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Jun 25 2009

Jonathan Park and the Mind Pathetically Misled: a rant

This is the kind of bilge guys like Don McLeroy and Ken Mercer would like to see taught in science classes here in Texas, and no mistake. One loses count of the scientifically illiterate creationist poltroons who have claimed to have disproved Darwin over the years, only to faceplant into a briar patch of epic fail. But that hasn’t daunted the intrepid folks at San Antonio’s Vision Forum Ministries, who have created a 12-episode radio series called Jonathan Park and the Journey Never Taken, spreading, one presumes, the usual McDonald’s menu of tepid, reheated anti-science lies. Let’s see how they do in their “disproofs”…

“While Darwinism’s impact remains far-reaching, its clutch on the culture is beginning to slip,” concluded [Vision Forum Ministries president Doug] Phillips. “Programs like Jonathan Park illustrate the growing number of people who reject the notion that the world came to be through random chance and chaos, recognizing instead that the creation speaks forth of a Creator.”

Annnnd…FAIL! Let’s count the errors, shall we? First, Darwin’s theory is not a theory regarding how the “world came to be,” and second, nowhere does any model of evolution supported by science make the claim that it is a process of “random chance and chaos”. So, wow, right there in an introductory web post, Phillips reveals his utter ignorance of the science he claims his stupid little program disproves. One can only imagine how bad the actual shows are.

Such a sad, dark little life of ignorance fundamentalism requires you to lead. I recently read Darwin’s Voyage of the Beagle, and it has to be the ultimate in travel writing. Imagine if Darwin had had his own blog during the seminal travels of his life, and you’ll get an idea of what’s it’s like. And if it reveals one thing more clearly than anything else, it’s that Charles Darwin possessed a sense of wonder and sheer unbridled awe about the beauty and majesty of life and the world we live in immeasurably greater than any felt by the pitiful creationists at Vision Forum Ministries — or any other creationist institution dedicated to the desperate clinging to the skirts of Bronze Age mythology instead of the real wonders that science and knowledge reveal to us.

They’re gearing this crap towards children, in the hopes their natural wonder about the world and hunger for learning will be stifled before it has a chance to form. And all in the interests of maintaining ancient beliefs and the ministries that sell them. This is why we fight. Minds are at stake. Somewhere in the world is a student who will go on to cure AIDS, extend human life expectancy, and solve other ills that befall us, and that student will have to understand evolution. Creationists fear this, and want this destroyed at all costs. Religion doesn’t care what destruction it leaves in its wake, as long as it comes out on top in the end.


Addendum: It didn’t take long for Pat Roy, writer of the radio show in question, to turn up in the comments to defend his efforts. Game of Pat to show up and comment. I’m replying here as Blogger limits the character length of comments, and my rebuttal goes on at length.

Pat writes, after quoting some writing of Erasmus’ Darwin’s:

Notice how [Erasmus] mentions the formation of the earth from chaos. And we can show that Charles accepted most of his father’s [sic] ideas. Do these statements specifically address biological evolution? No. And that may be your point. However, I believe Mr. Phillip’s statements were referring to the theory of “evolution” as many do — from Big Bang to complex humans – which we see very clearly in Erasmus’ quote (and many others). So you are wrong on your post, many evolutionists do attempt to explain the formation of the world from chaos.

“Many” — at least among scientists and the scientifically literate — do not in fact conflate such cosmological theories as the Big Bang with biological evolution, and if your radio show says they do, it is lying. It is the case that scientists who accept evolution also tend to accept such theories as the Big Bang, but to say that they refer to every field of study regarding origins under the all-purpose umbrella of “evolution” is deceptive. It’s precisely the kind of little deception that creationists engage in as a matter of course; the idea being that many little deceptions add to a student’s mistrust of the reliability of science and the scientific method, until, crack, the proverbial camel’s back proverbially breaks.

Can you in fact name these “many evolutionists” who “attempt to explain the formation of the world from chaos”? (Apart from Chuck D.’s grandad, that is? Science has progressed on the question somewhat since his day, you understand.) Because, from the studying I’ve done, scientists explain the formation of the world as following from known laws of physics. That an accretion disc of dust and nebular materials condensed around a young hot star and formed our solar system using such tried-and-true methods as gravity, and electrostatic and centrifugal forces. Sure, prior to all this going on, the original solar nebula may have been a somewhat chaotic glob of matter. But we wouldn’t have gotten a solar system out of it had physics not taken a role. That’s not simple chaos, and no respectable scientist would describe it so.

So, I’m sorry, your response so far does not leave me with much confidence in your presenting accurate science to your young audience.

Next, Doug Phillips and a team from Vision Forum have just returned from an amazing trip to from the Galapagos. I read the men’s’ accounts on their own voyage to these islands. They too, were filled with the awe and diversity of the animals there. They were inspired by the wonder, beauty, and sense of wonder at the islands. As a matter of fact, the VF team marveled at the incredible design of each animal – appreciating the very ingenuity that went into each one — whereas Charles Darwin attributed the beauty to non-intelligent processes. To say Darwin could appreciate the beauty and purpose more than a creationist isn’t based on anything other than an emotional response!

Phillips and his team went to the Galapagos and returned with more awe of their God. Darwin found awe in nature, without needing any recourse to the supernatural. This is the distinction I meant. Darwin went to the Galapagos and found himself learning new things and formulating original ideas. Your boys went there pretending to be open-minded admirers of science, all the while simply looking to shore up beliefs they already held.

The “design” evident in the animals of the Galapagos, and the whole world, results from an understood process: that of evolution by natural selection, sometimes called descent with modification. That this process is not “intelligent,” not teleological, does not invalidate it. Indeed, there are many problems that begin to crop up in our understanding of biology, and of all the sciences, the minute one tries to shoehorn a magical, all-powerful God into the equation. One is now obliged to explain how and why this God has created things the way he did. One is obliged to reconcile very clear instances of bad “design” — in human beings, for instance, our spines curve in such a way as to risk very bad back problems late in life, our knees bend the wrong way for maximal locomotion, and a woman’s birth canal is not large enough to admit a baby’s head without severe agony and possibly life-threatening consequences for the mother — on the part of this supposedly all-knowing and all-powerful creator. Tellingly, the only way creationists and religionists can reconcile these problems is through recourse to myths that, by their very nature, cannot be examined or confirmed: women’s birth pains are explained as a consequnce of Eve’s “fall,” for instance.

To put it
politely, this isn’t science. Nor is wandering around the Galapagos going, “Wow, look at that tortoise, isn’t God a great designer!”

As far as stifling children… I can say that I have had email after email from children (for many years) that have gotten excited about science and discovering the world around them as a direct result of the production. As a matter of fact, we end each episode with the tag-line, “This is our Father’s world. God created it. We can explore it. Now live the adventure.” Does that sound like we’re “stifling” children, or encouraging them to explore?

It sounds like you’re stifling them without understanding how you’re doing it. Real science, real learning, is done by withholding conclusions about your findings until you’ve seen where the evidence leads. Based on your comments here, it sounds like your entire presentation in these shows follows the creationist playbook: Present kids with nature; offer the false choice between “unintelligent, chaotic processes” and “intelligent design”; cast the choice in terms of a “Duh!” moment (after all, who could believe that all this amazing design in nature could possibly be the result of random chance?!!?1!); and voila — teh God!

Do you truly, accurately present the evidence for evolution in your series? Do you allow pro-evolution scientists who also happen to be Christians — Kenneth Miller, Francisco Alaya, among others — to make guest appearances on the show to explain what the evidence actually tells us? I don’t for an instant believe you do. And that’s not an emotional response. It’s rooted in a long history of dealing with creationists and their dishonesty. What actual, scientifically falsifiable evidence do you present to support the claims “This is our Father’s world. God created it” (in the way science education provides falsifiable evidence for evolution, I mean)? Or are you just telling kids this? If the latter, then, once more with feeling: That isn’t science, Pat, it’s simply religion looking for intellectual cred by donning a lab coat.

I don’t doubt you’ve gotten praiseworthy emails from kids, Pat. But that doesn’t confirm the content of what you teach is true, only that kids with no prior knowledge of science and no way to verify or disconfirm what you taught them enjoyed the experience. I will admit, in fairness, that you may inadvertently have done some of these kids some good. Some of them may well have gone on to study science as they got further along in their educations. And then they’d have discovered that the actual evidence doesn’t quite support what you taught them. Then, some of them may thank you again &#151 if for a very different reason.

Here is the biggest problem with your statement: most of the founding fathers of science were creationists. So to say that creation stifles scientific discovery is just untrue — as proven by history.

Well of course, Pat! Science is about discovery, and developing new theories to supplant old ones when the evidence calls for it. Are you really trying to offer me “Scientists long before Darwin believed in creation” as if it were an argument that validated creation? I mean, you could just as easily say that, because most early doctors were Galenists who believed in the four “humors,” this in no way stifles medical discovery.

Of course early scientists were creationists, because, until Darwin, no one had established a theory of evolution with a solid body of evidence behind it. Early scientists can hardly be expected to have held an idea that did not yet exist, let alone have a strong, evidence-backed theory behind it.

When medicine began to be informed by such things as the germ theory of disease, archaic notions like the humors were discarded as no longer useful or factual. If any doctors today still held to Galenism and the humors, they wouldn’t be good doctors. By the same token, evolution has been confirmed by such a vast body of evidence, and continues to be confirmed by new discoveries all the time. To hang onto an old idea that denies evolution, despite the evidence, is not good science. Creationists who reject evolution in this day and age are like doctors who are still Galenists, holding onto an outmoded idea and bizarrely defending it by pointing out that this is how people long ago thought!

So, thanks for the friendly response. But I’m afraid I’ve found nothing in it to think your program is going to be any less rubbish than all the other creationist efforts I’ve encountered. And if you think my critique was a little on the harsh side, I’d advise you to strap on the Kevlar once actual biologists hear what you’re filling impressionable little minds with.

62 comments

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  1. 1
    Pat Roy

    Hello, I am the writer of Jonathan Park. I just wanted to address some of the mistakes you point out. This current series focuses on the history of evolution. One of the first men we discuss is Erasmus Darwin:. “Gradual progress of the formation of the earth, and of plants andanimals. Monstrous births. Fixed stars approach towards each other, they were projected from chaos by explosion, and the planets projected from them.” – Erasmus Darwin in his book The Botanical Garden.Notice how he mentions the formation of the earth from chaos. And we can show that Charles accepted most of his father’s ideas. Do these statements specifically address biological evolution? No. And that may be your point. However, I believe Mr. Phillip’s statements were referring to the theory of “evolution” as many do — from Big Bang to complex humans – which we see very clearly in Erasmus’ quote (and many others). So you are wrong on your post, many evolutionists do attempt to explain the formation of the world from chaos.Next, Doug Phillips and a team from Vision Forum have just returned from an amazing trip to from the Galapagos. I read the men’s’ accounts on their own voyage to these islands. They too, were filled with the awe and diversity of the animals there. They were inspired by the wonder, beauty, and sense of wonder at the islands. As a matter of fact, the VF team marveled at the incredible design of each animal – appreciating the very ingenuity that went into each one — whereas Charles Darwin attributed the beauty to non-intelligent processes. To say Darwin could appreciate the beauty and purpose more than a creationist isn’t based on anything other than an emotional response!As far as stifling children… I can say that I have had email after email from children (for many years) that have gotten excited about science and discovering the world around them as a direct result of the production. As a matter of fact, we end each episode with the tag-line, “This is our Father’s world. God created it. We can explore it. Now live the adventure.” Does that sound like we’re “stifling” children, or encouraging them to explore? Here is the biggest problem with your statement: most of the founding fathers of science were creationists. So to say that creation stifles scientific discovery is just untrue — as proven by history. Lastly, yes, lot’s of today’s students will cure diseases, explore space, and make major scientific contributions – and many of them will be creationists (just as we see historical and modern-day creationists contributing to science all the time)!Just some friendly thoughts in response to your post!Pat Roy

  2. 2
    Pat Roy

    Okay, so no one's perfect! In my post above, I meant to say that Erasmus was Charles' grandfather!Just forgot a little "grand" there!Pat Roy

  3. 3
    Mandrellian

    PatCharles may have accepted some of Erasmus' ideas, however Charles himself didn't present any theories as to the initial formation of the Earth OR plants and animals. 'On The Origin of Species' and modern evolutionary theory (which has been modified to accomodate much new evidence since Darwin's time) deals, quite specifically, with the speciation of living organisms; the divergence of populations under selective pressure. "Species" is in the title! It's not called "The Origin Of Everything"! It is dishonest or ignorant to claim otherwise. As is conflating the views of Erasmus Darwin with his grandson. That Charles may have agreed with some of Erasmus' views doesn't mean he accepted them all. Clearly, with 'Origin', Darwin knew he had arrived at conclusions he knew would be very unpopular with a great many people (not least of which his devout wife), which is why he waited to so long to publish 'Origin' in the first place. I know of no 'evolutionists' who claim that the world formed from 'chaos'; even if there are, that is not a topic to which any biologist can claim expertise. Even if there were billions of evolutionists who thought so, the fact of a belief's popularity would be no guide to its accuracy. Ask an astronomer or cosmologist, for example, how the Earth was formed if you want an informed answer. You wouldn't ask a blacksmith how to bake bread. Don't present empty hearsay as contradictory evidence.The theory of evolution, from the original publication of 'Origin' in 1859 until now, categorically does NOT include the Big Bang. It deals specifically with biodiversity on this planet and nothing more. Conflating the Big Bang theory with evolutionary theory is flat wrong and simply dishonest – there's no excuse for doing so other than excessively lazy research or a premeditated desire to present false information. They are not the same thing and they do not address the same thing. This is another mistake creationists frequently make: lumping many or all scientific disciplines & theories in together in order to debunk them when it suits their purposes to do so. Then they wonder why scientists (religious or otherwise) and its cheerleaders get so annoyed! If I was to say "The Koran says Jesus wrote the Ten Commandments on a single piece of cloth with a cross he then turned into a snake and that's why I'm not a Christian – because that just sounds silly" I'd be rightly smacked down for mixing up my Bible stories and missing the whole point. Extend to science the same courtesy and stop mixing the Big Bang and evolution together!Seriously, showing that you understand what evolution IS and what it ISN'T will gain you a great deal of respect among those you oppose, even if you still disagree with the theory. From Scopes until now, creationists have consistently shown that they either don't understand evolution or don't want to.But then, that's another tactic we see from many creationists: continual and almost wilful ignorance of the actual evolutionary model & repeated presentations of a ludicrous version filled with fallacies and falsehoods that no self-respecting scientist would support (Ray Comfort, Ken Ham, Kent Hovind are serial offenders of this nature). It quite often seems purposely designed just to piss their opponents off. Guess what? It works. Why? Noone likes having lies told about them or having their views misrepresented. Creationists constantly claim the moral high ground over 'godless materialists' and scientists – well, it's way past time that they and their ilk stopped bearing false witness against science. Please do science the courtesy of learning what evolution actually says and what it does not say. Only then will your opposition receive a little more than derision, snark and insults.I fear I'm wasting my breath here, but I sincerely hope I'm not.Hank

  4. 4
    Improbable Joe

    The point to always remember is that Creationism specifically, and Christianity as a whole, is a fundamentally DISHONEST intellectual exercise. Expecting honesty from Creationists is like expecting genius-level work from a remedial education class, or athletic excellence from a physical therapy clinic. They might WANT to do better, but they are fundamentally incapable of doing so.Of course, the difference is that dumb people and crippled folks mean well, while Creationists like "Pat Roy" are actively doing intentional harm… but in any case you can't consider defective people culpable in their failings, can you?

  5. 5
    BathTub

    I do love comments like this “While Darwinism’s impact remains far-reaching, its clutch on the culture is beginning to slip,”It needs to be added to this page. "The Imminent Demise of Evolution: The Longest Running Falsehood in Creationism" over at http://home.entouch.net/dmd/moreandmore.htm

  6. 6
    Mandrellian

    What I'd really like to know is precisely what kind of grip this thing called "Darwinism" (a word, by the way, only used by creationists to denigrate evolution) is meant to have on modern culture? The obvious implication is that it's a net negative for society, but exactly how? Is the fact that we're related to chimps meant to be inspiring people to criminal and antisocial behaviour? Are there no worse things troubling our species these days – unmitigated & destructive greed by our financial sectors for example? Doctrines of preventive war (or "retaliate first")? Religious intolerance & extremism leading from everything to oppression of women & bigotry against gays to cold-blooded murders of doctors & flying airliners into buildings? Dammit, slavery & piracy & public stonings still happen on this planet, yet creationists think a scientific theory which explains speciation is some kind of hideous ideology which is to be opposed! Honestly, some of my fellow apes need to make like an opposable thumb and a get a freakin' grip.

  7. 7
    Pat Roy

    Hank,Thank you for your reply. I am heading out for a weekend camping with my family, so I don’t have time to reply until Monday, but I will definitely consider all that you have said, and get back to you after the weekend. You make some good points, so I’d love to address them soon. I appreciate your in-depth answer.Improbable Joe,You accuse me of purposely deceiving people and being dishonest? You don’t even know me. Could it instead be possible that we don’t all agree with the politically correct belief without being, “dishonest”, “remedial”, “incapable”, “dumb”, “cripple”, “defective”? This would be like me questioning YOUR motives for your post – and claiming that it is for evil reasons and then calling you a bunch of names. How could I do that? I don’t even know you. So for you to claim that I am purposefully deceiving just shows an emotional response to a position that you disagree with. Joe, this is a little childish. Instead, what if we act like intelligent people and discuss real science instead of accusing people that we never met of such harsh things?Talk to you on the other side of the weekend!Pat

  8. 8
    Improbable Joe

    Pat Roy,One of the most common covers for people such as yourself who are trying to defend a false and dishonest position, is to throw around certain words and phrases. Instead of admitting that you are factually wrong, you tell more lies, this time about the motives and motivations of people who call you out on your BS. You dishonestly claim that your inaccuracies are really just "politically incorrect" opinions. You dishonestly claim that when people call you out on your dishonest and foolish claims, we are just "name-calling" and actually addressing you and not your falsehoods. You dishonestly claim that you want to discuss "real science" when you exert your efforts to spit in the face of real science. You are dishonest. Everything about you and your claims are dishonest. Everyone here will point out your false statements, and until you correct them I will continue to CORRECTLY identify you as dishonest.If Jesus were real, he'd cast you into Hell for bearing false witness against everyone and every thing you come across… more proof that religion is the furthest thing from morality.

  9. 9
    Pat Roy

    Joe,One last post before the weekend. Since you are so familiar with my work personally, can you tell me my most dishonest statement? I say this because I am guessing you've never even listened to my work. Your time to be honest… before you wrote the above post, have you ever listened to an episode of my work? If your honest answer is "no", then what in the world are you talking about? You're calling me a liar before you've even checked out what I've said!Here's a more civilized way to operate. Until you have proof that someone is a deceiver, give them the benefit of the doubt. Because you may find out that it’s okay for someone to have a differing opinion – and not actually evil! I hope I am treating you with respect. Can I ask you the same?Okay, time for bed. Talk to you soon!Pat

  10. 10
    Martin

    I have responded to Pat's comments with an addendum to the original post. It's game of Pat to show up and defend his work. As I see he is already discovering, those of us on the pro-science side are not shy about expressing ourselves strongly. I would like to encourage everyone to keep it, if not friendly, at least on point, and stick to telling Pat where his ideas are going wrong, which might (or might not) be more productive. Though if he's already irked by how "uncivil" he thinks we are, I'd like to remind him it takes two to tango.I heartily agree with Improbable Joe: creationism absolutely is a fundamentally dishonest enterprise, as it pretends to be about scientific inquiry and open-mindedness when in fact it's all about protecting age-old beliefs from scientific findings that may cast doubt.I will respond to this from Pat:You're calling me a liar before you've even checked out what I've said!Pat, here's what's written on the Vision Forum site:“The dead-end theory of Darwinism is shown for what it is in The Journey Never Taken,” stated Doug Phillips, President of Vision Forum Ministries. “And the release of these new episodes could not be more timely. As Richard Dawkins and other leading proponents of evolutionary theory prepare to celebrate their patron saint at the 2009 Darwin Festival next month, Jonathan Park strikes a different tone — one that shows the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of the much-venerated worldview of Charles Darwin.”The best-selling Jonathan Park audio drama series follows young Jonathan and his paleontologist family on their adventures around the globe. In Jonathan Park and the Journey Never Taken…they explore the true history of Charles Darwin and his colleagues and learn how these men helped perpetuate the myth of a universe created without a Creator.Gee, I'm sure that millions of actual biologists the world over would be surprised to learn Darwin's theory is at a "dead end," considering that all the available evidence — the stuff these people have devoted their lives and careers to studying — says otherwise. And what "true history" about Darwin will your show reveal, I wonder? And there's that misleading crap again, about evolution somehow being about the creation of the universe. Oh yes, let's not overlook the smarmy little crack about Darwin being the "patron saint" of scientists. Oh snap, girlfriend!So yeah. If this is an accurate description of your show's content and you approve of this description as it appears on the Vision Forum site, then I'll look you right in the eye and call you a liar. I don't care how uncivil or disrespectful you think it is. And you've got a lot of gall lecturing people here on "a more civilized way to operate," considering the not-exactly-civil and condescending misrepresentations of science and scientists that appear on your own show's promotional page!

  11. 11
    Improbable Joe

    Martin,I apologize if I have not been as civil as this blog dictates. I realize that you guys and gals represents a non-profit educational organization. I simply represent a non-profit Joe sitting at his kitchen table with a laptop. Of course, by MY standards I have been very incredibly civil. By comparison, my own blog entries tend to be so over the top that, to borrow from a review of the new Transformers movie, they look down on "over the top" as if from a great height. I have, for instance, not threatened to smack anyone with a ****-dipped sea bass. I will try to do better in the future.

  12. 12
    Martin

    Hey Joe, no worries, I wasn't chiding you. And goodness knows I've taken my own fair share of incivility criticisms here. I don't dictate absolute civility among commenters (though I will come down on trolling, whomever's doing it — it's why we ultimately showed Rhology the door). Still, as a general rule of thumb, it's a good idea, when drubbing a guy for being a lying sack of shit or whatever, to have examples at the ready. Call it science!

  13. 13
    BathTub

    Heh just look at the Calvin vs Darwin boxing match they've set up, there is a rigged match if ever I've seen it."Phillips, who will referee the debate, readily acknowledges that both Calvin and Darwin’s influence have been profound — that both ideologies possess real world-shaping firepower: “No two men of the millennium have done more to shape the thoughts of mankind or to affect the political and social destiny of nations than Calvin and Darwin — the former for great good and the glory of God, and the later for unimaginable evil.”“The children of Calvin and the Reformers gave us the rise of nation states that embraced republican representative government. The children of Darwin gave us Marxism and totalitarianism,” Phillips explained. “Calvin’s legacy included respect for life, a defense of the biblical family, and the rule of law under God. Darwin’s philosophical progeny introduced the world to the horrors of eugenics and legalized widespread abortion on demand.“Where Calvin insisted that law was transcendent, being created by God for the good of man and as a reflection of his unchanging righteousness, the followers of Darwin would insist that laws evolve, that the Bible is non-applicable to matters of the state, and the transcendent standards of morality do not even exist.”Concluded Phillips: “The reforms of Calvin resulted in the blossoming of Christendom. Darwin foreshadowed the darkness of modernity.”No indication of who the actual people are going to be at the debate.It's a pity they charge for the radio shows it would be interesting to see how dishonest they are. I guess they will eventually come up on rotation on the website?

  14. 14
    Leisha Camden

    Oh, the "wonder, beauty, and sense of wonder"!! LOL!! Where's the sense of beauty?? :-DPat Roy, please reread this:The point to always remember is that Creationism specifically, and Christianity as a whole, is a fundamentally DISHONEST intellectual exercise. Expecting honesty from Creationists is like expecting genius-level work from a remedial education class, or athletic excellence from a physical therapy clinic. They might WANT to do better, but they are fundamentally incapable of doing so.I'd like you to point out where in this statement Improbable Joe is talking about you. What he says here is completely generic, yet you immediately take it as a personal attack. That's an interesting reaction.I know he did mention you in the second paragraph of his comment … but nowhere does he actually call you dishonest. (At least not in the comment you found provoking initially. ;-) He seems to have touched a nerve.

  15. 15
    March Hare

    Evolution deals with the transformations in living things over time. Crucially this only deals with living things once they become living.While is is true that some scientists have taken 'evolution' into other fields, not least the evolution of scientific theories, Darwin had no such ideas. Darwinian evolution, as opposed to Darwinism, deals solely with the process of evolution by natural selection.As to chaos. It appears to me that neither party in this exchange really has a grasp of what chaos means. It appears that both deem chaos to be random or in opposition to natural laws neither of which could be further from the truth.Chaos is idea that a minuscule change in the starting conditions can lead to exponential changes over time in a given system. It is NOT random and it completely obeys the laws of physics.The 'evolution/creation' of the earth from the primordial soup and supernovas of the early universe is entirely chaotic. Any change in any number of a multitude of things would have meant no earth and so no humans on earth. That is not to say another amenable planet would not have emerged somewhere else though!Basically, my problem was that I think you'll find most scientists (physicists, astronomers and cosmologists) will say that the earth was formed by a large number of reasonably understood principles but that the formation itself was chaotic. Once life got started then you can hand over to the biologists.

  16. 16
    BeamStalk

    Nice find Bath Tub. Yes Calvin was so good and right and he went back in time and helped the Greeks create republics. He didn't espouse predestination, which meant God created people just so he could torture them, proving an evil God, no never.

  17. 17
    Hortan

    Ah, chaos, one of my favourite subjects, when I was first introduced to the idea (Jurassic Park) it was so loosly explained that I took it as completely random shit happening because other random shit happened.A naive, romanticized and quite childish notion but nevertheless very common among people who just hear the word along with its loosest definition.

  18. 18
    Ing

    @JoeDon't feel bad about being 'uncivil'. Lord knows had I been the first one to respond it would have been much nastier with naughtier language (like "ovaries). I find it deplorable that people like Pat Roy Rodger's (Now in extra Crispy!) try to hide behind a false mantle of authority to keep people like me from calling them ass holes. Also I'm sorry but depending on your definition of the word, the universe was created by 'chaos'. Cosmic dust was more disordered than when it was pulled by gravity into heavinly bodies. Ultilatemly you can sum up all reactions of the universe as a conflict between two 'goals' to increase chaos and to lower energy levels. Since these two forces are fundamentally opposed things f-ing happen. Tell you what. I'll present an experiment showing "ORDER" can come from chaos. You need a jar, some cloth, water and sugar. (and some food dye if you desire) Prepare your materials: wash a glass jar thoroughly with hot water to clean it. Cut a length of thick cotton thread a few inches longer than the height of the jar, and tape it to a pencil. Place the pencil across the lip of the jar, and wind it until the thread is hanging about 1 inch from the bottom of the jar. Attach a paper clip to the bottom of the thread to weight it and ensure it hangs straight down. Alternately, you can use a wooden skewer as the base of your rock candy, and use clothespins balanced across the top of the jar to clip it into place.2. Wet your thread or wooden skewer, and roll it in granulated sugar. This base layer will give the sugar crystals something to “grab” when they start forming. Set the thread or skewer aside to dry while you prepare your sugar syrup.3. Place the water in a medium-sized pan and bring it to a boil. Begin adding the sugar, one cup at a time, stirring after each addition. You will notice that it takes longer for the sugar to dissolve after each addition. Continue to stir and boil the syrup until all of the sugar has been added and it is all dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat.4. If you are using colors or flavorings, add them at this point. If you are using an extract, add 1 tsp of extract, but if you are using flavoring oils, only add ½ tsp, and make sure you don’t stand right in front of the pan—the scent can be very strong as it rises in the steam. Add 2-3 drops of food coloring and stir to ensure even, smooth color.5. Allow the sugar syrup to cool for approximately 10 minutes, then pour it into the prepared jar. Lower the sugared string or skewer until it hangs about 1 inch from the bottom.6. Carefully place your jar in a cool place, away from harsh lights, where it can sit undisturbed. Cover the top loosely with plastic wrap or paper towel.7. You should start to see sugar crystals forming within 2-4 hours. If you have seen no change to your skewer or thread after 24 hours, try boiling the sugar syrup again and dissolve another cup of sugar into it, then pour it back into the jar and insert the string or skewer again. From the chaos of sugar particulars suspended in a liquid medium you get the Crystal, the highest ordered structure possible. There order from disorder…now shuddup.

  19. 19
    Ing

    "Ah, chaos, one of my favourite subjects, when I was first introduced to the idea (Jurassic Park) it was so loosly explained that I took it as completely random shit happening because other random shit happened.A naive, romanticized and quite childish notion but nevertheless very common among people who just hear t"What's funny is that chaos theory actually says largly the opposite of what the movie/book of Jurassic park seemed to indicate. Seemingly random events when followed will display patterns. Chaos leads to order.

  20. 20
    Ing

    Also, as an actual student of biology and someone who has the background in biology, anatomy, ecology and organic and biological chemistry (including the current models and hypothesis on abiogensis) I want to hear what your scientific model for the formation of life was. Is it as described in genesis, spontaneous generation from inorganic clay and mud? If not provide your hypothesis for a sanity check. How does creation, pray tell explain the formation of nucleotides, nucleosides, amino acids, protein polymers, fatty acid chains, and inorganic heme like groups? I know what science says so I'm very curious to hear your answer. Since you have an alternative working model to evolution, tell me where you stand on the question of whether DNA or RNA came first? Are Virus's junk DNA eschewed by living organisms or did they come first? How does creatonism explain the double helix or single helix DNA/RNA models? How does it account for the B loop and Helix structures of proteins? How does creatonism account for the apparent symbiotic/parasitic origin for mitochondria and chloroplasts? How would creatonist taxonomy classify Archae, along side monera or separate? How does a creatonist explain the division between Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms, especially the lack of overlapping similarity? Since you know the truth surely you'll be able to answer these questions.So here's your chance…address REAL questions that would show up in biology/biochemistry and explain how your new BETTER theory incorporates them into the model. Step up or shuddup.

  21. 21
    Bill

    Hi, Mr. Roy!Since so much of what you write about concerns the Great Flood, let's give the kids a fun experiment they can do with just a sheet of paper and a pencil (although a calculator would be useful!)Let's calculate how much water it would take to cover the Earth to a depth of 30,000 feet above sea level. We can use Wikipedia to get an estimate for the radius of the Earth!All we need is a formula to calculate the volume of a sphere which is V=4/3*pi*(r^3)Express your answer in cubic miles of water.Then, for bonus points, calculate the rate of rainfall necessary in 40 days to produce your answer.For genius bonus points, calculate the cloud layer thickness necessary to produce the answer you calculated above.It's fun! It's math! It's science!Ready, set … Go, Mr. Roy, go!

  22. 22
    Bill

    Oh, Mr. Roy, I almost forgot the follow-up discussion!Silly me.OK, once the Earth was totally covered in water, where did all the water go? If the entire Earth was covered in water, how could it drain?This is a great way to introduce the concept of mass balance to the kids, don't you think?I really, really look forward to your reply.

  23. 23
    Ing

    This sort of thing I have no tolerances for. It isn't ignorance as a plethora of people are willing to correct and educate them. There is no excuse for being so 'uninformed' this day and age. This is pure intentional harm being done. They want to lie to the kids because it's worth it to save their soul. Whether evolution is real doesn't matter to them, believing in it is wrong to them. Pat's lack of answer on ANY of the actual grounds of science is more than enough to shut him up. Shame on him. Shame on his arrogance, his deception, and his self righteous jack assery.

  24. 24
    village1diot

    come on ing. Even I can answer those questions.God did it.

  25. 25
    Pat Roy

    Okay everyone, I’m back from a wonderful camping trip. I can see by all the posts above, that everyone’s ready to take me apart! As promised, I’m ready to get into it!Here’re just a few thoughts to begin:1. Instead of attacking me for things that others have said, please attack me for my own arguments. In other words, I don’t want to defend arguments or statements made by anyone that’s ever said anything concerning creation.2. I can see from the above discussions that I have already been called every name in the book. If I am wrong, then attack my ideas, not my intelligence or motives (especially when you don’t even know me). I promise that I will not attack your intelligence or your motives – but take you at face value. Will you do the same for me? By the way, to say that someone is stupid or evil because they disagree with you is very closed minded. I’m okay if you disagree with me – can you be okay if I disagree with you without attacking my character? When it gets nasty, I believe it really appears to weaken your argument. The question comes to mind: why are they calling me names and questioning my honesty instead of talking science?3. I will do my best to admit when I don’t know the answer to something. I am only a human – and have so much more to learn. But I will do my best to give you a run for your money.4. Someone mentioned that we creationists always deteriorate into using Bible verses. While I do believe in the Bible, I say we keep this discussion on science. 5. Finally, like many of you, I don’t have a ton of time to invest into this discussion. So I will do my best to get back into the fray whenever I can. This means that I will most certainly not be able to keep up with every argument thrown at me. To do that, I’d have to ignore more important things in my life. So please, don’t misinterpret my lack of input as a lack of interest… life just gets busy.I know I have no right to ask anything of you, but I guess at the same time I do have the right to decide how I’m going to spend my time – and if this turns into a name-calling, nasty straw-man bashing session – I’ve got better things to do. Okay, so let’s get started. In a paragraph or two – what its the ABSOLUTE BEST proof for evolution (I’m guessing this is about to bring on a flood of response – much more than I can respond to – so I’ll do my best to answer what I can)?Pat RoyCreationist

  26. 26
    BathTub

    Hmmm the absolute best? Genetics.Particularly items like Pseudo Genes and ERV's.Pseudo Genes are all the Genes in our DNA that are sitting there turned off. Like your gene for making Vitamin C. Did you know that? You could make your own but the gene is turned off. Strangely enough it's turned off in all Simians. Hmm so we a set of items that have a traceable family tree. 19,000 of them in fact. You can trace the reasons for them being switched off. And guess what, the family tree matches the prediction made by the theory of evolution. We are talking situations where you can take these genes and transplant them into other animals and they work.ERV's are Endogenous Retroviruses, simply the remnants of viruses found in our DNA. As Answers in Genesis notes, we know where these come from, they come from viruses inserting their code some-what randomly into a sex cell (egg or sperm) and it gets passed along to the kid made with that cell. Now this is a pretty rare event.So we know how these ERV's are inserted. And We know it's rare. And we can use that knowledge to make family trees of ERV's. Why do Chimpanzees and Humans have the EXACT SAME Retrovirus, in the EXACT SAME location in their genome, but Orangutans don't?But why do those 3 all share a different Retrovirus in the EXACT SAME place but don't share it with Gibbons? Why do those 4 all have a Different Retrovirus inserted into their Genome in the EXACT SAME place but not Old or New World Monkeys? You can create an entire family tree that matches the predictions of the theory of evolution from this independently derived nested Hierarchy.Now don't confuse the issue, no one is saying 'all ERV's are junk' nothing is stopping the code from co-opted into something useful once it's been inserted.Pseudo Genes and ERVs are essentially independent of each other, but their family trees just happen to match up, and they just happen to match up what is predicted by evolution.Now a common retort is 'common designer', but the issues with that are that people are arguing that the common designer put lots of shared viruses and turned off genes in our DNA for no reason. And apparently the designer put it into our DNA exactly how we would expect to see it if Common Descent was real. And wanted to give the appearance that common descent was real. There is no inherent requirement of life that we all share the same DNA encoding. An all powerful God could have given every 'kind' of animal a completely unique equivalent of "DNA" just as easily. And that would be an amazingly power evidence for Creation.

  27. 27
    Ing

    "Okay, so let’s get started. In a paragraph or two – what its the ABSOLUTE BEST proof for evolution (I’m guessing this is about to bring on a flood of response – much more than I can respond to – so I’ll do my best to answer what I can)?"NO, NO. You do not IGNORE the plethora of challangers someone poses pointing out your BS is not science and then pose this bull shit question as a start to your propaganda by numbers script reading! You're not 'argueing' in good faith or whatever, you're being a dishonest ass. "3. I will do my best to admit when I don’t know the answer to something. I am only a human – and have so much more to learn. But I will do my best to give you a run for your money."This isn't that you don't know something. This is about that your "THEORY" has no explanation for obvious and crucial parts of science. Evolution model transcends several fields and provides sound models for all such questions. You're can only fall back on "I DUNNO" or "GOD DID IT". You can't give us a run for our money because you are intellectually bankrupt. I know you don't like name calling and you'll probably use my use of it as an excuse not to address my points but…well fuck you. You are an unimaginative, dishonest, ignorant, and arrogant failure. You fail as an intellectual, you fail in some ways as a human being. You have a small view of the universe and want to trap everyone else in your little box. Frankly you disgust me. I would have been able to do the old back and forth, but it is clear you are unable to honesty do that. You won't actually answer challengers, you won't address issues…you just read off of your little script. I presented you to 'stand up or shuddup" you failed to stand up…so sit down and let the grown ups talk. I sincerely hope some day some ass arranges to barge into your church during mass and scream how your religion is against science and logic; give you a taste of your own medicine. In conclusion: go back into your little hole. Take my ire towards you and use it to insulate yourself since 'you're being persecuted' just like the bible says. Go back to your warped sub culture that degrades, perverts, and twists the human condition into an unrecognizable mass of passionless excrement. You're free to do whatever intellectual abomination you want…just leave the rest of us out of your mental masturbation.

  28. 28
    Ing

    @BathtubIf I may make a sugestion, don't play along with Roy Rodger's question. Let him respond to people instead of dodging questions. He has a creatonist arguement script and is trying to get you to follow it. Go off script, go off the rails, break outside the box.

  29. 29
    Bill

    Show us the water calculation, PR.If you want to learn about the modern theory of evolution I suggest Wikipedia for a start.Calculation, please?

  30. 30
    Jennifer Juniper

    Oh wow, way to avoid, Pat Roy.Are you kidding me? There were tons of questions posed to you and all you could come up with is I don't have the time, here's a question for YOU?The people who've commented have explained SO MUCH before your "start" of the debate"? It was already started! ANSWER THE QUESTIONS! (Particularly the ones posed by Ing: Is it as described in genesis, spontaneous generation from inorganic clay and mud? If not provide your hypothesis for a sanity check. How does creation, pray tell explain the formation of nucleotides, nucleosides, amino acids, protein polymers, fatty acid chains, and inorganic heme like groups? I know what science says so I'm very curious to hear your answer. Since you have an alternative working model to evolution, tell me where you stand on the question of whether DNA or RNA came first? Are Virus's junk DNA eschewed by living organisms or did they come first? How does creatonism explain the double helix or single helix DNA/RNA models? How does it account for the B loop and Helix structures of proteins? How does creatonism account for the apparent symbiotic/parasitic origin for mitochondria and chloroplasts? How would creatonist taxonomy classify Archae, along side monera or separate? How does a creatonist explain the division between Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms, especially the lack of overlapping similarity? Since you know the truth surely you'll be able to answer these questions.")You have GOT to be kidding me! You have said NOTHING of value! I just…argh! I'm so frustrated I don't even know what to say…

  31. 31
    Jennifer Juniper

    PS I post a quote from "The Quotable Atheist" daily on Twitter. This blog post reminded me of a recent one:"Men have had the vanity to pretend that the whole creation was made for them, while in reality the whole creation does not suspect their existence." -Camille Flammarion (1842-1925), French astronomer

  32. 32
    Martin

    Pat, you have clearly noticed that people here in the comments have been harsh with you. Welcome to blogland. I see people call each other names on political blogs, religion blogs, even movie blogs. It isn't necessarily nice, but it happens. I agree discussion should stay on point without having to slide into name-calling. But perhaps you don't understand the source of frustration that the pro-science side feels when dealing with creationists like you.I pointed out, in my addendum to the original post, In an earlier comment, you complained, "You accuse me of purposely deceiving people and being dishonest? You don’t even know me." But you are marketing a program which, according to the promotional page, "disproves popular Darwinist myths," "shows the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of the much-venerated worldview of Charles Darwin," "[equips] parents and children to defend creation truths against evolution’s lies," and so on.Considering that evolution by natural selection is universally accepted as valid by the scientific community, and considering that there are 150 years of solid science, including entire branches of science that arose long after Darwin's death (like genetics), all of which supports and confirms the validity of the theory, then when you describe Darwin's theory as a "dead-end theory," you are lying. It may be a "dead-end theory" to you, because your agenda is to protect your Bronze Age religious beliefs from science at all costs. But it is emphatically not a "dead-end theory" to the people who have devoted their careers and lives to studying it, and to develop innovations (like antibiotics) based upon the knowledge that evolution has given us. So when you tell your scientifically illiterate audience that the theory is a "dead end," confident that they will immediately agree with you because that position jibes with their preconceived religious beliefs regardless of what every scientist on Earth worth the paper his degree is printed on says, you are lying. And it is an especially egregious sort of lie, because it is done in the interests of defending an ideology, without care for the potential damage that promulgating such ignorance could cause. If defending your religion requires you to lie about science, I'd think that a person of integrity and moral conscience would start to question the religion, not the science.Now, it is possible that you honestly believe you are not lying about evolution, and are being perfectly truthful in what you're telling your audience. But if so, I suspect you're being dishonest with yourself. Because in your last comment, you pull the same dodge we see over and over from creationists confronted with challenges from science: You focus on whining about how rude everyone is being to you, while your statement, "The question comes to mind: why are they calling me names and questioning my honesty instead of talking science?" totally ignores the fact that I and numerous commenters here have been trying to talk science to you.I made a number of science-based points in my addendum to the original post, illustrating the difference between science as it's done and pseudoscience as it's commonly practiced by creationists. Mandrellian repeated the point that evolution does not incorporate cosmology. Ing talked about chaos. Bill asked you a very specific question: calculate the amount of water need to cover the earth in the Flood, work out how many days it would have to rain to produce that much water, then explain where it all went. And finally, when you asked for good evidence for evolution, Bath Tub immediately — immediately — answered you (I'd have added Human Chromosome 2 to his list), a courtesy you have yet to do any of our questions.(…cont'd)

  33. 33
    Martin

    (…cont'd)So, yes, Pat, people here have been trying to address scientific questions to you. And yet every single time you respond, you ignore all of that to complain about the names you're being called and the uncivil behavior you're seeing here. Well, good grief, Pat. How exactly are we supposed to avoid lobbing accusations of dishonesty and disingenuousness at you when those are traits you're all too eager to display?If you don't like being called on the things you do, don't do them. And if you want a straightforward discussion about science, start by replying to questions and points we've made, rather than dodging them. I'll even tell everyone else: lay off and let Pat answer, and when he answers, address his points without nasty name-calling, otherwise I will be forced to wield the Loving Mallet of Correction. Fair enough?

  34. 34
    Martin

    One more: I find it to be one of the many rich ironies one encounters when dealing with creationists that Pat Roy is bitterly complaining about rude names and incivility here, while at the same time he is palsy-walsy with VisionForum Ministry's Doug Phillips, a man whose capacity for mean-spirited vilification of people he doesn't like appears to be superhuman, looking at some of the things I'm discovering about him via Almighty Google. Expect a separate post soon. (And for those of you who know what I'm talking about, this comment thread is not to be hijacked by remarks on the "quiverfull" movement or Christian patriarchalism or anything like that. Keep this thread on topic or I will delete like Jason Voorhees breaking in a brand new machete.)

  35. 35
    BathTub

    Excellent reminder on Human Chromosome 2. I will have to try and remember that for next time.

  36. 36
    Mandrellian

    Pat, it's understandable that you're getting a bit kicked here. To echo Matt, groups such as yours (as well as too many individual believers to count) constantly portray science in a way that is not accurate (such as conflating evolutionary theory with cosmology) in order to attack it more easily. This cannot be excused because the evidence in support of evolution, for example, overlaps numerous scientific fields and is easily accessible to anyone who lives near a library or has a computer.The same groups that misrepresent science also frequently demonise atheists, calling us immoral, ignorant, unrepentant hellbound sinners and damn us for daring to question their beliefs. Additionally we're constantly accused of wanting to ban or stifle religion or indoctrinate kids into atheism when these things simply aren't true. For example, a "secular" education or government is one that's neutral on religion. It doesn't promote or privelege any particular faith, nor does it endorse non-belief. It's neutral. Unfortunately, though, "secular" seems to be a synonym for "militant atheist activism" among many believers.The more you make unfounded accusations against us and against science and ignore reasoned responses, the more annoyed we'll be and the more we'll slip into insults. There are only so many times a person can be maligned or simply ignored before they lose patience and lose all incentive to be polite.

  37. 37
    March Hare

    How can someone look at the amazing variety of common dogs, or pigeons, that have been 'created' by selective breeding from a very small number of similar individuals and not imagine that, given a little time, these different breeds will become non-interbreedable? Once that happens they are different species.And how they can say "oh, that's simply micro-evolution" is beyond me. Micro-evolution+time = macro-evolution.

  38. 38
    cipher

    Now, it is possible that you honestly believe you are not lying about evolution, and are being perfectly truthful in what you're telling your audience. But if so, I suspect you're being dishonest with yourself.Martin, it's probably the latter. Humans have a seemingly limitless capacity for denial and cognitive dissonance. He's talked himself into believing all of the bullshit, because he wants so desperately for it to be true. Plus, of course, he's surrounded himself with people who believe as he does, so there's constant positive reinforcement.I do find it amusing that he claims he doesn't "have a ton of time to invest into this discussion". He can certainly find the time to disseminate his creationist jibber-jabber online.I predict that either we won't hear from him again, or he'll show up briefly, post a few halfhearted responses, then take off. You remember that cretin with twelve kids who showed up a few months ago wanting to argue? He became huffy when you wouldn't accept the Bible as evidence, or something of the sort – then he stomped off in a huff.

  39. 39
    Mandrellian

    "Micro-evolution+time = macro-evolution." Whenever I hear the "micro-evolution" trope from a creationist I ask them this: do you believe a match can't start a bushfire?I do hope Pat will return. Maybe a creationist will finally surprise me with a new angle I haven't already seen presented ad nauseam.And maybe humans rode vegetarian velociraptors to work.

  40. 40
    Pat Roy

    I didn’t mean to be a whiner… just wanted to stay on topic, instead of on personal accusations. I get your point – no whining, and say something! Got it!Mandrellian, great point when you said: "Micro-evolution+time = macro-evolution." That makes total sense, and unfortunately that is what many creationists do say. I’ve heard them say micro-evolution is just a bunch of small changes, but they don’t add up to big evolutionary change.” We are in agreement, that’s not logical. Over a long period of time, small changes would add up to big ones — it would eventually become macro-evolution.So do I believe that small evolutionary changes are happening? No. Let’s take a simple look at the difference between our two views:Evolution: As Darwin first portrayed it, evolution is a tree. We start with a simple organism at the trunk and then it branches out into all the species that we see today. This is a model that DOES explain all the variety we see around us today.Creation: This model can be portrayed as an orchard. From the start there was the appearance of all the created kinds (individual trees). Each kind has (as we still see today) a huge variety of genetic information. Each of these trees in the orchard expresses a huge amount of variation and adaptation through different reshuffling of this original genetic information. However, since it can only vary and adapt based on the original genetic information, it reaches a limit – and then stops. This model also provides an explanation of all the variety we see around us today.So here is the classic scenario in the evolution/creation debate:- We both make the same observation (in this case, all the varieties)- We can both make theories to explain our observation (in this case a tree or an orchard)So what next? Then we need to place both theories under investigation to see which best holds up to what we observe. We see adaptation and variation happening all the time. We breed different dogs to create all kinds of different ones by reshuffling their genetic code. As we specialize, we loose some of that original genetic information – and we can even get to the point of loosing the ability for breeding (as March Hare points out above). We also see example after example of organisms that adapt to their environment. So adaptation and variation are accepted concepts that we can scientifically confirm. So whose model does that fit with best? BOTH!Okay, now here’s the rub: Creationists believe that this genetic reshuffling (variation and adaptation) is sufficient to describe all the variety we see today (based on those original orchard trees). So my model fits scientific principles on which we both agree (referring to the adaptation and variation – not the orchard)!Evolutionists must now go one step further since their model starts with the single tree trunk. Aside from genetic reshuffling, you must now add in a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT mechanism. To get from the original simple organism to complex humans, you must add a VAST amount of new information. So back to: "Micro-evolution+time = macro-evolution."In the end we see that “micro-evolution” really wasn’t even the same mechanism as “macro-evolution”. “Micro-evolution” (as used by creationists) is adaptation and variation (via genetic reshuffling). “Macro-evolution” is a separate mechanism that adds new information to the existing genetic information. So now we can see the real equation: Genetic Reshuffling cannot equal Macro-evolutionTherefore the burden of proof is on you to show that there is another mechanism to add all the new information to turn a simple organism into humans. With all of the researchers working on this for more than 150 years it should be absolutely no sweat for you to clearly document just one major change from one species into a completely different one. So therein is my challenge, can you clearly document the specific mechanism that added the needed new information when one species become another?Hope you all have a great day! I’ll check back when I can!

  41. 41
    Pat Roy

    I am currently trying to post on two BLOGS, and it is more than I can keep up with.Could I invite you guys to our disscusion at: http://tfnblog.wordpress.com/2009/06/25/disproving-popular-darwinist-myths/#comment-4632?I will duplicate the same post I just made over there, so if you want to pick up on the conversation, I'll see you there!

  42. 42
    Ing

    "Evolutionists must now go one step further since their model starts with the single tree trunk. Aside from genetic reshuffling, you must now add in a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT mechanism. To get from the original simple organism to complex humans, you must add a VAST amount of new information."Ok…and I'm resisting nasty comments now.You're totally wrong. Your grasp of genetics is down right…*twitch* look. Genetics does not work the way you're saying it does. I can't even address what you have said because, quite simply, you've said nothing that reflects reality. I have taken genetics, I have done the experiments in genetics lab. I have taken biochemistry I have studied the structure of DNA and RNA. I know how and why new information arises, how changes occur. Genetic and fossil evidence both show the single trunk to be more or less correct (I will get to the less part later). We start with a low diversity of species and increase. Example. There were no eukaryote in earliest life. much of life's history has been the reign of the bacteria. When the symbiotic fusion allowed eukaryote to arise, we started with very few. Gradually more eukaryote arose. The unique model of the eukaryote allowed for more complex physiology. TGenetics diversity doesn't have to do with "shuffling" as you say. You do not understand the rise of mutant traits vs wild traits. A genome isn't a train that needs more track put down if it wants to do something different.You have a profound misunderstanding of genetics and allel frequency. There is a set number of body plans, and all species that are related via genetic drift have modified versions of the body blue print. Furthermore, all of what the layman dubs the "higher organisms" have body plans derived from the fish and before that the worm. Suggested reading: your inner fish, spells out very simply for the scientifically illiterate how evidence in genetics and fossils shows body plans altering over the course of many eons to cause greatly different organisms. Everything you said about the genetic shuffling versus new information is pure techno babble. You are using words that sound big and impressive but mean NOTHING in the context. You are not using terms as they should be used.Your use of shuffling implies that allele just change or are moved around. That…isn't even CLOSE. It's clear you haven't actually bothered to learn the chemistry or biology involved. It's…it's just laughably frustrating. Here you are trying to teach people not to trust science when you are damn near ignorant on the actual subject manner.

  43. 43
    Ing

    (Continued)"Therefore the burden of proof is on you to show that there is another mechanism to add all the new information to turn a simple organism into humans. With all of the researchers working on this for more than 150 years it should be absolutely no sweat for you to clearly document just one major change from one species into a completely different one. So therein is my challenge, can you clearly document the specific mechanism that added the needed new information when one species become another?"No. No Pat. Saying "YOU'RE WRONG" does not move the burden of proof to us. Saddly you still need evidence. You have genetic evidence (clearly not your strong suit) and fossil evidence against your happy orchard. You have physiological and anatomical evidence against you. You have a long road ahead of you. "So therein is my challenge, can you clearly document the specific mechanism that added the needed new information when one species become another?""Honest answer, yes. And we have. The mechanism is evolution. The mechanism is what you dub micro-evolution. Genetic drift+mutation==speciation. This is science 101 Pat. Furthermore, if you want to know how "new information is added" Insertion, deletion, and replacement. We've seen it. We've done it ourselves in simple models, it is not a question. You only think that some new mechanism is needed because you can't tell a DNA helix from Felix the Cat.I challenge you to do some homework. Define these terms in your own words. Until you do this you are BARRED from talking about genetics at all.Promoter sequenceTata boxhedgehog sequencesonic hedgehogsRepressor sequenceupstreamdown streamokazaki fragmentinducer sequenceframe shiftdeletioninsertionneutral mutationtermination sequence.TiktaalikMitochondriaRNADNAB loopDouble helixProteinEnzymemonomerCrossing overCruciformMethylization (of nucleotides)You really need to be familar with these concepts if you're going to talk genetics and how they work. And now I get nasty, Furthermore, YOU STILL DIDN'T ANSWER A SINGLE CHALLENGE POSED TO YOU!You answered the one thing on your talking points script, but ignored everything else that your propaganda doesn't cover. Crystallization, ignored. Detailed questions on genetics and physiology and how your model addresses them, ignored. BASIC PHYSICS AND MATHEMATICS THAT IF LEFT UNADDRESSED PROVE YOUR MODEL AS IMPOSSIBLE: IGNORED. Oh and THEN you have the nerve to issue a challenge. A challenge that is so elementary it's covered in genetics for non-majors. Sir, what DO you study? You may be a smart man but you have NO foreseeable knowledge of biology or chemistry.Look…I don't barge in and demand to write your bible to fit in with LOTR, don't try to rewrite science when you have no clue what you're talking about. You're embarassing yourself, annoying people who actually like scientists, and making your religion look like a load of backwater crystal gazing hohocky.

  44. 44
    cipher

    Guys, this is why it's such a colossal waste of time.

  45. 45
    Mandrellian

    Pat, some basics.Very, very basic basics. Hopefully if I've made any glaring errors, some kind soul around here can correct me.DNADNA, while not the whole story by a long shot, is one of the most compelling pieces of evidence of evolutionary theory and confirms Darwin’s core idea that slight changes in a population can and do manifest themselves as speciation events, given the right conditions and sufficient time. This shows Darwin’s foresight & observation as he could not possibly have comprehended exactly how correct his basic outline was. DNA confirms that all living organisms are indeed limbs on one ‘tree’ of life. Were the ‘tree’ actually an ‘orchard’ we would not expect to find any genetic similarities between any animal, plant, fungus or otherwise. Instead, we find similarities between all organisms at the molecular level.MutationBasically, mutations happen all the time but rarely in an immediately obvious way (the “X-Men” or “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” model of mutation is as far removed from reality as possible). A random, undirected “imperfection” or alteration in recombination of DNA during cell replication, a mutation can cause either a slight change or major change in an organism. Most mutations in and of themselves are neither beneficial nor detrimental (eg skin colour, beak length) but are completely relative. Depending on how the mutation affects the organism’s interaction with its environment, that mutation may be a blessing or a curse or something more or less neutral. For example, our inability to manufacture vitamin C (an inability we share with our chimp cousins) is the result of a mutation in a common ancestor. No big deal, we both adapted to this by supplementing our diets with fruit or other foods high in vitamin C (or: did an already high intake of such food mean that when we lost the ability to manufacture vitamin C we didn’t even notice? Did we just get lucky?). This vitamin C mutation has been passed down through both our divergent lineages but not because it in itself gave us any clear benefit (indeed, scurvy is a serious illness caused by deficiency in vitiman C); it has merely come along for the ride with all the other traits that enabled our species to develop. Of course, one mutation doesn’t necessarily make or break an organism, population or species; the sum total of any and all mutations and their effect (if any) on the organism’s ability to survive in its environment and reproduce must be taken into account. Another point: mutations don’t necessarily “add new genetic information”. They don’t have to. All that needs to occur is a modification of existing DNA during recombination, not some insertion of new genes. Changing an html tag from “” to “” – from italic text to bold – doesn’t require any new code to be written, all it takes is an adjustment of existing code. It may make no real difference to the tone of the piece of text being affected and be largely cosmetic, but it may also change the tone significantly. Similarly, a minor change in an organism’s appearance, behaviour or structure (or something unnoticeable like the rate of glucose absorption or resistance to certain diseases) may make no significant difference, but it may also mean the difference between life and death or reproductive success or failure for that organism.continued…

  46. 46
    Bill

    I agree it's a colossal waste of time but consider how the PR-like creationists hijacked the school boards in Kansas, Texas and Dover,Pa. Consider the damage done and the years of effort required to undo it.PR did address the global flood question I posed to him on the TFN thread, but he could only manage a depth of 60 feet and that was with raising and lowering ocean basins, creating mountain ranges after the flood and moving continents thousands of kilometers according to Baumgardner's model.I pointed out with links that Baumgardner abandoned his model in 1990. I was surprised that PR is not only ignorant about science but he's equally if not more ignorant about creation "science."

  47. 47
    Mandrellian

    continued…But evolution isn’t just about the minutiae of molecular biology, it’s a big picture theory which encompasses a whole raft of different disciplines and cross-confirmatory lines of evidence. As I mentioned, Darwin had no clear idea about the precise molecular mechanism of how change arose in the first place. Such knowledge was a century away. When it did arrive, though, it confirmed Darwin’s idea in a way that would have blown his mind. Natural selectionSelective pressure on random mutations causing modifications in a population is a core element of evolutionary theory. For example, a slight mutation in fur colour may give a monkey better camouflage or it may make it more visible to predators – it will depend among other things on the monkey’s surroundings. A slight change in fin length may make a fish more manoeuvrable, but it may also make it slower in a straight line. If it lives in an open environment it may get eaten more easily, but if it’s a reef fish its newfound agility may enable it to escape and potentially produce more offspring with the same trait. Or it might not!SpeciationThis occurs when a subset of a population is, just as one example, separated in some fashion from the main population. It can happen for numerous reasons: the population achieves a size which is unsustainable unless they spread out over other, perhaps different territory; a climatic or seismic event separates a subset from the parent population or alters resource levels necessitating behavioural change; predatory invasions cause a similar split or inititate changes in behaviour necessary for survival. However a subset is separated, given sufficient time without contact & reproduction with a parent population, mutations and selective pressures may give rise to a population with new or modified traits which is no longer able to breed with that parent population. When a new or modified population is no longer able to breed with its original population, that is regarded as the point at which speciation occurs. Given sufficient time and selective pressures, the two now separate species may diverge significantly, give rise to other subsets which in turn experience speciation and so on and so forth.Artificial selectionWhen humans interbreed, cross-breed and hybridise animals and plants to give rise to new breeds or species, we are essentially employing a purposeful and sped-up version of natural selection. The difference, of course, is that we actively select which mutations we wish to be preserved whereas natural selection is passive, undirected and relative to an individual or population’s overall fitness, not just the value or detriment brought about by a single mutation. It is for this reason that so many purebred varieties carry with them hereditary diseases peculiar to their breed: when you select for something like musculature or ear length or colour it is an inexact process and will carry with it other traits which may not be ultimately desirable, but which aren’t sufficiently detrimental to spell the end of the breed. cont…

  48. 48
    Mandrellian

    I'll leave fossils and such to someone else more knowledgeable than myself, suffice it to say that palaeontological & geological evidence gels with biological evidence.A question to conclude: if species did not diverge and develop, what of the countless species that have become extinct over the last four billion years? When each species died out, is it logical to assume that someone or something simply created a brand new but ever-so-slightly different species to replace it? Is it reasonable to claim that no new species have ever arisen on this planet and that all current species of animal, plant, fungus, bacteria, virus and everything else are merely slight “micro-evolved” variations of the original, finite number of species that were designed and placed on the Earth by an immortal being a few millennia ago? I submit that it’s a lot more reasonable to surmise through observation that species do indeed diverge over time and eventually give rise to new & unique species. Further I believe it’s more reasonable, given four billion years of random mutations and selective pressures from environment, climate, predators and numerous other natural factors, to surmise from the evidence we have gathered in support of evolution that speciation – so-called “macro evolution” – is a biological fact.Do you really think changes at a molecular level, combined with selective pressure on a macro level, cannot give rise to new and distinct species? Is it indeed possible in your world that a match can’t start a bushfire?Apologies for the length everyone!

  49. 49
    Ing

    On a related note, if anyone is interested I can try to track down the notes from by biochem class on abiogenesis. It was a very enlightening two part lecture that goes into the mechanisms and hypothesis and the like that are not well known outside the field. A very convincing case is made for multiple "genesis" events and of the argument on which came first DNA or RNA.

  50. 50
    March Hare

    Pat, I will ignore your attributing my comments to other posters :)I had a post all typed out about speciation, flight and other nonsense, but I have a more pertinent question for the US people on here:Kids are supposed to be rebellious, questioning, skeptical and sulky, how did US kids become such blank slates for parents to imprint their Bible nonsense on them? (Ritalin, anti-depressants?)A recent study showed only 30% of kids in the UK had any truck with religion, while they may return to it it is healthy for them to ignore the indoctrination while they are malleable. Why are US kids so different?In the UK if a kid is overtly religious they are picked on in school, in the US if a kid is agnostic/atheist they are picked on in school. While picking on kids is bad I would suggest picking on someone for having a questioning mind is the antithesis of what school should be about.

  51. 51
    Mandrellian

    Cipher's right. This is looking like a colossal waste of time.C'mon Pat, prove me wrong. Hell, I'm a science-y nerd, I LIKE being proven wrong!

  52. 52
    Ing

    @March Hare2 words "Home schooling"for those that do public/non-crazy private school I'm guessing they use the teasing and the like as conformation of their belief. Being persecuted and all, just like the bible says. I'm sure Ensign and Sandford are being fed that reasoning back at The Family compound right now; assuming the whole calvinistic freaks havn't thrown them under the bus already. Really you have to just stand back and admire the meme for its survival. It's gottan a sure fire defense mechanism "if someone disagrees that means you're right" If people agree then we're a christian nation. If they disagree than the Christians are being persecuted. It's not unlike the nudabranch(sic? Honestly don't know spell check has no clue) sea slug; ingesting that which should be toxic to it and assimilating it as it's own defense mechanism.

  53. 53
    Mandrellian

    Sorry Mr RoyNo choice but to award you a big ol' FAIL badge. You had your weekend – now a whole week – to respond to, well, anyone here, and there's nothing happening here but a bunch of atheists yakking amongst themselves.It's a shame. I was looking forward to seeing what new material you might bring to the table. Unfortunately though it seems you've merely conformed to a very normal & tiresome creationist mode of response – to not respond at all. And I wasn't even nasty!Disappointed,M.(Hank)

  54. 54
    Ing

    Observation: this thread has gone extinct. The Pat Roy population that once inhabited the isle of Atheist Experience died out, unable to pass on it's memes to descendants. It is speculated that the extinction was due to an unusual abundance of predators.

  55. 55
    BathTub

    And I was so looking forward to his science that he had for us.

  56. 56
    hmorrisiv

    Martin said…"scientists explain the formation of the world as following from known laws of physics. That an accretion disc of dust and nebular materials condensed around a young hot star and formed our solar system using such tried-and-true methods as gravity, and electrostatic and centrifugal forces. Sure, prior to all this going on, the original solar nebula may have been a somewhat chaotic glob of matter. But we wouldn't have gotten a solar system out of it had physics not taken a role."Where did the original solar nebula material come from?

  57. 57
    Martin

    Nebulae originate as the after-effect of supernovae. More info.

  58. 58
    hmorrisiv

    Martin – yes, I am familiar with the concept. But, you did not answer my question. Where did the actual "material" come from (gas, plasma, chemical elements, etc.)that led to the original supernovae event?

  59. 59
    Martin

    hmorrisiv, as I'm not a physicist or astronomer, I'm not the best person to answer those questions, and at best could give you a layman's reply explaining how suns are big nuclear reactors, and they produce all of these elements, and when they explode, the remnants form nebulae some of which condense into new star systems, and all of that. But if you are sincere in your questions, I'd say you'd be better off reading books and sites dealing with the subject written by experts. Or, if you wanted, we could keep playing this game where you keep replying "Well, where did that come from?" to every answer I give, until you get to God, or to the point where you go, "Ah ha, you don't know? Then it must have come from God!" Because that is where you're going with this, right? I'm just asking, because if it is, we can just skip to the part where I cut to the chase and ask you "So where did God come from?" and you give me special pleading fallacies like "God didn't come from anywhere, he always existed, etc."

  60. 60
    hmorrisiv

    Martin — I appreciate your candor. In a nutshell, your point is that no one knows how it all started. And without true certainity, both the atheist and the theologian must rely on faith. Interesting…

  61. 61
    cipher

    Hey hmorrisiv,Why is it that all of you Christian wingnuts have private Blogger profiles? Which government conspiracy are you afraid of?

  62. 62
    yewnique

    I’m sorry I’m coming into this thread late.

    On June 26, 2009, 12:41, Pat Roy said, “Since you are so familiar with my work personally, can you tell me my most dishonest statement? I say this because I am guessing you’ve never even listened to my work. Your time to be honest… before you wrote the above post, have you ever listened to an episode of my work?”

    Well, I have listened to six volumes of Jonathan Park and I can tell you that they DO contain errors.

    My favourite is actually in Volume 3, Episode 28, where Ayers Rock is described as being four miles high.

    I have written reviews of each episode in the six volumes. Some are more thorough than others, but they are all there.

    Below are some of the more troubling statements found in Volume 6 (which is the topic of this thread):

    Ep. 61: Modern evolutionists say that mistakes in our genetic code can slowly change one type of plant or animal into a completely different one. However, this has never been observed. Variation is completely different than evolution. While evolution relies on accidents in a genetic code to make completely different animals, variation and adaptation are simply different combinations that God programmed into a creature from the start.

    Ep. 62: The Scientific Law of Biogenesis says that life can only come from life. The idea that E. Darwin had about non-living chemicals in the ocean would suddenly spring to life violates this Scientific Law.

    Ep. 63: Millions of living fossils have been discovered and each shows that evolution isn’t happening.

    Ep. 64: At Siccar Point, James Hutton proved that the earth is billions of years old.

    I could go on, but I think you get the idea.

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