answer apart from the craziness known as social evolution, which leaves us without morals, and allows the false notion that African’s are inferior, as asserted by the famous scientist James Watson. Likely James Watson has been deceived by Darwinian social evolution, and would also encourage a parent to abort a baby if they knew it was going to be gay. So, while Darwinian evolution promotes a belief in racism Christianity promotes equality.

  8. says

    What I’ve witnessed is without a doubt one of the most disgusting displays of blustering ignorance I’ve ever come across. Every one of your statements dripped with lurid emotion and contempt for rationality. You made an absolute fool of yourself, in almost everything you said. “The Bible does stand as proof for the origins of life, and nothing within its pages that has been disproved.”Again, you say that as though it’s self evident. It’s far from self evident. ““How so?” you ask. Just like it says in the Bible: “In the Beginning God created the heaven and the Earth””That’s an argument? It’s clear that authority is your only truth, rather than truth your authority. No wonder you’re oblivious to what’s been going in on science for over 150 years.”I do not know how you would explain the amazing accuracy of the Bible, apart from God.”There’s nothing in the Bible that could not have been written by a mere moral at the time. There’s nothing that comes close to the level of precision in, say, Einstein’s theory of relativity in predicting results about time dilation, for example. “Do you really believe the best research we have going today can answer the questions surrounding the origins of life and our ultimate purpose in life.”Just because an archaic book CLAIMS to hold the answers, it doesn’t mean that they are the answers. Even if science can never get to the bottom of a problem, it is NO reason to automatically suppose that religion is any better qualified to do so. It’s so sad that so many prefer weak little myths to the grandeur of the view offered by science. “Why do you not believe in creation science?”Exactly for the reasons I outlined in length: because it doesn’t fit the facts. “but if you are looking for truth then try creation science”You have already decided that the truth MUST lie in the Bible, so obviously anything that contradicts the Bible is going to be disqualified, in your mind, as the truth. I just look at the evidence.”I personally thought science was about observation, and not about pragmatism, but maybe I was wrong. “You make two mistakes here. The first is to ignore WHY evolutionary theory is used so extensively in practical applications. That’s like ignoring why Einstienian relativity is used in GPS systems, or why ionic and covalent bonds are used in chemical engineering. The reason that it’s used so extensively is the same as the reason that these other sciences are use din other applications: because it WORKS. If it didn’t work, it wouldn’t keep yielded so many useful results, and it would quickly be disbanded in favour of something better. So I ask: where is creation science – given that you think it’s so powerful – being used? Surely, if it was based on evidence, its logic could be applied SOMEWHERE? As to your point about observation: it’s simply that you have no idea what the observations that scientists have been making for a century and half happen to be (I outlined just a handful of them, but in typical creationist fashion, you pervert them to become proof for God). “Interesting you should bring up the brain heart connection. I used to buy into the notion that the brain was totally independent of the heart and that the use of the word heart in the Bible was purely symbolic.”I meant it purely as a metaphor. Only a Biblical literalist could go off on a tangent like that. I meant for the “heart” to stand for emotion and prejudice, not the actually muscle that pumps blood around the body. Any one else would have immediately known what I was getting at, and I mistakenly thought that you would too. It’s frankly pathetic how you then went on to try to look scientific by providing an excerpt from an article do with heart and brain interactions. “Who said anything about the moral authority of the creationist movement?”The creationist movement. They’re always prattling on about how Darwinism leads to immorality, and how scientists accept Darwinian evolution because they want to “reject God”. They try to infect people with the idea that Darwin was the devil incarnate, so his theories obviously have to be wrong. Creationism most certainly does not decouple its scientific claims from its moral claims; they are interwoven and inseparable. This is attested to by the legal bullying often deployed by creationist organisations, and the lies and filth they fill children’s heads with. “However, if you are referring to creation research regarding evolutionary heresy would you cite some facts as to where you believe creation science is wrong.”I already did: endogenous retroviruses, pseudogenes and fossils genes, sexual antagonism, selective sweeps, and parasitism. These are all things that easily accounted for by the same process – evolution – but make no sense from the point of view of creationism, unless you RETROSPECTIVELY invent ad-hoc fixes. It wouldn’t mater what was discovered; creationists would always claim it as their own by inventing another fix so that they can say “Why of course that’s how God would have done it!” And yet it moves. “Also, why do they need moral authority, if they present facts should we not consider them, instead of playing lawyer games”First of all, I said that APART from the complete lack of evidence for creationism, the movement also has a complete lack of moral authority because the whole enterprise is based on lies and distortions. It’s creationists who turn this into a lawyers game. Scientists would much rather just teach the science and get on with their research; creationists want to pervert it in the furtherance of their cherished myths. They have little interest in science, because they think that their “truth” trumps anything that modern science could ever say. “Thank you for trying to impress me with your scientific knowledge. I am not impressed,”Given that your scientific knowledge is next to nil (and this was a view I came to more and more as I read through your arguments), I submit that you should have been. But I guess that science isn’t a creationist’s forte. “It is not accepted that mutations yield substantial benefit to organism, or that one species changes to into another, since this has never been observed.”Actually, it has been accepted that mutations can yield substantial benefits to organisms which has nothing to do with a simplistic dichotomy between “mutations good” and “mutations bad”), and yes, speciation has been observed (I’ll provide you with the references later, if I can be bothered. Otherwise, you can get in touch with a biologist and just ask them, or you can run a search on a scientific database or search engine). That creation scientists choose to ignore the mountains of evidence that keep pouring is irrelevant; it has no effect on the research that real scientists continue to engage in. I would ask that you at least inform yourself rather than taking everything on trust. “Accordingly, it is important to remember this distinction between microevolution and macroevolution.”Yes, it is important to realise the distinction; it’s just that you have no idea what that distinction actually entails. You need to consult a textbook on the subject instead of swallowing everything your pastor tells you. Microevolution and macroevolution are not things that can be completely decoupled, as they had nothing to do with each other. Another false dichotomy. “Furthermore, there Darwinian evolution is seen as a web of lies and facts, so it will obviously take time to sort out all of the fact from fiction, considering creation scientists get no federal funding, and little money to work with.”They get plenty of money from places like the Discovery Institute , and still they haven’t yielded anything of value. It’s no use whinging that the federal government doesn’t peddle their enterprise; the federal government doesn’t peddle a lot of things, l
    ike astrologists and witches. “So you are auguring against creation by arguing against pure chance.”Nope. I’m saying that the only possibilities are that these entities were inherited from a common ancestor, or that they were put there artificially. These things happen again and again in different species, so we can rule out pure chance as a general explanation. The appearance of the first self-replicating molecule, or whatever acted as the precursor to life, could have been exceedingly unlikely, but it only had to come appear ONCE (perhaps in the entire universe). Things like adaptive change and the placement of pseudogenes happen so many times that chance is ruled out as a general explanation.”The odds against life evolving coming from non life are also astronomical, yet you assert that happened.”Yes, it only had to happen once, and it wasn’t life as we know it; no one thinks that a fully functioning bacterium popped into existence (that’s creationism, by the way, not evolution). That bacterium was itself the product of evolution; the actual entity that kick-started the process was almost certainly much simpler, but crucially it had the property of heredity; it didn’t have all the complex properties of metabolism, gene regulation and all the rest of it. You present the issue as yet another dichotomy: the existence of life is either a matter of pure chance (which, by the way, no one thinks), or it’s God. “So if evolution does not operate under pure chance, then is it now considering some guides law of the universe?”It’s crashingly obvious that you no idea what you’re talking about. No one thinks that evolution happens because through pure chance. Natural selection is a NON-random process. Your entire conception of evolution is built on a flimsy foundation that no scientist even subscribes to. You should at least bother to find out what it is that scientists actually think (which would have been easy enough, if you actually cared) before you deem yourself knowledgeable enough to talk about it. If this is the best that “creation scientists” have taught you, then I don’t favour your chances. “This is interesting, why would deactivated chromosomes in both us and chimpanzees prove we share ancestors. We simply share a common creator, which is God.”Baloney. You can’t whip out the excuse that “We were both designed by God” to explain everything. That means you have no criterion for design; you just lump everything into design because you have already decided that God is responsible. You have to specify how this is the sort of thing you would EXPECT to find if God is the artificer, as opposed to evolution. You have to specify some criteria that would allow you to say that one hypothesis provides a better explanation than the other. In this context, you have to account for three things: why are these genes/viruses deactivated, why are they viruses instead of other things that could do the job you think they do, and most importantly: why are they deactivated in THE SAME PLACES, THOUSANDS OF TIMES OF OVER? This is all easily explained by accepting that we got them from a common ancestor, and moreover, it’s the very sort of thing we expect to find given what we know about the opportunistic nature of evolution and the nature of genomic parasites. “If we evolved over a long time through much mutation as Darwinists say we would expect much more genetic diversity.”What is your quantitative estimate for how much “more” diversity there should be? You say it as though everyone agrees that it’s true. But it’s nothing more than a statement. “We are not separated from monkeys by pure mechanics, but by things such as by our knowledge of good and evil, lack of instinct, lack of habitat, our unnatural nature, etc.”Lack of instinct?! That really takes the cake. You think that humans have no instinct? I’m not even going to bother with your other points. “Obviously, there is no problem understanding that HERVs have roles in regulating genes (a God-designed function) and causing disease (due to mutations in HERVs as a result of the Fall).”Yes, SOME of them have a role in regulating gene expression (which isn’t the same thing as saying that their FUNCTION is TO regulate gene expression), but the most parsimonious explanation is still that they were perpetuated because of their parasitic nature, though they OCCASIONALLY might have some benefit and be co-opted. An absurdity implicit in your argument is this: why would God have needed to put VIRUSES into our genomes to regulate our genes? Did he let them infect people, or did he put them in directly when he created Adam and Eve (a children’s fairy tale, by the way)? Why not just say that these viruses accrued over evolutionary time? Even if we discovered that ERVs nowadays all have a role in gene regulation, that wouldn’t mean that they initially did. It is entirely part of the nature of evolution to co-opt structures and adapt them for different purposes. As for this: “As a result of the Fall?” Are you joking? This is what you want me to take seriously?”It has been suggested that HERVs and other transposable elements played a role in rapid genetic changes that occurred post-Flood to allow humans and animals to adapt to different environments,”You mean EVOLUTION? So you have to invoke evolution to..refute evolution? By the way, the flood never happened. Not only are creationists at war with biology, they’re also (at least the Young Earth variety) at war with geology. And cosmology. “This study demonstrates that while a high degree of genetic similarity exists, the way in which those genes are used (gene expression) is quite different in the human and chimpanzee cerebral cortex. Human brains display a higher level of gene expression than chimpanzees”No one ever said that humans and chimpanzees were the same. If they were, they’d be the same species. “Human brains display a higher level of gene expression than chimpanzees.”Something corroborated by the fossil record, and exactly what we would expect if more resources are diverted to the brain as a result of selection acting on mutations that effect that. “As this study indicates, genetic similarity is a meaningless comparison.”Absolute rubbish, and a complete lie. Genetic similarity tells us an enormous amount about the relationships between different organisms. Obviously it doesn’t necessarily tell us how alike organisms will be morphologically. But clearly evolution can – and has – worked on the promoter sequences and other regions that regulate transcription; these regions are subject to mutation and can yield results that are favoured by natural selection. There’s certainly nothing to stop this happening (or is there?) The utility of using genetic similarity to discern phylogenies doesn’t become null and void just because creationist propagandists don’t like it. Nor does the science of gene regulation or developmental biology in ANY way refute evolution. And by the way, did you know that you’ve just handed me victory on a silver platter? If God uses the “same building blocks”, then what’s to stop evolution from doing the same? What’s to stop evolution from tinkering with regulatory sequences and preserving useful changes? You’ve demolished your own case for a supposed barrier between species, which you suppose prevents macroevolution. Yet macroevolution is ultimately microevolution writ large. If humans and chimps share most of their genes but differ substantially in their regulatory sequences, how CAN there be a barrier? Tinkering and preserving (what evolution does) would yield the same result as God doing it. ““So why would God place hundreds of pseudogenes on the same chromosomes in the same locations in different animals?”“Why not?”I’m asking you why he would. The onus isn’t on me to disprove you, it’s on you to provide a criterion for design that is consistent (and m
    ore so than evolution) to explain these pseudogenes. You can say “why not” to absolutely anything; it doesn’t mean it’s any sort of answer. “I think we should rather be asking why no other animal in the entire universe act as strangely and unnatural as humans”That’s an interesting question, but unlike you, I don’t claim to know the answer with absolute certainty. You have provided no scientific basis for thinking that this HAS to be the case, and nor have you provided a scientific basis for thinking why this is the case. “That is if what separates us from the animals.”So why does it matter whether God created us or whether evolution produced us? Why not just allow that evolution produced us, but that God endowed us with a sense of whatever it is you think is so important? Unless, of course, you know that it’s ultimately down to mechanics, which is why you insist on creationism. “Additionally, having extra genes perhaps allows animal more genetic diversity without the use of mutations, and if they are really pseudogenes genes perhaps they are just simply God leaving a signature telling us He made all of these things.”Or perhaps you have no good scientific account for them, and you just want to see God in everything. “What do you propose co evolution, what are the odds that so many similarities would remain across all these species if evolution did work by such mutation as you say.””By such mutations”? Clearly you have no idea how natural selection works, so I recommend that you read up on it (using a scientific reference, not the religious junk). There are different types of selection (including stabilising, directional and disruptive). Some genes are preserved while others are freer to accrue mutations. There are also genetic constraints, population processes, and a suite of other things that come into play – none of which you give any indication of knowing about. These things have been thoroughly investigated by biologists, ecologists, geneticists, and mathematicians for decades. Its nothing like the boring dichotomies you present. ““There are 481 segments longer than 200 base pairs (bp) that are absolutely conserved (100% identity with no insertions or deletions) between orthologous regions of the human, rat, and mouse genomes. Nearly all of these segments are also conserved in the chicken and dog genomes, with an average of 95 and 99% identity, respectively. Many are also significantly conserved in fish. These ultraconserved elements of the human genome are most often located either overlapping exons in genes involved in RNA processing or in introns or nearby genes involved in the regulation of transcription and development. Along with more than 5000 sequences of over 100 bp that are absolutely conserved among the three sequenced mammals, these represent a class of genetic elements whose functions and evolutionary origins are yet to be determined, but which are more highly conserved between these species than are proteins and appear to be essential for the ontogeny of mammals and other vertebrates. “http://creationsafaris.com/crev0504.htm”First of all, I doubt whether you even know what an exon is, or that you even care. Secondly, none of this is any way lends credence to creationism over evolution. It simply means we DON’T KNOW what these sequences are doing. Nor will it matter when we do find out, because then you’ll just lump them into the “evidence for God” pile (“why not?”). The fact is that creationists have already decided that evolution has to be wrong; at all costs, it must not be allowed to be right. You love examples like these because they represent gaps in our knowledge, but the minute that those gaps are filled, you claim them as your own. It’s nothing more than a game. “Where is the genetic diversity and mutations which would be required for Darwinian evolution, to have causes the divergence between all of these species.”Where indeed; you provide no explanation of your own for the high level of conservation in these sequences (except for “God did it”, which is your only answer to anything). And who said these sequences are “required” for speciation? Since the article admits that the function, if any, of these sequences are not known, then how does it in any way conflict with macroevolution, or corroborate creationism?”I would be interested to hear your theory about how ATP evolved, as I am sure you have some theory.”Actually, I don’t, because I’m not a molecular biologist, and because I haven’t specifically read up on the evolution of ATP. If you’re genuinely interested (which I very much doubt) you should consult such a scientist, and he or she will be quite happy to tell you what they think. Otherwise, there are plenty of good textbooks and scientific journal papers (if it’s good enough for creationists to use them when cherry-picking and quote mining, then you should at least consider looking into them. You have nothing to lose, except your ignorance). “– selective sweeps -Here are your key words for selective sweeps they are: “neutral and even slightly deleterious” just as we would expect. Where are your beneficial mutations necessary for macroevolution, that is what we reject the notion that there are beneficial mutations, not the neutral or slightly deleterious ones.”Again, you have no idea what macroevolution is even supposed to involve. It isn’t something decoupled from microevolution. The only way it could logically work is VIA microevolution. So you’re not going to get a set of genes that are “required” for macroevolution; they’re the same genes as are required for microevolution. Even more lacklustre is how you reject the notion of beneficial mutations. It’s like 50 years of genetic research has made no dent on the propagandists – and by extension, you – from AIG and their ilk. You just shot yourself in the foot, for surely you wouldn’t argue that there are no beneficial mutations in bacteria and viruses that allow them to, say, become resistant to a drug? HIV is so successful because of its high mutation rate; clearly most of those mutations are going to be either silent or deleterious, but SOME (necessarily a minority) will be beneficial (and please don’t weasel your way out of that by saying that these mutations are actually deleterious because they’re bad for us, because beneficial mutation has a scientific meaning and if you’re going to adopt anthropocentric meanings, then you have automatically excluded yourself from the scientific discussion. Beneficial in this context means that it confers some survival or reproductive advantage) ““Evolutionary biologists maintain that junk DNA provides incontrovertible evidence for evolution. This study demonstrates that intergenic (between gene) and intronic (within gene) “junk” DNA has function, since harmful mutations occur in these regions of the genome. In fact, this study’s authors suggest that deleterious mutations in junk DNA are associated with genetic disorders. Function for intergenic and intronic DNA indicates that careful planning by an Intelligent Designer, rather than undirected, random biochemical events, shaped the genomes of organisms.” Peter D. Keightley and Daniel J. Gaffney, “Functional Constraints and Frequency of Deleterious Mutations in Noncoding DNA of Rodents,””Funny how you leave out my acknowledgment that SOME types of junk DNA have already been shown to have a function. These authors are apparently as clueless as you are, and probably even more disingenuous. And you still haven’t provided any good reasons (apart form murmuring something about humans not being mechanically superior to other animals) to account for the fact that a salamander has three times the genetic material we do. With the article excerpt you posted, you’re implying that it’s because all that baggage is involved in gene regulation. Well, great, but what sort of an Intelligent Designer needs all that DNA just to regulate the genes of a salamander
    which is LESS COMPLEX than a human being? If those genes need less regulation, then why all the extra regulatory DNA? Perhaps they as a matter of fact need more regulation, but that itself isn’t a mark of good design; it’s a mark of needless redundancy if you’re invoking a cosmic engineer. On another note, salamanders aren’t rodents, so the findings of one won’t necessarily have much relevance for the other (though they might). “Humans are not mechanically better than animals; we obviously lack instinct,”I can’t get over how silly that is. I don’t know, perhaps you lack instinct. “and are extremely unnatural.”Please define unnatural. Almost anything can be classified as unnatural if you try hard enough. “So we disprove evolution, we break the whole framework. What separates us is our spirit, not a bunch of programmed mechanism.”And yet, creationists are obsessed with showing that we have no affinities to the rest of the animal kingdom. They obsess over the physical in order to affirm the spiritual, but in the process they end up grounding the spiritual in the physical, and losing on both counts. “If we had a bunch more programmed mechanism we would simply be a more complex robot, just like any other animal; however we have a spirit or soul, which does not require any more genetic programming.”Right, which is why our brains are the most complex (“intelligently designed”) artefacts in the known universe. And who said that robots have to be inflexible, which is what you’re implying? The whole of neuroscience tells us that we are robots. “If, we look at the Bible God engineered species for survival, and what you may view as sloppy is perhaps what you just have no understanding of yet.”Hang on. Survival? Against what? I thought the Garden of Eden was perfect. “Also if mutants that lack the enzyme die, then there is no way to evolve outside of the DNA,”Why should there be any way of evolving outside of the DNA? DNA is the medium upon which organisms are specified. What “outside” did you have in mind? Did you mean the same DNA? But mutation produces different DNA. And you still didn’t provide an account for this bad design. “this goes right along with the creation science view that evolution only occurs within the limits of our genetic material, and we would they would obviously need more genetic material to adapt.”Which is where duplications, transpositions, base pair additions, horizontal gene transfer and arguably retrovirsuses come in. None of this is startling or surprising, and has been known for quite some time now. “Also you are neglecting the fall of man, “Of course I am, because there is not a shred of evidence to back it up. “and so we likely left unable to naturally adapt.”Who says so? A recent study highlighted recent evolution in human beings, including selective sweeps for such things as lactose tolerance (I suppose those who people who acquired the mutation for digesting lactose should have apologised to God for having a beneficial mutation, which obviously isn’t allowed). Perhaps you had something different in mind. “You have not demonstrated new mutations for the sexual adaption, so I see no conflict in what you sate about sexual antagonism.”That’s not my problem; if you want to look at the evidence, THEN LOOK AT THE EVIDENCE. I’m not going to spoon feed you. Clearly animals divert a lot of resources to inter-sexual and intra-sexual conflicts, and this conflict is 1) what we would expect of evolution given the differing life-history situations of the sexes, and 2) very often bad for the population or species as a whole, as it can drive down overall fitness. Neither of these things are compatible with an intelligent designer, unless one invokes a fictitious (and completely evidence lacking) “Fall”, which magically comes to clean everything up in a jiffy. Sexual conflicts often involve COMPLEX traits and behaviours. These traits and behaviours are underwritten by genes. So they either evolved, or they were intelligently designed by God. In other words, God designed conflict. And yet he is supposed to be benevolent. “Obviously man was perfect in the beginning,”Yet he needed ERVs to control his gene regulation, and, presumably, he had testicles which could manufacture millions of sperm, something which also doesn’t make sense from an ID perspective. “Also you are right there was a malevolent demon involved in the fall of man, which was Lucifer.”Lucifer? I thought he came around later on? Wasn’t the fall of man due to Eve’s eating from the Tree of Knowledge?”As I am sure you also know that was not the end, because God also provided an answer who is Jesus Christ. “I’d LOVE to know what any of this has to do with biology. “Let me ask you, what an evolving agent is, because it sounds similar to an intelligent agency.”An evolving agent is an entity that evolves. They can be lineages or genes, but not individuals (thought individuals are the immediate objects of selection; they do not, of course, survive evolutionary time. Only genes and lineages do).”Why would evolution have differing interests, and where would these different interests come from?”I said that the agents have different interests, not evolution per se. Evolution will favour changes in each agent that allow it to gain an advantage over others, not because it has warm fuzzy feelings towards one, but as an automatic consequence of the interactions at work. Where did this come from? It didn’t “come” from anywhere; it’s a automatic consequence of heredity and mutation. “When did male and female diverge from one another?”Probably about a billion years ago, when anisogamy evolved.”I think you are kind of arguing against your own theory here, because I was under the impression that this enabled survival of the fitness.”I’m not doing anything of the sort. Sexual reproduction allows for a mixing of genes, which confers an advantage in the fight against parasites and allows a lineage to adapt more quickly to change than asexual lineages. Given that there will often be a different in the life history situation for the sexes once, there will also be different fitness optima for each, and this will lead to sexually antagonistic coevolution. It’s not a one-dimensional construct, as you seem to think. It all depends what aspect you’re focusing on. “Ensuring that the most fit mate transferred there DNA.”Natural selection isn’t the only evolutionary process. Sexual selection can also have powerful effects, and there can even be a conflict between the two, as their optima will differ. They can pull a population in opposite directions, and what prevails will often be a compromise between them. A male can be very good at attracting females with his plumage, but this plumage can be disadvantageous when avoiding predators. As long as he copulates with more than other males – that is, if the benefits of extravagant plumage are greater, on average, than not having that plumage – the genes underyling that plumage will spread in the population. In other circumstances, such gaudy displays can be selected against, because they provide no net benefit to the male’s inclusive fitness. “Certainly, we see this in crazy competition between the sexes today, but the question you should really be asking here is why have humans realized that it is wrong to do things such as eat their young. Where did they obtain this knowledge of good and evil, or do you believe it is not wrong to eat your young?”Well, you would say God. I have asked myself this question and come to a completely different conclusion. It seems strange that I don’t need to be told the Bible to desist from eating children, but if that’s what you need, then all power to you. You seem to have a very low view of human beings; you seem to think tha
    t they are little more than bloodthirsty savages who are apt to eat children and goodness knows what else. I, on the other hand, acknowledge that, while there is much to be disturbed about in human beings (we can all turn to monsters under the right circumstances), I also realise that people are endowed with the capacity for empathy and cooperation. I have hope that people are smart enough to realise that cooperation, kindness and compassion are valuable things to have in a society, and we don’t need God to tell us that. “Humans clearly see arms races as wrong, as where animals have no knowledge of good and evil so they act as they are programmed by God.”You seem oblivious to the fact that altruism (both reciprocal and familial) is a hot topic in evolution (Richard Dawkins’ “The Selfish Gene” – which could just as well have been called “The Cooperative Gene”, is as good a place as any to see that), and has been the focus of a lot of research. To say that only God provides any basis for the existence of good and evil is only to demonstrate your complete ignorance (or indifference to) the literature. “What you have neglected to mention here are the great setbacks the theory of spontaneous generation has caused us in this area of germ research. People used to really think parasites could actually come from nonlife, and so people were misled by the irrational theory of spontaneous generation, which scientists are still clinging to today.”Two things: I’d like to know which scientists clings to such a ridiculous idea, and what this has to do with evolution. “Finally, this theory was disproved by Louis Pasteur and others, and has advanced our understanding greatly.”As if anyone denies that. “So, I do not understand why evolutionary scientists want to that a step backwards by continually looking for ways to this prove the disproved theory of spontaneous generation.”Sorry, but that’s surely one of the most stupid things I’ve ever read. NO evolutionary biologist – NONE – wants to “prove” the theory of spontaneous generation (which more closely resembles creationism than evolution). Nowhere in that pathetic, rambling excuse for an answer did you even come close to address the issue of parasitism. It seems that you’re more interested in dodging scrutiny and making up pathetic strawmen that bare no resemblance whatsoever to what evolutionary biologists are even saying. It’s frankly embarrassing to think that an adult can stoop to such intellectual depravity. “When do you think parasitism began? Likely these types of things are the result of the fall of man, because I cannot conceive of an evolutionary purpose for parasites, can you?”There’s no such thing as an “evolutionary purpose” in the way you’re trying to suggest. Lineages evolve, not because they want to or because it serves any higher purpose, but because of the physical processes (mutation, selection, drift, speciation) that occur within them. Parasites are widespread because they’re good at what they do, not because they have any grand purpose to their existence.”I think that providing us with an immune system to fight back is a benevolent act.”Sure, it would be a benevolent act, but then why create things against which we need protection in the first place? Why not just avoid creating viruses and bacteria that can kill us, and save the expense of engineering a complex immune system? You’re tripping over yourself trying to provide “answers”, but with each reply you just expose what a flimsy house of cards creationism is. “Would you rather we worship the finding of science?”Funny how you frame everything it in terms of worship, as though that were somehow the default thing to do. You worship God, so “therefore”, in your mind, I have to worship science. I don’t. I respect and love science. I worship no one and nothing. It’s only those who need to be told how to think that need to grovel at the feet of a sky-daddy. To answer your question: no, I wouldn’t rather we worship the findings of science. “The only difference is that we have metaphysical truths revealed through the Bible so we can put some scientific facts in a better perspective. These metaphysical truth serve as prima fascia evidence for the existence of God, and have not been disproved.”No, you have CLAIMS of truth. You have decided that, since they must be true, everything is obliged to align with it…even when it doesn’t. “How is all this wonderful, exquisite, and eye-opening? “If you knew the first thing about biology, you wouldn’t ask such a question. A first year biology student would know exactly what I’m talking about. You can be thrilled to bits by nature, and feel deep feelings of awe and wonder. You obviously prefer to keep your eyes shut, your mind in the dark, and your facts wrong. It’s no wonder you can’t see what I’m talking about. “Perhaps, you may call it New Age religion today, but it is nothing new. “It’s got nothing whatsoever to do with religion (I’m an atheist who doesn’t believe in any gods, demons, or fairies, unlike you). Creationism does, though. So no, I don’t call it New Age anything, nor do I think of it as anything like New Ageism (which every rationalist knows is wankery piled upon wankery). “How are we connected?”Pay attention to what I’ve told you: humans and chimpanzees share a common ancestor with each other. They share most of their genes and their biochemistry. Our genes are like a record of the environments they have travelled in the distant past. That’s amazing and wonderful. We share affinities with the other primates through more distant ancestors, and so on back to the origin of life. We are thus members of a vast tree, and for the first time, members of that tree have the ability to study and understand it. Some, of course, choose not to. “On one hand you call nature malevolent and on the other hand you call it exquisite.”I didn’t call nature malevolent. Nature has no intention or ill feeling towards us; it is simply indifferent. It is at the same time exquisite because of the wonderful adaptations, processes and interactions revealed to us by science. “Do you find it exquisite that we turn back to dust?”No, nor did I imply that. I said it’s poetic. What I do find exquisite is that our turning back to “dust” (obviously you now nothing about chemistry, but that’s entirely consistent with your all-round ignorance of science) is then used by other organisms to feed their energy needs, and so on, in a complex cycle that has been going on for millions and millions of years. “Perhaps if we call it star dust that is what makes it sound poetic and amazing.”It does, but we don’t really need to. The truth behind the poetry is awesome enough, and one can be overwhelmed by the beauty and grandeur of it all. This is the story of the universe – the grandest story ever told – and how we are a part of it, not the measly story of a 6,000 year old Earth brutalised by a jealous, sexist, pestilential, warlike tyrant (so much for God being “great”). “We have no instinct, and are completely unable to survive apart from our unnatural technologies, which is destroying this planet.”Fantastic; so you’re also oblivious to the existence of indigenous people. What you’ve just said is an insult to them; many of them live in close contact with nature and have no need for most of the things that we find indispensable (not, by the way, because we are genetically programmed to find them indispensable, but because our brains have given us the capacity to construct them and we are now so used to having them). “The Bible provides are reason to preserve our parasitic race, which cannot be obtained through science. “Actually, any rational person wants to preserve the human race; they don’t need a god book to do it. Science is a descriptive, not a prescriptive enterprise, t
    hough it can in form prescriptive decisions, which need have nothing to do with religion. “Also, the Bible provides the answer for our lack of harmony, i.e. the fall.”So does Darwinian evolution and evolutionary psychology. What’s your point? The question is which one does it BETTER, and clearly all rational people have moved away from the Bible as the central book of answers. “Darwinian evolution has no answer apart from the craziness known as social evolution, which leaves us without morals,”Evolution is a SCIENTIFIC THEORY, not a moral framework. Seriously, are your arguments always this infantile and easy to shoot down?”and allows the false notion that African’s are inferior, as asserted by the famous scientist James Watson.”Actually, it doesn’t. There was widespread condemnation against Watson’s slur, and is has in fact been known for a long time that evolutionary biology gives no comfort to racism. The founder of modern creationism, on the other hand, was a keen racist who believed that God made whites superior to blacks and Asians. Creationists love to quote mine any statement that comes out of a scientist’s mouth, seize upon it, and then hold it up as “proof” that evolutionary theory is at its core racist. But they ignore their own history, and they ignore the science that makes racism scientifically untenable (and of course they do; otherwise, they would have to admit that they are wrong, and that can’t stand). “So, while Darwinian evolution promotes a belief in racism Christianity promotes equality.”Obviously, which is why the Christian, pious South fought a war to preserve slavery. What Christianity promotes, if you’re anything to go by, is mind-numbing ignorance, a hatred of science, and complete and utter reliance on ancient texts to run your life. No thanks. To sum up: –you have provided no evidence to bolster the case for creationism over evolution, and you have resorted to saying a lot of “maybes”, even though one of the problems you have with evolutionary theory is that it is incomplete–you have provided no design criteria for an intelligent designer which is predictive and would lead us to see it as compelling over and above evolution–you have provided no evidence for “the Fall”, which is absolutely crucial to your argument–you have mistakenly presumed that humans have no instinct–you have insulted indigenous people–you have resorted to taking cheap shots at evolutionary biology by conflating it with what an individual scientist said–you have mistaken evolution for a New Age religion and a moral philosophy–you have presumed that humans are somehow obliged to worship somethingTry again.

  9. says

    Meant to say: “Microevolution and macroevolution are not things that can be completely decoupled, as if they had nothing to do with each other. Another false dichotomy.”

  10. says

    Jon…”The Bible does stand as proof for the origins of life, and nothing within its pages that has been disproved. There are some things which have obviously cannot be observed, but since everything we can observe has proves true…”My favorite college course was an Intro to the OT class where the professor (a former Baptist preacher) flat-out said that a vast majority of the Bible was either symbolism or outright falsehoods. A great man but, needless to say, not very popular with a certain segment of the student body.Sure, you can read the Bible and find facts in there; it talks about some real places and real historical figures. That’s not disputed. But there’s also a massive amount of fabrication, fact-stretching, and fantasy. And just because they mention real cities and people doesn’t mean that everything else in the Bible is true.If the Bible is so damn accurate and “has never been disproved,” then riddle me this…Where is the archeological proof that the Jews spent forty years roaming through the desert after the whole Egypt fiasco? Millions of people traveling that sort of distance are guaranteed to leave behind obvious evidence of their travels. Yet, no evidence has ever been produced.If you want to spend a lifetime combing the desert for evidence that doesn’t exist, you’re welcome to do so, but as far as the scientific community is concerned, that little episode is solidly “disproved.”Also, where’s the hard evidence of a global flood? Answers in Genesis and ICR “research” doesn’t count, because just throwing out some shite about the Grand Canyon being carved in 40 days doesn’t cut it as far reputable science goes. The only “scientists” who don’t consider the Flood “disproved” are those who believe it happend despite the immeasurable evidence to the contrary.And, to Rho…”I see a boatload of bias and ignoring evidence and arguments on the evolutionist side, so…”As Martin said, “We’re all ears.” Seriously. I’d really like to know what evidence has been ignored, and by whom.

  11. Martin says

    You know, I really should pay more attention to the older comment threads. I had no idea this creationist tool Jon had turned up, but Lui did such a gloriously detailed and supremely eloquent job of demolishing his long-winded ignorant blather that I simply stand in awe. For all the rhetoric guys like Jon spew — and boy, what a huge, fiber-laden chunk it was — it all wilts under the harsh sunlight of facts.It’s important to know that people like Jon exist in great numbers, and that this is what science education is up against. The man’s very thinking processes are hopelessly dysfunctional. He pontificates with complete confidence about how wrong he thinks evolutionary science is and how it supposedly lacks evidence…and then in the same breath he’ll start talking about demons with a perfectly straight face. One of the most insidious evils of religion is that it deprives the believer of the ability to distinguish fantasy from reality. In Jon we see the mental chaos in which it results all too depressingly.

  12. says

    I stand in awe after the glorious way in which Lui pwned Jon in such an elocuent and honest way! I’m really amazed and I sincerely would like to have all that mental stamina to endure a confrontation with such an ovbiously deluded person as Jon appears tobe.My respect goes to you, dear sir.

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